Friday Favorites: Teacher/Mentor Characters

Hello, hello and welcome to another Friday Favorites! This week’s topic is Teacher/Mentor Characters. This is one of those topics that I know I’m going to realize like five other characters I want to add to the list after I post this. I love teacher/mentor characters but I also have a garbage memory, so the fact I could think of six is a darn miracle.

REMEMBER: If you have a Friday Favorites post of your own, drop the link in the comments so I can add it to the post list I’ll be making at the bottom of this post!


Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter

Professor McGonagall is the teacher I wish I’d had at some point in my academic career. She is snarky AF, fierce AF, and 100% would have kicked my ass into line. It doesn’t hurt that she was portrayed in the movies by Maggie Smith who is one of my favorite actresses (can I also mention how amazing she is as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey?). If Rowling had killed McGonagall, I would have rioted. As much as I dislike all the additions to the HP universe, I wouldn’t be against a McGonagall origin story.

Mercurio and Chronicler Aelius from Nevernight

Mercurio is that grumpy, verging on cruel, mentor character that I love. For some reasons I love tough love in a book (but not real life…I’ll start crying if someone barely raises their voice to me. I’m the worst.) and Mercurio definitely deals some tough love to Mia. Chronicler Aelius is actually the character that inspired this prompt for me. I don’t know what it is about librarian characters that just always stand out to me. The Chronicler always seems to have a wise word and a good smoke for Mia.

Jeremy Danvers from Bitten

As an Alpha werewolf in Bitten, Jeremy Danvers is both mentor and teacher to many characters in the book. I will be 100% honest with you and admit that I originally thought of Jeremy for this list purely because I have such a book crush on him. But I confirmed with my resident Kelley Armstrong fan over on #bookstagram that Jeremy definitely fits the bill for this topic.

Kelsier from Mistborn

*sigh* Oh, Kelsier. He was just a man, but oh what a man he was. He is not only the lead of the crew tasked with killing a god, but he teaches our main girl, Vin, how to be a kick ass Mistborn. Kel could give Kaz Brekker a run for his money with plots behind plots. While Kel is a fantastic leader of men, he really shines as the teacher to Vin. He teaches her so much, not just about her Mistborn powers, but how to trust and become comfortable in herself.

Numair and the Badger God from The Immortals Quartet

I feel the need to admit that this is kind of a hot for teacher entry for Numair. He was one of my first book boyfriends. All powerful mage with a mysterious past and a bit of a reputation for being a ladies man? Yeah, sign me the heck up. And I couldn’t not include the Badger God, because he is a grumpy god and a badger. Basically a grumpy Hufflepuff, like me.

Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Okay, yeah, sure…Giles is technically from a TV series, but there are books based on the show and that’s the loophole I’m jumping into so I can feature one of my favorite characters of all time. Giles deals with a lot of shit from the Scoobies and reacts with anything from genuine, caring wisdom to scathing snark. He’s got a dark, mysterious past and a great signing voice. And I’m starting to realize I’m just focusing on all the things that make me have a crush on him instead of how awesome he is a as a mentor and teacher to Buffy and the Scoobies. I’m pretty sure that if Giles hadn’t been around, Sunnydale would have fallen to one of the many apocalypses.

And for good measure, here are some extra Giles gifs because I couldn’t choose my favorite:


So, there is my list of favorites for the week! Do you have any beloved teacher/mentor characters?

Friday Favorites posts from the Bookish Community:

Book Review: Shadow of the Fox

Shadow of the Fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4.25 stars
Synopsis: One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.


Shadow of the Fox is one of those books that I could never quite pin down my feelings on. From the time I started it to right now as I write this review, my rating has fluctuated from 3 stars, to 5 stars, to finally landing on 4.25 stars. I went into this book with fairly high expectations because I have been a fan of Julie Kagawa since I devoured her Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series many years ago. I am happy to say that my exceptions were met.

I think the issue most people will have with Shadow of the Fox is the pacing. And so did I…until I had an epiphany. This book reads like an anime series. I think it was at the scene with the bear and the cave that something just clicked in my head and screamed “This is like an anime!!” From there, I loved the journey we were being taken on. I’m not even a huge anime fan (with the exception of Cowboy Bebop and Shokugeki No Soma), so it wasn’t the fact that it’s like an anime that made me like it. My epiphany just made me understand the pacing more. I think if people who aren’t familiar with anime go into this book with the knowledge that it isn’t paced like your average YA fantasy novel, they will enjoy it more.

Yumeko, who I consider the main character, is sixteen-year-old half human and half kitsune who has been raised by the monks at the Silent Winds Temple. After her home is destroyed, she sets out on the journey the head monk of the Silent Winds Temple gave her before he died: take the temple’s portion of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers to safety. On her journey she meets Kage Tatsumi, demon slayer of the Shadow Clan, and strikes a precarious bargain for him to travel with her as protection. Both are keeping secrets from the other and any slip of truth could destroy the tenuous alliance they have. Both Yumeko and Tatsumi have POV chapters and my BIGGEST issue with this book is the lack of indication that a POV has changed from chapter to chapter. Because the book is written in the first person it can take a minute to figure out whose POV we are reading at the beginning of each chapter. I got more used to it by the book’s end, but in the beginning, it really bothered me. I read this book with a book club and the POV switches were a problem for a lot of people in the group. Beyond Yumeko and Tatsumi, we are introduced to a host of secondary characters that bring mystery, danger, and whimsy to this story. My favorite of the secondary characters is definitely Okame and if any harm befalls this lovable ronin I WILL RIOT!

The thing that initially kicked my rating up to 5 stars for a while was the ending. It was SO GOOD! A certain part of it was predictable but the way it played out was not. There was action and betrayal and the promise for more story. AND THAT EPILOGUE OMG! I’m not sure how I’m expected to live while I wait for the next book, Soul of the Sword. All I can say, is I definitely have a pre-order already in.

At the end of the day, I settled into a 4.25 star rating because the POV issue and weird pacing. Even though I came to appreciate the pacing after a time, it still was rough in the beginning and can be a real make or break situation for a lot of people (there were a few people in my book club who DNFed this book because of pacing). I think this book would be good for fantasy lovers who are looking for a story that is structured a little differently from the typical YA fantasy.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

When I read the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) I actually laughed out loud. There are so many more than ten books I meant to read in 2018. So. Many. More. But here are the Top Ten (out of the like 200)

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

I’ve had these books on my shelves for…4 years, I think. I have been gently yelled at numerous times by some of my booksta friends to get on this series. I had originally been determined to get to it in 2018. But…well…here we are…

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I have a soft spot for books that emotionally destroy me and I’ve been told this one will do just that. I bought this with the intention of reading it immediately but honestly it worked out that I didn’t get to this one in 2018. I’ve decided to read nothing but heart breaking books in February and this one is definitely on the list.

Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch

“What would have happened if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz.” That’s the blurb on the cover of this book. HOW COULD I HAVE NOT READ THIS YET??? I LOVE cop procedural TV series, especially British ones, and I am definitely a Harry Potter fan. I feel like I’ll be pretty pissed at myself for not getting to this series last year like I intended.

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

This is my “forever on the TBR” series. I’m like 99% sure I’ll love it and I had really good intentions of getting to it in 2018. We all know what the road to TBR hell is paved in…


Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

This is another series that I’ve been told will wreck me. I want to be wrecked. I need to be wrecked. But apparently I didn’t want to be wrecked enough to pick this one up in 2018.



The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell

I LOVED The Last Magician. LOVED! Give me all the Harte Darrigan. So even though I was totally anticipating the sequel, I never picked it up when it was released in 2018 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

NUMAIR IS THE OG BAE! Well, maybe not true OG, but it sounds good and I’m sticking with it. He was one of my favorite characters in the Tortall books and I about lost my mind when I found out there was going to be a series focusing on him. But have I read it yet? OF COURSE NOT *facepalm*

The Falconer series by Elizabeth May

Scottish lore and steampunk and Fae? WHY HAVEN’T I READ THIS SERIES YET? Someone tell me!






The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Another one from my forever TBR. I thought 2018 was going to be the year, but I was wrong.






Keiko series by Mike Brooks

I’ve been told this series has a Firefly feel and y’all, that is the quickest way to get me to buy a book. I LOVE Sci Fi, but I’m super picky about it. But if there bounty hunters or smugglers or anything along those lines involved I will try it out. I bought the whole trilogy last year but have yet to touch a single page because I am the literal worst.

Friday Favorites: Old School YA

Hello my dear bookish people and welcome to another Friday Favorites! And this week is one of my most anticipate topics: OLD SCHOOL YA!! I decided this was any YA books released before 2000, which honestly makes me feel terribly old. Be prepared for a me screaming a lot about books I loved (and still love) when I was but a young whippersnapper.

Basically anything by LJ Smith

I almost put LJ Smith down at the bottom as a saving the best for last kind of thing. But just in case people don’t make it through the whole post, I at bare minimum wanted the takeaway from this post to be MY DEEP AND UNDYING LOVE FOR LJ SMITH. These books were not only my best friends in high school, but also my introduction to paranormal books. I reread each of the trilogies and the Nightworld books at least 10 times each in high school. I used to come home from school, do my homework, and then I read one of the books before I went to bed. These books are my happy place and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Fearless by Franscine Pascal

Oh my, this series. THIS. DAMN. SERIES. It’s been a long damn time since I’ve read these books but the main thing I remember is the main character, Gaia, doesn’t have the “fear gene” which makes her kind of super powered in that fear never holds her back. That was a terrible way to explain it, but that’s what I’ve got. I also remember a very dramatic and romantically tense scene between Gaia and Sam (the love interest) that involves rain and chess. Hm…I need to go buy this series again (I just looked it up and holy heck the series got up to 36 books. I originally read up to maybe the 20s). Yep, I need rain and chess in my life again. I’m gonna go search for these books.

Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

Another book I read over and over and over again in my teens. It was one of those books that just clicked so hard with me. The main character is a social outcast and secretly published author of paranormal fiction who feels more intune with the demons in her stories than with her schoolmates. THAT’S WHO I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL…minus the published part. This book and the other in the series are wicked short and damnit I want to reread it now…

The Alanna Quartet and Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce

I’m not sure I could call myself a fan of old school YA if I didn’t include some Tamora Pierce books on my list. I recently reread the Immortals Quartet and I was reminded of how awesome Pierce’s books are. I feel like Tamora Pierce was the beginning (at least for me) of strong female characters in YA novels.


The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike

This whole series is wild and honestly I am so here for it. I really don’t know what else to say about them. It was a very interesting take on vampires and felt very unique to me at the time.






Fear Street by RL Stine

I legitimately want to know why my mother was okay with me reading these as young as I did. All the Fear Street books are pretty damn horrific and graphic. One of my memoreis from these books is a girl stabbing her sister through the heart with knitting needles. LIKE, WHAT THE HECK?? But I loved them and read a ton of these books. The thing that amuses me the most is I cannot stand horror or graphic violence now that I’m an adult.

Goddess of the Night (Daughters of the Moon Series) by Lynne Ewing

This series was such a part of my late high school years. Each of the main characters had an aspect of who I wanted to be, especially the goddess powers, and I just wanted to be part of this squad. Also, this series has one heck of a bad boy romance and there is nothing I love more than a bad buy falling for one of the good girls.



So, I had to include a couple of honorable mentions. These are books that I LOVED but were technically published after 2000:

Gifted Touch (Fingerprints Series) by Melinda Metz (2001)
Book of Shadows (Sweep Series) by Cate Tiernan (2001)
So Mote it Be (Circle of Three series) by Isobel Bird (2001)

Do you have any old school YA books or series that you love? Let me know in the comments!

And if you have a Friday Favorites post make sure to drop the link in the comments so I can add it to the list of participants! Happy Friday everyone!!

Friday Favorites posts from around the book community!

ARC Review: The Kingdom of Copper

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher per my request. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Any quotes included in this review come from an advance reader copy
and are subject to change in the final release.

The Kingdom of Copper
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Rating: 5 Stars (I’d give it more if it was possible)
Synopsis and Pre-Order links can be found at the
Publisher’s webiste: [here]

Chakraborty has done it again! I’m not gonna lie, I’ve tried for the last two days to think of something more eloquent to write besides “I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!” But, the fact of the matter is I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

If you’ve read The City of Brass (and if you haven’t, GO READ IT RIGHT NOW! And then check out my review of it here) you know that Chakraborty excels in rich world building and creating characters that you love (even if you should hate them). The Kingdom of Copper takes everything that happens in The City of Brass, plus Chakraborty’s growing talent, and ratchets up the tension and mystery and action so much that I could barely put the book down.

One of the great things about Chakraborty’s writing is the realness she brings to her characters. They are all strong, weak, flawed, and perfect in their own ways. Just like real people. There were characters whose deaths I was wishing for at the beginning of the book, but by the end I was screaming when I thought they had been cut down. The abject cruelty of Ghassan is a frightening thing to read, especially in our current political situation. Nahri is so much stronger in this book and to see her growth is a wonderful thing to behold. By far, the best quote in the book is from Nahri: “I’ve had enough of men hurting me because they were upset.” If that isn’t a mood for 2019, I don’t know what is.

There truly is not a single thing I would change about this book. From a purely entertainment side of things, this book gives us adventure, drama, intrigue, and lushly described settings. But there is so much more to take from this story. The violent tensions between the shafit and djinn reflect many things happening in our society these days. Reading the ways in which Daevabad tears itself apart over prejudices is disheartening but it makes you think about our world. I want people to read this book to see the world through different eyes. We don’t have enough books like this and that needs to change.

I basically said this in my review for The City of Brass, but it rings even more true now that I’ve finished The Kingdom of Copper: When people ask me for fantasy book recommendations, The Daevabad Trilogy is what I’ll be telling them to read for years to come.

Book Review: The Thief

The Thief
Author:
Megan Whalen Turner
Release Date: October 1, 1996
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.


Have you ever read a book that you just don’t know how you really feel about when you finish it? Welcome to my problem with reviewing the The Thief. It’s not that I didn’t like it, it just felt…less than I expected somehow. I guess I’m going to start with the good and work my way down.

I loved the ending! Like, hot damn, those were some plot twists. In a book that honestly had me kinda bored most of the way through, the ending saved this one for me. Of all the revelations, I only guessed 1.5 of them. I felt the author was pretty good at keeping us in the dark. Though, as my reading buddy and I learned, if you have a copy of this book with the character index in the back DON’T READ IT! It contains spoilers for this book and the rest in the series.

The writing was very straight forward. No flowery prose here. Even so, the world building was pretty decent and the story flowed. I loved the interludes where we get stories of the gods. My problem fell in the fact that there was horrifically little dialogue. And one thing I hate even more than a lack of dialogue is when the dialogue is described in a paragraph. JUST BREAK IT OUT INTO DIALOGUE DAMNIT! Reading paragraph after paragraph of description and exposition starts to feel like reading an essay and I certainly don’t like doing that.

My other problem was the very slow progress to what I’d consider the action of the book. The first half of the book, literally down to the page, is spent journeying. That’s 140 pages of walking about and getting to know each other (again, with very little dialogue). And while I mostly enjoyed getting to know the characters, I got kinda of bored with it after a while. What drove me on was the knowledge that something good would happen, because many of my friends have said they love this book so I knew action had to be on the horizon.

Going back and reading this review, it sounds like I don’t like the book. But that’s not really the case. I felt like this was just part one of a larger story and I am very intrigued by this larger story. I’m hoping that maybe as the story goes on we get some good female characters because The Thief was sorely lacking in that. I got just a hint of what seems like a good set up of political/court intrigue and I do love me some good intrigue. I guess what I’m trying to say is I will definitely be continuing with this series because I see the path of where it is going and I want to take that journey. Assuming I get some damn dialogue.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday Favorites: Epic Journeys

Welcome back to another Friday Favorites! This week the topic is Epic Journeys! I am particularly enamored with a good adventure story, so narrowing down my favorite journeys was a bit difficult. So, without any further ado and in no particular order, here are my favorite books with epic journeys:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Well, isn’t this a timely choice from me! But Netflix deals aside, Six of Crows is not only a damn amazing book (see my recent review here), but it has a journey of some epic damn proportions.


Kingdom of Ruins by D. C. Marino

I mean, this book has an archaeologist who travels to another world where nature communicates with people. There is much journeying and adventuring in this awesome story!


The Martian by Andy Weir

Okay, not a traditional journey, but there is definitely some epic traipsing around Mars. I have only ever read this book via audiobook and let me just say it is AWESOME! Mark Watney is the space pirate of my heart.


The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

Look, I’m going to be honest here: I had to ask a friend if this book counted as an epic journey book because it has been so long since I’ve read it. I had vague memories of journeying, but was unsure if it was epic in nature. I’m not sure why I doubted the epicness in this book. It’s written by Brandon Sanderson, of course it’s epic!


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

I loved, loved, LOVED the journey of the Golden Trio in this book. It was such a deviation from the past books and just talking about it makes me want to start my HP reread right damn now!


The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

What? Did you think I was going to leave this one off? I mean, is there any journey more epic than the ones in these books? No, I think not.

So that’s it for my favorites this week! I can’t wait to see what all of your favorite epic journeys are. Remember to drop the links to your posts in a comment and I’ll add them to a post list here! Happy Friday book people!

Friday Favorites posts from around the bookish community:

The Backlist: Six of Crows Duology

Before I get into the meat of this backlist review, I want to get something off my chest: Six of Crows is the ONLY reason I ever finished reading the Grisha Trilogy. I read Shadow and Bone a while back and it never did anything for me and I decided the trilogy wasn’t for me. Then Six of Crows came out and based on the synopsis I KNEW I had to read it. I loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom so much that I decided to finish the Grisha Trilogy. This is my long way of saying, you don’t HAVE to read the Grisha trilogy before Six of Crows. In fact, I am stalwart in my convictions that Six of Crows should be the introduction to Leigh Bardugo. Yes, there are spoilers for the Grisha Trilogy in SoC/CK, but…well, it’s complicated and I can’t explain without spoiling things and honestly the “spoilers” didn’t ruin anything for me when I finally finished the Grisha trilogy. I guess what I’m trying to get to in this long rambling opener is that Six of Crows is a god damned triumph and I hate to think of others like me who almost missed out on the beauty of Bardugo’s writing because the Grisha Trilogy didn’t work for them. Okay, getting off my soap box and starting what I came here to do: review Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Read: May 13 – May 20, 2016
Rating: 5 stars

Where do I even start with this one? I love this book. Every single word was beautifully woven into a dark heist story that consistently surprised me with its character depth and whiplash plot twists. Considering my “meh” feelings on the first Bardugo book I read, Shadow and Bone, I went into this one with trepidation. However, Bardugo’s writing had evolved into so much more than it was for the Grisha Trilogy and I found myself devouring this book at every possible moment (Please see my favorite Instagram photo ever because Bardugo called me a goof for reading Six of Crows while in a Starbucks drive through line). Some complain that the pacing is off in this book and I completely disagree. Yes, the background stories of characters are slower, but damn are they important and interesting and they add such depth. I feel like I know the characters in Six of Crows better than any other book characters I have ever read.

When people ask for a YA fantasy recommendation, this is the book I give them. This is a book I wish I had written. This book, as stated earlier, is a god damned triumph.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Read: September 27 – October 4, 2016
Rating: 5 stars

Dear Crooked Kingdom, I’d like my heart back, thank you very much.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to love my Dregs any more than I already did, but Crooked Kingdom stormed through and not only stole my heart but broke it into a thousand icy shards. Bardugo dives even deeper into her characters, giving us some truly heart wrenching backstories and introducing us to new characters that bring more complexity to Ketterdam and the Dregs. I cannot express enough how much I love the introduction of Colm (I’m only giving first name to avoid any potential spoilers). Straight up, my favorite character.

At the end of the day, this was such a good ending to this duology (potential trilogy if what Bardugo’s has said is true). It gave me satisfying, and sometimes emotionally traumatic, endings for each of the characters. I often have issues with endings to series but this one worked for me in so many ways.

So there we have it. My short little love letters to Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. If you want a book that is full of snark, high stakes, beautifully built worlds, broken and brilliant characters, and some of the most wonderfully woven words ever written, then I highly recommend you pick up Six of Crows immediately.

Book Review: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe
Author: Alex White
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Orbit
Rating: 4.5 stars

“Do you miss Firefly? Do you want it back? Well, sorry, not gonna happen. But this book is damn close”

Look, if you throw an author blurb on a book that contains a Firefly comparison, I will 100% buy it. But sometimes comparisons like this can really hurt a book because it leads to certain expectations. Even with the high praise from two sci fi readers I admire (Delara and Holly), I was worried Big Ship might not click for me.

And as usual for my worrying, it was all for naught.

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe is bordering on ridiculous with how much fun it is. White deftly brings together a rag tag crew of characters that crashed their way straight into my heart. My fear of expectations brought on by pop culture comparisons is that I will spend my time searching for replacements for my beloved characters. Luckily, I was able to keep myself from doing that in Big Ship because all the characters here were awesome in their own rights. Though some were more developed than others, each had their own identities and eccentricities that I grew to love.

My one and only issue with the book was the magic system. I could not for the life of me get a grasp on it. Now, this could be partially my fault since I read the first 40 pages of Big Ship and then didn’t come back to the book for a month. And while I found the idea of the magic in this book beyond cool, I couldn’t tell you how any of it worked. So, whether this was a writing issue or a me issue, it is only complaint I had about the book. Everything else kicks so much ass.

This is the kind of book that reminds me why I love Science Fiction so much. It had fantastical worlds that were built before my eyes in the writing. It had characters that made me chuckle and then audibly gasp when they died. It had space battles and shadowy evil collations and a space ship with an awesome name. And at the center of it all, was a story that was perfectly rooted in humanity, yet encased with the wild and wonderful things authors can create in the realm of SFF.

Considering how this one ended, I cannot wait to start the second book in the series, A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Good Morning bookish peoples! Lightning fast post coming to you today because I am way behind in my blog planning (thanks to my back actively trying to kill me) and I’m typing this up on my morning work break.

The theme for today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is Most Anticipated Releases for the first half of 2019. I’m going to try to not scream AURORA RISING, but I make no promises.


The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Release Date: April 2

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?


THIS GIVE ME ALL THE STRANGER THINGS VIBES AND I CANNOT HANDLE IT!


The Binding by Bridget Collins
Release Date: April 16 (though it looks like it released January 10 in the UK and you can bet your butts I’ll be ordering it through book depository)

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed, and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.


Um, YES PLEASE!


Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins
Release Date: February 5

Seattle, 1913 // Dorothy is trapped. Forced into an engagement to a wealthy man just so she and her mother can live comfortably for the rest of their days, she’ll do anything to escape. Including sneaking away from her wedding and bolting into the woods to disappear.

New Seattle, 2077 // Ash is on a mission. Rescue the professor—his mentor who figured out the secret to time travel—so together they can put things right in their devastated city. But searching for one man means endless jumps through time with no guarantee of success.

When Dorothy collides with Ash, she sees it as her chance to start fresh—she’ll stow away in his plane and begin a new life wherever they land. Then she wakes up in a future that’s been ripped apart by earthquakes and floods; where vicious gangs rule the submerged city streets and a small group of intrepid travelers from across time are fighting against the odds to return things to normal. What Dorothy doesn’t know is that she could hold the key to unraveling the past—and her arrival may spell Ash’s ultimate destruction.


Hi, my name is Kibby, and I’m addicted to Time Travel.


Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter
Release Date: March 19

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries―until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price―and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.


I’m not sure I can describe how much I want this book. Like…damn…


The Cerulean by Amy Ewing
Release Date: February 5

Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.

But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong, and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.


Did anyone read Princess Nevermore? I loved that book when I was a young whippersnapper, and this gives me similar vibes.


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Release Date: April 2

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


Alex, I’ll take “YA Chinese-inspired fantasy that has been compared to Game of Thrones” for $800.


Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Release Date: February 12

A YA murder mystery in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris.

Paris, 1887. Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.


Supernatural visions to track down a killer? YES PLEASE!


The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey
Release Date: April 16, 2019

After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.


So, I have yet to read a Cindy Anstey book, but I own like 3 of them and they sound like things I will love. And this one is no different (except for the fact that I don’t own it yet).


Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Release Date: June 4

A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A black-hearted conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.

The Cyrilian Empire: a glittering white sprawl of frozen tundras and ancient, snow-capped forests, where ice spirits roam beneath the flickering northern lights, and where slavers hunt Affinites — those born with powers to manipulate elements.

Born with an horrifying Affinity to blood, Anastacya Mikhailov has never believed herself to be anything more than a monster. Her curse rings true when an accident in the dead of the night results in the death of her father, the Emperor of Cyrilia — and she is sentenced for his murder.

But Ana knows what she saw that night: the scent of poison in Papa’s blood, and the face of a murderer vanishing into the dark.

Alone, hunted, and on the run, Ana makes a bargain with Ramson Quicktongue, a handsome yet dangerous underground crime lord: help her find the true murderer and clear her name in exchange for her alliance.

When Ana’s search lands her in the lair of the most powerful slave trader in the Empire, she uncovers a horrifying truth. A new monarch stands poised to lead the empire to a path of hatred and divisiveness, and Ana must stop her before Cyrilia falls to darkness. But first, she must come to terms with the monster she thinks she is and the heir she was destined to be.

In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin color, and good and evil exist in shades of gray… comes a dark Anastasia retelling that explores love, loss, fear, and divisiveness, and how ultimately it is our choices that define who we are.


I recently got confirmation that I’ll be getting an ARC of this and I most certainly did a ridiculous happy dance. CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS!


AURORA RISING

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Release Date: May 7

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic


Look, I tried to not scream about this one again. I really did. But I’m listing to Kaufman and Kristoff’s previous collaboration (Illuminae Files, currently about halfway through my Gemina reread) and I cannot get over how much I FREAKING LOVE THESE TWO AUTHORS! I need Aurora Rising in my life SO MUCH. So. Very. Much.