Favorite Fantasy Books: The First Half Of 2019

Hey guys, I meant to post this yesterday. I like alliteration.

Unfortunately, I also like doing absolutely nothing.

Guess which one won out, hahaha….yea I was lazy.

Okay so I decided this was only going to be about books released this year that I’ve read thus far as it’s just over the halfway point so what better time?

Alright, let’s get these down, in no particular order.

 

6. The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston

 


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man’s land, without time or place, its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes, the boy is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth’s centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs? 

Crossing through diverse landscapes from Victorian Britain to fifties New Orleans, The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston is inspired by the internationally famous house and gardens dubbed ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ by the Sunday Times. 

It is a classic YA tale of adventure that introduces readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history. Yet beyond its fearsome huntsmen and battling magicians dwells the secret that lies within all of us – the power to live extraordinary lives.

 

 

5. The Ice House

 


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

WAR DOESN’T END. IT SLEEPS.

Delphine Venner is old, but she remembers everything.

She remembers what it is to be a child of war, she remembers fighting for her life and what the terrifying creatures from another world took from her all those years ago. She remembers the gateway, and those she lost.

And in that other world, beast-filled and brutal, someone waits for her. Hagar, a centuries-old assassin, daily paying a terrible price for her unending youth, is planning one final death: that of her master, the Grand-Duc. A death that will cost her everything. A death that requires Delphine.

Voyaging into this violence and chaos, Delphine must remember who she really is and be ready to fight, before war reawakens. But in the battle to destroy an ageless evil, will both worlds be saved – or will every mortal creature lose everything?

 

 

4. Dark Shores

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences. 

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world. 

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

 

 

3. Soul of the Sword

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

 

 

2. Descendant of the Crane

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

 

 

1. Crown of Feathers

 

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

 

All of these books have enraptured me and while delighting me they’ve also possibly broken my heart. *Glares at Joan He and Nicki Pau Preto in particular*

Two of these are the second books in series, the rest are either first or standalone and anyone of these I would highly recommend to a fantasy lover ❤

My gushing fan-girl squeal filled posts can be found by clicking on the links on the titles of the books.

I’ll have some new Charity Finds for you all tomorrow, and closing in on my second Comparing Notes soon-ish, it’ll be over Stalking Jack the Ripper.

In the meantime….what are some of your fantasy faves of 2019 so far? Anything you recommend?

 

The Sea Refuses No River Blog Tour

 

The Sea Refuses No River Cover

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

The journey of grief is a strange one
and one not often talked about in our everyday reality of this society,
but I know what it’s like to dive deep,
down to the bottom of the wreck,
feel the ribs of the wreck,
after losing a parent so young in life

In this collection, the sea refuses no river, there is an acceptance of the pain and an acceptance of the healing moments; the healing journey. To quote Adrienne Rich: I came to explore the wreck’, and in this collection, Bethany discovers how, ‘The words are purposes. The words are maps.’

Book Information:
Paperback: 42 pages
Publisher: Fly on the wall poetry (21 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1999598652
ISBN-13: 978-1999598655

Where to Buy it

Click Here

 

My Review

I have always had a soft spot for poetry, and though it’s nice to read love poems, romantic ones at that, I think that poetry spans so much more and offers a sort of comfort for almost any situation. In this collection, Rivers takes the reader on a journey of grief and healing, in this case it is the loss of her own Father which resonates in her poetry. There’s always something missing in you after you’ve lost someone you’ve cared for and sometimes talking to others helps but seeing words from someone else that speaks to your heart is just a therapy in its own, at least for me. Rivers doesn’t force the words and they seem to come from a place of honesty and her style is simple and lovely. She also doesn’t overburden the reader so if they are also suffering from grief it will not be something so overwhelming that it’ll more damage than healing. The imagery is flowing, and paints a picture in your heart. My favorite poems were ‘At My Father’s Grave,’ ‘How to Cross the Desert,’ and ‘Seeker’ but they were all a joy to read in their own right and some of them felt more lyrical than anything.

If you enjoy free flowing poetry, whether you’ve suffered a loss or not, I recommend this to you. Thanks to Anne Cater, the Publisher, and Bethany Rivers for the opportunity to read this lovely book.

About the Author

 

Bethany Rivers Author Pic
Bethany Rivers

 

Bethany Rivers (M.A. in Creative Writing from Cardiff University) is a poet and author based in Shrewsbury, who has taught creative writing for over eleven years and mentored and coached many writers from the start of their writing project through to publication.

Website Twitter Facebook

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

Sea Refuses No River BT Poster

 

The Missing Years Blog Tour

 

 

The Missing Years Cover
ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

BLURB
She thought she would never go back…
Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago. Her father.
Leaving London behind to settle her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.
With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…

Book Information
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (6 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786495570
ISBN-13: 978-1786495570
Amazon

 

My Review

This book was like the perfect read for me given that I was reading this beauty while actually in the Highlands as I was on a little tour with my friend who is visiting. But aside from the context being perfect, The Missing Years is a GREAT mystery thriller. With Ailsa’s father missing, there’s already mystery and intrigue wrapped around our protagonist, but my favorite part about this book was actually the theories that Aisla had between each chapter about what happened to her father. I thought that was just so creative and loved getting to the end of a chapter to see what her next theory was for her father. Was he dead this time, was he hiding in a tropical climate, did he have a new family?

Aisla wears the years of her father’s disappearance internally and even to an extent an outsider as another character or even as us the reader can see how this has left a mark on her. With her mother recently passed and what happened to her Father still unanswered, she’s a woman who has seemed to keep many people at arm’s length, including her half sister Carrie. Trying to redeem that relationship, Aisla asks her sister to join her at the house she’s halfway inherited. The other half still technically belonging to her father.

With a life keeping people at a safe distance, Aisla is temporarily stuck in a small community, one that knows each other and all the goings on, and that includes knowing about her, and her family. People who were friends with them, people that had run-ins for better or worse with them, and Aisla is faced with the fact she can no longer hide.

There was such a great chilling and supernatural undertone to this and this is just another book I could sing praises for repeatedly. I loved the Manse itself and I loved the setting. [I’m not totally biased at all living in Scotland.]

Another aspect that really made this book enjoyable was the reconnecting of Aisla and Carrie, it felt really organic and natural. They have a big age gap, Aisla has been absent, and they don’t immediately become close as ever and I love that they struggled but obviously cared deeply for each other.

Elliott does a good job of keeping you guessing for a good chunk of the book. You may have inklings but you’re just not quite sure for a while and she just makes everything feel so natural as if Aisla is this real person and I find it hard to believe she wasn’t and this is just a story! Elliott also does a good job with giving us some LGBTQIA rep. She also doesn’t tie up everything too neatly at the end though she does give you a satisfying ending which is a huge bonus in this genre.

Overall definitely a 4 star read and one I plan on giving a reread someday!

 

About the Author

Lexie Elliott Author picture

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

www.lexieelliott.com
Facebook
Twitter

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

The Missing Years BT Poster

Random Attachment Review


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:

A coming of age, dark, humorous, romantic thriller. A twenty-first century Cinderella. The protagonist, seventeen year old Mia Dent, is overweight, unhappy, dormant at school and a crutch for her alcoholic mother. Together they live on a dangerous West London estate. On route to school one morning Mia spots Flynn Mason; he is the catalyst to change. In Mia’s imagination she constructs a personality and a back story for Flynn. She fantasises about them together. Following a second sighting she begins to purposely seek him out. In the background The Wolf is abducting young women and whilst Mia watches Flynn the watcher becomes the watched. 

For older [YA] readers.

I haven’t read many YA Thrillers and so my knowledge is limited I would say, but, I absolutely adored this one.

Thank you Gertrude T. Kitty for sending me a copy, I’m happy to leave my review after devouring this book.

Because that’s what happens, you devour it.

This is not without its faults but we’ll get to the good stuff first!

[Very Minor Spoiler here and there but doesn’t give too much away as the book does go from present to past so things are revealed but not put together all at once.]

Mia is someone who goes through so much shit, really, she has a horrible home life and her mother is basically evil incarnate. You sympathize SO MUCH for her as you read along and you cheer her onward in her bettering herself, in her mental health and with treating her body as something more than to be ignored.

She goes through weight loss, as she’s realized her attachment to food is unhealthy. [Remember there is absolutely nothing wrong with being overweight, but her relationship with food was using it to ignore other things wrong in her life and Mia deals with that in a better manner, nor does she really starve herself or deny herself foods she likes as she loses the weight, she just finds her appetite has diminished as her focus changes gears.]

Mia ups her game at school realizing her best shot of getting out of this horrible cycle of life with her mom is go off to Uni and be far away.

However, not everything happens according to plan and though Mia perseveres through her troubles, she’s handed more and more as she goes as well. Her father’s health is not the greatest, and she’s developed a new unhealthy obsession. Flynn.

What starts out as an innocent fantasy of romanticizing a stranger turns into something more as she finds herself in such a spiral that she has become a stalker. Her attraction to him borders on unhealthy and any manner of this sort of behavior should never ever be rewarded in real life. However since this is not real life, Mia finds herself interacting with Flynn and it ends up in a restraining order, this is good because it does show there is a consequence to her actions but I do feel that the plot with Flynn is not something I want to encourage as they progress past that.

However, there is something else going on in the streets of London, young girls have gone missing ‘The Wolf’ is at hand and there are already two bodies on his counter. But, who is this man, and what is his connection to Mia, and why is he so fascinated with her?

Can I just say that the parallel between The Wolf and Mia as both people who have stalked is actually super intriguing and Kitty pulls it off really well by showing you how it can be in extremes and that Mia in a way has a connection to The Wolf in that they both have kept an eye on what they want.

I think that Mia and Flynn’s origins of their arc is the only thing I have a really hard time dealing with. I loved them, but I really hated that something came from her stalking. Remember this is a story, in real life guys, this will never happen and it is not something to glorify. This is the only reason I didn’t give it five stars to be fair.

But back to other good things, I loved how Kitty shows the police mishandling so much because of a prejudice against Mia and it shows how it can put so much else at risk. Not to mention I loved how horrible Mia’s mom was, and not because it was ‘juicy’ but because she seems like such a real person, which is horrifying but great because it sucks you more into the story and has you rooting for Mia all the more.

Kitty’s manner of storytelling is wonderful, she has a great way with words and aside from a couple of minor typos the rest of the book was flawless in her style, as far as my tastes go!

If you are okay with things I have mentioned or keep them in mind and are intrigued I highly suggest reading this and I truly, truly hope that we see more thrillers/writing from Gertrude T. Kitty in the near future.

Content Warning: Body image issues, people fat shaming the MC, sexual assault, attempted rape, violence, forcibly restrained/kidnapped characters, mention of others being raped -but not described- and alcohol abuse.

Gemenicia Blog Tour

Gemenicia

Summary:
The second part of Arthur and Jo’s strange adventures throughout the land of Discoucia, and a time when Archie the Water Goddess has made the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of her nemesis, Cordelia Paradise, the Fire Goddess.
However, things rarely go to plan and Arthur finds himself at war with Archie’s hidden agenda rather than the insane task that he has to help Archie complete.
Hidden around Discoucia in its sixteen major cities are sixteen gems that Archie must collect before a year is up. If she wins then Cordelia will disappear to another dimension and not return until she agrees to stop causing forest fires, volcanic eruptions and droughts.
Team Archie has Arthur and Jo, who both have the understanding that by collecting these gems a natural order can be brought back and maybe Jo’s father will get well again. Team Cordelia has Alicia May, who has a talent for becoming anyone and a deep malicious streak; and Iren, who has a fanatical hatred for Archie, which Archie herself doesn’t like to talk about.
Along the way they meet old friends and old enemies, as well as Archie having to perform miracles without the use of divine power. From the murky ruins of Tanalos to the haunted corridors of Ashin Dance Academy, the frozen caverns of Icester and the verdant streets of Proceur, the adventure will take them around Discoucia and beyond, unless Cordelia and Alicia May can stop them first…

Information about the Book
Title: Gemenicia (Discoucia #2)
Author: Nicholas Lovelock
Release Date: 30th May 2019
Genre: YA Steampunk
Page Count: 410
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link
Amazon Link

My Review

Geminicia is the second book in this series thus far and I read Discoucia beforehand to be caught up for this blog tour and let me tell you, you’ll definitely want to read it before diving into book 2! This series is setting itself up to be an epic steampunk fantasy with a soap opera feel, and in saying that I mean that there’s a ton of action and it’s just one adventure after another.

There’s a full cast of characters and it just grows from book one to book two and the cast is rather loveable if I do say so myself.

I am sorry to say that though this book had some really enjoyable parts and very creative ideas that a lot of times I had a hard time with the writing style. It wasn’t difficult, so please don’t be scared off by that, but it wasn’t to my taste and that’s nothing against Nicholas Lovelock. I think that Geminicia is a great show of growth as an author, Discoucia was a good attempt but I think that its sequel is a great show of what’s to come. The books end in cliffhangers that are meant to go directly onto the next book so be prepared to wait for book 3 if you go ahead and jump in.

Lovelock has no problem breaking the fourth wall and I have to say it did have me chuckling quite a few times. There are lots of movie and literary references and so some jokes may go over the head if you’re out of the loop with some of them.

There’s a helpful appendix and map in book 2 that I wish would have been in the first book but better late than never if you ask me! So while this book wasn’t exactly to my cup of tea I still enjoyed it enough and instead of slapping a star rating I’m just telling you what I found good about it and letting you decide if this is the book for you!

I would say that if you’re a fan of steampunk and kind of operatic arc then you will want to check these books out. This is aimed at YA audiences, and I think that it is enjoyable even for those a little younger than that as well.

I’m including the information to the first book below and I want to say thank you to Faye and Authoright for letting me take part in the tour.

 

Discoucia.jpg

Summary
Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.
An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Avalonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Avalonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Avalonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princes Josephine Oladine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.
Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Avalonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.

Information about the Book
Title: Discoucia (Discoucia #1)
Author: Nicholas Lovelock
Release Date: 29th June 2017
Genre: YA Steampunk
Page Count: 345
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Goodreads Link
Amazon Link

 

Author Information

Nicholas Lovelock.jpg

Nicholas Lovelock lives in a small village in Oxfordshire and has already published Discoucia, the first part of the Alavonia Series which spans multiple novels set to be released in the future. He enjoys riding around the countryside as well as illustrating his own works, as can be seen in his second novel Gemenicia. These Illustrations in stark black and white provide a glimpse into the world of Alavonia and how he sees it, as well as showcasing the different locations and characters that make up the Alavonia series universe.
He is a keen musician capable of playing the electric guitar as well as the acoustic and the piano, often trying to play like his musical heroes David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and Jeff Lynne. His coin collection has transformed from a hobby to a passion and obsession as he attempts to collect one of every issued coin in Great Britain. He is over halfway in that respect collecting such treasures as a 1675 Charles the Second Crown and an extremely rare Edward the Seventh Half Crown of 1905, and has begun metal detecting in an effort to tick some boxes in the Hammered Coinage section.
His love of Steampunk literature and cinema has been with him from a young age when he first saw the film ‘Wild Wild West’, sought out the original series and discovered a world of fantasy that he has painstakingly tried to pay homage to in his novels, to bring the wild west to an English setting and to create something that has never been done before.
History has always been a major passion of his as he makes many references in his literature, from characters whose personalities resemble those of eccentric historical characters or monarchs. The ability to change history through literature was one of the things that attracted him to become an author in the first place, to create similar timelines and put a unique spin on the mundane.

 

Tour Schedule

Gemenicia Banner1.png

Monday 27th May

The Northern Witch Book Blog

Tuesday 28th May

Rambling Mads

Wednesday 29th May

Jazzy Book Reviews

Thursday 30th May

The Caffeinated Reader

Friday 31st May

Lauren’s Bookshelf

Saturday 1st June

Big Book Little Book

Sunday 2nd June

Donna’s Book Blog

Monday 3rd June

An Ocean Glimmer

Tuesday 4th June

Books are my Cwtches

Wednesday 5th June

Book Junkiez

Thursday 6th June

Luna’s Little Library

Friday 7th June

Jera’s Jamboree

The Reading Cafe

Saturday 8th June

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Sunday 9th June

Abooktasia

 

The Wise and the Wicked Blog Tour

book cover (1)

ratingicon ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Synopsis:
Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.
Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

BOOK INFORMATION
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 28th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT, Magical Realism
GoodReads Link

Where to Buy the Book

Amazon  Barnes&Noble  iTunes  Google Books

 

My Review

Podos starts this book with a leap into a world that I want to just never leave. She gives us a YA fantasy with a darker spin but leaving throughout the story glimpses of hope and goodness. Honestly, the little intro/prologue was so tantalizing that I knew I was going to love this book if it kept up that kind of dark fairytale feel, and it did. She weaves in Russian fairytales and folklore with a modern twist, and she doesn’t lean on them so heavily that her own story doesn’t stand out because it does, it truly does.

Ruby is dealing with being part of a large family of women who have been gifted with a power that was nearly the whole family’s undoing. Because of that, their powers are diminished but one remains, they are able to see their Time.

Knowing her time, Ruby much like everyone else was a prisoner to her fate. She acts out with skipping classes like most normal teenagers and stealing things just for the thrill of feeling power in herself, where she knows she’s powerless to her fate. She’s not a one-dimensional character, she is full of her own fears and even hopes when the death of someone close reveals a possible glimmer of hope.

There is diversity as well, we have [bisexual, though this is only mentioned so far] lesbian, and transgender representation and they’re not background or side characters, they all have their own voices and are wonderful to get to know. I especially love the twist that the magic knew the true gender of the transgender character, it was nice to see that the magic recognized what was within them.

There is romance, but it’s not the real focus of the story and it’s done really well so that though it’s not at the forefront, you’re left feeling pretty satisfied with where it’s going. I would say the message of love is that of family and not just by blood but perhaps what you make of who you have (though in this case, it is mostly blood, just a matter of maybe a cousin is more important than say another more immediate family member).

I really loved how Podos handled all the women in the family, they’re all so different and strong in their own ways and you couldn’t help but want to get to know them all better. Not to mention, CeeCee and Ruby are like two sides of a coin and that’s also another great part, their bond as best friends and not just family.

Definitely a 5/5 Cups of Coffee read for me and I really want to thank Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray, Rebecca Podos, and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for the opportunity to read this book which I read voluntarily in exchange for my honest review on this tour.

My Favorite Quotes

_Each night, she passed along what diminished wisdom their ancestors had brought with them to their new home, this foremost_ that the world has never been very kind to powerful women._.png

 

_Family is everything. The Most important power we Chernyavskys have. Your Mother will find this out for herself, I think. I hope. If not, she will never come back._.png

 

_That didn't make much sense to Ruby, but the world didn't make much sense anymore. Maybe if she could decode the too-big words and ideas in her Carl Sagan book, it would again._.png

 

_Somebody's waiting for me. I'm singing along to this song, even though it's not my favorite, but I'm really excited to get where I'm going._.png

 

__We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads._ Ruby quoted Sagan to her cousin._.png

 

_It hadn't been True Love that kept steely Polina going past the Time allotted to her. Which mean that Dov, however good his face, could not grant her a life._.png

 

_.png

 

_Chernyvasky magic...it all has a cost. And somebody else always has to pay it._.png

 

 

About the Author

AUTHOR (1).jpg

Rebecca Podos’ debut novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, was a Junior Library Guild Selection and a B&N Best YA Book of 2016. Her second book, LIKE WATER, won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Children’s and Young Adult. THE WISE AND THE WICKED, her third novel, is forthcoming in May 2019.
A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing Program at Emerson College and the Creative Writing Program at College of Santa Fe, Rebecca’s fiction has been published in journals like Glimmer Train, Paper Darts, and Smokelong Quarterly. By day, she works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.

Website  Goodreads  Twitter  Instagram

 

Tour Schedule

[Please click on the picture to be redirected to the full schedule post!]

tour banner (1).png

GIVEAWAY

 Win a copy of THE WISE AND THE WICKED by Rebecca Podos (INT)

Start Date: 22nd May 2019

End Date: 5th June 2019

Click Below on Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86369/?

 

Black Water ARC Review


ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

GoodReads:
I killed the boy…

Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka and tablets.

He’s just an ordinary boy on the mean streets alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. Streets that are ruled by Ghost and his crew. And now Ghost- inked, vicious, unprincipled- has a job for Jig.

A job that no one can afford to go wrong- not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all not Jig.

First off, thank you to BW Publishing for sending me a copy to read, I’ve been in a thriller mood the past couple of months so this fit right into my ‘mood.’ I’m giving an honest review in exchange for this gifted copy!

I would say comparing it to ‘The Wire set in Dublin’ was a really accurate comparison and if you love shows like ‘Law and Order’ or movies like ‘The Departed’ then you’ll probably really enjoy reading this, I know I did!

The pacing was great the whole way through, nothing was stretched out too long and the chapters were kept short and concise as to allow O’Keeffe to give us the whole picture of what was going on. You get the inside of Gangland feel, a great look at the Garda and those whose lives are affected by the gang violence, whether by contributing to it or being witnesses of information.

Jig was certainly my favorite character, the boy was only a product of his habitat and ‘nurture’ and I really just hated thinking about how many kids may have to deal with situations like that, ones they shouldn’t be in. But I also really liked how O’Keeffe didn’t handle Jig with ‘kid gloves’ as a kid growing up in that situation wouldn’t have many innocent tendencies that others might in other types of homes.

Shay was also a favorite of mine, I loved his story arc most probably.

This wasn’t really a character-driven novel, and that’s great considering the plot of this would have been bogged down otherwise, but, O’Keeffe is impressive and gives you a connection to the characters in a limited amount of time and does it so that it doesn’t feel rushed.

I wasn’t always a fan when the chapters might change part-way in, to another character’s situation but I thought it was done well enough that it didn’t end up bothering me and I got used to it but fair warning it could feel a bit jumpy if you’re not used to that.

The last 100 pages were just hard to put down, I needed to know what was going to happen, I felt like the clock was ticking and I was on the edge of my seat! Who was going to make it, who wasn’t, it was just making me push forward to know all the answers about the endgame.

There is extensive violence, and mention of drugs and alcohol given this is a book quite focused on at least a couple of gang members and so please remember that before jumping into reading this amazing book if this would be an issue.

Definitely 4/5 Cups of Coffee from me and would recommend to any crime or thriller fan! A great debut novel for the genre.