Tag Archives: Anna Banks

Novella Mini-Reviews: The Stranger, The Department of Alterations, The Memory Coder

Well, it’s that time of year again where I start reading novellas to help my catch up to my Goodreads goal (and I’m two books behind again). Then again, I really shouldn’t blame myself because it has been a BUSY year! Regardless, I read a few novellas for free on Tor.com (LOVE IT) and I wanted to share some thoughts!

Title: The Stranger (The Syrena Legacy #0.4)
Author: Anna Banks
Completed: November 13, 2013
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [The Stranger]
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Related Posts: Of Poseidon (#1) // Of Triton (#2)

The Stranger was a short story featuring the meeting of Galen and his “land friend” Rachel. During the series, we’ve gotten bits and pieces so far of how they met, but this involved more of Rachel’s back story and how she ended up having the working relationship with Galen that she did.

WHAT I LIKED

  • I loved Rachel so I really enjoyed seeing more of her and how she came to work with Galen
  • Baby Galen! Awwww. Okay, not baby, but a much younger Galen, Toraf, and Rayna
  • I ALWAYS like seeing more backstories of the characters so I really just gobbled it up!
  • We get to see just a bit more character development and while it’s not a lot, it’s still fun to see more of my favorite characters!

WHAT I WAS MISSING

I really enjoyed the extra time we got to have with Rachel, but of course it left me wanting just a little bit more (especially after already having read OF TRITON). I just really would have loved to spend a little bit more time with her and just reading more of the story made me want to dive into more plot. THE STRANGER is more of just an extra and doesn’t have a full plot on its own, but fans of The Syrena Legacy will love it!


Title: The Department of Alterations (Crewel World #0.5)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Completed: November 13, 2013
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [The Department of Alterations]
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Related Posts: Crewel (#1) // Altered (#2)

The Department of Alterations was a short story that took place actually at the very beginning of CREWEL. We get an glimpse at a story from a different character, one that I actually totally forgot about, but I really liked seeing that different side!

WHAT I LIKED

  • I always love reading a short story/novella/extra that takes place DURING the main novel and from another character’s POV. It was really interesting to see this one! I always like thinking that the authors have to write these snippets just to get a story going from another character to have everything fit together and it fascinates me!
  • I liked seeing pieces fit together. There were some questions intentionally left open in CREWEL about this character and here we get some answers about what happened to her.
  • More backstory! Always always more world building and information

WHAT I WAS MISSING

This is solely from the POV of a completely minor character so while I wasn’t really missing it, you don’t get any interaction with the MAIN characters. It also seemed really short (whereas others feel like complete stories) so just be prepared that you’re not getting a full, separate plot on this one. It’s definitely additional information, but new and exciting all the same!


The Memory CoderTitle: The Memory Coder (Unremembered Companion Short Story)
Author: Jessica Brody
Completed: November 13, 2013
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [The Memory Coder]
Genre: Sci-Fi (YA)
Related Posts: Unremembered (#1)

The Memory Coder was an outside POV as well, taking place in… well, a location that could be a spoiler if you haven’t read UNREMEMBERED yet, so I guess I won’t get too into that! It’s part of Sera’s backstory, although we don’t really deal with her a lot directly. These are the ways that other people have been involved with her before UNREMEMBERED even starts and how she has affected them. If you haven’t read UNREMEMBERED yet, I HIGHLY suggest you read that one first!

WHAT I LIKED

  • I was super interested in the effect Sera had on other people, although I wasn’t quite sure I remembered that from UNREMEMBERED…? (Also a very ironic statement there haha)
  • I always love backstory!! I love prequels and seeing things that happened before the book started.
  • It was really interesting to see the information that we didn’t get since UNREMEMBERED is from Sera’s POV, especially when it’s technically…. “the enemy”!

WHAT I WAS MISSING

It’s been a while since I finished UNREMEMBERED so I feel like I was missing some details. Like, why was everyone so affected by Sera? Did I totally forget that? Was that something that was changed? Is this something that will be played up later? But I really did like that concept and it was a really interesting thing to read about!

Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) – Anna Banks

Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) – Anna BanksTitle: Of Triton (Syrena Trilogy #2) by Anna Banks
Publishing Info: May 28, 2013 by Macmillan
Source: Won
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 26, 2013
Related Posts: Degrees of Wrong, Of Poseidon (Syrena Trilogy #1)

    Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half-Breeds should be put to death.
As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?
Once again, Anna Banks infuses Emma and Galen's points of view with humor, intrigue, and waves of romance.

bookreview1

Anna Banks has done it again! I fell in love with this mermaid — sorry, Syrena — world and the characters in it. OF POSEIDON was such an enjoyable read for me and I admit that I was a bit afraid to jump back in with OF TRITON for fear that it wasn’t going to be as good. Nowadays, I live in fear of sequels and series for fear that the next book just won’t live up to the first. In many ways, I think OF TRITON was actually better with more established characters, more complicated story lines, and a few shocking moments of its own!

I think the thing that really set OF TRITON apart from its predecessor was that now that we have the Syrena world all established, we can really dive into the politics and laws that govern our characters. Now I’m not one for politics, but the way the Syrena laws drove these story lines was fascinating! It seems all of the characters are tangled and caught in the webs of the laws and they all have to find a way to regain power, establish control, duck around the laws, or create new ones.

And of course, the driving force behind THIS, of course, is love. We’ve got a ton of pairs in this book. First, there’s the Galen and Emma story. Their romance is the steamiest of course and there were quite a few moments when Galen got my blood boiling as well as Emma’s (in a good way)! We have the old yet new romance of Grom and Nalia and the new struggle that they must face of how they can possible get back together when Nalia has supposedly been dead all of these years. Then lastly — which involves two of my favorite characters — is Toraf and Rayna. I love Toraf’s humor and sarcasm but at the same time how attentive he is to Rayna. He’s able to show sensitivity yet handle her fiery nature all at once. They’re definitely my favorite of the bunch! Although yes, yes, of course I love Galen and Emma too!

I also loved getting to see more of some of the secondary characters. Toraf and Rayna were prominent in book one but I feel like they had much more of a story line in OF TRITON and their own personal plot that also intermingled with Emma and Galen’s. We get to see so much more of Emma’s mother, hear more about her past, and get to see her in a totally different light. We always knew Emma took after her mother, but now we get to see some of that ferocity from her as well as Emma! And lastly, we spend a lot of time in the water with various other Syrena. I really enjoyed seeing different aspects of Syrena life, their laws, and new characters that surprised me on so many levels!

OF TRITON leaves us with several high points, but also one shocking moment that took my breath away. Anna Banks left us with one whopper in OF POSEIDON but OF TRITON closes with a whole different type of shocker and that was honestly one place I did not think the book would go. In a way, I was upset but in a way, it gave the book a little extra dash of serious and drama. I thoroughly enjoyed it and devoured the book in a single afternoon! Lots of action, adventure, and romance in this one and I think fans of OF POSEIDON will not be disappointed!
character_breakdown1

Emma: Emma is back with all the spunk of book one! She’s got a lot more on her plate with this book (not like finding out you’re half mermaid isn’t a whopper, but still) and with her budding romance with full-blood Syrena Galen, Emma now has to deal with her mother’s shocking history as well as finding a way to keep her boyfriend without his own people keeping them apart. I do have to say that I still lover her spunk and fiery determination above all else! I’m glad that she stayed so true to her character — very strong and determined with just a dash of teenage naiveté.
Galen: Still serious. Still swoony! What more can I say?
Nalia: LOVED finding out so much more about Nalia in this book. After the bomb was dropped in book one, it was so great to get into that history and how everything will changed based on this brand new information!

addiction_factor1

Read it!

I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first. It was a lot of fun, great twists, and love the romances!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE OF TRITON

     Lies Beneath              Sweet Evil

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) – Anna Banks

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) – Anna BanksTitle: Of Poseidon (Syrena Trilogy #1) by Anna Banks
Publishing Info: May 22, 2012 by Macmillan
Source: Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 5, 2012
Related Posts: Degrees of Wrong, Of Triton (Syrena Trilogy #2)

    Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
  

bookreview1

OF POSEIDON was so much more than I expected. Of course I’d heard great reviews and I’ve had the chance to meet Anna Banks and see her humor in person, so I was pretty confident I’d enjoy the book! Definitely has that Anna Banks humor, wit, and snarkiness all throughout the book. The only thing I wasn’t sure about what the whole “mermaid” plot since I haven’t read any mermaid books before, but you know what? Totally doesn’t matter, because the story is really great. I think Anna Banks does a fantastic job building the Syrena world, along with the laws and gifts of the Syrena. A lot of times when different worlds are introduced, I feel like we see some really gaping holes, but everything is greatly covered in OF POSEIDON.

At first I was a little confused with the story being told from both Emma and Galen’s perspectives simply because Emma is telling it in the first person, and Galen’s side is being told in third person. I’m not really sure why Anna Banks chose to write it this way, but in the end, I think it really works. I’m not sure about the whole first vs third person thing, but I’m really glad that it was told from both their perspectives because without either side, we’d really be missing a lot of information or so many things would have to get told back to the audience instead of us experiencing it with the characters first hand.

I loved the romance aspect of the book! Emma and Galen actually spend a lot of time hating each other at first. No, hating is wrong — Galen likes to tease Emma, and Emma loooves to give Galen a hard time. I love all of the sarcasm, teasing, even the fighting because it was made to be fun. And how adorable was it hearing Galen talking about all the “land terms” and “human dialect”? So funny! It’s like he’s a foreigner getting to know brand new customers in a different country, which I guess technically in a way, he really was.

Holy cow, talk about a surprise ending! I won’t give you the smallest hint if you haven’t read it (and if you have, let’s discuss!), but I was really knocked off my feet with that. And also a little surprised as to how I didn’t see this coming… But really great way to end the book!

addiction_factor1

Read it!

This book was a ton of fun. It was the first book I’ve ever really read about mermaids and I really liked the way it was handled!

book_recommendations1

         

A Sunday Compilation

It’s Sunday! That’s not exciting, really so I’m not sure why the exclamation point… But before work claims us all again tomorrow, here’s a whole mess of bloggy updates and news points I want to remind you of before the weekend comes to a close!

1. DEGREES OF WRONG GIVEAWAY closing tomorrow!!
That’s right, folks! If you haven’t checked out my post from the Degrees of Wrong blog tour, I highly suggest you do! This is a new book from Anna Scarlett (or you may know her better as Anna Banks who wrote Of Poseidon) and I absolutely adored it! It’s love story, snark, sci-fi, thrills – the whole package for me really! There’s a giveaway for an egalley of the ARC and I think you won’t want to miss it! Only one more day to enter!!

2. THE DEJA VU REVIEW second post is up!
Guys… I’m a little sad. And desperate. No one wants to participate in the Deja Vu Review! They’re only mini-reviews and you only have to say a few words to participate! I thought it would be fun for us to talk about some books we read before we started our blogs (because I know mine isn’t that old and I’ve been reading my whole life – That’s a lot of books gone un-reviewed!), so if you want to link up, please do so soon! You can post any time throughout the week although I put the feature up on Sundays, but if I don’t get any takers soon, it may go in the garbage pile next to Freaky Friday 🙁 Or just better yet, it’ll be read only and I’ll stop trying to have people join in haha. Either way, I hope to see you there!

3. ARMY OF TEN buzz!
The Army of TEN

The awesome Gretchen McNeil has a new book coming out called TEN and it sounds MAJORly awesome! It’s not a PRIVATE secret or anything… I mean, it’s GENERAL knowledge but we need to create some buzz for the book! Oh, and she’s got a great contest going on here!!

(please just pretend like you enjoyed those puns… THANKS!)

 

 

Degrees of Wrong Blog Tour | Review, Soundtrack, Giveaway

Degrees of Wrong Blog Tour | Review, Soundtrack, GiveawayTitle: Degrees of Wrong by Anna Banks, Anna Scarlett
Publishing Info: August 28, 2012 by Samhain
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 18, 2012
Related Posts: Of Poseidon (Syrena Trilogy #1), Of Triton (Syrena Trilogy #2)

    This time, the straight-and-narrow path could be the road to ruin.
Dr. Elyse Morgan’s mission: find the cure to the HTN4 virus. The compensation, courtesy of the United Nations: a lab stocked with hi-tech goodies, limitless resources and enough chocolate to make her rear look like a cellulite farm. Bonus: she gets to live.
Rescued (kidnapped) and secreted (imprisoned) on an undersea warship, Elyse adjusts to her assumed identity as a cadet with the finesse of a toeless ballerina. Her sulfuric temper and blatant insubordination capture the unwanted attention of the ship’s captain, the gorgeous, infuriating, engaged Nicoli Marek.
Elyse would rather perform her own autopsy than become the other woman, but Nicoli—who’s as full of himself as he is of secrets—regards his impending marriage as a mere political transaction. And Elyse as fair game.
As Elyse’s suspicions about the UN’s true agenda mount along with her attraction to the relentless, chronically shirtless captain, she must choose between the murky path to everything she’s ever wanted, or the squeaky-clean path of self-sacrifice—which could mean taking the secrets of the virus with her to the grave.
Warning: Features a strong, chocolate-loving heroine who takes no prisoners on the way to saving the world from an epidemic and winning a captain’s heart.

bookreview1

I really, really loved this book! I was pretty confident before I even picked it up since I enjoyed OF POSEIDON so much and I just knew we’d see more of Anna’s sarcasm and wit woven into every page of DEGREES OF WRONG.  Right off the bat, I loved Elyse. She’s a strong personality and doesn’t take crap from anyone, even when she’s faced with a sour drill sergeant and stumbles upon (or literally into) gorgeous ship captain Nicoli Marek.

Unlike my usual reads as of lately, DEGREES OF WRONG takes us out of the realm of YA and into more of adult lit. Personally, seeing as Elyse Morgan is 24, I can almost categorize it as New Adult. As a 25-year-old, I tend not to relate to books where the main character is quite established in career, relationship (engaged/married), and home at 23/24/25. Although Elyse is quite the genius for her age and a well-established and decorated doctor, we see a lot of… what’s the best way to put this…? Immature tendencies in her that show us that Elyse is still growing up a bit — Or that we girls learn how to pinch, stick out our tongues, and give the silent treatment at a young age and hold onto those talents well!

Oh what fun it was to get to know our love interest of the story, Nicoli Marek! Somewhat of a genius himself and the captain of the Bellator submarine at only 29, Nicoli has no problem handling Elyse’s temper (which only infuriates her more), but has the exact smoldering demeanor and sexy grin that captures Elyse’s heart (okay, and mine too)! The descriptions of Nicoli Marek do not let us down in the book and make for a great, great romance. What I really loved is that it’s a slow burner. Yep, it’s got us dying for these two to get together all the way through the book, and I have to say, I think these are my favorite kinds of romances! Anna Scarlett’s elaboration on this relationship was just perfect for me!

Also, what a great plot! I admit, I was a little bit wary about how much the naval and military aspects were involved in the book at first, but it quickly became a non-issue as the plot unraveled and I got to know the personalities of the characters. There were a few plot twists that I never saw coming and I’m always baffled at how authors come up with these twists, so bravo, Anna! You really got me there!!

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. It’s straight romance with a lot of sarcasm and banter, so I think almost anyone can enjoy it! If you liked OF POSEIDON, I dare say you might like DEGREES OF WRONG even more!


And for a special part of the blog tour, I had a blast being able to create a soundtrack for the book! Here’s my soundtrack for DEGREES OF WRONG by Anna Scarlett (all links will take you to YouTube)

Want to listen to the whole soundtrack? Go to the mix that I created via 8tracks.com @ Degrees of Wrong Soundtrack

1. Where Nobody Knows – Kings of Leon
Lyrics: I can’t hardly reach you and I know it’s getting harder to be you/So I’ll be dropping you where nobody knows/City ought to take you/It would take a little second to break you/So I’ll be dropping you where nobody knows

2. Won’t Go Quietly – Company of Thieves
Lyrics: Said it all along, we’ll be dead and gone/It’s closer than you read, so batter up, kid/Everything, everything is caving in

3. Girl Sailor – The Shins
Lyrics: You’ve won one too many fights/Wearing many hats every time/But you wont win here tonight/You’ve made it through the direst of straits alright/Can you help it if plain love now seems less interesting?/You haven’t changed an ounce in my eyes/And I cannot lecture you

4. I’ve Just Seen A Face – Across the Universe Soundtrack
Lyrics: I’ve just seen a face/I can’t forget the time or place/Where we just met, she’s just the girl for me/And I want all the world to see we’ve met

5. I’ll Be Your Man – The Black Keys
Lyrics: Need a new love, yeah I’m ready/Want my time, yeah I’m willing/’Cause I’m the one who’s gonna show/When there’s nobody/I’ll be your man

6. King of Anything – Sara Barielles
Lyrics: You’ve got opinions, man/We’re all entitled to ’em/But I never asked/So let me thank you for time/And try to not waste any more of mine/Get out of here fast

7. She’s A Lady – Forever the Sickest Kids
Lyrics: She’s a lady and ladies shouldn’t be messed with

8. Hot Summer Night – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Lyrics: You make me feel like it’s a hot summer night/Even though it’s the middle of the winter/And it’s really bad weather/It’s a hot summer night/When I’m next to you

9. Pumpkin Soup – Kate Nash
Lyrics: You chat to me like we connect/But I don’t even know if we’re still friends/It’s so confusing, understanding you/Is making me not want to do/The things like I know I should do/But I trip fast and then I lose/And I hate looking like a fool/I just want your kiss, boy

10. Love You Much Better – The Hush Sound
Lyrics: I can love you much better/If you can’t see it you’re blind/I can love you much better/And you know someday I’m going to make you mine

11. Impossible – Anberlin
Lyrics: You’re impossible but lovely/So impossible to win or please/I’m wearing you out, just wearing you out/but I’m wearing you down

12. Sort Of – Ingrid Michaelson
Lyrics: And if I was stronger then I would tell you no/And if I was stronger then I would leave this show/And if I was stronger then I would up and go/But here I am and here we go again

13. Last Request – Paolo Nutini
Lyrics: Grant my last request/And just let me hold you/Don’t shrug your shoulders/Lay down beside me/Sure I can accept that we’re going nowhere/But one last time let’s go there/Lay down beside me

14. Hanging On Too Long – Duffy
Lyrics: It was just my false hope thinking we’d last/It was just my false hope, forgot all your past

15. Light Outside – Wakey!Wakey!
Lyrics: I know you want to stay in bed/But it’s light outsideIt’s light outside/So know I am going to stay right here/Because you saved my life onceYou saved my life

16. Back To You – John Mayer
Lyrics: Over you/I’m never over you/Something about you/It’s just the way you move/The way you move me

17. Where I Stood – Missy Higgins
Lyrics: ‘Cause I dont know who I am, who I am without you/All I know is that I should/And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you/All I know is that I should/’Cause she will love you more than I could/She who dares to stand where I stood

18. Kiss With A Fist – Florence + the Machine
Lyrics: You hit me once/I hit you back /You gave a kick/I gave a slap/You smashed a plate over my head/Then I set fire to our bed

19. Love It All – The Kooks
Lyrics: See I got this woman here/She loves me all the time/No need for excuses/A lone precious in my mind/And she said love it all, love it all, love it all

TGIF – August 10, 2012

It’s time for TGIF again, thanks to Ginger at GReads!

I’m actually on vacation right now, but I figured I’d schedule a TGIF post so you didn’t miss me too much 🙂

This week’s TGIF topic is:
Unexpected Books: Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?

  1. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks – I’m not really one for mermaids or mermaid-type stories, but Anna Banks does a fantastic job of this! It’s so different and I love the twists and turns she takes with it. Plus, I love her sarcastic and witty sense of humor! I really ended up liking this one a lot! Now if she’d only write the Sasquatch love story…
  2. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Okay, so I figured I’d like this book. I didn’t think I’d end up falling in love with it! You can check out my fangirl review and that pretty much sums it up!
  3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I borrowed this book from a friend. She said she really enjoyed it. I was pretty skeptical! But this was pretty different from the typical vampire stories. I actually liked it a lot and got totally sucked in by the second book.
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – I really not a big fantasy/high fantasy person, so when I read all of the awesome reviews for Graceling, I was hesitant, but decided to pick it up. Turns out, it’s a lot easier to relate to than I thought! I really loved it!
  5. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – Another historical fiction type book but it’s got such great paranormal element to it! And apparently almost any book with a kick-ass heroine will have me sold. I really, really enjoyed reading this one, and highly recommend it!!