Saturday, September 29, 2018

Me on This Week's Book Week (306)

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 there!

I'm slowly getting through my backlog of books. Slowly. I don't know if it's a losing attention thing or a change in reading tastes thing or a seasons changing thing or what, but I'm still making my way through my reading list. I've also been blitzing through a bunch of library books on my tablet.

Reviews going up this week will feature The Lady's Guide to Petticoats & Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (Tuesday). There might be some shorter reviews going up on Friday. :)

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
Firestarter by Tara Sim

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (390)

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

Title: Crown of Feathers
Author: Nicki Pau Preto
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster imprint)

From Goodreads:

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Ooooooo, phoenix riders. How interesting. I'm so curious about so much this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Me on For a Muse of Fire

Title: For a Muse of Fire
Author: Heidi Heilig
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins imprint)

Jetta's family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family's way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.

For a Muse of Fire is a vivid, lush tale of shadow magic, ghosts, and rebellion. It's pageantry cloaked in mystery, it's shadows and flames, it's hope and despair. Life and death. It's a search for peace and safety in a world consumed by war. It's a young woman who faces the truth of herself and must make a hard decision.

Jetta is a young woman dealing in secrets, in the forbidden ways of making their puppets move using the souls of the dead. No one must ever know the truth, especially with the colonial army moving closer and closer, but they need to keep performing. Need to keep making a name for themselves in order to gain the attention of the King. Because there's somewhere they need to go, somewhere Jetta needs to go if the madness that plagues her is ever to be silenced. But journeys are never easy, especially in wartime, and soon Jetta and her parents are involved with a curious business owner and smuggler with secrets of his own and places he needs to get to.

There's something enchanting about this book, something lyrical and soothing, the different ways the beginning of Jetta's story is told. Prose read in Jetta's voice, scenes from a play and letters that detail the army's movements and missions. Tales of death and songs of sorrow. It all feels so expansive, so far-reaching beyond just prose. It was like I could hear this book as I read it, hear the sounds of Jetta's puppets, the music, the gunshots, the whispers of the ghosts. The worry that fills Jetta's mother, the desperation that fills Jetta. I can't wait to see what happens next, where Jetta will go and who will appear.

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

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Me on This Week's Book Week (305)

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! Welcome back!

So there was only 1 review this week because of a bad headache, but there was a review this week. And a Waiting on Wednesday post, so I'm calling it a win. :)

I have so many books to get through over the next couple of weeks, so many that come out on October 2nd. Oh, publishing. Overloading September & October yet again.

Reviews going up this week will (hopefully) feature For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig (Tuesday).

Some books I've picked up/received over the last few weeks:
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
An Assassin's Guide to Love & Treason by Virginia Boecker
The Wicked King by Holly Black
A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
Delilah Dirk & the Pillars of Hercules by Tony Cliff
Salt by Hannah Moskowitz

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (389)

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

Title: The Cold In is Her Bones
Author: Peternelle van Arsdale
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster imprint)

From Goodreads:

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

Yes to more eerie fantasy books. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Me on Strange Grace

Title: Strange Grace
Author: Tessa Gratton
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster imprint)

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil's Forest. Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early. Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out.

Strange Grace is haunting, moving and magical. It's a story of bargains and sacrifice, of love and fate, of a tree and a forest and the heart that lives there. It's a story of place and self and destiny and an overwhelming, earthly magic.

Mairwen is a witch, a Grace witch like her mother and the women in their family before them, descended from the Grace sisters the town was named after. As a Grace witch, she can never go into the forest, but she can hear it calling her name. Waiting for her. But she has a part to play as a Grace witch when the Slaughter Moon comes every seven years. But now, when it comes early, she's worried because of who will most likely be the next saint. Rhun is the apparent best of all the young boys and men looking to do their part to keep the town protected for another seven years. He has the strength and the skill to, hopefully, survive a night in the Devil's Forest. But he is afraid of dying like so many before him and leaving behind those he cares about. Like Mairwen. Like Arthur. Arthur is sharp and brash, fueled by anger and disgust and a hatred for the early days of his childhood. He's an outcast in a town he's lived in his entire life because he doesn't understand who he is. When the Slaughter Moon comes early, all three of them know what will happen, and all three of their hearts race toward something they never expected they'd uncover.

This completely satisfied me when I knew I'd be reading another Tessa Gratton book. There were moments that took me back to some of her previous books, ones like Blood Magic and The Blood Keeper. Magic all around people, in the earth and trees and everything else. Secrets that stretch back through time. Love leading characters through danger and despair, through near-death experiences. Characters joined together in more ways than one, in love and blood and the beating of their hearts. It's atmospheric and haunting. This is a dark and twisted tale of magic and love that I'm sure to read again before the year is out. I'd definitely recommend this to those looking for dark tales of destiny and witches, something similar to Peternelle van Arsdale's The Beast Is an Animal.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Simon & Schuster Canada through NetGalley.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Me on This Week's Book Week (304)

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. I'm coming back.

I know it's been a while, but I really think I needed a break. I've been posting reviews and Q&As and blog tour posts here since 2010. I think the last couple of years, especially some depressing winters, was still weighing me down and I needed some time.

So things will be picking up again, but slowly. I know it's not the best time, considering all the books that are coming out in the next 4 to 6 weeks, but I think it's best in order for me to come back with the same kind of enthusiasm and love for YA and books in general.

Starting next week, it'll go like this: reviews on Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesday posts on Wednesdays, shorter reviews or some webcomic talk on Fridays, and end of week book chat on Saturdays or Sundays.

See you all again next Tuesday with a review of Tessa Gratton's Strange Grace. :)