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Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly {4 Stars}

Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly {4 Stars}

Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly (Seriously Wicked #2)
Published by Tor Teen on Nov. 1st, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Teenage witch Cam isn’t crazy about the idea of learning magic. She’d rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother’s wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them.

Esmerelda is the mean girl of the witches. Valda likes to drop anvils on people’s heads. And Malkin—well, Malkin is just plain terrifying. Their idea of fun is a little game—they each pick a student from Cam’s high school and compete to see who can make their teen the most miserable. But Cam suspects one of the witches may have an ulterior motive…which means someone at school could be in worse danger yet.

Now Cam’s learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don’t get him first, that is.

Can’t a good witch ever catch a break?

4 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly ARC {4.5 Stars} + Giveaway!

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly is the first in a new series about a girl just trying to survive high school while balancing cleaning out the dragon’s muck in the morning and keeping her witch caretaker from showing up to parent-teacher conferences. Seriously Wicked is much lighter than Connolly’s previous series, but it is perfect when you just want to laugh and reminisce about the first seasons of Buffy ;-). Be sure to check out the end of the post for a giveaway courtesy of Tor Teen!

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

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly ARC {4.5 Stars} + Giveaway!

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
Published by Tor Teen on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 208 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch...will that mean she’s wicked too?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Silverblind by Tina Connolly eARC {5 Stars} + Giveaways (INT!)

Silverblind by Tina Connolly is the third companion novel in the Ironskin series and tells the story of Adora Rochert as she navigates the difficult world of science as a woman who loves to study things like wyverns and fae :D. If you haven’t read Ironskin or Copperhead, you can easily still love the socks off Silverblind, though you’ll probably want to immediately go pick up the first two books, so you’ve been warned! Since Silverblind takes place more than a decade after Ironskin and Copperhead, there are some minor spoilers though nothing shocking really. I really can’t emphasize enough how impressed I am with the world of Silverblind and everything else within these pages. If you are at all interested in the premise, go read them right now (and be sure to enter the giveaways at the bottom)!

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

Silverblind by Tina Connolly eARC {5 Stars} + Giveaways (INT!)

Silverblind by Tina Connolly (Ironskin #3)
Published by Tor Books on Oct. 7th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Steampunk
Page Length: 272 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shapechanging fey powers--to disguise herself as a boy.

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who's about to get steamed by a silvertail-- and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn't spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can't bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Ironskin by Tina Connolly {5 Stars}

Ironskin by Tina Connolly is a Nebula-nominated retelling of Jane Eyre set in an alternate history where a war against the fey has just come to an end and the technology that depends on fey power is slowly sputtering away. Seriously, you read that right: steampunk Jane Eyre with creepy fey. I was a little bit skeptical if Ironskin could live up to that awesome description but it did not disappoint! I wasn’t a huge Jane Eyre fan when I read it in high school, but Ironskin has made me love Jane Eyre more and kind of want to go reread it….

Note: I borrowed Ironskin from my library because my library is awesome.

Ironskin by Tina Connolly {5 Stars}

Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Ironskin #1)
Published by Tor Books on Oct. 2nd, 2012
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Steampunk
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Copperhead by Tina Connolly {4 Stars}

Copperhead by Tina Connolly is the second book in the Ironskin series, set in a Victorian-era world where fey definitely exist, traded with humans for a while and then decided to wage war against them. Copperhead focuses on a different main character than Ironskin: Helen, Jane’s sister. Copperhead has the feel of both a companion novel, since Helen’s perspective is so different from Jane’s, and a sequel, since it tells of the consequences of the fey masks that a hundred women wore at the end of Ironskin. While Ironskin was a loose retelling of Jane Eyre, Copperhead is not a retelling of any classic, which also gives it a bit of a different feel.

Note: I received Copperhead from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Copperhead by Tina Connolly {4 Stars}

Copperhead by Tina Connolly (Ironskin #2)
Published by Tor Books on Oct 15th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Helen Huntingdon is beautiful—so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask. Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.

Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in the murder.

Meanwhile, Alistair’s influential clique Copperhead—whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra—is out to restore humans to their “rightful” place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies.

Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband—and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary—she’s pushed to discover how far she’ll bend society’s rules to do what’s right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor...and her heart.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • Copperhead has a large feminist movement element. Since it’s set in an alternative Victorian era, it starts with the same gender-role dynamics that you would expect, but the women of Copperhead develop a large amount of independence and confidence. They realize that they are capable of leaving the men that forced them into fey masks in the first place and that they don’t need to conform to traditional gender roles. There are also a couple of examples of women that were already breaking the gender role they were assigned by becoming actresses and wearing trousers!
  • Helen seemed rather shallow in Ironskin, but we find out in Copperhead just how much of an act she was putting on. Helen is such a wonderfully deep character, pulled between the very real expectations of society to be a perfectly demure woman and the desire for freedom and happiness. The development that she goes through in Copperhead is a wonderful example of how a more feminine heroine can stay true to the real aspects of her character (such as loving fashion), while still becoming independent and strong.
  • The writing of Copperhead very much fits the time setting. It is pleasant and very much got me in the right mindset for the Victorian world in which Copperhead takes place.
  • I freaking love the alternative history that Connolly has created. She continues to drop in awesome little twists, such as Lady MacDeath instead of Lady MacBeth. It’s funny how many little things would likely change if fey made their presence known instead of only being fairytales!
  • There are a couple of plot reveals that weren’t OMG PLOT TWIST, but were still unexpected and fun. This goes back to the feel of Copperhead; it wouldn’t have been appropriate for there to be a huge crazy plot twist, and so the subtle reveals fit just perfect.

Weaknesses:

  •  While I generally enjoyed the writing of Copperhead, the pacing can be described as languid from time to time. There just isn’t all that much action in Copperhead, since much of the book relies on wheeling and dealing and scheming.
  • Helen, while I adore her generally, at times frustrated me due to her lack of confidence. She makes these great leaps and then misplaces her backbone here and there and I felt like she needed someone to snap their fingers in her face and remind her just how much she had already accomplished.
  • There is a bit of a love triangle, which at first didn’t seem like a big deal, and then Helen went and made it a real thing. This is another moment where I wanted her to snap out of it.
  • I really enjoyed that Ironskin was a retelling of Jane Eyre and it feels weird for Copperhead not to be a retelling. They just don’t fit together as nicely in my brain ya know?

Summary:

If you enjoyed Ironskin, definitely pick up Copperhead. If you weren’t a fan of the retelling aspect of Ironskin but enjoyed the rest, definitely pick up Copperhead ;-). It was so cool getting another perspective (and Copperhead really couldn’t have been told from Jane’s perspective >.>) and getting to see a lot more of this world since Copperhead takes place completely in the city. I’m really curious now to see what perspective the third book is told from and if it goes back to the retelling roots. Also these covers are gorgeous and once again accurate! *pets*

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Copperhead by Tina Connolly