Books I've Read

Book Review: Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson

I enjoyed the first book of this series, but let me tell you – I loved the second book even more! Here is my review of Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson.

Seconds Before Sunrise

Here is the obligatory disclaimer: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book picks up right where Minutes Before Sunset left off. Eric has had his first brush with Darthon, the descendant of the Light. He knows that Jessica, the mysterious third descendant, is foretold to be his greatest weakness (which is bad since he is also in love with her). In order to protect her and to protect the future of the Dark, Jessica agrees to have her memories removed so that she won’t remember her powers. The Light still isn’t certain about the descentants two identities, so this will hopefully keep her safe.

Of course, it doesn’t do much to keep her sane. Jessica knows something is missing and starts having a lot of dreams about her shade self and other members of the Dark. On top of that, other characters who were more on the periphery in the first book are starting to act a little strange (I am side-eyeing Robb and Zac so much right now!). The day of the confrontation is coming and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.

This book was awesome, even better than the first. We get some more details of where the Light and Dark came from, a bit more of their back story. We also meet more of the shades, which fleshes out our good guys even more. I love the characters of Eric and Jessica – their relationship is really beautiful. Eric can’t stay away from her, even though he knows that he should. The build up to the final end game is tense and exciting and I couldn’t put the book down. I can’t wait to see what happens in the third book of this series.

This book is out today! Check it out!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for March 26th

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. GO!

What are you currently reading?

I’m finally getting back to Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson. Hoping it’s as good as the first book in the series, which it has been so far. Some of my questions are getting answered, so that’s good.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished reading Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare and oh. My. GAWD!!! This book. This series. I can’t even. It’s so good and wonderful. I laughed. I cried. I nearly shouted out loud. Seriously y’all, this trilogy is amazing and if you are a fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, get started reading the Infernal Devices. Now.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I will probably read Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson. I have an ARC for it, although I wasn’t given it to actually review – I won a copy over at Tor.com (one of my latest favorite websites – it’s awesome). I might need to go back over to my TBR stack, since I’ve only read one book for my TBR pile challenge for the year. If I decide to do that, I’ll have to take a look at the stack. Not sure what all is there anymore.

Please leave your answers in comments!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

I have to be completely honest – it took me a while to get into this book. But once I finally got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Here is my review of Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson.

minutes before sunset

When I say that it took me a while to get into it, I think it was mostly my fault, not the book’s fault. I was busy reading for the podcast and wasn’t focusing as much as I usually do. I started over after reading the first few chapters and I’m really glad I did – there were lots of details that I had just glossed over. Has this ever happened to you?

On to the review. The main character is Eric, a high school senior growing up in a small town. This town is full of secrets though (what small town isn’t?). Eric isn’t entirely human. He’s a shade, one of the Dark. His shade identity, Shoman, has a whole host of special powers and fighting abilities. This is a good thing, since there is a prophesy stating that one of the Dark and one of the Light will come together and battle to the death.  The losing side will loose not only their powers, but their identities as well.

The champion for the Dark is known as the first descendant. Guess who it is! It’s Eric, of course. Eric knows all of the Dark, since his father is one of the Elders and he’s been around them and training with them his entire life. To his surprise, Eric comes upon an unknown shade one night, standing alone by the river. He has no idea who she is, but he’s drawn to her in ways that he doesn’t understand. And of course, she is a key to everything either working out for the best or going horribly wrong.

This book was pretty good, once I could get my head wrapped around it. It’s pretty obvious who the unknown shade is (the second POV character, a girl named Jessica), but watching her discover it for herself is an interesting journey. The only real complaint I had about the book is that each of the shades has two names – one for their human form and one for their shade form (Eric/Shoman, Teresa/Camille, Jonathan/Pierce – just a few examples). Several times, the two names would be used interchangeably in a scene, when one of the names had only been introduced once or twice before. At times it was hard to tell how many people they were actually talking about. Again, that could have just been me not being able to concentrate, but it did get confusing until I finally got most of them straightened out.

I really enjoyed the mythology that Thompson created here, but I’m hoping she goes into even more detail in the next book. I want to know more about the shades and where they come from! I also thought that it was interesting that the Dark were the good guys, while the Light was evil. Definitely the opposite of what we’re used to seeing.

So if you’re in the mood for an urban fantasy story with slight paranormal romance-y leanings, give this a read.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday for March 25th

Teaser Tuesday New

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here are the rules if you want to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This teaser will be breaking the rules a bit, since this is not my current read at the moment. It’s also a bit longer than the requested two sentences, but I think it’s worth it.

“I don’t want to see that squinty-eyed Benedict Lightwood and his hideous sons in charge of the Institute any more than anyone else does.”

“They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.

Will blinked at her. “What?”

“Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”

“I spoke,” said Will in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”

Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”

“Mauve,” said Will.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I just finished this trilogy this past week and oh my heart! It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel all the feels.

Please leave your teasers in comments!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn

I hope you guys aren’t going to get tired of hearing about Yasmine Galenorn, because I do intend to try and read all of the Otherworld series, and there are (as of right now) sixteen of them. Here’s a review of the third book in the series – Darkling.

Darkling

I was happy to see that this book tells the story of the third of the D’Artigo sisters – Menolly. She is a vampire, which means that, as of yet, we haven’t seen as much of her as we have of the other two sisters. As a vamp, she can’t go out during the day, so when they’ve been off doing things, she’s been down in the basement. Because of this, she has in the past come off as a bit of a flat character. In this book, however, we find out why.

All of the D’Artigo sisters have had the experience of being ostracized due to their half-breed status. Menolly has been separated from them even further because of being a vampire. She can’t spend as much time with her sisters and can’t be there for them all the time. She feels very isolated, but doesn’t want to burden her sisters with that fact, since there isn’t really anything they can do about it.

Menolly puts up a strong front, but her isolation is only part of it. We find out exactly how she became a vampire, and boy oh boy . . . it’s not pretty. At all. She was spying for the OIA on a group of vampires led by a man named Dredge. Unfortunately, Dredge catches her, tortures her in every way possible, then changes her into a vampire so she can go back to her home and attack her sisters. Her sisters, by the way, have no idea how bad the attack was because Menolly shielded them from the truth.

Dredge is up to no good though, creating a bunch of newborn vampires to wreck havoc on the city. He’s also most likely in league with Shadow Wing, the greater demon who is trying to destroy everything. Menolly has to face her fears and try to sever her ties to her vampire sire.

This book is my favorite of the series yet. Menolly is definitely a kick-ass heroine, which I always appreciate, but she has a softer side as well. This book allows you to see that. Another thing that was fun – we get to see Otherworld! Menolly and Camille travel through Otherworld, avoiding the fairy queen’s people, to both find out information and to help Menolly escape from Dredge’s influence for good. I hope we get to spend more time there in later books.

Once I get through with some of the other books I have to review, I will definitely move on to book four in this series. These books are so much fun to read!

Chapter-A-Long

HP Chapter-A-Long: Sorcerer’s Stone Chapter 3

HPSS

Chapter 3 – Letters From No One

In this chapter, Harry receives not one, but many letters that his uncle is determined to keep from him. This is the part where we get to see Uncle Vernon go completely bonkers. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer fella. 🙂

Before we get too far though, let’s take a look at the first paragraph. Because I have issues with this.

The escape of the Brazilian boa constrictor earned Harry his longest-ever punishment. By the time he was allowed out of his cupboard again, the summer holidays had started and Dudley had already broken his new video camera, crashed his remote control airplane, and, first time out on his racing bike, knocked down old Mrs. Figg as she crossed Privet Drive on her crutches.

So . . . it doesn’t really say when Dudley’s birthday is, but . . . they locked Harry in his cupboard until summer vacation? Does this mean that he didn’t go to school? Did the school have anything to say about that? Did they even feed the boy? Remember, he is living in a tiny closet. He spent weeks, if not months, locked in there. THESE PEOPLE ARE HORRIBLE!!!!

Also, I’m going to guess that even though Dudley is being reckless and destructive, he’s not being punished AT ALL. Lock that one in a cupboard for a while, won’t ya? Sheesh.

The nice thing is that next year, for the first time, Dudley and Harry will be going to different schools. This is still true, although Harry goes to a far more different school than planned. Harry is glad that he will finally be able to escape Dudley and his friends, although Dudley has told him horrible things about Stonewall High. But it couldn’t be any worse than going to school with Dudley, could it? The mail comes and here’s the bit we’ve all been waiting for.

Harry gets a letter.

Mr. H. Potter

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

4 Privet Drive

Little Whinging

Surrey

See, when I first read these, I was already an adult. So there was never any anticipation about whether or not I would ever get a Hogwarts letter. My kids are still hoping though, so I guess I will live vicariously through them.

Vernon sees the letter and freaks out. He takes it away and, after a hurried talk with Petunia, burns it. Harry is obviously none too happy about it, but there isn’t much he can do. This also leads to the Dursleys deciding to actually give Harry a bedroom, since they think that whoever sent the letter is watching the house because they knew where Harry sleeps. They give Harry Dudley’s second bedroom. Yes, you read that right. SECOND bedroom. Because Dudley is such a wretched little spoiled brat that all his crap can’t fit in just one room. Dudley, as expected, throws an absolute fit about this, but is bewildered when his fit does absolutely nothing. The room is filled with all the toys and things that Dudley has broken over the years, including a television that he put his foot through during a tantrum when his favorite show got cancelled.

Sigh.

None of this does the Dursleys any good though, because another letter arrives, this time addressed to “The Smallest Bedroom.” Vernon once again takes the letter and destroys it, so Harry decides to get up early and wait for the postman to come himself. Unfortunately Vernon expects this and sleeps in front of the door in order to catch him. That day, three letters arrive.

And here comes my favorite bit of the chapter – Uncle Vernon completely loses his mind.

He stays home and boards up the mail slot, using a piece of fruitcake at one point as a hammer (wow, that’s some really bad fruitcake). Does this work?

On Friday, no less than twelve letters arrived for Harry. As they couldn’t go through the mail slot they had been pushed under the door, slotted through the sides, and a few even forced through the small window in the downstairs bathroom.

Now Vernon boards up the entire door, and the back door too for good measure. No one can get in or out of the house. The milkman has to deliver the eggs through the window. At this point, I can’t help but guess that the neighbors are starting to notice that something strange is going on and, since the Dursleys worry so much about what people think . . . yeah, it makes me smile a little.

And there were letters hidden inside each of the two dozen eggs, by the way. How the heck did they do that? Oh yeah, magic. Moving on.

On Sunday, Vernon feels like he can relax. Mail isn’t delivered on Sunday, right? Right? WRONG!!!

Something came whizzing down the kitchen chimney as he (Vernon) spoke and caught him sharply on the back of the head. Next moment, thirty or forty letters came pelting out of the fireplace like bullets. The Dursleys ducked, but Harry leapt into the air trying to catch one –

This scene has become so iconic because of the movie, almost a symbol for the entire series – Harry jumping into the air as letters fly all around him.

The Dursleys (and Harry) take to the road. Vernon spends most of the time muttering to himself and trying to shake off some invisible pursuer. The mind, it is gone. They stop at a hotel, where a bunch of the letters are waiting at the desk.  Oh and have I mentioned that throughout this whole trip Dudley is completely miserable? He can’t eat everything in sight, he can’t loaf around and watch television. He has made himself cry, but to no avail. His misery delights me.

Their final destination is a small rental house on a rock out off the coast. Vernon is thrilled that there are storm warnings, thinking that nothing could possibly get to them here in the middle of nowhere. They settle down for the night, Harry sleeping on the floor with the only blanket he could find, when Harry realizes something. The next day is his birthday. He will be turning eleven. He can see Dudley’s watch and sees that it’s almost midnight, which means that his birthday is almost here.

One minute to go and he’d be eleven. Thirty seconds . . . twenty . . . ten . . . nine – maybe he’d wake Dudley up, just to annoy him – three . . . two . . . one . . .

BOOM.

The whole shack shivered and Harry sat bolt upright, staring at the door. Someone was outside, knocking to come in.

Thus ends the chapter, with the arrival of someone who will turn out to be one of the most beloved characters in the entire series. This is the point where young Harry’s life will be irrevocably changed forever. Hey, even without the whole magic thing, I’m just glad he gets to get away from the Dursleys.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for March 19th

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

I guess I should say that I’m reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, since I’m doing that Chapter-A-Long thingy on Thursdays now. That counts as reading I suppose. I am also currently reading Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson. I had been given this as a review copy, but it is the second book in the Timely Death trilogy, so I had to get through book one first. Speaking of . . .

What have you recently finished reading?

I recently finished Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson, the first book in the Timely Death trilogy. 🙂 I’ve also just finished Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, which I will be talking about on this week’s episode of Bibliophiles Anonymous.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I know that I’ll be reading Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, since the podcast is reviewing the entire trilogy. Once I’m done with that, I’m guessing that I will flip back over to the Otherworld series by Yasmine Galenorn, which means I will be reading Dragon Wytch. I also have an ARC of Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson that I’d like to get read and reviewed before it comes out on April 15th.

So there are my answers. Please leave yours in comments!