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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! I’m once again in New York at the Javits Center this week for an academic conference this time :D. If any of my book buddies want to meet up, just let me know ;-). Last week’s book winner was Kas! Here are a couple books I’ve added to the list:

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

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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Fan Art Up! {July 2014 Roundup}

Fan Art Up!

For the last month I’ve been secretly participating in Fan Art Up hosted by the lovely Pabkins at Not Yet Read! I figured that once a month I should gather up all my doodles from Instagram and show them off here to convince you that you can definitely doodle better than I can and therefore should join in ;-). Also, if you can’t see anything, it is probably because the embedded images aren’t showing up in your reader/email/etc, so just click on the title of the post to see them on the blog :).

Storm Siren


I’ve been reading Storm Siren lately and it stars a girl who can (kind of) control the weather, hence the lightening, as well as a couple of other magic users, one of whom can influence the earth. I really like the magic systems in Storm Siren since each country seems to have its own magical quirks.

House of the Four Winds

I read The House of the Four Winds a bit ago and it involves swashbuckling adventure and perhaps a sea serpent or two >.>.

Trial by Fire

You may already know that Trial by Fire has something to do with Salem witches, but what you might not know yet is that burning at the stake definitely did not have the effect the witch hunters thought it would….

The Lascar’s Dagger

I actually ended up DNFing The Lascar’s Dagger, but I enjoyed it prior to deciding it just wasn’t what I needed at the moment ;-). What I attempted to depict in the sketch is that this dagger is described as appearing as kind of blurring and has been known to move of its own accord!

See! My doodles are stick figures without any faces! There is no way you can do worse than that, so you should join in on Twitter, Instagram, your blog, where ever, to doodle a bit about a book you’re reading and link up to this week’s Fan Art Up!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones eARC {2 Stars}

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones was finished by her sister Ursula Jones and tells the story of a young girl trying to help her country while discovering a whole lot of magic along the way. The Islands of Chaldea is actually the first Diana Wynne Jones book I’ve read, so I can’t tell you how it compares to those she wrote during her lifetime, but I found The Islands of Chaldea to have a few fun pieces with a whole lot of meh in between unfortunately. The plot wanders, the magic doesn’t make much sense, there is a mildly creepy romance thrown in and the writing definitely felt like two different people worked on it. I’m sure some children will still enjoy The Islands of Chaldea, but adults who enjoy middle grade fantasy might end up disappointed with The Islands of Chaldea.

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

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones eARC {2 Stars}

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones, Ursula Jones
Published by Greenwillow on April 22nd, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Aileen comes from a long line of magic makers, and her Aunt Beck is the most powerful magician on Skarr. But Aileen's magic has yet to reveal itself, even though she is old enough and it should have, by now. When Aileen is sent over the sea on a mission for the King, she worries that she'll be useless and in the way. A powerful (but mostly invisible) cat changes all of that-and with every obstacle Aileen faces, she becomes stronger and more confident, until her magic blooms.

2 Stars

Strengths:
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Ten Authors From Which I Own The Most Books

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Today’s topic is a bit strange for me since I have a few authors whose books I read the second they come out, but that might not necessarily mean I currently own them all and other authors I’ve collected all the books in a long series with the intent to read them but haven’t yet >.>. I also tend to giveaway books willy-nilly as long as I’ve already read them and the copy isn’t signed, knowing that I can always buy a new copy if I choose to, ha. Therefore, here is my guess at the ten authors from which I own (or wish I owned?) the most books ;-).

Obsessive Collector

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson Magic Bites Moon Called by Patricia Briggs Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

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Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews eARC {4 Stars}

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews is the seventh in the Kate Daniels series and things are seriously heating up. After the insane emotional torment of the previous book, Magic Rises, Magic Breaks is a bit heavier on adventure on less on dehydrating you through crying, though of course now we know that no one is safe. Kate and Curran continue to develop as strong characters, and I especially liked that Kate once again had to figure things out without Curran’s assistance for a while. I think my favorite part about Magic Breaks, however, is the short story at the end, which is from Julie’s point of view: Magic Tests! Since this is a seventh book, there are of course going to be massive spoilers below! Check out Magic Bites to start from the beginning :D.

Note: I received Magic Breaks through Netgalley for review consideration. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This book has adult content.
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews eARC {4 Stars}

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #7)
Published by Ace on July 29th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Length: 302 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 7/27/14

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!). 

Whew, I’m back from three weeks straight of traveling. I got back into town on Wednesday and went to a doctor’s appointment on Thursday for my back which was a bit depressing: I need another MRI because my EMG returned abnormal nerve responses in both legs and I need to go to another specialist an hour away for a surgery consultation. It sounds like I’m still a baffling case and my neurosurgeon doesn’t want to do anything until he is confident about what is actually going on (which is for the best really, ha). Since my back problems are apparently going to take much longer to fix than I planned, I’m refusing to continue sitting around and waiting to get better! I bought a FitBit and am going to start trying for 10k steps a day, but mostly just as many as I can depending on the day ;-). If you are on FitBit, please let me know so we can be friends, I love the community features so I want to join up with as many book friends as I can :D.

On another fun change note, I finally joined Instagram a few weeks ago mostly because of Pabkins wonderful FanArtUp feature ;-). If you’re on Instagram and I haven’t found you yet, let me know! I’m finding that it is a great place to post more frequent updates about what I’m reading and adding to my shelf, but also more of the personal life stuff that some of you have asked for ;-). So if you’ve ever wanted to know more about the mysterious girl behind the dragon, here is your chance!

My Week

Storm SirenMy main read this week has been Storm Siren! I would have finished it instantly if I had had time this week, but I’ve been even carrying the physical ARC in my purse to sneak in more reading time. The magic is wonderful and the world hints at a whole amazing depth. As long as the book and series delivers on the hints, I’m freaking thrilled. Also I absolutely need the hardcover since the map is a bit fuzzy in the ARC and I really want to see all the details >.>. Pre-order this book YA epic fantasy fans!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated FairylandI got The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making from the library finally and have read the first few chapters ;-). I realized that my brain wasn’t quite in shape for following all the intricate writing, so I’m taking it slow until I can get caught up on sleep, ha. But I adore the classic sort of middle grade where the character is young but the writing is very high level and beautiful!

AllegiantI have only be meh about this series, but I was determined to try to finish with Allegiant and had it downloaded on audiobook so I started that on my drive on Friday. And decided to DNF as soon as my drive was over. I’m so sorry to all the fans, but I really just wanted to know what was beyond the fence and then things got so anti-science and illogical that I couldn’t handle it. I also already know the BIG THING that happens, so I’m just not motivated to go any further. The one thing that could convince me is if there is a way better explanation of why the factions and serums were created after the first explanation, but it sounds like there isn’t? Feel free to email me to discuss this if you’d like to try to sway me ;-).

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

Reports from Other Lairs

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The House of the Four Winds Giveaway! (US/CAN)

Book Giveaway

The House of the Four Winds Giveaway

I just finished The House of the Four Winds last week because I absolutely could not resist that gorgeous cover. You do not, however, have to wait to enter this awesome giveaway courtesy of Tor!

The House of the Four Winds Giveaway The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight. 

Full of swashbuckling adventure, buoyant magic, and irrepressible charm,The House of the Four Winds is a lighthearted fantasy romp by a pair of bestselling writers.

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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!

It’s been another absolutely nuts week for me lovelies, and I’m so sorry about being behind on comments. It isn’t that I don’t love talking to you, and I will be replying to every single one as soon as I can ;-). In the mean time please go find all the awesome links you can! To incentivize, check out the book I added to the stack this week and an oldie but goodie :D.

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini Pulse

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:

[Read more...]

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory eARC {3.5 Stars}

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory is a swash-buckling, girl-disguised-as-boy fantasy adventure that is mostly what you would expect from that description. I was hooked by the prologue immediately and found the mix of spooky magic and adventure on the sea entertaining if not shockingly original. If you’re looking for a fantasy that blows tropes out of the water, this isn’t the book you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for a fun read and enjoy plots where the heroine is disguised as a guy but then falls for her guy friend, you are probably in the right place!

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

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory eARC {3.5 Stars}

The House of the Four Winds by James Mallory, Mercedes Lackey (One Dozen Daughters #1)
Published by Tor Books on Aug. 5th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight. 

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Fire Wish by Amber Lough eARC {4 Stars}

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough is a new fantasy series featuring jin and based in an alternative Baghdad! Fire Wish tells the story of two girls, a jinni and a human, who switch places and subsequently discover that their warring peoples are much more similar than either had been raised to believe. Fire Wish is filled with beautiful jin caverns and magic along with a refreshingly diverse cast and setting. I am absolutely thrilled to see a fantasy series from a major publishing house tackling a setting based on something other than Medieval Europe, plus jin are just so cool! I mean hot >.> Both? ;-)

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

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough eARC {4 Stars}

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough (The Jinni Wars #1)
Published by Random House Children's on July 22nd
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . . 

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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