Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Alex As Well

Alex As WellAuthor: Alyssa Brugman
Series: Standalone
Released: January 20th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Length: 224 pages
Source: Publisher for review

Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she’s a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn’t as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents. Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex—the boy Alex—has a lot to say about that. Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.

In this day and age, very few topics are more important than intersex and/or transgender children. The world is changing right now and diverse books will certainly help us reach a positive outcome. Aside from being a beautiful book, Alex as Well is also a step in the right direction. I can’t remember any other recent YA books about intersex teens, and we can’t deny the necessity.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: City of Eternal Night

City of Eternal Night (Crescent City, #2)Author: Kristen Painter
Series: Crescent City, #2
Released: December 2nd 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 436 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Magic and mystery collide in this second installment of the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.
Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. With Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides though, they do not have an easy road ahead.
But when a young girl is stolen from the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball -- the biggest far event of the year -- Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow's father, Braziano, is of course their number one suspect, but evil lurks in every corner of the city and time is running out. Their only choices: Either find a way to rescue the girl, or Augustine must die.
As an urban fantasy author, Kristen Painter keeps exceeding my already high expectations. City of Eternal Night is undoubtedly a fabulous addition to her Crescent City series – full of danger, excitement, intrigue and romance.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Audiobook Review: Hellhole

HellholeAuthor: Gina Damico
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Relased: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 9 hrs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Audible

A devil is a bad influence.... There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max's choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food - and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin' Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.
Gina Damico, author of the Croak series, once again delivers all the horror, hilarity, and high-stakes drama that any kid in high school or hell could ever handle.

Gina Damico, author of the Croak trilogy, is known first and foremost for her fabulous sense of humor. Her books are always hilarious, which more than makes up for the occasionally weak plots. On the surface, Hellhole is a pretty weak story about a boy who accidentally ends up taking care of the devil (one of 666 of them, apparently) and makes all sorts of ill-advised bargains with him along the way. But there are many other things underneath, and it’s precisely those things that make this book worth your time.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Trust No One

Trust No OneAuthor: Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Standalone
Released: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 320 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

It's no coincidence when Grace Elland finds a vodka bottle next to the lifeless body of her boss, motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon. The bottle is a terrifying-and deliberate-reminder of the horrors of her past.

Grace retreats to her hometown to regroup and tries to put everything she's learned about positive thinking into practice-a process that is seriously challenged on the world's worst blind date.

Awkward doesn't begin to describe her evening with venture-capitalist Julius Arkwright. She has nothing in common with a man who lives to make money, but the intense ex-Marine does have some skills that Grace can use-and he's the perfect man to help her when it becomes clear she is being stalked.

As Witherspoon's financial empire continues to crumble around them, taking a deadly toll, Julius will help Grace step into her past to uncover a devious plan to destroy not only Grace, but everyone around her...

Jayne Ann Krentz wrote over fifty New York Times bestsellers in a variety of genres under three different names. That kind of experience can’t be bought or faked, and we as readers are lucky to reap the benefits. She shines brightly in her latest novel, a wonderfully compelling romantic suspense with a fascinating young woman at its center.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Audiobook Review: Firefight

Firefight (Reckoners, #2)Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners, #2
Released: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Audible

Newcago is free. They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand.
Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.
Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it's the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David's willing to take the gamble. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic - Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Holy Firefight, Batman! I’m such a Brandon Sanderson fangirl.

Here’s what you can expect from the second book in Sanderson’s Reckoners trilogy: A new city. Entertainment. Goofiness. Laughs. Almost unbearable tension. Hurt. Betrayals. So many tears. Frustration. Elation. Hope.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: When

WhenAuthor: Victoria Laurie
Series: Standalone
Released: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Length: 336 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.
Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.
Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?

When is a very impressive and incredibly compelling standalone book by Victoria Laurie. It’s the sort of book that pulls you in from its first sentence and refuses to let go. The opening chapter does an excellent job in making us care for Maddie, our protagonist, and at the same time, it gives us a great idea of what lies ahead. This suspenseful, surprisingly well-written book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, which wasn’t achieved through cheap tricks and tropes, but through a story so well-built that it would leave anyone breathless.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Audiobook Review: Half-Off Ragnarok

Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, #3)Author: Seanan McGuire
Narrator: Ray Porter
Series: InCryptid, #3
Released: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Audible

What do gorgons, basilisks, and frogs with feathers all have in common? They're all considered mythological by modern science, and some people are working very hard to keep them that way. Alexander Price is a member of a cryptozoological lineage that spans generations, and it's his job to act as a buffer between the human and cryptid worlds - not an easy task when you're dealing with women who have snakes in place of hair, little girls who may actually be cobras, and brilliant, beautiful Australian zookeepers.

After two very entertaining InCryptid books with Verity Price and her Covenant boyfriend Dominic, we now join her older brother Alex in Ohio. I had my doubts about McGuire’s decision to leave Verity and change narrators in the third book, but Alex proved to be a very entertaining, albeit completely different protagonist.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Finishing School, #3
Released: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Atom
Length: 304 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Sophronia continues second year finishing school in style -- with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown. She, best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and charming Lord Felix Mersey stow away on train to return classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspects what or who would be aboard the suspiciously empty train.
Fortunately for us, Gail Carriger’s sense of humor seems to be as strong and sharp as ever as she keeps providing us with endless entertainment in this well-developed world. Waltzing with a bladed fan and using longing looks to seduce unsuspecting young evil geniuses are just some of the things our Sophronia has become quite skilled at in her years at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Year in Numbers and Recommendations

Happy New Year, nocturnal readers! I hope you all had the most wonderful time.

2014 has been a very exciting year for me... less so for my blog, unfortunately. I've been busy with so many things last year, and while my career has been taking several exciting turns, The Nocturnal Library oftentimes had to remain neglected.  I have been reading, of course, because anything else would be impossible, but reviewing and commenting took a back seat for a while.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)Author: Michelle Hodkin
Narrator: Christy Romano
Series: Mara Dyer, #3
Released: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Audible

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she's been told. There is. She doesn't stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead. She should. She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance. She will now. Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer's story. Retribution has arrived.

The heart-stopping conclusion to Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer trilogy is everything you want a finale to be – more tense, more violent, more exciting, more romantic, and just more! Although it was safe to expect as much, it was still a relief to discover that this wonderful author found a way to give us more of everything. Leaving Mara was by no means easy, but me suffering from a book hangover is a sure sign that the author did everything right. And she did.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Rereading Swan Song, a Guest Post by Kenny Soward + Giveaway

Merry Christmas, my darlings! I hope you're having the most wonderful time with your friends and family.

Today I am happy to welcome author Kenny Soward to The Library. Kenny recently released TINKERMAGE, the second book in his Gnome Saga and he's here to share one of his reading experienes... or rather two - 25 years ago and now.

So without further ado...

Rereading Robert McCammon’s Swan Song Twenty Five Years Later

By Kenny Soward

Whenever I read a book, I have the annoying urge to compare the author’s style to my own. It usually goes like this ... “Oh, they’re pretty good,” leading to “They need to work on this or that,” upgraded to “Well, this is actually pretty phenomenal,” and finally ending with “Ugh, I’ll never be this good!”

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Twelve Nightmares Before Christmas with Courtney Alameda: Nightmare Seven + Giveaway

Hello, nocturnal readers!

Today I am beyond proud to welcome the wonderful Courtney Alameda to The Library! Courtney's debut novel, Shutter (coming from Feiwel & Friends in early February 2015) scared the living daylights out of me, but at the same time, the depth of characterization and her marvelous worldbuilding absolutely thrilled me.

Courtney's far more eloquent than I am, so I'll leave you in her very capable hands.