Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Reads: Mini reviews for The Star Touched Queen & The Forbidden Wish!!!

Hiya there guys!

While I'm sleeping the day away after working a double shift yesterday and working night shift again tonight, I'm gonna leave you with a pair of mini reviews for this week's Friday Reads!

Both books are 2016 releases, both highly awaited for me, and one of them even more because it was one of my top 3 MOST awaited debuts of the year! I'll be counting it towards my 2016 Debut Author Challenge!




The Star-Touched QueenThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


With a most wondrous & gorgeous prose and a wonderful story full of Hindu mythology and with a few winks to both Hades & Persephone (and maybe it's just me, but also a lil bit of Eros & Pysche myth), this one is the perfect debut to leave us wanting more! The story does end like a standalone, even if it also makes you want a lil bit more.

I could go on and on about the amazing writing and how it reminded me of the traditional myths and how they resonate very much in this story, but without the dryness that sometimes the more traditional storytelling they might have. You simply cannot stop turning pages to see what else will be coming, what else we'll find out about the past and the previous history of the characters.

The world was both wondrous and utterly dangerous and the secondary characters really added so much to the story, particularly a certain non-vegetarian horse! I couldn't get enough of her thoughts stream and her sense of humour!

I was quite surprised about the progression of the book, because I wasn't sure where the story was going or what turns it'd take, given the various myths that I feel woven into the story! Which made it even more fun to read, meeting new characters, seeing Maya discover who she was and who she is and who she wants to be, and what she wants her future to be!

Now, I will read whatever Roshani will write next, grocery list and all! Very much deserved 5 stars to this most highly awaited debut that didn't disappoint!



 The Forbidden WishThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Oh how I loved this retelling of the Aladdin story!! Aladdin has always been one of my fave Disney movies and I've always been a big fan of the tales from the 1001 Arabian Nights, so when I heard about a retelling with a gender swapped genie, I was all over it!

This was my first Jessica Khoury book and I'm very much in love with her writing and storytelling style! The story is told in first person POV and we are in Zahra's mind, which makes it easier to understand her doubts, her torn feelings and loyalties and made me really root for her!

Aladdin both the lovely rogue we know and also so much more! We are given some background about his family and the rebellion he is avoiding and we understand him so much better, even if we're never inside his head. I feel like multiple POV chapters between Zahra and Aladdin would have been a lot of fun to read too!

Between the personal relationships between characters, human politics and power plays and the threat and power plays between the Jinn too, the book was never boring! There's so much scheming and plotting and finding alliances! Zahra finds herself having to make some very tough choices! And to make everything even more interesting, we get Zahra's remembrances about the past and her human friend and sister like, her guilt about what happened and the fact that time has changed the history and the story of Zahra and her friend.

Wrapped so well but I feel like I still want more!! I'm not keen on saying goodbye to Zahra and Aladdin or Cas and her Watchmaidens...

Very much deserved 4 to 4.5 stars! I'm very much hoping Jessica Khoury will feel like writing a companion novel or two, because I so loved the world and the characters!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins: Cover Reveal!!!

Hiya there guys!!

Today I am so super stocked to help revealing yet another utterly gorgeous cover!! This really seems to be the week of ALL THE COVERS!! And they're all prettier than the one that came before! I feel like I'll have a gorgeousness overload!!

It's no secret that I adore Wendy Higgins and her books so when she asked for bloggers to reveal the cover of her latest book, I signed up!!

Today we're revealing the cover of The Great Pursuit, the sequel to The Great Hunt and the final book in the Eurona Duology!!


Are you guys ready to see the cover??


>>>>


>>>>



>>>>>>


>>>>>>





Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28370779-the-great-pursuit

 
 
I adored The Great Hunt and since I read it early, the wait for The Great Pursuit is long and full of terrors (sorry, had to!) and I just cannot wait till March 7th!!

If you guys haven't read The Great Hunt yet, you guys are lucky because it is on sale for $3.99 as an ebook on both Kindle and Nook!!

Fall of Thrones And Thorns by Jennifer Ellision Cover Reveal!!





Hey there guys!!

It seems like this is the week of cover reveals, and oh my goodness, how so very gorgeous they all are!!

I'm so very happy to take part of the reveal of the utterly gorgeous cover of the third book in the Threats of Sky & Sea series by Jennifer Ellision, organized by Xpresso Book Tours!




Fall of Thrones and Thorns by Jennifer Ellision
(Threats of Sky and Sea #3)
Publication date: September 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.

After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.

And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.

The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.

Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.

In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.

And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25450479-fall-of-thrones-and-thorns



Previous books in the series:
20498423
Beautiful woman with katana isolated on the white background




About the author:

Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn't find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit

 Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter




XBTBanner1

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

You'll Want To Read This Book Wednesday: Vicarious by Paula Stokes!!


You'll Want To Read This Book Wednesday was inspired by Save the Date from The Perpetual Page Turner and Pre-Squee from Bewitched Bookworms, when I decided to do my own feature/meme to showcase those books that I get to read pretty ahead of time (mainly from BEA) and it'd replace Waiting on Wednesday on my blog. It might be weekly, bi-weekly or once a month, depending on when I indulge on reading one of the far off ARCs!

This week I'm showcasing an ARC that I got sent quite a while back and that I read as a beta reader and simply ADOREEED!! It's coming out this August and if you guys haven't got it on your list of books to read... YOU NEED TO!!



Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114131-vicarious


It's no secret that Paula is one of my fave authors, and one of the many things that I love about her is how capable she is to write very different books very well! She can write fluffy contemporaries with relevant themes (Girl Against The Universe) and she can write murder mysteries that keep you guessing (Liars INC), and now Vicarious, that is a genre defying book! It's a thriller, a mystery, science fiction and it's got quite a few tough themes that are important to be brought to attention.

Vicarious is one of those books that have you saying "just one more chapter" because you just cannot stop reading! It'll keep you guessing, will make you feel the tension and the uncertainty and also has a few lighter moments to keep the balance. There's a swoony possible love interest, an adorable cat, family relationships and a twist that you WON'T see coming!! As soon as I read it I had to text Paula all my "WTF?!? HOW DID YOU!?! THAT WAS BRILLIANT!?!" and yes, all caps are required!!

You have been warned! You need this book like NOW, and you'll need someone to talk about spoilers once you read it!! So go preorder Vicarious so you can start reading it ASAP!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross Cover Reveal!!!





Hello guys!!

Today I'm so super excited to take part of the cover reveal for the sequel for The Midnight Sea (that I loved, both the book and the cover!!) organized by Xpresso Book Tours and I just cannot stop looking at it because it's OH SO GORGEOUS!!





Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross
(The Fourth Element, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her da─ôva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30228183-blood-of-the-prophet




Sequel to:
29670787




About the author:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats.

Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.








GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



XBTBanner1

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of And I Darken by Kiersten White!!

Hello there guys!!

A new week is here and lucky me is starting it with a day off! Quite fantastic to have a day to recover and unpack after my trip before going back to work!

For this week's Mark This Book Monday I have an ARC review and being approved for this one on Netgalley really made my day! It's the first book in a new series that as soon as I heard about, I knew I HAD to read it!

As an eARC it counts towards my NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge and will help maintain my over 80% ratio on NG!




And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


From the very first time that I heard about this book I knew it was going to be a Pili book. It's historical fiction and a retelling with a gender bender protagonits, based on Vlad the Impaler (in case you don't know, he's the historical figure Dracula was inspired on) and it's written by Kiersten White.

And the book really didn't disappoint at all! The beginning felt a lil slow, since we're dealing with Lada (our female Vlad) and her brother Radu's childhoods. It might have been a bit slow but it was quite important to build up them as characters from the very beginning, and that's what Kiersten did here. The pacing might have felt a bit uneven here and there because of that, but she crafted and developed the characters superbly!

The relationships between Radu and Lada, their father and older brother, and later on with Mehmed and those they meet at the sultan's court are built so well and in such a complex weblike way. The complexity of human relationships overlap with political manouvering and plotting.

Many facets of the characters are explored, like sexuality and gender expectations and power and religion and the sense of belonging with someone or somewhere. It is a character driven novel and as such although the plot is also fantastic and it's making progress through Lada's life to show us how she arrives to be person that made the history books (alas, as a dude), the main focus is always on the characters' journey and development and their changing relationships.

I'm already in love with this series, and it's just the first book! I'm confident I will love each coming book even more because even if they will get more brutal as Lada herself does, fighting for what she wants more than anything, her Wallachia, no matter what heartache she has to leave behind, the more I'm sure to enjoy them. So very much deserved 4 stars for this fantastic first book!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Reads: The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta!!!

Hello there guys!!

Today I have another series review! I managed to work on reading some backlogged series that had been sitting in my Kindle since forever and that came highly recommended from fellow bloggy bookwyrm friends during my vacation, and I'm finally getting the time to review them!

For this week's Friday Reads I have The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. If I had to recommend them short & sweet, all I'd have to say is that if you LOVE fantasy stories, you MUST read this trilogy!

And since this series had been sitting in my Kindle for over 2 years, I think it's safe to say it counts towards my Rock My TBR Challenge list!



I'll do a lil bit of a very tiny review for each one of the books and then I'll probably gush about the whole series as spoiler free as possible!


Finnikin of the Rock

When you start a series that comes so highly recommended as this one, you do so with a lil bit of trepidation, and hoping that it will live up to the expectations. And boy did book 1 live up to the expectations! We start with a prologue about what happened in Lumatere and then we catch up with Finnikin a few very hard years later.

Soon enough finds himself travelling with a new and unwanted companion Evanjalin, a novice that is more than she admits and that promises to lead him to the missing heir of Lumatere. Along the way they pick up a stray & rather hateful boy, Froi, and through hardship and many adventures, they gather allies towards the end goal of saving Lumatere.

This is an extremely emotional distressing book. I was anguished and worried and cried and dear gods I could barely breathe during parts of this book! The world building is amazing, the character development is brilliant, and you are in for quite a few surprises!!


Froi of the Exiles

Melina Marchetta is a master story teller and she crafts the most amazing and nuanced characters. She managed to make me go from despising Froi for most of Finnikin, to accepting him grudgingly to absolutely support him 100% and feel so much for him in his namesake book that it should be illegal!

Froi had it very hard and once he sort of feels like he has found a place to belong to, with his friends and his queen he's sworn to protect, everything is rather thrown off and he has to learn to live with what he finds out about himself, his family and his country.

And we are quite thrown again for a wild ride since we leave Lumatere and we see the world from another prism, we see events from another lense, and find out that there was not just one curse and not just one country was suffering. It's hard to reconcile Lumatere's suffering with Charyn's attack and Charyn's own suffering, but Melina Marchetta manages to make us see that many things are not as black and white as we might have thought at first. Another brilliant book that destroyed me emotionally and simply made me fall even more in love with this series!


Quintana of Charyn

In the final book of the trilogy there's so much more of everything, I still wonder how I made it through!

More emotional distress over probably all of the characters, all of the ships and worry that it'll come to war over missunderstandings and miscomunications and I just couldn't turn the pages over fast enough!

I wasn't really sure about Quintana when I first met her in Froi's book and it really took me a while to warm up to her. She's such a complex and hard to like character but learning more about her, about who she wants to be, how is a survivor of unmeasurable abuse and how she must fight assumptions about her left and right. She might never be my favourite character, but she's a fantastic one and her journey affected me so very much!

 It's been quite a while since I finished the book and I'm still trying to find the words for it, but it's so very hard without mentioning events or developments that can potentially spoil something, so I'll just say that this final book was as brilliant as the other two and a fantastic way to finish this trilogy!




One thing I think I have mentioned enough through the mini reviews but that really needs repeating is how emotionally invested and wrecked I was with each one of these three books. It truly is a testament to the skill of the author that I was so invested and embroiled in the character's journeys that I felt their fears and pain and doubts and suffering and victories and love as my own!

Every single character in this book had more to them that would seem at first, the main characters were all complex and nuanced and had a long way of growth ahead of them, but so did secondary characters, where we kept learning more about them and changing our perspective and opinions on them as we peeled their many layers.

And the plot? There's so much about the plot and the themes about these books that makes them not only absolutely amazing High Fantasy but also a way to make us look at real life present events through a more remote prism that can make it safer to examine our own thoughts and prejudices.

Just... I'm going to shut up about this books, push them onto anyone that hasn't read them yet and tell you that, in case you don't already know, Melina Marchetta is a master and The Lumatere Chronicles a MUST READ series for any lover of fantasy books. Also AUSSIES KNOW THEIR WRITING BUSINESS!




Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Re-reading The Others series by Anne Bishop!!!

Hey there guys!

This is a scheduled post because I'm out and about on a quick and rather improptu trip! I'll tell you all about it once I return, and hopefully I'll share some photos if my phone & laptop feel like working together!

I continue to keep Thursdays as my days to catch up with my series re-reads! I'm quite proud to say that I've been re-reading quite a lot more this year, and it's proven quite amazing to revisit series I've loved to prepare for the next or last installment!

This week I'm gonna talk about one of my absolute favourite adult urban fantasy series out there: The Others by Anne Bishop! Must give a BIG shout out to Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat because she kept recommending this series to me, time and again!


Unlike what I did with the Red Rising trilogy I won't do a book by book re-read review because even with this re-read, I'm still sure I might end up mixing up a few events from one book to another because my brain now processes the whole series as one timeline and I'm not 100% sure where one book ends and were the next starts. So I'll just do a series overall review and gush about how much I absolutely love it, so be warned!


Overall series re-read review!

The Others series is urban fantasy, its world being not ours but with enough similarities to fool us sometimes and makes us as readers forget that it's not happening in our "human dominated" world. Humans in this world are not the apex predators or the ones that are in charge of the world, since they are late comers to a world were The Others are in charge, and they don't tolerate humanity's over reach and disregard of nature, not outside of the boundaries given to them. Namid isn't Earth exactly, and Thaisia is really NOT North America, even if they can feel enough alike to throw us off when we're reminded of the differences.

The story starts with Meg Corbyn, a young woman running away that finds a safe haven in an unlikely place for a human, the Lakeside Courtyard, or the place where The Others live (and keep an eye on the humans). The first book gives us enough world building and character development to keep us turning the pages hungrily and to have us hooked for good in this series. We want to protect and root for Meg all the time, and we share the protectiveness the Courtyard Others feel towards her. We discover what a Cassandra Sangue is (more or less) and we learn more about this world. The relationships between the characters are so nuanced and full of small details here and there. It doesn't matter if we're talking about vampires or werewolves or humans, they all FEEL so real!

Talking about the paranormalcy of The Others, we might seem to know them but these vampires, werewolves and others aren't exactly as you might know them, and we do get more than a few reminders about that. These are not creatures that have hidden their existence in our midst, they are there and they are in charge, even if the humans might want to ignore that fact.

There are two main plot lines that intertwine and build on each other, one is the more personal with Meg and her growth and relationship with the Others and specially Simon, the Courtyard leader. And the Other is the mounting conflict between the Humans First and Last movement and the Others. One thing that this book managed to do time and again is to make me hate my own species. The HFAL movement simply made me root for the Others so much... it's a bit awkward when you stop to think that the characters that are your same species that you like are just a handful!

In each book we learn more about the Others, the Cassandra Sangue, the extremes humans can reach in their hate and their will for self destruction and lack of respect for their world they live in... The world building is expanded, from Thaisia to other continents, to more about the past, more about the Others that are not the ones we know from the Courtyard, more about the blood prophets and their compulsions and abilities. Characters grow and change, relationships progress (although the one I care the most about goes at a very fitting snail pace as it's right for the characters, even if it's maddening for us readers) and the plot thickens and progresses and the tension builds up to a rather worrisome level!



Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was so very excited for this book, with all the tension and the build up for the confrontation and the expected backlash from The Others, if the Humans First movement made their move.

With every book this series manages to get better and better! We might have lost a bit of the more personal time we had with Meg and the wolves and the rest of the Terra Indigene since everything keeps getting broader and bigger, and Meg is the first but not the only one blood prophet, there's so much to learn and to work on. The conflict is so widespread, so much bigger than just one Courtyard, one city, or even one continent! We meet some more dangerous and less humanized Others/Terra Indigene and some of them really brought to mind those "things that go bump in the night" in the sense that you could feel them and the fear they cause, but not being really sure if you'd see them or what you'd even see!

There was plenty of tension or more quiet moments, of moments that made me once again hate my own species and there were quite a few interesting revelations, with what I hope more to come. BUT since the big conflict that was building up was resolved here, I'm not entirely sure WHAT will happen in the next book. I'm hoping we will return to the more personal part of the conflicts and continue with the focus on the Cassandra Sangue and on a certain relationship that I want more focus on again and a bit more progress, not so snail paced!

Still, this book is once again deserving of 5 stars like the previous books in the series, and I'm very much looking forward to re-read them all to prepare for the next one!