Tag Archives: Ann Aguirre

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Overview
Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine

Title: Honor Among Thieves
Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Series: The Honors #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Space, Young adult
Dates read: 9th – 14th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I already knew – however impossible it was – why Marko Dunajski was here.

Synopsis

Petty criminal Zara Cole was shocked to be recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by a race of sentient alien ships to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to change her life, and when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned to, she feels like she belongs for the first time. But nothing – not her Honors training or her street smarts – could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

Thoughts

This book is just so dang good!!! I honestly didn’t want to put it down and found it really hard not to leap for Honor Bound the second I finished this. I have a huge stack of books to read… but man was it still tempting. This was such a phenomenal beginning to a trilogy.

Zara is a fantastic lead. She’s feisty and has a seriously horrible past. And, the part that I found the most attractive? She’s rebellious as all hell. It gives her this fun edge and relatability that made me feel connected almost immediately. It also created a really good coming of age feeling to this story. As the story unfolds, Zara slowly comes into her own and finds her own identity.

I’m still fairly new to the Sci Fi genre as a general. And particularly, fairy new to the stories of sentinent ships in space. They do have a bit of a same same to them. But Cainr and Aguirre are able to add in this extra layer of mystery that is lacking in most of the other similar stories I’ve read. You know that there is a Big Bad out there somewhere… you just don’t know what or whom.

All in all, I absolutely loved this book. It was hard to put down, easy to relate to the characters and filled with twists and unexpected turns. The world building is phenomenal and the relationships help to further support this incredible reality that was created. This book was amazing and completely impossible to put down.

<- More Rachel CaineHonor Bound ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2: Love Bites
Author: Trisha Telep, Jordan Summers, Deborah Cooke, Karen MacInerney, Caitlin Kittredge, Dina James, Camille Bacon-Smith, Rosemary Laurey, Patti O’Shea, Angie Fox, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Jamie Leigh Hansen, Carole Nelson Douglas, Diane Whiteside, Jaye Wells, Stacia Kane, Jennifer Ashley, Justine Musk, Jennifer St Giles, Dawn Cook, Nancy Holder, Larissa Ione, Jeanne C. Stein, Tiffany Trent, Ann Aguirre & Devon Monk
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Vampires
Dates read: 22nd March – 9th November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Le Cirque de la Nuit.

Synopsis

From the biggest names in vampire romance, 25 tales of a hunger like no other.

Bloodthirsty new vampire romance, including thrilling new stories from bestselling and award-winning authors aush as Jordan Summers, Jaye Wells, Larissa Ione, Jeanne C. Stein and Deborah Cooke. You’ll encounter gothic romance and gritty contemporary tales of urban vampire love, from stand-alone short stories to well-loved (and feared) characters from established series.

Ruthless but tortured, gifted with paranormal sensitivity and sexually mesmerizing, vampires show they can be gentle and caring, too.

Forget the everyday world. Forget the rules. Succumb to a different kind of love.

Thoughts

I really think that Twilight kind of ruined the idea of vampires for me. And vampires with romance… it’s something that I’ve taken forever to truly get into. And even now, with this collection, I thoroughly enjoyed it in short bursts. Some of these stories were absolutely amazing. Many others weren’t. And some sat nicely in the middle. Which mostly just made this collection, fun, easy and a great break from reality late at night when I was no longer able to concentrate.

Having said that, the introduction sounds kind of pessimistic. That’s not the case with this book. It’s definitely an anthology that I would suggest to others. And one that I think people would thoroughly enjoy. I’ll probably even read it again in the future – just take my sweet time about it to space out the vampire overload.

As with all of the other Mammoth Books that I’ve read so far, I found this a great introduction to authors. Both new ones, and a reminder that I need to add some previously read authors to my wishlist too. I just need to magically find more money to actually purchase everything that has been added into my list.

<- Untitled 12Paris After Dark ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Circle Unbroken by Ann Aguirre

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: Circle Unbroken
Author: Ann Aguirre
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 6th November 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Cyrus would be delighted to escort you.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

She’s the leader of her people and has to find a Chosen to sustain her long, long life. But, her latest Chosen seems to have cast a spell on her. One that even she may not be able to resist.

Thoughts

I’ve always imagined reincarnation as a bit of a circle – alright, in my head it’s a seriously squiggly, knotted line. But, it joins up at either end in a never ending loop, so it’s kind of like a circle. Which means that a story in which this rebirth has been interrupted… it was kind of quickly going to pull me in.

At first I didn’t understand how this story was actually a romance. It mostly explored the horribleness of obsessive love. Not just for the focus of such an obsession. But also for the person who is feeling that obsession. I might be in love, but if I felt that way…I’d fight it just like the man in this story. the all-consuming, terrifying passion that is felt is not comfortable, not okay and seriously awkward.

This story was really about the circle of soul mates and lovers. About giving up everything for the one that you love and finding a way to make your own happily ever after. Even if you are a vampire who has to take a new lover frequently to slake the thirst…

<- The Vampire, the Witch and the Yenko ReviewSkein of Sunlight Review ->
Image source: Bookdepository

Endurance by Ann Aguirre

Overview
Image result for endurance ann aguirre book cover

Title: Endurance
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Science fiction, Zombies
Dates read: 27th – 29th May 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “We didn’t kill them all.”

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Synopsis

When rebellion destroys the underground world in which Thimble and Stone have grown up, they take Stone’s son and try to escape the chaos. Along the way, they must evade the Freaks, beings who feed on human flesh. Leaving behind the roles of Builder and Breeder which they were assigned at birth, they wander the underground tunnels, looking for safety yet afraid to go “topside” where legend has it that the light and water will burn their skin from their bones.

Their journey takes them upward to an unimagined world of tinned food, comfortable furniture, and books. Away from their regimented society for the first time, and still facing imminent danger, Thimble and Stone acknowledge the forbidden attraction which both have denied for years.

Thoughts

This is a little bit cute. It’s easy, simple and just the right amount of activity to make you want to sink your teeth into it. I also love that it shows the Thimble and Stone survive. And have some kind of future ahead of them… I REALLY hope that they show up later in the series…

One of the parts of Enclave that I found a little difficult was the fact that Deuce just left the Enclave. She had no way to know what had happened after she disappeared. And, although her fever dream tells her that everyone was dead, it was a little abstract and that much more difficult to really feel like there was closure. I mean it was a great story telling technique, but I hate lose ends. This short story helped to fix up all of those lose ends and tie everything up in a nice, neat little knot.

There is a bit of a romantic entanglement throughout this story. It kind of hit on one thing that I tend to hate in young adult storylines – they’re so young when they fall stupidly, madly in love. After all, a sixteen-year-old finding her one and only is a bit hard to stomach. But, by creating a dystopian society in which the expected lifespan is less than twenty years… it makes this a little more relatable. Actually, it made the entire relationship between Thimble and Stone a very happy family creation tale. And I really, really hope that I get to see them again later on in the series!

 <- Secret Heart ReviewOutpost Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Foundation by Ann Aguirre

Overview
Image result for foundation ann aguirre book cover

Title: Foundation
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Science fiction, Zombies
Dates read: 28th – 29th April
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tor.com
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: And Austin?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Disease wipes out world’s humans. Family hides in underground. Boy narrator grows up, falls in love with another boy.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved Enclave. And one of the things that I loved the most about it was the world building. Which meant that it was such a pleasure to read this short story. It gave even greater insight into the amazing world that Aguirre had built. And it included a level of hopeful innocence that was in the main novels, but a lot less crushed.

The beginning of the apocalypse is thought to be caused in so many different ways. World war, nuclear attack, plague… there are so many different ways that people think the world could end. It’s hinted in Enclave that the end is caused by a bioweapon or plague of some sort. But the particulars are a little hard to unwind. Foundation provides that insight. In the moments before the world as we know it ends and just what it was like for teenagers at the time.

I also loved the fact that the lead boy in this story was in love with another boy. I’m finding that so many more stories and series I’m coming across include an LGBTQI character of some sort. And I love the normalisation that this provides. There is no big deal made out of their relationship, they’re just two boys in love. And it makes you smile as you turn the last page, even though they have to live the rest of their lives underground…

 <- Vanguard ReviewEnclave Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Overview
Image result for book cover enclave ann aguirre

Title: Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Science fiction, Zombies
Dates read: 23rd – 24th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “We need a place to rest before the last leg of our journey,” I told Fade.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Welcome to the apocalypse.

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed “brat” has trained into one of three groups – Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear – to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been destroyed by Freaks, who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to their warnings and exile Deuce and Fade. As the two are guided out of the dead city by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

Thoughts

I was kind of surprised by how much I loved this story. I remember really enjoying Secret Heart an age ago when I read Kisses and Curses, but then this book just kind of sat on my bookshelf, waiting. It also reminded me of how much I love dystopia books. I read this entire thing cover to cover in a day (if you don’t count the three pages I read before bed the night before). Not only was it an amazing story, but it was also filled with fun characters, gritty challenges and a great commentary about the world around us.

I fell in love with Deuce from a fairly early point in the story. Whilst she is incredibly tough and independent, she is also an innocent. Which becomes more and more obvious as the storyline unfolds. The shattering of her world again and again is a little gut wrenching. As is the fact that every time you think she’s triumphed over something, things come crashing down all over again. It made it almost impossible to put the book down, but it also made it quite an intense emotional roller coaster. After all, I think that I’m a tough and independent woman, but I’m pretty sure that if I was tested all of my naivety would come flooding out…

Although this story is full of so many twists and turns, emotional turmoil and a huge level of confusion as to what’s going to happen next, it does have a happy ending, of sorts. It’s rare that I’m not sure where a story is leading, so I thoroughly enjoyed my confusion over this tale. I also loved the ending. It doesn’t finish off the story in any way, shape or form. But it gave a reprieve from the trials that Deuce and Fade are forced to go through. A point in the overarching story line that gives you a chance to stop and pause. But one that makes you want to continue on with the series.

 <- Foundation ReviewSecret Heart Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Kisses and Curses edited by Lauren Burniac

Overview

Kisses and CursesTitle: Kisses and Curses
Author: Lauren Burniac, Marissa Meyer, Marie Rutkoski, Jennifer Mathieu, Anna Banks, Emmy Laybourne, Courtney Alameda, Jessica Brody, Ann Aguirre, Lish McBride, Lindsay Smith, Katie Finn, Caragh M. O’Brien, Nikki Kelly, Gennifer Albin & Leigh Bardugo
In: Kisses and Curses (Lauren Burniac)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fantasy, Short story collections
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “And I don’t know any other girls who skate, but it could still be kind of cool.”

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Synopsis

EVERY PAGE MORE FIERCE THAN THE LAST.

Enjoy a good monster love story? Or a dark, Russian-style folktale? How about a flashback to the secrets of a cyborg’s past, a post-apocalyptic romance, or a conversation between a boy and Death’s dead assistant, while both sit in a diner and eat waffles?

Whether you’re already a Fierce Reads fan or you’re a fan-to-be, this short story collection will satisfy your every bookish craving! Featuring multi-genre tales from some of the hottest YA authors around, including Ann Aguirre, Courtney Alameda, Gennifer Albin, Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, Katie Finn, Nikki Kelly, Emmy Laybourne, Jennifer Mathieu, Lish McBride, Marissa Meyer, Caragh M. O’Brien, Marie Rutkoski, and Lindsay Smith.

By turns uplifting and sad, light-hearted and powerful, startling and laugh-out-loud, these bite-sized gems have one thing in common: You won’t be able to put them down!

Thoughts

I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved this collection. It is everything that a short story collection should be – a common thread throughout the tales, but such a diverse array of tales that constantly draw you in. I had no idea about any of the authors in this collection, except for Marissa Meyer, and now I have a new set of 12 authors to dive into.

The fact that each of these tales is part of a greater series worked beautifully. Although, there were a few spoilers throughout. Which was a little disappointing. And makes me not only want to read all of these series, but also gives a hint as to what is going to happen in each of them. The wide array of styles and tales throughout made me thoroughly entrapped.

If you like fantasy tales, this is definitely a collection worth reading. It is also a great way to find new authors if you need to add to your library… maybe make sure you have a little bit of surplus cash before you crack the spine of this though.

 <- The Too-Clever Fox Review Glitches Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Secret Heart by Ann Aguirre

Overview
Kisses and Curses

Title: Secret Heart
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland #1.1
In: Kisses and Curses (Lauren Burniae)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Easy reading
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “We have to lose them before heading back to enclave.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

A retelling of one of the scenes in Ann Aguirre’s Razorland series, told from a different perspective to give the reader a different insight into the tale.

Thoughts

There seem to be a number of deleted scenes from series throughout Kisses and Curses. This is another such tale. But it is certainly a great way to get me hooked into a series without my awareness – after all, I loved this point of view from the Razorland series, so it will be interesting to read the main stories from another POV.

I really liked the mole man setting of this story. In the introduction, Aguirre explains the setting and the dystopian setting of this tale. Something that works really well, and as someone who has lately been enjoying dystopian novels, it seems like a completely unique and fun idea.

<- Enclave ReviewEndurance Review ->
Image source: Goodreads