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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2016 TBR

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2016 TBR

Series in Progress


One of my main goals is to get completely caught up with the series I'm already in the middle of before Baby A arrives this November. Given these books release dates, I'm fairly confident I can achieve this goal, but I have the feeling I'm going to need to push myself!

 
  

Series to Start / Standalone

The nice thing about two of these series (Shatter Me and Obsidian) is that they're both complete and I can binge my heart out once I start reading them! Also, The Architect of Song and Stalking Jack the Ripper are both first in a series, so I'll be able to read them and feel accomplished. The History of Love is a standalone, so that'll be a nice one and done.

 
  

What's on your Fall TBR list? Do we have some of the same books or have you already read these?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson


Series:
Rebel Mechanics #2
Genre:
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Steampunk
Publication.Date:July 12, 2016
Pages:238 (eBook)
Published By:  NLA Digital
Website:Shanna Swendson 

Rebel Magisters on Goodreads
My review copy:
Borrowed

Where to get:

  



Tea, Love ... and Revolution!

The Rebel Mechanics aren’t the only group plotting revolution against the magical British Empire. There are rebel magisters, as well, and Verity Newton and her magister employer, Lord Henry, know that the only way for the revolution to succeed is if both groups work together. A diplomatic mission seems like the perfect opportunity for them to meet with rebels in other colonies and gather support—right under the governor’s nose.

From drawing rooms, ballrooms, and the harbor in Boston to the streets of Charleston, Verity and Henry find themselves up against stubborn factions of both magisters and Mechanics and increasingly aware that they can only really count on each other as their relationship deepens. It may take a real crisis to unite the rebel movements and rally them to the cause—but could such a crisis also tear them apart?

(Goodreads)


I was an immediate fan of Rebel Mechanics when I read it last year. When it ended, I was a little sad that it was a standalone so imagine my surprise when I saw a fellow blogger add Rebel Magisters on Goodreads!

Much like Rebel Mechanics, this follow-up is fast-paced and entertaining. Verity continues to assist the Mechanics and Henry in starting a revolution against the high-ranking Magisters, only now she becomes a liaison between the Rebel Mechanics and a few choice Magisters who no longer support the British throne.

Verity, still distrustful of the Magisters after they tricked her into joining them, continues to assist them as she approves of their end game, but questions some of their motives and ways they accomplish some of their smaller tasks. I like that she kept her eyes and ears open around the group due to her past experiences and didn't just ignore their wrongdoings.

Verity becomes a stronger contender in the upcoming revolution this time around. While Lord Henry is aware of her commitments to the Rebel Mechanics, she still has to sneak around the city delivering letters. Not to mention, the children's grandfather is The Duke of New York (aka governor of the American colonies), which adds an extra element of risk. Speaking of the children, I became such a huge fan of Flora during this novel and I can't wait to see what becomes of her character in future installments.

The relationship between Verity and Lord Henry, now that their secrets are out in the open (at least between one another), is adorable. Because of their class difference, they can't express themselves as they wish to but their secret glances and meetings tell us the whole story.

I'm glad Shanna went ahead with writing and publishing this second installment because while I was content with the ending of Rebel Mechanics, I craved more of this world. I will warn you that Rebel Magisters is not the end. While Shanna states she has plans to continue the series, she doesn't yet have any details. I, however, will be waiting with baited breath for the next book in this series!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ARC Review + Giveaway: Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch


I am thrilled to be a stop on the book tour for Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! I have a review for your reading pleasure, but be sure to check out the tour schedule below, or click the banner above, for more!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!



Series:
Snow Like Ashes #3
Genre:
Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication.Date:September 20, 2016
Pages:496 (ARC)
Published By:  Balzer + Bray
Website:Sara Raasch

Frost Like Night on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:

  



Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.

Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

(Goodreads)


2016 has been the year of series ending - at least for me - and next on my list was Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch. Most of the time, I drag my feet when it comes to a series ender (see my yet untouched copy of The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson), but thankfully Rockstar Book Tours was here to kick my butt into high gear.

Not that I needed much prodding once Frost Like Night arrived at my house and I began reading it because Sara's delivers an amazing conclusion to her Snow Like Ashes series. Everything is coming to a head - Angra's growing hold over all of Primoria, Meira's desire to stop him (and not die) while attempting to unite those in Primoria not under his Decay, Ceridwen's determination to save her people and reclaim Summer, and Mather's love and need to protect Meira from all things.

Sara packs so much into Frost Like Night, but keeps everything cohesive, clear, and worthy of non-stop page turning. The only time I stumbled was in the beginning. She picks up right where Ice Like Fire left off and it took me a few chapters to remember what happened. I knew the big things, yes, but some of the smaller details had been lost to time. Once the ball got rolling though, it kept rolling.

The narrative of Frost Like Night is a mixture of chapters from Meira's, Mather's, and Ceridwen's points of view. I love that we get to see this final installment from all three perspectives because it really allows us to immerse ourselves in the story, especially when the three get separated for various reasons, and connect with all characters, not just our narrators. It also allows us to see how much these individuals have progressed since we first met them (Mather and Meira in Snow Like Ashes and Ceridwen in Ice Like Fire).

Meira, in my perspective, goes through the biggest transformation. She starts the series as wanting to do/know more but being slightly meek and mild. Afraid to challenge Sir and stir the pot, so to speak. She ends this series strong, determined, and ready to sacrifice herself not only for Winter and those she loves but for all of Primoria. It's an amazing transformation that truly shows the depth of Sara's characterization skill.

Like with many beloved series, I'm sad to see it end but Frost Like Night's ending is spot on. There were definite tears, moments of giddy joy, shocking plot points, and cursing of Sara's name (nothing personal, girl!). I'll miss these characters and their relationships with one another, but I know I'll be revisiting them again in the future and I cannot wait to see what Sara comes out with next!



Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks
My Review: Posted October 4, 2015
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.


Title: Ice Like Fire
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks
My Review: Posted October 13, 2015
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.




Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.




Tour Schedule

9/12/2016- Young Adult at Heart- Interview
9/13/2016- Reviews from a Bookworm- Review
9/14/2016- Fiktshun- Guest Post
9/15/2016- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews- Review
9/16/2016- The Cover Contessa- Interview

9/19/2016- Quartzfeather- Review
9/20/2016- Writing My Own Fairy Tale- Guest Post
9/21/2016- Bookish Lifestyle- Review
9/22/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
9/23/2016- Mundie Moms- Review

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