Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Series: A Heist Society Novel
Publication: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (May 17, 2011)

Description: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts: HEIST SOCIETY was an excellent story about a well-planned caper and about a group of friends with unusual skills. Kat Bishop has decided to step away from her criminal family and has conned her way into an exclusive boarding school. But her side trip is ended when she is framed for a prank and expelled. Then she learns that her father has been accused of stealing a group of paintings from a very, very bad man and has only two weeks to return them.

The problem is that this time Bobby Bishop is innocent; he was pulling a much smaller heist in Paris at the time. He wants Kat to forget about it and stay with her safe boarding school life. But that ship has sailed and Kat along with Hale, who might be a boyfriend if they can ever stop sparring long enough to find out, her cousin Gabrielle and friends Angus, Simon and Hamish plan a way to get the paintings back.

I enjoyed this whole story. I loved the interactions between all the kids. I loved how conflicted Kat was about her old life and how much she wanted to start a new one. I loved her sense of family loyalty. I also loved that she was one very smart young lady who wasn't going to wait around for some man to rescue her.

I can't wait to finally read the rest of this series.

Favorite Quote:
"So who are your friends?" She turned back and sighed. "Local cops?"

"Interpol actually."

"Nice," Kat said, drawing out the word.

"I thought you'd be impressed."

"It's every little girl's dream," she said. "Interpol surveillance. And kittens."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Memes: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


This week I decided to choose a book from my TBR mountain. I chose Heist Society by Ally Carter. I have read her Gallagher Girls series and really enjoyed it but haven't tried this series. Here is the description from Amazon:
For as long as she can remember, Katarina has been a part of the family business-thieving. When Kat tries to leave "the life" for a normal life, her old friend Hale conspires to bring her back into the fold. Why? A mobster's art collection has been stolen, and Kat's father is the only suspect. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.
Beginning:
No one knew for certain when the trouble started at the Colgan School.
Friday 56:
"Who hit this?" Simon jabbed his finger at the center of the blueprints. "It's not a big list, I can tell you that."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ARC Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

This Shattered World
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Series: Starbound, Book 2
Publication: Disney Hyperion (December 23, 2014)

Description: Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met. Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the rebels. Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporations that terraformed Avon. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion. Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war. As Flynn and Lee attempt to uncover the truth about Avon, they realize that there is a conspiracy on the planet that runs deeper than either of them could imagine, one that Lee's former commander Tarver Merendsen only scratched scratched the surface of two years ago. The stunning second novel in the Starbound series is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

My Thoughts: THIS SHATTERED WORLD is the second book in a trilogy. It is also a standalone romance novel and science fiction thriller. Captain Jubilee Chase is assigned to Avon where most soldiers rotate in and out frequently because otherwise they fall victim to the Fury - which steals their minds and causes them to commit various acts of mayhem. For some reason Lee is immune to the effects. Lee doesn't dream and hasn't since she was eight and saw her parents murdered in a revolution on her home planet. As soon as she could, she decided to join the military to keep the peace and stop that sort of revolution from happening again.

Flynn Cormac is one of the rebels on Avon though he is actually a peacemaker at heart. He is part of the rebel group because his sister led the rebels before she was caught and executed ten years earlier. Flynn wants to try to preserve the current cease fire and decides that kidnapping Captain Chase would be a way to force concessions out of the military.

However, things don't work like he hopes. He gets to know Lee and she gets to know him. Despite being enemies, they find that they have lots of things in common. Both would like a peaceful resolution to the situation on Avon. That situation is being complicated by the secret maneuverings of the richest man in the galaxy who is using Avon to conduct experiments on the populace using some alien creatures he has trapped in this universe.

I really enjoyed the romance in this action-packed story. I also enjoyed the seeing Tarver Merendsen again as he comes to the planet at the request of one of his former soldiers - Jubilee Chase. They work together to try to expose Roderick LaRoux and his dastardly plot.

I can't wait for the third book in this series to find out how this whole situation is resolved.

Favorite Quote:
"Oh, Jubilee." My resolve shatters and my hand slides toward hers. She doesn't pull away, but she doesn't look up either, watching my fingers curling through hers. "Hearts and souls and how they break? That's all Avon teaches anyone."
I received this eARC from NetGalley for review. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WoW: Polaris by Mindee Arnett

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!

Coming up on my review stack is Polaris by Mindee Arnett. This is the sequel to last year's Avalon. Here is the description from Amazon:
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett's Avalon, which SLJ called "an exciting piece of science fiction that keeps up its energy from beginning to end" in a starred review.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth's mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth's sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.

With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he'd see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy's newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.
Have you read Avalon? Is this book on your wishlist?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Still, the new ones know by the end of their first week not to hit on Captain Chase, even when she's at Molly Malone's. I'm not interested, and they know it. Eighteen is pretty young to take yourself off the market, but it's safer to send them all the same message from day one.
This week my teaser comes from This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner. I got this eARC from NetGalley. I requested this one after reading These Broken Stars. Here is the description from Amazon:
Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met. Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the rebels. Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporations that terraformed Avon. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion. Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war. As Flynn and Lee attempt to uncover the truth about Avon, they realize that there is a conspiracy on the planet that runs deeper than either of them could imagine, one that Lee's former commander Tarver Merendsen only scratched scratcehd the surface of two years ago. The stunning second novel in the Starbound series is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stacking the YA Shelves (Dec. 14, 2014)

Tynga of  Team Tynga's Reviews hosts this meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets.
I just got one book this week.
This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner is a short story that connects the events of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World. I have read both of those and am eager to read this connecting story. 

Here is the description:
Don’t miss the breathtaking short story that connects the first two novels in the Starbound trilogy, These Broken Stars and This Shattered World. Tarver still has nightmares about the night, six months before the Icarus crash, when he rescued a group of civilian researchers being held hostage by brutal mercenaries. Now Tarver and Lilac must reconcile his memories of that fateful night with the truth that they uncovered on a mysterious planet after the Icarus crashed. Includes a bonus preview chapter from This Shattered World.
This was free for my Kindle.

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 2, 2014)

Description: Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

My Thoughts: I finished Throne of Glass on July 11, 2012, and Crown of Midnight on August 16, 2013 so I found myself floundering as I began reading this book. There were so many characters and not enough information to refresh my memory about earlier events. I did keep reading because there were some shining nuggets of beautiful writing to carry me until I caught up with the world. This book definitely reads like the middle book of a trilogy to me. Much of the action in the story is internal. Characters are growing and changing.

My favorite pieces, and the pieces that ripped my heart out, were the sections where Celaena is trying to learn her magic, get over her crushing guilt, and overcome her sense that she is worthless. Personally, I think she is depressed but that isn't something that residents of her fantasy world would know. It was very interesting watching her relationship with Rowan change through the book even though it was sometimes the reason for Celaena's heartbreak.

Speaking of relationships, it was also interesting watching Manon form a relationship with her wyvern Abraxos. Manon was an interesting character to me because of her background as a witch and the way she saw herself, and valued herself, as mean, cruel, and heartless. It will be interesting to see how her story plays out in the next book.

While Celaena and Manon are far distant from each other, watching the stories of Darion, Chaol, and Aedion interweave since they are in the same physical location was also interesting. Chaol is the character who seems most ambiguous to me. I had a hard time figuring out what he was about. He seemed to be trying so hard not to commit.

I will be eager to read the next book in this series. I hope I don't have such a long wait!

Favorite Quote:
He unfastened his cloak. "Because I said so, that's why." And she might have told him it was the worst gods-damned reason she had ever heard, and that he was an arrogant prick, had he not tossed her his cloak—dry and warm. Then he dropped is jacket in her lap, too.

When he turned to go back to the fortress, she followed him.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.