Monday, May 14, 2018

Ink, Iron and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare


Goodreads Synopsis:

Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother―a noted scriptologist―constantly alters and expands their reality.

But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology―and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created―and only she can stop it.

My Thoughts:



This story starts out a little slow and may confuse some readers, so I suggest paying attention to what you’re reading. Don’t do what I do, and skip over any details to get to the quotes. I don’t know why I do that, because the details is what really draws you into the story but sometimes I just get bored and need to skip ahead, so I don’t put the book down at all.

The setting was quite unique and I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed that scriptology was included in this story. Alchemy has been done and mechanics have been done more times than I can count, but scriptology was something new and I was intrigued. However, the scriptology aspect could have been explore a bit more, to draw readers into more of the magic. 

The relationships between the characters were spot on. Not too complex and not too many characters to follow. I thought the romantic interest could have developed a little sooner but all in all, the romantic scenes definitely satisfied me. 

One thing I will be hopeful for in book 2: I want to see more of Faraz. I feel like he has a lot going on in the background and I want to see him put his alchemy to work! As well as a romantic interest for him. He seems to be the most diverse character and I would like to hear more about his culture, wishes and desires. 


In closing, I was really reminded of The Mortal Instruments while reading the series. You have your main character Elsa who has multiple gifts and a master of all of them and is a lot like Clary from TMI. You have Leo, whom is arrogant and secretive like Jace. Porzia is just like Izzy, with all of that sass. Faraz seems to be the sole unique character here. There are even small children in the house; Porzia’s siblings just like Izzy’s, leaving plenty of expansion for future books. The traveling through portals was very similar as well. I’m not complaining about this, just stating my senses. I adored TMI and love the similarities that are in Ink, Ivory and Glass as well. I think Clare tweaked her story more than enough to make hers unique and strong in many other ways. I can’t wait for book 2!

Gwendolyn Clare's debut novel -- INK, IRON, AND GLASS -- is the first in a steampunk duology about a young mad scientist with the ability to write new worlds into existence, out now from Imprint. Her short stories have appeared in ClarkesworldAsimov's, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, among others, and her poetry has been nominated for the Rhysling Award. She holds a BA in Ecology, a BS in Geophysics, a PhD in Mycology, and swears she's done collecting acronyms. She lives in North Carolina with too many cats, too many ducks, and never enough books.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Your One and Only Review & Giveaway




ABOUT THE BOOK

Your One and Only
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?

While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
My Thoughts:

I love dystopian YA novels.  Your One and Only hit the nail right on the head for me.  I was a bit hesitant at first because I don’t like it when characters have numbers next to their names it can be a little confusing, but Finlay definitely made Althea-310 a human clone, stand out among the others.  This book screams difference, individuality, and acceptance from all corners.
With two point of views, one from Althea-310 and the other from Jack (the last living human), the story is told exquisitely.  Once the two are introduced, the goods and bads from both species are highlighted and your mind really gets to thinking.  I love it when a book gets me to thinking like this one did.  The fact that clones are a large possibility in our future and with all of the diseases spreading, a plague is never out of the question either, both really have an impact on you when you read this.  Finlay made these clones real, almost as real as humans and so you don’t think of them as empty or robotic.  They breathe and feel and think for themselves. 
Jack is the outsider here, and though a bit aggressive, I love him for it, every second.  I love his perspective of the clones and of Althea-310 in particular. While Althea-310 accepts Jack and Jack accepts Althea-310 and even a slight romance seems to begin, the story does not focus on romance.  Sam’s role in the story could’ve been a little stronger.  His affections towards Jack seemed kind of all of a sudden and not so built up from earlier in the story. 

Though there is definitely great world building, the story is absolutely character driven and Finlay does a fantastic job of getting you to know her characters and wanting to meet them in real life.   I felt the first quarter of the book was a bit too slow but the next 3 quarters totally made it up for it. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of YA Dystopian and Sci-Fi.

Favorite Quotes

Lights hung like fireflies from the flowering trees in twinkling paper baskets, and the colored rocks glowed around the perimeter of the kapok.

They understood each other, and in their understanding, they became one.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.

"Don't you know?" His breath was hot in her ear.  "I'm the snake in the Garden."

How foolish we were, to act as gods.




TOUR SCHEDULE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally from Ithaca, New York, Adrianne Finlay now lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa with her husband, the poet J. D. Schraffenberger, and their two young daughters. She received her PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University, and is an associate professor of English at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. 
She is also an avid soap maker, and sells handmade soap locally to raise money for type 1 diabetes research. 


GIVEAWAY

       Prize:3 copies of YOUR ONE AND ONLY by Adrianne Finlay (US Only)
       Starts: 1/30
       Ends: 2/9

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing Review and Giveaway



Goodreads Review

Cayda has spent her entire life training to slay a Fire Scale. Now the time has come to leave her dragon-ravaged village behind, march into the Summer Alps, and reap the rewards of a Champion. But the road between poverty and prosperity is rife with beasts, betrayals, and baser temptations. Sensible Cayda soon discovers she’s not the only Champion with her eye on the prize, or the only one wearing a disguise.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing pits girl against dragon in a stunning blend of Greek mythology and medieval lore. Don’t miss the thrilling novella that readers are calling poetic, enchanting, and a must-read for fans of fantasy!

My Thoughts

For me A Wild and Unremarkable Thing was a exciting and fast fantasy read. A book about dragons or red scales, is a book that draws me in quickly. With Mulan feels and a Medieval Times setting in this novel, an adventure awaits you. Dragons/Fire Scales mixed with feminism and family bonds, there are a lot of great ingredients to this fantasy.

The mythology element of the death God added an extra finesse to the story. I loved Cody's character!  She was very real and driven.  This story is character-driven and done so quite well. Penn was another great character in this story for me.  One might not think they would like the God of Death, I know personally before his character arch, I pictured Hades from hercules...  but his character developed and quickly became a key role for Cody's livelihood and destiny.  


Cody and Penn met my expectations mostly. Where I felt some of the language to describe certain body parts in the novel may have been blunt or vulgar, the romantic scenes could have been lengthened with more detail. The romance itself did not feel rushed but the intimate moments did.

 I loved Prince Fares role in the story as well, his extremely friendly nature with both men and women, kept the story lighthearted and at times comical.   Wolfe not so much.  I loved him in the beginning of the book and I thought he would do something great but I felt the author must have had a change of heart on his character somewhere in the middle of the book and decided she didn't like him anymore.  I was ok with the same feeling towards Zoe, but I never cared for her anyway.  The book was short and felt rushed and was a fast read for me and I actually read it in about 4 hours and that is a first for me. I read it that quickly for two reasons. One it was a short book and two it was an exciting book. I wish the story could have been dragged out a little longer with more relationship details but the excitement and adventure with dragons and hunting made up for it and I will surely be dreaming of becoming a dragon slayer tonight in my slumber. Although thanks to A Wild and Unremarkable Thing, I may consider the dragons feelings...

My Favorite Quotes

"Small of sature, gentle of heart, " he says.  "You might write your own story, Cody.  But men will write stories about you too."

"You're getting a little ahead of yourself, aren't you?"  he says.  Now she's gliding through his veins.  Now is blood is silk and his pulse is fluttering.

He's sure he will die a dreadful, unimpressive death, sixty years from today, if he does not do something great. 

All manner of things can happen to a girl traveling alone, even a girl with bound breasts and sheered-off hair. 

About the Author:
Jen Castleberry lives and writes in Virginia Beach.
Her background is in Animal Welfare.
All of her pets are named after superheroes.

TOUR SCHEDULE
GIVEAWAY
       Prize: 1 signed paperback copy of A WILD AND UNREMARKABLE THING by Jen Castleberry
       US Only
       Starts: January 23
       Ends: February 2

BOOK LINKS

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous


Goodreads Summary:

Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy. 
Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn't always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

My Take:

This was a very paranormal young adult read and I liked it!  I immediately liked Laurel.  I felt the missing sister story line has been played a lot, but Echlin and Watrous did a nice job in making this story its own.  I think any book that has the words ancient prophecy in it, speaks for itself.  I definitely wished I could've read this before October as I feel it has a nice creepy vibe to it and I like those types of books at certain times of year.  I felt that Laurel was a complex character who shows originality and true versions of being a teenager, making  her very easy to relate and connect to.  Jasper was a nice love interest in that he, himself, has a backstory that is quite unique.  I didn't really care for Mei or Peyton, but I do think that was the objective.  You can plainly see that everyone is struggling with real life teenage feelings and emotions and insecurities. 

I truly enjoyed Laurel's dreams that told so much of the story and her journey into finding out what happened to her sister Ivy.  I would probably give this story 3 stars for being a creepy, paranormal, sibling bonded, teenage journey to finding ones true self. 

Dream Cast  Was so much fun to make!!!

Laurel ~ Chloe Moretz
Ivy ~ Veronika Bonell
Jasper ~ Ansel Elgort
Sky ~ Skai Jackson
Peyton ~ Aurora Perrineau
Mei ~ Nikki Soohoo
Simone ~ Bailee Madison

Favorite Quotes

"But it was only a nightmare, I told myself. It couldn’t mean anything."

 "I felt like she’d taken the billowing black mass of the nightmare and folded it over and over, until it became a tiny square, small enough for me to put away and forget about."

"Ancient magic sang in their veins, while the most ordinary blood trickled through mine." 

 “As the date approaches, the natural order will begin to fall apart, and the lower beings will be seen to rise from the dead.”

About the Authors

Hello! We are both novelists, but if you've ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl's sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn't resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)


We've both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called "the Vortex." One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: "My apartment is a pigsty and I haven't eaten all day. #inthevortex." We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there's romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn't that the case with all the best kisses in books?


Tour Schedule


December 16th



December 17th

Deal Sharing Aunt - Promotional Post
The Reading Life - Review + Dream Cast + Favorite Quotes


December 18th

JusticeReads - Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes
A Bookish Abode - Review
Rainy Days and Pajamas- Promotional Post


December 19th

Vicarious Bookworm - Review + Favorite Quotes
Ink of Blood- Review


December 20th

Ctrl, Alt, Books - Review + Favourite Quotes
The Clever Reader - Review + Favorite Quotes

December 21st

Books, Boys, and Blogs - Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes
Lisa's Loves(Books of Course) - Promotional Post
A Dream Within a Dream- Promotional Post


December 22nd

YA/NA Book Divas - Review + Favourite Quotes
Hauntedbybooks13 - Review


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber






The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Synopsis:

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.


My Thoughts:

What a great fantasy novel!  Mary Weber has written an amazing trilogy before and this new story is no different.  Her writing style is so unique, concise and clear.  The world building is creative and tangible and I was sucked right in.  The many different topics this fantasy covers are real and tremendous.  Sofi is such a relateable character and the relationship she shares with her brother is incredible.  I love stories about strong sibling bonds.  She is also another broken but strong heroine and that what readers are into right now, because that's how a lot of us feel.  We have moments of strength and moments of weakness.  We are building stronger futures for ourselves on top of broken or shattered foundations.

This is a fast paced novel like Weber's other novels.  She has a way of weaving a story into your mind and making it play out like a movie.  This one has a lot of Sci-fi elements like aliens, futuristic worlds and such.  Which makes this read one for many. Hovercrafts and transports truly transport the reader into the future and hooked for a ride of their of life. 

I felt a strong connection with Sofi and as the main character that is very important to me.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and am ready for the sequel like... now please.  

I've never actually listened to music before while reading and but I love trying new things!  So, I given the setting of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, I wanted to listen to some Sci-Fi type of music...


Playlist
1.  Cello Wars (Star Wars Parody) Light Saber Duel - The Piano Guys
2.  Star Wars Medley - Lindsey Stirling and Peter Hollens
3.  Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd
4.  E.T. by Kanye West and Katy Perry
5.  Wondaland by Janelle Monae
6.   Life on Mars? by David Bowe
7.  A Thousand Years by The Piano Guys
8.  The Inner Light (Star Trek) Piano Cover
9.  Batman Covers - The Piano Guys
10.  In the End - Linkin Park

BOOK LINKS


TOUR SCHEDULE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Comic-Con, and the ocean.

Mary's debut, Storm Siren, was featured in the Scholastic School Book Fairs, and her novels have been endorsed by bestselling authors Marissa Meyer, Jay Asher, Wendy Higgins, CJ Redwine, and Jonathan Maberry.

You can also find Mary's fun interviews in the paperback of Marissa Meyer's NYT bestselling, CRESS, and in Jay Asher's 13 REASONS WHY movie tie-in edition. Most recently, you can see her and her family as extras in the NETFLIX Original Series, 13 REASONS WHY.

She gets nerdy at @maryweber.com, FACEBOOK @MaryWeberAuthor, INSTAGRAM @MaryWeberAuthor, TWITTER @mchristineweber, and GOODREADS. Come say hi!!


GIVEAWAY
       Prize: Everything in the picture— Backpack, earbuds, hardcover copy of the book
       US/Canada only
       Starts: 12/11
       Ends: 12/29

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Sleeping Beauty Re-telling Must Read!


Prepare yourself for a wonderfully told re-telling story of the sleeping princess!

Goodreads Summary:

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

My Take:

I never cared for the classic Sleeping Beauty movie, so I was hopeful that I would like this retelling.  Jumping from different character’s points of view helps to keep any story new and fresh and I absolutely adored that about Spindle Fire.  I immediately loved the twist of Aurora having a half-sister in this story.  Definitely makes the princess character seem a bit more relatable.  I actually think I preferred Isbe to Aurora in many different instances and wished that she was the princess here and not the weak and feeble Aurora. Alas, there could be no Sleeping Beauty retelling Aurora and she did come into her own.  A very complex character in my opinion, who grows and when you can see growth in a character in any story, you know you are reading a great book, by a great author.
The many different fairies in this tale make this retelling unique as well.  Malfleur and Belcoeur definitely give us a lot of excitement and awe.  I was on the edge of my seat quite a few times, not able to put this book down. There was so much magic and it was epic!  Fans of YA fantasy will love this retelling in my opinion.


I felt the story took off right from the beginning.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the girls having such main characters tithed from themselves, although it definitely made this story its own and stand out for me at the same time.  Maybe I just can’t be happy?  Nah, I was enveloped by this story and could imagine every scene in my head with Gil and Heath.  However, the romance in this story is not the highlight which I love.  It’s a story of sisters and trust and determination in a world full of evil and magic and obstacles to keep them from each other.

 

I felt that Hillyer’s writing was very engaging and raw with an exquisite prose and intense relationships, containing so many elements of a fantastical world of fairies and magic and 
royalty.  I could not have asked for a better retelling and I am in such high anticipation of the sequel, Winter Glass to come in 2018! 





About the Author: Lexa Hillyer

 I'm the author of Spindle Fire (coming April 2017 from Harper!), Proof of Forever, and the poetry collection Acquainted with the Cold, which won the 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Award's Gold Prize for Poetry. I'm also the co-founder of creative development company Paper Lantern Lit. My poetry was anthologized in Best New Poets 2012, and appears in several journals. I live in Carroll Gardens with my husband, daughter, and a very skinny orange tree. Follow me on instagram @ProofOfLex and twitter @Lexa_Hillyer !  (Author bio from Goodreads.)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Memory Trees With Giveaway!!!




ABOUT THE BOOK

The Memory Trees
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: October 10th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Paranormal
 
Synopsis:

The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.

Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world. 

Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.

Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn ore about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?

Buy Links:


                                            


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com. Her first novel, Shallow Graves, was published by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins in 2016. Her second novel, The Memory Trees, will follow in 2017. She lives in southern California.









1 signed hardcover copy of THE MEMORY TREES by Kali Wallace (US Only)


Direct Link:


There is a preorder giveaway: anybody who preorders by 10/10 can get a signed bookplate and some bookmarks if they send an email to thememorytrees@gmail.com.


Ink, Iron and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Goodreads Synopsis: Can she write a world gone wrong? A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new ...