8.11.2017

(Blog Tour) Book Review: Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros


I'm excited to be partaking in the blog tour for Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros!

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Synopsis:
Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass...

My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Project Pandora is a thrilling adventure full of intriguing characters and a fascinating world that is expertly crafted.

I will be the first to admit that I requested this book on NetGalley because of its cover. (It’s absolutely stunning.) I didn’t know what I was getting into, and I think it works better to go into this book as blind as possible. The action kicks off from the very first page; wasting no time taking our characters into this mysterious and deadly world. It’s crazy as all heck and will surely throw readers, but as you continue reading and the mystery is slowly revealed, it becomes hard to put down.

I liked the idea of teenage assassins who were a part of a mysterious program, never truly aware of who or what they were. It’s an intriguing premise, one that isn’t easy to pull off, as it’s important to maintain the same level of suspense throughout, and yet, Aden Polydoros managed to do just that.

The varying points of view help to keep the book exciting, as we shift between these various characters and truly dive into their desires, their faults, and their strengths. However, the most interesting character was easily Hades who had the best arc throughout the story, compared to someone like Elizabeth, who admittedly had the weakest storyline of the bunch.

That doesn’t mean the book is without its flaws, though. As strong as the book is, it still manages to lose steam near the end. Some things felt repetitive and the action was mainly “off screen,” whereas the author had done such a great job of highlighting the action throughout the rest of the book. It’s because of this that I had to give the book four stars as opposed to five stars. The ending just fell flat, which was unfortunate. I do still plan to read the rest of the series, though.


One final note: I did like the use of the Greek codenames, however, it did seem weird to use Apollo and Artemis as the code names for a duo in the book given there’s a romantic aspect to the characters in this story.

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Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:


Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library. As a teenager, Aden decided that he wanted to be a writer. He spent his free time writing short stories. He was encouraged by his English teacher to try his hand at writing a novel, which inspired him to begin PROJECT PANDORA. The YA thriller is set for publication with Entangled Publishing in Summer of 2017. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US.Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 


And make sure to enter the giveaway!
Giveaway Details: Project Pandora Prize Pack (US) or a $10 Amazon Gift card (INT) 



8.10.2017

Book Review: Runes (Runes #1) by Ednah Walters

Runes (Runes, #1)Runes by Ednah Walters
Review Copy: Purchased
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Download: Amazon (Free!)
Release Date: June 8th, 2013

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for such a long time now. I'm not sure why I hadn't taken the time to read it earlier, but I'm glad I finally jumped in. Although I had my issues with the book, I thoroughly enjoyed Runes and the world that Walters crafted with this first installment.

I've seen Runes compared to Twilight from time to time, and while I understand those comparisons regarding the relationship between Torin and Raine -- as it does mirror Bella and Edward at times -- I don't think it's fair to write the story off as "another Twilight." (That's not a knock on Twilight either. I still admittedly like the Twilight series.) My biggest problem with the romantic relationship here, and I don't feel this is a spoiler, is that Raine is highly unlikable when it comes to how she treats Eirik while she longs for Torin. I don't particularly care for cheating in storylines, but that won't necessarily keep me from reading a book. The problem here is that it starts off early on and just continues throughout the entire story, so it becomes frustrating.

On the plus side, while I didn't care for the way certain relationships were handled in this book, I really enjoyed the world Walters established here. There's so much mythology at play and she manages to weave it into something special.

Even with my issues -- namely Raine -- I do intend to finish the series as I actually kind of liked Torin and Raine together. That and I actually like Cora and Eirik and can't wait to see how their roles expand in this series going forward.

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8.02.2017

Book Review: Superfail by Max Brunner and Dustin Mackay

SuperfailSuperfail by Max Brunner
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Release Date: October 17th 2017 by Running Press Kids

Synopsis:
Laser vision isn't so hot when you're cross-eyed, and supersonic flight's a real downer when motion sickness keeps you grounded.

Twelve-year-old Marshall Preston is a Defective--a person with superhuman abilities that are restricted by some very human setbacks. While other kids are recruited to superhero teams, Marshall's stuck in seventh grade with a kid who can run at super speed but can't turn a corner, another with a radioactive peanut allergy that turns him into a swollen Hulk, and a telepath who reads everyone's thoughts out loud.

Defectives like Marshall aren't exactly superhero material, but when he uncovers a plot to destroy one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, Marshall and his less-than-super friends set out to prove that just because you're defective doesn't mean you can't save the day.

My Review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The entire time I was reading this book, I had a smile on my face. It's a fun graphic novel with an important message.

When I initially stumbled upon Superfail on Netflix, I wasn't sure what to expect. I admittedly don't read many Middle Grade novels, so I wasn't sure if this one would hold my interest, and yet, I found myself unable to stop reading once I'd started. Max Brunner has crafted such a fun story about a group of outcast superheroes that serves an important message of acceptance. (In fact, I immediately preordered a copy for my nephew once I finished reading it.)

The artwork is fantastic and truly adds to the story, yes, but it's the dialogue and the exploration of these characters that are so often pushed aside that makes this story shine. They may be Defectives, but this group of characters are a great bunch of superheroes in the end.

View all my reviews

8.01.2017

Cover Real: SERAPHINA, The Third Novella in the Guardians Series!

I know I've been quiet on here. I'm currently healing from surgery -- I finally had my gallbladder removed -- and I'm sore as all hell. So this is a bit late. I already posted it on Twitter and Facebook, but for those of you that missed it, here is the full cover for Seraphina! This is the third novella in the Guardians series, following Arabella and The Shadow Program



Full synopsis is still to come.

I originally planned on releasing it next month, however, the deadline for Collide #3 was moved up -- which is a good thing! -- so I can't focus on Seraphina at the moment. While this means a September release isn't guaranteed. I can promise it'll be released before December. 

Like the covers for Arabella and The Shadow Program, the cover for Seraphina was created by Christa of Paper and Sage Design.

And now I'm back to resting/writing on my Alphasmart as I still can't sit up that long to use my laptop. I'm in and out of Twitter if you need me, but for the most part, I won't be back around full-time for a bit. (Gotta heal first!)

<3 Nicole


7.18.2017

Collide: Book Two is Finished!

It. Is. Done.
Collide: Book Two, that is.

I officially sent the file in to InkSpell Publishing tonight and will be taking a short break before I dive back into Rebirth, and then into Collide: Book Three. I kind of super love this book, mainly because it was a much-needed break from all of the dark stories I've been working on. (I'm looking at you, Rebirth.) Collide: Book Two does deal with some heavy stuff, yes, but there are also plenty of steamy scenes, as well as the usual humor between the trifecta -- Gemma, Ben, and Molly. 

If you haven't read the first book yet, the book is expected to be released digitally in December, with the cover reveal more than likely coming in September. Since this is a novella series, the books will be digital only releases. There will not be paperback editions. (Sorry, folks.) But! It's fun, I promise. And yes, there are super steamy scenes.

And with that, here's a teaser from the first book!



<3 Nicole

7.16.2017

New to My Shelves: Runes, Poison, and More + New Updates!


So, I'm technically not supposed to be buying any boos, but I'm pretty terrible at doing that, so I ended up going to my local library's used book sale yet again and picked up a lot of books I've been meaning to read. I also hit up Amazon yet again, although, to be fair, I only grabbed three books from there -- two of which were collected trades I've had on pre-order seemingly forever. With that said, let's look at my latest additions to my "to-read" pile!

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Paper Towns by John Green
Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
Poison by Bridget Zinn
Meg Cabot's The Mediator Series - Books 1- 4
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Lumberjanes: Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Twilight/Life and Death Collected Edition by Stephenie Meyer
Runes by Ednah Walters
The Great Lake Avengers: Same Old, Same Old by Zac Gorman and Will Robson
Ghost Rider: Four on the Floor by Felipe Smith and Danilo Beyruth


Purchased eBooks:
Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano
Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
Catalyst (The Deception Game Book 1) by Kristin Smith

Updates!

1. I'm writing the final chapter on Collide #2 as I type this, and guys, I'm not kidding when I say I love this book more than the first. I hope you all check out the series when the first book releases this December!

2. I started working on As We Fall again, and I'm really excited about this one. No clue when it'll be finished, but the goal is to have a draft done by September so I can begin querying it come December. Fingers crossed!

3. Rebirth: This is my next project. I will be finishing this before I even start on Collide #3. I'm beyond happy to be back in the world of the Emile Reed Chronicles, and I can't wait for you guys to meet the new batch of characters I'm introducing come this December. 

4. Seraphina: The cover is in progress. Once Christa is finished with it, I plan on doing a cover reveal with a release date announcement. I'll be writing this alongside Rebirth. So expect a bit of a gap from finish to release as I need to allow time for editing.

And I'll leave this post on a funny note: I finally picked up a copy of Submerged (I gave away my final copy) on Amazon, only to receive a copy with the original cover and a huge food stain on it. So, thanks for that laugh, Amazon. On the plus side, the new paperback edition of Capture is lovely.


<3 Nicole Sobon

7.09.2017

New to My Shelves: Mermaids, Runes, and More -- Plus updates on Audio Books!

This is going to be a rather packed New to My Shelves, so settle on in, folks!


Purchased Books:
Paper Princess: A Novel (The Royals) by Erin Watt
SINK (Mermaid Royalty) by M.E. Rhines.

Purchased eBooks:
The Lying Planet by Carol Riggs
Under Ground (UNDER GROUND #1) Alice Rachel
Starr Fall: Book One of the Starr Fall Series by Kim Briggs
The Bodyguard: Legacies of the Amazons by Wende Dikec


NetGalley Books:
Sleeper by MacKenzie Cadenhead
Waste of Space by Gina Damico
Body Parts by Jessica Kapp

Now, onto the update portion of this post... the audio books! I'm proud to announce that Decoding Evie will officially be released as an audio book later this year. The perfect narrator has signed on to record the novella, and I can't wait to hear what she does with this rom-com short love story. This makes for the third audio book I have in production, alongside Program 12 and Program 13, which are also set to release later this year.

I'm hoping to add Capture and Stouthearted to that list, too, but I haven't had as much luck finding the right narrators for those, sadly. And for fans that were hoping to have the narrator for Submerged back for the sequel, I don't think that's going to happen -- although, I'd love if it did! -- but I'm definitely working on finding someone with the same kind of narration for Stouthearted.

As for upcoming releases... I'm nearly finished with the second installment of Collide, which is getting a makeover and re-release from InkSpell Publishing. The new cover won't be ready for a couple of months yet, but I'm set to kick off edits on the first installment relatively soon! I've enjoyed diving back into this world with these characters and I'm glad that they're getting a second chance. The group -- Gemma, Ben, Molly, Nate, etc. -- are just pure fun to write, even when things get heavy from time to time. The first installment will be on sale this December. If you haven't already, make yourself familiar with these characters!

And finally, a quick update on Rebirth. I have a release date locked in, but I can't put the book up for pre-order on Amazon just yet. That's because pre-orders can't be listed more than three months out, so it'll be a bit before you ca pre-order it there. I am, however, working on getting the pre-orders live on Draft2Digital, so stay tuned!

To end this post, here's a teaser from Collide #2!



<3 Nicole