Friday 31 January 2020

Druid Vices and a Vodka - Book Review

Druid Vices and a Vodka (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #6)
by Annette Marie

What is it about:
I've said it before, but sometimes I'm a bad person. I cheated on my twelfth grade math final, I've run countless yellow lights, and I gossip about how hot my kickass best friends are. (Good thing my job as a guild bartender doesn't require moral perfection.)

But there's bad, and then there's bad. And I'm not sure which applies to a certain dark druid/wanted criminal/reluctant friend of mine. His transgressions include black-magic dealings, kidnapping, and murder, and he's about to add "revenge-fueled killing spree" to his resume—if I don't stop him.

Should I stop him?

He and his nemesis are gearing up to tear each other apart, rogues and vultures are converging with their sights on the spoils, and the guilds that would normally stomp them into the ground are under attack. We're on the brink of an all-out criminal turf war, and my time to decide is almost up.

Who's the real bad guy ... and do I dare stand in his way?

What did I think of it:
I am so loving this series.

As if Tori hasn't enough on her plate, Zack is in trouble and when she helps him this leads to trouble for others. Torn between which of her friends to help she is slowly running out of time.

I so rooted for Tori to find a solution that would solve all the problems she is facing. There are some very tense moments in this book, and I feared for my favorite characters.

I liked how Robin, the lead character of the spin-off series plays a part in this story and to see her from Tori's point of view. It seems these two might need to team up to solve both their problems. It made me eager to get my trotters on Robin's next book as well.

All in all this is a great book with an ending that will keep me thirsting for the next book until it releases, at which time I'll get it immediately.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and very entertaining UF read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 30 January 2020

Free Story alert: Off the Trail by Diana Urban

For a limited time you can get this YA thriller short story by Diana Urban FREE!

When Kayla jogs the trail next to the lake where a girl recently drowned, someone—or something—veers her off-course. Will she escape from the woods, or get tangled in a web of horror?

Download it here

I've read it and it's really cool! You bet I have Diana Urban's upcoming release All Your Twisted Secrets on preorder.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: The Tears of the Rose - Book Review

Next in my reread was The Tears of the Rose.

I'm reposting my review of my first read here. Notes on rereading at the end

The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

What did I think of it:
You might know by now that Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so it won't come as a surprise we were very happy to get an ARC of The Tears of the Rose.

Book one in this series was about Andi, the middle sister of three. The Tears of the Rose is about Amelia, the youngest.

Now I will confess Amelia didn't really make a good impression on me in the first book. Not that she was unlikable, but she came across as a bit shallow and spoiled. Amelia being the heroine of this book I expected these flaws to be downplayed.

And that's where Jeffe proves to be an amazing writer. Instead of downplaying Amelia's flaws, they're right there for everyone to see. Amelia is spoiled, shallow and selfish at the start of this story. She might have some cause, seeing she just lost her husband, but still she's acting like a toddler who doesn't get her way at times.

Still... The way she is written made me see the good and kind person Amelia could be, if only the people around her had given her the chance to become that person. It's easy to dislike Amelia because of her spoiled attitude, but looking at how she grew up, how life has treated her, I could really understand why she became as she is. It made me root for her to open her eyes and see the world for what it really is. To change for the better.

And then a mysterious figure steps forwards who makes Ami question her world views.

The White Monk drew my attention from the first moment he is mentioned by the way Jeffe describes him. Her descriptions are always beautiful and vivid, but some of the descriptions of the White Monk felt like poetry.

My favorite line in the whole book is probably this:
"He laughed, raven voiced, threading his hands inside his sleeves as if he restrained himself from something."
This is so beautiful and tells so much in just a few words. I could not just picture, but also hear and feel this scene.

I could go on for ages raving about how beautiful this book is written, but I know you want to know about the story.

It is a beautiful story!

Ami has a lot to learn, a lot to overcome on her path to find herself. Jeffe doesn't make it easy. Ami's road to happiness, to a life where she's more than the spoiled, pretty princess is long and filled with pain and heartache. I had trouble putting the book down, and kept rooting for Ami to reach her goals.

The ending...


The ending gives closure on some things, but also gives a new challenge that has to be faced, making sure I will be counting the months until the release of book three. I need to find out what happens next to Ami and her sisters!

All in all this is a wonderful Fantasy Romance filled with emotion and suspense. I felt like rereading it the moment I finished it, and you can bet I will put this ARC on my keeper shelves, just as I've already preordered the book to put next to my treasured copy of The Mark of the Tala (book one).

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy Romance

buy links

Notes on rereading:
I love the way Ash is written, just for that he's been my favorite hero for a long time, although he's been dethroned. I also keep enjoying seeing Ami transform.

Next: The Talons of the Hawk

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Scent to Her Grave

Yep, just as I thought. For the first time since I'd moved back to Moss Rose Cottage, Hoffman had decided to hightail it up on the roof and let out a brazen war cry.

(page 84, Scent to Her Grave by India Ink aka Yasmine Galenorn)

buy the ebook from amazon


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 27 January 2020

Martians Abroad - Book Review

Martians Abroad
by Carrie Vaughn

What is it about:
A great new stand-alone science fiction novel from the author of the Kitty Norville series.

Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly's plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there's more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

What did I think of it:
This is really fun read even though the actual action started really late in the book.

I connected with Polly from the start and rooted for her. She's inquisitive, brave, and stubborn. I did't much care for her brother Charles, who was a bit of a jerk at times. But that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story I'll say.

The story is set in a boarding school, so that was totally up my alley as well. There are several people Polly interacts with and some where very interesting, while others were annoying. Polly does make some mistakes here, as she can be gullible at times, but luckily she learns fast.

All in all a fun and very entertaining SF boarding school story with a small suspenseful plot woven into it. I might have to revisit the Kitty Norville series, because I very much like Vaughn's writing.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun SF YA read.

buy from amazon

Friday 24 January 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread:The Mark of the Tala

This is the book that started my love for this series! I love Andi so much and can really understand how she feels. There have since been other great heroines to fall in love with, even some who I totally couldn't stand before reading their book, but Andi will always have a special place in my heart.

Here's my review I wrote back the first time I read it. Notes on rereading at the end.

The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Queen Of The Unknown

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

What did I think of it:
Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so we were very happy when we heard about this trilogy. We were even more happy when Jeffe sent us an ARC of The Mark of the Tala.

This is a wonderful story.

I loved reading how the three sisters interact with each other. It was very recognizable. I could relate with how Andi felt, and why she seeks her solace away from court and family.

And that's how she meets Rayfe. I wasn't sure what to think of Rayfe at first. He's mysterious, a bit dangerous, but very intriguing. I really liked how Andi is torn about him and what happens as well. There might be an immediate attraction, but by no means insta-love. Instead Andi does the sensible thing at first: defend herself, and run away.

Then Andi discovers important secrets have been kept from her, and suddenly two countries are fighting over her.

I really love how Andi tries to do what is right, even if that means doing things her family doesn't approve of. She is faced with difficult choices, and is willing to sacrifice herself for those she cares about.

The complex relationship between Andi and Rayfe is also great to see develop. There's attraction, but Andi isn't foolish enough to mistake that for love. She keeps on her guard, and I loved seeing the two of them slowly getting to know each other better.

The ending was satisfying, but also leaves lots of things open that made me wonder what will happen next for the three sisters. All in all this is a beautiful story that captured me and has me eager for more. I can advice this to anyone who loves Romantic Fantasy. I will most certainly reread this book often, and I'll eagerly await the next book in this trilogy.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Romantic Fantasy read.

buy links

Notes on rereading:
Knowing more about the other characters and what will happen sure doesn't make me feel more lenient towards some of them. Jeffe sure knows how to write great and believable sibling interactions that give me all the feels!

Next: The Tears of the Rose

Thursday 23 January 2020

On McPig's Radar - The Unspoken Name

An orc priestess turned wizard's assassin!?
You bet I pre-ordered this book when I heard about it! And it releases next month! Can't wait to get my greedy trotters on it!

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1)
by A.K. Larkwood

A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Expected publication: February 11th 2020
buy from bookdepository

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: Negotiation - Book Review

Next up in my chronological reread is the short story Negotiation.

I must say that I'd advice people who are new to the world and series not to start with this one, but to read it after The Mark of the Tala, as I think you'll enjoy it more that way.

My review might have slight spoilers.

Negotiation (The Twelve Kingdoms 0.5)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
A wounded warrior trapped by the sorceress who knows him better than he does himself…

General Uorsin escapes the last devastating battle, only to find himself alone on a mountain, feverish and no closer to finding the paradise that drives him on. Salena, greatest shapeshifter and magic-worker of her people, springs the trap she’s set to protect her land—and to prevent the ravager Uorsin from ever reaching it.

Together, they spend a night setting the terms that will determine not only the rest of their lives, but the fates of the peoples of the Twelve Kingdoms—and the thirteenth.

What did I think of it:
This short story is about the two people who shaped the heroines of the Twelve Kingdoms trilogy as well as the future of the Twelve Kingdoms. And to be honest: I don't like either of them.

I'm not saying I don't love this story. It's beautifully written and gives a really perfect glimpse of what set things in motion, as well as giving insight in Uorsin and Salena. I loved seeing how it all began.

These two are stubborn both in their own way. Salena is a strong woman, willing to sacrifice herself for her land, but she has no compassion or sympathy for people who aren't as strong. Uorsin powerhungry and greedy, and he doesn't care about the lives of those who stand between him and his goal. It was interesting to see them collide and fight for control.

All in all this is a great prequel that gives you that extra bit of information about the events that lead to The Mark of the Tala and all that comes after.

Notes on rereading: It's interesting to see Salena through her own eyes instead of the eyes of people who look up to her.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool prequel story to the Twelve Kingdoms.

buy links

Next: The Mark of the Tala

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - Druid Vices and a Vodka

Totally love this series!

Too many dudes in distress and not enough time-or enough power-to save them. They needed a superwoman, and it was becoming all too clear I wasn't up for the task.

(page 168, Druid Vices and a Vodka by Annette Marie)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 20 January 2020

The Wicked We Have Done - Book Review

The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory #1)
by Sarah Harian

What is it about:
Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

What did I think of it:
I really enjoyed Eight Will Fall, so when I saw Harian wrote a series called Chaos Theory I decided to give it a try. I found the first book on and dove into it.

And what a cool read!

I was immediately gripped by the story and couldn't put the book down. Just as in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games a group of young people get put into a controlled environment and not all may come out alive, but there's where the comparison ends.

The Compass Room is a place that will test the morality of the people in it and will decide if they are redeemable or if they're so morally corrupted they need to die. But is the Compass Room always right?

The story switches between the now, where Evalyn is in the Compass Room, and the past, slowly revealing the events that landed her there. I was eager to find out more about her past and rooted for her to survive the tests the Compass room throws at her. There were several other characters I rooted for as well, and others I really did not like. Then people started dying!

I flew through this book and loved every second of it. You bet I'll be keeping an eye out for more books by Harian!

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome and suspenseful NA read.

Friday 17 January 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: Warrior of the World - Book Review

Warrior of the World (The Chronicles of Dasnaria #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Just beyond the reach of the Twelve Kingdoms, avarice, violence, strategy, and revenge clash around a survivor who could upset the balance of power all across the map...

Once Ivariel thought elephants were fairy tales to amuse children. But her ice-encased childhood in Dasnaria’s imperial seraglio was lacking in freedom and justice.. With a new name and an assumed identity as a warrior priestess of Danu, the woman once called Princess Jenna is now a fraud and a fugitive. But as she learns the ways of the beasts and hones new uses for her dancer’s strength, she moves one day further from the memory of her brutal husband. Safe in hot, healing Nyambura, Ivariel holds a good man at arm’s length and trains for the day she’ll be hunted again.

She knows it’s coming. She’s not truly safe, not when her mind clouds with killing rage at unpredictable moments. Not when patient Ochieng’s dreams of a family frighten her to her bones. But it still comes as a shock to Ivariel when long-peaceful Nyambura comes under attack. Until her new people look to their warrior priestess and her elephants to lead them...

What did I think of it:
This book is so good!

After all Ivariel has been through she now must find a way to heal and to find the place where she belongs. It was heartachingly beautiful to see her slowly open up to those around her and to Ochieng in particular. Did I tell you how awesome I think Ochieng is? He is everything and more she needs to heal from what's been done to her.

But she didn't find her freedom to become dependent on yet someone else, however awesome and sweet he might be. Ivariel needs to find out who she wants to be, and how she can conquer her fears. When a new threat reveals itself she is put to the test. Who will she be and how will she react?

The ending of this book is everything I hoped for, and I blinked away some happy tears, I can tell you! This trilogy is beautiful, emotional, and so worth it, whether it's your first encounter with this world or you're already familiar with the Twelve Kingdoms.

Notes on rereading: This story keeps getting hold of me, and I keep rooting for Ivariel and I experience all the emotions, even though I know how things will turn out. It's so good!

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and satisfying Fantasy read.

Next up: Negotiation, although I'll probably catch up on some other books first.

buy links

Thursday 16 January 2020

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: Exile of the Seas - Book Review

As nobody had indicated that they wanted to read along with me I will confess I totally binged the Chronicles of Dasnaria trilogy. Somehow I never reviewed any of these books before, so time to remedy that.

Exile of the Seas (The Chronicles of Dasnaria #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Around the shifting borders of the Twelve Kingdoms, trade and conflict, danger and adventure put every traveler on guard . . . but some have everything to lose.

Once she was known as Jenna, Imperial Princess of Dasnaria, schooled in graceful dance and comely submission. Until the man her parents married her off to almost killed her with his brutality.

Now, all she knows is that the ship she’s boarded is bound away from her vicious homeland. The warrior woman aboard says Jenna’s skill in dancing might translate into a more lethal ability. Danu’s fighter priestesses will take her in, disguise her as one of their own—and allow her to keep her silence.

But it’s only a matter of time until Jenna’s monster of a husband hunts her down. Her best chance to stay hidden is to hire out as bodyguard to a caravan traveling to a far-off land, home to beasts and people so unfamiliar they seem like part of a fairy tale. But her supposed prowess in combat is a fraud. And sooner or later, Jenna’s flight will end in battle—or betrayal...

What did I think of it:
This books continues where Prisoner of the Crown ended: Jenna escaped her family and husband and is sailing toward an uncertain future.

The first part of this book is about Jenna having to learn to adapt and survive. I love how she isn't immediately in her element, but has to learn things that are obvious to others. She learns quickly, but still it takes time and she makes mistakes.

And then the second part!

Ochieng, the man who hires Jenna (who is now going by the name Ivariel) as a guard for his caravan is just so awesome! I loved reading about him, his home country, and his family. I totally wanted for Jenna/Ivariel to learn to trust him. It was so good to see Jenna/Ivariel enjoy things after all she's endured.

But there's still a nasty husband looking for her, so this middle book of the trilogy has a sting in its tail I can tell you! The ending isn't a cliffhanger though, so you can take a breather before diving into the last book. Not that I did: I immediately grabbed the last book to continue my binge.

Notes on rereading: If you think that I don't cry at certain scenes when reading them for the umpteenth time, you're wrong! Even knowing the story I still get totally carried away and blubber like a piglet at emotional moments.

Why should you read it:
It's a magical Fantasy read.

Next up: Warrior of the World

buy links

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Teaser Tuesdays - The Happy Brain

While I'm rereading the Twelve Kingdoms books Gilbert is reading about happiness.

If you allow a mouse to access an unfamiliar place from a familiar one, it'll cheerfully explore said new place and the things within it. But put in a strange place with no escape, they show fear and anxiety,

(page 50, The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett)

buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 13 January 2020

Twelve Kingdoms Reread: Prisoner of the Crown - Book Review

As mentioned in my post last Monday I started my reread of Jeffe Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms books with Prisoner of the Crown, the first book in the prequel trilogy The Chronicles of Dasnaria.

I haven't reviewed this book before, so here is my review.

Prisoner of the Crown (The Chronicles of Dasnaria #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is this about:
She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .

In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life . . .

Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.

But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…

What did I think of it:
This first book of the Chronicles of Dasnaria isn't an easy one, especially if you are triggered by (sexual) abuse. Still I love it!

I fell in love with Jenna from the start, celebrated her victories, and agonized over her defeats and her restrictions. The world she grew up in seems lush and beautiful at first sight, but looking closer you can see the hidden ugliness and poison. The way her life in the seraglio is described I could understand why Jenna is neglectfully naive, but still has a core of steel that keeps her going when her world falls apart around her.

This book is dark and emotional, but it also shows love and hope. The ending especially gives hope Jenna might escape the darkness and find her way to a bright new future. You really will want to get your hands on the next book to see what happens next for Jenna after finishing this one.

Notes on rereading: Even knowing the story already I was hooked and couldn't put the book down. Jeffe describes everything in a way I could easily picture the lush seraglio and its inhabitants. This is a book I can read again and again without getting bored.

Why should you read it:

It's a beautiful and emotional Fantasy read.

buy links

Note on my reread event:
As nobody indicated they wanted to read along at a specific pace, I'll set my own and post about my progress here on my blog. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the books in the comments, and read along whenever you feel like it.

Next book in this reread will be Exile of the Seas.

Friday 10 January 2020

Eight Will Fall - Book Review

Eight Will Fall
by Sarah Harian

What is it about:
In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason.

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return.

What did I think of it:
This is a really cool read.

Eight young criminals are send on a dangerous mission to find the source of disappearances and destruction. The source is believed to be hiding deep underground and that's where the eight need to go. But what can eight criminals do where hundreds of soldiers have failed?

I was hooked from the start. There's lots of action, creepy situations, and interpersonal drama. I liked Larkin from the start , as well as some of the other eight, while others got on my nerves. Soon the eight are just seven, then six... And I really started to worry about my favorites I can tell you.

The underground world Harian created (as well as the topside world btw) was really cool and had me amazed as well as squicked out. There were some events I could see coming, but others got me by surprise. All in all a cool and suspenseful read.

This book seems to be a standalone, and the ending reflects that, although I do see possibilities for a sequel or companion novel. I will keep an eye out for more by Harian.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool YA Fantasy read.

buy from bookdepository

Thursday 9 January 2020

A Throne of Swans - Release Day Book Review

A Throne of Swans (A Throne of Swans #1)
by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

What is it about:
In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly...

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother - ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors.

With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

What did I think of it:
Can I just say that I'm so sick of the trend where the love interest is being a total jerk to the heroine and she still falls for him!? Just stop it! Don't tell women that a guy being an ass is romantic! It is not!
Ok... with that of my chest, I'll move on to the rest of my review.

Apart from the aforementioned pet peeve I very much enjoyed this book. The world was really intriguing, and the main storyline was full of sneaky politics, backstabbing, and other suspense. Even though Aderyn was a little bit very gullible I liked her, and rooted for her to survive the political games she gets caught up in.

I - of course - totally liked someone other than the love interested a lot better, but nothing new there. Even knowing I was rooting for the wrong guy I couldn't put the book down. I had to see in what way Aderyn's plans and world would blow up around her. As this is the first book in a duology the ending does solve some things, but leaves so much open that I will be eagerly awaiting the next book to find out how this tale will end.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable YA Fantasy read

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Wednesday 8 January 2020

Teasing on a Wednesday - Martians Abroad

I wanted to be a pilot. If being at Galileo made that easier, so be it. But I wasn't convinced that the place was a guarantee to a great life

(page 58, Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tuesday 7 January 2020

Come Tumbling Down - Release Day Book Review

Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5)
by Seanan McGuire

What is it about:
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down picks up the threads left dangling by Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones

When Jack left Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister--whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice--back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn't always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West's "No Quests" rule is about to be broken.


What did I think of it:
I read the other books of this series last year when Beneath The Sugar Sky was nominated for the Hugo's and immediately fell in love with them. So you bet I was excited when I won an ARC of Come Tumbling Down in a giveaway so I could read it early.

And this is yet again a wonderful read.

This book continues the story of Jack and Jill and takes the students to the Gothic world first introduced in Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Jill isn't as dead as she seemed to be at the end of Every Heart a Doorway and Jack needs help stopping her or the world she has come to love and everyone in it might suffer the consequences.

There are some difficult choices to be made, and possibly some sacrifices as well. I couldn't stop reading, I had to know how things would end. Would my favorite characters make it through their ordeals unscathed?

All in all this is a really cool story full of suspense and emotion. You bet I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book, because I need more!

Why should you read it:
It's a heartbreakingly cool read.

buy from:
bookdepository - amazon

Monday 6 January 2020

Announcing: Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms Reread

It won't be long before the final book in The Uncharted Realms series - The Fate of the Tala - by Jeffe Kennedy will release.

I love this series and world, and decided to celebrate this final book with a complete chronological series reread, including the Chronicles of Dasnaria.

Here's the reading order of my upcoming reread:

The Chronicles of Dasnaria
Prisoner of the Crown
Exile of the Seas
Warrior of the World

The Twelve Kingdoms
The Mark of the Tala
The Tears of the Rose
The Talon of the Hawk
Heart's Blood

The Uncharted Realms
The Crown of the Queen
The Pages of the Mind
The Edge of the Blade
The Snows of Windroven
The Shift of the Tide
The Arrows of the Heart
The Dragons of Summer
The Fate of the Tala

I'm not sure yet how fast I'll read, because maybe some of you want to read along. So at the moment I will set myself the task of rereading Prisoner of the Crown this week and check back with all of you next Monday. Depending on participation I'll then decide on my pacing. I will probably do at least one giveaway along the way, and depending on interest Jeffe Kennedy might do a giveaway as well.

So let me know if your in for a reread, or first read in the comments, and let me know what pacing you'd like.
You can also join in for certain books if a complete reread is too much, but you do want to (re)read a particular favorite or want to catch up on the series, or just want to join the fun.

Happy Reading!

PS: If you sign up for Jeffe's Newsletter now You'll get to read the first chapter of The Fate of the Tala in the next newsletter at the end of this week!

Thursday 2 January 2020

Teasing on a Thursday - Eight Will Fall

If we fail you're as good as dead, Larkin wanted to scream back, but the vengeful thought was little comfort as they kept moving forward.

(page 72, Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones - Book Review

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones
by Micah Dean Hicks

What is it about:
Swine Hill was full of the dead. Their ghosts were thickest near the abandoned downtown, where so many of the town’s hopes had died generation by generation. They lingered in the places that mattered to them, and people avoided those streets, locked those doors, stopped going into those rooms... They could hurt you. Worse, they could change you.

Jane is haunted. Since she was a child, she has carried a ghost girl that feeds on the secrets and fears of everyone around her, whispering to Jane what they are thinking and feeling, even when she doesn’t want to know. Henry, Jane’s brother, is ridden by a genius ghost that forces him to build strange and dangerous machines. Their mother is possessed by a lonely spirit that burns anyone she touches. In Swine Hill, a place of defeat and depletion, there are more dead than living.

When new arrivals begin scoring precious jobs at the last factory in town, both the living and the dead are furious. This insult on the end of a long economic decline sparks a conflagration. Buffeted by rage on all sides, Jane must find a way to save her haunted family and escape the town before it kills them.

What did I think of it:
I will confess I'm not easily scared by stories, but this book...

A minor spoiler about this story is that the new arrivals in this book are pig people. You can guess I was totally rooting for them, and that they didn't have it easy!

This story tackles some very current themes: the poverty and loss of jobs in rural areas, fear of newcomers, fear of the unknown. Still it does so in a really enticing way, weaving a creepy and tense atmosphere. The ghosts and spirits inhabiting the town and people are scary, not in the least because some of them have very nefarious motives, some of the well-meaning ones were the scariest in how they hurt the people they touch.

As thing escalate and humans, spirits, and pig people clash things get more and more dicey in Swine Hill. In the midst of all this Jane and her brother Henry will have to make choices and find away to stay alive while still being able to live with themselves and their ghosts.

I didn't know what to expect going into this book apart from there being ghosts, but I was soon swept up in the events and the emotions. I rooted for Jane, Henry, and the pig people knowing chances were high my heart might be broken. Still I couldn't put the book down, and I let it take me on an emotional ride full of weirdness and creepiness. This book turned out to be so much better than I expected when I started it, and you bet I'll treasure and reread it.

Why should you read it:
It's weird, creepy, and painfully beautiful.

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