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Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu eARC {4.5 Stars}

Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda is a graphic novel I have wanted to read since I first heard of it over a year ago. I patiently waited for a physical volume to be released because my library didn’t get the electronic releases as they came out and I’m so glad I waited and could binge the whole first volume all at once. This novel is everything I hoped with gorgeous art, a terrifying but amazing world, and dark but strong characters. There are also a few jokes and happy moments to make things better :D.

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

Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu eARC {4.5 Stars}

Monstress: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda (Monstress Vol #1)
Published by Image Comics on Nov. 4th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Page Length: 72 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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Purchases made support this blog

Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Waiting on… A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Adorable dragons are necessary for everything, but this one is keeping her eye out for more awesome books :D

A Crown of Wishes

The new novel follows Gauri, the younger sister of the titular Star-Touched Queen, on her harrowing quest for freedom.

When Gauri, the princess of Bharata, is captured by her kingdom’s rivals, she can only find help in Vikram, the cunning prince of an enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with royal life, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. They set aside their differences and team up to compete in the Tournament of Wishes, wherein the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

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The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power eARC {3.5 Stars}

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power is a story about survival, revenge and dragons. This is one of those books where the comparisons seem pretty accurate (George RR Martin and Naomi Novik) though I’d throw in a Castaway reference too to really round things out. I strangely love stranded and needing to build up structures for long term survival stories (I played a lot of Harvest Moon as a kid okay??), so I really enjoyed that aspect that you don’t find a lot in fantasy books. Plus, you know, dragons!

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

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power eARC {3.5 Stars}

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.

He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.

Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won't be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Ghostbusters by Nancy Holder Giveaway!

Book Giveaway

Ghostbusters Novelization!

When I first saw promo material for the new Ghostbusters movie, I wasn’t sure if I dared hope that it would actually happen, it was just too awesome for this world. But it did and I’m so happy and so of course I need to push the novelization on to you all :D!

Ghostbusters by Nancy Holders

The official novelization for a new generation of Ghostbusters, based on the new movie starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth and directed by Paul Feig!

After Dr. Erin Gilbert is disgraced at a job interview for her belief in ghosts, she is roped into investigating a haunting by her former colleague, Abby Yates and Abby’s new co-worker, Jillian Holtzmann. The three scientists soon discover that some specters do far more than go bump in the night.

MTA employee, Patty Tolan, finds that New York City’s subway tunnels are becoming a hive of ghostly apparitions. She calls on Erin, Abbey, and Jillian to investigate, revealing that paranormal activity across New York City is swiftly becoming a disaster of near-biblical proportions

Together, these four would-be paranormal investigators are determined to find out what’s going on, save their city, and maybe make a profit while they’re at it. The team must stop a mysterious evil known only as Rowan from destroying the barrier between this life and the next and turning Manhattan into a literal hellscape.

[Read more…]

Updates from the Lair 7/24/16

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!). 

Hello loves! Sorry for the late post today, had a migraine last night and I knew you’d understand :). Turns out I have been crazy busy at this conference and not had much time for reading, but I’ve enjoyed the bit I have read!

My Week

Behind the ThroneI’ve started Behind the Throne and am really enjoying it! It’s a space drama, but something I didn’t realize is that it has a matriarchal society and founding members of the planet were of Indian ancestry and so there is still a lot of Indian culture in this far future :D. Definitely recommended for people who enjoy sci-fi with something fresh ;-).

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Late Eclipses Read Along {Week 4}

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire Read Along

Week 4!

Wow, what an ending! We have finished the fourth book in the Toby Daye series and it definitely just keeps getting better :D. Spoilers below obviously ;-).

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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 Kelly for winning last week, hope you enjoy your books! This week I have an exciting book to add to the pile :D

Vassa in the Night

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

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

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Arabella of Mars Blog Tour + Giveaway

Arabella of Mars Blog Tour Giveaway

5 Arabella of Mars Quotes + Giveaway!

Today I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine! Arabella of Mars is out now and got a glowing review from Jim C. Hines, which I why I’m pretty sure it must be good ;-). Here are five quotes from Arabella of Mars to give you an idea what to expect and don’t miss the US/CAN giveaway at the bottom!

1. “Beneath the fur-trimmed leather of her thukhong, her heart beat a fast tattoo, racing not only from the exertion of her rush to the top of this dune but from the exhilaration of delicious anticipation. For this, she was certain, was the night she would finally defeat her brother in the game of shorosh khe kushura, or Hound and Hare.” [Read more…]

Mirror in the Sky Inspiration {Blog Tour}

Mirror in the Sky Blog Tour

Inspiration for Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana

Today I’m thrilled to have Aditi Khorana on the blog to talk about her inspiration for writing Mirror in the Sky, her sci-fi coming of age story, out now!

I am beyond terrified of the Unknown. I am also terrified of roller coasters, dark spaces, planes, blank pages, and the kinds of bridges that curve so you can’t see the other side. In fact, most of my nightmares revolve around things I can’t see, or things that blindside me: being lost in space, a la Gravity, or driving across the George Washington Bridge only to realize that it’s collapsed and my car is going to plunge into the Hudson River. Dark, I know.

I’m also deathly afraid of risks. And so for much of my adult life, I was a planner, minimizing all risk or possibility of confronting the Unknown as best as I could. I planned my day, my weeks. I planned what I needed in my pantry several months in advance. I planned dinners and parties and vacations. Friends came to me for advice and I strategized with them – whether it was the best way to ask for a raise or the most effective way of pursuing a crush or whatever. I believed the best defense against an unpredictable world was strategy, staying ahead of the curve, doing as much research as possible. And I also believed that there was always a solution to every problem. That everything was somehow fixable, if approached in the right way (I know). Needless to say, messiness, particularly the messiness of life was not something I was interested in addressing or even witnessing, in myself or in others.

So when I quit my job to begin writing, I did it with a nest egg in my bank account that I had saved from years of working in an office, and a plan to freelance on the side while I wrote. I would give myself a year, I told myself. And if it didn’t work out, I could always go back to work.

Except that I couldn’t have anticipated the various surprises that blindsided me over the course of that year: that I’d break up with my boyfriend of nearly a decade, that I’d have to move out of the home I lived in for many years into a sublet, putting my belongings into storage, that the manuscript I’d finish wouldn’t be very good.

I had arrived at this place that I thought would resemble the adulthood of my dreams: full of success, stability, and security that had been earned through my conservative planning. Instead, I was a mess. My life did not look neat and clean and organized and planned. I looked, even to myself, like the cautionary tales that Indian aunties make a point to tell you about (if you’re Indian).

This is what I have to say about the dark, sad, messy place that I resided within for the span of about a year and a half: I wouldn’t give it back for the world. I wouldn’t want to relive it again, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. But if it weren’t for that frightening space of the Unknown, I wouldn’t have written Mirror in the Sky.

I think that’s why the book came out so melancholy and atmospheric, and addresses so many Unknowns without really answering them. I learned, during this time that the answers mattered less than simply living, one day at a time and creating something every day, whether it as simply a page full of words or a flower arrangement or a pot of jam. I learned to find joy and solace and belonging in the things that weren’t planned, weren’t fixed, didn’t even exist just yet.

Mirror in the Sky is the book that made me an adult. It grew me up, brought me out of an extended childhood, forced me to address things about myself and about the world that were really difficult for me. I’m forever grateful to the book for this reason.

Mirror in the Sky by Aditi KhoranaABOUT MIRROR IN THE SKY:   For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on this mirror planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. Nothing on Earth—and for Tara—will ever be the same again.

Aditi KhoranaABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark and New England. She has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and an MA in Global Media and Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including FOX, Paramount and SONY. MIRROR IN THE SKY is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time reading, hiking, and exploring LA’s eclectic and wonderful architecture.

 

Imprudence by Gail Carriger eARC {4 Stars}

Imprudence by Gail Carriger is the second in the Custard Protocol series and every bit as fun and adventurous as the previous book! Prudence and friends are in for another adventure touring a different part of the world, discovering forgotten magical beings, and getting into all sorts of trouble. If you are a fan of audiobooks, I highly recommend this series on audio, the narration adds a whole new element of fun :D. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to delay reading this one in order to listen to the audio, but in the end, I couldn’t resist!

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

Imprudence by Gail Carriger eARC {4 Stars}

Imprudence by Gail Carriger (The Custard Protocol #2)
Published by Orbit on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

London is in chaos.

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.

Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.

When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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