Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Release Spotlight: By Your Side (Kasie West)

Today I spotlight the first of two 2017 Kasie West releases, that of BY YOUR SIDE from HarperTeen! As this contemporary romance takes place in a locked library, it is unquestionably my most anticipated of hers yet, and I cannot wait to get my hands on my long pre-ordered copy later this week for immediate consumption! Have you checked it out yet? If not, do so below!


By Your Side

Title: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 1/31/17

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

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Monday, January 30, 2017


A secret black-ops team backed by the Vatican that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic? Welcome to BOOKBURNERS, a multi-author collaboration formerly serialized online by Serial Box now finally in print from Saga Press! Check out an excerpt below and then get yourself a copy today!

~*~                    ~*~                    ~*~

An Excerpt from Bookburners Episode 1: Badge, Book, and Candle
He set his hand on the book’s cover. Sal hadn’t noticed before how the leather was discolored: most of it matched Perry’s skin, but a crimson bloom spread beneath his fingers. She heard a sound she couldn’t name: a footfall, maybe, or a whisper, very soft. Goose bumps chased goose bumps up her arms.
“Perry, who are the Bookburners? Do you think someone’s following you?”
“I thought you didn’t want to know.”
 She leaned over the couch, over his shoulder, and checked through the blinds. Street still bare. Red Toyota pickup. Honda Civic. Garbage. E-Z Carpet Cleaner van.
“Please, Sal. They would have nabbed me on the way. They did not. Ergo, I wasn’t followed.”
“What the hell is going on?”
Someone knocked on her door.
“Shit,” Perry said.
“Jesus Christ, Perry.” She grabbed her phone off the living room table. “Who is that?”
 “Aiden. Probably.”
 “Mister Brooks?” The man on the other side of the door was unquestionably not Aiden—too old, too sure, too calm. An accent Sal couldn’t place twined through his words. “Mister Brooks, we’re not here to hurt you. We want to talk.”
“Shit,” Perry repeated, for emphasis.
Sal ran to her bedroom and returned with her gun. “Who are you?”
“I’m looking for Mister Brooks. I know he’s in there.”
“If he is, I doubt he’d want to see you.”
“I must talk with him.”
“Sir, I’m a police officer, and I’m armed. Please step away from the door.”
“Has he opened the book?”
 “What?” She looked into the living room. Perry was standing now, holding the book, fingers clenched around the cover like she’d seen men at bay clutch the handles of knives. “Sir, please leave. I’m calling 9-1-1 now.” She pressed the autodial. The line clicked.
“Stop him from opening the book,” the man said. “Please. If he means anything to you, stop him.”
 “Hello. This is Detective Sally Brooks,” and she rattled off her badge number and address. “I have a man outside my apartment who is refusing to leave—”
Something heavy struck the door. Doorjamb timbers splintered. Sally stumbled back, dropped the phone, both hands on the pistol. She took aim.
The door burst free of the jamb and struck the wall. A human wind blew through.
Later, Sal remembered slivers: a stinging blow to her wrist, her gun knocked back against the wall. A woman’s face—Chinese, she thought. Bob haircut. Her knee slammed into Sal’s solar plexus and she fell, gasping, to the splinter-strewn carpet. The woman turned, in slow-motion almost, to the living room where Perry stood.
He held the open book.
His eyes wept tears of blood, and his smile bared sharp teeth.
He spoke a word that was too big for her mind. She heard the woman roar, and glass break. Then darkness closed around her like a mouth.
© 2017 Max Gladstone, with permission from Saga Press


Title: Bookburners
Created By: Max Gladstone
Authors: Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery
Publisher: Saga Press
Pub. Date: January 10, 2017

The critically acclaimed urban fantasy about a secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic—previously released serially online by Serial Box, now available in print for the first time!

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy.


MAX GLADSTONE has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone. Bookburners, which he wrote with Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

Before joining the Bookburners, MARGARET DUNLAP wrote for ABC Family’s cult-hit The Middleman in addition to working on SyFy’s Eureka. Most recently, she was a writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and co-created its sequel Welcome to Sanditon. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Margaret lives in Los Angeles where she taunts the rest of the team with local weather reports and waits for the earthquake that will finally turn Burbank into oceanfront property. She tweets as @spyscribe. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

MUR LAFFERTY is the author of The Shambling Guides series from Orbit, including the Netfix-optioned The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has been a podcaster for over 10 years, running award-winning shows such as I Should Be Writing and novellas published via podcast. She has written for RPGs, video games, and short animation. She lives in Durham, NC where she attends Durham Bulls baseball games and regularly pets two dogs. Her family regrets her Dragon Age addiction and wishes for her to get help. She tweets as @mightymur. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

BRIAN FRANCIS SLATTERY is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity. Bookburners, which he wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty, is available from Saga Press in January.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (1/27/17)

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 Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (ARC)
Another slow reading week but I have less than 50 pages to go and wow what an amazing read this book has been! Solid writing, vivid characters and world, unique magic, and a near-end twist I did not see coming at all. Wishing I had the second book on hand to go straight into when I finish this weekend, I don't want it to end. T-T

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 3
Yona of the Dawn vol. 3 by Mizuho Kusanagi (PBK)
3 Stars. Finally the magic has appeared!! It's still a well-used plot, even and especially now that the magic has been added, but I'm intrigued enough to try another volume.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 17
Noragami: Stray God vol. 17 by Adachitoka (PBK)
After powering through six backlogged volumes earlier this month I'm excited to return to the battle vol. 16 ended in the middle of!

So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WoW: The Last Magician (Lisa Maxwell)

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:

The Last Magician
Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she's been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta's training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1901 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: With its endangered magic, alternate New York setting, book-oriented plot, and time-traveling thief, what's not to be excited about!!

So what book are you waiting on?

Friday, January 20, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (1/20/17)

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 Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (ARC)
While I'm not quite in the mood for this and so have to push myself to read it, I am so glad when I do because it is a stellar read - vivid characters, stunning setting, engaging plot, dazzling magic. I can't believe I waited so long to read it!

Horimiya, Vol. 6 (Horimiya, #6)
Horimiya vol. 6 by Hero X Daisuke Hagiwara (PBK)
4 Stars. While this had some occasional laughs and feels, after 5 amazing volumes I felt this 6th fell a bit short. It read more like a collection of transitional side stories than a coherent volume, and made it seem as though the series will be ending soon (it's not). Hopefully things will get back on track in the next volume, but as I currently have no idea where things can go from here my excitement isn't very high. :'(

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Bloody Mary, Vol. 5
Bloody Mary vol. 5 by Akaza Samamiya (PBK)
Although I can never recall what happened in the last volume when I go to pick up the next one, this has been a solid 3-star series so far and I'm always excited to grab the next one from the library.

So what are you reading this week?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Review: All the Feels (Danika Stone)

All the Feels
Title: All the Feels
Series: standalone
Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Told: Third Person (Liv), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (language, innuendo, sensuality)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

*          *          *

In a Sentence: An initially heavy but eventually light and fun contemporary romance for fangirls.

Considering the colorful cover and fangirl premise, I expected this to be a light romantic contemporary about love and fandom. So it was with great surprise that I found the first half of this seemingly vibrant story rather depressing. Nothing went right for main character Liv, and she had no real support from anyone IRL - her family, friends, their horrible significant others. I needed just one person who accepted her just the way she was, but although Xander came close he just wasn't close enough for me, and I absolutely loathed his girlfriend and couldn't forgive him for subjecting Liv to such a creature. Admittedly Liv's fandom obsession wasn't exactly the healthiest, but considering her whole IRL situation I couldn't blame her one tiny bit for losing herself in it, and was as miserable as she was when she was forced to step back from it for a while.

Once Liv decided to go to DC, though (and my most hated character went away), the weight on the book's mood lifted. Liv left her depressing life behind and immersed herself in con fun and games, rendering me reluctant to put the book down I was having as good a time as Liv was. Although I could barely follow the conversations sometimes (I'm what I consider "fangirl light"), I really enjoyed the fandom parts and learned a lot about how it can really bring people together that wouldn't otherwise socialize.

Despite her situation, for the most part I felt Liv was a strong character and enjoyed her fangirl triumphs story, even if it was rather unrealistic. And despite his flaws and extremely poor judgment in girlfriend, I adored Xander, although his character wasn't as smooth as the rest as his description, dialogue, and mannerisms always felt in flux. Together, while their romantic drama at the end was somewhat forced for me, overall theirs was a sweet romance I definitely rooted for.

Conclusion: Although the first half was oddly a bit depressing for me thanks to Liv’s anti-support system, the second half in DC was really fun and uplifting with a good ending. Would recommend for fangirls who enjoy contemporary romances.

For Fans Of: fandom

Scribble Rating
3 of 5 Scribbles

Friday, January 13, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (1/13/17)

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 Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (ARC)
Advertising for the second book is in full swing, so I figured it was about time I gave this a try! To be honest I didn't think I'd like it all that much, but to my surprise I'm quite enjoying it so far, even with its multiple POVs and omniscient viewpoint. Vivid characters, awesome magic, and not too heavy on the Russian culture and history.

>> ON HOLD <<
The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)
The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova (ARC)
As much as I want to enjoy this book, it's just been too everything negative for me. Setting it aside again, with the possibility of DNFing soon. :(

Noragami: Stray God, Vol. 16
Noragami: Stray God vol. 16 by Adachitoka (PBK)
3 Stars. Finally read the backlog of 6 volumes I had accumulated! Gets a little wordy at times but maintains some great action and art and I love all the characters! Definitely recommend as a binge series.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
To Catch a Killer
To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough (ARC)
I'm not normally much for mysteries, but I'm intrigued by forensics and the story sounds really interesting so I'm rather excited to give this a try!

So what are you reading this week?

Friday, January 6, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (1/6/17)

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 Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)
The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova (ARC)
I really thought I'd love this one, but so far this fantasy is a little too fantastical for my brain to wrap around, and with three narrators (soon to be four, or is it five?) the timeline is skewing and I'm getting confused. This is my first Kova book though and wow, what an imagination! In late December I set it aside to finish two other novels I'd started before it (see Just Finished below), but now they're finished and I'm back to this today - fingers crossed I connect with it better this time around!

Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1)CountdownIn/Spectre 1

Prophecy by Ellen Oh (PBK)
3 Stars. A fast and relatively entertaining young teen fantasy with an interesting Asian base. The pretty standard fantasy plot made the story highly predictable and the minimalist action was difficult to follow and left me wanting, but it had decent characters and a quick pace. Would recommend as a guilty pleasure read, and imagine the entire trilogy could be effortlessly binged. I do have the second book on hand, but this first book wrapped up nicely enough that I might just leave the story here, we'll see.

Countdown by Michelle Rowen (PBK)
2 Stars. With surprise Psi abilities, advanced AI, and a dystopian world, this book was nothing like the straight thriller I anticipated. Middling characters and a subpar world left me wanting, and when the deadly game I was reading for ended with still over 100 pages to go I found what little interest I had floundering in too long a rest and romantics period before the teens headed off to "save the world." At Page 245 (of 367), after not picking the book up for almost a week I started a new book instead and pretty much threw in the towel, but after skimming the last chapter I gave it a few weeks distance and then decided I was curious enough to polish it off. Overall not quite engaging enough for my tastes, but lovers of teen dystopian thrillers might enjoy it as a guilty pleasure read.

In/Spectre vol. 1 by Kyo Shirodaira & Chashiba Katase (PBK)
3 Stars. A very interesting premise I haven't come across before, but extremely wordy and drawn out - almost the entire volume read like a prologue. Might try the second if it's more action than dialogue, although while I loved the premise the series plot is so-so so far.

(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE 3
Tsubasa: World Chronicle: Niraikanai vol. 3 by CLAMP (PBK)
After a bit of a slump I'm back into manga again! Looks like this is the last volume, so I'm thinking I may re-read the first two volumes first and try for a review? We'll see.

So what are you reading this week?