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Monday, January 14, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish,
And moved to That Artsy Reader Girl 
To take part, just pick your top ten, and add the link here.


I'm only using books/authors that I gave at least 3 stars to. 3.5 is my average star rating on Goodreads, So anything lower than 3-stars is a book I didn't really care for and pointless to share.
Authors are listed in the order they were read and linked to my review of the book.

The first book I started and finished last year was a contemporary romance. But it was a less smutty romance, and it was nice. It followed the tropes that I like, that feature healthy romantic relationships. This was book one in a companion series, titled "Dax", after the male love interest.

This author hardly needs an introduction, but on the off-chance, you haven't heard of her, she wrote my favorite book from last year, Children of Blood and Bone. I called it less than 15% into the book that it was going to be the best book of the year, and it was. I got an eARC from NetGalley very early in the year, so my review is very limited because I didn't want to spoil anything. 

Another NetGalley book, I get about 70% of my books from there, and it's where I tend to find most of the New-to-me authors. I wasn't sure if I was going to like Wintersong, and I ended up liking it way more than I thought I would.

So, kind of cheating with this one. The book in question, Song of Blood and Stone, was first released 4 years ago, and I read it then first, and she was a new-to-me author at that time as well. The book has also gone through some revisions since then. I noticed some mild changes when I read it again last year.

Another Contemporary Romance that was a nice refreshing book in the genre. Another one that has healthy relationships, and characters who respect each other. 

The second debut author on here, and another author I found through NetGalley. Sky in the Deep was such a fantastic read. I can't wait to read more books by this author.

Fairytale retellings are a favorite of mine, and Owl Eyes took the tale of Cinderella and pulled story elements from before the Disney dumped sugar on the tale, and before Grimm Brothers added their sprinkling of sugar. This is a retelling of Cinderella I want more of, and I really hope there is some kind of continuation, things were a little more open-ended than I like.

I read the three books of the Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles back to back. And as I mentioned above, I am a sucker for fairy tale retellings and this series delivers. I was sent, via ebook, by the publisher for review. And I can't wait to read more. Fairytales, but in space.

Two things, Dragons, and a YA with ZERO romance. In the first book at least. It's told in dual perspective, Lila and Danu, and while he once remarks that she is beautiful, it's in his mind and more of a descriptor of what kind of leader she is, than him being attracted to her. I haven't read the rest of the series, so I don't know if anything develops. But the important thing is Dragons.

While I did finish The Savior's Champion in January, I stared and read most of it at the end of December, and I found her writing channel on Youtube last year. So I'm counting it.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Friday 56 and Book Beginnings: Ever the Brave (Clash of Kingdoms #2) by Erin Summerill || Friday 50/50: Best/Worst Read of 2018

This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice
These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

Please join us over at RoseCityReader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Synopsis:
Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
   After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost. 
   The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.



Book Beginning:
Cohen
A minute spent in a Shaerdanian Tavern is a minute too long.

56%:
Britta
The dungeon door creaks. I sit up, pressing my back against the bars










*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   

50/50 Friday is a new weekly link-up hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts' blogs.

So, I missed last week. I was in the middle of reading books that I've already shared. And I haven't read/listened to any audiobooks at all. I'm reluctant because the narrator can make or break a book, and I don't want a potentially bad narrator to cause me to hate a book I might otherwise like, so I haven't tried any yet.
That being said. I want to share my favorite and least favorite read(s) of 2018.

Favorite


No Thanks

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Review: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

Title: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo 
Series: Grishaverse Folktales
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Imprint
Publication Date: September 26th, 2017
Edition: Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Source: Library


Synopsis:
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
   Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.
   Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
   This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Review:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood
The Too-Clever Fox
The Witch of Duva
Little Knife
The Soldier Prince
When Water Sang Fire


These stories are a wonderful addition to the Grishaverse. They are dark, engaging, and a little depressing at times. It's a little hard for me to review this as a whole since the stories aren't connected, other than being the fairytales of the Grishaverse. But I'll do what I can.

Ayama and The Thron Wood is the first new-to-me story set in the Grisha world. And I loved it. The magic of this story was just. so. good. Thinking back, it kind of has a Beauty and the Beast vibe. I love how this story was told the most, it has kind of an unexpected turn to it.

I'm not sure which fairy tale The Too-Clever Fox is inspired by though it has kind of a Red-riding hood vibe to it, The Witch of Duva has a Hansel and Gretel vibe, though honestly a little darker. And it's one of my favorites. I read The Too-Clever Fox and The Witch of Duva a couple years ago and loved them.

The Little Knife is another one that I am not sure what it's based/inspired by so it feels the most unique to me. The Soldier Prince is, interesting. It's kind of my least favorite, partly because I'm not really sure who this story is about. The toy, the little girl it belonged it, or the Fabrikator who made it.

When Water Sang Fire is another favorite. It took me until nearly the end of the story to figure out what this one was inspired by, and that might be why I loved it so much. And I kind of don't want to say what it's inspired by for that very reason.

This is the only one set in the Grishaverse that you don't have to read after reading any of the other books. It's very much a "standalone" in the rest of the Grishaverse books, and even if you didn't like the Grisha trilogy, or for some reason didn't like Six of Crows, you should read this.

Sorry that this review is rubbish, but I'm not very good at reviewing anthology books.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish,
And moved to That Artsy Reader Girl 
To take part, just pick your top ten, and add the link here.



Kind of cheating with this one, I already read it (Netgalley), but now I can buy all three at once and binge re-read the series. Book three in the Winternight Trilogy, I have a (mostly) spoiler-free review of it. Adult Fantasy, part Folktale-retelling, part Historical Fiction. All parts amazing. Released on January 8th.






The rest of the list is more or less in release order, from now until about June/July. I'm also a little out of the loop for new-releases.

January 8th

January 22nd

January 29th


February 26th 

March 5th

April 2nd

May 7th

July 9th

Friday, January 4, 2019

Review: The Savior's Champion by Jenna Moreci

Title: The Savior's Champion
Author: Jenna Moreci
Series: The Savior's Series #1
Genre: Fantasy/Adult/Action/Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 24th, 2018
Edition: Kindle Edition, 562 pages
Source: Purchase


Synopsis:
   Tobias Kaya doesn't care about The Savior. He doesn't care that She's the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn't care that She's of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.
   Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting—and killing—for the chance to rule at The Savior's side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness. 

Review:

So, this book was amazing. 

I was initially on the fence about reading this book, as I heard a lot of mixed things about it. From the writing being 'meh' to the content being graphic. I am so glad that I decided to give it a read. This was a pretty quick read for me, especially considering how long it is. I'm trying to think of how to talk about this book, and not spoil anything.

Tobias is a great character, and possibly the best (adult) male character ever written by a female author that I have read. He has layers to him that a lot of male lead characters written by women don't have. He's not a bro-y macho womanizer. He's a pretty average guy. He quit his apprenticeship of being an artist to take care of his mother and crippled sister after the death of their father. (This is all revealed in the first chapter, so it's not a spoiler).

Leila is a great character. There is a lot more to her character that is let on, for a good chunk of the book. I had suspicions regarding here character at about 70%, but I thought it was something else than what it turned out to be.
I liked her humor, that she had agency in her own life. That she wasn't reliant on a man to do anything for her. That she wasn't motivated by a man.

Cosima is possibly the most insufferable character I have ever encountered, but she's supposed to be, so a job well-done there.
There are a number of named characters in this book that have an impact on the plot, but I am unsure how much can be said about them that won't be spoilers. Also, most of them die, and I can't talk about that part at all.
The author has a Youtube channel about writing, and she has videos that go in-depth about who her characters are. And since she wrote the book, she knows how to talk about it without giving important things away, It's also a good way to know how to pronounce the character's names. I recommend checking it out, she's also very funny in my opinion.

 The book is set in a pseudo-Greek/Roman country, but it's not quite at the same time, and the magic, little that there is, isn't really explained that well. The Savior seems to be the only one with magic in this world, but where it comes from is never really talked about. But that's also not really what this book is about. I hope it's explained a little further in the sequel. I just wish I had an idea of when that would be. This book came out this past April, but I have been hearing about it for what feels like much longer.
This was the best book I have read in a long time. The writing is just unexpected in many ways, and I just love this book. It has a lot of graphic violence, and harsh language, and some sexual situations. So if those things bother you, then maybe skip it.