Book Review: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning City

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Harlequin Teen

I have mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand, I thought the concepts and characters were really interesting.  On the other, it took me almost three weeks to finish reading.  Not sure if that’s because of pacing in the book or because of real life issues I was dealing with, but I’m disappointed that it took me so long to finish.  As a debut, Daughter did a great job introducing characters and various levels of story threads.  I think it could have used a bit more world building though since this is a planned stand-alone.

Throughout the story, I felt myself questioning why certain things were happening and how Gomorrah fit into the rest of the world.  I also kept forgetting that our main character was only 16, but I always have that issue, and that she has no eyes.  I certainly liked this aspect, but we find out a little more about it while investigating things later in the story, but I’m not sure I quite understand the whole missing organ that still works just fine bit.

I will definitely be recommending this book to friends, family, and random internet folk like my readers here.  I never thought about giving up on the book, and it was definitely different and compelling.  The author is lovely human being, who I met at ALA Annual a couple months ago.  I even won a set of eyeshadow colors from promoting the release (I’ll share more on that in a different post soon!)  There’s a whole lot of awesome going on in this book that readers will for sure enjoy.  I just got a little hung up on miscellaneous stuff.

Have you read it yet?  What were your thoughts?

Summary:

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag 2017

Since I haven’t participated in a book tag for awhile, I thought it would be fun to try out this one.  I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but anyone can participate if they like!  The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was created by Chami from ReadLikeWildfire and Ely from Earl Grey Books a few years ago to recap your reading from the first half of the year and to anticipate for the upcoming half of the year.

Many of these are 2017 titles, but I’ve read a pretty good mix of new and older releases this year, so a few are from other years.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

The Queen of Blood  (The Queens of Renthia, #1)

I really liked this one and am greatly anticipating having time to read the sequel soon.  Check out my review here!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)

Technically I could have put the second half of this series here and it would all be true.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

The Crowns of Croswald

I was able to read the first chapter or so online and it was over too quickly.  I hope my copy arrives soon!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency #1)

I just love the synopsis for this one and keep hearing awesome things about it.

Biggest disappointment?

By Your Side

I was excited to read this one as I hadn’t read YA contemporary in forever, but I couldn’t bypass the unrealistic and unexplained reasons for the main characters being locked in a library for any length of time.

Biggest surprise? Favorite new author?
(Debut or new to you)

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

This book counts for both questions as I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, and I haven’t read anything by Kendare Blake before this.  Although I own several by her.

Newest fictional crush?

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

Not sure it’s a crush per se, but I fell in love with the jewel spiders.  And I generally hate spiders!!

Newest favorite character?

Firebrand

I’m sensing an animal theme as my newest favorite character would have to be the granite griffins that have a cat form 🙂

A book that made you cry?

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

SO many reasons to cry.

A book that made you happy?

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

This book focused on character growth and relationships in a way that was truly healthy.  And that meant a lot to me!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

Not Quite Narwhal

You’ll just have to pick up this book to fully understand its gorgeousness, but I was not ready for just how adorable this book is!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

An Enchantment of RavensThe Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #2)The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient, #1)The Tethered MageAkata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia, #2)

Hopefully, I’ll have time to read all of these before the year runs out!!

 

What about you?  Feel free to continue this tag and share some of the fantastic reads that you’ve found throughout the first half of 2017 🙂  Don’t forget to link back to the creators!

Series Sunday: Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

For this installment of Series Sunday, Green Rider by the fabulous Kristen Britain takes center stage.  This is the ONLY author that I’ve followed and continue to enjoy the series even with a 3-5 year gap between volumes.  Yes, you read that correctly!  The fans wait up to 5 years between stories, and it’s due largely to the incredible complexity that is woven into the each book.  Also, there is usually no major cliffhanger, just lots of little threads that span the whole series.

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Throwback Thursday: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Storm Siren (Storm Siren, #1)

Hardcover, 320 pages

Published August 19th 2014 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins

Here’s a book that’s been on my TBR for ages (well I guess only 3 years since that was when it was released), and I finally made time to read it.  To be honest, it happened because I find out that the author was coming to ALA, and I wanted to collect her signature 🙂  But I’m so glad that I did!

After reading Roar by Cora Carmack earlier this year, I was ready to read more weather magic stories.  Storm Siren did not disappoint, and, as a bonus, had some intriguing eccentric characters that I wasn’t expecting to see.  The world building was also intriguing, and I hope we get to explore more of that in the second and third books.  Overall, I basically ploughed threw this book to finish it as quickly as possible because it was so good!  Great pacing and characters do that for you though 🙂

One thing that killed me: it ends on a major cliffhanger!!  Normally, I hate that, but since the whole series is out, I can pick up the story where it left out at any time.  Also, I checked the beginning of book 2 and can tell you that it retells that last bit of this book and continues right where it left off.

Have you read this book/series?  What did you like or dislike?

Summary:

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

 

Throwback Thursday: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti (Binti, #1)

Paperback, 90 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Tor.com
Novellas, short stories, and other short fiction and I have never really gotten along.  Mainly because I grow attached to characters and always want more of their stories.  That said, I recently discovered the wonderful collection of novellas published by Tor.com, and fell in love with the wonderful worlds and splendid plots laid out by the authors.
Binti by Nnedi was one that I was drawn to upon learning about its main character’s heritage (drawn from African lore I believe) and the strange jellyfish-like aliens that she encounters.  I did find myself growing attached in such a way that when I turned the last page it was with regret for having to leave that world after only 90 short pages.  Luckily, Binti’s story is not over.  There is a second book already out and a third is planned for January of 2018.  I think I’ll wait to read them all together though as I don’t want to face the same heartache too soon.
Nnedi’s other work includes Akata Witch, which I’m excited to start reading soon, and Who Fears Death, which has been recently optioned for a TV series with HBO.  I hope they don’t screw it up 🙂

Summary:

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

Recent Book Hauls! BookOutlet, Trades, ARCs

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Today was a great day for mail!  My BookOutlet order came in with lovely books for both my library and for my Secret Sister (not shown because that would spoil the surprise!), and a couple of #booksfortrade came in.  Plus a book from Blue Rider Press (Penguin/Random House).  Thank you everyone who made this possible 🙂  I have so much to look forward to!

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Series Sunday: Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews

I’m going to try out something a little new, a little different.  There are so many series that I love to follow, re-read, or want to dive into, so I’ve decided to start highlighting some of those on Sundays with an on-going series of posts about series. 🙂

To start it off, I want to talk about the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, which I only just started reading last year or late the year before, but they are so easy to devour and I’m already caught up to book 9.  I still need to read that one, but I’m comfortable enough with the series to share some overall thoughts before I finish it.

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