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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor {3 Stars}

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor {3 Stars}

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Published by Little Brown on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 533 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White  ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
Published by Little Brown on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG, Sci-fi
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley ARC {3 Stars}

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley is a highly anticipated sequel to The Rook, which I recently read and absolutely loved. Therefore, I was thrilled to have the sequel to jump into immediately. However, I’m sad to say that Stiletto really doesn’t measure up to its predecessor for a number of reasons, but most of all because it is lacking the delightfully dry humor of The Rook. It expands on the world and has an interesting mystery, but was a lot less enjoyable this time around.

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

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley ARC {3 Stars}

Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley (The Checquy Files)
Published by Little Brown on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 582 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

In this spirited sequel, The Rook returns to clinch an alliance between deadly rivals and avert epic—and slimy—supernatural war.

When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers—and the bureaucratic finesse—to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries:

The Checquy—the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural
threats, and…
The Grafters—a centuries-old supernatural threat.

But as bizarre attacks sweep London, threatening to sabotage negotiations, old hatreds flare. Surrounded by spies, only the Rook and two women, who absolutely hate each other, can seek out the culprits before they trigger a devastating otherworldly war.

STILETTO is a novel of preternatural diplomacy, paranoia, and snide remarks, from an author who “adroitly straddles the thin line between fantasy, thriller, and spoof”.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Rook by Daniel O’Malley {4.5 Stars}

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley is a book that completely flew under my radar for which I am exceedingly chagrined. To be fair, it came out back in 2012 when I was just starting to pay attention to new books coming out, unlike my current obsessed state. However, this whole situation therefore made me exceedingly glad that the sequel showed up unexpectedly on my doorstep, since I went right out and grabbed The Rook from the library and proceeded to lose an entire weekend in a mysterious time contraction event.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley {4.5 Stars}

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (The Checquy Files #1)
Published by Little Brown on Jan 11th, 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Page Length: 486 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Purchases made support this blog

"The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rookis a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black ARC {4 Stars}

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black takes the idea of fairies back to their creepy and very much non-human roots along with some very complicated family dynamics and sibling friendship! Somewhere in the middle I couldn’t stop because I had to get past the spooky part in order to sleep WHICH IS HOW FAIRY BOOKS SHOULD BE >.>. I actually have an unusual relationship with The Darkest Part of the Forest because I heard Holly read a bit of the beginning at an event for a previous book of hers, so I’ve been lusting after an untitled manuscript for SO LONG and am finally sated. Next Holly Black book of awesome please?

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

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black ARC {4 Stars}

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Published by Little Brown on Jan. 13th, 2014
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they're destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she's found the thing she's been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does... As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell Audiobook {4 Stars}

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell is of course the story about a young viking boy trying to train a dragon, but that’s about all it has in common with the movie based on it. Fortunately, it is narrated by David Tennant (yes, Dr. Who!) and is therefore amazing (and thank you so much to Shae for convincing me of this fact!). Even though Toothless is small and green and Hiccup nerdy and adorable in a different way, fans of the movie will almost certainly love the book for its own wonderful storyline.

Note: I listened to How to Train Your Dragon on audiobook, which significantly influences my experience with it.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell Audiobook {4 Stars}

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Narrated by David Tennant
(How to Train Your Dragon #1)
Published by Little Brown on May 1st, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 214 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Purchases made support this blog

Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is the heart-wrenching conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and if you love fantasy and beautiful writing, you really need to be reading this series! I’ve listened to both Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight on audiobook, so I had to conclude with audio as well, even though it meant it took me longer to get through Dreams ;-). I’ve had an up and down relationship with this series to be honest and Dreams of Gods and Monsters kind of encapsulated both ends of the spectrum for me, whereas I loved Days of Blood and Starlight the most in the trilogy strangely enough. There will be spoilers for the previous two books below by the way!

Note: I listened to Dreams of Gods and Monsters on audiobook. This definitely influences my opinion, I can’t help it.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)
Published by Little Brown on April 8th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 613 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Five Stars: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor Audiobook

Read and Review HopDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor is the second in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, so this review will definitely contain spoilers for the first book. Instead of worrying about those, just pop over to my equally glowing review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone :D. I actually had a bit of trouble forming thoughts for this review since my thoughts were mostly “glub blug awesome more glub why must I wait for the next one gah!” But I thought more, gave it a couple of days, and came up with at least semi-coherent reasons why you should continue with Days of Blood and Starlight if you started this trilogy and aren’t sure.

Days of Blood and Starlight Goodreads Amazon
Title: 
Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Time: 12 discs (15 hours)
Genre-ish: Fantasy mixed with our world
Rating★★★– beautiful, poetic, can’t get enough

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? — Goodreads

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Five Stars: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Audio Review

Read and Review HopAs if Prague wasn’t mystical enough, it is also the gateway to another world, full of a war between angel-like beings and beings part human and part animal. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the fantastic tale of a human girl caught in the middle of an ancient war and love story, with a destiny far greater than she ever hoped.

I was browsing the library’s YA audiobooks section when I was in need of a new audiobook, and I have found that all the best books are in the YA section :D. I had seen a lot of good reviews for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so I figured I’d give it a try. Boy, I had no idea what I was in for! First off, I didn’t really know anything about the story going in, and so when it started off in what seemed like a very normal Prague, I was worried there wasn’t any fantasy in it. No worries people, there is plenty of fantasy :D.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Goodreads Amazon
Title:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Discs: 10
Genre-ish: Fresh fantasy with the human world too
Rating★★★★ – OMG so epic!

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? — Goodreads

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