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Updates from the Lair 7/05/15

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 back! Did you miss me?? How did you live without book recommendations for a whole week ;-). I’ll be honest, I’m definitely still getting over jetlag combined with a red-eye where I dozed for about three hours tops. I keep thinking that I’m feeling rested finally and then going back to punch-drunk tired, ha. But, I got lots of books at ALA and painted watercolors with Tabitha and had a real vacation for once!!! Instead of doing one big post about books from ALA, I’m thinking I’ll do a lot over the coming months highlighting 4-6 books that I grabbed that look awesome along with lots of giveaways, that sound good?

My Week

Range of GhostsI finally got Audible to work again on my phone so I’m continuing to listen to Range of Ghosts! This audiobook is so awesome all, you must listen to it!! It is a fantasy world based on the steppe peoples with awesome gods and ghosts and tiger-people thrown in :D. Also a female wizard who is awesome and I love her.

Knight's ShadowMy current e-read is Knight’s Shadow. It’s not as funny as the first book, but I’m enjoying the start of it. It is reminding me strongly of Gentleman Bastards even down to the main character dying of poison at the start ;-).

The Glass SentenceI was quite surprised to receive The Glass Sentence unsolicited in the mail while I was gone along with an arc of the sequel. I requested this one back when it was originally coming out and heard nothing back, but apparently I got myself on a list, haha! I’m really enjoying the unique world so far and now just need to be not so tired so that I can actually connect with the text *falls asleep*. Seriously not the book’s fault though!

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I’m On Vacation!

Hello loves, I just wanted to put up a quick note that I’m out visiting the lovely Tabitha of Not Yet Read and since we’ve been off at ALA and then bumming around like the bookworms we are, the blog will be on hiatus for the week until the 5th! Be sure to stop by in a week though since I’ll have lots of goodies to share ;-).

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George eARC {2.5 Stars}

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George is the first in a new historical fantasy series from one of my favorite middle grade authors. However, my expectations came back to bite me because Silver in the Blood ended up being rather slow with a fairly predictable plot and characters switching personality traits as often as dresses. Maybe historical fantasy just isn’t for me?

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

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George eARC {2.5 Stars}

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (Silver in the Blood #1)
Published by Bloomsbury on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Length: 358 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.

2.5 Stars

Strengths:
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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 Lory for winning last week, enjoy your book! I’m currently traveling so it’ll take me a bit to pick a winner this week, but I have a couple of exciting editions for you!

Nightborn by Lou Anders The Blind Wish

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 Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC {3 Stars}

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson is the second book in the Remnant Chronicles and the sequel to The Kiss of Deception. There are some big surprises in The Kiss of Deception, so I recommend you check out my review of book one if you haven’t read it yet! The Heart of Betrayal continues the story pretty much exactly where The Kiss of Deception leaves off, with Lia and Rafe captive in Venda and trying to stay alive. I like pieces of The Heart of Betrayal quite a lot, but the emphasis ended up being on the pieces I didn’t enjoy, making this a sequel that couldn’t live up to book one for me.

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

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC {3 Stars}

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 470 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner {4 Stars}

When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner is an epic fantasy debut that took me completely by surprise. I was excited about the idea of a fallible lord of the dead who lost a valuable object and the battle between a number of heroes to get that object back, but I had no idea the world of When the Heavens Fall would be so rich and engrossing! If you are a fan of a solid plot and characters set in a flourishing world, this is a series not to miss!

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

When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner {4 Stars}

When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner (The Chronicle of the Exile #1)
Published by Tor Books on May 19th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 544 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

If you pick a fight with Shroud, the Lord of the Dead, you had better make sure you end up on the winning side, else death will mark only the beginning of your suffering.

A book that gives its wielder power over the dead has been stolen from a fellowship of mages that has kept the powerful relic dormant for centuries. The thief, a crafty, power-hungry necromancer, intends to use the Book of Lost Souls to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artifact at all cost.

However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed. Among them is a reluctant Guardian who is commissioned by the Emperor to find the stolen Book, a troubled prince who battles enemies both personal and political, and a young girl of great power, whose past uniquely prepares her for an encounter with Shroud. The greatest threat to each of their quests lies not in the horror of an undead army but in the risk of betrayal from those closest to them. Each of their decisions comes at a personal cost and will not only affect them, but also determine the fate of their entire empire.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye eARC {2 Stars}

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye is a middle grade tale of two trouble makers dropped off at a very strange and mysterious boarding school. I had high hopes for Witherwood Reform School, but ended up disappointed by the complete lack of an ending or any answers and annoyed with the pretty bratty main characters. The illustrations are gorgeous though!

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

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye eARC {2 Stars}

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye (Witherwood Reform School #1)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on March 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

After a slight misunderstanding involving a horrible governess, oatmeal, and a jar of tadpoles, siblings Tobias and Charlotte Eggars find themselves abandoned by their father at the gates of a creepy reform school. Evil mysteries are afoot at Witherwood, where the grounds are patrolled by vicious creatures after dark and kids are locked in their rooms. Charlotte and Tobias soon realize that they are in terrible danger--especially because the head of Witherwood has perfected the art of mind control.

If only their amnesiac father would recover and remember that he has two missing children. If only Tobias and Charlotte could solve the dark mystery and free the kids at Witherwood--and ultimately save themselves.

2 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 6/21/15

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!). 

Oof I’m tired this week loves! We’ve been driving all around Minnesota seeing family and such which is nice but of course rather exhausting. We found a wedding venue that we love and picked a date though! And I got to see some old friends from college that I hadn’t seen since they graduated (ie five years ago!), so that’s always nice. I’ve gotten a fair amount of reading done during the driving, but I haven’t been stressing to get every bit in and instead have napped and chatted with the husband some like a real vacation!

Also things will probably get a bit quieter on the blog for the next few weeks since I’ll be traveling to ALA and then back to Minnesota. There will still be reviews, but if I miss a day or two don’t worry ;-). I’ll be sure to snag some great giveaway books for you all :-P.

My Week

Nightborn by Lou AndersMy main read this week has been Nightborn which is the sequel to Frostborn. It’s a fun middle grade with male and female main characters off adventuring and defying stereotypes. There is cool norse mythology and some Roman inspiration thrown in this book. This is a great series for younger readers especially if you are looking for a book that boys and girls can both enjoy.

ResonanceMy other read this week has been Resonance. I haven’t gotten all that far in since I’ve been sticking to physical books, but I’m quite enjoying it all the same! I’m thinking now that I’ve finished Nightborn, I’ll probably just tear through this one ;-).

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Planning to Pillage

Planning to Pillage

Planning to Pillage is my way of showcasing books that I’m excited about for one reason or another. They may have recently shown up in my mail, they may have just gotten a cover, I may have recently requested them. No matter the case, they are books I think you should have on your radar too!

Time for another edition of Planning to Pillage where we can all drool over upcoming titles that look awesome :D. A couple of these I’ve requested or been pitched and a couple I’ve added to my wishlist recently!

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

[Read more…]

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!

Hey loves! Since I’m traveling this week I haven’t had the chance to pick the winner of last week, but here are the new books to the stack!

Battle Magic Secrets of Selkie Bay

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:

[Read more…]