Friday, July 21, 2017

The Dragons of Loom (Loom Saga #2)

                Hello happy readers!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead planned.  I have no plans which is glorious.  Yesterday I was able to finish my audiobook for a highly anticipated book for me after finishing the first book only last month.  Thankfully I didn't have to wait long for this one, The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova.  I reviewed the first book The Alchemists of Loom here and everything about this book is kind of a spoiler for that one…just saying. 

Rating: 5 Stars

                So when we left off in book one we found out Ari was the only perfect chimera and only one who knows how to make them.  Florence is now a chimera herself and determined to fight in the resistance.  Cvareh (not how I was thinking this was spelled from listening to the audiobooks) is working to make an alliance with the resistance to bring down the dragon king so his sister will take over.  Ari doesn't want any part but decides to go up to Nova and speak with his sister in person and see if she trusts her before making any decision on sharing the knowledge they need.  So Ari, the white wraith, enemy to all dragons is now in Nova home of dragons.  She is ready to feel out his sister and gather some other information while there.  While there she finds herself closer to her goal of vengeance against the one who betrayed her and the rebellion all those years ago.  Still as Cvareh and his sister, all of house Xin really find themselves in a treacherous political battle with the king Ari is pulled into the fray as the Crimson Court exposes her secrets and push things between her and Cvareh.  All while Florence is still back down on Loom trying to find her place in the world but determined to fight for a better and free Loom using all the skills she has learned.

                WOW

                I could have listened to this in one day.  In one sitting really.  But I was trying to be good and spread it out listening at the beginning of my work shift for a while until my co-worker arrived.  This was both amazing and frustrating.  Having finished it, I need book three stat.  My emotions were all over the place, especially at the end when things are happening.  I had that moment of checking to see how much time was left and trying to figure out how some things could be resolved/fixed in that time and knowing there wasn't enough time but still hopping. 

                I loved it if you can't tell.  I love Ari.  She is so strong and determined.  Still she is very flawed and I think that makes me love her more.  She wars with herself between emotion and fact all the time. Typically such a factual and to the point character watching as emotion works its way into her life more and more is captivating.  All emotion and not just in reference to Cvareh.  Seeing him in his element, at home in his fancy clothing and where people know and respect him.  Ari is now the fish out of water so to speak having to be warned and told of their customs to prevent her from getting herself caught.  I loved the role reversal.  Them together though, I was so anxious.  I had been wanting something to happen since book one and while it looked like it might something always came up.  The tension as this continues was real and thick.

                Also having a good bit of the story taking place on Nova, and not just from the dragon kings, aka the big bad, perspective we got to see the positives of Nova.  I can now say I see both the good and the bad of both place and Florence is still my favorite person in either world.  She is all the best of both.  She understands the flaws in both systems and she is ready and willing to do what she can to fix things.  She has faith in people even when everything says she shouldn't.  I admire that about her. 

                We get to meet many new people both in Nova and Loom some we like others we hate.  I know I went back and forth and I don't know if it’s the world or not but I was suspicious of anyone I liked for a good bit.  We got to see more of how the worlds work and the culture that compels them forward.  More about guilds and the time before dragons.  There is so much happening in the present from battles of wills and teeth and claws it keeps you glued to your seat.  

                This book felt much more adult and powerful.  We had plenty of bad things happening in the first book this one really showed you the evils of the world from the harvesting rooms, the shadow world, and the garden of evil.  There was so much happening in this book that continues to build a much larger story and coming war.  So much has happened that has left me with so many different theories and concerns because well stuff is serious.  The ending….I just can't.  I mean I was concerned one thing was happening and then as soon as hope it would be fixed…BAM hit with multiple other things and I don't know what to think.  This book was amazing on so many levels and I can't wait for The Rebels of Gold to come out. 


                Until next time…

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

~Waiting on Wednesday~ The Language of Thorns

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Out:  9/26

From Goodreads:
                Love speaks in flowers.  Truth requires thorns.

                Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlights, 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.
               
                Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

                Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales 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 short stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Why I’m Waiting:
                It’s Leigh Bardugo so of course I want to read it plus it’s going to have pictures!!!! Need I say more?       


                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)

                Hello happy readers!  I hope you had a better weekend than me.  We have swapped to a new system at work and it is NOT user friendly and keeps crashing so lots of frustration to be had.  Still trying to keep a positive attitude because I did get some reading time in and oh yeah Game of Thrones started last night!!!    Something I did this year is also finally get to a book that had been on my TBR since last year, Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alywn Hamilton.  I listened to the audiobook narration which I found quick and easy listening.

Rating: 4 Stars

                So the story follows Amani, a girl who grew up in the gunpowder city in the desert of Dustwalk.  She'd taught herself to shoot with the best of guys in secret feeling herself with a pistol in her hands.  The world is rules by mortals but Gene used to roam free with their magical off spring, djinni, and other magical creatures roaming around the desert.  There are millions of stories about them and the past and Amani knows them all.  Stuck under her Uncles care after her mother was hung she is bound and determined to escape and make it to her mothers home, the place she talked about so often.  She meets Jin, a handsome foreigner who is also pretty good with a gun in a contest she is trying to win to secure funds for her travel.  Things change and she is forced to adjust her plans.  Jin seems like a better means of escape, fleeing from the Sultan's army with a treasonous fugitive who will help her figure out her place and who she really is.

                I liked the idea of this story from the start giving me an Aladdin vibe.  While I'm not a huge fan of deserts in person as I don't like the heat, sun, or sand I like reading about them.  Following Amani and Jin on this journey was full of exciting moments.  The scenery was well described with the different towns and the methods of travel.  I really found myself captivated as it felt like the desert.  Despite the magic it felt realistic, the fact that they were in the desert and the strain that puts on a person was never forgotten and that is always a plus. 

                Still like many books for me I fell in love with the characters.  Amani was bad ass.  She wasn't happy with her situation and what was to happen to her so she changed things.  She took charge and wasn't going to let anyone made decisions about her life for her just because she is a SHE.  Even as she starts to develop feelings for Jin she doesn't let that cloud her judgment completely but simply a factor to be considered along with all the other options.  I respected her for that.  Jin, I had my ups and downs with him at times but far more ups to be sure.  I liked his attitude form the beginning and most important is he doesn't underestimate her simply for being a female.  He never considers her weak but instead expects more of her knowing her grit.  I also adored some of the others as we got to meet them as the story progressed. 

                The story morphs from one of escape to one of rebellion and I love it.  I enjoyed how the story had lots of twists and turns and always kept the pace moving.  It walked a line of real and magical well as there would be times when you don't realize the world has magic until you are faced with a magical sand horse or a djinni who can use their powers.  It's like a world within a world and I love it.  The political aspect of the Sultan and the Rebel Prince, the foreigner soldiers that practically rule nation taking what they are allowed and more. 

                It was fascinating and I can't wait to read the sequel, which thankfully as I waited so long to get to this is already out.  I just have to wait for my next credit to kick in and I will be able to start on the sequel which has me equal parts excited and nervous given where things are.


                Until next time…

Saturday, July 15, 2017

~Stacking the Shelves~

                Welcome to Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page.  Basically you showcase the books you bought or received each week.  Little, or not so little, weekly book hauls. 

E-Books (for review):
Jane,Unlimited by Kristin Cashore for No BS Book Reviews
Forest of aThousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao for No BS Book Reviews

E-Book & Audiobook:
The Dragonsof Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova


Swag:
First let us look at what it came in the coolest envelope ever:  
I'm probably going to use the envelope as a bookmark at some point, just saying.

 

                That's if for this week.  Share a link below with what goodies you got this week.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Wolves & Roses

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Wolves & Roses (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1) by Christina Bauer
Out:  10/31

From Goodreads:
                Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem.  She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches.  That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template.  In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

                “Should” being the key word.
               
                Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template.  Not even close.  She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures.  She can’t sing.  And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry.  Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancident Egypt.  What’s up with that?

                All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her.  And she might be able to do just that—if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

                But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams.  Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O.  If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives…as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

Why I’m Waiting:
                I love this author.  Obviously.  Auto-buy aside I like the idea of the book with the fairy tale template being turned around on its head.  Should be fun!  Plus the three chapter sampler I read and reviewed has me super pumped for this one! 


                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Paintbrush

                Hello happy readers!  So on a Tuesday normally I participate in the weekly Top Ten Tuesday posts, however, they are taking a break for a few weeks so but I will resume when they do.  Today though it worked out beautifully because with my internet at the house acting up last week I had to push my Friday review to Monday and so on.  So that means instead of posting my review Friday I can post it today, on release day!  The book in question is Paintbrush by debut author Hannah Bucchin.  I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

Rating:  4 Stars

                We follow Josie and Mitchell seniors a few weeks from graduating.  They have spent their whole lives together and used to be the best of friends which is easy to see being the only kids at the time at Indian Paintbrush Community Village-AKA Paintbrush.  Josie loves Paintbrush and is content to spend her time there while Mitchell is ready to get as far away as possible.  The live separate lives in school but as Mitchell’s mother makes a huge announcement it rocks everything he knows while Josie’s younger sister is acting out in dangerous ways.  Both of them need support and find it in one another, having shared so much.  They see one another in a new light and something more than old friendship starts up, just as they are about to go down separate paths for the future. 

                I read through this in one day.  It was such a quick and sweet read.  I was so caught up in the story and the idea of this community.  I like how they both saw different sides of Paintbrush.  I’m not even an outdoorsy type of person, okay honestly I avoid it like the plague, but this made me wish I was.  It made me want to go out and just enjoy nature.  I loved the whole concept of the place as a whole and how it played its own character in the story.  The concept and idea of the place was explained simply as it was and that was that. A place that takes in all sorts and creates a diverse and colorful community that works together.  I could see the positives that Josie loved and the negatives that Mitchell was ready to escape. 

                Paintbrush is all about the characters and relationships.  Between Josie and Mitchell.  Between families. Between friends.  Between the community.  I like that while Mitchell and Josie had been best friends for most of their life and were still friendly as they grew apart they found their own grove and new friends.  Mostly because I loved Leah and Cord.  Leah though, she had some of the best moments for sure.  She is a great friend and so many of the things I love about her are things I see in my own friend!  Cord and Mitchell, they are so different but they just have this type of acceptance that is so nice.

                This story takes place in such a short time frame when compared to many other books but it manages to pack so much feeling into that time.  It tackles so many issues that I think anyone can relate to and this makes the story that much more real.  I am so pleased by this debut book!

                Until next time…



Monday, July 10, 2017

Ghost Machine: A Gothic Steampunk Novel

                Hello happy readers!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I have been battling a sinus infection, fun times, so I did a whole lot of sleeping when not arguing with my internet provider.  Anywho on a happier note I'd like to share my thoughts and feelings on a newer stand-alone I finished, Ghost Machine:  A Gothic Steampunk Novel by Kristen Brand.  I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

                I don't think I've read too much steampunk in the past but the idea really does fascinate me.  As does the idea of asylums there is just something about them that can mess with your head.  So when I saw that the book would follow Ella as she was locked away in a remote asylum and put through torturous treatments to cure her hallucinations I was already hooked.  She wants to get better from the ghosts she began seeing but as the treatment becomes unbearable and seems to even been making her visions worse she begins to see the good doctor doesn't plan to cure her but to dissect her ability.  Refusing to accept her fate and be slowly killed she is going to make a break for it.  When she makes her daring escape she nearly dies but finds herself in the home of Baron Viktor Szarka, a cruel man and possible murderer if her fellow patient at the asylum is to be believed.  Unable to trust him, or anyone, Ella must try to uncover the truth behind her visions and the secrets of the Baron and the asylum or become a ghost herself.

                To feel like there is something off with you and wanting to go somewhere to try and get better is a huge thing.  The idea of anyone taking advantage of someone in such a vulnerable position is truly monstrous.  Seeing ghosts is scary enough but to be somewhere that is supposed to help you overcome this but instead has its own purposes and agendas really makes you relate to Ella.  I found myself really rooting for her from the start.  She loved her family and wanted to do what was best for them.  She is a very strong character throughout the book because even as she is scared or in pain she continues to push through knowing she must.  She also doesn't do things solely for herself but in the service of others which is always commendable.  Ella is also of a scientific upbringing and knows that you must have facts to make sound decisions and while she may have questions or concerns about some she is constantly changing her stance on things as new information becomes available not getting stuck in one way of thinking.

                The rest of the cast, from parents, to the Viktor the Baron and his small brother Andras, the staff at the asylum including the vile Dr and his head nurse, to the various people we meet along the way in this novel were all so much fun.  Be it good and truly evil like the best old time villains or the precocious little Andras, or the confounding and mysterious baron.  I can't go into them too much without ruining the story as it unfolds because while they all play their parts to the story they all have their own motivations.

                The plot of the story is really an escape story.  Ella is set to escape and is trying to get out of reach of the powerful Dr and his experiments in the asylum.  The ups and downs of the escape and running, the hits and misses with nothing being easy but adjusting as it goes was so much fun to read I didn't want to put it down.  As more started to come out about her, gift, and she began to accept each new piece of information trying to understand it was so nice.  The pacing was strong and kept things moving and it always kept up with itself, injuries continued to play a part not forgotten which is nice consistency.  There is plenty of action and suspense in the daring escapes and fights, the changing landscapes and travel you really see so much of this world full of creations that really capture the imagination.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and it was a super quick read.  I think anyone can dive into it and enjoy it! 


                Until next time…