My Top 20 New Book Releases 2012 (Part 2)

Sorry it took so long to post part two, but here it is, as promised! Part three will be posted hopefully soon. There are so many books I want to read, lol.

1. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) – Julie Kagawa

I’ve loved her Iron Fey series, so I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this one, which comes out April 24th. Just have a look at the story description:

IN A FUTURE WORLD, VAMPIRES REIGN. HUMANS ARE BLOOD CATTLE. AND ONE GIRL WILL SEARCH FOR THE KEY TO SAVE HUMANITY. 

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike. But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

2. Shadow of Night (All Souls #2) – Deborah Harkness

I. CANNOT.WAIT.FOR.THIS.BOOK. I mean, for real. I loooooooooooved A Discovery of Witches, it’s probably my all-time favorite novel, which is hard to achieve considering how many good books there are out there! July 10th, 2012, is much too far away in my book!

“Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown”—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season .

3. Destined (Wings #4) – Aprilynne Pike

I’ve been following this series from the start, and since this is the last book in the series, I’m sad to see it go, but all good things must come to an end. The book comes out May 1st, 2012.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and she is working with Klea to conquer and destroy Avalon. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares for a fight she never thought she would have to face. Filled with heart-pounding action, sweeping romance, and higher stakes at every turn, Destined is the series conclusion that readers have been clamoring for—with a twist that will leave them breathless. 

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to touch her hair behind her ear. He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn’t kiss her, just held her face to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching. 

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

4. The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) – Rae Carson
I had the pleasure to receive an ARC of the first book in this series, and it totally blew me away. The story is so different, you’ll all going to love it. Expected publication is sometime this year. This is the sequel to the Girl of Fire and Thorns:

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone’s power. That is not all she finds. 

5. Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood #10) – J.R. Ward

Last, but not least, this series is one of the best there is out there. I’m currently reading the ninth book in the line, and since this one comes out March 27, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Oh, and it also happens to feature my favorite brother. Enjoy!

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Now back in the Brotherhood – and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was – Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams – trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld – Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he’s told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed . . .
Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free

“Lover Eternal” by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2) – Review

Paperback: 441 pages

Publisher: Signet

Release Date: March 7, 2006

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. 

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…”

My thoughts

Oh man! Rhage, also known as Hollywood, has got to be the funniest of the Brothers. There’s never a dull moment in this book, and I found myself laughing over and over again. This man is truly a sweetheart, and he’s completely won me over.

This book was simply a pleasure to read and I couldn’t bear to let it go. Rhage is not only a very hot and charming vampire warrior, oh no, he’s a man cursed for a rash decision made in the past, and he now has to live with the risk of hurting those around him, because, if he doesn’t release the pressure inside, he’ll turn into a dragon that can kill anything, including his brothers.

Mary Luce is also not your typical heroine. From what I gathered, she’s not really good looking, just a plain woman. She’s also got a life-threatening disease. So when Rhage takes an interest in her, she’s bound to wonder what he sees in her. What she doesn’t know is that her calm nature calms the beast inside of Rhage.

Their love story is so emotional and so beautiful, I just had to cry in the end. I loved it! It’s got to be one of my favorite books in the series, and it finally introduces more of the brothers. The writing remains consistent throughout the whole series, and as always, you’ll probably need a slang dictionary, but I think that’s what gives it charm. There aren’t many books written in this particular way, and it gave me an insight into the New York life.

All in all, it’s a really good sequel to “Dark Lover” and I’m happy I took a risk and bought the boxed set with the first six books in the series. At least I didn’t have to wait for all these books to come out! Now is as good a time as any to start this wonderful series.

Make sure you read my review for “Dark Lover” a few posts back if you’re planning to start reading this series.

Rating: 🌙  – a golden moon!

“Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) – Review

 Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Signet

Release Date: September 6, 2005

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood

“In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed – leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate – Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead – a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.”

My thoughts

If you’re reading this, you are probably wondering why you should read another goddamned vampire novel. They’re basically all the same, right? Wrong! The world J.R. Ward has created is so different and so addictive, you won’t be able to have enough of the Brothers. So it’s a good thing that there nine novels already out, with the tenth one coming out on March 27, including an incredibly hilarious insider’s guide that’s worth every penny.

As I started reading “Dark Lover” I found it a bit dark and unusual. It was unlike any other novel I’ve read. Each brother has deep problems which they keep hidden under a facade of cold-blooded killers. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very good at killing their enemy, the lessers – a society of undead who smell like baby powder. Yep, you read right. Baby powder.

Wrath, the hero of this novel, also known as the Blind King, is, as the nickname already indicates, the king of the vampire race. His problem: he has no wish to lead his people. Enraged with the lessers for killing his parents, he blames himself for not being able to defend his family. So he fights alongside his brothers, focusing his anger on the enemy. Which is all good and dandy, and suits him just fine. The vampire race, on the other hand, is suffering without its leader.

And here’s where Beth Randall steps in. Growing up as an orphan human woman, she has no idea who she is or what the darkness hides at night. Her mother died at childbirth and she never knew her father, who unbeknown to her, is one of the seven vampire brothers, the warrior named Darius. He watches her from afar, not wanting to get her mixed up in the dangers of his world, but then, he fears that she might transition into a vampire when she hits the age of 25. Afraid something might happen to her, he contacts Wrath, and asks him to help her through her transition, because you see, in J.R. Ward’s novels, vampires only feed from other vampires of the opposite sex. Human blood doesn’t really sustain them much. And Wrath, as the only purebred vampire left, has incredibly strong blood, so it would certainly help Beth survive her transition, especially since she might not survive the change.

The shocker, or well not so surprising decision considering the way Wrath feels about humans, he turns down Darius’ request for help, telling him to find someone else for the job. Just as Darius then leaves the meeting, he gets killed, which sets off the entire story, forcing Wrath to care for the half-breed daughter as the dying wish of his brother.

The attraction between Wrath and Beth is incredible, starting with their first encounter. I do have to warn you though – if you’re not used to really hot sex scenes in a novel, then you’re in for a very tasty surprise, well if you’re into that sort of stuff. Which I totally am. The book is so much more than sex scenes and killing though.

Wrath is an incredibly hard man to approach, and poor Beth has a hard job at reaching his heart, but when she finally does, its incredibly heartbreaking. The story is so beautiful and, in my opinion, sets up the stage for the next stories perfectly. You get to meet the lovely and fierce brothers: Rhage, Zsadist, Phury, Tohrment and Vishous. I think these are fabulous names! I mean, would you really expect a vampire warrior to be called something like Sam or Edward? Their names totally fit!

The lovely J.R. Ward also created this intriguing language – the Old Language – and I find myself already using some of the terms explained in the book. In the first book, you’ll have to keep going back to the glossary in the beginning of the book, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Oh, and if your first language isn’t English, you might want to read the books translated into your own language. If you normally read books only in their original language as I do, you’ll find that Ward uses a lot of slang, the American one to be more precise, and some phrases might be a bit hard to understand. You might not even like it at all. I personally fell in love with the slang and now find myself using expressions and words I would have never used otherwise. Which is rather cool, true?

Well, other than that, I’m not sure what else to say about this book. I really, really loved it, and feel like I cannot get enough of this world. I find myself wishing I lived in the world and with every book I read, I fell in love more and more. I love the Brothers and their shellans, or mates as we humans call them. I cannot wait for the next book coming out in March, “Lover Reborn”.  It also features my favorite brother and I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

So if this all sounds appealing to you, or if you’re looking for a really good book to get you started in the whole urban fantasy genre, I recommend you start with “Dark Lover”. You’ll fall in love with Wrath, I guarantee it!

Rating: 🌙  – I’m giving this book a golden moon! The highest possible rating on this blog. Only my absolute favorite books will be getting this award as of now! 😉