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

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.

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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.

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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What I’m Reading (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

More posts are coming. I have some reviews that I’m writing up, and I may try to get some book tags and such up soon as well.

But, I figured it would be a good idea to have a quick post to update you all about what’s going on in life and reading and all of that.

So my new position at work is going pretty good, and I’m actually getting an okay amount of reading time in each day so that’s cool.

Oh, and when I’m not at work and I’m not just lounging around reading, my fiance and I have been trying to do some television binge-watching. We are hoping to finish season 2 of Stranger Things today, and oh my goodness, it is such a good show. Oh, and I’ve also gotten him into Agents of SHIELD, so we’ll jump back into that show after we catch up on Stranger Things.

Now, when it comes to reading, let’s just cover the WWWs. If you don’t know what I’m talking about there are WWW posts that tend to go up on a lot of blogs each Wednesday. In those posts you talk about What book you most recently finished, what book you are currently reading, and what book you hope to start next.

I most recently finished reading The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco. I will absolutely be getting a review up very soon because this wonderful book will be out early next month and I want to tell you all about how great of a time I had reading it.

My current read is Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins, and I am really enjoying it. I’m hoping to have a review up for it as well before it is released in early March, but I also learned that it was apparently originally published in 2014 by a different publisher. Hopefully that means we won’t have to wait too long for the release of the sequel, which was originally released in 2016.

The book I’m hoping to get to next is…probably Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, which will be released in April 2018. But, considering it is also Nordic in atmosphere, like my current read, I might need to read something else instead. So, I may be reading More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer.

So, I think that is about all for now. I promise that there will be a few posts (at least) up next week. Until then, what books are you reading, and are there any books you are looking forward to reading?

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What I’m Reading

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s post is going to be a shorter one, but that’s because I pretty much want to spend my afternoon/evening reading. I have a couple books I’m reading right now and I’m really enjoying them, and I have a couple ARCs that I really want to get to soon.

So I’m going to talk about the books I’ve finished recently, the books I’m reading currently, and the books I’m hoping to start next.

My most recent reads were both comic books. One was Saga, Volume 8 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and the other was The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 6 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson. I’ll have to do a comic review for them soon, but I really enjoyed them.

I am currently reading a few books right now. The book I’m currently taking with me to work is Homeland by R.A. Salvatore. It is the first book in the Legend of Drizzt series of books (you know, because 20 hours of D&D each weekend isn’t enough for me apparently. I need to read fiction set in the D&D universe as well).

The other books I am currently focusing on are The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I loved reading The Bone Witch last year so I was extremely excited to receive an ARC of the sequel, and I will totally have an early review up soon. As for book two of the Illuminae Files, I paused halfway through reading it because I had heard from so many people that the cliffhanger was a big one…and I didn’t want to have to deal with that wait. As the third book is out next month, I think I can finally finish reading it.

Finally, for the books I’m really hoping to read next: well, I have Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins to read thanks to early approval from NetGalley, More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer, also because of NetGalley, and then Phantom Pains and Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker.

So pretty much I have a lot of great books to read and review coming up for all of you.

And now I’m off to work on reading some more. I’ll see you tomorrow for my next recommendations post.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Recommendations, Signal Boost

Review: Love Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Hey all, Dani here.

My goodness, I have been a truly awful book blogger lately. I didn’t even get my regular recommendation post up last Thursday, so I’m sorry about that. I am currently working to try and get at least a couple posts up this week for all of you. Because it is completely true that I have a rather lengthy list of manga and comic reviews I can write up, and I also have a bunch of book tags that I can put together relatively quickly. It’s really just about sitting down and taking the time to write them up.

Anyway, today I just have to put up a review for one of the books I was most highly anticipating for the year of 2018. For the past few months I had heard so much about this book, from other bloggers and vloggers being excited about it, to hearing a few really good reviews.

So, let’s just jump into this.

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Summary

A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Oh my…this book was so good. Maya was such a fun protagonist, and by that I mean that her love of making movies and studying cinematography was just so clear and it just helped me enjoy her so much. I love seeing how people/characters just seem to light up when they talk about something they are passionate about.

I can also say that it was really cool that the crime mentioned in the summary of the book doesn’t happen until around the halfway point, so we get to spend a lot of time getting used to Maya, her friends, her family, and her normal life before everything is turned upside down.

There was also an interesting culture clash as Maya’s parents had immigrated to the United States and Maya was born there, so her parents and all their friends and such were still very much rooted in the culture of where they grew up, whereas Maya is pretty much the average American teen, so she ends up arguing with her parents about things on a somewhat frequent basis.

But you know what, it’s nice that we have a YA book where the parents are actually present, and they truly parent their child. Though after the terror attack I feel that they definitely head into very overprotective parent mode.

I guess the only part of the story that didn’t completely wow me was the romance plot, but I can say that I still liked it. The problem for me was that the one guy Maya liked was with someone else for most of the book, and when Maya thought that he had broken up with his girlfriend, others still saw them together and it made it seem like they weren’t actually broken up. Honestly though, I guess that does have a sense of realness to it, because when I was a teen (which was seriously a little over a decade ago, but still), there were a number of wishy-washy couples, where you weren’t sure if they were or weren’t together at any given time.

Okay, so I want to very briefly talk about a part that really impressed me with this book, but I’m going to have to be pretty vague, because I don’t want to spoil things. At the end of the book, Maya makes a decision about whether to stay at home according to her parents’ wishes, or head off to New York and film school like she would like. Her decision, and how others respond to her decision, did not go as I had thought it would, and I was actually really pleased with that.

So overall I am so glad I read this book, and it is definitely worth the read. It ranks higher than Dear Martin for me, but I still need to read The Hate U Give and see where it falls in the ranking. Having books that focus on issues of race and discrimination and different cultures is massively important for our world today, and I hope that all you lovely readers get a chance to pick up books like this one.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Love, Hate & Other Filters from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

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Book Mail is the Best Kind of Mail

Hey all, Dani here.

I actually wasn’t going to have a post today, because I was going to spend my evening reading so I could hopefully be prepared for writing a bunch of posts in the near future. Instead I arrived home to find a package waiting for me, one that I was not at all expecting.

The past month I have had this happen a couple times. Most recently it was when I received an ARC for The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, which is one of my most highly anticipated releases. My fiance was very amused by my excited flailing when I saw what was inside the package. Of course, that was because there was no return address label, so I didn’t know what to expect, aside from the assumption that it was a book based on the feeling of the item inside the package.

Well today I was definitely aware that it was a book from a publisher because the return address label said Macmillan. And then I opened the package to see this:

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So a huge thank you to Macmillan/Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC for Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. Ever since I first heard of this book, I was excited about being able to pick it up. A Nordic inspired fantasy novel? Yes, please! Here is the book summary:

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, 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 if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered. 

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

That sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to start reading it. It’ll have to wait just a little bit though. I have a few other ARCs I need to read before this one.

Oh, and this book is set to be released on April 24, 2018.