Category: Sunday Meme

Sunday Series Review: Given Duet by Mindy McGinnis

 

Today the Sunday Series Review is back for the first time in 2019 and today Kim reviews the Given Duet by Mindy McGinnis.

Books in the Series:
Given to the Sea
Given to the Earth


Given to the Sea
Published: April 11, 2017
352 Pages

Everyone has a place.

Khosa was born to be fed to the sea, to prevent the kind of wave that once destroyed the Kingdom of Stille. She can’t be sacrificed until she produces an heir, but human touch repulses her…except for the touch of the Indiri.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race with magic that’s seductive—a force of nature—but dwindling since the Pietra slaughtered their people.

Witt leads the Pietra, the fierce warriors who are now marching on the Kingdom of Stille. The stone shores of Witt’s kingdom harbor a secret threat, and to ensure the survival of his people, he’s prepared to conquer every speck of Stille’s soil.

Vincent stands to inherit the throne of Stille, but has no wife to share it with. When the beautiful and mysterious Khosa arrives without an heir, Vincent knows that his father will stop at nothing to make sure she fulfills her duty. Torn between protecting his kingdom and protecting the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is soon at odds with his heart.

While royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the Indiri struggle to survive, the rising sea calls for its Given, and Khosa is destined to answer.

Given to the Earth
Published: April 10, 2018
368 Pages

Although she was born to save the kingdom by sacrificing herself to the rising sea, Khosa’s marriage to King Vincent has redeemed her. As the Queen of Stille, she’s untouchable. But being Queen hasn’t stopped her heart from longing for the King’s stepbrother, Donil. And it hasn’t stopped her body from longing for the sea itself, which still calls for her.

While Khosa is made to choose between loyalty and love, Dara is on a mission for vengeance. Years ago, the Pietra slaughtered the entire Indiri race, leaving only Dara and her twin, Donil, alive. Now, spurned by King Vincent, Dara has embarked on a mission to spill the blood of Pietra’s leader, Witt, and will stop at nothing to show his people the wrath of the last Indiri.

As the waves crash ever closer to Stille, secrets are revealed, hearts are won and lost, and allegiances change like the shifting sand.


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 3 stars

Kim’s Review:

I love Mindy McGinnis; those who read my reviews know this. Sadly, this series is my least favorite of her works. I’ll admit that my main issue was the fact that I had a hard time getting into it. It took me a while before I started caring about the characters and the story. I didn’t enjoy it like I should have while I was reading, which is why I gave it 3 stars. Looking back, remembering the story and each character, I like it better. I liked the guys in this book . . . which isn’t surprising since I don’t like women in general. 😀 Ivan likes to remind me of that especially when I’m critiquing a movie he likes!

Witt and Donil are strong men, yet with inner struggles. Donil manages to keep a smile on his face and an honorable spirit. Witt suffers from a dangerous culture, but I love how he continually puts his people first. Vincent is ok, just a little whiny for my taste, but thankfully he turns into a good leader. The girls are just girls. And unfortunately, there’s a really annoying love triangle. But dang, then the plot twist hits in the second book and I was flabbergasted! The ending was actually really good!

Overall, I did enjoy this series, after the fact. There is also a lot of sex . . . like apparently that’s all anyone does in Stille, with many different people! So, it’s probably best to reserve this for mature teens. I’d recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a unique fantasy story.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US
Given to the Sea
Given to the Earth

Amazon UK
Given to the Sea
Given to the Earth

Standalone Sunday: The Ruins of Lace

Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads.

What is Standalone Sunday?

Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!

This week’s #SAS is a Kim pick! But if you have been following us for a while, you will have figured that out as by now you know what we both read. 

This week’s #SAS is by Iris Anthony:

The Ruins of Lace

Lace is a thing like hope.
It is beauty; it is grace.
It was never meant to destroy so many lives.

The mad passion for forbidden lace has infiltrated France,
pulling soldier and courtier alike into its web. For those who want the best, Flemish lace is the only choice, an exquisite perfection of thread and air. For those who want something they don’t have, Flemish lace can buy almost anything–or anyone.

For Lisette, lace begins her downfall, and the only way to atone for her sins is to outwit the noble who now demands the impossible. To fail means certain destruction. But for Katharina, lace is her salvation. It is who she is; it is what she does. If she cannot make this stunning tempest of threads, a dreaded fate awaits.

The most lucrative contraband in Europe, with its intricate patterns and ephemeral hope, threatens to cost them everything. Lace may be the deliverance for which they all pray… or it may bring the ruin and imprisonment they all fear.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Remembering Megan:

Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads. She sadly passed away last year and was the heart of the book blogger community. She was always so welcoming and helpful towards others and she is missed.

Megan’s presence on social media is gone, but I will remember her! It’s sad that a life so young ended.

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Sunday Series Review: When Tomorrow Calls Boxset by JT Lawrence

Today the Sunday Series Review is back and today Kim reviews the When Tomorrow Calls boxset on Audible by JT Lawrence.  We originally meant for this to be a Double Review, but I have not listened to it and I did not want Kim’s review to wait anymore since we were sent this copy by the author herself. Once I listen to the books, I will share the reviews with you! (Mine may be individual reviews.)

Books in the Series:
Why You Were Taken

How We Found You
What Have We Done


Why You Were Taken
Published: February 23, 2017
408 Pages

Imagine discovering your murdered parents were really your abductors. Then you find out you’re on the hit list. In tomorrow’s world, a troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning and a wafer key and is later found dead. Was she just another victim of the Suicide Contagion, or is there something more sinister at play? The key leads Kirsten on a chase to the Doomsday Seed Vault and a hit list of seven people … and her barcode is on it.

How We Found You
Published: May 18, 2017
489 Pages

Would you sacrifice your son to save your daughter? There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old-fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter. Who will she choose to live, and who will she have to sacrifice?

What Have We Done
Published: October 23, 2017
550 Pages

In tomorrow’s world where the edges blur between addictive virtual reality and real life, would you hurt your daughter if it was the only way to set her free?

When gaming junkie Silver doesn’t make it home on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Kate and Keke go out to find her. It’s a treacherous journey navigating a city in the midst of a flash civil war. Shrouded in electrosmog and panic, it’s been taken over by vigilante bot hunters as a violent AI uprising puts everyone Kate loves in danger, especially Mally and his anthrobot girlfriend. 

Suicide Agent Zack’s in trouble. After a charade of a trial he’s sentenced to hard labour at SkyRest, the most controversial penal labour colony in the country. He’s shocked by what he finds there, deep underground, but the more he resists it, the more they brainbleach him into submission. If he doesn’t find his way, he’ll never be able to tell Kate what he needs to tell her. Which is a problem, because it’s the whole reason he exists.

With the Doomsday Prophecy looming large, Kate discovers there are forces at play she’d never guess at, and much more at stake than just her or her children’s lives. What she’ll need to do to keep everyone safe will stretch her beyond every hard limit.

Will Kate play the game?

Cyberpunk meets the robopocalypse on the edge of litRPG in this dark dystopian thriller. Jack in and get ready for a headsplosion with this third book in the riveting series When Tomorrow Calls.

Ready? Your next addiction starts now.


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 Stars

Kim’s Review of the Series:

I received this series for free on Audible in exchange for an honest review. I listened to all three books. I really enjoyed the first book. It’s unique and I liked the narrator a lot. I fell in love with Seth very quickly and although Kirsten wasn’t my favorite character, I cared about what happened to her. Keke was easily one of the best characters in the series. The futuristic world of Johannesburg with all the cool tech was well developed and I wouldn’t mind visiting someday! The ending came out of nowhere and when I finished, I couldn’t wait to move on to the next book.

Book two wasn’t as good as the first, mainly because of Kirsten, now called Kate. She was whiny through the whole book! Seth and Keke were still strong and the story was engaging. I found the religious conspiracy interesting, though not really unique. The ending was strong, but I wasn’t sure what more needed to be said.

Book three is the weakest of the series, and honestly, I don’t think the series needed it. The ending is what really disappointed me. It was weird and completely unconnected to the rest of the series. Overall, I really liked books one and two, and didn’t like book three.

A good series and I think fans of sci-fi and futuristic fiction would enjoy it!


Once you have finished the series…There is more! JT Lawrence has written more:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
Published: March 16, 2018
193 Pages

Joni is a state surrogate: young, bright, and most importantly: fertile.

… and someone wants her dead.

Keke is a smart, sexy biker; a renegade with a hunger for justice. She won’t stop until she exposes the truth, even it means putting her life in danger. Will Keke’s reckless ambition help the state surrogates, or harm them?

Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, Never Let Me Go and Mr Robot.

Keke’s story is waiting for you.

The Stepford Florist (short novel)
Published:
October 21, 2017

78 Pages

Jasmine is arrested for performing a bootleg vampire facelift in her modded-out steampunk caravan.

She’s thrilled, because it’s worked out exactly as she planned.

Jasmine has mastered moonlighting. She’s a steampunk inventor, a cosmetician, and a gene-hacking florist. And then there’s her real job: exposing evil corps and dodgy clinics.

When Jasmine, the head of Alba—an underground biopunk organisation—is tipped off that something morally dubious is happening at the city’s most luxurious high-tech spa, she takes it upon herself to investigate, and discovers a whole lot more than she bargained for.

(Warning: Contains colorful language and sex.)

This short novel is set in the near-future ‘When Tomorrow Calls’ world, and introduces Jasmine, Seth and Keke, just before we meet Kirsten, the kick-ass main character in ‘Why You Were Taken’.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US:
Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
What Have We Done

Free on Kindle:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
The Stepford Florist (short novel)

Amazon UK:
Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
What Have We Done

Free on Kindle:
The Sigma Surrogate (Prequel)
The Stepford Florist (short novel)

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