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Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid with an #ARC giveaway!

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 416
Genre: Science Fiction

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. 
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I have not read S.J. Kincaid's previous series (even thought I own the first two books), but having The Diabloic be my first encounter with Kincaid's writing... Guys, I'm blown away. I have not been this engrossed in a novel since I read The Dregs. Holy nuggets. Fans of Illuminae and Gemina, this book is right up your alley.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?
Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.
But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

I will not lie, the second half of the book really did pick up the pace and grab my attention. Last Seen Leaving opens with one of the most captivating and alluring first paragraph that I have seen in quite some time. It starts out strong, sinks into a little puddle of slow and bothersome, and picks right back up again like an express train right to your station.

Disclaimer: his novel does touch upon the sensitive subject of rape. That being said, it also gives us a fleshed out teenager on the verge of understanding his sexuality all the while coming to terms with the fact that his girlfriend has been decreed missing. What a crazy time to be alive. Roehrig has a fascinating command of dialogue, witty narrative, and really allows his cast of characters to come alive in their voices. On the other side, there are some characters whose abrasive nature are the only trait they possess, whom aren't given enough screen time to be fleshed out, or secrets that are never truly revealed in the end. And while it does bug me, I understand the need to get the biggest secret disclosed. I only wish to have a little more light shone on certain moments, like January's need to string together a slew of lies about Flynn. But being someone who, like Flynn, gets strung up on the vital and obscure information that no one else would know meanwhile having to just rely on your gut instinct, I can face the fact that not all secrets can be revealed.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I really enjoyed the mystery behind it all. Even though, by the end of it, all of my inner understanding of the legal process thanks to television had me screaming at the stupid decisions Flynn ends up making despite the means to further the plot. Why must stupid, unlawful actions further plot? I digress.  Throughout, I was actually using my hand to cover the bottom parts of the page just so my eyes didn't wander and spoil the secrets for me. I am very bad at spoiling myself.

This seems to be my month of mystery novels

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #1
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 464
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
*An advanced readers copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Music and monsters and everything in-between. Weclome to Verity, where men and monsters are one in the same.

I have always been a devout fan of Victoria Schwab, having gone to her book tour for A Gathering of Shadows, to enjoying the craft she obviously excels at. And This Savage Song does not fall short. Whether it be her adult or young adult compositions, characters are fleshed out, world-of-story is expansive and rich and horrifyingly beautiful. Verity is a ghost town after dark, riddled with monsters. A city divided, a truce on the verge of collapse, and political unrest scorching the two leaders. Under Callum Harker's control, you pay for safety from his legion of Corsai and Malcai monsters (your Jack the Ripperesque ones). Under Henry Flynn, they fight to keep the monsters at bay, and his Sunai (the musical monsters who steal your soul) are the ace in the hole, to say the least.

When someone tries to kill Kate Harker, big, bad Callum Harker's monstrosity of a daughter, and blame it on the Sunai monsters under Flynn's control to break peace, Kate and August (our little monster undercover) race against time and darkness and all odds. Their partnership is odd, chaotic, and sweet. You root for them, you glue yourselves to the pages for backstory. And there is no romantic subplot tumbling around, it is strictly survival and political warfare. The other Sunai, Leo and Ilsa, are thunderstorms and shooting stars respectively. And the turmoil that all these characters endure as they fight for their lives through the night and against the monsters of Verity is gritty. I had been absorbed, unwilling to put down this book. And the ending, Victoria Schwab can never just leave things simple, she has a way of taking the needle and just plucking the strands of your favorite sweater and teasing out the threads. I ache for Our Dark Duet, and the chaos that will come to Kate and August and all the rest. I wait for new characters and what twists and turns go bump in the night by the hand of Victoria Schwab's pen.

 I really need book two to fill the void, it's unreal

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blog Tour Review + Favorite Quotes: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Romance
He’s the infamous killer no man has ever been able to find.
Now it’s a girl’s turn.
Groomed to be the perfect highborn Victorian young lady, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has a decidedly different plan for herself. After the loss of her beloved mother, she is determined to understand the nature of death and its workings. Trading in her embroidery needle for an autopsy scalpel, Audrey secretly apprentices in forensics. She soon gets drawn into the investigation of serial killer Jack the Ripper, but to her horror, the search for clues brings her far closer to her sheltered world than she ever thought possible.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review

Filled with mystery and a thrill of emotions and detail, Stalking Jack the Ripper really fills the void while you're waiting for the next season of Sherlock to come out in 2017. With a cast of characters whom, when it comes down to it, are actually, genuinely crafted with a touch of realism to the point of caring what happens to them. I was actually giggling whenever Thomas opened his trap. The man, though expresses his deductions in long-winded, Sherlock-esque paragraphs, does have a dapper and extremely witty tongue. I reveled in the banter between him and Audrey Rose, and many of my favorite quotes actually spawn from Thomas.

The only downside, I was able to figure out who Jack the Ripper was from the very beginning. I seem to be finding a science to figuring out these plot twists, but that did not stop my enjoyment of the mystery in the midst of Victorian London. This novel actually brought back memories of when I took a Victorian London class back in college, so kudos! It was fun reading about the East End and the Barnum and Bailey circus, as well as Maniscalco's author's note on the authenticity and fictitious nature of her novel. Over all, I applaude Stalking Jack the Ripper on the gruesome, the thrill, and the witty banter. Where Audrey Rose rises to the chance to break the gender norms of Victorian society, the wonder in the mystery for Sherlock Holmes fans, and a bit of history amidst the fantasy world that Maniscalco has carefully crafted.

 Exceptionally slayed, like Jack's victims...whoops

Favorite Quotes

"Not to mention, the subject matter was hardly appropriate for the dinner table. Discussing missing ovaries then asking him to pass the salt would be revolting for anyone, let alone a girl of my station."

"'What makes you sure I even need a partner? I'm quite capable of doing things on my own.'
'Perhaps it's not you who would benefit from our partnership.'"

"Saucy Jack"

"'Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he'll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir.'"

"'I see you've thrown yourself another pity party [. . .] you've yet to send out invitations, Wadsworth. Rather rude, don't you think?'"

"'No, Wadsworth,' Thomas said blandly, 'sending a kidney through the mail is quite ordinary. I do it at least three times a week to remain fashionable. You ought to try it. Really impress the girls at tea.'"

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin

Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 384
Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Dystopia
Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?
Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

 Why would you write a book summary that makes a book sound like a romance? This drove me nuts the entire book because while Spare and Found Parts was interesting (at times, I'll get back to that) it's more of a coming of age story and learning to be independent of what defines you.  Nell is a girl with a clockwork heart whose father practically saved humanity. She constantly struggles to relate to people and, as a result, is a rather isolated individual who is more than a little haughty.  Nell's exploration of herself is the focus point of the plot, but there is this kind of hazy romantic tone that hangs over the whole story that just leaves an unsatisfying feeling  when the story ends.  This also really isn't a summer read, it can be pretty dark at parts and because the novel plays on gender roles and romance it's more for reading in bed or curled up in a chair than at the beach, so it is good this book is coming out in October. Perfect Fall feeder.

 The characters vary in quality because you don't know enough about them until the very end of the story. I didn't end up liking Nell until the end because I didn't realize how much she changes through the course of the novel.  At points my eyes ended up skimming over huge chucks of paragraphs because I simply did not care what Nell was thinking. Yeah, fun fact: a solid 60% of the novel is Nell thinking to herself and descriptions of the setting and it's about as much fun to read as it sounds.

Nell also has a small circle of friends, but some of them are just sort of there for plot devices. Nell's best friend, Ruby, is the archetypical best friend so she's not exactly interesting but harmless. The "romantic lead" is kind of interesting if you don't guess his big twist, but again he's pretty harmless.

Okay, so why didn't I give this book five targets? The narrative is a little jarring and I get what Griffin wanted to do, but certain themes did not completely transfer off the page and it felt awkward.  Finally, this book is good for all ages and if you like steampunk, Spare and Found Parts is a dream, although the world really isn't explored enough for my taste. It's more of a tone than a setting.  There is exactly one non-binary character in this story, not a huge deal but worth mentioning. Great book for the budding feminist in your life or anyone who needs a palate cleanser from predicable romances.

This book almost moved my cold human heart

Thursday, August 25, 2016

To August, with revelations

August was a gust of work and books and poems.
I found myself crushed by endless nights of no sleep, of cocktail kisses and midnight meanderings through poetic words that I fought through my chain-link fence of a mind. I have been preordering my favorite series and listlessly wait for their arrival at my doorstep. And while reviews have been sparse, they will continue to be coming.

Though most that I have read are novels I, sadly (not really), did not finish.

And I am okay with this. Because books are plentiful. And I have no time to continue in a story that I am uninterested in. No time to waste. No questions asked. If I am not enthralled with the beginning, I will cease to finish. If your story does not hook me from the first line, I will swim away looking for tastier bait. I am hungry for a story that will keep me on my toes, characters that I want to love to lose and lose to love. I want to be wowed. Close that back cover and stare at my wall like I just took a right hook to the face.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight  by Jay Kristoff
Series: (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. 
Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. 
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. 
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.

I have always really enjoyed books that chronicle the entire lives of character like in The Song of Lionness series by Tamora Pierce and the Harry Potter series.  Hopefully, this book will work along those lines so I'm very excited for this book.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Boys, Break-ups, and Beautiful You

Books over boys, that's what I always say.

Yet, when it comes to boys, I lose my love for books. I cannot share the two. It's one over the other, and sadly one gets swindled in the end.

Usually, it's the boys.

Recently, I had gone through a very hard break-up. Not because my heart was devastated and I could not go on without him by my side. No. It was hard because I lost myself in the process. Not going to sugar coat anything, it was a bad relationship. One that I knew from the beginning, but pushed aside for the sake of the silver-lining.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: NAL
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 351
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…
        Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
        Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
        When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
Think Rick Riordan meets Fahrenheit 451. That's the exact feeling that I had while I was reading Ink and Bone. Basic premise includes the burning of books, young students in training, and a young, white male lead with potential, and diverse, shadowed supporting roles.

So, I've had this book from the library way longer than my expected due date. It's safe to say that I owe my library a couple dollars in late fees. But that didn't help me read this book any faster. I actually read it slower. Because it was dull. Filled with trials and tribulation, Library jargon and countless tests and trips. I would undulate between tirelessly bored, and mildly interested for the whole duration of the book.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Blog Tour Spotlight: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 352
Genre: Thriller
True Grit meets The Road in this postapocalyptic psychological thriller--narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim.
     In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn't her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires--everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements--and each other. 
     Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents. 
     But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won't be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she's going to survive, she'll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he's turned her into.
Praise for THE WOLF ROAD:
“An unrelenting psychological thriller of wilderness survival wrapped in a terrifying hide-and-seek game of trying to escape an unspeakable past. … Fans of suspense with a touch of horror will be pulled into Elka’s intense struggle to find peace and redemption as the whole truth is finally revealed.”
Booklist on The Wolf Road
“Arresting…[an] odyssey that highlights the striking wilderness landscape and Elka’s grit.”
Publishers Weekly on The Wolf Road
“A white-knuckle trip through a gritty, frightening, and all-too-plausible post-apocalypse. You won’t know whether to root for or be afraid of heroine Elka, and you won’t be able to put the book down.”
Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Top 10 & Giveaway: Change Places With Me Blog Tour

Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
A Young Adult novel
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 224
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness.
But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.
Top 10 Inspirations for Change Places With Me

Friday, June 10, 2016

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 355
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.
They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

One of the cutest books that I have read in quite sometime. Contemporary is normally a genre that I sparsely read from, usually saving it when I crash and burn from other genres like fantasy. It's a vacation for me. A cute, quirky vacation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blog Tour Top 5 + Giveaway: The Cresswell Plot

The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. 
Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
First off, I wanted to say happy book birthday to The Cresswell Plot and the magnificent author, Eliza Wass. Such a pleasure having the tour stop on this little blog on a joyous occasion. Congratulations, and welcome to Storybook Slayers. Now let's get down to our top 10 (actually top 5) tour stop with a giveaway to follow!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (96): Shadow Run

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. To join in on the waiting game festivities, click the link to Jill's blog. Leave me a comment below with what you're waiting on this Wednesday.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: The Star-Touched Queen

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi 
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher:St. Martin's Griffin
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 342
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Fate 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.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for this blog tour & and honest review*

The Star-Touched Queen was a Hades & Persephone story unlike any other. With luscious imagery and Indian mythology and themes swirled in, this one was a beautiful necessity to have in my life. I even ordered the hard copy just so I could have the tangible beauty.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (95): Crooked Kingdom

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. To join in on the waiting game festivities, click the link to Jill's blog. Leave me a comment below with what you're waiting on this Wednesday.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: The Secrets We Keep

I am so excited to help spread the word that THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Trisha Leaver is now out in paperback!

If you haven’t yet added this awesome book to your shelf, now’s the perfect time. Just scroll down to learn more about the book and author, to read an excerpt, and to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Rose & The Dagger

I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only!  So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 416
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I've never really gotten into Russian culture or read/watched about anything aside from Fox's historically inaccurate film, Anastasia. So  canyou guess how refreshing The Crown's Game was for me? Like a blooming meadow in spring, and not all this wintry, blizzard of high fantasy crap for the past three months (I love HF, but not a onslaught of it).

After reading the synopsis, I thought I was going to hate this book. I honestly didn't know why I requested it. A love triangle. Two people drawn to each other. These are the tropes of a book that I loathe. I wouldn't even touch a book like this with a ten-foot pole. Eirini would agree.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Sit-Down Rants with Courtney: The Art of Comments

You've just written a kick ass blog post, blood sweat and . . . mostly long hours staring at a white screen gone in throughout the week. The golden gem. Praise be to you for getting your thoughts down in a whole coherent mass that people will want to read. It is time. To publish it.

Because this is the post. The review. The conversation starter.

You don't know what to do when all the comments start flooding your inbox. It's going to be THE WALKING DEAD of comment hordes. You just take your keyboard and start smashing every key for the love of all that is language!!