Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman | Book Review

Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.

I loved Kaufman’s sci-fi book, Illuminae, and when I was given the opportunity to pick up her book at a book festival, I was quite excited!

I had very little knowledge on what the book was about other than it being a Middle Grade novel filled with Viking like magic. I went into the book blindly, which was quite nice to do since everything was a surprise. 

We follow the story of Anders, who is an orphan surviving the streets alongside his twin sister Rayna. Due to a series of unfortunate events, Rayna and Anders get separated and Anders enrolls to an academy for people who are able to shift into wolves (actual wolves not the werewolves thing). Anders does everything he can to get his sister back and learns some mysteries along the way.

The best part of the book was the diverse cast. There were characters of all shapes, sexualities, and color. The main character is a young boy with brown skin and black curly hair. He has a non-binary friend who uses “they” pronouns and a bad ass fighting teacher who protected a section of the city all by herself with her wife. It was nice to have representation be so normalized, having no one in the story question it and just accepted it.

The story focuses on the importance of friendship and family, like most middle grade novels tend to these days (Something I feel YA should write about too). 

Even though this is considered a middle grade novel, it is a novel that any age group can enjoy. I personally found enjoyment in it, and Kaufman is still able to build a mystery in her lore that will have the older audience trying to piece things together just as the intended young readers.

I believe if you enjoyed books such as Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, Magisterium by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare or Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer you will defiantly enjoy Ice Wolves.

My Rating: 5/5

January Wrap-Up

I felt that January was a slow reading month for me, mostly because two of the books I read were pretty bad/boring but I had to read them for some reviews I had to do. (One for a literary magazine and a book tour).

Hinder and There Your Heart Lies almost put me in a massive reading slump, but thankfully Ice Wolves saved the day.

While it wasn't the best reading month, it did bring new books that I purchased at my local second-hand book store, Volume One Books. (Okay it is not local it is like a 50 minute drive, but it's still pretty worthy to be local).

Here to a better reading month.

What did you guys read in January, let me know!

Hinder by Kristin Ping | Book Review

This book was given to me as part of the Rockstart BookTour for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This was one of the worst reads I made myself go through in a long while. Between information dump that is unnecessary to the story, outrageous descriptions, writing inconsistency and cliche after cliche. 

At first I thought maybe Hinder was aimed for a younger YA audience, but with all the sex and wet dreams involved I wouldn't feel comfortable with a 13-year-old reading this. Hinder is a mess. Also, I tend to enjoy MG books so I don't believe I have outgrown YA or MG the whole problem was the book. 

Hinder feels like a fanfiction written by someone who is starting out a writing where the writing feels clunky and choppy, and in fanfiction it is fine, because it is fanfiction. Also, during the information dump (aka the story lore) everything was shoved into my face and I felt quite aggravated by it. These characters obviously known the lore of their world so logically they wouldn't be repeating it to themselves (the completely history of how everything works in their world ). I think it would have been better if the reader found out rather than being told…by three different characters.

We have the leading lady Alex who is perfect and slightly clumsy. She is at some point described as the most beautiful girl in the world, and she just can't help it because she is an Earth wielder (the rarest that there is). There is a point in the novel that Alex describes herself as a runway model and it is quite ridiculous. All of Alex’s “perfect” features are overall ridiculous.

“I had raven-black hair with midnight blue. My skin, which had never seen real sunlight, looked sun-kissed. I was tall and slender, more like a runway model than someone who’d been on the run for most of her life“

In order to protect Alex from her godly beauty her mother forces her to wear a magical glamour, which ends up with the nickname of Ugly Ducky. As Alex is in this disguise all she does is complain about how she is no longer beautiful, it's quite dreadful. For Alex all that matters is her beauty and frankly it is quite a damaging message to be promoting in the YA genre. Beauty is not everything, unless you're Alex, which then it is the only thing. 

Because this a the optimal cliche YA book, the leading boy, Ethan is also perfect. He even says it himself. 

"I was a senior at Sky View High, a jock to be exact. I played varsity football and tried to be a regular human, even though I was far from it. If I was honest, I wasn’t doing such a bad job at fitting in."

But of course he is a good quarterback who can do no wrong, but is still a general jerk and classifies women to animal. So dreamy. Ethan is Alex's bender and they are forbidden to be with one another, because it will lead to Ethan's death. This, of course, does not stop them, and definitely doesn't stop Ethan from cheating on his blonde, perfect body cheerleader girlfriend with Alex. ( It could be argue that it's not cheating because Alex and Ethan were only having sex in their dreams...that they were sharing...and 100% conscious and in control of their action..)

I think the only positive part of Hinder is that unlike other YA books, Alex's parents are an important part of Alex's life and actually appear in the story and try to protect their daughter (maybe not the best methods but the intentions are there).

If you want to read an enjoyable YA book filled with elemental magic, forbidden love and heart stopping twists. This book is not it. Please do yourself a favor and pick up something else like A Court of Thorns and Roses or Fallen Kingdom. Don't waste your time on this book. On top of all the cliches you can pretty much predict the whole book by chapter four.

My Rating: 2/5 

Hinder by Kristin Ping | Rockstar Book Tour

About the Book:

Title: HINDER 
Author: Kristin Ping
Pub. Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Pages: 443
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.

Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

About Kristin:

Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house. She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender's novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing. When she isn't writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house.

Giveaway Details:

Want to win a Mac. Every two to three months, Kristin Ping is giving away a mac, all you have to do is subscribe to her newsletter, confirm to the confirmation email that will either be in your inbox or spam, and open the letter. Find the secret facebook group, join and enter the giveaway. It’s as easy as that. We even give you extra entries by inviting your friends to subscribe too. We already gave away the first laptop.
There are two ways to do this.

1. Follow by filling in this doc.
2. Go to http://www.authorkristinping.com and wait for the pop up to subscribe.

Pre Order Giveaway:

PRE ORDER HINDER FOR 99c. Yes, you’ve heard right. The pre order special is 99c only. The price will go up to 2.99 in it’s first month, think of it as a release day blitz, and from the second month it will go up to it’s normal price of 4.99c. So it’s a major deal of getting the pre-order for just 99c. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW AND CLAIM YOUR GIFT: CROWS OF WINTER.

CROWS OF WINTER is a bundle of three stories. Two of them were exclusively written for Hinder Pre-Orde drive. They will not be up for purchasing.
Lucian’s Ascension written by Adrienne Woods, Venom, a Novelette also by Adrienne Woods and introduction short story of Guardian of Monsters written by Kristin Ping.

You will need to fill in this form in order to claim your free gift.

Follow the rest of the book tour!!

Week One:
1/1/2018- Book-o-Craze - Review
1/2/2018- Darque Dreamer ReadsReview
1/3/2018- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
1/4/2018- Jen Brown WritesReview
1/5/2018- Book Huntress' WorldReview

Week Two:
1/8/2018- Books and LaddersReview
1/9/2018- Fire and IceReview
1/10/2018- JrsbookreviewsReview
1/11/2018- The Inked In Book BlogReview
1/12/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview

Week Three:
1/15/2018- Hooked To BooksExcerpt
1/16/2018- Pervy Ladies Books- Review
1/17/2018- books are loveReview
1/18/2018- Literary MusingsExcerpt
1/19/2018- Hauntedbybooks13Review

Week Four:
1/22/2018- A Reader's LifeReview
1/23/2018- Wishful EndingsExcerpt
1/24/2018- SimplyAllyTea- Spotlight
1/25/2018- Dani Reviews ThingsReview
1/26/2018- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt

Week Five:
1/29/2018- Blushing BibliophileReview
1/30/2018- BookHounds YAReview
1/31/2018- AbooktropolisReview

Her Debt by Rebel Rose Cover Reveal + Giveaway | A Rockstar Book Tours

Today Rebel Rose and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive excerpt for HER DEBT, which releases March 6, 2018! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

On to the reveal! 

Title: HER DEBT (Lock and Key Series Book 1)
Author: Rebel Rose
Pub. Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Scarlet House Novels
Formats: eBook
Pages: 256

My entire world changed the second that I saw her in my casino.

She’s a professional gambler. And a cheat. A damn good one… but not good enough. And now she owes a debt to me. A debt that only her body can repay.

I’m restless with lust and need and desire for this thing of beauty not in my possession. My mind and cock are obsessed with her.

When I spank her for the first time, I know that I’m right.

She is the one.

The woman that I’m going to break. The woman that I’m going to train for only my particular tastes. I’m going to shatter her into a million pieces and then rebuild her into everything that I want and need and desire in…

My next submissive.

Pre-Order the rest of the series!


Exclusive Excerpt!
Her Debt: Lock and Key Series Book 1
Tristan Broussard’s POV
(Unedited and subject to change.)

“She’s back, sir.” There’s no need for Garrett to say her name. I know exactly who the pit boss managing the black jack tables is talking about. And knowing that the brunette beauty is back under the roof of my casino makes my dick harder than steel.

“Is she scoring yet?” I’m not sure why I’m asking. She always wins big money.

“Yes. And already pressing, sir.” Betting large sums of money. She intends on winning big tonight.

And so do I.

She is Emma Lia Grant. Daughter of Conrad Grant, once regarded as one of the biggest cheats on the casino scene. His kid has been visiting my casino. A lot. And she’s up to her old man’s tricks: card counting, roulette past posting, dice slides. You name it and she has done it in my house right under my nose.

And I’ve let her.

My first interaction with Miss Grant happened by coincidence. One of my pit bosses suspected that a new dealer was false shuffling but couldn’t catch him in the act. No one could. Not even my best trained eyes.

I was called down to the floor to see for myself but my eyes weren’t on the dealer or his shuffling. They were on the brunette beauty at his table who happened to be winning huge sums of money.

A fucking knockout. Long chestnut locks with caramel highlights, the ends kissed with loose curls. Forget-me-not blue eyes surrounded by lush, wispy dark lashes. A full rack with cleavage on display and an ass with plenty of meat. The kind of ass that I could dig my fingers into and use as a grip to push and pull her off and on my cock when I fuck her from behind.

That image has played out in my head more than one time, and it always ends the same: her collapsing onto the bed with my cum dripping out of her pussy.

The second that I laid eyes on her, my entire world changed. I became restless, desiring something not in my possession, and I had to have her. Make her mine.

My mind and cock became obsessed with Emma Lia Grant. From that night on, she’s been the only one that I’ve thought about. Fantasized about. Dreamed about.

Miss Grant’s winnings, or debts as I prefer to call them, are close to hitting the magic number. Only sixteen thousand dollars prevents me from carrying out my plan. Tonight’s the night, and that has my dick twitching.

I’ve been camping out in the private penthouse in my hotel for a week waiting for this moment. On call for the moment Emma Lia’s debt hits the hundred-thousand-dollar mark.

Ching… ching… ching. It’s like my own personal sexual jackpot clinking in my ears.

About Rebel: 

Rebel Rose is a decadently dark romance author living in the beautiful city of New Orleans. She prefers anti-heroes over Prince Charmings and often uses her own sexual experiences in her novels. She can typically be found somewhere in the French Quarter enjoying a cup of coffee while people watching.

Keep up to date with Rebel Rose at: authorrebelrose.com

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
1 winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, US Only.

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Anticipated Book Releases for 2018

I currently have about 15 books on pre-order for the year ( I might remove a few..or a add a few..). These are the 10 I'm excitedly waiting to read! You should add them to your want to read list on Goodreads!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi - March 6

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers―and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - March 13

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza--but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys--an old flame from Asha's past--reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi - March 27

Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?
One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff by May 29

On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn't looking for trouble--she's too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she's on the local gangster's wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she's discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she's ever had a worse day, Eve can't remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day--one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. 

Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel--called a "Lifelike" because they resemble humans--will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves...and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.

A Thousand Beginning and Endings by Ellen Oh - June 26

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. 

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. 

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. 

Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge - Aug. 7

Debut author-illustrator Ethan M. Aldridge will captivate readers with this full-color fantasy graphic novel that has all the makings of a classic, about a changeling and a human child who were switched at birth and must now work together to save both their worlds. Perfect for fans of Amulet.

Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, with fae powers that make him different from everyone else—even his unwitting parents and older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being human makes him an oddity at the royal palace, and where his only friend is a wax golem named Whick.

But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne takes the throne, the Childe and Edmund realize that the fate of both worlds may be in their hands—even if they’re not sure which world they belong to.

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden - Aug. 14

In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab - Aug. 28

Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass -- and Jacob -- come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

Vengeful by V.E Schwab - Sept 25

Sydney once had Serena―beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance.
Victor himself is under the radar these days―being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

Throne of Glass 7 by Sarah J Mass

The Final installment to the Throne of Glass series.