Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. […]
Release date Feburary 27, 2018!
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Page Count: 480
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: No Rating - DNF
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
DNFing at 40%
Today, the Grand Duchess would choose her heir–and the thirtieth Emperor of the Iron Kingdom. So naturally, with everyone distracted, it was a good day for a heist.
I think I need to take a break from YA Sci-Fi for a bit. Heart of Iron felt like a loose combination of Zenith and Illuminae, (but replace the creepy zombie people with creepy red-eyed “metals” aka robots) and Star Wars. The main problem I had with this book was that I felt that there wasn’t really anything new. Besides the religious system developed, everything else seemed too typical (and predictable) for this genre.
The story is told from multiple character point-of-views, shifting between the main protagonist Ana, to D09 (a robot), to Robb, Erik, and then Jax which makes it difficult to follow who’s head we are in. All characters are from variable backgrounds when considering class, status, orientation, and race. Robb and Erik, both sons of the royal Ironblood family, stand at opposing ends from one-another. Tensions between their family, including their queen mother, are high. Ana, a girl-turned-thief that has no recollection of her past and is searching for a new core to fix her beloved glitching robot D09. Jax, a Solani pilot from an ancient race of beings has special abilities to predict others’ futures. Clearly, diversity is highly represented between the characters on multiple levels, which is refreshing. However, there is little distinction between the characters themselves when the point-of-view is shifted from one to another.
This section will contain SPOILERS.
There are a couple of aspects that I want to discuss that turned me away from this book. This does not go to say that another reader won’t like this book. I just wanted to give a more concise depiction of why I DNF’d this read.
#1 There is one particular romance that is budding from the beginning between Ann and D09. While some people may not mind the fact that a human is in love with a robot, that’s fine. For myself, this is downright weird and something I don’t care to read about.
#2 The fact that this is said to be an Anastasia retelling makes it perhaps too-revealing? In the first portion of the book, we learn that Ana has no recollection of her past. She was found in space in an escape pod with her robot. Then, there is talk of a missing female heir. So…if my conclusions are correct…she’s the one missing. This is speculation, as I didn’t finish the read. However, all arrows seem to be pointing in that direction.
End of SPOILERS.
Overall, the plot is set up to be overly-predictable. Up until almost half-way through the read, I didn’t feel any unique pull grounding me to the story, and I lost interest. I also didn’t care for some of the connections being made between the characters, and decided overall that this isn’t a read for me.
Vulgarity: I counted 45 words (including made-up cuss words) up until 40%.
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: Moderate – there are several fighting scenes.
Release day February 27, 2018! Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her […]
It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and […]
When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Author: Kim Chance
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Flux Books/North Star Editions
Page Count: 408
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Cover Artist: Jake Slavik
My Review: ★★★
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
All great wars are fought over power.
While I really wanted to love this book, I just couldn’t find it in me to rate it any higher than three stars. The first 20% sucked me in. Lainey is the typical, everyday girl that is completely unsuspecting. Her observant but sassy character was refreshing and captivating to begin with. Then, the weird and rather creepy encounter between her and the witch takes place, and the plot’s individuality and pacing goes downhill from there.
One of the biggest issues I had with this book was that Lainey persistently believed that she needed to handle these supernatural situations alone–when she lives with her uncle and his obviously “witchy” girlfriend. (view spoiler)[(By witchy I mean, is basically a witch herself) (hide spoiler)] If you live with someone who speaks about your energy regularly, and practices rituals religiously, I’d think that would be a great resource to confide in after an experience like Lainey had with encountering the dead woman. I get that some people might think you are crazy for saying these things, but that’s not the case here. It’s simply too obvious of a solution.
As Lainey continues to deny the fact that she’s seeing a ghost that is trying to communicate with her, the plot drags on for the first half of the book. Lainey meets a mysterious character named Ty, who is of the tall, dark, and handsome sorts. He instantly becomes a love-interest for Lainey, although she tries to deny that as well. Lucky for her, Ty knows more about this world she is encountering than she.
As Lainey uncovers the secret behind these odd encounters with the woman, she realizes she’s very unprepared to deal with the responsibility that has been set in her lap. Too many times these types of characters become overly-capable in an unrealistic time-frame. A crash course in self-defense turns people into super-heroes, which is what happened here. I would have liked to see more of a progression in Lainey’s abilities rather than the instantaneous progression that happened.
Despite its short-comings, this was an entertaining read. It wasn’t as in-depth, or original as I was hoping. However, its characters were likable, had some depth, and the main topic was unique. It simply needed more focus on its uniqueness in order to help it gain some distinguishability.
These numbers may not be 100% accurate, but I counted each word I came across.
“You can’t control what happens to you, only how you react to it.”
“Actions define character, not circumstances.”
“All great wars are fought over power.”
Released today, February 6, 2018! When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. Partial synopsis […]
Released today, January 2, 2018! Tempest and Tally Jo Trimble are mirror twins—so alike they were almost born the same person—and they’ve been inseparable since birth. But it’s the summer they turn thirteen, and it seems like everyone can tell something is changing between them. […]
Released today, January 2, 2018!
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Untitled #1
Author: Sara Holland
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Page Count: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★★★
I received this copy from the publisher via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Most people find the forest frightening, believing the old tales of fairies who will freeze the time in your blood, or witches who can spill your years out over the snow with only a whisper. Even the spirit of the Alchemist himself is said to wander these woods, trapping whole eternities in a breath.
Jules Ember is no stranger to hardship. She’s been a servant all her life, working alongside her father to survive. Growing up on Everless, a wealthy estate owned by the Gerling family, she grew to be friends with one of the two Gerling sons. But when a tragedy struck, Jules’ father was blamed and they were cast out.
Years pass and her father struggles to provide for her. Knowing that his time was close to expiring, Jules decides to return to Everless for employment for time as a lady’s maid. Returning to the estate opens a floodgate of memories, some sweet, but many bitter. As she faces those ghosts of her past, she realizes that some of those ghosts aren’t as transparent as she believed.
Oh, this book was such a surprise! I thought it was going to be another mediocre YA fantasy novel with an eye-catching cover—I swear, I’m like a moth to a flame when it comes to amazing book covers.
There, I admit it.
Let’s get on to the things I liked:
#1 There are so many elements of mystery throughout this tale that kept me completely engaged, wanting to get to the end of the story as quick as possible! This book masterfully ties the past into the present by utilizing time as a major theme. Accompanying that, a creative myth is spun of an old feud between a sorceress and an Alchemist, lasting centuries long. These two aspects were keys to upholding this mystery. It felt like no matter what scene it was, there was a big, pink elephant standing in the corner, just waiting to be noticed!
#2 The pacing is fast and intense once the backstory is given and the characters are introduced. The first maybe 20% I was a bit…bored. But I waited it out, taking note of key characters and facts as they came along. Once the plot moves from that neck of the woods, it just builds and builds and builds…
#3 I won’t say much on this one so I don’t spoil anything for anyone, but the author does a great job at avoiding a possible love triangle! I was so worried we’d end up with yet another #teamwhosawhata and #teamforgetmenot (but really, I forget a lot of them because there are just too many in YA to keep track of!)
I’ll just say it’s not the nicest thing to happen in the book.
#4 The characters were well written and believable in each of their situations. While the fantastical undoubtedly takes place, it is not forced at all. I felt, especially with Jules’ character, that what happened to her actually could have happened. This is the key element that takes a fantasy story to an entirely different level.
#5 The climax and ending had me like…
Things I didn’t like:
There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this book. It had a bit of a slower start. Once the characters were introduced and the stage was set, the pacing ramped up. The only thing I would have liked to see more of was a wider view of Sempera, the world/land in which Everless resides.
I thought this book was original, refreshing, and intoxicating. I’m awaiting the
Vulgarity: None that I recall.
Sexual content: Minimal.
Violence: Moderate – there were a few scenes that I cringed at.
Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated. When a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, fifteen-year-old Shea moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes […]
Released today, December 5, 2017! Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life […]
Luckily, my list for ARCs this month is quite short, (as you can see) so I will be catching up on overdue ARCs.
The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
And…that’s it! I read The Bird and the Nightingale, book one in the Winternight Trilogy earlier this year. While I was on the fence with it, I’m still looking forward to diving in with Arden’s beautiful writing again. You can see my review on Goodreads here!
Are there any books being published in December that you are anticipating? Let me know in the comments below!
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s […]
Release date May 28, 2017! Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, […]