Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for. 

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I was sent an unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher.

I wasn’t expecting much from this book so I was pleasantly surprised by Haven in a few ways.
I really like that this was a fairly unique take on Beauty and the Beast where the guy isn’t the “beast”. I’ve never seen anyone else do that so major props to Mary Linsey.
However, this book was slow for the first quarter or so. The first few chapters were a struggle to get through and I didn’t start to like the book until much later on.
I couldn’t really connect to the characters and they seemed a little lack luster to me.
The writing was pretty good though. I thought the style was nice and very clear.

Overall, Haven was good read but not quite my cup of tea. Even though I really liked the original spin on a very over done concept, my inability to fall in love with the characters was the downfall of this book. I think if you’re a less critical reader, you’ll enjoy Haven a lot more than I did, especially if you like retellings.

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Blog Tour: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle + Giveaway

31456593Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Published August 8th 2017

If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.

Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.

When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.

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Review

I really enjoyed The Accident Season so I was super hyped for Spellbook of the Lost and Found.
I love Moïra’s writing style so much. It’s so unique, creative, and almost poetic in some ways. I fell in love with her writing even more with SotLaF. The plot is so entertaining, there’s diverse characters, and the magic is bomb.
The only thing I wasn’t really into was how many perspectives there was. I’m not a big fan of multiple perspectives to begin with so that part of this book kind of drove me nuts at times.
But overall, Spellbook of the Lost and Found is full of creativity, beautiful writing, and magic. It really stands out to me in the sea of YA books and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something distinctive and interesting.

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on August 7, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
 

About the author

 

Moïra Fowley-DoyleMoïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and lives in Dublin with her husband, their young daughters, and their old cat. Moïra’s French half likes red wine and dark books in which everybody dies. Her Irish half likes tea and happy endings. Moïra started a PhD on vampires in young adult fiction before concentrating on writing young adult fiction with no vampires in it whatsoever. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight, when she was told that if she wrote a story about spiders she wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore. Moïra is still afraid of spiders, but has never stopped writing stories. She is the author of The Accident Season and Spellbook of the Lost and Found.

 

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Blog Tour: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor + Giveaway

32968540Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

Published July 11th 2017 

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?

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Review

I’ve been wanting to read Akata Witch ever since I seen it on Tumblr a few months ago. The cover is so beautiful and the synopsis sounded amazing. I heard that Akata Witch is “The Nigerian Harry Potter” and that definitely sold me.
My favorite thing about this book is the writing. It’s rare for me to come across a book with such timeless and articulate writing. Nnedi Okorafor is so talented and I’ll be reading any book she writes.
The characters were all well written and complex. I really loved Sunny from the first chapter and as the book went on, the more I loved her.
I also loved the world building and concept so much. It was so imaginative and unique.

I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. Akata Witch is a fantastic fantasy with beautiful world building and rich with culture. I definitely recommend picking up this book.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) sets that include the paperback of AKATA WITCH and a galley of AKATA WARRIOR (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 17th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 7, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

 

18746776Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book. 

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.

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About the Author

 

Nnedi OkoraforNnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr + Giveaway

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The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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A cross between Memento and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this is a unique, breathtaking page-turner about a girl with no short-term memory and her remarkable journey to find the one boy able to penetrate her fractured mind.
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. She lives under the careful watch of her parents, in a town she is familiar with, among people who are equally familiar with her story. She has not been able to recall any part of her past since she was ten, when the tumor that was removed from her brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this singular memory pierces Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake and their shared kiss are responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step in reclaiming her life.
With little more than the tattoo “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is, how old, where she lives, and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to the land of the midnight sun–Svalbard, Norway. There she is determined to find Drake, and to explore the romantic possibilities and hopeful future that their reunion promises her. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.
Rich with psychological twists, powerful moments of hope, despair, and confusion, and a landscape very much a character unto itself, The One Memory of Flora Banks is an emotionally compelling and immersive read that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the depths of the human heart, and the power of the human mind.

Published May 2nd 2017 by Penguin Teen

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Review

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book made me feel so many different feelings. I really liked it but I was also a bit frustrated at times.

I liked Flora even though she was a little slow at times and pretty naive. I thought she was a very interesting character. I did kind of annoy me that the one thing she could remember was a boy. This book did tend to be more about the boy than Flora and I would have liked it to focus more on Flora and her well being.

The One Memory of Flora Banks reminded me a bit of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver in the sense that it was repetitive. I honestly can’t think of a better way to represent Flora’s disability and situation but if you’re easily annoyed by a tedious plot, you might want to skip this book.

I did really enjoy the writing style. I thought this book was really well written and I also really liked Flora’s friendship with Paige.

Overall, I had some mixed feelings when reading this book but in the end, I enjoyed it. It’s pretty different from most books I’ve read and I really appreciate the originality.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 22, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about May 24, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About the author

unnamedEmily Barr (www.emilybarr.com) began her career as a journalist at the Guardian before realizing that she was drawn more toward books. After taking a year to go backpacking for a column assignment, she returned home with the idea for her first book, the New York Times bestseller Backpack, and never looked back. She has since written 11 additional books for adults. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her young adult debut. Emily lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. You can follow her on Twitter @emily_barr.

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Blog Tour: The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

30969271The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3) by Lucinda Riley

Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Atria Books

Travel through the lush English countryside and explore the magnificent estates of the British aristocracy in this next spellbinding love story in The Seven Sisters series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life…

As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.

The Shadow Sister is the third in the sweeping Seven Sisters series, “soaked in glamour and romance” (Daily Mail) and perfect for fans of Downton Abbey and the novels of Kate Morton.

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I was sent an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Even though this is the third installment, I heard it could be read on its own so that’s what I did. That being said, I definitely want to go back and read the first two books.

I enjoyed this book so much! It was so incredibly well written. It almost read like a film in an odd (yet wonderful) way. It was descriptive without getting caught up in the details and making the story drag.
I really loved the setting. This is one of my favorite historical fictions that I’ve read.
I wasn’t a big fan of the main character, Star, but I thought she had some really great character development. It wasn’t a massive change but it was really well written development.

Overall, this is such a fun read and I really enjoyed it. It’s amazingly well written and I can’t wait to go back to read the first two books. If you’re looking for a historical fiction, I definitely recommend picking this book up.

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Order The Shadow Sister:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Blio

Google

Kobo

TELEVISION SERIES

The Seven Sisters series has been optioned to be adapted for television by Raffaella de Laurentiis’s company Raffaella Productions. Daughter of legendary filmmaker Dino de Laurentiis, Raffaella has worked as a producer and studio executive in film and television for decades, including well-known projects like Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Dragonheart and its sequels.

About the author

Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley is the #1 internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including The Seven Sisters and The Storm Sister. Her books have sold more than eight million copies in thirty four languages. Lucinda lives with her husband and four children on the North Norfolk coast in England and West Cork, Ireland. Visit her online at LucindaRiley.com

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Blog Tour: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis + Giveaway

25314447Given to the Sea (Given Duet #1) by Mindy McGinnis

Published April 11th 2017

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

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Review

I was sent an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of Mindy McGinnis’ and her books will always be on my auto-buy list. I was super excited to read Given to the Sea and I might have had my expectations a little high.
Given to the Sea is a lot different from her other books and I can’t quite place my finger on what it is that was so different. The writing was oddly different from her other books so maybe that’s what was throwing me off.
I did really love the concept of this book. I think the world building was a little lacking but I thought the concept was wonderful.
The characters are all different from each other. I liked being able to see different perspectives and I think the distinct perspectives helped fill in the gaps of the world building.
I did feel fairly disconnected from the characters through out the book and I wished I had been more emotionally invested in them.

Overall, I did enjoy this book even though it’s not my favorite from Mindy. I really liked the concept but I thought the world building could have been better. I think I’ll be rereading this book very soon to see if maybe it just wasn’t just a weird mood I was in when I read this book. If you’re looking for a YA fantasy read, I think Given to the Sea is worth checking out.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 3, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 24, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 26, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

5351825About Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning author and assistant teen librarian who lives in Ohio. She graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in English Literature and Religion, and sees nothing wrong with owning nine cats. Two dogs balance things out nicely.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

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Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

Expected publication: April 11th 2017

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Review

I might be a little biased because I love the Hamilton musical so much but I really enjoyed Alex and Eliza. Musical aside, I thought this was such a fun historical fiction and you don’t have to be a fan of the Hamilton musical to enjoy this book.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Alex and Eliza but this book was actually way better than I thought it would be. I haven’t been a big fan of the Melissa de la Cruz books I’ve read in the past but this was the best book I’ve read from her by far.
I wasn’t totally sold on the love story aspect of the story. It was fine but I was actually way more interested in pretty much everything else that was going on. I know it’s supposed to be focused on the love story aspect but I think it could have been more engaging.
There was a few places that I found a bit slow and boring but I think that goes back to the fact I wasn’t sold on the love story.
I did love the overall concept and the characters. I really loved seeing different side of the characters compared to the musical. This book is different from the musical and is just inspired by it so if you go into this book thinking they’re one in the same, like I did, you might be disappointed.

Overall, I really enjoyed Alex and Eliza. I think it could have better written but considering I’m usually not a fan of the author’s writing style, it was 10x better than I expected. This is one of the better historical fiction books that I’ve read and I think it’s worth reading.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 27, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 24, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 26, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Pre-order Alex & Eliza to get a custom Alex & Eliza enamel pin and a bookplate signed by Melissa de la Cruz!

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About Melissa de la Cruz

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Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels. Her Blue Bloods series has sold over three million copies, and the Witches of East End series became an hour-long television drama on the Lifetime network.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

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He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

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Review

Nemesis was a fun read. I read it fairly quickly and I enjoyed it for the most part. It wasn’t what I expected, which I liked but Nemesis gave me some major The 5th Wave vibes. Not in a bad way but I think it could have been more original in some ways.
Nemesis was exciting and pretty unpredictable, which I really liked. I also really enjoyed the writing style.
I wasn’t really able to become emotionally invested in the characters but I liked them anyway.
Overall, Nemesis was a pretty good read. I liked it and I really loved how unpredictable it was. There was a lot of action and the cliffhanger will probably get me to pick up the next book. I wasn’t able to really fall in love with the characters but that wasn’t a major deal breaker.

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 20, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 3, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About Brendan Reichs

unnamed.jpgBrendan Reichs was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to co-write the Virals series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Emily, daughter, Alice, and son, Henry. He plans to keep writing novels until they drag him from his desk.

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Blog Tour: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza + Giveaway

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empress-coverEmpress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Publication: February 7th 2017 by Razorbill

Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

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Review:

This book was almost everything I wanted it to be and more.
I absolutely fell in love with the word building and the characters were amazing. I’d never read a “space opera”, as this was repeatedly described as, but I loved it. It was so exciting and fun and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was a little confusing at times but I didn’t mind.
I really liked the characters even though I never became emotionally invested in them.
The only reason I gave this book four stars is because the synopsis says Rhee and Aly “are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy” and that never really happens.
But other than that, I loved this book. Empress of a Thousand Skies has diverse characters, an awesome concept, and killer world building.

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Giveaway

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 20, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 22, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About Rhoda Belleza

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Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.

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Guest Post: Top 5 Things to Know About City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson + Giveaway

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We’re so excited to be participating in the City of Saints and Thieves blog tour and we’re super honored to have a guest post from  Natalie herself! Be sure to check out the giveaway for a chance to win one of five finished copies of City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie Anderson.

Without any further ado, here’s Natalie’s Top 5 Things to Know About City of Saints and Thieves.

  1. The City: City of Saints and Thieves is set in a fictional city in Kenya. Sangui City is both old and modern, with architecture and culture influenced by hundreds of years of trade with the Arab world, India and China, just like the real coastal cities of Mombasa and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. But it also has the energy and edge of Nairobi. And like Nairobi, it’s a place of extremes, where both the fabulously wealthy and abjectly poor live within a stone’s throw of each other. I lived in Nairobi for about three years and traveled extensively in Africa for work, and just couldn’t pick one spot to base the story. But one of the great perks of being a writer is that you get to make stuff up. :)
  2. The main character, Tina (aka Tiny Girl) is a street-wise girl who had to grow up fast. After her mother was killed she left the wealthy Greyhill manor where she lived, and began fending for herself, ending up joining a ruthless gang, the Goondas. That’s where she honed her skills as a thief and started working on her plan to avenge her mother’s death. She’s a loner. She would tell you she doesn’t have time for friends, and all that really matters to her is her plans for revenge and making sure her kid sister Kiki stays safe. 
  3. It’s a story of revenge. Or is it? City of Saints and Thieves starts with Tina making it clear that the thing she wants most in the world is revenge against the man she knows murdered her mother. And there’s no way she’s wrong about who the killer is. After all, she practically overheard him say he was going to do the deed. She’s been focused on making him pay for practically her whole life. Just as her plan is being set into motion she gets caught red-handed by her once-best friend (who inconveniently happens to be the murderer’s son). He’ll only let her go if they work together to get solid proof, once and for all, of who the murderer is. 
  4. The Rules: Tina has a rule for everything. (The working title of the book, in fact, was Rules for Thieves) Every time something bad happens she makes a rule for herself out of it, so she’ll never make the same mistake twice. Tina would never explain it this way, but Boyboy would tell you that It’s her way of maintaining control over her otherwise rather unstable life. The rules keep her focused and sharp, which she needs if she’s going to carry out her plan for revenge.
  5. Tina and her mother left DR Congo as refugees when Tina was only five. Millions of people have fled Congo over the years, as the Eastern part of country has gone through periods of severe instability dating back to colonial times. The recent conflicts in the area where Tina is from are incredibly complex, with dozens of different paramilitary groups, several different nearby countries, and other international governments and companies involved. Why? Because mining for tin, copper, diamonds, tantalum, gold and other minerals is a huge source of wealth for all of them. And while these resources could go into developing the country, the government is both corrupt and also not stable enough to ensure that mines are run safely. And in fact, many militia groups and government soldiers alike use mining and slave labor to fund themselves. If you’re interested in learning more, The Enough Project has some excellent reports: enoughproject.org

Giveaway

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Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) finished copies of City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie Anderson (ARV: $18.99).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on January 16, 2017 and 11:59 PM on February 3, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 8, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

CityOfSaintsAndThieves.jpgAbout City of Saints and Thieves:

Publication: January 24th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.
 
In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

 

About Natalie C. Anderson:

Natalie C. AndersonNatalie C. Anderson is a writer and international development professional living in Boston, Massachusetts. She has spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children’s Writer in Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints and Thieves.

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