Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Hey all, Dani here.

Look everyone, it is an ARC review. I feel like a cool book blogger now. Just kidding, I usually feel like a decently cool book blogger, and that’s because I have so many of you wonderful people following my blog and enjoying my posts. I haven’t been doing as many book reviews as I would like lately, but that’s okay. Sometimes we need to step back a bit. But, I’m actually spending some time scheduling and writing up reviews of all of my backlog books, so you can expect a lot of reviews coming over the next couple months.

Anyway, let’s stop rambling and start talking about this awesome book I devoured. Oh, I almost forgot, I also need to say thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for sending me an ARC of this book. This did not affect my review in any way; Sky in the Deep was one of my most anticipated releases for 2018 because it sounded amazing.

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Summary

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Okay, so on the back cover of the ARC this book is described as part Wonder Woman and part Vikings. I have not watched Vikings so I can’t exactly speak to how true that statement is, but I can say that what I got was a story about a badass female warrior who goes through a journey that tests how she thinks of both family and loyalty.

Literally this book opens with the characters going to battle, so it is a pretty action packed beginning. That aspect alone quickly grabbed my interest,and I just wanted to keep reading. Then Eelyn was taken by the Riki, the enemy clan, and the story really started to fly by from there.

I was seriously so hooked by this book. I didn’t want to go back to work and I didn’t want to have to put the book down for hours at a time. But being a proper adult and having a job and chores and errands to run sometimes gets in the way of reading time.

I very much enjoyed the characters and seeing how the relationships changed and developed as the story progressed. This might be one of my favorite reads of 2018 so far. I guess my only complaint is that everything wrapped up in just one book. When I got 30 or so pages from the end, I started to convince myself that this had to be the first book of a duology, and I would have been completely happy if that had been the case. But everything ended up concluding in the remaining pages, and so now I am left wondering what Adrienne Young will write next, because I am definitely adding her to my list of authors to keep an eye on.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. It will be released very soon, on April 24th.

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Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

March Wrap Up and April TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, where did March go? Seriously. I am trying to figure out how we are 25% through 2018 already. Time is flying by so quickly now, and that is crazy to me.

Anyway, let’s just jump into what I read in the month of March. As always, if I have a review already posted on my blog, I will include the link to that post just in case you missed it or want to check it out. I’m working on clearing out my backlog of reviews so expect many more in the upcoming months.

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (4.5 stars)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (4 stars)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (4 stars)

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (4 stars)

Vox Machina Origins Issue #5 by Matthew Colville, Matthew Mercer, Olivia Samson, and Chris Northrop (5 stars)

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace (3 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 11 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz (5 stars)

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen (5 stars)

Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner (4.5 stars)

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (5 stars)

Overall not a bad month, though I probably could have and should have read more Middle Grade novels.

All right. Well with the wrap up complete, it is time to move on to my March book haul. There were a lot of great releases in March, so obviously I ended up getting quite a few books, but overall I didn’t go overboard and have a massive haul, which is nice. This is the part where I share my book haul photos and then show off my monthly OwlCrate unboxing–and spoiler alert: I loved this month’s box.

Seriously, I managed to get through the month only buying a handful of books. That is pretty impressive.

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I’ve always wondered if I would like an infinity scarf or not, and now that I have one, I can honestly say that I rather like it. Oh, and this OwlCrate edition of Heart of Iron is so lovely. I mean, did you see the purple stained pages? So awesome. I got the Hanna Donnelly candle, but apparently there was a Kady Grant one as well. The mug is pretty great too; I’m excited to have another mug in the same size/style as the Harry Potter one from a couple months ago. Oh, and the book is actually signed this month, instead of just being a signed book plate. OwlCrate, you guys are doing wonderful things with your subscription box. I’m glad to be a subscriber. And I’m looking forward to the April box as well, because yet again the book is one on my highly anticipated list, which is excellent.

Finally, I suppose it is time to share my April TBR. Now I’ve done okay with my TBRs so far this year, reading typically around half or so of the books I mention, so I’m feeling decent about continuing to share the books I’d like to read in the month. Plus, the next session of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon will be taking place on April 28th, so I’m thinking it should be a pretty good month of reading. But as usual, the readathon TBR will be up closer to the event, because I may change my mind on what I’m reading for the day. Actually I’m kind of hoping I can convince my fiance to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon with me.

Anyway, here is my tentative April TBR.

Of course the TBR can always change, grow, and/or shrink based on my reading mood. But there are a few of these that I really want to read, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to do it.

Then again, I’m also trying to get back into writing, so I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April as well. I’ve set a really low goal of writing 10,000 words on my novel over the course of the month, and hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish that while also keeping up with my reading.

I hope you all had wonderfully productive reading months in March. And if you feel like talking books with me in the comments, let me know what book you are most looking forward to reading in April.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (7)

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to the middle of the week all over again, and my weekly post where I talk about the books I’ve read recently, the books I am currently reading, and the books that I am hoping to start very soon.

I’ve actually accomplished some pretty decent reading since my post last week. I finished re-reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and I flew through Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner. I’ll probably end up doing a book/movie review for RPO fairly soon, and I’m already working on writing up a review for CG, so expect those and various other reviews in the next days/weeks/months (because my backlist of reviews will keep me busy for a while).

My current read is Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston. I have been waiting on this book for so long, and I even had to wait until a couple weeks after the release day because this book was the one included in my March OwlCrate, so expect photos of this beautiful book in my March Wrap Up post coming soon.

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And what I am hoping to start reading soon is probably The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, though I might start Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi first. I’m not sure. I’ll see what kind of mood I’m in after Heart of Iron.

Well, that’s all for me today. I’ll be back soon with another post. Until then, what books have you read recently and what are you currently reading? Let’s talk about books in the comments.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

Review: Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I am happy to bring you an ARC review. I received a copy of this book in the mail from the publisher, so thank you to Penguin Random House for sending this to me. As always, I need to state that being sent a copy of a book did not affect my rating or review in any way.

What may have affected my review, though, is my obsession with the Hamilton soundtrack, which yes, I did listen to at some points while I was reading this book.

Let’s just get started before I start gushing too much about Hamilton.

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Summary

1780. Albany, New York. 

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

First thing to mention with this is that it is not wholly historically accurate. To increase the jealousies and drama of Alex and Eliza’s relationship, the author decided not to follow actual events and give them their first child very early on in their marriage. So if you are expecting this to be exact with historical detail, this is probably not the book for you.

Then again, considering that de la Cruz was inspired to start this series because of the Broadway musical, there’s bound to be some changes to make for a more entertaining story. Hamilton changed events to make the story flow better as well.

What I rather enjoy about these books is that though they are historical fiction, they read like contemporary romance. Mostly this is because of the way the words flow. I find that contemporaries read rather quickly and smoothly, while historical fiction tend to be a little more dense and take just a tiny bit longer to read.

I still loved all the witty dialogue between characters. The intelligence of Alexander Hamilton, the Schuyler sisters, and others is just portrayed so well.

It was also interesting to see how Alex and Eliza dealt with the later years of the war, and then how they settled into domestic married life after getting their own place. So much of their early married life was spent apart, so it stands to reason that they have to make adjustments and figure out how to find a balance between work, social obligations, and each other.

I flew through this book, and I can honestly say that I’m already waiting for news about book three, because it is already on my anticipated releases list.

Where to Buy

You can preorder Love & War from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This book will be released on April 17, 2018.

Book Releases, Books!, Signal Boost

Most Anticipated Releases Spring 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, I am somewhat failing here on my posts for 2018. I was doing so well for a couple years at having this particular post series up each season where I talk about my most anticipated releases each season. And my Spring post should have come out towards the end of February to cover the months of March, April, and May…but here we are halfway through March and I just now realized that I did not do this post.

But I am fixing that now. So, obviously, a couple of these books will have technically been released already, but I’m still going to mention them.

Let’s just jump into the post.

First up is the month of March. There are quite a few book releases I’m excited for this month, though I don’t think my bank account agrees with me, so it may take me a bit to collect all of these books, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not excited for them. There are some new releases from authors I enjoy, some that just sound interesting or cute, and there’s even one an old college friend of mine recommended because he knows the author. So March seems like a pretty good book month to me.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (March 6), Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst (March 6), Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner (March 13), To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (March 6), The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco (March 6), Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins (March 6), More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer (March 6), Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker (March 13), Weaver’s Folly by Sarah Madsen (March 15)

Next up is April. I’ve just finished reading one of these books and will have a review up soon, and I’ll be reading another one very soon. As for the other four, one is a rather hyped up fantasy, one is a second novel by an author I met at BookExpo and the debut novel was amazing so I’m expecting this one to be great, one is a contemporary by an author I rather enjoy, and one just sounds interesting and has a really cool cover. So I’m also very excited about April, and the books I’ll get to read.

Of course the other reason I’m excited for April is that it marks one year of being with my wonderful fiance, who totally supports my book addiction…and he’s been reading more again since we started dating, so that’s great too.

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake (April 10), Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz (April 17), Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (April 24), Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (April 10), Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (April 3)

Finally we have May. There are not many releases I’m anticipating this time around, but I’m still hoping that they’ll be great reads. Now, I’ll be honest, I liked ACOTAR, loved ACOMAF, and found ACOWAR to be a slight let-down after the second installment, so I guess we’ll see what ACOFAS does for the series. I am more looking forward to seeing what the future installments bring as we focus on some of the other characters and their relationships. And I am absolutely looking forward to reading Furyborn. Sadly I couldn’t get an early copy through NetGalley, but that happens sometimes. I still really want to read this book because it sounds AMAZING. Plus there is a continuation to the Paper Magician series to look forward to reading, as well as the conclusion to the Ruined trilogy, so all in all, it should still be a really good month of reading.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (May 1), Allied by Amy Tinterra (May 1), Furyborn by Claire Legrand (May 22), The Plastic Magician by Charlie N Holmberg (May 15)

Well, I do believe that is all for today. If you are excited for these books, or for any others, feel free to let me know about them in the comments. I love talking about books, and sometimes it leads me to find even more great reads to add to my never-ending TBR. Have a great weekend everyone and happy reading!

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (5)

Hey all, Dani here.

Once again I am back to talk about what books I’ve read recently, what books I’m currently reading, and what books I hope to read soon.

In the past week I have finished four books: Vox Machina Origins Issue #5, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace, My Hero Academia Vol 11, and, most recently Love & War: An Alex & Eliza Story by Melissa de la Cruz. I definitely need to get some more comic and manga reviews up, because that to-do list is actually longer than my other need-to-write-reviews list. Of course both lists are getting pretty long at this point. I need a couple free days to just write up all of my posts.

My current read is Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen, and I am really enjoying it so far. The world is intriguing and I’m enjoying learning about the characters, especially because of the cultures and the magic system and the politics.

Next on my reading list is probably going to be a middle grade read, but I’m also tempted to read The Master Magician by Charlie N Holmberg, just so I can jump into the upcoming fourth novel before it is released in May. Then again, I’m really starting to want to read Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, and that has a publication date in April, so maybe I should read it before I worry about reading The Plastic Magician. Of course, The Waking Land‘s concept has intrigued me since I learned of it last year, so I’ll see what kind of mood I’m in after I finish my current read.

If I jump into a middle grade next, it will probably be either The Lost Rainforest or York, both of which I had on my TBR for Readathon by Zoe. They both just sound really cute.

So my reading life looks pretty good right now. I am still ahead of my Goodreads reading goal (by 1 or 2 books), and I’m mostly enjoying what I read.

Are you reading anything awesome right now? Or is there a book you are really excited to read soon? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be back soon with another post…maybe even a couple of these reviews or tags sitting on my to-write list.

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What I’m Reading (4)

Hey all, Dani here.

As has been my tradition the past few weeks, I’m just going to use Wednesday as a quick update on what I’m reading right now, what I’ve read since the last post, and what I’m hoping to read very soon.

Obviously since my last post, I participated in Readathon by Zoe, and I ended up reading four books, so I think that’s a pretty good number.

Today I also read Vox Machina Origins Issue #5, so March is turning out to be a great month for reading for me.

Currently I am reading Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz. I am roughly halfway finished and I am absolutely loving it so far, so definitely expect a review very soon. I also recently started reading Hamilton and Peggy! by L.M. Elliott, so obviously I am in a bit of Hamilton mood.

My next read will be Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker, and I’m hoping it will be a thrilling final (for now) installment to the Arcadia Project series.

So…have you read any great books lately, or are you reading any good books right now? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be back soon with more posts (most likely reviews).

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (3)

Hey all, Dani here.

I guess I’m just going to make this my regular Wednesday thing…to just briefly talk about what I have finished reading, am currently reading, or will be starting to read in the upcoming days. It is an easy post to put together, and it means I’m at least having some sort of regular content.

Obviously, what is weird about the post today is that it is the end of the month and my wrap up post will be coming tomorrow.

Oh well. It happens sometimes.

Anyway, let’s just jump into my reading discussion.

I am still currently reading Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins. It is a good read, but I’m not feeling like I want to read it every free chance I get, so I’m only about 40% or so finished right now. So maybe I’ll finish this week.

My other current read is Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker. I absolutely loved the first book, and with the third one out in just a couple more weeks, now is the perfect time to read this. Expect a review coming soon.

I really want to try and squeeze More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer in this week so I can have a review up by release day.

And if you haven’t checked out my post from Monday, it will give you an idea of all of the books I may or may not read this weekend.

But I am adding one more book to that readathon TBR…because I had an ARC waiting at my door when I got home from work on Monday.

I loved the first book and now I get to read book two early. Yay! I love being a reader and a book blogger.

That’s all for today. Happy reading everyone!

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

Review: The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Hey all, Dani here.

It feels like it has been a little while since I last wrote up a review, but I am so darn excited to present my review for this lovely ARC I was sent by the publisher.

Last year I read The Bone Witch and I adored it. You can find my review here if you missed it. I was pleased by the book and thankfully it landed on my favorite reads list. But that also meant that I needed to wait for an eternity for this sequel.

And it definitely delivered. Let’s jump into the review.

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Summary

In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe. 

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

It took a little longer for me to read this one, but that doesn’t mean that it is not as good. I think I was just trying to take my time and enjoy the reading experience.

What I really enjoy about this series is the dual story/time line. We get to experience the story with Tea as a younger girl, and a couple years later as she tells her story to a Bard. The way the plots develop and twist about each other. Some of the events that Tea hints at when she is telling the Bard about her story don’t get fully explained or revealed until later, and the anticipation of the reveal is so exciting.

The character interactions and the relationships that form or break are just so fascinating to me. All of the characters are so rich and I love how we get to learn about them through this story and the events that happen throughout it all.

I also really enjoy the world-building and the culture. We get to see more of the other countries in this one, and there is more revealed with the asha and their magic. I don’t want to get into more details with it because this is the second book in a series, and I’d like to try and avoid spoilers, but I enjoy learning about the different hua designs and the different zivars, and how the different asha wield their magic. It’s just so interesting to me.

And I say all this with the knowledge that I’ve never really been a fan of zombies or necromancy or that sort of story. But there is just something about Tea and her story that draws me in. I love the story, the characters, the descriptions, and everything.

Now I just have the long wait until book 3, The Shadowglass, which is expected sometime in 2019.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order The Heart Forger from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. It will be out in the world on March 6th, 2018.

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Bookshelf Tour

Hey all, Dani here.

I said I would be getting a library tour post up as soon as I had everything ready, and I’m nearly there. However, at the moment we have a lot of our office supply boxes and such sort of haphazardly placed all over the library.

So I went with the next best option…a bookshelf tour. Now, as soon as we get the room itself tidied up and I get some comfy reading seats in, I’ll have another post where I show off the overall library/office space. But for now I figured this would be better than nothing.

Let’s just jump into this.

Right now I have seven bookcases up in the library. This collection does not include my comics, graphic novels, or manga. When we get those all organized and up in a bookcase or something, I’ll be sure to show those off as well.

Bookcase #1

This first bookcase starts off my short hardcover collection. It goes from Ahdieh to Riordan, with everything in alphabetical order. I never used to like varying my shelves with some books horizontal, but I came to realize that it actually gives me a little more room, which is great when I don’t have the space to continuously add more bookcases.

Bookcase #2

This second bookcase finishes up my short hardcovers and then has all of my taller floppier paperbacks. I like these when it comes to epic fantasy reads because you don’t really break the binding as much while reading. The bottom couple of shelves on this particular bookcase hold a lot of my ARCs and then a number of the books I’ve picked up from authors at comic conventions. Honestly those last two shelves aren’t really in any particular order yet.

Bookcase #3

Now we are on to all of my mass market paperbacks. Obviously this bookcase holds more shelves than the others because the books are shorter. And this is the bookcase with the most free space, which is why that huge ream of printer paper is hanging out there. This bookcase is the one I’m most likely to condense when my tall hardcovers need more space to expand (which is pretty soon honestly).

Bookcase #4

Here we go with my tall hardcovers. Obviously right now I only actually have space for a few more of these before I end up needing more space for them.

Bookcase #5

The rest of my bookcases house my trade paperback or oddball paperback collection. Seriously, paperbacks come in like four different standard sizes, so if you’re trying to organize them by height, this is the area that will always mess with you. Anyway, for the most part these ones are my favorite types to read, just because they are fairly easy to haul around and not as heavy as hardcovers.

Bookcase #6

This particular bookcase houses my UK paperbacks of the Harry Potter series, as well as the UK paperbacks of Brandon Sanderson’s books. I love how the UK covers look for the Mistborn books as well as the Stormlight Archive (especially because they divide each book in the Stormlight Archive into two books–they are so much easier to carry around). That’s why I have the UK paperbacks for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series as well. I like the simple design on the cover and I think the format holds up really well for reading without breaking the binding.

Bookcase #7

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The final bookcase is the smaller sized Billy Bookcase from IKEA. Originally I was going to use it as a corner bookcase and do the setup that wraps your bookcases around the corner, but the spacing didn’t quite work in the library. Oh well. I still have the brackets so I can try again when we move into a house in the future. The top shelf of this one is set up to hold my Illustrated Harry Potter books, and then I also tossed some of my small hardcover geeky non-fiction books there as well. Then I finish off my trade paperback collection, and there is another shelf left over for me to expand the paperbacks just a little bit.

So there you have it, a look at the books I have in my library. Yes, I could have done like some BookTubers out there and rattled off every title and author for every book I have, but I really don’t think you guys want to read a list of every book I own. I think that would make for a boring blog post. That sort of thing only really works in a video.

I do believe that is all I have for you all today. I’m off to do some more reading (and some adulting–I need to do dishes…and maybe laundry). So hopefully I’ll have more reviews and such ready to go for next week.