Friday, April 22, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (4/22/16)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

The Knights of Crystallia (Alcatraz, #3)
The Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson (HBK)
Needed a light, playful read so of course I grabbed the next Alcatraz! It's been less adventurous than the first two books, but still fun and witty and thoroughly enjoyable.

>> ON HOLD <<
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil (HBK)
This surprisingly hit a little too close to home and I found myself needing a break halfway through (hence Alcatraz). It's a good read though, about growing up and growing apart from one's friends.

Bloody Mary, Vol. 2
Bloody Mary vol. 2 by Akaza Samamiya (PBK)
3 Stars. Relatively interesting but still a little too vague and airy. Will give it one more volume.

Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE 2
Tsubasa: World Chronicle vol. 2 by CLAMP (PBK)
I re-read vol. 1 and enjoyed it much more the second time, so immediately ordered vol. 2 - it should arrive this afternoon!

So what are you reading this week?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Release Spotlight: Alcatraz #3: The Knights of Crystallia (Brandon Sanderson)

Today sees the release of the third illustrated reissue from Starscape in the Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series by Brandon Sanderson: The Knights of Crystallia!! I'm currently reading it and thoroughly enjoying the fun and wit that can be expected with this amazing Middle Grade adventure series. If you haven't yet given these books a look, I highly recommend you do so!

The Knights of Crystallia (Alcatraz, #3)

Title: The Knights of Crystallia
Series: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians #3
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Starscape (Tor)
Release Date: 4/19/16

The Knights of Crystallia is the third action-packed fantasy adventure in the Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series for young readers by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. These fast-paced and funny novels are now available in deluxe hardcover editions illustrated by Hayley Lazo.

In this third Alcatraz adventure, Alcatraz Smedry has made it to the Free Kingdoms at last. Unfortunately, so have the evil Librarians--including his mother! Now Alcatraz has to find a traitor among the Knights of Crystallia, make up with his estranged father, and save one of the last bastions of the Free Kingdoms from the Evil Librarians.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository

And check out the first two books in the series!

Alcatraz vs. the Evil LibrariansThe Scrivener’s Bones

Book 1: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

Book 2: The Scrivener's Bones

Friday, April 15, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (4/15/16)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil (HBK)
Finally! As expected it's proving a fun contemporary with quirky characters, and I'm quite enjoying it.

The Fog Diver (The Fog Diver, #1)The Ancient Magus' Bride, Vol. 4

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross (ARC)
3.5 Stars. Second review read and once more I found it an imaginative and inventive Middle Grade dystopian adventure with thrilling action and engaging characters. Looking forward to continuing the series soon! Review to come.

The Ancient Magus' Bride vol. 4 by Kore Yamazaki (PBK)
5 Stars. This finally arrived yesterday afternoon and I dropped everything to devour it. While the magic continues to be a bit overwhelming, further revelations about Elias and Chise's pasts expand the story in new and fascinating ways. Cannot wait for the next volume!!

The Lost Compass (The Fog Diver, #2)
The Lost Compass by Joel Ross (ARC)
Required a buffer while I drafted the first book's review, but I'm excited to read this next!

So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WoW: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge (Paul Krueger)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel
Title: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge
Author: Paul Krueger
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Quirk Books
A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: Finally a New Adult book that's not completely about relationships, and a fantasy to boot!! (Urban fantasy, granted, but I'll take it.) And with such a unique magic system, and a secret society thrown in for good measure, I'm stoked to finally give New Adult a try with this title!

So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Nobody's Lady (Amy McNulty) Release Day Celebration + Giveaway

Today with Chapter by Chapter I help celebrate the release day of NOBODY'S LADY by Amy McNulty, the sequel to NOBODY'S GODDESS, from Month9Books! I found NOBODY'S GODDESS an engrossing a thought-provoking fantasy (you can read my review here), so if you haven't yet heard about this series I recommend you check it out below, add it to Goodreads, and enter to win a digital copy of the sequel at the end!

Title: Nobody's Lady (Never Veil #2)
Author: Amy McNulty
Publisher: Month9Books
Pub. Date: April 12, 2016

For the first time in a thousand years, the men in Noll’s village possess the freedom to love whom they will. In order to give each man the chance to fully explore his feelings, the lord of the village decrees all marriages null and void until both spouses declare their love for one another and their desire to wed again. What many women think will be a simple matter becomes a source of village-wide tension as most men decide to leave their families and responsibilities behind.

Rejected by the lord and ashamed of her part in the village’s history, Noll withdraws from her family and lives life as an independent woodcarver. This changes when her sister accuses her of hiding her former husband Jurij from her—and when Jurij eventually does ask to move in. Determined not to make the same mistakes, Noll decides to support her male friends through their new emotional experiences, but she’s soon caught up in a darker plot than she ever dared imagine possible from the men she thought she knew so well. And the lord for whom she still has feelings may be hiding the most frightening truth of them all. 

Purchase your copy:


Title: Nobody's Goddess (Never Veil #1)
Author: Amy McNulty
Publisher: Month9Books
Pub. Date: April 21, 2015

In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her. 

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.

Purchase your copy:

Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | TBD
iBooks | Google Play | BAM | Kobo


Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.


Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Nobody’s Lady by Amy McNulty (INT)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Rebel (Amy Tintera)

Rebel (Reboot, #2)
Title: Rebel
Series: Reboot duology, Book 2
Author: Amy Tintera (site)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Told: First Person (Wren, Callum), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (violence, killing, fighting, kissing, minor sensuality)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes later as a Reboot. With her new abilities of strength, speed, and healing—along with a lack of emotions—Wren 178 became the perfect soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Then Callum 22 came along and changed everything.

Now that they've both escaped, they're ready to start a new life in peace on the Reboot reservation. But Micah 163, the Reboot running the reservation, has darker plans in mind: to wipe out the humans. All of them. Micah has been building a Reboot army for years and is now ready to launch his attack on the cities. Callum wants to stick around and protect the humans. Wren wants nothing more than to leave all the fighting behind them.

With Micah on one side, HARC on the other, and Wren and Callum at odds in the middle, there's only one option left...

It's time for Reboots to become rebels.

*          *          *

Series: This is the second and final book in the Reboot duology. See here for my review of the first book, Reboot.

In a Sentence: A violent but romantic sequel with indistinguishable points of view but a sweet ending.

It's hard for me to read a sequel several years after the first book. I've usually lost most if not all emotional resonance with the main characters, and only vaguely recall some points of the plot. In such situations I usually re-read the previous book first, but in the case of Rebel, with my teetering TBR pile looming, I thought I remembered enough of Reboot that I could skip the re-read this time and dive straight into the second book.

At first, I struggled. As feared I had a very hard time reconnecting with the main characters, and although I seemed to remember enough of what had happened before I felt rather detached from what was going on. Also, instead of just Wren's First Person point of view as was in Reboot, Rebel alternated between Wren and Callum, and since I only vaguely recalled either's personality I had a hard time telling their voices apart. The story further began with an overused dystopian sequel plot, the escapees arriving at their promised land only to discover they might have exchanged one bad situation for another. Having already read this scenario one too many times and despairing the typical outcome, I debated if the book was worth continuing just to have read it.

But right from the start most of the escapees were wary of integration, an unusual element to the overused plot, so I decided to stick with it and after a third of the book was rewarded as the story pulled away from the predictable and diverted into some unique twists and exciting action. I also started to, not reconnect per se but connect anew with the characters and their fight, and by the halfway point I was fully engaged in the story. From there a quick and easy writing style made the read rather effortless, and although the movement was a little choppy the pacing was pretty smooth and packed with conflict and surprises. Wren and Callum's romance, while honestly a bit unbelievable for me considering Wren's base personality, was a nice balance to the violence, and made for a sweet and hopeful end.

Conclusion: Although at first I had a hard time reconnecting with the characters and story, eventually the action and easy writing engaged me and I quite enjoyed finishing Wren and Callum's violent but romantic tale. Definitely recommend for dystopian lovers, and I look forward to re-reading the duology together one day.

Scribble Rating
3.5 of 5 Scribbles

Friday, April 8, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (4/8/16)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

The Fog Diver (The Fog Diver, #1)
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross (ARC)
I devoured this so fast the first time that I decided to give it a proper review re-read before devouring the second book!

The Fill-In BoyfriendRebel (Reboot, #2)

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (ARC)
5 Stars. Just as fun and engrossing the second read as the first, and still my favorite Kasie story to date! Review to come.

Rebel by Amy Tintera (ARC)
3.5 Stars. Having read the first book several years ago I had a hard time reconnecting with the characters and story at first, but eventually the action and easy writing engaged me and I quite enjoyed finishing Wren and Callum's violent but romantic duology. Review to come.

The Lost Compass (The Fog Diver, #2)
The Lost Compass by Joel Ross (ARC)
Planning to dive straight into the sequel!

So what are you reading this week?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Raging Sea (Michael Buckley)

Raging Sea (Undertow, #2)
Title: Raging Sea
Series: The Undertow Trilogy, Book 2
Author: Michael Buckley (site)
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Speculative Urban Fantasy
Told: First Person (Lyric), Present Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, murder, mental and physical torture, child soldiers, shoplifting and grand theft auto, driving without a license, some sensuality and language)
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Lyric Walker was there when the Alpha arrived. Like many, she wondered if they were invaders, never suspecting that they were on the run from a greater terror. When the real threat arrived, it came with a tidal wave that destroyed Coney Island. Everything and everyone Lyric ever cared for, including the Alpha prince Fathom, was either killed or lost forever.

It changed the world. Now the military fights a war it cannot win against an enemy that will not die. Walls and roadblocks pit state against state. Refugees are public enemies, and a new nightmare approaches that is even more terrifying and deadly.

In the midst of this chaos, Lyric, along with her best friend, Bex, and the prickly Alpha girl Arcade, search for Tempest, a rumored top-secret camp where her parents might be imprisoned. But once they find it, she is captured as well, and offered a deadly deal she cannot refuse. The world’s last, best hope is a group of thirty-three children who possess the same powers as she. It falls on her to train them before the second wave of a cataclysmic invasion eliminates mankind for good.

Lyric will protect the ones she loves but may have to sacrifice her heart—and her life—to do it.

*          *          *

Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, HMH!

In a Sentence: A seriously disappointing sequel due to an unbalanced story and lack of character ingenuity.

It's rather heartbreaking when a sequel doesn't live up to the first book. Undertow was an intense and engrossing read for me (see my review here), and after its explosive climax I couldn't wait to get my hands on Raging Sea for more of the same. But to my great disappointment, the intensity and power of the first book did not carry into the second.

Right from the start both the story and characters let me down. Opening several weeks after the end of Undertow, Lyric and teen associates are on the run. This seemed an intense place to begin, but instead turned out to be a tedious road-trip from hell that was not only a torture for everyone involved (especially me) but also rather unbelievable as they did little more than drive and steal and were bad at both. Yes I could understand they were teenagers and didn't have much life experience to work with, but they had shown the capacity for ingenuity in the first book so I couldn't understand how they somehow lacked it in this one. Despite consistent roadblocks that should've been engaging I struggled to maintain interest for the first third of the book, and by the time it took a completely predictable but possibly more intense turn my expectations weren't very high.

The only high point in the beginning was Lyric's "wild thing." I'd been excited when she discovered it in the end of Undertow, and at the open of Raging Sea I felt she was on the path to really embracing it. But then only a few chapters in the wild thing up and deserted her, and it took her brain and backbone with it. She soon had little confidence in herself and her new abilities, and in turn I expected little of her.

And then came Chapter 13. Like a switch was flipped Lyric got her s#!t together (pardon my symbolism) and turned into a completely different character, and while I really didn't buy it I didn't look the gift horse in the mouth. Her ingenuity returned and she was confident, competent, and cunning...for all of a chapter. Then she began acting completely on whim, impulsively throwing herself into things without considering the consequences (namely getting her family tortured or killed) only to give up at the first difficulty when her "plans" hit a snag. Within a chapter or two she was back to being incompetent and indecisive, and although the story had become a bit more engaging I was just as frustrated as Lyric by the outcome her poor decisions had wrought.

Another serious disappointment was Lyric's relationship with Fathom. The boy had an even smaller part in this book than the first, and since his scenes in Undertow were its highlights I painfully felt their absence in Raging Sea. Even when he was present though he was little more than an object for Lyric to direct her emotions at, and most of the time sadly could've been played by a waterproof cardboard cutout since she rarely let him speak let alone do anything of much note. I was aggrieved by how Lyric treated him, refusing to understand his position or listen to him even though he clearly knew more about what was going on than she did. Instead she continued to do things her own incompetent way and dumped all her frustrations on him, which only made me dislike Lyric and in turn her story even more.

The climax was really the book's only highlight, just as intense and engrossing as the first book's climax with good action and movement. As it hit its peak and Lyric finally re-rediscovered her wild thing I actually found myself tempted to read the final book, imagining the trilogy might be worth finishing after all. And then came the last page. I expected the cliffhanger but not the content, and the content elicited a groan and head shake that meant there probably won't be a third book for me. I have since read the summary for the final book (Heart of the Storm) and it does intrigue me a little, but after how everything went down in this book my interest is currently extremely low to continue Lyric's story any further.

Conclusion: While I really enjoyed the first book, this sequel was a disheartening read due to the main character's incompetence and the story's flip-flopping. While the second half was better than the first and the climax a thrilling ride, thanks to the last page I doubt I'll be finishing the trilogy.

Scribble Rating
2.5 of 5 Scribbles

Friday, April 1, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (4/1/16)

Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!

The Fill-In Boyfriend
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (ARC)
Although I have a stack of must-read titles I just couldn't settle on one so as the motto goes: when in doubt, read Kasie West! (That's always been my motto, anyway. ;) No surprise it is just as fun and engrossing as it was when I read it for the first time last year, and I look forward to finally writing a review!

RailheadThe Nameless City

Railhead by Philip Reeve (ARC)
4 Stars. A diverse teen epic sci-fi with a choppy writing style but mind-blowing universe. Review to come.

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks (PBK)
3 Stars. It had a bit of a slow start but overall it was a fun and adventurous Middle Grade comic with relatable characters and an exotic setting. I look forward to reading the next volume.

The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol. 4
The Demon Prince of Momochi House vol. 4 by Aya Shouoto (PBK)
This is on its way as I type! *flails* After the explosive vol. 3 climax, I'm excited to see how the series expands!

So what are you reading this week?