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Blogger Trick-or-Treat

Blogger Trick-or-Treat

What is Blogger Trick-or-Treat you ask? Well pop over to Great Imaginations to find out!

Welcome, welcome adorable bloggers dressed in your cute costumes! Don’t be afraid of my lair *ahem* I mean parlor…. There’s nothing at all to fear, mwahahahaha! No, seriously, there isn’t anything to fear because to be honest I’m a HUGE scaredy cat. But I also loooooooove Halloween because I love all the non-scary part of Halloween. This makes for a rather amusing (to others I’m sure) tug-of-war between wanting to buy and decorate with all the cute Halloween things and needing to hide my precious eyes from all the terrifying and gross Halloween things D: Therefore, I want to take the opportunity to discuss all some of the things that are AWESOME about Halloween and pretend the scary things don’t exist for a bit ;-). (All my comments about scary things being bad are very much a joke in that I don’t care if you have scary things over in your house, just not near me >.>)
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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 everyone! Congrats to Ashley for winning last week and I hope you enjoy Moth and Spark as well as Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. I will again be doing two books for this week’s winner if they are in the US and here are the books that we are adding this week:

 

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 Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare {3.5 Stars}

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is the start to a new middle grade fantasy series from these two very much beloved authors. While The Iron Trial has some interesting and fun concepts, it doesn’t really live up to the expectations that come with “young boy goes to magic school” that I now have. The ending, however, shows that Black and Clare could take this series in a very cool and interesting new direction, so I do recommend you stick it out through the slow middle since I’m now quite excited for the second book :D.

Note: I received a finished copy of The Iron Trial from the publisher.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare {3.5 Stars}

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare, Holly Black (Magisterium #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on Sept. 9th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Signed The Darkest Part of the Forest Giveaway!

Book Giveaway

The Darkest Part of the Forest Signed by Holly Black!

Signed The Darkest Part of the Forest Giveaway!

I’ve been waiting a while to do this particularly special giveaway and I think it’s finally time ;-). I got to meet Holly Black in person at BEA and got the ARC signed just for you :D. I recently started my copy and have been absolutely loving this dark and creepy fantasy story so I just have to share the love!
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Top Ten SF/F Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday

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

What is up with Top Ten Tuesday topics that force me to own up to all the books I meant to have read a long time ago? ;-) This is going to be another list where you will need to refrain from gasping too much because you might hyperventilate once you see the series that not only have I not read yet, but I haven’t even start despite the best of intentions!

I’m Waiting Until It’s Finished?

The Burning Sky A Natural History of Dragons Falling Kingdoms The Golden City The Archived
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The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima continues the story of Raisa and Han as they both venture outside of their homeland and learn about magic and fighting :D. The Exiled Queen is the sequel to The Demon King and so there will be spoilers for the first book in the blurb. As long as you skip that though, you’re pretty safe since The Exiled Queen is pretty removed from the events of The Demon King. The Seven Realms series continues to have a seriously awesome strength of strong and logical female characters, and The Exiled Queen has the added bonus of a magic school!

Note: I listened to The Exiled Queen on audiobook, which strongly shapes my experiences with it.

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Narrated by Carol Monda
(Seven Realms #2)
Published by Hyperion Books on Sept. 24th, 2010
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 586 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 10/19/14

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!). 

Hmmm, what to say about this week? I was finally able to dive into my research projects again both due to having time outside of classwork and two very productive meetings with advisors on projects. I banged my head against some coding which I still haven’t figured out, but that happens. I’m starting to feel a bit in need of a vacation between the work for class and what I’m trying to get done with research, but it’ll be a while until that can happen (Thanksgiving only kind of counts since visiting family isn’t really a vacation for me, ha). I did read some good books this week though and got lots of walking in :D. I’m excited to carve pumpkins with friends (who read this blog, *waves*) on Monday! I freaking love pumpkins.

My Week

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly BlackI never seem to be able to stick to my plans for reading for the next week, oh well! On a whim I decided to start The Darkest Part of the Forest since a friend had a physical copy when I met her for coffee and I randomly read the first page and remembered why I was so excited to read this one at BEA. It’s because it is SO DARN COOL! Also a little spooky and honestly a bit over the line of spookiness I can tolerate when reading just before going to sleep >.>. But really really good!

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversI had to start Mortal Heart as well given the amount of encouragement I got to do so ;-). With the first sentence I was reminded why I love these books so much! I’m only a few pages in, but I’m already making excuses to fit in more reading time :D. I can already tell that there is going to be lots more information about how the magic of Mortain works, which is the exact thing I’ve been wishing for ;-). A girl whose mother froze to death is completely impervious to the cold :D.

Shadow ScaleIn an effort to make sure I actually do get to this asap, I’ve also started Shadow Scale even though I’ve only read the prologue so far. But the prologue starts with us finding out how her mind garden was actually established! :D Omg I love this book already and again find myself wanting to just spend all day reading >.>. Don’t worry, there will be a giveaway as soon as I finish!
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Love in YA: Make Me Believe

Book Discussion

What I Need to Enjoy Romance in YA

First I just need to take a step back and laugh at the fact that I’m even writing a post about romance at all. I was pretty firmly against romance of any kind in books the last time I checked (by which I mean that I just didn’t care, and really didn’t want it to be the main focus). However, somehow YA has softened this stone heart of mine and I actually used the verb “to ship” in a review this past week (if you’re not gasping, you should be!). I’m now finding myself in a strange spot though, because I’ve started liking romances that other reviewers specifically DON’T like and I just don’t know what to do with myself! Specifically, I’ve found myself attached to two types of YA romance “faux pas” that I used to dislike as a general principle: love triangles and insta-love. Don’t freak out though! It’s not just any love triangle or instalove that I’ve fallen for, but very specific ones with pretty specific elements. Let’s break this down by romance trope shall we?

Also just a note of warning, I’m discussing the romance elements of The Jewel, Hunger Games, The Infernal Devices, and Snow Like Ashes below. I aimed to not spoil anything major, but this will give you an idea of what romance develops, in case you want to avoid knowing anything about these books.
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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 Molly for winning last week and enjoy The Killing Moon and Sworn in Steel :D. This week I’ve continued to glare at the excessive piles of books in the apartment, so one more week of two books! Here are the new ones you can win:

Talon Thursdays with the Crown Fairy-tale Matchmaker

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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Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4.5 Stars}

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell is a story about love, family, death, and what it really means to live that happens to be set in a world with coyote and wolf shape-shifters, Seers, Thaumaturgics, and Immortals. I’m not generally a fan of character-driven stories but Joshua and Ada were such amazing main characters, and assisted by my many favorite characters from Destiny Binds and Infinite Harmony’s companion novel, Fragile Brilliance, that I find myself converted to the character-driven novel as long as the writing is as strong as Blackwell’s ;-). If you haven’t read any of Blackwell’s previous books, that’s really okay! Infinite Harmony stands alone very well and is also a good intro to the many cool magics that exist in this world. You will spoil a couple of things from the first trilogy by starting here, but I don’t think you’ll lessen your enjoyment at all :).

Note: I received an advanced copy of Infinite Harmony from the author. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4.5 Stars}

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell
Published by Author on Oct. 14th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Length: 227 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Ada Jessup lives for the moment, knowing the promise of tomorrow can be all too easily broken.

Joshua is an Immortal, a heavenly warrior who will still be fighting long after the rest of the Alpha Pack have turned to dust.

When a gunshot wound forces Joshua to tell Ada the truth of what he is, there is more at risk than the safety of the Alphas he's sworn to protect. For Joshua, the real danger is the way he feels drawn to the human girl. After all, what can the future hold for a girl whose days are numbered and a boy whose life has no end?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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