Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1), by Gena Showalter

Title: Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles #1)
Author: Gena Showalter
Format: hard cover, 404 pages
Source: Won in a giveaway

From Goodreads: "She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish."

My Opinion: OMG! OMG! OMG! This book was as awesome as they get! I just this minute finished it and I had to get on here and say OMG! And just in case I need to spell out how I feel about it, I LOVED it! I figured I would because I love Gena Showalter's books in general, but I literally read it every second I could because it was just THAT good! I started it yesterday at about noon, and I finished it today at about noon, which is pretty good for me!

Alice has led a totally sheltered life due to the fact that her dad sees monsters where no one else does, and to keep his family safe he keeps them pretty much on lock down 24/7. On Alice's 16th birthday she guilts her parents into taking her to her little sister Emma's ballet recital, which means being out after dark, and because of this she loses her entire family at once. She moves in with her Nana and Pops, changes her name to Ali, and vows to fight the evil that killed her family. Add to this the fact that she has to switch schools and ends up with a new best friend and a weird relationship with the hottest, baddest ass at the school, and her new life is off to a roaring start!

I loved the characters in this book. Ali is such an innocent at the beginning of the book, but when she decides to take her head out of her .... umm, I mean out of the sand, she isn't fooling around! And Kat is the best friend that all of us want to have: she's funny, snarky, full of herself in the best way, and totally loyal to a fault. Then there's Cole, the bad boy that we were all attracted to in high school, but who scared the heck out of us! Ali and Cole have a totally unique start, and that's all I'm going to say about that because I don't want to ruin any surprises for you! Suffice it to say, they are meant to be together, if they can just get out of their own way to get there!

Seeing as how this is one of Gena's books, I probably don't have to say that the pacing is perfect and the action is awesome, but I will! The main characters were great, but even better are the secondary characters! Each one has their own unique voice and there's tons of growth from start to finish. I think two of my favorites were Nana and Pops. When they take Ali in, they go out of their way to make her feel comfortable, going so far as learning the slang that all the kids use nowadays, usually with hilarious results! One of my favorite examples is when they're talking to Ali before she goes to a party at her new friend Reeve's house:

"Reeve." Pops pursed his lips. "That sounds like a made-up name to me. What exactly will be crackalackin at this party? Will her parents be there?"

Again with the horrible slang, the adorable man. "We'll swim, talk, probably play video games and Ping-Pong," I said, sidestepping the parents portion of his interrogation. I hadn't heard one way or the other, but I suspected a big fat no.

Pops gave me the evil eye. "You're not going to get chewed, are you?"

I...had no idea how to respond to that. "Chewed?"

"Don't pretend to misunderstand, young lady," Nana said. "Chewed. Cranked. Trashed."

"You mean drunk?" Please, let them mean drunk. This discussion had already taken too many horrendous turns.

They are SO cute!! Overall, I loved everything about this book and can't believe I have to wait until October 2013 to read Book 2 of The White Rabbit Chronicles, Through the Zombie Glass!! Here's to hoping the time flies by :D

How about you? Have you read it yet, and if so, what did you think of it? If not, are you planning to? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Candlewax, by C. Bailey Sims

Title: Candlewax
Author: C. Bailey Sims
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads: "An Ancient Prophecy. A Powerful Relic. An Insatiable Evil. When all three converge, the fate of every living thing will be in peril. All her life Catherine had hoped to see a fairrier cat. No book, no scroll provided to her by her tutors had ever mentioned this legend, much to her frustration, and now-at the worst possible time-she was getting her wish. Only, in her wish the cat wasn't about to kill her. Fleeing an arranged marriage, sixteen-year-old Princess Catherine teams up with the legendary 732-year-old fairrier cat Spelopokos to stop the onslaught of omnivorous trodliks that have awakened, and a rejected suitor might just be the one warrior she desperately needs. A medieval fantasy novel of adventure, romance and horror for readers 12 and up, Candlewax won Connecticut's Tassy Walden Award for New Voices in Children's Literature, Young Adult category."

My Opinion: As a lover of high fantasy, I was intrigued when I saw this book listed on NetGalley, but I was a bit nervous going in because high fantasy can be really tough to get just right, and since this was an author I was not familiar with I didn't really know what to expect, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the story. The characters were well developed and the fantasy aspects of the book were unique and well written. I can't remember reading any books about farrier cats but the descriptions in this book were written so that I could easily picture what they looked like and how they behaved.

The story begins with Princess Catherine running away from home to escape an arranged marriage to the King of Candlewax. Catherine doesn't get far before she has an encounter with a farrier cat, Spelopokos, who informs her that she is the only one who can help him fulfill a prophecy, one that will save the lands of Lackanay. Spelopokos is the last of the farrier cats in Lackanay, and without them, the land will be overrun with creepy little creatures that eat anything that gets in their way, including crops, forests, and yes, people! To ensure this doesn't happen, Catherine and Spelopokos must cross the borders into a dangerous land and find more farrier cats to bring back with them. Along the way Catherine meets Bessie, who I absolutely loved because of her courage and never give up attitude. They also meet up with Cyril, the King of Candlewax, who, much to Catherine's delight, isn't the old man she was expecting him to be! Instead he's handsome and courageous, and promises her that he will help her fulfill the prophecy and save the land, and in doing so they will have the chance to get to know each other better before deciding whether they will end up betrothed or not. The thing I really liked about this book was that there was no instalove here, more like insta-annoy! Cyril and Catherine took their time getting to know each other and their attraction was able to grow naturally. There were also lots of bad guys to fight, with treachery and treason and back stabbing to keep things interesting!

The prose was a bit forced at times, but not enough to detract from the story. I have to mention the amazing world building in this book! You can tell that the author has a very active imagination, much to my delight! I was easily able to picture both the scenes and the people that Catherine and her friends came across, and this allowed me to enjoy the book even more.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow at first, but there was a lot of background needed to fully understand the story, and once that was done the pace picked up a lot. I liked the ending and since it appears to be a set up to a sequel (fingers crossed), I look forward to reading more about this land and its people :D

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chapter by Chapter is celebrating their blogoversary with weekly giveaways all through October!!

Congratulations to Chapter By Chapter!! They're celebrating their first year blogoversary with us, and they are quite generous if I must say! They are going to be having a giveaway every week in October, and I know for one that I'll be there to celebrate with them! This week their giveaway is for a mystery box of books, and since I've been following them for quite a while and know that they have excellent taste in books, I'm uber excited! If you want to enter the giveaway, as well as help them celebrate, just go here!! Good luck everyone :D

Monday, October 1, 2012

1000 Follower Giveaway at Sparkles and Lightning!!

I've been a follower of the Sparkles and Lightning blog for quite a while and I'm so happy I am, too, because they are having a very awesome 1000 follower giveaway right now! Big congrats to them for reaching this amazing milestone! How awesome is the giveaway I hear some of you asking? Well, they are giving ten winners (yes, you read that right, TEN winners) their choice of two books each from the Book Depository! Amazingly generous of them, right? Now you see why I've been following them for a while now! Just click on the button below and it will take you there so you can enjoy of their awesomeness as well :D So what are you waiting for? Click the button already!!

Review: The 13th Tribe (Immortal Files #1), by Robert Liparulo

Title: The 13th Tribe (Immortal Files #1)
Author: Robert Liparulo
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads: "Immortals from the time of Moses roam the earth on a quest for justice . . . and heaven.

One man stands in their way.

In 1476 BC, the Israelites turned their backs on the One True God by worshipping a golden calf. For their transgression, forty were cursed to walk the earth forever. Banished from their people, they formed their own tribe, The 13th Tribe.

Now, three and a half millennia later, the remnant of this Tribe continues to seek redemption through vigilante justice-goaded by dark forces in the spiritual realm. They are planning a bold strike modeled on the Israelites' conquest of Canaan: the complete destruction of a major city-only now, they possess the horrific technology of modern weapons to ensure their success.

Jagger Baird is a husband and father…and security guard of an archaeological dig at the base of Mount Siani. Jagger suddenly finds himself in a fight for the future as he discovers the Tribe's plans. But towin this fight, he must overcome his own struggles with faith and self-worth - as well as his anger at God for a past tragedy.

This taut thriller by acclaimed novelist Robert Liparulo fuses tomorrow's technology with faith and non-stop action for a supernatural suspense novel unlike any other."

My Opinion: This book was a blend of a lot of the things that I love to read about: archaeology, fantasy, religion and thriller. The premise was awesome: How did God punish the people who were made to wander the desert and not enter the Promised Land after growing impatient with God when Moses went up the mountain to receive the ten commandments? Was that it, or was there more? What if he made them immortal so they could never enter heaven and be by his side? How would they react? What would they do? Robert Liparulo took this premise and ran with it!

Of the 40 immortals, only a handful remain together thousands of years later, and are known as The Tribe. They believe that after they have killed enough sinners, they will have earned the right to die and ascend to heaven. But therein lies the theological conundrum: The Bible clearly states in the New Testament that grace is freely given and freely received, and that you just have to accept it to be assured of your place in heaven. It goes on to say that you cannot earn your way through deeds, which is what The Tribe is trying to do. But what other choice do they have? Praying for forgiveness hasn't gotten them anywhere, so they believe this is the only other option for them. But what happens if that goes too far and the innocent start to suffer as well? Being a Christian, I absolutely loved all of the theological discussions in this book! For every question it posed, it gave a viewpoint for both sides of the argument, and only when you see both sides do you begin to understand it. 

I loved the characters in the book, too. Jagger, with his Robohand and his anger towards God after his best friend and his family were killed when they were hit by a drunk driver. Beth, whose trust in God never wavers, whose love and devotion to Jagger is the stuff that romances are made of. Tyler, their precocious son, who is teaching Jagger what it means to forgive God and find your way back into His grace. Owen, the doctor who they befriend after tragedy strikes, but who has a pretty big secret of his own. And then there's The Tribe, all of whom we get to know through the course of the book, who truly believe in what they are doing.  

This book has everything I mentioned before, and more! And don't even get me started on the awesome twist at the end of the book! I can definitely say that I will be reading the rest of the books in the Immortal Files series, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly to others who love a good theological discussion, with action, romance, danger, and yes, immortality all thrown in as well. :D