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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ARC {3 Stars}

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ARC {3 Stars}

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #2)
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

3 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Grave Visions by Kalayna Price {3 Stars}

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price {3 Stars}

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #4)
Published by Roc on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 340 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Grave Visions by Kalayna Price is the much-anticipated fourth installment in the kick-ass urban fantasy series about Alex Craft, a grave witch who can communicate with the dead.

If you want to hear voices from the dead in Nekros City, you call Alex Craft. She's a Grave Witch with reasonable rates and extraordinary powers, who specializes in revealing the secrets of the dead. But now she's the one fighting to keep her own secret. She's not human—and her newly discovered heritage is causing havoc for her both in the human realm and in Faerie. But her status as an unaffiliated fae also makes her an ideal candidate to investigate a new street drug that has surfaced in several of the spaces between the human and fae worlds.

This glamour-infused drug causes hallucinations that turn real—at least for a while and often with deadly consequences. Searching for the source of this drug—and its purpose—lands Alex front and center in the conflict brewing in Faerie and she must find answers before she's dragged so deep she loses her freedom.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman {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.

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

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman {Just Hatched}

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman
Published by Candlewick Press on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

When twelve-year-old Nick runs away from his uncle’s in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore. He also meets its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either. It’s a good thing the bookstore takes Nick’s magical education in hand, because Smallbone’s nemesis—the Evil Wizard Fidelou—and his pack of shape-shifting bikers are howling at the borders. Smallbone might call himself evil, but compared to Fidelou, he’s practically a puppy. And he can’t handle Fidelou alone. Wildly funny and cozily heartfelt, Delia Sherman’s latest is an eccentric fantasy adventure featuring dueling wizards, enchanted animals, and one stray boy with a surprising knack for magic.

3 Stars

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Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {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.

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

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {Just Hatched}

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler (Defender of the Realm #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on March 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 306 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

For hundreds of years the United Kingdom has been protected by a mysterious guardian known as the Defender. Part myth, part superhero, few truly believed the Defender existed . . . until now.

Alfie thinks he knows his destiny. As Prince Alfred, heir to the throne of Great Britain, he's fated to become the most disappointing king in the nation's history. Alfie longs for a way to prove himself, but little does he realize that with the throne of England comes an ancient secret. He who wears the crown must protect the country as the legendary hero -- the Defender of the Realm.

Hayley is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. She certainly never believed in the mysterious superhero, the Defender. Then, after witnessing a very public battle at the Tower of London, everything is different, and Hayley is left with no doubt. The Defender is real.

Two kids with two very different lives are about to get caught up in a centuries-long battle for the fate of a nation. Monsters and criminals, villains and dragons, together Hayley and Alfie must protect their home at all costs.

3 Stars

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Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter … or four. Check out the announcement post for more information.

This whimsical fantasy hits just the right notes as a light-hearted fantasy adventure suitable for middle-graders to read as they curl up with a cup of hot chocolate on some of these dark, winter nights.

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

Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush {Just Hatched}

Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Twelve-year-old George has no idea what to expect when she’s sent to stay with eccentric relatives following the disappearance of her brother. Soon after her arrival, she learns that Uncle Constantine has been kidnapped. George sets off to recover him and is joined by two orphaned boys along the way and Cavendish, a talking map. Together they visit magical worlds full of monsters, witches, and dragons as they attempt to find Constantine--the Timekeeper--a man of great significance. If he’s not rescued, events will cease to happen at their designated times, disrupting the unfolding of the universe. Can this ragtag crew save the future before being outwitted by evil captors?

3 Stars

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard ARC {3 Stars}

Windwitch by Susan Dennard ARC {3 Stars}

Windwitch by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #2)
Published by Tor Teen on Jan. 10th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

3 Stars

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

Strengths:
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The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter (or three).

The Mountain of Kept Memory is a book that I considered for the Books on Dragonwings December box! It has a really cool world and blends fantasy and sci-fi in fascinating ways, but at 30% I was getting bored. So if you are in the mood for a heavy thinking book rich in details, check this one out.

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

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier {Just Hatched}

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier on Nov. 8th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Genre-bender, Sci-fi
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

In this gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Guy Gavriel Kay and Robin McKinley, a prince and a princess must work together to save their kingdom from outside invaders…and dangers within.

Long ago the Kieba, last goddess in the world, raised up her mountain in the drylands of Carastind. Ever since then she has dwelled and protected the world from unending plagues and danger…

Gulien Madalin, heir to the throne of Carastind, finds himself more interested in ancient history than the tedious business of government and watching his father rule. But Gulien suspects that his father has offended the Kieba so seriously that she has withdrawn her protection from the kingdom. Worse, he fears that Carastind’s enemies suspect this as well.

Then he learns that he is right. And invasion is imminent.

Meanwhile Gulien’s sister Oressa has focused on what’s important: avoiding the attention of her royal father while keeping track of all the secrets at court. But when she overhears news about the threatened invasion, she’s shocked to discover what her father plans to give away in order to buy peace.

But Carastind’s enemies will not agree to peace at any price. They intend to not only conquer the kingdom, but also cast down the Kieba and steal her power. Now, Gulien and Oressa must decide where their most important loyalties lie, and what price they are willing to pay to protect the Kieba, their home, and the world.

3 Stars

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Obsidian Son: A Novel in The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series by Shayne Silvers {3 Stars}

This over-the-top urban fantasy packs enough action to keep pages turning as billionaire wizard Nate Temple hunts for his parents’ killer while trying to figure out what is so darn special about a rare book that someone is willing to kill innocent, mundane antiquarians in the attempt to find it.  Temple and his friends hardly get a chance to take a deep breath as they tangle with the Minotaur, numerous dragons (both friendly and decidedly not so), and the shadowy Grimm while tossing money, cars, magic, and double-entendres about with abandon.

Obsidian Son: A Novel in The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series by Shayne Silvers {3 Stars}

Obsidian Son: A Novel in The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series by Shayne Silvers (The Temple Chronicles #1)
Published by Argento Publishing on October 8, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 311 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A city that doesn’t believe in magic. Bloodthirsty weredragons. Good thing this reckless playboy has superpowers…

It’s been said that monsters cry when a good man goes to war. But they should run screaming like little school girls when that man is secretly a wizard, and maybe not necessarily good…

Nate Temple’s all-consuming quest to avenge his parents is temporarily put on hold when shape-shifting dragons invade St. Louis. And perhaps cow-tipping the Minotaur for answers might not have been Nate’s smartest opening move, because now every flavor of supernatural thug from our childhood nightmares is gunning for him. Nate learns that the only way to save his city from these creatures is to murder his best friend…

Nate’s choice will throw the world and his own conscience into cataclysmic chaos: avenge his parents or become a murderer to save his city. Because to do either, he’s going to have to show the world that magic is very, very real, and that monsters are very, very hungry… To survive, he might just need to take a page from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters.

If you like Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, or Patrick Rothfuss, you will LOVE the first installment of The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller series.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Chasing Shadows by K.N. Salustro {3 Stars}

Chasing Shadows by K. N. Salustro is the first in a planet-hopping science fiction series with flying cats, genetically-modified super soldiers, and a whole lot of energy guns! If you are looking for a sci-fi that has some elements not often seen in the genre while staying true to what is so fun about science fiction, this is a book to check out. Also female bounty hunter ;-).

Note: This is an expedited review, meaning I was paid to read the book and the author chose for this review to be published. See my review policy for details.

Chasing Shadows by K.N. Salustro {3 Stars}

Chasing Shadows by K. N. Salustro (The Star Hunters #1)
Published by Author on Feb. 24th, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi
Page Length: 244 pages
How I got my copy: Author
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Purchases made support this blog

"Stand and Protect."

These are the words Star Federation soldiers live by as they work to uphold peace across the galaxy. Founded at the start of the Andromedan War, the Star Federation obliterated its opponents and now stands as the guardian of the galaxy. Its power has gone largely unchallenged in the wake of the war, and its officers now busy themselves with minor troubles. Once in a while, however, a powerful force surfaces and demands more attention, be it a drug lord, pirate crew, or a bounty hunter worthy of the Alpha Classification.

Following the assassination of one of the Star Federation's officers, Fleet Commander Lance Ashburn goes on the hunt for the Alpha Class bounty hunter known as the Shadow. One of the best officers the Star Federation has ever seen, Commander Ashburn comes closer than anyone ever has to eliminating the Shadow, but upon meeting her, he discovers that much larger and more dangerous enemies roam the stars. Enemies that even hunters fear.

Determined to do his duty as a Star Federation officer, Commander Ashburn fights for the galaxy, but the price of enduring peace may be one that the Shadow is not willing to pay.

Tethered to her own demons, bounty hunter Lissa aka the Shadow has seen the harsher side of the Star Federation, and her priorities do not include carrying out the agenda of a fleet commander. When her past catches up with her, however, Lissa must either surrender herself, or make a stand. Working with and against Commander Ashburn, Lissa could push the galaxy into war... or save it.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Stone and a Hard Place by R. L. King {3 Stars}

While waiting as patiently as possible for the next book in the Harry Dresden series, I decided to try similar series, diving into the world of Alastair Stone, professor of Occult Studies and occasionally practicing mage, the first book called Stone and a Hard Place by R. L. King.  Stone does his best to keep his two worlds apart, letting colleagues and students believe that there is no such thing as magic. This neat separation falls apart when he’s asked to convince a friend’s relative that her house isn’t haunted ….. except that it turns out to be very much the real deal.

Stone and a Hard Place by R. L. King  {3 Stars}

Stone and a Hard Place by R. L. King (Alastair Stone Chronicles #1)
Published by Magespace Press on March 16, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 351 pages
How I got my copy: Gift
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It’s hard enough for Alastair Stone to keep his two lives—powerful mage and mundane Occult Studies professor—separate without an old friend asking him to take on a new apprentice. Especially after a university colleague wants him to investigate a massive old house for things that go bump in the night. Still, Stone figures it’s an easy job: just turn up, put on a little show, and announce that the house is clean.

Only it isn’t. A malevolent spirit is reawakening in the basement, imprisoned between dimensions and intent on escape. If it succeeds, countless people will die. Worse, a trio of dark mages want to help it break free so they can control it for their own sinister purposes. They’ll do whatever it takes—including seducing Stone’s young apprentice and using him against his master—to get what they’re after.

With time running out, Stone has to stay alive long enough to uncover the spirit’s secrets. But even if he does, he fears that his own power won’t be enough to send it back.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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