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Hunted by Meagan Spooner ARC {5 Stars}

Hunted by Meagan Spooner ARC {5 Stars}

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on March 14th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

5 Stars

Hope you all are still enjoying my bare-bones, just-notes reviews when I must!

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

Strengths:
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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo {4 Stars}

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo {4 Stars}

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Sept. 27th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 536 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

4 Stars

All right, so I have a problem. During November of last year I took a break from blogging to win NanoWrimo. But of course I was still reading! I’ve been debating what to do with the notes that I took after finishing each book. I had a plan to write out a full review of them based on the notes, but three months later and I have to admit that that is just not likely to happen. I still want to talk about the books with you though! So here is a barebones, just-my-notes chat about Crooked Kingdom!

Strengths:
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Indexing by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Indexing by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Indexing by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Indexing #1)
Published by 47North on Jan. 21st, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 404 pages
Audio Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”

Good advice...especially when a story can kill you.

For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.

Indexing is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

5 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
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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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Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney ARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney is the first in a new series starring a boy and a blind girl who see visions of death in their dreams and work with the police to solve the revealed murders. In addition to the cool magic and solid main characters, I really enjoyed the unique cultures that are depicted throughout this story and look forward to finding out everything about their histories and traditions as the series continues. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!

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

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney ARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney (Palace of Dreams #1)
Published by Roc on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Shironne Anjir's status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.

A member of the royal family's guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.

But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Planetfall by Emma Newman {4.5 Stars}

Planetfall by Emma Newman is a sci-fi adventure that took me completely by surprise. I was fascinated by the realistic portrayal of planet colonization via 3D printing, but found so much more to the story than I expected. If you’re looking for compelling characters and mysteries with fast-pacing and a great hypothesis of how we could settle other planets, don’t miss Planetfall.

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

Planetfall by Emma Newman {4.5 Stars}

Planetfall by Emma Newman
Published by Roc on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody eARC {4 Stars}

The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody is a fantastic retelling of the story of the Pied Piper with cameos from several other fairytales and most importantly starring a sister and brother team where the brother has a physical disability and saves the day anyway. I was excited about The Peddler’s Road the moment I saw it because I was pumped about a middle grade fantasy that was retelling the Pied Piper story (since I like  dash of creepy!), but when I started reading, I realized that this story is so much more on top of that awesomeness. This is a book that I will actively put into the hands of young readers, especially young readers who have a disability and want to see themselves as the hero of a story.

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

The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody eARC {4 Stars}

The Peddler's Road by Matthew Cody (The Secrets of the Pied Piper #1)
Published by Knopf on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all of the children away with his magical flute, and none of them were ever seen again.

Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father . . . until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called the Summer Isle. There they meet the original stolen children, who haven’t aged a day and who have formed their own village, vigilantly guarded from the many nightmarish beings that roam the land.

No one knows why the Piper stole them, but Max and Carter’s appearance may be the key to returning the lost children of Hamelin—and to going home themselves. But to discover the secrets of the Piper, Max and Carter will have to set out on a mysterious quest down the dangerous Peddler’s Road.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen ARC {4.5 Stars}

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen is the thrilling and heart-wrenching conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy, which tells the story of Robin Hood from a completely new perspective ;-). If you haven’t read Scarlet and Lady Thief, you definitely want to check out my reviews of them instead, but in short READ THIS SERIES OMG SO GOOD! :D For those of you who died with me at the end of Lady Thief, be assured that Lion Heart is everything you’ve been hoping for!

Note: I borrowed an advance copy of Lion Heart from a friend. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen ARC {4.5 Stars}

Lion Heart by A. C. Gaughen (Scarlet #3)
Published by Bloomsbury on May 19th, 2015
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 348 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Perfect Lies by Kiersten White eARC {4 Stars}

Perfect Lies is the sequel to Mind Games and continues right where Mind Games left off with more intrigue, awesome mind powers, and an amazing sisterly dynamic. I quite enjoyed Mind Games, though this series is clearly not for everyone. If you enjoy stream-of-consciousness narration, crazy timelines interweaving, and broken characters, you should definitely check out this series, but go read Mind Games since there will be spoilers below ;-). If you have already read Mind Games, you will probably enjoy Perfect Lies just about the same amount that you did Mind Games, it all depends on your preferences, haha.

Note: I received Perfect Lies through Edelweiss for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White eARC {4 Stars}

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (Mind Games #2)
Published by HarperTeen on Feb. 18th, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 232 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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3.5 Stars: Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell ARC

Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell grabbed me because of that gorgeous cover and of course dragons! Though I have to admit I was nervous about a book that was about slaying dragons instead of thinking they are awesome. Fortunately I was in for a happy surprise with that, though I won’t give away too much ;-). There was some weirdness with the setting that kept throwing me out of the world, and I’ve never been good with non-plot driven novels, but in the end Handbook for Dragon Slayers is a fun book with an excellent premise (disabled MC who still kicks butt!).

Note: I received an ARC of Handbook for Dragon Slayers from a friend. Some things may have changed in the final version.

3.5 Stars: Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell ARC

Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell
Published by HarperCollins on May 28th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Tilda has never given much thought to dragons, attending instead to her endless duties and wishing herself free of a princess's responsibilities.

When a greedy cousin steals Tilda's lands, the young princess goes on the run with two would-be dragon slayers. Before long she is facing down the Wild Hunt, befriending magical horses, and battling flame-spouting dragons. On the adventure of a lifetime, and caught between dreams of freedom and the people who need her, Tilda learns more about dragons—and herself—than she ever imagined.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • The main character, Tilda, has a deformed foot. She can get around with a crutch, but it is painful and she has a clear limp. Some in the castle don’t treat her well, but there are a number of secondary characters who love Tilda for her wit, bravery, strength, and kindness. This is the first fantasy book I’ve read with a main character with such a pronounced disability who is well-developed and strong.
  • Dragons! There are obviously dragons in Handbook for Dragon Slayers and they get really interesting. There is always more to dragons than meets the eye ;-).
  • A fantasy element I was not expecting were the magical horses from The Wild Hunt. These horses rock and are every horse-loving little girl’s dream. They seem to understand human speech, they are huge, but they love Tilda :D.

Weaknesses:

  •  I’m not really sure what the setting for Handbook for Dragon Slayers was supposed to be. It seems to be an alternate medieval history where the dragons and pagan myths are real, but the crusades are happening and references to Christianity pop in here and there. I would have preferred this fun story to be set a little farther from our world, since those references just kept pulling me out of the story.
  • Handbook for Dragon Slayers (the ARC mind you), also had some phrases like “No worries” and “all right” which were used as we use them and definitely didn’t fit the fantasy theme. I haven’t been able to check a finished copy, so I’d love feedback on this one.
  • Handbook for Dragon Slayers didn’t have a very outside motivated plot. There was some, but mostly Tilda just needed to go through a coming of age story, which is fine, but not what I was hoping for.

Summary:

Handbook for Dragon Slayers was a fun read with a couple of quirks. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would (since honestly, I get super excited as soon as dragons are mentioned!), but I think many others will enjoy this one. I’m glad that stories are being written about all types of strong people, including those whose bodies aren’t what we immediately think of when we think hero. Magical horses were more prominent in this story than dragons until the end though, so if you like the idea of magical and awesome horses from the the Wild Hunt, go for it!

3.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – Anya

 

 Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell