Saturday, February 25, 2017

Me on This Week's Book Week (247)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hello again. Another week gone. The weather's been nice, I've been joining my sister and her dog on their walks, if only to also play Pokemon Go. ;)

I've been catching up on some D&D streams and videos that I let pile up over the last year. You know me, you know I like interesting storytelling. And D&D streams are full of interesting storytelling, because it's part-known and established (often fantasy) world and part-improv. And it's always interesting seeing what people come up with in terms of in-character talk on the fly.

Reviews going up this week will feature A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Tuesday) and Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan (Friday). :)
Bought/borrowed/received:
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (bought/pre-ordered)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Me on The Beast Is an Animal

Title: The Beast Is an Animal
Author: Peternelle vanArsdale
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. MacElderry Books (Simon & Schuster imprint)

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village. These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys. Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

The Beast Is an Animal is deep, dark, and dangerous. Full of mystery and sorrow, of something that wears at the soul.

Alys is a girl of secrets. Secrets that would do her no good if they were spoken aloud. Secrets about the soul eaters and how she saw them as a child. Secrets about the Beast and how she's seen It, how It asked for her help. After the death of her parents, of the village, she becomes watchful in a town of fundamentalists, of those who fear what they cannot see or feel. Those who fear the Beast because It is unnatural, because It is like nothing their holy books say should be revered. Alys knows that walls, preaching, and fingerpointing won't keep them safe from the soul eaters. But what about what lurks inside Alys, hungry, waiting. She knows she's not like the other children, knows what's inside her. Knows it is the most dangerous of secrets.

Throughout the entire book a question raced through my mind. If the Beast is an animal, then what are the soul eaters? What is Alys? What are the townsfolk of Defaid? If the Beast is an animal, are we the monsters? Are we the ones that should be feared, the ones that go bump in the night? So many monstrous things are done by humans in the name of faith and good intentions and self-preservation.

This story is atmospheric and chilling, so unlike most books I've come across. It's deep and draining, mysterious and eerie. It's a slow burn, this story, but it takes time for anger to grow, for fear to develop. For death to come. This is a book about fear and judgement, about life and death, about what makes a home a home instead of just a place. I would definitely recommend this to those looking for something very different in terms of YA, like The Walls Around Us and The Darkest Part of the Forest.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Simon & Schuster Canada.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (319)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Want
Author: Cindy Pon
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster imprint)

From Goodreads:

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

The title very much sums up my thoughts on this book. ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Me on The Ship Beyond Time

Title: The Ship Beyond Time
Author: Heidi Heilig
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins imprint)

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father's ship. And now it's finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix's existence—and Nix's future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices.

The Ship Beyond Time is mysterious and alluring, dark and deceptive. A journey through time, towards fate and towards fear. Can history be changed? What of the consequences? Is there any hope to finding what was once lost?

Nyx is full of worry and fear. Even though they are now safe, now free to travel the seas once more, she can't help but worry. Worry that she will turn into her father, a broken shell of a man now off drugs but still desperate to make it back to the woman he once loved and lost. After leaving Hawaii, after realizing how she feels about Kashmir, she's not about to lose him.

What is time when you can travel across it? The idea of travelling anywhere at any point in time, as long as you have a map of it, is intriguing. Compelling. But then what is the future? Are you racing towards it or running from it? And what if time could be altered? What if the past could be changed?

A sense of something bittersweet and melancholy runs through this book, like mist swirling about the ankles. What is home? What is time? What is knowledge? What is fate? These are the questions asked by Nix, feared by Nix. An enchanting story of history and myth, of place and belonging, of love and loss. Of the lengths some will go to in order to save those they care about.

(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Me on This Week's Book Week (246)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hello! The weather's been nicer here, meaning no snow, but it's still around! Big piles in parking lots, icy patches on park paths.

No books this week! I couldn't get around to the library to wander and browse.

Reviews going up this week will feature The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Tuesday) and The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle vanArsdale (Friday). :)