Review: Blood On Snow by Jo Nesbo

Title: Blood On Snow

Part of Series: Blood On Snow (#1)

Author: Nesbo, Jo

Format: Paperback

Edition: Greek

Publication: May,2015

Pages: 224

Description: From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels—a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract killer who draws us into an unexpected meditation on death and love. 

This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake. . . .

My Review:

This was not a typical Jo Nesbo novel. And, it wasn't a typical crime novel, either.

This book was focused on an anti-hero, a criminal, a paid assassin.
He is not the extra brilliant protagonist, as he admits himself.
But, despite that fact, he makes his own decisions. And, everything goes wrong!

Every turn and twist of this novel is so unexpected, so sudden, that we, readers, can only be left to try to keep up!

Of course, like anything Jo Nesbo writes, this book was very well-written.

At some points, though, I found myself confused and wondering what is true and what was just a dream!

Generally, I was just given the impression that I have to read the next book of this duology, in order to better understand what is going on.

It's not that I didn't like this novel, it's just that, when compared to Nesbo's main series, Harry Hole would win again and again!

All in all, 3 stars for a 
quick and quite enjoyable read.

Review: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1) by Zoe Kalo

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1)


Goodreads Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

My Review:

I loved this book for more than one reasons!

Right from the first page I loved they way the author wrote this novel!
It was captivating and so professional that it amazed me!

Zoe Kalo knew exactly how to emphasize all the right things, while at the same time bringing in all the action right from the beginning, and giving us a very good idea of the personality of the main heroine, Trinity.

And, I absolutely loved Trinity's character, too!
She was strong and independent, and ready to defend the weak, against the bullies.

When a mysterious woman, claiming to be a friend of her dying grandmother, shows up at the orphanage where Trinity has spent the first 16 years of her life, she is quite suspicious, especially after what the nun who runs the orphanage tells her, regarding the day they found her on their doorstep.

But, she still has to follow the woman, Dr. Nassri to her new home, an Island full of cats.
There, things get even more exciting and complicated.

This storyline is quite interesting, but what was also amazing for me and my thoughts of this book, was not only Trinity's personality, but a [articular similarity with me, too.

She was born on the same day as me (a fact that in this book is very important).
I loved reading about a girl who, not was born on the same date as me, but this exact date was also that important, and a crucial part of the plot.

And, another plus of the book? It was FULL of cats.
And, I adore cats!! (My name is Cat-erina, after all.)

All in all, 5 stars for an amazing read, 
that is definitely going to my Favorites list, too!

Review: Lady of the Bridge by Laura Kitchell

Lady of the Bridge


Goodreads Blurb:

Saiko, warrior princess under Japan’s first ruling shogun, is tasked with entering the dethroned emperor’s household as a consort. It is her duty. It brings honor to her family. This alliance between the old regime and the new can end rebellious uprisings that keep Japan in upheaval.

Takamori is an elite samurai in service to the first shogun. He is war-weary but loyal in his service under the man who ended the civil wars that threatened to destroy Japan. With no major battles to fight, he faces a peacetime that has all samurai questioning their role and their future.

When Saiko and Takamori meet on a garden bridge, both seeking answers and calm, they stir unexpected desires and create more questions than answers. Each day they meet and each day they fall deeper in love. Duty and honor, however, dictate that Saiko must belong to the emperor, and as her father’s marshal, Takamori must deliver her.

A ronin attack forces them to fight for her life. They race across Japan with armies on the chase and two questions left unanswered. Who organized and directs the ronin army? And how much time do they have together?

In a world where duty is everything, how will she choose between family honor and her heart’s desire?

My Review: 

I usually love everything that is related to Japan.
This book was no exception!

Saiko is a strong, independent young woman, who wants to serve her father's wishes, even if it means becoming the consort of a man she wants to have nothing to do with.

Takamori is a brave elite samurai, also serving Saiko's father, entitled to deliver her to her new home.

But, before the assignment is set to begin, the two unexpectedly meet on their favorite garden bridge!
An attack forces them to fight alongside each other, in order to save Saiko's life!

And, their lives are bound to be changed forever!

I loved the way the story was narrated by the author, especially that it was from both of the heroes' points of view.

I also liked Saiko very much!
Even though she wanted nothing more than to serve faithfully her father, she couldn't also ignore her own will and her heart's desires. She was strong and independent, despite the fact that she was asked not to. She wanted to dress the way she wanted and ride horses just like the samurai.

Takamori was a brave samurai, strong and a prominent figure! He also wanted to be faithful and loyal to his duties. But sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants. I liked him very much and though of him as a very prominent male figure, very well-built and swoon-worthy.

All in all, 4 stars for an amazing historical read, 
that made me picture what Japan must have been like, 
back in the times that the samurai were the brave warriors of the royal families.

Review - Hit The Road, Jake! by Cricket Rohman

Hit The Road, Jake! 

Goodreads Blurb:

Thrilling, romantic, and sprinkled with humor, HIT THE ROAD, JAKE! reinvents the ‘buddy movie’ concept with the written word … and a pretty woman. Jake and Lindsey are good at tracking down offenders responsible for petty theft and blackmail, but when new mysteries become personal—slashed tires, spattered blood, steamy love letters, a stolen pet—everything changes. 

Who is this enemy that secretly harasses them from town to town? Jake calls in some favors and manages to finagle the DNA testing of several blood samples. The results are shocking, and the dangers they face become deadly. 

Practically newlyweds, the couple thought they’d created the perfect win-win plan. While traveling between Tucson and Estes Park in their RV, Jake would solve embarrassing mysteries that schools wished to keep under wraps, and Lindsey, being the ‘cover’ for their presence, would conduct workshops for teachers. Then all hell broke loose. 

“Cricket Rohman really nails it! She gives her readers a ton of depth in both the story line and character development. A great, fun read!” 
---Lala Corriere, author of Bye Bye Bones: A Cassidy Clark Novel 

My Review:

This was not the first book in the series of Jake and Lindsay's adventures!
But, I sure got along for the ride quite quickly!

And, boy, how many adventures have these lovebirds lived through?

Jake and Lindsay are married for 18 months and still deeply in love.
Not wanting to be tied down to any regular work that would keep them at one place, they travel through the States in their RV, along with their dog and bird.
Their little family is just so adorable, and the love between them so palpable!

As for the mysteries?
They jump from one assignment to the other "doing their Sherlocking stuff" and solving the mysteries they are called to face, in clever ways!

I liked the fact that there were a few things that I hadn't expected when I first picked up this ARC.
I would certainly love to pick up the first two books in this series, to get to know more about the heroes, and how their love came to be, and became so strong!

All in all, 4 stars for a read I really enjoyed and 
some mysteries I liked trying to solve along with the heroes!

Review: Desert Moon by Maria Grazia Swan


Blurb From Goodreads:

When her cat hitched a ride without her, she had no choice but to tail the furry creature...

From award winning author Maria Grazia Swan comes a story of suspense, romance, and one mischievous cat... How does a domestic black cat from Southern California become a stowaway and end up in Phoenix Arizona? That’s what Lella York wants to know as she crosses the desert, pedal to the metal, to bring her cat, Flash, back home. But something about a full desert moon bewitches Lella into staying in Arizona longer than she planned and playing house with the sexy Detective Lawrence Devin who is in Arizona as a special witness for an old murder case. The desert is a land of extremes so it’s no surprise that Lella and Larry brave the heat to chase after a cold case. Throw in a hint of Russian mafia, some attractive flight attendants, and a ferret named Lucy, and Lella realizes what a dangerous place the desert can be under a full moon.

My Review:

This was a quite unique book for me, as it started out right in the action.
For quite a while, I felt like I knew nothing about the main heroes, just their names and that Lella and Larry were one thing. It wasn't for too long, but it sure made me wonder about them!
But suddenly, as more and more information was provided, I came to realize that this book was unique, also because the heroes were middle-aged, approximately around their 50s. This is a first for me! But, despite my initial surprise, I quite enjoyed being in the head of a mature woman, who knows what she wants.

And, I have to admit that I liked Larry, too!
I also liked the descriptions of Lella's independent cat, Flash, who seemed to have a mind of her own. And, a very intelligent one, at that!

At some points the story was getting a little slow, where we were following Lella's every move, and were actually seeing Larry in the rare occasions he was home.
But, soon, things became more and more complicated, with more and more people joining on the mystery.
And, I absolutely enjoyed the added touch of all the people originating from different countries, and not just from the United States.

All in all, 4 stars for a book I enjoyed thoroughly!

Review - Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

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I have to admit, that, at first, I was quite hesitant about this book.
I was seeing it around, but something seemed a little off for me, considering it was also a retelling of one of my favorite childhood stories, Cinderella.

So, when I won the audiobooks of the series in a giveaway, I decided to give a chance to both the book, and the audiobook, as it would be my first.

And, soon I came to realise, I couldn't be more wrong about my previous hesitations!

I have to admit, that, it being the first audiobook I ever listened to, plus, a sci-fi book with cyborgs and mechanical stuff I'm not used to reading (or listening) about, it needed some getting used to.

But, after the first couple chapters, I was totally hooked!

One of the things I loved about this book was that the action kicked in right from the first chapter, while the basis for the heroine's relationship with the Prince, also eased us into the book.

What I also loved about it, though, is the fact that it wasn't the typical retelling, where everyone lived happily ever after. No, on the contrary, we were left in such a huge cliffhanger, that I couldn't help but start listening to the audiobook of the sequel right away!

While listening to the first few chapters, I thought that I knew exactly where we were headed with the story! But, thankfully, there were so so many more things that I wasn't expecting and was very gladly surprised to find out! Some of the events were usually sad, but did wonders for the evolution of the story.

Cinder is a teenage cyborg that has no memory of her life as a child.
She lives with her stepmother, who is far than glad to share a house with Cinder, her two stepsisters, with one of whom she is actually friends, contrary to the original fairytale, and her loyal android Iko.

Cinder is a wonderful character that I loved listening about, and the fact that she has to deal with the bitterness of people just because she has a mechanical hand and foot, has made her a strong protagonist that is not afraid to take risks and fight for the people she loves.

Prince Kai, is described as the most handsome bachelor in New Beijing, and his whole demeanor towards Cinder, as well as generally, too, made me have a lot of warm feelings towards him. He is a hero you would like to read about, and I enjoyed a little too much every single scene he shared with Cinder.

I liked the relationship that formed between them out of casual meetings in the Palace's labs, the humor and the slight flirtation that flawed between them.

The cliffhanger at the end of the book didn't just make me wonder about the future ahead of Cinder, but also about that of Kai's, as well as his view of Cinder after the events of the Ball.

But, in a way, I'm really glad we were left on a major cliffhanger and the book didn't just end happily and peacefully, because this way we will be able to follow through Cinder's story a little while longer.
And, I can't even describe my happiness (and anxiousness) about it.

All in all, 4.5 stars for a wonderful read (well, audiobook), 
that really left me wanting for more and looking forward 
to the sequel, more than any book has made me feel in a little while.

Review also posted in:

Review: Monstress (Volume 1, Part 1) by Marjorie M. Liu

See my post on Instagram!
 That was a very interesting read, one that actually left me wanting to find out more about the heroine, as well as the development of the story!
Maika is a troubled girl that seeks to uncover the truth behind her mother's death, as well as a dark secret she, herself is keeping!

I totally love the whole "don't let the monster inside come out" theme, and thought it was really powerful the way it was narrated and shown in the comic!

The only downside for me was that there was a little more blood that what I would have liked, but still it wasn't that much that it could distract me from the rest of the storyline!

Totally looking forward to starting the second volume of Monstress!

All in all, 3.5 stars for a dark read that 
definitely builds up some serious suspence!

Review also posted in:
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- NetGalley

Review - Throne of Glass (ToG #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Click on the picture to get to my post on my Bookstagram.
After all the hype surrounding Sarah J. Maas and her books, and after finding out about the fact that the main heroine of this book is a brave and badass assassin, I just knew I had to try this series out!

So, I bought this book and the first book of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
I decided to start reading this book, though, because, from my experience, the first works of an author are indicative of their personal writing style and their imagination, but not always as personalized as their later works.
Yes, you got that right, I wanted to take a taste of the author's writing before trying out her latest books!

And, I have to admit that this book did not disappoint me. Quite the opposite, to be exact!
Mrs. Maas writing style was quite unique. While reading this book I kept thinking that this is her first work and sensed that some things needed a more personal touch. But exactly the fact that this was the first book she probably ever published, it delivered amazingly!

I kept missing something, which led me to not categorize this book as a favorite of mine, even if I gave it 5 stars!
But throughout my reading of this book, I could almost feel all the potential this series and this author has. And, considering the fact that I have this book in my TBR pile for quite a few years, but hadn't even realized the hype all around it, this potential might have been exploited in the following books of the series.

Celaena, the main heroine, is indeed a very brave and badass young woman who, orphaned at a very tender age, was taken under the care of the King of Assassins, who made her the best and most known assassin of Erilea.
The protagonist is really a character worth reading about, and I immensely enjoyed knowing her thoughts and reading about her adventures.

The story starts with her as a slave of the tyrannical King of Erilea, making us really crave to know what made her the best assassin, and also how she was captured!
While a few hints of her past are given, I came to realize that we really know next to nothing about her previous life, before she arrived at the court of the King to serve as his son's Champion!

Celaena is given a choice, to either become the Crown Prince's Champion and win in a contest of assassins, thieves and soldiers, where the winner will become the King's assassin, or keep on being a slave in Endovier and ultimately die.
A quite interesting storyline, that narrates the dilemma an assassin sworn to get revenge on the King whose orders killed her people, is showed with.

While reading this book, I had the strong urge to share a few comments of my progress, something I rarely do. If you have noticed those comments, you will know that I showed a preference for one of the male heroes, quite early on the book.
That person is Chaol, Captain of The King's Guard and childhood friend of the Crown Prince, Dorian.
While Dorian is describe as, oh, so handsome and glamorous, and everything, Chaol has his own qualities, which I believe are better in a person. Dorian was also a reader, and was said to be able to converse with Celaena for multiple hours, about a variety of subjects. But this was the only thing he had going for him, in my opinion!
Chaol was loyal and found it difficult to trust an assassin, who killed people, a fact that went against all of his instincts of guarding, even if by the end he had grown to be much warmer towards her.

I don't particularly enjoy love triangles, but in this book it wasn't so apparent. Mainly because Celaena was quite oblivious of one of the two heroes' qualities and feelings, for the best part of the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the protagonist's friendship with Nehemia, a Princess from Eyllwe. Their relationship was tested quite a few times throughout the book. But, Nehemia also proved to be a brave young woman.

I also loved the fantasy aspects of this book! There was suspense, mystery, mixed with some magic, magical beings and portals to other, dark worlds. There were numerous villains, but quite a few unexpected friendships, too! I would definitely love to see more of Nox in the future!

All in all, 5 stars for a great start to a series that 
seems to have so much potential to become an 
even greater adventure of a badass heroine.

Also posted in:
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Trailer Reveal & Giveaway - Sword (Le Fay #2) by Realm Lovejoy

Book Blast & Giveaway - The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

Last of the Firedrakes

  Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

  A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic. 16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad. Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear. With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

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Praise for the Book

“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.” Kirkus Reviews “THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.” Dr Vic James, author of the SLAVEDAYS trilogy “The world building is beautiful…That really made the book more complex for me…it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.”Janelle Fila for Readers’ FavoriteThe Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mitali Parekh for Mid-Day newspaper

FarahAuthor Farah Oomerbhoy
Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel,The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/29/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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