WARM BODIES – ISAAC MARION

Warm_bodies_book_coverWarm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Publisher: Atria
Ratings: 3/5
Genre: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Adult Fiction
Post Book Thoughts: …That was better than I expected it to be…

R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse. Just dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a burst of vibrant color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that R lives in. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world…

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead and the blurry line in between.


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RADIANCE | WRAITH KING #1

Radiance by Grace Draven
Published by Grace Draven
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Adult
For fans of: Master of Crows, Fantasy romances, actual nice heroes, witty non-bratty princesses who don’t make shitty, selfish decisions.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5

THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.


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THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN – DOT HUTCHINSON

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
Published by Thomas & Mercer
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Adult, Crime fiction
For fans of: Law & Order SVU, Exit Pursued By a Bear
My rating: 5 stars out of 5

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…


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WRITTEN IN RED | THE OTHERS #1

Written In Red by Anne Bishop
Published by ROC
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
For Fans of: Patricia Briggs, Werewolves, Vampires, elementals, Human vs. Other conflicts
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow


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FIRE TOUCHED | MERCY THOMPSON #9

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Published by Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Adult, Paranormal
For Fans of: Alpha and Omega, Dreg City, Kelly Armstrong, Werwolves, Vampires, Shapeshifters, and all of that other supernatural jazz
My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?


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REMEMBRANCE | THE MEDIATOR #7

Remembrance by Meg Cabot
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
For Fans of: The Mediator series, Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries, Ghost Whisperer
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

You can take the boy out of the darkness.

But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.

All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.

From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child, to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night.

Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?

If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.


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A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC – SHADES OF MAGIC #1

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Published by Tor Books
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
For fans of: Magic, Cutie-pie MCs and their flirty brothers, LONDONS (plural), Cool af coats.
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.


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TOP TEN BOOKS WE READ IN 2015

First of, I need to apologize for the hiatus we went on November. It was an accident, I swear. If I’d known I was going to be too darned busy to blog, I’d have set up a queue or something. Or I’d have informed you guys. But life (and assignments) happened, and I had to neglect the blog for a month. I apologize for not saying anything.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Top Ten Tuesday is here again! Today’s topic is Top Ten Books We Read In 2015. Or, as I like to call it, “If You Only Read One Book This Year, Make It One Of These”

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Gabrielle’s picks

1. Uprooted – Naomi Novik

The Tor cover, because that's the version I own

This book was magical. It was sent from the Heavens to bring joy to the hearts of YA and fantasy readers. I’ve read this three times now, and I still can’t get enough of it. If you go through the review that I posted when I first read it, you could probably have a blast tallying the number of times I used the word “delightful” to describe this brilliant piece of fantasy writing.

If you’re looking for one really good fantasy novel to read before the year ends, then let this be the one. It’s got all the magic and wonder of your first fairytale back when you were a kid, and it’s so wonderfully original. The protagonist is charming and brave and strong, and the male lead is a grumpy old-man-type. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?

 

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ALICE | ALICE #1

Alice by Christina Henry
Published by Ace
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Retelling
For Fans of: Alice in Wonderland (the original and the Tim Burton movie), Fairy tale retellings, creepy, gothic horrors.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5.

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.


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WHY NOT ME? – MINDY KALING

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Published by Crown Archetype
Genres: Non-fiction, Humour, Adult, Memoirs
For Fans of: Mindy freaking Kaling (duh) , Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, The Mindy Project, Books of essays that make you laugh out loud
My rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the creator and star of The Mindy Project comes a collection of essays that are as hilarious and insightful as they are deeply personal.

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.


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