Fortnight of Fright | Hunting Prince Dracula | Kerri Maniscalco

Fortnight of Fright

Hey, friends! It’s about time for a Halloween-y book review! This one is courtesy of yours truly, and it’s legit the first review I’ve written, despite my best intentions, in…well, a long time. I’m excited that I get to review one of my most anticipated books of 2017, though! Huzzah for creepy books!

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Book Review | Daughter of the Pirate King | Tricia Levenseller

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | Daughter of the Pirate King | Tricia LevensellerDaughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy YA, Pirates, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
four-stars

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

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Book Review | Long May She Reign | Rhiannon Thomas

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | Long May She Reign | Rhiannon ThomasLong May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Published by Harper Teen on February 21, 2017
Genres: Fantasy YA
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher via Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars

The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

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Book Review | The Beauty of Darkness | Mary E. Pearson

Book Review | The Beauty of Darkness | Mary E. PearsonThe Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #3
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on August 2, 2016
Genres: Fantasy YA, Post-Apocalyptic YA, Young Adult
Pages: 679
Format: Hardcover
Also in this series: The Heart of Betrayal
Also by this author: The Heart of Betrayal
Source: Bought it
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
five-stars

Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

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Book Review | The Valiant | Lesley Livingston

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Valiant | Lesley LivingstonThe Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Published by Razorbill on February 14, 2017
Genres: Ancient Rome, Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
four-half-stars

The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha’s legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father’s royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon’s worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

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Book Review | The Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey on January 10, 2017
Genres: Adult, Folklore, Historical Fiction, Russia
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
five-stars

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

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My Outlander Audio Re-Read Project

Outlander

My Outlander Audio Re-Read Project

Perhaps I should start out by saying that this post isn’t coming at the start of something, like most posts of this nature do. No, it’s coming just as the end is in sight. Still, I’m on the cusp of doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a little while now, and didn’t want the occasion to pass without sharing it with you guys! Because, Outlander? The EPIC historical fiction, romance, time-traveling, tale of Claire and Jamie Fraser by Diana Gabaldon? One of my favorite series OF. ALL. TIME. ALL THE TIME.

Since we aren’t starting at the beginning, let me take you back there for a second. If any of you have ever seen one of the Outlander books, you know they are humongous. Reading them is often a time-consuming commitment, especially for me. Over the years since I first discovered OUTLANDER–in the romance section of my local Borders (RIP)–I’d managed to make my way, sometimes at a limp, through the first seven books of the series, falling in love with basically everything except Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet along the way. But a hurdle was presenting itself to me: WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. Book 8. By the time it came out in 2014, I was in the thick of YA/blogging, and never managed to find the time to devote to it. So, in November of 2015, I decided I was going to embark upon an epic quest: re-reading the first seven books via audio (a favorite thing to do) and then listen to book 8 to finish it off.

I finished listening to AN ECHO IN THE BONE on my way home from work today. I’m starting WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD tomorrow.

(Too much drama? Eh, maybe.)

Outlander

DAVINA. (Photo cred: Outlander TV News)

When I finished ECHO, I took a few deep breaths in my car because tomorrow = uncharted territory. I have no idea what’s going to happy to Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, Jem, Ian…nothing. I’ve spent over a year listening ONLY to these books, and to the mellifluous voice of Davina Porter. When I finish HEART’S BLOOD, 45 hours from tomorrow morning, I’ll have no more Outlander to read. No idea what could come next. I’ll surely go through some period of intense withdrawal accompanied by a urgent need to know what comes next. Because let me tell you, the title of book 9, GO TELL THE BEES I’M GONE, does NOT make me feel ok. I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO BE GONE, DIANA.

But until then, I’m going to make these 45 hours last as long as possible (not hard, since I only listen on my drive to and from work, which is an hour at most total); try not to borrow trouble, as my mom always tells me; and enjoy the shit out of myself.

 

Book Review | The Love That Split the World | Emily Henry

I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Love That Split the World | Emily HenryThe Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Published by Razorbill on January 26, 2016
Genres: Contemporary YA, Young Adult
Pages: 396
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
four-stars

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

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Book Review | Winter | Marissa Meyer

Book Review | Winter | Marissa MeyerWinter by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 10, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 824
Format: Hardcover
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cinder, Cress, Fairest
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cinder, Cress, Fairest
Source: Bought it
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
five-stars

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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Book Review | The Impostor Queen | Sarah Fine

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Impostor Queen | Sarah FineThe Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 5, 2016
Genres: Fantasy YA, Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher via Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
five-stars

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

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