Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Full of Joy and Triumph and Victory

SPOILER ALERT
This review is for those who have read or are familiar with the previous book, Grave Mercy, or don't mind knowing some spoilers for it. Dark Triumph, however, will remain spoiler-free.
SPOILER ALERT

Dark Triumph
~Dark Triumph~
His Fair Assassin
Book 2

By Robin LaFevers
Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks

Vengeance is Divine.

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, Sybella, the convent realizes, is one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin's skills are little help when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?



Hold on to something because this book hits the ground running. Coming fresh from Grave Mercy, I knew a little of what to expect, but that introduction threw me for a loop. Whereas book one started slowly, building up the world and introducing the characters one by one, Sybella's story starts right in the thick of things and doesn't slow down once. Even continuing straight off the last book, I still had to take a breath, get my head in the game, and start over after the fourth chapter.

But enough of comparisons, let's get down to what this book offers on its own.

Monday, July 15, 2013

This Girl Is Destroying Me

SPOILER ALERT
This review is for those who have read or are familiar with the previous book, Shatter Me, or don't mind knowing major spoilers for it. Destroy Me, however, will remain spoiler-free.
SPOILER ALERT

Destroy Me
~Destroy Me~
Shatter Me
Book 1.5

By Tahereh Mafi
Amazon ~ Jan's Paperbacks

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after
Shatter Me and before its sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.


Okay, Mafi, I'll say it. You've got balls.

I believe I said in my review of Shatter Me that Warner was a character I hated to love. He was that kind of stalker boyfriend who thought he owned you and you should be grateful for his affections, but even when you made it abundantly clear you were fine without him, thank you very much, he just shrugs off your complaints as playing hard to get, being childish, or not knowing what's best for yourself. He made a great villain, someone easy to root against.

And then this novella happened.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Audio Addendum: Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy
~Grave Mercy~
His Fair Assassin
Book 1
By Robin LaFevers
Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks


Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


Original Review

Approximate Reading Time: 6 Hours


Audiobook Review
Read by Erin Moon
Length: 14.3 Hours
Listened at 2.5x Speed

A couple things bothered me about this particular recording. Upon first reading the book a year ago, I was pleased at the historical tone of the writing, how characters and even the narrator were historically accurate in speaking without any contractions. This recording, however, throws in contractions at almost every single instance, shortening "will not" to "won't", "cannot" to "can't" and "that is" to "that's" regardless of who is speaking. Perhaps the director chose to shorten things to have it better 'fit in' with other YA novels, but I for one was disappointed that the historical nature of the writing was pushed aside.

Also, the recording suffered from very long pauses at every track break, which I noticed even upon listening at twice normal speed. The sample from the Audible page has a pause at exactly the same place, so I can only assume digital copies would possess these breaks as well. This is the first audiobook where I've had this issue, and as such I don't understand why the track breaks were added or not fixed. I don't think the issue is so bad as to ruin the entire production, but I do think it detracts from the immersion, having unscripted/unwritten pauses all over the place, sometimes even in the middle of paragraphs.

As with most audiobooks, I was thankful of the helpful pronunciations given, especially with the many, many French names, locations, and swears. I'll admit that the sudden French accents for these words was jarring at first, especially with completely American/English-sounding narration, but as the book wore on it was less of a jolt and more fluid.

Overall, this recording had its fair share of oddities, but on the whole I'd still have to recommend it for any fan of audiobooks. I don't know that the director's choices in transcription and pausing would win over new fans of the audio experience, but for those accustomed to the medium and interested in the story, I think it's worthwhile to give it a try.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2013 Netgalley Knockout

2013 Netgalley Knockout
Hosted by Goldilox and the Three Weres

Are you overwhelmed with the amount of egalleys you have to read?

Do you keep requesting those egalleys anyway?

Feel like Netgalley and Edelweiss are going to hunt you down?

Knock out those egalleys!

2013 Netgalley Knockout!

Here's all the details you need to know:
  • Netgalley Knockout will run from July 1 - September 30
  • You are not limited to ebooks from Netgalley! You can include any ebook you have received for review from Netgalley, Edelweiss, or from a publisher or author directly. It just must be an ebook and it must be a review book.
  • You can only count books that you read from July 1 to September 30. Nothing read before the challenge starts or after it ends will count toward the challenge!
  • You do not have to only include books released during the months July, August, or September - but you can include these, of course! Any electronic review book counts, whether it has already been released or is still yet to be released!

Again, even if the book has already been released, if you're reading a review ebook copy of it then it counts toward the challenge!

***And if you find this challenge after July 1st - no worries! You can join the challenge through the linky all the way up to September 1st if you'd like!***

PLUS

There will be a giveaway for any blogs who link up their wrap up post at the end of the challenge in September! Every blog on that linky will be entered and one winner will be randomly chosen to receive an ebook of their choice under $15.00 from the ebook seller of their choice!

Just link up your post about joining the Netgalley Knockout challenge at the host's blog, Goldilox and the Three Weres! Your post can be as simple as "Here's a new challenge I'm joining, here's the link to find out more information".

And feel free to grab the button above and add it to your blog's sidebar. That would be *awesome* of you!

Share in the comments below or in your sign up post how many of your egalley books you plan to knockout during this challenge!

SIGN UP!

Since I've managed to accumulate about 14 review galleys that I need to read, I'll be aiming for a nice even 10 books for this challenge.

The Fire Inside by Raymond Rose ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Moon Spell by Samantha Young ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Moonstone by Marilee Brothers ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Moon Rise by Marilee Brothers ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Moon Spun by Marilee Brothers ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Shadow Moon by Marilee Brothers ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Her Majesty's Will by David Blixt ~ Amazon | GoodReads

The White Oak by Kim White ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Blüd & Magick by Preston Norton ~ Amazon | GoodReads

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins ~ Amazon | GoodReads

Ink by Amanda Sun ~ Amazon | GoodReads

The Companions by R. A. Salvatore ~ Amazon | GoodReads

The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp ~ Amazon | GoodReads

I figure between all of these, I should be able to get at least 10, if not more. Overall, I'm pretty excited to give this a try.

How about you all? Got any review ebooks waiting to be cracked open?
Leave a comment below, and wish me luck!


Keep track of my progress on my Reading Challenges page.