Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is: Books I Meant to Read in 2018.

31145148Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff


Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself. When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them.

22840421Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab


KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it. AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost. THE WAR HAS BEGUN. THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING. Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons. Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

30233110Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

18189606The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin


The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women. Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

27883214The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley


Maia D’Apliése and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home of ‘Atlantis’ – a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva – having been told that their beloved father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died. Maia and her sisters were all adopted by him as babies and, discovering he has already been buried at sea, each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage – a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of where her story began . . .

23299512Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor


Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too.

24485589The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli


In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer. These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

23592235The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan


For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood–and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed–to fuel and protect its empire. But when the drake blood lines began to fail, a perilous expedition was mounted to secure them. Claydon Torcreek survived the fraught mission through uncharted lands in pursuit of a myth that might have secured his people’s future. Instead he found a nightmare. The legendary White Drake was awoken from a millennia-long slumber, with a thirst to reduce the world of men to ashes, and the power to compel an army of Spoiled slaves to do it.

30095464Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray


Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret.

25733660The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell


Uther, the High King of Britain, has died, leaving the infant Mordred as his only heir. His uncle, the loyal and gifted warlord Arthur, now rules as caretaker for a country which has fallen into chaos – threats emerge from within the British kingdoms while vicious Saxon armies stand ready to invade. As he struggles to unite Britain and hold back the Saxon enemy, Arthur is embroiled in a doomed romance with beautiful Guinevere. Will the old-world magic of Merlin be enough to turn the tide of war in his favour.


What books did you want to read in 2018 but didn’t get to?
Let me know in the comments!


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Review: IN AN ABSENT DREAM by Seanan McGuire


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IN AN ABSENT DREAM
Seanan McGuire

SeriesWayward Children #4
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor.com
Pages: 187
Release date: January 8th 2019

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone . . .


BE SURE.


In an Absent Dream is whimsical and magical novella with a word-building that is fascinating in its details. The eerie atmosphere that surrounds and wraps itself around the Goblin Market remains strong throughout the entire story. Lundy’s journey is a complicated one, filled with rules and bargains, but it is delightful all the same.

Seanan McGuire adds another great installment to a series that becomes more unique and creative with each passing novella. The writing is beautiful as always, with a kind of lyrical tone to it, and it works so well with the fantasy aspects of the story. This is a wonderful and captivating read, even at its darkest moments. Continue reading

Review: WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson


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WORDS OF RADIANCE
Brandon Sanderson

SeriesThe Stormlight Archive #2
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 1.088
Release date: March 4th 2014

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.


“Power is an illusion of perception.”


Words of Radiance is a phenomenal Fantasy novel with a fascinating world-building and an intense and complex plot. The character development is excellent and the pace picks up quite a bit in relation to the previous novel, and that all comes together to deliver a story that is captivating, hopeful, and filled with to much magic, emotion, and tension that makes it impossible to put this book down.

Brandon Sanderson shows what he’s made of with this series. The writing is amazing! The multiple POVs flow together so smoothly and all complement each other, and the complexity of the plot and world-building is awe inspiring. This is such a monster of a novel, but every single chapter and interlude is expertly written to weave a story arc that is captivating in how detailed and rich it is. Continue reading

Review: THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee


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THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE
Mackenzi Lee

SeriesMontague Siblings #1
Genre: LGBTQ+, Historical, Young Adult
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 513
Release date: June 27th 2017

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.


“…I intend to have a damn good life.”


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a fast paced and humorous novel with a diverse cast of characters, quite a bit of action, and a surprising mystery that drives the plot. The historical setting works as a very interesting background to Monty’s story and personal journey, even as it does not shy away from the racism, sexism, and homophobia so present in that time.

Mackenzi Lee delivers a compelling story with this novel, which would have been more enjoyable if it focused more on Monty’s character development. The romance suffer a tad bit because of that, yet it still brings a lot of sweetness to the plot and helps balance out the action and danger that surrounds the characters. A fast read with lots of funny dialogue. Continue reading

WWW Wednesday: Read, Reading, Will Read (78)

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Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

   

1. Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan

Fantasy! I’m done with book 3, so halfway done with this collection! The humor and writing are great as always, and the multiple POVs are very well done. Could’ve done a bit without Hadrian angsting all the time, but hopefully that’ll get better in book 4.

2. Where Death Meets the Devil by L.J. Hayward

M/M Romance! I’m about 20% in and… I’m not really feeling it? The flashbacks are dragging the pace quite a bit for me. The concept is super interesting, so I do hope things pick up soon and the flashbacks are a thing throughout the entire novel.

3. The Wicked King by Holly Black

YA Fantasy! I’m really loving how fast paced this is! The narrative is still absolutely wonderful, especially as things get way way way more tense this time around. I’m feeling a bit off in regard to Jude, though? She seems a bit shaky, at least in the beginning of the novel.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire: YA Fantasy novella! Super creepy and with amazingly beautiful writing, but lacked a tiny bit of action.

What do you think you’ll read next?

22840421The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden


Fantasy! I’m pretty hesitant to read this because 1) I don’t want it to be over and 2) I love the series so much I’m scared this will disappoint me. But I gotta know how it eeeends.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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Top 10 Tuesday: 2018 New-To-Me Authors

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is: 2018 New-To-Me Authors

31145148Hailey Edwards (How to Save an Undead Life)


Grier Woolworth spends her nights weaving spooky tales of lost souls and tragedies for tourists on the streets of downtown Savannah. Hoop skirt and parasol aside, it’s not a bad gig. The pay is crap, but the tips keep the lights on in her personal haunted mansion and her pantry stocked with ramen. Life is about as normal as it gets for an ex-necromancer hiding among humans. Until the society that excommunicated Grier offers her a second chance at being more than ordinary.

22840421John Gwynne (A Time of Dread)


The Ben-Elim, a fierce race of warrior-angels, burst into the Banished Lands over a hundred and thirty years ago. They were in pursuit of their eternal enemy, the Kadoshim demon-horde. On that day a great battle was fought, the Ben-Elim and Kadoshim joined by allies from the races of both men and giants, and a great victory was won. Now much of the Banished Lands is ruled by the Ben-Elim, who have made this world their home, extending their influence and power as they swallow ancient kingdoms into the protective grasp of their ever-extending borders.

30233110Melinda Leigh (Say You’re Sorry)


After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq, Morgan Dane returns to Scarlet Falls, seeking the comfort of her hometown. Now, surrounded by family, she’s finally found peace and a promising career opportunity—until her babysitter is killed and her neighbor asks her to defend his son, Nick, who stands accused of the murder. Tessa was the ultimate girl next door, and the community is outraged by her death. But Morgan has known Nick for years and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite the damning evidence stacked against him.

18189606Adrienne Young (Sky in the Deep)


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago. Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered.

27883214Cordelia Kingsbridge (Kill Game)


Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo. Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

23299512Shirley Jackson (We Have Always Lived in the Castle)


Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

24485589Charlie Adhara (The Wolf at the Door)


Hunting for big bad wolves was never part of Agent Cooper Dayton’s plan, but a werewolf attack lands him in the carefully guarded Bureau of Special Investigations. A new case comes with a new partner: ruggedly sexy werewolf Oliver Park. Park is an agent of The Trust, a werewolf oversight organization working to ease escalating tensions with the BSI. But as far as Cooper’s concerned, it’s failing. As they investigate a series of mysterious deaths unlike anything they’ve seen, every bone in Cooper’s body is suspicious of his new partner—even when Park proves himself as competent as he is utterly captivating.

23592235Alexandra Christo (To Kill a Kingdom)


Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling.


What are some 2018 new-to-you authors?
Let me know in the comments!


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Review: QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS by Cassandra Clare


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QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS
Cassandra Clare

SeriesThe Dark Artifices #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 880
Release date: December 4th 2018

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.


“All this time we were waiting for you. We loved each other, and it was a great thing, but with you, it is even greater.”


Queen of Air and DarknesS is a roller coaster of emotions with pretty much every single Shadowhunter character that ever was packed into a 800+ pages book. The pace holds steady throughout the novel, and its multiple POVs are well done and flow rather smoothly. The plot is filled with twists, action, heartbreak, and so many fun cameos, and everything comes together to deliver a great ending that not only promises happy endings, but also sets things up for future series.

Cassandra Clare has done A Lot with expanding the Shadowhunter world, and it’s a bit of a trip to see most of its prominent characters interacting with each other and working together again to save the world. The tension that lingers through every chapter and builds towards the end is also very well done, even more so when it leads to some of the sweetest moments in the entire Shadowhunter world. The novel still leaves quite a bit of open endings, but it’s still an amazing conclusion to this particular series. Continue reading