Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Obsidio

I'm switching over from Waiting on Wednesday's to Can't Wait Wednesday, a meme hosted by Wishful Endings. The idea is basically the same, but it looks like the official hosts of Breaking the Spine have shut down the meme so it's time to move on.

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.
Why I'm Waiting
I may not have finished the second book in this series yet, but the first book blew me completely away, and the format of these are just so cool, that I absolutely can't wait for this one. Also, not quite sure if this is the final cover or not, but I'd be cool with it if it were.

Obsidio releases March 13th, 2018.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April Wrap Up #2

Hello, hello, hello! I feel like it's been ages since my last wrap up, but it really hasn't. The school year has been moving really quickly but life has been moving really slowly. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing right now. Really, things aren't too exciting as I've been a bit of a homebody recently and staying inside to read. I suppose that is exciting, though. In related news: I'm finally out of my book slump! What did it? I think the promise of ACOWAR right around the cover has gotten me so excited that I had to pick up and reread the first two books, which I'm in the middle of now.

Also, I know I've been really sporadic with posting and just existing online as a presence lately, but I want to thank you all for sticking with me. I've been staying away from checking the stats of the blog lately, if only because I knew it would be sad to see that no one was really visiting since I've been taking so many breaks, but I finally looked yesterday, and HOLY COW guys! This month has had the biggest turnout of visitors ever! Seriously, thank you so much for just reaffirming that I'm not screaming into the void and for sticking with me even if I'm not always around.

Finished Since Last Time
Frogkisser

Currently Reading
I'm in the midst of rereading ACOTAR (and telling everyone I know to read it) and will bounce immediately into ACOMAF when that's done. At this speed, I may even have time between finishing ACOMAF and ACOWAR to pick up Magic Study!

Post Since Last Time

Coming Soon
April 26 -- Can't Wait Wednesday
April 28 -- Review of Frogkisser
May 3 -- Can't Wait Wednesday
May 6 -- Wrap Up
*If I finish ACOTAR and ACOMAF sooner than later I may also squeeze in some reread reactions to share with you guys.

Thanks so much for reading this and following the blog- you guys really are the best! Now, have a great rest of the month!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Language of Thorns

I'm switching over from Waiting on Wednesday's to Can't Wait Wednesday, a meme hosted by Wishful Endings. The idea is basically the same, but it looks like the official hosts of Breaking the Spine have shut down the meme so it's time to move on.

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.
Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.
Why I'm Waiting
I haven't finished Crooked Kingdom yet, but I loved Six of Crows and the Grisha Trilogy. Basically, I love anything Leigh Bardugo touches! And this one is going to just look absolutely stunning on my shelf, on top of being an amazing read.

The Language of Thorns releases September 27th, 2017. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review: Poison Study (Study, #1)

Author: Maria V Snyder
Edition: UK Paperback
Rating: 4 Stars
I remember seeing Poison Study on the shelf of Borders and wanting to read it then, but picking up a different book instead. That's how long this book has been haunting me. As any good book snob knows, though, the COVERS NEED TO MATCH and finding matching covers for these in America has been a headache so I settled on the UK covers, which I didn't like at first but are fast growing on me. It's sad it took me so long to read this book, though, because it's the first book in a while to catch my interest and suck me completely in.

Poison Study is about Yelena, who is in prison for murdering the son of a general, and given another chance to live when she is chosen to be the Commander's poison tester. That means she tries all the food he eats and drinks in order to make sure he doesn't get killed off. Besides working in a job that pretty much assures her untimely death, Yelena must deal with her own ghosts, which include literal ones, many people that want to kill her, and something else- something dangerous stirring inside her that may connect to her family she never knew.

While this was definitely a perfect book for the moment- right up my alley and attention grabbing fantasy- there were some weak spots. Moments here and there that I wish had been done differently, or lasted longer, or just existed in a different way. Some of the decisions that characters made, too, seemed immature, and occasionally their motives, particularly Valek's, would feel a little blurry to me. I'm guessing this is a combination of my editor instinct (which is in hyper mode at the moment) and the fact that a lot of the things done in this book I've already seen done, better, in other books. In the end, though, everything worked itself out and I was rather happy with where it all went- any qualms I had about motive or immaturity flew out the door when the really important stuff started happening.

By far the strongest part of the read, for me, was the relationship between Yelena and Valek. I liked that it strayed away from insta-love and actually took time to develop. I also liked that the characters didn't spend a bunch of chapters messing around and denying the clear affection, which is a trope that's been getting on my nerves a bit lately. When they realized they were developing feelings for each other they were wary, but when the feelings came to a peak they let them happen and enjoyed the pleasure their relationship brought them. Beyond just their relationship, the characters themselves were pretty stellar, and even the side characters were rather interesting. Not everyone had to save the world- some characters were just there because it was their job to be there- but they still got characterization and I enjoyed reading about them all.

The plot was pretty standard for fantasy, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy it immensely. Sometimes going back to the basics is the best thing you can do. However, I am looking forward to the next two books, which I'm hoping will explore much more of the world and get a deeper look into who the villains of this series really are.

TL:DR?
A rather good, if traditional, fantasy, featuring a great romance and characters to hold dear.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Alanna The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)

Author: Tamora Pierce
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 4 Stars
This is one of those books I missed out on as a kid but still get recommended quite a bit. I caved and bought the whole quartet so that I don't have to wait long between books and I'm rather pleased with my decision.

Alanna The First Adventure follows our titular character as she swaps places with her twin brother and pretends to be a boy in order to retrieve training to be a Knight. She keeps her secret close and through her extra hard work and friendships she starts her journey into being one of the best Knight's at the castle.

Alanna herself was a great character. She's young and bold, yet she also learns fast and is good at pretending to be a boy. She can take what's thrown at her- not because she's strong enough, necessarily, but because she has a net of people who will help catch her and because she's willing to change to meet a challenge. In fact, her elasticity and work ethic are two of her strongest characterization points, which were a fresh change from a lot of what I've been reading. As for the other characters, I hate to lump them all into one place, but they were all lacking that third dimension that she has. They're all still growing, as she is, but since they have less page time (it is a very short book) they don't get to be as fully developed. It's not frustrating, though, because with three other books to get through I'm pretty sure everyone will be fleshed out by the end. The plot itself was interesting, but not my main interest, as Alanna herself was so captivating. It's a very basic "set-up" story, where we get an idea of what's to come and who the villain might be. While it mostly follows Alanna in her lessons, the ending was a nice surprise and something I really enjoyed.

More importantly than all that, however, may be how feminist this book is. It deals with a girl living in a man's world and succeeding. It deals with issues for a young audience that other books at this age don't tackle- like getting your period for the first time. And it's dealt with well! Her reaction is honest- she's frightened for a number of reasons- and the way she reaches out to friends is also honest. This is a book that teaches innumerable lessons to young girls and I heartily recommend everyone give it a try, especially children.

TL;DR
While it's a book for younger readers, the main character and feminist themes made it an incredibly good read for me and I would recommend it to everyone, especially since it only takes a day or so to get through.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Wrap Up #1

So sorry it's been so long since the last wrap up! I didn't plan for this much time to pass, but school and life have been keeping me very busy. In fact, I haven't had much time (or, to be honest, much of a drive) to read lately. I'm hoping that changes soon because I do miss going to books every time I'm stressed out about life.

Finished Since Last Time
Just Poison Study, which wasn't even something I planned to read right away. It just kinda popped onto my radar and I really enjoyed it!

Currently Reading
Well, this is jumping around a lot because nothing has kept and held my attention recently, but I think I'm going to stick with Frogkisser by Garth Nix. I'm a fan of his and this book, so far at least, does a good job of playing with fairy tale tropes.

Posts Since Last Time
March 21 -- ARC Review: Bull

Coming Soon
So, a lot of these were originally scheduled to be published last month, but things got a little out of hand. I can't promise anything this month, but I do have a feeling that I can get these out on time.
April 3 -- Review of Alanna The First Adventure
April 7 -- Review of Poison Study

Here's to hoping I get more reading done and can have more reviews to post!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review: But Then I Came Back

Author: Estelle Laure
Edition: eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

When I requested this book I had no idea it was actually the sequel/companion to the author's previous book, This Raging Light, which came out two years ago. I skimmed through the reviews of that one after I figured it out and found that it didn't sound like my kind of book. Good thing this one doesn't require you to know about the previous one, and I'd argue that it's a stronger book if you read it as a standalone without a previous book.

For one, the characters come off as strong immediately. As a reader I was swept up into an already fully formed world with a character full of complex relationships with other characters. I was surprised, but in a good way, and even though I didn't get to see all the history that these characters had between each other I still felt like it was all important and that the character's themselves had had this history in the first place.

As for the plot itself, I requested it on a whim. It sounded good, even though it wasn't my traditional genre, since I like reading about near-death experiences in fiction. I had no idea what sort of emotional ride I was in for, though. The story itself is good, but the underlying emotion is amazing. I was brought to tears multiple times and felt as if I was actually there experiencing things within the pages. I've never known anyone in a coma in real life but now I feel as if I actually do. I also want to point out that the author handled the details very well. It wasn't an over the top dramatizing of the coma as a plot device, like a soap opera might do, nor did it ignore all the unfortunate side effects. It handled them gracefully and painted a bittersweet journey of a person recovering from such an event in a respectful manner.

All of this was made the better by the beautiful and heady writing of the author. Estelle Laure has a talent for words that I am jealous of on a personal level. From the first page I knew I was in for a treat and I was never let down. As the last page closed I was mourning the end of her words as much as I was crying for the events in the story. It's a beautiful prose that I'd love to have printed on my wall.

A last note, I like this story quite a bit because I felt myself connecting with the main character, Eden, a good chunk of the time. Part of it does have to do with the mental health aspect, but part of it transcends that I think. It was something about the way she thought and the way I think that made it quite the connection. This rarely happens for me, and I don't often see so much of myself in a character, but it's a pleasant surprise.

TL;DR? A beautiful book, both for the plot and the prose, that I personally connected with on a number of levels.