Highlighting Passenger-Alexandra Bracken’s Upcoming Time Travel Novel + Giveaway

Today I’m so excited to give one of my readers a chance to win the upcoming novel by Alexandra Bracken, Passenger. I’m reading it now and I’m really liking how she’s handled the details of time travel.

About the Book

PassengercoverIn one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods–a powerful family in the Colonies–and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them–whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.
In stores January 5

About the Author

AlexBrackenAlexandra Bracken is the New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William&Mary in Virginia. Alex now lives in New York City, where you can find her hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that’s perpetually overflowing with books. Visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com and on Twitter @alexbracken.


One (1) winner receives: a copy of PASSENGER
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.
Please note prizing will ship early January following release of the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

More About the Book and Pre-Order Info

Learn more at un-requiredreading.com
Visit AlexandraBracken.com
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram
Follow Alex Bracken on Twitter and Instagram
You can pre-order Passenger at these locations:
Barnes & Noble

Review of Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne

DaughterofDuskDaughter of Dusk
By: Livia Blackburne
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Print ARC
Source: Kelly from Effortlessly Reading

My Rating:

After learning the truth about her bloodlines, Kyra can’t help but feel like a monster.

Though she’s formed a tentative alliance with the Palace, Kyra must keep her identity a secret or risk being hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret of his own, Kyra’s not sure she can trust him. And with James’s fate in the hands of the palace, Kyra fears that he will give her away to save himself.

As tensions rise within Forge’s Council, and vicious Demon Rider attacks continue in surrounding villages, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But she walks a dangerous line between opposing armies: will she be able to use her link to the Demon Riders for good, or will her Makvani blood prove to be deadly?

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Midnight Thief so was very eager to see what would happen in Daughter of Dusk. I chose not to reread the first book so it did take me some time to remember the characters and exactly where the last story left off. After a few chapters though I was back into the Kyra’s story.

I felt that the pacing was a bit slower in this novel though I did enjoy what I was reading. It felt like it took a little long for the action to kick in. Kyra still struggled in this novel to come to terms with her dual nature and I found her difficulty in accepting herself to be one of the more interesting parts in the book. I also loved that we got to see more about what happened to Kyra’s parents. I also like that we see Tristam work on accepting Kyra and working to forgive/acknowledge her Makvani side.

I was a tad irritated that a good amount of the relationship side focused on the two with-holding information and not speaking plainly to one another. I know this happens in life but it is so frustrating to read about for me. I wanted to knock each of them on their heads and get them to speak. Perhaps because of this friction between the two characters I felt little to no chemistry between them. I remember liking them as a couple in the prior novel. I will say there was no love triangle if that was something you worried about.

In the first book and the prequel we got to know James fairly well. He wasn’t nearly as present in this book and I must say I missed him. He was one of my favorite characters because I loved that he was such a grey character.

We are given the opportunity to get a better feel for the Makvani and get more detail about their society. The same characters are present through this novel though we do get introduced to a few new people. Sadly, I didn’t make any sort of emotional connection to any of the side characters.

When we aren’t with the Makvani the story focused on Forge and the political scheming/unrest tearing the city apart. I found this to be moderately interesting but overall it made for a bit of a slower read for me. There’s a lot about Kyra not being of high enough class and to prove it I felt the author would through in some dialect/slang to show her as a street urchin. It never flowed for me and sort of pulled me from the story. I don’t mind class issues in books and this one felt fairly realistic to the characters but it wasn’t something I really loved about the story.

Final Thoughts:
I really looked forward to Daughter of Dusk and overall I found it an entertaining read. I didn’t like it as well as the first book but I was happy to learn more about Kyra and the other characters.


DNF Review- Invaded by Melissa Landers

By: Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Read to page 238

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Alienated so had fairly high expectations for Invaded, though I did have some reservations since first book left off with it being inevitable that Cara and Aelyx would be apart for the majority of the sequel. Their dynamic and chemistry was my favorite aspect of the first novel so this was a major concern and I really think this was the reason I was never able to really get into Invaded.

The pacing felt slower to me but it was probably due to my lack of connection to the characters this time around. I wasn’t nearly as fond of Cara in this book though I can’t pin-point why. I didn’t dislike her by any means I just felt that she was harder to relate to? We do get to meet many more L’eihr because Cara is living on their planet. I was pretty let down by the planet in general since it wasn’t all that different from Earth (though I guess this does make sense) and the society wasn’t structured all that much differently either.

Aelyx was still on Earth and tasked with trying to make peace and an alliance between the two worlds. Though each of the characters was struggling to cope with their new situation neither stories really gripped me.

Really I can’t say anything was wrong with the section I read (more than half way) My biggest problem was that I found it impossible to get fully immersed in the story and it was a struggle for me to pick the book up to read. I’ve been working on it for a few weeks and found that I was pushing it aside for other books. For me, I felt that I should abandon it for now rather than forcing myself to continue. I hope to feel more in the mood for this type of story and try again at a later date.

Have you read Invaded? What were your thoughts and should I continue it later?

Review of Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1)
By: Jennifer Donnelly
Release Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: Disney Press
Source: ARC

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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.

Read More »

Review of Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Never FadeNever Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
By: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: October 15th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Barnes and Noble

A copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

If you’ve not read The Darkest Minds check out that review and not this one since the summary (below) has spoilers for the first book.

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself.

The Story:
I didn’t have time to reread The Darkest Minds before jumping into this book. I was able to slowly remember all that had happened so it wasn’t necessary to reread though I think it would have been helpful since I was foggy on some of the details. Never Fade picked up where the last ended and gave the reader a new viewpoint from within the League. I found this incredibly interesting to see things from their side and to get a feel for their everyday tasks.

As with The Darkest Minds, Never Fade had wonderfully descriptive action scenes yet had real heart. I felt the pacing varied from slow to fast but though it is a long book it didn’t drag (though I could easily see some pages edited out).

This is one of those sequels that is nearly impossible to write a spoiler free review because so much has happened from where our character’s journey began in the first book. I love Bracken’s writing and feel that it pulled me into the story and kept me riveted to Ruby and her struggles.

The Characters:
Ruby has grown so much since we first met her character. She is much stronger and has started to understand her ability though she still hates possessing it. Throughout the book she struggled with her choices in regard to her old friends and tried, in her own way, to make amends for her guilt. I love how well developed and rounded she is. I find her emotions to be incredibly realistic and relatable.

I found both this and the first book greatest strength to be the connection I’ve formed with the characters. We do get to see some of the characters from The Darkest Minds but the majority of the book is focused on the people that Ruby comes to know in the League. I connected to the new characters easily, especially Jude. He is the perfect foil to Vida’s bravado and Ruby’s coldness. Jude’s loveable nature and anxiety helped to connect me with what was happening to them and really brought an element of relatability (since I’d be freaking out and anxious like he was).

Final Thoughts:
Though Never Fade is a bit long in parts the story moves fairly fast and the characters are once again the strongest feature; a stellar sequel that progressed the storyline and characters effectively. Needless to say, I can’t wait for book 3.