Thursday, April 27th, 2017 Published by Lexy Hill Leave a comment?

 Lexy Reviews  Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffGemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Published by Knopf Books on 18th October 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Thriller
Pages: 659
Format: Paperback
Source: Waterstones
Purchase from: AmazonWaterstones
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Rating:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

(Let me start by mentioning in case you haven’t read it yet, we also have a review of The Illuminae Files #1 by Kathryn from a few months back.)

 

Gemina is the second book in The Illuminae Files series (which I believe is just going to be a trilogy), with the next book set for release in 2018. I read Illuminae, the first book in the series, earlier this year and DEAR BOOK GODS was it amazing. These books are written through IMs and radios between characters, surveillance camera footage, diary entries and other documents as such, instead of standard chapters, making for a really interesting and unique reading experience.

 

As ridiculously excited as I was to carry on this series, I was aware that this second book follows different main characters and was worried  I wouldn’t like them as much as I loved Kady and Ezra in Illuminae. However, after finishing Gemina I couldn’t tell you which characters I love more. Hanna, Nik and Ella are a really great addition to the Illuminae group. I loved following these characters movements through the surveillance footage summaries and learning more about them through their conversation transcripts. Ella is my little ray of sunshine, I lived for her sassy comments and weird remarks. (Spaaaaaace ninjaaaaaaaa)

 

This book is full of moments that will make you both laugh and cry, twists and turns that keep your heart and mind racing and will keep you completely gripped. It’s probably also worth mentioning, the end of this book had me quite literally screaming with every emotion under the sun. Science nerds will love it.

 

I highly recommend this series to anyone. Anyone with a pulse.  I have zero hesitation in giving Gemina a full 5 stars and can’t wait for book 3!

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Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 Published by Jess Leave a comment?

Jess Reviews: Strange the Dreamer by Laini TaylorStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on March 28th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Rating:

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 to 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?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

 

“He believed in magic, like a child, and in ghosts, like a peasant.”

 
This is the first book by Laini Taylor I have ever read and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Whimsical prose, vengeful gods, relentless nightmares – this book was beautiful, dreamy and delightfully strange. I’ve never read a book quite like it.
 
The world building of Strange the Dreamer is vast and mysterious. We learn of a strange city, its name ripped from the minds of all who know it, with only the word ‘weep’ left in its place. Lazlo, our resident orphaned Librarian has dedicated his life to unravelling the mysteries of Weep. It’s not a mystery that can be regurgitated and retold by the words of a blogger, but a mystery to be read firsthand in the words of the author. So if you’re intrigued by what you’ve seen, read this delightful book!
 
Strange the Dreamer plays on the old cliche of the tragic orphan answering the “call to adventure” despite his apparent “lack” of talents. But he can speak in their tongue and tell a good tale so bonus points to him. Is he destined to be a hero? You betcha. Does he learn about his true heritage? You betcha. Does it shock the reader? Not so much. Can you feel how this may come across as slightly cliche? Will you notice it whilst reading it? Probably not. You’ll be more distracted by how beautifully written this book is more than anything else. (At least, I hope you are. I certainly was.)
 
For the most part the pace to this novel is slow, the world being crafted piece by piece with each page you turn (which was a slight drag). It’s not until the last third of the book that things start to happen. Even then, it’s not until you reach the last 10% of the book where things start to get really interesting. Unfortunately the twists lack the punch they deserve when you consider the cliche the novel is written around.
 
I can safely say that I will be reading Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series very, very soon.
 

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Monday, April 10th, 2017 Published by Jess Leave a comment?

Black Dawn Blog TourBlack Dawn by Mallory McCartney
Published by Clean Reads Publishing on February 14th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 180
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Add to Goodreads

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory's arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realise there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

 

Who is Mallory McCartney?

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favourite pastimes involve reorganising perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.
 

Find her: GoodreadsTwitterFacebookInstagram

 

Buy yourself a copy…
Amazon CAAmazon USBarnes & NobleIndigo

 

Excerpts
Excerpt 1
Nyx murmured, “Except there is no one left. The monarchy was built on the Fae’s name, but who is left of that line? Emory is gone. There is no one to oppose him other than us.”
 
Nei, Roque…Emory. The Academy had been created by the Fae’s to allow a place where humans who had powerful abilities could train and form a government based on equality and prosperity. They were Kiero’s guardians and maintained the balance. That was until Adair had set the world on fire and tipped the scales forever.
 
Brokk locked eyes with his Commander and knew he was definitely going to be sick. Slightly gasping, “Excuse me,” he scrambled out of the room into the hallway, gulping the damp air. Black spots danced in his vision, threatening to take over. Brokk heard a shuffle of feet and the clicking of the door, then Memphis was standing over him, arms crossed and whispering with venom in his voice, “Pull yourself together Brokk. It’s too obvious that something is wrong.”
 
Brokk stood up with force, making the world tilt. “We have to tell them. It’s been too long and nothing is getting better. It’s time to make a difference. She could be our difference.”
 
Brokk knew it was a low blow as Memphis retorted, “You don’t think I realize that as well? But how is everyone going to react when their leaders have kept this a secret for six years? There will be an uprising.”
 
“The Rebellion will see reason. We start with the team and then go from there. We start with our friends. We owe them that much.”
 
Memphis ran a hand through his hair, dark circles burning under his eyes. Loosening a breath, he looked to Brokk. “We do this together.”
 
Brokk stepped closer to his friend, softly saying, “Always.”
 
Keeping a firm hold on his churning breakfast, he reentered Command knowing that when he came out, everything will have changed.
Excerpt 2
The scream tore through his mind, ringing as Memphis watched Brokk stalk out of the room, his hurt plain across his face. He glanced at the now panting Emory, her anger dissipating to confusion once more. Her movements were impatient as she perched on the edge of the bunker and cradled her head.
 
“Emory? My name is Memphis Carter. Do you know who I am?” He could feel Nyx’s eyes burning into his back.
With a slight nod of her head, Emory peeked up at him through her fingers. “Vaguely. That still doesn’t answer where I am, and what he was doing here.” Her voice was like crystal, smooth and commanding. The voice of a Queen.
Guilt twanged in his gut, and he chose his next words carefully. “I realize what this is going to sound like, and that’s insane. Brokk and I brought you here to this world. This is the Academy—our home. You came from Earth, but this world, our world, was your home first. Kiero. We grew up together. Your family built our government. To us, you are the rightful heir to their lineage.”
 
It was like walking on ice—too much pressure at once and her mind would break. Memphis had to dance around the edges. Especially to protect what he had done. He asked softly, “How much do you remember?”
 
Her eyes were daggers as she shakily stood up. “Why should I remember this place? This world? So you’re telling me that you just kidnapped me and transported me to another world? This isn’t freaking Star Trek! It feels like my mind is being split in two. I remember my life—going to work, my apartment…but now…now it’s like someone has drawn back the stage curtain and all these broken memories have come into play. I see myself as a little girl and instead of being raised in an orphanage, I’m with parents…? And we had abilities…like supernatural abilities. Which just proves that I have lost my mind from stress because I’m being held hostage—” She choked on panic and laughter. Emory searched his eyes for an explanation.
 
“Show her.” Nyx’s quiet voice resonated in his mind. He stared back at Emory, narrowing his eyes. He could gently feed more memories to her. It was the only way to make her see the truth. Reaching toward Emory, he placed his palm against her temple. Her skin was cool and soft, and he could feel the adrenaline rushing through her.
Excerpt 3
Jaxson sat on a wooden perch, his chin resting on his hands as he stared longingly onto the horizon. She spoke softly, “Go to bed, Jaxson, I have it from here.”
 
Snapping to attention, he jumped slightly, not having heard her come in. “Nyx, you scared me a bit there. How are you?”
 
She winked at him. “Needing some starlight and an endless night.”
 
Nodding solemnly, Jaxson hopped down. Before leaving, he placed a burly hand on her shoulder. “We have to be prepared not to give up hope. For Alby.”
 
His words were like a weight anchoring onto the ocean floor. Nyx climbed up on the perch as Jaxson left, the door swinging closed behind him. Nyx closed her eyes. She could move forward with this. It was already too late. She had pushed Memphis to make his decision. He believed in Emory like he had never believed in her. He had and would always choose Emory. Her chin wobbled as her eyes snapped open. There was no going back now. She silently said goodbye to the man she loved as her eyes searched the land stretching out in front of her. To her left, the woods, and beyond that, an escarpment of mountain terrain…and Adair. It was as simple as breathing as Nyx reached out, her mind brushing against a thousand consciousnesses. A thousand whispers sounded back to her. She searched only for one. She didn’t have to wait long.
 
“Adair said to stay put! We follow his orders, and so we wait. Anyone who says otherwise is breaching direct orders, and you know what that means…”
 
The scouts were northeast to them, hiding out just outside the blocked perimeter that Bryd provided. Her pulse quickened. Nyx stood and in one fluid motion flung herself off the side of the tower. Her feet scrambled, trying to find footholds. Once secured, she made the treacherous climb down toward the ground. Her muscles strained with the effort, her white knuckles shone back at her. She glanced below her and could see the grass. Excellent.
 
Closing her eyes, she let go, her arms tucking into her chest as she somersaulted through the air. She was nothing but freedom and the wind screaming around her. She was rage; she was power. She was no one now, but this.
Excerpt 4
Without a backward glance, Emory walked to the middle of the room and spun around to come face to face with Memphis, his eyes locking with hers in a fiery gaze. She held out her hand to his and bent to her waist. His other hand wrapped her too closely, too low around her hip. Her breath hitched in her throat. She felt her body start to the music that erupted around them, leading Memphis into her well-learned steps. Her mind was on a different plane. A different planet for that matter. Her body was humming from how his hands felt on her skin.  
Her ability and thoughts rushed through her like fire wanting to devour more, never satisfied.
 
His thoughtful eyes held hers. She felt her heart drumming fiercely against her chest, and in that moment no one else existed in the room. It was her and Memphis.
 
An echo of happiness crossed his face as he whispered, “Did I mention you look beautiful tonight?”
 
She radiated in that moment, wishing she could say a thousand things. She couldn’t.
 
Instead, she went for a safer route. “How did you get the music playing?”
 
The familiar soft serenades swam around her, and Memphis simply said, “Look in my right ear.”
 
She focused her attention and realized one of the earbuds was in his ear. Her shock was evident as she murmured, “It’s you?”
 
“It’s a new trick I learned for tonight. Being a telekinetic, I usually communicate to a single individual. This was the next level.”
 
She was in awe. The first song ended with a round of applause, and in a second, a faster upbeat song replaced it seamlessly. She arched her body to spin away from Memphis but was brought back—hand to chest, eye to eye. Their feet moved without thought, and her blood pounded throughout her veins. She grasped at something to say. Anything. Her mouth ran dry, and she tried not to get lost in him once again. A guy had never had this effect on her before, and she felt electrified on this high; she didn’t want it to stop. So she didn’t think about the consequences, and betraying her, her body gravitated even closer to Memphis, their hands still clasped. A warmth spread through her core as Emory’s senses were overwhelmed. By fire and flame, he even smelled enticing. He dipped his mouth to the side of her ear, his breath tickling her skin. He swallowed nervously, and rested his forehead against hers.
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Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 Published by Jess Leave a comment?

(This is part of a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

 

Dearest blog readers, let me tell you one thing: I am the absolute worst when it comes to giving myself a set list of books to read without skipping any altogether or adding new books. So I’m hoping this time will be different. I will make it my mission to ensure that all 10 of those books have been read by the end of June.
 
My most anticipated reads (of the ones that have been released) are: Strange the Dreamer, Caravel and Empress of a Thousand Suns. I am begging the books gods for lots of sass and a lot of stabbing, and maybe an assassination or two.
 
If you’ve read any of the below then leave me a comment and let me know what you loved and hated without the spoilers. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are there enough sassy badass ladies to keep me happy?
 


 
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Sunday, March 5th, 2017 Published by Jess Leave a comment?

New month, new releases.
Another month, another slew of new releases. This month seems to be dominated by the latest young adult books set to his the shelves. The most anticipated probably being The Song Rising, book 3 of Samantha Shannon’s truly magnificent series, The Bone Season. If you have yet to pick up this series then I highly recommend that you do.
 

Click each image below to find out more about each book and add to your Goodreads shelves.

 

 

Which book are you most hotly anticipating this March?


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Series: The Bone Witch, #1
Release Date: March 7th 2017
Anticipated by: Jess & Elizabeth
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

 

 
The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.
 
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracised in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
 
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.


The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season, #3
Release Date: March 7th 2017
Anticipated by: Jess, Imi, Kathryn, Lexy, Emilie
Genre: Young Adult/Adult, Fantasy

 

 
The hotly anticipated third book in the bestselling Bone Season series – a ground-breaking, dystopian fantasy of extraordinary imagination
 
Following a bloody battle against foes on every side, Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London’s criminal population.
 
But, having turned her back on Jaxon Hall and with vengeful enemies still at large, the task of stabilising the fractured underworld has never seemed so challenging.
 
Little does Paige know that her reign may be cut short by the introduction of Senshield, a deadly technology that spells doom for the clairvoyant community and the world as they know it…


Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion, #1
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Anticipated by: Jess
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

 

 
The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.
 
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.
 
Her life might well be over.
 
In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.
 
As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.


A Crown of Wises by Kate White
Series: The Star-Touched Queen, #2
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Anticipated by: Jess
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

 
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
 
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.
 
Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.


The Secrets you Keep by Kate White
Release Date: March 21st 2017
Anticipated by: Jess
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

 

 
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wrong Man and Eyes on You comes a harrowing new psychological thriller about a successful self-help author who suddenly finds her life spiraling dangerously out of control.
 
What would you do if you realised that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences?
 
Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning.
 
In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on, she wonders? Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered.
 
As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer.
 
With unexpected, riveting twists, The Secrets You Keep is an utterly compelling psychological thriller that once again showcases Kate White’s extraordinary storytelling talent.


Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
Release Date: March 21st 2017
Anticipated by: Jess
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy

 

 
Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in this riveting new thriller from the co-author of the Virals series.
 
It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
 
Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.
 
For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer, #1
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Anticipated by: Jess
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

 

 
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
 
the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
 
Welcome to Weep.

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