Publishing Day

Happy Publishing Day: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

Happy publishing day to one of my favorite series! I was so excited when I received an e-ARC from the publisher, Del Rey, through Netgalley.

Synopsis:

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

Y’all this series gives me life. I loved it so much. It’s so beautiful and you should definitely be adding this to your TBR stat.

My original review can be found here!

Book Review

Review: The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency period paranormal/fantasy, young adult, no language, little romance, violence
Length: 544 pages
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: December 14th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona; a Regency adventure series starring a stylish and intrepid Buffy-esque demon-hunter

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

REGENCY PERIOD FOR THE WIN.

This was so fun. There was a lot of work that went into this by the author. Goodman did so much research to make sure that her world depicted London in 1812. It was fantastic. Regency books are some of my favorite and this was very well done. YAY!

Y’all I love Lord Carlston. Because I am a total sucker for brooding men with some dark secrets that are [hopefully] marshmallows. I have high hopes for him. He better not disappoint. I am however, completely on the fence about the Duke. I don’t know where I stand, but I’m not really shipping him at all right now. And we all know, my series love can fall apart if who I ship first off doesn’t end up happening. THE SUSPENSE WILL END ME.

I liked Helen overall. Since she unfortunately had no idea about her powers she is a bit naive in this book. Having to learn everything, and understand the world of the Dark Days Club takes over half the book. I’m looking forward to her character growing as the series does. I want an awesome, sword fighting, Jane Austen-esque heroine.

The magic system in this book is complicated. And that’s probably my biggest reason for 4 stars. It sounded awful to actually be a Reclaimer. The 101 things that have to be done just to see the Deceiver, destroy them, their progeny and the like blew my mind. It was too intricate for me to see the fun in being a part of the Club. I will give points for everything being explained even if I didn’t fully grasp it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical-fiction, Regency period, paranormal [demons]
  • No explicit language: use of the word whore and others like it for the time period
  • Violence: demons with whip-like extensions, knives, physical, gory-detailed scenes
  • Romance: a passionate kiss, discussion of some sexual things
Book Review

Review: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic fantasy, no language, a little romance, a lot of violence
Length: 590 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: August 21st, 2007
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire. Three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

EPIC FANTASY.

Note: I listened to this through Audible (not an ad, just a FYI) with Michael Kramer as the narrator. I loved it! He does a wonderful job of voices, diction, and tone that I can easily listen to the book.

This series [so far] has truly been the epitome of what I consider epic fantasy. A long book filled with great world building, a lot of action, a side or two of romance, a dose of politics and so much more.

Though, y’all. Be warned, Sanderson is not afraid to kill of characters. I may or may not have shouted THAT’S NOT FAIR! one or two times. I’m still upset, clearly. But there was a handful of depths where I shrugged and moved on. My emotional attachment only runs so deep for some of the crew.

Still totally obsessed with Vin and Elend. Now, I think a little more romance could’ve have been injected into their story. It flew in and out so fast that I was left wanting a little more of them without the pressures of saving Luthadel. They both made some poor choices in this book, but I love that they also never gave up on each other. There really is a strong bond between them that is so sweet to watch.

They’re so many side characters. It would take me way too long to dive into all of them. My favorites are definitely OreSeur, Hammond and Sayzid. And if they don’t survive the next book I don’t know what will happen. I love that with the random side character POVs we’re allowed into their minds (i.e. Sayzid, Brees, Dockson, etc.). Everyone is unique and I understand their choices and intentions.

I was holding my breath til the end. Where a few pieces to the puzzle were placed. I’m still so in the dark, and I am loving it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • No language
  • Romance: a kiss or two, some hugs
  • Violence: knives, physical
Book Review

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult fantasy re-telling, no language, a little love, some violence, disability rep
Length: 496 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Expected Release Date: January 29th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin. 

*Note: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bloomsbury YA, for the opportunity to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Publication date, length, etc. subject to change.

OVERALL, PRETTY GOOD.

I think the hype from this book did get me a little. I did really enjoy it, and got through it fast, but it wasn’t everything I expected it to be. I was completely pulled in for the first few chapters, and it’s comforting “knowing” (since it’s a re-tell) what’s going to happen and reading the take the author spun on it.

I’ve read a good handful of B&TB (Beauty and the Beast) re-tellings. Everywhere from a loose interpretation (like ACOTAR) to much closer lines (such as Hunted by Meagan Spooner). This falls in the latter category of a very parallel story line.

Some awesome points are the disability representation in the main character, Harper. She has high-functioning cerebral palsy. Harper is capable and strong-minded. Her disability does not define her and she takes it with grace and resilience to still do whatever she wants too. Double points for her love interest, Rhen, never talking down about her either.

I’m not sure that the contemporary aspect (Harper is kidnapped from D.C.) is truly necessary. There wasn’t enough back story to her family, lifestyle, etc. We only know that’s where Grey takes the girls from. I think it could’ve all been done in Emberfall and would’ve still been a unique take on B&TB and would have dampened the “kidnapper vibe.”

I was totally crushing on the castle, y’all it made food every day. Always having food prepared and music to listen too, yeah I could’ve stayed there. Beast or no beast.

Grey should’ve had his own POV. It appears that this is a series (did not know that originally) and he’ll get one in the next book, but a lot of ACSDAL was focused on him, he needed a bigger spotlight. I might have liked him more than Rhen most of the time. He seemed to have a more interesting history that I wanted to know more, more, more of. The twist for him was thrown in so randomly I was thrown off, then realized that must be the set-up for the next book. So I get it, and I love Grey enough to read the next book.

Jake and Noah are a cute addition that I think would be fun to explore their relationship more. Jake was in my face a lot and annoyed me. I think Noah was the real takeaway winner for me. I do think it was a bit convenient that Noah was a doctor *shrugs,* but it worked out fine.

The evil enchantress, Lilith, is cheesy and typical. Her reasons for cursing Rhen were a bit dramatic and petty. Lilith tried too hard and I love to hate corrupt characters which made it disappointing to deal with her.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy, B&TB re-telling
  • No language; Excessive use of the phrase “my lady” though
  • Romance: some kisses
  • A lot of violence: knives, guns, attempted suicide
  • Trigger warnings: discussion of suicide, and attempts
Book Talk

2019 Most Anticipated Releases

I am so hyped for all the new books in 2019!! This is a compilation of some of my top choices for reading this year.

The only books that don’t have an official release date are Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas (super thrilled to see what story she’ll give us next) and The Bone Season #4 by Samantha Shannon (I can NOT be the only one waiting for this!?)

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer: Very fortunate to be currently reading an ARC – Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA!
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: She is one of my top insta-buy authors
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black: The hype is real with this one; hope it doesn’t disappoint!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: Best December present was receiving an ARC of this via Netgalley and Del Ray!
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller: Real obsessed with this author after her debut, Daughter of the Pirate King
  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith: the synopsis + the hype = an impatient reader
  • Sherwood by Meagan Spooner: I enjoyed her Beauty and the Beast re-telling (Hunted), which makes me intrigued for this gender-bend Robin Hood story!
  • Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi: Impatiently waiting for this cover and this book because HOLY CLIFF HANGER
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was a bitter-sweet story & I expect great things from her next novel
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: Another uber-hyped book I can’t wait for!!
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber: BE EXCITED WITH ME, THIS FINALE WILL BE EPIC
  • Rage by Cora Carmack: I HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO YEARS

  • Dark Age by Pierce Brown: I am here for all things related to Red Rising
  • Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez: The first book in this series left me shook. I’m so excited to see what happens next!!
  • Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson: Okay, I’m still recovering from that ending.
  • The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I must have more of ToG
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh: I have loved all of her duologies, so of course I’m buying her next one!
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare: Did someone say MORE WILL HERONDALE!?
  • This seems to be the only month I don’t have any known releases. Is there something I need to add? Let me know!

Are any of these on your TBR for 2019? Let’s chat in the comments!

Monthly Wrap-Up

December 2018 Monthly Wrap-up!

It really is the most wonderful time of year isn’t it? December is the only time where I tolerate cold weather. Already gearing up for Texas to warm-up. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

Here’s what I read this month:

Favorite book: The Winter of the Witch (but also The Crimson Crown and ACOMAF). I’m clearly an indecisive person.

Least favorite book: The Husband’s Secret

Have you read any of these books? Let’s chat in the comments! Have a happy New Year!

Book Review, Book Talk

My Favorite Books of 2018!

This was a great year for reads and I fell in love a million times over with too many books. So this is not a top 10 because I have no ability to choose only that many. In no particular order these were the books I enjoyed most:

Thanks to Goodreads I wanted to add some pieces of my Year in Review:

  • Longest book I read: Grant by Ron Chernow — 1,074 pages (first 1,000 page read!)
  • I will finish 176 books (out of the 100 I was aiming for.
  • A total of 55,416 pages were consumed. Wowza.