Waiting on Wednesday: Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas

Dragon's Green (Worldquake Sequence, #1)

354 pages
Expected publication: April 6th 2017 by Canongate Books
Besides the fact that this book has Dragon in its title, I was super intrigued that this book focuses on an old family library, which leads to crazy puzzles and adventures.  The UK cover is gorgeous, and I think I read somewhere that it was going to be glow-in-the-dark for the first print run.  Or maybe that was for a special edition?  Either way, so excited to read this one!

Summary:

‘Some people think opening a book is a simple thing. It’s not. Most people don’t realise that you can get truly lost in a book. You can. Especially you. Do not open any of these books without my permission, Euphemia.’
Effie is a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted and Strange. When her grandfather becomes ill she discovers she is set to inherit the family library. The more she learns about it the more unusual it is. Before she knows it, her life is at risk from dark forces from this world and beyond, intent on using the books and the power they contain.
With her grandfather gone and the adult world ignoring her, can her unreliable classmates help save her life?
Packed with puzzles, curses, evil nemeses and a troupe of beguiling heroes, Dragon’s Green is an adventure novel for children about the nature of magic. It is the first in a chapter-book series for fans of Pullman’s Northern Lights, Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series, T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events series and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

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.

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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.

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.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim

The Crystal Ribbon

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by Scholastic Press
The cover for this book caught my eye.  It’s so pretty!  And the summary makes it sound like a fun little fairy tale set in medieval China.  Definitely on my 2017 TBR!

Summary:

In the village of Huanan, in medieval China, the deity that rules is the Great Huli Jing. Though twelve-year-old Li Jing’s name is a different character entirely from the Huli Jing, the sound is close enough to provide constant teasing-but maybe is also a source of greater destiny and power. Jing’s life isn’t easy. Her father is a poor tea farmer, and her family has come to the conclusion that in order for everyone to survive, Jing must be sacrificed for the common good. She is sold as a bride to the Koh family, where she will be the wife and nursemaid to their three-year-old son, Ju’nan. It’s not fair, and Jing feels this bitterly, especially when she is treated poorly by the Koh’s, and sold yet again into a worse situation that leads Jing to believe her only option is to run away, and find home again. With the help of a spider who weaves Jing a means to escape, and a nightingale who helps her find her way, Jing embarks on a quest back to Huanan–and to herself.

Waiting on Wednesday: RoseBlood by A. G. Howard

RoseBlood

Hardcover, 432 pages
Expected publication: January 10th 2017 by Amulet Books
Even though I still haven’t read Splintered, I’m excited that A.G. Howard has decided to tackle another retelling.  This time, though, it’s The Phantom of the Opera.  Having read the original work when I was younger (boy, was it dark and kind of gruesome) and enjoying the film version, I was excited to hear that someone was writing a retelling.
It’s not in the usual vein of stories chosen for re-writes, and that’s awesome because I can only read so many Cinderella and Snow White stories before I say enough.  2017 appears to have a nice change in the retellings trend with RoseBlood and Wintersong (think Labyrinth) as two of the ones I’m most excited for!

Summary:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

Waiting on Wednesday: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Windwitch (The Witchlands #2)

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 2017 by Tor Teen
Although I received an arc for this title, I haven’t read Truthwitch yet!!  As soon as I finish Strange the DreamerTruthwitch is next; however, I’m not sure that all of that will happen before Windwitch is released.  So, I thought I’d remind you that the release is coming in a few short weeks.  And don’t forget the pre-order bounty as Dennard is calling it on her website 🙂  Follow the link above!

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