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The Speaker by Traci Chee ARC {DNF}

The Speaker by Traci Chee ARC {DNF}

The Speaker by Traci Chee (Sea of Ink and Gold #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on Nov. 7th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 512 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Having barely escaped the clutches of the Guard, Sefia and Archer are back on the run, slipping into the safety of the forest to tend to their wounds and plan their next move. Haunted by painful memories, Archer struggles to overcome the trauma of his past with the impressors, whose cruelty plagues him whenever he closes his eyes. But when Sefia and Archer happen upon a crew of impressors in the wilderness, Archer finally finds a way to combat his nightmares: by hunting impressors and freeing the boys they hold captive.

With Sefia’s help, Archer travels across the kingdom of Deliene rescuing boys while she continues to investigate the mysterious Book and secrets it contains. But the more battles they fight, the more fights Archer craves, until his thirst for violence threatens to transform him from the gentle boy Sefia knows to a grim warrior with a cruel destiny. As Sefia begins to unravel the threads that connect Archer’s fate to her parents’ betrayal of the Guard so long ago, she and Archer must figure out a way to subvert the Guard’s plans before they are ensnared in a war that will pit kingdom against kingdom, leaving their future and the safety of the entire world hanging in the balance.

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

So I got to 248 before deciding this just wasn’t working for me. I LOVED book one, so this hurts. But this feels like major second book syndrome.

Thoughts:
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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ARC {4 Stars}

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ARC {4 Stars}

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 393 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

4 Stars

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

Thoughts:
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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu is the concluding book of the Young Elites trilogy. Adelina must confront the growing darkness in her and decide whether her sister’s life is worth rejoining with her friends-turned-enemies to save the world. If you’ve been wondering what these Young Elite powers really are, this is the book for you!

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

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
Narrated by Carla Corvo, Lannon Killea
(The Young Elites #3)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on Oct. 11th, 2016
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 316 pages
Audio Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson is the second book starring a girl raised by dragons and her friends as they learn to be princesses at Pennyroyal Academy. Being a princess is a lot hard than you might think though, since princesses must be trained to fight the witches terrorizing the land! Oh and boys can be princesses to, just so you know.

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

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M. A. Larson
Narrated by Susan Duerden
(Pennyroyal Academy #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
Audio Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Princess Cadet Evie returns to Pennyroyal Academy, she’s suddenly become famous. Word has traveled far and wide of her defeating the witches and has inspired a wave of new recruits to the Academy. Though flattering, the unexpected attention is overwhelming for Evie, and amidst the piles and piles of fan mail, she finds a letter with an ominous threat. A secret society has come out of the shadows with a wicked plan, putting the Academy in great peril. This new enemy has powers impervious to the princess’s magic—posing a new risk to Evie and her friends. The danger looms even larger when Evie discovers someone close to the Academy may not be who they seem. It’s up to Evie and her friends to uncover the devious plot and save their once venerable Academy before it’s too late.

This sequel to the beloved, critically-acclaimed Pennyroyal Academy promises middle-grade readers even more adventure and suspense.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is the sequel to the luscious Thousand Nights retelling, The Wrath and the Dawn. I listened to both on audiobook and enjoyed them, though the focus of this story is clearly more on the romantic relationship and less on the awesome magic for my taste ;-).

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

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 420 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Last Star by Rick Yancey Audiobook {5 Stars}

The Last Star by Rick Yancey is a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic trilogy. There is really no way to talk about this book without spoiling the previous ones, so if you haven’t read The 5th Wave yet, check out my review and get on that! Now that it’s just us insiders here, trust that you should take a vacation day because you aren’t going to want to put this book down.

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

The Last Star by Rick Yancey Audiobook {5 Stars}

The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Narrated by Ben Yannette, Phoebe Strole
(The 5th Wave #3)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24th, 2016
Genres: Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
Audio Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The Last Star is the heart-stopping finale to the bestselling 5th Wave series by award-winning author, Rick Yancey. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.

'Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough' The New York Times

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Rose Society by Marie Lu ARC {3.5 Stars}

The Rose Society by Marie Lu is the dark sequel to The Young Elites and continues to follow Adelina as she struggles to use her powers for the right reasons in a world that seems to really dislike her. I gave The Young Elites 5 stars, so it is probably understandable that The Rose Society was unlikely to live up to my high expectations. However, I still feel like it didn’t click as well as the previous book did unfortunately. If you are a fan of the dark direction things were starting to go in The Young Elites though, I think you’ll be happy with the tone of The Rose Society! (Also there will be MAJOR spoilers for The Young Elites below because they are unavoidable.)

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

The Rose Society by Marie Lu ARC {3.5 Stars}

The Rose Society by Marie Lu (The Young Elites)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on Oct. 13th, 2015
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

3.5 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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