Review: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds #1)
Emma Newman

Angry Robot
Released February 26, 2013
384 pages
Urban Fantasy / Faeries / Mystery

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Order it from Amazon

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

Sometimes I come across books where I just don’t seem to have words to review them. Often it’s because they left me in a quivering mess of raw emotion that I will wallow in for days. Other times it’s because the world is so well built, so vivid, so complex that pushing it to arm’s length to analyze it is near impossible. Between Two Thorns was the later, making it difficult to go to bed at night because I needed to read just one more chapter. Making me crave reading time at incredibly inappropriate times of the day, like sitting in a meeting with my boss or on a call with a client. I expected withdrawal shakes to set in at any moment.

Emma Newman has created a world where faeries make sense, one that I want to crawl in and sit in a corner as all the madness unfolds. It’s filled with characters both odd and oddly human though at its core, it’s just a who-done-it with a lot of growingly complex character interactions laid over top. In The Split Worlds, there are essentially four sets of people, a concept that, having started reading the book in a near comatose exhaustion, was a bit hard to follow until about 50 pages in. There’s the real world, the one we mundanes trudge through everyday life and the place the Arbiters – humans with their souls detached from their bodies and stored elsewhere – assist magicians from the whims and tricks of faeries.

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Cover Reveal: Pretty When She Destroys by Rhiannon Frater

Last fall I was lucky enough to be on the blog tour for Rhiannon Frater's Pretty When She Kills and really enjoyed the series. I'm happy to present to you the cover of the third book in her urban fantasy series filled with violence and sex. If you haven't read these books and are looking for a new vampire horror series, definitely check this one out. My reviews of Pretty When She Dies and Pretty When She Kills.

Pretty When She Destroys
Rhiannon Frater

Pretty When She Dies #3 
Publication date: July 23, 2013 
Horror/Urban Fantasy

Find it on Goodreads

Amaliya Vezorak always believed she was destined to live a failed life in obscurity until she was brutally murdered by an ancient vampire named The Summoner and reborn as a powerful vampire necromancer. Now it is up to her to save the world…

 

 

AUTHOR BIO

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to rhiannonfrater@gmail.com.

 

Author Links:

Website: http://www.rhiannonfrater.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2310121.Rhiannon_Frater

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.frater

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhiannonfrater

Cover Reveal: Spirit by Shauna Granger, an Elemental Novel

After five days stuck in Dallas on a work trip, I am ready to get back to blogging about all things books, pop cultures and assorted other things that we tend to babble about here at Working for the Mandroid. Right now we have the cover reveal of Shauna Granger's new book in her Elemental series, Spirit, courtesey of AToMR Book Blog Tours.

Spirit (Elemental, #5) 
Shauna Granger
 
 Releases on April 30, 2013
YA / Urban Fantasy
Cover Designed by Mooney Designs

Find it on GoodReads

Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.

 

About the Author

Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago Shauna started work on her Elemental Series and released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011. When not reading and writing, Shauna enjoys cooking and playing hostess whenever she can.

Shauna Granger| Facebook| Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

Author Tour Review & CONTEST: Fractured Light by Rachel McClelland

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Rachel McClellan’s tour for Fractured Light, the first volume in a new urban fantasy series. The tour has been running for the last few days, hitting up blogs all around the web. You can see the full list of participants and read all the great reviews, guest posts and excerpts via this post on the A Tale of Many Reviews Blog Tour site. Right now Amazon has the e-book version of Fractured Light at a discounted price of just 99 cents, a deal I recommend you take up.

As part of the tour, Rachel and Cedar Press are giving away 5 SIGNED copies of Fractured Light, 10 eBook copies and 3 necklaces inspired by the book. You can enter the contest through the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post. THIS CONTEST IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! But now on to my review.

Fractured Light
Rachel McClelland

Cedar Press (2012)
304 pages
YA / Fantasy

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Purchase it from Amazon here

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. But she never felt ready to face them---until now. Defying the Auran Council and everything she's been taught, Llona must learn to use her power over light as a weapon if she wants to survive.

That’s the shortest book blurb I’ve seen for the first volume in a series in a very long time. While it gives a very vague overview about the plot of Fractured Light, I feel as though it doesn’t really describe the book I just read. Most of the fantasy concepts in the blurb are distant things that are talked about, but not seen until late in the game. Instead Fractured Light is very much a high school drama story that just happens to be told by a girl who can randomly turn lights on and off with her mind and can’t seem to get the boy who she likes to openly like her back.

Llona Reese is a special girl. She can control light, turning them on and off with her brain, receiving and losing super speed and strength with the changes in the moon, and occasionally being able to share light to help ease someone’s emotional strain. Because of this, she believes she’s antisocial, constantly fearing that the vampire-esque Vyken that killed her mother will inevitably come back for her. The first half of Fractured Light is solidly focused on Llona transforming from the antisocial loner, who tries to go unnoticed into a normal teenage girl. Somewhere about midway, she begins to seriously take her powers into consideration, learning about her own limits and capabilities when it becomes more and more obvious that a Vyken is pretty much stalking her.

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Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Croak
Gina Damico

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release March 20, 2012
311 pages
YA / Fantasy / Supernatural

Preorder it from Amazon

Many of the best books are the ones you know very little about and find yourself surprised by at every turn. Gina Damico’s Croak was one of those books for me. Who knew a book about reapers and a teenage delinquent could make me laugh so much?

Lex is the brattiest of teenage delinquents. For no apparent reason, she beats up her classmates, her teachers, anyone she can get her hands on. Her parents have started tying her to a chair before any sort of family discussion for everyone’s safety. This raging temper started a few years before out of nowhere, turning Lex from being a perfect, straight A student into a monster that everyone fears. In hopes of quelling this anger, Lex’s parents ship her off to her uncle’s house in upstate New York, where they expect her to tend to farm chores and remain mostly isolated from anyone she could potentially throttle. Instead she finds her uncle is the mayor of a little town called Croak, where everyone wears black hoodies and can disappear into thin air with a wave of their hand.

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Review: All Things Dark & Dastardly by Mary Ann Loesch, Kaye George and Steven Metze

All Things Dark & Dastardly
Mary Ann Loesch, Kaye George & Steven Metze

Dragonfire Press (2011)
155 pages
Short Stories / Urban Fantasy / Horror

Purchase it from Amazon here

I find short story collections difficult to review, especially when it’s a collection of many different authors’ works.  All Things Dark & Dastardly is an anthology of horror, mystery and urban fantasy tales by three local Austin authors, including Mary Ann Loesch, whose Nephilim I reviewed in October.  The collection lives up to its subtitle, though it could have also included that these are just generally stories of weird.

These are definitely short stories.  Despite including 13 stories, it’s a mere 155 pages long.  All the stories, even the ones that didn’t appeal to me, flew by.  It was a very quick read and, for the most part, enjoyable.  If you like weird little horror and mystery stories, All Things Dark & Dastardly is an interesting collection that spans many different subjects and shows off the distinct voices of the three authors.

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Author Tour Review: Nephilim by Mary Ann Loesch

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Mary Ann Loesch's blog tour for Nephilim!  If you're new to the site, we hope you take a look around, perhaps enter our Spooktacular Giveaway Hop contest and see what we have to offer.  To learn more about Ms. Loesch, you can check out her website at MaryAnnLoesch.com.  Now on to our review.

 

Nephilim
Mary Ann Loesch

Lyrical Press Inc. (2011)
Urban Fantasy/Mystery/Angels

Purchase from Amazon here

I judge books by covers.  This is not some deep dark secret I've been hiding.  I pick up books for pretty or weird or interesting covers.  Ones with boring, blah or bodice-ripping romance covers, I tend to shy away from.  So why in the hell did I choose to become part of the book tour for Mary Ann Loesch's Nephilim?  I honestly don't remember.  Based on cover alone, this was going to be eye-rollingly bad.  Add in my recent problems with all books involving angels and I think I might have been sleep computing when I signed up for this.  All rational thought should have told me I would hate this book and I hate writing bad reviews.

I'm happy to say that that cover does not go on the front of this book.  Outside one sex scene of the "foreplay - fade to black - wake up the next morning" variety, this book wasn't a romance novel.  This was an interesting murder mystery that happened to involve angels there were kind of badass.  Faye, the female protagonist, also wasn't one to sit around and rely on the heavily muscled, greased up guy from the cover to protect her.  Even when she did something I usually consider being stupid with other female protagonists, it didn't bother me so much because she had super angelic powers to use against the bad guy.

Before I go on, let me just say - FINALLY!  ANGELS I WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH!  Thank you Ms. Loesch for breaking me of my horrible emo doe-eyed angel curse!  I read this in two sittings!

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