Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: MARY The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series: Bloody Mary #1
Pages: 256
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?

My Review:

This book was absolutely crazy, I did not expect it to be as creepy as it was, and I am glad that it exceeded my expectations. I was really interested to know how a story about the game Bloody Mary would come to be, and honestly this book really brought the ghost story to life even more. What I really found that made this book was the history of Mary Worth as these girls try to save themselves from this ghost.

Jess, Shauna, Kitty and Anna are a group of friends that one night decide to play Bloody Mary, but things end up going wrong and Mary comes out of the mirror and attempts to get her revenge. This situation really shows the friendship of these four girls as Mary sets her sights on one of them. Their lives are changed as Mary has the power to show up in any reflective surface, so Shauna begins to follow clues to find out who exactly Mary was.

Hillary Monahan definitely takes the idea of Bloody Mary to another level, I really believe that adding in historical factors to this story made it that much more enjoyable. Readers see a different side of Mary Worth, and as Shauna gets closer to certain details she finds out that there are many secrets still left to be uncovered. Hillary Monahan gave us a story to remember and definitely a great Halloween read. The scenes with Mary coming out of the mirror were so well written that I had to stop reading them at night because I felt I would get nightmares and not be able to look in a mirror again.

This book will definitely keep kids these days from ever wanting to try to call Bloody Mary themselves. I am interested to see what Hillary has next for the characters and for Bloody Mary. If you are looking for a good scare, I recommend checking this book out for sure! I for one can't wait for more of Mary's history. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Review: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Random House Canada
Series: Cainsville #2
Pages: 496
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 19, 2014
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the second book in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's exciting new Cainsville series, Olivia's newly discovered power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel's past mistakes come to light, creating a rift between them just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia's certain it's another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman with a connection to Cainsville went missing just days earlier--the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has Olivia's new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia's effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don't want revealed.

My Review:

I remember when Omens came out last year, everything about the book intrigued me, and when I read it I fell in love with the world Kelley Armstrong created. The first book was a great introduction to the characters and the town of Cainsville, so I jumped into this one as soon as I could. Visions starts off right where Omens leaves off, so it is nice to read these right after one another. I can absolutely say that this book definitely keeps up the dark tone of the first one and it will keep you interested and asking lots of questions.

These books are difficult to talk about without spoiling too much of what happens, especially with this being a sequel. But I will talk about the things I can, like the relationships that you get in this book. A lot of the characters from the first book obviously come back, and readers see Olivia still attempting to come to terms with her new life and trying to learn more about who her real parents are. Gabriel is helping Olivia more and it comes at the most dangerous time for her, she is seeing things that tell of danger nearby, and yet leave many more lingering questions.

I really loved seeing more of Patrick, he helps Olivia understand a little more of the history of Cainsville, and yet still leaves a good amount of questions. There are also some new characters that come around and bring up some new questions. Cainsville has so much history and there are so many things Olivia still does not know about herself and her family background. The people I am still the most interested in all of this are "the elders", they know so much and yet they are rarely around, I see big things coming from them in the future of this series.

This is what really makes this series so intriguing is how Kelley Armstrong slowly reveals things and yet still leaves you needing more answers. Armstrong definitely knows how to keep readers on the hook and I believe readers will definitely continue coming back to this creepy little town. I also have to say that the way Armstrong ended this book truly left me wanting the next book right now, things are definitely becoming more interesting and more creepy as Armstrong continues this story. Prepare yourself for a ride when you dive into the Cainsville series!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series: Midnight Thief #1
Pages: 376
Received: Received a copy from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 8, 2014
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.

My Review:

Wow, this was such a great book, I had been really excited about this when I first heard about the story because it sounded so intriguing. I definitely believe that this story is as great as many people have been saying. I truly enjoyed all the characters and I'm interested to see where the story will go from here.

Kyra is very used to getting by on her own, and all of a sudden she is offered a job that will help her get by. What Kyra doesn't realize is the kind of trouble that she could eventually get into, and she is pulled in to this mission, that she truly knows nothing about. What is amazing about Kyra is that she is not only thinking about herself, she has her own special family of people that she wants to help protect as well. I absolutely adored Kyra's loyalty to those she sees as family, she is an amazing character that fights for what she believes in.

What really caught my attention with the story was when Kyra and Tristam are placed together, there is something about throwing two people from opposite ends that really make a story. Many secrets come out on their journey together that will change both their lives. Livia Blackburne has created an amazing new world in MIDNIGHT THIEF and so much can change in an instant.

There is a lot of action and intrigue, but the characters are the ones that make this story what it truly is. Watching as they deal with difficult situations and especially seeing Kyra try to make the best of a hard life shows how strong of a character she is. Kyra has friends behind her that are her family and she wants them to be happy as well, I cannot wait to see what more Blackburne has for readers in the future. This was an amazing opening to a new series and I am excited for more of Kyra and learning more about her life. 
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