• The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

    What can I say? This couple had my heart on my sleeves.

  • Never Let Me Go

    A beautiful story of the fragility of life viewed through skewered lenses.

  • Night Circus

    The world that Morgenstern crafts is one that reeks of the cigar and smoke of the turn of the century England with its glamorous parties like The Great Gatsby, men with bowler hats in the Victorian Era, all with a splash of magic and romance.

  • Piratica I

    Piratica is a swashbuckling adventure, an over-the-top comedy, and of course, an unforgettable love story.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guest Post by Kristin Bailey (Legacy of the Clockwork Key)

Legacy of the Clockwork Key

A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.

Release date: March 5th 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pre-order: Amazon


Kristin Bailey
Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers.

Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with a quartet of fat fish, and two secretive striped ninja-assassin snails.

In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does.


Everyone knows that the best thing about a Young Adult novel is the boys. How smoothly and quickly they steal our hearts pretty much makes or breaks a novel. 

Without further ado, I pass the blog over to author Kristin Bailey, for her to talk about the boys in her book and how they carry the plot of LEGACY along with Meg.

Of Mechanicals and Men

The boys of The Secret Order

By Kristin Bailey

One of the difficult things about writing a first-person novel with a female protagonist is that the book by default tends to focus on the heroine. I wanted to take a step back for a moment and introduce you to the men of Meg’s world. While I'm terribly attached to all my characters, these two have won my heart, and it’s only fair to share the spotlight at least once.

Enter the Hero…

William McDonald is fascinating to me. I'm not quite sure where he came from. When I first had a concept of the type of person I wanted to join Meg on her adventures, I knew I wanted him to be a foil for her. She’s outgoing and has a tendency to make rash decisions, while he is very circumspect and cautious. The thing I probably love about him the most is that in spite of his reserve, he just can’t help jumping into the thick of things with her. I think secretly he longs for the excitement and I'm certain he loves Meg because she has shaken up his world and makes him feel alive.

Will is roughly eighteen years old, although I'm not exactly sure of his age. He is a boy that carries a very tragic past. He was born a Scottish Traveller. His family was attacked when he was about six years old. The vicious hate crime left his father severely beaten and young Will watched him die on the side of the road next to their wrecked wagon. Will was found shortly after the tragedy by one of the Amusementists. He took the boy in out of pity and set him up to work in the stables.

Giving Will such a distinct ethnic identity was tricky. I didn't want to fall into “gypsy” stereotypes, though Will feels the weight of that label and the scorn that was attached to it during the Victorian era. I also didn’t want to glamorize it. I just wanted Will to feel real to me. I decided to do my best to put myself in Will’s shoes and to figure out what would be important to him as an individual. While he bears the burden of his “unseemly” beginnings, he was raised in London and only has foggy memories of his childhood.

Will has a great deal of personal pride. He is driven by a deep sense of responsibility and more than anything he wants to feel he has earned whatever skills and gifts have come to him. He’s intensely loyal and intelligent and tends to think things through. What I love most about Will is that he’s a guy you can depend on, with just enough edge to make him exciting, add some swarthy good looks and deep chocolate eyes, and it’s no wonder Meg gets very flustered every time he’s near.

Then there’s the duke…

Just don’t let him catch you calling him “Your Grace.” Perhaps my favourite character in the entire trilogy is Oliver, otherwise known as the Duke of Chadwick. In this first book of the trilogy, I needed a character that could explain to Meg what the Secret Order of Modern Amusementists were all about. That meant that one of the Amusementists had to come into the picture. As part of Amusementist tradition, Oliver goes by his first name only in Amusementist company, and I think he prefers it that way. Oliver is dedicated to the idea that a person’s worth comes from his actions alone. When push comes to shove, you can count on Oliver to be the one shoving you into a situation you’re not sure you’re entirely ready for.

A dashing mix between a professor and a swashbuckling adventurer, Oliver acts as a sort of older brother/mentor to Meg. With wild curling hair, a wicked grin, and a complete inability to hit the side of a barn with any sort of projectile, Oliver is a character that is easy to love, unless you happen to be the one girl that has always held his heart.

I hope you enjoy meeting Will and Oliver in Legacy of the Clockwork Key as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Happy reading!

GIVEAWAY (Aw, yeah!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To win a deluxe swag pack, enter into another giveaway here, in a previous interview I had with Kristin. 


Thank you, Kristin! 

I think I'm totally Team Oliver after reading your post :) I've got to love a guy with curly hair (since I've some on my head too) and his way of doing things echoes my personal motto-- "you never gain anything without trying".

I love large ideas, bold enterprise, adventures and plunging into the thick of things.

Now a question to you:

Scottish boy Will or the curly-haired duke, Oliver?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Fire and Ice: Giveaway of Throne of Glass

Cambria Hebert

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

After serving out a year of hard labor, Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating  But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?


I've been waiting to read THRONE OF GLASS since forever. Apparently, it's a re-telling of the original Cinderella story, just with assassins, arrogant princes, hot captains and a bunch of thieves and pirates thrown in the mix.

Doesn't that sound amazing?

I would love to have a reading buddy since it's highly probable that I might lose momentum midway through *grins hopelessly*

So here's the deal:
1. If you haven't read the book or would love to reread it,
2. And would love to make a new reading friend...

Fill in the rafflecopter form below!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will end in a month's time :)

May the force be with you *salutes*.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cambria Hebert

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Interview with Toni de Palma (author of The Devil's Triangle)

The Devil's Triangle (The Devil's Triangle, #1)

The Devil's Triangle

Author: Toni de Palma


When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil's sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.

While Cooper figures out his mission, he's thrown into the life he's always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend who can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn't watch out.

While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what's keeping him and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.

Published February 15th 2013.


As part of the blog tour, I'm interviewing the author, Toni, with a book-centric theme. Reading through these questions will allow you to better understand what the book is about and decide whether it is something you will like to read!


Describe your book to us in a sentence. 

Seventeen year old Cooper gets another chance at heaven when Lucy, the Devil's sister, sends him back to life to meet a girl named Grace, with whom he shares a past.

Tell the readers, why should we read your book? 

Aside from being a paranormal YA, The Devil's Triangle is really funny.

How did you come up with the title, "The Devil's Triangle"? Here comes a question that is burning in all our minds: Does the title hint at a love triangle? 

Without giving away too much of the plot, there is a love triangle of sorts. And that's all I'm gonna say about that :)

What is one song that can best represent the central theme/relationship in THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE?

When I was writing this book, Train's song Drive-By was popular and it seemed to fit Cooper a lot.

Which character did you have the most fun writing? 

Cooper has some great one liners, but Lucy is saucy and naughty. She was a lot of fun to write.

A peek into the characters' lives: Describe to us the content in Lucy, Grace and Cooper's wallets/purses & the secrets within ;) 

Grace's purse is tidy. She has her cellphone with her at all times so Blake, her boyfriend, can call on demand. She has tissues for crying and cover-up for...well, you'll see. Lucy has a hotel keycard probably from one wild night in Vegas and some guy's phone number whose name doesn't ring a bell. Cooper's wallet is filled with family photos of people he doesn't recognize and a condom, he's seriously hoping he will finally get to use.

That's funny :) I guess Grace has some serious issues that she has to deal with!


Three interesting facts about yourself. 

I was born in Brooklyn. I speak Italian. I lived in the Italian house at college where I was cast as Dante Alghieri in Dante's Inferno (I had to wear a prosthetic nose for the part).

Favourite book(s), genre(s), song(s) and film(s). 

Too many books to list and I read all types of fiction. I just read a middle grade novel by Rebecca Stead that I loved. I love films and talking about film with my son who is a filmmaker. My favorite this season was Silver Linings Playbook. I got to see it at its opening in New York and Bradley Cooper and Robert Diniro were in the audience. It was very cool.

What are some of your favourite book covers? 

I like clean-lined, photographic covers so I really like mine. My publisher, Crescent Moon Press, does some awesome covers.

If you could travel back or forward in time to any historical era, where would you go? 

My dad lived in Italy during World War II and he often talked about that. It was a difficult period, but I'd be curious to experience it for one day.

If you could rewrite the ending to any novel, what book would you choose and how would you choose to write it? 

A writer writes what they feel so I wouldn't ever change their vision.

Would you rather be the angel or the devil? :) 

I am SOOOO ready to be a devil :) Though, according to my mother, when I was five I was pretty devilish. That year, I kicked a priest and put gum in my aunt's hair while she was sleeping. I'm better now. They won't admit it, but maybe they performed an exorcism on me!

Anything you want to say to all the aspiring writers out there! 

Each writer has a devil inside of him or her. That devil is the evil censor who tells them they're not good enough. Tell your devil to put a cork in it and keep writing.


Bad boys or nice guys? Bad boy for the short term. Nice boys for the long haul.
Action movies or chick flicks? Neither. I like foreign films, indies and some sci fi
Heels or sneakers? Sneaks
Thai food or Chinese food? I've had a lot of bad Chinese food, so definitely Thai.


Thank you, Toni, for the great interview!

I like how this book is about the devil and the love triangle is pretty obvious (judging from the cover).

What do you think about the cover?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: The Reece Malcolm List

The Reece Malcolm List

Author: Amy Spalding

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.

L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?

Published February 5th 2013.

This is the novel for every single theatre geek, aspiring Broadway star and contemporary lover. 

And honestly, even if I might hate to admit it, I actually didn't think I would love it so much at the very beginning. But I really really did. So, there must be a reason why this book won me over so completely. 

For one thing, in this instant, it may just sound like the typical "new girl in school" story and you might simply think that all there is to it are the overused elements of making friends, falling in love, dealing with the estranged mother... 

But, trust me, there is so much more. 

Because I mean it when I say that this story is one of the most developed and authentic contemporary novels that I've ever read. There is a generous array of characters, each fleshed-out and alive, with their own quirks and back stories. No one character stays the same throughout the novel, instead, their lives run parallel with that of the main protagonist's. Hence, there is an ever-present awareness that they are living, breathing teenagers who rule the story with equal flair and finesse as Devan, our heroine.

The title "The Reece Malcolm List" straight-away hints at the main focus of the story-- the titular character, Reece, who is a New York Times bestselling author and also the mother of Devan. Reece is one of the strangest, harshest but most charismatic mothers I've ever seen in a novel. She just leapt off the page with her awkward social skills, knack for offending people, tendency to curse, tactless choice of vocabulary and a sincerity that will move you. There is something delicious and deeply moving about the way she talks. It's blunt and strangely funny, brimming over with bottled-up emotions. And seeing Devan try to place her mother in her life is a wonderfully real experience-- awkward, stiff but with magical and heartbreaking moments. 

Also, don't forget that the story is set in the glamorous L.A.! There is a thematic thread running through the novel about dreams and self-worth. For Devan, she is in awe of her mother's talent in writing; little by little, she gets more and more sure of her own capability and talent in singing. Much of the details in the novel are about musicals, in particular Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim. Each step of the musical-making process is described from Devan's perspective-- from the auditions, casting, rehearsing to the actual performances. The descriptions are a job well done as I can almost hum the songs without knowing their actual tunes. 

The New City School in this novel is one that is heavily geared towards the performing arts with various professional choirs and notable alumni. And as you see a group of teens do what they love and fight for their dreams and futures, you will unwittingly sink deeper and deeper into their lives. It's like the High School Musical experience all over again, just more vulnerable, more authentic, more energetic and more uplifting.

Their lives aren't extraordinary but they aren't exactly ordinary either. Yet, you never know what happens next, just like how it is in your own life when you can never anticipate the upcoming happenings. The romance in this book sure had my head spinning around, it's quite masterfully done!

Leisurely paced, The Reece Malcolm List has a cast of characters that you will compulsively want to care for, a romance that clicks and an ending that is pitch-perfect.

Source: From the publisher for review purposes
Via Netgalley.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cover Canary + Giveaway: Revelations (Elysium Chronicles, #2)

Revelations (Elysium Chronicles, #2)
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Blurb to come!


I like how this cover is so startlingly different from most of the YA covers I've seen and are on my shelf. Rather than heading for an ethereal tone or choosing a washed picture (where almost nothing is out of place), this one opts for a stark tone where the grittiness of the surroundings is bared open for all to see. The abandoned harbour (I'm assuming that that's what it is) gives us a sense of foreboding as it seems as though the girl is braving the storm and the sinister happenings all on her own. And the sunglasses and rose on each of her hands as well as the flock of birds flying into the sunset, all add a perfect touch to the bleak surroundings.

Fantastic! I can only imagine holding this gorgeous thing in glossy hardback. It's going to be such a treasure on my shelf :)


Renegade (Elysium Chronicles, #1)
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the
People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.


J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an overabundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them
to play together.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children.

Find J.A. at her Website | Blog | Twitter | GoodreadsFacebook

THE GIVEWAY (Aw, yeah!)

J.A is hosting a giveaway of a signed hard copy of RENEGADE, an e-copy of A DARK GRAVE (for those that don't have it, of course.) and signed copies of ARTICLE 5 and BREAKING POINT by Kristen Simmons. US/CAN 

For international people (like me), the prizes will be e-copies of the afore-mentioned books :) So yay still!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest Post by Cindy C. Bennett (Rapunzel Untangled) + Giveaways

Rapunzel Untangled 

Author: Cindy C Bennett


A Girl Trapped in a Mansion.
A Mysterious Old Woman.
The Boy Who Will Change Everything...

Rapunzel is not your average teenager. For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from a certain destruction.

But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is.

Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale.

Published February 12th 2013.


Today, we have the author of RAPUNZEL UNTANGLED here at Bookcase to Heaven™ with a great guest post.

I asked her to share with us on what she thinks are the Top Ten Best Scenes in her modern fairytale re-telling and she gladly complied :) This is the fastest way to get to know the book and for you to see if it's your cup of tea!

If you like how the story sounds after reading these ten scenes, enter the two giveaways below (one for US and one for International readers), cross your fingers and hope to win.

May the Force be with you! I now pass the blog over to Cindy ;)


"Top Ten Best Scenes in Rapunzel Untangled"

It wasn't easy narrowing an entire book down into ten scenes. These ones are either my favorites, or ones I had the most fun writing. These scenes are sequential rather than in order of preference, each with a short excerpt to give you an idea of what the scene is.

1. Gothel’s first sighting of baby Rapunzel: Gothel supposed she could force herself to be patient. She'd waited this long, hadn't she? She would have to move quickly to prepare, but she could do it . . . she had to do it. She put the car into gear and followed the unsuspecting pair from the parking lot.

2. First contact between Rapunzel and Fane on Facebook: She heard the small noise telling her she had a message. Fab Fane Flannigan has accepted your friend request. She grinned, then shuddered. You have a message: “Hi, mysterious friend. There isn't much info on your page. Who are you, RG?”

3. Rapunzel arranging to meet Fane: RG: I live at Gothel Manor. The cursor flashed for so long without response Rapunzel thought he'd signed off. FFF: Are you saying you live at GOTHEL MANSION???  RG: My mother calls it Gothel Manor, so maybe that's different? FFF: No, Rapunzel, there's only one that I know of. Promise me one thing. Don't Google your house.

4. Their first face-to-face meeting: Fane glanced up at Rapunzel from beneath long, dark lashes and her breath caught in her throat. She’d never been so close to a boy before. She'd never been so close to anyone before besides her mother. His eyes dropped to her mouth and she unthinkingly licked her lips, remembering the kiss she’d watched in the movie earlier. His eyes came back to hers at that, and something within their depths, something intense and hungry, sent a skitter down her spine. He slowly lifted his face toward her. The movement caused her to draw a breath. As if that broke whatever spell held them, he blinked and backed away from her. He moved back to the sofa, and she felt the loss of ... something. She just wasn't sure what.

5. Just before leaving her room for the first time: "I brought you one more thing." Fane pulled a screwdriver out of his backpack and held it up triumphantly. "This is our key, Rapunzel. This is how we get out of this room and explore the house."

6. Fane uses Rapunzel’s hair to “climb up”: A loud crack reverberated in the morning air as the trellis sagged away from the wall. Rapunzel threw her braid toward Fane. He tugged against her hair as he scrambled up, falling to the floor with Rapunzel beneath him. He stared at her, his face inches from hers as they both breathed heavily in the aftermath of his near fall. Suddenly, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly against him. "Thank you," he whispered in her ear before standing, pulling her up with him.

7. First kiss: “Will you kiss me before you go? I don’t want to live my entire life wondering,” Rapunzel said. “Wondering if a kiss can kill you?” Fane asked. “Wondering what it feels like,” she answered. He leaned forward, never taking his eyes from hers. His lips moved gently across hers, soft and warm, the pressure slight but firm. His whiskers tickled her chin. Rapunzel’s pulse beat a frantic staccato in her chest at their closeness. Finally he lifted his mouth from hers, and the loss was immediate. He wrapped his arms tightly about her, burying his face in the crook of her neck.

8. A conversation between them via Skype: “Fane,” she admonished. “Stop teasing me.” He laughed. “Where would the fun be in that?” “You know I can just turn you off if I want, right?” she said, holding one finger threateningly over the power button. “Not possible,” he said, waggling his eyebrows comically. When she didn’t respond, he said, “Well, that was a wasted double entendre.” “What’s a double entendre?” she asked.

9. Her first visit to a playground: Rapunzel climbed on the monkey bars. Standing beneath her, Fane dramatically called, “Rapunzel, throw down your hair.” Rapunzel laughed and dropped it through the bars. He grabbed hold the end of it and began climbing as if it were a rope. “Lean down.” He pulled himself up, kissing her through the bars. Finally he dropped back to the ground. “Come down. It’ll be much easier to kiss you down here.” Rapunzel was happy to comply.

10. Fane finds Rapunzel locked in the dungeon: At the sound of his voice she dropped the glass shard, shattering it. The sound drew Fane’s flashlight her way. She rushed forward and launched herself against him. His arms wrapped around her as he stumbled back, his hands running down her braid. “Rapunzel,” he said. His arms tightened, lifting her, and he buried his face in the crook of her neck. He held her tight for long minutes before finally lifting his head and saying, “I can’t believe I finally found you.” He kissed her then, wildly and urgently.

About the Author
Cindy C Bennett was born and raised in beautiful Salt Lake City, growing up in the shadows of the majestic Rocky Mountains. She and her husband - who happens to be her high-school sweetheart - raised two sons and two daughters. She's now blessed with two daughters-in-law as well. She developed a love of writing in high school when a teacher introduced her to the joys of escaping reality for ten minutes each day in writing.
When she's not writing, reading, or answering emails (notice there's no mention of cleaning, cooking, or anything remotely domestic), she can often be found riding her Harley through the beautiful canyons near her home. (Yes, she rides a Harley.)

You can find Cindy on her blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads.

For International Peeps (like me):

For Lucky US Fellas:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A huge thanks to Cindy for writing this awesome guest post! Love her & Fane ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: 'Til The World Ends

'Til The World Ends

Author(s): Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre & Karen Duvall


Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa 

Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden-as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems.... 

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre 

After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside-in the Red Zone-is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good. 

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall 

Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defence  the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.

Published January 29th 2013.


Dawn of Eden was fantastic. I've never read The Immortal Rules (I know, I know), but I had a decent idea about its premise. Here's a one-liner that will help those readers who are interested in reading this novella but have not yet touched The Immortal Rules: Before vampires ruled the world and humans became the lesser creatures, there was the apocalypse, the diseases and a group of humans who survived. Since I knew only this much, I had a slight hunch while I was reading the first fifty pages or so, and "bam!", the revelation about the epidemic still hit me hard. The writing is masterful because Kagawa chose to go all out this time, showcasing all the grittiness and brutality of the Rabids. Creepy and morbid, this story made me involuntarily shiver several times. 

The prospects are bleak and humanity is nearing its end, but amidst all this is an intense romance that brews up fast and furious. It took me by surprise how much I liked the love between Ben and Kylie though it wasn't the most solid romance. The love happened over a week or so, but when set against an apocalypse and harsh surroundings, the craving for love and the hope it brings is painfully real, and I got fully swept up into their passion.

New dangers sprout out at every corner and from the moment when Ben meets Kylie, it's all storm and no calm. The fast-paced action in this novel is delightful and because of that, this novella covers a lot of ground within a hundred and thirty pages or so. Loved it!

As for Thistle & Thorne, the world-building is quite limited yet well done within the small boundaries of the Snake Ward. If I'm not wrong, this novella has got nothing to do with the Razorland series. Since I have also yet to read Enclave, I was kind of worried that I won't be able to understand the story at its best. But, turns out, this story stands well on its own, dealing out details about the world as the story progresses. Again, we are faced with a fresh new apocalyptic universe! I'm amazed at how authors can keep surprising us with new interpretations of dystopian society.

After reading Dawn of Eden, I was almost hesitant to jump straight into another dystopian world, but trust me, this second novella varied so much in tone and writing style from Kagawa that I was mind-blown and in love, for the second time straight within the short span of an hour. The world is not creepy in any sense, but more brutal and relatable to our lives. There are guns, squatter settlements, junkyard, and the ultimate villain is only a beefy gangster boss. However, the story propels itself forward with amazing momentum and I am breathlessly tugged along by the rebellion and takeover mission launched by Thistle and Thorne. 

The romance isn't a center attraction of the book, and as for the promises of love between them, there is little or none. Yet, the air is thick with crazy attraction and a strange chemistry, and heavy with all the things left unsaid and unacknowledged. We know with a tiny bit of exasperation that this pair just aren't prepared enough to pursue love in the midst of their conspiracies, escape and ambitious plans. However, the ending hints at the possibility of a romance in the future when everything settles and for now, the promise of something better is enough for me.

But, the ending finale, Sun Storm, was a huge disappointment. It started off brilliantly with another apocalyptic setting that will blow your mind and make you sigh in wonder at the author's ingenuity. Fast forward a few decades and the sun in the sky has become a bringer of disasters. The temperature has shot up and there are often sun storms which either kill off anyone who comes into contact with the sun sparks or turn them into a kinetic-- a person with a special ability given by the sun (e.g. forecaster, weather controller, telekinetic)-- but the chances of that happening is close to none. 

Things start getting interesting when two kinetics meet, doubt each other, start to fall in love and eventually progress onto saving the world. Yet, the execution was lacklustre as there were a lot of slow moments, a romance that I could not invest myself into and a climax that was so hastily done that I was aghast. The two managed to save the world in two paragraphs! 

And sadly, this anthology ended up being just another book which almost became a quintessential apocalyptic read but missed by a mile. What a pity. 

Source: From the publisher for review purposes
Via Netgalley.


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