Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (87): The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Storyspinner (The Keepers' Chronicles #1)
Becky Wallace
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: March 3, 2015

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

This sounds like it's going to be awesome! A lost princess, a game of thrones and a magical, high fantasy land - all things guaranteed to make me love a book.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bibliophilia, Please Blogoversary 3: Day 2


Once again, and quite surprisingly, we are passing another annual benchmark here at Bibliophilia, Please. From what started as a one (wo)man lovefest for Kevin Hearne and the great YA Kayla stumbled upon in 2011 has evolved into two well-educated, eloquent, and magnificent women sharing and reviewing the books they love. And then, of course, there is Kayla. (Will is, unfortunately, still missing.)

Be sure to stop back by each day to see how 2014 was for Janelle, Amber, and Kayla; enter the giveaway on Wednesday; and maybe see a special guest post from an up-and-coming author.


I know this isn't Wednesday, but I figured that I would do a quickie giveaway for our loyal readers. I have read approximately 105 books in 2014, so I'm going to let one lucky winner choose a book from THIS LIST on Goodreads. I haven't reviewed everything that I've read this year, so there's a bit to choose from.

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Spoilers)


Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

#1 New York Times Bestseller in hardcover.

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.

You can read Kayla's review of the book HERE.

My Review (Spoilers Below)

An unnamed narrator visits his childhood home and is flooded with magical memories his adult mind can no longer rationalize. Like Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee, the Hempstock women take the narrator under their wing and open his mind to mysterious possibilities. Mrs. Hempstock reads minds. Old Mrs. Hempstock vanquishes evil forces. Eleven-year-old Lettie Hempstock believes the pond in her farm’s backyard is an ocean.

Top Ten Tuesday: Goals for 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

My Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2015

1. Read more books than I read in 2014

I kind of failed miserably at this in 2014. In 2013, I read 303 books, but in 2014 I have only read 273 so far. In 2015, I will try for only one more than in 2014.

2. Read more books out of my normal comfort zones

Normally, I'm a fantasy reader with a little bit of horror and science fiction thrown in. This year I have found some series I loved in the other genres, and I really need to branch out more.

3. Read more classics/award winners

I set a goal to read one classic, modern classic or award winning book a month this year. Although they weren't the original books, I tried to read, and I had a few classics that I put down, I did manage to read 12 classics or awards winners this year. I'll try for one a month again next year and hope I make it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bibliophilia, Please Blogoversary 3: Day 1


Once again, and quite surprisingly, we are passing another annual benchmark here at Bibliophilia, Please. From what started as a one (wo)man lovefest for Kevin Hearne and the great YA Kayla stumbled upon in 2011 has evolved into two well-educated, eloquent, and magnificent women sharing and reviewing the books they love. And then, of course, there is Kayla. (Will is, unfortunately, still missing.)

Be sure to stop back by each day to see how 2014 was for Janelle, Amber, and Kayla; enter the giveaway on Wednesday; and maybe see a special guest post from an up-and-coming author.


2014 was a busy year for me. I graduated college and became the first person in my immediate family to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. I sent my 13-year-old to Europe for three weeks. I had back surgery, then starting working from home full-time. I attended a writing conference and pitched agents my YA contemporary novel. I published two poems, one in an anthology that now sits proudly on my bookshelf, swished in between books by my favorite authors. I started my website, discovered Tumblr, and uploaded YouTube videos (although I have to admit I watch more than I make). I started back to school, working my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

I also joined Bibliophilia, Please because reading books has always been a constant part in my life. This year I read an eclectic mix of mostly young adult books. Grasshopper Jungle (I thought it was about THORNY grasshoppers), Code Name Verity, and The Truth about Alice all came as recommendations from my writing conference. My YA novel contains a gay character so I read Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Two Boys Kissing to learn more about gay and transgender characters. I read award finalists and winners like The Surrender Tree, Speak, and Brown Girl Dreaming. I even read non-fiction like The Opposite of Loneliness and The Port Chicago 50. For school I read Esperanza Rising, The Raft, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I think The Truth About Alice and Speak were two of my favorites because they were about such emotional topics. The Truth About Alice is a must read for my 13-year-old son before he's allowed on any date (including a dance), and I already forced him to sit through the movie Speak (starring a young Kristen Stewart and based on the book). I think those were the two stories that had the most impact on me personally and really made me stop and think about what goes on in life.

I am very excited to see what 2015 brings. Reading and writing are such a large part of my life and I am so honored to share my thoughts and feelings on those topics here with you.

Friday, December 26, 2014

#TBTBSanta - Kayla's Unveiling of Her Goodies


For the past three or so years, I've participated in the Broke & Bookish Secret Santa, and it's always a lot of fun. I sent out the goodies to my recipient (she's not been home to receive her package yet, so I'm not spoiling) a two weeks or so ago, and I received my package from my Secret Santa earlier this week at the most perfect time. (My family and I get a little nutso around the holidays, so distractions are a good thing.)

My Goodies

Chris from Rocklin, California (I haven't been able to figure out who this person is yet, unfortunately) sent me a fantastic package. I came home from work to find this:

Do you guys get the same surge of pleasure to get a cardboard box on your doorstep with your name on it? And here's what was inside:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Until Midnight Launch & Giveaway

No comments:
UNTIL MIDNIGHT is here…and it’s FREE!

Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after ALIENATED ends and before the sequel INVADED begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd.

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

Title: Until Midnight (Alienated #1.5)
Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 23, 2014

Cara and Aelyx only have one day to spend together before he returns to earth and she travels to Aelyx's home planet, L'eihr. Homesick and worried about the upcoming year apart, Cara is desperate to make these final hours count. Worst of all, Cara is missing Christmas, stuck on board an alien spaceship. When Aelyx learns that Cara is forgoing her favorite holiday, he tries to recreate Christmas in space by researching traditional earth customs…but a few things get lost in translation.

Buy Links
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

*If you live outside the USA, no worries. I’ve uploaded the story to Scribd for you. (The only downside is it doesn’t include the bonus preview chapters, due to technical reasons from the publisher.) Link:


Waiting on Wednesday (86): Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Illusionarium
Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 19, 2015

What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

I'm not sure how I feel about parallel worlds, but this seems very interesting besides that. It also reminds me that I need to read The Night Circus.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Joint Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

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Title: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)
Robin LaFevers
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

Book Trailer

Our Review

You can read Kayla's review of Grave Mercy, the first book in His Fair Assassins trilogy, HERE.

Amber: So, my first thoughts about Mortal Heart were that I should have re-read both Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph. I remembered little to nothing about the story so far and was pretty lost in the first couple of chapters.

But once Annith was away from the convent, I started enjoying it. My favorite parts by far involved the hellequin (and Balthazaar) and the followers of Arduinna. I really hope that LaFevers writes a spinoff with the other followers of the Nine.

What were your first impressions?

Kayla: When I started reading it, I was worried about how LaFevers would tie it in with the history of Brittany. And, like most other people, I wondered how in the world I would like Annith as much as I liked Ismae. As for the other two books, I had reread Grave Mercy and read Dark Triumph for the first time earlier this year.

I really liked that Mortal Heart had a bit more of the supernatural element to it than the other books. I loved learning about LaFever's Nine and their history. I thought that I would like to read about Arduinna's followers, but after finishing the book, I'd love to read more about Dea Matrona or Amourna. (Yes, I'm aware that it would be tricky, but I am sure there will be MEAT.)

Amber: How did you end up feeling about Annith? I really liked her. She truly cared about her sisters, and she had a lot of compassion. Both of these tempered her almost perfectness. I also LOVED the love interest. If I ever swooned over anything, it would definitely be over Balthazaar.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing This Year


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing This Year

1. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

2. Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

You can read Kayla's review HERE.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Early Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

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Title: The Glass Arrow
Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen (Macmillan)
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Acquired Via:

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom...if she can truly trust him.

The Glass Arrow: a haunting, yet hopeful, new novel from Kristen Simmons, the author of the popular
Article 5 trilogy.

My Review

Though Kristen Simmons debuted around the same time that I started blogging, I never read her books. (I tried to read as many 2012 debuts as possible.) I've always meant to read the Article 5 trilogy and would get distracted, but there was no way I could pass up reading The Glass Arrow. I haven't had a lot of luck with female suppression-themed dystopians since The Handmaid's Tale, but I'm so fascinated by that sub-genre that The Glass Arrow went straight to the front of the TBR as soon as I got approved for a galley.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Audiobook Review: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff


Title: Kinslayer (The Lotus War #2)
Jay Kristoff
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The toxic blood lotus flower continues to ravage the land, the deadlands splitting wider by the day. The machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild conspire to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously - by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.

Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.

My Review

You can read my review of the first book, Stormdancer HERE.

I put off reading Kinslayer until this year because, to me, there is nothing worse than reading the middle book of a trilogy and being stuck with a huge cliffhanger for a year. So if there was a cliffhanger (and I think there was), I didn't really notice because I only had to wait like three days for Endsinger.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Bringer of Light by J.R. Boles

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Title: Bringer of Light (Bringer Trilogy #1)
J.R. Boles
Publisher: Self
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Acquired Via:

For generations, the kingdom of Arten has stood alone against the ancient dark mage Mercer, a man no longer bound by time. But when King Wern is kidnapped, Queen Arin will risk everything to get him back.

Lynden Trenadin is chosen to join the ranks of the elite Queen's Champions both for her prowess as a warrior and her remarkable resemblance to the queen. She has spent her life battling at Arten's borders, but now she must defend the queen with her life as they journey to their enemy's castle. When the tide of battle goes against them, Lynden unleashes a magical power she didn't know she possessed. Even though she saved hundreds of warriors, Lynden is forced to flee in shame for her use of forbidden magic.

Now on the run, Lynden must raise a rebellion to free her country from the tyranny of the enemy she thought she'd destroyed. A band of loyalists and an enclave of ancient mages aid her in her efforts, but with a dark mage bent on her destruction, Lynden must discover a way to harness her new magic before it is too late.

My Review

I decided to read Bringer of Light because the author described it as an epic fantasy with a strong female character. Bringer of Light started out strongly, but lost itself a little along the way. There were several elements I liked, some I disliked, but nothing that I hated or loved.

Waiting on Wednesday (85): Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1)
Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL (Penguin)
Release Date: July 7, 2015

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time...

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn...

I would have been interested in anything that Rachel Caine writes, but this book just makes me bubble with excitement. The Great Library of Alexandria! Book burning! Oppression of books! Plus, the cover is just gorgeous

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

1. Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Sarah Maas really stepped up the game in this third installment. I really liked Throne of Glass, but Heir of Fire completely surpassed my every expectation.

2. Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it...

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear....

There hasn't been an Ilona Andrews book I haven't liked, and the latest Kate Daniels book is no exception.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Tides of Maritinia by Warren Hammond

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Title: Tides of Maritinia
Warren Hammond
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (HarperCollins)
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Acquired Via:

Maritinia is at the far edge of the Empire, a planet with little economic value in the Sire's sphere of influence.

And it's just rebelled.

The people of Maritinia believe the Empire will not care that they've broken free. But the Empire is built on the belief that if an insignificant planet can revolt, then other, more important planets might follow suit.

So the Empire sends an agent to Maritinia with a mission: assassinate and replace one of the conspirators, and do enough to sow discord that when the soldiers do land, any opposition will be quickly crushed.

Thus Jakob finds himself immersed in the inner circle of the madman who led the rebellion. A raw recruit with only his political officer—a separate consciousness inserted into his brain—to speak with, Jakob is out of his element as an operative. And while he falls deeper into the conspiracy, he begins to question everything: the despotic admiral in charge of the coup, his feelings for a native woman, and—most troublingly—whether he still agrees with the will of the Sire.

My Review

I love me some science fiction, and I was really wanting something with a huge galactic empire after reading Golden Son. When I saw the synopsis for Tides of Maritinia, I was so excited by the premise. Who doesn't like galactic rebellions, assassins, and a narrator questioning everything?

Unfortunately, it all fell short for me in Tides of Maritinia.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Breeding Ground by Joquena Lomelino

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Title: Breeding Ground (Breeding Ground Saga #1)
Joquena Lomelino
Publisher: Self
Release Date: April 28, 2014
Acquired Via:

Lenora was just a normal teenage girl who never really cared much about her parents’ work as scientists. Everything changed the day they died in a mysterious explosion. Now Lenora is alone with no time to grieve because her own life is being threatened. Whatever her parents were working on there are people willing to kill for it, and they don’t believe that Lenora has no idea what it is.

Shot up and facing certain death, Lenora is rescued by a strange seductive man who explains her parents’ top secret research to expose aliens living on Earth. An elixir reveals snake-like aliens disguised as humans are taking over the planet, and Lenora must decide if she can depend upon the stranger who violated her trust. Armed with sarcasm, her parents’ research, and an ally she loathes, Lenora must continue her parents’ work to expose the alien threat and save the Earth before it’s too late.

My Review

Days before her 18th birthday, Lenora Gates ignores her parents’ wish to meet them after school for an important message. Instead, she hangs out with her friend Rachel, who just discovered she is pregnant. When Lenora returns to Rachel’s house after a movie, Rachel’s mom delivers devastating news. Lenora’s parents died in an accidental explosion.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen

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Title: The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act (The Wicked + The Divine #1-5)
Kieron Gillen (writer); Jamie McKelvie (Illustrator); Matt Wilson (Colorist)
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 12, 2014
Acquired Via: NetGalley

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

My Review

The Wicked + The Divine was everything I wanted in a graphic novel. The art is gorgeous, and the writing has just the right amount of snark for me. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act combines the first five issues into one collection. The second arc will begin with issue 6 which will be published on December 17, 2014.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

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Title: Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)
Max Gladstone
Publisher: Tor Books (Macmillan)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Acquired Via:

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

My Review

I've had a really good run of fantasy lately, and Three Parts Dead is no exception. I wasn't really sure if I'd like it at first, because normally necromancy isn't something I enjoy, but the story is less necromancy than the blurb implies. I picked up Three Parts Dead because Patrick Rothfuss wrote a glowing review, and we need more diversity in writing anyway, so I was ecstatic that the main character was a black girl.

Waiting on Wednesday (84): The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2)
Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: June 9, 2015

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling — and that of Kelsea’s own soul — may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

The Queen of the Tearling was one of my favorites from this year. I can't wait to travel back to that world. I also really want to know who and what the Fetch is. And, it seems like all of my annoying unanswered questions might get answered in the sequel, as Kelsea connects to a time prior to the Crossing. You can read my review of The Queen of the Tearling HERE and Kayla's review HERE.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2014


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2014

1. Meljean Brook
Author of the Iron Seas series

Meljean Brook is now in my top favorite authors. Her Iron Seas series is one of the best steampunk series I have ever read. I am kicking myself for waiting until this year to try out her writing.

2. Jenn Bennett
Author of the Arcadia Bell series

Jenn Bennett is another author I am kicking myself for not reading before this year. Let's just go ahead and assume that if an author had a book out before this year, I should have read it way before this year. Bennett's Arcadia Bell series is one of my favorite urban fantasy/paranormal romance series. You can read my review of Binding the Shadows (Arcadia Bell #3) HERE.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Review: The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

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Title: The Boleyn King (The Boleyn Trilogy #1)
Laura Andersen
Publisher: Ballantine Books (Random House)
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Acquired Via:Goodreads First Reads

Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?

Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.

Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.

My Review

I love alternate history stories and anything dealing with the Tudors, but I had a copy of The Boleyn King languishing at my house for a year and a half before ever reading it. I knew that it would probably be the perfect combination for a really great read, so I have no idea why I never got around to picking it up. However, I got into a really bad reading slump after my house flooded, and this book really brought me out of it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): Past Encounters by Davina Blake

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Title: Past Encounters
Davina Blake
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: November 22, 2014
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

England 1955.

The day Rhoda Middleton opens a letter from another woman, she becomes convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks the mysterious woman down, she discovers she is not Peter’s lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem – Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out why Peter has kept this friendship a secret for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime experiences she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For Rhoda too cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, Past Encounters explores themes of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.

Praise for Past Encounters

"Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly Recommended!" - The Historical Novels Review

Praise for Deborah Swift

"stellar historical fiction" - Orange Prize Nominee Ann Weisgarber

"compelling'" - Westmorland Gazette

"The past comes alive through impeccable research...and the sheer power of descriptive prose" - Lancashire Evening Post

My Review

I think I went through all of the emotions while reading Past Encounters. I also alternated between like and dislike of both the main characters, Rhoda and Peter. At the beginning, I really disliked Rhoda, then toward the middle I really disliked Peter, and all throughout I felt really sorry for both of them.