Book Haul: Work ARCs

Yesterday, a co-worker brought over two special ARCs she thought I might enjoy.  I say special because of their packaging.  Both had been delivered in gift boxes and one of them came with little extras.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 10th 2016 by Scholastic Press
This one sounds like a lot of fun, but my May review slate is already full of fun titles, so steampunk Peter Pan will have to wait until I find myself with free time.

From the publisher:

Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders — the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: August 30th 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
I’m really excited to read this one, having never read the Shatter Me series, and I hadn’t yet decided which books to review for August.  This will probably be on that list though!

From the publisher:

The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places. 

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

What I’m Reading: March

2016 Reads

Firstlife (Everlife, #1)

Firstlife just came out at the end of February, and although other books have become priority, I was sucked in by the first 20ish pages.  I think the premise that after death there’s a whole other life waiting and that this life can affect the outcome of the second is intriguing.   I haven’t read much from Showalter, and I’m looking forward to sharing my review of this book later this year.

Arena

Here’s a title I received from the AceRocStars.  Arena is about a young woman who is chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history.  I love Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde, so I’m hoping this book is almost an adult version of that immersive virtual reality experience.  Look for my review before the end of March!

 

Backlog ReadsHeir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

So, I blame Sarah Maas for derailing my reading schedule.  Ever since I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses last month, I’ve been devouring the Throne of Glass series, which was going to happen eventually because I enjoyed the first book.  However, since it was her first book, I felt the pacing was a little off, and I thought I could spread reading the series out over the rest of the year.  I was WRONG!  And, now, I’m off-schedule while reading some great books from my backlog.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

This is the last Lunar Chronicles book, and I’m sad that it’s over.  It’s also the reason I haven’t actually put worth a lot of effort to read it yet.  I know I’m going to love it, but I don’t want to say good-bye to the characters.  Although, I am excited about the Iko-centric graphic novel coming out next year 🙂

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)

I received a review copy of Sorcerer to the Crown through AceRocStars last year, but I didn’t have time to read it before it’s release.  I also didn’t quite know what to expect from the story since it’s set in Edwardian (?) London, but the writing style is a great blend of modern writing and older English vocabulary.  It starts off a little slow, but when the main character visits a magic school for gentlewomen, he picks up a female companion who adds her viewpoint to the story, and the story starts picking up.  I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read this originally, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)

Another author that derailed my reading schedule, Ilona Andrews was pretty far down my TBR list until AceRocStars sent us the seventh book in the Kate Daniels series.  Luckily, this series is fast paced and has a great flow for quick reading.  It shouldn’t take me long to finish up the whole series, but I’ll probably have to space this one out a bit more to get my review schedule back on track.

Re-Read

The Charmed Sphere (Lost Continent, #1)

I’ve had an incredible urge to re-read this series from Catherine Asaro for several months now, so I finally gave in and picked up The Charmed Sphere.  And even though I haven’t had a chance to read much of it, I can already tell my feelings about the story and the characters haven’t really changed all that much.  I look forward to sharing a review for these in the near future.

 

What are you reading right now?  Share your titles and/or authors in the comments below.

Old “What I’m Reading” from September 2015

This is an old post that I had accidentally posted as its own page.  So here it is as a post instead.  Thanks for understanding!

 

Since this is a new concept for me, and a newish medium, I’d like to talk about what I’m currently reading and what I just finished up.

Unfortunately for me, I have many books going for different projects, which would normally be fine, except that I’m also in the process of fixing up a house and moving.  So, my reading time has taken a large hit.  And I miss it 😦

Luckily, I’ve always been really good at juggling multiple reads, so I’m not lost when I pick back up a book after a few days (or weeks).  So without further ado, here is my current reading list!

Prince of Fools Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence The Red Queen’s War bk. 1

I’m listening to the audiobook for this right now through Audible, although I did purchase a UK paperback for my collection after winning an ARC of the sequel The Liar’s Key from AceRocBooks via Twitter.  I actually wasn’t trying to win, just share the information with my followers, but I’m now glad that I did.  I’m almost through book one, and I found myself enjoying the characters and world building more than expected.

Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn & Grim, #1) Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier Blackthorn & Grim bk. 1

I have this book checked out from the library in physical and ebook formats.  This book has actually been in my TBR list since its release, as I really enjoyed Daughter of the Forest, but I’m actually reading this one now because I received an ARC of Tower of Thorns through my participation in the AceRocStars street team.  I’m only on chapter 4, but so far I like the two main characters and look forward to wherever the story takes me.

Dark Currents (Agent of Hel, #1) Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey Agent of Hel bk. 1

I’m reading this series because next weekend is ARCHON St. Louis, where the author is a guest of honor!!  I met her back in January at ALA Midwinter, where I picked up a free, signed hardcover of Poison Fruit courtesy of Penguin Publishing.  I had hoped to have the whole series done by now, but life gets in the way sometimes.  Once again, I’m not far in, but I love the urban fantasy aspects of this book and the main character is pretty cool.

The Terrans (First Salik War, #1) The Terrans by Jean Johnson First Salik War bk. 1

Another ARC I received from the AceRocStars.  I’ve been working on this one for over a month, and while I do like what I’m reading, this is new territory for me.  I’m more of a fantasy girl, and this is sci-fi.  Military sci-fi in fact, which I have very little experience with nor would I have sought it out on my own, I think.  But I do plan on finishing this one eventually.  I even picked up the first book in her Theirs Not to Reason Why series, A Soldier’s Duty because it sounded really interesting.

Maplecroft (The Borden Dispatches #1) Maplecroft by Cherie Priest The Borden Dispatches bk. 1

I’m reading this one to catch up to the sequel, Chapelwood, which I received an ARC of from the AceRocStars.  (Noticing a theme yet?)  This one’s written in epistolary style and has a more horror/dark fantasy slant with a mix of historical thrown in for good measure.  I’ve heard good things, so here’s hoping.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels bk. 1

This one’s been on my list for forever, but since there’s over 500 titles on that list, I just hadn’t gotten around to this one yet.  But, AceRocStars sent out a paperback of Magic Breaks and an eARC of Magic Shifts a couple of months back, so here I am.  Finally starting this 8+ book series.  Fortunately, Ilona Andrews has an easy-to-read writing style, and I have full faith that I’ll fly right through these.  Once I have the time…

That’s what I’m currently reading.  Basically, I’ve started several new series to work my way into ARCs I need to review.  Now, here’s the books I have recently finished in the last couple of weeks!!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu  I just finished this one, and I’m working on my review.  Problem is I have mixed feelings about it, so I’m trying to sort those out in order to write something informative.  Also, I got an ARC of The Rose Society through work, so I might wait until after I read it.

The Devil's Playground by Jenna BlackSpeak of the Devil by Jenna Black  These are books 4 & 5 of the Morgan Kingsley series, which I started in high school when it first came out.  I just never read the final book, so I re-read book 4 to understand where the story was as I left it and finished the fifth and final one.  Since these are older books, I haven’t decided if I’ll post single reviews or a series review.  (All 5 of my copies are now signed thanks to Jenna Black’s amazing generosity of signing some book plates for me!)

Wonder Woman, Vol. 5 by Brian Azzarello  The New 52’s take on Wonder Woman started off good, and I was really invested in the story, but by volume 4 the story took a weird turn that just didn’t feel right for Wonder Woman.  Not sure if I can continue reading this series.

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows  This book was amazing!!  I completely devoured it and am working on my review.  Even though it had one of those annoying cliffhanger endings, I was satisfied with the threads that were tied up in the conclusion.  It also helps that I got an ARC of The Mirror King through work 🙂

WHEW!! That’s it for this long post!  Next time, I’ll post about my 2015 reading challenges!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen, #2)ISBN: 9780062317414    ISBN 10: 0062317415
Imprint: Katherine Tegen Books
On Sale: 04/05/2016
Pages: 544
List Price: 17.99 USD

Sequel to The Orphan Queen

 

The Mirror King picks up in the same scene that The Orphan Queen ended on, which means that no time has passed in between books.  And this is good for readers who were worried about the events left hanging in that major cliffhanger last year.  Because of this though, I will try not to include any spoilers in my review, which means that I won’t be discussing any specific scenes and avoiding as many text references as possible.

Edited: Unfortunately, a draft version was posted to my blog this morning instead of the final.  Sorry for the inconvenience!  Here’s my actual review instead of the notes.

Both Wil and Tobiah show growth throughout this narrative even as events and circumstances make the future look bleak and unknown.  The wraith boy brought more knowledge about the wraith’s movements and history without the exposition seeming too heavy.  Actually, I thought the pacing for this book matched that of the first book with plenty of action, reaction, and governing scenes interspersed so that everything was interesting.

For those wondering about the romance, I can’t say too much without spoiling stuff, but be assured that it does exist, it is not over-the-top, and it doesn’t take up much of the story overall.  I did find what happened at the end a little too quick to forgive, but it worked.  I actually prefer when romance takes a backseat to the story, so this really worked for me.

Without going into details about what actually happened, I want to share my feelings about the ending.  I found the ending both satisfying and frustrating because I recognized that Wil’s story had run its course, but the world itself still has plenty left for exploration.  I’m hoping that Jodi has plans for more stories set in her universe as I wanted to know more about how this world works and how the changes put into motion were going to turn out.  Overall, this was a fantastic series that I’m recommending to all my friends, including YOU!  Pick it up, you won’t be sorry 🙂

From the publisher:

In this stunning conclusion to The Orphan Queen, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen. This epic fantasy duology is perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

Princess Wilhelmina is ready for her crown, but declaring herself queen means war. Her magic is uncontrollable and now there’s a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. Princess Wilhelmina’s ability might be just the thing to help reclaim her kingdom—or ruin it forever.