#SnufftheSequel Entry Post

Book Loving Nut just announced this fun reading challenge, so I thought it might help me burn through some of my TBR and finish up those series I’ve been avoiding.  (I don’t want them to end, don’t judge me!)  Here’s a few of the titles I’m hoping to finish this year in between all the other awesome books waiting to be read.  (I’m going to focus on series endings for this challenge as I have the #BeattheBacklist challenge that I’m also focusing on series for.)

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday: The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

The Beast Is an Animal

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 28th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
This book sounds amazing and that cover is gorgeous.  After reading And the Trees Crept In last year, I’ve discovered that reading books that border on the thriller/horror line can be quite fun to read (for me as I have issues with a lot of horror stuff).  I don’t know that I’ll be able to read this in the near future as I’m booked for several reviews and blog tours coming up, but I really hope to get to it this year!

Summary:

A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

Spotlight Saturday: The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins

The Dragon's Price (Transference, #1)

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 21st 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers
I’ve been excited to read this title since I read it’s description several months ago.  One of my favorite books when I was younger was Dealing with Dragons, where a princess runs off and hangs out with a dragon, and this book sounds like it’s going to tackle some similar themes.  I can’t wait to read it 🙂

Summary:

Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

Waiting on Wednesday: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

Hardcover, 544 pages
Expected publication: March 28th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
 After waiting
and waiting
and waiting
and waiting,
and then some more waiting in desperation,
I can finally say that I’ve read this book!

And it was awesomely amazing!

When Laini Taylor spoke at the SLJ Day of Dialog in May of 2016, she spoke about our myth-hole.  The part of your soul that craves mythology and storytelling.  Well, Strange the Dreamer made me realize just how empty my myth-hole has been the last couple of months.  Part of that has been stress from work, but another part of that has been the books I’ve chosen to read.  There were some stand-outs (i.e. A Shadow Bright and Burning), but I had been reading to finish lists and challenges, so it felt like “required” reading.

Well, no more!  Laini’s beautiful wordsmithing has reawakened my awareness of my myth-hole’s requirements, and I’ll be paying closer attention to what I want to read while still working in books that I’ve promised to read (either to NetGalley or authors).  I did make a point to only request things that I was really excited about instead of titles that just looked kind of interesting, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem anyway.

I really don’t want to spoil anything about this book, so I’ll just leave a few quick statements about the actual book and leave it to you to read the story 🙂  I can’t wait for the sequel to come out though.  I hope we don’t have to wait too long!

The characters had a lot of depth and interpersonal reactions that felt solid and true in a fantastical setting.

The setting was beautifully described with vivid imagery without taking any of the focus away from the story or characters.

The ending was complete but also a cliffhanger.  It was the kind of wrap-up that leaves you wanting more but not with the anger of a crazed person.

Summary:

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.

Throwback Thursday: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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

415 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Tor Teen
Finished reading the lovely Truthwitch yesterday, and I’m sad it took me so long to get around to reading it.  Especially since I met the author twice (once at BookCon 2016 and on her recent Windwitch tour) before getting past chapter two.
I’m very glad that I took advantage of those opportunities though because I really liked this book and these characters.  It’s hard to describe the actual story because the book focused a lot on world building and characterization.  Normally, this would be a detriment to the plot, but I think we were given enough story that it worked.  This is definitely not your basic action plot.  There’s a lot of thought given to relationships, emotions, and internal reasoning.
I’ve already gotten several people hooked on the idea of reading this book, and I’m glad book two is out already.  Even if I do have to wait until I get some other books read for reviews 🙂
PS I was inspired by the descriptions of the taro cards mentioned and have started working on designing some fan art.  Can’t wait to share it with you!

Summary:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Waiting on Wednesday: Ariadnis by Josh Martin

Ariadnis

Paperback, UK Paperback, 356 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2017 by Hachette
I accidentally stumbled across this title while browsing Twitter, I think.  Anyway, I loved how catching the cover was and the synopsis sounded like something I’d like.  It’s not available in the States yet, so I went looking on Book Depository and put in the order.  It will be very interesting to see where this story goes.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong

Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne
 I liked this book, but I didn’t LOVE this book.  The story and characters didn’t live up to my expectations, which stemmed from learning this is a Labyrinth reimagining, and, in the end, I couldn’t overcome my disappointment.  That’s not to say the writing isn’t good, and I know that people have–and will–love this book.  But, I didn’t, and that makes me sad.
To try and explain my feelings without being spoilery, I’m going to use my older method of review with pro/con bullet points.  I apologize if there are minor spoilers, but I’ve tried my best to avoid them.

Pros:

  • The characters have depth that matches the story
  • Goblins act like goblins
  • Focus on music throughout
  • I liked the inclusion of both the old religion and the new
  • We get to see what happens after the main character goes through the “labyrinth”

Cons:

  • Not enough clever riddles
  • The term “sacrifice” means you give something up completely (to me anyway) and that’s not how it was used in this novel
  • Goblin King presents as sullen throughout most of the book
  • I wanted the Goblin King to be snarky and clever, and he fell far short of that
  • The ending was unsatisfactory after the rest of the novel, not a cliffhanger, per se, but close to it

I’m hoping this author has more stories to tell, so I can give it another go.  Normally, I prefer authors to focus on the characters’ development, but here I felt like the story was under done.  As a debut, this was a fun effort, I just wanted more.

Summary:

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.