Saturday, January 30, 2016

City of Blades

4 Stars

I began this novel knowing it was a sequel and that I had not read the first, City of Stairs, in the Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett. Luckily, this book can be a stand alone read and I was able to follow and enjoy the story without the aid of book 1.

I did find, however, I had some trouble reading the book in that I never found that hook that kept me going. It took me some time of consideration to realize the cause of my slight disinterest. The story contains a lot of dialogue, very intricate and informative, but not a lot of action. What drives the story is the interaction between characters, without any actual interaction. What I mean is, there's a lot of conversation without any action in between. Characters talk and talk and don't do so much as walk into another room or slam a book across the room in outrage.

On top of a lack of body language and minute observations of character's behavior, there is very little description of the world around the characters. I wasn't always clear on whether they were inside or outside until a small clue was given and these grand views they experience are left to the imagination. I think if I could more acutely imagine the world I'm reading about, the story would have been much more intriguing.

The plot is rich, the story has intrigue, but somehow it all lacks an enticing flare. I found I wanted to continue, I wanted to know more, but only out of slight curiosity, not from the usual insatiable drive of uncovering the mysteries of a strange new world.

Our main character, Mulagesh, clearly has PTSD from her tour of duty which is a very interesting perspective in a fantasy novel. Most fantasy characters are war driven, hard and full of honor and it's refreshing to see a character so vulnerable even with her exceptional strength. Mulagesh needs no one, she's a strong woman and a strong leader and I enjoyed reading about a real woman with a head on her shoulders and no room for bullshit. I do wonder how much experience the author has with PTSD and what research he did. Mulagesh tells herself to focus, to remember where she is, but it's not always that easy and there are many unique symptoms of PTSD he could touch on and make her character very real and relatable.

It's a good book, I'm not sure I would have picked it up if it weren't for the opportunity given to me by Blogging for Books. There is a definite mystery to be solved and the author holds out until the end, leaving bread crumbs along the way. City of Blades is an intriguing read that will keep you guessing until the end.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

NEVER NIGHT Cover Reveal Day!

Check it out! Jay Kristoff's new book NeverNight just revealed its cover! Its amazing and fantastic and I want it and there are giveaways going on RIGHT NOW so get on it!

Check out Jay's blog for more

Friday, January 22, 2016

Top Anticipated MUST READ Books of 1016

2016 = New Releases!

Which means all those books I was dying to read in 2015 are that much closer to being read!

Here are my top 5 books I can't wait to release and I MUST READ this year!

1) The Last Mortal Bond (The Unhewn Throne Book 3)

       Releases March 15, 2016

This book is at the top of my list! If you haven't read the first two books of the series, there's still time! 

If my word isn't enough, you can check out the first seven chapters of The Emperor's Blades (The Unhewn Throne #1) Here: Free Sample

The climactic third and final novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne
The trilogy that began with The Emperor's Blades and continued in The Providence of Fire reaches its epic conclusion, as war engulfs the Annurian Empire. 

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own. 

But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all--Valyn, Adare, and Kaden--come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.

Can't wait for the release? Start reading NOW! Tor is posting two chapters a week until the release! Read it Now!

2) The Wheel of Osheim (The Red Queen's War #3)
       Releases June 2, 2016

All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri Ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth, getting back out alive and with Loki’s key is all that matters. Loki’s creation can open any lock, any door, and it may also be the key to Jalan’s fortune back in the living world.

Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate however has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end it’s win or die.

3) In the Labyrinth of Drakes (Memoir by Lady Trent #4)
       Releases April 15, 2016

The thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, as the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia.

Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.

As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.

I have already read an Advanced Copy of In the Labyrinth of Drakes and my review can be found Here. I cannot speak enough on the brilliance of Lady Trent's story and how much I enjoyed these books. There is one more upcoming book to finish the series, which if you haven't read-pick up a copy of A Natural History of Dragons and give it a try. All the books listed here are among my favorite series and authors-ever-but the Lady Trent series really holds a special place on my book shelf.

4) NeverNight-Jay Kristoff
       Releases August 9, 2016

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic — the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Also by Jay Kristoff-Gemina!      
There is no available cover photo yet, but Gemina is scheduled to release late 2016 

This is the only given description so far:
The second book of the ILLUMINAE FILES pubs Fall 2016 and takes place on a space station.

But this book is an absolute MUST READ! If you have not yet read Illuminae-Do it! It's a completely new and imaginatively formatted book that you will fall in love with.

If you haven't read any of Jay Kristoff's books-You're seriously missing out. He has also written the Lotus War Series- A Japanese Steampunk that will blow your mind. Pick up Illuminae and Stormdancer and you won't regret it.

5) The Fireman
     Releases May 17, 2016

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe. 

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

You can sample the first several pages of The Fireman Here

Also by Joe Hill that are great reads are Locke & Key, Wraith, and NOS4A2.

I need these books YESTERDAY, but at least they're that much closer to release. I hope you check out some of my favorite books and authors and have a great year of reading!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2016 Reads

By looking at my blog since 2016 began it would seem I haven't read anything since the start of the new year. That's not the case at all, I simply haven't found a book I've felt like blogging about. So, I'll blog about all of them.

3.5 Stars

First off this year, I finally read the sequel to Lies and Prophecy, one of Marie Brennan's first books that she self published. There's a prequel as well, Welcome to Welton that isn't a necessary read, but it answers a few questions and fills in gaps in the timeline, so if you're going to read the series, I suggest picking up a copy of the prequel.

The original two books I read after supporting Brennan's kickstarter, a project she put together to get the next part of the story finally finished. 

I wasn't particularly disappointed with backing the project... Lies and Prophecy was one of her first books, definitely not the best read, but it was entertaining enough to keep me interested in the next installment and that I was disappointed in.

In Chains and Memory, a lot happens to accomplish nothing... Very little interaction occurs with the Sidh, in fact, the story has really nothing to do with the otherworld that was so imminently threatening the human world. Several months after the Sidh were meant to invade and take over, nothing has happened. No rash decisions have been made, no major changes to life as we know it. Everyone's still waiting.

And we're still waiting.

It's more a political statement than an urban fantasy adventure. If you like politics, you might enjoy it. Otherwise it fell a bit flat and I was disappointed.

Not a good start to 2016.

5 Stars

Next up was Debtors Planet (I couldn't find a good picture of the cover-sorry)

If you like Star Trek The Next Generation and you enjoy stories of the Ferengi then this is an excellent read. 

I personally hate the Ferengi and even I enjoyed this book. The characters were well written and the dialogue was true to their personalities which can be hard to come by in Star Trek books. 

I'm waiting to release my review of this next book as it's going to be the first book of the month for a local author, but next up was Shadows of the Past.

No Rating

I was introduced to Shadows of the Past by a friend, I'll get in touch with the author and let you know what I thought soon.

5 Stars

So I moved on to another Star Trek book I picked up from a thrift store. I love finding hardcover Star Treks in good condition 😊

This is an Original Series read I really enjoyed. The characters were spot on, the story was a mystery until the authors decided to reveal their secrets, the plot was daring and historical events were on point. I loved it and I particularly appreciated their reference to the point at which all civilizations became entranced with the dream of stars- the point where they are ready for space travel and to explore new worlds.

It's a whole new look at the Prime Directive and it's faults as well as it's necessity. 

For TOS lovers, it's a must read storyline into the lives of the Enterprise crew.

Moving on from The Prime Directive I'm heading into the City of Blades-a fantasy novel sequel to City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. Let's hope 2016 keeps getting better!