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Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews {5 Stars}

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews {5 Stars}

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #6.5)
Published by Penguin on Aug. 16th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 83 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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lona Andrews—#1 New York Times bestselling author of Magic Shifts—once again pulls readers into the dark and dangerous world of the Kate Daniels novels...

Shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau may be a powerful healer and magic user, but she’s far from what might be called “normal”. She dislikes the violence and bloodshed that are a way of life for most of her kind, even going so far as to become a vegetarian. The last thing she wants is trouble...

Jim Shrapshire is an original, hardcore badass. A jaguar shifter, he’s been tasked with keeping Atlanta’s Cat Clan in line, which he does with swift and lethal force when necessary. His only soft spot is for the petite Dali, whose kindness he calls upon when he is injured.

When Dali is approached by a desperate woman whose grandmother has vanished, Jim is concerned enough to help investigate. But what they find may just be the end of them—an enemy whose skill in the dark arts is matched only by their willingness to kill anyone in their way...

Magic Steals was originally published in the anthology Night Shift.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey (The Girl with all the Gifts #1)
Published by Orbit on June 19th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Page Length: 460 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

3 Stars

PSA: Symbiont means organisms that live together, parasites ARE SYMBIONTS, when you say symbiote/symbiont you probably mean mutualist. Symbiote is a Spiderman villain, though some older biology works used it. Symbiont is definitely more correct. Please remember this.

Strengths:
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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher {2.5 Stars}

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher {2.5 Stars}

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #2)
Published by Roc on Jan. 9th, 2001
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 342 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
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Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work--magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses--and the first two don't count...

2.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor {3 Stars}

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor {3 Stars}

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Published by Little Brown on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 533 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Gone with the Witch by Heather Blake {4 Stars}

Gone with the Witch by Heather Blake {4 Stars}

Gone with the Witch by Heather Blake (A Wishcraft Mystery #6)
Published by NAL on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Paranormal Cozy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The national bestselling author of Some Like It Witchy returns as wish-granting witch Darcy Merriweather is put to the test after murder takes first prize at a pet show. . . .
 
Darcy and her dog Missy are determined to put their best foot forward at the Enchanted Village’s annual Pawsitively Enchanted pet contest. She’s happy to lend a hand when the show’s organizer hires Darcy to keep an eye on things among growing suspicions that someone is sabotaging the event. But Darcy’s quest for justice is thrown off the scent when her lead suspect is found dead at the competition.

As if a murder weren’t bad enough, someone begins snatching up prize-winning pets right from under their owners’ noses. Darcy is determined to protect the pampered participants at whatever cost. But she’ll have to work fast to sniff out the thief before she becomes the next victim of a killer determined to stop her dead in her tracks...

4 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong #1)
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on Feb. 7th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Romance
Page Length: 436 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Width of the World by David Baldacci {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.

This third book in the series has a dystopian feel, combining magical world-crossing fantasy with a hint of steampunk.  Fans of Vega Jane will welcome this next stage in her quest for answers, but it is definitely not a good start for those of us who have not followed the series up to this point.

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

The Width of the World by David Baldacci {Just Hatched}

The Width of the World by David Baldacci (Vega Jane #3)on February 28, 2017
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 421 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Goodreads
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This is it. Vega Jane's time. She's been lied to her whole life, so she breaks away from Wormwood, the only home she's ever known, in search of the truth. She battles horrors to fight her way across the Quag with her best friend, Delph, and her mysterious canine, Harry Two. Against all odds, they survive unimaginable dangers and make it through.

And into a new world that's even worse. Not because deadly beasts roam the cobblestones, but because the people are enslaved but don't even know it. It's up to Vega, Delph, Harry Two and their new comrade, Petra, to take up the fight against a foe that's unrivaled in savagery and cunning. Not only is Vega's life and the lives of her friends on the line, but whether she triumphs or fails will determine whether a whole world survives.

3 Stars

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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
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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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