Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (25): Release by M.R. Merrick

Waiting on Wednesday (25): Release
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases

Release (The Protector, #3) by M.R. Merrick
Expected Publication Date: December 10, 2012
Book Description from Goodreads:

After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.

One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this, but I still love this series and therefore am excited for when everyone will get to experience it! I haven't gotten too far into it yet, but it's at the top of the list for my beach reading when I head to Mexico this weekend :D! 

What're you waiting for on this Wednesday? Leave me a link in the comments so I can stop by!

Also, I've got a giveaway of Ghost Planet going on HERE if you'd like to win a hardcopy of the book! 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Teaser Tuesday (25): A Monster Calls

Teaser Tuesday: A Monster Calls
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
·Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page 
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Patrick Ness
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: All-Ages, Fantasy
Description from Goodreads:
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.


     "I wish I had a hundred years," she said, very quietly. "A hundred years I could give to you." 
       He didn't answer her. A few seconds later, the medicine had sent her to sleep, but it didn't matter.
        They'd had the the talk.
        There was nothing more to say.

I finished this book in one really late night sitting, and it was amazing, profound and I really wish my copy had the illustrations (I Googled them after) which were gorgeous! 

What're you guys reading this week? Leave me a link so I can stop by!

Also I'm hosting a giveaway for a hard copy of Ghost Planet by Sharon Fisher HERE if you'd like to enter!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Review: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole

Author: Kresley Cole
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 369
Genre: YA, Post-Apocalypse, Romance, Fantasy
Source: Bought it

Summary from Goodreads: 
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….


     I've never read a book by Cole before and after reading her first foray into the YA realm, I'm going to have to go back for all those awesome adult sexy times in her Immortals After Dark series. 
     Cole capture's the reader's attention the first few pages in when we're introduced to the very shady character of Arthur as we read from his perspective on ensnaring the innocent and trusting Evie into his sadistic nest. I was genuinely afraid for Evie, but then it turns out Arthur likes a good story and so Evie takes us back to the beginning...

    Poison Princess is very much a compare and contrast book. Cole really uses this to drive home the point that Evie is completely out of her element. There was Evie's rich, comfortable life before "The Flash" that killed everything, and there was the desperate starving life after. The safe boring relationship she had before, and the all consuming hot blooded male that is Jack after. I loved these important milestones that Cole sets, they leave a scorching impression in your mind as you read and it gives a well rounded out perspective of each character. 

    Evie Greene is the apple of her successful mother's eye, and her life is going splendidly as the most popular girl at school with the rich hot boyfriend and devoted best friend. But then the visions started - horrifying depictions of burning, death and creatures that couldn't possibly be real - until her visions come true. When I first met Evie in the first few pages, I had pegged her as naive and darn near useless. This was pretty much confirmed by the time I got into the thick of it, so don't go in expecting a super strong kick-ass heroine. 
But surprisingly I didn't find her annoying. She acknowledges her weaknesses, and I have to give her credit for determination and always trying to do the right thing. She's always on this verge of becoming someone new, while fighting her old self. She hasn't quite grasped that it's a changed world, but she's learning and I loved watching how each trial leaves a mark on Evie's unblemished skin. 

     Jack Deveaux, the tough Cajun from the wrong side of the bayou is your classic bad boy that you love, hate and just want to see naked already. A lot of authors use accents in creating a character, usually just by stating it and using some phonetic words to get that accent going in your head. Cole takes it one step further and fully immerses the reader in Cajun French that just oozes old world charm and had me fanning myself every time Jack opened his mouth. Jack is constantly conflicted, which makes him hot and cold towards Evie depending on the situation. It's what drives the bad boy mentality in books, there's moments where I was cheering him on and he's logical, and then moments where he pulls some attitude out of left field and you just want to smack him. But you can always count on 'ole Jack. 

     Cole perfectly balances steamy romance, snippets of humour and visceral action with a unique lore revolving around Tarot cards. Admittedly, I didn't know much about Tarot cards or the symbolism of each card but by the end of this book I really wanted to learn more. Cole also paints a dismal wasteland world full of pillaging militia, hungry cannibals and a unique twist to zombies as Evie and Cole try to make their way to Evie's grandmother to figure out what's going on. Guided by visions and voices, Evie and Jack soon start accruing a little band of misfits. But it's not as simple as that when the pieces start clicking into place and the horrifying truth is revealed that this has all happened's all happening again...and it's going to be down to the last one standing...

Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
I thoroughly enjoyed the Tarot card lore, the hot bad boy Jack and the magical elements that Cole manages to weave in. Cole does an excellent job with the tension building in the romance between Jack and Evie - but it got a little bit irksome when the same preconceptions kept driving a wedge between them. When we come full circle at the end, and I look at the beginning I have to do a slow clap here for Cole. It was an incredible ending that left me clamoring for the next installment! This book is like post apocalypse Survivor, X-Men style with a bit of The Hunger Games thrown in.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Stacking the Shelves (14): The Movie Dominated Version

Hosted by Tynga

      Okay, since I have minimal homework this week, I'm going to get some serious blogging done this weekend, and reading. I think I have 12 books on the go >.<

These Past Two Weeks at Tea And Text


For Review:

  • Release (The Protector, #3) by M.R. Merrick <- I am loving Merrick's snark y and witty characters!
  • Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles) by J.A. Souders 

And this weekend is insane sale shopping weekend, did any of you guys go out and brave the crowds? Get anything awesome? Share your link with me in the comments so I can swing by and see!

Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part 2

It's FINALLY OVER: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Released: November 16, 2012
Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer
Rating: PG-13
Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen
Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black
Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen
Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen
Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen
Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale
Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen
Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale 
Billy Burke as Charlie Swan
Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee
Michael Sheen as Aro

Continuing where Breaking Dawn Part 1 left off - Bella is now a vampire, happily married to Edward, with a new baby girl Renesmee. But a chance encounter with a neighbouring vampire Irina who thinks the baby is an illegally made immortal child sends their fairytale ending into a cataclysmic downward spiral as the Volturi converge on them to rectify the situation. But not all hope is lost as the Cullen clan race around the world to rally allies together to fight in this crucial battle that will decide the fate of the Cullens....How far are you willing to go to protect your family?


     When I first read this book years ago, I knew it'd be an incredibly difficult story to try to adapt to the big screen. For one, after the bustle of living out the romantic fantasy wedding/honeymoon and the subsequent Alien-esque uterus busting birth not much happens. There really isn't any action scenes in the book that could keep the men of the audience engaged like the previous installments, so Meyer had to improvise and I have to say for the first time in this franchise I was extremely surprised and LOVED that twist ending! 

     I think I found it so enjoyable because it felt like the director knew that there were ridiculous aspects to this whole story and he just took it and RAN WITH IT. The movie knew when to make fun of itself and didn't try to take itself too seriously 3/4 of the time. There's so many puns, innuendo and corny moments that I just dare you to try and not laugh at it.    

     My first complaint would be the CGI baby, I know Renesmee is growing fast and I guess it was too hard to cast 4-5 different baby/children for the role. But really, it was like looking at Pixar movie that had awkwardly stumbled into the set - or the Ally McBeal dancing baby. 

For those non-90's kids.
     I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how well Kristen Stewart took to vampirism. She was gorgeous all the time with poise and grace mixed with motherly ferocity. I had a hard time remembering how awkward and slouchy she was before (I loved the little comment that Alice makes about this). She seemed much more confident in her role and it reflected in Bella how she was much more passionate with Edward - but I will never ever stop giggling at the sparkles and chimes used in their "climax". 

     Oh Edward Cullen, how far you've come. My is that a SMILE on your face? Are you LAUGHING? Say it isn't so! But it is! For once you're happy, and relaxed and it will surely make more fan girls swoon because you're actually making eye contact now, and not speaking through gritted teeth. But seriously, it was great to see Robert not have to be so stiff and constrained - it looked like he was genuinely having fun.

     Dear Taylor Lautner, we all know what your job on this movie is and we can always count on you for it. Please accept my apologies for joining in the cat calls while you shucked your clothing. But really Jacob's character was the ice breaker of the movie. His scenes are by far the most memorable and he dealt with all the pivotal stuff like facing Bella's wrath and stripping. 
     I can't say much for Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee, she's cute and all but she's got maybe a couple of lines and for the rest of the movie it's like a silent film with her because she communicates psychically. 

     The other vampires, however briefly we got to know them really stole the show. It was just such an eclectic mix from all over the world and I was really more interested in the mystery and intrigue that their back-stories would have provided than the situation at hand. 

     Oh the ending, it was so freaking EPIC. I won't ruin it for you. But the entire row of girls in front of me were screaming and rocking in their seats mumbling a prayer of "THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN IN THE BOOK!! AAAHHH THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN". It really didn't happen in the book, but I really wish Stephenie Meyer had written it in, cause that was a hell of a twist! 
Overall: 3/5 Cups of Drinkable Tea
You know you have to go see how this movie ends, and honestly I enjoyed it faaar more than all the others! Now to patiently wait for Stephenie Meyer's The Host, I just hope she'll at least continue that story - it was a pretty good one.


Friday, 23 November 2012

Ghost Planet Blog Tour

Hey all, today I'm hosting a tour stop for Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher! 

I loved all the science and theory that goes into this story and I'm so happy that Sharon is stopping by today with a guest post to let us in on:

The Research and Theories of Ghost Planet

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Author: Sharon Lynn Fisher
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Pages: 342
My Review HERE

Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world - a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she'd struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.

Reincarnated as a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy - creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone - oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love - Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.

But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man she loves.

Guest Post: Solving the Mystery of Ghost Planet

My debut novel, GHOST PLANET, released three weeks ago. In that same time period I have probably written a guest post on just about every topic you can imagine. I was excited when Ann suggested this one, because it's something I haven't really covered yet.

In January 2008, I came up with the title of my book, and that’s all there was. The rest of the story was the result of noodling on what a planet with that name would be like.

As I sat down to write my first chapter, a conversation unfolded between my heroine (Elizabeth) and hero (Murphy) about the origin of the "ghosts" -- aliens that manifest in the form of dead loved ones, attaching themselves to colonists. This conversation was the beginning of character development for the planet itself. (For those who’ve read the book: In the final revised version, this conversation takes place later, between Elizabeth and Ian.)

While writing that first chapter, I made a key decision -- that my planet would not possess consciousness, which would make it very challenging for the characters (and for ME) to ever get at the truth of what it was up to. Without going into spoilers, the heroine makes a brilliant connection between something the colonists were doing when they arrived on the planet, and the manifestation of the ghost-aliens, which happened a few months later.

As I worked on the book, I read SYMBIOTIC PLANET, by biologist Lynn Margulis, who developed the groundbreaking theory of symbiogenesis. (She was also once married to Carl Sagan.) Her theory -- at first controversial but now widely accepted -- asserts that many species have made giant leaps in evolution due to symbiosis. It emphasizes collaboration between organisms, rather than competition. My favorite Margulis quote: "New tissues, organs, and new species evolve primarily through the long-lasting intimacy of strangers." Isn’t that wonderful?

The more I read about symbiosis and symbiogenesis, the more convinced I became it was the foundation of my novel. (Which readers of the novel may recognize as paralleling Elizabeth’s experience.) I wove it into every aspect, from the ghost/host relationships, to the effect these pairs had on the ecology, to the genesis of the planet itself. I loved the beauty and simplicity of it.

For those who haven’t read the book, I won’t spoil it by going further! But I will say I made a conscious decision not to answer every question readers might have. Some reviewers have taken issue with that, and that’s fair.

From my own perspective, what I hoped was that readers would feel the characters were on the right track. That once they had access to the right resources, they could begin to do true research. I also hoped readers would feel satisfied with the story’s conclusion, but find themselves still thinking about the planet, and how it might be different a decade or two later.

Do you have any favorite novels that kept you thinking and wondering, piecing things together long after you’d finished the book?

About the Author:

Sharon is a three time RWA Golden Heart finalist who lives in the Pacific Northwest and in her spare time loves to mountain bike, hike, "battle writerly angst with baked goods" and enjoys a good cup of Irish tea, champagne or craft beers. Her upcoming projects include ECHO 8 featuring an energy "vampire" from an alternate Earth and her third untitled work which is a post-apocalyptic biopunk romance about transgenic humans who are like a futuristic version of fae (<- coolest idea ever!)

You can find out more about Sharon here:

You can find out more about Ghost Planet here:

Huge thanks to TOR for providing a copy of Ghost Planet for one lucky winner! Enter in the Rafflecopter below (US/CAN ONLY) for a chance to win this awesome Sci-Fi romance! 

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Check out Exiled and Shift by M.R. Merrick!

Power Will Flourish

Lives Will be Lost

Nothing, Will be Forgotten

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped. 

Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. 

Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them however, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.

Exiled Excerpt

The Protector Series

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.

3 signed copies of SHIFT (Book two in The Protector Series) available to be won.
All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecpter below!
Ends Dec 3rd

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cold Nights and Warm Books Holiday Book Swap!

Guy's Emily and Enna are hosting an awesome holiday book swap! So bloggers sign up and share some book love!

This is a great opportunity to give some books to people who share your interests, and GET some books to add to your library! But it only works if lots of people sign. Up. You can sign up either at Emily's blog or Enna's blog. Sign ups are open until November 22nd.

Waiting on Wednesday (24): Revolution 19

Waiting on Wednesday (24): Revolution 19
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming eagerly anticipated book releases

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Expected Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Description from Goodreads: 

Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

I'm so excited for this one! It sounds like a Battlestar Galactica-esque kind of adventure. 

What're you guys waiting for on this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Teaser Tuesday (24): Flash Point

Teaser Tuesday: Flash Point
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
·Grab your current read 
Open to a random page 
Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page 
Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Author: Nancy Kress
Publication Date: November 8, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Reality TV
Description from Goodreads:
Reality TV meets a chillingly realistic version of America—and the fame game is on!

Amy had dreams of going to college, until the Collapse destroyed the economy and her future. Now she is desperate for any job that will help support her terminally ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. When she finds herself in the running for a slot on a new reality TV show, she signs on the dotted line, despite her misgivings. And she’s right to have them. TLN’s Who Knows People, Baby—You? has an irresistible premise: correctly predict what the teenage cast will do in a crisis and win millions. But the network has pulled strings to make it work, using everything from 24/7 hidden cameras to life-threatening technology to flat-out rigging. Worse, every time the ratings slip, TLN ups the ante. Soon Amy is fighting for her life—on and off camera.


     " The slumming socialite that viewers can despise, the desperate climber they can root for, the gorgeous hunk they can drool over, the dummy they can laugh at, and the geek they can be confused by." (page 35 of arc)

The scenarios they come up with are pretty interesting, I'm definitely having a hard time telling reality apart of tv. 

What're you guys reading this week? Leave me a link so I can stop by!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Movie Review: Skyfall

Face it altogether at: Skyfall

Released: November 9, 2012
Director: Sam Mendez
Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan, Ian Fleming
Rating: PG-13
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Judi Dench as M
Javier Bardem as Silva
Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory
Naomie Harris as Eve
Berenice Marlohe as Severine
Ben Whishaw as Q

For MI6 agent 007, it just seems like another day at the office until a judgement call is made that sends Bond dropping out of the sky. Resurrected  from the dead, Bond is tested to his limits - physically, mentally and especially his loyalty to M as someone from M's past comes back to wreak havoc in a very personal way. 


     First things first, I really didn't like the first two Daniel Craig as James Bond movies. They were entertaining in an action sequence, mystery spy intrigue way but it was dark and missing the suave Bond banter and seduction. But this movie COMPLETELY CHANGED IT ALL for me. I LOVED IT. 

     It snares your attention immediately with none other than an extremely well executed (and one of the better chase scenes that I've seen in a long time) and then it brings us to the Bond opening, with the gorgeously melodic Adele crooning 'Skyfall' - it was a perfect start so far! 

     It seems like some very important information has been, 'misplaced' and M is in hot political water as agents start dropping left and right. But it takes a big bang to bring Bond back from his booze fueled mini-retirement. What I loved seeing in Skyfall was a human side to Bond. I was so used to seeing this constantly confident and always in control Bond that always comes out of any situation unscathed - it was refreshing to see a tremor, and exhaustion. It completely shook me and it made the movie so much more intense - I was gasping and clutching my seat because there was this very real possibility that he might not make it. It created a deeper Bond character - he's only human, but it's what he does to overcome it that makes him the superior spy. 

     M and Bond have always had a complex relationship, but one that has stood the test of time. Skyfall gave us a behind the scenes look at a very intimate part of this relationship, and I loved that we got peek into the clouded backstory of Bond. This whole movie was like one giant ode to the series (it is the 50th anniversary!). They snuck in so many references, and snide remarks - it was definitely the highlight of the movie watching the characters banter. 

     Speaking of banter, the dialogue has loosened up considerably. There's a great flow and interaction between Bond and the characters. Even characters that appear briefly were written in such a way that they emblazoned a lasting impression. Especially with the Bond girls, sexy and deadly they could each hold their own with Bond. 

     The plot is crafted to the tiniest detail and keeps you on your toes as Bond jet sets around the world. There's moments where you'll be laughing, crying and gasping in shock and awe. Two and a half hours flew by and while I predicted part way through how the ending would go - it definitely ends with a guns blazing bang and not a whimper. It's set up for a continuation, and I'm not sure that any successors can live up to this one, but I'll be more than willing to give it a try. 

Overall: 5/5 STEAMING HOT Cups of Tea!
GO GO SEE IT NOW! Go find out what deep dark secrets M and Bond are hiding. Find out what Skyfall is! (You know you want to, it's so worth it!) See how this historic slice of the series ends - and how the next will start...

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Stacking The Shelves (13): The Manga edition!

Hosted by Tynga

      Okay, I was in serious blog slacker mode this week. I've been buried up to the ceiling of my room in research for a couple of papers due soon, and applications for Grad school. So I'm just going to amalgamate everything from these past couple of weeks!

These (past few) Weeks at Tea And Text


  • Chobits by CLAMP --> I was a huge Manga fan in highschool, and back then (before I got a job) I had to squirrel money away to get them one at a time. Last week my friend Tyler decided he was going to purge all his manga and I snapped up this (almost) complete set of Chobits for $15. I already had 1-6, so volume 7 nearly completed my set. Unfortunately someone got Vol. 8 before I could get it and that's the one I really wanted. So here's the challenge: if someone can find me volume 8 (it's out of print) in English and in good condition, I will trade volumes 1-6 (I don't need them)! 

  • Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1) by Karen Marie Moning -> My copy smelled like delicious delicious strawberries for some reason....*probably fae magic*

So what'd you guys do this week?? Link me up so I can check it out in between my completely productive research breaks :D

Friday, 2 November 2012

Review: Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1) by Karen Marie Moning

Review: Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1) by Karen Marie Moning

Warning: You should probably read the Fever Series by Ms. Moning, or you might be a little bit confused.

Author: Karen Marie Moning
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 495
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought it
Book Description from Goodreads: 
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be. 

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux. 

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.


    When I met Dani in the Fever books, I really hated her. She's cocky and irritating (I actually skimmed her sections of Shadowfever because I couldn't stand her dialogue), but admittedly she could kick some serious ass. So when I found out Moning was going to base her next series on her I was a bit apprehensive about if I was going to like it or not, and how she'd slip in her trademark sex scenes with someone so young in the picture. But I shouldn't have doubted Moning, she made me rethink my attitude towards Dani while I followed her on a death defying Snickers fueled adventure with some of the most badass guys ever to figure out what's icing over Dublin. 

     Oh and this is important: this is NOT A YOUNG ADULT BOOK! I see the argument that yes we are following the point of view of a 14 year old, and yes at times it gets creepy with so much male testosterone aimed at her - but it's handled with tact and care. But the defining point here is that the story is told from OTHER POINTS OF VIEW too, ADULT POINTS OF VIEW, where they can have all the sex they want and there's some definite R-rated violence; so CHILL OUT PEOPLE. Plus - realistically, what kind of teenager isn't sexually curious at 14, it doesn't mean that they're going to go for it and that's made very clear by Dani. 

     The cover is even more gorgeous in person, it's got such a cold 3D feel to it. One of my favorite touches that Moning added in has to be the short line of lyrics from an eclectic collection of songs that accompanies each chapter heading - it gives such a ominous foreshadowing to what happens in the chapter. 

     Oh Dani - she's on her own in a ruined city with super powers to boot. She's had to grow up fast and has taken it upon herself to look after the helpless and fight the fae to survive another day. What Moning is infamous for is her dichotomous characters. They're like two different people crammed into one, and struggling with each other until the situations morph and change the person and one comes out on top. This couldn't be truer with Dani. On one hand she's still a child, she wants to have fun and be frivolous, use swear words and be a smart ass while whining and complaining to the old people in her life. But on the other hand there's these clear and shocking moments where her dialogue completely matures, and she's profound and has epiphanies that are just incredible to watch unfold. It's this version of Dani that I absolutely love - and even the other characters point out that when she grows up she's going to be a hell of a woman. Let's just hope that Moning can get us there a wee bit faster. 

     Ryodan has completely replaced my love of Barrons from Fever. He's this awesome combination of lethal animal fury and hilarious deadpan snark in a domineering package. After reading some scenes with him, I literally couldn't wipe the satisfied smirk off my face. He wants to protect Dani - in any means necessary and there's moments of pure trust and some philosophical debate between these two that shows a different level to their relationship. Ultimately, I think it's going to be Ryodan that's going to make Dani be more mature. 

     Christian - the Highlander slowly turning Unseelie Prince is struggling and it's heartbreaking to watch. There's moments where you can see the good ole sweetheart Christian peeking through, but he's quickly overrun by this dark and sexually fueled Prince. I want to keep thinking that Christian is under there, but it's getting harder and harder to find him through all those Unseelie tattoos. 

     Dancer - we find out about him in passing in Shadowfever, and I was really suspicious of who this mere mortal was in this lethal world. But he's a fecking genius, funny and just what Dani needs (he's also closer to her age at 17) to stay sane. But my spidey senses are tingling and I'm positive there's something off about him and I cannot wait to find out what! 

     I'm pretty sure Moning might be hinting at a love square (?) in here - but each one makes it abundantly clear that she's still a child, and they will WAIT. Even Dani seems like she's still in the boys are icky phase, and she's pretty oblivious to any innuendo and attention. The sex scenes are pretty light (for now),  most of the scenes consist of Dani walking in on adults and having that "OH SHIT SORRY AWKWARD" moment or they take place in vague dream haze. 

     This whole story worked like a Scooby Gang/ Sherlock Holmes mystery - going from one gorgeously illustrated iced scene to another, Ryodan and Dani collect evidence, observe and deduce to figure out who or what is rapidly turning Dublin into an arctic playground. This plot was magnificently written out, given the clues it wasn't until moments before the actual reveal that the pieces clicked for me. Moning still brings the blood spraying action, and the hauntingly clear descriptions of new Unseelie fae with her incredible knack for engaging character interactions. If you're a fan of her Fever series, this is definitely one to read - if that's not incentive enough there's some guest appearances from everyone's favorite alpha male! 

Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
I will admit I'm still not 100% on Dani yet - we get her backstory this time around and it explains a lot of her attitude, but I can see that Moning will take her to a mature place - eventually. A lot of people are going to be uncomfortable with the older guys interacting with such a young girl - and admittedly there are some points where I was having an OKAY WHOA THERE CHRISTIAN PONY moment, but it's not that bad. Give it a try folks, and decide after - although that cliffhanger ending will be sure to have you pining for the next! 

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