Monday, December 31, 2012

Gizmo's Reviews Top 10 Disappointments

2012 was an interesting year to be a reader/reviewer. It's also the first year in which I actually started blogging about the books I've read. Overall, I read 383 books and for the second year in a row, I read every single page of every single book. Some would call me a sadist. I would argue that sometimes it's necessary to get to the last page in order for the good stuff to finally show up. The books below represent my worse experience while reading in 2012. This list, of course, is subjective and based on my likes and dislikes and not on other peoples reviews or thoughts.

Some may take issue with some of my choices and that is absolutely fine as well.

So, without any more top 10 disappointments of 2012 

I posted my review for this book on Mystifying Paranormal Reviews. I found
Dani to be too immature to carry a series by herself. KMM should have jumped ahead at
least 3 years to make Dani 17 and maybe I wouldn't have felt like slime was dumped on
my head with all the male characters running around trying to get into a 14 year old kids

Second book in the series. Really had problems with all the changing POV's and the fact
that the storyline is every where.

Interesting concept. Not so interesting story. I should have realized I would think
negative about this book after seeing so many negative reviews!

Another book that was an interesting concept, yet never caught my attention. Not sure
if I will even bother with the sequel at this point. 

This book came close to being one of my ONLY DNF books of the year. Just didn't
feel the main character. While the world building was interesting, the story made no sense
what-so-ever. Glad this is a standalone.

Need I really explain my displeasure at this book? Could it be the choice the main
character makes in the end, and the fact that mine doesn't even make it to the end!

Really disliked the main character Alex after she goes from fat, chubby and snarly, to skinny
beautiful and anal overnight. Definitively not a series I want to continue anytime soon. 

Interesting concept and once again set in a post apocalyptic time with zombies.
Main character ends up turned into a cybernetic human zombie fighting machine.
Could have been a whole lot better.

Second book of 2012 that I nearly DNF'd because it totally bored me to tears.
Concept interesting enough although with the whole daylight crystal it was just
another Twilight Knock-off for me.

I guess the honeymoon is over for me with this series. The silliness and banter between
the characters is stall and needs to be tied up fast. I am tired of the constant 3 way 
triangle as well. Just make a freaking decision and stick with it! Glad I borrowed this
book from the library!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review - Forsaken by Lisa Stasse

I'm normally a sucker for all things Dystopian. Unfortunately, not all novels are written equally amazing. In fact, sometimes they come up lame and it makes me shake my head in sadness at what could have been. This book falls somewhere in the middle of that for me. While the theory behind the meltdown of the global economy has done before; the unusual gathering between Mexico, Canada and the US as the UNA (United Northern Alliance) as one super-nation has not. Normally it's a grouping of individual communities/states banding together in order to survive being run over by other entities.

The Forsaken is told in the first POV by Alenna Shawcross a 16 year old who ended up being a ward of the state after her dissident parents were dragged away from her when she was 10 years old. After Alenna takes and somehow fails a government mandated personality profile test (GPPT) set to cull out the murderers, rapists, thieves, and psychopaths in society; Alenna ends up on Prison Island Alpha (aka the Wheel) where she is just another sad story that is forced to learn how to survive and fight against all odds including attacks by different tribes and flying Feelers who take people away and are never seen or heard from again. Later, the truth behind the GPPT is exposed for what it truly is; a total shame by a government gone overboard and craving ultimate power over it's citizens.

The Forsaken IS an interesting story as well as a fast paced one. Please don't take my somewhat lackadaisical beginning of this review to think I hated this book. I didn't. In fact, I do plan on reading the sequel once it’s released. There were parts that were interesting, while parts that made me cringe. There was of course the Insta-Love affair that has been coming out of the wood work this past year. The author somewhat made up for the attraction with a plausible answer to the question as to how two people like Alenna and Liam could end up together in the first place.

Another one of my pet peeves was the creation of the UNA. Again, supposition states that the UNA was created because there was a global economic meltdown (as stated above). What doesn't make sense is that this story takes place in 2032, which in fantasy land is only 19 years away. So, in 19 years, 3 whole economies in North American crumble and the governments do away with their autonomies in order to create the UNA. Doesn't seem plausible or make any logical sense. Of course, I may be over thinking the entire story.

Naturally, my thoughts and review don’t cover most of the stuff that happens over the course of the book including decent secondary characters like Gadya and David. No, in order for you to find out more, you will either have to purchase the book, or borrow it from the library like I did. Being as this is the first book in the series, there are a bunch of questions left to be answered. There’s the fate of more than 5 characters left hanging in the balance as the book switches its focus entirely to Alenna and Liam’s fate. I’m actually eager to see where the author takes the series from here.

Title - The Forsaken (The Forsaken # 1)
Author - Lisa M. Stasse
Publisher - Simon & Schuster Young Readers
Released - July 10, 2012
Genre - YA Dystopian

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review - Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

I can honestly say that I am a huge fan of Jennifer Estep’s writing. Whenever a book in either the Elemental Assassin series or the Mythos Academy series is ready to be released, I jump around like a frog from lily pad to lily pad in anticipation of what is going to happen next.

I love Gin Blanco and Gwen Frost for entirely different reasons. While Gin is a total badass who carries knives, and takes names, Gwen is slowly coming into her own abilities and uniqueness by being Nike’s Champion and fighting the good fight against Loki’s Reapers. Gwen even carries an awesome talking sword named Vic around to help her fight off the dreaded Reapers. She’s learned that she needs to stand up for herself because she has a huge target on her back and everyone wants to destroy her.

What I enjoyed most about this particular book was the mystery and suspense surrounding Gwen’s fate at the hands of the Protectorate lead by Logan’s father Linus! The Protectorate had all but condemned Gwen for letting Loki escape his captivity and even called her out as one of the Reapers! Gwen was literally put through the wringer in an effort to get her to admit that she’s been acting against the best interest of Mythos Academy and the students that attend the school. Jennifer really puts readers into Gwen’s shoes and shows her emotional turmoil as they were happening to her. It isn’t until the end that the truth is finally revealed including a shocking revelation as to the identity of one of the main reapers. I, however, still have questions about Raven that I expect to be answered sometime soon.

The secondary characters once again shine in Crimson Frost. It’s nice knowing that Gwen is no longer alone in her battles and can count on the help from her own Grandmother, Nickamedes, Daphne Cruz, Carson Callahan, and Professor Aurora Metis. There is an introduction of yet another critical character named Alexei who becomes part of the group as well as Gwen’s bodyguard against the Reapers and looks like he will be around for a while.

This book will leave readers with all sorts of emotional baggage once you are done with it. You get the highest high when Gwen and Logan finally go out on a date, and later Logan calls her his girlfriend. You also get the lowest low that left me screaming my lungs out. No way could Jennifer do this again to me again after she ripped my heart out in Widow’s Web!

However, in the end I will allow Jennifer her momentary detour from what I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning of this series as I did with Widow’s Web. I will allow that Jennifer knows exactly what she’s doing with BOTH series since they are her work of arts. I will be waiting patiently for Midnight Frost to be released sometime in August of 2013 so that I can find out what lies ahead for Gwen and her friends at the hands of the Reapers and Loki.

The series so far:

1. Touch of Frost
2. Kiss of Frost
3. Dark Frost
4. Crimson Frost
5. Midnight Frost (August 2013)

Author - Jennifer Estep
Title - Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy # 4)
Publisher - Kesington
Released December 24, 2012
Genre - YA Paranormal 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves 12/29/2012


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books we added to our shelves. It may be physical or virtual (ebook). This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and checking out what I received this week.
I hope you find something you like!

I didn't do a STS last week, so, this encompasses both weeks!

Received from Netgalley and Edelweiss

Borrowed (1) book from my library:


New Cover Reveals

The following books all release in 2013.
I collected them all from since they are
all in my TBR pile.

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Expected publication: April 23rd 2013 by Harlequin Teen

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones
Expected publication: July 9th 2013 by St. Martin's Press

Alien in the House by Gini Koch
Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by DAW

A Kiss of Blood by Pamela Palmer
Expected publication: June 25th 2013 by Avon

Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
August 2013 by K-Teen

Review - Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

Nikki Jefford is an author who is pretty new to me but has been on my radar with her Young Adult series Spellbound. Since I am participating in the blog release party for this book (January 1), I thought I would go ahead and familiarize myself with her work so that I’m not shamelessly promoting something I don’t necessarily like or agree with.

The story Jefford’s creates in Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter is not a new concept by any stretch of the matter. It’s pretty basic at its core and a fast read at that. It’s also unique in its approach to how vampires come into being. I won’t spoil the book for those who may want to read it in the near future. Suffice to say that these vampires are different from your Twilight vamps and are based on blood type and diseases instead.

As for our heroine, Aurora Sky is a pretty normal 18 year old who is looking forward to graduating from High School and getting the hell out of Alaska and away from her friends who have turned cold towards her for some unknown reason. When she dies in a car crash and is later revived by a government agency that wants to use her rare blood type to rid society of demons (Vampires)--she has absolutely no choice but to cooperate with them thanks to her own mother’s ineptitude.

Caught in a situation where she no longer gets to decide what’s in her best interest and needs a yearly antidote to prevent her from vamping out, Aurora finds that she needs to make the most of what she has become. She trains to become a vampire hunter using her now tainted blood with various deadly diseases in it, to bring about the end of any vampire who just happens to nibble on her neck. She even has her own mentor in Dante who goes on hunts with her and teaches her the ropes.

There is a bit of adult situational romance and sex involved in this book as well. You could say that the sex was gratuitous in nature since it becomes one of the goals Aurora has to complete after she is brought back from the dead. You will also find that Aurora ends up falling hard for a character by the name of Fane and in the end it is revealed that she has to make a hard choice when it comes to either staying in the relationship with him, or letting him go.

Overall, I enjoyed the fact that the read was pretty fast paced and laid out so that anyone can figure out what is happening. The ending leaves questions as to Aurora’s status as a vampire hunter and her future with Fane. As for Aurora’s overall characterization, I would say that I wasn’t totally happy with some of the choices she made or the fact that it turned, at times, into a teen angst festival with mean girls. I didn’t much care for the so called Agents and their agenda, and I sure as hell didn’t much care for Aurora’s mother or for that matter, her father.

Jefford’s has stated that the next book in the series called Metamorphosis, will be released sometime early in 2013. I will most likely read the book hoping that some of the more important questions are answered.

Title - Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter (Transfusion I)
Author - Nikki Jefford
Published - November 2012
ISBN - 9781481153201
Genre - New Adult, Vampires

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013's Highly Anticipated Releases (Top 13)

2013's Highly Anticipated Releases (Top 13)

In honor of 2013's arrival, here are the top 13 books that I'm anxiously waiting to get my greedy little hands on. Once again, this list is subjective since there are a whole LOT of new releases and anticipated sequel's and finale's coming out in 2013.

1. Perdition by Ann Aguirre (Dread Chronicles # 1) August 27, 2013

**No cover yet**

First in a new trilogy set in the Jax universe, pitched as Prison Break in space — on a prison ship filled with warring factions, hostile territories and savage retribution, only the strong survive.

2. On Midnight Wings by Adrian Phoenix (Maker's Song # 5) August 1, 2013

As Dante Baptiste’s true identity as both True Blood and Fallen ripples throughout New Orleans, he and Heather struggle for their lives against different foes, fighting their way back to each other. To free herself from her father’s treachery, Heather accepts help from an ally–and steps into even greater danger. Dante, lost to his brutal past, wavers between his own sense of self and the Bad Seed-programmed S that lurks within, between the never-ending Road and the Great Destroyer. And the danger of becoming both.


Lucien searches frantically for the lovers, all too aware that time is running out. Dark forces continue to gather, eager to possess and manipulate the young vampire for their own ends. The fate of mortals, nightkind, and the Fallen pivots around Dante as he struggles to piece together his shattered psyche and gain control of his power before he rips all three worlds asunder.

3. Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson (Blooded # 2) April 23, 2013

It hasn't been the best week for Jessica McClain.

Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge --- but Jessica is playing for keeps.

Because she's the only female werewolf in comes with its own set of rules...and powers.

Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.

All in a day's work for a girl.

The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties.

4. Chosen at Midnight by C C Hunter (Shadow Falls # 5) April 30, 2013

Kylie Galen's life hasn't been the same since her world was turned upside-down in Born at Midnight, Shadow Falls #1, and now an epic conclusion to her journey—not to mention a tough choice between two guys!—is brewing in Chosen at Nightfall:

When Kylie Galen left Shadow Falls, she thought it was the hardest decision of her life. Heartbroken and separated from everyone she loves, she has to embrace her abilities and what it means to be a chameleon. But as Kylie's journey comes to a close, she must return to the camp that started it all...and she must finally chose between the two boys who love her. The werewolf who broke her heart when he chose his pack over her, and the half-fae who ran from their intense attraction before they ever really had a chance. For Kylie, everything will finally be revealed and nothing will ever be the same.

5. House Rules by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires # 7) February 1, 2013

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.

6. Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels # 6) July 30, 2013

No synopsis or Cover as of 12/23/2012

7. Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell # 3) May 28, 2013

In the third book in this beloved and “riveting” (Romantic Times) urban fantasy series, demon-friendly tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell discovers more about her own evolving, and possibly destructive, magical abilities when her bar is the target of a demonic crime wave.

Renegade mage and bartender Cady Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is coming completely unhinged. When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady’s demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that shouldn’t exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her. But the criminals aren’t the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses—Cady’s own Moon Child abilities are evolving beyond her control. Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?

8. Jennifer Estep's Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy # 5) July 2013

Here we go again … 

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead. 

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there.

9. Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs (Mercedes Thompson # 7) March 2013

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson's life is calming down, at least enough that she can focus on mundane matters like Black Friday sales. But on her return, Mercy is unable to contact her mate, Alpha Adam Hauptman, or the other members of their pack. All she knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam's disappearance may be related - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from the most unlikely of allies: the vampire seethe.

10. Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler (Jane True # 6) May 28, 2013

Anyan may be trapped in an evil dragon and Blondie may be gone, but Jane knows one thing: she's not about to give up. She's ready to tear down heaven and earth to save her lover, despite those who believe he's lost.

Luckily for Jane, those who've given up on Anyan do not include those closest to her. Defying The Powers That Be, Jane and Company form their own crack squad of misfits, in whose hands the fate of the world may well rest.

With a little help from her friends, the Universe, and lots of snacks, Jane embarks on her greatest adventure yet, confident that with great sacrifice comes great reward. The question is, who will be that sacrifice?

11. Stacia Kane's Untitled (Downside Ghosts # 6) June 6, 2013

No synopsis or Title as of 12/23/2012

12. Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla (Shaede Assassin #3) March 5, 2013

Nothing comes easy for Darian. Her heightened powers make her indispensable to the Shaede Nation, but dangerous missions have driven her lover, Tyler, to his breaking point. Darian must salvage their bond, but a new assignment to protect Anya—a fellow Shaede and the first of their kind to become pregnant in centuries—stands in their way.

It doesn’t help that the two Shaedes are longtime rivals and share nothing besides mutual hatred. But when it becomes clear that someone—or something—is bent on destroying the expectant mother and her unborn child, Darian must put her feelings aside and track down Anya’s would-be assassin.

As she probes into Anya’s past, Darian digs up long-buried secrets—and a connection between Tyler and the mission that could destroy everything between them

13. Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin) March 2013

Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot.

Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me — Gin Blanco, aka the Spider — it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’ priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place.

Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Jennifer Estep

Today, I am happy to announce that Jennifer Estep, author of the Elemental Assassin series as well as the Mythos Academy YA series, has agreed to sit down with me for a little one on one question and answer session. We also agreed that I will be giving away (1) copy of Jennifer's Crimson Frost which released December 24, 2012. 

So, let's get started. Thank you soooo much Jennifer for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and discuss your writing and books with me. 

1. When did you begin writing?

JE: Over the years, I wrote some short stories, essays, and things like that for school assignments. But it wasn’t until college that I really started thinking about writing my own books. I wrote my first book in college, and I’ve been writing ever since.

2. What brought you to the paranormal genre with your series Mythos Academy and Elemental Assassin?

JE: I’ve always liked reading fantasy books, and those are the sort of books that I like writing as well. One of my favorite characters to read about in fantasy books are assassin characters, because it seems like you can tell so many different stories with them. Eventually, I thought it would be interesting to write my own assassin character with my own magic and world building, so that’s what I’ve tried to do with my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.

I also enjoy mythology and reading all the stories of the gods, goddesses, warriors, and creatures battling each other and going on these epic quests. One day, I thought it would be fun to write my own mythology story and try to put my own spin on things, so that was sort of the beginning of my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series.

3. If you could be any paranormal character or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?

JE: I think it would be cool to be superfast and be able to do things in an instant. That would definitely help with being able to type/write faster. LOL. I also think that teleportation would be an interesting power to have. It would be great to go anywhere you wanted to in an instant.

4. Tell readers why they will enjoy Crimson Frost.

JE: Crimson Frost is the fourth book in my Mythos Academy series. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

Basically, Crimson Frost and the other books in the series are about myths, magic, and monsters.

5. You are a VERY busy writer doing concurrent series (Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy), how do you keep everything separate?

JE: It’s definitely a challenge writing two series at once, but it’s also a lot of fun. I enjoy being able to write something dark and gritty with my Elemental Assassin series and then switching over and writing something that’s a little lighter and more of a coming-of-age story with my Mythos Academy young adult series.

6. What is your favorite comfort food(s)?

JE: I love comfort food, and some of my favorites include fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and chocolate cake.

7. What is your favorite place(s) to write?

JE: I like to write in my office. Boring, I know. LOL.

8. If there was that one person you would love to meet, who is it and why?

JE: I think it would be cool to meet J.R.R. Tolkien and just talk to him about writing and how he came up with the languages, characters, world building, and more in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

9. Favorite movie of all time?

JE: I don’t know that I have one favorite movie, but some of my favorites are the James Bond series, the original Star Wars trilogy, The Princess Bride, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

10. Favorite actor/actress?

JE: I recently saw Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, so I will say Daniel Craig for favorite actor. For actress, I’ll go with Jennifer Garner.

11. What is your favorite TV Show?

JE: I don’t know that I have one favorite TV show, but some of the ones that I’m enjoying right now are How I Met Your Mother, Person of Interest, NCIS, and White Collar, among others.

12. What other genres do you enjoy reading?

JE: I like reading all kinds of fantasy – epic fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult fantasy, etc. I also like romance, spy thrillers, mysteries, and westerns.

Thank you so much for answering my questions!

JE: Thanks for hosting me on your blog. I appreciate it.

Jennifer's Elemental Assassin series includes Spider’s BiteWeb of LiesVenomTangled ThreadsSpider’s RevengeBy a Thread, and Widow’s WebThread of Death, an e-novella, is also available. For the Mythos Academy series the books are Touch of FrostKiss of FrostDark Frost, and Crimson FrostMidnight Frost, the fifth book, is tentatively set to be released in August 2013.

Now for the fun part! I have a copy of Jennifer's Crimson Frost to giveaway to anyone from the US or Canada. If you are international, you can also enter, I'll just have to send you the book via Book Depository if they deliver to your country of origin. Just fill out Rafflecopter below and there you go! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway