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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong #1)
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on Feb. 7th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Romance
Page Length: 436 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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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 Memory by Kalayna Price {5 Stars}

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price {5 Stars}

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #3)
Published by Roc on July 3rd, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 373 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

5 Stars

Ready for another bare-bones, just-my-notes review? Good, me too!

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

Strengths:
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The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is the sequel to the luscious Thousand Nights retelling, The Wrath and the Dawn. I listened to both on audiobook and enjoyed them, though the focus of this story is clearly more on the romantic relationship and less on the awesome magic for my taste ;-).

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

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 420 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel {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 Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel makes it clear right from the start that it is a sci-fi romance! It’s got some steamy scenes within the first two chapters, while also introducing a vast space filled with starships and pirates and possibly corrupt governments. I’m becoming more and more a fan of the romantic sci-fi subgenre since there is just something appealing about a sci-fi setting with a strongly character-driven plot.

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

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel {Just Hatched}

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel (Central Corps #1)
Published by Harper Voyager on March 8th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sci-fi
Page Length: 528 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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When her crewmate Danny is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps engineer Commander Elena Shaw is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

While retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the destruction of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw tribe PSI to protect their secrets.

With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined—a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy . . . and beyond.

4.5 Stars

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Soundless by Richelle Mead ARC {2.5 Stars}

Soundless by Richelle Mead is a standalone fantasy adventure that attempts to be based in Chinese folklore about a deaf girl saving the day, but stumbles on both those accounts. I had high hopes for Soundless, and therefore was quite disappointed with the lack of Chinese inspiration, how the deafness was handled, the lack of magic, and generally the lack of much interesting going on besides romance. There are some spoilers here because I start ranting about things not happening until the end of the story, thereby vaguely alluding to the ending.

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

Soundless by Richelle Mead ARC {2.5 Stars}

Soundless by Richelle Mead
Published by Razorbill on Nov. 10th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 272 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

2.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Resonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {3 Stars}

Resonance by Erica O’Rourke continues the sci-fi adventures in parallel worlds of Del as she tries to figure out what is really going on in the multiverse and hopefully save those she loves on the way. If you haven’t read book one, Dissonance, yet, I highly recommend you stop here and check out my review since there are major spoilers below for Dissonance and you don’t want to ruin the surprise ;-).

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

Resonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {3 Stars}

Resonance by Erica O'Rourke (Dissonance #2)
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 21st, 2015
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance.

Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him.

She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon.

In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice...

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and the start to a new fantasy series. I listened to the audio version of The Wrath and the Dawn, which messed up my reading experience a bit I think, but it also turned out to be still not the right kind of romance to woo my cold cold heart ;-). Really, if the description of The Wrath and the Dawn appeals to you, you’ll probably love it. If not, then you’ll probably be like me and enjoy the lovely writing, but not fall madly in love with the story.

Note: I received an audio copy of The Wrath and the Dawn from the publisher. Listening to the audiobook greatly influences my reading experience.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 395 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Uprooted by Naomi Novik eARC {5 Stars}

Uprooted by Naomi Novik took me completely by surprised and I can’t remember the last time I loved a book so much. Uprooted is the story of a girl from a small village who ends up living the not-so-happy fairytales of her childhood, but as long as she has friends and allies on her side, she can take that terrifying Wood! If you are a fan of creepy and dark fairytales, Uprooted is basically a new tale to add to the classics so don’t miss out :D.

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

Uprooted by Naomi Novik eARC {5 Stars}

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Published by Del Rey on May 19th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey eARC {3 Stars}

The Girl at Midnight is a story of feathered and scaled beings living hidden alongside humans and the human girl that ends up in the middle of a war. While I initially thought The Girl at Midnight would be very atmospheric and mysterious, it turned out to be a pretty straightforward quest for the item of ultimate power that would save everything with some really age inappropriate romance thrown in for good measure. I had extremely high expectations for The Girl at Midnight, so I am definitely disappointed that it ended up being not AMAZING, but it is still a fun YA fantasy that could develop into a cool series.

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

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey eARC {3 Stars}

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight #1)
Published by Delacorte on April 28th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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