Pledged by Louise G. White

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Hi Res Pledged

Pledged (Gateway #3) by Louise G. White

Published: October 22nd 2015

A big thank you to Louise for giving me a copy to read and review.

 View on Goodreads 

Synopsis mk3The deal was simple: Carolyn and her friends could return home after 21 days. What could happen in 3 short weeks?

Rather a lot: Carolyn’s mother is livid about her “rescue” and Edward is being groomed for a chiefdom he doesn’t want. The Agency’s “elixir of life” has been perfected, and O.W.E. permits mean that certain humans have been authorised to work in the demon realms.

The destroyer is about to face her greatest fear, and it has nothing to do with killing demons: She must decide what to do about Ethan and Note who risked everything for her and already accomplished the impossible in “Chasing the Demon”.
My Thoughts mk3

Oh my gosh where do I start. I have been hanging out for this book since I finished Chasing the Demon in July last year. I’ve now read it and Loved it, but am sitting here trying to figure out how to tell you about the story without spoiling it.

At the start of the book we get a wonderful summary of the story so far. I loved the idea of the refresher summary and I loved the execution – It was like a warm hug from a friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

Each book introduced new charters while keeping the old, so yes there were a lot of characters to keep track off by the end of it, but the writing is easy to read and keeping up with them all wasn’t a problem. I found that the jumping around between the thirteen different POV characters pushed the story along at a ferocious pace.

This book has; action, adventure, danger, magic, romance, and of course the destroyer.
I was enthralled with the world Louise created after only a few chapters of the first book and she’s kept me so the whole way through, but alas, now the trilogy is complete.
The only bad thing I can say about this, the third book, is that it isn’t long enough. I would have loved to have gotten to spend more time with all of the characters, well most of them anyways.

In the first two books I was rooting for the other guy to win in the love triangle, but the way Louise ended it felt exactly right.

“…they leaped together into the first adventure of the rest of their lives.

The end.”

I’m looking forward to reading whatever Louise White comes up with next.

star.5

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Apple | Barnes & Nobel

Louise has had a variety of jobs, including waitress, library assistant, nurse, and police officer. She holds a BSc in Health Studies, and a PG certificate in Primary Education. She lives in the scenic west coast of Scotland with her family.

Louise didn’t set out to write Fantasy, but when she sat with her laptop to begin The Calling, it became apparent that she still believed in Bogey Men, the Monster in the cupboard and of course, the Faeries at the bottom of the garden. Suddenly she found that she was writing a story of heroes who could be found both on our doorsteps and in the realms that lie beyond.

Author’s Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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The Calling, Gateway #1 My Review | Goodreads

Chasing the Demon, Gateway #2 My Review | Goodreads

A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan

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A Crucible of Souls (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence #1) by Mitchell Hogan

In 2009, Mitchell Hogan quit his job in banking to write and self-publish A Crucible of Souls. If was a wise choice as he went on to sell over 30,000 copes, win the 2013 Aurealis Award for best Fantasy Novel and pick himself up a six-figure global deal with Harper Collins to have the series published in print.

So a BIG thank you to Harper Collins and Mitchell Hogan for allowing me a copy of this book to read and review!

This edition published the 1st of September 2015 by Harper Voyager (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers)

Synopsis mk3

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery

After young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowy evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction. Soon, he must choose a side—and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

3c83e-addtogoodreadsMy Thoughts mk3

Far out this book was stressful! My dreams were haunted by the characters – and I don’t mean either of those as a bad things.

From the synopsis I thought this book was going to be all about Caldan, but it’s much bigger than that. The prologue sucked me in straightaway; I didn’t know who these people were but I wanted them safe. Not too many pages in and we find out the prologue people were in fact Caldan Grandparents and Mother. It was obvious they had to be some sort of ancestors to Caldan as it was the perfect way to kick the story off, giving us a glimpse into the past. I will add that Grandma and Granddad were kickass powerful. In this first book we never find out exactly by who their killers were or why they were killed. But I’m sure that will be brought up in the second or third book as Caldan strives to find out the truth behind his heritage.

Extremely early on Caldan is forced to leave the monastery thanks to a kafuffle with one of the other students. We travel with Caldan from the sheltered monastery to big bad Anasoma. In Anasoma Caldan learns the ways of his new home the hard way when he gets mugged and receives a serious ass whooping when he accidentally wanders into the slums. Never the less he makes some friends in Miranda, the love interest, and Master Simmon, who goes on to give him the unprecedented position of Apprentice Protector.

So we’ve gone through 100 pages following Caldan only to move onto another set of characters. At first I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but as Aidan’s chapters continued it became evident the importance of his actions and that we were being shown things that were going on in the background of Caldan’s world. We follow Caldan for a few more chapters then we get dropped someone new again, Amerdan, and again with, Vasile. Now following four story lines we really start to see the rich and complex world Mr Hogan has created. We meet so many intricate and important characters but the story still manages to flow well and remain easy to read/understand.

 We spend most of the time with Caldan but every now and then check in with the others to keep a broad view of what is happening. In this book Caldan’s and Amerdan paths cross, Aidan and Vasile’s cross, but the four never end up together, it seems enviable that they will at some point during the series.

So while only Caldan is mentioned in the synopsis and yes we probably spend the biggest percentage of the book with him, the other three charters and their stories lines are extremely important to the world Hogan immaculately builds.

Towards the end of this book Caldan shows just how powerful he is and because of this I think he’s in a lot more danger then he realises. I am really on edge about the traveling party Caldan is with at the end of the book, in which Amerdan is included, it can only mean trouble. Poor Miranda is left brain dead from evil sorcery. And I was left questioning who the bad guys really were. There are a fair few things left open at the end of this book and it sets up some epic show downs and discoveries to come.4s

Author’s Links mk3

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N | Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon AU

Author’s Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan was given the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and university thrown in. Along the way he accumulated numerous bookcases’ worth of fantasy and sci-fi novels and doesn’t look to stop anytime soon.

His first attempt at writing fantasy was an abysmal failure and abandoned after only one page. But ideas for characters and scenes continued to come to him and he kept detailed notes of his thoughts, on the off chance that one day he might have time to write a novel. For a decade he put off his dream of writing until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He now writes full time and is eternally grateful to the readers who took a chance on an unknown author.

Mitchell lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Angela, and daughter, Isabelle.

Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

18132923Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking

Publish Date: May 5th 2015

A big thank you to Net Galley, Amanda Hocking and her publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read and review Ice Kissed.

Synopsis mk3

In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing the mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level—one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it’ll change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.

My Thoughts mk3I liked the synopsis of this book and requested to read and review it without realising it was the second book in a trilogy. OOPS!! But I read it anyway. I kinda wish I’d read the first book Frostfire first. I really enjoyed Ice Kissed anyway. I grew to love the characters, but I assume I would have already loved them if I’d read Frostfire first. And more than likely the big moment at the end would have meant more. I didn’t understand the depth of the ending of Ice Kissed until reading the synopsis of the first book while doing up this review post and I had an “Oh Snap!” moment.

A lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have been third person. It was so refreshing to step into a first person story via Bryn. I find first person to be so much more emotional and personal, I know it doesn’t work with every story – but it works wonders with this one.

The story starts with Bryn recapping a failed mission with Ridley and beating herself up over the failure. From the beginning scene of Bryn riding on horseback through the snow along high city walls, I was thinking “yeah I love medieval times, bring on some epic king Arthur settings and battles”. Then the words drove and SUV popped up and I was like “um, what, where the hell am I!”

Magic: After reading further on I was able to figure it all out: this is a story of trolls. I saw them in my head as human, oops. It is set in current times. The human world still exists, just as it is and the Trolls use a lot of our modern technology, hence the Range Rover they were driving in. I’m sure in the first book the whole world would have been built and I’d have already known this. We don’t see this Troll world thanks to magical Troll enchantments. Amanda Hocking really has beautifully blended our modern world with that of a Troll world secretly going on under our noses.

Romance: Bryn and Ridley have a forbidden romance thing going on. Ah it’s always sweeter when it’s forbidden. It’s always more exciting – well that’s my opinion.

At the 34% there is a sex scene which I wasn’t expecting, it’s not over the top or porno feeling. Stress less people. But it did make me realise I had no idea how old the characters were supposed to be. Also my brain went “Troll Sex, Um, well Trolls are humanoid, yes, yes, I’m imagining this correctly”. And really they are very human these trolls, they just live in secret from humans and have magical abilities. I’d been imagining Bryn as about 17-ish, but she may have been older, I really don’t know. She started working at twelve and after that I found it hard to figure out her time line.

Action: After the 34% mark the books takes off at light speed with Bryn leaving Ridley and her home with the Kanin to help the Skojare. At this point I delved into a fast flowing world of danger and mystery and Bryn fighting for what she feels is right. And I loved it. And I’m devastated that I have to wait until August to read the next book and see how things turn out.  And I’m not going to tell you anymore about it or I’ll give away all the  twisty turny awesomeness.

I really enjoyed being in Bryn’s head, I found her really engaging and her life captivated me. FIVE STARS.

AesomenessAuthor’s Links mk3Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3486415.Amanda_Hocking

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amanda_hocking

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandahockingfans

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aehocking/

Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/AmandaHocking

Website: www.worldofamandahocking.com

In Search of Lost Dragons

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In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black’Mor and Carine M

Published 3rd Febuary 2015 by Diamond Book Distributors & Dynamite Entertainment

I received a copy to read and review through Net Galley, so thank you to the Authors and Publisher for allowing me this opportunity.

Synopsis mk3

On the trail of dragons forgotten, an intrepid illustrator and reporter journeys from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon in search of the dark caverns and mountaintop perches where the elusive winged serpents dwell.

With the gift of seeing the invisible, our explorer friend records each encounter in a journal of gorgeous, fully painted artwork, capturing every majestic and fearsome visual detail of the scaly behemoths, and accompanies his findings with snippets of local lore as evidence that these hidden beasts continue to shape the world in ways we may never expect!

Gorgeous full-color paintings, accompanied by a unique story of world-wide exploration and dragon encounters!

My Thoughts mk3

The book is written as a sort of personal journal/scrapbook. I loved the collaboration of photos, paintings, sketches, newspaper articles, scribbled notes and cut out mementos. I really enjoyed reading little bits about the different dragons and their habitats. There is an underling plot of the explorer searching for Dragons, but the writing is minimal.

The pictures are absolutely divine. I would suggest reading this book as the Hardcover visual delight it was intended to be. As I was reading a reviewer eBook I had to keep zooming in to read the words, then zooming out to fully appreciate the illustrations – but I enjoyed it never the less.

I do think I will buy a hardcover copy, as it think this is a book my son would appreciate when he’s a bit older. Four Stars.

Four Stars

Goodreads

Harry Potter Book Night

HPblogbuttonFor Harry Potter Book Night I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I won’t get it all finished tonight, so I thought I’d quickly share a little bit of Potter Love.

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“Don’t forget to give Neville our love!’ Ginny told James as she hugged him.

‘Mum! I can’t give a professor love!’

‘But you know Neville-‘

James rolled his eyes.

‘Outside, yeah, but at school he’s Professor Longbottom, isn’t he? Ican’t walk into Herbology and give him love….”

During the ‘deciding on a name process’ when I was pregnant with my son, once we found out he was going to be a he, I wanted to name him Edmund or Neville. Edmund after Edmund Pevensie of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series and Neville (I’m sure you guessed it) after the blundering, brilliant, loveable, kind hearted, strong willed force that is Neville Longbottom. My husband wouldn’t have a bar of either names and my son ended up as Riley, not named after anything with a deeper meaning, just a name my husband liked. The compromise was that I got to choose his second name and I did – It is Paul after my father, another brilliant, loveable, strong willed force. To be honest I’ve grown to love the name Riley Paul and wouldn’t change it, but if we do go down the baby road a second time and it appears it’s going to be a boy, I’ll be pushing for a Nev or Eddy again.

“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”

“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”

From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.

“After all this time?”

“Always,” said Snape.”            

I can’t read that without getting chills.

“Albus Severus,” Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

We start off hating, fearing and suspecting Snape along with Harry, all the time not knowing that under Snape’s nastiness he is always looking out for harry out of love for Lilly.

Oh Snape, Snape, Shape. In this, the last book, your character cemented itself in my heart. Always!

Arcane (The Arinthian Line, #1) by Sever Bronny

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Synopsis

Warlocks before their time …

Fourteen-year-old Augum and friends Bridget and Leera dream of becoming warlocks. But with a kingdom in total chaos, it will take courage, sacrifice, and an iron will to make that dream come true.

The Lord of the Legion, a vicious tyrant, has overthrown the king in a relentless and murderous quest for seven mythic artifacts–and Augum’s mentor, the legendary Anna Atticus Stone, possesses one. While Augum struggles with demons from a painful childhood, a betrayal puts him, his friends, and his mentor through a harrowing ordeal that threatens to destroy them all … and change the course of history.

Arcane, the debut novel in the fantasy adventure series The Arinthian Line, follows three friends as they navigate an ancient abandoned castle, endure grueling training, challenge old mysteries, and learn that a bond forged in tragedy might just be the only thing to save them from a ruthless enemy.

 

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the author, through the Goodreads Group “YA Lovers” in exchange for and honest review. So first, I am going to say Thank you!

Augum; I really liked him. He had it tough as an abused orphan slave boy, until he ended up in the care of Sir Tobias Westwood. Westwood taught Augum to read, hunt, etc. and it is thanks in large part to Westwood that Augum survives to end up with Mrs Stone. Augum has spent all of his life ridiculed and beat up on for being a gutter born orphan and it is beautiful to see that turn around for him as he finds true friendship.

Mrs. Stone; the awesome elderly super powerful bad arse Mrs. Stone. I loved her. Go Grandma, Go, Go. I think it is probably the mother in me that loved her as the hero / saviour in this novel so much (I would be interested to see a teenage boy’s response to her character)

Bridget & Leera; Augum’s back up besties. I quite liked the girls and think that they balanced Augum out nicely. Leera got to kick some butt in the book alongside Augum and I hope that in the future books they get their chance to shine independently.

Prince Sydo; I have to mention him as, Sydo is nasty spoiled foul mouthed brat and I hated him. I think you are meant to hate him, but I found him really disrupting my enjoyment of the story at times. I hope he wakes up to himself in the next book.

The story follows 14-year-old Augum. I found the story a bit hard to get into at first and some of the chapters lagging early on and towards the middle as we are getting crammed with background information. There are some cool plot twist along the way and we get a new style of magic with the Arcane discipline. Once I got into the vibe of the book and stomached all the world building, I really started to enjoy the story, but I cannot really say too much about the story without giving all the twists away.

So I will just say the Last 20% of the book was a fantastical rush. The end of the book is an exciting frantic flurry of action, with a brilliant ending, bring on the next instalment Mr Bronny.

Goodreadsauthors website

I am going to knock this up as number one for my Debut author challenge; it is Mr Bronny’s first book and was published last year. I was intending to purchase any of the books I read for the debut author challenge and I was given this one, but I think as I am going to buy the next book Riven (The Arinthian Line, #2) due out in February that it counts.

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