Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time!

If you’re unaware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly original feature created by The Broke and the Bookish, and it’s now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there’s a new Top Ten theme that the blogger responds to with their own list of answers.

This week’s theme is… *drumroll please*…

My Summer TBR

Some of these books (*cough* Mistborn *cough*) have been on my TBR lists for a very long time. I hope I can finish it, finally.

***
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios (technically a reread)
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (another reread)
The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine
Fireblood by Elly Blake
Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
Now I Rise & Bright We Burn by Kiersten White
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meaghan Spooner
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neil (a review book)
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

***

Alright, there you have it. My summer 2018 TBR. What did you put on your list? Let me know in the comments section.

Monday, June 18, 2018

2018 + 2019 Cover Reveals

So many new covers have been revealed these past few weeks. Here are my thoughts on ‘em.

Evermore
(Everless #2)
Publication Date: December 31, 2018
Hardcover, 336 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

My Thoughts

The first book in this series had a silver cover. I like silver much more than gold. The background is fine, and even the gold title font is pretty. However, there is a lot of gold. Also, there’s a lot of red, which I’m not a huge fan of either. I know it’ll look good next to it’s predecessor, though, so at least there’s that.

***

Slayer
(Slayer #1)
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Hardcover, 416 pages, Simon Pulse
Genres: YA, Paranormal

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that introduces a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers that she’s just beginning to understand.

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

My Thoughts

I was originally really worried about this cover. The way my roommate, who works at Simon & Schuster, talked, it was super ugly. I should have known better. We have complete opposite tastes in book covers. I actually really like this cover. One, because it’s purple, and two, because the pose is pretty kicka$$. The only thing I have to nitpick about is how bright red the hair is. It clashes a little with the purple.

***

The Cerulean
(Untitled Duology #1)
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Hardcover, 368 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

HarperTeen has acquired The Cerulean and an untitled sequel, a YA fantasy duology by Amy Ewing. The Cerulean tells the story of Sera, who lives in a Sapphic utopia where all women have three mothers and a young woman is chosen every 100 years to be abandoned on the planet below as a sacrifice. Publication is scheduled for 2019.

My Thoughts

I don’t know how I feel about this cover. It’s not bad, but it’s not my favorite. I liked her other trilogy’s covers better. I think this one reminds me a lot of the style of The Marked Girl, which is also a HarperTeen title. I bet they got the same designer for this cover. I like the color on this one, and the moon is cool. Maybe I’ll enjoy it more once a better description is released…?

***

Imprison the Sky
(The Elementae #2)
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Hardcover, 416 pages, Bloomsbury YA
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Aspasia, eighteen, an Elementae who controls air, gets caught in a battle between Cyrus, who forces her to capture slaves for market, and a queen whose husband experiments on Elementae.

Description for the first book, Reign the Earth: Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

My Thoughts

It’s very…blue. While I like blue, this is a very bright blue. I guess it’s better than the red of its predecessor, but I’m not a fan of super bright colors on book covers. I prefer a darker or softer tone. I think the girl (not sure if she’s a real model or an illustration) looks good, though.

***

The Red Scrolls of Magic
(The Eldest Curses #1)
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Hardcover, 432 pages, Margaret K. McElderly
Genres: Paranormal, Adult

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new trilogy featuring the centuries-old High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood after they survive the Mortal War.

Magnus Bane, a centuries old High Warlock, has taken possession of one of the great relics of the supernatural world, a powerful spell book of dark magic known as The Book of the White and there are many who want to claim it for themselves.

After the Mortal War where the part-human and part-angel Shadowhunters teamed with the part human-demon Downworlders to fight against the incursion of an army of demons, Magnus and his new lover, the mortal Alec Lightwood celebrate their survival and victory by escaping the supernatural battlefield of New York City by touring the world, but the world won’t leave them alone.

The first adult novel set within #1 New York Times bestselling author Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series, written with award-winning science fiction author Wesley Chu, is a fantasy thriller that will give new readers a great way to enter the Shadowhunters world and give the millions of readers across the globe answers they’ve been looking for in this start of The Eldest Curses trilogy.

My Thoughts

Oh man, am I disappointed by this cover. This thing is so ugly. I’m not a fan. At all. I was hoping for something either completely different from the TMI books, or the exact same style as the TMI books. Instead, I got a pattern-esque cover? I mean, why? Ugh. It’s just not pretty. Blugh!

***

The Perfect Assassin
(Assassins of Ghadid Trilogy #1)
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Paperback, 320 pages, Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore's The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy for fans of Robin Hobb, Sarah J. Maas, and Brent Weeks

The assassins of Ghadid serve a higher power, dispensing justice in the shadows. Or so Amastan has been taught.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, fellow assassins are being killed off. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders. Even worse, the jaan of the murdered start roaming the dusty streets of Ghadid, restless spirits seeking any body to possess.

Time is running short, and Amastan must find this perfect assassin or become their next target.

My Thoughts

Another cover that I don’t know how I feel about it. The font is cool, and the cover model looks bada$$, but the background is red and boring. I just don’t like red. I think a stone wall would have made for a better background image.

***

Empress of All Seasons
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Hardcover, 384 pages, HMH Books
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

My Thoughts

This is a very simple cover, so that’s alright. However, it’s not really my style. It’s not a bad cover, in my opinion, it’s just not a great one either. The font is pretty and blade is cool, but the background is a bit boring.

***

Those are some recently revealed covers. What do you think? Do you like them?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Review: War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

War Storm
(Red Queen #4)
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Hardcover, 662 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy/Dystopian

Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

My Review

I’ve been waiting for this book to release for so long, yet for some reason(s) I’ve tried to explain to myself, it took me almost an entire month to read this. Not that it was a terrible book or anything. I just have a lot going on during the week, and one of the weekends was BookCon, and I couldn’t take this behemoth of a book on the train ‘cause it’s gigantic, and… you see how my excuses are stacking up, right? But, anywho, I finished it finally, so here is my review.

To start off with, there was not enough Cal in this book. Yes, he was there, but everyone was so mean to him. The poor guy needed strategizers and advisors, yet everyone said, “Nope, we’re gonna do it this way instead. Peace out.” I also wasn’t too thrilled with the direction this book took about three-fourths of the way through. It was a lot of political I-won’t-help-you-unless-you-help-me-bullshit that works soooo well for getting things done. Note my sarcasm. This made the last 25% underwhelming. (Although, I can also attribute some of this to my noisy neighbors who were playing their music so loud that I found it hard to concentrate.)

I still enjoyed this book, despite my grievances with the last quarter where everyone seems out of character. There’s the cool powers and the awesome world-building. And the epilogue, though steeped with remnants from that meh 25% ending, was satisfying overall.

What I didn’t love were the chapters narrated by Iris. Like who the h-e-double-hockey-sticks are you? I don’t care. The book could have been 500 pages instead of 600 without her chapters. Everyone else’s were fine, even Evangeline’s were okay.

Umm… what else? Apparently, there are going to be more books, or at least novellas, set in this world coming in 2019. Not sure how I feel about that. I was happy the series was finished. I just don’t want it to end up, in my opinion, like The Mortal Instrument series or House of Night books where the stories just get dragged out. I’ll still end up reading them, though. *sigh*

All in all, not exactly what I was hoping for in the finale. I think all the characters continuously made stupid decisions, but there was action, cool powers, and Cal, so I guess I can’t complain too much.


*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Stacking the Shelves: The Take It, TAKE IT Edition


"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

This week wasn’t anything special in terms of exciting life events. The only thing I can think of that even sounds remotely exciting is that I started writing another book this week. We’ll see if I finish this one… I totally scrapped the last WIP I started. Oops.

Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley
Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller (ARC)
The Game Can’t Love You Back by Karole Cozzo

All three of these books were liberated from my work’s Take Shelves. The two contemporaries sound cute. Even though I’m not reading a lot of contemporary anymore, I grabbed them. I’m weak. What can I say?

As for Daughter of the Siren Queen, I haven’t read the first book, nor do I own it, but this ARC has been sitting on the Take Shelves for sooooo long. I told myself it was still there this week, I’d take it. And take I did.

Running With Lions by Julian Winters

Oh, and I almost forgot. I also got a ebook of Running With Lions on Kindle. It was cheap, and I thought, why not? That's basically been my motto all week.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.

Dean Winchester (and Jensen Ackles) must have his coffee before monster-hunting. I can't really relate. To both the coffee and the monster-hunting. I don't drink coffee, and I, unfortunately, don't monster-hunt.

Oh, and side note, I am now on episode 13 of season 13 of Supernatural, which means I should finish the entire season by the end of this month. Yay! Thank the television gods for Netflix!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Thoughts on the How to Train Your Dragon 3 Trailer

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels about the new How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World trailer. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ve posted it below.


GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! I don’t think that properly expresses how excited I am for this movie. It’s been so long since the second film came out, and even longer since the first one. I just recently re-watched both films, and I gotta say, they kept to the feeling of those films with this new trailer.

Now, I’m super enthusiastic for pretty much everything that was shown on screen here, but we have to talk about the one thing that seems to be on everyone’s minds: the female dragon, aka Toothless’s new girlfriend. A lot of people were upset that she had curves to emphasize her femininity. After all, Meatlug and Stormfly don’t have curves, and they’re female dragons. 

Toothless and the fake, fan-made female dragon.

And, I can see where they’re coming from. It is kind of stupid, especially when, instead of making her all shiny and such, they could have used this awesome fan-made version. However, I’m also interested in seeing how her appearance works with the new world Hiccup and Astrid discover. Can she blend into her surroundings with her sparkly scales? Does her disappearing act have something to do with her whiteness? I’m very intrigued.

As for everything else, holy cow! That one shot (can it be called a shot if it’s not a live-action movie?) with Hiccup and Toothless walking through the flames was awesome! Same with Toothless being all lightning-powered! I’m iffy on the beard, though. I’m hoping Astrid made Hiccup shave, and that’s why it’s not in the rest of the trailer. Or, it can be an ending/epilogue beard.

Oh, and did anyone else feel like bawling in the beginning intro? God, I don’t know how I’m going to live my life without Toothless in it. He’s just so freakin’ adorable! As shown not only by the replay of the first film scene, but also how clueless he is with his mating dances. Those weird, bird-like mating dances. Poor Toothless.

What I am curious about, though, is why there’s no Snotlout, Ruffnut, Tuffnut, or Fishlegs in the trailer. They’re in the Netflix show, so why weren’t they in the trailer? And, for that matter, where’s Hiccup’s mom? Curious… I’m not sure how the villain is going to play into everything, but he doesn’t seem as evil as the second movie’s bad guy. Honestly, I was hoping a little for a female villain, but like I mentioned, everything about this trailer is still absolutely amazing!

I know I’m going to be sobbing at the end of this film. Especially because I’ve heard the finale is going to reflect the ending the books’ author had in mind for her series. I just want my poor babies to be safe! Dreamworks, you better not hurt them! March 2019 cannot get here soon enough. In fact, I’m just going to take a ten-month-long nap. Wake me up when it’s release day.