Saturday, October 27, 2018

The May Queen  by Patrick Axford
Paperback564 pages
Published 2018 by Independent
Purchase  here:


Summary
A boy is dead, a man missing…


Dwarfed by monolithic, ancient standing stones, nothing is as it seems in the isolated farming community of Sanctuary. Isolde, a young and unproven Sentinel, has been sent by her order of peacekeeping guardians, a law unto their own, to investigate the disappearance.



A malevolent shadow hangs over the small town, and the villagers grow increasingly hostile towards the stranger in their midst. Sworn to protect the innocent, Isolde must work to save the lives and minds of them all even as they turn against her. To fight a rising cult and discover the fate of her predecessor, Isolde must push herself beyond her limits.



If she fails, it will not just be the lives of the villagers at stake…
-taken from goodreads

Review

*I want to first thank Patrick Axford for sending me this book for an honest review.*

In The May Queen we follow a sentinel name Isolde, who was sent on a mission to find her apprentice. Once Isolde arrives at the farming community known as Sanctuary she becomes aware of all the wrongs going on in this torn. While she’s there she also becomes aware that a boy was mutilated and no one has done anything to find out who or what did it. 

Isolde was such an amazing character to follow. She’s had such a strong and interesting persona. I hope to know more about her in the next book. I fell in love with her personality and even if she was a hardcore badass sentinel she still had a really soft heart. By the way did I say how badass she is!? She reminded me so much Ciri from The Witcher. 

The story line took me back to role playing games where in the middle of a quest and everything around me started turning creepy. If you love those fantastical RPGs like Witcher then you’ll seriously enjoy this. Also, if you need an October, fall or Halloween read you need to read this. I was so creeped out during a lot of the story. The monster in this book was so intriguing and incomparable to others I’ve read. In my head I kept thinking about the Hagubman from the Witcher but with the mouth of the creatures in Alien. 


I love how complex but simplistic this book was. I love the feel of that it gives of an RPG with fantastical but also horror like elements I really do recommend this book if you’re into all that. This was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. I can wait to read more in this series. 

5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



Friday, September 28, 2018

Review of The Royal Order of The Fighting Dragons by Dan Elish


The Royal Order of the Fighting Dragons
By Dan Elish

Paperback300 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Vesuvian Books
Purchase Copy Here:


Summary

Born to... Fight?




Ike Rupert Hollingsberry is haunted by the past because complete strangers won’t let him forget that his famous father died on the set of The Fighting Dragons, a cult favorite that still has people talking. But when he’s attacked by a large locust, like the one that killed his dad, Ike is helped by the geekiest nerd of all, Elmira Hand. Killing the giant locust is only the beginning of the surprises in store for Ike as he is whisked away from New York City to an isolated Florida compound to assume his role as the next in line to lead the Royal Order of Fighting Dragons—that are NOT supposed to exist—and learns his dad’s death was a cover-up for a far greater purpose… 








Review
* I want to first thank TLC Booktours for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review.”

In modern day New York we follow a sixth grader named Ike who father has recently passed due to a traumatic death while the filming of his show The Fighting Dragons. What he doesn’t know is that everything on this set is real and that now fate lies in his hands. Ike is sent a video of the day his dad was on set and came to his demise. In that video Ike is told by his dad that he is next in line. Ike doesn’t know what to believe and now has to fight just like his dad with a nerd he barely likes and is the only one able to help him. When a giant locust attacks him right outside of school, Ike has to rely on the help of El,ira Hand. Elmira Hand is the geekiest girl in school no one wants to be around. But she has Ann important role she is a defendant of the royal order.

I really enjoyed this book, because it was fast paced and easy to read I was able to get through pretty fast. It was such a fun read and it reminded me a lot of Percy Jackson even though I only read the first book. I loved the fact that this book was well diverted and even its use of tropes was very well done. I love the portrayal of the dragons and that the colors were so different from ordinary colors you’ll see in books or TV shows. The characters were so easily followed, they were so fun and constantly kept you on your toes. 

I’d Love to see how this world grows in the hands of Dan Elish. He has such great light writing and I’m sure I’d love all of his other works. This book was very age appropriate in the writing as well as the depiction of the writing and also no gore and too much violence. I definitely recommend to middle graders looking for a light and fun fantasy read. 


About the Author
Dan Elish 
http://www.danelish.com/

Bio

Dan Elish is the author of the novel Nine Wives (St. Martins Press, 2005) and The Misadventures of Justin Hearnfeld (2008), both published by St. Martins Press. Dan is also the author of Born Too Short, Confessions of an 8th Grade Basket Case, which was picked as a Book for the Teenage 2003 by the New York Public Library and won a 2004 International Reading Association Students' Choice Award. He has also written several other novels for young adults including, The School for the Insanely GiftedThe Attack of the Frozen Woodchucks13The Worldwide Dessert ContestJason and the Baseball Bear, and The Great Squirrel Uprising. "13," the musical for which he co-wrote the book with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown ran on Broadway from September 16, 2008 through January 4, 2009. In his career, Dan has also written non-fiction books for young adults, scripts for kids' TV shows (in particular Cyberchase (PBS)), music and lyrics for six musicals, funny corporate videos, and played piano for various Off-Broadway productions. He has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and is a member of the Dramatist Guild. Dan lives in New York City with his wife, daughter and son.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Arc Review of Toil and Trouble

Toil and Trouble Edited Jessica Spotswood
and Tess Sharpe

Hardcover405 pages
Published August 28th 2018 
by Harlequin Teen
Grab a copy here:
Amazon
Summary

A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely--has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.
-Taken from goodreads

Review


*I want to first thank  Net-galley for giving me a copy of this book for an honest review.* 

I really enjoyed all the stories in this anthology. They were all so diverse and interesting, as soon as I read that this would be a witchy read I just had to pick it up. This book contained 15 different diverse stories of depicting the lives of all different kinds of people. There was LGBTQ representation as well as different races Andre classes. I loved how these story showed us not just scary and spooky stories nut it’s zhowed us the history of women empowerment. I hope to read more anthologies just as these. I gave this book four stars mainly for its meaning behind each story. As for each single story I believe I only rated one of the 5 stars. They were all really interesting I wasn’t just having problems connecting with the characters and some of the stories I believe mainly because they’re around 20 to 30 pages each. I felt like they were really well written and very thought out. My main problem was how hard it is to fall into a story within a few pages. For some of them I really wish I had more of it or even a back story into the magic and what led the characters to be in the spot they are in now. 

My all time favorite was the last story Why they watch us burn by Elizabeth May. This one broke my herT in so many ways. It’s  more of a modern story depicting women being called witches for standing up for theme selves. The main character stood up for herself against a man who said he was tempted by her. A lot also has to do with men in church such as the Priest of the church. They accused women of witchcraft sting they’re hand tempted them to sin. This story was powerful at this time to read because of the the contradictions that have been coming out to light with Priest and Popes sexually harassing and raping girls and boys since a young age. I cried at the end of this and I  want so much more of it. I definitely recommend this book mainly for this story here.

Monday, September 24, 2018

E-Book Review of The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
Expected publication: October 2nd 2018
 by NOVL
Purchase copy here:
Amazon


Summary

Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . . 

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. 

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.







Review

*I want to first thank TheNovl for kindly sending me an e-book copy of this novella for review.*

"Let's start with a love story. Or maybe it's another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes."

If you have read the Cruel Prince then you might just hate this character just like I did. Not until I read this, now I can support Taryn to some level. Now I can truly understand everything that went out with her. I can say you go girl! Fight for what you want. If you haven't read The Cruel Prince, Stop what your doing go buy it if you don't have it. Read it and then come back to read this review. Because it just might spoil you. Taryn is Jude's twin sister, and might just be the evil sister. As portrayed in The Cruel Prince. In  this novella, Taryn shares with us a beautiful letter to Jude, about how she fell in love with a faerie. How she tasted this forbidden fruit and couldn't stop after that. To be quiet frank I loved every part of it. I loved how it felt like fairy tale, told by a human (which she is) falling in love with someone that should be have been forbidden (which she does). As soon as you start the story you are fed lines to make you fall right into it. Taryn was tricked by a fox but what the fox doesn't know is that she has grabbed him by the tail.

"The wicked are slain, with swords no less. Vengeance is had. Boldness is rewarded."

During the entirety of The Cruel Prince we see Taryn as a weak by stander, who is taking the hit for her sister Jude. Jude is rebellious and hates how her and her sister are being treated for being human. She tends to stand up for both of them which always leads to more trouble. But what Jude doesn't know is that Taryn has her own way of fighting for what she wants. Taryn tells her side of the story this time, and we see from her eyes what Jude never seemed to see. Taryn too suffered as much as Jude from the hands of the magical folk. Now she's finally doing something about, just not in the way Jude would do it. When Taryn gets a letter from Locke everything from then on changed for her and her relationship with Jude. 

Fairy tales of full of girls who wait, who endure, who suffer.

I loved every part of Taryn's story and it makes me want to read The Wicked King even more. I want to see how much farther Taryn would go just to get what she wants.  By the way this felt nothing like a novella. I felt like I was dragged back into the world of A Folk of the Air. Like I never left. I am always amazed how beautiful Holly Black's writing. 

"I heard a singer begin a  tune i hadn't heard before, a song of heartbreak. Of a girl who walked the earth by starlight. Who's aspect was mortal but with beauty divine. her cruelty had pierced his heart."

5

Friday, September 21, 2018

ARC Review of Light Years by Kass Morgan

Lights Years by Kass Morgan
Hardcover384 pages
Expected publication: October 9th 2018 by Little, 
Brown Books for Young Readers
Preorder your copy:



Summary

Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain - but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy - even if he has to steal someone's identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong - he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret - she's infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it'll be her life on    the line.


These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy - but the danger might be lurking closer to home than hey think...
-Taken from Goodreads


Review

*I want to thank The NOVL for sending me a copy of Light Years by Kass Morgan for an honest review..*

This was such an easy and light sci-fi read, following a group of people from different planets become dependable on each other. Would recommend if you're into the Illuminae files by Jay Kristoff and want a lighter read.

In Light Years we follow four students who were just admitted to the Quatra Fleet Academy. We follow Cormak, who lives in a world where they have to wear gas mask because the air isn't breathable. He grew up very poor and had to work hard to help his brother, and support each other. When he gets the chance to enter the academy he takes the opportunity, even if it means taking someone else's identity. I really loved Cormak's character, he was so fun to follow because you never knew what would happen to his character. We also follow the daughter of he Quatra Fleets elite commander, Vesper. She's aggressive and determined to become captain and prove to her mother and others that she's more than her scores. There's also Arran who received one of the highest scores in the admission test and has a crush, on someone who's father hates the people of his planet. Finally, we also have Orelia, who is hiding a big secret that can get everyone on this fleet killed. All of the characters were so interesting to follow, it always kept me on edge to see what will happen to them next. Each character is dealing with an inner demon and something they need to fight hard to accomplish.

I enjoyed how everyone in the story was portrayed, they were their own person and none blended together. I felt like each of their stores was very well done, I just wish know about more of each of their planets. We get to learn a lot about the Tridians, I hope to especially learn more about Orelia's origin. Cormak's planet would be more intriguing to learn about since its so toxic and everyone there has to where a gas mask unless they are inside a premise. Another things that I'd hope to learn more about in the next book is how all the wars were started. Which planet exactly started the wars and why. 

This was such a fun quick read, I'm glad I was able to pick it up thanks to The NOVL. I loved how diverse the book was and that it included LGBT character. Also, that plot twist at the end has me begging for the next book to be about ASAP.

4★★★★

Friday, August 31, 2018

Author of Reign of Mist tells us all about her writing idea's and process







About the author

Helen Scheuerer is a novelist from Sydney, Australia, and the Founding Editor of Writer's Edit. She has university degrees in both creative writing and publishing. Her #1 bestselling YA fantasy novel, Heart of Mist is available now. She is a full-time author living by the beach.










Interview

1. Where do you get your ideas?

That’s a hard question… I’m inspired by anything and everything, but for me, ideas tend to be a slow burn. Rarely I have a lightning bolt moment of clarity where I get an amazing idea. My stories and characters are the result of lots of brainstorming, hard work and refining!

2. What is your writing process like?

Well, I think I’m definitely more of a morning writer. I like getting up early, and sitting in front of the laptop with a tea before the rest of the world is awake. Somehow, it’s when I feel the most free.

But apart from that, I tend to work off a chapter plan; basically a bunch of dot points that resemble the scenes within the chapter, and I go from there. The first draft of anything is always rubbish, so I rely on a lot of rewrites and edits to sharpen the manuscript.

3. What advice do you have for writers?

I’ve been giving writing advice long before the Oremere books came out. I started a learning platform for writers in 2013 called Writer’s Edit. There, we publish a tonne of in depth advice for authors and self-publishers, so that’s a great place to start.

But if I had to pick one thing to say, it would be: write what you love reading.

4. What is the first book that made you cry?

I’m absolutely stumped with this one… I honestly have no idea. I’m not a big crier… I think I cried while reading Harry Potter…? Potentially when Fred dies? But it was a long time ago I was reading that for the first time!

5. What other authors are you friends with? and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a lot of authors who are yet to release their first books, but they’ve been a massive help to my development as a writer. They’ve helped beta read my books, listened to my concerns and supported me through the tough times. I think the best thing author friends do is make you feel supported no matter what, and mine certainly do that.

6.If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t worry about what you think you should write. Worry about what you want to write.

7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I don’t spend too much time researching before I plan a book. I do some outlining and planning, but more often than not, the research occurs for the smaller details in the books, like weaponry, clothing and tools.

The Oremere books are set in a medieval-inspired fantasy realm, and so I’ll find myself looking up the different parts of armour, or the medicinal uses for herbs and things like that. I usually do this research as I need the information, rather than in a big session before I write the book.

8. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

It depends which day you ask me. When a book is newly released, I’ll try to look in on reviews here and there but generally, looking at reviews is a bad idea in my experience. You could have nine good reviews and one bad one, and it’s the bad one you’ll worry about.

That being said, I’ve read some wonderful reviews for both Heart of Mist and Reign of Mist, and they’re very much appreciated. It’s always lovely to know that your story and characters have had an impact on readers.

END

Links to include in your intro/conclusion if you like:

Heart of Mist Prequels: https://bit.ly/2GLxVdf
Writer’s Edit: https://writersedit.com/

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

ARC OF DEAR EVAN HANSEN REVIEW

Dear Evan Hansen
by Val Emmich
Expected publication: October 9th 2018
by Poppy
Get a copy:

Amazon barnesandnobles 
book depository
Indigo
Summary
From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...


When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.


Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?



No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.


A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.



REVIEW



Thank you to LBYR and The NOVL for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I went into this book not knowing what it was about, only knowing that it was based on a musical. I devoured this book quiet fast. It was such a warm hearted light read with really big topics and a heart breaking story. The story, the plot, the characters were all so amazing and I loved every part of it. By the ending I found myself crying so hard and couldn't stop.

We follow Evan Hansen who has dug himself into a whole of lies, he can't seem to find the way out of. He was a good and enjoyable character to follow. You never really knew which path he would take. While reading I thought he was going to break and tell the truth sometimes, but he just kept digging that whole. I truly felt for Evan, I felt like I sort of connected to him in a way. I understood why he did the things he did and felt what he felt. 

We also follow some small scripts from Conner which I really enjoyed. I really like being able to read what Connor was thinking after his death and what his thoughts were on what was happening with Evan. On the other hand, I didn't feel much of a connection with Zoe. We didn't get a lot or enough of her. I felt like she was a bit blurred throughout the story even though it made it seem as if she was a big part of it. Also, her relationship with Evan felt a little fake. It had no build up of any sort and the climax wasn't good enough for me either. 

I deeply loved the development of this story. I love how in the beginning everything felt like it was collapsing, in Evan's world. After Connor took that letter we didn't know what was really going to happen. Especially putting yourself in Evan's shoes.( I also didn't read a synopsis of this story, I went in blind.) The build up with all the lies on top of lies was so scary and overwhelming. I felt so bad for Evan I didn't want the book to end because I didn't want for him to end up exactly where he started or worse. When the ending did come I cried so hard for him. I was an emotional wreck. 

This story was amazing and I'm so glad I was able to read it. The soundtrack is on blast and I'm getting ready to buy tickets to the Broadway show. I definitely recommend books with heavy topics such as dealing with mental health and suicide. This book was very diverse as well and I loved that.

5

The May Queen  by Patrick Axford Paperback ,  564 pages Published 2018 by Independent Purchase  here: Amazon Summary A bo...

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