Friday, March 31, 2017

Month in Review: March 2017

Can you believe that March is already over? How are we already a quarter of the way through 2017? Time flies when you're having fun and reading good books. We've kind of had a slow month blog wise but this is what we've been up to in March.

What We Reviewed


Her True Match (X-Ops #6) by Paige Tyler
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs
Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop
Brother's Ruin (Industrial Magic #1) by Emma Newman
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles #1) by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller
The Demon Prince (Ars Numina #2) by Ann Aguirre

We Love Lists

Rose Red also posted her Spring TBR List.

What We're Waiting For

Our most eagerly anticipated April releases:
(Click to add them to Goodreads.)

April 4
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Gauntlet (Arena #2) by Holly Jennings
Geekerella by Ashley Poston

April 18
The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us #2) by Emily Skrutskie
Veiled Menace (Veiled Magic #2) by Deborah Blake
The Hot Shot (Game On #4) by Kristen Callihan

April 25
Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires #13) by Chloe Neill
Snared (Elemental Assassin #16) by Jennifer Estep
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre

32177561The Demon Prince
(Ars Numina #2)
Ann Aguire
Release: March 23, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the author
Charming. Irreverent. Haunted.
Alastor Vega is the sole challenger in a brutal battle for succession. Against all odds, he must stop his power-mad brother, Tycho, before he destroys the Numina. Though he never wanted to rule, he must claim the throne and liberate his people, or the consequences will be calamitous. Yet only the surprising support of a beautiful Animari doctor gives him the fortitude to fight.

Focused. Analytical. Solitary.
Dr. Sheyla Halek has always been more interested in research than personal contact, but family ties—and the needs of her pride—keep her in Ash Valley, deferring her dreams. Brusque and abrasive at the best of times, she never expected to bond with anyone, let alone Golgoth royalty. Strangely, Alastor seems to need her as no one has before, and not only for her medical skills.

Their attraction is forbidden, likely doomed beyond the wildness of wartime, but these fires burn too hot and sweet to be contained…
You might have seen the first book in the Ars Numina series, The Leopard King, in some of my Best of 2016 posts. I'm just in love with this series! The world reminds me a little bit of Anne Bishop's The Others series, but it's a romance so all of you who wished Simon and Meg would just do it definitely want to check this out.

The Demon Prince has a slightly different feel than book one for me since it focuses more on the world's medicine and technology. (And they have some awesome tech like diagnostic microbots and weaponized jet packs.) The story begins in the shifter settlement where the first book took place, but later moves to the city, giving us the opportunity to learn more about the other groups of shifters, as well as the Eldritch, and the Golgoth. It was especially fun to watch the cat shifter heroine Sheyla accidentally courting Prince Alastor, who's used to a completely different set of rules.

I read a tweet from Ann Aguirre the day before I started the book explaining that Sheyla is demisexual. After I googled, that knowledge made it a lot of fun to puzzle out her character. Without it, she would have just seemed like a bookworm and I might have been confused about why she would want to have a threesome. Did I mention that this book is also kinkier than the first one?

But what I enjoyed most is the progression of the series story line, which is building up to a war with Alastor's brother. I liked watching Alastor build alliances and learn about the cultures and abilities of his new friends. And I loved the action scenes which showcase those abilities along with the world's fascinating technology.

I'm really enjoying this series and I can't wait for more!

Recommended for fans of: Anne Bishop's The Others series, shifter romances


Review: Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller

Shadow Run
(Kaitan Chronicles #1)
AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller
Release: March 21, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
Firefly meets Dune in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.

Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can't resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he's a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they're more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev's mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she'll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power--and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

I'm going to be honest. This book wasn't on my radar until one of my Twitter friends messaged me and told me and I needed to request it because it was "like Firefly and Dune had a book baby that has MURDER DRONES!". Yeah. I requested it real fast after that.

Shadow Run is a fun read from start to finish. It's more heavy on the Firefly than the Dune which made me love it even more. I loved the action which was pretty much non-stop.

The thing that made this book for me was the characters! They were all so amazing! I quickly fell in love with this small band of misfits. The crew really reminded me of the crew from Firefly in how diverse and tight knit it was. It is surprising how much character development actually made it into the story considering that they were in crisis mode most of the book. The diversity in this book was SO refreshing and well-done!

I will say I didn't connect with the captain, Qole, until the second half of the book but I loved that she was a young female captain of a spaceship that collects an energy called Shadow. The worldbuilding combined with Qole's abilities was intriguing. Nev kind of annoyed me from the moment he stepped on the page. He stuck out like the sore thumb when he joined the crew which is to be expected from a prince among orphans and thieves. He acted like a spoiled rich kid most of the time but he did have some likeable and redeeming moments. I will say that I did not like how the crew treated him for the majority of the book. My favorite character though was Basra and I want more. I haven't read a lot of books that feature genderfluid characters like Basra.

The story alternates between Qole and Nev's points-of-view each chapter and I'm not sure if I liked that. There are some noticeable cliches in the book but I overall I didn't mind that much. I did have a few issues with the "romance". Mostly it wasn't there which made the kiss towards the end a bit awkward. Thankfully, it was easy to ignore thanks to all of the action. The story did feel overly wordy and it made the flow of the story feel a bit choppy in places. Also, if violent books are not your cup of tea, I wouldn't recommend picking this one up.

This story overall was okay and I had a good time reading it. In my opinion, Shadow Run is a decent start to a new series but it's not going to be a favorite book. I'm intrigued to see where the authors go from here.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  3 / 5 Stars

Recommended for fans of: 
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman 
Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Future Classics

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.

This week's topic is Future Classics
These are recent releases that we think will stand the test of time.

5. The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson is well-known for fantasy books with complex worldbuilding and unique magic systems. In fact, he already has several books that already appear on those "100 Fantasy Books You Need To Read Before You Die" lists. But out of all of his books I feel like his Mistborn series are the most likely to end up as a fantasy classic. It's a heist novel unlike any heist novel I've ever read and the magic system is amazing but it's the characters that make it so loved. It's already 10 years old and I think that it will continue to weather the tests of time.

4. The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is one of my favorite sci-fi books ever. Mark Watney's story of survival on Mars is both hilarious and heartbreaking. It's not just a survival story though. It's a tale about humanity coming together to get one man home. If that's not a qualifier for a classic, I don't know what is.

3. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I don't think I really need to say why I think this series as a whole will be counted as a fantasy classic in the future. It's an epic series that changed a whole generation of readers. How could it not become a classic?

2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Coming of age stories combined with a magical quest are always a great basis for a book to be named a fantasy classic. Stiefvater takes this premise and sets it in the middle of nowhere Virginia where five teens are hunting for the resting place of a Welsh king. It's unique and original and very beloved. It would make my heart so happy to see this series become a classic in the future.

1. The Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab
My love for this series borders on the line of my gushing becoming word vomit. It takes the portal fantasy set in London trope and turns it on its head. The world and the magic system are both intriguing and unique. Plus, the characters are amazing! Schwab says that this series is her attempt to achieve the same kind of escapism that Harry Potter provided for her and so many of us in our teen years. I definitely think she achieved her goal and nothing would make me happier to see such an amazing series be named a classic and a fantasy must read.

Which SFF books do you think are going to become classics?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Jenn Bennett
Release: November 3, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

Okay. I'm going to try to keep this review short because if I don't I’m going to get all gushy and ramble on and on about how much I adored it! I struggle with reading YA books especially with most of the romances but The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is one of my absolute favorite YA contemporaries. Ever.

I was a little nervous going into this book because I’m not a big fan of contemporary books whether they’re adult or YA. But I absolutely adore Jenn Bennett’s adult paranormal and urban fantasy series so I decided to give her YA debut a shot. And I’ll admit that the premise fascinated me! I’ve never read a book that’s a romance between an aspiring anatomy artist and a notorious graffiti artist. Heck! I don’t think I’ve even heard of a book with an anatomy artist in it.

From the very second the two main characters met, I was hooked. I wanted more of them… more of their banter and more of them falling for each other. Seriously! I loved them! Bex is probably among my most favorite female characters I’ve read in contemporary fiction. She’s delightfully quirky and I loved her wit and humor! I would want her as my best friend in real life.

And Jack! Oh, Jack! I adored him! Life has dealt him kind of a terrible hand but he’s not going to let that get in the way of him finding happiness. And he works so hard for that happiness, guys! So when Bex walks in to his life, he wants to hold on tight with both hands and never let her go. I absolutely adored the way he pursued her. They are seriously cute together! Like seriously, their dialogue is the best and their romance made me grin like a fool!

Hey Bex?” Jack said as he grated. “Just so we’re clear, if we were alone, I’d probably kiss you right now.”

I gave him a swift glance as the hallway laughter made its way back to the kitchen. “Just so we’re clear, I’d probably let you.”

You guys! THIS BOOK! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved seeing these two fall more and more for each other. Also, this book was very sex positive and I think we need more of that in books in general but we especially need it in YA. If you’re looking for an amazing YA romance that is realistically written and adorable, you need to check this book out! You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

  5 / 5 Stars!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Books I Want to Read This Spring

I've been seeing so many posts this week featuring everyone's Spring TBRs and it got me to thinking about the books that I want to read this season. I probably won't get to some of these because I'm a huge mood reader who has been stuck in a manga binge read for months now. But there are several new releases that I can't wait to read once I get my hands on them.

I'm going to divide this post into backlist books I want to read, rereads, and new releases. Let's talk about the new releases first.

New Releases

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Jenn Bennett is one of my auto-buy authors so I was already going to buy this book. But I was completely sold as soon as I was told that this book is a YA You've Got Mail. Doesn't that sound amazing!?! I can't wait to read this one!

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
I'm a huge fan of Staveley's debut trilogy, Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, so I'm super excited to get my hands on this standalone spinoff about our favorite assassin and priestess. This book is all about Pyrre's backstory and her journey to pass her trial to become a priestess of the God of Death. *grabby hands*

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
I actually don't know much about this one aside from that it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling that has been compared with the genius that is Robin McKinley's Beauty which is my favorite retellings of this classic tale. And of course, it's one of those books that it seems like everyone in my corner of the online book community is loving right now. I was sold on the McKinley comparison alone.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
A Cinderella retelling that takes place at a comic convention? YES! GIVE IT TO ME NOW! I'm so excited to read this book. It's getting a ton of good buzz in the blogging community and some of my trusted book friends have done nothing but rave about it. I'm so ready for it!

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
This book has been one of those books I've been waiting YEARS for. Seven to be exact. I completely adore this series and I've wanted this next book ever since I finished A Conspiracy of Kings in 2010. I NEED MAY TO GET HERE FASTER! I need this book in my hand ASAP!

Backlist Books

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
I'm going to be honest. I went and saw the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie and now I want to read all of the retellings I have on my shelf and Kindle. I actually can't remember what this one is about besides it being a retelling. I've had it on my bookshelf for a long time. Hopefully I'll get to it soon!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
 I had forgotten about this book until it got a new cover for the paperback release. It makes me want to read it so much! It's so cool, right?!? Also, I need more Hogwarts-like fiction and boys falling in love in my life .

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I got this book for Christmas and I'm so excited to read it! The animated adaptation of this book is my all-time favorite Miyazaki film and I can't wait to read it! In my opinion, we all need more Howl in our lives.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
 This book is being adapted into a film and I want to read it! The only things I know about it is that there's something about Oreos and boys falling in love with boys. There is SO much hype around this book in the online book community and I'm really excited to get to it!

Winter by Marissa Meyer
 I have no idea why I haven't read this yet. It's going to happen this year though! I started my audiobook reread of the previous books this week and I'm so happy to be back in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
This series quickly catapulted itself into the top five on my favorite series of all-time list. I can't get it out of my head and I haven't stopped reading fanfic since I finished the last book. I NEED MORE OF BLUE AND HER RAVEN BOYS IN MY LIFE! Also, I need to kill time until Stiefvater finishes the Ronan trilogy she's working on. My plan is to reread the series via audio after I finish my Lunar Chronicles reread.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
My excitement over the next book has made me realize it's been awhile since I've reread this series. I've missed Eugenides and his shenanigans and I can't wait to revisit this world!

Beauty by Robin McKinley
I mentioned that the new Beauty and the Beast movie has made me want to read all the retellings, right? It's been a few years since I reread this one and its been tempting me to pick it up ever since I got out of the theater last week. I'm going to have to make room in my reading schedule for it. :)

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Timekeeper was one of my favorite books last year and I can't get it out of my head. I keep thinking of the mythology and the characters. Especially a certain clock spirit. :) I've been hearing good things about the audiobook that just released so maybe I should add it to my list of books to reread on audio.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
I'm moving next month and I just finished packing my bookshelves. My friend who was helping me asked me what this book was about which lead to me gushing for the next half hour about how good it was. I had the hardest time trying to put it in a box after that because now I want to reread it. I need a timeturner so I can read all of the books I want to this year.

What books are you wanting to read this spring?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...