Fanfiction Friday

So, in addition to reading books I also enjoy reading fanfiction.  There is some amazing stuff out there. And some horrible stuff, but it’s easy to just click back out when you don’t like it. I love seeing where authors take the characters. Sometimes you get non-cannon pairings, alternate universes, or just a different twist on the book/show. This is my infrequent attempt to showcase some of the stories I’ve read that I loved.

This week I’m sharing with you Why Don’t We Break The Rules, Already? by LayALioness.

Fandom:  The 100 (TV)
Relationship:  Bellamy Blake/Clarke Griffin
Tags: Alternate Universe – Harry Potter Setting
Words:  83536 words (!!!) split into 2 chapters.
Rating: Mature

Summary:
The next morning, Clarke hexed Bellamy so his hands kept dripping blue ink everywhere, smearing it on everything that he touched, like a leaky pen. She’d nearly forgotten about it by the afternoon, but then suddenly someone was grabbing hold of her feet, and Clarke glanced down, shocked, to find Bellamy smearing his leaky blue hands all over her nice white sneakers.

“What are you doing?” she asked, unable to look away as he ruined her shoes. They hadn’t actually touched each other since that first day, when she’d shoved him. She couldn’t believe he was resorting to–Muggle tactics!

“Just practicing some art,” he grinned cheerily up at her, and then strode away as if nothing had just happened. He was whistling.

It took her another hour to realize that he’d charmed her shoes to be glued to her feet, so she had to wear them to the shower, and even to bed. The spell had worn off by the morning, but the blue was still there, dried in a pattern that sort of resembled ivy vines one way and bird feathers the next. Clarke decided she liked the way they looked, and would keep them.

A Marauders AU

I loved this! I’m not even sure I’m capable of reviewing it, but it’s a fantastic blending of The 100 and Harry Potter. Set at Hogwarts, it’s not a retelling of HP, but a unique story that pulls elements of both HP and The 100 into a compelling story. If you’re familiar with either of these (although it’s well done enough that I think you could read without being in either fandom) you’ll know that there’s a lot of death as part of the cannon story. And chapter 2 of this story definitely reflects that. There were parts that I was reading through the tears. The story takes us from before Clarke starts at Hogwarts through past graduation. Chapter 1 is definitely more light hearted with a bunch of Bellamy/Clarke hijinks. And some of the deeper themes that show up a bit farther into the story with the issues between “purebloods” and “muggle-borns” although cannon to the HP universe also cut a little close to home. There’s some beautiful writing. I loved this line:

But the thing about fears is that they don’t always listen. Sometimes when you tell them to leave, they stay, and sometimes when you tell them they’re wrong, they make you think they’re right. Sometimes even when you know they’re silly, they don’t feel silly at all.

And the use of some of the minor characters from The 100 and the locations, magic and world from HP is spot on and fantastic. This is a long story and well worth the read!

 

Review – Lock & Mori

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Title: Lock & Mori
Author: Heather Petty
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: September 15, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Retelling

Find it: Goodreads / Amazon / Kobo

My rating: 4/5

Summary:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

My Thoughts:

I loved this Sherlock inspired story. It’s told from the point of view of Mori…Miss James Moriarty. I loved seeing a female Moriarty.  Mori has had a really hard past 6 months. Her mother passed away, her father has changed, and not for the better. She spends a lot of time caring for her younger brothers and appears to have withdrawn from a lot of her social life.

She and Sherlock team up to solve the mystery of a man murdered in the local park. And in doing so tumble into something bigger and much closer to home for Mori. Sherlock has a lot of the typical tendencies we see…deducing things based on the evidence he sees, poor social skills, etc. It’s a fun portrayal of him as a modern day teenager. Knowing that cannon Moriarty is Sherlock’s nemesis it felt a bit off at first as they become friends. But it’s cool to see them working together. And we’re left with glimpses of where that friendship may start to unravel leading to an eventual falling out. Mori has some darkness in her and I’m hoping that Sherlock will be able to temper that for her in future installments. For me it reads as pre-psychotic Moriarty. Whether we’ll get there is hard to say (I’m on the fence…there’s a lot of fun in a female Moriarty).

I had some issues.  It was hard to get past the very obvious names without any more of a reference to it than “it’s a family name”. It feels like the Sherlock Holmes books aren’t part of this modern day universe. Which is okay, but it was glaring for a little bit. The characters do talk in a way that’s not normal for teenagers, but I’m willing to write that off to living in London and the quirkiness of canon Sherlock. The same for two teens deciding they’d be better at solving a murder than the police. That’s right up canon Sherlock’s alley…he’d totally decide the police were bumbling idiots and he could do better.  And I read it as Mori thought more that the police were covering something up and she needed a distraction from her real life. And they’re teens…so you get a lot of teen angst which I’m hoping fades as the series continues. If you can’t get over those points, you’ll struggle with the book. And I think you need to accept that this is an early version of Moriarty before anything has happened to cause her to be Sherlock’s nemesis.   The mystery wasn’t as deep or puzzling as I might have wanted from a mystery book, but I still really enjoyed the book.

This is a great twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes…and it’s only a few more months until the next one comes out!

Blog Tour and Giveaway – There Once Were Stars

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I’m excited to bring you my stop on the Xpresso Book Tours blog tour for There Once Were Stars. I’ve got my review to share and there’s a tour-wide giveaway for 5 e-copies of the book!

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Title: There Once Were Stars
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Find it: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

My rating: 3.5/5

Summary:
Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

My Thoughts:

This YA dystopian was a quick read for me. I loved the concept of the story (people built domes to survive, now we start to wonder what’s outside the dome) and I was engaged with the story the whole time. The main character Natalia turns 18 and suddenly as an adult is done her schooling and must start contributing to the Dome. She quickly ends up thrust into a scientist position because of her parents legacy, not because she has any real aptitude for it. And she uses that opportunity to learn more about what happened to her parents, and what is really happening in the Dome. I’d have loved to see a bit more world building as the concept of the dome was fascinating to me and I feel like there’s more we could have learned. I didn’t connect really well with the main character. She did have some of the rebel traits that I like to see in a female lead, she also came across as being a bit whiny for me. I appreciate where her angst was coming from, she had a lot going on! But I didn’t get a strong enough sense of connection between the events happening and her attitude. The book acts as a stand-alone.  I’m not sure if there is a sequel in the works, but all of the major plot points were addressed and the ending does wrap everything up.  After reading a few books recently that left me with cliffhangers, this was a lovely change of pace! Overall I enjoyed There Once Were Stars.  It’s a good read, with an engaging plot.

 

Author Bio:

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Giveaway:

• Five (5) ebooks of There Once Were Stars are up for grabs! Enter today for your chance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stop by the rest of the tour to see other people’s reviews, excerpts from the book and guest posts. The full tour schedule is here.

 

Review – Air Awakens (and Giveaway!)

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It’s Week 1 of the Crystal Tour and I’ve got a review of Air Awakens (Book 1) and an exclusive giveaway for you. I really like this series and am eagerly awaiting the fifth and final book, Crystal Crowned, on July 12th.

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Title: Air Awakens
Author: Elise Kova
Find it: Amazon | Indigo | Goodreads
My rating: 4/5

Summary:
A Library Apprentice, a Sorcerer Prince, and an Unbreakable Magic Bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

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The Crystal Tour

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I’ve got mixed emotions about this one. I’m happy to bring you my stops on the Crystal Tour…but I’m sad that we’re coming to the end of a great series!

The Air Awakens series, by Elise Kova, is a fantasy series that follows 17 year old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl as she unwittingly saves the kingdoms Prince and is pulled into the world of sorcerers and magic.

I love the Air Awakens series, and the fifth and final book, Crystal Crowned, is coming out on July 12th.  In the lead up to its release there’s a blog tour where people will be sharing their reviews of the first four books, an amazing raffle and a few other treats.

You can join me on the next four Mondays as I share my reviews of the books so far;

June 13Air Awakens
June 20Fire Falling
June 27Earth’s End
July 4Water’s Wrath


Affinity Quiz

There are four affinities in the Air Awakens world – Water, Fire, Earth and Wind.

Take a minute to do this Buzzfeed quiz and see which affinity you have and what characters you are most like. I’m a Waterrunner.

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“The ability to command the smallest amount of moisture makes Waterrunners practical sorcerers with a variety of applications such as illusions and the creation of ice weaponry. Like your element, you’re adaptable and can ebb and flow with the tides of any situation. People may mistake your flexibility for being fickle, but once you set your mind to something you will accomplish any task. You embody unassuming strength.”

 

You can find the full descriptions for each of the affinities by following these links:

Groundbreaker
Firebearer
Waterrunner
Windwalker

Other Events In the Tour

Facebook Release Party – July 12, 7:00-10:00pm EST

Come join the party and celebrate (mourn) the release of Crystal Crowned!  The more folks who RSVP, the more amazing prizes that will be unlocked.  Just click on the link below and say you’ll be there!!

URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/496464397206520/
About: Join Elise Kova and friends, Michelle Madow, Susan Dennard, Rachel E. Carter, Leia Stone, C.M. Lucas, Laura Thalassa, and Danielle L. Jensen for the Crystal Crowned release party on Facebook! It will be an evening of fun, games, discussion, giveaways, and more!

Goodreads Fan Club Discussion/AMA – July 30, 7:00-9:00pm EST

URL: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/991545-post-crystal-crowned-discussion-with-elise-kova
About: Join author Elise Kova for two hours of discussion on the conclusion of the Air Awakens series. Bring all your questions!

Raffle
This is the biggest raffle yet for the Air Awakens series. There are multiple prizes that people can win:

Grand Prize – Complete set of first edition Air Awakens hardcovers signed by Elise Kova (Author), Monica Wanat (Editor), and Merilliza Chan (Cover Artist), plus a swag pack
First Runner Up – Complete set of Air Awakens paperbacks plus a swag pack
Second/Third Runner Up – Complete set of signed Air Awakens ebooks
4 Air Awakens complete bookmark sets

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ENTER HERE

I hope you’ll join me on this blog tour. I’ve got some special giveaways planned for the tour and I’m looking forward to sharing this great series with you. If you haven’t read it yet, the ebook of Air Awakens (Book 1) is on sale now for $0.99 at all major retailers. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Book Blitz and Giveaway – Tempting Death



I’m excited to bring you this book blitz for Tempting Death.  I love Grim Reaper stories…the tv show Dead Like Me was one of my favourites. I’m looking forward to reading the Grim Trilogy! And be sure to enter the giveaway before you go.

Tempting Death
Elizabeth Holloway
(The Grim Trilogy #1)
Publication date: May 30th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi pancake, but a mysterious boy named Aaron saved her life. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper. The bigger problem? He saved Libbi’s life so she can take over his job.

Libbi has just days to choose between dying like she was supposed to or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. The choice only gets harder when she learns Aaron’s reasons for wanting out of the whole morbid business. Basically, his job sucks.

Still, when Aaron looks at her, there’s something more in his eyes. Something dark and secret. Something he’s hiding. Libbi will be damned if she’ll die without figuring it out. And she’ll be damned if she lets him go.

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Shimmer Blog Tour and Review

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Shimmer by Paula Weston

I’m so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Shimmer.   Thanks to Tundra Press for providing me with a copy.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting it’s release since I finished Haze.  If you haven’t read the first two books in this series (Shadows and Haze) I’m going to suggest you pick them up right away, read them, and then come back here as there will be spoilers for the first two books in this review.

Gaby and Jude are back.  Rafa’s fate is still unknown and the tagline across the top of the book “Secrets. Rivalry. Threats. Lies.” couldn’t be more true!

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The Merit Birds – Review

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The Merit Birds by Kelley Powell

From Amazon:

Eighteen-year-old Cam Scott is angry. He’s angry about his absent dad, he’s angry about being angry, and he’s angry that he has had to give up his Ottawa basketball team to follow his mom to her new job in Vientiane, Laos. However, Cam’s anger begins to melt under the Southeast Asian sun as he finds friendship with his neighbour, Somchai, and gradually falls in love with Nok, who teaches him about building merit, or karma, by doing good deeds, such as purchasing caged “merit birds.”

Tragedy strikes and Cam finds himself falsely accused of a crime. His freedom depends on a person he’s never met. A person who knows that the only way to restore his merit is to confess. The Merit Birds blends action, suspense, and humour in a far-off land where things seem so different, yet deep down are so much the same.

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Illuminae – Review

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

There was a lot of hype about Illuminae.  And I’m always a little concerned reading books with so much hype since it sets my expectations so high.  As most of it had to do with the unique format the authors chose to tell the story and not the story itself I found the hype wasn’t as impactful.

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