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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody ARC {4 Stars}

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody ARC {4 Stars}

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Published by Harlequin Teen on July 25th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

4 Stars

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

I so wanted to absolutely adore this book and for the most part I did. There were a couple of things that really annoyed me though.

Strengths:
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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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The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey (The Girl with all the Gifts #1)
Published by Orbit on June 19th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Page Length: 460 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

3 Stars

PSA: Symbiont means organisms that live together, parasites ARE SYMBIONTS, when you say symbiote/symbiont you probably mean mutualist. Symbiote is a Spiderman villain, though some older biology works used it. Symbiont is definitely more correct. Please remember this.

Strengths:
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The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White  ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
Published by Little Brown on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG, Sci-fi
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn {4 Stars}

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn {4 Stars}

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn
Published by Tor Books on January 17th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

A great new stand-alone science fiction novel from the author of the Kitty Norville series.

Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly's plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there's more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

4 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man by J. D. Jordan {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.

Calamity has to be one of the most original books I have ever read.  Taking the western genre and combining it with aliens …. literally big green men …. and a re-telling of the backstory of Calamity Jane makes for a refreshing read.

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

Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man by J. D. Jordan {Just Hatched}

Calamity by J. D. Jordan
Published by Heliosphere Books on September 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Genre-bender, Sci-fi, Weird West
Page Length: 300 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

I’m sure you’ve heard of Calamity Jane, but this is not a novel about Calamity Jane.  At least not the Jane you may have read about. Calamity Jane is part of the legends of the Wild West, but long before she scouted with Custer or “Wild Bill” Hickok, she was a fifteen-year-old girl with a fiery temper.

Violence and tragedy turn young Jane’s world upside down and soon she finds herself riding with an alien gunslinger—the Green Man—through a landscape of revenge and betrayal.

Along the way, she learns how to shoot a six-gun and how to stand on her own, even when surrounded by Lakota warriors, and be respected. From space ships to guns that can shoot the wings off a butterfly a mile away, young Jane realizes that the universe is far bigger than the Wild West and that she can trust no one in it to save her but herself.

When the villainous Grays meddling in the wars between the Indians and the government stand in the way of the Green Man making his way home, Jane finds her desire for revenge may be less than her loyalty for the longrider. And in that realization, she becomes the hero the Wild West has long remembered.

So, forget what you know of how the West was won.  Forget the Indian Wars and Custer’s Last Stand.  Instead, learn the truth of what happened when a young girl met a longrider she called the Green Man . . .

3 Stars

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The Trees by Ali Shaw {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 Trees by Ali Shaw has a cover that immediately grabs you and from what I can tell, the words on the inside are just the same. The cover actually really captures the spooky strangeness of the opening chapters where a whole forest springs up over night and strange creatures seem to now be inhabiting what was previously suburbia.

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

The Trees by Ali Shaw {Just Hatched}

The Trees by Ali Shaw
Published by Bloomsbury on Aug 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Magical Realism
Page Length: 496 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

The Trees. They arrived in the night: wrenching through the ground, thundering up into the air, and turning Adrien's suburban street into a shadowy forest. Shocked by the sight but determined to get some answers, he ventures out, passing destroyed buildings, felled power lines, and broken bodies still wrapped in tattered bed linens hanging from branches.

It is soon apparent that no help is coming and that these trees, which seem the work of centuries rather than hours, span far beyond the town. As far, perhaps, as the coast, where across the sea in Ireland, Adrien's wife is away on a business trip and there is no way of knowing whether she is alive or dead.

When Adrien meets Hannah, a woman who, unlike him, believes that the coming of the trees may signal renewal rather than destruction and Seb, her technology-obsessed son, they persuade him to join them. Together, they pack up what remains of the lives they once had and set out on a quest to find Hannah's forester brother and Adrien's wife--and to discover just how deep the forest goes.

Their journey through the trees will take them into unimaginable territory: to a place of terrible beauty and violence, of deadly enemies and unexpected allies, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness--and also the power--inside themselves.

5 Stars

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The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen ARC {4.5 Stars}

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen is a middle grade fantasy that features strong, likable characters and a subtle mystery that unfolds gently and gradually through most of the book.  As young readers start putting together pieces of the puzzle, pages will turn in a rush to find out the truth behind the Scourge.

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

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen ARC {4.5 Stars}

The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Published by Scholastic on August 30, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor's wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge -- and quarantine colony -- for the ill. The Scourge's victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn't know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She's been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.

But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Hike by Drew Magary {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 Hike by Drew Magary is as odd as its cover implies, but it is not actually the strangest book I’ve ever read ;-). If you enjoy things a bit strange, but with an intriguing mystery, I suspect this would be a fun book for you.

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

The Hike by Drew Magary {Just Hatched}

The Hike by Drew Magary
Published by Viking Adult on Aug. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy, Genre-bender
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

From the author of The Postmortal, a fantasy saga unlike any you’ve read before, weaving elements of folk tale and video game into a riveting, unforgettable adventure of what a man will endure to return to his family
 
When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.

On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the “Producer,” the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path.

At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.

3 Stars

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The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power eARC {3.5 Stars}

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power is a story about survival, revenge and dragons. This is one of those books where the comparisons seem pretty accurate (George RR Martin and Naomi Novik) though I’d throw in a Castaway reference too to really round things out. I strangely love stranded and needing to build up structures for long term survival stories (I played a lot of Harvest Moon as a kid okay??), so I really enjoyed that aspect that you don’t find a lot in fantasy books. Plus, you know, dragons!

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

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power eARC {3.5 Stars}

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.

He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.

Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won't be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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