Friday, December 7, 2012

Countdown: End of the Year

It's no surprise to you guys that I'm a huge fan of countdown posts and always have been.  I realized that I hadn't put one up in a while and I'm not sure how I let so much time pass me by but I plan to rectify that right now.  So lately I've been reading some great books, but I've got to tell you that not many of them can claim to have happy endings, and it's starting to wear on me to be quite honest.  Reading is where I let myself take a break from reality and all the stress that goes with everyday life in order to enjoy the fantastical and creative worlds that my favorite authors have created.  So while I'm counting down to some continuing installments in a few series that I've become a fan of, I'm also on the lookout for some reads that end with happily ever afters, a little bit of romance or at  the very least a glimmer or two of hope for some great characters.  Know of any that fit that bill?  If you do leave a comment or email me some suggestions so I can add them to my list and bump them up to the top so I get the chance to get started right away!

Countdown Pick #1:  Everbound (Everneath, #2) by Brodi Ashton (01/22/2013)

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

I'll admit that I was surprised that this sequel hadn't hit the bookshelves yet because I thought I was late to the series game.  I've had the series opener on my TBR list for quite some time and when I finally got the chance to check it out I was sure that I'd be able to go right on in and start the sequel.  I'm sure you can imagine how frustrated I was to find out that I'd have to wait a whole two months before I was able to see what would happen next for Nikki, Jack and Cole.  Thank goodness I don't have to wait that much longer.

Countdown Pick #2:  The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass (04/23/2013)

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

This was another series that I was late to pick up and was sure that the sequel would already be available for me to grab as soon as I'd turned the last page, and yet once again I was wrong and left disappointed at the discovery.  But while I'll have to wait until April with everyone else to see what's in store next for these great characters, I'm without a doubt looking forward to it.

Countdown Pick #3:  Mind Games (Mind Games, #1) by Kiersten White (02/19/2013)

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

I was a fan of her paranormal series, so I'm curious to see how this largely different genre will turn out.  But with White's writing style and quick paced plot I'm sure it'll be a page turner that I'll be reading late into the night.  Goodreads has a giveaway for this one going on right now if you're interested!

Countdown Pick #4:  Extracted (The Lost Imperials, #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler Jolley (11/12/2013)

Welcome to the war.

The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.

The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens--their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.

Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.

When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.

Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.

With next November being a long way off, I know that this will be a very long countdown, but after reading the premise behind this book I think it'll be worth the wait.  I'm anxious to see what develops out of this series and interested in checking out two new authors of course!

Countdown Pick #5:  Phoenix (Black City, #2) by Elizabeth Richards (06/14/2013)

Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.

The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.

I'm trying very hard not to read the book's description because I've yet to read the first installment in this series, so I don't want to spoil the plot before I've even cracked open the first pages, right?  But I know that I've had this series on my radar and have been really looking forward to checking out it at the first chance I get so I'm sure that I'll feel the same enthusiasm over the sequel, or at least I hope so.

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