ARC Review--Forged in Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy

A love that can transcend time...

James has accepted the darkness, sealing both his and Ainsley's fate. 

The only thing that can save them now is another chance, and only Elron can provide one.

With nowhere else to turn, they must journey to the realm of the dead to meet Ainsley's father, but that journey is nothing compared to the sacrifices they will have to make before they have a chance at a happily ever after. 








I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


I absolutely love Alyssa Rose Ivy’s paranormal New Adult titles! They are always so delightful and fantastic reads! Forged in Light is the final book of The Forged Chronicles and brings Ainsley and James’ story to a conclusion! This one was far different than I anticipated, we’re talking time traveling folks!

Elron, the elven prince, has decided he is going to help Ainsley and James with their predicament. Ainsley was poisoned and James was being possessed by his father and things were utterly chaotic with Charlotte leading an army to attack them! Elron gets the idea to go back in time and rearrange things. And we find ourselves back at the beginning of the night when Ainsley meets James when he decides to visit Charlotte’s house where Ainsley had been housesitting.

A new adventure of sorts starts out. While Ainsley is reintroduced to James and his world, she finds that there’s a familiarity to it all. While Elron tries to explain the matter of things, this version of Ainsley isn’t sure what to believe. Until a connection with James is formed. It’s Elron’s belief that if this find this magical flower, than it can be used with Charlotte’s help to help rid Ainsley of her poison and James his father’s spirit.

James and Ainsley still have the same intense chemistry that they had before, but once again, I’ll say everything is still new to them. The time traveling scenario really throws you through a loop sometimes, but Alyssa handles it well. The only part I struggled to understand was when even with the new changes happening the past timeline and the one we currently read about align and things are as they were previously. Like when Ainsley is poisoned and needs James in order to fight it off. And when James’ mood suddenly gets darker hinting at his father’s possession taking over him, slowly but surely.

What I continue to love about these series Alyssa writes are the characters! They are so much fun and are relatable on multiple levels. Ainsley was a great heroine and I admired her perseverance in always trying to get through the troubles life throws her way. And of course there’s James who just has that overall nice guy charm to him. It doesn’t hurt that he truly is a nice guy.

My only other issue was the ending. It felt too rushed. Once we crossed over one hurdle and we should have one or two remaining, I found that we were in the midst of the ending itself. I wasn’t quite sure how we got there without overcoming the remaining obstacles. I have a few working theories of what might have gone down and why they weren’t exactly shown to us in writing, but you never know, right? And I’m a reader that likes to know! If you end the story with someone dying, I kind of want to know if they make it or not! That wasn’t necessarily the case here, but there were at least two things that come to mind that weren’t really explained on how they were resolved. But despite that, I enjoyed the happy ending that came into fruition! I’ve come to expect happy endings from Alyssa when she ends a series and so far she hasn’t let me down!

This is another fantastic paranormal NA series from the one and only Alyssa Rose Ivy! I highly recommend checking out her numerous titles. And if you aren’t sure which one to start with, I always recommend beginning at the beginning!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars


Forged in Light is out now!






ARC Review--Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.


I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


If you haven't already figured it out, Rachel Vincent is one of my all-time favorite authors! Ever since I picked up her first book, Stray, I've been hooked! Her newest series, Menagerie, is quite fascinating! it will really change the way you look at supernatural beings and humans. Spectacle is the second book of the  trilogy and it will hold you captivated until its very end!

Delilah and the Metzger's Menagerie have been running things on their own for a few weeks now and they're just barely making ends meet. They've been rescuing other supernaturals from captivity by buying them when they're able. Its put a strain on their financial situation, but Delilah and her friends aren't going to quit it just yet. But that's when Fate takes action into her own hands. Delilah and her friends are essentially kidnapped by Willem Vandekamp, owner and proprietor of the Savage Spectacle. And if they thought that Metzger was a beast, they're about to learn that Vandekamp and his wife out-trump him by a mile.

The Savage Spectacle is a different kind of show entirely than what Metzger's Menagerie was. Instead of just putting on a show and paying to gawk at the "creatures", here the very, very wealthy pay for interactions. From gladiator style battles to one-on-one situations, the Savage Spectacle in nothing short of a nightmare. Vandekamp has outfitted the supernaturals with collars that basically control them, and are fitted to their species. Not knowing what Delilah is exactly presents a challenge for him. But it's not long before she is collared properly too.

The action in this story truly picks up--not to say that it was dull before, because in some ways it was like when Delilah was first thrust into the Menagerie, except this is a whole new kind of circus-hell, so don't think that things aren't enticing prior to part two--in part two when Delilah has no recollection to what's happened to her. She still knows she's a prisoner and all that, but her new cell and suddenly healthy meals are causing her worry. And what she learns is even more terrifying than she could ever suspect!

Much like its predecessor, Spectacle will change the way you see humanity. In these books, I've been quite appalled at our fellow man. The supernatural folks who are deemed "inhuman" are more humane than the actual humans. It's quite the head-turner. But I think that's part of its allure! Plus after spending time with Delilah, Gallagher, and their friends, you really start to care for them and you want to see them tear off their enemies' heads!

Spectacle is a very character driven kind of novel, and I truly enjoyed that. While there's not bouts of action, there's plenty of tension, drama, suspense, and dicey moments.The action comes as needed and trust me, the buildup is worth it!

There still isn't very much romance in this one. That may or may not change somewhere down the line. Who knows? Besides Rachel that is! I kind of recall thinking there was some tension between Delilah and Gallagher that could possibly lead to the romantic kind. Is there evidence of seeing that in this one? Well...you'll just have to read and see for yourself! It's truly up for interpretation, I'd say! LOL!

While we sometimes fear the second book of a trilogy to read very middle of the road, you don't have to worry about that with this one! Spectacle was full on incredible! True, our heroes are caught in a similar situation as in the first book, but trust me when I say, it's very, VERY different! You won't see a repeat of things that have already come to pass. If you were enthralled with the first book, you'll be hooked into this one right away!

The ending I will say was awesome! And all praise Rachel for avoiding those killer cliffhangers. It ends in a way that you're satisfied with the current events, but anxious to see where our heroes will go next. And that truly is the best kind of ending when it comes to mid-series installments! Spectacle was one amazing kind of read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a different kind of paranormal read that will leave you questioning who the real "monsters" are! Though be advised, it is a trilogy and reading Menagerie is kind of necessary in order to understand who our characters are and what they've been through. Besides, binge reading is always highly satisfying...even if you must wait for the final book. You'll be okay, trust me! Spectacle is a must read!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Spectacle releases May 30, 2017




 

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

Replica by Lauren Oliver (4 stars)
Ringer by Lauren Oliver (ARC)--Review to come at a later date


Currently Reading:

Forged in Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy (ARC)


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Forevermore by Kristen Callihan


Other Posts of Interest:





 

Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!



This was a pretty good week! I got nearly all my books from my Abe Books order! Only one more to go! I have a bad book buying problem you guys, but I can't seem to help myself! 

Here's what I bought:

Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder--UK copy
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder--UK copy. A little upset that the cover was more damaged than I was led to believe. Would not call this one "Very Good". That's the problem with buying used books online. Sigh..
Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder--UK copy
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer--UK copy


Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott--keeper copy
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh--keeper copy
Dreamfall by Amy Plum--keeper copy
Blood Kissed by Keri Arthur
The Beast by Lindsay Mead
The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye--keeper copy 

and look! I'm in the acknowledgements!! So cool!! Loved this series!




For review from the author I received:

Forged in Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy (ARC)

 
THANK YOU Alyssa!


Contest win from the 2017 Discussion Post Challenge! I chose an underrated book, which was one that had less than 2000 reviews on Goodreads!

Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz--so behind one her books! Need to get caught up!


THANK YOU Shannon & Nicole!


Then in a books for trade I got myself an ARC of Stalking Jack the Ripper! Continuing my obsession of collecting favorite books of ARCs who had a different original cover art! Lol!



THANK YOU Katie!


And then I got my preorder swag for The Crown's Fate too!

Stickers and a bookmark!!


THANK YOU Evelyn!


It was a positively awesome week! Minus the 24+ hours without power! LOL! What did you all get this week?







Random Thursday

Time for more enlightening and eye-opening facts from That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"In late-1600s Puritan society, a child over 16 convicted of cursing at a parent was sentenced to death. Being a stubborn or rebellious child also earned you a death sentence."

No. Friggin. Way! That's sooo crazy!! I probably be sentenced to death by the time I was 5 because I was a stubborn one! LOL!


(image borrowed from Book Riot)
"The Puritans founded America's first college, bookstore, and newspaper."

Okay, maybe they weren't so bad (looks at the second item)! ;)


(image borrowed from Texas Beer Bus)
"The Puritans brought beer to America. According to Mourt's Relation (1622), the Mayflower pilgrims settled at Plymouth because supplies, especially beer, were running low. Beer was a dietary mainstay on long voyages because, having been boiled, it was purer than water."

They just thought of everything! Not that I drink beer! I'm weird. I know! LOL!





 

Review--Replica by Lauren Oliver

Lyra

From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.

Gemma

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.

But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Two girls, two stories, one novel.

While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.


I finally dove into Lauren Oliver’s Replica! I had been hearing so many good things about it that I picked it up last year and I have to say it was quite the unique read! The dual points of view was done in a way I’ve never seen before where the book is divided in half. You can read one girl’s point of view and then the other, or you can alternate. I honestly recommend alternating because it’s the easiest and you won’t be repeating the story as much. I am so excited that I can jump immediately to the sequel next because a lot of things happened and it only left me craving more answers.

Gemma and Lyra couldn’t be more different. They don’t know each other or even that the other exits. I’ll start with Lyra because she was who I started with based on the fact that she was the “front” of the cover! Lol! Lyra is a replica. She was made to look human by scientists who seem to be studying diseases and wanting to test possible cures or just new diseases themselves. They’re not good people needless to say. Lyra has grown up with other female replicas as the boy replicas were kept separated from the girls.

Then we have Gemma who is human. Though she’s had a rough life with health issues. Her father is always away on business and is a cold, distant man while her mother is a hoverer and over-protective. Gemma suffers from weight issues and bullying problems. Her only friend is April. They had plans to go to Florida over spring break but the trip is cancelled when a bullying prank goes wrong and her father demands that she stay home. It’s when there was an attempted kidnapping of herself that Gemma started to do a little investigating. The ramblings of the kidnapper started her thinking and it’s not long before she learns of a place called Haven and how her father was connected to it.

Each part of the girls’ story runs over 200 pages, so it’s almost at the 100 page mark that their worlds collide. So the beginning portions of each of their story start off a tad slow. It took some time to build into the story at large, but once we got to that point it was smooth reading until the end! Gemma gets a ride to Florida with an unexpected person from her school who turns out to be genuinely nicer than anyone other than her best friend. She plans to nose around Haven and see what they’re all about, but nearly as soon as she arrives, Haven explodes!! This book is seriously twisted, but that’s what makes the best kind of reads!

As I said before, I think that reading the book by alternating points of view is the best way to go about it. The first few chapters lets you see into each girl’s world and what they deal with. Once their worlds collide, it becomes easier to read through alternation. Some bits get repeated but you’re on the other end of the conversation or whatnot, so you do learn more and see the conversations differently. It’s not a direct repeat anyway, so you won’t feel bogged down by having to repeat a scene.

This story is pretty intense too! There is so much mystery surrounding Haven and when Gemma learns her father has a connection with it, the mystery only seems to thicken! By the end, you’re still left feeling unsure of things and what will happen next, but there’s a very decided air of danger. Haven is trying to cut all loose ends and possibly just start over elsewhere but with two of their “patients” missing, well things are going get to pretty messy indeed! 


We do get some answers though. There’s one in particular that was especially mind-blowingly awesome! I guess I was so wrapped up within the story that I didn’t really see it coming. That happens sometimes and honestly, I like it! Guessing the answers is always fun, but so is being completely taken aback with shocking reveals!

There is some romance going on in this one as well for both heroines. It was done nicely too, in a way that doesn’t take over the entire storyline.

Replica was by far one of the most intriguing books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. And not just in the way I read it where I go back and forth with flipping the book around. The story itself was unique as well. It’s an exciting and thrilling kind of story and I am most eager in seeing what will happen next!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars





 

Discussion Challenge: Cancelled Book Series

I had yet another idea as I was writing that last post! LOL! This is what happens when I get on a role! I mentioned the dreadful event in where a series gets cancelled and decided I had to discuss! Have you ever had that happen before? How did you cope? I know I could barely cope myself!


Cancelled Book Series


Granted it hasn't happened all that much. The first instance was the Wicked series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie! I read these as they were released, so in their singular format versus compilations. When I read the fourth book I was positively anxious for the next one! I was bouncing on heels because there hadn't been a titled listed like the previous times. A few months went by, then a year, I didn't know anything about the publishing industry at this time so I didn't know what was going on! When I learned you can email an author, I decided I had to do that! Because it'd been over a year and there was nothing! Nancy had told me that due to low sales the publisher wasn't wanting to buy a final book or more books. I was shocked! I mean, how can a publisher decide it's a better idea to cancel a series, one that was left with a HUGE CLIFFHANGER and be okay with it?

As an adult now I do understand all about saving money and cutting costs, but still, as a reader, I can't comprehend how one can cancel a series! It's just sickening! Thankfully there's a happy ending here for in 2009 due to an increase of sales, of those compilation novels I take it, a final book was born! And I was elated!!

The second time a series was canceled on me was Gena Showalter's Intertwined series. I fell in love with this series so quickly and devoured the books one after another, even though I did win the first two books, there was a minor wait of some period for that third book. And omg, what an ending! Then a similar thing happened. A year went by, no info for book 4 other than it would release in the following year according to Goodreads. This went on for a good few years. And then when I finally got to meet Gena for the first time and got to ask her about it, she told me the devastating news of the series cancellation and how she even felt a loss of her love for it.

But then last year, an amazing thing happened! Gena announced she would self-publish a final book! There's still no info on it as far as I know now. She has to finish her contracted projects first, then re-read the books and re-immerse herself with the world, but a final story will come! It may be novella length or slightly longer, or maybe even a full length book! I don't really know at this point, but I do know that I will anxiously be waiting and for the first time in I don't know how many years since I began blogging, will be re-reading the first three books to prepare for the finale!

So those two example had, or will have as long as all continues to go well, happy endings. And I know there was at least one self published series I was reading awhile back and it never got its final book which sadden me because I found myself really hooked with that story as well. Never did find out why he didn't finish the series. So it was saddening there too.

Have you ever had a favorite book series be cancelled? As in, the series was left unfinished, where there was clearly more to the story that needed to happen but it didn't? Do you remember what it was? Have you ever reached out to the author about it? Even if just to ask what might have happened to the characters to get out of said predicament and onto their HEA path?



Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.
 
 
Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.
 
 
A thriller by Rachel Caine! Need I say more?!
 
 
AUTHOR: Rachel Caine
PUBLISHER: Thomas & Mercer
GENRE: Thriller
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2017 
 
 
 
 

Discussion Challenge: Buying Finished Copies of ARCs

So I had another idea as I was writing my previous post concerning ARCs, and it's one I've thought about before as well. When you're blessed enough to receive an ARC, be it electronic or physical, do you buy the finished copy afterwards?


Buying Finished Copies of ARCs?


I know some bloggers who will actually read the finished copy as well, even if they read the ARC! Just to see if there were any differences since ARCs aren't always final. While I would love to do this as well, I just don't have time! I feel like my reading speed isn't up to par compared to other bloggers! LOL! So while I don't have time for a re-read of a book, I do find that 99% of the time I will buy the finished copy of an ARC I've read. There have been a small handful of ones where it was a read that was only so-so and I decided not to, which was mostly when I received eARCs.

I've had a recent binge of a few ARCs that I received during the Independent Bookstore Day festivities and am nearing my last one, but I've already ordered or bought in one case, all those books! I found that I did enjoy them and I'd really like a finished copy! I guess it goes back to my bookish OCD traits, I want that finished copy! The glorious hardcover with it's amazing cover and to see what kind of texture said cover might have...yeah, it's a booklover thing! Lol. 

But I don't know if other bloggers feel the same way. That they just might keep the ARC and call it their copy--I admit I did do this in my early stages of blogging because I was still young and didn't have a full time job yet! Lol. So my funds were limited and I can see money being the issue of why some might not buy the finished copy as well. That even waiting for Book Outlet to get said finished copy in would be a fruitful idea.

I also tend to buy the finished copies and order ahead of time if I can to help out the authors themselves! If I loved a series I definitely want it to continue and not be canceled, because I've seen that happen and it HURTS! Especially when left unresolved! So ordering finished copies even though I read an ARC just adds one more sale to that number and hopefully will make the publisher feel inclined to continue said series! 

So my endless rambling just comes down to that I like owning a finished copy of the ARCs I read. That the only times I really keep an ARC are when it had an original cover idea but was changed prior to publishing. I'm weird for those! Lol! But what about you guys? Do you buy finished copies of books you read as ARCs?





Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker



Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.


I can never pass up a bookish teaser!! This one comes from Lyra's point of view, obviously based on the first word! ;)


"Lyra had fallen in love with reading during the brief period of time when Dr. O'Donnell had been at Haven, which she now thought of as the best months of her life. When Lyra read, it was as if a series of small windows opened in the back of her mind, flooding her with light and fresh air and visions of other places, other lives, other, period." p 7











TITLE: Replica
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
PUBLISHER: HaperCollins
GENRE: Sci-Fi YA
RELEASE DATE: October 4, 2016 



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.



This week's topic is: Mother's Day Related Freebie: Top 10 Moms from Books!


*in no particular order
**talk about hard!! Parents are usually absent in nearly every book I've read be it YA or adult! :D


10. JANINE HATHAWAY--maybe she didn't always show it in an obvious way, but you gotta admit Janine was a pretty cool mom in the end!
9. JUSTINIA CRAWFORD--another mother who shows her love in a different way, but omg was she hilarious as the series went on!!
8. KELLIE SWARTZ--Katy truly had a great mom! Real down to earth kind of mom! I loved her!


7. RILEY JENSON--okay this one isn't necessarily her series and as it's been sooo long since I've read this one and Riley's series I can't remember if she had kids, but she did help raise Risa. She was Aunt Riley, I remember that much! And Riley was a freaking awesome aunt!
6. ALEXIA MACCON--another book I still need to read, but again, Alexia was amazing, so she's gotta be a terrific mom as well! Though I do recall she had help with raising her daughter with her vampire friend in order to protect little Prudence!
5. KAREN GREENE--though she wasn't there long, Evie's mom was really great! I loved her and her strength as well!


4. ELENA MICHAELS--Let's face it, Elena is just one of the coolest moms ever!
3. EVE LEVINE--another Otherworld mom! While Eve may have her faults, motherhood was never one of them! The way she fought to protect Savannah in nearly everything (if I recall) she did makes up for the rest [that had nothing to do with hurting her daughter]!
2. LILY POTTER--though we never got to see her in motherhood action, her final act of sacrificing herself for baby Harry ranks her pretty high on best moms list!
 
 

1. MOLLY WEASLEY--of course! Not only was she an amazing mom to her kids, but the way she so easily and without thought included Harry into her brood was so endearing!! She was one of the most awesome moms I've ever read about!