Well, hockey playoffs didn’t last too long in this house. More time to read:)
What I’m hoping to get to next week: to read
Books read it 2017: 69
Debut authors read in 2017: 21
Release date: April 4th 2017
She’s a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is a seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.
He’s a machine.
Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.
Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.
I loved Claudia Gray’s Firebird series so I was really excited for a new Sci-Fi story from her. The story of Noemi and Abel intrigued me before I even started it and with each page, I found myself getting more and more invested in their stories, both separately and together. It was an interesting dynamic. For a lot of the book, it was just the two of them on the mission Noemi was hell bent on completing but they did meet up with some great supporting characters.
The book was a dual POV between Noemi and Abel. I always find it interesting when a dual POV has two such different characters and it was hard to get any more different than these two. Noemi was a soldier from a planet cut off from the rest of the galaxy and whose people had strong opinions about the technology the rest of the galaxy was using. Abel was a machine, a mech, with such advanced programming that it was almost impossible to tell he wasn’t human. These were two individuals with limited life experience who’d both been raised to believe one way of thinking and were learning that maybe their elders/creators weren’t telling the whole truth.
I was a little surprised that I didn’t miss the crew feel in this Sci-Fi book. Usually, that would be high on my list of loves when I read a book involving space and missions, but the dynamic between Noemi and Abel was so well done and so entertaining that they filled all the areas I would normally look for in a crew. I loved watching the relationship between them change and the little ways they realized they’d become to care for each other, much to their own confusion.
The plot was a mix between the type of action scenes one might expect(and hope) for in a space book and a slow build-up toward the mission’s end goal. It did a great job setting up for the second(and final?) book. It didn’t get too slow that I felt my attention wandering and it didn’t get too fast where I felt like I was missing pieces of information. I’m very excited to see where the travel takes us in book two.
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*
Another month done, another month closer to Summer.
Royal Bastards – Andrew Shvarts. 4/5 stars. Review. I enjoyed this world and the misfit feel to the group of characters.
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett – Chelsea Sedoti. 3/5 stars. It took me a while to get into this one. Once I did, I thought it got better but it still didn’t pull me right in.
The Hidden Memory of Objects – Danielle Mages Amato. 4/5 stars. Review. I loved the twist with the main character being able to see memories attached to objects.
The Crown’s Fate – Evelyn Skye. 4.5/5 stars. Review. A great follow-up to one of my favourite books from last year.
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli. 4/5 stars. Review. Another great follow-up to a favourite from last year.
Geekerella – Ashley Poston. 4/5 stars. Review. So cute and I enjoyed picking out the parallels between this story and Cinderella.
Blacklist – Alyson Noel. 3.5/5 stars. I missed the competition aspect from the first book but this one definitely upped the mystery factor.
The Lotterys Plus One – Emma Donoghue. 3/5 stars. It was a really cute story but it did feel like a MG-written story.
Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded – Sage Blackwood. 3.5/5 stars. Another cute story and I really enjoyed the magical world.
Starfall – Melissa Landers. 4/5 stars. Review. I did miss that the misfit crew from the first book was less present in this one but it was still great going back to this world.
Flame in the Mist – Renee Ahdieh. 4/5 stars. Review. I love Renee Ahdieh’s writing and this one already has me excited for the next one.
After the End – Amy Plum. 3/5 stars. I really enjoyed the Revenants series so I had high hopes but it took me a while to get into this one.
The Last Thing You Said – Sara Biren. 3.5/5 stars. The way the two main characters kept hurting each other out of grief was very realistic.
Maud – Melanie L Fishbane. 4/5 stars. Review. It was a little strange at first, reading a fictionalized version of LM Montgomery’s life when I grew up in PEI but it was good.
Wild Beauty – Anna-Marie McLemore. 4/5 stars. There’s something very magical about Anne-Marie McLemore’s writing and the characters she creates.
Metal town – Kristen Simmons. 3/5 stars. This was another one that was hard to get into. The pacing was a bit uneven.
The Midnight Dance – Nikki Katz. 3.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed the dark and twisted spin the plot took but there was a lot of things that could have been explained better.
When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.
I really liked Starflight and was excited to hear that a companion novel would be coming out featuring a couple of my favourite supporting characters from the first book. I was looking forward to diving back into this world and into another story with this crew. I didn’t end up liking it as much as Starflight but I still enjoyed it and was very happy to have gotten the chance to go back into its world.
Cassia and Kane take a front seat in this companion and their dynamic was so different from Doran and Solara in the first book. They were the fun, banter-filled couple in the first book and now, with their relationship more in the spotlight, it showed that they weren’t just all lightness and play fighting. Cassia and Kane were friends from childhood and Kane was always protecting her. It did mean that sometimes Cassia felt smothered or like she was being treated as incompetent and that Kane felt he was only good enough for her when she needed him. It led to this dynamic of them trying to do what they thought was the right thing for themselves and for the other person, but usually ended up resulting in hurt feelings.
The plot really focused on Cassia’s return to her home planet and the rebellion. That left less time for the crew scenes where they were acting like a family, which was something I loved from the first book. Cassia spent a lot of time with her General as they tried to gain control and stop the rebellion. Kane spent more time with the crew as they tried to track down information on a cure for the outbreak ravaging Cassia and Kane’s home planet. I did find myself looking forward to Kane’s chapters over Cassia’s due to his having more interactions among the crew and there were times when Cassia was being a frustrating character with the way she was treating poor Kane.
I think my enjoyment of this book was helped by the fact that I was expecting the dynamic between Cassia and Kane, which was light and fun in the first book, to change pretty drastically with the focus on it in this one. It meant the flaws in their relationship were more exposed and their new situation meant they had to face what they could ignore when they were on the ship: Cassia was a princess and Kane wasn’t royal.
I do like that both books can be read as standalones. The first one a little more than the second. The second did refer to some instances in the first book but even with more than a year in between readings, I didn’t find myself confused. It great a great escape back into a world that I really enjoyed.
Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten books I read in one sitting.
10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han. This was a really cute book and easy to devour in one sitting.
9. Frost Like Night – Sara Raasch. I read the first two books in this series really fast as well but it was the conclusion that had me up all night.
8. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas. The super relevant story line had me unable to put this one down until I was finished.
7. The Crown’s Game – Evelyn Skye. The sequel was also addicting but it was the first one that had me completely sucked in.
6. Caraval – Stephanie Garber. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.
5. Starfall – Melissa Landers. I loved the first one but this companion focused on characters I fell in love with when they were supporting and they got a chance here to have their own story.
4. Goodbye Days – Jeff Zetner. Sad stories, or devastating stories, can be very, very hard to put down.
3. The Last Time We Say Goodbye – Cynthia Hand. See above. This one remains one of the books that I still think about since reading it.
2. A List of Cages – Robin Roe. I loved the focus on friendship over romance in this one.
We’re now two months into 2017 and I’m loving all the books that are coming out.
Nemesis – Brendan Reichs. 3.5/5 stars. I liked the darkness and the twists but it felt a little too uneven in the pacing.
Wayfarer – Alexandra Bracken. 4.5/5 stars. Review. I enjoyed this one even more than the first. The addition of new characters plus more focus on characters from the first book were fantastic.
The Conjurer’s Riddle – Andrea Cremer. 3/5 stars. Other than the Nightshade series, I’ve had a hard time getting into her books and I just can’t put my finger on why.
King’s Cage – Victoria Aveyard. 4/5 stars. Review. I liked this one more than Glass Sword but still less than Red Queen. I did think that, despite the slow pacing, it did move key points of the plot forward and it had some great character moments.
Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner. 4/5 stars. Review. This book was heartbreaking, terrifying and one to remember.
Secret Path – Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire. 4/5 stars. This is one I recommend pairing with the CD while reading for the best experience and most impact.
Just Another Girl – Elizabeth Eulberg. 3/5 stars. Review. I really liked the concept of this book but I just couldn’t get into one of the POVs no matter how hard I tried.
The Heartbeats of Wing Jones – Katherine Webber. 4/5 stars. Review. I loved the dynamics between so many of the characters and the hint of magical realism.
Etiquette & Espionage – Gail Carriger. 3.5/5 stars. I liked this more than I thought I would. It’s a fun read.
Piper Perish – Kayla Cagan. 3/5 stars. I found I cared more about the supporting characters than the main character so it made the story a little hard to get into.
Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor. 4/5 stars. Review. I loved the magical world and the characters. It is the type of book I find better to read slowly because it’s very intricate and could be easy to get lost if I read too fast.
Star Cursed – Jessica Spotswood. 3/5 stars. I think I would have liked it more if I had skimmed through the first book before starting this one. It was so long since I read the first that I got a little lost.
Vigilante – Kady Cross. 4/5 stars. This was definitely one of those hard to read books that feel so important as you’re reading. It makes a lot of good points that won’t be easy to forget(and shouldn’t be).
Curtsies and Conspiracies – Gail Carriger. 3.5/5 stars. Still a fun series. Lots of action.
Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde. 4/5 stars. Really cute and easy to relate to. I loved getting to see the two POVs of two girls having very different experiences at the comic convention and loved seeing all the references.
Things I Should Have Known – Claire LaZebnik. 4/5 stars. I absolutely loved the dynamics between the main character and her sister, the two brothers they become friends with, and thought the author did a good job depicting the struggles the main character’s family was going through.
The Guy, the Girl, the Artist, and his Ex – Gabrielle Williams. 3.5/5 stars. This was a really fun book to read and I enjoyed the heist. It crammed a lot into its few pages, maybe at times a little too much.
All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.
Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.
As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.
Last year I really fell in love with the time travel and characters in Passenger so reading the sequel when it came out was a must. When I love the first book, I’m usually happy if the second book comes close to giving me the same feeling. For this one, I loved it even more than Passenger. It added some new characters that I loved, developed some of the minor characters from the first, and between the dynamics of the two groups of characters and this sequel added new elements to plot, both in regards to time travel and the fight against Ironwood.
The book was told again in the dual POVs of Etta and Nicholas, picking up where the first book left off. With them being separated, I was a little worried the plot would feel like it was dragging in the same direction too much, too much focus on them trying to find each other through time. Instead if gave both characters a chance to really develop on figure themselves out on their own while giving them new characters to interact with, or focusing more on the dynamics we saw little of in the first book. Nicholas and Sophia’s testy history was really pushed to the forefront as they were forced to work together and I really enjoyed seeing them work together for their different goals. I also enjoyed the addition of Li Min to their group. She was this unknown element who could match Sophia burn for burn and flirted with her, but also added a ‘can she be trusted’ aspect to the group.
My favourite was the growing dynamic between Etta and Julian. She was so determined to reach her goals, of finding out what happened to her, of finding Nicholas, of stopping Ironwood, of finding answers, but she knew she couldn’t do it alone. Julian walked the line of being annoying in his rich privilege and being terrified without knowing how to protect himself. I loved the banter between him and Etta as they kept being forced together by circumstances and that the growth between them stayed platonic(no love triangles!). I also loved that we saw growth in Julian’s character through his journey with Etta and he got to a point where I would definitely pick up a book with his story in it.
The plot, like in the first book, unfolded slowly, and it was something that I enjoyed. Sometimes I prefer fast paced books that really grab me and sometimes I prefer slowly paced books where I can really get absorbed into a complicated plotline. I thought this book, this duology, did a great job in keeping me pulled into the storyline and invested in the characters. I enjoyed the twists and the additional world-building in this one, plus traveling within the book to so many historical places, some which of were altered because of Ironwood. I could definitely understand the need to stop him no matter what the cost.
I would definitely read more books in this universe if they were written. It works so well as a duology but if there were short stories about the minor characters, I would be there. I’m not quite ready to leave this time traveling world behind.
Our big storm that was going to have me stuck inside reading all day turned into mostly rain. At least there’s nothing stopping me from still reading all day.
What I’m hoping to get to next week: to read
Books read it 2017: 22
Debut authors read in 2017: 7
Lifestyle. Indulgence. Balance.
..because you know when no one listens to you, a paper will.
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