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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer, #2
Released: January 21st 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Audible

The truth about Mara Dyer’s dangerous and mysterious abilities continues to unravel in the New York Times best-selling sequel to the thrilling The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. She can’t. She used to think her problems were all in her head. They aren’t. She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

In many ways, The Evolution of Mara Dyer is a better book than its predecessor. It’s certainly a more mature work, free of the usual genre tropes. While The Unbecoming was emotionally challenging, The Evolution takes things a step further as our uncertainty and fear for Mara reach a whole new level.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guest Post by Naomi Clark, Author of Undertow + Giveaway

Hello, everyone!

There are very few urban fantasy authors I truly believe in, and Naomi Clark is certainly one of them. Her Ethan Banning series is dark, gut-wrenching and gritty, but it's also beautifully written and very challenging for the reader - in the best way possible.

I am extremely happy to welcome Naomi to The Nocturnal Library.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch (Love Lessons, #2)Author: Heidi Cullinan
Series: Love Lessons, #2
Released: September 30 2014
Publisher: Samhain
Length: 270 pages
Buy: Amazon

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.
Love Lessons, the first book in Heidi Cullinan's milder-than-usual series, proved that this author excels at characterization. This fact was pretty clear from her previous work as well, especially Dance With Me, which is one of my all-time favorites. But for some unidentifiable reason, Love Lessons didn’t quite reach me emotionally, not as much as I felt it should have.

When Fever Pitch came along, I waited a bit to read it, expecting more of the same, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. This book, you guys, I have no words to describe how it made me feel.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)Author: Michelle Hodkin
Narrator: Christy Romano
Series: Mara Dyer, #1
Released: January 21st 2014
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
Buy: Audible

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

Sometimes, a book you least expect to like takes you completely by surprise. Sometimes, even though you respect their opinion, you disagree with some of your most trusted friends. For me, this is one of those times.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Symbiont

SymbiontAuthor: Mira Grant
Series: Parasitology, #2
Released: November 25th 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 518 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon


The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde.
Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.

Usually when a duology becomes a trilogy or a trilogy becomes a more lengthy series overnight, I grumble and complain and become instantly resentful of both the author and the publisher. But when I discovered that this duology somehow grew to become a trilogy, I felt nothing but satisfaction and joy. More books from Mira Grant are always good news to me. In fact, if Parasitology suddenly became a 180 books long medical thriller/soap opera hybrid, I’d still be a happy camper. That’s how much I admire this author and trust in her ability to always, always deliver.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nice Dragon Finish Last Audiobook Clip!

Hello, my nocturnal readers!
A few months ago, I reviewed the first book in a wonderful new urban fantasy series by Rachel Aaron (also known as Rachel Bach, author of the Paradox trilogy). Nice Dragons Finish Last is a delightful blend of genres, and its protagonist, a young dragon named Julius, one of the most memorable characters I've come across in a very long time.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mini Review: Anomaly

Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium, #1)Author: Tonya Kuper
Series: Schrodinger's Consortium, #1
Released: November 25th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Length: 301 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it… 
Worst. Birthday. Ever. 
My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…
Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

The wonderful cover of this book, combined with the well-written blurb, does an excellent job of luring us in by promising a book both hilarious and filled with adventure and romance. However, Anomaly doesn’t quite live up to the promise. There is, admittedly, a decent amount of adventure, but romance is far from satisfactory, and the promised humor strangely absent.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Night Shift

Night Shift (Kate Daniels, #7.5; SPI Files, # 0.5; Psy-Changeling)Authors: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane
Series: Kate Daniels #6.5; SPI Files #0.5
Released: November 25th 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark...
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.
From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself. 
It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms .

Night Shift is an anthology comprised of four stories by two urban fantasy and two paranormal romance authors. I’ve only read the urban fantasy parts since paranormal romance still gives me severe allergies, but the two stories I have read, Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews and Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin are completely worth the price of this book.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sheol I Edition

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hi, everyone! 
It's been quite a while since I did my last WoW post, so I thought I'd choose something really special this time around. Here's a book I'm desperate to read:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mini Review: Descent

DescentAuthor: Ken MacLeod
Series: Standalone
Released: November 18th 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 403 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO FOR THE TRUTH? Ball lightning. Weather balloons. Secret military aircraft. Ryan knows all the justifications for UFO sightings. But when something falls out of the sky on the hills near his small Scottish town, he finds his cynicism can't identify or explain the phenomenon. And in a future where nothing is a secret, where everything is recorded on CCTV or reported online, why can he find no evidence of the UFO, nor anything to shed light on what occurred? Is it the political revolutionaries, is it the government or is it aliens themselves who are creating the cover-up? Or does the very idea of a cover-up hide the biggest secret of all?

Can you imagine a wonderful, light science-fiction novel set in Scotland, with delightful Scottish accents, spaceships (possibly) landing in the moor, and unruly Scottish boys with very wild imaginations? Well guess what, as lovely as it sounds, you don’t have to imagine it, Ken MacLeod already did it for us.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Forbidden

Forbidden (Forbidden #1)Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Series: Forbidden, #1
Released: November 4th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 397 pages
Source: Publisher for review

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Forbidden is the first book in Kimberly Griffiths Little’s historical romance trilogy with a very lush, exotic setting. Set against the backdrop of the Mesopotamian desert in 1759, it gives us great insight into the best and the very worst of this world. Our heroine is Jayden, a 17-year-old girl betrothed to the future tribe leader. Her marriage was arranged when she was just a baby, but Jayden feels only fear and mild disgust for Horeb, and wants nothing more than to avoid marrying him. Then a young wounded warrior joins her family in the desert and Jayden is immediately taken by him, just as he seems taken by her. Her life becomes even more complicated, burdened with tragedy and the constant fight for survival and torn between two young men, one she was promised to years ago, and one who truly loves her.