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

What I’m Reading (23)

Hey all, Dani here.

As predicted last week, I actually did finish Save the Date by Morgan Matson, approximately one or two minutes before my post went live on the blog. Oh well, I guess that means I’ll just count it for this week’s post.

Speaking of, let’s just go ahead and jump into everything. Welcome back to my weekly post where I discuss the books I’ve finished recently, the ones I am currently reading, and the ones I would like to start reading in the next week.

After I had finished the newest Morgan Matson summer read, I jumped into Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone, which I read pretty darn quickly. That was nice. I will have reviews for these books coming soon. Next I jumped into Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd, which is a Catana Comics collection, so obviously it was a super fast read. I also have a review of Catana Comics coming soon, so stay tuned for that.

Those books alone would have been great, and pretty good for a week’s update, but I just kept on reading.

After those, I started diving into my books for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, which is taking place right now. I am doing really well when it comes to completing my TBR for this week long event. I finished My Hero Academia Vigilantes Volume 1, before starting And I Darken by Kiersten White. Though that is an almost 500 page book, I read it in under two days, and now I am desperate to read the rest of the trilogy, so I guess I know what will be happening after the Bibliothon is over. Thankfully I managed to push past those desires to continue with my TBR by picking up Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. It is a dark and gritty post apocalyptic story that will appeal to fans of the TV show “Supernatural.” Thankfully it also managed to hold my interest right after finishing the amazingness that was And I Darken.

It is currently the middle of the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, and so far I think I’m doing all right. I didn’t figure that I would be able to complete all of the reading challenges. Honestly, I didn’t even really think I would be able to complete my four-book TBR, but I am definitely surprising myself. So for my planned reads, obviously I will be trying to finish my TBR. Granted, the only other book actually on my TBR for this is City of Lies by Sam Hawke, so that is my current read. Though, I would also like to see if I can maybe finish reading Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines.

As for what I would like to read next, the obvious choices are Now I Rise and Bright We Burn by Kiersten White. Hopefully finishing this trilogy doesn’t threaten to put me in a slight reading slump. But I don’t exactly know what I’ll read after them…I mean, aside from the books I have ready for Dewey’s 24 Hour Summer Reverse Readathon coming up soon.

So I think that is all for today. Thanks for stopping by, and let me know down in the comments if you have read any of this books (or have them on your TBRs). If not, let me know what wonderful books you have recently finished or are currently reading. As always, I will be back soon with more bookish content.

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

Review: The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, I didn’t really think ahead when I was planning my upcoming reviews and posts…because I have another superhero based tale to talk about. Oh well, what can I say? I enjoy superheroes.

Oh, and before I get too far into this post, I need to thank NetGalley and Swoon Reads for granting me early access to this book for review. As always, this privilege in no way affected my rating or review for The Supervillain and Me. And now, let’s just jump into the review.

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Summary

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

Overall, this was a pretty basic superpower hero/villain story. Some elements were very predictable. Honestly, that does not at all mean that this was a bad book, or that I didn’t enjoy it. Obviously I read and watch a bunch of hero/villain books and TV shows and movies. It is a tale I enjoy, no matter how many iterations of the same ideas and themes I take in.

Oh, and I can also say that I did like that Abby wasn’t treated as some super beautiful and awesome female protagonist. Nor was she some badass martial artist who could take care of herself. No, she is sometimes awkward and clumsy, and her dad–the mayor–tries to help by sending her a bunch of self-defense videos so she can learn some techniques and hopefully be able to protect herself on the dangerous streets of Morriston.

That being said, this book didn’t blow me out of the water either, despite the costumed heroes. Maybe it was experiencing it through someone who didn’t have any powers but was connected to the main powered individuals of the story. Maybe it was that I didn’t feel very invested in the characters. Maybe it wasn’t as action-packed as I might have wanted. It was a good read, but not a great one.

Still, I guess this is the first book in a series that will follow heroes in the fictional city of Morriston. That being said, this book gave me just enough of an idea about the city and its inhabitants to be prepared for more. And I’m hoping that more will mean more super-powered action and more overall development.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order this book now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. It will be available on shelves July 10, 2018.

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

Review: The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

Hey all, Dani here.

Continuing on with reviews for books I’ve read for GLBT Book Month, today I actually bring a review for a book I was granted early access to through NetGalley. As always, I must state that this privilege of reading the book early did not affect my rating or opinion in any way. Of course, a huge thank you to both NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for approving me for this book.

I was intrigued for this book because it had a cross-dressing main character, the promise of a same sex romance, and above all, pirates.

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Summary

A clever, romantic novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack—and fell in love with Anne Bonny.

There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender.

At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate. 

The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.

For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.

Breathlessly romantic and brilliantly subversive, The Unbinding of Mary Reade is sure to sweep readers off their feet and make their hearts soar.

My Thoughts

Rating: 3.5 stars

Here’s what I liked about this book: it started right in the middle of action, as pirates boarded the ship Mary/Mark was on. That was pretty cool, and I admit to being as intrigued as our main character was upon seeing a woman in a dress seemingly an equal with the rest of the pirate band.

But first impressions can sometimes be wrong, and nothing is really as it seems with this story. Honestly, in a number of ways I felt sorry for Mary, for the life she basically had forced on her because of her mother. Mary spent a majority of her life pretending to be Mark, and that constantly acting like a boy seemed to have altered how she thought and acted a great deal of the time.

Mary’s secret was revealed to the pirates rather early on in the book, and I was expecting that tension of keeping such a huge secret would have held out a bit longer, and the revelation left me wondering just what would happen for the rest of the pages.

Sadly, the deeper I got into the story, the less interested I became. Many of the characters felt fairly shallow to me, and I could not stand how whiny and wishy-washy Anne was. The relationship between Mary and Anne never felt like there was any sort of deep romantic connection, just two people who were together when they had no other options. Anne consistently went back to Jack, and Mary kept pining for her best friend Nat.

I wanted more action, more pirate-y adventure, and I certainly wanted a great romance. Sadly this book did not meet the expectations I had built up for it based on the summary. So I’m sure there will be people out there who really love this book, and who will connect with the characters and the story. I think overall it is worth a read, purely for the Mary/Mark story and portrayal. That was well done, and probably the most intriguing part of the story.

Where to Buy

This book is now available, so you can pick up your own copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Book Releases, Book Review, Book Tag, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Recommendations, Signal Boost, TBR Purge, Writing

The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Manga, NetGalley, Signal Boost

December Wrap-Up and January TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, 2018 is off to a great start already, don’t you think? A lot of cool books have already been released, and we have a large number of great books releasing in the next few months.

However, today we are not here to talk about that. No, today I am here to recap everything I read in December, as well as to share my OwlCrate unboxing photo, and of course, my December book haul. Obviously, as it was Christmas, I ended up getting quite a few books.

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 2 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 3 (5 stars)

Dear Martin (4.5 stars)

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! (4.5 stars)

The Librarian of Auschwitz (4.5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search Part 1 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search Part 2 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search Part 3 (5 stars)

Searching for Billy Shakespeare (4.5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Rift Part 1 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Rift Part 2 (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Rift Part 3 (5 stars)

Gunslinger Girl (5 stars)

A Madeline Treasury (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 3 (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 4 (5 stars)

Heroine Complex (4 stars)

The Forgotten Book (4 stars)

Waterworld Vol 1 Ezra (5 stars)

One Punch Man Vol 1 (5 stars)

One Punch Man Vol 2 (5 stars)

One Punch Man Vol 3 (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 5 (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vol 6 (5 stars)

Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Vol 1 (5 stars)

Obviously I read a lot of manga in the month of December. For my Diverse December TBR though, I didn’t do that great. I only read 4 books from the list of 13 I had pulled together. I do still plan on reading the other 9 books from that list though, so expect more diverse reads reviews in the future. As well as a bunch of manga reviews because I do plan on writing up reviews for pretty much all of these. It will make a nice bank of drafted posts I can use if I ever need something to fill a space in my schedule.

Okay, and now I guess I will move into my OwlCrate unboxing portion of this post.

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I really enjoyed this box, especially that Harry Potter tote bag. I am getting a lot of use out of it so far. Oh, and the planner should come in handy too, especially since it has pages to keep track of the books you’ve read and what rating was given to them.

Now I guess it is time to move on to the book haul section, and I am not at all ashamed to admit that this is a considerably larger haul than what I normally end up sharing. BUT, to be fair and completely honest, some of these books were purchased by my boyfriend, but I’m including them here because all of the books are being stored in our library.

But before I get into the books we purchased or were given to us as gifts, I first need to mention a couple of books I won or received.

 

First is this ARC of The Hazel Wood, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway, my first time in over four years. I had actually stopped checking on if I had won or not so I was completely surprised when this book arrived in my mailbox. Nevertheless I am very happy to have it, so expect a review soon. Second, is The Heart Forger, which I did not win in a giveaway, but there was no note inside or even a return address. What was inside the package was a signed bookplate, a bookmark, and a Bone Witch sticker. My assumption is that this came via the publisher, and I am so excited about this. I absolutely loved the first book and raved about it in 2017, so to get to read this one early as well makes me very very happy.

Okay, well here it is, the moment I’ve been looking forward to but also dreading. I might as well just get it over with and get all my book purchase photos in this post already.

 

So, what do you think? Did we get enough books? Haha, no of course we didn’t. Books are fantastic, and I am so happy that I have friends and family who basically just give me gift cards so I can get the books I want, or that they ask for recommendations for books on my wish list.

The final portion of this post, of course, is the January TBR

  • Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen (NetGalley)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Goodreads Giveaway)
  • The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller (NetGalley)
  • Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
  • Don’t Cosplay with my Heart by Cecil Castellucci
  • Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
  • Everless by Sara Holland

Now, I’ll probably end up reading a few more manga volumes as well, but I’m not making them a priority. Then again, they are super easy to read, so who knows what will happen.

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

Recent Acquisitions I’m Excited to Read

Hey all, Dani here.

I recently read a post from Alyssa Marie over at A Reader’s Journey, and at the end she asked if any of us had recently acquired books that we were really excited for, and I decided that it would be a whole lot easier just to write up a blog post to talk about some of the books I’m excited to read and review in the upcoming weeks and months.

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I guess I should start with this lovely ARC I won in a Goodreads Giveaway. The cover is so shiny and awesome, and it sounds like an interesting story. Plus, this is the first Goodreads Giveaway I have won in over four years, so I’m looking forward to starting The Hazel Wood soon. This book will be released January 30, 2018.

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Okay, so I got the e-ARC of Searching for Billy Shakespeare last Friday and it will be released very soon (December 26th). Technically I’ve already read this one because I finished it on Saturday, but I was super excited to read it, and my review will be up very soon.

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The Forgotten Book is an e-galley I received from NetGalley and I actually just started reading it today. It sounds really interesting and is actually inspired by Jane Austen. Plus, come on, look at that cover. This book will be released January 2, 2018, so I expect my review to be up probably next week.

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Reign the Earth has been on my radar since Book Expo, though I missed out on getting an ARC there. Thankfully I was approved for one on NetGalley, and I can’t wait to delve into this magical tale. It will be released January 30, 2018.

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I know I’ve raved multiple times about the first book in this series, Borderline, because it was such an interesting read and I loved the complexity of the characters. I’m reading the second book, Phantom Pains, this month, so I’m really excited that I have the third one to dive into as soon as I’ve finished. Impostor Syndrome will be released on March 13, 2018.

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I’ve read a lot of books published by 47North, and I have enjoyed every one of them. That is why I feel honored that I have been auto-approved on NetGalley for any of their books I’d like. A friend recommended that I pick up The Paper Magician and it was good, so I had to get the other two books of the trilogy. Well, it is a trilogy no more as the fourth book, The Plastic Magician, will be released on May 15, 2018.

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This one actually popped up in an e-mail from NetGalley about upcoming fantasy titles, and it sounded really interesting, so I’m lucky to have been approved for this story about five daughters of the king, each of whom is quite different. Daughters of the Storm will be released on March 6, 2018.

Now..the next book on my list hasn’t had a cover reveal yet, but I promise that as soon as I have been sent an image for it, I will have the cover reveal here on my blog, as well as all of the relevant release information and such. Of course I am talking about the next installment of the Colorworld series, Waterworld. Now this one is going to be a bit of an interesting story because there are six different narrators, but rather than release a hugely massive book, Rachel E Kelly has decided to split it up into separate volumes. So this first one, Waterworld Volume 1 will follow Ezra’s part of the story. I’m really excited about reading this one, so expect a lot more Colorworld-centric posts coming in the near future.

Finally, as I started typing this post, I actually got an e-mail from NetGalley informing me that I had been approved for another book, and this is one I have been anticipating since I finished reading the first one.

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More Than We Can Tell is the sequel/companion to Letters to the Lost and it follows Rev, so I am so pleased that I get to read this book early. It will be released on March 6, 2018.

Okay then, well that pretty much wraps up the recent book acquisitions I’m excited about. Let me know in the comments if you have recently received or purchased any books you’re excited to read. I’ll see you tomorrow with a comic review post.

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

Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I am here with an ARC review. I was lucky enough to be sent a physical ARC by the publisher since I had reviewed the first book, and since I didn’t know that was happening, I put the request in with NetGalley and they approved me as well. So, thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for granting me early access to this book. This act of kindness to a voracious bookworm in no way affected my rating or my opinion in any way.

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Summary

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

First off, look at that cover. I love the colors used for it, and I think it has nice similarities in design to the first one, while also standing out as its own title.

One of the things I have to say that I loved about this book is that much like The Bear and the Nightingale, this one starts off with someone telling stories during a cold winter’s day/night. I actually like how the folklore storytelling helps to set the atmosphere of the book.

Also, I admit to liking stories where a young woman dresses up as a boy to go on an adventure. It’s always interesting to see how she navigates the world, and also how long she manages to keep her secret.

This trilogy does make me want to learn a bit more about Russian history and folklore. It all seems pretty interesting to me.

And much like the first book, I think this would be a perfect read for a cold winter’s day. Just curl up with a mug of your favorite hot beverage, maybe wrapped up in a nice blanket in your favorite reading place, and just spend some time on an adventure with Vasya.

All in all I enjoyed this read, and I look forward to seeing how the trilogy wraps up with the release of The Winter of the Witch, which is expected to be released in August 2018.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order The Girl in the Tower from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This title will be released tomorrow, December 5th.

Book Releases, Books!, Cover Reveal, NetGalley, Signal Boost

Most Anticipated Releases Winter 2017

Hey all, Dani here.

I can’t believe that I’m already posting my most anticipated releases for the winter months. Pretty soon we’ll all be writing 2018 for the date. Anyway, I have quite a few books to talk about today, all of them releasing in December, January, or February.

First up: December

Obviously I am excited for a couple graphic novel releases because they are series I try and keep up with. Then there’s the newest Kasie West contemporary release. I’ve only read two Kasie West books, both of them this year, and I enjoyed them, so I’m curious to see what other cutesy romances she’ll come up with. Finally, there’s a sequel to a Russian folklore story I read at the beginning of the year, and I’m so excited to read about what happens next. The first one was a surprise favorite of mine.

Lumberjanes, Vol 7 (Dec 12), Love, Life, and the List (Dec 26), Ms Marvel, Vol 8 (Dec 26), and The Girl in the Tower (Dec 5). Now, I will say that for The Girl in the Tower I was granted access to an e-galley through NetGalley and then I was sent an ARC from the publisher, so expect a review very soon.

Next up is January, and oh boy, I have a lot of anticipated releases. I guess it’s a good thing that I mostly get B&N gift cards for Christmas. I have a few sequels to books I enjoyed, the newest installment in one of my favorite graphic novels, a handful of awesome sounding fantasy reads, and a couple contemporary stories. The way this anticipated list is looking, I don’t think I need to worry about coming up with a TBR list. I’ll have plenty to read over the month.

Everless (Jan 2), Sightwitch (Jan 23), The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 6 (Jan 16), The Hazel Wood (Jan 30), Thunderhead (Jan 9), The Cruel Prince (Jan 2), Love, Hate and Other Filters (Jan 16), Don’t Cosplay with my Heart (Jan 2), Reign the Earth (Jan 30), Zenith (Jan 16), Gunslinger Girl (Jan 2), and The Forgotten Book (Jan 2). Currently I was approved through NetGalley for Reign the Earth and The Forgotten Book, and I have ARCs from BookExpo for Zenith and Gunslinger Girl, so expect reviews for those coming in December and early January. I’m still really hoping to be approved by NetGalley for Love, Hate and Other Filters so we’ll see what happens.

Whew, and finally there’s February. There’s yet another graphic novel release, as well as the conclusion to the Falling Kingdoms series. Then, considering my Hamilton obsession, I had to add the book about his friendship with Peggy Schuyler. Of course, who could say no to an awesome lady gladiator book. Oh, and considering how much I loved Ashley Poston’s Geekerella, her newest release is definitely an auto-buy for me. Finally Rachel Caine has teamed up with Ann Aguirre for a science-fiction story that I’m really looking forward to.

Lumberjanes, Vol 8 (Feb 20), Honor Among Thieves (Feb 13), The Defiant (Feb 13), Heart of Iron (Feb 27), Hamilton and Peggy! (Feb 13), and Immortal Reign (Feb 6).

All right, I think that does it for my post today. What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments.

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

Review: The Magician’s Keeper by Nicola E. Sheridan

Hey all, Dani here.

I have been waiting for this book for sooo long, and I finally got to read it. Basically I have been a fan of Nicola E Sheridan’s for many years now. I first learned about her from my author friend Donaya Haymond, and decided to give her books a try. I have read them all and loved them all. In fact, I should really reread them and write up reviews for this blog.

I suppose I should also say thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for granting me early access to this book. I can’t wait to buy a copy on release day.

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Summary

A brand new steamy paranormal romance about learning to love all of yourself.

In a world where people judge one another by exacting standards of size and style, being a big girl like Eudora Splat was never going to be easy.

Though trouble is brewing between magic folk and human purists who would see them all destroyed, Dora, a half-giant, tries to eke out a quiet, unnoticed life for herself, but it’s hard to be subtle when you’re over seven feet tall.

Losing her job as a gardener due to human complaints, Dora is recruited as a prison guard, where she’s enlisted to protect the magician Evander “Bear” Gordon from human purist attack. Bear encourages her to embrace her power and celebrate her heritage, introducing her to a world where she can be extraordinary and not just weird.

But after years of hiding and shying away, can Dora find the strength to grab onto a new life — and hold on to the man she’s falling in love with?

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

What I love about Sheridan’s books is that they all take place in the same world, which is a version of our world where creatures like satyrs and magicians and genies and giants live. There are organizations that pledge to help magical beings, but then there are government agencies who set up registries and restrictions and more for them.

The first few chapters of following Dora around made me uncomfortable…and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. The way people look at her and treat her is supposed to feel off-putting. They talk about her size and the way she smells; there’s nothing she can do about it because she was born a half-giant, and inherited those traits from her mother.

Then there’s Bear, and he seems to be having a pretty rough time in prison. He’s pretty much kept in isolation and is nearly cut off from his magic, and any time he is able to/does use magic, he is severely punished for doing so.

So basically these two characters are dealing with similar issues of treatment, and obviously they are going to be about perfect for each other.

Being that this is a paranormal romance, you pretty much know the overarching story of Dora and Bear meeting and then falling in love. But as per usual with Sheridan’s books, there is so much more to it. I find the world, the setting, the magic to all be so interesting, and I hope there will still be more books in the future. Okay, that being said, I will say that you don’t need to read any of her other books to understand what is going on in this one. The only books somewhat dependent on each other are her genie books. But, I will say that all of them are worth the read and it will just heighten your overall reading experience as you understand more and more of the logistics of the world built by Sheridan.

Where to Buy

You can preorder The Magician’s Keeper on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-million. This book will be released on November 4, 2017.

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

Review: A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

Hey all, Dani here.

And today is a wonderful Happy Book Birthday to author Kevin Hearne for his first epic fantasy novel. I’ve talked about Hearne before, mostly gushing about his Iron Druid Chronicles books. I would like to reread the first three books and then continue on with the series, so I’ll probably have reviews for the whole series up in the future. But today I am not here to talk about his wonderful urban fantasy series. Instead I am here to talk about a book I have been anticipating since the moment I first discovered it thanks to following Hearne’s social media accounts.

It’s time to dive into my review for A Plague of Giants.

Oh, and I should also thank the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book early. Being granted an e-galley did not influence my rating or opinion in any way. After all, I planned to buy this book long before I requested it from NetGalley.

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Summary

From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a thrilling novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology—complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts

MOTHER AND WARRIOR
Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd’s two sons—all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.

SCHOLAR AND SPY
Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he’s drawn into intrigue when he’s hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.

REBEL AND HERO
Abhi’s family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all—if it doesn’t destroy him first.

Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine—and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a complex story with so many perspectives to follow. Coming from someone who adores reading big epic fantasy books with complicated stories, it may be saying something that I had times where I struggled with this one.

I really enjoyed Fintan the bard, and his kenning–or magical ability–to project his voice over long distances and tell stories. That plus seeming stones that allowed him to look like the person whose story he was telling was really interesting. The problem is that the POV of Dervan is also in first person. So you jump from Dervan who is watching the bard, to the bard’s tales, which are also in first person. Sometimes it makes it difficult to remember which of the 11 characters you’re following in that moment.

Primarily this book is about the orations that Fintan the bard is giving. In fact, the story spans over 19 days as Fintan goes out to tell these stories, typically telling three smaller bits of the overall story each day, and rotating through the various people whose tales he has collected.

The world-building is great, and I loved the wide diversity of the world in general. Add into that the magic of the kennings and things get even more interesting. The people of the world commonly accept five different kennings, but through these tales it is suggested that there may be a sixth and perhaps even a seventh kenning.

Learning about these different people from all different lands in the world was an adventure, and while sometimes I felt like it was taking me a while to get through the book, I did overall like what I was reading.

This does not have the same feel as the Iron Druid Chronicles, which definitely have an easier urban fantasy flow to them. Instead, the first book in the Seven Kennings trilogy sets up a vast magical world with plenty of political complications and other issues. I may have to read this book again to fully grasp some of the developments and such, but I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. I ordered my copy from Barnes & Noble and it is a signed copy.