The Sound

I love music. Always have.  I like scouring the web looking for and listening to all the new sounds that artists put out.  I'm constantly amazed by it. Here's what this month sounded like for me...

** I never ever EVER steal from artists (bands or authors). Everything posted here is either a free downloaded provided by the artists or from my personal music library**

Two of my "auto-buy" bands released their long awaited albums this month, so I didn't "hunt" for music much this month, since I was consumed by these albums.  I thought I would share a few of my favorite tracks from each of them. I hope you enjoy as much as I do. 


Dare Review: The Iron King

Julie Kagawa
YA lit
363 pages
Iron Fey #1
Chapter 1
Harlequin Teen

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


Review: Mockingjay

Suzanne Collins
390 pages
The Hunger Games #3

Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.


Review: Catching Fire

Suzanne Collins
YA Lit
391 pages
The Hunger Games #2

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.


Early Review: Dead Iron

Devon Monk
352 pages
Age of Steam #1
Chapter 1

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.

In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he's going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all...


Review: Dead on the Delta

Stacey Jay
Urban Fantasy
389 pages
Pocket Books

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.
But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six year-old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .


Nina Reviews: Hunt The Moon by Karen Chance

Karen Chance
Urban Fantasy
432 pages
Cassandra Palmer #5

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.


"Say hello to my little friend..."

It's official The Spinecracker has found her partner in crime.  Please help me welcome her to the site!

Hi all! I’m really excited to be teaming up with Jess!

My name is Nina, and I am a bookaholic, crafter, foodie, beauty junkie, and all around dork. I work as a manager at beauty store and if I’m not at work I’m reading. I love reading Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Mystery and some Graphic Novels. I am a devoted follower of several series that I can not live with out, and read, re-read (and listen on audio book too) constantly. Told you. Dork.

When I’m not at work or reading, I’m outside at the beach or walking around my beautiful California coastal town. I’m on twitter and good reads as beenah if you want follow the craziness. I look forward to sharing and laughing with you all!


Mini Review: Dark Hunter 2, 3, 4

I've been powering through the Dark Hunter novels, hoping to be up to-date in the series by the end of the year. {There's no way I'll make it in time for the Retribution release, August 2nd}  I don't want to write lengthy reviews since there are thousands upon thousands of them already, but I also didn't want to just leave them, and not share my thoughts.  Here are a few mini reviews:

Dark Hunter # 2
408 pages

This should have been the first book in the series.  If you read Fantasy Lover, DH 0.5, or Night Pleasures, DH 1, and thought it was a borderline chick-lit, come back! Start fresh with this book.  Embrace has so much going on, it's a great introduction into the world. And a great intro to Acheron as well. The meet-cute is still a little bad romance novel "I see you. You look hot. Let's get it on. Now I can't let you go." But the Talon and Sunshine are entertaining, with lots of history from both of them, and have a few surprises for you. The world is interesting and unique and you'll finally get a feel for what all the fuss is about. 
4 stars

Dark Hunter #3
343 pages

I love Zarek.  My heart poured out for him.  His life is one of the worst I've ever read, and each time he dove into stories of his past I would ache for him. Seriously. "Tortured soul" has his picture next to it in the dictionary.  The story picks up exactly where DH2 left off, which was really cool.  Zarek is marked for execution, but Astrid has been sent by The Fates to judge him before he is condemned.  She ends up trapping him in a house using a snow storm, so that she can give him a fair trial.  The locale and story surroundings became a little drab because its mainly in one location, but there is a lot of action due to the fact that certain beings decide not to wait for the verdict.  There's also finally a building relationship. Woot.  OH! And lots more Acheron mystery.
4 stars

Dark Hunter #4
361 pages

This book had a lot of things happening that I never thought would happen so early on in the series.  We got a healthy dose of the Apollite and Daimon insight, and I was surprised with how it all played out.  There are still a few cameo appearances from the Dark Hunters we know, but mainly this book was all by itself. The romance was a little more tame than the rest of the books, but it was more tender too.  There were a lot of emotions involved with this one, but the couple was my favorite. But I have to say, I really liked having to think about this race, the Apollites and the Daimons, as people, and force myself to imagine what I would do if I was in their shoes. 
3.5 stars


Winner Winner

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and read Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty's 'Behind the Pen'  The winner of Nightfall is :

Pamela (spaz)

Congrats Pam! Email me thespinecracker(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address. 

*winner was chosen by random.org*


Review: Nightfall

Ellen Connor
Urban Fantasy
327 pages
Dark Age Dawning #1
Chapter 1
Berkley Sensation

Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought, in her wildest nightmares, that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her–one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.

The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna’s father. Skilled and steadfast, he’s ready for the Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and the mutant dogs attack–vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.

When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion–a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.


Review: Dragon Bound

Thea Harrison
Paranormal Romance
312 pages
Edler Races #1
Chapter 1&2

Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful - and passionate - of the Elder races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave - although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul ...


Review: The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins
YA fantasy
374 pages
The Hunger Games #1

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


I Double-Dog Dare You...

This month's dare comes from Chelsea over at Vampire Book Club, and I think I'm actually excited about this one. Me like-y the Fae.

Chelsea says:
How often do we get epic fantasy books where the one who saves all is the heroine? Not often enough. Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series gives us a teenage girl discovering her fae linage. A war is brewing in Faery and she may be the key. Expect trickery, battles and lots of familiar names. Add two hot faerie boys -- one who comes from the dark court -- to up the romantic tension.

Jess, I dare you to take on the epic journey started in THE IRON KING, because a little YA fantasy will be good for you. 

Chelsea, I accept!

Julie Kagawa
YA Fantasy
363 pages
Iron Fey #1
Chapter 1

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. 

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. 

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


Release Day Review: Hexed

Kevin Hearne
294 pages
Urban Fantasy
Iron Druid Chronicles #2
Del Rey/Spectra

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.


Behind The Pen: with "Ellen Connor" + Giveaway

I love interviews.  But I find the artists behind the stories equally intriguing, and I think they deserve as much limelight as their characters.  So here, instead of a list of questions about the story, the plot, or the characters, I ask authors the same 11 questions about themselves and hopefully get a glimpse behind the pen...

What happens when two authors get together? Why, they join forces and create an apocalyptic world that's a little "28 Days Later"... and a little "9 1/2 weeks" ,of course. Ellen Connor = Ann Aguirre & Carrie Lofty. The pseudonym is a combination of each of their ideas of a bad ass heroine; Ellen Ripley & Sarah Connor. 

The authors are launching their new Dark Age Dawning series tomorrow with the series' first book, Nightfall. The series will fishing up with Midnight, releasing Sept 6th and Daybreak Dec 6th.  If you're a sci-fi/suspense/romance fan, this series might be exactly what you've been waiting for. 


Ode from a Superfan

Vicki Petterrson, how do I love thee. No?  Coming on too strong? Oh, but it's true. Vicki Pettersson's series was the first series that I found by myself, that wasn't recommended to me from someone else, and from the very first book I was hooked.  


Review: Magic Slays

Ilona Andrews
Urban Fantasy
304 pages
Kate Daniels #5

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price . . .


Winner Winner

I should have announced the winner of Spellcast last week, but I was on hiatus.  I apologize for the delay.  I wish I could personally give each and every one of you a copy of this book to read, because I loved it that much.  But alas, I can not.  The winner is:


Congratulations Sara!!  Please email me thespinecracker(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address.