Friday, April 25, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1) by Anne Blankman

**I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

Prisoner of Night and Fog is Anne Blankman's debut novel. It is based on true historical events that happened in Germany during the period from the end of the Great War in 1918 through 1931. The story is told through the eyes of fictional character named Gretchen Müller who has a birds eye view of Hitler's rise to power because her family is part of his inner circle. 

As most readers know by now if they TRULY paid attention in history class, Adolf Hitler was a psychopath who enjoyed seeing a entire race of human beings exterminated via concentration camps, gas chambers, and all sorts of other torture methods by those in his inner circle. His rise to power happened because a majority of German citizens remained SILENT while he and his compatriots in the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party were murdering innocent people just because of their religions faith.

It is apparent that Blankman spent a lot of time researching her subject Adolf Hitler and who he really was and how his mental health actually played a role in pretty much everything he did. She looked into his relationship with Eva Braun, and Hitler's half-niece Geli Raubal, and even adds Gretchen into the mix as Hitler's favorite sunshine to make things a bit more interesting. Actual historic figures who were instrumental in Hitler's rise to power, show up regularly as the story kicks into high gear.

Even though there are many fascinating books already written about this SICKO, that Prisoner of Night and Fog takes a fresh look into Hitler & Germany as seen through the eyes of a character who has been brain washed by her family and the Nationalist Party her whole life into believing that the Jews were evil incarnate, and were responsible for Germany's Wiedmar Republic failure, high unemployment rates, and people starving from not enough available food, or worthless money.

It is through Gretchen's eyes that we watch her transformation from a party loyalist, to a person who truly doesn't believe that all Jewish people are evil, or deserving to be murdered. This happens concurrently with Gretchen's desire to dig deep into the conspiracy of her own fathers murder. We see this through her relationship with Jewish journalist Daniel Cohen who works for an actual news paper called the Munich Post that was very anti-Nazi Party and responsible for bringing the truth into the light of day. 

I will be eager to see where Blankman goes from here. She has stated that the next book will pick up in 1933 when Adolf Hitler become Chancellor of Germany. Will this also include Gretchen and Daniel, or will new characters step up instead?

Author - Anne Blankman
Title - Prisoner of Night and Fog
Released by Balzer + Brey
Published April 22, 2014
Genre - Historical Fiction
Format - EBook 416 pages

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

*Gizmos Book Review* Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

**I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts* 

Sleep No More is the second novel that I have read by author Aprilynne Pike after Life After Theft with pretty much the same results. Interesting idea, characters who are far from perfect, and an ending that leaves me totally unsatisfied because apparently this is a standalone.

Ever since I watched the Matrix years ago, I have been fascinated with the idea behind Oracles who have the ability to see into the future. History has shown that the most famous Oracle was Pythia (Oracle of Delphi) who told of prophecies on the SEVENTH day of each month. Karen Chance's The Cassandra Palmer series features Cassie as a very powerful Oracle/Pythia who can jump through time and is being chased by both vampires, and mages.

Sleep No More is told in the first POV by SIXTEEN year old Charlotte Westing. Charlotte has been put into a bad situation by her aunt and the so called Sisters of Delphi (Oracles). She's been told that she can never tell anyone that she's an Oracle. She is supposed to fight her visions with all her strength, while never surrendering, and never giving up.

Her biggest regret was in trying to change the future that left her father dead, and her mother paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Since then, she has listened to her Aunt Sierra in not interfering in events that she may have the ability to control and change, until a stranger reaches out and gives Charlotte a chance to change history and ignore all common sense.

Charlotte is not a stupid character at all. While she still lives with the pain of what happened to her family, she really did try to do the right thing. She basically has no friends, and those who used to be friendly towards her, now consider her a freak of nature because of her visions. Charlotte has been written by Pike to be a very naive Oracle who falls into the wrong hands because she genuinely disagrees with the not interfering clause Oracles agree to, and hasn't been fully trained into the dangers that exist outside of her little town of Coldwater, Oklahoma.

Sleep No More is an interesting story, but with some really annoying moments that lead to an ending that really doesn't make me want to jump up and down or shout for joy. There is a romantic angle that is thrown into the mix to make the Young Adult mark more likely to want to read this book, but for me, it wasn't really necessary to the overall enjoyment of the story, and in the end, it basically wasted a chunk of story space that could have been used on something else.

Author - Aprilynne Pike
Title - Sleep No More
Published by Harper Teen
Released: April 29, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Format: E-book 352 Pages

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

*Waiting on Wednesday* Featuring Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

"Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at “Breaking the Spine”, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating....

This weeks choice is Strange and Ever After by Susan Denard!

I won't hesitate in saying that I love this series, and am eager to pick up this book and start reading soon! I love Eleanor and Crew, and hope that Susan gives these characters one hell of a final ride!

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series, this is the epic conclusion to Susan Dennard's trilogy that started with Something Strange and Deadly and continued with A Darkness Strange and Lovely. With supernatural forces, epic romance, and a mysterious Egyptian city, Eleanor and her team are set for an adventure they will never forget.
It has been a tumultuous time for Eleanor Fitt since life as she knew it in Philadelphia came abruptly to an end. While the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and Daniel—have helped her survive her brother's violent death and an invasion of Hungry Dead, Eleanor has lost just about everything.
And now, Jie is missing—taken by the evil necromancer Marcus. Eleanor is determined not only to get her back but to finally end this nightmare. But to do so, she must navigate the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt amid the rising Dead, her unresolved feelings for Daniel, and her volatile relationships with Joseph and Oliver, her demon. And it won't be easy. Because Allison, her friend from Philadelphia, has tagged along, becoming strangely entangled in Eleanor's mission.
It will take all of Eleanor's powers of black magic, and all of Daniel's and Joseph's trust, to succeed. But there will be a price. People will have to suffer the consequences of what Marcus has done, and what Eleanor, Oliver, and the Spirit-Hunters will do to stop all this deadly chaos.

  • Series: Something Strange and Deadly
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (July 22, 2014)

*Top Ten Tuesday* April 22: Top Ten Characters Who Piss Me Off! :)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and we all share our thoughts on that topic! I decided it was finally time to jump on board with this wicked fun meme!

For this week on Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is:Top Ten Characters Who Piss Me OFF!! :O)

1. Clary Fray from the Mortal Instruments - Really? Must I really tell you why? This series should have been over at 3 books, but NOOOOOO, we needed 3 more to further push the agony, and frustration onto readers.

2. Bella Swan from Twilight - Do I really need an reason?

3. Zoey Redbird from the House of Night - Another one that needs no explanation if you have ever read this series.

4. Sookie Stackhouse (Sookie Stackhouse series) - Towards the end, every time I read one of Sookies books, I felt like pulling out every single hair from my head in frustration.

5. Edward Cullen - Yes, another Twilight hater. I just don't much care for the guy and all his broody, pouty, bullcrap.

6. Morpheus from Splintered series - Sorry to all those who found him swoon worthy. From the first moment I was introduced to him, I wanted to take out a hacket and cut off his wings!!!

7. Nash from the Soul Screamers series - I was going to add Kaylee to the list as well, but Nash totally made me see red. In the end, it really didn't matter, because I found the Kaylee & Todd happy ending to be perfectly acceptable.

8. Damon, Elena, and Stefan of the Vampire Diaries - I am speaking of the books as well as the TV show folks. I am washing my hands of both the books, and the TV show.

 9. Damon from the Kit Colbana Series - The reason he pisses me off is that he is constantly he-man you will do what the hell I tell you female, or else! Yeah, no thanks!

10. King Gaius and Magnus from the Falling Kingdoms series. Magnus has somewhat redeemed himself, but he still has a long ways to go before he impresses me. King Gaius is definitely one hard core villain, and I am hoping for a quick resolution to his fate.

Monday, April 21, 2014

*Entangled Teen Release Day Blitz! Featuring Rachel Harris & Brooklyn Skye

Today is release day for two amazing Entangled Teen titles and we are excited to share them all with you. There's a little something for everyone this month so read on to find out more about them.

All the digital books are on sale for just $.99 for a limited time so be sure to pick up your copy today before they go back to full price!

About the Book
Title: My Not So Super Sweet Life
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: April 21, 2014
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.
Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.

Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 4/21)

Find Rachel Online:

About the Book
Title: Fragile Line
Author: Brooklyn Skye
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: April 21, 2014
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

It can happen in a flash. One minute she’s kissing her boyfriend, the next she’s lost in the woods. Sixteen-year-old Ellie Cox is losing time. It started out small…forgetting a drive home or a conversation with a friend. But her blackouts are getting worse, more difficult to disguise as forgetfulness. When Ellie goes missing for three days, waking up in the apartment of a mysterious guy—a guy who is definitely not her boyfriend, her life starts to spiral out of control.

Perched on the edge of insanity, with horrific memories of her childhood leaking in, Ellie struggles to put together the pieces of what she’s lost—starting with the name haunting her, Gwen. Heartbreakingly beautiful, this poignant story follows one girl’s harrowing journey to finding out who she really is.

Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 4/21)

Find Brooklyn Online:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* The Hunt (Project Paper Doll #2) by Stacey Kade

**I received this book for free via NetGalley/Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

The Hunt is the second installment in the Project Paper Doll series and picks up immediately after the conclusion of The Rules. Although Ariane Tucker and Zane Bradshaw have managed to escape from the clutches of the evil megalomaniacs known as GTX, they are not out of the frying pan by any means. All it takes is one slip up, or mistake, and they are right back where they started.

The Hunt is told in the first POV by both Ariane aka GTX-107, and Zane, the second son of a belligerent and uncaring father and mother who ran away when things got too hot to handle. One of the obvious appeals for me in reading this book is the fact that Ariane is half human, and half alien and there may be others out there who may be like her. The whole idea that aliens really DID crash land near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, and scientists are using the DNA of an alien to create a new form of life appeals to me on a geek level.

The second installment in a series is always an interesting one to sell to readers. Will it top the first book? Will it have the same intense action, suspense, and yes, romance? Will it just be a bridge between the first and third stories and therefore leave an awful taste in readers mouths with a cliffhanger ending so annoying grotesque, and heart breaking, that screams of pain, and books being throw across the room can be heard from miles away? 

Even though Dr. Arthur Jacobs isn't the main villain this time around, he isn't far from Ariane, Zane, or the readers minds. Ariane has been so ingrained with the message that she can't POSSIBLY have a happy life outside of Jacobs prison aka Laboratory, that she has a tendency of pushing people away instead of letting them help her. Ariane's continued belief that she's probably better off with Jacobs, rather than Zane, grated on my nerves a wee bit, and I hope we see an entirely different Ariane in the next installment. 

The Hunt introduces readers to a whole slew of secondary characters like Zane's mother Mara, Dr. David Laughlin (Laughlin Integrated Enterprises), as well as  Emerson St. John (Emerson's Technology) who makes a startling albeit brief appearance that I refuse to talk about under threat of severe violence against my body. With Ariane looking for others like her who were created with alien DNA, readers get a chance to meet her "siblings" in Ford, Carter, and Nixon, as well as the lengths certain scientists will go in order to make the perfect, indestructible, soldier. 

There are plenty of betrayals, curve-balls, and interesting dynamics that are hopefully leading us to the real meat and potatoes of this series; The Trials where Ariane and her "siblings" face the ultimate challenge of survival. I can only say this about the ending; please be prepared. You will definitely need a hug once you are done reading. 

Author - Stacey Kade
Title - The Hunt (Project Paper Doll # 2)
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Releases: April 22, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: E-Book 400 pages

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* My Not So Super Sweet Life (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #3) by Rachel Harris

**I received this book for free from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

At almost 190 pages, My Not So Super Sweet Life is the finale of the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series and brings together all the main characters from the previous two books into one final send off that is sure to be a hit with readers.

My Not So Super Sweet Life once again pulls SIXTEEN year old Cat Crawford back into the spotlight as the protagonist who has some outstanding issues to resolve regarding being abandoned by her own mother and trying to figure out why she was left behind so that she can have some sort of closure and move on with her relationship with boyfriend Lucas Capelli. 

Four Months ago, Cat met a gypsy girl named Reyna who sent her back in time 500 years to the SIXTEENTH century Italy where she spent NINE wonderful days meeting her descendants and cousins like Alessandra & Cipriano D’Angeli, and fell in love for the first time with a boy named Lorenzo before being returning to her own time. TWO months later, Alessandra had her own story and journey in A Tale of Two Centuries, and met the boy of HER dreams in Austin Michaels and decided to stay in the TWENTY-first century with Cat, her father, and soon to be stepmother Jenna, while exploring all the wonderful possibilities that lay before her. Possibilities she didn't have in the Sixteenth Century because of her sex.

I will say this about My Not So Super Sweet Life, Rachel Harris gives readers LOTS, and lots of awesomeness by the name Lucas Capelli who even has his own chapters. Lucas is the boy you wish your daughter would find and fall in love with and have lots of grand-babies that would turn out to be just like him. I, am, of course biased towards Lucas because he's from Italy! He is charming, and really does put his entire future into Cat's hands with his ultimate choices. He truly goes above and beyond the call of relationship duties to the point where I gasped at a certain day he spends showering Cat with love and affection. 

Cat has issues, issues that have been with her since the very first page of the very first novel in this series. She has issues with abandonment. She has issues of letting anyone get close to her or loving her because of those abandonment issues. She sometimes has a sharp tongue that needs to be slapped back in place and makes people back away from her. Thankfully for Cat, she has a remarkable father, and step-mom (Jenna) who takes a whole lot of grief from her, but refuses to back down or run away. Her cousin Alessandra is right by her side, and isn't going anywhere soon.

I think that My Not So Super Sweet Life does the best it can in wrapping up Cat's journey and the series in a way that won't leave you feeling like you've wasted any time in reading this series. In closing this trilogy, Harris introduces readers to a very curious character in Ransom Chase as well as an interesting twist to the story with an appearance by Reyna, the gypsy girl. Apparently, Ransom is Cat's half brother, and he definitely needs his own story, soon. His very presence changes the dynamics of Cat's outlook on life. I think Harris would be welcomed with open arms if she incorporated Reyna and Ransom into a solo story so that we aren't left wondering how they met, or what is in store for Ransom in the future, or whether or not he will find his own HEA.

Expected publication: April 21st 2014 by Entangled Teen

Author - Rachel Harris
Title - My Not So Super Sweet Life (Book # 3)
Published by Entangled Teen
Releases: April 21, 2014
Genre - YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: E-Book 190 pages


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