Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Wrap Up

So this reading month was pretty good.  Not as many books as last month, but they were pretty good reads.  I put them in order of best to worst below, so click them if you're interested!  And thanks for stopping by.

Book Reviews
Golden Son (Red Rising, #2) by Pierce Brown 5 Stars
The Mime Order (Bone Season, #2) by Samantha Shannon 5 Stars
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1) by Rae Carson 4.5 Stars
Red Rising (Red Rising, #1) by Pierce Brown 4.5 Stars
Seeker (Seeker, #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton 3 Stars

Graphic Novel Reviews
Trees (Trees, Vol. 1) 3 Stars

CD Reviews
Smoke + Mirrors (Imagine Dragons) A

a note on my reviews: I use numbers (0-5 Stars) to rate books, graphic novels and comics, and manga; 0 being a DNF, 5 being flipping amazing.  I use letters (A+-F-) to rate movies, shows, and CDs; A+ being the best, F- being the worst

Friday, February 27, 2015

First Impression Friday: The Night Circus

First Impression Friday is a weekly meme where you choose a book you plan on reading soon and post what you think it may be about.  This week I chose The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called "Le Cirque des Reves," and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Basically, I've been wanting to read this book for ages.  I think it's on every book blogger's TBR list at some point or another because it has garnered such attention.  The writing is supposed to be fantastic, the story intriguing, and just an all around great read.  I'm hoping this is as enchanting as the cover leads me to believe.  I think it'll be somewhere in the range of The Enchanted or something Neil Gaiman has written.

What books have left their impression on you this week?  Leave a link in the comments!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What's Next: What's Left of the Storm Moon

What's next is a meme hosted over at Iceybooks (who you should go check out immediately!) that gives you guys a chance to pick what book I'll be reading next.  This week's options are (drum roll please)...

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) by Kat Zhang
I should not exist. But I do.
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
Let the Storm Break (Sky Fall, #2) by Shannon Messenger
Whirlwind romance and breathtaking action continues in the sequel to Let the Sky Fallwhich Becca Fitzpatrick called “charged and romantic.” 
Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.
But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.
With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?
Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson 
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long injured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. 
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze. 
But it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand...

So what do you guys think I should read next?  I wanna know!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Shadows

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine and allows readers to showcase the books they're drooling over.

This week I'm showing off a book that doesn't even have a cover yet... Queen of Shadows by the amazing Sarah J Maas.  Here's the placeholder and description from goodreads:

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Need I say more?  Yeah, if you'r not reading these books you definitely need to be.  Go fix that before this book comes out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Trees (Vol. #1)

Author| Warren Ellis
Illustrator| Jason Howard
Edition| eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Publisher| Image Comics
Genre| Sci-Fi (mature audiences)
Rating| 3 Stars
Release Date| February 11th, 2015

I received a copy of Trees from Image Comics via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

My first thought upon completion: the people on tumblr would LOVE this book.  I'm actually serious.  So, yeah, if you see me promoting this on tumblr... maybe pick it up?   If you don't spend a lot of time of tumblr, or just stay in one zone (where it's still light out and safe), you may be unaware that it's full of people with strong opinions, specifically on diversity and representation in the media.  I don't say this as a bad thing- I spend nearly all my time on tumblr and rarely regret it.

But I digress.  Trees is an interesting read.  It was not what I expected at all, and I think that's what really bothered me about this one.  I thought it would have more sci-fi elements, but it's really just using alien invasion in the form of "trees" as a backdrop.  It's real focus is on the people in this world and through them delivers a commentary on sexuality, politics, the government, science, race, etc.  It covers a little bit of everything.  And that aspect of it was pretty cool and long lasting- it's something I will think about for a long time.

But, but, but... it had absolutely no plot.  I mean, the story it told seemed like it was just a conglomeration of secondary stories.  The only story with momentum- the scientist one- was haphazard and messy.  I'm still not sure what happened.

Another big problem was in the beginning.  We meet several characters in several places, only to watch about half of those stories get shoved to the side.  The interesting introduction doesn't even look like it will pay off until a sequel, possibly a third.  And he exposition took forever!  It would have been introduced much easier and faster, I'm sure.

I don't think I'll be picking up the sequel unless it's from the library.  However, saying that, I'll be recommending this book to loads of people.  What it is really getting at is important and thought-provoking.  I just wish it were advertised that way.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Author| Rae Carson
Edition| kindle eBook
Genre| YA-Epic Fantasy
Publisher| Greenwillow
Rating| 4.5 Stars
This book, guys, this book!  It was such a refresher, and I mean that in every sense of the word.  I've heard good things about this one but I've always put off reading it... for no reason, really.  But then, after Seeker, I wasn't in the mood for anything in particular.  So I randomly chose a book on my kindle, and voila! this masterpiece happens to be that book.

I have never related to a character so well.  Elisa was everything to me.  She's overweight, insecure, hoping for romance, smart, and stubborn.  She loves to eat and she loves her religion.  The second I started reading through her eyes I felt so comfortable.  It's rare for me to find the main character as my favorite, but Elisa is not even being challenged for this title.

I'm getting ahead of myself though: let me tell you what this book is about.  Elisa was chosen by God to be the bearer of a Godstone, meaning she's meant to perform an incredible act of goodness.  When she turns sixteen, she is married to the widowed king of the neighboring kingdom.  She's not sure if she loves him or if he loves her or what her role is even supposed to be... until she's kidnapped in the middle of the night and brought to the edge of her country to help fight a war.

Has it caught your attention yet?  Good, because it's everything it promises and more.  This book, in addition to having a remarkable main character, features a fantasy setting I haven't read before.  It's somewhere between Latina and Middle Eastern and very rich in colors and words.  The prince-charming aspect that I expected coming in was broken down, too.  I won't tell you how or when, but it's very surprising to say the least.

The big thing that really bothered me, though, was that the side characters didn't seem as real in comparison to Elisa.  They were pretty much all fully fleshed out, given intriguing back-stories, and diverse.  However, they weren't amazing.  I don't know what the best word would be, but it's something like lackluster.  Perhaps they just paled in comparison to Elisa.  I couldn't actually tell you.  But that brings this book, sadly, down from five stars.

I recommend this book for fantasy fans of all ages.  It's one of those pieces that could appeal to anyone.  And contemporary readers, too.  It may not seem it on the surface, but it really does have an underlying tone that contemporaries seem to have as well.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

CD Review: Smoke + Mirrors

Artist| Imagine Dragons

I'm actually a pretty big Imagine Dragons fan, if you weren't aware.  I loved their debut album, Night Visions, and their first single after that, Monster, but after that I felt like everything fell to pieces.  It wasn't that their music was bad, but it seemed to be drifting away from my tastes.  My dad prompted me to pre-order this album, though, and I took heed of his advice.  I'm so glad I did.

The album was immediately stunning and new.  They're a great band when you're looking for something that the radio isn't playing.  Honestly, the music making it into my radio stations is getting on my nerves and Smoke + Mirrors is a wonderful refresher.

I must point out that my favorite songs are Smoke + Mirrors, Polaroid, and Friction, while Shots, Trouble, and Hopekess Opus are quick seconds.  I'd give this album a A, and recommend that you pick it up immediately.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Star Book Review: Golden Son (Red Rising, #2)

Author| Pierce Brown
Edition| Kindle eBook
Genre| Science Fiction/Dystopian
Publisher| Del Ray
Rating| 5 Stars
Other Posts| FIF, Red Rising

This post has SPOILERS FOR BOOK ONE so read at your own risk.

This book messed me up.  It's so good, I don't even know where to start.  In fact, it has set me down a Sci-fi crave, which I've never had before.  I'm calling it now- this is going to be a big year for Science Fiction for me unlike anything in the past.

Golden Son picks up right where Red Rising left off- sort of.  It does start over a year later, but very little has happened in that time and everything is quickly explained in the first chapter.  There is also very little reminder of what happened in book one, so if it's been a while since reading Red Rising, maybe look up a refresher.  If you just finished the first, quickly pick this one up, because it's best enjoyed that way.  When we reenter the world of Red Rising Darrow is a Lancer for Nero au Augustus alongside Roque, Tactus, and Victra (who's Antonia's sister).  Within two chapters he loses Augustus' favor and is on the loosing track.  So he thinks on his feet, makes a deal with the devil, and ends up starting something with far reaching consequences.

All the characters are given new sides to view in this book.  Any who may have had one-dimensional-ness in the first are far from it in this one, and every new character is treated with the same respect.  The character growth, too, is astounding.  At this point I think it's safe to say that everyone is on the path they will be headed down for the final installment.

The world in this one was so massive- I loved it!  We get to follow Darrow around, and while a lot of it takes place aboard space craft, just as much is on other planets and moons.  Getting to reach into the universe was so much fun, and probably the reason I like this one better than the first.  Besides Gold's and Red's taking center stage, other colors are introduced in larger parts, especially Obsidian's in the form of Ragnar, and Blue's in the form of Orion.

So many moments are perfect for feels, and I won't give any away, but they touch at your heart.  I wish I could say more about the book, but giving anything else might just spoil everything.  I will warn you: when you finish you'll wish the third book were out.  The story is just that good!  Hopefully you guys will heed my advice and pick up these must reads- they're definitely going on my favorite shelf for life!

Friday, February 20, 2015

First Impression Friday: Seraphina

First Impression Friday is a meme where you choose a book that you haven't read and share with everyone what you think it's about.

This week I'm going with Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  Here's the gorgeous cover and a description courtesy of Goodreads:
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
I absolutely love dragons, but I often find myself disappointed by books with dragons.  Neither Talon nor Firelight lived up to my expectations, so I'm rather wary about this one.  However, I've been in such a fantasy kick, plus it's won an award!  I'm hoping for only good vibes.  It strikes me as something that would have a dated feel, like an Arthurian legend, which isn't a bad thing.  And I also feel like it will leave me reeling over it's awesomeness and mind-blowing prose.

What books have impressed upon you lately?  Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)

Author| Pierce Brown
Edition| Kindle eBook
Genre| Science Fiction/Dystopian
Publisher| Del Ray
Rating| 4.5 Stars
Other Posts| FIF

My friend, K, says this is her favorite book series of all time so I promised to read it.  And this book... this book!  People, I have heard good things about it, it has been compared to Hunger Games and Ender's Game all the time.  Normally, that's a little too much hype and not enough accuracy.  In this case, it is absolutely spot on.

I can't say much because it is best to go into this book a little unprepared, but it follows Darrow, a red.  Red's are the lowest members of a society based on a caste system where each level is designated by a color.  Gold's are at the top.  As a Red, Darrow mines in the depths of Mars for a material that allows people to terraform the planet's surface and make it habitable.  Things aren't great for Red's- they live in horrible cramped conditions.  Darrow's wife, Eo, is a bit of a revolutionary thinker, and her thinking gets them into a mess that eventually leads Darrow to discover the truth- he's been lied to the whole time.

This is one of the most fully realized world's I have ever read.  I can't find any discrepancies in the world-building and I have tried.  It's so grand and so unique!  It takes place in space and is wonderfully entertaining.  This book does ride rather close to Hunger Games, but it also has several differences that might make it better.  How dare I say that?  Well, I am a fan of Hunger Games, but it's also definitely a YA book and while that series is dark and serious, this one gets a little more so.  Whereas it takes until Mockingjay to really see the actual evils of war, Red Rising hits it square on the nose right away.

The characters are easily the best part though.  There are so many!  And the greatest thing is that none of them are really one-dimensional.  Each major character has their own motivations, their own plans, and their own thoughts.  They move towards their own goals and it creates this feeling of uncertainty for Darrow and the reader.  Each character is smart, too.  My favorite part of any book is when the characters can pull one over on me or when they make decisions that actually make sense!  I never once found myself thinking someone should have done something different.  The language- which is absolutely gorgeous and rather Shakespearean- is a perfect compliment to the brains behind each member.  For those wondering, in this book, Sevro, Antonia, and Pax are my favorite.

I did find some aspects of this book frustrating- namely the learning Darrow has to go through.  It's not so much what he learns- it was really great character growth, actually- but the repetition of how he learns his lessons.  He would rise, and then fall drastically, and have to pick up the pieces.  Yes, that's a great way to teach a lesson, but by the end it became a little redundant and the cycle almost predictable.  I kind begin to pinpoint when he would fall again.

This book runs forward at breakneck speed and gives no time to breath.  Which is wonderful.  There are so many twists and turns that my head was spinning.  And they're unpredictable because there's nothing that leads you to expect something.  If you do suspect something, it's because the author wants you to so that when the carpet is pulled out from under you even faster.

Basically, I've already recommended this book to so many people.  I am going through withdrawals, actually.  That's how good it is.  It's so immersive!  And I recommend reading this book alongside its sequel.  Especially if you want to torture yourself.  Please, please, please go pick this one up immediately!  You won't regret it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Morning Star

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine and offers bloggers a chance to showcase the books they're drooling over.

This week I'm sharing a book that doesn't come out until January of next year... and I don't think I can wait that long.  This book is Morning Star the final book in the Red Rising trilogy.
I just finished the first two books and they are fantastic!  Get on those if you haven't.  Because this is the last book in a series I can't really say much about it, except that it promises to be an epic conclusion to a series full of twists and turns that are not for the faint of heart.

For those wondering, the thing on the cover is a Sling Blade (oh the feels!).

Basically read this series so that you can wait with me (in misery (just kidding (not really))).  Can you tell these books have ruined me?  I can tell!

Leave a link in the comments and I'll check out your WoW.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Updates (#ReadRising and some general stuff)

For those of you who partook in my #ReadRising marathon, thanks so much!  I have so many bottled up emotions after those two books and it has left me a pile of mush.  But forward, I suppose, I must go, or I won't make it to Morning Star.

Sorry for my lack of posting lately, but I've had a lot of stress.  Which is, hopefully, now all over.  Interesting tidbit, though, apparently I really, really need glasses.  I've always been nearsighted, but it has gotten worse and I need to wear specs constantly now.  That'll be an interesting change.

So here's my posting schedule for the next week or so.  I should be able to keep up on it.  I've also got a giveaway I'm trying to organize coming up.  Stay tuned for that, because I'll be giving away one of my absolute favorite books!  (But not for some time yet, and if it doesn't come in the next couple of weeks, that means I'm just collecting more books to give away, so stay patient...).

Wednesday| WoW- Morning Star
Thursday| Red Rising Review
Friday| First Impression Friday- Seraphina
Saturday| Golden Son Review
Sunday| Smoke and Mirrors Review
Monday| Girl of Fire and Thorns Review
Tuesday| Trees Review
Wednesday| WoW
Thursday| Of Shadow and Stone or Hero of Ages Review

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: Seeker (Seeker, #1)

Author| Arwen Elys Dayton
Edition| eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Genre| YA Fantasy
Publisher| Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating| 3 Stars

I received this book as an ARC via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you netgalley!

I've seen this book around the bookish community quite a bit.  And, unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have been quite a hit.  Most people DNF'd it at 40%.  Which made me very eager to give it a try.  A challenge, I told myself.  See if I can make it.

I was very eager to give it up at around 40%.  I totally see why a lot of people did.  But I kept trucking forward because those who finished said it was actually a pretty good book.  I don't think I can go that far in my own thoughts, but things did start picking up after the Interlude.  In the end it all wrapped up and the beginning finally made sense.

Some books commit the sin of info dumping.  This book did the exact opposite.  It told you absolutely nothing about the plot or the world.  Even after finishing there are some things I'm rather unsteady about.  For example, I have no idea what a Seeker actually is.  And, particularly in the beginning, I'm not sure of the setting.  Location, perhaps, but time, not very much.  It starts with what could be the Dark Ages and ends in what could be the near future.  It's just ambiguous.

My biggest problem lies in the marketing.  I've seen it toted around as epic fantasy.  It is not epic fantasy.  Not even really that close.

I need to cut to the chase.  This book is about four people: Quin, Shinobu, John, and Maud.  It goes between all four perspectives and each has their own story that is likewise tied into the major plot.  Quin is the daughter of Briac and has been training her whole life to be a Seeker.  Shinobu is her distant relative and has also been training to be a Seeker.  John is from a different family with a dark past and is also training to be a Seeker.  Maud is something else entirely- a Dread, and she is a sort of guardian of Seekers.  The book starts with them on their last leg of training and John doesn't make it.  He fails out of Seeker school.  Angry, he turns to his revenge plot (I don't know why he couldn't have just done that in the first place).  Shinobu and Quin become Seekers but find they have been lied to the whole time and it deeply disturbs them.  And then they become aware of John's revenge plot.

The characters: I loved Shinobu and Maud.  They were so cool and easily the most fully realized of the cast.  I feel like if the story had belonged to just one of them it would have been pretty great.  As for Quin, who I believe is intended to be the actual main character, I never thought I knew her.  I have absolutely no opinion on her character because I felt distanced from her the whole time.  And then John.  I hate John.  With a passion.  I don't know if he was intended to be a villain, but I can see him as nothing less.  In my eyes he has no redeeming characteristics.  He adds an interesting layer to the story, making it more gray than black and white, but he also made an enemy of me.

I don't think there's much more to say.  I know this review is rather disjointed, but that's how I felt reading the book, too.  I have no intention of reading the second book, but I also don't consider this one a waste of time like I've noticed other's have.  Perhaps it will be right up your alley and I'm not saying don't give it a try.  I'm saying, borrow it from your library.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Fire Sermon

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine and allows readers a chance to showcase the books they're drooling over.

Two quick confessions:
1. I haven't been blogging as much because I have been out of sorts, originally with just a swollen ankle and pulled muscle, then with a rather bothersome cold, and now with an ear infection.  All in less than a week.
2. I already have a copy of the book I'm about to show you.

This week I'm showcasing The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig.  Let me allow goodreads to do all the talking:
The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined first novel in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other.
Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.
So, yes, The Fire Sermon.  Of which I can't find the official cover anywhere, so here's the placeholder picture goodreads offers up:
If anyone knows what the official cover looks like, please let me know because I'm rather anxious to see it.

As for why I'm showcasing a book I already have.  Well, it is, for one, a top-anticipated book of the year for me.  And when I got the ARC via netgalley I started screaming in joy.  However, I have yet to read it, so I thought it might still count.

Let me know down below what you're waiting on!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A (late) WoW, FIF, and Readathon

So, I may have been much busier this week than I thought I would be.... Which means I didn't get the chance to post my weekly meme's.  So, I'm doing that now.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine and offers readers a chance to showcase the books they're drooling over.  This week I'm waiting on The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker.
This is a bit of a long wait- the book doesn't release until early June- but I think it sounds worth it.  Here's the description from Goodreads:
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can track down the person who laid a deadly curse on him.
As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
So it sounds like it may be a little hyped, and I have in fact noticed quite a few books this year being compared to Graceling and Game of Thrones.  Regardless, it sounds like a lot of fun.  What books are you waiting on this week?

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First Impression Friday is a meme I've started where I choose a book I've recently gotten hold of or plan to read soon and whatever impression I have without cracking it open.  This week I'm showcasing The 100 by Kass Morgan.  I haven't started the show yet, but I have every intention of it. My goal is to read the first book then watch the first season and compare.  I don't know if there's a correlation or not, but it could be fun.
I have heard lackluster things about the book, and about the first season of the show, but season two is supposed to be phenomenal, and I'm hoping if I can plow through this one, the rest of the series will follow suit.

I have a general idea of what this book's about- juvenile delinquents are sent to earth after a hundred years away to decide whether it can be repopulated.  I think there may be savages on earth, too?  Anyways, lots of hardships and lots of relationships.  Looking forward to it.

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So, as far as the readathon I mention in the title, I'm planning on hosting one!  My friend has been begging me to read Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown, and since I don't exactly have anyone to spend Valentine's Day with, I thought I'd host one over that weekend.  So, from Friday, February 13th, through Tuesday, February 17th, I'll be binge-reading the two books in the series.  Please join me!  And use the #ReadRising on twitter and tumblr so we can all interact.  Please, please, please read along with me. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

5 Star Book Review: The Mime Order (Bone Season, #2)

Author| Samantha Shannon
Edition| Hardback
Genre| New Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Publisher| Bloomsbury USA
Rating| 5 Stars

This review is SPOILER FREE.  Please be just as courteous in the comments, thanks!

I was so afraid to read this book.  Trembling, actually.  I loved the first one so much, and I read it right after it came out, that I couldn't imagine a sequel actually happening and being any different.  I was so drunk on everything the first brought to the table that I couldn't even begin to imagine a second course.  So when it came time to read it, I was afraid.

But that fear did not keep me back!  No, I read this book and I absolutely loved it.  I think I liked it better than the first.  No, I KNOW I liked it better than the first.  The world building was what I lived for.  It was so beautiful and so unique.  I can imagine living in the syndicate myself.  In fact, world-building-wise, it wrapped up every problem I had with the first one.

While I could go on and on about everything I loved, I thought I'd point out the few things that were less satisfying.  There are two glaring smudges on what could be a perfect story.  The romance, and the smaller characters.

I like Paige.  And I like Warden.  And I like them together.  And I don't want them to be with anyone else.  Yet, their relationship doesn't hold any spark for me.  I want it to sizzle and burn and become something that gives my heart the chills.  Instead it's just ink on paper.  And in this book, very underdeveloped.  It takes Warden a while to be reintroduced, and after that, he stays stagnant.  The next book seems to promise much more, and the first book clearly had quite a bit of him, but this one, serving as a bridge, fell flat in that regard.

As for the side characters, I did come to love all the new ones incorporated.  And I love all of the old ones too.  Which is the problem.  Samantha Shannon seems to be the prodigy of George RR Martin because I'm convinced everyone will be dead in the end.  With lives she is so fleeting and, almost, careless.  I know it's not carelessness, but when so many people are dropping, the effect seems to lose itself.  This is just a personal thought, though, and something I carry over from my experience with Bone Season.  I don't think this should dissuade anyone from reading the book in the least.

Now I must wait for the third book.  Which will also frighten me, I am sure.  Happy reading!  (Also, I'm on Twitter now!  Find me @TsundokuSam)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Update and Release Day!

Masters of Blood and Bone Release Day!
If you haven't heard of this gem, check out it's goodreads page here or check out my review here.  Hint: I gave it five stars.  Really it's perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman (especially if you loved American Gods) or grimdark fantasy.  I think quite a few people will find it enjoyable.  And then, when you're done reading it, come back and we can talk about it because I have so much more to say!

So for the rest of the week you may not see me super active.  I've got a WoW planned for tomorrow and a FIF planned for, surprise, Friday.  You should see a review of The Mime Order up around Thursday or Friday, too.  I've also started watching Attack on Titan, so if I finish anytime soon you can expect a review of that.  Gosh, it's so intense.  Hope all of you dealing with this winter weather are okay- I know my state has been hit pretty hard.  Stay warm, guys.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February TBR

Last month I read eleven books and a total of 3,779 pages.  I would love to rival those numbers this month, so hopefully I'll get to it.  The books below are a tentative TBR, meaning that I want to read them as of this moment, but may or may not get to them.  If there's one in particular you want to see a review of let me know and I'll make sure I read that one.

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto
Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz
As Red as Blood & As White as Snow by Salla Simukka

Noragami Vol. 3 by Adachitoka
Seraph of the End vol. 1-3 by Takaya Kagami

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
Ghost Town by Rachel Caine
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study, and Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder
The 100 by Kass Morgan

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater