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The Found and the Lost by Ursula K. Le Guin {2 Stars}

by Ursula K. Le Guin
Published by Saga Press Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Novella, Sci-fi
How I got my copy: Publisher

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

This is going to be a very different review than I normally post because I want to get down my thoughts, but they are scattered and completely due to where my brain is at currently. This is very much a time when my rating is a reflection on my experience only and not any attempt at an objective evaluation of these stories. Basically, I can’t evaluate these stories in a way that I consider fair because they just aren’t working for my reading mood right now.

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The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez {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 Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez is different than your expected urban fantasy as you might expect from the title. From the first page, it’s clear that Constance has a very strange life in that it’s basically the most extreme version of a chosen-one satire ;-).

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

The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez {Just Hatched}

The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez (Constance Verity #1)
Published by Saga Press on 384
Genres: Adult, Genre-bender
Page Length: June 14th, 2016 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Constance Verity has been saving the world since she was seven, and she’s sick of it. She sets off on one last adventure to assassinate her fairy godmother and become the one thing she’s never been: ordinary.

Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become one of the world’s great adventurers. It all began at her seventh birthday party when she defeated a snake. She has become a master of exotic martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts gathered from her adventures. But Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she is finally figured out a way to do it: she’s going to kill her fairy godmother and reset her life. The only problem, though, is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job.

Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.

2 Stars

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A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin ARC {4.5 Stars}

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin is a reading experience to savor. It tells the story of a small village during a war without specifying where or who exactly is involved. This story could have taken place on either side of World War II, and it was delightful realizing how similar the experiences of villagers probably was. Of course, this particular grandmother has some magical secrets she is hiding from all but her grandson as well as some not so magical secrets.

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Green and Ancient Light from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin ARC {4.5 Stars}

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin
Published by Saga Press on June 7th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Pan’s Labyrinth and John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.

Set in a world similar to our own, during a war that parallels World War II, A Green and Ancient Light is the stunning story of a boy who is sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer in a serene fishing village. Their tranquility is shattered by the crash of a bullet-riddled enemy plane, the arrival of grandmother’s friend Mr. Girandole—a man who knows the true story of Cinderella’­s slipper—and the discovery of a riddle in the sacred grove of ruins behind grandmother’s house. In a sumptuous idyllic setting and overshadowed by the threat of war, four unlikely allies learn the values of courage and sacrifice.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Roses and Rot by Kat Howard ARC {4 Stars}

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard is a beautiful story of two sisters and an artist retreat that is much more sinister than it appears. There is a lot of meta-commentary on writing and dealing with abuse because the main character is writing her own novel and we get to read parts of it. I loved the writing of Roses and Rot and read it in just two days. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Howard does next!

Trigger warning: Severe child abuse.

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

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard ARC {4 Stars}

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
Published by Saga Press on May 17th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love in this haunting debut fantasy novel from “a remarkable young writer” (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Borderline by Mishell Baker ARC {5 Stars}

Borderline by Mishell Baker is basically everything I wanted in a new urban fantasy series. Borderline combines a fresh take on Fae and the supernatual with a cast of physically diverse characters and a protagonist that I couldn’t help but love. I have long said that I fall quickly for ‘broken’ characters, characters who don’t fit the mold society wants to shove them into and aren’t quiet about it. Millie is that character 110% and she made Borderline an instant favorite for me. Did I mention that she is a bi-lateral amputee with Borderline Personality Disorder? No? Well, she is and that makes her all the more awesome.

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

Borderline by Mishell Baker ARC {5 Stars}

Borderline by Mishell Baker (Arcadia Project Trilogy #1)
Published by Saga Press on March 1st, 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she's sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.

For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she'll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble's disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.

No pressure.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris eARC {4 Stars}

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris is a retelling of the Norse myths from Loki’s perspective and it is just as funny and irreverent as you would expect! I was impressed with the balance of justifying Loki’s some rather questionable actions, telling the original tales, and having a whole lot of fun all at the same time. If you have even just a passing interest in Norse mythology but are on the Loki fan-club bandwagon, The Gospel of Loki isn’t to be missed!

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

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris eARC {4 Stars}

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
Published by Saga Press on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.

Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu eARC {3 Stars}

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu is a sweeping tale of war set in a “silk punk” world clearly inspired by various Asian folklores. The Grace of Kings is one of those books that I can see the incredible technical merit of, but didn’t enjoy personally as much as I’d hoped. The tone reminded me starkly of a bird’s-eye-view of the story, instead of connecting closely with one or two characters, so if you don’t need close character connections to enjoy a story, The Grace of Kings might be more for you than it was for me.

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

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu eARC {3 Stars}

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (The Dandelion Dynasty #1)
Published by Saga Press on April 7th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Military Fantasy
Page Length: 640 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, soaring battle kites, conspiring goddesses, underwater boats, magical books, as a streetfighter-cum-general who takes her place as the greatest tactitian of the age. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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