Saturday, May 30, 2015

*Steampunk Saturday* The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

Series: Clockwork Dagger # 2
Format: E-Book, 352 pages
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Genre: Steampunk

Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger

Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years? 

The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.

Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.

The Clockwork Crown closes out the duology known as The Clockwork Dagger. Medician Octavia Leander has survived a betrayal of a personal kind, an assassination attempt by the Queen of Caskentia's Clockwork Daggers, and a kidnapping by the Wasters who wanted to use her abilities against their enemies. Octavia's powers have actually grown in depth and scope.

Her connection with The Lady has given her the ability to do things nobody else can do. Octavia is the most powerful Medician on the entire continent which means she continues to have her fair share of enemies, but she does have some pretty interesting allies as well. Her powers allow her to HEAR every single person’s health and ailments in her head. Octavia starts to believe that there is a  great price to pay for her expanding magic. What that price is, remains a mystery right until the climax of the story.

The majority of this story is Octavia’s quest for knowledge about her abilities and why her skin is changing so drastically. The journey takes her and Alonzo Garrett, a former Clockwork Dagger and now her Guardian, to Tamaranian in the Southern Nations where she meets Alonzo's sister, back to Mercia where she learns more about the curse that was placed on The Dallowmen by Caskentians, and back to the wastelands where everything comes to a final satisfying conclusion.  

The Clockwork Crown ties up every single loose end in a way that doesn't make you roll your eyes, or throw your book around the room in disappointment. I loved the connection between Octavia and Alonzo. I don't want to give anyone hopes of hot and steamy steampunk romance, but what is there, is sweet, and adorable, and they get their HEA. I loved that Leaf, the Gremlin returned for an encore along with a few of this friends. I loved that a long lost King comes along on the journey with Octavia, and opens her eyes to things she never knew before. Even though Alonzo is gone for part of the story, he still stands by Octavia right until the very end. We don't see enough of Octavia's friend Mrs. Stout, but we do meet two other Stout family members. 

Overall, even though this is the end, I am satisfied with the outcome, the pacing, the world building, and the characters. 

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

Other Books In Series:

Friday, May 29, 2015

*The Weekly Wrap-Up & Book Haul* 05/30/2015

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. 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!

Typical BEA week. Slow, nearly non-existent new titles to request. Not complaining!
Trust me! I'm now ahead on my reviews and have already started June. This month, I
will not leave ANY book behind! 
The Week in Reviews:

Monday - Sweet by Emmy Laybourne (YA Contemporary)
Tuesday - The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (YA Thriller)
Wednesday - The Darkness Within by Kelly Hashway (YA Paranormal)
Thursday - The Cage by Megan Shepard (YA Science Fiction)
Talk Supe Blog - Night School, Endgame by C.J Daugherty (YA Fantasy)
Friday - Hidden Huntress by Danielle L Larson (YA Fantasy)
Steampunk Saturday - The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

Coming Next Week:

Defy by Sara B. Larson (YA Fantasy)
Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt (YA Contemporary)
Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett (Paranormal, Romance, Historical)

Received via Edelweiss & NetGalley

Borrowed from Library

*Book Review* Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen (YA Fantasy)

Series: The Malediction Trilogy # 2
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-book, 464 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted

Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy # 2) is the follow-up to Stolen Songbird. The story alternatives narratives between Cécile de Troyes, and her husband Troll Prince Tristan de Montigny. Cécile and Tristan spend more than half the book separated by distance, circumstances, and the curse which King Thibault will do almost anything to break. Including binding Cécile to her word and making sure that she will suffer if she fails to find the witch. 

They are each dealing with their own issues. Cecile is now living with her mother Genevieve in Trianon after being restored to health. While not searching for the witch known as Anushka who cursed the trolls 500 years ago, she's required to sing in the opera or be forced to return to her father's home. Cécile has a bit of help by the way of her friend Chris Girard, while best friend Sabine, who hates trolls, has arrived from home to not only help with the search, but with her wardrobe as well.

At times, I really did understand why Cécile's brother Fred called her Im-be-Cecile. She's impulsive. She makes really bad choices like the one she makes with Thibault, the troll king. She's reckless more times than not. The consequences of her actions have left readers with a gasping cliffhanger ending. One can only hope that she figures out who she is, and what she wants to do with her life before more innocent people die.

Back in Trollus, Tristan attempts to fix the betrayals that he left behind while his father watches his every movement. Tristan knows that things are dangerous, and there are those just waiting to strike, and strike quickly including his own psychotic brother. Tristan gets a lesson in not cutting your nose off to spite your face. His alliances, including those with Marc and the half-breeds, is in shatters. His friend Anais is acting strange, while his brother is now heir to the crown. His aunt may be on his side, but one wrong move can quickly cost a person their life, and does more times than not. When Cécile casts a spell using Tristan's real name, Tristan finds himself right in the middle of Cecile's world and her search for Anushka.  

I hate writing negatives about a book. I really do. That being said, Cécile is one of the most aggravating "heroines" that I've had the pleasure, and displeasure of reading. I'm not even sure where to start with all her irrational moves that put nearly everyone's lives in jeopardy, including her brother, and her best friend. You would think that with everything she went through and barely survived in Stolen Songbird, she would learn a thing or two, including NOT trusting TROLLS!

OK! I get it. She's got a complex. She's at fault for wearing her heart on her shelves. She's at fault for truly believing that she can solve the world's problems by making BAD choices or rushing to judgement. You would think that she would finally wake up and understand what is really going on. Her magic? Well, I would have loved to see her use more of it, but perhaps the sequel will give her that opportunity. Her relationship with her mother? Let's just say that it's rather puzzling and leave it at that since I care not to spoil anything in this book.

Her relationship with her brother, Fred? Sad. He's been someone she can look up to, but she has issues, and so does he in regards to who Cecile opened her heart to. He has LARGE issues with a certain Troll named Tristan. You know, Cecile's husband? Her reunion with her father and sister is nice and warm, but not sure it was necessary unless it was to wake Cecile up to the truth about the wicked witch she's been hunting.

If the ending is any indication where the third installment will go, then I'm all in. Why stop now? 

**I received this book for free from (Angry Robot) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Thursday, May 28, 2015

*Book Review* The Cage by Megan Shepherd (YA Science Fiction)

Series: The Cage # 1
Publisher: Balzer + Brary
Released: May 26, 2015
Source: Edelweiss/Harper Teen
Format: E-Book, 400 pages
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughtertrilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

Megan Shepherd, author of the Madman's Daughter trilogy, returns with a brand new trilogy called The Cage. This time out, Shepherd spins a Science Fiction whopper of a tale where Humans are taken and used as pets, experiments, and other less admirable positions by an alien race called the Kindred. 16-year old Cora Mason and four other teenagers from various nationalities (Lucky, Rok, Rolf and Leon) wake up in a controlled environment, call it a zoo if you will, and a very long way from home. 

Even though Cora is the main character of the book, Shepherd alternates POV's from time to time between the four other teenagers to keep things interesting, which makes for a lot less questions as to what the rest of the group is doing. The group is told that they have Twenty-One days to prove they are worthy to continue existing by following three specific rules: 

1. Decode the puzzles hidden inside their custody for tokens which they can trade in for prizes. 2. Provide their body everything necessary in order to stay healthy, including sleeping and eating what they are provided. 3. Reproduce to assure the continuation of the human species which they've been told no longer exists. 

Cora is the daughter of a Senator. She spent 18 months behind bars for a choice she made, right or wrong, you'll have to make up your own mind on the matter, and how it was done. She believes that the Alien Cassian is an Angel, until things are cleared up. She's the only one in the group not to give up hope about going home again. She tries to find an exit from the madness, but is blocked. There is also someone giving Cora a bit of an advantage over the others. An advantage that isn't well received. Cora is a bit naive yes, but if you truly read into her actions, and thoughts, I believe she has enough positives to outweigh any negatives.

I choose to believe that the clues were there all the time for Cora to figure out what was truly happening. I choose not to believe there is a 3-way love triangle between Cora, Lucky, and this super alien Cassian, who has beautiful eyes, and a face of an Angel. I choose to not blame, but feel sorry for Cora for being pushed and pulled into being ostracized from her control group, and reaching out to another person who made her feel like she was worthy, and not because someone was trying to make up for what happened to her on Earth, IE Lucky.

I'm not going to touch on the other characters all that much, but I will summarize. Rolf is a genius, but that doesn't exactly thrill me. Nok was taken away from her home, and ended up in pretty sick situation. Leon is just a total mess, and I still have no idea if he was truly insane, or just faking it until he was able to make things go his way. Mali, however, I believe we have just skimmed the surface of what she is capable of. She's the mystery ingredient in the recipe, and I do home that Shepherd unveils more of her in time. Lucky is the boy who has a goal, and a whole lot to make up for. 

There was a whammy of a twist in the story which you can pretty much either figure it out, or be stymied right until the revelation. There is even a Cagey ending to the story. Get it? Cagey? I do appreciate the overall world building. We get a look not only at the environment Cora and crew are expected to live in, but yet another expansive setting in which we take a peek into the world of the Kindred and other species. I'm all in for continuing this series. I can't just leave things as they are without finding out if Cora and gang find a way home, or if they become more slaves to the Kindred.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

*Book Review* The Darkness Within by Kelly Hashway (YA Paranormal)

Series: The Monster Within # 2
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Format: E-Book, 352 pages 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches.

Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? Magic. 

Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

The Darkness Within, the sequel and finale to The Monster Within duology, picks up about a month after the first installment. 17-year old Sam Thompson died from the effects of cancer and was brought back to life by her boyfriend Ethan Anderson's deal with a witch. In doing so, Sam became a witch killer at the behest of an evil witch, and now has the magic of two witches inside of her. The combined magic gives Sam powerful abilities that she hasn't even scratched the surface with yet.

Both Sam and Ethan have since left their families behind and made new lives in a small town in Pennsylvania under assumed names where they go to school, and work in a diner. They are nearly inseparable, and act as though they are an old married couple most of the time. They both belong to a coven of witches along with Dylan, and Shannon who try to help them understand the magic they now carry. But, hurt feelings still exist over the loss of two of their coven mates due to Sam's actions, including Dylan's brother.

On top of all that, Ethan's troubles are far from over. Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger, Ethan finds himself struggling with a darkness that came from the witch he made a deal with to save Sam. One minute he is the Ethan that Sam knows and loves, the next minute he is a cold and distant as a Canadian winter. The magic inside him is changing who he is and making him pull back from Sam. Even with all her powers, Sam has no clue how to help Ethan before she completely loses him.

So, let's break down this story down a bit. Sam has a whole lot of issues to deal with this time around, and not just with Ethan's. There is a student who is asking way too many personal questions, and teachers who apparently know that Sam, Ethan, Dylan, and Shannon are witches. Then there is yet another powerful witch who may or may not have the ability to save Ethan from going completely evil, but could she also be the witch that is targeting the coven? What cost will Ethan and the others have to pay in order to make things right again? Who can Sam really trust with the only boy she's ever loved and who refused to walk away from her when she was suffering with cancer?

I can't say that I had a whole lot of fun with Sam and Ethan's shenanigans. At times, it was a bit of a romance overload. At other times, I found myself liking Shannon a whole lot better when she uses magic, sarcasm, and humor to get by. I truly held my breath when Hashway appeared to create a love triangle. I do hope she finds a way to never cross that bridge again. I do really hope that the two covens end up combining. I think that with their assistance, Sam and Ethan can learn about their magic, and keep on the good side of things.

**I received this book for free from (Spencer Hill Press) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

*Book Review* The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (YA Thriller)

Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-book, 256 pages
Genre: Young Adult / Thriller

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions. 

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

18-year old Arcadia "Cadie" Wells lives in the small town of High Springs, Florida, not far from Gainesville. Cadie hopes to one day go on her own adventure once she has enough money saved up. She's mapped out every place she wants to go, and things she wants to see. What's keeping Cadie held back, is that ever since her mother died 3 years ago, she's had to work in her father's struggling grocery store, while taking care of her 4 year old brother Danny, and generally doing all the work that needs to be done around the house while her father is missing in action.

After making a snap decision, Cadie joins her former friends and soccer teammates for a night of partying and skinny dipping at the lake. Cadie later agrees to go on a road trip with two strangers, cousins Noah and Matt who she just met and felt connected to. Cadie is a girl you can connect with in the beginning. You understand that she's yearning for something new and different and a change from the mundane of work, work, and more work, while her father is out doing heaven knows what. 

During the trip, Cadie realizes that something isn't quite as right as they appear. Someone isn't who they say they are, and in trusting the cousins with her safety, she's put her future in their hands as well. But, Cadie continues to follow along as if nothing is wrong, while making some really stupid and head shaking mistakes. I do realize that making stupid choices is what being a human being is all about. We live and learn with the choices we make every single day of our lives. For Cadie, her choices are nearly costly because of her desire for adventure and excitement and perhaps a bit of romance as well. 

The Devil You Know is the first novel I have read by Trish Doller. Doller's story is fast paced, and wraps up fairly quickly. You can feel the undercurrent that something creepy and disturbing is happening right under the surface of the story. You can pretty much guess who the bad guy is, even though each has made some pretty dumb mistakes. I'm always intrigued by stories that take place in Florida, but this one takes a bit of letting your imagination flow free for it to make sense. Getting from High Springs to the Everglades isn't as easy or fast as it is made by Doller. But, then again, this is fantasy, so let your imagination run free.   

**I received this book for free from (Bloomsbury USA Children's) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Monday, May 25, 2015

*Book Review* Sweet by Emmy Laybourne (YA Contemporary, Thriller)

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Thriller

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyinglywrong!

The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli—the hottest guy ever!—and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.

Sweet is told in alternating narratives by Laurel Willard and Tom Forelli. 17-year old Laurel is ready to go on the cruise of a lifetime thanks to her best friend Vivika Hallerton. The cruise is an all expenses paid cruise featuring some wannabe rock-stars, reality TV failures, TV also rans, plus those desperately wanting to lose a bit of weight. Laurel is a bit on the awkward side. She's also a slightly chubby classic guitar enthusiast who may be a bit different from the rest of the passengers. Perhaps it's due to her alternative lifestyle choices in wearing boots with almost everything, and accepting that there's nothing wrong with being a bit curvy. Amen, sister!

The only reason she's even ON this cruise, is to support Vivi's ongoing struggle to lose weight. When she gets sea sick and embarrasses herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli, her dream crush, her cruise becomes something of a bad dream which she can't wake up from. Laurel is even too sick to try the new sweetener Solu which is said to be able to drop 5 percent body weight quickly and safely. Eventually, Laurel starts to feel better and takes advantage of some amazing sights. But, she also notices that the passengers, including Vivi, have all started acting really weird. The same passengers who have been eating Solu like it was the last slice of pizza. Laurel finds help and support from the least likely source; Tom Forelli.

Tom is the former Hollywood sweet heart known as Baby Tom-Tom. He is trying to make a comeback by hosting and interviewing those using Solu. Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. But, what happens when the cruise gets underway is far from anyone's imagination. Tom finds himself ignoring sexy Brazilian reality star named Sabbi Ribiero who his publicists has set him up with, for Laurel, the girl he's determined to save after everything goes to hell, and people start acting like zombies. I have to say that, in the end, I really liked Tom. I liked how he ignored what was right, for what was unexpected in falling for and helping Laurel.

Sweet is written by the same author, Emmy Laybourne, who brought the Monument 14 trilogy to life. Sweet is a twisted mix of comedy, tragedy, and mystery, while exposing the extraordinary lengths that human beings will go through in order to lose a bit of weight. Sweet (Solu) has been compared to Pen-Phen, a drug first introduced in the 1970's because it temporarily reduced weight. This, my friends, is why I refuse to use dietary supplements to lose weight.

Sweet is a book that should be read by everyone, especially those in the media who think that being a bit chubby is wrong. Sweet is a fairly quick paced story, with a nice romance which perhaps moved a bit quick, but then again, the story is only 288 pages. It does have some gruesome scenes which probably should have been highlighted by the author and publisher since it's Young Adult themed. Then again, I've seen worse things on TV. Right The Walking Dead?

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

*Steampunk Saturday* The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith (Steampunk)

Series: Crown & Key # 1
Publisher: Del Rey
Releases: June 2, 2015
Source: NetGalley
Format: E-Book, 320 pages
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

Clay & Susan Griffith, best known for their Vampire Empire series, returns with a new trilogy called Crown & Key. Set in Victorian London, The Shadow Revolution is set in entirely different world from Vampire Empire. Vampires don't rule here, and humans aren't being subjugated into obscurity. But, werewolves are thick as thieves and hiding in the shadows waiting to strike. The series lead characters are Simon Archer, Kate Anstruther, and Malcolm MacFarlane.

Simon is a talented scribe, a magician whose spells are written on his body in the form of tattoos. They give him super strength, but also come with a price. He is also somewhat of a rake who spends more time chasing women, than fighting the darkness. That is until he, and his friend/mentor Nick Barter witness the murder of one of Simon's former flings by a werewolf. Simon immediately wants to jump in and kill the werewolf responsible, while Nick wants to take a less riskier approach. 

Malcolm MacFarlane is a deadly Scottish monster hunter who enjoys his work. Perhaps a bit too much at times, but nobody can say that he doesn't get the job done. Kate Anstruther is an alchemist, and a scholar of the occult. Kate is as comfort at social settings, as she is at kicking ass and taking names. Other characters directly involved in the fight against evil are Inventor Penny Carter, and 13-year old werewolf Charlotte who on more than one occasion, risks her own life to help Kate and crew.

After Kate's sister Imogen is targeted by a dark magician, a werewolf, a nefarious doctor, and a demigod, Simon, and Kate come together to save her. Rather quickly, Simon and Kate realize that they can't do it alone, and that's perfect for Scottish monster hunger Malcolm who has been tracking and killing werewolves around London. London has become a very dangerous place to be after dark. Humans are being turned into Homunculus (part human, part monstrosity) and a very powerful werewolf/Valkyrie by the name of Gretta Aldfather, is gathering all the werewolves together in one place. Danger lurks in one of the more horrific places imaginable; Bedlam Hospital.  

I prefer to call this series Science Fiction/Steampunk since Simon's abilities come from using Aether, and Penny creates a steam driven motorcar that she uses in one of the best chase scenes in the book. You don't see this kind of backdrop in Urban Fantasy novels. I will say that I am not surprised at how well the world building came along, or how intriguing and diverse the characters are. Not surprising since the authors created a dystopian/steampunk world where vampires ruled half the planet.

Parts two and three of the Crown & Key trilogy, The Undying Legion (June 30) and The Conquering Dark (July 28), are releasing back to back over the months of June and July. Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey, I already have the next two books and will be eagerly anticipating what happens next to Simon, Kate, and Malcolm. All things considered, there are a few questions I need answered, especially concerning Nick, and where he stands.

**I received this book for free from (Del Rey) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Other Books in Series:

Friday, May 22, 2015

~*Weekly Wrap-Up/Stacking My Shelves*~ Memorial Day Weekend 2015

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. 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!


Nice slow week of books! Got plenty of reading done, and I'm actually AHEAD with my reviews! I'm going to try a new feature this week called Steampunk Saturday. This week I'll be reviewing The Shadow Revolution by Susan & Clay Griffith. Hope you get a chance to read it!

Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend for those in the US!

The Week in Reviews:

Saturday - Alien Separation - Gini Koch (Science Fiction)
Wednesday - Dragons Are People, Too - Sarah Nichols (YA Fantasy)
Thursday - The Fearless - Emma Pass (YA Dystopian)
Lion Heart - A.C. Gaughen (YA Historical/Retelling) <-Talk Supe Blog

Coming Next Week:

Saturday - The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith (Steampunk)
Sweet by Emmy Laybourne (YA Contemporary)
Hidden Huntress by Danielle L Larson (YA Fantasy)
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (YA Thriller)
The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato (Steampunk)

Received via NetGalley or Edelweiss