Thursday, May 17, 2018

Blog Tour: Furyborn

Hi all! Welcome to one of today's stops on the Furyborn blog tour, set up by the wonderful Raincoast Books.
I hope you're excited to read this when it comes out next week. It's familiar in the way epic fantasy can be, magic and kings and queens and secrets, but it feels wholly different because of the characters and the events that take place. The different points of view and the circumstances that connect them. To celebrate the book, here's a review of the book and a quick little Q&A with Claire Legrand.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (378)

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

Title: Rule
Author: Ellen Goodlett
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)

From Goodreads:

Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

Zofi has spent her entire life traveling across the Reaches. Just when her freedom matters most, the king's men arrive and drag her away from her fellow Travelers to bring her to the capital--Kolonya.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a ladies' maid at court. She dreams of being a noble herself one day, but being ominously summoned to the king's courtroom after a misdeed isn't exactly what she had in mind.

Akeylah was raised by an abusive father in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by brewing insurrection. She'd do anything to escape her family, even accept the invitation of a king who has every reason to despise her.

Each girl hides a dangerous secret--the kind that could get her killed for treason. But when the girls are brought before King Andros expecting an execution, instead they learn the truth: the king is dying and they are his only living heirs. Now the three of them must live at court and compete for the chance to rule. But someone in Kolonya knows the girls' secrets, and they'll stop at nothing to keep them from the throne.

This sounds like a curious mashup of Three Dark Crowns and other books with intrigue and secrets, books like Mask of Shadows and Furyborn. So I'm definitely interested in reading this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Me on Spectacle Volume 1

Title: Spectacle Volume 1
Author/artist: Megan Rose Gedris
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Oni Press

Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn't believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they're sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. With few leads, a troupe full of secretive folk, and strange paranormal occurrences popping up around the circus, solving the case seems near impossible. But the murderer in their midst may be the least of their problems...

Spectacle Volume 1 is mysterious. It's full of secrets, full of characters with their own different personalities and motives, and full of questions when it comes to those characters and their motives.

Anna is practical, she leans more towards the scientific things in life. Like her conjecture engine. Like sense and reason. Not the tarot cards and fortune telling she does as her role in a travelling circus. She's not like her twin sister Kat, a knife-throwing night owl who sometimes leaves a mess in her wake. But they're family. They're all each other has, and so they tolerate each other. Until one night when Kat is murdered, leaving behind a rather demanding ghost for Anna to see. With this sudden death, Anna is on the hunt for the murderer, but Kat's still keeping secrets from her sister. Everyone in the circus keeps secrets, and it's up to Anna to sort through them in order to find Kat's murderer. But something else is going on around the circus.

The art style is rough and charming, it didn't take long to grow on me. The different shapes of the circus cars and tents. The wild mass of Anna's hair, her and Kat's outrageous expressions when the find out Kat's dead and sticking around as a ghost. The different people who work in the circus, like owner Jebediah Tetanus, squeaky-voiced Flora, and Kat's show partner Carl. They all have their own look, all have a way of standing out.

To be honest, when I started reading this I wasn't sure where it was going to go, what I was going to find. What I found was a story full of secrets, of people running and hiding and finding a place where they can feel safe. But safety only lasts for so long, those hidden skeletons stay hidden as long as someone doesn't let them out. Considering how this volume ends, I'm rather interested as to where the story will go. What secrets Anna will uncover, what secrets Kat is still keeping to herself. What's chasing after them.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Oni Press through NetGalley.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (377)

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

Title: Heart of Thorns
Author: Bree Barton
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins imprint)

From Goodreads:

In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch. 

But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

Hmmmmmmm. Interesting.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Me on Horimiya Volume 6

Title: Horimiya Volume 6
Original story: HERO
Artist: Daisuke Hagiwara
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Yen Press

For Hori and Miyamura, being together, even at school, is now completely natural. But they don't just have each other! As the pair navigates the intricacies of being a couple, they interact and connect with the people around them, who in turn make their world all the more colorful. But Hori and Miyamura's friends are no strangers to the bittersweet pangs of love either...

Horimiya Volume 6 is more of the same. More Hori being unsure about a number of things. More Miyamura opening up to people around him. More of their friends dealing with their own situations and feelings. More of Hori's dad being useless. But sometimes, in a comedic series like this, there are moments that make me think.

There are two rather important moments that happen in this volume, so hopefully you're forgive me for spoiling it. The first has to do with Hori and Miyamura as a couple, has to do with what each of them likes about the other. Knowing she loves gory horror movies while he's afraid of them, Hori tries to be atypical, pretending to be scared. And it backfires like it only could with these two. Which leaves Hori upset that she's not like "normal girls." Which leads to Miyamura saying he doesn't like "normal girls," he likes Hori just the way she is. And Hori likes Miyamura the same way. It all culminates in them having a moment in Hori's bedroom, and considering both are soon seen without their shirts on, it seems like a rather serious moment for the two of them. Like they've reached another step in their relationship. But considering the overall comedic tone of the series, I wonder if this is how far it'll go in terms of the physicality of their relationship.

The second moment is during a dream of Miyamura's, when his current self comes across his younger self during those dark middle school days. The days when he had no friends, when classmates would bully him, when he'd have no one to stand up for him. The days when he wanted to die. But the current Miyamura tells him that it will get better, that he will have friends and won't mind being loud and having fun. That there's someone out there who'll be there at his side, someone who will be everything to him as he will be to them. If only he waits a little longer. It's another serious moment, one that highlights how depression and suicidal thoughts don't care how old you are, how they can overwhelm you. How kids can be intentionally cruel and dismissive. How things do get better, when you find the strength to let people in.

The series continues to give readers more of the same. More awkward teens, more comedic moments, more Hori and Miyamura navigating their relationship. I do wonder if there'll ever be a mix-up, if things will ever drastically change, but I doubt it. I think it'll continue to be a feel-good slice of life series, a mixture of sad and sweet moments during their high school days.

(I purchased a copy of this title.)