Blog Tour- Review and Giveaway for Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

geminaGemina (The Illuminae Files #2)
By: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff and Illustrated by Marie Lu
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Friend

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

My Thoughts:
Last year Illuminae BLEW ME AWAY. I wondered- could this companion ever compare? The answer is YES. Gemina was incredible- we get all new characters this round (though the ones we love do appear) and a new story line. I will say that, because of the character switch, I struggled a teeny tiny bit just getting used to the new voices. It’s like when there is a new Doctor in Doctor Who– I sort of mourn that I’m not seeing the old characters. But it didn’t take long before I was wrapped up in this story.

I really think that Kaufman and Kristoff work magic creating these books- I have no clue how their minds come up with this stuff but it is incredible. It has the feel of old science fiction but it brings it up to our day and age and gah- it’s just perfect really. I’m amazed that with the format being as it is (transcripts, emails, surveillance video, etc) the reader still connects deeply to the characters. It really says so much about the talent of the writers to accomplish this. Beyond that Gemina is HUGE- yet- it is such a fast paced read you’ll actually wish it were longer.

The characters- especially Hanna- were badass. She might be pampered but no one will keep this girl down. She was fierce and a force to reckon with and that she was never a push over. Nik I had a little bit more trouble really getting a connection with but once I did I fell in love with him. His chemistry with Hanna was perfection.

There are some really great and complex side characters-my favorite being Nik’s cousin Ella. She brought humor to the story and was just such a great character. I think her relationship to Nik really helped me get his character.

Gemina was action packed and there were many twists I didn’t see coming. The big bad in this one wasn’t a virus but an alien. I will admit- the virus idea scares me more but these aliens were NASTY. I wouldn’t ever want to encounter one. The descriptions were spine tingly and really vivid (for better or worse).

As I mentioned before the story was presented in transcripts, emails and the like. I really love this technique and I feel it works so well for these books. I love seeing the story unfold through all these methods and it give the story a great dimension.

geminaig

Final Thoughts:
You really need to read these books to get a feel for how amazing they are. Any details I can give will just take away from the excitement of the reading experience. Go get these books!

Giveaway

This giveaway is provided by Penguin so is US only.

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Review of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

NevernightNevernight
By: Jay Kristoff
Release Date: August 9th 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

This book has mature sexual content and violence.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

My Thoughts:
This was my first of Kristoff’s books to read (minus his co-authorship with Amie Kaufman with the Illuminae Files). I was really impressed with his writing, descriptions and character growth. Overall this book was a slowish read taking me a couple of weeks. I chose to take it slow because the writing was a bit dense and the world complex. For me, this was not a negative in the slightest. I love being fully immersed and really getting a lot of background and insight into all the characters.

Mia, our main character, was nothing short of bad-a**. She suffered through an awful event in her childhood and so she sought nothing more than revenge. I loved her drive (haha) and yet even with her complete dedication to revenge those that hurt her family she was still likeable, relatable and had heart. I wasn’t ever exactly sure what she’d do in a situation which made her unpredictable and honestly fun to read.

The secondary characters were amazing as well. Even those that barely made an appearance in the book *coughs* Lord Cassius *coughs* had me enthralled. I wanted to know MORE and this kept me reading. I was so impressed with the backstory we got for various characters- especially Tric. My goodness, I loved how detailed and yes, brutal, it all was. And brutal this book was- there was LOTS of gore, violence and blood. So much blood in fact there was an actual pool of it.

The story itself was so detailed and not predictable in the slightest. The pacing varied some with the start being a tad slower than the ending. I found that the build up and world building were so worth it in the end but those that are eager for a faster paced story might find their interest lagging. Kristoff added footnotes that were so clever and added little, insignificant at times, details about the world and society. I found them such a great touch.

As I mentioned above this book was geared to an older audience. There are sex scenes that are rather detailed so I’d put this in the adult fantasy category myself.  I think my favorite aspect of this book was that nothing felt unused- the details and little bits we learned along the way all sort of tied in to really immerse me into this world. It became real to me. I got very emotionally wrapped up in the characters and I honestly got a bit rattled at a couple of scenes. I was also surprised by various things that occurred as well.

Final Thoughts:
Nevernight was an intense book that build such a realistic world and characters I was completely immersed. Kristoff had the ability to shock me and really created a novel with incredible depth. I can’t wait to find out what happens in the sequel. With the mature content, detailed descriptions, violence and length this book reads like an adult book so YA fans be aware of this. nevernightpicHave you seen the UK cover?

 Nevernight nevernightuk

Which cover do you prefer? I really can’t say because the US fits the story so well but I’m so partial to crows. So- I must own both.

Blog Tour- Review and Giveaway for Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae_Social_BlogTour_TWTR_1P

I am honored  thrilled ecstatic to be part of this tour because Illuminae has been one of the most immersive, unique and exciting science fiction novels I’ve read in recent memory. THIS BOOK.

I’ll be featuring my rambling thoughts (expressions of awe and love) within the confines of a review. I also have the pleasure of offering one of you, my lovely readers, your own copy.

IlluminaeSummary:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Review

Illuminae Review

Giveaway

Random House is offering up one finished copy of Illuminae to one of my US/Canada readers.
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