Category Archives: book-related

Series Spotlight: Firebird series by Claudia Gray

I love sci-fi but alternate worlds never really grabbed me until this series.

thousand pieces of youten thousanda million worlds with you

The Firebird series by Claudia Gray

Review status: 3 of 3. A Thousand Pieces of You, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, A Million Worlds With You

All books released, own in hardcover, these beautiful covers match:)

The idea of alternate worlds, parallel worlds, whatever you want to call them, never really intrigued me in my science-fiction reading. I was all about space and living on other planets. Then I received an ARC of the first book in this series and gave it a chance. I was immediately hooked. I loved the way world hopping was handled, jumping into a different version of yourself instead of your body actually jumping. I also absolutely loved the family and the friendship dynamics of this series. And they just got better as it went along.

Favourite character: Theo. I have a huge soft spot for a guy with a great sense of humour, and when that guy is willing to fight for the people he cares about like Theo was, I’m sold. The first time he called Paul his ‘little brother’, I knew he would be a favourite.

Favourite book: A Thousand Pieces of You. It’s hard to pick a favourite in this series so the first one that introduced me to the characters wins by a slim margin.

Reading status: All finished!

Author status: Auto-buy.

Next up for Claudia Gray: Book 2 of the Constellation series, Defy the Worlds, due out April 3rd 2018.

Question from this series: If you could jump into any version of yourself, what would you want to be?

Answer from this series: I’m not big on travel or adventure but if I could jump into a version of myself that lived in space, just for a day or two, I would definitely do it.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

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A Conspiracy of Stars

Release date: January 2nd 2018

Goodreads: Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.
But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.
With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

Why I’m excited: I can’t wait to see a book about a girl scientist and this sounds like it’s going to take very relevant topics to today into its fantasy/sci-fi world.

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Weekly Reading Recap

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It’s less than 2 weeks until Christmas. Just waiting on a few more parcels to arrive and wrap and I’m done.

Currently reading: The Broken World

Finished reading: a-million-junesThunderheadReign the Earth20821121

Reviewed: Queen's RisingHeart of Iron

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Honor Among Thieves35098416 to read

Thunderhead to review

Books read it 2017: 198

Debut authors read in 2017: 40

Debut authors read for 2018: 6

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Book Review: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Queen's Rising

The Queen’s Rising

Release date: February 6th 2018

4 stars

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.
Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.
With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

It really didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this book. I really enjoyed the school scenes at the beginning, getting to know Brienna and her fellow students, her sisters, as they all prepared to ‘passion’ in their chosen field(wit, drama, art, music, or knowledge). There was the immediate mystery to why Brienna was accepted to the school when the headmistress has already selected the five students and she didn’t have an aptitude for any of the five passions, as well as who Brienna’s father was and why her grandfather refused to tell her his name.

I really liked Brienna. She was making the most of her situation, knowing she wasn’t fairing well in any of the fields at the school but she always tried so hard. It couldn’t have been easy to find the motivation to try so hard when she was always suspicious that she didn’t get into the school on her own merits but she never gave up. I thought she was really relatable in that way. I also loved seeing her finding out more about her heritage and the growth she showed.

I do wish we’d gotten to see more of the passion sisters after they’d been chosen by their patrons because the beginning scenes at the school were so much fun. But I could understand why it focused on Brienna’s journey. She was the main character and important to the brewing rebellion.

With the inclusion at the beginning of family trees and lists of characters, passions, etc. I was expecting a great, complicated world and it was definitely there. It had history, families ruling over different kingdoms, rebellions, and I can see why it’s been said it’s good for YA Game of Thrones fans, though there was a lot less violence. There was a lot of political intrigue that was interwoven through Brienna’s discovery of her heritage and finding out more about the mysterious patron who’d chosen her.

I’m really excited to see where this series is going to go next.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten books of 2017.

10. Caraval Caraval – Stephanie Garber. I loved the setting and would love to visit!

9. Nyxia Nyxia – Scott Reintgen. This was probably my biggest surprise of the year. I kept putting it off after buying it until I finally read it. And got completely sucked in.

8. Warcross Warcross – Marie Lu. I’m not a gamer so I wasn’t sure what to expect but this was great. It was written so I could still grasp the world even though I didn’t know some of the terminology.

7. One Dark Throne One Dark Throne – Kendare Blake. Just when you thought it couldn’t be darker than Three Dark Crowns…

6. Renegades Renegades – Marissa Meyer. I loved the whole heroes vs villains but whose the real villains vibe.

5. Bad Romance Bad Romance – Heather Demetrios. The book leaves an impact!

4. Ginny Moon Ginny Moon – Benjamin Ludwig. I don’t read outside YA as often as I would like but books like this makes me want to do it more.

3. Eliza and her monsters Eliza and her Monsters – Francesca Zappia. So relatable! Francesca Zappia is 2 for 2 is amazing books.

2. The Last Namsara The Last Namsara – Kristen Ciccarelli. I really loved the way old stories were used in this book.

  1. the-hate-u-give The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas. This book feels like I read it so long ago but it’s still in my head when someone asks what’s the best book I’ve read recently.

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Book Review: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron

Release date: February 27th 2018

4.5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Geekerella was very cute and I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book. I wasn’t expecting the four person POV but it was a pleasant surprise as I really enjoyed all four characters’ thoughts. They were so different from each other so it never felt confusing but they all complimented each other, and it worked to give a full story instead of being relegated to staying in one person’s thoughts and location.

The synopsis mainly mentioned Ana and D09 so I was expecting them. They had a strong bond that had formed since childhood when they were rescued together. I could definitely understand Ana’s motivation to save her friend, someone she loved. D09’s POV was really interesting because he was an android and his thoughts were unique compared to the other four. Much more analytical. The other two POvs were Robb and Jax, two complete opposite boys who fit well together. Robb was the younger son in a family that was hungry to rule while Jax was the last of his kind and hiding secrets. I loved getting to see them bantering back and forth.

The plot seemed pretty simple at first. Ana just wanted to find the coordinates to a lost spaceship that would hopefully hold the key to fixing a glitching D09. I loved seeing all the additional layers being added, giving us more mysteries until the pieces began to fall together. I can definitely see where the Anastasia meets Firefly/Guardians of the Galaxy comparisons came from but I think it stood well on its own as well. I liked seeing the world-building, the political unrest, the familial feel of the crew. All the aspects of the book worked so well together.

The pacing had me hooked right from the start. It would have easily been a one night read if it wasn’t for work. This is definitely a favourite of 2018(even though it’s still 2017). The only bad thing is that it’s going to be such a long, long wait for the next book.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Series Spotlight: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Today’s pick is a series I was originally very hesitant on but once I started it, I loved it.

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The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Review status: 0 of 3

All books released, own in hardcover boxset

I kept hearing about this series for the longest time but kept resisting reading it. It helped that no one in my group of readers had read it yet either. I finally gave in and ended up binge-reading them in one weekend. And then I convinced family and friends to read them so I would have someone to go see the just announced movies with when they came out.

Favourite character: Peeta. And Finnick(who doesn’t love Finnick?). I loved that Peeta was more of a quiet strategist and very good with words over being a good fighter. I will always have a soft spot for character who prefer words to weapons, or who use words as their weapon.

Favourite book: The Hunger Games. Where it all began.

Reading status: All finished! And re-read multiple times.

Author status: Auto-buy for life.

Next up for Suzanne Collins: There’s been nothing for years:(

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

 

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War Storm

Release date: May 15th 2018

Goodreads: VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE.
Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.
But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.
War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?
In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Why I’m excited: I am both ready and very not ready for this conclusion.

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Weekly Reading Recap

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Or at least Winter. Woke up to snow this morning.

Currently reading: 20821121

Finished reading: Queen's Rising18079675Traitor's GameHeart of Iron

Reviewed: Tempests and SlaughterNightwalker

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Reign the EarthThunderhead to read

Queen's RisingHeart of Iron to review

Books read it 2017: 194

Debut authors read in 2017: 40

Debut authors read for 2018: 6

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Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten bookish settings I’d like to visit.

10. hobbit The Shire from Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien. Everyone always looks so happy and peaceful, plus there’s so much to eat.

9. Tempests and Slaughter Tortall from many series – Tamora Pierce. I just really, really love this world.

8. great hunt Eurona from Eurona Duology – Wendy Higgins. But only after all the monsters are dealt with.

7. marked girl Caelum from The Marked Girl series – Lindsey Klingele. Again, only when it’s safe to visit but it sounded like a nice place.

6. snow like ashes Winter from the Snow Like Ashes trilogy – Sara Raasch. It might not be too different from where I live right now just by looking at all the snow outside.

5. Heart of Iron The spaceship from Heart of Iron – Ashley Poston. I loved this crew and wanted to be a part of it.

4. vampire academy big St Vladimir’s Academy from Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead. But not as a feeder.

3. percy Camp Half-Blood from the Percy Jackson series – Rick Riordan. I wasn’t big on camping but this one looks like fun.

2. lion Narnia from the Chronicles of Narnia  – CS Lewis. I’m still waiting for that magic wardrobe.

1. harry potter Hogwarts from Harry Potter – JK Rowling. Did anyone think this wasn’t going to be number 1?

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