Review: Striking Midnight by Jennifer Ellision

About the book:

Striking Midnight is Jennifer Ellision’s story in the collection, Kingdom of Glass and Ashes.

Cinderella – but not how you remember it…

What if the stepmother wasn’t the only one who was wicked and Prince Charming wasn’t what he seemed? What if your favourite princess didn’t make it home by midnight?

Be transported to far away lands where fantasy and magic come together and pumpkins and princes are joined by shifters and stepsisters in this captivating collection of one of the greatest love stories ever told.

From the imagination of our authors, prepare to meet Cinderella as you’ve never read before. Kingdom of Glass and Ashes is a spellbinding collection of fantasy and contemporary retellings, written by multiple USA Today and bestselling authors telling their own version of the beloved tale. Get ready for romance, excitement, enchantment and more than just a glass slipper.

Striking Midnight is currently available ONLY as part of the Kingdom of Glass and Ashes collection. Grab your copy today. 

Review by Katy Haye:

Striking Midnight brought some excellent twists to the Cinderella story. The world-building was excellent, and provided a powerful conflict between two nations which the infamous ball was placed to heal … or would it?

I loved the characters of Cyn and Knox, and I particularly enjoyed seeing their relationship build, wobble, strengthen and founder again. They were both a complex mixture of capable and vulnerable (Cyn in particular was a fabulous young woman to be crossed at your peril, even my heart was aching for her) and they made a great pair.

Striking Midnight led me a fabulous journey along a very twisting path, and I can’t wait to dive into more of this collection.

Katy Haye’s new series launches tomorrow with first book Dragon Thief. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and a heroine who won’t accept her fate tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

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Posted in fairytale, fantasy, fiction, magic, review, Romance, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus

 

About the book:

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high school thriller. Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Cover of Karen M McManus' One of Us is LyingReview by Katy Haye:

It’s rare that I make a foray into the contemporary genre, but One of Us is Lying was (literally) pushed into my hands by the teen in my life with the injunction, “You must read it.” And so I did.

And my word, it’s pretty fabulous.

Because I was the second person in the household to read it, I started with the disadvantage of already knowing “whodunnit” – however, that didn’t affect my enjoyment at all. The writing and the characterisation is utterly brilliant. The four protagonists sprang to life within moments and I was hooked. They absolutely fit the high school stereotypes, but they were so much more. And the narrative made a beautiful arc from heartbreaking to triumphant. Oddly enough, I had a particularly soft spot for Addy, the insecure airhead prom queen who I’m sure I wouldn’t give the time of day to in reality.

If you want a gripping read that will twist your heart, One of Us is Lying is highly recommended.

Katy Haye’s new series releases in less than two weeks’ time (crikey!) with first book Dragon Thief. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and a heroine who won’t accept her fate tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

Posted in contemporary, crime, families, fiction, friendship, review, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Dragon Chameleon by Sarah K Wilson

About the book:

It takes a special kind of magic to hide in plain sight.

I’ve been hiding all my life but now I’m doing it for my country.

My partner in crime?
A chameleon dragon who takes things way too seriously.

They keep telling me that the world hangs in the balance, but I try not to take things like explosions, spies, and illicit magic too seriously.

After all, I get to ride a dragon!
That is … when she lets me.

Review by Katy Haye:

I absolutely adored the Dragon School series, so I was looking forward to starting Sarah K Wilson’s next series, although with a degree of trepidation – would it be as good, can she do it all over again?

My worry was entirely misplaced because Rogues’s Quest was absolutely terrific, and possibly even better than Dragon School (although maybe that was just my pleasure at being back in the glorious, dragon-filled world of both series which I have missed since Dragon School ended).

Tor is an absolute delight to spend time with – smart and sassy and a little bit too cocky for his own good, there was a fabulous gap between his expectations and what the reader knew which kept me smiling all the way through. Tor has a lot of learning to do and I can’t wait to watch while he grows.

If you’ve enjoyed Sarah K Wilson’s books you won’t need this review to tell you to read this, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend fast-paced adventure, Dragon Chameleon: Rogue’s Quest, as a great place to start!

Can’t get enough of dragons? Katy Haye’s new series releases in January with Dragon Thief. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and a heroine who won’t accept her fate tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

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Review: Winter’s Captive by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison

About the book:

The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the spot Princess Charlotte’s life was destroyed.

Her fiance taken and her kingdom on the brink of war because of it, Charlie refuses to be the damsel in distress and takes matters into her own hands. She can only trust a handful of people as hints of a conspiracy are uncovered.

Leaving her castle and everything she’s ever known behind, Charlie ventures into a place she only thought she knew — her own kingdom. In the face of traitors and thieves and ruthless rebels, Charlie won’t be stopped on her mission to set things right and find her prince.

The only question is: Will she find him before it’s too late?

Review by Katy Haye:

To be honest, Winter’s Captive started out very slowly, which is – frankly – perilous when you’re dealing with a hugely impatient reader like myself. I thought Charlie was far too timid in the opening chapters. There was too much going through her head that never came out of her mouth, which I felt it should do if we were going to believe in her as a worthy queen-in-waiting.

But I’m very glad I stuck with it. When Charlie and Isla commenced their road trip the narration became funny and engaging, and then I laughed aloud and I was sold.

The story is pretty straightforward, but the writing is very clever and the relationships between Charlie and her various friends, family and in-laws are tremendously engaging. I’m intrigued to see how the series pans out because matters can’t be as they appear. I think several of the relationships are going to be completely turned on their heads and I can’t wait to see how the hints and suggestions in this book become clearer as the story continues.

And just in case these things drive you batty, be warned that it ends on a cliffhanger (it’s a fabulous twist, which might just leave you wanting to throw the book at its authors!).

Recommended!

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. New series, Princess Witch, releases in January with book 1, Dragon Thief. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and heroines who won’t accept their fates tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

Posted in families, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical, review, Romance, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , ,

Review: Seabound by Jordan Rivet

About the book:

Esther has lived on a cruise ship for sixteen years, ever since she fled an apocalyptic catastrophe with a handful of desperate survivors. Now she works as a ship’s mechanic and dreams of a life beyond her floating small town.

When disaster strikes the water system on Esther’s watch, she’s thrust into an adventure that will threaten the lives of everyone she loves. In danger of running out of drinking water, Esther and her friends sail for a mysterious floating metropolis called the Galaxy Flotilla. The flotilla’s residents—including their handsome and enigmatic spokesman—parade their lives of luxury before the newcomers, but they’ll want something in return for their warm welcome.

Esther doesn’t trust the elegant Galaxy inhabitants, and she may be the only one who sees the threats lurking beneath the surface. When a sudden storm reveals a new peril, Esther will risk everything to save her friends—and her ship—before the sea claims them at last.

Review by Katy Haye:

Seabound is a glorious post-apocalyptic story. The backstory is a massive volcanic eruption in North America which our heroine escaped by fleeing onto a cruise ship with her father. Sixteen years later and they are still floating, and just managing to survive. I absolutely loved the waterlogged world and the community on board ship.

Esther was an excellent viewpoint character, too. Whilst determined and capable (an engineer by trade – love me a STEM female!), she was also capable of making mistakes and digging herself into a big, fat hole.

The drama was plotted beautifully. Danger twisted and swelled and intensified. Life on board ship was visceral and real and there was a creeping sense of things being wrong which solidified slowly.

The ending for Esther and her friends was triumphant with a promise of more to come. I can’t wait!

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. New series, Princess Witch, releases in January with book 1, Dragon Thief. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and heroines who won’t accept their fates tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

Posted in dystopian, families, fiction, friendship, review, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , ,

Earth-shaking freebies!

The end of the world is nigh! We have a special giveaway to share with you today. Piranha Katy Haye has joined up with a bunch of talented YA writers to bring you eight fabulous free books for today ONLY.

Fill up your kindle and keep reading from now to Christmas (and beyond!).

As you’ll know if you follow the Paisley Piranhas’ reviews and recommendations, The Retreat is an utter gem. Don’t miss the chance to read it for free.

Or take your pick: Piranha Katy Haye’s Rising Tides takes us to a drowned world where a small community of survivors need to figure out the truth before it kills them.

Jordan Rivet’s Seabound is also set in a watery world with vivid characters who seek out a utopia that turns out to be too good to be true.

Amber Vial by Frost Kay mixes aliens, spaceships and pirates with unpredictable results.

The Girl who Called the Stars is another fabulous sci-fi story with a wonderful main character, Alina, who isn’t quite sure who – or what – she is, with a massive destiny to grow into.

Logan Keys’ The Last City tells the story of a girl caught up in a desperate rebellion in a dark, dystopian world.

Talented introduces Talia, a girl with remarkable talents and a burning need for revenge. Dystopian romance with all the feels!

And Elle Scott’s Ray of Light follows three strong female characters caught in the crossfire of a war. They have to decide which side to support – which might lead to salvation or destruction.

Grab all of them today for worlds of reading pleasure!

Posted in Book blitz, dystopian, fiction, friendship, giveaway, Romance, sci-fi, teen, YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Review: Pillars of Six by Kelly St Clare

About the book:

Darkness crashes over the angry sea.

After the bloody skirmish on Pleo, my future is a jumbled mess. But I’m more concerned with the questions washing ashore: How can the pirates I’ve known my entire life be strangers now? How can they let past horrors rule them—after eighteen years? And how am I bound to this magical madness?

Chaos swirls, growing stronger every day, and I’m about to find out why.

Cosmo is determined to solve our problems the only way he knows how – landlubber style. The rest of my crew waver between duty and the urge to survive. But when I’m taken captive by the captain of Malice, I finally discover what’s lurking in the deep.

Pretence is washed away with the raging sea. Darkness takes root. Unwanted truth is as inevitable as the rising sun.

A battle is brewing around me…
And so is my reason to join the fight.

Review by Katy Haye:

Oh my, this series just gets better and better!

Kelly St Clare is at the top of her game with the Pirates of Felicity series. I’m loving every moment. The characters are intriguing and the world is dangerously glorious. I even loved the nasty-pasty king.

Ebba is a wonderful character who’s growing into a wonderfully courageous and determined young woman and Cosmo (can’t think of him any other way) is an utter treasure. Despite the gruesome danger, I just want to take a trip to the Exosian Realm and hang out with them all for a while.

My only complaint is that I’ve got to wait until February for the next in the series, when I want it NOW!

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. New series, Princess Witch, kicks off in January with book 1, Dragon Thief. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and girls who won’t accept their fates tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

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