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Reflections by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Reflections by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Reflections by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Indexing #2)
Published by 47North, Brilliance Audio on Jan 12th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 325 pages
Audio Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
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“For her to love me, she had to be willing to kill me. Anything else would show that her heart was untrue.”

The struggle against not-so-charming storybook narratives isn’t the only complicating factor in Henrietta “Henry” Marchen’s life. As part of the ATI Management Bureau team protecting the world from fairy tales gone awry, she’s juggling her unwanted new status as a Snow White, dealing with a potentially dangerous Pied Piper, and wrangling a most troublesome wicked stepsister—along with a budding relationship with Jeff, her teammate.

But when a twisted, vicious Cinderella breaks out of prison and wreaks havoc, things go from disenchanted to deadly. And once Henry realizes someone is trying to use her to destroy the world, her story becomes far from over—and this one might not have a happily ever after.

Indexing: Reflections is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s continuing new urban fantasy, where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Hunted by Meagan Spooner ARC {5 Stars}

Hunted by Meagan Spooner ARC {5 Stars}

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on March 14th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

5 Stars

Hope you all are still enjoying my bare-bones, just-notes reviews when I must!

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

Strengths:
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Indexing by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Indexing by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Indexing by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Indexing #1)
Published by 47North on Jan. 21st, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 404 pages
Audio Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”

Good advice...especially when a story can kill you.

For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.

Indexing is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder ARC {5 Stars}

The Rat Prince, a middle-grade retelling of Cinderella, has just enough twists and surprises to keep the story fresh, and the characters – both new and traditional – are charming and delightful.  Readers both young and old will keep turning pages to find out how the story ends.  We know that villains will lose, heroes will win, and love will conquer all …. but just how this fairy tale will conclude is up for grabs until the very end.

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

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder ARC {5 Stars}

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder
Published by Farrar on August 23, 2016
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, MG
Page Length: 260 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Cinderella thinks she must work alone to save her noble family from the ruin and disgrace her stepmother has brought to Lancastyr Manor. She has an ailing father, a sweet, innocent little stepsister, and dependent servants to protect from the wicked Wilhemina--and no way to call attention to their plight unless she figures out how to attend the royal ball.

But Cinderella knows nothing of the ancient pact between the House of Lancastyr and the rats who live within the walls of her ancestral home.

Nor is she aware that the sleek black rat she thinks is her pet is actually the Rat Prince...and she is not alone.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff ARC {4 Stars}

RED Blog Tour Banner

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff is an adorable and whimsical retelling of the classic fairytale and has convinced me that I need to go back and read Shurtliff’s other retelling. I loved the combination of clever spins to the familiar fairytale and additions from other fairytales, along with a story about friendship, family, and dealing with death. Many of you know that I lost my grandmother last year, and this was honestly quite a cathartic read for me and I imagine it would be similarly useful for children who are grieving.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff ARC {4 Stars}

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Knopf on April 12th, 2016
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, MG
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.
But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody eARC {4 Stars}

The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody is a fantastic retelling of the story of the Pied Piper with cameos from several other fairytales and most importantly starring a sister and brother team where the brother has a physical disability and saves the day anyway. I was excited about The Peddler’s Road the moment I saw it because I was pumped about a middle grade fantasy that was retelling the Pied Piper story (since I like  dash of creepy!), but when I started reading, I realized that this story is so much more on top of that awesomeness. This is a book that I will actively put into the hands of young readers, especially young readers who have a disability and want to see themselves as the hero of a story.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Peddler’s Road from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody eARC {4 Stars}

The Peddler's Road by Matthew Cody (The Secrets of the Pied Piper #1)
Published by Knopf on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all of the children away with his magical flute, and none of them were ever seen again.

Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father . . . until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called the Summer Isle. There they meet the original stolen children, who haven’t aged a day and who have formed their own village, vigilantly guarded from the many nightmarish beings that roam the land.

No one knows why the Piper stole them, but Max and Carter’s appearance may be the key to returning the lost children of Hamelin—and to going home themselves. But to discover the secrets of the Piper, Max and Carter will have to set out on a mysterious quest down the dangerous Peddler’s Road.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and the start to a new fantasy series. I listened to the audio version of The Wrath and the Dawn, which messed up my reading experience a bit I think, but it also turned out to be still not the right kind of romance to woo my cold cold heart ;-). Really, if the description of The Wrath and the Dawn appeals to you, you’ll probably love it. If not, then you’ll probably be like me and enjoy the lovely writing, but not fall madly in love with the story.

Note: I received an audio copy of The Wrath and the Dawn from the publisher. Listening to the audiobook greatly influences my reading experience.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 395 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris eARC {4 Stars}

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris is a retelling of the Norse myths from Loki’s perspective and it is just as funny and irreverent as you would expect! I was impressed with the balance of justifying Loki’s some rather questionable actions, telling the original tales, and having a whole lot of fun all at the same time. If you have even just a passing interest in Norse mythology but are on the Loki fan-club bandwagon, The Gospel of Loki isn’t to be missed!

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

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris eARC {4 Stars}

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
Published by Saga Press on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.

Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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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
Page 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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Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge eARC {4 Stars}

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge is a retelling of Red Riding Hood with a whole lot of creepy and spooky thrown in for good measure. Crimson Bound stands separate from her previous novel, Cruel Beauty, so have no fear, you can read them in either order but you won’t be able to resist reading both eventually ;-). Hodge returns with another amazing world and magic that is just creepy enough for me to be hooked without completely scaring the bejeezus out of me! I did have a horrible dream where my hands wouldn’t stop tingling though, which I think we all know can be blamed on Crimson Bound’s secondary character who doesn’t have hands….

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

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge eARC {4 Stars}

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Balzer & Bray on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, YA
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Rachelle was fifteen, she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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