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In the Shadows and The Door Giveaway

Book Giveaway

From Scholastic: In the Shadows and The Door!

In the Shadows and The Door Giveaway

I got a couple of extra copies of Scholastic’s April titles In the Shadows and The Door, so of course I must give them away to you all! The Door is an ARC and In the Shadows is a finished copy with pretty graphic novel pages woven in with a text story, oooooo! This giveaway will be US only for shipping costs, but keep an eye out for more international giveaways soon.
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Horizon by Jenn Reese ARC {4 Stars}

Horizon by Jenn Reese is the conclusion to the Above World trilogy, a mix of sci-fi and fantasy middle grade that has continued to incorporate more and more cool ideas and messages throughout! If you don’t want to be spoiled, check out my review of Above World instead ;-). If you’ve enjoyed this series so far, then you have to read the final book since it continues to deliver all the fun and magic that Above World and Mirage started. We even get chapters from a few new points of view, yey!

Note: I received Horizon from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Horizon by Jenn Reese ARC {4 Stars}

Horizon by Jenn Reese (Above World #3)
Published by Candlewick Press on April 8th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG, Sci-fi
Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Aluna and Hoku, Kampii from the City of Shifting Tides, and their friends, Equian Dash and winged Aviar Calli, are determined to stop a war. The maniacal ex-scientist Karl Strand is planning to conquer the world with his enormous army of tech-enhanced soldiers . . . unless the four friends can get to Strand first. Aluna’s plan is dangerous: pose as Upgraders and infiltrate the army. But the enemy isn’t what they expected and the strategy begins to crumble. When the friends are torn apart by conflicting allegiances, their slim chance of avoiding war seems to disappear completely. For Aluna and Hoku, what began as a quest to save their own people has become a mission to save the world. But do Aluna and her friends have any hope of defeating Strand if they can’t take him on together?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Top Ten Characters Who I Want to be Friends With

Top Ten Tuesday

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

I love this topic so much since I frequently wish I could be friends with characters. That is probably one of the biggest factors contributing to my overall reading experience actually: do I feel the need to spend as much time with this character as I can because I just like them? This doesn’t necessarily that they are all that great of a person, since I like broken characters too ;-).

You Just Sound So Nice!

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The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher ARC {4 Stars}

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher is a romantic sci-fi about a future where humanity’s creations have taken over: human-insect hybrids rule the world now. I’ve always said that I’m not against romance, I just want there to be another plot and the romance needs to be convincing. The Ophelia Prophecy is a perfect example of this done well; I loved the romance and was intrigued by the world and mystery that Asha has set out to solve.

Note: I received The Ophelia Prophecy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some things may be different in the final version.

This book has adult content.
The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher ARC {4 Stars}

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Published by Tor Books on April 1st, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sci-fi
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters -- the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax -- strangers and enemies -- find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource -- information -- viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 4/20/14

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!). 

So I just got back from California (where I met up with Pabkins of Not Yet Read :D) this past Sunday at about 11pm and as you are reading this (happy Easter to those who celebrate by the way) I’m in Minnesota visiting family! I also got another round of steroid shots in my back on Thursday, then hopped in the car on Friday to go visiting. April is a really busy month so far D: but I did get reading done on the plane as I’d hoped and hopefully lots of reading during the driving this weekend too! How is your April going??

My Week

Horizon by Jenn Reese

I’m so happy with myself for finishing Horizon this past week (on the plane!) just like I’d hoped :D. This was a great conclusion to this trilogy and I really can’t say enough how much I recommend this series to middle-graders and adults who like middle-grade. It’s just such a cool combination of sci-fi and fantasy along with some really great messages about friendship and acceptance.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The Goblin Emperor was a bit of a struggle to read while traveling. It is a very thick and political fantasy (with a dash of steampunk). I really liked the world and characters, but I’m just not a fan of court intrigue and really never will be. I definitely see where some of you are coming from in your love for it, but it isn’t quite my cup of tea. I am really hopeful for more in this world though because it is SO COOL!

In the Shadows

As of writing this I haven’t actually started In the Shadows, but that’s what I’m planning to be reading this week as a break between long high fantasies ;-). I’m really excited for the graphic novel incorporation of this one and am just pumped for something rather different!

And in case you missed it, these were my posts this week:

Reports from Other Lairs

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Spoils, Tribute, and Planning to Pillage

Spoils and Tribute

Spoils and Tribute is a feature of On Starships and Dragonwings where I tell you about the books I’ve bought and received recently. I promise that I paid for all my spoils and I’m not letting the “tribute” go to my head ;-). Planning to pillage is just my version of Waiting on Wednesday where I share books that have caught my eye!

I’m trying out a suggestion from a couple of you and going back to splitting the weekly wrap-up into two posts. In an effort to round out Spoils and Tribute, I’m going to try attaching Planning to Pillage on as well. Thoughts?

Tribute

IMG_1480
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Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}

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!

Woot, it’s Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday time :D. Reminder: Use one of the genre labels in your link titles for easier searching and don’t link up posts that have been linked in previous weeks please!

(Note for email/RSS subscribers: There are link-ups in this post that don’t show up for you, so click the post title to see them and find some great posts this week!)

  • SF – Science Fiction
  • F – Fantasy
  • UF – Urban Fantasy
  • PNR – Paranormal Romance
  • DYS – Dystopian
  • YA – Young Adult
  • A – Adult
  • MG – Middle-grade

Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews

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8 Ways in Which Book Blogging is like Grad School

Book Discussion

8 Ways in Which Book Blogging is like Grad School

Since the end of the semester is fast approaching and this month has been crazy, I’ve been thinking a lot about grad school and less about interesting book discussion topics ;-). My second year of graduate school is also quickly coming to a close (plus or minus a summer, pfft), so I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. I won’t lie: this semester has had some low points for me. For a bit I was seriously trying to figure out if grad school was the right choice and stressing a rather unhealthy amount. However, I decided in the end that it is and that some of my stress was coming from the freaky similarities between my hobby and my career. Therefore, I present the eight ways that blogging is scary-similar to grad school, perhaps in an attempt to be self-aware about both major aspects of my life!

1. You are never done, there is always more to do
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The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler ARC {4 Stars}

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler is a middle-grade story about a girl named Alice who stumbles into a world where reading books literally takes her to new worlds. Unfortunately, those worlds seem to frequently be filled with deadly beasts and the real world with ancient and heartless Readers doesn’t seem all that much better. The Forbidden Library pulled me in the second I saw the first illustration and I can’t wait for the sequel! The ARC I read didn’t actually have all the illustrations either, so I’m planning on buying the finished copy just so that I can go through and see all the ones that I missed; I’m that in love with these illustrations ;-).

Note: I received The Forbidden Library from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler ARC {4 Stars}

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler
Published by Kathy Dawson Books on April 15th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 373 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy

When Alice's father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon--an uncle she's never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it's hard to resist. Especially if you're a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.

It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz ARC {4 Stars}

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz tells three love stories set in a world where Arthurian magic and legends are very much still true and alive at the turn of the 20th century, where a princess doesn’t want to be the queen and a young witch would happily take her place. The setting of The Ring and the Crown is deliciously fresh with elements of steampunk (alternative historical setting), fantasy (magic!), and romance (the feels!!). While I’m not actually much of a romance person  myself, the characters in The Ring and the Crown won me over easily and I found myself very much caring about how all of these relationships (romantic and platonic) would work out.

Note: I received The Ring and the Crown from the publisher for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz ARC {4 Stars}

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (The Ring and the Crown #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 1st, 2014
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance, YA
Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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