Top 10 Tuesday: Visual Elements

This week’s Top 10 focuses on visuals!  Which is awesome because there are so many fun books that I’ve collected and read based on artwork.  See where the meme started here!

This is just a brief listing of some of my absolute favorite art accompanied stories 🙂

Princess Ai: Ultimate Edition

A manga that featured an art style that embraced music, pop rock, girly pretty things, and gothic lolita fashions.

Kitty & Dino

Not only is this a cute picture book about a cat that finds itself sharing a home with a newborn dino, but the art is gorgeous enough to frame.

Gotham City Sirens #1

My favorite trio of characters from the Batman universe presented in a lovely art style.

Stardust

There’s a lovely illustrated novel of Stardust that features the art of Charles Vess.

Flora and the Peacocks

Another picture book, this one tells the tale of newly formed friendships without using words.

MeruPuri, Vol. 1 (MeruPuri, #1)

I fell in love with author/artist’s art back in high school, and I still re-read this manga series occasionally.

The Tiger (Love, #1)

This graphic novel tells the everyday life stories of various animals without using words.  It focuses on the main animal but shows the environment and other animals in the area as well.

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery

Here’s a graphic novel series that’s basically Dungeons and Dragons with an all-female, butt-kicking cast!

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening (Collected Editions)

The art is actually what drew me to this graphic novel, and now I can’t wait for volume 2.

Return to Labyrinth, Vol. 1

If you love the Labyrinth movie, then you’ll love this sequel manga series.

Sailor Moon, Vol. 01 (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #1)

So no visual favorites list would be complete without a Sailor Moon reference, so here’s one of my oldest, favorite manga of all time.

 

What books drew you in based on the artwork?  Share your lists below!

#BeatTheBacklist January Wrap-Up

As January comes to a close, I’ve reevaluated my sign-up post and made some decisions regarding the titles there and my current reading interests, which like to change on me all the time.  To that end, here are the titles I’ve removed, added, and started reading.  There is also a section for titles that I finished reading but haven’t reviewed.  It is likely that I’ll share similar posts periodically as things come up and get moved around.

 

Removed:

Fish Out of Water (Fred the Mermaid, #3)Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days, #1)

Added:

Mirror Sight (Green Rider, #5)Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Air Awakens (Air Awakens, #1)

Currently Reading:

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Air Awakens (Air Awakens, #1)

Recently Finished:

Mirror Sight (Green Rider, #5)Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)

Waiting on Wednesday: Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder

Dawn Study (Soulfinders, #3)

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by Mira Books
Last year, I reread the Poison Study trilogy in anticipation of reading the new Soulfinders books featuring Yelena and Valek.  I haven’t had a chance to start, but I’m stoked that Dawn Study comes out next week, and I truly mean to read these sometime this year!  I love these characters and Snyder’s writing is easy and quick to pick up.
If you haven’t had a chance to read any of her work, I suggest trying Poison Study.  They only get better from there 🙂

Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Poison Study series to its exhilarating conclusion.

Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.

Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.

With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Covers from Favorite Authors

We all know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  And, we all know that we do the exact opposite all the time.  And part of this is because we are visual creatures, but another aspect is targeted marketing because, to be honest, covers are made to sell.  There’s been a lot of talk lately about covers, but today I want to focus on my favorite covers from some favorite authors.  Some of them are older publications, some foreign editions, and some are just the original cover I remember reading!

Magic Study (Study, #2)

I found the original covers from Luna Books to be much more visually appealing than any of the newer ones.  There was so much to look at and it gave more emphasis to the fantasy aspect.

Cinder (Cronache Lunari, #1)

I can’t remember which language this is, but I love the swirliness and intrigue portrayed.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

While not my favorite cover as it doesn’t do the story justice, I admit I picked this book up because of the cover.  And was so glad I did as Laini is now one of my top favorite authors.

Image result for japanese green rider coverImage result for green rider covers

I love almost all of the covers for the Green Rider series.  The artwork is amazing and fits that story so well.  And the foreign editions hold up nicely.

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)

After finding Tamora Pierce, I started collecting all the Tortall books and this is one of the covers I found at my favorite second hand bookstore.

Acorna's Rebels (Acorna, #6)

Acorna was one of earliest favorite series and this was my favorite book of the series and also my favorite cover.

The Black Swan (Fairy Tales, #2)

I LOVE this cover!  And it’s my favorite book by Lackey!

Wolf Captured (Firekeeper Saga, #4)

This cover features everything I loved about the Firekeeper Saga: wolves, big cats, and talking to animals.

The Fire Opal (Lost Continent, #4)

I love all the covers that were painted by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law,  but this one in particular was very appealing.

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

This is probably my favorite of the Mercy Thompson covers, but they’re all pretty amazing.

That’s all for this week, next week the planned theme focuses on art in graphic novels and picture books.  To see all the chosen themes, check out the site that originated the meme.  I hope you’ll share your lists as well.

 

Covers with Cats

Well, I was looking for something fun to blog about today, and I found Book Huntress’ Book’s Fashion Days for the week and thought it looked like fun.  You can find the original post here!

 

Cats on Covers, Covers with Cats

I am a cat lover and couldn’t imagine life without my fur baby, Mystical 🙂  So when I saw this meme, I knew I had to contribute!  Here’s just a few covers from my personal library that have various types of house cats on them.

The Witches of Echo Park (The Witches of Echo Park, #1)Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (A Magical Cats Mystery, #1)Double-Booked for Death (Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, #1)The Catswold PortalAcorna's Rebels (Acorna, #6)Kitty & DinoNo One Noticed the Cat

 

And here’s some more that feature big cats!

Silvern (Gilded #2)Artemis Awakening (Artemis Awakening, #1)Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2)Wolf Captured (Firekeeper Saga, #4)The Cry of the Icemark (The Icemark Chronicles, #1)Blood and Iron (Promethean Age, #1)Thirteen Orphans (Breaking the Wall, #1)

That was fun!  Thanks Book Huntress for putting this together.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Broken Ones by Danielle L. Jensen

Although I haven’t had a chance to read Danielle Jensen’s Malediction Trilogy, I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about it.  I’m woefully behind on my TBR, and new books just keep coming out!  You may not know this, but Jensen’s publishing a prequel to the Malediction books, and I’ve got the cover here (down below) to share with you today!  And just under the cover reveal is a giveaway hosted by the author.  Check it out!

THE BROKEN ONES Synopsis

A prequel to the USA Today bestseller and Goodreads Choice finalist Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy).

Below Forsaken Mountain, a revolution stirs with the aim to overthrow the tyrant king of Trollus, and Marc is the right hand of its leader. It’s a secret more than one troll would kill to possess, which is why he must keep it from everyone, even the girl he loves.

Since a tragic accident revealed her affliction and ruined her sister’s chance at the throne, Pénélope is an anathema to her father, the Duke d’Angoulême. Deeming her life worthless, he gives her one chance to survive: find proof that the boy she loves is a leader in the sympathizer revolution.

Marc and Pénélope must navigate the complex politics of Trollus, where powers on all sides are intent on using them as pawns, forcing them to risk everything for a chance at a life together.

Except being together might be the greatest risk of all.

RELEASE DATE: June 6, 2017 (Angry Robot)

The artist for THE BROKEN ONES cover (and the covers for the rest of the series) is Steve Stone. (Website) (Artist Partners Profile).

Continue reading

Book Review: Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

Maresi (The Red Abbey Chronicles #1)

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Amulet Books
 I knew nothing about this book before I traded for it through #booksfortrade, but it looked interesting and was a newly translated release.  I actually got it read this past weekend when a cold decided to take up residence within my skull.  I couldn’t sleep and had watched too much TV by Sunday afternoon, so I picked up the closest book to my reading nook, which happened to be this title.  I wasn’t intending to just pick it up and read.  Normally, I select several and kind of read the back cover and beginning chapter or pages until something drags me between the pages and I forget to come out again.
Let’s just say, this book led me away like a siren, and me the foolish pirate who didn’t even notice she was drowning.  Luckily, that was a good thing here!
I devoured this book very quickly that afternoon due to a couple of things.  First, the story’s pacing was great plus the translation wasn’t rigid.  It was so fluid that I didn’t realize it was a translation until I did some research for this review.  The other reason was page length.  This book did not include superfluous pages.  The world building, characterization, and story were all given plenty of room to build and grow.
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
I did find myself comparing Maresi to Robin LaFevers’ Grave Mercy due to the similarities of girl goes to secluded place of full of only women following ancient traditions.  But then this story branches off and explores different themes than Grave Mercy.  So, it doesn’t feel like I’ve read the same story twice.
My last comment on this fun and fantastic book, is that I appreciated that these abused, disadvantaged girls weren’t all put there after being raped.  Rape is talked about, but the main character was not abused by her family or any other man.  That might be because the audience is more focused on middle grade than teen, but it was a relief nonetheless.
I recommend anyone looking for a good, fast read pick this up and share with friends!

Summary:

Only women and girls are allowed in the Red Abbey, a haven from abuse and oppression. Maresi, a thirteen-year-old novice there, arrived in the hunger winter and now lives a happy life in the Abbey, protected by the Mother and reveling in the vast library in the House of Knowledge, her favorite place. Into this idyllic existence comes Jai, a girl with a dark past. She has escaped her home after witnessing the killing of her beloved sister. Soon the dangers of the outside world follow Jai into the sacred space of the Abbey, and Maresi can no longer hide in books and words but must become one who acts.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dinosaur (Love #4) by Frédéric Brrémaud

Love Volume 4: The Dinosaur

Hardcover
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Magnetic Press
After loving the first three volumes, I was excited to see The Dinosaur on NetGalley and downloaded it right away.  I enjoy the storytelling using only image cells and two page spreads.  And this book did not disappoint and even included extra drawings and studies in the back matter.
It did seem shorter than the other ones though, and I don’t know if that was because of the e-format that I read it in, or it was fewer story pages, or maybe I just read it too quickly.  The ending was both humorous and bittersweet.  A good addition to the LOVE series, and I hope there will be more soon.

Summary:

Life in the primordial swamps of prehistoric Earth was a daily trial of survival, especially for the smaller dinosaurs just trying to get by without being trampled, attacked, or eaten. Not even the biggest beasts were safe, as there always seemed to be an even bigger threat looming on the horizon. This exciting tale, written by Frederic Brremaud, is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. A beautiful, powerful tale of survival in the animal kingdom that explores the all-too-identifiable, universal concepts of Life, Courage, Aging, and ultimately Love.
The fourth volume in the lavishly illustrated series of wildlife graphic novels, each following a single central animal through an adventurous day in their natural environment. Each tale depicts genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in illustration.

#BeatTheBacklist Entry Post

btbchallengeslider

Another reading challenge I wanted to do in 2017 is Beat the Backlist, mostly because the last couple of years, I’ve focused on new releases and neglected a lot of my older TBR.  So this year, I plan to use this challenge for two main things.

  1. FINISH or continue series that are been done for over a year now
  2. START series that I own several books in

To Finish/Continue:

Fish Out of Water (Fred the Mermaid, #3)Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13)Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms, #2)Everblaze (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #3)Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1)Artemis Invaded (Artemis Awakening, #2)Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #2)Cast in Peril (Chronicles of Elantra, #8)

 

To Start:

Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days, #1)Witch Song (Witch Song, #1)Urban Shaman  (Walker Papers, #1)Path of Fate (Path, #1)Wild Magic (Drinker of Souls: Wild Magic, #1)Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)The Bloodbound (Bloodbound, #1)Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (A Magical Cats Mystery, #1)Sword of Fire and Sea (The Chaos Knight, #1)Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

 

We’ll see how this goes.  Some of the series are longer than others, so if I happen to become obsessed, it might push back one or two others.  I’m really hoping to have fun with this and get more of these older series, that I’ve been ignoring, off my TBR list.  Or at least part of each series 🙂