Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Re-reading The Winner's Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski!!!

Hiya there guys!

Trying to stay on top of the blog juggling extra shifts at work, trying to have some family & social life as well as everything else can be a bit of a job, but I think I'm hanging there alright, even if I might not post every day!

For this week's Thursday Thoughts I'm continuing with the re-reading reviews of a series I've done this year. I must say I'm pretty proud of the amount of re-reading I'm allowed myself to do, enjoying books I've loved and preparing for the next or final book in said series!

And this week it's all about The Winner's Curse trilogy and ALL THE FEELS!!



The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I adored this one the first time I read it, and I adored it this second time. I love the writing, I love how although I knew the plot and what was beneath and unknown and untold until the revolution happens and I could see the hints and bits scattered throughout the narrative much more clearly.

I loved Krestel a lil bit more this time, even, and I'm alway been rooting for her. She's a wonderful female character that wants to be true to herself and what she wants, and even if she has to play by the rules of the society she lives in, she finds a way to try and bend those rules in her own way.

As far as Arin goes, I feel like I could understand him a lil bit better, his doubts, his anger, his plotting... all the times he snapped at Kestrel, and how he keeps on being torn between personal feelings and his fight for his freedom and his country.

The world building I adored as I did the first time. I call this series historical fantasy, because it kept reminding me of the Roman Empire culture (with a bit of Greek and even Minoan too) but it had its own flavour too. I loved how we got lil details like stories about the gods, cultural differences, traditions... all of it woven into the story.

And the relationship between Kestrel and Arin gave me ALL THE FEELS again! I also felt like Kestrel is loved by her friends and father but it's already seen as not entirely unconditionally, she's loved as the Kestrel she allows to be seen, and not entirely her whole real self.



The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The first time I read this book it was an insane rollercoaster for my feelings and it wasn't any different on this re-read. To be completely honest the amount of emotional distress this book caused me was kind of insane! Damn these two, I already knew what was going to happen but the anxiety and distress and the tears kept on coming! *shakes fist at book*

After Kestrel's bold (and heartbreaking) move at the end of Curse, we see how she has to deal with the consequences, and how she might have bitten a bit more than she can chew. We see her using all her (considerable) strategist ability to navigate the Imperial court life, and if things seemed complicated at first, once she decides to do what is right and NOT what is expected of her as a Valorian.

The mistrust and secrets are hard to keep and even harder when it comes to having Arin in front of her, breaking her heart and risking her life.

The stakes are higher, the world building expands because we see more of the Empire and Arin journeys away to find support and allies for the Herrani cause, and we meet another country and another culture (this time I was reminded of both the Egyptians and the Persians) and nagivates another complicated set of intrigue and politics. We meet some new and complex character that add some more diversity to the game.

The ending is absolute torture and so full of emotional anguish that I was so very relieved to at least this time have the next and final book on hand to dive into right away!


The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Feelings overload and a wonderful feeling of contentment, even when dreading working the morning shift on 3 hours of sleep because I couldn't put down this most wonderful book... And now I'm suffering a massive book hangover and needing a nap (badly!).

After the horrible ending of Winner's Crime and suffering through it all over again on my re-read, I dived into this one straight away. Seeing Kestrel desperate but never really giving up on her fight might have been tough, but when she loses the will to continue fighting? That broken my heart like nobody's business!

I'm afraid to spoil something by talking about all that happened in the book, so just in case, consider yourself forewarned!

Seeing Arin work as a leader and navigating the seas of political intrigue and alliances and getting ready to fight a war that can be considered lost before it even begun with a stronger foe? He might not have Kestrel's brain for strategy, but he's quite the clever man himself! When caught between a rock and hard place he keeps fighting to find the way to escape with as few scrapes as possible.

I was so very worried about these two and their relationship for half the book and then I was even more worried on the second half, because whatever progress that was made could be wiped away if the fight and the war went awry, as it might very well could!

Kestrel demonstrates a strenght on her mind and on who she is and what she thinks it's right that makes her a character to love even more, and she comes to terms with finding some peace about those who couldn't love her as she is.

Arin grows so very much in this book, working hard to become the leader he needs to be and learning to trust again and to let that trust strenghten love. He also works hard to make sure the bargains he needs to make don't come back to bite him in the arse.

I simply adored this one and I feel like it was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy! Very much deserved 5 (and then some) stars!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent Cover Reveal!!





Hello there guys!

 Today I am so excited to take part on the cover reveal for the awesome cover for 100 HOURS, the first book in a new trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Vincent, which releases on March 28, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books, along with a note from the author about her upcoming novel and an amazing giveaway.


Scroll down to take check out the gorgeous cover, read what Rachel Vincent has to say about 100 HOURS, and enter for a chance to win. And be sure to share your thoughts about the cover in the comments!




The Cover Revealed





 100 HOURS  by Rachel Vincent
Release date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Formats available to pre-order: Hardcover

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30653906-100-hours?ac=1&from_search=true


 AMAZON



Description:

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.



A Note from Rachel Vincent


In my upcoming YA suspense 100 HOURS, Genesis and her cousin Maddie come from opposite ends of the privilege spectrum, but when they wind up kidnapped for ransom during spring break in Colombia and have no one else to count on, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought.

If you’ve read any of my previous releases, 100 HOURS probably seems like a departure for a Rachel Vincent book. And that’s what I thought, back when it was just me and an idea. But as I wrote the story and got to know the characters, I realized that even though this book is set in the Colombian jungle and these characters have no supernatural abilities, 100 HOURS is very much a book about the themes that draw me in over and over. Survival. Family friction and loyalty. High-stakes pulse-racing action. Twists, turns, secrets, and revelations. Girls who can fend for themselves—and for anyone else who needs help.








About the author:


Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

Photo credit: Kim Haynes Photography






Giveaway

Courtesy of the author, there is a blitz-wide giveaway for…


  • ONE (1) winner will receive a SIGNED SET of a paperback copy of THE STARS NEVER RISE + an ARC of THE FLAME NEVER DIES


  • Giveaway is US only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on July 11th at 11:59 PM Pacific. 

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below...


     
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    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Get HOOKED on BOOKS! 2016 Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program!! #VASRP

    Hey guys!

    Today I'm having a sign up post for yet another reading challenge! But this one is a very fun one hosted by my friends Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat & Valerie from He Said Books Or Me!!

    It's based on those library summer programs we had as kids and will work as a challenge with rewards and mini challenges and Twitter Chats!! Read more about it and sign up HERE or HERE!




    I'm planning to work on this challenge and continue to make progress on my other challenges, and to add a bit more to it, I've decided to plan it as a double challenge! On one side I plan to finish a lot of series (mostly trilogies and duologies) that I've been meaning to finish for at least a year if not way more, and everytime I finish one, I plan to reward myself by reading one of my BEA ARCs! I'll be choosing only from the September books pile, but it'll be making progress on my ARC pile and rewarding myself for finally tackling those series!

    So here is the intended pile for my 2016 Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program! #VASRP



    Series that need to be finished on one side, non-series books that I really want to read, or I've been meaning to read for a long time in the other, and in the middle, my reward ARCs!

    Looking at that pile, I think I'm clearly aiming for the Spin Bait Read level (17-24 books). Wish me luck guys!

    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




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    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 daēva, 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!
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    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!

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    You'll Want To Read This Book Wednesday: Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter


    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 another of my BEA ARCs that I just finished reading last week and that I absolutely loved!


    Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

    Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

    Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.


    I really enjoyed Jackaby, the first book in the series, loved Beastly Bones and now Ghostly Echoes, I think I loved even more! Jenny has a bigger role in this book and she comes more into her own, so I cannot help and be more in love with the series since I really loved Jenny and wanted to know more about her since book 1! 

    Everything gets bigger and bigger in this one, so to speak. The plot thickens are so much more is revealed, more events get connected and the bad guys aren't exactly who you'd expect. More reveals happen about Jenny and her past and even about Jackaby and his Sight too! The world building continues to expand and there are so many ways in which mythologies are mixed together and explained together.

    If you haven't started this series I encourage you to do so, it's a mix of detective stories with the wondrous and the unknown and with plenty of mythology thrown in, it's just a fantastic molten pot mix that really works!

    I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in the next book, so start reading Jackaby and Beastly Bones now and get preordering Ghostly Echoes NOW!


    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Tell Me Tuesday #38!!


    Tell Me Tuesdays is a meme/feature created by the awesome La La In The Library, where we can share how we choose the book we are currently reading from our TBR pile!

    I'm always curious about that, cause as much as I tend to make myself a rough schedule for books to read and the like, I'm quite a mood reader and sometimes I just HAVE to ignore my schedule and read something else!


     Until The Beginning by Amy Plum

    Amy Plum, internationally bestselling author of the Die for Me series, delivers a heart-pounding adventure perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Veronica Rossi, and Alexandra Bracken. Until the Beginning is the sequel to After the End, which Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and the Young Elites series, called “wonderfully riveting.” In this stunning and exhilarating conclusion to the duology, Juneau has been searching for her people and for answers . . . and she is about to find both.

    When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people’s gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

    Juneau set off on a cross-country journey with her new companion, Miles, to find her clan, which led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau’s people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people—and herself—Juneau must discover what she and her abilities are truly capable of.




     Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong

    The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor.

    But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances lie. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them…





     NIL on Fire by Lynne Matson

     Despite Rives and Skye's attempt to destroy Nil, the island remains. And back in this world, Nil won't let Skye go. Haunted by a darkness she can't ignore, Skye wrestles with Nil nightmares that worsen by the day and threaten to tear her apart. As Skye fights to keep her mind intact, she realizes that to finally break free of Nil, she must end Nil's vicious cycle once and for all--and she can't do it alone.

    Who will return to Nil, and in the end, who will survive? In this thrilling final installment of the Nil series, the stakes have never been higher: everyone's fate hangs in the balance, including Nil's own--and Nil will fight to the death. When the full force of the island is unleashed, Skye faces an impossible choice, a cruel one she'd never imagined she'd have to make. Soon one Nil truth becomes painfully clear: only one side can win.

    Losing isn't an option, but winning will cost Skye everything.

    Perfect for fans of Lost and survivalist stories, NIL ON FIRE is a stunning conclusion to the Nil trilogy that will leave readers breathless.



    This week seems to be the week of ending series for me! I'm reading all final books to two trilogies and one duology! I'm quite enthralled with all three and I hope to finish them all this week itself on the quiet times of my lil Rome trip, mostly on the flights and bus rides to and fro the airport!

     So what are you all guys reading and how and why did you decide to pick up that book? Shiny new ARC? Comfort read? Scheduled for review? Must have new release? Tell me!!

    Monday, June 13, 2016

    Mark These Books Monday: Mini reviews for Double Down, Ivory & Bone and My Lady Jane!!!

    Hiya there guys!

    New week, new Monday (YAY for Mondays off work!) and today I have a bunch of mini reviews for Mark These Book(s) Monday to try and clear out the backlog of books read and not reviewed, and to try and not procastinate, because sometimes writing proper long reviews can be daunting if you have many pending, but writing mini-reviews is always more manageable!

    Ivory & Bone was one of my most highly awaited debuts of the year and so it counts towards my 2016 Debut Author Challenge that I had failed at updating as of late!




    Double Down (Lois Lane, #2)Double Down by Gwenda Bond

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars


    I really hope Gwenda will be writing more Lois Lane stories because I'd read, nay, devour them all! They're, fun, intriguing and with a touch of the fantastical that is so in line with the stories about superheroes, but with it being about a girl that doesn't mind getting in trouble for doing what's right.

    It is true that the cases that Lois has to investigate remind me of the Smallville TV show, mostly because it deals with the extraordinary and have plenty of science (sometimes more probable, sometimes more improbable) but instead of having a young S guy solving it with his gang, we have our inquisitive Lois with her nose for news figuring out things.

    This time it's not just a bad guy to fight and innocents to save, but Lois has to deal with events that might affect her newly formed friendships, and although she knows how to deal with news and bad guys, she has many more doubts on how to deal with problems that might affect her friends and her relationship with them. I loved how important the friendships have become for her and how she's ready to fight for her friends and how she wants them to be true to themselves and how she puts herself on the line for her friends and their family.

    Once again the Lane sisters relationship is showcased and Lois has to reflect on what she wants and doesn't want to happen. She makes a choice and works to make sure that she shows love and appreciation. More than one sibling relationship is important in this book, and both end up coming up stronger after communication and putting into it. Quite a bit of food for thought there too.

    Add to that the wonderful relationship that she has with SmallvilleGuy and you have me impatiently waiting for the next one! I just cannot get enough of the virtual or chat interactions of those two and I'm dying of impatience till they get to meet face to face!

    We also got a new character introduced (technically we heard about them/him in the previous book too) and I have my strong suspicions about who he'd be from the Superman stories, but I cannot wait to see if I'm right in the book(s) to come!

    Very much deserved 4 to 4.5 stars to this one! MOAR Lois Lane stories, please & thank you!


    My Lady JaneMy Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars


    With all its amazing references and wonderful humour and well, I don't know how to put into words how much I absolutely adored reading My Lady Jane! I just need the Lady Janies to write MOAR books because these three ladies have done a brilliant and hilarious job together!!

    I had read a few lines here and there, and a lil preview of the first three chapters and I was so excited because I was sure I was going to love it, and I'm glad to say that the full book didn't disappoint. My Lady Jane changes history and adds a big fantasy/supernatural element to the story we all know, but it does so in a very seamless why!

    I loved how we get three different POVs, each of them very distinctive and with an unique feel (must confess I have no idea what author wrote each POV, but they all did an amazing job) but my fave had to be our dear bookish and NOT headless Jane Grey herself. I loved her love for books and how when she got nervous she kept spouting synonyms!

    The humour and references (Pop culture and others) were superb and totally on point and then there's the hate to love and romantic tension between the Lady Jane Grey and her husband G. Marriage of convenience that doesn't start exactly right, but I loved their banter and their interactions.

    I've seen some references in other reviews about the size and lenght of the book at 500 pages, but I must confess that since I read my Kindle copy, I barely noticed the lenght, and it didn't feel like I was reading a long book at all!

    Very much deserved 5 stars to this one! I'm seriously hoping & wishing Jodi, Cynthia & Brodi will write more books together!!


    Ivory and BoneIvory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars


    Ivory and Bone is what I'd call a Pili-bait book. Anything ancient history or pre-historical is very dear to my heart because although I've always wanted to be a nurse, my back up plan if I couldn't get into nursing school was doing a history/archeology degree!

    So any books that are set in ancient history and/or prehistory have me making grabby hands. If we had that one of my most beloved series of all times is the Clan of the Cave Bear books by Jean Auel... well, let's just say that my first reaction when hearing about this book was "GIMME!!" and so it was one of my most highly awaited debuts!

    I'm very happy to report that I loved it as much as I hoped I would! I was very surprised when I heard that it was told on second person POV, because it's used very sparingly, but it worked so very well with the narrative and the plot for this one! We see everything from behind Kol's eyes, and that's another rarity, since it's a male POV. The story is coloured by his perceptions, his prejudices, his fears and his loves. What we know about other characters is what Kol knows, consciously or subconsciously, and we find out more about other characters and the plot as Kol does.

    Julie Eshbaugh did a great job of giving us plenty of details and information that shows off she has done her research properly without bogging down the narrative or the plot and without making the storytelling too descriptive. It shows us that life and death are very much the same side of a coin that can flip at any given time, food can kill you, your clan needs everyone to survive and adapting and changing can be the key to continue living.

    I was surprised when I reached the ending because of the lack of cliffhanger and the resolution given to the story. It is the first book of a trilogy, and it does give us closure to the plot and the story, although there's also enough to continue telling the story of Kol and his clan, which I am very much looking foraward to! Very well deserved 5 stars to this one!


    View all my reviews

    Friday, June 10, 2016

    Friday Reads: The Dark Unwinding series review!!

    Hey there guys!

    This week I'm trying to catch up with some of my backlogged reviews, since I haven't stopped reading even if my motivation to blog wasn't at its higher!

    So trying to catch up, I'm gonna have a series review for this week's Friday Reads. Also since this series had been in my Kindle for a looong time (ever since Kristen from My Friends Are Fiction recommended it to me), it also counts towards my Rock My TBR Challenge!!





    The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

    This was Sharon Cameron's debut book, but when I read this one I had already fallen in love with her writing after reading Rook.

    I really love how Sharon Cameron writes historical fiction, the voice and the details all resonate and paint a very vivid picture. It's clear she'd done her research and done it well! But the details don't boggle either the pacing or the plot nor takes over the character development. I adored the steampunk element that was present due to all wondrous mechanical toys and inventions.

    Katharine is a girl that doesn't have an easy future ahead of her in the time period, since she's dependant on her aunt and will be dependant on her cousin for her life and money. She finds herself torn between selfishness trying to secure herself a future and doing what's right. It is quite a struggle and it's not easy for her or for the rest of characters she meets in her uncle's manor. As I was reading, I feared there would be a love triangle, but even if it sort of hovered there, it never came to realize itself as one, even if Katharine herself pondered about it. It's quite clear where the feelings are pointing, and my suspicions about one of the suitor's character were well founded, even if I was not suspecting exactly THAT.

    Even if it's the first book of a duology, there's no real plot cliffhanger on this one, but there is quite the emotional cliffhanger to it! I will not give more details because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. Very much deserved 4 stars for this stunning debut!



    A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

    I really enjoyed this sequel, maybe not as much as the first book, but there were some bits that still made me really enjoy it.

    The action starts pretty much with a bang and Katharine needs to take measures to protect her uncle and herself, and so she concocts a not entirely fool proof scheme and goes to "hide" in Paris. The political and historical conspiracy is more preminent in this one, something that had been introduced in the first book, but that didn't drive the plot as much as it did this time, even if it was at the centre of the motivations of some of the characters.

    Katharine needs to be more involved in the society this time, and even if she doesn't really care of whatever rumours or hereasay might be floating, she needs to keep a low profile to make her scheme work, and that's not something she's too good at. She's used to be in charge and charging along, and here she's much more out of depth that she had anticipated, even if her instincts were right. She finds some unexpected allies too and realizes she had judged others as wrongly as she had been judged.

    The sort of love triangle was solved in book 1 and here we deal with a certain "protecting the reputation" and "not being good enough" tropes, but I'm really glad how Katharine managed to call the guy on his bullshit and asserted herself properly!

    Once again 4 stars for this one, even if I was a bit torn between the 3.5 to 4 stars.