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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked
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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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked
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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Book Review: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

Tempests and Slaughter

Tempests and Slaughter

4.5 stars

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

I loved the Tortall universe when I first read it so I was very excited when I found out Tamora Pierce was going back to it, and giving us insight on Numair’s childhood. As Arram, long before he became Numair, he was a boy with powerful magic at a school where not many understood him. This book brought me right back to a world I love and I was so happy to be re-visiting. And so happy there’s more books coming.

Arram was just as interesting a character as he was as Numair. There were enough similarities so I could see they were two versions of the same character, while still making Arram feel like he was new. I really liked seeing his development and I love knowing there’s so much more to come. His relationships with his masters as they taught him non-standard magic was fascinating as we learned alongside him. I loved his friendships with Orzone and Varice, though it was a little strange knowing the future since this is a prequel.

The supporting cast was great. I loved learning about the school, the magic, and the other characters who shaped Arram into who he is in the future. Tamora Pierce always creates such interesting characters with amazing relationships and this was certainly no exception. I also thought it was great that were was still world building being done after so many books and so many years. Tortall has so much to offer and it’s obviously not finished yet.

As a Tamora Pierce fan, and a Tortall fan, this book was everything I would have expected and more. It delivered. It made me happy to be back in the Tortall world and it made me want to start reading the entire series all over again.

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

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Book Review: Batman – Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Nightwalker

Batman Nightwalker

Release date: January 2nd 2018

4 stars

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

I will admit, Batman is not my favourite hero but I love Marie Lu so I was excited to see how she would write a teenage Batman to be. She’s a fantastic writer and the mythology was well handled. I liked the idea of a reckless teenage Bruce having to work at Arkham as community service and also seeing Bruce getting more invested in Wayne Enterprises as he was graduating. My favourite thing was the friendship between Bruce, Dianne, and Harvey.

This Bruce was a lot less broody than I was used to from the movies I’ve seen. He was more open, still secretive, but he seemed more playful with his friends and Alfred. He could be frustrating when he thought he knew better than the adults and wouldn’t listen that Madeleine was dangerous. Even as a teenager, the protectiveness of Batman was ingrained into him as he worried about Madeleine, a girl his age in the asylum, and Harvey, his friend with an abusive father.

The dynamics between characters were so amazing in this book, which was to be expected since it was Marie Lu. She writes absolutely amazing character dynamics. The trio of Bruce, Dianne, and Harvey in their last summer before college were an interesting combo and I really loved their friendship. Bruce and Alfred were great, as always in any Batman medium I’ve seen or read. The dynamic between Bruce and Madeleine was as interesting as it was frustrating. She was playing him and he was letting her but their conversations were intriguing.

The plot focused on the Nightwalkers, a gang, and Bruce trying to get information from Madeleine to help the police put an end to the murders happening in Gotham. It fit it well with a superhero plot and was entertaining. With two DC Icons books in the series down, both have made me excited for the next two to come.

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

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November Wrap-Up/December TBR

 

November Wrap-Up:

Everless Everless – Sara Holland. 4/5 stars. Review. I really enjoyed the concept of this book and I would love to see a prequel based on the mythology.

Cruel Prince The Cruel Prince – Holly Black. 3.5/5 stars. Review. There were interesting parts but I did find the twists predictable.

Artemis Artemis – Andy Weir. 3.5/5 stars. This was a lot of fun to read. It did get very technical at some points but it was still good.

The Taking big The Taking – Kimberly Derting. 3/5 stars. This one was predictable but I think I was definitely in the mood for some aliens because it was enjoyable.

Runebinder Runebinder – Alex R Kahler. 3/5 stars. This was another one where I really liked the concept, the action was good, but there wasn’t a whole lot of development.

Siege of Shadows Siege of Shadows – Sarah Raughley. 3.5/5 stars. Review. I thought this one was even better than the first. More action, more world-building, and I’m definitely excited for the next one.

Zenith Zenith – Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. 3.5/5 stars. Review. There were some tropes but it was still a solid first book in what could be a great series.

The Replaced The Replaced – Kimberly Derting. 3/5 stars. See The Taking.

Together at Midnight Together at Midnight – Jennifer Castle. 4/5 stars. I loved the dynamic between Max and Kendall and the concept was so good.

Love, Hate, and Other Filters Love, Hate, and Other Filters – Samira Ahmed. 4/5 stars. Review. Definitely a read that makes an impact.

Dangerous Art of Blending in The Dangerous Art of Blending In – Angelo Surmelis. 4/5 stars. Review. This book was so good. Like the one above, it leaves an impact.

countdown The Countdown – Kimberly Derting. 3/5 stars. See The Taking.

Tempests and Slaughter Tempests and Slaughter – Tamora Pierce. 4.5/5 stars. Such a throwback. I loved the Tortall series when it first came out and I loved seeing the childhood of one of my favourite characters.

Nightwalker Batman: Nightwalker – Marie Lu. 4/5 stars. I’m not the biggest Batman fan so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. Bruce made some stupid decisions but I enjoyed his friendship with Harvey and Dianne.

Hazel Wood The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert. 3.5/5 stars. This one was pretty slow to get into but once I did, it was very good. Creepy and perfect for curling up with.

Sylo big Sylo – DJ MacHale. 3/5 stars. This was a little slow, predictable, but this seems like a series I could really get into.

Heart of Iron Heart of Iron – Ashley Poston. 4.5/5 stars. I absolutely loved this. The characters were great, the plot was great, and this author is definitely making her way up my auto-buy list.

December TBR:

Queen's RisingReign the Earth3484820735098416

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Weekly Reading Recap

14836299-stack-of-books-books-stacked
Saw the movie Wonder this weekend. So good.

Currently reading: Heart of Iron

Finished reading: Sylo bigHazel WoodNightwalkerTempests and Slaughter

Reviewed: Love, Hate, and Other FiltersDangerous Art of Blending in

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Queen's RisingTraitor's Game to read

NightwalkerTempests and Slaughter to review

Books read it 2017: 190

Debut authors read in 2017: 40

Debut authors read for 2018: 5

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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 on my winter TBR.

10. Heart of Iron Heart of Iron – Ashley Poston

9. Queen's Rising The Queen’s Rising – Rebecca Ross.

8. 35396838 The Final Six – Alexandra Monir

7. Honor Among Thieves Honor Among Thieves – Rachel Caine and Ann Aguire

6. 35068453 Purple Hearts – Michael Grant.

5.  35098416 When My Heart Joins the Thousand – AJ Steiger.

4. 35068610 Winterfolk – Janel Kolby

3. 34848207 A Conspiracy of Stars – Olivia A. Cole

2. 35230722 The Tombs – Deborah Schaumberg

  1. 31180248 Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

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