Monday, January 30, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Visuals

                Hello everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is just how it sounds, a topic is picked and we put our Top Ten for that in a post and share and check out everyone’s answers.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The top ten today is:  Visuals (Graphic Novels, Illustrated, Comics, etc)

                First let me pick any books with MAPS huge plus!  They are so pretty.  And things like Six of Crows that had a character sketch poster those kind of things are on point! 

Harry Potter Illustrated Editions- Harry Potter with pictures=perfect!
The Infernal Devices Manga- Black and white and really interesting to see my characters and relive the whole series in a quicker more visual format.
A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizensof Downworld- This is something I saw someone haul and just knew I needed it.  A guide of characters in different series and information on them but mostly the art....so many books should have this.
Legend Graphic Novels- The first two were awesome and I have the final one on pre-order for April.
Vampire Academy Graphic Novels- One of my fav series of course I love these!  I can't wait for the rest!
House of Night Novellas bind-up Graphic Novel- I was sad to see this series come to an end so when I found the novellas in graphic novel form I had to!
You Were Here by –Each character had their own voice and style in chapters and the art show as one of those was perfect some normal book format others in art work and some in graphic novel style. (review)
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas- The coloring book.  So a bit different but the pages in the book are so pretty.  This could really go to any of the many coloring books coming out as of late for series like Lunar Chronicles, The Selection, etc. 
Wires and Nerve (Vol #1)- This comes out today and I can't wait for my copy to arrive!

               I've mostly stuck to graphic novels of series I already love but I have been wanting to check out more, full stories I just don't know where to start.  Hoping to get some good ideas this week!
  

                 What books have I been missing out on?  Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below.  Also please link back to your Top Ten as well so I can check out your list and see what I missed!

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

                Hello happy readers!  So this week set me back a bit from schedule but storms in my area last weekend were intense and internet/damage issues needed to be handled.  I've been so behind in this series but I’m catching up!  That's right Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas.  Spoilers for the first few books for sure!  I've reviewed the previous books:  Throne ofGlass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire.

Rating: 5 Stars

                So first I have to say I have not yet started the newest book that came out last year.  I wanted to get this review out of my head before I put more in.  I loved this book.  I'm shocked it took me so long to read it when I had been craving it and planning to marathon read it on release day.  Long story it got mixed up in the mail and after having to wait I tried pacing myself which didn't work at all either and eventually just had to go through it quickly just a bit late.  Plus after the first five chapters didn't fix what ripped my heart out in Heir of Fire I wasn't emotionally ready for it.  Seriously poor Dorian.

                My thoughts on this book are split between reading and listening.  I read almost the first third of the book then switched to the audiobook format.  I think I enjoyed the audiobook a bit more.  One I learned how wrong I was about pronunciation and that helped me keep track of characters better; I mean there are a lot of unpronounceable “A” names that I would jumble at times.  And second the book is massive and no easy feat to hold while reading which acted as an arm work out but also had me worried I’d rip the pages keeping my grip.

                Celaena Sardothien is the girl we knew.  The assassin who had clawed her way out of the mines and into who she was meant to be, not Celaena but Aelin.  A Queen.  She has been through so much in her life but now she has to embrace the life she has run from, Aelin Galathynius Queen of Terrasen.  I admit even when she was called Aelin through the last book and first bit of this I still kept autocorrecting in my head to Celaena.  She was Celaena to me still but as the book continues I realized she isn’t.  She has truly become someone else.  Like a new character reworked from what she was and the new name fit.  Aelin and Celaena are similar and still vastly different which sounds crazy but I think most who read will understand what I mean.

The awesome back!  Love these!
                Aelin is on a mission to free magic and stop the evil brutal king who killed her parents and enslaved so many, including her dear friend. Dorian.  We see things through so many POVs it’s intense.  Seeing things from Dorian, how he was still in there somewhat was so hard.  I think those were the hardest chapters to read/listen to.  So much was happening in Adarlan both inside the castle and without and seeing the inside, the evil, was interesting.  We also get a deeper understanding of the Valg and their possession of people. 

                We also got to see more of Manon and the Thirteen and all that is going on under the mountain.  I know I took a bit to get into them last book I enjoyed their pieces in this much more, they felt much more important with so much depth.  Her connection with her wyvern Abraxos is still my favorite part but as she grew closer in her own way to Elide I liked that. 

                There are so many amazing and intricate story points in this book it’s intense.  Aelin is trying to free her cousin, Aedion, and release magic to take down the king.  She still has unresolved issues with her former trainer, Arobynn and that’s just to start.  See what I mean about “A” names?  Anywho we also got to see more Rowan which I loved because I adored getting to know him in the previous book and there was just so much more to him.  Lysandra and Kaltain continue to play a part and we see new sides to them as opinions can shift I mean I kid you not so so much is happening.  Now I had to go back I almost didn’t remember who Kaltain was (plus audiobook I was hearing it and not like I imagined go figure) and Lysandra with their past with Arobynn. 

                This book was simply amazing.  So much love.  So much.  Speaking of love.  Okay so I previously have been completely Celaena & Chaol.  So that is still the case, I do love Celaena with Chaol but the truth is she isn't Celaena anymore.  As mentioned above she's changed into whom she was meant to be, Queen Aelin.  So while I'm totally on board with the ship that seems to be sailing in this book and do root for it I also feel like Aelin could be with anyone or no one and I'd love it.  Though romance is pretty awesome!  The sexy time and tension is legit!  I also saw some kindling of other possible connections which I hope to flush out more in the next book!  But yeah Rowan….yep I'm on board with that. 

                 So my final thoughts were that it was amazing.  I was so caught up in the whole book but the last third of it was just completely mind blowing.  Some meet up's we've been waiting for since last book, some dues paid, and everything coming to a beautiful and chaos filled end.  Epic!  I had planned to stop at the end of one chapter thinking it would be right before this tipping point but then the last minute of the chapter dove right in and I didn't sleep that night finishing it up!  So happy though because WOW. Highly recommend.  Now that this is finished I'm ready to start Empire of Storms soon!  I want to be caught up and know if any of my half-baked theories will play out.  What did you think of this book?  I'd rank it as my favorite thus far. 


                Until next time…

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Stacking the Shelves



                Welcome to Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page here.  Basically you showcase the books you bought or received each week.  Little, or not so little, weekly book hauls.  This week was really tame I only got two books!


Audiobooks:
Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare- For review from a cool new app eStories.

E-Book for Review:
Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller


                That's if for this week.  Share a link below with what goodies you got this week. 






Friday, January 27, 2017

Reading Challenge Wrap-Up: January

                Hello happy readers!  So today is the 27th which means I'm a couple days behind with my monthly challenge update and wrap-up.  I think for the first month I've done pretty good, here is my standing but please don't forget to share your progress as well!

Goodreads Challenge:
Goal: 125
At: 8



2017 Debut Authors (#2017DebAuthC):
Goal: 12
At:
What I've Read:
Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake


2017 Rock My TBR (#RockMyTBR):
Goal: As many as possible!
At: 6
What I've Read:

SuccubusBlues (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead 
Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (review)
A Court ofMist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas (review)
Queen ofShadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas 
Pure (Covenant #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Problemwith Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

2017 Series Ender Challenge:
Goal: 15+
At: 0
Slow start to this one.



2017 New Releases Challenge:
Goal: 31-60
At: 1
What I've Read:
Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake



2017 Audiobook Challenge:
Goal: 5-10
At: 1
What I've Listened:
Pure (Covenant #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout



                All in all I'd say it was a pretty successful month.  I'd love to hear how you're doing so link back to your wrap up!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)

                Sorry for the last two days my area was hit with horrible storms and such so internet has been in and out :(  Thankfully not too much damage though.  

                 "Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Out: 5/2

From Goodreads:
                The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands.  At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing.  But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

                Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back.  But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel Ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami.  Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity.  As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
               

Why I’m Waiting:
                 I loved The Wrath & the Dawn duology and I’m ready to see what new world she is able to bring to life for me.  Plus this plot reminds me a bit of Mulan and I so love that movie!  Oh and that is a beautiful cover!!!


                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

                Welcome to Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page here.  Basically you showcase the books you bought or received each week.  Little, or not so little, weekly book hauls.  These are all the books I have gotten this week!

Physical Books:
Windwitch (The Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard
United (Alienated #3) by Melissa Landers
The IronTrial (Magisterium #1) & The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium #2) by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
History IsAll You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Review:
A Crown ofWishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2)by Roshani Chokshi

E-Books:
Abandoned by Elisa Dane

Audiobooks:
Rebel ofthe Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton
Reign ofShadows (Reign of Shaows #1) by Sophie Jordan
A Court ofThorns & Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas



               That's it for this week.  Share a link below with what goodies you got.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

                So I’ve had these books for a while, 2014 actually but like a good portion of my library I had not yet read them.  I got them back before YALLfest when I was determined to read all of them and more, seriously my amazon bill around then was insane!  I didn’t make my goal and they have been waiting to be picked up for some time.  So now as I am attending ApollyCon2017 in March and the third book in the spin off Titan series is going to be released I figure I should catch up so I don’t get spoiled.  Side note, anyone attending ApollyCon let me know I’d love to make sure we met up!  So here are my thoughts on book one in the Covenant series, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Rating: 5 Stars

                Basically this is a world of Pures’ who have a type of elemental magic thanks to their originating from Gods and mortals making babies; and Half-Bloods, the product of a Pure and a mortal, who have no elemental control but they have the added benefit of being able to see through daimon covers.  This along with their strength to fight make them valuable, but not equal.  Oh yeah daimons are evil ones who search out Pure and Half-Blood to suck out and feed on their either in a very painful way.  Pure’s rule things and Half’s either train to be guards or sentinels or becoming doped up servants.  Our MC Alexandria, Alex, wants to fight daimons not waste away as a servant but that is always a possibility if you break the rules.  Several rule their lives but the most important rule of all is to know your place below all Pures’ no relationships between the groups what so ever among other things.  So that makes things difficult when Alex has to train with her long time crush, super-hot Pure Aiden.  She has to catch up and stay alive while avoiding breaking too many rules.   

                So I’ll go ahead and say first thing I did see a lot of similarities in some parts with another book/series I LOVE, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.  And you know what?  I didn’t mind.  I loved Vampire Academy and while some things seemed somewhat similar they were different and unique to this story.  Plus come on it’s very rare to find a book/series that doesn’t in some way remind you of something else if you read the same genre a lot.  It’s about making your book/series stand out and Half-Blood did that for me.

                Alex is a strong force of nature whom we meet in a pickle.  We learn about the world rather quickly and it develops overtime and I love how we were taught about the world in a way of others reminding Alex the way of things.  The world isn’t fair.  Half’s are royally screwed.  Become a fighter to risk your life daily or become a slave.  What are those options?  That is something that really drew me in.  Then adding in another, Seth the Apollyon, a Half with power over all elements making him more powerful than a Pure.  Still because he is a Half he is treated like one.  This whole Half/Pure dynamic is really intriguing to me.  I don't agree with it and some of the "rules" really hit some buttons for me but that is what brought it world to life and differentiated it. 

                I love Alex's strong willed and stubborn nature even when at times I feel she is a bit to stubborn about the wrong things.  She  is wild and over the course of the story and working with Aiden who is much more by the book.  He has his own dark past and his own issues but it's fun getting to know him as Alex does, as more than the obscenely hot Pure training her.  He has depth.  I like the combination of them together.

                 Another character I just adored is Caleb.  OMG he is so much fun.  He is the best friend who is strong and solid and down for anything and will stand by you.  But best of all is that is all there was.  Friendship.  No undertones of romance between them on either side.  I liked that they were straight up friends only, brother and sister vibes going on.  And then we have Seth.  He is not my favorite.  Maybe because he just knows how to push Alex's buttons and as we see from her perspective if feels like our buttons as well.  Maybe I was just on edge the whole time because of the rules, I would be royally screwed let me just tell you.

                The overall story, I feel like we covered so much.  There are some developments and things that happened I did not see coming.  And some things I saw I didn't see happening in that way which shocked my socks off.  I loved the action and pacing of the book.  There is always something keeping you going and unable to stop from the character conflicts, romance, tension, action, and intrigue you stay keyed up.  Just when you think you get a moment of rest it knocks you with something else to keep you going in a different way.  I loved it.  I literally dove into book two as soon as this ended.  I only took long enough to make a note where it ended and my final thoughts so I would know where I ended and where to begin my next review which I should have up before long.   Highly recommend.


                Until next time…

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

~Waiting on Wednesday~ A Crown of Wishes (Star-Touched Queen #2)

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

A Crown of Wishes (Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi
Out: 3/28

From Goodreads:
                The new novel follows Gauri, the younger sister of the titular Star-Touched Queen, on her harrowing quest for freedom.

                When Gauri, the princess of Bharata, is captured by her kingdom’s rivals she can only find help in Vikram, the cunning prince of an enemy kingdom.  Unsatisfied with royal life, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess.  They set aside their difference and team up to compete in the Tournament of Wishes, wherein the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.  Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength.  But what Gauri and Vikram soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
               
Why I’m Waiting:
                This is a companion book to The Star-Touched Queen (review) and something I heard about when the first book came out following the life of a character we only got a small piece of which interested me because she seemed so interesting and had clearly had a lot of stories so seeing she gets her own story is even better!   


                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books

                Hello everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is just how it sounds, a topic is picked and we put our Top Ten for that in a post and share and check out everyone’s answers.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The top ten today is:  Underrated books I’ve found in the last year

Rebel’s Honor (Crown of Blood #1) by Gwynn White
Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea #1) by Jennifer Ellision
Hemlock series by Kathleen Peacock
Blackhearts (Blackhearts #1) by Nicole Castroman
Defiance series by C.J. Redwine
Worldwalker trilogy by Josephine Angelini
These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker
Supremacy (Supremacy #1) by Christin Lee
All the Feels by Danika Stone
The Carver by Jacob Devlin


                 What books have I been missing out on?  Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below.  Also please link back to your Top Ten as well so I can check out your list and see what I missed!