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Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallow's Read - Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

At BEA this year, I learned of Neil Gaiman's Halloween reading promotion called All Hallow's Read. The idea is to give a scary book for Halloween.

Here is the link to the webpage.  You can watch Neil Gaiman talk about it.:

I have decided to make this a tradition and gave hubby a CD of Harlan Ellison. It's called On the Road With Ellison Vol 6. These are live recordings of him, well, on the road.

I also received a book today. Sweet Cherry on GoodReads sent me a note telling me that a book I had on my To Read shelf is available today on Amazon at $0.00 charge!!! So now I also share the link with you.

The Morrow Secrets (Tallitha Mouldson #1) by

It is a story of the heroine’s fight against the evil forces that have shaped the past and still surround her present. Tallitha is determined to unearth the family secret and so begins her breath-taking adventure, exploring the forbidden floors of the bizarre old house and discovering a number of intriguing clues which lead her ever further into the heart of the mystery. During her quest, Tallitha discovers she has inherited strange paranormal powers, passed down the female line of the Morrow clan. With the help of her eccentric cousin Esmerelda, Tallitha escapes the clutches of her suffocating family and makes her way across the dangerous terrain of Wycham Elva into the wilderness and the dark world of Breedoor. Accompanied by her brother and cousins she learns more about the mysterious past of the Morrow family, she forges new allegiances, endures terrifying challenges and encounters the strange creatures of the underground kingdom. Eventually she reaches the haunting castle of Hellstone Tors and the awesome truth about her family is laid bare........

I did buy some candy, but probably not nearly enough for the no kids we get every year. I like to be prepared...and hopeful. I'd hate to have a rush and no candy to hand out. Tonight, we are going to a Halloween Costume Contest at my favorite Tavern, The Cloverleaf, and hubby is going to see if his satyr costume is good enough to win an iPad.

However you plan to spend your Halloween, make the most of it and enjoy the day!

So give a scary book and get the word out!!!

Happy Screams!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013 Recap - Part Two

I should tell you that there was a booth for Knight Realms. What is Knight Realms, you ask? It just so happens to be the LARPing group hubby belongs to. No, I wouldn't say he had an ulterior motive. He wanted to go anyway. Though, the booth was generally our meet up point and he spent a lot of time there. And I had absolutely no problem with that. We had our phones. So if we were over at the KR booth and I wanted to go check the publishers, I just told him I'd be back in a few. I believe it was all very equitable, although I may have spent more time in the publishers aisles than anywhere else.

But again, I just want to put it out there. Hubby was the picture of forbearance. He was patient, understanding and quite a good sport. He kept asking if he could pick up things for me to give away. The dear. He may not have realized I have not yet learned the art of give-away jitsu. I promise I am working on it. Then every time we were at a publisher's booth or meeting an author, he kept saying, "Tell them you have a blog. Want me to say it? I'm going to mention it." Way to put the pressure on. I am not yet confident in that area and while I did bring business cards, I did not hand any of them out.

We went by the Spencer Hill booth and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley were going to be at the show promoting their Extracted comic. Sadly, like so many other things, the soiree was going to be on Saturday, so I was going to miss it. However, I was told they were at the show and on Friday, the entire booth was supposed to dress in Steampunk Star Wars. I promised to be back as I wanted to say hi. Unfortunately, every time I swung by it was to find I had missed them. It would have been a good picture for my leg of the tour blog. Please stop by on November 7th and check out my interview with them. (Shameless plug)

Most of the autographings I wanted to go to were on Friday. I had booth autographings and table autographings. I was very excited as there were authors there that I missed at BEA and I had hoped to pick up their books. Most of the signings were at tables after a panel by the authors. It was great because I could catch them all at once. Note to self: Skip the table signings next year. The publisher did not supply books. You had to purchase or bring your own. I had forgotten about that. As a result, I missed an early morning booth signing because the author was going to be at a table later. Once I realized my mistake, though, I ensured I made the rest of the booth signings for the day.

I managed to pick up Vicious signed by V.E Schwab that I missed at BEA, a steampunk ARC of The Inventor's secret signed by Andrea Cremer and a signed copy of God Save the Queen by Kate Locke. I forgot to bring a Scary Godmother book again for Jill Thompson to sign and I forgot to bring any of the Mice Templar comics I have. Both of the artist's were in Artist's Alley. So, it seems as much as I was trying real hard to be prepared, I wasn't really. Although I did bring my suitcase. The funny thing was that I was walking around with a heavy tote bag or two for about half the day and didn't think to drop the books off at the baggage check. There were some books from early morning, but I never made another drop off after I checked my suitcase. Also as an FYI, unlike BEA, apparently you can walk the floor of comic con toting luggage. Many people were doing it.

Regarding the Star Wars ornament, hubby's friends at the KR booth had mentioned they could pick it up for me, but we made no definite plans. We got up late Friday due to the aching feet and shoulders of the prior day and so were not going to make it at opening. We decided to see how much the ornament was and then would ask the KR people to pick it up on Saturday or Sunday. However, when we stopped by the booth, they made no mention of the previous day's offer, so I let it go. After all, they were there to drum up business for their group. So, no Rancor ornament.

So, the panels. I had added panels to my planner as well as signings, but let's be honest here. Am I really going to wait in line for eons when there are books to be had? I keep thinking if I was there for the whole four days I might, but I probably wouldn't. Hubby tried to get in for a Night Vale panel. He got there 45 minutes early and was already too late. To get into a panel, especially a popular panel, you need to line up at least an hour early or more. I would have liked to get into the Venture Bros panel, but that is always wildly popular. There was also a panel called Whedonversity (Buffy and Serenity in comics), Beer and Comics and a Starz panel where you could meet the cast and creators of the new Starz mini series. Diana Gabaldon was on hand for Outlander. Yeah. I missed them all. I could have made the Starz panel as it was at 6:45, but it was late in the day and my feet were killing me. Apparently the sneakers weren't all that much better than the DMs, but at least I could feel my toes at day's end.

The NYCC is now almost as big as San Diego and is very nearly outgrowing the Jacob Javits Center. It is a fantastic event to indulge in whatever geek-type interests you have, whether it be books, comics, toys, gaming, costumes, celebrity stalking, panels, anime, screenings of all varieties, and last but not least, cosplay.

The con is becoming quite the preening ground for every cosplayer within the metropolitan area and even beyond. I do love looking at the costumes and I have to applaud them all for their courage to dress up and walk about, but I do have a couple of issues. I know we all have a very different idea in our head of what we look like than what we actually do look like. I know I sure do. But some people need to take stock of their physicality before donning some of these costumes. They are not always size or gender compatible. Some things you see can't be unseen. There were a lot of amazing costumes I saw and a lot that were not quite so professional looking.

The other issue I have is that people stop the cosplayers to snap their picture, but neither the photographer or the subject take into consideration where they are or how crowded it may be around them. Unfortunately, more often than not, they bung up the flow of foot traffic, especially in the heavily trafficked areas, like the video gaming area. In that respect, they are a menace. There should be a spot set up specifically for cosplayers to present photo ops. Heavily trafficked areas is not the place to bring out your Blue Steel.

There are always a lot of superheroes and a lot of Dr Who's running around. Not as many Amy Ponds this year, but a couple of Clara's. I actually saw more women dressed as the Tardis or a Dalek. Steampunk is still thriving as well based on the numbers of costumes I saw. There were Star Wars steampunk, Superhero Steam Punk and other franchises in addition to Steampunk as it's own genre. There was a guy dressed as the 10th doctor who had a zip up Tardis tent that he had over his head. He would walk around the con inside the Tardis so only his feet were visible and he would stop periodically and pop out. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures at the show, but I will share some of the good costumes I found on line.

 All in all, as exhausting as it was and as much as my feet hurt, I am so glad I got to go. I kept telling myself, though, that next year I need to get a four day pass whether hubby wants to go or not. Next year, I won't forget the suitcase on day one. Of course, it's a whole year away, so I'll probably forget by then.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013 Recap - Part One

Well, it's officially fall, which means it is time for the New York Comic Con. And like any true geek, I had to get my tickets. Last year, hubby and I got three day passes because the four day pass sold out quickly. He ended up not being able to make the Friday show, so I took my friend Terri over at Alexia's Books and Such with me.

Now, she had been used to BEA, where I had not. In 2012, I only attended BEA for one day. For the 2011 NYCC, hubby and I only went on Sunday and like BEA, things shut down early and there is not as much going on. Terri, coming from BEA, wanted to bring a suitcase, but I told her she wouldn't need it based on the previous year. So, that was my big mistake last year. I didn't bring a suitcase and I had a hard time living it down.

This year I learned a thing or two. I brought a suitcase with me. It was a stressful day on Thursday as both hubby and I had to work a half day. The show opened up at 3pm. but we didn't leave the house until about 2pm. As usual, we were going to take the ferry across. When we parked the car, though, I had second thoughts about the whole luggage thing. I figured we weren't getting in until 3pm and the floor closed at 7pm. How much damage could I possibly do in four hours. Big Mistake!!!

Checking in was very different this year. This year, the badges had chips in them. You were supposed to register them on line the day before the show. Then when we arrived, we had to go through a tented security booth and have our badges tapped in. It made things very slow going, but we came to find out there was a very good reason for that. Last year, Friday was really busy. Saturday and Sunday were worse by far. I believe I did mention in my wrap up last year that at one point I was moving with the flow of the crowd, but my feet weren't touching the floor. Yeah, that crowded. We came to find out that last year there was a big problem with counterfeit tickets. There must have been thousands of 3 or 4 day passes sold on the streets of NYC. Last year it was so crazy, hubby vowed to never return on a weekend. That's the main reason we got the two days for Thursday and Friday only. But I digress. Back to the action.

I wanted to be prepared. I tried to surf the internet looking for all the good stuff: galley drops, author signings, con exclusives, freebies, etc. I had my planner printed with all the activities I wanted to do. Of course, my activities centered around the book publisher booths. But there were other things I wanted to see. I had my floor map highlighted and demarcated with the booths I wanted to see. I had a plan.

The first thing I wanted to do was sweep by all the publishers booths and get their schedule of events. Then, it was on to the Hallmark booth for the con exclusive Star Wars ornament of the Rancor holding Luke in his hand. Well, I got sidetracked by all the shiny books and grabbing schedules, that by the time I got to the Hallmark line, it was winding around. I stood there for a bit and someone finally came by and said we most likely won't get an ornament. I was about 6 people from the person holding the sign saying there was no more.

Now, I could have waited just to see if I was lucky, but I'm never that lucky. Or I could make a plan to get there first thing the next day and go along my way to see nice, shiny books. The books were calling my name. I basically spent the day, or what was left of it, roaming up and down the few book aisles and not seeing a whole lot else.

Last year, I spent all my time on Friday with the book publishers. I shopped more on the weekend. This year, since I went on Thursday and it seemed a slower day, I shopped for con exclusives. So, while I didn't get my hallmark ornament, I did get my Caveman Domo from Dark Horse as well as a con exclusive version of Star Wars #1, which is a comic adaptation of George Lucas's vision. I then went to Titan and got my Dr Who exclusive in the tuxedo from the Titanic episode and the 9th doctor in his leather jacket (sorry no pic). I also got my black and orange Penguin tote bag, very Halloweeny. We took a stroll through Artist's Alley which is in the annex. J. Michael Straczynski was supposed to be at the show and I had some Babylon 5 stuff I wanted him to sign. As it turns out, he didn't show up on Thursday or Friday.

As for the book publishers, we had some fun things happening. I believe it was HarperCollins that had two fun giveaways. One was Spin the Wheel and get a free book. Whichever book the wheel landed on. Hubby was generous enough to stand in line with me because one of the free books was Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge. It's a Beauty and the Beast retelling and not coming out until January. So. there was one wheel spin each day and each time I got in line, the person three ahead of me in line would land on the book. Neither I nor hubby managed to land there. I did manage to get a signed ARC of Veronica Rossi's upcoming book. The others, not so much. The other giveaway they had was a scratch off card. You get the book on the card. These books were somewhat better.

So, in just a few hours, I did manage to fill two tote bags, make my feet go numb and destroy my neck and shoulders. So, I had that to endure for the entire ride home and all through the night. All the better to be prepared for Friday.

More to come later.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday News - Evening Edition

The adware has been defeated!!!! Finally!!! I can now safely log into my computer without an ad popping up immediately to admonish me to download the new FLV Player update. The adware was insidious and a sly boots. It would replicate and rename itself. Hubby tried everything he could think of and finally turned to Google and found the answer. I am not the only one under attack. He followed the instructions on removing the malicious adware and now I seem to be ad free!!! Even on my blog I was getting ads when posting or updating the layout. The ads were usually about lonely Asian beauties or some such. but he put on an adware blocker and that seems to have taken care of the issue.

I love him!!! And to repay him for his time and effort on my behalf, I spent the evening sewing manly bits for his satyr costume. It is better you not ask. Still, it made him happy and that made me happy. :)

So, now I can go about my merry business and get back to my blog.

I must say that I am a bit disappointed in myself. I had a whole lovely list of books to read for September and October for Halloween, but I only managed to read one book. I have had a lot going on, especially the weekends. Not much time to read.

I know this is short, but I just wanted to give an update and say that I will be back to posting tomorrow. I have a few things I have to talk about and can't wait to get to it!!

So until then, Sweet Screams!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - New York Comic Con Edition

I am under attack!!!!!

My computer is under attack by a vicious strain of adware. It admonishes me to update my FLV Flash Player. With every web page I try to open, another window pops up with the ad. I have been under attack for a week now and hubby has been trying his darndest to get rid of it. Norton won't pick it up as it is not a virus. We have tried other types of sweepers which seem to find it and remove it, but it replicates itself and renames it.

So, I have been unable to work on my computer. I am posting this update from my iPad. I do not know the nature of the threat and do not want to log into any page or access any account information while my PC is still under attack. Hence, I have not posted anything since. I can use my iPad, but it's not so easy to do pictures and things like I normally do.

So, that's what I've been dealing with. This past week I have been busy getting ready for the New York Comic Con, so I have at least been occupied. I needed to get organized and I was happily making lists. I think I was pretty set. I had my authors set. I had my panels selected. I had my floor map highlighted and marked with dots and lines and arrows and the names of all the booths I wanted to stop by. I also had my list of Comic Con exclusives to look for and as much of an autographing and publishers give away schedule as I could find. I only went for Thursday and Friday this year as Saturday and Sunday were beyond insane last year. I swear there was a moment when I was moving with the crowd, but my feet were not touching the floor. More on the NYCC later. Today it's all about the books.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Review.

New York Comic Con Haul:
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni (Signed Finished copy)
Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price (ARC)
The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin (ARC)
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (ARC)
Zits Shredded by Jeremy Scott and Jim Borgman (ARC)
The Creature Department by Robert Paul Weston (ARC)
Landry Park by Bethany Hagen (ARC)
Into the Still Blue by Veronic Rossi (Signed ARC)
Archetype by M.D. Waters (ARC)
The Jupiter Pirates by Jason Fry (Signed ARC)
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (ARC)
Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Benulis (Finished Copy)
Invasive Species by Joseph Wallace (Signed ARC)
Color Me Swoooooon by Mel Elliot (Finished Copy)
Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (ARC)
Demon Lover by Juliet Dark (Finished Copy)
The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer (Signed ARC)
Among Others by Jo Walton (Finished Copy)
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost (Finished Copy)
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Finished Copy)
Dark Currents: Angent of Hel by Jacqueline Carey (Finished Copy)
Fated by Benedict Jacka (Finished Copy)
100 Ghosts by Doogie Horner (Signed Finished Copy)
The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell (Finished Copy)
God Save the Queen by Kate Locke (Signed Finished Copy)
Vicious by V.E. Schwab (Signed Finished Copy)

New York Comic Con Samples:
Let Me Off at the Top: My Classy Life and Other Musings by Ron Burgundy
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy
The Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (New York Comic Con Exclusive)

Bought Books:
Tidal by Amanda Hocking
Hero by Alethea Kontis
Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
Lockwood and Company: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Hollow's End: The Legend Series by Marianne Morea - Purchased in Sleepy Hollow at the Horseman's Hollow

Kindle Books:
Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan - Kindle Daily Deal
Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen - Kindle Daily Deal
Click to Subscribe by L.M. Augustine
How to Date a Nerd by Cassie Mae
Silver Heart by Victoria Green
Northanger Alibi (The Jane Austen Diaries) by Jenni James
Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

That's it for this week. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book vs Movie: The Mortal Instruments Book One - City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Now I know movies generally do not follow a book scene for scene. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was an exception. It followed the book pretty closely, but the later movies left a lot of detail out.) There are always a lot of things left out and there are always liberties taken with the way the story unfolds. What makes a good story on the page doesn't always translate to the screen, so there are times events need to be manipulated, shall we say. 

I don't necessarily mind those liberties being taken as long as the film version retains the flavor of the book. Take The Lord of the Rings trilogy for example. When I first saw the film I was outraged over changes made to the story. I mean, Arwen doesn't speak at all in the books and she's barely even mentioned, but we had to give her a bigger role with lots of lines. When I went back to see the movie the second time, I took all the changes into consideration. I already knew it wasn't a faithful adaptation, so I could just watch the movie and enjoy. You know what? The second time around, I watched the film for what it was and didn't lament what it wasn't. And what I found was that even though there were changes made to the films that never happened in the books, the films themselves retained the spirit of the books and I was able to look past all the differences. I had the same issue with the Hobbit.

As I've said before, I used to go to the movies a lot, almost every Friday night, but over time, we don't go so much. We have a big 52 inch TV with surround sound, so it's more comfortable at home. We've got Netflix streaming, Fios On Demand, HBO, Showtime and an insane amount of Blu Ray and DVDs. The other issue I have is that there are not as many movies coming out that I am interested in seeing. I doubt I have been to the movies 10 times this year. I will go see Thor, though.

When I saw City of Bones advertised, I wondered how it would be. I didn't see Beautiful Creatures, which did not do well, and I was afraid it would be about on par with that. Then I saw the cast and I was not entirely thrilled. Some of the cast just didn't look right to me, most notably Jace. But then I saw a trailer and all my anxiety evaporated. I knew I had to see it in the theater. Hubby said he'd go with me, which I appreciated very much, although, I would have gone alone as well.

So, I watched the movie with rapt attention, but like any of the other movies made from books I have already read, I kept having moments where I was thinking that wasn't in the book. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed the movie and I will get it on Blu Ray, but there were some very blatant things that just irked me. I had read the book probably about 9 or 10 months earlier and decided to reread it to refresh my memory.

I decided to draw up a chart up to document the differences as I read the book again. I don't think I even made it to the middle of the book before I quit keeping track. There were just too many things, little things that didn't happen in the book or were not entirely accurate. As an example, when Clary and Jace went to Madame Dorothea's, she never made him leave his weapons at the door.

After I finished the book, my thoughts are that the movie was good and did retain the flavor of the book, but the book is oh so much better.
So what is it about the Mortal Instruments series that is so appealing? Why do I love the books so much? The characters. The characters are well defined, very flawed and there is depth to them. There's characters I love, characters I love to hate and characters I want to smack upside the head. I'm not sure the movie really captured the essence of some of the characters, but I thought the casting of Clary and Jace were spot on. After the movie, hubby said he didn't really like the film all that much (no surprise there), but it was because there were things that made no sense to him. For instance, he thought Jace was a total jackass and he didn't feel like it was really in character. He didn't find it believable. I told him that that was exactly how Jace was in the books and I explained his background, but hubby didn't get a lot of that from the character on the screen. So maybe I was filling in back story from my head.

Alec was just as insufferable as he is in the books, although, I do like the character. I had forgotten how mean and nasty he was to Clary in the first book. Isabelle seemed meaner in the book than she appeared on the screen. And Simon, well, Simon still had a knack for being where he shouldn't be, being stubborn and refusing to stay home where he would be out of harm's way. I really did want to smack him and still do.

Besides the characters, I love the mythos of Idris and the Shadowhunters, Angels versus demons. There is a rich history to the clave, the downworlders, Idris. Their world is believable. Then, the story itself is complex. There is action from the first scene in the book. I was caught up in the rush and got taken along for a ride. There's a mystery to solve, a mystery at the heart of the story. Just who is Clary? Where does she come from? Where is the Mortal Cup? It's a story filled with action, enough butt kicking action for even the biggest adrenaline junkies, mystery, adventure and romance.

What I realized though in comparing the two is that there is a lot of filler that doesn't necessarily make the story flow better on screen. For instance, there was a lot more to Magnus' party and the Hotel du Mort, but a lot of that doesn't really progress the main plot line. So I can accept that. There are things, though, that I just can't understand. Why was Jocelyn at the Institute? That is not where she was found. Perhaps to avoid having to create another set and have it full of Forsaken. Why did Clary keep the cup? In the book,. the card was destroyed when she pulled the cup out. If there is a sequel, how will that play out? The biggest grievance I have, though, is why did Hodge and Valentine plot to mislead Clary about her family? In the first book, the reader does not know what Valentine knows about Clary's family. The truth is never revealed, so when the bomb is dropped, the reader is in shock. By laying it out in the movie, it reduces the impact of just how devious and manipulative Valentine is. I agonized over the relationships and I couldn't put the books down because I had to know the truth. That lie is essential to the story for the next two books, and by telling the truth and conspiring to lie about it, it makes all the struggles to come less emotional because we already know the truth. I had to wait until the end of the third book to find out what the movie viewers already know. That is the biggest flaw of the movie for me.

Yet despite that major flaw, I still really enjoyed the movie. It is possible, there were no plans to turn any of the other books into movies, which could explain the differences. I had planned on going to see the film again after I had reread the book, but sadly, the movie had moved out of the theaters. I will just have to wait for Blu Ray.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review: Extracted: The Lost Imperials Book One by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler H. Jolley

I have never had amnesia. I did pass out once from receiving a kick ball to the gut, but there has never been a time when I didn't know who I was. I had special abilities, as a child. I could see the rain when no one else could because it was see through. For the most part, though, I can't remember anything before the age of 7 other than a few faint memories, like gossamer, elusive. Just the shadows of memories, really. The memories that are more solid are those that have been told to me over and over again by my family. I remember the stories clearly, made real by the constant retelling, but it is not a truth to me. I can't feel myself in those stories. It is as if they happened to someone else.

I do wonder, though, if I met my younger self, would I recognize myself in her? If I had the opportunity to say anything to her, what would it be? What type of warning might I give or word of caution? Is there anything I would try to say or do in that moment that would change who I would become? Would I tell myself not to wear that square dancing skirt to school? To not let my stepfather trim my hair? To practice the guitar more? To choose my friends more wisely? To invest in Intel? Would I have wanted to know what I was going to become, what life had in store for me? If I knew then would I try to change it?

Time. Is it an onion skin? a stream? a vortex? Is it wibbly wobbly? Can you travel through time by car? Or police box?

Time is fluid, unpredictable. Mastery over it would be alluring, powerful and man has ever been in pursuit of the idea of travelling through time. There have been books about it, TV shows and movies about it, but will it ever be a reality? And should it be? What would you do if you had all of time at a snap of your fingers?

Book Description (From Amazon):
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.

My Review:
World's Fair. Lex is waiting. He's not alone. There are others with him. Hollows they call themselves. They're on a mission. To steal the plans for a solar panel device. It's 1893. The Hollows have slipped through time to steal them. A seemingly simple job turns into a rumble when the Tesla kids arrive. Their mission. To prevent the Hollows from stealing the plans.

I was drawn in from the very first sentence.

"We've never formally been introduced to the students from the Tesla Institute, mostly because every time we meet, things go from zero to face punch too quickly for small talk."

It's smack down between the Hollows and the Tesla kids!!! Two rival groups travelling the time stream at cross purposes. The Hollows are chaotic. They seem to revel in disrupting the time stream. The Tesla Institute keeps order, protecting the time stream. Where the Hollows go, the Tesla kids follow maintaining order.

There are rules to time travel. Time is fluid, but there are some moments in time that are fixed points. They happen because they have always happened. There is no changing history then. Don't travel to a point in time that you've already travelled to. Don't travel to the same point repeatedly even with different crews. Don't travel the time stream without having an anchor to an exit point.  And for the sake of all, if you meet yourself in time, do not make physical contact with your other self!!!

The Hollows and the Tesla Institute are complete opposites. The Hollows reside in Wardenclyffe Tower. It is rundown and dirty. The Hollows themselves are not well off. They are a ragged, motley crew led by a man called Claymore who hides behind a divers helmet which he never takes off. He talks via an arrivals / departure board where he gives instruction on where the Hollows are going and when as well as their objective. His right hand man is a man called Gloves who is confined to a wheelchair with a locomotive engine. The Hollows travel through time by swallowing a pill that has the destination coded within as well as the code to return home.

The Tesla Institute are very organized. The live in a clean well kept building. The kids study history and train. They have several tests to pass, but their final test is to rift alone.  If they pass, they will be a full fledged rifter. If they fail, they will be left somewhere else. The Tesla Institute is led by a projected computer image of Tesla himself. His brain is preserved and linked to the computer. He watches the time stream and calculates all the tiny ripples to determine disturbances in the time stream. He can follow those ripples and see the myriad of possibilities that one tiny ripple can cause. Because of this, he can predict where and when the Hollows will strike and try to prevent them from achieving their goal. Tesla is absolute. Trust Tesla. He is watching everything, everywhere within the institute and he is communicating to each rifter when they are on a mission, guiding them, instructing them, giving them commands. The Tesla kids travel the time stream by a tether which keeps them anchored in the time stream and allows them to return home.

All the rifters, whether bent towards order or chaos, share a specific condition.  The first trip through the time stream rips away any identity of self, of memories, of everything. When the rifter emerges from the time stream that first time, their past is wiped away and they become a clean slate having to build a new life and a new personality. None of the rifters know who they were, where they come from or when they come from.

Ember, our perspective character from the Tesla Institute, is having nightmares involving fire and she is trying to protect someone, although she doesn't know who. She comes to understand these are memories from here life before the Institute, but she can't make sense of them. She keeps the knowledge to herself because if they found out, she would have the memories suppressed and she wants to know who she was.

Lex is a bit of a scrapper. He's tough, not really an emotional guy, but he is fiercely loyal to his friends and protects those he cares about. He's a thief, as are all the Hollows. He doesn't seem to remember anything from his past, but he keeps a collection of bottle caps in his pocket, brought with him through time.

The two groups are enemies, one disrupting and one trying to preserve the time stream. And so it would continue if the two groups didn't collide in a cataclysmic moment that brings past and present slamming together that will alter the course of the future for both Hollows and the Tesla Institute as well as all mankind.

I really loved this story. It kept me up at night and if I wasn't reading, I was thinking about what I read. This was also a rare book in that I could actually discuss it with hubby. He tends to read thick, dry, boring history books and then proceed to lecture me about what he's been reading. I have always had a fascination with history, but I prefer living history. I like to go see where events transpired, to try to put myself in the shoes of the people who walked the same path I was walking.

This story has so much to offer; mystery, history, action, adventure, danger and romance.

Who are the Ember and Lex? For that matter, who are any of the characters or who were they before? I wanted to find out. That puzzle alone kept me going and I couldn't put it down.

The story is rich with history and historical figures. To start, Tesla is one of the main supporting characters. I found myself trying to guess who was going to show up. Many of the historical references were events I already had a passing familiarity with and an interest in, so I wanted to keep reading to find out more and how it all tied together. I must also confess, that after I finished this book, I looked up Nicola Tesla and was amazed at what I found out about him.

For those of you who like a good fight scene (I know I do. That's what got me into watching Ice Hockey.), there are plenty of fists thrown to satisfy the adrenaline junky.  There is danger as well, not only from the very real possibility of getting lost in the time stream, but also from the risk to time itself by changing the course of events.  And let's not forget about the possibility of a time paradox where time would unravel.

The story even has romance, but it is not a romance story.  It is a story with romantic elements that make it all that much stronger and emotional as a story. And yes, there are moments to swoon over.

In the end, I found I was craving to read the next installment which I am told may not be until 2015.

For those of you who like adventure stories with history, time travel and romance thrown in,  do yourself a favor and pick up this book.  I've travelled through time and I can tell you that you are not going to regret it.

The book release date is November 12th and stay tuned for the Extracted Book Blog tour.  My stop on the tour is scheduled for November 7th.

See you then!