Want Now Wednesday: The Never Tilting World

This week’s choice isn’t simply a want. IT IS A NEED.


The Never Tilting World
Author:
Rin Chupeco
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Synopsis: Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal. 

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.


I stumbled across this book late last year and thought it sounded pretty darn intriguing. Then, I saw the following phrase on the author’s twitter: “grumpy trigger-happy Hufflepuff boy”. At this point, I was just looking for where I sign my soul over to this book.

Then, I saw the cover. Like, y’all…look. at. that. cover. Hot damn.

THEN, I saw this from the author on Goodreads:
“+ Haidee, goddess-mechanic with free-spirited Moana vibes
+ Odessa, bookish chaotic lesbian goddess energy
+ Arjun, sarcastic fire-wielding amputee and secret cinnaman
+ Lan, healer/ranger and fierce bodyguard in love with her charge”
Also, she mentions sand dolphins and this is something I didn’t know I needed, but now I don’t know how I will live without.

Basically, I’m deceased until I get this book in my eager little hands. I’ve pre-ordered the heck out of this one, but HOW am I supposed to live without this book until OCTOBER? I just don’t know.

Pre-order links can be found at the publisher’s website. I can be found kneeling at my book alter, making sacrifices to the book gods in hopes they will transport me directly to October 15, 2019.

Want Now Wednesday: Kingdom of Souls

Have you ever seen a cover reveal and it literally makes you gasp? Yeah, that’s what happened to me when the cover was recently revealed for this week’s Want Now Wednesday feature.


Kingdom of Souls
Author:
Rena Barron
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Synopsis: Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

The lush world building of Children of Blood and Bone meets the sweeping scale of Strange the Dreamer in this captivating epic YA fantasy debut.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.


Yes, hi, I’ll take five copies. Basically any fantasy book that involves uncovering something worse is catnip to me. Throw in a Demon King and I am sold. The cover and synopsis have already started building a world in my head and I can’t wait for the whole thing.

All I know right now is September 10th can’t get here fast enough. Pre-order links can be found at the publisher’s website.

Want Now Wednesday: Soul of the Sword

Happy Wednesday my dear bookish people! This week for Want Now Wednesday I’m screaming about a HIGHLY ANTICIPATED sequel for me! Since it is a sequel, I wanted to put up a spoiler warning for those who haven’t read Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa yet (and if you haven’t, you really should! It’s an awesome book!). So consider yourself thusly warned.


Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Synopsis: One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.


I need this book, like, yesterday! Shadow of the Fox was one of my favorite reads of 2019 (check out my review here) and it ended on one heck of a cliffhanger! I am dying to continue the journeys of Yumeko and Tatsumi! I wanted to try and say what I’m hoping for from the book, but this story is so unique that I can’t predict what this new book will bring. I also very much miss Okame and need that ronin back in my reading life!

June 18th cannot come soon enough! Pre-order links can be found at the publisher’s website.

Want Now Wednesday: The Beautiful

Happy Wednesday, y’all! I’m mixing it up with the title on “Waiting on Wednesday” because most of the time I feel stronger for the books I feature than just “waiting on”. I want them NOW! And this week’s book is a huge want for me…


The Beautiful
Author:
Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful


I cannot begin to describe how much I want this. I’ve always been a huge fan of vampires, through good times and bad, and this book seems very promising. Decadence, horrible secrets, enigmatic love interest who just might be the villain of the story? SIGN ME UP RIGHT THE HECK NOW!

I also love that this story is going to be set in 1872 New Orleans. It gives me Interview with the Vampire vibes and I am so here for that. I can just picture reading this book with a glass of dark red wine in my hand.

Is it October 8th yet????

Pre-order links can be found at the publisher’s website.

ARC Review: Last of Her Name

This book was provided to me by the publisher at my request. The decision to review this book was entirely my own. My review is in no way influenced and all opinions are my own.

Last of Her Name
Author:
Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis: Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered–down to their youngest child, Princess Anya–and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn’t think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father’s vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.
That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia’s sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.
Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.


Last of Her Name is a solid YA science fiction inspired by the story of the Romanovs. The story follows Stacia Androva as she finds out the truth of her heritage and runs away from the revelation across her galaxy (wonderfully named the Belt of Jewels) with Pol, one of her best friends. But when Stacia realizes Clio, her other best friend, has been taken by the Union and its violent leader, Alexi Volkov, her only thought is to save Clio, no matter the cost.

All told, I liked this book, but it almost never evoked any strong emotions from me. I kept getting to the precipice of LOVING the story, but nothing ever pushed me over the edge. The story moves at a fairly fast pace, but the writing style is simple. Looking at all those “but”s, I realize there was just something missing from this book for me. I wanted to reach in and draw out more depths to the story.

I feel like Last of Her Name is a YA book truly meant for young adults. Stacia is seventeen, just found out she isn’t who she thought she was, her best friend is taken from her, and she’s running away with her other best friend who, thanks to a well-timed step into manhood, is suddenly very attractive. Stacia is driven by her emotions, as confused and illogical as they are, and I’ll be damned if that isn’t how many teens are. But with the exception of a few scenes, I never felt much emotion for any of the characters. While I tend to try and balance my YA character opinions by considering that I am not a young adult, I still was not able to bring myself to care much for anyone in the story.

However, I loved loved loved the world building! The idea of how the humans left earth and came to find the Belt of Jewels, the prisms and how they function, the different planets: LOVED IT! I want other stories told in this universe!! Just with slightly older characters. This story didn’t have the most in-depth world building I’ve ever read in SF, but the world I built from Khoury’s words was dazzling.

I cannot speak for any solid connections to the story of Anastasia because my knowledge of the Romanovs extends to that cartoon movie that wasn’t actually a Disney movie, but I always thought it was. I did find the history of the Leonovas very interesting and I liked the twists that we get when we learn more about them.

The big reveal was a surprise to me in some ways, but I know sleuth-y readers will probably figure it out. As far as I can tell, this is a stand-alone book, so take what you will from that about the ending. Some aspects of the ending were a little too easy for me, but I was happy with what I got.

I think that a lot of people will really like this book, but it never quite connected for me. I was talking to a friend about this book the other day and I described it as a good palate cleanser book between heavy fantasy novels. I hope that doesn’t come off in a negative way, but that’s just what this book was for me. The book was fun and it never took too much from me to read. Some books demand your soul, but Last of Her Name asks you to just relax and come along for the ride.

Want Now Wednesday: Serpent & Dove

Serpent & Dove
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Cover Designer: Sarah Kaufman
Cover Artist: Katt Phatt
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Synopsis: For her sixteenth birthday, Louise le Blanc’s mother gave her three things: a sacrificial altar, a ritual knife, and a wicked scar.

Lou’s death would have ended the ancient war between the Church and witches, but Lou refuses to become a martyr. Forsaking her coven, she escapes to the gloomy city of Cesarine and hides her magic as a thief in the criminal underworld. But life in Cesarine has its own dangers. Huntsmen roam the city revered as holy men. Witches burn without trial. And the Archbishop, the Church’s austere patriarch, revels in violence.

As a huntsman, Reid Diggory lives by one verse: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

He’s devoted his entire life to eradicating the occult and making his surrogate father, the Archbishop, proud. Finally given the chance to capture a witch of his own, Reid is devastated when a foul-mouthed thief thwarts him—and doubly devastated when she too disappears. Hell-bent on bringing her to justice, Reid vows she won’t escape again. But when Lou tricks him into public scandal trying to avoid capture, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Marriage to a huntsman could provide real protection from the witches—if Lou can convince Reid she isn’t one herself. The secret proves difficult to keep as Lou begins practicing magic in secret within the heart of the Church, determined to prepare for her mother’s inevitable return. As time passes, however, Lou discovers yet another danger lurking: her own growing feelings for her husband. But Reid is still dangerous. He’s just as likely to tie her to the stake as defend her if he learns her true identity. With enemies closing in—and more than her own life at stake—Lou must decide who she can trust before it’s too late…and she’s not the only one with a secret.


For real though, I am currently dying for this book! EpicReads had a cover reveal post about it last week and described it as “A slow-burn romance between witch and huntsman, sworn enemies forced to marry if they want to survive. Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.” SLOW BURN! ENEMIES TO LOVERS!

I pre-ordered this book the moment I read that synopsis. And that cover y’all…DAT COVER THO! (that’s how the young kids say it, right?) That cover deserves a place of honor on my book shelves.

All I know is I’ll be stalking my mail person on September 3rd for my copy.

Pre-order links can be found on the publisher’s website.

ARC Review: Enchantée

This ARC was sent to me by the publisher at my request. The decision to review the book was my own. All thoughts and opinions in the following review are my own.

Enchantée
Author: Gita Trelease
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron/Macmillan
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


Enchantée is an alluring debut novel from Gita Trelease that weaves its spell around the reader and transports them to the richly imagined magical Paris of 1792. From the small, run down family apartment on the poverty-stricken rue Charlot to the dangerously decadent parties and treacherous gambling tables at Versailles, we follow Camille Durbonne as she struggles to shed the weight of her misfortunes and create a better life for her sister and herself…at any cost.

Camille works la magie ordinaire to turn simple metal pieces into coins to support herself, her sister, and her drunkard brother. When her situation deteriorates, as tends to happen when you have a wasteral brother, Camille decides to work the darker magic of glamoire to transform herself into the Baroness de la Fontaine, thus gaining access to the gambling parties at Versailles. The more time Camille spends with the nobles at Versailles the harder it becomes to keep her two lives separate.

Some have said this book is predictable, and I will agree that at times it is. But this book reads so beautifully that it did not matter to me. I felt like I was walking through this novel with rose tinted glasses, everything was so deliciously described and exquisitely laid out that I didn’t notice any cracks in my path as I went along. One thing I’ve come to realize now that I’m done with the book is that there wasn’t a lot of character development in the side characters. Though I liked all the sides, they all lacked depth. Even the villain was pretty easy to spot and lacked the depth to make him truly villainous. But again, rose tinted glasses kept this from being bothersome to me.

I will say that the short chapters were the perfect fix for the pacing in this one. If the chapters had been 20 – 30 pages long like some books, I feel this novel would have felt like a slog. When I stepped back from the book after finishing it I realized that there was not much action in this book. But the quick chapter turnover gave the sense of urgency that kept me intrigued. There is also the slow build of revolution in the background of this story that pops in every now and then. And while I think it was well researched (I can’t say for sure how accurate the historical points were. I was stealthily reading paranormal romance books during my history classes in high school), the revolution honestly felt anticlimactic.

I think what surprised me most about Enchantée was the underlying current of addiction that ran throughout the story. Camille constantly has a running internal monologue about how much the glamoire takes from her and how she will stop once she has enough money. But as is usually the case with addiction, there is always another excuse to use again. (FYI: I have personal experience with addictions in various forms. I am not making this generalization lightly or without a base of knowledge.) Though there wasn’t a lesson learned about addiction and the resolution to the addiction in this novel was far too easy, it was still interesting to read Camille’s descent into the addiction of magic. I do wish that addiction could have been explored a little more in the story, but at the same time this is not the book to tackle the stark depths of addiction.

Enchantée is, at its core, a story about how hope and love can survive even through the darkest points in our lives. People make mistakes and hide truths and find themselves slowly draining away their souls to addictions, but there is still hope and love to be found.

I personally find Enchantée to be a strong debut novel from a promising author. Trelease weaves her words in such a way that one feels they are surrounded by the world they are reading. I thoroughly look forward to reading more from her in the future.

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.

Book Review: Slayer

Slayer
Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 1.5 stars
Synopsis: Into every generation a Slayer is born…
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic. Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next. One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

I want to start out by saying writing this review pains me. I have been a Buffy fan since it premiered (yes, I’m that old) and have been a stalwart fan throughout the decades. When I heard there was going to be a book within the Slayerverse that had a new slayer (*cue dramatic music* who is also the last slayer EVER), I may have freaked out just a little bit. I had a friend grab me a copy of the ARC at NYCC and then buddy read it with a fellow Buffy fan. And that’s where all the fun stops.

Slayer promised to be a new voice in the Slayerverse, one that could be understood without any previous knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer history (movie, TV Show, and comics). Nothing could be further from the truth. The author tried to bring the delightful campiness of the TV show to the book and it just felt forced and off putting (the only joke with a good pay off was the Coldplay joke). Now, some of this could be a personal thing for me because I have recently found that “campy” books are just not for me (*looks forlornly at Kill the Farm Boy and The Princess Bride*). There was no reason to try and bring that same camp though. Let this new slayer and her group be unique. I wanted a new slayer story, not a poor facsimile of the Scoobies.

Then there is the proclamation that you could understand this book without previous Slayerverse knowledge. And while that mostly holds true, I guess, you have to wade through pages of clunky info dumping. I actually gave up trying to figure it out from the book and went online to find a recap of the season 8 and 9 comic books. Which bugs me because that means two things: I completely spoiled myself for a comic series that I wanted to read AND a recapper online did a better job than the author of this book.

I’m going to save my discussion of the main character, Nina, until later because it will involve spoilers and I’m sectioning off the spoilers below. As for the rest of the characters, I can’t think of a single one I really liked. Except maybe Doug, and that is a stretch. Artemis was a terrible sister, the mother was awful (and her arc was predictable), the love interest was boring, and all the side characters were one dimensional. I couldn’t find it in me to care about a single one of them. Because of the poor character writing, the plot was predictable and not very interesting. I kept hoping it get pulled in by something, but it never happened. There was loads of potential (no pun intended), but it all fell flat to me.

And don’t even get me started on the ending.

Now for the one tiny part I loved and the BIG THING I hated, but first, a friendly spoiler warning. It’s not really a huge spoiler but just in case…

Okay, Nina. Our main character, the one on which my hopes and dreams floated. She hated Buffy. And didn’t just hate; she absolutely loathed Buffy and thought about it constantly (meaning we had to read about it all the damn time). Yes, she had a pretty good reason: Nina is the daughter of Merrick, Buffy’s first watcher, that died while working with Buffy. That was the one thing I really liked in this book. I LOVED that call back to the original movie. But Nina’s never-ending Buffy hate grated on me to the point where I ended up hating Nina just as much as she hated Buffy. Look, I get that Buffy isn’t perfect, but who the heck thought a steady stream of Buffy hate was good for a Slayerverse book, one that would be read by people who grew up loving Buffy? And because predictable plot is predictable, Nina ends up understanding Buffy and why she did the things she did. Ugggggghhhhhhh…

/end spoilers

At the end of the day, this book was a huge let down. The Hufflepuff in me wants to say maybe it was just me, maybe I’m the problem, but I don’t think that’d be 100% true. Yes, I hyped this book a lot in my head and yes, this book had some big 90s platform shoes to fill, but at the end of the day I really think the writing let this story down.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pretend I never had to write this negative review about a book I wanted to love by continuing my Buffy rewatch (I’m on Season 3 and Faith is about to make her grand entrance).