Throwback Thursday: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

Hardcover, 358 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company
 To be completely honest, Leigh Bardugo wasn’t on my radar until after the release of Six of Crows when I attended ALA for the first time through work.  I had heard really great things about it and that the sequel would be releasing soon, so I bought a used copy of Shadow and Bone to get signed and made up bookplates as well.  Just in case I fell in love with her writing 🙂
After meeting her briefly in the signing line and seeing her have lots of fun up on stage with Marissa Meyer, who I did love, I was convinced I would love Leigh’s books as well.  Unfortunately, I still didn’t get around to making time to read any of them until last week.  When I knew I was planning to meet her on tour tomorrow!  (I think it might have been that the original cover doesn’t appeal to me very much.)
The Gathering Dark (The Grisha, #1)
When I finally did start reading the first Grisha book, I was not at all surprised to find that I did like the story.  A lot!  I was compulsively reading it whenever possible and finished it quickly.  There are a lot of reviews out there that break the book down and talk about worldbuilding and characterization (both are great).  And plenty of fans that will tell you how amazing the author is (it’s true).  Plus several that will mention that the story isn’t new (because it’s not).  However, the only opinion that matters is how this story makes you feel.  That’s what reading is all about, right?
I liked this story a lot.  The characters were fun and the world was interesting (if a little confusing on some points).  But it made me remember why I like reading.  And that’s pretty awesome 🙂  So I definitely plan to finish this first trilogy and dive into Six of Crows with high expectations.  And hopefully, Leigh stills has some stories to tell in this world!
Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

Summary:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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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.

 

State of the Blog: March 2017

I did some thinking and soul-searching recently when I noticed that my 2017 releases TBR pile was growing majorly out of control.  After examining what was on my list as well as the goals for older TBR titles, I think I’ve come to a happy decision.  I’m going to focus on 2017 DEBUTS for my Pub. Month Challenge!

2017 Debuts

That’s not to say I won’t slip in some highly anticipated sequels or authors in the lineup, but I’m ridiculously excited and have already pre-ordered quite a few fantasy debuts this year that I very much want to see succeed.

And because I’m so excited about these debuts, I’m going to just share a quick peek at them here, so you know what to expect in the coming months!!  And look for a giveaway over on my Twitter in the near future (@reddjena).

Untitled design (1)

September Reads- New Releases I’m Excited to Read

September was a crazy month, both in real life and the publishing world.  There were so many new books that came out I was already dreading not having enough time to read them all.  And then art took up all my free time to get ready for the art show.  Plus 2 weddings.  Travel.  And a variety of other things that came up.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much reading accomplished last month.

I definitely want to share with you those books though because they are pretty fantastic.  Just be warned that this list will be long!

Continue reading

#ReadThemAllThon Wrap Up+ Totals

ReadThemAllThon Hall Of Fame.png

It’s time to post this reading challenge’s wrap-up, and I can’t believe that 3 weeks have already passed!  This was my first reading challenge, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, and it definitely shows in my final tally.  Unfortunately, I was plagued with two issues which affected my reading.  One, I had family and traveling stuff the first half of the challenge.  Two, the first book I picked up, And the Trees Crept In, was one of those books that interfered with my desire to continue reading.  You’ll see why if you follow the link above and read my review.

I also switched out a few titles based on availability and reading desires.  The Aeronaut’s Windlass replaced The Way of Kings for the Pewter Badge (first book in a series), and since I got my hands on an early copy of Empire of Storms, I swapped it in the the Thunder Badge (thunderous hype) to replace my previously chosen Mistborn, which I still plan on reading soon.

I had fun with this challenge and am looking forward to participating in more in the future.  Thanks Read at Midnight for hosting something so creative!!

Here are my final tallies.

final trainer

Name:  Liz/Redd
Blog: Redd’s Reads
Pokemon Used: Dratini (evolved into Dragonair)
Pewter Badge: The Aeronaut’s Windlass = 75
CP Points + 20CP completion bonus
Cascade Badge: And the Trees Crept In = 35
CP Points + 20CP completion bonus
Thunder Badge: Empire of Storms = 17
CP Points
Rainbow Badge:  0
CP Points
Marsh Badge: 0
CP Points
Soul Badge: 0
CP Points
Flame Badge: Sign of the Crescent = 1
CP Point
Earth Badge: 0
CP Points
Review Points: 1 review = 
20 CP, posted between 14/8-4/9.
Social Media Points: 10 tweets = 20 CP
Evolution Bonus: +50 CP  for dratini to dragonair evolution
Extra Books Read Bonus:  Didn’t even make it through the challenge 😦
Total: 268

Did you participate?  What books did you finish?  How far did your Pokemon level?

June and July Reads-New Releases I’m Excited to Read

Summer has been a really busy time for me, so here’s two months of new releases that I haven’t had a chance to read yet.

This Savage Song  (Monsters of Verity, #1)

This Savage Song and MyLady Jane were two books I probably wouldn’t have picked up if I hadn’t tried out OwlCrate after visiting their booth at BookCon16.  But they both look very interesting.

My Lady Jane

The Marked Girl (Marked Girl, #1)

This book sounds like an interesting parallel world story, and I haven’t read any of those in a while so thought I’d give this one a try.

Julia Vanishes

After reading the sampler included in one of my FanMail subscription boxes, I was hooked on Julia Vanishes.  I should have a review of this one up soon though as I’m reading it for the #ReadThemAllThon challenge.

Reliquary

The description for Sarah Fine’s newest novel reminded me of The Magicians tv show, which I really enjoyed.

And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1)

My excitement for this book has waned now that I’ve read some reviews and learned that this is actually historical fiction (albeit alternative history) instead of fantasy as it seemed to be marketed as.  It still sounds interesting though since it’s about a female version of Vlad the Impaler.

The Shadow Hour (The Girl at Midnight, #2)

Having recently read The Girl at Midnight, I’m excited to read the sequel to see where the story and the characters go next.

The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria, #1)

I received an advanced copy of this one through the AceRocStars, and it sounds like a fascinating new take on dragons and magical powers.

The Transference Engine

There’s a mechanical hummingbird on the front of this steampunk novel.  Need I say more?

Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)

Ink and Bone is one of my favorite library-related fantasies, so I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

What about you?  What came out in June and July that you’re excited to read?

 

 

Two August Challenges: #2016ARCAugust & #Augustofpages

I’m a little late to this party as I’m posting this in the evening of August 1 instead of putting it together yesterday.  But I just found these two challenges this morning and wanted to try them out.

ARC August is put together by Octavia and Shelley over on Read.Sleep.Repeat., and it looks like this is the 4th one they’ve put together.  The goal is to read a bunch of ARCs that have been piling up.  Luckily, I have already chosen some for the Pokemon Gym Reading Challenge, so I can use those plus the ones I had lined up for my personal pub. month challenge for September releases.

Here’s my TBR for August:

Pokemon Gym-

Impyrium by Henry Neff

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Pub. Month-

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

The Reader by Traci Chee

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Miscellaneous & NetGalley-

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Charmed by Jen Calonita

Now, I don’t expect to read all of these, but I should get through at least half of the titles listed.  I prefer to read as I feel though, so except for the two under Pokemon Gym, the rest will get read as I feel the draw.  And, I’ve already started on Stealing Snow!

august

As for the other challenge, last month I decided I should try my hand at #bookstagramming.  This challenge from CelineReads will give me a creative jumpstart in that realm as I have only a basic grasp of what to do.  Since I’m new to this, I probably won’t make a post every day, but I’m hoping to post at least every other day.  Day 1 tied in nicely with the ARC August, so you can see my photo for that at the top of this post!