Friday, April 10, 2015

So, I've seen a few others doing early reviews for books pre-release by doing a less formal review and sorta just fangirling over the title prior to publication, which may be months away, depending on when they read the book. Jamie from The Perpetual Page-turner has a Save the Date feature, and Heather over at The Flyleaf Review showcases her pre-release thoughts in a Mark Your Calendars post. I have the same problem. I want to tell the world about some of the awesome books I read pre-publication, but I can't wait until just a few weeks before the release date to shout it from the rooftops. And sometimes there just aren't words for a book, ya know?

My dilemma led me to an awesome idea: Reviews in a GIFfy. I already (sometimes) post my reactions to a book via GIFs on Goodreads. (The one I did for World After was very well received.) But I wanted to make it a thing for those titles that I just can't wait until they appear on the ole reading schedule -- or for the ones that it's really hard to adequately express my feelings -- and I wanted to share my reactions via GIF with all of you. Essentially, these are going to be GIF-only reviews to tide you -- and me! -- over until I can expand on my thoughts in a legitimate review closer to the book's release date...if ever!

This week, I'm using this method to review the second book in Mary E. Pearson's The Remnant Chronicles series. And it was a very thrilling sequel!




Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.


So, this is only my second book by Mary E. Pearson, but I must say, my experience both times left me like this:


And I have every intention of picking up the Jenna Fox Chronicles after such an awesome time with this series, but you know how it is...


Anyway, this book picks up right where we left off in The Kiss of Deception. There's some of this:


And some of this, as our girl puts two and two together:


Can't say I blame her really, after all she's been through. And how much trouble could have been avoided had everyone just been honest in the first place. But then we wouldn't have gotten to meet the Komizar...


Okay, so maybe that wasn't the best experience. He's a rather terrifying individual. Like a Damon Salvatore on steroids, only you just know that even love can't save him...or you.


In more ways than one.


Lia's still her fierce self, not particularly skilled at anything but cunning as all get out. She does, however, pull off an impressive feat with cards, thanks to her brothers.


There were moments when I wasn't sure if she was toying with someone, playing a game...or if she was really sincere. Reading to find out how her strategizing and manipulating fared left me on the edge of my seat for much of the book.


Just when things finally seemed to be going her way -- if that's ever really possible when you're a hostage in a foreign land -- someone gets a crazy idea in his head that just might seal her fate.


As I read on, I started getting inklings of another truth yet to be uncovered, especially from two particular points of view. (You remember how there were so many perspectives in the first book. Samesies in this one.) It all started to come together, the pieces fitting together just right, and I couldn't believe I hadn't guessed the truth of it before...or at least parts of it.


As far as the romance goes, I still maintain that it's not a love triangle, even though there are now three, yes three, men vying for Lia's affections...sort of. I can't say any more without worry of spoilers. But to me, it's clear with whom Lia's heart lies. It was the same for me in the first book, too, though.


There's loads more kissing than I expected, not that I'm complaining.


Some that made me do this:


And some that made me sad...


And some that just made me plain mad.


Then I started getting really angry as what was happening in Venda began to have repercussions outside of the kingdom walls.


But don't think that Lia is going to sit idly by and watch as things unfold. She's a woman of action, as we've already seen. And she may not have an entourage, but she has help.


The entire book was extremely intense, but that last quarter had me turning those pages so damn fast!


I didn't want it to be over yet. :( But that end...that end, yo!


I will do my best to write a full, coherent review closer to the book's release date, but that's the beauty of these posts. I can get those feelings out now, in hopes of doing just that.

The fact of the matter remains:  this book was an


And one hell of a thrill ride. I am already dying for the next book!





About the author:

Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.

Find Mary:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Facebook


Previous posts in this feature:

Of Metal and Wishes
The Kiss of Deception
Between the Spark and the Burn
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
This Shattered World
A Court of Thorns and Roses

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