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Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

Congrats to Marie for winning last week and snagging my ARC of Trial by Fire, hope you love it!! This week I aimed to get a few different tempting upcoming releases for you all so hopefully there is something you’re excited about ;-).

Divinity The Fire Artist The Mirror Empire

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or an ARC from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

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The Jewel by Amy Ewing eARC {4 Stars}

The Jewel by Amy Ewing is a daring mix of dystopian and fantasy elements that brings a breath of fresh air to the YA dystopian trend. I honestly hadn’t even planned on reading The Jewel since it looked like just another dystopian with a dress on the cover, but I’m so glad I gave it a go! The Jewel is full of action and suspense along with a very cool magic system and a world that is far different from our own. The Jewel also pleasantly surprised me by pushing the magic abilities in directions I’ve never read about before, which is saying something given my love of new magic ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Jewel from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing eARC {4 Stars}

The Jewel by Amy Ewing (The Lone City #1)
Published by HarperTeen on Sept. 2nd, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Length: 358 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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White Cat by Holly Black Audiobook {4 Stars}

White Cat by Holly Black is the first in the Curse Workers trilogy and introduces us to a world where everyone knows that magic is real, but generally controlled by several families mob-style in the USA. I’ve been meaning to read this trilogy for over a year ever since I met Holly Black at a signing, and I’m so glad that the audiobook was available and of solid quality so that I can finally fit this great series in! If you enjoy the idea of an alternative history mixed with a dash of magic, definitely check these books out and maybe even the audio versions ;-).

White Cat by Holly Black Audiobook {4 Stars}

White Cat by Holly Black
Narrated by Jesse Eisenberg
(Curse Workers #1)
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on May 4th, 2010
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, YA
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn't fit in at home or at school, so he's used to feeling like an outsider. He's also used to feeling guilty; he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas and a plan to con the conmen.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Top Ten SF/F Books I Need to Buy

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks to the gals of The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this meme every week!

I feel the need to start this week’s topic out with the confession that I own A LOT of books and I tend to buy them very soon after they come out even if I know I won’t have a chance to read them very soon >.>. Therefore, it was rather hard for me to go through my entire TBR list and find books that I’m still really excited about but don’t own! And so I cheated a bit by including books that aren’t out yet ;-).

Because they aren’t published

Dead Heat Unbound Captive Firefight

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Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {5 Stars}

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke combines the favorite sci-fi topic of parallel worlds with music theory for some truly awesome world-building along with the adorable teen romance that we’ve come to expect of the YA genre. On top of all that goodness, Dissonance contains family relationships and develop and actually matter to the plot, a whole lot of feels, and some crazy plot twists of deliciousness. Dissonance really is as awesome as you’ve been hearing ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of Dissonance from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {5 Stars}

Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke (Dissonance #1)
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 22nd, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Length: 496 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 8/24/14

Updates from the Lair

Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!). 

This week I aimed for relaxing and getting in some good reading time before my classes start up again next week D: . I read four books for Bout of Books and just have about twenty pages left in a fifth, yey!

My Week

AtlantiaI borrowed an ARC of Atlantia from a friend this week so I made sure to read that first. It isn’t really a mermaid book, but more a blend of sci-fi future with a bit of magic. I did end up enjoying it quite a bit, though I’m disappointed that it is a standalone since we didn’t get as much info and description as I would have liked.

The Terror of the Southlands I then wanted something light and fun so I read my eARC of The Terror of the Southlands. Downside of reading this electronically was that all the cute letters and newspaper articles don’t show up well on a Kindle and can’t really be zoomed in on since it was a .mobi format. I think for the third book I’ll just buy a nice hardcover so I can get the full experience hehe.

Yesterday's KinWhen I spotted Yesterday’s Kin on NetGalley I got super pumped for another Nancy Kress read and I was definitely not disappointed. Nancy Kress did a great job of a believable and biological sensical way for aliens to be able to communicate and interact with humans. If you’re looking for a fast sci-fi read, definitely check this one out next month, it’s only 200 or so pages.

The Mirror EmpireFinally, I started The Mirror Empire this week and have been reading 100 or so pages everyday since it is pretty darn intense. I have only about 20 pages left, but the boyfriend wants to watch a movie so I probably won’t be able to finish before Bout of Books is over, curses! If you are interesting in some absolutely amazing fantasy world-building, this is your book.

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Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon Giveaway! {US/CAN}

Book Giveaway

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon Giveaway

If you haven’t already read Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, you’re going to want to hop on this series asap! I am in this very sad category, but I put a hold on it at the library due to Pabkins at Not Yet Read :D. Tor has been wonderful enough to offer a copy of the second book in the series, Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon for one of you lucky people!

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon

Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.

Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl, Maria, along with a most fantastical weapon—a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.

Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne’s trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies—to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and honor even cheaper.

Does Gideon have what it takes to not only save the day but win the girl?

David Barnett’s Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon is a fantastical steampunk fable set against an alternate historical backdrop: the ultimate Victoriana/steampunk mash-up!

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Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

Hello lovelies! Congrats to Sarah for winning last week :D. I have a special surprise for all of you this week and that is some 2015 ARCs added to the stack!

The Chosen Prince Jinx's Fire Exquisite Captive The Mirror Chronicles

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or an ARC from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

[Read more...]

Hexed by Kevin Hearne Audiobook {3 Stars}

Hexed by Kevin Hearne is the second book in the Iron Druid Chronicles and tells another story full of old gods, modern day troubles, and one very old druid. Hexed suffered a bit from second-book syndrome since it mostly felt like setup material for the rest of the series, but I still enjoyed myself. The narration for this series is wonderful, but I have to admit being a bit affronted by the “Wisconsin” accent ;-). If you don’t want to be spoiled, feel free to check out my review of book one, Hounded, instead.

This book has adult content.
Hexed by Kevin Hearne Audiobook {3 Stars}

Hexed by Kevin Hearne
Narrated by Luke Daniels
(The Iron Druid Chronicles #2)
Published by Del Rey on June 7th, 2011
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Storm Siren by Mary Weber ARC {4.5 Stars}

Storm Siren by Mary Weber is the start to what promises to be an amazing epic fantasy series with multiple magic systems, complex politics, and a very troubled main character. I absolutely loved finding out about Nym’s power and the horrible past it has brought to her as she was passed from slave owner to slave owner. Nym is a very broken character, but that hasn’t numbed her to the horror of death and I absolutely loved that she learned to be a kick ass heroine, but still never wanted to kill if she didn’t have to. Storm Siren sounds typical on the surface, but there are so many details where it excels and I think it will appeal to both YA fantasy fans and adult epic fantasy lovers.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Storm Siren from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Storm Siren by Mary Weber ARC {4.5 Stars}

Storm Siren by Mary Weber (Storm Siren #1)
Published by Thomas Nelson on Aug. 19th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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