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Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein is the latest in a string of stories surrounding jinni and their mythology, so of course I had to check it out. I’m really liking the jinni trend, though I’ve yet to find the perfect jinni book ;-). Becoming Jinn is a pretty light fantasy from what I could see, with a contemporary setting and the potential for lots of girl drama not related to cool jinni powers. I found myself getting annoyed with the female teenage characters early on, so decided to stop, but if you’re generally a fan of contemporary with just a splash of fantasy, Becoming Jinn could be a good book for you.

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

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein {Just Hatched}

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein (Becoming Jinn #1)
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 21st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

2 Stars

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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 this past weeks’ winners, enjoy your books! Now that the craziness of a wedding is past, let’s add some new books to the giveaway pile!

NIL Unlocked The Novice

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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The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler is the sequel to The Forbidden Library, a story of a girl with the power to enter books, bind magical creatures to her, and summon their powers back in the real world. The world of the Readers is dark and dangerous though, and The Mad Apprentice delves into just what happens when a Reader loses control of his apprentices and creatures! There aren’t major spoilers below since The Mad Apprentice stands alone pretty well, but feel free to check out my review of book one instead to be safe ;-).

Note: I received an audiobook copy of The Mad Apprentice from the publisher. Listening to a book significantly impacts my reading experience.

The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
Narrated by Cassandra Morris
(The Forbidden Library #2)
Published by Kathy Dawson Books on April 21st, 2015
Genres: Dark Fantasy, MG
Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Alice's mysterious Uncle Geryon sends her to help capture a rogue apprentice--a boy who has the same ability Alice has to Read himself intostories--she knows to expect a wild and unpredictable trip. But even though Alice has visited the magical realms inside libraries before, this adventure is far more dangerous. Because Torment, the magic creature holding this library together, has gone mad.

But he might also have information about Alice's missing father.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness + Swag Giveaway!

Book Giveaway

The Book of Life + Swag!

Book of Life Mirror

To celebrate the release of The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness in paperback, Penguin has offered a whole lot of cool stuff for me to giveaway to one lucky winner! If you missed out on the Commonplace book giveaways previously, now is your chance to snag one along with some awesome other goodies and a paperback of The Book of Life :D.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik eARC {5 Stars}

Uprooted by Naomi Novik took me completely by surprised and I can’t remember the last time I loved a book so much. Uprooted is the story of a girl from a small village who ends up living the not-so-happy fairytales of her childhood, but as long as she has friends and allies on her side, she can take that terrifying Wood! If you are a fan of creepy and dark fairytales, Uprooted is basically a new tale to add to the classics so don’t miss out :D.

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

Uprooted by Naomi Novik eARC {5 Stars}

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Published by Del Rey on May 19th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 5/17/15

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!). 

I’m a married woman! We had the civil ceremony in the courthouse on Friday and now I just need to plan the formal ceremony and reception in the fall, woot. There was an entertaining moment when my ring didn’t fit onto my finger because the resized one hasn’t come back yet, but we made it work ;-). Needless to say I haven’t had a whole lot of reading time with family in town, but still a little!

My Week

The Gospel of LokiMy reading has been pretty all over this week since I haven’t had a chunk of actual reading time, but I started The Gospel of Loki in the car while showing the family around and am already hooked. I got a bit burnt out on Loki stories so I was nervous, but as long as I don’t picture him as a certain very attractive super villain, I’m enjoying it a lot! It’s very funny :D.

The Second GuardI’m conflicted about my other read this week, The Second Guard. I was really enjoying it at first and then it got rather typical and preachy MG and I found myself not wanting to read at all (and hence set it aside for Loki). I’ll probably come back to it sometime, but it wasn’t fitting my mood.

Sword of the NorthI am only 100-ish pages into Sword of the North and have been switching it off with lighter fantasy, but I’m excited to be back in this grimdark fantasy world. I’m also REALLY FREAKING EXCITED about the direction the plot seems to be going because it is referring to ancient races coming back and I love that so so so much.

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Planning to Pillage {New Feature!}

Planning to Pillage

New Feature: Planning to Pillage

I’ve been thinking for a while about how to showcase books that I think look interesting after I decided to stop doing book haul posts, since a fair number of people pointed out how useful it is to see what titles they should keep an eye out for. Similarly, I like the idea of Waiting on Wednesday and similar memes in that they are a chance to talk about a book you are newly excited for and think others should keep an eye on. Therefore, I’m bringing Planning to Pillage back to feature books that I’ve added to my lists either because I just found out about them, or because they showed up in my mailbox recently and look interesting.

(Covers link to Goodreads so you can add these too!)

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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 loves! Another crazy week here since I’m getting married today!! So I don’t have new books for the pile, but I wanted you all to still get to exchange links and there are 70 books on the list as is :D.

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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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Audiobook {3 Stars}

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is an interesting addition to the YA fantasy scene with its Roman-inspired dominant culture and use of lesser seen fantasy elements such as jinn and ifrit and crazy living metal masks. An Ember in the Ashes takes advantage of its dual PoV for the audiobook with two strong narrators to tell each side of the story. I know that a lot of people have loved An Ember in the Ashes, and a lot of you will, but it focused on the aspects I am less interested in and ignored the cool fantasy elements sadly.

Note: I received an audiobook copy of An Ember in the Ashes from the publisher. Listening to a book strongly influences my reading experience.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Audiobook {3 Stars}

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham, Steve West

Published by Del Rey on April 28th, 2015
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Length: 443 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne Johnson {4.5 Stars}

Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne Johnson is the fourth in a kick butt urban fantasy series staring a wizard heroine, a sexy pirate ghost (sorry, privateer!), a human best friend, and a whole cast of supernatural allies and enemies battling it out in New Orleans. If you are a fan of excellent urban fantasy series such as Mercedes Thompson or Kate Daniels, you need to check out The Sentinels of New Orleans stat! There will definitely be spoilers below for the previous books, so check out my review of book one, Royal Street, instead to be safe with the knowledge that the series just gets better ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of Pirate’s Alley from the publisher. 

Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne Johnson {4.5 Stars}

Pirate's Alley by Suzanne Johnson (The Sentinels of New Orleans #4)
Published by Tor Books on April 21st, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear.

Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world—the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae—DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal.

Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband, Quince Randolph, is growing more powerful, and her best friend, Eugenie, has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back. And that's before the French pirate, Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest "death," returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ's assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that.

Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature.

War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won't be that easy.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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