Release Day, May 1, 2018! In the beginning, there was silence. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Song of Blood & Stone Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1Author: L. PenelopePublication Date: May 1, 2018Publisher: St. Martin’s PressPage Count: 384Format: eARCGenre: Young Adult, Fantasy, RomanceCover Artist: —My Rating: Since […]
THE PLOT THICKENS as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: The Lady Janies #1
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Listening Length: 13 hours and 48 minutes
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Humor
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★★★
This is by far the most enjoyable and entertaining Audiobook that I’ve listened to, to date! Going into it, I didn’t realize My Lady Jane was a historical fiction retelling with a huge side of humor and fantastical twists. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and would recommend it to anyone!
Not only is the story very well written, the narration by Katherine Kellgren absolutely makes this audiobook come to life. Being the only narrator, Katherine does an amazing job at differentiating between several different characters. Her voice is dynamic and mimics the situation naturally and effortlessly.
Because Katherine’s vocal style is so natural, it makes connecting to the characters incredibly easy. Her ability to change accents is effortless and gave me the impression that I was listening to several different narrators depict the characters instead of one!
If you desire a good laugh, a little bit of (distorted) history, and some very likable characters, My Lady Jane is the next pick for you!
Sexual content: There are some discussions about the topic, but its executed in a way that isn’t awkward for the reader–just funny.
Wheels Gone Cats PUBLISHER: PARLIAMENT HOUSE PRESS Synopsis In a future where violence is encouraged and duels are required by law, Dathin Long has the answer: devolution. He proposes a medical procedure that will restore humanity to the state of primal bliss—to pure reptilian instinct, before […]
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. […]
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 provided by Goodreads.
Series: Wintersong #2
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Page Count: 368
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Cover Artist: Anna Gorovoy
My Rating: ★★★★★
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
1) Wintersong: ★★★★★
For anyone who has read (and loved…or disliked) Wintersong, be prepared, because this sequel is probably not what you are expecting. But trust me, if you allow yourself the opportunity, this book can sweep you away in a storm of folklore, complexity, and utter lyrical beauty all on its own.
Just as I had written in my review for Wintersong, the writing in Shadowsong has a way of making me feel raw. These characters, Liesl, Josef, Kathe, the Goblin King, are utterly stripped of their complexity and bared for the entire world to see their soul. The writing quality has surpassed my expectations in this series and made me appreciate Jae-Jones as an author immensely. What I appreciate most is the risk she took to also bare her own soul within these characters.
Madness is a strange word. It encompasses any sort of behavior or thought pattern that deviates from the norm, not just mental illness. I, like Liesl, am a functioning member of society, but our mental illnesses make us mad. They make us arrogant, moody, selfish, and reckless, They make us destructive, to both ourselves and to those we love. We are not easy to love, Liesl and I, and I did not want to face that ugly truth.
In the author note, she also noted that there is content such as: self-harm, addiction, reckless behavior, and suicide ideation. These traits are shared among several members of the cast.
How can I go on when I am haunted by ghosts? I feel him, Sepp. I feel the Goblin King when I play, when I work on the Wedding Night Sonata. The touch of his hand upon my hair. The press of his lips against my cheek. The sound of his voice, whispering my name. There is madness in our bloodline.
Despite this fact, I think this was a wonderful read. I was utterly surprised by the complexity of this duology. From what I gathered in Wintersong, I did not foresee the path in which this plot would traverse. Shadowsong is a mix of retellings between Goblin Market, the story of Hades and Persephone, and the Wild Hunt. Majority of the time, the plot walks a narrow path, dipping toes in both the fantastical and reality, obscuring which is which. I believe the way in which this book is written is figurative to Liesl’s experience as a character. Her constant battle between living in the “real world,” yet, being enticed by the underground and back to her beloved is palpable.
I who had grown up with my grandmother’s stories, I who had been the Goblin King’s bride and walked away knew better than anyone the consequences of crossing the old laws that governed life and death. What was real and what was false was as unreliable as memory, and I lived in the in-between spaces, between the pretty lie and the ugly truth. But I did not speak of it. Could not speak of it.
Liesl’s fears and deliberations are not without merit. She knows, along with those that still hold to the Old Laws, that there are consequences for each and every action. The Old Laws must be appeased. By thwarting them, the Wild Hunt occurs, seeking souls to balance the scales. As the threat draws nearer, Liesl grows more erratic in her deliberations, trying to protect her sister Kathe, repair her relationship with her brother Josef, and learn to live with herself and accept who she is. Acceptance proves to be a main theme throughout this story. Each character struggles with acceptance of a certain truth in their life, but instead, try to ignore it by
I was so focused on being Elisabeth, alone, I had not thought about what it meant to be Elisabeth, entire. And that meant embracing my past as well as uncertain future. I was so determined to not wallow in my misery that I made myself lonely; I pushed away memories and feelings and connections not only to the Goblin King, but myself. I had mourned, but I had not let myself grieve. I had not let myself feel. Don’t think. Feel.
While I wish there had been more appearances from the Goblin King himself, I’m glad there wasn’t. I think that after Liesl’s experience in the underground required this sort of backlash in her character. Her transformation from the Goblin Queen back to Liesl required addressing. No matter how “romantic” her experience in the underground may have been, (although, it was definitely twisted) Liesl experienced much that required more attention. It is in Shadowsong where Liesl truly becomes a woman and owns each part of herself–whole and broken. That is the beauty of this story–learning to accept that we all have attributes, experiences, memories, and influences that make and break our character. It’s how we deal with those points that define who we are. I couldn’t help but feel forced to look inward and evaluate parts of myself I wished to ignore while traversing these pages. It also forced me to consider others and observing these same qualities that makeup people around me.
“Who are you?” I whisper. He nods at me. You know who I am, Elisabeth. “You are the man with music in his soul,” I tell him. “You are the one who showed me a way to myself when I was lost in the woods. My teacher, my playmate, my friend.” I choke a little on the sobs rising from my throat. “You allowed me to forgive myself for being imperfect. For being a sinner. For being me.” If my brother is my grace, then the Goblin King is my mercy.
As I said in my review of Wintersong, this book may not resonate with everyone. In fact, I’m certain it won’t. It’s not the typical YA/NA fantasy for today’s era, and I’m so glad that it’s not. It has potential to truly challenge its reader and forces them to evaluate more than just a fun, light-hearted plot with a shallow romance. No, Shadowsong has a lot to offer.
Vulgarity: Minimal! I only counted 3 words!
Sexual Content: Unlike Wintersong, there is very little regarding this area in this book. While Liesl does think about her times with the Goblin King, she doesn’t go into explicit detail.
Violence: Moderate. Due to the nature and tone of this book, there are definitely some points (including the content warning listed by the author) that are not light topics for discussion. I still believe this is a New Adult Fantasy, and not quite appropriate for Young Adult readers.
S. JAE-JONE (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.
When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black – a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Betrothed Series: Betrothed #1 […]
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 […]
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, and Hansel discovers he's about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #2
Author: Katie Hamstead
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Page Count: 245
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Retellings, Romance
Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
My Rating: ★★★
1) Princess of Tyrone: ★★★★½
“Fear is very powerful, almost as powerful as love.”
Escaping from the woods and the evil witch only proved to be one narrow escape for Hansel and Gretel as they found themselves in another hostile situation once they return home. Their new stepmother is sneaky, tricky, and manipulative. Years go by and her treachery of leading the children into the forest fades from everyone’s mind–except Hansel’s. He knows something is off about the woman.
Wilhelmine, once embarrassingly love-struck with the famous and heroic Hansel, has accidentally classified herself as being dull and airheaded in Hansel’s eyes. The daughter of an important man, she finds herself thrown uncomfortably back into the presence of Hansel, as his younger sister Gretel is betrothed to her father for the sake of political gain. Gretel, being good friends with Minna, becomes the mediator between their awkward relationship. Hansel sees the marriage as a scheme orchestrated by their stepmother to do away with the brother and sister. Deciding before they are split from one another, the two flee before the marriage can take place. Minna, catching them as they escape, joins in their adventure and is taken on a ride that will change her life, and all of their lives, forever.
This is the first retelling I’ve read that hasn’t opened into a scene of insta-love! I didn’t enjoy this retelling as much as its predecessor, Princess of Tyrone. I did like how this book ended and tied back to the prior installment. The first half of the book I had a hard time getting into. Hansel’s bipolar attitude was irritating, and I felt terrible for Wilhelmine. Once the plot got moving, the second half took me by surprise as it made a 180-turn. I was drawn in by the sudden twists and didn’t see them coming one bit. I won’t say further what those were for wanting to keep this review spoiler-free.
Wilhelmine (Minna): Poor girl. Talk about emotional and verbal abuse. Hansel put her through the ringer and played with her mind at every turn for years. His reasoning is divulged later on, but it didn’t necessarily justify the extent of his treatment of her. However much she had been through, Minna somehow remained gracious enough to rise above Hansel’s offense.
Hansel: He drove me nuts through the first half of the book. His irrational dislike of Wilhelmine and unjustifiable cruelty was opposite of what I was expecting in a fairy tale retelling. As he spends more time with Minna, he thankfully manages to grow out of his childish demeanor.
Gretel: She is proof that petty jealousy can get you in a bind if one isn’t willing to hear the truth. Her innocence makes her susceptible to believing everything that she sees, rather than investigating further into the story.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. There are lessons for the characters and readers to learn. It wasn’t as captivating as the first book in this series but was entertaining in its own way.
If you enjoy science fiction lite retellings with a side of mythology, this series is for you.
Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone. Partial synopsis provided by […]