Waiting on Wednesday: The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

Paperback, 300 pages
Expected publication: June 1st 2017 by Skyscape
Such a compelling read that I had to finish it in a day. I couldn’t get myself to put it down for very long!  It was also refreshing to visit a different culture than that of European origin or inspiration.  I love fantasy books that use knights and dragons and lush forests, but it’s also fun to visit the desert.  Drawing on Sumerian mythology and desert nation cultures, King did a great job of blending magic and intrigue into a maturation and finding-self tale.

Continue reading

Book Review: You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish

Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: June 6th 2017 by NorthSouth Books

 

I love that Rainbow Fish is still teaching children important life lessons and etiquette! I remember the original story being a favorite when I was a child, and I’m so excited that I can share this book with a new generation. I had forgotten about this little fish for a while, but there are so many new stories that I want to read and share with all the children in my personal and professional life.  I highly recommend this series.  Especially since almost all the books include iridescent scales throughout!  So pretty 🙂

Review copy provided by publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, which did not affect from opinion or review.

Summary:

A brand new title in the bestselling Rainbow Fish series!

Everyone loses once in a while. But being a good sport when you lose isn’t always easy—not even for Rainbow Fish. A lighthearted look at accepting loss without losing your sparkle!

The Rainbow FishRainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea (Rainbow Fish (North-South Books))Rainbow Fish: The Dangerous Deep

March 2017 Releases to Read

It’s already time to look back on March to see what books came out that I just didn’t have time to read!  Surprisingly, I was able to read more March books than January and February books.  But maybe that’s just because there were so many more releases.  Who knows?  Anyway, here’s the releases I want to read but will have to wait a bit.

Continue reading

Book Review: Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn

Keeper of the Dawn

Paperback, 205 pages
Expected publication: April 18th 2017 by Book Smugglers Publishing

Two days ago, I saw a tweet from the Book Smugglers about the release of their first title in the Novella Initiate, Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn.  They sent me an epub to read (which in no way affects the honesty of this review), and I found myself wanting to devour it without stop once I got started.  Unfortunately, that was late at night after a long day, so my eyes kept closing and I had to stop about 2/3 in.  But I picked it up again this morning!

This was a fantastic, short read!  It was almost perfect; I just wanted more world building.  But that’s a problem I have with any short fiction pieces.  I always find myself wanting more.

What I did get was great characters and a plot that spoke to me on a deeper level.  It was something I needed right now when my life is mental turmoil.  The whole story is based on being able to achieve your dreams and goals, but you may not make it there the way you thought you would.  It was very uplifting to read a story where the protagonist just follows down the path that was chosen for them because of a prophecy or fate.  Lai knows what she wants, her path is littered with affirmations that she’ll get it, but then she fails and has to readjust.

Along the way, she discovers more about herself and the world she lives in.  We also get a beautifully told female/female relationship that doesn’t feel forced, nor is it just there.  It provides support and stability for Lai when the rest of her life is in turmoil.

Since this is a novella, I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll stop here.  But know that I loved this piece, and can’t wait to see what else the Novella Initiate has to offer us.

Summary:

Sometimes failure is just the beginning

All Lai has ever wanted is to become a priestess, like her mother and grandmother before her, in service to their beloved goddess. That’s before the unthinkable happens, and Lai fails the trials she has trained for her entire life. She makes the only choice she believes she can: she runs away.

From her isolated desert homeland, Lai rides north to the colder, stranger kingdom of Alanum—a land where magic, and female warriors, are not commonplace.

Here, she hears tales about a mountain city of women guardians and steel forgers, worshiping goddesses who sound very similar to Lai’s own. Determined to learn more about these women, these Keepers of the Dawn, Lai travels onward to find their temple. She is determined to make up for her past failure, and will do whatever it takes to join their sacred order.

Falling in love with another initiate was not part of the plan.

Keeper of the Dawn is a tale of new beginnings, second chances, and the endurance of hope.

Book Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)

Hardcover, 376 pages

Published January 10th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I’m happy to share that I finally had the opportunity to read this gripping fantasy.  There were parts that reminded me of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, but Elly Blake was able to give us a wonderful story that unfolded into something that, while maybe not the most original, was definitely a fun read.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday: Dream Magic by Joshua Khan

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

DREAM MAGIC, A SHADOW MAGIC NOVEL

by Joshua Khan

Disney-Hyperion | On Sale April 11, 2017

Hardcover ISBN: 9781484737620 | $16.99 | $17.99 Can. | 352 pages | Ages 8-12

Ebook ISBN: 9781368002462

Even though I loved Shadow Magic and was intrigued by this cover, my fear of spiders almost stopped me from reading this amazing story.  But I’m glad I chanced the nightmares, which I didn’t have thankfully, because this book was just as good as the first one.  The crystalline spiders were indeed quite creepy, but they totally fit with the story and I loved that they were so integral to the plot as they added a sense of urgency to the characters.  I liked them so much that I drew up some of my own to share 🙂

Continue reading

5 Reasons You Need to Read the Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

I just finished reading Silence Fallen, which is book 10 in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.  The series is adult urban fantasy and features shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, and fae in the Northwestern states.  I can’t remember when I first started reading it, maybe around book 4 or 5?  But I have been impatiently waiting for each new addition ever since.  Since some of you may not know this series, I decided not to review book 10 on its own, but to give you some overall insight into the full series.  You know, to get you hooked!

Mercy Thompson (1)

Here are my top 5 reasons to pick up this series and never put it down!

 

  1. Quick reads due to fluid writing
    • Each book stays around 300 pages and avoids purple prose
    • Seems like once I start a book, I find myself only setting it down to use the toilet or sleep
  2. Fantastic characters
    • Mercy is the driving story, so she gets her own numbered reason
    • Adam, werewolf alpha that also has a sensitive and fun side
    • Coyote, a Trickster that makes the occasional appearance
    • Even the side characters that appear briefly get nuance built into them
  3. Cover art
    • Dan Dos Santos is a genius of his craft, and these covers are all splendid
    • Details match the interior story without spoilers
  4. Main character growth and maturity
    • Unlike some series where the main character becomes invincible quickly, I don’t see Mercy having that problem
    • Every experience (plot) has a profound and noticeable effect on the heroine
    • Mercy has flaws, redemptive qualities, and as much personality as a human
    • Mercy makes mistakes and learns from them
  5. Fantastic beasts and monsters
    • Besides the big bads of werewolf, vampire, witch, and fae, we are introduced to other creatures from folklore
    • No big bad is limited by the archetype (ie. Stefan the vampire loves Scooby-Doo)
    • Monsters are not just good or evil, they exist on a spectrum

Hopefully, this gives you enough knowledge to get a sense of Mercy’s world without spoiling any of the major character developments or plotlines.  If you’ve already read this series, please share why you liked or disliked it!  Did I miss something important for this list?

February 2017 Releases to Read

This list is a tad bit late as it’s almost time to make my March releases list, but I wanted to make sure I shared several titles that I’m truly excited about, but they just didn’t fit into my reading schedule yet.

Dying to Read-Look for my Review Later

King's Cage (Red Queen, #3)The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death (The Hollows #0.1)The Wish Granter (Ravenspire, #2)Daughter of the Pirate KingAriadnis

Books I Plan to Read as Time Allows:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets WorldEmpress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies, #1)One Blood Ruby (Seven Black Diamonds, #2)The Dragon's Price (Transference, #1)Long May She Reign

Yeah, February was a big month for sequels and new series starts.  It may be awhile before I can get back to even a third of these, but I will get them read eventually as they all sound amazing!