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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman ARC {4 Stars}

Fans of Jasper Fforde’s Tuesday Next or Deborah Harkness’ Diana Bishop should make room in their summer (or winter, depending upon the hemisphere) reading list for the new edition of The Invisible Library and get ready to make the acquaintance of Irene and her student Kai as they hunt for a rare volume of Grimm’s fairy tales.  In this first adventure of the Invisible Library series, our two heroes leave the safety of the Library, a place that exists outside of time and space, to enter into a steampunk alternative universe where they match wits with an adversary just as determined as they are to collect the book in question …. but with far more sinister motives.  As they are joined in the hunt by a famous detective reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, the reader can settle into a comfortable and easy tale in which there are a few twists (stemming mostly from the unique magic system) but many delightful characters.

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

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman ARC {4 Stars}

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library #1)
Published by Roc on June 14, 2016 (paperback and Kindle)
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese {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 Big Sheep by Robert Kroese shows its entertaining strengths right from the first chapter. If a Sherlock Holmes-esque investigatory duo set in a sci-fi future intrigues you, definitely grab a copy!

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

The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese {Just Hatched}

The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on June 28th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

Los Angeles of 2039 is a baffling and bifurcated place. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities, and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there's no one better suited than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. When a valuable genetically altered sheep mysteriously goes missing from Esper Corporation's labs, Keane is the one they call.

But while the erratic Keane and his more grounded partner, Blake Fowler, are on the trail of the lost sheep, they land an even bigger case. Beautiful television star Priya Mistry suspects that someone is trying to kill her - and she wants Keane to find out who. When Priya vanishes and then reappears with no memory of having hired them, Keane and Fowler realize something very strange is going on. As they unravel the threads of the mystery, it soon becomes clear that the two cases are connected - and both point to a sinister conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the city. Saving Priya and the sheep will take all of Keane's wits and Fowler's skills, but in the end, they may discover that some secrets are better left hidden.

4 Stars

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The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey ARC {5 Stars}

When starting The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse, I had expected a fairly standard middle-grade fantasy, but was completely amazed by this tale of friendship and loyalty interwoven with a mystery that challenges the protagonists to make incredibly difficult choices.  The combination of great characters, wonderful relationships, a unique magical system, and a plot that kept me guessing with all of its many twists and turns until the very end compels me to recommend this book for any bright, adventurous tween or early teen and his/her parents.  It is a good story to read together, and …. if you are as lucky as I have been with a thoughtful, book-loving daughter … it will give you plenty of material for philosophical discussions!!

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey ARC {5 Stars}

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
Published by Algonquin on April 19, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 256 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a black and desolate bog that the happy people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it, except for one dire warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could possibly conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Emberfell, where everyone lives with unending joy, a girl named Aon hides a sorrow she can never reveal. She knows that something in the carse--something that sings a haunting tune only Aon can hear--holds the cure for her sadness. Yet no matter how many times she tries to enter, the terror-inducing dreadwillow trees keep her away.

After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah and Aon hatch a plan to send Aon into the heart of the carse to unlock its darkest secret. But when Aon doesn’t return, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must enter the carse to try and rescue her friend--even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan ARC {5 Stars}

Anya was tearing through her batch of middle-grade fantasy ARCs so quickly that I wondered if I would have a chance to beat her to Shadow Magic!!  Happily, I won this particular race and had the delightful experience of meeting young Lily Shadow and her unexpected friend Thorn, along with a diverse collection of supporting characters that include a giant bat and a black puppy named Custard.

This engaging story is a page-turner with lots of unexpected twists and turns.  It is certainly easy enough for younger readers to manage, although there are a few episodes that might be upsetting or disturbing to some children.

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

Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan ARC {5 Stars}

Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 12, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

Thorn, an outlaw's son, wasn't supposed to be a slave. He's been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they're headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.

Lilith Shadow wasn't supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?

Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier {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.

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard at first looks like a typical cute middle grade with adventure and fun magic. However, as soon as I started, I knew it was going to be something more; one of those middle grade stories that captivates young and old(er) readers alike. If you are looking for a middle grade full of unique magic and just enough darkness to keep things interesting, definitely pick this one up.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier {Just Hatched}

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier (Peter Nimble #2)
Published by Amulet on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 464 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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It’s been two years since Peter Nimble and Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far and wide in search of adventure. Now Peter and Sir Tode have been summoned by Professor Cake for a new mission: find a 12-year-old girl named Sophie Quire.
Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father’s bookshop, where she works as a bookmender and dreams of leaving the confines of her city walls. But when a strange boy and his talking cat/horse companion show up searching for a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into an adventure beyond anything she has ever read.

4.5 Stars

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Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan {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.

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan intrigued me since it seems to start where many first books in a series end: Lucie has already found the boy she loves and gotten out of a horrible and unfair situation, so everything should be good now right? The mix of Light and Dark magic also appealed, though after the first chapter, the magic seems more typical than I at first hoped.

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

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan {Just Hatched}

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Published by Clarion on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

2.5 Stars

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A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry {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.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry grabbed me immediately with it’s Puerto Rico setting and magic based on poison. That seemed like a combination that couldn’t miss! I’m not hooked after the first chapter, but I imagine a lot of readers will enjoy this one.

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Fierce and Subtle Poison from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry {Just Hatched}

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
Published by Algonquin on Apr. 12th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

2.5 Stars

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is an absolutely beautiful fantasy that feels like a fairytale retelling, but pulls in Indian mythology and culture (and might be a retelling of a myth from Indian mythology? Let me know!). I went in expecting a romantic fantasy, but what I got was a heroine who refused to trust the handsome man who just rescued her under suspicious circumstances, a vivid world full of creepy monsters, and a freaking hilarious demon horse. I can’t wait to see what Chokshi writes next! If you’re excited about this book, check out my Kickstarter for a hardcover copy, two gorgeous items themed after it, and a recommendation list for what to read next!

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

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs eARC {4 Stars}

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs is the latest installment in one of my favorite urban fantasy series, starring a coyote shape-shifter just trying to get by in a world where werewolves and fae are in a bit of a disagreement. If you’ve been loving this series so far, you’ll enjoy getting back onto the trail of some freaky fae, and if you haven’t started yet, get to it! There will be spoilers below for the previous books in this series and the Alpha and Omega series since this is book nine. If you want to start at the beginning, check out Moon Called.

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

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs eARC {4 Stars}

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #9)
Published by Ace on March 8th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Siren’s Song by Mary Weber eARC {3 Stars}

Siren’s Song by Mary Weber is the thrilling conclusion to the Storm Siren trilogy and Nym, our weather-wielding heroine, really has her work cut out for her! If you want to avoid spoilers for the previous books, check out my reviews of Storm Siren and Siren’s Fury instead.

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

Siren’s Song by Mary Weber eARC {3 Stars}

Siren's Song by Mary Weber (The Storm Siren Trilogy #3)
Published by Thomas Nelson on March 1st, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Nym and Draewulf prepare to face off in a battle destined to destroy more lives than it saves.

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. Only to discover it may already be too late for the monarch and her eerie kingdom. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones—along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice—Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling . . . or surrender to a different strength—one of sacrifice?

Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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