Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Three concentric circles—like a bull's-eye—ghosted over the top of the map. It was the risk grid, designed to show the increase in monsters and the need for vigilance as one traveled in toward the center of the city.
This week I am spotlighting This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. I got this eARC from Edelweiss. Here is the description from Amazon:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.

Monday, June 27, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 27, 2016)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme begun by Sheila at Book Journey. Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

My second full week of vacation was lovely. The weather was great - warm enough to have the windows open and but not so warm as to need the air conditioning. They are predicting possibly severe weather yet today but we only have gray skies so far.

I spent some of this week working on my blogging calendars and plans. I chose the books I'll be reading for August and prepared the posts as far as I could without having yet read the books. (I have three books to read before my July calendar is filled and scheduled.) All my Teaser Tuesday and Friday Memes are finished and scheduled. I've also made neat stacks of the print books I'll be reading and made sure that the books were on my Kindle if I didn't have the print copy.

I didn't manage to get all the books I brought home on the calendar but comfort myself with the fact that I should have read most of September's books before my vacation ends. I need to get far ahead because the beginning of the school year is not a time to have to stress over reading and reviewing books. 

Read Last Week
The Ministry of SUITs by Paul Gamble was a silly middle grade adventure that should appeal to kids who like that kind of humor. I particularly enjoyed the footnotes. My review will be posted on July 21 for this July 26 release.


Seizure by Kathy Reichs is the second book in the Virals series. It had been sitting on my TBR mountain since Oct. 18, 2011. I really enjoyed it. C'mon! Who doesn't want to read about a treasure hunt for a pirate's buried booty. And, as you can see by looking at my New This Week, added the rest of the series. I will try not to wait six years to read them. My review for Seizure will be posted on July 23.

Leviatian by Scott Westerfeld also spent some time on TBR mountain. I bought it on Oct. 26, 2010. I really enjoyed it and am glad that Behemoth and Goliath also made the trip home with me this summer. I liked the characters, the alternate history, and all the steampunk devices (although I'm not sure that the Darwinist's beasties are as much steampunk as they are science fiction.) My review will be posted on July 27.

Currently
I am reading The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray from my review stack. This gothic novel will be released on August 2 and came to me from Macmillan.

Next Week
I dug into TBR mountain for all of the books I plan to read this week.

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong arrived on October 13, 2015 making it a relative newcomer to the stack.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is also a newcomer. I got the print book last May and the Kindle book this June.
I also decided to read Forever by Maggie Stiefvater which has been on the stack since 2011 and The Raven Boys also by Stiefvater which has been on the stack since 2012. I have the print versions of each of these, the Kindle versions of each of these, and the SYNC audiobook of The Raven Boys.

Reviews Posted
All the reviews I posted last week were from books on my TBR mountain.
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
  • Code by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs
  • Terminal by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs
I also downloaded both of the SYNC audiobooks for this week:
You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Book Review: Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Soldier
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Talon Saga (Book 3)
Publication: Harlequin Teen (April 26, 2016)

Description: When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She's lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.

As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragon-slayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon's new order rises.

My Thoughts: This third book in the Talon saga has a number of twists and turns and a number of startling revelations. Ember is torn between her feelings for Riley and her feelings for Garret. She learns something from a Chinese dragon that makes her feeling more clear and more confused at the same time.

The rogues, led by Riley, are being hounded on two fronts. Both Talon and the Order of St. George have targeted them. What makes it even worse is that there is a secret conspiracy that may spell doom for our beleaguered rogues.

One of my favorite parts of the story was the visit to Talon's archives under an unassuming public library in Chicago. Getting a chance to meet one of the elder Wyrms was awesome.

Dante is getting deeper and deeper into the evil that it Talon as me makes choices that strip away any pretense of his making moral choices. There are startling revelations in his story arc too.

This was a strong entry into a great series. I can't wait for LEGION to be published. I need to know what is ahead for our heroes.

Favorite Quote:
To meet a Wyrm...that was like running into a celebrity. An extremely dangerous, powerful celebrity who could swallow you whole with scarcely a thought. Actually, it was more like meeting a fickle, unpredictable demigod and hoping you could sneak away without getting changed into a pile of ashes.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Memes: Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
The world was on fire.
Friday 56:
A muffled pop rang out, the distant retort echoing behind us, and Griffin jerked in his seat, his eyes going wide. I jumped and stared in shock as a thin stream of blood ran down his face from the hole in his forehead.
This week I am spotlighting Soldier by Julie Kagawa. This is the third book of 4 in her Talon Saga. Here is the description from Amazon:
When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She's lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.

As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragon-slayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon's new order rises.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Review: The Conjurer's Riddle by Andrea Cremer

The Conjurer's Riddle
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Inventor's Secret (Book 2)
Publication: Philomel Books (November 3, 2015)

Description: The Revolution is beginning–and Charlotte may be on the wrong side.

In this sequel to The Inventor's Secret, Charlotte and her companions escape the British Empire, but they haven't left danger behind. In fact, if they go against the revolutionaries, they face even greater peril.

Charlotte leads her group of exiles west, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans. But as Charlotte learns more about the revolution she has championed, she wonders if she's on the right side after all. Charlotte and her friends get to know the mystical New Orleans bayou and deep into the shadowy tunnels below the city–the den of criminals, assassins and pirates–Charlotte must decide if the revolution's goals justify their means, or if some things, like the lives of her friends, are too sacred to sacrifice.

This alternate-history adventure series asks the questions: What would have happened if America had lost the Revolutionary War? And what would people be willing to do to finally taste freedom?

My Thoughts: This is the second book in a trilogy and sees Charlotte, with her friends, fleeing the destruction of their hideout and heading across the country to New Orleans to join with the Resistance. Along with her other friends is Grave who is an unusual character who was made from the body of a mad inventor's dead son. Grave now has powers and skills that make him very valuable to whatever side in the revolution manages to take control of him. He has also excited various religious orders who seem to feel that he is an abomination to be destroyed.

Charlotte is determined to protect her friend Grave and not let anyone - no matter what side they are on - use him as if he were not human. Charlotte and her group are aided by Linnet and Lord Ott who also have their own agendas. She also reunites with Meg who was her brother's girlfriend and who has been hiding major fighting skills.

New Orleans is a fascinating city where all the inhabitants and visitors are required to wear masks. It is also guarded by a massive and very steampunk sea wall. But, best of all, there are pirates. I can't wait for the third book to read more of Charlotte's adventures as she protects Grave and likely has to deal with her two suitors again.

Favorite Quote:
The fire heating Charlotte's limbs no longer brought pleasure. It seared every inch of her flesh. She screamed in agony. Linnet seized Charlotte, holding her tight as Charlotte cried out and jerked violently in Linnet's arms.

The flames coalesced into a thick, molten tar that covered Charlotte's skin and poured down her throat, drowning her.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Review: The Sorcerer and the Crown by Zen Cho

The Sorcerer and the Crown
Author: Zen Cho
Series: A Sorcerer Royal Novel (Book 1)
Publication: Ace (September 1, 2015)

Description: In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite...

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman—a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar—as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession…

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

My Thoughts: This entertaining fantasy introduces an England where Napoleon would be fighting with magic had the English and French sorcerers not made a treaty. Things are not going well for English sorcery. Magic a drying up. The Sorcerer Royal died and passed the staff on to his adopted son who happens to be a freed slave and black. The rest of the magic community, composed primarily of members of the upper class, are determined to remove the staff from Zachariah's hands and place it into the hands of someone more worthy.

Zachariah takes a break from all the politics on London to make a speech at a girls' school and not only meets an unlikely young magician named Prunella but sees the length the headmistress will go to keep women from doing magic. Prunella decides to run away to London to make a better life for herself since she has been treated like an unpaid drudge since the death of her father. But she discovers that her father has left her a very powerful and very unexpected legacy.

Besides Zachariah and Prunella's adventures, we also have a visit to Fairyland, a visit from a very angry witch, and a sneaky magician who has wrested a familiar out of Fairyland. The story is filled with adventure and has very interesting characters. I liked the magical world that was created.

Fans of fantasy will enjoy this one.
Favorite Quote:
"Mr. Damerell may say what he likes, but I see no reason why we should restrain criticism of this absurd spectacle, child or no child," he snapped.

"I am sure you do not, Midsomer," said Damerell gently. "I have always admired your refusal, in the pursuit of your convictions, ever to be constrained by considerations of humanity—much less of ordinary good manners."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Conjurer's Riddle by Andrea Cremer

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Without breaking his stride, Grave turned, spotted the cat, and jumped. He hurtled through the air, his body crashing into the cat's. Cat and boy slammed to the ground a fury of limbs, teeth, and claws.
This week my teaser comes from The Conjurer's Riddle by Andrea Cremer. This is the second book in her alternate history series. Here is the description from Amazon:
The Revolution is beginning–and Charlotte may be on the wrong side.

In this sequel to The Inventor's Secret, Charlotte and her companions escape the British Empire, but they haven't left danger behind. In fact, if they go against the revolutionaries, they face even greater peril.

Charlotte leads her group of exiles west, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans. But as Charlotte learns more about the revolution she has championed, she wonders if she's on the right side after all. Charlotte and her friends get to know the mystical New Orleans bayou and deep into the shadowy tunnels below the city–the den of criminals, assassins and pirates–Charlotte must decide if the revolution's goals justify their means, or if some things, like the lives of her friends, are too sacred to sacrifice.

This alternate-history adventure series asks the questions: What would have happened if America had lost the Revolutionary War? And what would people be willing to do to finally taste freedom?