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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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Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire {4 Stars}

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire {4 Stars}

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #6)
Published by DAW on Sept. 4th, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 353 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
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It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.

To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Etienne, who didn’t even know he was a father until the girl went missing. Her name is Chelsea. She’s a teleporter, like her father. She’s also the kind of changeling the old stories warn about, the ones with all the strength and none of the control. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.

Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood {4 Stars}

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood is a story about a girl who just wants to raise a dragon, but instead has to deal with corruption on one side and an ancient evil on the other. Obviously I had to read this book based on the presence of dragons alone, but I didn’t expect to discover a dragon-filled world so reminiscent of Pern and full of so many delightful dragons!

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

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood {4 Stars}

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (The Evertide #1)
Published by DAW on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Page Length: 512 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.

The bond between dragons and their riders is deep and life-long, and Maia’s desire for a dragon of her own to train, ride, fly, and love drives her to take a risk that puts her life at stake. She is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors, thralls of the enemy, and a faceless creature drawn from her fear. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she exposes a conspiracy, unearths an ancient civilization, and challenges her understanding of her world—and of herself.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Revisionary by Jim C. Hines Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines is the final book (for now hopefully!) in the Magic Ex Libris series, but the first of the series that I listened to on audiobook! I was desperate to fit this one in given the fantastic development the series has gone through (and my co-blogger’s glowing review!), so imagine my relief when the audiobook was not just acceptable, but added to my connection to these characters while letting me fit in one more book ;-). And obviously spoilers below for the first three books!

Note: I received an audio copy of Revisionary from the publisher. 

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines
Narrated by David DeVries
(Magic Ex Libris #4)
Published by Audible, DAW on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
Audio Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Isaac Vainio helped to reveal magic to the world, he dreamed of a new millennium of magical prosperity. One year later, things aren’t going quite as he’d hoped. A newly-formed magical organization wants open war with the mundane world. Isaac’s own government is incarcerating “potential supernatural enemies” in prisons and internment camps.

Surrounded by betrayal and political intrigue, Isaac and a ragtag group of allies must evade pursuit both magical and mundane, expose a conspiracy by some of the most powerful people in the world, and find a path to a better future. But the key to victory may lie with Isaac himself, as he struggles to incorporate everything he’s learned into a new, more powerful form of libriomancy.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor took me completely by surprise in the best possible way. I went in really not having any idea what to expect, and what I got was a near future sci-fi wrapped in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi starring a Nigerian anti-heroine who I grew to love in the way only fictional characters can make us love. I also was surprised that my new favorite narrator, Robin Miles, performed this audiobook and (not surprising) she was absolutely perfect. I am now completely hooked on this author and will be promptly diving in to the companion book!

Note: I received an audio copy of The Book of Phoenix from the publisher. Listening to an audiobook does influence my reading experience.

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
Narrated by Robin Miles
(Who Fears Death #0.1)
Published by Audible, DAW on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 232 pages
Audio Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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A fiery spirit dances from the pages of the Great Book. She brings the aroma of scorched sand and ozone. She has a story to tell….

The Book of Phoenix is a unique work of magical futurism. A prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death, it features the rise of another of Nnedi Okorafor’s powerful, memorable, superhuman women.

Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman”—only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7.

Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7’s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape.

But Phoenix’s escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity’s future.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Winterwood by Jacey Bedford ARC {5 Stars} + Giveaway!

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford is a fantastic mix of privateering, a cross-dressing female captain, intriguing magic, witch hunts, a bit of sexy romance and a discussion of racism in 1800. I was nervous picking up this start of a new series, since it promises all of my favorite things, but it completely delivers and I was glued to the last page. I in fact immediately starting tweeting at Bedford asking about book two because I just can’t live with Winterwood being done. Don’t miss this new fantasy!! Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for a giveaway :D.

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

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford ARC {5 Stars} + Giveaway!

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford (Rowankind #1)
Published by DAW on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Set in 1800 in Britain, Mad King George is on the throne with Napoleon Bonaparte knocking on the door. Unregistered magic users are pursued to the death, while in every genteel home resides uncomplaining rowankind bondservants who have become so commonplace that no one can recall where they came from.

Meanwhile, Rossalinde Tremayne is satisfied with her life as a cross-dressing privateer captain on the high seas. But a bitter deathbed visit to her estranged mother changes her life completely when she inherits a magical winterwood box. Now, not only is she confronted with a newly-discovered brother, and an annoyingly handsome wolf shapeshifter, Rossalinde has to decide whether or not to open the box to free rowankind and right an ancient wrong—even if it brings the downfall of Britain.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Revisionary by Jim C. Hines ARC {5 Stars}

I absolutely love the Magic Ex Libris series!!!  As a life-long book lover, I find it easy to believe that books are magic portals and that lucky, gifted people would be able to use books to draw out science-fiction devices, healing cordials, and magic beans.  Jim Hines has taken that premise, added very realistic and likable main characters, and created a wonderful reading experience.  If you haven’t started this series, give the first book (Libriomancer) a try.  I suspect you’ll be quickly hooked.

Revisionary is book four of the series and heads into the action quickly.  If you haven’t read any of this series, you might find yourself lost.  If you haven’t read book three in a while, don’t worry.  Hines reminds us of what has gone before and gives quick updates on relationships without slowing down the action, but if you haven’t been introduced to these characters in prior books, much will seem strange. However, I’m careful to avoid spoilers below (except the blurb!) if you want an idea if this series would appeal to you.

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

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines ARC {5 Stars}

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines (Magic Ex Libris #4)
Published by DAW on February 2, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Isaac Vainio helped to reveal magic to the world, he dreamed of a new millennium of magical prosperity. One year later, things aren’t going quite as he’d hoped. A newly-formed magical organization wants open war with the mundane world. Isaac’s own government is incarcerating “potential supernatural enemies” in prisons and internment camps.

Surrounded by betrayal and political intrigue, Isaac and a ragtag group of allies must evade pursuit both magical and mundane, expose a conspiracy by some of the most powerful people in the world, and find a path to a better future. But the key to victory may lie with Isaac himself, as he struggles to incorporate everything he’s learned into a new, more powerful form of libriomancy.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda ARC {2 Stars}

Welcome back my mom as she helps me tackle the towering pile of books! :D

This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda is the first book of a new series within the Clan Chronicles, but the seventh in the series so far. It is an interesting universe, filled with inscrutable aliens and plenty of mysteries to keep the reader guessing about the greater mystery until nearly the end of the work. I suspect that I would have enjoyed this book a great deal more if I had read the previous six books in the series. As it was, I was generally confused for most of my foray into the universe of the Clan. If you are a fan of this series, you will probably enjoy this one as it takes its main characters back home to solve the mystery of their origins.

Note: I received an advanced copy of This Gulf of Time and Stars from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda ARC {2 Stars}

This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda (Reunification #1)
Published by DAW on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 464 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

To save their world, the most powerful of the Om’ray left their homes, transporting themselves into the void on Passage. They left behind all memory of their past, knowing only that they must make new lives for themselves among the Humans.

Calling themselves the Clan, they settled among Humanity, hiding in plain sight, using their ability to slip past normal space to travel where they wished, using their ability to control minds to ensure their place and security.

They are no longer hidden.

For the Clan face a crisis. Their reproduction is tied to individual power, and their latest generation of females, Choosers, are too strong to safely mate. Their attempt to force others to help failed until Sira di Sarc, their leader and the most powerful of their kind ever born, successfully Joined with a human, Jason Morgan, starship captain and telepath. With Morgan, Sira forced the first peace between her kind and the Trade Pact. Together, they now search for an answer. But it is a peace about to shatter. Those the Clan have controlled all these years will rise against them. Her people dying around her, war about to consume the Trade Pact, Sire will be left with only one choice.

She must find the way back.

And take the Clan home.

2 Stars

Strengths:
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Nova by Margaret Fortune eARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Nova by Margaret Fortune grabbed me because Amie Kaufman enjoyed it and really how can you resist that kind of endorsement?? I’m thrilled to report that this sci-fi mystery completely deserves Ms. Kaufman’s blurb and if you enjoyed These Broken Stars but want a story focused on slightly older characters and a bit less romance, Nova is for you! Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post!

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

Nova by Margaret Fortune eARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Nova by Margaret Fortune
Published by DAW on June 2nd, 2015
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

*36:00:00*

The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.


Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.

Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss {Guest Review!}

I’m very happy to come from a book loving family, so when my mom asked if she could write a review for Patrick Rothfuss’s latest book that I sadly haven’t had the chance to read yet, I couldn’t say no :D. Please welcome my mom to the blog!

I loved the Kingkiller Chronicle.  Or rather, I have loved reading the first two volumes and have a hard time waiting for master storyteller Patrick Rothfuss to whip the veil from the next episode of Kvothe’s story.  So, I naturally ignored the writer’s warning and pounced on the little gem he wrote about a side character in this epic tale: little, lost Auri.  I’m glad I did.

But, I will echo Rothfuss and warn you that you may not like this book.  I have a hard time even characterizing what it is.  A novella?  Possibly.  Things certainly do happen, but only to Auri.  This slim volume barely touches upon any of the grand happenings or major characters of the other books – and at that, these are only hints.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss {Guest Review!}

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5)
Published by DAW on Oct. 28th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 159 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Setting:  The tunnels and ruins of the University and town from the Kingkiller Chronicles – with a little night foraging in the area.  There is a great deal of casual magic/alchemy tossed about, and the author will assume you are familiar with the magic system of this universe.

Premise: A week in the life of a side character (Auri) introduced in the other books.  This is not a classic storyline – more of a behind-the-scenes study of a character and her fragment of the world.

5 Stars

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