Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Author: Rebecca Ross
Title: The Queen's Rising
Publication: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Harpeteen
Length: 464 pp.
Source: Library
Website | Twitter 

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

This one started out slow and remained at that pace. It begins with the mystery of Brienna's parentage kept a secret from her for most of her life. She's know it's someone of importance because why would her grandfather go through so much trouble to withhold her father's identity,which isn't really a secret to the reader. He takes her to the Magnalia House to become a passion, even though she has no inkling towards one in particular but the danger of her parentage sways the owner to take her on. Brienna spends the next several years trying to find her passion and decides on knowledge, which personally I think she should have started with that one first because it takes seven years to passion. Now, she has three years to passion in knowledge, she studies hard but still fears she won't succeed in finding a patron. 

The story really didn't feel like it was about her being a passion, so much so her other heritage from Maevana. A good part of the book's spent on her passion and some subtle romance but it changes to removing a cruel king to place the rightful queen on the throne. Overall, this one never managed to really excite me and the ending tied up neatly enough that I'm curious what the next book will be about. Basically this is a middle of the road book for me because I didn't exactly hate it but I didn't love it either. I liked the idea but the pace and not being able to completely connect to the characters didn't help. I think anyone that is looking for a slow-paced book with some romance that's not the primary focus may like this one. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Promo & Giveaway: The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Heart Forger
Author: Rin Chupeco
ISBN: 9781492635857
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
In this dark, engrossing sequel to The Bone Witch, Tea has mastered resurrection—now it’s time for revenge.

Tea, a bone witch who can resurrect the dead, is done with her self-imposed exile. She now possesses all seven bezoars she needs to revive the powerful daeva. With the help of these terrible monsters, she can finally enact her revenge against the royals who wronged her and took the life of her one true love.

Alliances and allegiances are shifting, and danger lurks in and out of the kingdom. But Tea’s heart is set on vengeance, even if it turns her against her now-estranged brother, who supports her enemies. War is brewing, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

Praise for The Heart Forger
“A dark, engaging fantasy series.”–School Library Journal

“In this spectacular follow-up to the rich The Bone Witch, Tea’s quest draws the reader further in, setting them on a more dangerous yet intriguing adventure.”— Foreword Reviews, STARRED review

“Rin’s beautifully crafted world from The Bone Witch (2017) expands in this sequel, which joins dark asha Tea on her crusade of revenge...Dark and entrancing with a third volume to come.” –Booklist, STARRED review

'Til Next Tuesday #12: The Window by Amelia Brunskill

'Til Next Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here @Little Library Muse. It's allows me to share my love of books and showcase new releases. It's inspired by my work developing the young adult collection.

Expected Release: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside--it's hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess's life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn't add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it's a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she's looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn't the only one with secrets.

Upcoming Releases!

What new books have caught your eye? Any books that you would recommend?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Title: Akata Witch
Series: Akata Witch #1
Publication: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Speak
Length: 349 pp.
Source: Library
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she's finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?  
Mini Review 

I didn't know about this book until I saw the cover for the second book and realized that it's something I wanted to read. I hadn't read anything like it before and once Sunny started her story, she sucked me in and didn't let go.  Sunny is an easy character to relate to as she experiences bullying, family dynamics and trying to find where she belongs. Then she discovers she has magic in her blood that possibly comes from a distant relative making her a free agent. Most Leopard People learn early about their heritage but Sunny doesn't have that luxury and she's immersed in this world rather quickly as a dangerous foe is on a killing spree. The perspective of Sunny is colorful and refreshing. I felt like I was right beside her as she navigated her new powers and a whole new community of magical people. I loved the world that the author has built with its rich characters and a vividly fresh magical world. Overall, I found myself flying through the pages at the steady rhythm of the beautifully crafted writing.  I think anyone that likes fantasy and magic set in Africa will enjoy this book. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

My Sunday Post #56

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
I'm also linking up to Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Review this week.

This week went by so fast and wasn't long enough but back at work I go. My aunt was able to go home yesterday and seems to be in better spirits. She's still on the mend but not in as much pain as she was before going to the hospital. I would have thought I'd get more reading done but I did at least start Sky in the Deep, which is interesting so far.  My week was mostly sleeping, cooking and at the hospital with my aunt. My goal for this week is to try to get ahead on the blog with my posts. 
Last Week on the Blog
My Sunday Post #55 
Spotlight Excerpt & Giveaway: Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler
'Til Next Tuesday #11: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White
Gunslinger Girl by Lindsay Ely ~Audio Review
Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland ~Review
Finale Blitz & Giveaway: Heart's Desire by Catherine Lanigan
Tenative Schedule for this week
My Sunday Post #56 
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
'Til Next Tuesday #12: The Window by Amelia Brunskill
The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco ~ Promo & Giveaway
The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross ~ Review
Antipodes by Michele Bacon ~Giveaway & Promo 
Sky In the Deep by Adrienne Young ~Review
New This Week

What's new with you? Did you discover any new books? 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Finale Blitz & Giveaway: Heart's Desire by Catherine Lanigan

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Heart's Desire
By Catherine Lanigan

***Premiering as The Sweetest Heart on the Hallmark Channel March 17th, 9 PM EDT***
(check your local listings for your air time)

Launch - The First Heartwarming novel to become a Hallmark Channel Movie:
To say I’m thrilled about my book being made into a movie is an understatement. I’m blessed and so very appreciative to all the people who have worked for over four long and arduous years to make this happen. In the movies, the heroine (me) would get a phone call and someone (the publisher) would announce that Hallmark just bought my book. That’s the dream scenario. That’s not what happened...

But here is the story within the story. For two plus years I have put one foot in front of the other hoping to make good on my promise to Jed. I have asked the producers to dedicate the film, “In Memory of Jed Nolan”. They’ve said they will do this on the end scroll. Whether it makes it past the cutting room or not, is in God’s hands. But I’ll be fighting for it all the way.

I’m still keeping my promise, Jed. I will never give up.

Please join me on my Prism Book Tour for Heart’s Desire. It will air on Hallmark on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, which is the beginning of their SPRING FLING promotion. There will be lots of ads about our first Heartwarming book made into a film.

— Catherine

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Author: Justina Ireland
Title: Dread Nation
Series: Dread Nation #1
Publication: April 3, 2018
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher 
Website | Twitter 


Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.
Jane is a clever, impulsive and witty character. She's way too sassy for her own good but she's smart. I enjoyed her humor in the midst of everything she was going through in this world. She's a badass shambler harvester and I could easily visualize her doing it.  Jane has great instincts about her surroundings and sees things that others so easily miss. So, when people begin to go missing Jane begins to piece together that it has something to do with the leaders in Baltimore County but as she gets closer to solving the puzzle, she and her friends get shipped off to the middle of nowhere. She sparks an unlikely friendship with her nemesis Katherine, who seems at first ditsy as all get out but managed to surprise me because she is so much more than that. Red Jack is a scoundrel that seems to show up at the least expected times but can't help but to fall for his slick charm. 

She misses home at Rose Hill and the uncertainties about her future make her wary. She's written countless letters to her mother but never receives word back. Each chapter begins with a letter to her mom and they are always cheery compared to what she is going through at the school in Baltimore County. She thinks her mother is upset with her for leaving and maybe that's why she hasn't heard back but the truth will spark her fury and vengeance at the betrayal. 

Okay, so this was a little hard for me to read considering the subject and not talking about the zombies. The way they get treated and talked about as if they are less than human is infuriating, yet it's okay for them being trained to kill and protect their betters. The Survivalists see a world that is changing and they'll do whatever they can to hold on to a semblance of the past that has them at the top of the hierarchy and the negroes subservient to them. There is one scene in particular that involves Jane that hit a nerve with the violence that highlights a moment those past ancestors had to endure that she herself never thought she would experience. I could connect to her pain, devastation, and anger as well as the other characters that had to go through the things they did in this world. Overall, this is a good beginning to Jane's story and I'm interested to see how the next book continues. The pace of this work is steady and the characters are engaging. The writing is good and the world is realistic considering the subject. I feel that anyone that's interested in zombies and a female lead that pulls you into to her life as if you are right there with her will like this one.  
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