Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (259)

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

Title: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend
Author: Alan Cumyn
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Antheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (Simon & Schuster imprint)

From Goodreads:

Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new... pterodactyl... at school. After all, everybody wants him!

Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?

But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.

Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?

Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing.

This book sounds bizarre as heck. And imagine my surprise and them almost instant understanding when I discovered it's CanLit. Of course something this bizarre would be Canadian. ;) I'm curious as to how the story will be told, how it'll all work with the dinosaur aspect, and how hysterically funny it'll be.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Me on This Week's Book Week (186)

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. ;)

Hi all! It snowed this week, which was horrible. But barely, so it's all good.

So we celebrated Christmas on Friday, which is more low key than it was when I was a kid. We're a small family. Things were a bit more exciting with Lucy running around like a crazy puppy, eating new treats and trying to stick her nose into the wrapping paper, but it was most of the same. Then came my birthday, which was smaller as my new laptop from earlier in the fall was an early present. But it was all good. Having fun, eating food (we had a ham this year for Christmas dinner), and watching the traditional Boxing Day hockey games. ;)

I'm thinking of shifting things a little bit in the new year, maybe moving Tuesday reviews to Monday and taking part in TTT more often. Thoughts? Any suggestions of backlist books to check out?

Reviews will start back up on Friday with Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. :)
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (ARC from Nafiza)
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (ARC from Nafiza)
The Rose Society by Marie Lu (Christmas present)
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (Christmas present)
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Christmas present)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (258)

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

Title: The Steep & Thorny Way
Author: Cat Winters
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books

From Goodreads:

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

I'm intrigued by the Hamlet retelling part of this, how it will come across and how the author will change things to fit Hanalee's story. I like how the main character is a girl, because why not? Girls can search for ghosts and uncover clues and get revenge.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Me on This Week's Book Week (185)

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. ;)

Hi all! It snowed this week, which was horrible. But only for a few hours. I'm not a fan of snow, as regular readers know. We don't really get along well, snow and I.

I'm attempting to cram in a bunch of reading over the next couple of weeks, basically until the end of the year. There are a bunch of books I've had for ages, some ARCs I'd like to at east get read, some finished copies. I basically want to get them read so I can get them out of the way of next years upcoming books and ARCs, but I don't just want to skim and then forget everything that's happened.

My birthday is in a week. *falls over dead* I imagine I'll be spending it the usual way: sleeping in, reading what I want (probably A Gathering of Shadows), eating Christmas leftovers, and getting what I want for dinner. This year, I'm thinking pizza. ;)

No reviews until January! But there will still be Waiting on Wednesday and This Week's Book Week posts going up on Wednesdays and Saturdays. :)
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (ARC from Raincoast Books)
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey (e-galley from Macmillan through Raincoast Books)
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen (e-galley from Macmillan through Raincoast Books)
Ruined by Amy Tintera (e-galley from HarperCollins through Edelweiss)
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton (e-galley from HarperCollins through Edelweiss)
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (e-galley from HarperCollins through Edelweiss)
The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele (e-galley from HarperCollins through Edelweiss)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Me on My Most Anticipated Books of 2016

Hi all! Instead of a review today, I thought I'd essentially end the year with a look forward to what's coming out next year.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: How intriguing is this book! Time travel and pirates and history and confused girls and complicated matters. I've got an e-galley of this so I'm thinking it might be my first read of 2016. It just sounds so interesting, and other people I follow have enjoyed it. I'm curious as to how in depth it will get into pirates and different time periods and adventure and danger.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst: I want to read this so much. How often do you come across a fantasy novel where the princess, engaged to marry and prince from another land, instead falls in love with his sister? Lesbians in YA fantasy? Finally. And there isn't a love triangle, the author said so on Twitter. Exciting!

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: New YA from Victoria! It could be about almost anything and I'd read it. It's by Victoria. I love how all of Victoria's books play with good and evil, right and wrong, and how vast the shades of grey in between them are. It's not just one or the other, true or false, A or B. It's a giant mishmash of everything. It's going to be a mess of the monsters outside and the monster inside and danger and angst and it's going to be wonderful.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater: This list is in no particular order. If it was, this would be first. ;) I crave returning to this world with a fiery passion. Rereading just won't cut it, not completely. It's the needing to know what happens next. What happens to Blue and her boys now that things were uncovered and people were rescued and people were left behind. What happens now with the trees and the magic and the ghosts and the possibilities. How will Gansey die? What will happen after he dies? Remember, gentle readers, to think of the 'what will happen after.'

Riders by Veronica Rossi: The only other series featuring the Horsemen of the Apocalypse that I've read is Jackie Morse Kessler's series, so check that out if you're looking for something more contemporary that really nails some tough issues. This appeals to the dark fantasy part of my reader's brain, especially the part of the summary that details their failure.

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: This series has been emotional and painful and deadly and full of hidden truths and obvious lies. Kestrel and Arin have been through everything, it's wrecked them so much, and they still have further to go.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: BECAUSE I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. *ahem* Because Illuminae was so enthralling and expansive and dangerous. While each book will feature a different 'pair,' I'm still curious about what was happening during Kady and Ezra's story. There's never just one side to a story.

Of course, these are just the books I'm really excited for right now. There are loads more that I'm also excited for, like The Dark Days Club, Gena/Finn, Places No One Knows, Behold the Bones, etc. It's hard to narrow it down, you know?

What books are you looking forward to for next year? Hope you all have a great holiday and a happy new year! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (257)

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

Title: Places No One Knows
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte (Random House imprint)

From Goodreads:

A high-achieving girl falls for the most imperfect boy in school through a series of mysterious dreams, which change how she feels about herself, her future, and love.

Waverly Camdenmar doesn’t have friends, she has social assets. She doesn’t get sucked into drama, she makes tactical decisions. Her life is dominated by achievement, competition, and functioning as the power behind the throne in her school’s little kingdom of popularity. But even the most resilient mercenary has weaknesses. Perfection is exhausting, and her longstanding alliance with queen-bee Maribeth rests on a foundation of resentment, anxiety, and a nagging feeling that there must be something beyond student council. Waverly’s name might be at the top of every leader board, but she hasn’t slept in days.

In a last-ditch attempt at relaxation, she finds herself at the center of an inexplicable phenomenon when a harmless counting exercise ends with Waverly materializing in front of one of the school’s most dedicated burn-outs. Marshall is not someone Waverly would ever consider … well, she would just never consider him. His nights are spent indulging in the kind of self-destructive pastimes she can only roll her eyes at. But despite herself, her curiosity is piqued. He sees her—really sees her —and his earnestness and his empathy are strangely affecting.

In these ghostly dreams, Waverly can do what she wants and say what she thinks, without risk or repercussion. Without it meaning anything. As nights pass, however, she begins to understand the nature of relationships, and to question her own daytime machinations. Her encounters with Marshall are growing steadily more intimate. Every new interaction forces her to ask herself how close is too close, and her days are becoming restless, complicated by her silent anger at Maribeth, and her budding friendship with a raucous, enigmatic girl who was never supposed to be anything but Waverly’s latest pygmalion project.

The truth is, it’s hard to be cavalier about hurting people when you know them. When you love them. As her edges begin to fray, Waverly must confront the very real danger of losing Marshall to the rigid image she’s spent so long cultivating, and accept that the only way to keep the people who matter to her is to embrace what it means to be vulnerable.

I love Brenna Yovanoff's books, they're dark and weird and lush and atmospheric. I'm very intrigued by this book, by where it will go in terms of Waverly and her materializing, about what ends up happening between her and Marshall. It sounds like it's going to be brutal.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Me on A School for Unusual Girls

Title: A School for Unusual Girls
Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen

It's 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England's dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society's constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war. After accidentally setting her father's stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts...

A School for Unusual Girls is intriguing and mysterious, an introduction to a group of misfit girls who spend their days learning how to uncover secrets and escape dangerous traps. But the danger is closer than they think.

Georgiana is intelligent, scientific. She's been left broken by unfeeling parents who think she's wasting her life with books and experiments. She's a rare girl for the time period and for the upper class: she's not interested in balls or afternoon teas and she doesn't put much weight on finding a rich, titled husband. She's a practical girl, and so she's constantly tossed aside. But at Miss Emma Stranje's school for young ladies who are a bit too hard to handle, she finds herself. It's there that Georgie learns the truth about the school, about the girls. About herself. That her practicality and scientific leanings are greatly desired. At the beginning, when she fears the school, it's because she doesn't understand why she's there. She doesn't know what her opinion of herself, coated in fear and embarrassment, will change. Georgie won't have to worry about being ridiculed and scolded by her parents anymore. Someone will find her interesting.

The school is a very curious school. It would have to operate under the radar, discreetly, under the noses of society, because young women would've had little freedom to act on their interest and desires of they strayed from the 'common' or 'normal' ones that most proper young ladies had. The girls of Stranje House were sent there because they fell outside the norm and their families either didn't know what to do with them or wanted to be rid of them because they didn't understand them. It's disheartening, but the girls have finally found a place for themselves.

The book left me intrigued as the plot took a rather interesting turn near the end, changing from a historical novel to an alternate history novel. Anything is possible as one might've already guessed after meeting the different young women of Stranje House, but it's especially so now. I was annoyed at how the true purpose of the school wasn't explained to Georgie nearer to the beginning, saving her from panicking and constantly yelling at everyone. They purposely held off on telling her, which seemed foolish. It didn't seem like they enjoyed having her shout at them that she didn't understand what was going on. With how the book ends I'm curious as to what might happen next, especially since it looks like a different girl will be the narrator. I would recommend this to those looking for intelligent girls operating outside society's borders, and secrets and spies.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Me on This Week's Book Week (184)

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. ;)

The rain and wind is taking over these days. So cold and wet and blowy.

Thanks to everyone who entered the 5 Years of Me on Books giveaway. The winners have been contacted and things have been sent and I'm hoping they won't be totally delayed in the post.

I need to get my holiday shopping done soon. I wonder if its going to be a low-key Christmas here, what with some unexpected costs and buying a new laptop and a recent surgery (not me, it was really minor so no need to worry).

Reviews going up next week will feature A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin (Tuesday) and a surprise! (because I don't know what book yet)
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (Borrowed from the library)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Me on Unmade

Title: Unmade
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town. Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami's life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Unmade is the conclusion to a trilogy full of magic and secrets, of mystery, of deception and lies and evil. The time has come, the time to stand up against the evil sweeping through this small town, but will anyone survive it?

Kami is battered and bruised, torn to pieces, but somehow she pushes forward with her mission to defeat Rob Lynburn, to save Sorry-in-the-Vale from the sorcerers hellbent on controlling it with fear and death. Ever since she broke the link, ever since Jared was taken from her, Kami's been missing a part of herself. She still tries to stay positive and search for clues, still promising the best while battling back against the worst, but it's taking its toll. It's all about survival now, survival and discovering the one thing that could save them. As deadly as it could be.

Even more of the bizarre family dynamics with Jared, Ash, and Lillian. They're the most dysfunctional family, especially when Rob and Rosalind are included. They have different goals, different evils they've committed. But when it comes to Jared, Ash, and Lillian, their loyalties are mostly the same. They have each other, they have the town. They have people like Kami, Angela, Rusty, and Holly to support them. They just have to let them in, by which I mean Lillian needs to calm down and admit that she can be wrong at times.

This series captures the perfect combination of magical mystery, devastation, heartbreak, and clever banter. While the town crumbles, while the sorcerers fight back, while people are harmed and kidnapped, while Kami and her friends search graves and deep, dangerous places for clues, there's still time for snappy one-liners, Because there's always time for levity. And awesome friendships. And kissing. This is a great series for fans of sleepy towns with secrets, girl detectives, brooding boys, and a spot of danger or two. Or a dozen.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (256)

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

Title: Heir to the Sky
Author: Amanda Sun
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

From Goodreads:

As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

Yay for more Amanda books! I really liked Ink, it was full of magic and brooding and danger. And this has some of my favourite things in it, like magical beasts and trouble and runaway (?) princesses and journeys. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Me on Untold

Title: Untold
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy little town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission by killing human sacrifices for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so the town can return to the old ways. But Rob and his followers aren't the only sorcerers around. The town must make a decision: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she's now free to love whomever she chooses. But who should that be?

Untold is mysterious and dangerous, the return of evil to a small town and those who would fight back against it. Those who would hope to save it. But how can you fight back against magic when they have it and you don't?

Kami is intelligent, driven, inquisitive, and determined. Now that she knows the truth of Sorry-in-the-Vale, that evil sorcerers are set on ruling it, she needs to get the word out. Luckily she has awesome friends like Angela, Rusty, and maybe Holly, but she needs more. If only Lillian Lynburn, known sorcerer and fighting back against the evil ones, would give her the time of day and let her help. If only she knew who else to trust because some of the evil ones might be important people. If only she wasn't so conflicted when it came to Jared, the guy she once thought was just a voice in her head who turned out to be real and brooding. After breaking the link, everything's awkward with Jared. Now Kami has to rely on her own instincts. But will Jared still help? Will he hate her?

The Lynburns are a complicated bunch. Jared has his denial and his anger, his refusal to have anything to do with his uncle's evil plans, but he has his sore spots when it comes to Kami. Ash is full of fear and indecision, of worry. His dreams of being a happy family were crushed when his father committed murder. He knows he's trained more than Jared, but Ash keeps getting pushed aside by Lillian. He's seen as weak. Unique family dynamics abound, even more so that usual because of all the magic and the murder.

Power, greed, desire. They all fuel Rob Lynburn, his desire to rule the town and its people with a magical fist. But not all in his family feel the same way. A battle between the sides is coming and Sorry-in-the-Vale stands in the middle.

This book is despair and darkness and danger mixed with clever wit and humour. It's layered with mystery and realistic characters full of homes and dreams and motives, mistakes and flaws. It's enthralling and enchanting and exciting. It's complicated. And it certainly ends with a punch to the face for the reader.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Me on This Week's Book Week (183)

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. ;)

No books this week! Oh well. Slow weeks happen.

The giveaway celebrating 5 years of blogging and 500 reviews going up is still going on! Head on over here to enter. You've got until Monday (I think).

Reviews going up this coming week will feature Untold (Tuesday) and Unmade (Friday) by Sarah Rees Brennan. :)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Me on Inherit the Stars

Title: Inherit the Stars
Author: Tessa Elwood
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Running Kids Press

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family's livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life... possibly from the hands of their own father. But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Inherit the Stars is the story of a young girl hoping to save her sister, but it felt rather lackluster and flat.

Asa is loyal to her sister Wren. When she falls ill, injured, near death, Asa pushes to keep her alive. She has hope that Wren will wake up one day. She does the impractical and enters into an arranged marriage to keep Wren cared for. Everything she does is for Wren, but she can't help but ruing everyone else's plans.

I was hoping for something exciting to happen but I got bored with Asa's stumbling and bumbling around, her trying to be honest while also trying to use people. With the multiple people trying to control the situation. With Eagle seemingly having no emotions beyond angry, surprised, or resigned. I did get through the book but it struggled to hold my attention. I imagine some will like this book, but it didn't work with me.

(I received an e-galley of this book from Running Press through NetGalley.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (255)

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

Title: Love, Lies and Spies
Author: Cindy Anstey
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan imprint)

From Goodreads:

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions... and Juliana herself.

I'm intrigued by this book. By Juliana and her scientific leanings. By Spencer's actual job of being a spy. By the cover and all the keys, how they'll fit into the story. And as always, by the setting. I love this time period, all the possibilities and worries of Victorian England. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Me on The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One

Title: The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire
Author: Daniel Kraus
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

May 7, 1896. Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down on the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected. His second life will be nothing like his first. Zebulon's new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there, he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares—and from poverty—in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. Love, hate, hope, and horror—Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?

The Life and Death of Zebulon Finch, Volume One is the start of an epic story, a look back at beginnings. At the first lifetime that crafted Zebulon Finch and the second that showed him all the horrors and delights of the world.

Zebulon is reflective and bold, not necessarily all that boastful. There are many words he wishes to share with his readers, which makes him a pensive and witty narrator. His tales are full of intricate details, from his childhood in Chicago with his controlling mother, to his time as a member of a gang, to his death and subsequent awakening. To his afterlife full of charlatans and criminals, villains and heroes, people desperate for money or desperate for fame. Or desperate for life. From America to Europe and back again. He wanders through space and time, experiencing, learning. Decaying. Because, with all his adventures and stories, Zebulon Finch is still dead.

It's a curious story with a voice keen to describing every single detail of what occurred to him and around him during his time as a resurrected young man. It's almost 700 pages of description, narration, and reflection on how cruel he once was, how clueless he was, how jaded he was, how battered he was, how smart he was, and how reminiscent he's become.

The idea of this story is intriguing, very intriguing, but I struggled with the overall length of the story. Zebulon has had more than 100 years to ponder life, to wonder about peoples' motivation for their actions. To think about why him, why didn't he die. It's a dark story full of wit and adventure, but it's just so long. If you think you can handle the length, if you are interested in Zebulon's journey from Chicago to Georgia to Boston to France to New York to Hollywood, if you're interested in the story of a dead man discovering what it is to be alive and human, then give this a read.

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