Sunday, 31 January 2016

Monthly Round Up - January



This is something I've decided to do this year, to keep track of what I've read along the way, and to encourage me to blog more often. It'll also allow me to link to the reviews I do on Reading Lark. I'm sure someone can lay claim to the idea of a monthly round up, if so all credit to them!


Books read:













Reviews published on Nicole Has Read...:


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Bureau of Time by Brett Michael Orr

Title: The Bureau of Time (Timewalker Trilogy #1)
Author: Brett Michael Orr
Publisher: Fontaine
Date of Publication: December 16th 2015
Source: Purchased by reviewer


Blurb:


You cannot change fate.

Cassandra Wright is a Timewalker – a teenager with a genetic mutation that allows her to manipulate the flow of time. But her inexplicable powers have made her a target for Adjusters – monstrous assassins from a parallel universe. 

Saved from almost certain death, Cassie is pulled into a secret agency sworn to defend our timeline against these threats: the Bureau of Temporal Integrity, Monitoring, and Execution. Cassie’s life soon becomes entwined with Shaun Briars – a reckless Timewalker with an alluring smile and dark suspicions about the Bureau itself. 

When Cassie and Shaun cross into the parallel universe, they discover a world in the grips of nuclear winter, with a new war threatening to spill over into our universe. With time running out, they must learn the true history of Timewalkers, confront the unforgivable crimes of their future selves, and defy their own fate to save two worlds.



Review:

Cassie has been plagued by visions of faceless monsters who are trying to kill her. At least that's what her parents believe. Cassie knows the monsters are real, and a confrontation with them leads her to be taken in by the Bureau of Time, a secret military organisation who protect Timewalkers and fight Adjusters. There she meets Shaun Briars, another Timewalker rescued by the Bureau. When the two of them are transported to a parallel universe, what they know about the Bureau and Adjusters will be brought into question and they will have to choose which side they're really on.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Night Study
Author: Maria V Snyder
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Date of Publication: 25th January 2015
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

My review of Shadow Study

Blurb:


Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realise it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Review:


I must admit I've struggled with this one a bit. I loved the original Study series, and really enjoyed the Glass series (although I do have some issues with it), and I'm thrilled that Yelena has more to her story. But... I found the first half of this book quite flat. It didn't grab me the way previous books in this world have. Shadow Study ended with quite a revelation, and much of the first half of Night Study is spent with Yelena wondering whether or not her suspicions about her loss of magic are correct.  I felt it took quite a while for the action to get going.

I enjoyed the second half of the book much more, and I will keep reading, because I like the characters and the world and I want to see how it is all resolved, but I don't know if I'll rush to pick up the next one quite as quickly.

Again we have multiple points of view, including Valek, who has a revelation of his own in this installment. 

There is a big confrontation brewing for the next book. Valek's loyalty to the Commander has been sorely tested, and whether they can salvage any relationship at all is yet to be seen. 

If I did half ratings, this would be a 3.5. I enjoyed it, but it just lacked a little something for me. Whether that's to do with the timing of when I read it (in the read up to Christmas when things were crazy busy) or the book itself, I don't know.

I've mentioned before how although the books are published under Harlequin's teen imprint, the characters are now adults, dealing with very adult issues. 

If you're not familiar with the series, do give the earlier books a go and make up your own mind about these later additions to the series.



Monday, 11 January 2016

Blog Tour - Who's Afraid? by Maria Lewis - Guest post and giveaway


Title: Who's Afraid?
Author: Maria Lewis
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Date of Publication: 12th January 2016
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

I am very happy to be able to kick off the blog tour for Who's Afraid by Maria Lewis which is published today by Hachette Australia.

You'll find a guest post, a brief review and a giveaway for a signed copy of the book. 

Note: There's strong language ahead!


Blurb:


Meet Tommi Grayson: she's all bark . . . and all bite

'It was like my wolf had been there all along, waiting for me to tap its hand and step into the ring . . .'

 Tommi Grayson's never exactly been a normal girl. Bright blue hair, a mysterious past and barely controlled rage issues have a way of making a woman stand out. Yet she's never come close to guessing who she really is . . .

 When her mother dies, a shattered Tommi decides to track down her estranged father. Leaving Scotland for a remote corner of New Zealand, she discovers the truth of her heritage - and it's a whole lot more than merely human.

 Barely escaping with her life, now Tommi must return to her her friends, pretending everything is normal, while all too aware of the dangers lurking outside — and within. Worse still, something has followed her home . . .

With the clock ticking, can Tommi learn to control her new powers in time to save the ones she loves?



Review:

Tommi's mother has died, and having struggled through her grief, she's travelling from Scotland to New Zealand to find her father. Not that she wants a relationship with him, she just wants to see him for herself, but the trip takes a sinister turn when she learns that her father's family are New Zealand's strongest werewolf clan, and as his daughter, she too is a werewolf.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Macmillan/Tor
Date of Publication: 5th January 2016
Source: Purchased by reviewer




Blurb:


On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Short Story by J - aged 8 - Shiny the Dragon

Shiny the dragon

 Shiny was a  dragon. Shiny had shiny scale's. She was the “nice” dragon out of the family. They thought it was a stupid idea to be nice. One day all of the family went to the village except for Shiny. Shiny waited for them to come home, but they never returned.

Shiny wondered what had happened to her family. She tried to go to the village a couple of times, but she was too scared. When she believed in herself, she went to the village, but couldn’t see her parents at all. Then she saw them being roasted in a fire! Shiny flew back to her mountain cave as quick as she could. She felt very lonely and sad.

Short story by J - aged 8 - Just Boring

Chandelier was boring. Nothing exciting had every happened to her in her life. Even things that were exciting to other people, weren’t exciting to her. Once, at school, they had a movie day when they could do whatever they liked. Everyone was excited, but Chandelier just thought it was boring. Another day, they had a test and if you got higher than B- you got fish and chips at school. Chandelier got bored half way through the test and got a D+. But she thought fish and chips were boring, anyway.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Thicker Than Water
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date of Publication: January 1st 2016
Source: ARC giveaway winner



Synopsis: - 


Thomas Bellweather would never knowingly hurt someone he loved. But when his mother is murdered inside their locked house, he is the only suspect. Even his cop-stepdad can't protect him forever in a new town where no one knows or trusts him.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte, sister to three protective cops and straight-up dangerous to Thomas. She knows there are pieces missing in the puzzle, and she's determined to find them.


But finding things that are hidden could get them both killed.


Review - 

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this on Instagram. I read the entire Elementals series over Christmas and loved it, so I was very excited to read this one. Like the Elementals series, there is a paranormal element to the story, but it's not the focus, and doesn't become obvious until quite a way into the book.