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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Published by Bloomsbury on July 14th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Literary
Page Length: 318 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

3.5 Stars

Thoughts:
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Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser ARC {5 Stars}

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser ARC {5 Stars}

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Song of the Current)
Published by Bloomsbury on June 6th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

5 Stars

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

Strengths:
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The Trees by Ali Shaw {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.

The Trees by Ali Shaw has a cover that immediately grabs you and from what I can tell, the words on the inside are just the same. The cover actually really captures the spooky strangeness of the opening chapters where a whole forest springs up over night and strange creatures seem to now be inhabiting what was previously suburbia.

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

The Trees by Ali Shaw {Just Hatched}

The Trees by Ali Shaw
Published by Bloomsbury on Aug 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Magical Realism
Page Length: 496 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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The Trees. They arrived in the night: wrenching through the ground, thundering up into the air, and turning Adrien's suburban street into a shadowy forest. Shocked by the sight but determined to get some answers, he ventures out, passing destroyed buildings, felled power lines, and broken bodies still wrapped in tattered bed linens hanging from branches.

It is soon apparent that no help is coming and that these trees, which seem the work of centuries rather than hours, span far beyond the town. As far, perhaps, as the coast, where across the sea in Ireland, Adrien's wife is away on a business trip and there is no way of knowing whether she is alive or dead.

When Adrien meets Hannah, a woman who, unlike him, believes that the coming of the trees may signal renewal rather than destruction and Seb, her technology-obsessed son, they persuade him to join them. Together, they pack up what remains of the lives they once had and set out on a quest to find Hannah's forester brother and Adrien's wife--and to discover just how deep the forest goes.

Their journey through the trees will take them into unimaginable territory: to a place of terrible beauty and violence, of deadly enemies and unexpected allies, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness--and also the power--inside themselves.

5 Stars

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Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones {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.

Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones is a middle-grade fantasy that delivers plenty of strong, likable characters and action galore in a world where nothing … and no one …. is what they initially seem to be.  Like a good magician, Jones reveals the layers of her fantasy world gradually, peeling back “reality” to show the world that most mundane humans never know exists.   As in the Percy Jackson series, our heroes are also far more than first meets the eye.  It’s a recipe for the sort of hero tale that young fans of fantasy adventure will embrace whole heartedly, with a diversity of characters sure to inspire a variety of readers.

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

Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones {Just Hatched}

Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones
Published by Bloomsbury on May 3, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Annie Nobody thought she was, well, nobody, living in a nowhere town where nothing goes her way. Day 1 at her newest foster home proves to be dreadful, too... and things get even worse when she's chased by something big and scary that definitely wants to eat her.

Luckily for Annie, not everything is what it seems, and she gets swept up-literally-by a sassy dwarf on a hovercraft snowmobile and taken to Aurora, a hidden, magical town on the coast of Maine. There, she finds a new best friend in Jamie Hephastion Alexander--who thought he was a normal kid (but just might be a troll)-and Annie discovers that she's not exactly who she thought she was, either. She's a Time Stopper, meant to protect the enchanted.

Together, Annie and Jamie discover a whole new world of magic, power, and an incredible cast of creatures and characters. But where there's great power, there are also those who want to misuse it, and Aurora is under siege. It's up to the kids to protect their new home, even if it means diving headfirst into magical danger.

2 Stars

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The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore ARC {3 Stars}

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore is a futuristic utopia for middle grade readers. I loved that the utopian society felt believable while still leaving room for a few kids to find out something was wrong and work to fix it. If you have a young reader who isn’t quite ready for the YA dystopian trend yet, this would be a great place to start.

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

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore ARC {3 Stars}

The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blackmore
Published by Bloomsbury on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, MG
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes? When Ilana's secret is revealed, the kids on Firefly Lane must decide: is it finally time to start questioning the only world they've ever known?

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George {4 Stars}

Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George is the fourth book in the Castle Glower series, about a royal family and their sentient castle that expresses its opinion about someone by how nice their room is and where it is located! I’m a long-time fan of this series and am so happy that in this book we get back to adventuring within the castle and learning about both it and where it came from. If you enjoy smart young heroines, griffins, and a whole lot of fun, don’t miss this series.

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

Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George {4 Stars}

Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George (Castle Glower #4)
Published by Bloomsbury on Feb. 9th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Celie and her friends and family are back in the Castle, safe and sound. But there's still the problem of Wizard Arkwright. What do you do with an evil wizard?

Especially when he escapes from his cell, but doesn't leave the Castle!

Now it's up to Celie, with the help of her wizard brother Bran and her griffins, to track down Arkwright and get rid of him for good!

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter is a fantastic start to what promises to be a very fun new middle grade series. I suspect parents who loved Animorphs back in their day are going to be especially thrilled to have a new series that combines fantasy with changing into animals for a great adventure. Definitely a great choice for young readers who love animals as much as I do :D.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimée Carter (Simon Thorn #1)
Published by Bloomsbury on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 420 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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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
Page Length: 358 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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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Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen ARC {4.5 Stars}

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen is the thrilling and heart-wrenching conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy, which tells the story of Robin Hood from a completely new perspective ;-). If you haven’t read Scarlet and Lady Thief, you definitely want to check out my reviews of them instead, but in short READ THIS SERIES OMG SO GOOD! :D For those of you who died with me at the end of Lady Thief, be assured that Lion Heart is everything you’ve been hoping for!

Note: I borrowed an advance copy of Lion Heart from a friend. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen ARC {4.5 Stars}

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen (Scarlet #3)
Published by Bloomsbury on May 19th, 2015
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 348 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {3 Stars}

Crown of Midnight is the second in the much loved Throne of Glass series that I seem to be the black sheep about still ;-). There aren’t any big spoilers to worry about below, so no worries there. I had listened to the previous book and novellas on audio and the narrator really didn’t click for me, so I decided to read Crown of Midnight physically to see if that helped my reading experience with Celaena ;-).

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {3 Stars}

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)
Published by Bloomsbury on Aug. 27th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 418 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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