Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin 

Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Release Date: May 2, 2017



Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. (taken from goodreads.com)

Why I Need It: 

Yes, I chose this one as my WoW because it comes out NEXT WEEK. Finally, after months and months of dying to find out what happens to Feyre and her friends, I will be able to get my hands on this next installment. I cannot wait!!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


Title: Siege and Storm
Series: The Grisha #2
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Format: Hardback

Page Count: 435

Rating: 

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (taken from goodreads.com)


“What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men.” 

I read the first book in this series, Shadow and Bone, many years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I don't really know why I never rushed to get my hands on the sequels. Then I started seeing how popular Bardugo's Six of Crows and it's sequel were becoming, and I knew I had to catch up on this series and the new one. Now, I'm struggling to write a review because I honestly just felt so meh about Siege and Storm.

I read so many fantastic reviews, and even though it came out almost four years ago, this second book still holds an impressive rating on GoodReads. Therefore, I started it with high expectations. We find Alina and Mal across the sea, hiding from the Darkling and attempting to move further away from his black reach. However, they are soon ensnared back into Ravka's political turmoil and forced to return.

Even though I absolutely adore novels packed with political intrigue, I couldn't help but feel bored as I pushed through Siege and Storm. I don't know why, but I simply didn't care about the characters as much as I did in the first novel. The plot felt stagnant, and I kept wishing that something interesting would happen. Bardugo does kick it up a notch in the last quarter of the book, but there were times I was so bored that I considered not even making it to that part of the story.

The Darkling was one of the best aspects of the first novel, and his relationship with Alina kept me intrigued, not because of his "I'm so dark and mysterious" personality, but because he was so utterly different from the other characters. In this second book, we barely even see The Darkling as Alina attempts to gain a following of Grisha to fight him. I lost interest and even set this book aside for a week or so to focus on other books that called my name.

Overall, I still enjoy this series, but I wasn't overly impressed with the follow-up novel to Shadow and Bone. I still plan to read the third book, so perhaps that one will hold my attention better.
 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Author Chat: Laurie Forest, Author of The Black Witch

  
Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (May 2017, HarlequinTEEN) is her first novel, and Wandfasted (The Black Witch prequel, Summer 2017, HarlequinTEEN) is her first e-book novella

(taken from Laurie's
website)
  

Have you always wanted to write a young adult novel?

I had never read much of any fantasy until my pre-teen daughters pushed me to read Harry Potter (and I was instantly hooked!). I started devouring all the books they were in love with and more - Tamora Pierce's books, Robin Hobb's books, The Golden Compass, Cassandra Clare's books, Graceling, Wicked Lovely, and hundreds more. Over time, a story of my own started forming in my mind.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?

Yes! My main musical inspirations for The Black witch were Imogen Heap, Goo Goo Dolls, U2, Rage Against the Machine and many others. I'm on Spotify.

Are you more of a coffee or a tea person when writing?

Oh, I am a complete tea fanatic! Especially Irish Breakfast Tea. My books are completely fueled by the power of tea :) And there's quite a bit of tea drinking that pops up in my books. Watch for it!

What makes your protagonist stand out from other YA heroines?

My protagonist, Elloren Gardner, is growing up in an insular, fascist, isolated society (picture the dark side of LOTR or Harry Potter or The Naming (I could go on) winning and taking over the lands - that's loosely my starting point). Elloren happens to look just like her powerful grandmother, the legendary Black Witch, although she seems to be lacking magical power in a society that values magic and power above nearly all else. When Elloren ventures forth to attend Verpax University, she soon finds the wider world is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch, and that everything she's been taught might be cruelly unjust and dangerously wrong.

Did you have a writing schedule while you worked on The Black Witch? What did your average day of writing look like?

I get up at 5am pretty much every morning and write for about an hour. I also write pretty intensively on the weekends. That's been the schedule for a while now :)

What is one underrated book you would like to recommend to everyone?


The Bird of the River by Kage Baker is one of the most beautiful YA Fantasy novels I've ever read. Here's the description I found online.

"Two teenagers join the crew of a huge river barge after their addict mother is drowned. The girl and her younger brother try to make the barge their new home. As the great boat proceeds up the long river, we see a panorama of cities and cultures, and begin to perceive patterns in the pirate attacks that happen so frequently in the river cities. Eliss, the girl, becomes a sharp-eyed spotter of obstacles in the river for the barge, and more than that, one who perceives deeply."



Look for The Black Witch on May 2!

A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining.

So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa’s heir—but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the University, which admits all manner of peoples—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of her people—is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch. (taken from goodreads.com)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean 

Author: Jenny Han
Release Date: May 2, 2017


Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? (taken from goodreads.com)

Why I Need It: 

Jenny Han has such a great writing style. Her characters are fun and realistic, and this series has won the hearts of so many readers. I can't wait to dive back into Lara Jean's love life. And can we look at that cover? It's gorgeous!