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The Reader by Traci Chee ARC {4.5 Stars}

The Reader by Traci Chee will catch your eye immediately with that cover, but it will keep you hooked with its beautiful writing, fascinating magic, protagonists you just want to befriend, and pirates! I had high hopes but didn’t know what to expect from this book, and within a few chapters I could hardly contain my excitement because I had found one of those really special fantasies that remind you why you love reading.

Note: I borrowed an advanced copy of The Reader. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Reader by Traci Chee ARC {4.5 Stars}

The Reader by Traci Chee (The Sea of Ink and Gold #1)
Published by Putnam Juvenille on Sept. 13th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Half Lost by Sally Green Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

Half Lost by Sally Green is the conclusion to the Half Bad trilogy and wow did this trilogy wreck my emotions. Before I jump into specifics about this book below (with spoilers for the first two books), let me just say to those of you who haven’t started this trilogy that it is totally worth it. If you want morally ambiguous YA with homosexual relationships valued equally and cool magic, READ THIS NOW! Okay, now that I’ve addressed the uninitiated, let’s get to the good stuff ;-). I am literally tearing up as I read the description of this again and I finished it weeks ago!

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

Half Lost by Sally Green Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

Half Lost by Sally Green
Narrated by Carl Prekopp
(The Half Bad Trilogy #3)
Published by Viking Penguin on March 29th, 2016
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
Audio Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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This is the final battle.

The Alliance is losing the war, and their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Byrn, is losing his mind. Nathan’s tally of kills is rising, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved before she committed an unthinkable crime. An amulet protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance, but this amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, urges Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.

Set in modern-day Europe, the final book in the Half Bad trilogy is more than a story about witches. It’s a heart-achingly visceral look at survival and exploitation, the nature of good and evil, and the risks we take for love.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Everland by Wendy Spinale {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.

Everland by Wendy Spinale is a Peter Pan retelling set in a post-war England where London has been completely decimated and the kids remaining are barely surviving. I was drawn in by that gorgeous cover immediately and am happy that the steampunk wings show up right away. However, this seems like a retelling that is a bit too gimmicky for my taste.

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

Everland by Wendy Spinale {Just Hatched}

Everland by Wendy Spinale
Published by Scholastic Press on May 10th, 2016
Genres: Alternative History, Steampunk
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

2 Stars

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Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan {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.

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan intrigued me since it seems to start where many first books in a series end: Lucie has already found the boy she loves and gotten out of a horrible and unfair situation, so everything should be good now right? The mix of Light and Dark magic also appealed, though after the first chapter, the magic seems more typical than I at first hoped.

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

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan {Just Hatched}

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Published by Clarion on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

2.5 Stars

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A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry {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.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry grabbed me immediately with it’s Puerto Rico setting and magic based on poison. That seemed like a combination that couldn’t miss! I’m not hooked after the first chapter, but I imagine a lot of readers will enjoy this one.

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Fierce and Subtle Poison from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry {Just Hatched}

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
Published by Algonquin on Apr. 12th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

2.5 Stars

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is an absolutely beautiful fantasy that feels like a fairytale retelling, but pulls in Indian mythology and culture (and might be a retelling of a myth from Indian mythology? Let me know!). I went in expecting a romantic fantasy, but what I got was a heroine who refused to trust the handsome man who just rescued her under suspicious circumstances, a vivid world full of creepy monsters, and a freaking hilarious demon horse. I can’t wait to see what Chokshi writes next! If you’re excited about this book, check out my Kickstarter for a hardcover copy, two gorgeous items themed after it, and a recommendation list for what to read next!

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

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi eARC {4.5 Stars}

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Siren’s Song by Mary Weber eARC {3 Stars}

Siren’s Song by Mary Weber is the thrilling conclusion to the Storm Siren trilogy and Nym, our weather-wielding heroine, really has her work cut out for her! If you want to avoid spoilers for the previous books, check out my reviews of Storm Siren and Siren’s Fury instead.

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

Siren’s Song by Mary Weber eARC {3 Stars}

Siren's Song by Mary Weber (The Storm Siren Trilogy #3)
Published by Thomas Nelson on March 1st, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

Nym and Draewulf prepare to face off in a battle destined to destroy more lives than it saves.

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. Only to discover it may already be too late for the monarch and her eerie kingdom. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones—along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice—Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling . . . or surrender to a different strength—one of sacrifice?

Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Calamity by Brandon Sanderson ARC {5 Stars}

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson is the thrilling conclusion to the Reckoners trilogy, bringing back all of my favorite things from the first two books and providing long-awaited answers. I struggled a bit with Firefight, so was thrilled that Calamity felt like the ending I was looking for and made everything come full circle. I also rather liked David’s humor this time around ;-). There will be spoilers in the blurb for the first two books!

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

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson ARC {5 Stars}

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #3)
Published by Delacorte on Feb. 16th, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Superheroes, YA
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back...

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh eARC {4 Stars}

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh is a sci-fi thriller stand alone that is perfect for when you want a completely engrossing and fast-paced read that will keep you hooked to the very end. The premise fascinated me and I loved trying to guess what was really going on with these spheres of different colors that just randomly popped into existence a while ago. Fans of Illuminae, don’t miss this one!

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

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh eARC {4 Stars}

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
Published by Delacorte on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis {4 Stars}

Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis is the first book in an epic fantasy series full of fascinating magic and a team of close friends getting in way over their heads. I’m always on the hunt for new magic systems to learn every piece of, so I was thrilled to discover magic controlled by drawing specific glyphs in the air, paid for in blood. What I wasn’t expecting was a story focused on close friendship and making alliances with previous enemies when something much worse shows up. This is a great book for epic fantasy fans that are looking for a new world and magic to get lost in.

Note: This is an expedited review; I was paid to provide an unbiased review to the author and they chose for it to be published. For details, see my review policy.

Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis {4 Stars}

Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis (Tales of the Five Provinces)
Published by Author on May 1st, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 317 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Kara was thirteen when she learned her mother was dying. Five years later, the last component of her mother's cure waits in the city of Tarna, but that is one journey she may not survive.

Even as a Glyphbinder, a wielder of blood glyphs created by a people long dead, Kara is no match for the madman that hunts her or the dark forces at his beck and call. As those Kara loves fall one by one, her hunter's purpose is finally revealed.

Demons thought long defeated stir now in the shadows of her world, seeking a dark power hidden in Kara's blood. Tireless and without pity, these demons will not be satisfied until they claim Kara's world ... and her soul.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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