Guest Review: The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Why I chose this book:
Hello readers! I am guest posting for the lovely Amanda over the upcoming book The Crown’s Game. I picked up this arc because I have been in awe of Russian history since I was in junior high, and having read the first two books in the firebird trilogy recently, I was enamored with it all over again. It’s also being heralded as one of the fantasy breakouts of the year so I’m kind of thinking it could be the next Red Queen in terms of popularity.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
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Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose. (Goodreads)

Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

Monday, April 18, 2016
Why I chose this book:
I have been in a bit of a book rut lately. It’s a problem. So I decided that I would check out Ruined by Amy Tintera. I heard that her Reboot series is great, and when I saw that she tried her hand at fantasy, I knew it was going to be a must read for the new year.

Ruined by Amy Tintera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake. (Goodreads)

Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Monday, April 11, 2016
Why I chose this book:
This book was actually given to me by a coworker for my birthday. I have really been trying my hand at reading more graphic novels, and he decided that not only was he going to give me a graphic novel, but he was going to give me one in the horror genre, because he knows how much I don’t like horror. Despite this, he was intent on picking out one that I would enjoy, and so he gave this book to me.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: July 15th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Horror

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there... (Goodreads).

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Why I chose this book:
I read Wendy Higgin’s first book in her Sweet trilogy, and I read it when I needed a fast no-nonsense flimsy read. And it was a decent book… I guess you could call it a rebound book. While I was doing a run through of Edelweiss, I saw that this one was an instant download, and I though to myself this would be a cool one to try out since she was trying her hand at the Fantasy genre, of which I am a huge fan. So I decided to give this one a shot.

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom. (Goodreads)

Review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Saturday, April 2, 2016
Why I chose this book: 
A Thousand Pieces of You was one of my most favorite reads of last year, so when this book came out, I immediately bought it on audible and enjoyed the adventure!

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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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. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared. (Goodreads)

Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Monday, March 14, 2016
Why I chose this book:
When I first heard of this book, the idea of a picture book for young adults really intrigued me. I enjoy Neil Gaiman, so I really wanted to check it out. And I’m glad I did, because I eventually ended up writing a paper over it for my feminist lit class.

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Release Date: October 23rd, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Picture Books, Fantasy
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A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift. (Goodreads)

Graphic Novel Reviews: Wytches, and Amulet: The Stonekeeper

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wytches by Scott Snyder, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, Clem Robbins

So I am convinced that I have not read enough graphic novels in my life, and I’m really trying to fix that. I told a coworker of mine that I needed to read more, but I almost had no idea where to even start. So he gave me this graphic novel. That night, after closing at 11pm, I went home and devoured it in one sitting.

This book is utterly terrifying and yet fascinating. I am not a horror fan most of the time, but when it is done well, I love it. This was one of those moments. The art was fantastic, though sometimes a little difficult to discern exactly what was going on…though that may have been the choice of the artist and writers.

The storyline was fantastic, and I’ve never read a book where the girl is a teenager, but the relationship in focus isn’t about her relationship with a boy she likes, or your normal love triangle. This is about the relationship she has with her family, and more specifically, her dad. That facet made this book even more intriguing and exciting.

If you like horror and graphic novels, this is a must! It’s intriguing in a morality perspective as well as just good story writing.

I gave this book 5 stars.

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