Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy Jolabokaflod!

Meet your favorite new holiday tradition!

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Last year, I wrote a post about Jolabokaflod, Iceland's "Christmas Book Flood." Sorry for the repetition, but I just had to share about this AWESOME tradition again this year! I wish everyone did this in the US.

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According to a decades-old Icelandic tradition, books are the standard Christmas gift. NPR reports:
"The culture of giving books as present is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday," says Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association. "Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. In many ways, it's the backbone of the publishing sector here in Iceland."

In the months before Christmas, publishers compete for the attention of Icelanders in a season known as Jolabokaflod, the "Christmas Book Flood." According to NPR, "The Flood begins with the release of Bokatidindi, a catalog of new publications from the Iceland Publishers Association distributed free to ever Icelandic home."

The tradition is especially fitting for Iceland, as it's famous for being a highly literary culture. As the BBC pointed out in 2013, "This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world." Las month, the New York Times reported that "At least 90% of Icelanders age 16 or older read at least one book a year just for pleasure." In comparison, only 72% of American adults read a single book last year.

Check out this article by an Icelandic author to see what Jolabokaflod means to her.

You can also get these awesome Jolabokaflod pajama sets from Out of Print! I think they are sold out for the holidays though, because I can't find them any more. :( Maybe next year...



Happy holidays everyone!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Unblinking (The Shuttered Lands Trilogy, #1) by Kira Carter

Unblinking (The Shuttered Lands Trilogy, #1)
Everyone is watching.
Minka Stanis just wants to be left alone - impossible since the Eyes record and broadcast every momeny of her day. Then, a humiliating incident in the high school cafeteria makes her the laughingstock of her tower city, and life behind the glass walls becomes unbearable. When the intriging new boy at school tells her about a place away from the gaze of the cameras, Minka plots her escape from the towers. But the Shuttered Lands are across the desert, and going there will mean leaving everything she's ever known behind. 
Fresh out of tower training, Zedd Fincher is settling into his dream job. When he gets assigned to edit Minka Stanis' Stream footage, he spins her every misstep into a string of hit clips. As Minka's fame grows, so do Zedd's feelings for her. But a crisis at home brings the darker side of his work into focus. And Zedd soon learns editing other people's lives has consequences. 
As Minka is thrust unwillingly into the spotlight and Zedd's life begins to unravel, only one thing is certain:
The Eyes are always watching. 

Review

It took me a while to get into this book. That could have something to do with the fact that I was re-reading the Throne of Glass series at the same time. I NEVER read more than one book at a time, but I made an exception. I have several books to read and review before the end of the year, but I have been on hold for a copy of Tower of Dawn from the library, since it came out a couple of months ago. Since I was starting to get close to the front of the line, I decided to start re-reading the ToG series as a refresher, after I had already started reading this book. 

I got through all of book one and started book two, then I got an email saying that the hold was up and I could download a copy. So, I clicked the link and went to the library's website on my phone. I selected Kindle format and clicked download, or so I thought. Then, a notification popped up that said "Your hold has been cancelled." I seriously almost cried. The download button is directly on top of the cancel button, and I don't know if my phone glitched or I just clicked the wrong button on accident, but I cancelled the hold. I immediately went back and placed a new hold. When the book was first released a couple of months ago, I started out as #25 of of 25 in the hold line. Now, I am #31 out of 31... I was so upset, because I have been waiting SO LONG to read this book and was psyching myself up by re-reading the series. I figured I would go ahead and finish re-reading the first 5 books then just by Tower of Dawn so that I don't have to wait so long. 

Then, I thought about it... I could but Tower of Dawn and go ahead and read it quickly, before getting back to the books I have scheduled to read and review. But the next book in the ToG series isn't scheduled to be released until next September. That would leave me Maas-less for almost a whole year... So, I decided to just wait a few months to get a copy from the library. I have lots of good books to read in the mean-time. Then, I won't have to wait as long to read book #7 after finishing Tower of Dawn.

Once I decided to wait and finished book #5, Empire of Storms, it was much easier to get into this book, and I really want to see what happens next.

I have mixed feelings about Minka in this book. I hate how gullible she is and how easy it is to convince her to leave everything she has ever known and do something that is unheard of and considered impossible. However, when you consider where she lives and her upbringing, the way she acts is more understandable.

The author did a good job at world building, and the story's concept was interesting and not much of stretch from what could happen in the near future. Basically, the Eyes are everywhere. Every minute of everyone's day is recorded to their Stream. The only placed with no Eyes are in restrooms, and each person has a "Reserved Room." However, spending too much time in your reserved room is suspicious. 

Everyone in the Towers has a job. It is the editors' job to sift through everyone's daily streams and edit clips for different channels, which are similar to what we all watch on YouTube today, like "fail" clips, giggling babies, and embarrassing moments caught on camera. And just like today, having clips that get lots of views can make you famous, and lots of people in the Towers want to be Stream Stars. Like I said, not a stretch from what could happen in the near future. 

The only difference in the book is everyone lives in a a circle of towers, and they never leave. Outside is a sweltering desert with dangerous sandstorms, and they have their food-like cubes brought in from the Fertile Lands. 

Although this book took a while to get into, I did get really into it by the end, and I think the author did a great job at setting up for an action-packed sequel. I can't wait to see what happens next!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series. 
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so, she must play a deadly game of deceit - and one slip may spell doom, not only for Feyre, but for her world, as well. 
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords - and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Review

In case you haven't read the first two books in the series, I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

The second I finished A Court of Mist and Fury, I immediately started reading this book. I am so glad that I checked out both book at the same time. 

I can't believe I waited so long after reading ACOTAR to read the next two books in the series! They were AMAZING! They made me laugh. They made me cry (like a baby). They made me fear for the characters' lives at some points, and feel a whole wide range of emotions in between these. 

While the majority of the first two books take place in the Spring and the Night Courts, this book allows us to travel more around Prythian and get a glimpse into life at the other course, and we learn about the High Lord his book absolutely blurred the lines between friends and enemies at some points. I loved it!

I ♥ ♥ ♥ Rhys! I've never really identified with people that get crushes on fictional characters from books, but Rhys definitely gave me all the feels!

Reading this book made it official, Sarah J. Maas is definitely my new favorite author! This book exceeded my expectations, as always. After reading ACOMAF and this book, I'm not sure if I think this series or the Throne of Glass series is better.

I am thrilled that GoodReads shows three more ACOTAR books and one novella. However, the novella will not be released until May 2018, and all book #4 says is expected publication: 2019.

I still have book #6 in the Throne of Glass series, Tower of Dawnto read before then, but I don't know what I'm going to do with out any Sarah J. Maas to hold me over until then... I'm already considering re-reading this series...

        


     

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court - but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms - and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future - and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas' masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. 

Review

In case you have not read A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR), I will try to keep them to a minimum though. 

I knew this before I even started this book, but this one really reinforced the fact that I ABSOLUTELY ♥ ♥ ♥ Sarah J. Maas!!! This and the Throne of Glass (ToG) series are two of my favorites! I'm actually waiting in the hold line for a library copy of Tower of Dawn, book #6 in the ToG series. I've been waiting SOOO long for it to be released! 

I remember reading ACOTAR and loving it. I actually thought that I read this book right after finishing ACOTAR, but I guess I wasn't able to get a copy at that time or something, and the book was just so jam-packed that I thought I read the first two books in the series, instead of just the first. 

As always, Sarah J. Maas created an AMAZING, magical world with amazing, magical and complex characters. 

I ♥ Feyre! Maas does an awesome job of conveying the conflicting feelings she's experiencing, without sounding repetitive or making the character sound whiny, which happens way too often in YA books. 

I love the way women are portrayed in this book! I love how the treatment of different genders and different classes are explored in these books. 

THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING!!! 

I want to say so much about it. I want to gush about everything that I loved about it, but I don't want to give away those spoilers, and I NEED to read the next book in the series RIGHT NOW!

OMG! If I didn't have a copy of the third book on hand right now, I would be throwing a tantrum! 

Seriously, I have so much more I want to say, but to avoid gushing and giving away spoilers, I'm just going to read A Court of Rings and Ruin (book #3). 


        


     

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Rise of the Dawnstar Blog Tour and Giveaway!

 

The Rise of the Dawnstar
Farah Oomerbhoy
(The Avalonia Chronicles #2)
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Aurora Firedrake returns in the spellbinding sequel to The Last of the Firedrakes.
The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.
With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.
Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…

Author Bio:
Farah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained nearly two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India.

Review 

I read The Last of the Firedrakes two years ago and remembered really liking it, so when I got the opportunity to read an ARC of the sequel, I was super excited! I had to go back and read a little about the first book and my review of it to refresh myself on what happened.

Let me first say that my immediate reaction after finishing the last page of this book was one of anger and frustration! I can't believe the author ended it like that! I checked GoodReads immediately after finishing the book, and the third book in the series is not even listed with an unknown title/cover/release date yet. :(

After I calmed down a little bit (kind of), here were my reactions to the rest of the book:

The first book was good, but I liked this one better!

The author did an excellent job of world building and character development in the first book. In this book, she expands on that and gives us a glimpse into a totally different part of that world. We learned about some of the fae in the first book, but we get to enter their part of the world in this one and learn way more about the fae that are not living among the mages, hiding in fear.

Also, the love interest in the first book was alright, but this book added a whole other layer and made it more interesting.

I noted in my review of The Last of the Firedrakes that there was some repetitive language used throughout the book. While I did think the main character was a little repetitive in this book, I didn't catch the same repetitive language from the first book.

I also have to say that I found it a little annoying how low Aurora's self-esteem was at times and how many times she kept reminding herself that she needed to be less trusting of others. Most of the time, she didn't do anything different to try to protect herself, so it was just annoying and made her seem naive. Besides extending the ending, that is probably the only other thing I would have about this book.

I was excited to read this book because I really liked the first one, now I'm dying to read the next one!

If you haven't read the first book, I encourage you to read it so that you're caught up in time to read this one before the third book in the series is released. I guarantee after you read this book, you will be counting the days until you can find out what happens next!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

    


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Monday, October 2, 2017

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)
"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."
Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history - that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper's great-great-great-great-great- something grandgather made - and then broke - a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn't exactly the forgiving type. 
The fiend has reawakened with one purpose - to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and bandish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts to trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks. 
Little does Prosper know, the malefactor's control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there's a lot Alastor isn't telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong willed) human host.
From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

Review

This book was AWESOME! I loved it!

I love the author's sense of humor in this book! This book had me literally LOL-ing! I don't want to give away spoilers, but I thought one of the funniest scenes in the book involves Halloween decorations and a traffic cone... ☺

This quote also had me cracking up!
"To say that it's disturbing to no longer be in control of your limbs is like saying it's only a little weird to see someone dressed as a dinosaur, eating frozen hotdogs on a bench made of pigeons."
I kept hearing about this book and knew that I had to read it. However, I (mistakenly) thought that I was getting into a story that would start and end this story. From reading The Darkest Minds series, I should have known that Alexandra Bracken wouldn't want to wrap such an amazing story up in just one book. While I am glad that there is more to the story, I am super sad that I have to wait who knows how long to see what happens next!

The Darkest Minds series was AH-MAY-ZING, BTW! I've also been wanting to read Passenger since it was released. I've heard it's great, too! So, I had pretty high expectations when I started reading this book, and Alexandra Bracken definitely exceeded them!

This was an awesome book and a nice change from the books I've been reading lately, which have been mainly dystopian or YA Fantasy. This was definitely one of the best Middle Grade books I've ever read! It was surprisingly dark for a Middle Grade book, but definitely in a good way. ☺

The only issue I had was the ending, but my only problem with it is that I have to wait to see what happens next! Other than that, I don't have anything at all negative to say about this book!

I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read that's unique and funny, with lots of plot twists! This is definitely a good book to read with Halloween coming up, especially if you don't like horror stories.



Other books by Alexandra Bracken:

The Darkest Minds Series

        

Passenger Series

    

Friday, September 29, 2017

Gauntlet Fall (The Gauntlet Book 1) by Maddy Edwards

Gauntlet Fall (The Gauntlet Book 1)

Gauntlet Fall
by Maddy Edwards
(The Gauntlet #1)
Publication Date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Blurb:

Samantha Berry lives in a world devastated by war. A fragile peace has allowed hopes for rebuilding to blossom, but they rest on the shoulders of those who run the Gauntlet, the lethal trail to the stronghold of the man whose strange creatures started the war many years ago. The stronghold lies deep in Torrent's Valley, protected by deadly weapons that defeat every attempt to penetrate it, and it holds information crucial to the survival of Samantha's world.
Samantha wants to go to Harknell School, where Gauntlet Runners are trained. The only trouble is, she's the wrong gender. Determined not to let a little thing like that stand in her way, she disguises herself, calls herself "Sam," and risks everything to learn the skills she needs. 
Fraught with unimagined dangers, Harknell shows Sam a whole new world and forces her to keep a cool head as she fights to maintain her place and become a Runner. Along the way, she'll make lifelong friends, watch loyalties crumble, and learn what it is to love. 
In this scorching world that no one saw coming... until it arrived. 

Review:

I like that at the beginning they don't specify the gender of the main character. I thought the main character was a boy at the beginning. I didn't like that almost immediately after her gender was revealed, it is emphasized how much weaker females are than males. However, the author proves that point incorrect throughout the rest of the book. 

Sam(antha) is stuck in Salt Landing with her cousin's family who treat her like crap. Her mother left her with her cousin when she went to look for her brother, after he left for Harknell Hall to try to run the Gauntlet. Six years later, Sam goes herself, to try to train to run the Gauntlet and find her brother, even though only males are allowed at Harknell Hall. 

I was impressed by this book! It sucked me in immediately, and I would have finished it in one night, if I didn't have to make myself go to bed at a (somewhat) decent hour so that I could go to work early the next day. Adulting sucks!

I will say that I figured out one of the twists at the end, but all of the other twists and turns thorughout the book, and especially the ending, I could have NEVER guessed any of that was going to happen! 

The author did an excellent job at world building and character development. Her character development was also very well timed, leaving some characters' mysteries a secret until the most powerful moment to reveal them. 

I absolutely ♥ed Sam! She was fearless and was hardly ever afraid of being found out as a girl, except in obvious situations. I think it would have taken away from the story if she was constantly worrying about it. 

This book was awesome! I'm just super upset that I don't have the next book in the series to keep reading! I can't wait to see what happens next!

I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 


Monday, September 25, 2017

Crippled Hope (Jagged Scars #4) by Jo Schneider

Crippled Hope (Jagged Scars, #4)
Reeling from the fall of Shelter, and mourning the loss of too many friends, Wendy and the battered survivors must leave their broken home in search of another. As Jeff tries to keep the council together, Wendy rallies the remaining fighters in their defense, but more deaths and a clash of wills divide the people. Some insist they fight, others wish to run while a growing number desire to surrender to the Primate, falsely believing he will show them mercy. 
Up until now, Wendy has been able to slash her way out of anything, but her knives prove useless as hunger, disease and discord threaten to rip not only the group apart, but also the growing relationship between her and Jeff. 
Review

First of all, for those who have not read the first three books in the Jagged Scars series, check out my reviews of Fractured Memories (#1)Severed Ties (#2), and Shattered Dreams (#3).

**WARNING: Contains spoilers from first three books!!!**

The series is the story of Wendy, who is a ferocious fighter. She is a super smart and super dangerous. She lost her home to Skinnies (zombie-like people-ish things) and was saved and brought to Shelter, where she struggled to fit in and start learning to trust others. She ended up making friends at Shelter, but then it is threatened by the same person who ruined her home and killed her family: The Primate, who was working with Pelton, who taught her everything she knows about fighting, then betrayed her. At the end of Shattered Dreams, only a small fraction of the number of people that lived in Shelter survived blowing it up to save them all from the Primate and prevent him from taking over and gaining access to their advanced technology.

Crippled Hope picks up right where Shattered Dreams left off. The survivors from Shelter are moving through the tunnels they used to escape and get away from the Primate and his Skinnies.

These books definitely move fast! Just about everything that can go wrong does, and there are so many twists and turns thrown in. The series does that from the beginning. It is action-packed, but not rushed. The author gives you plenty of character and plot development in between the action.

All I could say after finishing this book was OMG!!! I'm so mad that I can't read the next book yet! I was thinking that the book was going to end at a certain point and was cool with that stopping point, then the author threw a major curveball. Then the book just stopped. OMG!

So far, I've loved absolutely everything about this series, but the ending to this book is frustrating if you don't have the next book to keep reading.

The author has done an amazing job with this series, though. Each book left me needing to read the next one and find out what happens next. However, there was usually a nice stopping point at the end, setting things up for the next book in the series, without making me too upset that I didn't have the next book yet. That was not the case with this one.

Each book has made me ♥ Wendy more and more! She stays true to her bad ass self throughout all the books, but she continues to grow and develop as a person throughout each one. And of course, I still ♥ Jeff and Kev! They were great in this book, as always!

If you haven't read the first three books, I encourage you to check them out immediately. If you have read the first three, this book will not disappoint! It's amazing, but the ending might frustrate you, since the next book in the series has not been released yet.

GoodReads says that the 5th book in the series, Broken World, will not be released until at least this December. I don't know if I can wait that long to see what happens next!

I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.


                     

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
"A high-octane thriller... Nyxia grabs you from the first line and never lets go." - Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Young Elites series
Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae. This is the first in a new three-book series called the Nyxia Triad that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they're willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune.
Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. 
Forever.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of the ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden - a planet that Babel has kept hidden - where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. 
But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human. 

Review

The premise of the story is unique: a super-rich and powerful company, called Babel Communications, which "swallowed Google back in 2038," selects a group of teenagers to go into space. At first, they have no idea why they were chosen and have no idea why or where they are going. The, they learn that they are competing for a chance to travel to a planet called Eden to mine a substance called Nyxia. 

Let's talk about Nyxia a little... I want to say so much about it. It's basically the new most valuable substance in the world and can seemingly be used for pretty much anything. Seriously, like anything - from weapons to healthcare. However, it has been kept a secret from the public, and the crew of Genesis 11 only learns about it once they board the ship bound for Eden.

We learn quite a bit about Nyxia throughout the book, but there are still unanswered questions and mysteries. I have a few theories, but again, I don't want to give too must away. You'll just have to read the book yourself and let me know what you think!


This book was awesome! It had twists and turns that I never saw coming! It sucked me in almost immediately, and I got really into it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and at times, it made me angry, plus just about every other emotion in between.

The author did a great job of character development in this book! The characters are so diverse, and we get to learn more and more about them as the book progresses. The author gives us a glimpse into the lives of most of the characters. Knowing more about their background and motivations helps readers understand them and their actions better.


I think the author did a good job with the ending, as well. He picked a good stopping place, but I'm still upset that I have to wait so long to see what happens next! I have so many questions!

That's the downside to reading books in a series before or right when they come out; you have to wait even longer than everyone else to read the next books. #FirstWorldProblems #TheStruggleIsReal

I definitely recommend this book! It certainly exceeded my expectations, and I will be waiting not so patiently for the next book in the series, which as of right now does not have a projected release date or cover art on GoodReads.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1) by Ed McDonald

Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)

Set on the ragged edge of a postapocalyptic frontier, Blackwing is a gritty fantasy debut about a man's desperate battle to survive his own dark destiny...
Nothing in the Misery lasts...
Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching - and still waiting. 
Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attach by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him. 
Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together, they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he's spilled and the gods he's supposed to serve...

Review

HOLY CRAP! This book was AWESOME!

It is a little dark and a bit graphic at times. If you have a squeamish stomach or are triggered easily, it may not be for you, but it is definitely not the darkest or most graphic book I've ever read.

This story is so unique! The author did an excellent job at building a broken world, where even the sky was broken and crying.

I loved the women in this story! The main character's most vicious and loyal soldier us a woman named Nenn. She was probably my favorite. Nenn is a complete badass! She a fighter, without a nose. She wears a wooden nose, and is constantly chewing some kind of black substance that I assume is like chewing tobacco that makes your teeth black.

Ezabeth was great, too! She is a fearless, smart, powerful Spinner. Spinners are able to draw power from the three moons and create Phos from it, which allows them to do magic.

I also liked Tnota. He is the main character's most loyal navigator, who when he isn't navigating or fighting, is with the steady stream of men that were coming and going from his house.

I loved Galharrow's development throughout the story. He was constantly battling with himself, what he is, and the things he's done. He would rather spend all his time at the bottom of a bottle, but instead, when he comes across a woman that he used to know, ends up going down the rabbit hole with her, discovering a huge conspiracy theory that could kill put an end to humanity.

The Deep Kings are gearing up for war, and the Nameless, who are the only ones that can defeat them, are nowhere to be found. Even Crowfoot, who has a pact with Galharrow, is MIA. So, instead, Galharrow and Ezabeth have to try to figure out how to save everyone from the Deep Kings.

This book was excellent and so much different from anything I've ever read. I loved it! It was action-packed, and full of twists and turns that you would never anticipate. I especially loved the ending and can't wait to see what the author comes up with for the sequel! 

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via First to Read, in exchange for an honest review. 


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Shattered Dreams (Jagged Scars #3) by Jo Schneider

Shattered Dreams (Jagged Scars, #3)

Wendy has wrestled the monster in her head into a corner where she hopes to keep it at bay. Thanks to her and the other fighters, Shelter is safe, but the victory didn't come without loss. During the Writing on the Wall - a tribute to the dead - Mike announces his plan to go after Pelton and his people. Wendy is the first to volunteer. 
But Jeff has other ideas. He asks Wendy and a few other trusted fighters to join him on a team that will go in before the main force and wreak havoc in the complex. The price? Wendy has to lie to the rest of her friends and pretend to date Jeff to cover for the time they spend together. Which would be okay if Wendy didn't actually have feelings for Jeff. But the worst part, the part Wendy isn't sure she can live with, is that Pelton might get away, and she will never avenge her family.

Excerpt from Shattered Dreams

When Wendy got to the computer lab, she keyed in the code and turned the handle.
Wendy pushed the door open. 
She'd expected it to be deserted, but Hound and Cal were huddled around a set of three computers, their heads together and their finders typing like mad.
Jeff was in the far corner.
"Doesn't anyone sleep around here?" Wendy muttered.
"I figure we can sleep when we're dead," Hound said with a grin.
Wendy shook her head and moved to the computer that had the typing tutorials on it. She'd been through them all a few times, but she still wasn't quite fast enough to do most of the drills Mike put them through. It had taken her a while to accept it, but this skill might be as important as fighting at some point. Hopefully the need to use such skills would never fall on her, but if it did, she wanted to be prepared. 
The screen came to life, and Wendy clicked on the icon for the tutorial. The familiar picture of the keyboard came up, and she positioned her hands on the real keyboard. 
Man. Tan. Fan. Pan.
Wendy kept up with the pace of the tutorial. The words got longer and more complicated. She got lost in it for a while, then the faint hiss of a chair moving told Wendy that Jeff had stood. A few footsteps and she knew he was coming toward her. 
The letters started to pop up on the screen. Wendy tried to relax and let her muscle memory do the work. 
Jeff's footsteps got closer. He pulled out the chair next to her and sat. 
"You don't have to watch me," Wendy said. "I think I've mastered loading the tutorial." She silently rejoiced as her fingers kept going, even when she was talking. They slowed down, but didn't start typing what she was saying, which had happened more than once.
"I finished my stuff. Thought I would say hi."
"Hi."
The "i" slipped into the word rock. Wendy made a face.
Jeff continued to watch, which made Wendy a little nervous. After a few minutes, she glanced over.
"What's on your mind?"
Jeff scooted his chair toward her, and leaned in until his lips were just inches from her ear.
"I've been thinking. I might need to use you as an excuse to keep Matt off my back."
"Okay." Lock. Tock. Sock.
He leaned closer, and whispered. "I mean, I think I need to tell him we're, uh, seeing one another."
Wendy furrowed her brow as "clock" came up. "What do you mean?"
"Like boyfriend and girlfriend."
Wendy's fingers froze. Her mind froze. Her neck froze, and she could have sworn it cracked as she turned to meet his gaze. "What?" she whispered.

Review

I absolutely loved Fractured Memories and Severed Ties, so when I got the opportunity to join the author's review team and read the rest of the series, I jumped at the chance to read more!

I had high expectations for this book, after reading the first two books in the series, and this book definitely didn't disappoint!

I can't say enough good things about this series! I love everything about it!

I even like the romantic aspect, which, if you've read pretty much any of my other reviews, says A LOT. The author didn't slap a cookie cutter love triangle in the middle of this story, and she didn't turn the main character into an idiot over a stupid crush.

I ♥ Wendy! She is a total badass! I can't decide if I like her or Jeff more, but I know that I ♥ ♥ ♥ them together!!!

The ending of this book was perfect. It set things up perfectly for the next book in the series, without leaving me too upset that I didn't have the next book yet to immediately keep reading.

I definitely recommend this series! If you haven't read the first two books yet, I encourage you to check them out! I promise, you won't be disappointed!

I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.



              


Friday, September 8, 2017

Fate of the Stars Blog Tour and iPad Mini Giveaway




Fate of the Stars
Arwen Paris
Publication date: September 1st 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
When the fate of the world rests upon you…
Allison Delaney wants to spend her senior year healing from the loss of her father, to leave the shadows of his death and her junior year break-down behind. A Labor Day beach party seems like a good place to start…but there’s more danger lurking than anyone could imagine. Death is coming to Earth if the pods of infectious creatures aren’t stopped. But only one human can help…
To live or die is no longer a choice.
Eenoki is a protector of life but must have a sentient host to fight the invasion. A teenage girl would not be the best choice, but out of desperation Eenoki invades Allison’s mind and body, granting her unnatural abilities and strengths – and helping her escape certain death when the first wave of pods land.
As destruction rains down on Earth’s population, Allison realizes to save everyone, she must make the ultimate choice: Reject her human side and bond with Eenoki to become the Earth’s Priestess – or be killed along with the rest of humanity.


Author Bio:
Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she's not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless - #F3Fanatic

Review

I zoomed through this book in one night! I'm usually not into books about aliens, but this isn't like Star Trek or anything like that. Yes, there were aliens, but they were not the main focus of the story.

The story focuses more on Allison, who is a teenager who must learn as she goes, after stepping into a gigantic role that initially seems impossible.

This book was AWESOME!!! The author did an excellent job of world building and explaining about the aliens, their different culture, and their motivations.

I am definitely looking forward to reading more by Arwen Paris! I hope a sequel is in the works!

I received a copy of this book for free, in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wings Unseen Blog Tour and $25 Amazon Giveaway!


Wings Unseen
by Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Published by: Meerkat Press
Publication date: August 22, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

To end a civil war, Lansera's King Turyn reliquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as comparable as oil and water. 
When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn't know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua's leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancè pf Turyn's grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother's murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.
To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra's brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.
Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Ferrell's first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters. 

Author Links

http://www.rebeccagomezfarrell.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaGomezFarrell/
https://twitter.com/thegourmez?lang=en
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4780762.Rebecca_Gomez_Farrell

Available for Purchase

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Review

I've been watching a lot of Game of Thrones, and I assume the author does as well (or has read the books, which I, regrettably, have not done yet). A couple of the names are similar (i.e. Braven/Bravos and Lanisters/Lanserim).

The author might have been inspired by GoT, but this book was definitely much different than GoT. You can tell that there was some inspiration, from a few names and places, and some of the settings in the book sound similar. In fact, since I just recently binge watched the entire GoT series to get caught up for the new episodes in season 7, there were several places in this book where I thought something entirely different (and usually much worse) was going to happen, because that is something that would have happened in GoT, but the author took it a totally different direction.

So, whether you love GoT, hate GoT, or you've never even heard of or seen/read GoT, I still recommend this book!

Basically, a civil war between people who value greed and power and those who value honor broke out. To stop the fighting and bloodshed, they signed a truce, giving the Meduans the land over the mountains, and the King rule over the rest of Lansera.

The Meduans were the cruel, greedy people, of at least the men among them who strive for power were. They treated women like shit, even their wives and daughters. All women were considered just a way to fulfill urges and have children. Wives typically weren't even allowed to live in the same house with wealthy men and their children, and poor men weren't allows to marry. Most women lived in a separate part of town that men only entered when they have "urges."

Across the mountains, a kind king rules with honor and compassion. The king married for love, and the prince is engaged to marry his childhood sweetheart. The two peoples couldn't be any more different.

I ♥ed Prince Janto, but my favorite character was Vesperi! I ♥ed her personality and spunk! Even though the way she acts is a product of growing up in such a cruel and violent environment, she doesn't take any crap from anyone, regardless of the consequences. I want to say more and explain a couple of my favorite Vesperi moments, but I don't want to give away any spoilers... You'll just have to read the book!

This book was AWESOME! The author did an excellent job at world building and character development. She really let the reader travel into Lanserim and Medua, in order to be able to understand their worlds and culture.

I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ this book!!! I even loved the romantic aspect in it, which if you've read pretty much any of my other reviews, you know that I am very critical of. This was not cookie cutter love triangle or stupid crush, though. The author did an excellent job at fitting the love story in in a unique manner, without taking focus away from the rest of the story, and especially without taking focus away from the amazing characters or making them turn into idiots around their silly crushes, like in way too many YA books nowadays.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone! The only problem I had with it was that it ended too early, and I wanted to keep reading more! I would love to read a sequel! I loved the ending, but I'm not sure if the author intended to leave an option for or intends to write a sequel.

I ♥ed this book and am super impressed with Rebecca Gomez Farrell and will definitely be looking for future books by her!

I received a copy of this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. 

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Article Three (Systemet #1) by Anna Jakobsson Lund

 Article Three by Anna Jakobson Lund
Trust will get you killed - and trust will keep you alive.
In a world where the System governs everything, Ava's a rebel - one who can control other people's thoughts with her mind. As part of a resistance movement preparing for war, this is a useful skill.
Levi stopped believing in the struggle for freedom when it snatched his parents from him. Now he's just trying to live a quiet life and control the voices that threaten his sanity. 
One night Levi's sister is arrested. To free her, he has to break old promises and get involved with people he swore he'd never associate with. Ava's ordered to help him, and together, they leave on a rescue mission. She says he has to trust the rebels. But should they?

About the Author:

I've always been a daydreamer. As a kid, I wasn't that interested in other children. I wanted to be left alone with my mind and let it tell me stories. Distant worlds and time travel were frequently reoccurring topics. I was usually the hero, with the occasional side-kick. Writing came naturally to me, as a way to try to catch the stories, and later on, to share those with the friends I did manage to get, despite being somewhat strange.

Adulthood didn't stop the daydreaming, but it made me use less of it in my writing. Instead, I wrote poetry and more conventional stories. Boring stories.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I'd enough of them. I'd self-published one novel; a neat piece of relationship drama where nothing happened. I loved the characters, but the plot was too slow. Writing, publishing and marketing were hard work, and if I was going to do it again, it would not be with a boring story.

My brain rescued me by playing me a scene I'd first come up with as a teen. I knew that the street depicted was from the future, and that the boy getting beat up was on a quest to save his sister. I also had the idea that the girl saving him (who had been me in the original story, of course) was part of a resistance movement.

I ran with that, started writing and discovered the kind of writer's high I hadn't experienced since I was a kid. As I finished that first book (Article Three), more ideas kept entering my daydreams. Not just about the other two parts of what would be The System trilogy, but ideas that could be turned into short stories and new novels. My mind is as creative now that it has ever been, which is no small blessing for a mum of small children.

The wonderful thing about sci-fi and fantasy is that you don't have to be tied down by norms and rules of the ordinary world. You're still able to address modern day issues, though. I try to use this in my writing by exploring themes that make the reader question his or her own views as well as society's. I use characters that are not often depicted in main-stream literature. People I find interesting, who stretch our notion about what parts people usually play in literature. In my writing, there's no alpha-dogs and no damsels in distress. I've even declared my books love-triangle free. It sounds like a joke, but I want other things for my readers that the questions about which hot guy the main character is going to choose at the end.

I'm an indie-publisher, which is equal part funny and exhausting, and I have four novels published in Swedish. The idea to get my novels translated professionally and try to reach a larger audience is more than a little crazy, but as I started discussing it with fellow writers, I couldn't quite shake it. As I grow older, I get increasingly less afraid, and also crazier, and I feel like I would be stupid not to follow my dreams while I have the chance.

Social Media Links from the Author:

Instagram: @anna_jakobsson_Lund
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/articlethreedystopian/

Review

Let me first say, that I immediately fell in love with the author about reading her About the Author section! I cannot recall how many books I've read that the story is awesome, but the author takes away the focus from the awesome story by inserting a cookie-cutter love triangle and trying to make the focus more about which guy the main character will choose. I am definitely interested in reading books by any author devoted to abstaining from that practice!

Also, I would much rather read about super strong, badass female main characters than damsels in distress. So, before I even started this book, I was already into it.

These were the only expectations I had when I started reading the book. Truthfully, I couldn't really remember what the book was about. All I knew is that it sounded interesting enough for me to request a copy to read and review. I like doing it that way! It makes it easier to choose which book to read next... I just pick a bunch of books that sound interesting, then read them in the order they are due or due back to the library. 

This book was AWESOME! The author stuck to her word, and there was no cookie cutter love triangle stuck in the middle of the story. The focus remained on the characters and their story, and she did an excellent job with both!

I zoomed through this book! The author did an amazing job at world building and depicting such complex characters. 

I am also super impressed that the author wrote this book in Swedish and had it translated to English. I wouldn't have known if I didn't read the author's comment about it in her bio. The translation is excellent, and it seems like it was written in English originally. 

This book takes a lot of aspects that I've seen in different YA fantasy book, then the author makes them her own and combines them in such a unique way. 

I love the main characters! Levi is stubborn but brave and completely devoted to his sister. Ava is a badass, struggling with the past, and Leymah... goodness, I love Leymah! She is more of a free spirit, with a thirst for knowledge, in a world where both of those things are pretty much dead.

If you couldn't tell from this review, I immediately became a fan of Anna Jakobsson Lund before even starting this book! I hope all of her stories are translated into English! I plan to read all of them! 

Most of all, I hope the sequel to this book is in the works for an English translation! I want to be one of the first to read it!

I am so excited to see what happens next with Levi and Ava and Leymah! The only negative thing I have to say about this book is how sad I am that the sequel isn't out yet, and I can't pick it up right now and keep reading!

Besides my impatience, I have nothing negative to say about this book. It's AWESOME, and I definitely recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from the author, via The Review Chain, in exchange for an honest review. 



Monday, August 14, 2017

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night
From the bestselling author of All is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back...
One night, three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family, Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated, and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.

Review

When I first heard about this book, it reminded me a little of Room or Baby Doll, or something along those lines, but this book goes a completely different direction.

Yes, it tells the story of two sisters who were kidnapped, but it also tells their family's story and focuses on what was going on that made the girls leave in the first place.

Me, with my psych degree and working on my masters in mental health counseling, of course that aspect was right up my alley! I loved Room and Baby Doll, and this book added another aspect that I loved!

This book had me hooked almost immediately! I started trying to diagnose the mother before the psychologist even came into the story.

Holy crap! I knew that this book would have surprises, but I definitely did not see this ending coming! Maybe that's because my training is in counseling, not forensic psych, or maybe the author is just that awesome... probably a combination of both!

This book sucks you in and has you hanging on every word, trying to figure out exactly what happened and what led up to it, throughout the whole book. I thought I had an idea, but I never could have guessed everything that is uncovered at the end.

This book was AWESOME! If you like books like Room or Baby Doll, or psychological thrillers, I definitely recommend this book! Even if none of this sounds good to you, this book has such a surprising, touching ending that even made me cry, which is no easy task.

I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ this book! From the beginning to the end, I was HOOKED! The characters were so complex. The author did an excellent job of giving a complete background, followup and analysis of a story which seems like it would be ripped from the news headlines or an ABC 20/20 special. She developed such complex characters, with complex psychological profiles and put them in even more complex situations. Yet, she put all this together in a way that anyone without any knowledge of psychology could not only understand, but enjoy.

I also ♥ed Dr. Winter. She was always one step ahead of everyone else. I won't say anything else, because I don't want to give away any spoilers. All I have to say is READ THIS BOOK! It is awesome!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.