Twenty Øne Piløts Bøøk Tag

I found this tag by Vivalabooklife ages ago. I saw it and immediately wanted to do it, but only now have I finally gotten around to it. It was Twenty Øne Piløts after all. And you must know how much I love their music.Read More »

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Book Review: The Wildcat of Braeton (The Rise of Aredor: Book 2)

wob-final-coverRating: 4/5 stars.

This was great!!! I loved seeing all these characters again and meeting new characters that were just as fantastic.

Aiden has finished his seven years of service to Lord Rishdah. He stays a little longer, but then knows he must head home…to Braeton. He is frightened. He does not know how his family will receive him after running away so long ago. Even more important, is the troubling news he hears of Clan Canich. Someone is slowly taking control of his clan, from the inside. He has to save them all before it’s too late. Meanwhile, Corin is struggling to rebuild his country from the Calorin War a year before and to take on the responsibilities as leader of the warbands. While all this is hard, he has a nagging fear that rumors begin to affirm: war is coming to Aredor.

So…we get to see a lot more of Aiden (known as Emeth in the first book) which was so sweet. I loved meeting his bothers! I love the Braetons’ accent. Ranulf was the oldest. He was wise, had a bit of a temper, and was such a leader. Will was adventurous and most like Aiden. Tam was the youngest and was a amazing bard. He was quiet, caring, and shy. Rona was a orphan. Kind and not made for war, though she knew how to fight. She was stubborn and brave. Now let’s talk about some Aredorians. Corin changed. He had to take responsibilities as a leader, and as much as he hated it, he still did it. It meant a lot of paperwork. He fell in love and it was perfect. Martin, didn’t play as big as a part as he had in the first book, but almost every part he was in was hilarious. His humor is the best. Mera, Martin’s sister, was the sweetest. She worried her poor little self to death. But so was brave and full of strength. There were so many great characters, but I won’t go through them all.

This was exciting and intense in many moments. There was action, but not as much as the first book. In this one, the focus felt more on developing and growing the characters. Many of them fell in love and I desperately wanted them to be together, while worrying which ones would die in some battle. The battles were always thrilling. Some people lived; some people died. Though it was very sad at times, in a way, it was realistic.

The writing was much better in this one. It was not choppy at all. Though I will say that there were still moments when it seemed like the stories switched point of views randomly. But it totally flowed smoother and was better written.

So, I’d recommend this to teens and up. Don’t hesitate. This was a really good book and I definitely should not have waited so long to read it.

I got this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

-G. Paige

Cover Reveal: A Time to Rise (Out of Time: Book 3)

Hello everyone!!! Today I’m here to present to you the cover of Nadine Brandes’s latest book: A Time to Rise (Out of Time: Book 3) that is to be released October 14, 2016!!! So without further ado, here it is!!!

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Book Description:

What more can you sacrifice than your life?

Parvin Blackwater is dead.

At least…that’s what the Council—and the world—thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.

Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?

Author Bio:

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by ‘bumbershoot’.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.

You can find her on: her websiteFacebookInstagram, and Twitter

Links to previous books of the Out of Time series:

A Time to Die

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A Time to Speak

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Giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a full set of magnetic bookmarks from the Out of Time Series!!!

For those of you Out of Time fans, you can put a countdown timer on your website! Click here!

I am so excited for this book! I read A Time to Die only a few weeks ago and it was fantastic (read review here). The story was amazing and ended so aggravatingly! I totally can’t wait to read A Time to Speak and then A Time to Rise!!! *freaks out* *sees release date* *dies*

And this cover!!! AAAHHHHH! I think it is the best one of the three! It’s gorgeous! The colors are bright and so full of hope.

So…what do you think? Are you as excited as I am? Let me know!!!

-G. Paige

Book Review: The Rise of Aredor (The Rise of Aredor: Book 1)

book-coverRating: 4/5 stars.

I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I was thinking that I would at least like it. But no. It was way better than that. I loved it! It was so exciting and enjoyable to read!

Prince Corin of Aredor lived a normal life until around twelve years of age. Then he was stolen and sold as a slave. His defiance brings him trouble and he struggles to survive. But he will not be broken. Though his country is conquered by another and his family is probably dead or captured, he will not give up hope. He will survive. He will return. And he will take back his kingdom.

I loved these characters. They were characters that almost as soon as they were introduced you fell in love with them. The characters were endearing to me. Corin was, of course, my favorite. It was neat to see how he changed as he grew up. At first, he was a rambucksious boy who was always getting himself into trouble. He was funny and talkative. As he grew older and went through so much hardship, he became solemn and reserved. But there was always a quiet defiance about him. He had a temper that he barely kept under control. Emeth was awesome. He was humorous. He was a great friend to Corin. He brought him out of the darkness that Corin had sunk him. Azrahil was a great captain. He was stern, but he cared about his Phoenix Guard. Nicar was the learned in healing. He was calm and wise. Ahmed was quiet, but very loyal. I would like to learn more about him, I feel like I hardly know anything about him. Martin was fun and a bit reckless. He was so willing to do anything to save his friends.

The plot was extremely exciting. It was so fast paced. I was sucked in from the beginning. There were many dangerous battles. It got a bit violent, but I loved how medieval it felt. It felt like I was back in time on real campaigns. That was cool. People were captured. Towards the halfway point it had a Robin Hood feel as Corin took risks to take back Aredor. It was really fun. It had me stressed too many time to count. Especially at the end, I was worried.

The only problem I had was that the book was very rushed. It moved fast, which moving fast isn’t bad, but it was a bit too fast. I felt that it could have been more drawn out. That there could have been some more dialogue. The beginning was also a bit choppy with the way it moved fast through the first few years, but then it smoothed out and kept a pretty even pace.

Overall, it was a great book. One that I would recommend to all teens. I am very excited to start the next book and read more about these wonderful characters!

I got this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 

-G. Paige

Book Review: A Time to Die (Out of Time: Book 1)

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Wow. Just wow. I was worried about not liking this after seeing everyone love it. But I shouldn’t have worried. I loved it!

In Parvin Blackwater’s world everyone has a Clock. On that Clock the Numbers tell how long you have to live. Parvin has a year left to live. She wamts to do something meaningful. She wants to be remembered. She begins to think she is doing something right, when she is discovered to be sharing a Clock with her twin brother. As punishment she is thrown through the Wall that divides the world in half. On the other side she may find something that can save her people, if she has the time to tell them.

Usually when I love a book, it is mainly that characters that I love. It wasn’t exactly the case for this one. I loved all aspects of this book! I only liked Parvin at the beginning, but as I read more she grew on me and now I love her. She seemed very normal, and I liked that. She had a temper, which I totally relate to, but she also had an inner strength which grew as the story went on. There were moments when she was whiny, but I thought it realistic (Aren’t we all whiny at times?). I fell much more easily in love with many of the side characters. Reid was an awesome brother. He was humorous and fun, but was serious about protecting his family. I want to learn more about him! Solomon Hawke was amazing. I loved him from the moment I saw him. He was such a gentleman. He was quiet, but his presence held authority. He was trying to do the right thing, but he might be on the wrong side. Jude, ah, Jude. He seemed to care about know one but himself, but under that hard shell he was caring and loving. He was protective and aggressive. He was mysterious and had many secrets. Willow was a sweet young girl. Elm was neat. I must see more of him! Skelley Chase was a different and unique “bad guy”. I’m still trying to figure out his motives for what he’s done. I kind of liked him, but then he stepped crossed the line. So now I love and hate him.

I haven’t read many Christian dystopians, but this was probably the best one I’ve read. The world building was fantastic and unique. I loved the feel of it. I’m still a bit confused about a few of the strange devices in the world, but I get the gist of it.

The writing was great. I really do like first person. It was gripping and I found myself really connecting with Parvin in a short amount of time.

The plot was ingenious. There were a few things that felt really coincidental, but overall it was pretty realistic for the story. It was slower paced at the beginning, but it quickly sped up. It became unpredictable, intense, scary, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time! The deaths destroyed me! How could that happen? But I think it helped make the story all the more special. But now I’m scared. How many characters are going to make it through this series? The ending was so messed up! I must have the next one! It can’t leave me hanging like that!

I’m recommending this to a bit older teens and up because some of the violence was gruesome and might be scary for younger kids. Totally everyone should read this though! It was exceptionally good and I can’t wait to read more!

-G. Paige

Book Review: King (Books of the Infinite: Book 3)

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Well, that was an interesting ending. I’ve now realized that though this is a series, each book could be a stand alone except for the fact that Ela and Kien’s relationship grows and changes as the stories progress. It was a good conclusion, but not what I expected. I just feel like it needed something more.

Akabe Garric is now something he never wanted to be: king. He’s a warrior, and he has never faced the responsibilities of being king. To prove to himself and his people that he is up to the task, he sets his sights on rebuilding the Holy House of Siphra. But if he wants the land he will have marry a worshipper of Atea, a idol. What should he do? The Infinite doesn’t answer. So Akabe makes a rash decision that sets off a course of events that may lead to the destruction of Siphra. Ela ponders over whether it is the Infinite’s will to marry Kien. Kien faces a trial that could lead to his exile.

Ela faces more suffering and sadness, but she is stronger and has more confidence in the abilities the Infinite gave her. Kien is put through sadness, anxiety, and suffering unlike anything before, but he’s prepared to follow all of the Infinite’s commands. I must say, it felt like Ela and Kien’s relationship as friends to something more very quickly. It felt rushed. So I loved the direction it went, but I didn’t like how it was done. Akabe is probably my second favorite character after Kien. I was really happy to see more from his point of view. I connected with him well and I felt his struggle to make the right decisions. And I understood why he made the decisions he did, even if I didn’t necessarily agree. Caitria was a great new character that I loved from the beginning. She is shy and afraid at first, but she develops so much to become the lady who can handle the responsibilities she’s given.

The book moved very fast. From one moment to the next, the characters were always in danger. There were assassins, battles where the characters were way outnumbered, kidnappings, and more. It was certainly not boring. For me the ending just wasn’t very satisfying. It was good, everything was resolved amazingly, but I felt that there was something missing. But maybe it was meant to be that way.

In every book, at least some of there characters visit a new place. This book visited Aeyrievale and Belaal. It was refreshing and fun to see how unique each place is. The descriptions were really well done. It was easy to imagine.

I’ll recommend this to older teens. It is a beautiful allegorical book with a fantasy feel. I don’t think this allegory is my type of thing, but don’t dismiss this book because of me. Give it try, you won’t regret it.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Judge (Books of the Infinite: Book 2)

Rating: 4/5 stars.

So…I liked this one better than the first book. Probably the reason is because there seemed to be more of Kien’s point of view instead of Ela. The one before had focused mostly on Ela.

On the first day of military leave, the Infinite tells Kien to go to ToronSea and lead the people back to the Infinite before they stray too far. This is not what Kien had planned to do. He wants to court Ela, not go to some far off place where they may kill him as part of some ritual. There is no choice but to obey the Infinite. Meanwhile Ela is given a vision that shakes her to her core. Parne has turned away from the Infinite and is now in danger of suffering terrible judgement. She feels that she must go to warn they before it’s too late. Pulled apart, they go their separate ways, hoping the Infinite will bring them together soon.

Kien is my favorite character in this series. He is very humorous and makes many mistakes, usually with good intentions though. He also, to his detriment, speaks his mind quite freely. Ela is kind and caring, but so sad and in a way angry. She’s given the hardest task she has ever faced in this book, but she follows the Infinite all the way. Akabe is probably in second place for being my favorite character. His is a king who never wanted to be king. He is sarcastic (even more so than Kien), but kingly when he wants to. He follows the Infinite’s orders to the letter, even when he doesn’t necessarily agree. Tzana was like a flower that fades away. She was sweet, but didn’t play much of a part.

This was a faster plot than the last one. Ela is sent to Parne where the people have rejected her and hate her with a vengeance. So with a feeling that her death is near, she heads into the thick of danger. She suffers so so much. Kien is sent to ToronSea. Definitely not where he wanted to go. He makes some big mistakes and is put in worse danger than before. Only by the Infinite’s mercy can he be saved. Forever on his mind is the danger Ela is in and that he must save her. He is in love.

There is a big battle. So much death and heartbreak is poured upon her and her family. Suffering becomes a part of everyday life. Danger is at every turn. It was pretty exciting. Sexual abuse was hinted at and almost happened.

The parallels this and the Old Testament is very prevalent. It is very allegorical and I wonder if that’s the reason I don’t care for it as much as other people. I don’t think it’s my favorite type of genre.

I’ll recommend this to older teens for some of the content. It was a great allegory, but I’m not sure if that’s my thing. We’ll see how the next one goes!

-G. Paige

BLOG TOUR-Book Review + Author Interview: Defy (The Blades of Acktar: Book 3)

defy-blog-tour-header.jpgHey guys!!! I’m posting today on the newest addition to The Blades of Acktar series.

defy_coverBook Description:

The war for Acktar has begun.

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope:

The Leader is ready.

Author Bio:

imageTricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, her blog.

To see more posts on the blog tour, click here.

 

facebook-party-announcementJoin Ms. Tricia at the Facebook Party on June 2nd. It’s sure to be very fun! Jaye L. Knight (Another one of my very favorite authors!) will be there too! There will be  giveaways of books by Jaye L. Knight, Nadine Brandes, and Angie Brashear. Other giveaways include audiobooks of Dare and Deny, and paperbacks of the whole series! I’ll be there!

My Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I loved this book. It was more intense than any of the ones before it. Woah… I’m still trying to get over what just happened. This book had me feeling like my heart was being ripped from my chest.

Leith Torren has left behind Renna Faythe in Nalgar Castle. Brandi is upset. She will take any risk to get her back. Who knows what will be done to her by King Respen? They flee towards the Resistance and away from the Blades. Leith only has one hope: that the Leader will help them somehow rescue Renna. But he knows that no matter what, he will return to Renna whatever the consequences.

The bond between Leith and Renna grew and strengthened in this book. The way they interact with each other was so sweet. Leith went through so much, I mean, so much just to protect Renna. It was very torturous to read, but I think it was vital to the story. He is no longer afraid to defy Respen. Renna is braver and stronger than ever before. She has even become a bit bold. She’s kind, but willing to stand up for herself. Martyn, oh Martyn. He will forever be a favorite. I loved how this story went with him, it felt more realistic and true. His loyalties are divided between his duty as a Blade and his friendship with Leith. Brandi goes through some tough stuff for a girl her age and I enjoyed seeing how it matured her. But she is still that adventurous and spunky girl. The Leader…let me just say, he is interesting, and not at all what I expected. He gives me a creepy feeling, but I kind of like him for that.

The pace was fast, really really fast. I love how the book started almost exactly where it left off. I was sucked in and on the edge of my seat the whole time. Boom boom boom! It never slowed down. There was maybe two or three “semi-peaceful” moments, but they never lasted for long. The decisions made by certain characters had me wanting to scream, “No! Don’t do that!”. The near to death experiences were thrilling. The battles were invigorating and moving. The book didn’t end with a bang, but with something more powerful and in a way more similar to real wars. Not everything is fixed and happy at the end, but I liked it that way and I’m betting the next book will set some things right.

Everyone who loves a good Christian fantasy book must read this. It’s not preachy and it doesn’t feel forced on the story. This is one of my favorite series and I hope that you enjoy it too.

Interview:

Was Defy an easier book than the previous books to write? Or was it harder? 

Defy was by FAR the easier book of the series to write. By the time I got up to it, I pretty much had it all planned out, and the writing just came. It was so easy, it actually made it hard to move on to writing something new afterwards since it was just SO easy.

What is a fact that most people wouldn’t know about you?

Summer is actually my least favorite season. I don’t like heat, and I don’t like humidity. In the winter, you can at least bundle up and get warm, but in the summer, all you can do is wear shorts and a t-shirt, and you’ll still roast.

Weird question: have you ever cried over your own characters? 

No. I got really tense during the infamous Chapter 42 in Deny and choked up once in writing an early scene in Book 4. Other than that, no. Then again, I rarely cry when I read other books or watch movies. Yes, I’m that emotionless person who managed to sit through Pixar’s Inside Out without tears while two of my friends were bawling their eyes out.

If you had one day to spend in Acktar, what would you do?

First, I’d like to pick a rather boring day so I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to dodge Respen’s soldiers or avoid Blades. I’d like to ride Blizzard and hang out with Renna, Brandi, Leith, and everybody. As long as they weren’t too mad at me for everything I put them through.

If Leith, Renna, and Shad were in today’s modern world, what kind of job do you think each of them would have (if they had one at all)? 

Wow, this one made me think for a bit!

Renna – she’s easy. She’d be a nurse, probably working her way up to being a surgical nurse.

Shad – He’d be a second or third generation FBI agent. His father would be high up in the agency, but Shad would still want to start at the bottom and earn his way up without his father’s help. Yet, he’d also feel burdened to live up to his father’s legacy.

Leith – Has anyone seen the show White Collar? My family binge-watched it on Netflix. It has some iffy parts that we skipped, but the overall storyline is about a criminal named Neil Caffrey who ends up working for the FBI catching criminals to earn out his sentence that way. I could see Leith ending up something like that, a kid who grew up in a bad situation, then becomes a criminal informant for the FBI. Possibly with Shad as a partner? 😉

Giveaways:

There is two Goodreads giveaways! One is for Dare. One is for Deny. You have to enter by May 31st!

Goodreads Giveaway: Dare

Goodreads Giveaway: Deny

-G. Paige