Book Review: Fearless by Jennifer Jenkins (Nameless #3)

32991897Fearless
Author: Jennifer Jenkins
Series: Nameless #3
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Striker Gryphon has lost his position of honor among the Ram, and is now a hunted man. A traitor.

Zo, the object of his affection, was murdered by members of his former clan. To honor her memory, he journeys to the highly secretive Raven “Nest” to warn strangers of their impending demise—though it could cost him more than just his pride.

He doesn’t know that Zo is very much alive and in another part of the region assisting Nameless refugees over a mountain swarming with wild men known as “Clanless.”

As each struggle to make sense of what their lives have become, they fight and claw to reach the Allied Camp, their last hope in bringing peace to the region.

But the road back to one another is treacherous and uncertain. And freedom will come with a price.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This review will contain slight spoilers for the Nameless series. You can find my review of the first book, Nameless, over here and my review of the second book, Clanless, over here.

Wow, what a whirlwind this trilogy was! When I first picked up Nameless, I had no idea each book would leave me begging for more and that I would fall in love with its resilient characters, action-packed plot, and tremendous character growth. Jenkins is a great writer and catches readers up in this third book in no time. We’re preparing for war, though Zo and Gryphon both have secrets from the other that they’re waiting to reveal. Told from a limited third person POV between Zo and Gryphon , Fearless is an incredible ending to a YA fantasy series from an indie publisher that I recommend fantasy lovers to hurry and pick up!

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Book Review: Fireblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #2)

33784283Fireblood
Author: Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga #2
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

All hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust. The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to Frostblood, which you can find my review for here. It will contain slight spoilers!

While Fireblood was an exhilarating book – full of action and never a boring time in the plot – the excessive amount of familiar tropes that this series uses keeps me from lauding it as amazing, or a book to recommend for everyone. Like I said in my review of the first book, Frostblood, it’s more like a comfy blanket you would put on in front of the fireplace during a cold, snowy day when you’re in the mood to reread some of your old fave books. Blake is a great writer and certainly knows how to keep readers in suspense – plotwise though, you’re looking at nothing new from the YA fantasy books that have been out since the 2010’s. Comfortable while reading, but otherwise lacking in the newfound enjoyment that most fantasy books try to create and offer.

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ARC Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

28449207Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Book 1
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’m glad I could finally get to this book. Between my dislike of the author’s previous trilogy and all the hype, I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed Strange the Dreamer! I was wary of Taylor’s lyrical writing at first, but found myself getting used to it and its vivid descriptions as the book went on. While the first half was immensely slow, my patience was worth it for the revelations in the latter half of the book. Strange the Dreamer follows Lazlo Strange, one of the guys on the sidelines. He’s the quiet bookworm that people casually dismiss. But Lazlo Strange, resident dreamer and imaginer, may have hidden facets to his character that readers slowly come to discover. Continue reading

Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

25701463You’re Welcome, Universe
Author: Whitney Gardner
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Knopf
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve had a copy of You’re Welcome, Universe for the longest time but haven’t had the chance to pick it up until now. I’m so glad I did, because this book left me with all the feels. You’re Welcome, Universe follows the first person POV of Julia, a protagonist who is as flawed as she is artistic. I adored her growth throughout the story and how her role as an angry teen evolved towards someone who understands and appreciates the love surrounding her (or, less of an angry teen). As an artist myself, I really identified with Julia’s need to release her art and emotions into the world. However, I’d also like to add that Julia does participate in illegal activity in the book (street graffiti in public places) and shouldn’t be condoned. Other than that, You’re Welcome, Universe was a beautiful exploration of art, friendships, growth, and the love that we experience in our lives. Continue reading

Blog Tour and Giveaway! Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi Review + Fan Art

Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop for the Beasts Made of Night tour. I’m absolutely ECSTATIC to have y’all here, because there’s a lot going on in this post. I will be raving about this book; I will be sharing stunning graphics about this book; I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY for THREE winners of this book. What’s not to love? Let’s get started!

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ARC Review: The Sea King by CL Wilson (Weathermages of Mystral #2)

23496336The Sea King
Author: CL Wilson
Series: Weathermages of Mystral #2
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter King comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure set in the mystical land of Mystral…

He wasn’t supposed to choose her…

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn’t dare wed him…

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate’s gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear…

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer’s formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the companion sequel to The Winter King. However, this review will not have any major spoilers for the series.
Also: This book contains mature content (sexy times) and graphic violence. Please be aware!

After finishing The Winter King and thoroughly charmed by the sweet and powerful romance, as well as the expansive fantasy world that Wilson builds, I was instantly ready for the companion sequel. However, I wasn’t as enchanted with this sequel as I was with the first book. It was still a fairly good and diverting read – especially for a romance novel – but there were some things that just made it drag and felt slow for me. There is definitely a certain amount of cheesiness in the book that made me pause while reading, romantically and as a part of the world. Sometimes I’d squeal in second-hand embarrassment, and half the time I’d low-key enjoy it. Let’s just say I let this cheese slide because it helped develop the romance. Overall, I would recommend the first book over this one, although still recommend this one for readers who have already started the series. Continue reading

Book Review: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight #2)

27245910The Shadow Hour
Author: Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #2
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A battle has been won. But the war has only just begun.

Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.

The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.

Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.

She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.

Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is the sequel to The Girl at Midnight, and will contain spoilers for the series. You can find my review of the first book here.

I admit, I pretty much almost completely forgot what happened in The Girl at Midnight before starting this book. All I remembered were “bird-people” and “dragon-people” and “war.” That wasn’t wrong though! Fortunately enough, Grey does a good job at recapping what’s happened in the first book and I wasn’t too lost at all while starting the story. While I really enjoyed the action and adventure going on in this story, all the fighting and fun dialogue was a bit dimmed down by the dragging romances that I didn’t really enjoy. Overall though, there is never a boring spot in The Shadow Hour and remains a solid sequel for its predecessor, bringing readers ever closer to the oncoming battle that will happen. Continue reading

Blog Tour and Giveaway! Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao: Tour of the World

Hello everyone! I’m extremely happy to be the last stop for the blog tour of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao – a dark, vengeful fantasy that is as beautiful as it is deadly. In this tour stop, I’ll be taking you on a tour of the setting of the book. From the green landscapes to gleaming palace, Dao’s luscious writing makes every page a treat to read. The pictures I’ll be using are taken either by my father or me during our trips around the country, and I’ll be giving short descriptions at each stop. Ready for this?

33958230Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Author: Julie Dao
Series: Rise of the Empress #1
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Philomel Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her.
Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.
foatl1

Picture taken at Qingdao in Shandong Province

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns takes place in the continent of Feng Lu. Although the book is Chinese-inspired, the world itself houses many different groups of people and cultures. With that, this tour will follow the different locations that Xifeng travels to and parallels in China, as well as a little bit about the setting’s significance. Continue reading

ARC Review: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

31450960Song of the Current
Author: Sarah Tolcser
Series: Book 1
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

While I started The Song of the Current a while back, I put it down because the beginning didn’t draw me in. I didn’t pick it up again after thinking about starting a fantasy that takes place in the sea (or river, in this case). With an immersive fantasy world, action-packed plot that delivers adventure, and a sassy pirate I mean, privateer with precious cargo, this book did not disappoint! Especially after Caro’s defiant nature opens the precious cargo she was charged to deliver. After that event, the plot really gets rolling.

“The god at the bottom of the river speaks to wherrymen in the language of small things. And to the Oresteia family, always. Every one of them, going back to our blockade-running days.
Except me.”

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ARC Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

24974996Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“Dear Martin (AKA Dr. King),
First and foremost, please know I mean you no disrespect with the whole ‘Martin’ thing. I studied you and your teachings for a project in tenth grade, so it feels most natural to interact with you as a homie. Hope you don’t mind that.”

How can I not love this book? Dear Martin is a wonderful piece of work that explores important racial discussions that take place today through its nuanced, quick dialogue and exemplary introspection of the main character, Justyce. Even though this book was short at only 224 pages, it’s absolutely unforgettable and raises relevant discussion points. I really recommend this contemporary to all readers – they will not regret picking up this small but fierce and mighty book. Continue reading