Saturday, August 18, 2018

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. With this amazing meme, you can check out which books I've gotten.

From Hachette
Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco
In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

Rule by Ellen Goodlett
Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she's already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady's maid and scheming her way out of the servants' chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she's done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny... to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.

The Beast's Heart by Life Shallcross
A sumptuously magical, brand new take on a tale as old as time—read the Beast's side of the story at long last.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

The day I was cursed to this wretched existence was the day I was saved—although it did not feel so at the time.

My redemption sprung from contemptible roots; I am not proud of what I did the day her father happened upon my crumbling, isolated chateau. But if loneliness breeds desperation then I was desperate indeed, and I did what I felt I must. My shameful behaviour was unjustly rewarded.

My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart; she taught me how to be human again.

And now I might lose her forever.

Lose yourself in this gorgeously rich and magical retelling of The Beauty and the Beast that finally lays bare the beast's heart.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.

The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Series: Untitled #1
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace - someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
Grace and Fury is an epic story of family, feminism and survival. Once I started reading the book, I could not put it down. I highly recommend this one.

Serina and Nomi couldn't be more different. Serina is the dutiful sister, told from an early age that she was a beauty and would be raised to one day become a Grace so she has a chance of being one of the many Graces the King and his heir have. Serina will stop at nothing to become the best Grace, in order to give herself a better life, and provide more income for her family. Nomi believes this is all a trap, raised to be her sister's handmaiden, Nomi does everything to make Serina's job easier, the only problem is that she doesn't want Serina to become a Grace and would rather live at home with her twin brother and continue with every day life. But when Serina goes to the palace and the heir chooses Nomi to be one of his Graces, their roles switch, and before the two can figure out how to their new roles, Serina is caught taking the blame for a crime Nomi commits, a crime that sends her to an all woman prison located on a remote island. Now Nomi must navigate throughout the palace, and entertain the prince without doing anything to sabotage her position, while Serina must find a way to stay alive in prison in hopes of returning to her sister once again.

When I first started this book, I was a bit worried I would prefer one main character over the other. After getting about 4-5 chapters into the story, I fell in love with not only the story line, but both of the characters as well. Nomi and Serina are both very different to begin with, but throughout the story they see each other's point of view and why their sister acts the way she does. Their character development is astonishing, its probably the best character development I've read about in a couple years. Serina goes from being the soft and reserved girl to a strong woman thats not afraid to speak her mind and do what feels right to her heart, and Nomi went from being rebellious and not really caring about consequences, to finally learning how to slow down, think over her plans and do things for other people rather than just for herself. I loved both characters equally and can't wait to see what they will do next.

I thought the pacing and the plot of the story were very well written as well. The story picks up only a few chapters in, and the twists are so good that they keep the reader interested. So I'm giving you a warning now, once you get a few chapters in, you won't want to put the book down, so read at your own risk.

Besides the characters, the thing I loved most about this book was the world building. The two settings of the characters are so vastly different. You have the palace where everything is so lavish and intricate. Then you have the volcano island where the prison is located, and you get a natural setting with wilderness. While the two settings were so different, the author did an amazing job and making the image so vivd that I could picture it clearly in my head.

Overall, this book was incredible. I loved the message that it sends, as well as the characters and the world. I highly recommend this to all fans of fantasy, feminism and strong female characters. I can't wait to read more from this series, and I can't wait to read more from this author. 

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Black Wings Beating by Alex London

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Series: Skybound #1
Publication Date: September 25th, 2018
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer--while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She's nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he's long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother's future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.
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