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Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Book Review

Overall Rating: ***

I really wanted to like this book…I mean come on it’s a book about bad ass girl assassins Grave Mercy Book Reviewwho are the spawn of death. I mean how could that not be great??

Grave Mercy is an older release and the first book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. I was hearing a ton of hype about this series due to the author releasing a new spin-off in the same universe. The book started out very interesting i loved the premise. The main character, Ismae, ends up at the Convent, learning about her heritage and training to be one of the Handmaidens of Mortain. Once Ismae sets out on her first “job” things start to go downhill. I was expecting a bad ass assassin and ended up with a novice girl.

What I liked:

  • I really liked the premise of the book. Female assassins, the Convent…had a little bit of the Throne of Glass vibe.
  • I actually really like the male main character in the book, he was the one who had it together more than anyone.
  • The ending wrapped up nicely, no cliffhangers.

What I didn’t like:

  • I was really not fond of the main female lead. As soon as she started falling part and asking everyone else what to do all of the time I was done
  • Just not an overall fan of the writing, she flipped back and forth between speaking very modern and going back in time. I am no history buff at all but the swings still bugged me.
  • There were also quite a few side characters that just seemed out-of-place and really did not add to the story, perhaps they will play larger roles in the sequels.

A lot of people really like this book and I really liked the idea. While I will not be reading any further in the series or buying more of the authors work, I understand that the other books in the series are based around different main characters so things might improve.

Official Synopsis:

Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?
 
 Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

     Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

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A Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

A Pack of Blood and Lies was a fast paced read that pulls you right it, no struggling to get hooked here! You are left wondering what will happen to Ness next from the get go as her Werewolf family comes to force her back to Colorado after the passing of her mother. Ness has all the makings of the fierce female lead set out to avenge her family and teach the backwards pack a lesson, but her reckless streak lands her in more trouble than she started out with…. Thankfully the steamy Liam always seems to be there to save the day. Yes, it’s a little cliché but has all the juicy tidbits that keep you coming back for more along with a few twists and turns you don’t see coming. I do wish more detailed physical descriptions of characters was provided up front. Its left to the imagination in the beginning so my mind formed its own descriptions to find out later in the story that person appeared differently. This story wraps up just enough to leave you satisfied but ready to dive into the next installment. I would have started reading to sequel right away!

Official Synopsis:

The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane–son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

A Pack of Blood and Lies does not release until April 30th but is available for pre-order now!

Thank you to NetGalley and Twig Publishing for the opportunity to review this ARC for my honest opinion.

 

 

 

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Book Review

Overall Rating: *****

Guys! I cannot say enough about this audiobook!!!! I admit I didn’t even read the synopsis for this book before I started listening and I COULD NOT STOP. I went through an 11 hour audiobook in two days!!

I have heard that the book is a bit harder to read as it is written like a file after the eventsIluminae Files Book Review have occurred. The audiobook is done with a full cast and it comes off wonderfully!!! This book had the Sci-Fi, the end of the world dystopian feel, the zombie land feel, AND the love story. I think I cried 4 times listening to this and have also now ordered a hard copy to have for a follow along reread with the book accompaniment. I would have started the second book right away, however I hit my max of audiobooks on scribd for the month so have to wait a few more weeks for it to be available.

The characters in this book are so well done, I can’t believe I was able to connect with them so much through a “case file” document. I think you love or hate (or can’t determine which feeling you really have) each of the characters detailed along the journey.

One warning- This book has a lot of heart wrenching moments and quite a bit of graphic death. If the story had not been so consuming I would have had a hard time being ok with it.

The book is in the YA section but is more in the NA spectrum, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for a child younger than 15-16 just due to sheer gore factor and sexual references.

Official Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

I would love to hear your opinions on this story (include spoiler alerts if applicable please) in the comments below! I hear I am going to need a support group after the final book!!!

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April 2019 Top Book Releases

At first it seemed like releases were slowing down a bit after all of the amazingness at the first of the year. But when I started digging in there were actually a TON of highly anticipated books that were coming out this month. Two of the books this month Wicked Saints and The Devouring Grey are on my most anticipated “underrated” book list for the year!

April 2nd

<a href="http://Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan

Wicked Saints Book ReviewA girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

<a href="http://The Devouring Gray” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray #1) by Christine Lynn Herman

The Devouring Grey Book ReviewThis is my most anticipated release of April (followed closely by Wicked Saints) I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and SO wished I had an ARC.

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

<a href="http://Defy Me (Shatter Me)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Defy Me Book Review from Shatter Me Series

I have all of the series but have not started reading them yet…. one of my reading goals for the month is to be ready for this release. I have heard a lot of great things about the series but didn’t want to be left hanging until it was complete. I also pre-ordered a signed exclusive version of this book from Barnes & Noble.

The gripping fifth installment in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Shatter Me series. Will Juliette’s broken heart make her vulnerable to the strengthening darkness within her? ** This first book in this series <a href="http://Shatter Me” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Shatter Me is only $1.99 on Kindle right now!!!!

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.

<a href="http://We Rule the Night” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

We Rule the Night Book ReviewTwo girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.

April 9th 

<a href="http://The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

The Red Scrolls of Magic Book ReviewI have to admit I didn’t even consider pre-ordering this and am only adding it to the top list since it is so hyped. I struggled to make it through the first two books in the Dark Artifices series and have yet to desire to read <a href="http://Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Queen of Air and Darkness. I just am over reading the same base story with different characters over and over. This book and <a href="http://Chain of Gold (The Last Hours Book 1)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Chain of Gold that release later this year I will most likely wait for someone else to review before thinking of purchasing.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

<a href="http://Descendant of the Crane” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane Book ReviewI have heard so many good things about this book but just was not drawn to the plot myself. Sometimes the Bookstagram hype can run away with a book a bit and I am afraid this might be one of those times…. I will give it a little time post release to see how things pan out before purchasing. The cover art is undeniably gorgeous.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

April 16th 

<a href="http://The Binding: A Novel” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>The Binding by Bridget Collins

The Binding Book ReviewThe cover if this book is SOOOO gorgeous. I would want it even if it didn’t sound amazing.

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

April 30th

<a href="http://King of Fools (The Shadow Game Series)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

King of Fools Book ReviewThis is the sequel to <a href="http://Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game Series)” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Ace of Shades

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I almost bought An Enchantment of Ravens from Book Outlet a few weeks ago and decided to hold off after reading the synopsis didn’t do anything for me. Then I stumbled upon it on Scribd and decided to go a head and give it a shot… and I am SO glad that I did.

This book was such a neat take on Faerie and really made humans seem superior in so many ways. The narrator did a great job with the characters even though the guys voices are a little hard to take seriously. The writing was very descriptive and I was able to keep a clear picture of the characters and events occurring even while listening instead of reading, which is a bit harder for me. I think it might actually have been a bit challenging for me to read vs listen to in the beginning due to all of the descriptions.

This is a standalone and also a pretty short book so is a good light read if you are in a slump or not wanting to take on a complex series. If anything I wish there had been more to the story or more books to read. The author Margaret Rogerson is actually releasing another book this year called a Sorcery of Thorns in the same universe and I am sooo ready for it now. Just one more thing….. these covers are gorgeous!!!!

Official Synopsis:

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

I had heard a lot of good feedback about this book but I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this book. The synopsis didn’t draw me in but it was an audiobook on my unlimited subscription so I decided to give it a try any way.
Wonderfully Strange is the best way I can think to describe this book. The way that you meet the characters and the way the world is built out is presented in such a genuine way. The author says the odd little things that people think but usually don’t say out loud, for me it formed a unique bond with the characters.

I hate to even try to describe the plot of the books, it’s almost impossible to tell you what it is really about without giving away too much. This book had all kinds of paranormal elements with a house full of psychics and even a ghost (or two). So many things I may have seen sprinkled here or there in a book but never all together and in such a wonderful way.

This is the first book in the Raven Cycle and I will review the full series when complete. I will say that some might find the writing difficult or the story a bit slow to get into. The story is 100% worth getting through and was way easier with audiobook, this is the only reason I gave the book 4 stars vs 5.

Official Synopsis:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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March 2019 New Book Releases

What is with all of these amazing books the beginning of this year! I want to share a few of my picks for this month’s releases and also some neat special editions that will be coming out!!

March 5th

The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross

I have to admit I have not heard a lot of about this series but it is one that has personally caught my eye… and the covers are just stunning!

Synopsis: Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life. Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone? As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep- seated love.

 
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch) by Rin Chupeco

Eeek this trilogy is high up on my TBR and now that it will be complete I am ready to binge!!! Already have the first book queued up on Audiobook as soon as I finish the Rain Cycle.

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance  Tea is a bone witch with the dark magic needed to raise the dead. She has used this magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass—to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world—threatens to consume her heart. Tea’s black heartsglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. And when she is left with new blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a
power greater than the elder asha or even her conscience… 

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates this gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me! Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.
The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me (Shatter Me), the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4) by Matt de la Pena

Synopsis: When the dawn breaks, a hero rises. His power is beyond imagining.
Clark Kent has always been faster, stronger–better–than everyone around him. But he wasn’t raised to show off, and drawing attention to himself could be dangerous. Plus, it’s not like he’s earned his powers . . . yet.
But power comes with a price.
Lately it’s difficult to hold back and keep his heroics in the shadows. When Clark follows the sound of a girl crying, he comes across Gloria Alvarez and discovers a dark secret lurking in Smallville. Turns out, Clark’s not the only one hiding something. Teaming up with his best friend, Lana Lang, he throws himself into the pursuit of the truth. What evil lies below the surface of his small town? And what will it cost Clark to learn about his past as he steps into the light to become the future Man of Steel? Because before he can save the world, he must save Smallville.

Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

I am just loving all of the series conclusions!!! I have always herd wonderful things about China’s work so I will be accumulating this series to reach throughout the year as well.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

 
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

I read her book Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be last year and just loved it! This is one of my most anticipated books this year and I cannot wait to pick it up!

Synopsis: In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out
of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself. 

  • I checked this morning and the B&N exclusive was only $14.99!

 

March 12th
Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1) by Crystal Smith

Guys I have been seeing all of the ARC packages for this book and it is just gorgeous!!! Plus is supposed to be an amazing read! I am pretty sure this will be a drop all of my there books and read this one situation when I get my order.

Synopsis: Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants.
Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game. To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of
carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

There are also a few special editions releasing this month that I think you will be very interested in…
I know I cannot wait to get my hand on these!!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab Collectors Edition

*End papers featuring stunning fan art
*An updated glossary of Arnesian and Antari terms
*Original (never before seen!) short story from within the Shades of Magic world

There is also a Barnes & Noble exclusive that is a different color.

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.  Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Bookish Merch, Products I love!!

February 2019 New Book Releases

This February is another great month of new releases!!! There is just so much coming out on February 5th!

February 5th

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Enchantee Book ReleaseParis in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology #1) by Robin LaFevers

Courting Darkness BookThis author has another series called His Fair Assassins that has been a hot item on my TBR recently. I am really eager to dive into that series and then will tackle this duology. I have heard so many great things about this author.

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

I will most likely be attending a signing for this book at a local independent book store in Houston, TX, Blue Willow Books. I will be sure to share my experience!

Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joanna Hathaway

Dark of the West new bookAurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

February 12th

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard

Bloodwitch Witchlands 3 by Susan DennardI have started this series and enjoyed it so far, looking forward to finding out more about Aeduan!

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

The Blood Spell (Ravenspire #4) by C.J. Redwine

Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating tension among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

February 26th

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the orange tree book releaseThere has been a ton of hype over this book for several months so I have been pretty hesitant about reading it. I decided not to pre order and will wait to see how the reviews pan out after release.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Book Review

Overall: ****

I have heard so so so much about Schwab and this series in particular so I have just been itching to give it a try. When this booked popped up on my Scribd suggestions I knew I had to check it out.

A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

I am really glad that I kicked this series off with an audiobook due to the amount of world building that occurs, what with the multiple Londons and their different dynamics. I think I might have struggled to get into the book so much if I was trying to read through all of those details versus having them read to me. Once I was in though I was sucked in. I actually ended up finding a gorgeous collectors edition of the book at Barnes and Noble, bought it and finished reading the physical book instead of listening. One thing I will caution to those of you who choose to pursue the audiobook, the narrator was a bit of a challenge. I felt a little bit like I was being read to by Alfred the butler from Batman, and it was hard not to giggle at some of the voice impressions he did. Especially Lilah who happens to be one of the main characters and talks A LOT!

The ideas of the different London’s was very unique, I liked taking the idea of alternate realties and playing it with magic and a “back in time” feel instead of it being sci-fi. Strangely I was satisfied with the way the book ended but also with so many more questions!

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 just because of the slower start… I have a feeling that the series will be 5 stars overall. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel A Conjuring of Shadows! The collectors edition of this book releases in March!! I also have a book box from Enchanted book box that is based on the V.E. Schwab world… I was a replacement for a prior box I purchased that had to be canceled and I was a bit nervous since I had not read any of her work yet but now I am super excited!!!

Official Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

More to come as I complete the series!

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Truthwitch Book Review

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Overall ***

Reading Rate: ****

Romance: ***

Pages: 432

This is the first book in the Witchlands series and I have seen a ton of hype around the third book in this series releasing so I wanted to check it out… and of course determine if I wanted to order and of the special editions 🙂 This being the first book in the series there was a lot of world building to be done. High level it is a world where everyone has a form of “witchery” and there many different kinds. The world was once vibrant and had great magic thanks to the “Origin Wells” which have all but died over the course of time. While there is a lot of world building being done you are not given too much information up front, you have to keep reading to find out what things really mean. The story is centered around Iseult and Safi, but there are numerous other characters that are key to the story and are slowing building the back stories as well.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard Book Review

Because there was some lack of understanding and meaning to some of the elements this book was a little challenging for me to really take a hold of in the beginning. I would say about half way through I was starting to understand the character and world dynamics it really started to pick up.

Once problem I had in the writing was the action scenes. I tend to read quickly and sometimes I have to go back and reread a section to get the details. I just feel in some scenes the details were lacking. I was having a hard time picturing how they were moving together or fighting. A few times I caught myself internally thinking “How did they end up like that?”.

There was so much that was left shrouded in mystery in this book. Most of the characters are really still in a morally grey area, and you aren’t even sure who the “big bad” guy is. I gave the overall score for this book 3 out of 5 stars for its slow start and lack of information. Understanding that this is taking this book as a standalone and that once complete with the overall series I might have a very different opinion.

That being said even though this first book was only 3 stars I will continue to read the series. I think the author has a lot of great concepts started and I would really like to find out what she does with them… and who ends up being what in the story line.

Official Synopsis:

“In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.”

On another fun note I did read that it was announced in September that the series was optioned by Jim Henson Company for a TV series!!  Link to article

BloodWitch the official 3rd book in the series (there is a 2.5 Novella) Releases on February 12th 2019.  I will have to see how the sequel Windwitch goes before I decide if I want to pre-order or grab any special edition boxes.