Monday, November 13, 2017

Giveaway: The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl (Melissa Keil)


It's finally time for a giveaway!! 

Up for grabs: two finished editions of Melissa Keil's The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl (Goodreads), a YA Contemporary set in Australia about comics, best friends, the end of the world, and life after graduation.


I'm giving away both copies pictured, and you can choose your preference: right is the Australian softcover, and left the US hardcover. A note about the hardcover: it includes chapterly illustrations (by Mike Lawrence) - if you enjoy novels with a bit of art, you might want to give it a try. The hardcover also comes with the wire hairband it's wrapped in (courtesy of the publisher).

Want to give this colorful story a read? Enter the Rafflecopter below!

RULES: US only (sorry International Followers!); must be 16 years or older to enter. Following this blog is not required but counts for major points! ;)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 30, 2017

Review: Daughter of the Pirate King (Tricia Levenseller)

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)
Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King, Book 1
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
Told: First Person (Alosa), Present Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, killing, abuse, minor torture, sensuality, innuendo and sexual implications - see Content Note below)
Format Read: ARC (BookHype)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.


*          *          *

In a Sentence: A quick and thoroughly entertaining pirate adventure with an easy writing style and truly kick-ass female protagonist.

Confession: Unless there's a lot of comedy involved (a la Pirates of the Caribbean), I'm generally not much for pirates. So although I'd heard good things about Daughter of the Pirate King, going in my expectations were low. To my surprise I discovered an exciting and engaging adventure with the truly kick-ass female protagonist so many other books have promised but few have actually delivered.

While Alosa's tendency to turn all the horrific things that happened to her into "teaching moments" wasn't exactly the healthiest, she was a genuine pirate princess and embraced it, her strength and surety and fearlessness a beautiful thing to behold. Her power was also different and interesting and added a nice twist to her character and personality. Cute and tortured Riden was an excellent foil and love interest, and his banter with Alosa was naturally a highlight. Their "relationship" was an intriguing one as Alosa's character, so detached after her violent upbringing, doesn't even seem to recognize or understand the concept of love, and I look forward to watching her discover it - with Riden's help - over the rest of the series.

Despite the murder and marauding that always accompanies pirates, the story's easy, breezy writing style made for a light and effortless read. The plot was simple with only one or two twists, which I found very refreshing - so many book plots nowadays try to outdo themselves twist-wise and end up a messy knotted ball for all their threads, and as I can typically predict most of them it's grown rather tiresome. With just Alosa's ruse and her search and little else to Pirate King's plot I could relax and enjoy the quick adventure without suspiciously second-guessing every little thing. I will say the last 30% or so had some flaws, but for the most part it was an engaging story with a satisfying ending.

Content Note: I typically avoid pirates because of the filth and debauchery that accompanies them, but told in an easy writing style from the viewpoint of a detached and fearless female I felt the dingier bits of pirate life and rateable content (see Content Rating above) were very tastefully handled and for the most part blessedly skimmed over.

Conclusion: An easy and entertaining adventure with an uncomplicated plot, fantastically fearless female protagonist, and tastefully handled piracy. I wasn't even 20% through when I found myself wishing I already had the sequel to read next, and now look forward to Alosa's next adventure, Daughter of the Siren Queen, with great anticipation!


Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles


Friday, October 20, 2017

Nanowrimo 2017


It's that time of year again!

Although most years I typically say I won't participate in National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and then reluctantly do, this year I've been completely on board for months now! I'll be assisting my local library in launching their Nanowrimo Young Writers Program, and this November plan to start writing the first book in a new sci-fi serial series whose main character I am completely potty about. In general though I've been itching to write and this is the perfect excuse to finally throw myself into it without feeling [too] guilty about neglecting life and blogging.

So heads up, dear followers: as I plot and plan for Nanowrimo this month and then furiously write the next, posts will be spotty as I have less time to read and work on reviews. I'll see if I can't try to schedule some giveaways though, to hold you over until December. ;)

Are you participating in Nanowrimo? Find me here!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WoW: Daughter of the Siren Queen (Tricia Levenseller)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

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


Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2)
Title: Daughter of the Siren Queen
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Summary:

The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

In Daughter of the Siren Queen, Tricia Levenseller brings together the perfect mix of thrilling action, tense battle scenes, and a heart-pounding romance.



Why I'm Looking Forward To It: I'm typically not much for pirates but I thoroughly enjoyed Daughter of the Pirate King and so can't wait to continue kick-ass Alosa's adventures in this sequel!!


So what book are you waiting on?

Friday, October 13, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (10/13/17)



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!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland (ARC)
Back to this and despite the language, heavier issues, and impending dread I'm enjoying it. It's certainly a unique and engaging story, and I seriously love that cover.


>> ON HOLD <<
Frogkisser!
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix (PBK)
Started out really good but after the quest started things surprisingly slowed and I've had a hard time maintaining interest. Set it aside to finish Semi-Definitive and will see if I want to return afterwards.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Barakamon, Vol. 13
Barakamon vol. 13 by Satsuki Yoshino (PBK)
5 Stars. The more I get to know the characters and become invested in their stories, the more delightful this series becomes! A quirky and relaxing contemporary read I highly recommend.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Ash Princess
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (ARC)
Snagged this from my library book group cart and will be giving it a try next. Part of me is intrigued but we'll see...


So what are you reading this week?

Friday, October 6, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (10/6/17)



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!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Frogkisser!
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix (PBK)
Just found this at a used bookstore and decided to immediately read it (I know, crazy right?). Turns out it's quite good and charming with its transforming characters and talking dogs (love the dogs!) and now the main gal is off on a quest. Really enjoying it so far!


>> ON HOLD <<
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland (ARC)
I am interested in finishing this but as I'm expecting it not to have a "happy" ending I'm just not in the mood for it right now.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
The Hollow Bettle (Poisons of Caux, #1)
Poisons of Crux: The Hollow Bettle by Susannah Appelbaum (PBK)
2.5 Stars. While a seriously wandering and inconstant read, this was a relatively interesting and magical story that hit the spot for my "young and magical" craving last week. Think I'll even give the second book a try someday.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (MMP)
Finally got my hands on this and after I couldn't help reading the first few pages I now need to read the entire thing pronto. If I wasn't already in the middle of a good book right now this would be my current read!


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

WoW: Pitch Dark (Courtney Alameda)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

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


Pitch Dark
Title: Pitch Dark
Author: Courtney Alameda
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Summary:

Tuck Durante is a shipraider, combing space for Earth artifacts from a war that ended 500 years ago. When his parents' ship crashes in the dead zone and the crew goes missing, Tuck hires a ragtag rescue team.

Meanwhile, curator Lana Gray is fighting to keep the US PANAM John Muir—and the remnants of its crew—alive. Their space capsule housing Yosemite National Park was hijacked. The hijacking turned ninety-five percent of her crew into nightmarish creatures called mourners who flay, dismember, or decapitate with nothing more than sharp-pitched shrieks.

Now, despite their differences, Lana, Tuck, and their crews must work together to save the John Muir. In space, nobody can hear you scream...but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you'll hear.



Why I'm Looking Forward To It: It rather astonishes me that I haven't featured this title before as I've been awaiting it since it's announcement in February 2015! Although I'm typically not much for horror I thoroughly enjoyed Courtney's debut, Shutter (check out my review here), and now with her foray into space (my favorite setting) I'm eager to finally get my hands on this chilling read!


So what book are you waiting on?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: Defy the Stars (Claudia Gray)

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1)
Title: Defy the Stars
Series: Constellation duology, Book 1
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Told: Third Person Focused (Noemi, Abel), Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (violence, kissing, scary situations)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.


*          *          *

In a Sentence: A teen galactic travel adventure with an occasionally disorienting writing style and predictable twists but soulful characters, surprise subplots, and an entertaining story.

This is one of those stories that I can't help but claim was written just for me. I'm a huge sci-fi nut and have been craving a "mech falls in love with human" story for a while, so when I heard Claudia Gray was working on one it immediately became a highly anticipated 2017 release. As with her previous novel, A Thousand Pieces of You, it wasn't perfect: the writing tense read loose, the character logic didn't always make sense, and most of the main twists were predictable from the start. But despite the imperfections, the travel adventure story was entertaining, most of the subplot twists and the climax came as a complete surprise, and the energy between Noemi and Abel was a pure delight as she helped him discover his humanity while he introduced her to the galaxy.

The characters were the true highlight of the book. Noemi was strong and had such a good heart, always fighting for immediate worthy causes while still conscious of her own needs and putting her world first, ready to die for it if necessary. Her selflessness was commendable and portrayed perfectly, never for a second coming off as cheap or poorly motivated. She was a truly admirable character and one of the best I've ever read. Abel, aside for a few illogical actions, was also perfectly portrayed as a machine with a soul, thinking one thing but doing or saying what his programming or later experiences informed. I delighted in his emotional progress through the book - he was just what I'd hoped for and more, and I especially loved the contrast between his thoughts and actions. Together Noemi and Abel were a dynamic duo, balancing each other as they traveled the galaxy overcoming obstacles to execute their ultimate plan. There was a semblance of a romantic relationship for them, complicated to say the least as it was between a human and a mech. But complications aside it was pleasantly slow burning and realistic and as it was not resolved in this book I look forward to its hopefully sweet conclusion in the duology's second book, Defy the Worlds, currently releasing April 2018.

Conclusion: While most of the main plot twists were predictable and the writing tense occasionally disorienting, the unpredictable subplots were entertaining and the laid-back writing style made for a relatively easy - and in the case of Abel's voice rather delightful - read. Noemi and Abel were fun and engaging characters whose relationship development I really enjoyed following, and I look forward to finishing their story in the next book!

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles


Friday, September 29, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (9/29/17)



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!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst NightmaresThe Hollow Bettle (Poisons of Caux, #1)

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland (ARC)
I've been craving light, simple reads of late and that typically means contemporaries, so I grabbed this purple pretty. Currently 45% through and while it does have some fun and snark that I'm enjoying, it also has a dark, somewhat unsettling side that I fear won't end well. Still, I'm invested enough to see it through.

Poisons of Crux: The Hollow Bettle by Susannah Appelbaum (PBK)
I'm currently out of sorts thanks to the season transition so due to a sudden desperate need for a young and magical read I pulled this randomly off the shelf. While normally I would've DNFd this wandering and non-linear story not 50 pages in (I think I actually did, long ago), for now I'm just enjoying the mindless magical adventure. 


>> DNF <<
Traveler (Traveler #1)
Traveler by L.E. DeLano (ARC)
DNF at Page 45. Another Swoon Reads bites the dust. *sigh* Despite the protagonist being a writer I just didn't connect with her, and although the alternate worlds premise was interesting I couldn't even get through the explanation of how they worked to reach the actual travelling into them. Mainly though the story didn't feel properly balanced, and I wasn't really fond of the writing style. Would recommend Claudia Gray's A Thousand Pieces of You instead.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Renegades (Renegades, #1)
Renegades by Marissa Meyer (ARC)
*FLAILS*


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WoW: Heart of Iron (Ashley Poston) & Honor Among Thieves (Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week I have TWO pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" teen sci-fis from HarperCollins!


Heart of Iron
Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: With a young "scoundrel and outlaw" female lead and sentient android sidekick (my catnip), what's not to look forward to? It's also supposed to be an Anastasia retelling, so of course I'm desperate to get my hands on this beauty!


Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1)
Title: Honor Among Thieves
Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary:
Zara Cole has been in and out of New Detroit’s rehab facilities for treatment of her antisocial disorder. There’s no adjusting Zara’s attitude, though. A painful past has made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in the Zone instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan–a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned to along with fellow Honor Beatriz, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time, along with a devotion she’s never experienced before. Yet nothing—not her Honors training or her street smarts—could have prepared her for the dark, dangerous truths that lurk behind the glitter of starlight.

Honor Among Thieves is the first book in a daring new sci-fi series by bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: Two words: sentient spaceship!! Ever since I discovered Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang I've been impatiently waiting for an updated teen version. "Exploring the outer reaches of the universe" is also my favorite sci-fi premise, so I'm eager to read it ASAP!


So what book(s) are you waiting on?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore (Kelly Jones)

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Title: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Series: standalone
Author: Kelly Jones
Publisher: Knopf BYR
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Alternate Historical Mystery
Told: First Person (Annis), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence)
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?


*          *          *

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


In a Sentence: A delightfully fun and fashionable alternate Regency mystery with an engaging story, endearing characters, and enchanting magic.

Regency fashion aficionados who also enjoy espionage and whimsical magic, you are in for a treat with Murder, Magic, and What We Wore! Outfitted with a cast of resourceful and talented females, this fast-paced intrigue was a delightful read with a light if predictable mystery, easy description and dialogue, and a thrilling, open end that left me wishing for a whole series.

While the historical intrigue was exciting and the understated magic a marvel, it was the enterprising female characters that really made the book shine. While Annis and Millie rather stumble into their amazing talents, the mastery of them doesn't come easy (well, at least for Annis), and their perseverance and hard work to make an independent living despite cultural setbacks made for a very engaging story. Skillful maid Millie, my favorite, was perhaps a little too good at most everything she set her hand to, but she was a perfect partner for fashionista Annis and I loved their occasionally inverted master-servant dynamic. I'd really like to see how their partnership will further develop and have my fingers crossed for at least a sequel featuring the dynamic duo and their international escapades.

Special Note: There are many fictional and historical cameos among the walk-ons in this book. If spotting them is your thing, be sure to peruse the Author's Note glossary at the back of the book before starting the story!

Conclusion: A delightful historical mystery with marvelous magic, intriguing espionage, and talented females. Keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel, or even a whole series! Highly recommend, especially for fans of Gail Carriger and Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories series.


Scribble Rating
4.5 of 5 Scribbles


Friday, September 22, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (9/22/17)



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!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Traveler (Traveler #1)
Traveler by L.E. DeLano (ARC)
Just starting this today. I haven't been having the best track record with Swoon Reads titles so I'm not expecting as much from this as I was before, but it still sounds like an interesting read so into the SR fray once more.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)By Your Side

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (ARC)
4 Stars. A quick and thoroughly entertaining pirate adventure with an easy writing style and truly kick-ass female protagonist. Wish I had the second book on hand! Review to come.

By Your Side by Kasie West (PBK)
3.5 Stars. Not quite as good as I'd been expecting given the partial library setting, but still a good teen contemporary romance as the female protagonist had an anxiety disorder I could relate to. Review to come.


>> DNF <<
You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)Kat and Meg Conquer the World

You Don't Know My Name by Kristen Orlando (ARC)
DNF at Chapter 8. As much as I really wanted and expected to like this one, I found it dull. Other than a little spy training and mysterious vans there was very little going on in the first 80 pages other than "real" life, forcing A LOT of unnecessary filler description and movement to make up the word count. Although Reagan's skills were impressive, her personality and attitude weren't, and I never connected with her or really cared for her. I liked her friend Harper, and (no surprise) love interest Luke, but their relationships with Reagan weren't worth continuing the story - nor was the action that must have been coming, eventually. It was obvious from Chapter 1 that this is supposed to be predominantly a romance, and I like my spy stories to put the thrill first. I tried to read past Chapter 8 but found myself immediately skimming and then flipping whole pages, so as I really don't care what happens next or how it ends I'm passing on the rest.


Kat & Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza (ARC)
DNF at Page 114. Although quirky Kat and Meg eventually grew on me (even Meg's rambling viewpoint), their prospective boyfriends were cute and funny, and there were a few LOL moments, the school project plot was too mundane to maintain my interest and it read more MG than YA which unbalanced Meg's occasional older teen actions. The OCD and ADHD depictions seemed realistic, and I'm sure many - especially teens - will really connect with Meg and Kat and the story, but personally I'm just not engaged enough to finish.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1)
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (ARC)
It's really about time I read this one. Keeping my fingers crossed I love it!


So what are you reading this week?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Release Spotlight: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore (Kelly Jones) | A Poison Dark and Drowning (Jessica Cluess)


Today I spotlight an enchanting standalone, and a solid sequel!

The first is Murder, Magic, and What We Wore, a delightful alternate Regency mystery standalone by Kelly Jones. I thoroughly enjoyed the fun and fashionable read with its engaging story, endearing characters, and enchanting magic, and highly recommend it for fans of Gail Carriger and the Glamourist Histories series by Mary Robinette Kowal.

The second is the second book in the Kingdom on Fire series by Jessica Cluess: A Poison Dark and Drowning. I found it a solid and entertaining sequel with enchanting magic, vivid description, and dark twists (you can check out my 4 Scribble review here), and I look forward to the final book in the series with a little dread but great interest. Recommend for alternate historical horror fantasy lovers looking for a chilling and thrilling read.

If you haven't yet checked out these titles, see below for more info and order links!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Title: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Author: Kelly Jones
Publisher: Knopf BYR
Release Date: 9/19/17

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?


Add to Goodreads

PURCHASE:
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Poison Dark and Drowning (Kingdom on Fire, #2)
Title: A Poison Dark and Drowning
Series: Kingdom on Fire #2
Author: Jessica Cluess
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 9/19/17

The magicians want her to lead.
The sorcerers want her to lie.
The demons want her blood.
Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
But will his dark magic be her undoing?

In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival. Hand to fans of Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kiersten White.

Henrietta doesn't need a prophecy to know that she's in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook's system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.


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Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository

My Review


Check out the first book in the series!

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)
Book 1: A Shadow Bright & Burning

Friday, September 15, 2017

The #FridayReads Review (9/15/17)



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!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)No Plot? No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

You Don't Know My Name by Kristen Orlando (ARC)
Decided to catch up on some early 2017 releases in case I want to request the sequels, and as this one has always looked awesome it was top of the pile. Just started it this morning so still on the Prologue, but so far so thrilling!

No Plot? No Problem! Revised by Chris Baty (PBK)
I'll be helping teens at my library with Nano this year so I'm brushing up on the basics! The original of this book was a lot of fun when I read it for my first Nano and I'm hoping it helps me recall what it's like to be a young writer again.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (ARC)
3 Stars. An entertaining teen sci-fi thriller with an engrossing competition and relatable, diverse characters but extremely confusing description and WAY too many characters to keep straight. Review to come.


>> DNF <<
Warcross (Warcross, #1)The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

Warcross by Marie Lu (ARC)
DNF at Chapter 3. I really wanted to love this one, and given the video game setup and Japanese elements I really should have. But the illogically ruled first chapter frustrated me, the wallowing and introspective second chapter was dull and heavy with description, and when the end of the second finally promised the world of Warcross but the third chapter began with even more reminiscence instead, I just couldn't force myself to read any more. Perhaps I'll try it again some day - I did love Legend back when it released - but as I also recently tried and failed with The Young Elites as well, I doubt it.


The Young Elites by Marie Lu (ARC)
DNF at Page 45. I was warned a while ago that this may be too dark a read for me, but while it does have dark and somewhat disturbing elements, I found it rather dull and unengaging. The story claims an interesting premise with interesting magic, but Adelina's magic was extremely confusing as described in action, and I found Adelina and her desperate situation uninteresting. I loved Legend back when it released, but as I just DNFd Warcross as well it appears I've grown out of Marie Lu's style.


>> [POSSIBLY] READING NEXT <<
(subject to change with my ever-shifting reading whims)
Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (ARC)
Next on the early 2017 release pile. I've heard great things, so while pirates aren't typically my read I'll give it a try.


So what are you reading this week?