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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review & Giveaway Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1) by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)


The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 320 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book/Audio
Expected Publication Date: May 6th 2014 by Disney Press

I've been a big fan of Jennifer Donnelly ever since I read her YA Historical novel A Northern Light back in 2010 so I jumped at the opportunity to give Deep Blue the first book in her YA fantasy series a try when I got the review request.

I received the book last week and I finished it the day I got it. It was that good, I found myself being swept away in her story telling and the underwater world of the merfolk. Mermaid novels can be a bit hit or miss with me (mostly miss) I' was so glad that I found myself enjoying this one because I've loved mermaids since The Little Mermaid.

Right away when I started reading I knew I was in for the long haul. I really liked Serafina's character. I felt bad for her because she was suffering from the jitters as she had to jump through some royal hoops to be named heir to her mother's thrown as well as feeling like she wasn't important to her mother, the queen of Merrow. I thought she was a hoot and I liked seeing her go from a very unsure princess to an unsure princess who is willing to step up and be the leader her people desperately need after an attack on her city and I enjoyed the fact that she didn't suffer from SPS (Spoiled Princess Syndrome).

Neela, besides Serafina is the other character that we get to know the most. She's the cousin of Serafina's betrothed as well as being Serafina's best friend. Where Serafina is serious, Neela is the one who brings laughter and lightness to the circumstances the girls find them in. I liked her a lot and thought she was a hoot, she hides behind her humour though to help her deal with the prophecy but I like that she is so supportive of her friends.

Serafina, and Neela may have been the characters that Deep Blue really focused on but I thought the whole cast was rather good. I especially loved the other mermaids that were introduced in the latter half of the novel like the "witches" for lack of a better term that act as the mystical spiritual keepers for the merfolk who really set the whole story in motion with the prophecy which is what the main plot line is about. 

What surprised me about the book though was that romance was not a big part of the story. I've become so used to romance being the driving force in so many YA novels no matter the subgenre that I felt as though Deep Blue was a breath of fresh air in the sense that it focused more on the prophecy, and the girls coming into their own as young merfolk and the adventure it takes them on which I loved. The idea of the merfolk living hidden from humanity was great and I enjoyed learning about the songspells that keep our worlds separate and I'm very curious about the enemies that are trying to destroy Serafina's world.I also liked that Jennifer Donnelly wove the myth of Atlantis into the origin story for the merfolk. As a lover of all things Atlantis, I thought that was a nice tough and I'm curious to see how that is going to play out in the series as a whole.

I only have one complaint about the novel and that is that the dialogue was a little confusing at times. There were often references to things in the mermaid world that I wish had had some explanations and sometimes I felt the writing was a little to simplistic in terms of the dialogue in the beginning but as the book went on things started to meld better.

Overall, I thought Deep Blue was a good start to a brand new series. It was a fun and captivating read that I couldn't put down and I cannot wait until the second book comes out since I'm anxious to see what the fates have in store for the girls. I would recommend Deep Blue to all fans who love mermaids, YA fantasy and don't mind a book that I think would be geared more towards a younger YA audience 13-16 years of age. Jennifer Donnelly puts a new and inventive spin on mermaids in fiction that I think is a wonderful.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

Really Enjoyed It!

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Giveaway (US Only)

The Prize:
Two (2) winners each receive: custom Deep Blue nail polish set and copy of the book

Cat Thursday #44

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s) and then link up at the host's site: The True Book Addict. It's all for the love of cats!

*[Release Day Blast] Hunted (LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted #2) by Tyffani Clark Kemp


Title: Hunted
Series: LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted Series Book Two
Author: Tyffani Clark Kemp
Expected Publication Date: April 16th, 2014
Genre: Paranormal/Vampires 


LeKrista Scott survived three separate vampire attacks, almost drowned, and turned down her boyfriend's proposal. What else could possibly go wrong?
Apparently, if it's not one thing, it's another. Lizette, a brand new vampire with a grudge, blames LeKrista for being turned into a monster. In retaliation, she decides to go straight for the throat, so to speak, and attack LK's ailing mother at her rest home. LeKrista enlists the help of her "Vampire liason" Roman, but it could never be that easy. Not for her.
A daywalker, a born vampire who can walk in the sun, has been hired by the head of the Vampire Counsel to collect LeKrista and the debt she owes him. As payment, her great great aunt is taken. Once again, the Mages refuse to help, so what is a girl to do, but rescue her family herself?
With her back against the wall, LeKrista will rise up stronger and teach the preternatural world to fear the Vampire Hunted.


Author Bio:
Tyffani Clark Kemp has been writing since she discovered in the sixth grade that it wasn’t enough just to read about fantastic places, but she could create her own. She weaves small bits of herself into everything she writes whether it be a science fiction piece about aliens or a dramatic romance fraught with conflict and love. She lives in South Carolina with her family and her fluffy shii tzu-mix dog who thinks he’s a Saint Bernard.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #108

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released.
The Devil's Workshop (The Murder Squad, #3)
Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad faces the most shocking case of its existence, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.

London, 1890. Four vicious murderers have escaped from prison, part of a plan gone terribly wrong, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad to hunt down the convicts before the men can resume their bloody spree. But they might already be too late. The killers have retribution in mind, and one of them is heading straight toward a member of the Murder Squad, and his family.

And that isn’t even the worst of it. During the escape, the killers have stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good but now prepared to join forces with them.

Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 400 pages (Hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: May 20th 2014 by Putnam Adult
Why I'm Waiting:
Last week I read the first two books in the Murder Squad series by Alex Grecian and I absolutely loved them, they mix two genres I love historical fiction and mystery together to create some absolutely thrilling reads and I'm so excited for the third one to come out next month.
Strange Gods: A Mystery
In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn't feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything she dreams of seeing again the handsome police officer she's danced with. But more grisly circumstances bring Justin Tolliver to her family's home.

The body of Vera's uncle, Dr. Josiah Pennyman, is found with a tribesman’s spear in his back. Tolliver, an idealistic Assistant District Superintendent of Police, is assigned to the case. He first focuses on Gichinga Mbura, a Kikuyu medicine man who has been known to hatefully condemn Pennyman because Pennyman’s cures are increasingly preferred over his. But the spear belonged to the Maasai tribe, not Kikuyu, and it's doubtful Mbura would have used it to kill his enemy. Tolliver's superior wants him to arrest the medicine man and be done with it, but Tolliver pleads that he have the chance to prove the man's guilt. With the help of Kwai Libazo, a tribal lieutenant, Tolliver discovers that others had reasons to hate Pennyman as well, and the list of suspects grows.
 Annamaria Alfieri's Strange Gods is the first in a new series. Romantic and engaging, this mystery captures the beauty and the danger of the African wild and the complexities of imposing a culture on a foreign land.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 288 pages (Hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: June 24th 2014 by Minotaur Books
Why I'm Waiting:
1. The cover is beautiful.
2. It sounds amazing.
3. It's set in Africa (My favourite place to read about)
4. It's a historical mystery.
What are you waiting on this week?

Library Loot #15

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.
The Haul:
Rogue's LadyThe BearA Small Death in the Great GlenRoosevelt's BeastNeed You Tonight (Loving on the Edge, #5)
What did you pick up from the library since last Wednesday?