Dragons of Nova, Elise Kova – Blog Tour

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31686500Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

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*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Dragons of Nova is the second installment of The Loom Saga Trilogy by Elise Kova. This book picks up exactly where Alchemists of Loom left off and explores the world of Nova.

What I loved here was all the dang character building we got! It was so great. This was a shift from the action packed, plot driven first book. Kova paid more attention to character arcs and building them than on the action. Not to say that she forgot about the plot, because the plot of this story was just as intriguing as the first one and there were many twists that I did not anticipate. So, it was a treat to readers with both plot and character building. Of course, there was also action and magic and just all round awesomeness happening throughout the book.

What I loved here was that Ari & Cva’s relationship was hashed out and explored so minutely. They had their ups and downs and all arounds, but god! These two gave me so many FEELS! Their relationship was all over the place and though it was so obvious that they cared for each other deeply (not to mention some shocking declarations by Cva about his intentions), they left things on a bad note in the end of this story and I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AFTER! I mean, I just want them to be okay and together and happy and just… happy. I hope that they find happiness (hopefully with each other) by the end of the third book.

The characters were all their badass selves in this book too. I loved that though they grew, they still were the same people that I met at the start of the first book. It was so neatly written!

This book had a whole lot of stuff for everyone – there’s drama, action, romance, politics, magic, mayhem. See, something for everyone! Just go and read this! Pronto! 😀

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Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.

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Alchemists of Loom, Elisa Kova – Book Review

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31549513Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

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*Review Copy received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Alchemists of Loom was my first foray into actual steampunk fantasy and let me tell you, I absolutely enjoyed it. So much! 😀

What I loved about this story was this carefully crafted world with so many intricacies and divisions. It was amazingly crafted. But, the thing that I have issues with is the fact that nothing about the world was really explained to the reader as the story started totally action packed. Now, I don’t want the world to be just available for me to read about and understand as soon as I  start chapter one, but some explanation would have been nice. I spent so long in trying to understand what was going on and who was what that it moved me away from the story a little bit. But, amazing worldbuilding.

Another thing that I love about this story is that the dragons aren’t actually dragons but humans who are descendants of dragons. They don’t breathe fire, but they have strong powers and their magic levels are off the charts – so I guess that compensates for the fact that they’re not cool enough to breathe fire.

Okay, moving on. Ari is such an awesome character! She’s a thief and has gray morals, so yay! I mean, I love me some gray MCs. They’re always the best. But, Ari is more than that. She’s a good friend too. She’s hella smart and intelligent. She is very determined and intuitive and doesn’t stop at anything to get what she wants. So, of course, I love her. She’s so awesome and she does all these amazing things on heists and she’s an amazing fighter and really, just a great MC. I really like her. 🙂

Then, there’s Flo. She’s so cute and adorable! I loved her throughout the story and her character arc was all sorts of amaze. Of course, her friendship with Ari is the best thing. I love how they’re so in tune and would do anything to protect each other. Gosh, they’re #FriendshipGoals 😀

Then, there’s Cvareh. He’s sort of my new book boyfriend with all his swoon. He’s so great! He is kind of self righteous in the beginning and there is a lot of things I can point out that I didn’t like, but as the story progresses, he learns more about himself and those around him and his views change. I love him! 🙂

I loved this book because it was so fast paced and action packed and just all types of awesome. Definitely a must read for fantasy fans! 🙂

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8306309Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.

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The Disappearances, Emily Bain Murphy – Book Review

The Disappearances

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30971685What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

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*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Where do I even begin? Gosh! This book is so amazing. I love it. I adore it. I just have a lot of feels for it. Okay? So, yes, this will have a lot of flailing, because that’s what I do best!

Let’s start with the plot – so fucking genius. Like, really. It is absolutely amazing with the right amount of mystery and magic and fantasy and romance and friendship and family. This book has it all. And they all form such an important part of the story and the characters that it’s just amazing. I love how the author went about hashing everything out and how she had all these amazing characters who were so very important in their own way. And I loved that all the subplots just meshed so well with the story. Nothing felt forced or out of place or anything. It was like this was meant to happen, you know? So, of course, so many points for such an amazing plot. And then, brownie points because she took such an amazing plot and then meshed it with the brilliance of Shakespeare and literature and made it into a treasure hunt. So, yes, amazing af plot, okay?

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Okay, moving on. The writing. It was so structured. And it flowed so well. The chapters were written in alternating POVs and I never felt that it deterred me. I haven’t read fantasy with changing POVs so it was new for me, but it didn’t take anything away from the story like I was afraid it would. And, there was clear distinction in who’s side a particular chapter was, even though the author didn’t go with the traditional XYZ POV on top of each new chapter. But, there were different markers and it made it very easy for me to understand what was going on.

And then, there’s the characters. Aila is such a good MC. She’s not particularly miss goody – two – shoes, but she stays out of trouble. However, she doesn’t think twice before sneaking out of the house at night to go race. She loves her little brother, but they argue so much and there’s times that she’s so mad at him that she’ll say something and he’ll say something and the whole thing will just blow over. And she is so passionate about reading, like all of us. She is always, always, always reading something or the other and that’s nice. Then, of course, there is her need – want – to clear her mother’s name from the blame game of the Disappearances that happen in Sterling and the lengths she goes to to do that. She’s determined, yeah. All in all, she has the makings of an amazing MC who comes off as a real person with flaws and contradictions. She’s absolutely amaze. I really like her.

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The love interest, Will, is a little less likeable. He does the typical fuckboy things and pulls Aila in and then pushes her away, but he’s a nice boy overall. He gives Aila all these thoughtful presents and he makes sure to include her in stuff seeing as she’s new to town. He takes care of Aila’s brother, Miles too. He always makes them feel welcome in his home and he’s passionate about finding variants to substitute the Disappearances just like his father. He’s a good friend. And though he gets irrationally jealous at times and does stupid things (come on! He’s 17 for god’s sake, of course he’s going to be stupid!), overall, he’s a nice a guy. The romance between them is so cute and there are a few scenes that just make me want to go inside this book and hug Will because he was being so thoughtful and caring towards Aila and it melted my heart.

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I like the open endedness of the book. Aila has helped Sterling with all that she could, but now it’s time to go back home. What will happen once she does? We haven’t a clue. Will her relationship with Will survive? And her friendships with the townsfolk that were forged during her time in Sterling? We don’t know. How will she cope being in her house without her mother? What will her father think of what happened? We don’t know anything about this. I like that. Aila herself is just 17 and she has the whole world ahead of her. She could do anything, be anything and her story could end anywhere. So, I think the open ending was pretty resonating. I like that.

All in all, this was an amazing book and you should definitely read it. Go, buy it now!

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7/9 Tour Stops

Interview – The Hermit Librarian

Mystery Board – Pondering The Prose

Review – The Inkdin Book Blog

7/16 Tour Stops

Review – Bayy in Wonderland

Review – Lost in Ever After

Unique Post – Dani Reviews Things

Review – Mikayla’s Bookshelf

Review – Little Book Wyrm

7/23 Tour Stops

Interview – Blame It On The Books

Review – Reading in the Rain

Unique Post – YA and Wine

Review – Tine’s Reviews

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14865445Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts and Connecticut home.

She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Her debut YA fantasy, THE DISAPPEARANCES, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017.

Murphy currently lives in San Francisco with her family and is at work on her second novel.

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The Star Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi – Book Review

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25203675Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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The Star Touched Queen is the story of Maya. Maya, a princess of Bharata, has a terrible horoscope which states that her marriage will result in death and destruction. Because of this, she is shunned in the palace. All the bad things that happen around her are blamed on Maya’s horoscope, stating that her presence was the bad omen which made bad things happen. Maya just wants people to stop treating her the way they do. She dreams of being a scholar, because she knows that after knowing her horoscope, no one will want to marry her and she couldn’t descend to the throne as she is a girl. But, her life changes when her father arranges for a swayamvara, for her to chose a groom for herself from a platoon of princes, for a political alliance. Maya choses Amar and starts to fall for him, but he has his own secrets, which cause a rift between them and leave Maya in a place where she is fighting, not only for her own life, but for that of the world.

What I absolutely loved about the story was the writing. It was lush and beautiful, full of imagery and context and simile. The narrative is captivating and you can’t help but love it. Yes, the extreme amount of ‘purple prose’ used got on my nerves in places, but it was such a refreshing change to read something like this. A feast for the eyes. This book is extremely well written with SO MANY PRETTY WORDS. I adore that!

The plot is basic and simple. I think that is the beauty of it. The motivation of characters to act the way they do is simple – love, jealousy, revenge. It shows how far a person can go to just extract revenge for something they believe is the fault of someone else. The whole book revolved around the revenge plot of one woman who felt that Amar had wronged her.

I liked Maya, the MC, an okay amount. She started as this headstrong girl who wanted to break free of the patriarchy and carve her own path herself. I really admired that about her. But, halfway through, she did such a stupid and naive thing. I mean, I couldn’t believe she did it. Her character arc for the first half had shown that she was reluctant to trust anyone, but then, suddenly, she’s blindly trusting this one person, just because she saw one memory of the two of them together. I didn’t like that part. I mean, Amar had been trying to gain her trust for half the book and she didn’t trust him, was quick to write him off, but she trusted this person within seconds of meeting them. It didn’t make any sense to me. Especially since the story started moving forward only from there.

And then, there’s Amar. He was an enigma and mystery in the beginning of the story and he stayed that way till the end. Literally. By the end of the story, all I knew about Amar was what job he had and that he loved Maya unconditionally. That is it. Amar and Maya had maybe 10 complete, meaningful conversations in the story and more than half of them were before Amar could tell Maya anything about him and his kingdom. I would have liked to know more about Amar, about who he is as a person. Is he kind, smart, charming? Or is he villainous and cruel? I don’t know. I wish I did.

The worst disappointment about this book is how stilted the romance is. Maya and Amar both are prima facie great characters and they had amazing chemistry in the beginning. Their relationship could have been beautiful, but, it was not explored in the story. I wish they had interacted more, spent more time together, gotten to know each other. Amar appears after 5 – 6 chapters in the story and the second half is virtually free of him. He only appears in the last 30 pages. So, yes, he didn’t have much screen time, but what time they had together is glossed over, just saying that Amar was showing Maya around the palace and all its intricacies. They could have been a great couple and I wish that their relationship had been given more screen time. I really do.

What I absolutely adored about this book was all the references to Indian Mythology that were scattered throughout the book. Some of them wove into the main theme beautifully and some were mentioned in the passing as stories and folk tales, but I loved them all. It felt so good to read about them.

I felt that this book could have been so much more beautiful if the author had explored Amar’s character more. There were good things and bad things, but overall, reading TSTQ was a beautiful journey and I enjoyed it, for the most part.

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13695109Roshani grew up in Georgia, where she acquired a Southern accent but does not use it unless under duress. She has a luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She is the 2016 finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and a 2016 Locus finalist for Best First Novel. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

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Roar, Cora Carmack – Release Day Review

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Now available, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!

 

About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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Immortal Fire, Annette Marie – Book Review

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Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokaistanding as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

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*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Okay. Okay. Okay. Breathe in, breathe out. It is over. Starts crying all over again. I have A LOT OF FEELS FOR THIS, OKAY? A LOT OF FEELS. IT IS OVER AND MY POOR LITTLE HEART CANNOT COPE.

I LOVED IT SO MUCH. SO MUCH. SO MUCH. GOD, SO GOOD. I LOVE IT.

First of all, so much cover love. I mean, it’s purple! And so good. I adore the cover. It’s just amazing. How can you not like it? I think it’s impossible to not like this cover.

And then, the story itself. I loved it. I absolutely adored how Marie wrapped the entire story up. It was so satisfying after everything that went down. I loved Shiro. Obviously, I did. I really, really love him. He’s just so amazing. I have liked him since the first book and then I fell for him in the second and the third one just gave me all the feels because Shiro is my baby and I adore him so very much. His character arc was just as interesting as Dark Tempest. His memories are returning and that is causing strain on his relationship with Emi, but they soldier through it all. And I like that. Yes, Shiro comes off as too overprotective in places, but if you overlook that, he is just so good. I adore him and love him. Did I mention that I absolutely adore him? Cause I do!

And, then, Emi. She has grown so much since the first book and I love all the growth her character has undergone. She is timid and demure but a fierce warrior all the same and she takes charge of the situation. She makes the best of what is available to her and she just gives me goals. She’s such a relatable heroine. I really like her a lot. She is a great main character.

As always, the relationship between Shiro and Emi is adorable. I love how much they love and support each other and how they’re always there for each other and just being there makes it better. They don’t hold each other back, in fact, they nurture each other. I love seeing them together.

The story is action packed and all those scenes are so amazingly written. The plot is simple but it kept me engaged. It predictably slowed a little somewhere in the middle, but I love it nonetheless.

All in all, an amazing ending to the story and a very satisfying conclusion! Go read this series!

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8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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Dark Tempest, Annette Marie – Book Review

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32605659Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro’s past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

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*ARC received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Okay, so this book. Just, this book. *sighs* I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. GAHHHH! IT IS AMAZING. I LOVE IT. GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!

Yes, it is that good. Dark Tempest picks up where Red Winter left off and is just as amazing a story as the first one in the trilogy. I loved the characters, the plot, the structure, all of it. So much. Yes, the first half of the book is slow. I had a similar issue with Red Winter, but once the book picks up, it really picks up, you know? So much action, drama, mystery and romance. You can’t help but love it!

I love how Emi comes into her own in this story. Yes, she was a good protag in book one and she had a great character arc then, but in this one, she really grows. So much. She’s just amazing. She’s smart and kind and just so good. I also love how she’s not badass and ready to fight anything and everything thrown her way. There are so many people who are much more powerful than she is and that is totally okay with her. I like that about her a lot. It makes her so much more relatable than one badass heroine who can take on everything. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SUCH HEROINES. THEY’RE AMAZING. But, I loved how Emi wasn’t like that. It made her a better character.

And then, there’s Shiro. My babyboy. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So many heart eyes for that perfect, amazing, amazing, amazing boy. I love him so much. I love him, I love him, I love him. So very much. He’s snarky and smarmy and flirty. So very flirty. But, he’s shown being vulnerable and lost and panicked too. This story had more of Shiro than the first one. We learn a lot about his past and who he was and why he is the way he is. His past beings out so many of his vulnerabilities and he feels like he’s not good enough many a time, but it doesn’t take away from his personality and he is his usual charming self. I love that. His personality is so varied and he doesn’t adhere to one emotion all the time. That is amazing!

All in all, such an amazing read with so many elements and such great writing! A definite must read! I’m looking forward to starting book three after reading this!

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8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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Secrets of Skin and Stone, Wendy Laine – Book Review

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34388622Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.

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*ARC received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Okay, first things first. I LOVE THE COVER. IT IS SO DARK AND GRITTY. Gah! I love it! The cover drew me into the book in the first place and it is definitely one of those cover buy spurts we book mongers tend to have. I really adore the cover! 😀

What I liked about this book was the mystery. It was intriguing and kept up till the end so that the reader was hooked into reading. The first half was great, but towards the end, the book got extremely slow and I was just thinking that the author should hurry up and reveal the mystery already. Apart from that, I have no complaints!

I loved the characters so much. They weren’t overly done and just so real. I could imagine people like that and that was gratifying. I love that the book had a trigger warning in the beginning especially because it was for self harm. From what I know, it can be pretty triggering and anyone who is going into the book needs full disclosure. It was nice to see that that was the first page of the book.

It’s #OwnVoices because the author herself suffers from OCD and was into cutting like the MC Piper. I like how her character is handled. She is OCD. She knows it and she tries her best despite her circumstances. I like how her illness didn’t miraculously disappear on meeting her love interest or for whatever other reason because that is not how it happens. So, points for that. I absolutely loved that aspect of the book. Thank you, Wendy. I also like how the illness wasn’t demonized, how it didn’t seek to make Piper seem other. I also like how the author handled the issue of self harm. There aren’t many great ways to do it because at the end of the day self harm is self harm, but she did a pretty good job and for that I commend her. I also liked how these two things didn’t define who Piper is as an individual. She is strong and smart and intelligent and brave. I like her. I like her a lot.

Then, there’s Gris. He’s got the mysterious air to him. But, he’s sweet and caring. He doesn’t come off as arrogant or self centered and full of himself like boys in such novels usually are. So, I like that a lot. I like how dedicated he is. He’s ready to go to so many lengths to save Piper. And then, he’s on a mission to prove to his father that he is worthy enough. His struggles were showed nicely. I like how the author showcased that even he was insecure in himself and his capabilities. Frankly, we need more such boys because more often than not, the male MCs are shown as untouchable and arrogant and without a care in the world. And Gris was nothing like that which automatically put him in my good graces.

And then, there’s the shipping. It was a bit of an insta love with the enemies to lovers kind of trope but I enjoyed it. Their relationship was nice to read about as it unfolded and they had plenty of cute moments which made me all the more happy because I am such a sucker for romance. I like how things were tied up with their relationship in the end. It was a bit open ended but it was realistic because Gris was never meant to stay in Hidden Creek, so the hopeful note at which it ended where it could go on to be more but maybe not was fitting.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book. It had all the elements of an interesting read and I would recommend it to people who are looking for paranormal romance. 🙂

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Goodreads | Amazon

 

Red Winter, Annette Marie – Book Review

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31829155In a few short months, Emi’s mortal life will end when she becomes the human host of an immortal goddess. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a spirit of the earth and an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.

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*Review copy received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Red Winter is the story of Emi, who has been chosen to be the vessel for a goddess. She seems eager to embrace her fate, is looking forward to it even. But, an important truth about the union of the goddess’ spirit and her body has been hidden from her. When she learns what it is, she isn’t eager to embrace her fate anymore. Instead, she wants out, but she can’t because being a vessel is all she knows, is all she’s been prepared for, her entire life. And, with forces trying to kill her, it’s a race against death.

I like Emi’s character. She’s the portrait of a lady, always doing what is expected of her, never deviating. She has accepted her fate and doesn’t question it or what she has to give up because of her fate. But, as the date for her sacrifice nears, she starts questioning whether she is actually ready to give it all up and her doubt is fueled by Katsuo, the sohei who is assigned to protect her from harm. What I didn’t like was that her character didn’t have much of a development arc. She was always compassionate, always curious, right from the beginning to the end. And she didn’t really change her beliefs from the beginning of the story to the end of it. But, there’s two more books to come, so I’m holding out hope for her.

Then, there is Shiro, the kitsune who owes Emi a life debt. He’s mysterious and dangerous and has an agenda of his own. He tries to protect Emi when he can, but his selfish motives are clear throughout the book. I like that about him. He never pretends to be someone who he isn’t. He’s established as an untrustworthy character and he doesn’t shy away from it, in fact, he embraces it wholeheartedly. That’s amazing.

Then, there’s Katsuo. He’s Emi’s bodyguard but they have a sort of complicated history. It is alluded that he may have feelings for her and Emi sure had them in the past. So, their relationship is complicated to say the least. But, Katsuo cares about Emi a great deal. And he’s kind and compassionate and caring. He’s always helping Emi whenever she needs it without question. I really like his character.

All in all, this is a nice kickstart to the trilogy. The starting 100 pages were a little slow but then it picked up and became this intriguing mess of want and need and bargains for what you want. Everything comes with a price and I like how entangled all these bargains are because everyone wants something from someone else.

So, yes I would definitely recommend this to you if you’re into mythology and retelling and fantasy.

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Goodreads | Amazon

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8546572Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, which includes the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night. Her first love is fantasy, a limitless realm of creativity where she can break all the boring rules of real life, but fast-paced urban fantasy, bold heroines, and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has politely inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of northern Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her remarkably patient, comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Top Ten Tuesday (#4) – Most Anticipated Releases!

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Hey guys! Welcome to another #TopTenTuesday, courtesy of The Broke and The Bookish! I am very excited for this because – A) Anticipated Releases and B) I haven’t done a TTT for so long! So, let’s get on with my anticipated releases for the latter half of 2017!

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29939048In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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32051572Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

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31563982Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

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30025336Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

The book takes place in the 1960s in Bicho Raro, Colorado and follows the lives of three members of the Soria family—each of whom is searching for their own miracle. There’s Beatriz, who appears to lack feelings but wants to study her mind; Daniel, the “Saint” of Bicho Raro, a miracle worker for everyone but himself; and Joaquin (a.k.a. Diablo Diablo), who runs a pirate radio station at night.

 

 

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Sometimes love is written in the margins …

Henry and Rachel were best friends once. Rachel had a huge crush on Henry, but that was before she moved away, before her brother Cal drowned.

Now, Henry works in his father’s bookstore, Howling Books, with the famous “letter library”, a section of the shop where customers are encouraged to circle words and leave love letters inside their favourite books.

When Rachel returns from by the sea, the place that took her brother, she starts working beside Henry. At the book shop, she must gain strength from the bond she shares with Henry … and from the written word.

Bit by bit, Rachel realises that to build a future, she must look to the words people have left behind.

This is a love story for everyone who loves books.

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32802697Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica-the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both-and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

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33958230Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

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30237061Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

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This does not have a description yet, but it is the next in the Knitting in the City Series & that is all I need to know! Gah! Penny is a Goddess!

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22892448Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

What are your upcoming anticipated releases? Tell me in the comments and let’s all gush about all the amazing books to come! 😀