Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Goodreads Summary:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

My Review:

This series continues to get better and better. Mass’ writing has evolved over time and Empire of Storms is at the top.

As the second to last novel (that we know about because last year we received exciting news about novellas), Empire of Storms picks up right where Queen of Shadows finished. Between the first and the fourth book, Celaena Sardothian has evolved into her true self, Aelin Galathynius. She has used everything she went through to become the true Queen of Terrasen. And in EOS, Aelin must now gather her army and prove she is more than her enemy.

Old friends come back and new faces appear. EoS is a continuous adventure, switching perspectives of several different characters. We learn new back stories. Discover devious plots. Hearts change. Maas weaves secret after secret through the pages and when events happen, it usually blew my mind. And the end completely threw me for a loop. I didn’t see any of it coming.

I would put Sarah J Maas in the same story telling category as JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien. She is a story teller, a world builder.

Rating: 5 out 5Blog Signature

 

 

Blog Tour Release Day: ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard

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Synopsis:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic ROSEBLOOD.jpgtalent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Amazon * B&N * iBooks * Audible

Goodreads * YouTube

About A.G. Howard

ag-howardA.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

GiveawayRB book cover poster and mask.jpg

1 Winner will receive a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and mask courtesy of A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. US Only. Ends January 17th at midnight.

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Top 4 Important Life Events of 2016 (Anniversary Week)

life-events

Veronica’s List:

1. I moved to South Korea. Yes, I moved to South Korea. I KNOW. It’s a big thing moving across the world isn’t it? But I freaking did it. And I am loving every minute of this adventure I am on. I was scared crap-less the first two weeks I was on my own in this country, but I’ve learned to assimilate and get used to Korean life. Some might say I’ve even gotten comfortable here. It really isn’t a bad place to live. I will go back to the states eventually, but right now I am enjoying my time here.

2. I reconnected with old friends. This is pretty significant because one of the friends I reconnected with was my BFF from middle school and high school. I won’t go into details, but I will say I am glad to have her in my life. It’s nice to have someone who knows you so well and still be able after all this time be the same way we used to be back in the old days.

3. I went to a BTS Concert/Fanmeet in Seoul. Back in 2009 when I first discovered Korean-pop I was OBSESSED with 2PM and SHINee. While I am still a fan of those groups, the love (or should I just say obsession) is not the same. Anyways, one of my goals while in South Korea was to go to a Korean pop concert. I had heard about BTS aka 방탄소년단 , but was not an avid follower. Before coming to South Korea I started to listen to Kpop again and re-discovered them. Needless to say, I am now a fan and seeing them live at the Gochok Stadium this past November was AMAZING. They are great entertainers and I hope to see them again in the future. (Just in case there are any BTS Army reading this, my bias is J-Hope. LOL)

4. I met Liz. I would have never known that from the blogging partnership we created at the end of 2015 I would gain a lifelong friend. I believe meeting her in Anaheim at the beginning of 2016 solidified our friendship and I am thankful to have such an amazing human being as my friend. She’s been there for me through difficult times and I am forever grateful for her wisdom and friendship.

Liz’s List:

1. My sister got married. I think I wrote about this waaaaayyy back in May/June. I am beyond excited that this has happened. And my life was incredibly crazy (it was a a DIY wedding), but oh so much fun because I spent so much time with my family planning everything out. Not to mention everything turned out perfectly. It’s these moments when you truly know the value of your friends and who’s willing to help.

2. I met the love of my life. So where have I been for the last six months? With my boyfriend. While we both like to read, Summer and Fall were quite busy with parties and trips. I did read a book or two, but sometimes life just butts in right when you need it.

3. I met Alexandra Bracken. Let me just say that she is the sweetest person ever. She was funny, kind, and answered every question asked of her.

4. I met Veronica. Funnily enough, when I joined the Talking Bookworm, I had never met Veronica. But that changed when I visited Cali the first week of January 2016. It was super exciting. We ate real Ramen (something I have never tried before- it’s delicious). I wish we had remembered to take a picture, but the memory is all I really need. As you all know, Veronica is a wonder person and I am so great-full to be able to add her to my group of friends.

Blog Tour: Insidious by Victoria Evers Giveaway + Excerpt

 
Book
Info:
Title:
Insidious
Series:
The Marked Mage Chronicles, Book #1
Author:
Victoria Evers
Genre:
Paranormal
Romance
Release
Date:

January 6, 2017
 
All Kat Montgomery wanted was a fun night out on
the town. What she got was a death warrant. As it turns out, the quaint little
hamlet of Mystic Harbor, Maine houses more than sandy beaches and adorable
B&B’s. Beneath the New England charm rests a deadly world where shifters,
demons, vampires, and angelic hunters all vie for power.
A world where magic is the greatest weapon.
Magic that Kat now possesses.
After that one fateful night, she can feel the
changes beginning to take hold of her. Only problem, she doesn’t even know what
she’s turning into. With threats hiding in plain sight, deciphering the lines
between friend and foe is nearly impossible. As if things couldn’t get any
worse, Kat learns her only real ally rests in the one person she can’t stand:
Reese Blackburn, an insufferably handsome magician whom the town fears most.
Kat’s very soul is at stake, and destiny doesn’t
seem to be playing out in her favor. Can these two unlikely partners challenge
fate itself before it’s too late?
$0.99 Sale for Pre-order!
 
EXCERPT:
 
Curiosity got the better of me as I looked over
my shoulder, only to find the last human being I ever wanted to see heading
towards the back of the store. That familiar knot formed in my stomach, as it
always did anytime Reese Blackburn was near. I rocked back and forth on my
heels, trying my best to keep my patience in check as the old guy in front of
me continued buying virtually every lottery ticket available.
Come on, come on, come on. I needed to get out
of here. PRONTO.
Footsteps started making their way to the
counter from the back of the store, and I immediately deflated, knowing a
confrontation was now inevitable.
“Montgomery,” spoke a silvery voice directly
behind me.
I regrettably turned to face the ass-hat in
question, giving him my best artificial, Pan Am smile. “Blackburn.”
The guy always looked like he’d just waltzed off
the set of a Tim Burton movie, and tonight was no different. He was dressed in
his typically peculiar attire, sporting a gothic knee-length horseman’s jacket
laced in chains, a pair of black slacks, a silk tapestry vest, and dark brogue
boots adorned with skulls on the metallic buckles.
“Never thought I’d see you south of Providence
Street,” he remarked in the sarcastic fashion he always saved for me. “Get lost
on your way to the country club?”
“No, I was actually out looking for your heart.
Should’ve known better that it’s long gone,” I retorted. “And what about you?
Never thought I’d see you out in public on a full moon. Get lost on your way to
your cult meeting in the woods?”
“That’s later in the evening,” he chuckled,
flashing me that dimpled smile and perfect set of pearly whites. Such
infectious, boyish charm seemed misplaced, considering he was stab-worthy. It
really was a shame, because Reese wasn’t half bad looking.
And by ‘half’, I mean not entirely.
Sure, he had cheekbones that could cut glass,
not to mention bedroom eyes so amber they looked to be stowing flames inside
them, but still… Okay, okay. Even I had to admit, Blackburn was hardly an
eyesore.
Even with my heeled boots, I still stood a good
half foot shorter than him, but his lean frame thankfully made him less
imposing.
The old guy in front of me started ordering
cigarettes as well, causing my fisted fingernails to start biting into my
palms. Knowing how quickly our conversations always descended into verbal smack
downs, I grasped at anything I could think of to divert us back to small talk
until I could move to the register.
“Did you go to the game earlier?”
Reese shrugged. “I considered it, but then I
started thinking of other excruciating things I’d rather do, like have a root
canal, and I decided to pass.”
“You heading to the bonfire?” I tried again. He
merely cocked a brow, and I realized how ridiculous I sounded. “Oh, that’s
right. You don’t do anything fun. How could I forget?”
“If you call watching a bunch of drunken idiots
gyrate around and trash a field while you suffocate from smoke inhalation
‘fun,’ then yes—I don’t like fun.”
“It wouldn’t kill you to be normal, ya’ know.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Haven’t tried it.”
“So, Mr. High and Mighty, what superior plans do
you have this evening?”
“Test my alcohol limits, take off my clothes,
and harass innocent bystanders.” He thumped the side of his head. “Oh, wait a
minute. No, that’s your friends.”
“At least I have some.”
He stole a look outside and leered. “With friends like that, I consider myself
grateful that I don’t.”
“Bite me.”
“I probably shouldn’t. Wouldn’t want to get
rabies.”
“I beg to differ. Foaming at the mouth would
probably be an improvement for you. Anything to get you to stop talking.”
He smirked. “Touché, Princess.”
 
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
VICTORIA EVERS is a debut paranormal fiction
writer who feels really awkward referring to herself in the third person….
When she’s not vacationing in Narnia, you’ll probably find her reading,
watching horror movies, spending time with her AMAZING family, or daydreaming
about the newest story in her head.

 

 
 
 

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Disclaimer: Giveaway for promotional purposes only. No compensation was received from author or third party.

Top 4 Books of 2016 (Anniversary Week)

top-books

Veronica’s Top 4 Books:

1. Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – The person I always go to for a murder/investigative story is Jennifer Lynn Barnes. She never disappoints and Killer Instinct was a great book. It has everything you want in an investigative novel and more.

2. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios – I read this during the first half of 2016 before I came to South Korea and it has stayed with me. The happy feeling I associate with this book is everything and more. If you’re looking for a great contemporary, look no further. Read this book!

3. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – Ahhhhh. This book is bittersweet. We follow two different story lines that are connected, but one of them breaks your heart, while the other can be sad at times, but the ending leaves you full of hope and satisfaction. 

4. When I Was Yours by Samantha Towle – Oh dear. This book is a heartbreaker alright, but it’s worth it. The pain you will feel really is worth it, and that ending was the best. Actually the entire reading journey was the best. I blame Liz for this one. 

Liz’s Top 4 Books:

1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – This book was one I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed A Court of Thornes and Roses but my god, did this sequel wreck me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. 

2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken –  This was the first book I read by her and I absolutely fell in love. it has everything I love- romance, time travel, different time periods, bad guys, mystery. Can’t wait for the sequel. 

3. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman – This was my favorite historical romance of the year. It’s about Blackbeard before he was Blackbeard. She stole my heart. You flip between two perspective- Teach and Anne. It is a beautifully written story of love and heartbreak.

4. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris CleaveThis was my first read for 2016. I was absolutely devastated by this book. It takes place right at the start of WWII for Britain and flips between four different preservative. You won’t ever see the ending coming.

 

 

 

The Talking Bookworm’s 4th Anniversary

Writers Corner

As I sit here in my classroom I reminisce on the past 4 years that I’ve had this blog. So much has happened. We’ve had changes in staff and other normal things, but we are still here and that is what counts.

The Talking Bookworm has evolved over the years to what it is today. Each year we grow in numbers and I hope you may agree in the quality of content as well. We cover more sub-genres than before and there has been more content on the blog compared last year and that is all thanks to Liz Brooks my co-blogger. The biggest change for the blog this past year was her presence and I am forever grateful she is a part of it.

Now, coming into the 4th year, I hope you will continue to visit this blog and be a part of our community. Thank you all for your constant support and love.

Here is to another fantastic year *raises glass* CHEERS!

Vero Signature copy

Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

GoodReads Summary:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

My Review:

So this is the followup to Bardugo’s Six of Crows which I absolutely loved. And Crooked Kingdom was just as good, though not better. We again follow the rogue Kaz Brekker and his band of miscreants. This time they are seeking revenge on their double crossed deal with Ja Van Eck- “We are going to take Van Eck’s money, and then we’re going to take his reputation.”

Bardugo does a good job of wending the story long, telling if from the perspective of each member in the group. And along the way things go wrong. Plans must change. Surprises arise. The writing is just as good, but I do have to say the story felt slower than Six of Crows. There isn’t as much action. You get more personal with Nina, Matthias, Inej, Kaz, Jesper, and Wylan, more of their backgrounds that was missing from the first novel.

Six of Crows was better, in my opinion, due to the fact that it was more fast paced. I will say that Bardugo does a great job of holding back details and surprising the reader just when you need it. Don’t think you’ll get through this book scot-free without deaths. There are some and they hit pretty close to home.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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