Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cover Catch-Up (35): Now I Rise & Empress of a Thousand Skies!

In "Cover Catch-Up" I share some covers that have either been recently revealed, or that I've just found and really wanted to share. 

Today I have two covers for books that I'm excited for!



The first cover I have to share today is for NOW I RISE by Kiersten White!

NOW I RISE (Conquerer's Saga #2) by Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 27, 2017

Description:

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
 
I absolutely LOVED AND I DARKEN, and I can't wait to read this sequel! I'm sure NOW I RISE will be just as intense and fantastic as the first, and I love this cover! It's simple, and matches perfectly with the first book! I can't wait to get a copy of this stunning book in my hands! :)



The second cover that I have to share is for EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES!


EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES by Rhoda Belleza
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Description:
Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a holo-vision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation—and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
I always love covers that feature space on them, so I think this cover is stunning! And the story itself sounds amazing, too!



What do you think?
Do you like these covers, too?
Who else can't to read these two books?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Source: Sample copy through Thomas Allen & Son Ltd. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Release Date:
Number of Pages:


Description from Goodreads:
A triple murder in a remote northwestern farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. There’s no question that Macrae is guilty, but the police and courts must uncover what drove him to murder the local village constable and his two children. The book starts with the account of the accused killer who gives us the events leading up to the murders from his jail cell. The book then offers the fictional opinion of a medical doctor and psychologist on the questionable sanity of Roderick Macrae. The last third of the book is a courtroom transcript that reveals the full truth of the events that left three dead. Burnet has created a fascinating unreliable narrator in this historical revenge tragedy and courtroom drama.
Wow.

I don't usually read thrillers or any kind of crimes novels, so HIS BLOODY PROJECT isn't my typical genre, but we'd been getting seriously excited about it at work because it was nominated for the 2016 Man Booker Prize (it ended up being a finalist, but didn't win), and my company distributed it for the first time in Canada. The description had me seriously intrigued, so I gave it a shot, and I'm so glad that I did!

I decided to snag a sample copy for myself to read when I flew home to Alberta in September, and I'm so glad that I did! The story was extremely intriguing, complicated and I didn't want to put it down!

HIS BLOODY PROJECT is complex, and it'll leave you feeling more conflicted than you can possibly imagine. It'll keep you up at night reading, and when you're not reading, it'll still be on your mind. It's the kind of story that sticks with you and I'm extremely glad that I decided to go outside of my regular reading habits and give it a shot because it turned out to be one of my favourite books this year!

If you're already a thriller fan, definitely read this, and if it's not your typical genre either, but you find the story compelling, I wholeheartedly recommend it because I thought it was remarkable! I had a total book hangover after finishing this one, and it's continued to be on my mind for the past few months!

What do you think?
Does HIS BLOODY PROJECT sound like something you'd like to read?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cover Catch-Up (34): Valiant & Shadow Run

In "Cover Catch-Up" I share some covers that have either been recently revealed, or that I've just found and really wanted to share. 

Today I have two covers for books that I can't wait to read!



The first book that I'm sharing today is THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston!

THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Description:

The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.
 
 

I can't wait to read this book! It sounds amazing, and I absolutely love that this cover features the main character looking tough and all gladiator like!



The second cover I have today is for SHADOW RUN! :)

SHADOW RUN (Kaitan Chronicles #1) by AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Description:

"Firefly" meets DUNE in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.

Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.


This cover immediately makes me think of X-men and Firefly, and it makes me sooooo excited! And the description of this one sounds FANTASTIC!!!! I can just imagine this cover all shiny and I bet it'll be gorgeous!



What do you think?
Do you like these covers, too?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7) by Miranda Kenneally

Source: Received an egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date:July 5, 2016
Number of Pages: 304 (Paperback)


Description from Goodreads:
Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
I consider myself an avid Miranda Kenneally fangirl, so I really wasn't surprised when I started DEFENDING TAYLOR, got immediately hooked, and ended up absolutely loving it. :P

While it wasn't my favourite of the Hundred Oaks books (I think RACING SAVANNAH is still my favourite...with BREATHE ANNIE BREATHE very close behind--and that's if I absolutely have to choose :P), I absolutely adored the story.

I also loved the characters! Taylor was a wonderful main character. She was a tad moody, and did make some poor choices, but I loved that she was determined to stick by her choices, and that she was willing to take responsibility and face any and all consequences that came her way. And Ezra...*sigh* I loved Ezra! I also really loved that Taylor and Ezra had a past. It made the dynamics of their relationship really interesting! I also really loved Taylor's relationship with her brother, Oliver! :) As always, I thought it was fantastic getting to see some of the characters from the other books like Annie and Jeremiah, and Savannah and Jack!!!! :D

I really loved DEFENDING TAYLOR, and I think that it's an excellent addition to the Hundred Oaks series! If you're just starting the series now, I think it wouldn't hurt to start here, but I do think that you'd appreciate the cameos from the other characters more if you started earlier on in the series--probably at least with Racing Savannah so that you'll be familiar with the characters that make appearances in this one. :) Overall, I would definitely recommend adding this one to your TBR though because it was fantastic! 

What do you think?
Have you read DEFENDING TAYLOR already?
Who else loves the HUNDRED OAK series?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Audiobook Review: A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness & Read by Jason Isaacs

Source: Received a sample copy through my work, Thomas Allen & Son, the Canadian Distributor for Brilliance Audio. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Release Date: September 27, 2016


Description from Goodreads:
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming....

This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

“Compelling...powerful and impressive.” —Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy

“Exceptional...this is storytelling as it should be—harrowing, lyrical, and transcendent.” —Meg Rosoff, author of the Printz Award–winning novel How I Live Now

“Brilliant and elegant, with all the thrills and ambition you would expect from the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy.” —Frank Cottrell Boyce, award-winning author of Millions and Cosmic

“Haunting, lyrical, powerful, and true. Patrick Ness has crafted a masterful story about grief and loss, love and hope that lingers in the heart like a ghost.” —Libba Bray, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Going Bovine

I have to preface this by saying that I've already read A MONSTER CALLS, and absolutely adored it. It's an extremely emotion read, and while it absolutely guts you, it's also breathtakingly beautiful and real. I consider A MONSTER CALLS to be one of the most profound stories I've ever read, and I know that it's one that I'll return to year after year, and no matter how many times I read it, it'll never ever get old.

Now that you know I already love this story, I have to let you know that I like to go back and listen to audio versions of books that I love so that I can get to experience them in a whole new way. When it comes to listening to an audiobook of a book you've already enjoyed, there's always the risk that the reader won't manage to convey the story as effectively as it comes across on paper, but that definitely wasn't an issue here at all. Jason Isaacs did an absolutely AMAZING job reading A MONSTER CALLS! He managed to flawlessly capture each and every one of the characters. His intonation was amazing, and I thought that this recording was perfection. Absolute perfection!

For new readers to A MONSTER CALLS who enjoy audiobooks, I wholeheartedly recommend this recording, and for readers who've already read and loved the book, you should definitely give this audiobook a shot the next time you decide to do a reread. You really won't regret it!

Not only is A MONSTER CALLS an amazing story (seriously, even if you don't listen to the audio...go read the book!), but this audio is a fantastic adaptation of the story, and it's made me love it all over again!

Who else loves A MONSTER CALLS?
 
And is anyone else a fan of going back and listening to an audiobook version of their favourite stories? If you are, which one has been your favourite to do that with?

I think A MONSTER CALLS or THE SCORPIO RACES are currently tied as my favourites to do this with...both are AMAZING!!!

Friday, December 2, 2016

REVIEW: FATE OF FLAMES (Effigies #1) by Sarah Raughley

Source: Received an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Number of Pages: 368 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
Years ago, everything changed. Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time four girls, the Effigies, appeared, each with the unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…
Some of my fondest memories from my childhood involve watching cartoons on YTV (it's a Canadian children's network for anyone not from Canada); YTV introduced me to some AMAZING shows, including Sailor Moon, so as soon as I saw the description of FATE OF FLAMES, I was pretty much jumping up and down with excitement! It's been pitched as a mix of Buffy, Pacific Rim, and Sailor Moon, and I think that description is perfect!

FATE OF FLAMES starts off with a bang. We meet the main character, Maia, and quickly see our first Phantom. Then we see one of the famous Effigies, Belle, fighting the Phantom, and we're thrust into a world eerily similar to our own. The big difference between our world and Maia's is that monsters called Phantoms exist and the only things keeping us from all being destroyed are anti-phantom technology and young women imbued with the power to control the elements, called Effigies!

Since I loved Sailor Moon and Buffy, I definitely enjoyed seeing the Effigies and their various powers! I really liked Maia as a narrator because I loved her snarky sense of humour, but I was a little disappointed that she didn't push herself to try her powers more. She did have reasons for holding back, but I still wish she'd pushed herself more when she actually was trying to train...if I had the kind of power that she had, I'd be all over it! I really loved seeing Belle, Lake, and Chae Rin use their elemental powers though, and I absolutely loved seeing all of the dynamics develop between the four girls!! I also really loved Rhys...I'm always a sucker for a good romance subplot, and I was definitely rooting for Maia and Rhys!

Other than the amazing elemental powers that the Effigies had, my favourite part of FATE OF FLAMES was the world-building. I thought it was extremely interesting, and all of the technology that they'd created to combat the Phantoms fascinated me! I also loved seeing how Maia's world differed from our own. FATE OF FLAMES seemed to take place during our time now, but it was as if their history had been rewritten to include Phantoms and Effigies⎯like an alternate universe dystopia!

Overall, I really enjoyed FATE OF FLAMES. I absolutely loved the world-building, the powers of the Effigies and all of the character dynamics, but I was a little disappointed with how Maia handled her powers. I'll cut her some slack though because she was already starting to gain confidence in herself and in her abilities by the end of FATE OF FLAMES. Needless to say, I'm extremely excited for book 2, and I CANNOT wait to see more of Maia, Lake, Chae Rin, Belle, Rhys...and even Saul, in the sequel!! I'd recommend FATE OF FLAMES to anyone who loved Sailor Moon, or to anyone who enjoys elemental magic!

What do you think?
Does FATE OF FLAMES sound like a book you'd like?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Number of Pages: 416 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.
I'm a real sucker for any kind of epic story that takes place in space, so as soon as I heard about THE DIABOLIC, I was intrigued! Once I read the description about the Diabolics, Nemesis and Sidonia, I was even more interested!

It took me a few chapters to get into THE DIABOLIC because Nemesis is a fairly detached narrator, but once I got into the narrative, then I couldn't put it down! I thought that Nemesis was really intriguing, and I loved learning about the world that S.J. Kindcaid created! From the technology, to the ships, to the intricate religious and class systems, I loved getting to know more about the world within THE DIABOLIC, and I found it all extremely fascinating to read about!

While Nemesis wasn't the most affectionate of characters, she really grew on me. She was fierce, and her devotion to Sidonia was compelling, especially because of the way that the Diabolics were "designed." Most of all, I really loved seeing Nemesis's character change as she grew into herself and was able to expand beyond her dedication to protect Sidonia. I really, really loved seeing her develop relationships...especially when a certain member of the Emperor's family comes into the picture. ;)

With so much going on, I wasn't sure how everything could be wrapped up in one book, but S.J. managed it! THE DIABOLIC was an interesting mix of dystopia, sci-fi adventure, and dark roman empire with political intrigue all mixed together, and I absolutely loved it! 

After talking to some of my friends who've also read this one, I do think THE DIABOLIC is geared more towards readers who already enjoy sci-fi because it really isn't the type of story where you connect closely with the heroine. Nemesis struggles to accept the fact that she actually has feelings, so that does create some detachment within the narrative, but personally, I really loved Nemesis's confusion as she began to feel more and more, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her push herself when it came to her humanity! 

If you're a fan of sweeping stories with characters who are fierce without any kind of sugar-coating, then I think you'll love THE DIABOLIC...and if you already love sci-fi, then you're going to love this even more!

What do you think?
Does THE DIABOLIC sound like something you'd enjoy?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cover Reveal: GUARDIAN OF SECRETS (Library Jumpers #2) by Brenda Drake


I read the first book of the Library Jumpers series, Thief of Lies, back when it first released, and I absolutely LOVED it! I've been eagerly waiting for the sequel, Guardian of Secrets, ever since...and today I have the gorgeous cover to share with you all!

Let us know what you think of the cover for Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake which releases February 7, 2017!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang!
Brenda Drake's thoughts on the cover:

I had an idea of what I wanted the cover of Guardian of Secrets to look like the entire time I was writing the story. I was delighted (I might have screamed) when the cover showed up in my email and it was EXACTLY what I’d imagined. I love that it’s blue since part of the setting of the book takes place in a cold climate. I’m thrilled the couple is on it, too. They resemble the characters I’ve created in my mind perfectly. The cover is so beautiful, and I’m beyond excited to share it with everyone!

 About Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.
Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake today!


 About the Author
Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Connect with Brenda: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads | Instagram


I absolutely LOVE this cover! It matches PERFECTLY with the cover for Thief of Lies, and it's stunning on its own, too. It still has the library, and now it has both Gia and Arik on it, and I'm absolutely swooning!

What do you think of the cover of Guardian of Secrets?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Review: And I Darken (The Conquerer's Saga #1) by Kiersten White

Source: Received a copy through a coworker from OLA, and purchased a hardcover once the book released.
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Number of Pages: 475 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
As soon as I heard about AND I DARKEN, I knew that I absolutely HAD to read it! The book sounded absolutely fantastic, and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't want to put it down...and as soon as I started it, I knew I was right!

I loved EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of this book, and I really loved Lada!! She was so fierce and strong, and I loved seeing her exert her control in a time when women didn't have much control at all! I definitely couldn't be as fierce as her, but I really admired her strength, and I sympathized with her when she was insecure about things. I especially loved seeing her relationships evolve and I enjoyed the dynamics that she had with the other characters, including Mehmed, Radu, and all of the Wallachian soldiers. I liked Radu too, but I really loved this book for Lada. :D

I'm not super familiar with Dracula's story, so I wasn't critical with how Lada's story fits in with the historical side while reading, but I still really liked how it was clear that Lada = Vlad...it was so neat!! After finishing AND I DARKEN, I did look into Vlad the Impaler a little bit though, and I thought it was super interesting to see the narrative of his history, and to see how Lada's story overlapped with Vlad's history. Vlad's history is pretty dark, and it doesn't have the happiest of endings, so I'll be very interested to see how Kiersten White continues to explore Lada's story! I'm crossing my fingers that it isn't quite as bleak...but even if it is, I know that she won't go down without one hell of a fight!

Overall, I absolutely LOVED AND I DARKEN! Lada is un-apologetically fierce, and I loved seeing such a strong female character who wasn't afraid to show just how dangerous and deadly she could be. I also loved seeing her take charge! I can't wait to read the next book, NOW I RISE, and I'd recommend AND I DARKEN to anyone who loves fierce heroines, especially if you have a soft spot for historical fiction! 

What do you think?
Does the idea of a female Vlad the Impaler intrigue you?
And if you've read AND I DARKEN already, what did you think?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cover Catch-Up (33): Stunning Sequels!


In "Cover Catch-Up" I share some covers that have either been recently revealed, or that I've just found and really want to share. 

Today I have two covers for sequels that I think are absolutely fantastic, and I'm desperately and eagerly waiting for them both!



The first cover that I have to share today is for A CONJURING OF LIGHT, the final book in V. E. Schwab's SHADES OF MAGIC trilogy!!!


A CONJURING OF LIGHT (Shades of Magic #3) by V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 21, 2017

Description:
The battle between four magical Londons comes to a head in this stunning finale to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy by rising star V. E. Schwab

London's fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.
 

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS was pretty much my top read of 2016, so it should come as no shock that I'm eagerly awaiting A CONJURING OF LIGHT...and I think the cover is fantastic! The covers in this series are so well matched, and they show a really interesting progression as the story continues, too! I absolutely CANNOT wait to get this book in my hands, and I just know that this cover is going to be just as fabulous in person!



The second cover that I have today is for the Canadian version of A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE, the sequel to Kelley Armstrong's CITY OF THE LOST!


A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE (Casey Duncan #2) by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Random House of Canada
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Description:
People disappear to Rockton so no-one can find them. But the trouble is people also disappear from Rockton. New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author and master of thrills Kelley Armstrong returns to Rockton for more page-turning suspense, following her #1 national bestseller, City of the Lost.

It's winter in Rockton, a little town hidden deep in the wilds of the Yukon. The town exists for people who need to escape their pasts, though it's not clear if those in hiding are victims or perpetrators. Or, when the lines gets blurred, maybe both. Ask Casey. She's been used, betrayed, beaten. But she's also killed someone. She moved to Rockton to help her best friend, Diana. Ex-best friend. Diana lied to get Casey to come with her; she used her and she almost got her killed. But Casey decided to stay anyway, to work as a detective alongside her new boyfriend and the town's sheriff, Eric Dalton. Fresh off solving a series of grisly murders, Casey and Deputy Will Anders get stranded in a blizzard while they're tracking a runner from the town. Seeking shelter in a cave, they stumble across a woman who's been imprisoned in a deep well. Nicole Chavez--whom everybody thought had run away from town and died in the woods more than a year earlier--is alive. Barely. But she can't identify her captor: she's never seen his face.
Was she taken by one of the hostiles who inhabit the wilderness around the town? Or is Casey facing something even worse? In a town where everyone lies about their past and lives under assumed identities, it's very easy to hide your true nature...


CITY OF THE LOST was another one of my favourite reads in 2016, so I can't wait to dig into A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE! I'm extremely excited for more of Casey and Dalton, and I really, really love this cover! It matches so well with CITY OF THE LOST (cover to the right). I love how they both have the trees, and the animal silhouettes. I think they're so intriguing, and I just know that A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE will be just as gorgeous in person as CITY OF THE LOST is!



What do you think?
Are you a fan of these two covers?
And who else is ridiculously excited for these books?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers

Source: Borrowed a copy from the library.
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Number of Pages: 369 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...
Ahhh!!! I've been considering rewatching FIREFLY lately and this made me want to do that even more!!! I remember when I first saw the cover and read the description for STARFLIGHT months ago that it sounded like it had a similar vibe to FIREFLY and it really did!! The story, the characters, it all was absolutely fantastic!!! I really, really loved this book, and I'm already eagerly looking forward to re-reading it in the future!

While it did have a similar feel to FIREFLY, the plot and story in STARFLIGHT was still completely different, but it did have that whole space cowboy/bandit type feel with a cast of crewmates that are more family than coworkers. I loved that it had that same type of dynamics, and I really loved the characters!!! Solara and Doran were amazing and I loved slowly getting to know the others!! I also absolutely loved the world-building and I'm always a fan of space as a backdrop to a high-stakes adventure!

If you like FIREFLY, or even just stories involving some badassery in space, I think you'll love STARFLIGHT, too. It also gets mega bonus points because I "ship" Solara and Doran so freaking much (pun totally intended :P)!

What do you think?
Have you read STARFLIGHT?
If you haven't, does it sound like something you'd like?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

Source: Received an ARC through work. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 368 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.
I was seriously impressed with WRECKED. Campus rape is a huge topic in the news right now and I love that books like WRECKED are helping to bring even more awareness to it.

I loved that WRECKED handles the subject in a unique way. The main characters aren't the ones directly involved. Instead they're both linked to the two people that the rape case pertains to. Haley is roommates with Jenny who came home from a party one night and several days later she reported that she had been raped. Richard is housemates with Jordan, the one Jenny has accused of raping her. We don't get to see Jenny's and Jordan's direct perspectives, but instead get to see things from Haley's and Richard's POVs which helps highlight how difficult it can be to get to the truth. In between chapters, Maria Padian has added an omniscient perspective which shows us exactly what happened at the party without any bias, so in the end we know exactly what happened. This combination allows us to see so many different perspectives and also see how big of an issue consent is.

I also felt that their backgrounds made Haley and Richard great characters to tell this story through. Both Haley and Richard were pretty average students, and they were very realistic. Richard is a nice guy, a little bit immature, and raised with a typical white male attitude (i.e., entitled without realizing he's entitled at all), and Haley comes from a middle-class background where she was fairly protected and sheltered by her parents. Because of these backgrounds both Richard and Haley are pretty unaware of the nuances of consent, and neither of them have ever encountered rape before this, so their ignorance provides an ideal setting for these story. It allows the author to subtly educate the reader, and I found it extremely well done! It isn't the type of story where you deliberately feel like an author is trying to educate you while reading, but it does leave you with a much greater understanding of campus rape, how the truth can be easily distorted in rape cases, and how rape victims can be continuously victimized throughout the proceedings of cases such as the one detailed in WRECKED.

I'm trying super hard not to spoil the finer details of this story because I think going into WRECKED without knowing the unbiased truth makes it even more interesting. I will say that I loved this book though and I think it handled campus rape very well. It was both a wonderful story and extremely informative and even a bit educational about consent which I really appreciated. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!


What do you think?
Have you read WRECKED yet?
Do you want to read it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cover Catch-Up (32): Pretty Fantasy Covers, Oh My!

In "Cover Catch-Up" I share some covers that have either been recently revealed, or that I've just found and really wanted to share. 

It's been a while since I've posted a Cover Catch-Up, and I've been pretty absent from my blog lately, but I'm going to try to get back into posting regularly, so hopefully you'll be seeing more of these posts soon. :D

Today I've got two upcoming fantasy books that I'm seriously excited for, and the covers are gorgeous!



The first cover I have to share today is for TRAVELER by L.E. DeLano!

TRAVELER (Traveler #1) by L.E. DeLano
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Description:
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.
 
Whew! This description gets my heart pumping, and this cover looks soooo pretty! I love the blue, and the labyrinthine spiral with the pirate ship! I lso love books about time travel and travelling through parallel universes, so this one sounds right up my alley!!



My second cover that I'm sharing today is for WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones!

WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Description:
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
Goblins!!! Gah, I've had a soft spot for stories involving goblins ever since I read Kiersten Hamilton's Goblin Wars Trilogy (here's my review for the first book, Tyger Tyger), which I absolutely LOVED! I also loved Danielle L. Jensen's Malediction Trilogy, and I really enjoyed Labyrinth when I finally saw it so WINTERSONG sounds absolutely AMAZING to me, and this cover is is so pretty!!! It's so symbolic, and I bet it'll be even more gorgeous in person on the finished cover!



What do you think of these covers?
Do you like them, too?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: ALL THE FEELS by Danika Stone

Source: Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Number of Pages: 336 (Paperback)


Description from Goodreads:
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.

REVIEW

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was perfect for me, and I was so right! ALL THE FEELS totally gave me "all the feels" (seriously, it has the most fitting title EVER!)! I loved absolutely every single second, and even though the Starveil fandom isn't real, I still felt like I was part of it, and I loved that!  

If you're a big fan or fangirl over anything, I think you'll relate to ALL THE FEELS. You might not be able to relate to how involved Liv is in the fandom, but if you're a big fan of everything, you'll definitely understand how much Starveil means to her. It made me think back to how obsessed I was with a few of my favourite fandoms, and luckily my favourites have always seemed to survive, but I could totally relate to how passionate Liv felt about Spartan dying, and I loved that she did something about it!

Now onto Liv herself! I absolutely LOVED her! I could relate to her late night fandom binges, and her reluctance to let the fandom go. I also loved her friendship with Xander, and I thought that Xander himself was fantastic! He was such a wonderful and unique character, and I loved how supportive he was to Liv. I loved their friendship, but I really, really loved seeing how their friendship progressed throughout the story, and I shipped them so, so so much! 


Overall, I thought that ALL THE FEELS was fantastic! It was fun, hilarious, and as a self-professed fangirl, it was extremely easy for me to relate to! Just thinking about this book has me grinning like a fool, and if you like romantic comedies with some fandom nerdiness thrown in then I think this is the perfect book for you, too!

What do you think?
Does ALL THE FEELS sound like something you'd like to read? 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Release Blitz: A Place in the Sun by R.S. Grey



Yay!!! The day is here! It's release day for R.S. Grey's A PLACE IN THE SUN!

After reading and LOVING Settling the Score, and Out of Bounds, her Summer Games romances, and then going back and reading Scoring Wilder, I totally fell hard and fast in love with R.S. Grey's writing and her characters! I've been eagerly anticipating the release of A Place in the Sun and it's finally here! If you love sweet, and funny romances where the characters have great dynamics, you'll love her books, and you should definitely check out A Place in the Sun!

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, keep reading to see if you'd like to read A Place in the Sun!




Title: A Place in the Sun
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Oct 24, 2016

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.

Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away...that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.

Gianluca.

After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.

But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.

After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

Buy Link: Amazon

About R.S. Grey

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors are Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.


And now I'll leave you with one last teaser:





What do you think?
Does A Place in the Sun sound like something you'd like to read?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Cover Reveal: A Place in the Sun by R.S. Grey #CoverReveal #RSGrey


Over the summer I came across a couple of absolutely fantastic sports romances involving the Summer Olympics and I adored them! Those books were Settling the Score and Out of Bounds by R.S. Grey, and they happen to take place in the same book world as her upcoming book, A PLACE IN THE SUN! I'm extremely excited about this book because we're going to get to see Georgie find love, and she happens to be Freddie's sister (from Settling the Score!).

A PLACE IN THE SUN is releasing later this month on October 24th, but today I get to share the absolutely stunning cover with you all...go on, take a look!

Title: A Place in the Sun
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Oct 24, 2016
 

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.

Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away...that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.

Gianluca.

After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.

But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.

After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

AUTHOR INFO

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday. 
​
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors are Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.




As you could probably tell from my gushing intro at the beginning of this post, I'm ridiculously excited for A PLACE IN THE SUN! I love R.S. Grey's books, and I can't wait to read Georgie's story!! I also just think this cover is gorgeous!!

What do you think?