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Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi Audiobook {5 Stars}

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi Audiobook {5 Stars}

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

Published by Dutton Juvenile on Aug. 30th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 416 pages
Audio Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

5 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ARC {4 Stars}

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ARC {4 Stars}

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 393 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

4 Stars

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

Thoughts:
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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
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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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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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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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The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor took me completely by surprise in the best possible way. I went in really not having any idea what to expect, and what I got was a near future sci-fi wrapped in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi starring a Nigerian anti-heroine who I grew to love in the way only fictional characters can make us love. I also was surprised that my new favorite narrator, Robin Miles, performed this audiobook and (not surprising) she was absolutely perfect. I am now completely hooked on this author and will be promptly diving in to the companion book!

Note: I received an audio copy of The Book of Phoenix from the publisher. Listening to an audiobook does influence my reading experience.

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
Narrated by Robin Miles
(Who Fears Death #0.1)
Published by Audible, DAW on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 232 pages
Audio Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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A fiery spirit dances from the pages of the Great Book. She brings the aroma of scorched sand and ozone. She has a story to tell….

The Book of Phoenix is a unique work of magical futurism. A prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death, it features the rise of another of Nnedi Okorafor’s powerful, memorable, superhuman women.

Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman”—only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7.

Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7’s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape.

But Phoenix’s escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity’s future.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho {4.5 Stars}

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is a historical fantasy that beautifully combines humor, magic, and writing appropriate to the historical period. I didn’t expect to be as amused and enamored by this one as I quickly became, but trust me, as long as you don’t mind fairly advanced vocabulary and dense-writing, this is a fantastic story that will have you laughing out loud.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho {4.5 Stars}

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Sorcerer Royal #1)
Published by Ace on Sept. 1st, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 371 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

4.5 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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