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Updates from the Lair 4/30/17

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 and my posts from the week. 

And we’re back! I passed my defense so I’m officially Dr. Anya :D. I’ve been spending the time between major grad school events reading and writing reviews to unwind, so there are lots of things on their way! May, however, is going to be devoted to full time fiction writing to take my crappy first draft to a point where I’m okay with beta readers reading it, woot!

My Week

FurthermoreI’m listening to the audiobook of Furthermore and loving it so much! I definitely understand the love for Mafi’s writing now and really love how the illustrated cover perfectly captures the magic of this world so that it is easier for me to imagine! The narrator is male, which seems odd for a book with a female main character, but he is doing a fantastic job so I’m happy!

I absolutely loved the first book, so I had to buy the sequel Rebel Magisters when Swendson indie published it. I still can’t believe this series wasn’t continued with the traditional publisher, fools! I’m loving this, though reading slowly since I’m not using my Kindle much.

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Crunchtime!

Hello loves! I defend my dissertation April 24th! I need to have it to my committee two weeks in advance so that’s April 10th! I haven’t had a whole lot of time for reading (I mean some since otherwise I can’t handle life, but not as much). As soon as I’m done though I’m taking May off of work, yey! So the blog is on hiatus until then, wish me luck!

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire {4 Stars}

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire {4 Stars}

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (InCryptid #1)
Published by DAW on March 6th, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity—and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell eARC {5 Stars}

A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell eARC {5 Stars}

A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell (Of Magic & Machine #1)
Published by Author on April 4th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk
Page Length: 403 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

She’s the daughter of an earl with a secret no one can know. He’s a mage who has sacrificed everything to save those he loves. They were born worlds apart, but inside a city drenched in magic, anything is possible.

Unmarried at the age of six-and-twenty, Lady Elizabeth “Bits” Warner has become a burden to her family. Therefore, she isn’t surprised when they pack her on a train bound for Scotland and a fiancé she has never met. She’s not surprised, but she is terrified.

In Corrigan, a walled-off city that serves as refuge to those capable of using the aether to cast spells and concoct potions, Ezra Nash is devoted to healing the sick and injured. Between his work as a surgeon and caring for his sisters, he doesn’t have time for distractions.

When the train Bits is traveling on explodes, she finds herself inside the gates of Corrigan and under Ezra’s care. The two are drawn to one another, but it will take more than attraction to overcome the difference in their stations and the secrets they hide from the world.

5 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Louie Lets Loose by Rachel Hamilton ARC {4 Stars}

Louie Lets Loose by Rachel Hamilton ARC {4 Stars}

Louie Lets Loose by Oscar Armelles, Rachel Hamilton (Unicorn in New York #1)
Published by Scholastic on May 30th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 128 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

In this hilarious new fiction series, Louie the unicorn searches for stardom in New York City. Louie's story is brought to life with a unique visual approach, combining real New York photography with funny character illustrations.

'Dear Ma and Pa,
The New York School for Performing Arts is the perfect place for a unicorn like me. So far it has been totally AWESOME! Madame Twirler says that 'pigs will fly' before I get the lead part in a show. Man, I would LOVE to see that! After all, New York has a unicorn in town, so why not flying pigs?
Love you more than cake,
Louie xx'

4 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire {4 Stars}

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire {4 Stars}

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #6)
Published by DAW on Sept. 4th, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 353 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Trapped by Kevin Hearne Audiobook {4 Stars}

Trapped by Kevin Hearne Audiobook {4 Stars}

Trapped by Kevin Hearne
Narrated by Luke Daniels
(The Iron Druid Chronicles #5)
Published by Del Rey, Random House Audio on Nov. 27th, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 290 pages
Audio Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Reflections by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Reflections by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Reflections by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Indexing #2)
Published by 47North, Brilliance Audio on Jan 12th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 325 pages
Audio Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

“For her to love me, she had to be willing to kill me. Anything else would show that her heart was untrue.”

The struggle against not-so-charming storybook narratives isn’t the only complicating factor in Henrietta “Henry” Marchen’s life. As part of the ATI Management Bureau team protecting the world from fairy tales gone awry, she’s juggling her unwanted new status as a Snow White, dealing with a potentially dangerous Pied Piper, and wrangling a most troublesome wicked stepsister—along with a budding relationship with Jeff, her teammate.

But when a twisted, vicious Cinderella breaks out of prison and wreaks havoc, things go from disenchanted to deadly. And once Henry realizes someone is trying to use her to destroy the world, her story becomes far from over—and this one might not have a happily ever after.

Indexing: Reflections is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s continuing new urban fantasy, where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab {4 Stars}

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab {4 Stars}

A Conjuring of Light by Victoria Schwab (Shades of Magic #3)
Published by Tor Books on Feb. 21st, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 624 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED...

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 3/19/17

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 and my posts from the week. 

Whew, uh hi! So obviously my life was not as back to normal as I thought the last time I wrote one of these…. Eh, it’s part of my new ‘hobbies should be fun’ philosophy, so when I’m busy all weekend, I don’t sweat writing an updates post! So let’s see, I defend my dissertation April 24th, i.e. find out if I pass my PhD (unlikely to fail, but if I didn’t show up it would be bad). Then I have graduation May 5th. Then I fix all the final things in my dissertation before turning it into the university, find out formatting errors, fix again, rinse and repeat! Hopefully it doesn’t take too many tries ;-).

I’m very much in crunch time for the dissertation. Things are good, but I need to actually write up a lot of sections that I have just heavily outlined. Also I was getting some really weird results and then a new theory paper came out directly predicting my results, so that’s cool!

But I’ve been reading of course because I would get really depressed otherwise, woot! Here is what I’m currently reading, not everything I’ve read since the last update since that would be way too much haha.

My Week

Tropic of SerpentsI started the audiobook of Tropic of Serpents and I’m soooooo in love! I will need to go page through my physical copy to see the sketches that I’m missing, but the narrator is so amazing for this series that I have no regrets. DRAGONS!!!! Like seriously I want to grow up to be Isabella…. Still time right? More seriously though, this book, despite being fantastical science, has been a great inspiration to dive back into my actual science after a hard day. Isabella’s love of dragons reminds me how much I also love the natural world and want to uncover its secrets :).

The TurnI have been meaning to read Kim Harrison for a long time and so this new release seemed a good time to try. It’s a prequel to another series and therefore I’m a bit worried that it isn’t actually a good start. There is a lot being thrown at me early on that I assume are just reminders for readers of the main series, but I’m all right so far. Mostly I’m just pumped because the heroine is a scientist :D. Magic/supernatural + geneticist is pretty awesome in my opinion.

Gone with the WitchI get obsessive about things from  time to time (okay I pretty much always have an obsession but it might not be as noticeable as another month’s). A few weeks ago it was sourdough (I have my starter all raised up and have been making weekly bread instead of buying it, which I’ll continue!). Now it is dogs. Since we are finally nearing the point where we will own our own house, I can finally start thinking about getting a dog! Husband, however, has only agreed if it is a low/non-shedding dog and also not a puppy (he’s never had a dog, I want to ease him into it!). Therefore, I’m actually obsessed with ‘designer’ poodle mixes. We don’t want a poodle (he’s prejudice), but the mixes are sooooooo perfect. So if you know of an adult (4 years would be ideal) poodle mix that needs a home near Iowa, let me know!

Oh right, I’m reading Gone with the Witch because it’s about a pet show :D. And in fact that little dog on the cover is a poodle mix. So yeah, it makes me happy and channels my obsession a bit.

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