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The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey (The Girl with all the Gifts #1)
Published by Orbit on June 19th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Page Length: 460 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

3 Stars

PSA: Symbiont means organisms that live together, parasites ARE SYMBIONTS, when you say symbiote/symbiont you probably mean mutualist. Symbiote is a Spiderman villain, though some older biology works used it. Symbiont is definitely more correct. Please remember this.

Strengths:
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Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen Audiobook {4 Stars}

Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen Audiobook {4 Stars}

Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen
Narrated by Robin Miles
(The Shadow #2)
Published by Orbit on Oct. 11th, 2016
Genres: Weird West, Western Fantasy
Page Length: 359 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Monsters, magic and the supernatural combine in this sequel to Wake of Vultures, in which a young woman must defeat the evil hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome made a leap -- not knowing what she'd become. But now the destiny of the Shadow is calling.

A powerful alchemist is leaving a trail of dead across the prairie. And the Shadow must face the ultimate challenge: side with her friends and the badge on her chest or take off alone on the dangerous mission pulling her inexorably toward the fight of her life.

When it comes to monsters and men, the world isn't black and white. What good are two wings and a gun when your enemy can command a conspiracy of ravens?

Conspiracy of Ravens continues the exciting journey begun in Wake of Vultures as Nettie Lonesome discovers that she, and the world, are more than what they seem.

4 Stars

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

Strengths:
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The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin was one of my most anticipated sequels this year because the previous book, The Fifth Season (huge award winner!), was probably my favorite book last year. The things I loved about The Fifth Season are continued and made more epic in this sequel, and they include a unique and fascinating world, part of the story told in second person that actually WORKS, and amazing narration for the audiobook. As a bonus, lots of underrepresented voices are important in this series, including many characters of color, a transgender character, and many non-straight characters *celebrates*.

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

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by Robin Miles
(The Broken Earth #2)
Published by Orbit on Aug. 18th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 448 pages
Audio Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS... FOR THE LAST TIME.

The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.

It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.

The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold by Jon Hollins Audiobook {3 Stars}

Fool’s Gold is the first book in The Dragon Lords series by Jon Hollins and is perfect for fantasy fans that appreciate a trope-filled satirical spin on a classic epic fantasy adventure. Do purposeful anachronisms make you chuckle? Do you enjoy the tongue-in-cheek and self-aware humor found in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Do you love a good narrator? This might just be the audiobook for you ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold by Jon Hollins Audiobook {3 Stars}

Fool's Gold by Jon Hollins
Narrated by John Banks
(The Dragon Lords #1)
Published by Orbit on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Fantasy
Page Length: 516 pages
Audio Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A brand new adventure fantasy: imagine Guardians of the Galaxyplanning a heist on Smaug's gold, for fans looking for something with a modern twist and some humor.

Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure.

It's not easy to live in a world ruled by dragons. The taxes are high and their control is complete. But for one group of bold misfits, it's time to band together and steal back some of that wealth.

No one said they were smart.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers ARC {4.5 Stars}

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers is a sci-fi that took me completely and utterly by surprise. I didn’t know much what to expect, but remembered that I thought it sounded good when I read the description. If a matriarchal futuristic society based on Indian cultural roots with a gunrunner turned princess trying to solve a murder mystery, stop a coup, and stay alive sounds good to you as well, don’t miss this! The comparisons on the back of the ARC discuss combining traits of Han Solo, Leia and Rey, and I whole-heartedly agree with that assessment :D.

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

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers ARC {4.5 Stars}

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers (The Indranan Wars #1)
Published by Orbit on Aug. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Meet Hail: Captain. Gunrunner. Fugitive.

Quick, sarcastic, and lethal, Hailimi Bristol doesn't suffer fools gladly. She has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire. That is, until two Trackers drag her back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir.

But trading her ship for a palace has more dangers than Hail could have anticipated. Caught in a web of plots and assassination attempts, Hail can't do the one thing she did twenty years ago: run away. She'll have to figure out who murdered her sisters if she wants to survive.

A gun smuggler inherits the throne in this Star Wars-style science fiction adventure from debut author K. B. Wagers. Full of action-packed space opera exploits and courtly conspiracy - not to mention an all-out galactic war - Behind the Throne will please fans of James S. A Corey, Becky Chambers and Lois McMaster Bujold, or anyone who wonders what would happen if a rogue like Han Solo were handed the keys to an empire . . .

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Imprudence by Gail Carriger eARC {4 Stars}

Imprudence by Gail Carriger is the second in the Custard Protocol series and every bit as fun and adventurous as the previous book! Prudence and friends are in for another adventure touring a different part of the world, discovering forgotten magical beings, and getting into all sorts of trouble. If you are a fan of audiobooks, I highly recommend this series on audio, the narration adds a whole new element of fun :D. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to delay reading this one in order to listen to the audio, but in the end, I couldn’t resist!

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

Imprudence by Gail Carriger eARC {4 Stars}

Imprudence by Gail Carriger (The Custard Protocol #2)
Published by Orbit on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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London is in chaos.

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.

Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.

When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Black Wolves by Kate Elliot {4 Stars}

Black Wolves by Kate Elliot is the first in a truly epic fantasy trilogy featuring a kingdom in transition and giant eagles. Do you really need to know besides giant eagles? Oh fine. Black Wolves features a full cast of characters including several women and a fascinating portrayal of events showing how history skews the interpretation of everything. This is a fantasy you can really sink your teeth into.

Note: I received copy of Black Wolves from the publisher.

Black Wolves by Kate Elliot {4 Stars}

Black Wolves by Kate Elliot (The Black Wolves Trilogy #1)
Published by Orbit on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 780 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Gameshouse Trilogy by Claire North Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Gameshouse Trilogy by Claire North (read by Peter Kenny) is a series of urban fantasy novellas, each set in a different era (enlightenment-era Venice, pre-World War II Thailand, and the present). Each is characterized by an underdog protagonist playing a game with the cards stacked against them. There exist across the world titular “gameshouses” where people play strategy games for money, fame, and possessions. However, if you are a particularly talented player, you can be invited to the higher league. There, your pieces are political figures and assassins in a game of intrigue and politics. The stakes are more personal: one’s memories, talents, or even years of one’s life. Soon the question becomes, not just how to win the game, but who is running the games and influencing world events. Through the different stories, the stakes are raised, and the tension dramatically increased to an excellent climax in the last novella. Although you are welcome to read them individually, they form a narrative whole when brought together.

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

The Gameshouse Trilogy by Claire North Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Serpent, The Thief, and The Master by Claire North
Narrated by Peter Kenny
(The Gameshouse #1, 2, 3)
Published by Orbit on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 100 pages
Audio Length: ~ 4 hours each
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

In 17th Century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse.

There, fortunes are made and fortunes are broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.

Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman, who is about to play, may just exceed everyone's expectations.

Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules . . .

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen Audiobook {5 Stars}

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen is the first in a new series set in a ‘weird west’ that blends Western and fantasy with a blissfully diverse and prickly heroine and her Coyote sidekicks. I absolutely adored this audiobook both because the narration is fantastic and because the story is everything I wanted. If you want to put your money where your mouth is for #WeNeedDiverseBooks and read an addicting story, get Wake of Vultures.

Note: I received an audio copy of Wake of Vultures from the publisher. Listening to a book does impact my reading experience.

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen Audiobook {5 Stars}

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
Narrated by Robin Miles
(The Shadow #1)
Published by Orbit on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Western Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 342 pages
Audio Length: 10 hrs 47 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand.

And just like that, Nettie can see.

But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding -- at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin... if the monsters along the way don't kill her first.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin Audiobook {5 Stars}

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin is the start of a new epic fantasy series that combines unique writing, amazing world-building, epic global conflict, and a kick-butt heroine, meaning that this is basically my new favorite series. I’m going to have to try hard not to break down into a gibbering mess during this review…. I absolutely loved The Fifth Season and I especially loved it on audio because the narrator does a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. Fans of epic fantasy should really drop everything and go get a copy of The Fifth Season immediately.

Note: I received an audio copy of The Fifth Season from the publisher. Listening to a book on audio significantly changes my reading experience.

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin Audiobook {5 Stars}

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by Robin Miles
(The Broken Earth)
Published by Hatchette Audio, Orbit on Aug. 4th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 449 pages
Audio Length: 15 hours 31 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze -- the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years -- collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She'll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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