Monday, August 3, 2020

Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud Review & GIVEAWAY

Court of Lions (Mirage, #2)

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other ar rebel. Who will rule the empire? 

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess's body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani's connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once move, her identity - and her betrayal - will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people's freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated from Maram's fiance, Idris? 

Review

I loved this book! It was just as good as the first book (if not better)! 

I love the author's writing, and I love the Moroccan influences. I have been trying to read more books by POC, and this was a GREAT one!

Although I am not a fan of poetry, anyone that likes poetry (or even just respects it as an artform) will appreciate the role that poetry plays in this story. 

The only issue I have is that there isn't more to this story, but I believe this is only a duology. I would love to see what happens with the characters after this book ends!

Thank you to the publishers for giving me a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. Also, thank you for giving me a copy to give away!

Giveaway

Click below to enter for a chance to win a copy of Court of Lions! 



Thursday, July 16, 2020

Mirage Twitter Read Along

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I read Mirage last year and loved it! Check out my review of it here

In preparation for the release of the sequel, Court of Lions, on August 6th, I will be participating in a Read-Along of Mirage!

Join me next week, starting on July 20, for a two-week-long read along! 

After the Read-Along is complete, I will post my review of Court of Lions, plus a giveaway to win a copy of the book! 

See below for the Read-Along schedule. Throughout this time, @FlatironBooks will be posting discussion questions, quotes from the novel, and retweeting fans. 

July 20 - 26  Chapters 1 - 17
July 27 - July 31 Chapters 18 - 37

The Read-Along will come to a close on July 31st with a Twitter chat featuring the author Somaiya Daud!

Don't forget to join us for the Read-Along, starting July 20th, and remember to use #MirageReadAlong to join the fun!

Don't have a copy of Mirage, click here to enter a giveaway through the publisher for a paperback copy. 


Mirage (Mirage, #1)Court of Lions (Mirage, #2)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Binti: The Complete Trilogy (Binti #1-3) by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: The Complete Trilogy
Includes a brand-new Binti story!
Collected for the first time in an omnibus edition, the Hugo-and Nebula-award-winning Binti trilogy, the story of one extraordinary girl's journey from her home to distant Oomza University.
In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despote her family's concerns, Binti's talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.
But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Meduse attack Binti's spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination.
There is more to the histroy of the Medusae--and their war with the Khoush--than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace.
Collected now for the first time in omnibus form, follow Binti's story in this groundbreaking sci-fi trilogy.

Review

This book was like nothing else I've ever read!

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I saw it recommended several places, so when I saw it on Netgalley I had to read it, but I didn't know much about it. 

The Binti series is a trilogy of novellas. I read the omnibus edition, with all three novellas put in one book. While, as a whole, they were good, I think it would be better to review them separately. 

Book #1: Binti 


Binti (Binti, #1)
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the starts among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. This world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first, she has to make it there, alive.

Review


I loved this book! It introduces us to Binti, who has just decided to leave her home to travel through space to Oomza University, something unheard of for the Himba people, especially a girl.

I absolutely loved the story and the multicultural and self-exploration messages behind it. I sped through this book and was super excited to move on to the next.

I like the representation of PTSD in this book. Throughout the book, Binti continuously has flashbacks about being on the ship to Oomza Uni.

Book #2: Home

Home (Binti, #2)


It's been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned her family in the dawn of a new day.
And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders. 
But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.
After generations of conflict, can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?



Review

I loved the first book, but this book was a little slow for me. It was taking me a while to get through the first half of it, so I checked out the audiobook from the library. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook much more than I enjoyed reading this book.

As with the first book, the author did an excellent job of showing us Binti's culture. In this book, she faces the repercussions of leaving her family home to go to Oomza University. She also comes back a different person, something most of her family struggles to understand.

While I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first, it was still good. I loved the ending and couldn't wait to see what happened next.

Book #3: The Night Masquerade


The Night Masquerade (Binti #3)
The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor's Hugo-and Nebula Award-winning BINTI.
Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.
Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives many close to her. 
Once again, it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend, Mwinyi, to intervene--though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives--and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

Review

This book picked things back up a bit. However, I wasn't sure about the ending.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone, just because it is something so different, and I think everyone should try it out.

I listened to half of the 2nd book and the whole 3rd book as audiobooks, and I enjoyed that much more than reading them.

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, July 3, 2020

I'm back!

Hi everyone! 

I wanted to write a post to explain my hiatus. 

TL;DR - I didn't have much time to read for a year, then the pandemic hit and all I wanted to read is old favorites. I'm back and ready to to start reading new books and posting to my blog again. What books should I read next?

Unfortunately, I was not able to read much for over a year, because I was finishing for my master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which requires a year-long internship. 

For almost a year, I worked over 20 hours a week at my internship site, on top of my full-time job and doing homework. Unfortunately, this didn't leave much time for reading. 

I loved the experience I gained at my internship site, and I am super happy to finally have my master's degree! I interned as a therapist at a drug and alcohol treatment facility for homeless women, and I learned so much. It was so fulfilling that I planned to continue volunteering to counsel clients there one day a week. Then the pandemic happened...

I will say that I am SOOOOO thankful that I finished school by that point. Although my graduation ceremony was postponed or canceled (not sure which yet), if I had not been done with my internship, I would have had to take time off while the school was closed and would not have my degree yet.

Although I had to put my volunteer work there (and with the cat rescue I volunteer for) on hold, I am thankful that I am done with school and have a job that I can do from home. 

But back to reading... 

It really threw me off not being able to read much for almost a year. 

Then, once I graduated and got back to a point where I could start reading, the pandemic hit. Ugh!

For some reason, since the pandemic hit, I haven't wanted to read new books. I've tried to start a couple of new books but ended up picking up old favorites. 


I just got done reading the Throne of Glass series for the 3rd time. 

Side note: I read Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash in chronological order this time, and it was awesome! Click below to see the guide I used. 


It's been too long, though! I'm ready to start reading new books again! There are tons of books on my TBR list, and I've got plenty of books on my kindle to read. 

I think Crescent City and Serpent & Dove are going to be my next reads. What books do you think I should read next? 



Monday, June 22, 2020

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. 
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last- the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge-and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. 
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were not accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who-or what-are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family-before it claims her next. 

Review

This book was awesome!

It was so much different from everything else I've read. 

At first, I was like, wait a minute, is this just a mystery? Then there is a fantasy twist. It was super unique.

The only thing I am not sure I liked was the ending. I am sure that many people do not agree with me and thought the ending was perfect, but for some reason, endings like that have been pissing me off lately. I will say that there was nothing wrong with the ending. I just thought it should have gone a different way.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Erin A. Craig!

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley, for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Alchemist & an Amaretto Blitz & Giveaway

  

The Alchemist and an Amaretto
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #5)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: October 11th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything—mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I’d rather run for the hills. It doesn’t even have to be my family.
So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron’s mom and pop was a good idea.
Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I’ve got a bigger problem. Students of his family’s renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds—and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus…and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.
Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we’ll protect the students.
And Aaron’s parents too, I suppose. If we have to.
EXCERPT:
Ezra stopped, hands on his hips as he surveyed the lazy slope that swept up to the towering manor. “All right. Time for our final sprint.”
I snorted. “Yeah, uh-huh.”
“I’m serious. We always finish our workouts with something competitive.”
Like competitive pushups. I shivered at the reminder.
“This is the starting line. That tree is the finish. First one there wins.”
“What’s the prize?” I folded my arms, eyeing the distance. Not that far but not twenty yards either. “You, Aaron, and Kai always bet something.”
He rubbed the hint of shadow along his jaw. “Winner’s choice, I guess.”
Ooh, I liked the sound of that. Grinning, I got into a starting position. “You’re on.”
He took the same position. Clearing his throat, he deepened his voice to mimic a sports announcer. “On your mark. Get set. G—”
“What’s that?” I gasped, pointing behind him.
He snapped around to look—and I launched into a mad sprint, arms pumping. Ezra swore and took off after me, but I had a head start. I would reach the finish first and totally win this.
Right as I drew level with the target tree, hands caught my waist. Ezra swept me off the ground, still running—an impossible feat if not for his inhuman strength. He stopped just past the tree, laughing too hard to hold me up. My back slid down his chest and my feet landed in the grass.
“I can’t believe I fell for that,” he said breathlessly. “You’re such a cheater.”
Whirling to face him, I smirked. “I was manufacturing a combat advantage, not cheating. Kai’s been teaching me.”
“A race isn’t combat.”
“Maybe I was running for my life.”
“From me?” He arched a playful eyebrow. “Does that mean you don’t like being chased?” “Depends who’s doing the chasing,” I shot back teasingly.
“Oh? So is it the chase you prefer, or the catch?”
I tossed my hair with pretend haughtiness. “You think you could catch me?”
“Pretty sure I already did.”
My heart did a crazy tumble through my chest and a grin stretched my mouth. I couldn’t hold it back any more than I could stop the blush heating my cheeks.
“Well,” I began dramatically, spreading my arms as I stepped backward, “do I look—”
My heel caught on a tree root hidden in the grass. Squealing, I pitched over, arms wind-milling. My back hit the ground, the air punched from my chest, and I blinked dazedly at the overcast sky.
Damn it.
Ezra’s face appeared above mine. He crouched at my side, his expression drawn into grave concern. “Tori, are you still with me?”
I choked on a laugh and whispered, “Ezra? Is that you?”
“I’m here.” He took my hand and patted it gently. “Just hang in there.”
I fluttered my fingers. “Everything is growing dark.”
“Go toward the light, Tori.”
My eyebrows quirked. “Shouldn’t I go away from the light?”
“It doesn’t have the same ring,” he decided. “You’ll have to go toward the light.”
“Toward the light it is.” I waited a moment. “Now what?”
He took my hands and folded them on my chest in the classic body-in-casket pose—and I lost it. Cackling with laughter, I sat up and checked the grass stain on my elbow.
“Next time, I’ll make you laugh first,” I promised. He grinned as he stood. “You can try.”

Author Bio:
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Crowfall (Raven's Mark #3) by Ed McDonald

Crowfall (Raven's Mark, #3)

Crowfall is a gritty epic fantasy for fans of Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, and Daniel Polansky.
'Dark, twisty and excellent...Grimdark with heart' Mark Lawrence.
A sorceress cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the Republic and the immortal Deep Kings. 
Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the Republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile, the Deep Kinds have only grown stronger and are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war. 
Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.
He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him - changed him - but all power comes with a price, and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.
They will even follow him, and the few surviving Blackwing captains, on one final mission into the darkness.

Review

First of all, if you have not read the first two book in this series, please check out my reviews for Blackwing (book #1) and Ravencry (book #2) first! I will try not to give away too many spoilers from the first 2 books in this review, but it may happen. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. 

   Blackwing (Ravens' Mark #1)           Ravencry (Raven's Mark, #2)


Too many endings right now! First this one, then Broken Veil, the last book in the Harbinger series, by Jeff Wheeler. I definitely wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters in either series. 

The first books in this series were awesome, so I had very high expectations going into this book. I truthfully was a little worried that it might not live up to my expectations, especially after certain characters died in the last book. I won't give up any spoilers though, in case you haven't read the first two books, year. However, again, if you haven't read the first two books, please stop reading this and go do that now, or at least check out my review of the first book HERE. 

I was impressed with how well the author did the last book in the series. Everything is pretty well wrapped up but still had the same all-around weirdness, just like the rest of the series. There was actually some crazy, new weirdness in this book that was pretty awesome. I wasn't sure how Ed McDonald was going to out-do the last ones, but he definitely did it.

Although some old friends were gone during this book, some other old friends reappeared, which made me really happy. I won't talk about that, though. Definitely don't want to spoil that! You should probably just go read the book!

I love Ed McDonald's humor! While this book does have some dark moments, and some gory moments, and some (a lot) of weird moments, there is also humor sprinkled in there, as well. 

Thank you to the author, the publishers, and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Crowfall (Raven's Mark, #3)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Broken Veil (Harbinger #5) by Jeff Wheeler

Broken Veil (Harbinger #5)
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler's epic Harbinger series comes to a breathtaking conclusion as two women are swept into a battle that could easily destroy two worlds. 
Rescued from a world of poverty, Cettie Pratt has avoided a bleak destiny - until now. Deceived and manipulated, she has been groomed for the ultimate betrayal: to destroy her best friend and stop peace from uniting two war-torn worlds. Her path leads her to a mysterious underworld where appearances can be deceiving. 
Sera Fitxempress knows the value she has to her enemies. As heir to the empire, she must keep her foes at bay and prevent them from unleashing a being of unspeakable evil upon the world, while fighting a brutal war. But her enemies are more cunning than Sera expects, and the key to their plans is none other than her best friend. 
Neither woman knows what to believe. Neither one knows if she can trust the other. Both Cettie and Sera have made decisions that have irrevocably changed them. But the decision they have yet to make will determine the fate of their world...

Review

Let me first apologize! Sorry I have not been posting often. I have also not been reading nearly as much as I normally do, which has been terrible.

I work full-time, and I am also doing my internship for my master's degree right now. So, right now, I am usually either at work, at my internship, or sleeping. I haven't had time for much else. I am counting down the days until I am able to read more again, though!

Now on to the book...

If you have not read the first 4 books in the Harbinger series, check out my reviews for them first here:

Click each book cover to read my review for that book.

Storm Glass (Harbinger #1) Mirror Gate
Iron Garland     Prism Cloud (Harbinger #4)

This was a great ending to the Harbinger series!

The first book had me hooked immediately, and Jeff Wheeler kept his hooks in me for all 4 books after that!

I was wondering how the author was going to try to wrap things up, considering how much happened in the third book. I was so happy with how he did it, although I kind of wish a couple of parts included a little more substance. I won't give away any spoilers, though.

However, overall, I am happy with how the series ended. The third book threw lots of twists and turns into the story, and this book ironed many of them out. This book wrapped everything up nicely.

I don't think there will be another book unless it follow a completely different plotline. However, I really hope the author decides to keep going with the characters from these books. I got attached to these characters and am not ready to let them go just yet.

Now that I have finished this series, I need to go back and read the Kingfountain and Legends of Muirwood books! Even if I can't read more about the same characters, at least I can read more stories set in the same world!

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!