Important Update: Please Read!

Important Update: Please Read!

What to expect on Shes Going Book Crazy for the next few months.

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Down The TBR Hole #5

Down The TBR Hole #5

Wow, a week has already come and gone. Time to take another look at my looming TBR. This challenge/meme was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too! Rules: Go to your goodreads to-read […]

eARC Review: The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin

eARC Review: The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin

Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes […]

Down The TBR Hole #4

Down The TBR Hole #4

Hi everybody!

I always think of this guy when I say that phrase 😛

It’s already time to go through my TBR again!

This Down The TBR Hole challenge/meme was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too!

Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’ll be going through 5 books each week.

The Books

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

I may kick myself for this later, because this book has amazing reviews. However, I'm just not feeling the typical historical fiction romance lately. Right now, it's a GO.

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

While I have really enjoyed this author's Three Dark Crowns series, this one sounds like an average YA series. All of the mythology-based books I've read lately have been rather disappointing, and have turned me off from the genre at the moment. GO.

Inferno by Dante Aligheri

I've seriously been wanting to read this for a majority of my life. It's a definite KEEP.

The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James

I have the hardest time justifying passing up on classics. This book has been known to be one of the greatest American classics, which I still intend to read. KEEP.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Taken from the Goodreads synopsis: "Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price."

Another YA fantasy filled sex? No thanks. This one is a GO.

yes! This is my best week yet! I've managed to get 3/5 books off my TBR, and I feel great!
What do you think of my choices?
Would you keep/GO any of these books?

Personal Update & April Wrap-Up

Personal Update & April Wrap-Up

I wanted to give a bit of a personal update on what to expect in the next few months on this blog. I’ve mentioned here and there that I am expecting a baby (now in two weeks–which is crazy). Because of prepping for his arrival, […]

May ARCs

May ARCs

I feel like my ARC pile gets bigger each month instead of smaller… It’s funny how the opposite tends to happen of what my intentions are. I keep pledging that I’ll request NO MORE ARCs for a while, yet, I keep receiving them. Anyways, May […]

eARC Review: No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens

eARC Review: No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens

David Galloway can’t die.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

No Less Days

Author: Amanda G. Stevens
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Page Count: 320
Format: eARC
Genre: Christian Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: ★★★

What happens to a person when they can’t die? Is immortality really such a wonderful thing? For David Galloway, it’s a curse. 

Although he may appear to be thirty-five, he’s much older. Living through several lifetimes, David has grown accustom to loss, illness, and death. Knowing he can’t have a life as others, he recedes into himself and hides behind books. It isn’t until he meets some unique persons that he realizes maintaining relationships with other is a critical element to having a quality life—even if fear accompanies it.  

When David hears about a dare-devil named Zachary Wilson who falls into the Grand Canyon while attempting a stunt and survives, he decides that he must go and meet this man. There is more to Zachary Wilson than meets the eye—just like himself. 

His trip to Arizona opens David’s eyes, and the horizon looks a little lighter. Knowing that he’s not the only one on earth cursed with immortality and agelessness, David begins to open up and even trust again. But when a terrifying secret surfaces within the close-knit group, David must reevaluate his faith in God, and how his relationship with God plays into the situation. 

No Less DaysNo Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

description

“He was one hundred sixty-seven years old. And he would always be thirty-five.”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Christian Fiction. Young Adult continues to become staler, so I welcomed the change in genre.

My desire to like this book ended up outweighing how much I actually liked it. While the writing style, premise, and character development were great, I felt that the plot tended to be disjointed and without direction. Rather, the plot happened, and the characters had to catch up to it. Instead of the characters actively moving forward, events kept happening to prevent them from doing so. These were drastic events, that often took me by surprise—but not necessarily in a good way.

World Building

Set in a small town in Northern Michigan, the plot also moves around to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and a few other places along the way. In general, there isn’t much world building to speak of, because the setting already exists in real life. The characters’ lives are the center focus and don’t rely much on the location or world-building to function as such.

Pacing & Readability

As stated before, I thoroughly enjoyed the first quarter of this book immensely. It hooked me in, and wouldn’t let me go even when the going became rough. That’s probably the most disappointing thing with a book that has such a fantastic start and a mediocre climax—I’ll read through the back cover, looking for more to happen, because the given ending doesn’t suffice.

With saying that, the pacing remained rather consistent throughout, except for a few areas where it was caught up in some certain events for too long.

The further on the plot moves, the less “readable” it becomes. The content discussed nothing close to light-hearted, as major topics related to dealing out justice are visited in very real, and very unsettling ways.

Point-Of-View & Characters

The point-of-view follows the main character, David Galloway. A thirty-five-year-old by appearance, David has lived many more years than that. Because of his unique experience with life, David’s character is more complex than most. His longevity has challenged him in every possible way, especially his faith. Immortality is a major factor that separates humans from God. What happens when that veil is torn away?

“The death of the body is a mercy of God, Tiana. The soul can’t bear endless years in this realm. In this evil.”

David faces a dilemma far more tragic than most. He’s lived, loved, and mourned, as the ones he’s loved have come and gone—as they were meant to. David, stuck in an everlasting state of the present, tries to find meaning in his life. Still a God-fearing man, he deeply struggles with why God would allow him to live on, while everyone else around him fades away.

David doesn’t necessarily blame God, but deeply questions the reasons behind his own existence and purpose. It isn’t until David comes across Zachary Wilson that he starts to learn more about his condition.

Tiana, a coworker and female counterpart with David, serves as a definite mediator for him. She’s sassy and smart, but not overbearingly so. (view spoiler) the immediate attraction between David and Tiana isn’t intrusive. I appreciated that their relationship had time to develop, as well as being realistic and not over the top.

The remaining characters Zac, Colm, Moira, and Simon, all serve a definite purpose in the plot. They each have their own personalities, and some play pivotal roles. I didn’t find myself as drawn to their stories, however, even when David discovered that Zac had survived an eight-thousand-foot drop into the Grand Canyon. I found myself caring mostly about David and wanting to see what would happen to him directly.

Major Themes

⇒ Death

“Dear Lord, I pray don’t make me bear agelessness forever. Is Thy grace sufficient for me? Or is Thy grace withheld, therefore I linger.”

This may be an obvious theme, seeing how David cannot die. However, I can’t say that I’ve ever deeply considered the implications immortality would hold for a Christian. Considering how our faith points us towards the future—the moment when we are reunited with God in heaven is what we aim for. What do we do when that is taken away?

“The death of the body is a mercy of God, Tiana. The soul can’t bear endless years in this realm. In this evil.”

The entire point of believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins is to enter heaven to be with him and escape the evil that sin brought upon the earth. Initially, humans were created to dwell with God on earth. But when sin was introduced, and everything tainted, it made that coexistence impossible. It truly is a relief knowing that this life is short-lived when compared to eternity. It is also a relief that we must deal with sin for a short period of time because it truly is a terrible thing. What does one do when that reprieve is taken away?

⇒ Isolation vs. Friendship

“Lord, these people—are they gifts? Did You bring them? Dare I hold on to them?”

An interesting theme that I didn’t think about before heading into this topic was how many way immortality would affect a person. Perhaps it’s obvious to most—for myself, I honed in on the promise that immortality would take away from a believer. I didn’t think about not being able to make connections with others, simply because they’d think you crazy, cursed, or even evil.

“You think God doesn’t care that you’ve isolated yourself from His church? I promise you He does.”

David’s story includes a strong message about how isolation from the church and Christian community can literally devastate a person. We are created as social creatures—isolation is the opposite of the human intention.

⇒ Purpose

Personally, I find it easy to think about how meaningless life would be if I simply existed. The fact that David remained a Christian after all of his time on earth (was fantastic) showed how steadfast his character is. In this scenario, he’s compared and deeply contrasted to Colm, who took a very different approach to immortal life. Having the gift of immortality can ruin a person in many ways. Both David and Colm experienced this in similar and also very different ways by the choices they made.

⇒ Justice

This portion may include some spoilers!

“And all the while, watching (view spoiler) in the mirror, he tried to see a true killer. And failed.”

This is by far the hardest and most sensitive themes presented in No Less Days. What does one do with a person who is a killer, and happens to be immortal? Stevens did not spare the reader from facing harsh scenarios. I can’t say that I’m happy with what the conclusion that this question led to, however, I can see how it’s justifiable. If a person thinks themselves a “god” of some sort due to their immortality, and above “mortals,” what would motivate them to stop ritual killings? Not only that, what do you do with a person who can live forever and is a murderer?

“The sin I’ve learned about tonight, it’s not mine. But the man who’s done this—he’s not so different from me. He’s felt the same things. The years, the…the losses, they twisted his soul as I’ve felt mine twist at times, and who can say I won’t become…?”

This topic really made me search myself. I’d like to think that I’d be more gracious, and allow the person another chance. But when the guilty openly admits that he won’t stop what he’s doing…then what?

“‘Don’t make me bear it forever.’ David’s breath scraped his lungs. Such familiar words. From him, a prayer. Almost a psalm.”

Colm clearly has some deep-seeded issues. Allowing his “gift” to manifest into something twisted, it really pushes the reader to consider how one would handle a situation such as this. His desperation shows just how corrupt he’s become by his station. When everyone discovers the secrets he’s been hiding for years, it becomes a situation that simply cannot be ignored and cast aside. Addressing his crimes head-on is by far the most difficult element in this plot.

Overall Feelings

Things that I liked:

⇒ The writing style.
⇒ I can’t say that I’ve encountered Speculative Fiction often. However, this book has convinced me that it’s a genre I should be looking out more for.
⇒ Several of the major themes discussed in this book, and the creative way they were pulled into the plot.
⇒ The setting (because I’m from Michigan and I can!)

Things that I didn’t like:

⇒ The way Colm’s situation is handled. Is someone truly deserving of his fate according to Biblical teachings? Would have grace and mercy been sufficient and turned him around? I feel as though it should have been explored and entertained much more.
⇒ Events in the plot felt random and sometimes forced.
⇒ Certain events were drawn out too long and pulled the reader’s focus away from the entire picture being portrayed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read. However, I felt that some of the content was drawn out and not always addressed in the correct way. Also, while the story is clearly plot-driven, it felt forced at times and events just happened to keep the reader engaged. I would have liked to learn more about David, his past experiences/lives, and so much more! I think that this is a solid piece of work but needed more character focus in order to be great.

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual content: None.
Violence: Unrelated stabbing and shooting scenes, along with some details of fatal injuries.

View all my reviews

Down the TBR Hole #3

Down the TBR Hole #3

Let’s see if I can knock a few more off the Good Ole TBR… This challenge/meme was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too! Rules: Go to your goodreads to-read shelf. Order on […]

State of the ARC: April

State of the ARC: April

Wow, May is already here. Does anyone else feel like 2018 is absolutely flying? Maybe it’s because I’m counting down to June. Either way, I really can’t believe it’s already May! Before I get into this, let’s recap what State of the ARC is all […]

Down The TBR Hole #2

Down The TBR Hole #2

Even though I was able to get some books off of my TBR this past week by reading them, I'm looking forward to see if I can keep dropping that massive 600+ need-to-reads!

Hey, guys! It’s time sit down and look at the next five reads listed on my Goodreads TBR! I’m hoping I’ll be able to knock a few of these ones off this segment. Every little bit helps takes an ounce of anxiety off. It’s amazing how much a number can influence you. Books, you may drive me into needing therapy. 

This was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too!

Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’ll be going through 5 books each week.

The Books

Red Rising

This series has been absolutely raved about in the YA world. While I don't always believe the hype, it hasn't deterred me enough to take this off my TBR. This one is a KEEP.

The Veritas Conflict

This is a Christian Fiction/Thriller stand alone. Discussing the battle between good and evil, it focuses on Harvard's Christian origins. It sounds similar to some of Frank Peretti's work, and I'd like to give it a shot. So, this is a KEEP.

THe princess And The Goblin

I'm so torn over this one! I must admit that I mainly want to read this because this author has been said to have influenced C.S. Lewis' and J.R.R. Tolkien's writing styles. However, I find myself more intrigued with that bit of fact than the actual story. For now, this one will GO. It may show up again later...I'm not sure...

Agnes Grey

I will say right away that this one is a KEEP because it's part of a reading challenge I'm taking a part in this year for the Bronte sisters. See you shortly, Aggie.

The Thief

Ugh. This one is a definite KEEP for me as well. I've wanted to read this book (and perhaps the series) for a long time. So, it shall continue to grace my TBR until I can get around to it.

1/5 - Well, one less is still progress, I guess. (That rhymed far too much.)
So, what are your thoughts? Are there any of these books that you'd say yay or nay to?

eARC Mini Review: Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

eARC Mini Review: Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

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 […]

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Song of Blood & Stone Earthsinger Chronicles: Book One By L. Penelope Synopsis From the very first pages of her debut, L. Penelope delivers as a new force in the fantasy genre. The first book in the historical fantasy Earthsinger series was originally self-published, earning […]

Fairy Tale Friday #6: The Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum

Fairy Tale Friday #6: The Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum

The Glass Dog

By L. Frank Baum

Lyman Frank Baum is not an unfamiliar name to many Americans. Best known for his very famous children’s book, The Wizard of Oz, Baum also wrote several other fairy tales, short stories, poems, and scripts throughout his lifetime. 

The Glass Dog is a short fairy tale that was included in American Fairy Tales published in 1901 in the United States. This book is a compilation of twelve stories, that doesn’t necessarily have clear morals attached to them, as you will soon discover. 

This tale has been paraphrased in my own words.

There once was a wizard who loved nothing more than his studies. Naturally, he was annoyed with the multitude of people who came to knock on his door, seeking his advice about their troubles. He never saw them, but even in sending them away, he lost his train of thought and ruined his work. Becoming angry with the interruptions, he decided he must have a dog to keep people away. 

Next door lived a glass blower, which he went to and asked where he could get a dog. The wizard requested that he blow him a glass dog, which he could make bark with his magic. Not having any money, he paid the glass blower with a cure for his rheumatism. 

The next day, the glass blower brought the wizard his pink glass dog. In exchange, he gave him a bottle with one drop of liquid in it that would cure his ailment. The one drop could cure any ailment in the world, It was a marvelous recipe, but the wizard had forgotten how to make it. The wizard cast a spell on the dog to make it come to life. He set it outside his door to bark at anyone who would come to knock. The glass blower, returning to his room, decided to save the drop of medicine for a day that his rheumatism was very bad. 

The next day, the glass blower read in the newspaper that the young Miss Midas was deathly ill. Remembering the medicine, he decided to take it to the beautiful Miss Midas. He cleaned himself and went to her mansion. The glass blower told the lady’s maid that if he were to give his cure to the Mistress, then she would have to promise to marry him in return. She consented, desperate to live. Taking the medication, she was well within a minute. Returning home, the glass blower smashed all of his glass blowing tools, and thought about how he would spend his future wife’s fortune. 

The next day, he called upon her. She asked where he obtained the magic potion that cured her. He told her about the wizard, and how he had gotten it as payment for making him a glass dog. Miss Midas expressed her wishes for a glass dog that could bark. The wizard cared nothing for money, so he couldn’t buy it from him. Miss Midas insisted that he steal the dog from the wizard, as she would never be happy without it. Wanting to please his future wife, he purchased a sack, and threw it over the dog to capture it when it rushed out to bark at him outside the wizard’s door, then delivered it to her home.

The next day, he returned to her house, but was greeted by the glass dog. He told the butler to call the dog off, only to find out that the Lady ordered the dog to bark whenever he came by. He went by the drug store and called Miss Midas from the phone there. The glass blower asked why she treated him so poorly, and she said that she doesn’t like how he looks. She said that if he were better looking, she’d marry him, but because he wasn’t, she wouldn’t marry him and the dog would make sure of that. 

So distraught, the glass blower went home and began with preparations to hang himself. Just then, the wizard came in, and explained how he had lost his dog. He asked the glass blower to make him another, but the glass blower was unable as all of his tools were thrown away. He suggested that if the wizard were to offer a reward for the finding of the dog, The wizard said that the only thing he could spare was a beauty powder. 

Immediately changing his mind, the glass blower pretended to go out and look for the dog. He came back and told the wizard that it was at Miss Midas’ house. The two went there and the wizard got the dog back by putting a spell over it so it wouldn’t attack them. The wizard gave the glass blower the beauty powder, which he took, and became the most beautiful man in the world. 

The glass blower went back to Miss Midas’ house. When she saw him, she immediately fell in love with his good looks. She gave him an allowance of four dollars a day. Thinking of the noose in his room, he consented. They were married, and he lived a dog’s life, but the bride was very jealous of his beauty. In return, the glass blower got in debt and made her equally miserable.  

The glass dog was returned to its original post, and probably still resides there, guarding the door of the wizard’s shop. 

The Glass DogThe Glass Dog by L. Frank Baum
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Glass Dog is an odd little fairy tale with an obscured purpose. While many fairy tales have a moral or morals that they try to portray to the reader population (typically children) this story simply doesn’t have that characteristic.

A tale of a grumpy wizard, a money-seeking glass blower, and a snobby wealthy lady, the story intertwines its characters in strange and unusual circumstances. While there definitely are elements of fantasy throughout, it’s not very comparable to the high-fantasy depicted in a majority of fairy tales.

While the wizard seems to be the main character at the beginning, this position transitions over to the glass blower who fashions the glass dog for the wizard. It is quickly revealed that the glass blower, although well into his years, is not necessarily a man of good character, as he seeks to marry the wealthy Miss Midas in order to squander her riches. With some difficulty, he eventually coerces her into marrying him. However, the union is a miserable one ending in squalor for both parties.

So, what is the lesson to be taken away? I’m not really sure. The glass blower nearly kills himself when he doesn’t get his way. Then, when he does, he only desires to use Miss Midas for her money. Selfishness, greed, and shallow beauty are the traits represented here, and they lead to inevitable unhappiness for the characters.

And the wizard? Well, he just continues existing, held up in his home studying away, with the pink glass dog stopping anyone from disturbing him. The last few lines in the tale read:

“As for the glass dog, the wizard set him barking again by means of his wizardness and put him outside his door. I suppose he is there yet, and am rather sorry, for I should like to consult the wizard about the moral to this story.”


description
I believe so. Anyways, if you are one for quirky fairy tales, this author may be one for your taste.

My Rating: ★★

View all my reviews

What are your thoughts on this fairy tale?
Did you find it to be as utterly pointless as I did?
Was there anything you liked about it?

Mini Book Review: Prince of the South by Ava Richardson

Mini Book Review: Prince of the South by Ava Richardson

Being a Prince, J’ahalid is no stranger to the fact that his kingdom requires protecting. When he Sees the Dragon Riders of Torvald, he knows that dragons are the answer to his problems. Prince Of The South Author: Ava Richardson Publication Date: July 2017 Publisher: […]

eARC Review: Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

eARC Review: Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

Release Day April 24, 2018! OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Sky In The Deep Author: Adrienne Young Publication Date: April 24, 2018 Publisher: Wednesday Books Page Count: 352 Format: eARC Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy Cover Artist: — My Rating: ★★★½ Eeyln […]

Down the TBR Hole #1

Down the TBR Hole #1

I've seen this meme float around the blogosphere for some time now.

Not sure what it was about, I finally checked it out. This wonderful little tactic is a way to cut down on the ever-rising TBR pile. Seeing how mine has broken 600, I need do to something to clean it up. I know there are books that I’ve lost interest in and are cluttering the list. 

This was started by Lost In A Story back in 2016. Here are the rules, in case you are interested in participating too!

Rules

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’ll be going through 5 books each week. So, let’s get started! 

The Books

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is the oldest book on my TBR. Seeing how it's not that long, and because I already own it, I'm going to KEEP this one.

Pretties (Uglies #2) by Scott Westerfeld

I read the first book in this series, "Uglies" in 2016. I wasn't exactly a fan of the main character, Tally, and don't see much intruige at the moment to keep on with the series. For now, this one is a GO.

Snow LIke Ashes by Sara Raasch

Another book that I already own, I'm going to KEEP this one. I've been wanting to give this series a try for a long time. If I don't like the first book, then I'll quit with the series.

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

I don't need to say much here, because this is a definite KEEP for me. I just haven't gotten around to finishing up the series yet!

Forbidden by Ted Dekker

A Christian fiction dystopia? Yeah, I'm going to KEEP this one. It's the first in a series, but ties in with other books and series written by Ted Dekker, so I definitely want to give this one a shot.

Alright! So, 1/5 books have been eliminated from my TBR.
What do you think of my choices?
Are there any books on this list that you'd recommend taking off?
Which book would you keep?


Upcoming Reads

May ARCs

May ARCs

I feel like my ARC pile gets bigger each month instead of smaller...

It’s funny how the opposite tends to happen of what my intentions are. I keep pledging that I’ll request NO MORE ARCs for a while, yet, I keep receiving them. Anyways, May seems to be the month of western fantasies! I have a few to get through and I’m looking forward to the change in scenery in the fantasy genre. 

Song Of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens

David Galloway can’t die.

How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

The Bone Roses by Kathryn Lee Martin

Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes in an unmarked grave.

But when the Kingdom strikes back, kills Rags’s best friend, and sends its second-in-command to destroy Rondo in four days, Rags must make a choice: seek revenge, or save her loved ones who are trapped in a town bound for slaughter broadcast Kingdom-wide. With little more than a stolen dream to guide her, and a growing attraction to a sly Kingdom informant, Rags is about to give the Kingdom four days it’ll never forget—if the bounty on her head doesn’t get her killed first.

The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.

The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.

Ride On by Gwen Cole

The law can't help her. But one outlaw can.

In the near post-apocalyptic future, the skies are always gray and people are constantly searching for the sun. For teenage outlaw Seph, it’s the only world he’s ever known. With his horse, his favorite pistol, and his knowledge for survival passed down from his dead father, Seph knows it’s safer to be alone. But after a run-in with a local gang that call themselves the Lawmen, and having been wrongly accused of murder, Seph teams up with Avery—a determined girl whose twin brother has been taken by the same gang.

After living in a small, rundown town her whole life, Avery knows nothing of the Wild—the lands controlled by nobody where travel is risky. With Seph’s help, they track down her brother but quickly find the tables have turned and they are now the ones being hunted. With rumors of mysterious dangers to the south and a safe sanctuary to the west, they’ve only got one option, but getting there won’t be easy with the Lawmen on their trail. The only thing that matters in the Wild is how fast your trigger hand is, but Seph doesn’t know if his will be fast enough to save them all.

Bright Burns The Night by Sara B. Larson

Ten years ago, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom Dorjhalon defeated Queen Evelayn and cut her conduit stone from her. Since then, he has kept her trapped in her swan form. With the loss of balance between Dark and Light, winter has descended and the Draíolon of Éadrolan lose more power every day. But once a year, Lorcan transforms her back to her Draíolon form and offers a truce. And every year Evelayn refuses -- for he requires her to Bind herself to him for life.But now, with an Ancient power bearing down upon them, everything may change. Evelayn will learn that the truths she once believed have shattered, and that she may need her enemies even more than her allies. Lorcan and Evelayn become partners in a desperate quest to return the balance of power to Lachalonia. How far will this partnership go? Can friendship -- perhaps even love -- bloom where hatred has taken root?

What ARCs are you reading this month?
Which one are you looking most forward to?
Have you found any new favorites coming out in May?


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