Holiday Book Haul

Hey guys! Time for me to share what I got during my holiday!

**I didn’t actually get any books for Christmas aside from my amazing gift from Secret Santa, so these are books I bought and had mailed ahead and a couple of giveaways and an ARC as well, the rest are ones we bought with holiday money mostly from used bookstores lol**

**You don’t need to spend money to be a book blogger, so don’t let this haul affect your opinion on that, you’re valid as long as you enjoy reading!**

 

Book Mail

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I bought this off one of the many FB groups I’m on, I bought it when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get my hands on the FairyLoot edition but now I have this beautiful OwlCrate edition and the magnificent FairyLoot edition.

 

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Words cannot express how fortunate and happy I felt to be sent an ARC for one of my absolute favorite releases of 2019. Holding this made me feel like tearing up and then I also bought someone’s OwlCrate edition.

 

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My OwlCrate edition of Crown of Feathers I bought off eBay and again the Owlcrate of House of Salt and Sorrows. ❤

 

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I have the Waterstones Special Signed Edition of Volume II but they no longer had Volume I on sale, so I nabbed this one instead ❤

 

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I’m still a HUGE Tamora Pierce fan and I’ve had the other two books of this trilogy forever, but finally, I now own the third one!

 

Giveaway Books

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I won a couple of books from an Instagram giveaway, Aileen Erin is a new fave author of mine so I was really excited. I asked them to mail them to a certain address and they addressed it to the person who lives there…so…lol they’re personalized but not to me!

 

Presents

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This was my gift from my wonderful Secret Santa ❤ A book off my wishlist that I cannot wait to read!

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My Sister got this for my husband and it cracks me up so I wanted to share it, he really got a kick out of it too!

 

Book Buys!

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I scored this half Price on sale and couldn’t help myself, I loved StepSister and had really wanted to read Call Down the Hawk

 

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I own a signed UK version of this but I really was drawn to this cover so I bought it too.

 

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I scored this one at the Goodwill for 1.00 and I was pretty excited lol I haven’t read any of her books yet! I know, I know, bad Haley.

 

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MEMORY LANE FOLKS, MEMORY LANE. I plan on getting an Aldrea Tattoo, for a long time my username on everything was Aldrea for years lol, also found this at GoodWill.

One Year Blogiversary & INTL. Giveaway

 

Guess what January 3rd was?

My Blogiversary

Guess who had no clue until I looked it up on January 3rd?

This girl.

So, I did a Twitter poll, and a few people did it, so it’s been decided that today I’ll do my blogiversary post and celebrate by…

Giving you all a tour of my bookshelves.

Prepare yourselves, we still haven’t really worked out how many shelves we need and we’re still trying to find space to put all this crap that we own so the pictures will be scary in the sense that there’s no sense of order, it’s just chaos. Pure chaos. And mess.

Also, to celebrate my blogiversary I would like to do an international giveaway for a book depository gift card worth £10. It’s not much but I wanted to do something, and I promise there’ll be more giveaways to come this year.

My Bookshelves

First up, my Ikea cube shelf, which, I’m not putting a full picture of because it’s basically blocked by random game consoles and accessories and random pairs of shoes…oh…and a drill. [Looking right at it as I type, shuddering as I realize how messy I am]

 

The Cube shelf is mostly for my YA books as they’re the ones I own the most of, but we also have had to use this shelf for board games and puzzles and videogames which is why everything’s so smooshed in it. Oh and random videos apparently. Yea, that’s right that bottom right corner picture is Star Wars IV-VI on VHS. Boom.

I try to kinda keep it by genre, generally, but this go it’s literally been like ‘if it it fits, it sits’

You’ll note a Harry Potter lego set, may I just say that was a Christmas present to myself and the husband from my sister-in-law? She knows me too well.

I…I can’t get over how messy this all is! I couldn’t even take a picture of one of the cubes cause it was blocked by so much shite. Bahaha. Okay upward and onward [well downward shelf wise]

On the plus side, these shelves are slightly neater? Maybe?

Anyway, I have a whole shelf dedicated to Cassandra Clare cause she turns out books like I eat chocolates. Also, Mortal Instruments holds a special place in my heart as it was the first YA series I really read after the Harry Potter books.

I also have some books I’ve bought for the spawn AND myself, and I’ve kept them here for now such as Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson [not pictured here]. The Worst Teachers book is hers too, spawn prefers humorous books and graphic/comic books, I love seeing her develop her own tastes. Anyway, you’ll also see I have a cube of manga, that’s right, all manga there, and it’s three rows deep of manga lol. [Why does that sound dirty?]  I’m actually surprised by how many books I’ve actually read in these four cubes, go me, but haha the rest is all like 50% read, 50% forgot I owned.

Onto the other shelf in our tiny living room!

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Fortunately, this one is public appropriate to show you the full shelf lol. You’ll notice this is mostly classics, and hey, what can I say, I do love classics, as does the husband so this is more our shelf whereas the black cubicle one is definitely like all me lol.

I also love to collect older books so the first few shelves are the ones I find in charity shops while the bottom shelf as like our B&N pretty editions lol

And now we’re off to the basement/ground level!

 

Here we have historical fiction, ‘chick lit’ and more classics. As well as one set of my HP books and my Tamora Pierce books. ❤ The bottom shelf is like all Agatha Christie behind those other mystery books.

On the right we have….wait for it, nonfiction. There are reference books for musicology studies and the general nonfiction that the hubs and I can both bond over. Except he reads boring things like Napoleon stuff while I’m like ‘hey let’s read about actors and the Romanov dynasty’ lol.

Where will we go next? To our bedroom! [Bookshelves only, pervs]

Now, the bottom right picture is actually a different shelf, it’s a small one we keep our TBR books on, and you know, whatever else needs to go on there. You’ll spy Wolf Light and Curses & Kisses on the top of that shelf, I’m so excited to read those lol. The taller shelf holds signed/special edition books and my husband’s Hemingway and philosophy books as they’re important to him ❤

I know I’ve got multiple editions of some books on there, but, these books really made an impression on me so I have more than one copy.

I’ve got Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Kingdom of Souls, Fairyloot editions of Girls of Storm and Shadow, The Beautiful, The Merciful Crow, and Serpent and Dove on the first shelf. There’s also the Goldsboro editions of The Gods of Jade and Shadow and Aurora Rising. Pan’s Labyrinth is a signed Forbidden Planet edition, and that’s the Waterstones exclusive edition of The Deathless Girls. The rest of the books are regular editions but they’re all signed and most are personalized to me, they’re the authors I’ve been lucky enough to meet!

Second and third shelf are mostly Waterstones or even Barnes and Noble special editions, and more signed by the author/signed bookplate books. There’s also a Faecrate edition of The Red Labyrinth because I really thought that book was awesome and underrated. Finally the bottom shelf, I want to point out my Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Blood Heir, man, I thought that book was pretty great.

There we go, I have shown you all my horribly messy bookshelves, and consider these all ‘before’ photos as we are going to be getting wall/floating shelves for the mess that is the living room.

One Year

I’ve met so many amazing people, and read so many equally amazing books, that I can’t imagine my life without some part of the bookish community. I’ve joined street teams, I’ve found friends, met lovely people in publishing, authors, and book reviewers who have influenced my bookshelves.

I could go on and on about what I’ve done, but I already did a year in review, I read a lot, over 240+ books, put up over 174 book review posts, participated in readathons, blog tours, and Book Ending events, and really all that I can think to write about is how happy it’s all made me and how much fun I’ve had. This is all thanks to the people I’ve encountered and without them, there wouldn’t be this post.

Wouldn’t be here without you either.

Sending love and wishing you all the best, let’s see what another year will do on this blog. [Still updating my Patreon stuff, and will be bringing back Comparing Notes, just for starters]

Now onto the important stuff!

Giveaway Information

Giveaway is for a 10 gift card for book depository, it is open internationally, to be entered for it just comment on my blog OR F/RT the tweet about it. That’s it! [If you comment on here but don’t want to be entered in the giveaway for any reason, just state that you’d like to be exempt]

 

 

Update and Giveaway Announcement!

 

I meant to post yesterday, really, I did, and I meant to post earlier today, really, I did. But. Shit happens.

I’m pretty sure I’ve not had a cold this bad in quite a long while so this has really thrown me off my game between it, the loss of my laptop charger, and the move.

Just let me lay here for eternity. Sounds good.

Anyway, reading on till the end of the year/looking ahead!

I still have some life in me but like many of you, soon I’ll be surrounded by chaos with different events and holidays. [Spawn’s birthday is 15 days before Christmas, mother’s is four days after, sister’s anniversary is on New Year’s Eve….it’s like they all wanted me to be poor for the rest of my life ;)]

**I’ll also be out of the UK for just over 2 weeks in December and though I’ll be in the US I really won’t have signal because my sister lives in the middle of bum f*ck nowhere. So, if you’re not hearing from me, know it’s because there’s no signal lol. But I will have posts scheduled and up in that period**

As far as reading goes, I’ll have one more blog tour tomorrow, and then two more for December and that’s it until January.

I need to concentrate on my NetGalley and back list more and I’d like to focus on some pretty specific awesome eARCs screaming my name for 2020. Especially the ones I’m on the street teams for!

The rest of this year, my plans for backlist books are to read these: Aurora Rising, The Familiars, The Tiger at Midnight, and more of the books I had planned on reading for YARC!

I’ll be pushing out posts about gift recs for book lovers, and the other half of my top faves of the year. Also, uh, BE Winter is almost upon us and that’s super exciting, I can’t wait to see what the hosts come up with this round!

Also, my Patreon and blog will be getting some makeover stuff doooone. Nothing major here on the blog, just finally taking off my Halloween stuff *sob* and messing around with the pages.

But onto the exciting stuff!

Giveaway Announcement!

 

If you don’t have a Twitter and would still like to be in this giveaway, just comment here or message me on Instagram if that’s your preferred method!

So far this has gotten like no notice, aside from the lovely Fictionally Sam RT for me, but, I mean, I have these books, and it would be nice to give them away! This goes on until December 1, Midnight GMT.

UK only, but I’ll do a gift card giveaway in the New Year that will be INTL.

Tell me what your reading plans are, anything in your life happening that you wanna screech in excitement about? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

The Shadow Prince – Blog Tour

Hey guys, hope everyone is doing alright, I’ll be doing another blog tour post today, yesterday was the last day I needed to spend deep cleaning the old place [and filling in nail holes lol because I love to hang up pictures]. This means more time back on bloghopping and everything else because I won’t be practically comatose by the time I get on my laptop.

Anyway, here we go, on to the good stuff!

The Shadow Prince (Mortal Enchantment, #0.5)

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Synopsis:

Prequel novella to the award-winning YA fantasy series Mortal Enchantment. Discover a world of elemental powers, courage, duty, sacrifice, forbidden romance and a war for the very elements of life. 

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is an elemental prince. Banished to the mortal world, he doubts he will ever return to Avalon and claim the fire court throne. Until he receives a challenge from his estranged mother. If he slays Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental, princess of the air court, she will abdicate her throne. Is he capable of completing such a heinous task? And what price will he pay if he refuses? 

Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas. 

“Filled with betrayal and intrigue, The Shadow Prince is a dark and twisty novella from an exciting new author!” Katee Robert, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

The Shadow Prince is part of the
Mortal Enchantment box set: https://amzn.to/31vk2WN
Book Information:
Title: The Shadow Prince
By Stacey O’Neale
Series #: Mortal Enchantment #0.5
Publication date: March 25th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

 

My Review

I love novellas, especially when they’re used as teasers for series and so I definitely enjoyed this one. It was of course a very quick read and got you interested enough to want to read more.

Another thing with novellas though means that there’s not exactly going to be a five paragraph review for it, haha. But it’s not needed.

O’Neale has a nice clear style of writing and her characters and world seem to be very expansive, I want to know more about the Gabriel hounds, the elementals and the different kingdoms, but she gave us enough to satisfy us while reading this…and to automatically make you want to go read ‘Storm Born.’

Rowan’s a sympathetic character, he’s young and isolated from his people and despite how his mother has ruled, he wants to be his own leader and change things for his fire court.

However, will he ever get a chance to be king?

Just when it seems his time to rule has come, Rowan’s given a task. If he slays Kalin though as he’s been ordered, is he really any better than his mother as a leader?

I loved how conflicted he was and also I was immediately intrigued by Kalin.

Hands down though, Rowan’s best friend Marcus was my favorite character, he seemed so loyal and awesome.

Anyway this is a solid intro to a fantasy series and you can bet I’ll be reading ‘Storm Born’ next. Thanks to Xpresso Tours for a copy of the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Stacey

Award-winning author, Stacey O’Neale, lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult fantasy and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Author Links

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

 

Giveaway

Win a $25.00 Amazon Giftcard! [INT]
[Click on link above]

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Tears of Frost – Blog Tour

 

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Synopsis:
The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own.
Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.
As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.
Book Information:
Tears of Frost
(Heart of Thorns #2)
By 
Bree Barton
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
GoodReads:

Purchase Links

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | BookDepo | Kobo | GoogleBooks

My Review

It’s not very often that a sequel manages to be so amazing in my opinion but ‘Tears of Frost’ is possibly greater than ‘Heart of Thorns’ the story line continues on from the amazing clash of events in book one and book two continues to rip your heart out and mash it in little pieces. Like most good authors and books tend to do.

Pilar is probably my ultimate favorite, she has so many layers, of course she’s not the only complex character in this amazing world but she is the one I also tend to relate to the most.

There are a few shocking revelations that will have you going ‘NO’ while reading, I feel I did this out loud at least 3-4x just to give you an indication, haha.

Quin probably has the biggest shift out of the characters, and he goes through SO MUCH.

The pacing is incredible, this felt like it was just two hundred pages instead of the 450+ and I got lost in the story.

The revelations, seriously, I cannot get over them. But more than anything, Bree has put so much heart in this book. You feel the emotions rattling you from the inside out as you realize just how much everyone in this book feels many have been taught to follow their heart or their instincts but what happens when that isn’t good enough for some? What happens when that leads some of our favorite characters astray?

If you’re looking to start a new series I would definitely recommend ‘Heart of Thorns’ and if you’ve read it, you’ll definitely want to be read to read ‘Tears of Frost’ as it hits shelves on November 5. I have to say it was a lot of fangirling in my notes, the awesome feminism and LGBTQ rep continues and impresses me once again. I love that the characters are simply who they are, Quin has had to deal with some coming to terms on his desires, but, the refreshing take that most are just as they are, that women can love women, that a person can love a man or a woman and it’s not even cause for the blink of an eye is great.

Again, so much heartache and yet there was this hint of hope, I have my fingers crossed for them all and cannot wait for book three. ….Is it out yet?

Thank you to TFFBC for the chance to participate in this tour and to Katherine Tegen Books for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

 

Favorite Quotes

_...survival did not come in a silken bonnet. Survival meant dirt and blood under your fingernails.

_The Prince didn't look pretty. He looked real._

_If a person wasn't in control of their lies, did it still count as lying__

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_It's remarkable how often the word 'civilize' has been used in place of 'oppress.'_

_Regret eroded you from the inside out, like a poison. Shame was a curved blade. It eviscerated you, scooped out all the parts you thought were worthy. Shame carved an empty space nothing could ever fill._

Bree’s Awesome Playlist

Gettin’ Frosty Spotify Playlist

 

 

About the Author

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Bree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns (KT/HarperCollins 2018), the first in a series of fierce feminist fantasy novels. Her books have been published in seven countries and four languages. When she’s not crafting a story, Bree teaches dance and writing to teen girls. You can find her on Instagram @SpeakBreely. She lives in Los Angeles but dreams of the northern lights.

Author Links

GoodReads | Website | Youtube | Instagram

Giveaway

1st Prize: Win a TEARS OF FROST bundle: signed hardcover copies of HoT and ToF, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, HoT candle, ToF candle (US ONLY)

2nd Prize: Win a TEARS OF FROST goodies bundle: signed bookplate, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, and a customized poem in the style of the epigraph (INT)

Starts: October 30th, 2019

Ends: November 13th, 2019

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86419/

 

The Rest of the Tour

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[Click on Pic to be taken to the rest of the tour’s schedule]

 

 

The Last Concerto – Blog Tour

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Synopsis: 
Famed for its natural beauty and rich history, Sardinia in 1968 is notorious, too, for the bandits who kidnap wealthy landowners for ransom. Eleven-year-old Alba Fresu’s brother, and her father, Bruno, are abducted by criminals who mistake Bruno for a rich man. After a grueling journey through the countryside, the two are eventually released—but the experience leaves Alba shaken and unable to readjust to normal life, or to give voice to her inner turmoil.
Accompanying her mother to cleaning jobs, Alba visits the villa of an eccentric Signora and touches the keys of a piano for the first time. The instrument’s spell is immediate. During secret lessons, forbidden by her mother, Alba is at last able to express emotions too powerful for words alone. Ignoring her parents’ insistence that she work in the family’s car dealership and marry a local boy, Alba accepts a scholarship to the Rome conservatoire. There she immerses herself in a vibrant world of art and a passionate affair.
But her path will lead her to a crossroads, and Alba will have to decide how to reconcile her talent with her longing for love and family, and convey the music of her heart…

Book Information:
Written by: Sara Alexander
Published by: HQ
Publication date: 22/08/2019
Format: Paperback Original £7.99 [Available in eBook & audio]

My Review

I know I’ve said it probably about fifty times by now but as a musician, I tend to be drawn toward books that have music in them. The fact this one had a different musical term each chapter and sections divided into movements, well, I’m completely biased in loving that part of them. But, I’m here to talk about the content of this book, which took me on an extraordinarily emotional rollercoaster. This is a story about a woman having the courage to go after what makes her passionate, music.

The first chapter was a bit of a hesitant introduction for me, but the moment I got past it, it was like something just clicked in me. I could recognize a love of music and the difficulty of perhaps wanting different things than are expected of you. And I’m sure a lot can relate to one or the other if not both. Alba is quiet, the power of her voice is put into her music, and even then, due to her past, she would restrict it and the power of finding her voice.

Seriously, watching her deal with her childhood as being the odd one out, and a girl in her household to experience life in Rome and as a concert pianist, it’s all wonderful and you just want the best for her but Alexander gives us a healthy dose of realism in that she gives both highs and lows. Some things are so soul-crushing, I just want to hug Alba but you know that she is going through this route because she’s chosen music. And to be fair this ending won’t have you crying like a baby in sorrow, so, it’s got a satisfying ending.

Alexander enthrals with her descriptions of music and food, and for me, well, I delighted in the musical descriptions but I do think that if you’re not a fan of heavy descriptions you may not appreciate this paint brushing of each scene before you.

Alba deals with issues from the past that follow her, whether they arise from family or past lovers and I loved watching her handle things differently as she grows up and oh, that ending. ❤

If you are interested in reading a book about a woman following her dream against the odds, that has believable romance subplots, and a healthy dose of humanity, I definitely recommend reading The Last Concerto. Four cups of coffee from me!

 

About the Author

HarperCollins Author Page
Sara Alexander attended Hampstead School, London, and went on to graduate from the University of Bristol, with a BA hons in Theatre, Film & TV. She followed on to complete her postgraduate diploma in acting from Drama Studio London. She has worked extensively in the theatre, film and television industries, including roles in much loved production such as Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Doctor Who, and Franco Zeffirelli’s Sparrow. She is based in London.

 

GIVEAWAY ALERT

I happen to have an extra copy, thank you HQ Stories, so you know that means? GIVEAWAY TIME! [UK Only this round guys] Comment on here for an extra chance to win a copy, follow/RT on twitter for the ‘first’ chance!

The Rest of the Tour

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Station Fosaan – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
Scientists and their families stationed on the remote planet of Fosaan were promised a tropical vacation-like experience. But Fosaan, devastated from an apocalyptic event nearly 300 years ago, is full of lethal predators and dangerous terrain. Earthers are forbidden to go beyond the safety zone of their settlement and must not engage the remaining reclusive Fosaanians, native to the planet. 16-year-old Quinn Neen is about to do both of those things.
During an unsanctioned exploration of the planet, Quinn discovers a Fosaanian girl named Mira stealing food from his family’s living unit. But before he can convince her to show him around, scientists are taken captive, leaving Quinn and the other young Earthers at the mercy of space raiders.
Quinn must go from renegade to leader and convince Mira to become an ally in a fight against an enemy whose very existence threatens their lives and the future of Earthers stuck on Fosaan and at home.

Book Information:
Title: Station Fosaan
Author: Dee Garretson
Publication Date: February 14th, 2017
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Space Opera/ Post-Apocalypse
GoodReads Link

Where to Buy

Amazon US | Barnes&Noble | Indiebound

 

My Review

I love when I’m pleasantly surprised by a book and Station Fosaan did that for me! Don’t get me wrong, I did pick this book to be on the tour for, but it’d been so long I wondered if I was going to want to read it just as much as I had the first time I read the blurb.

I did.

And.

It was such an enjoyable read! Quinn was a sixteen-year-old who loved science and when faced with a pretty girl who just appears in his house, Mira, he’s a bit taken with her. What I love though is that it’s not ‘insta-love’ he’s a boy curious about the native girl in his kitchen, and he develops a crush. It’s sweet, and it’s natural feeling the way Garretson wrote it. Since the tale is from his point of view in first person, the crush is quite one-sided as he has no idea what she’s feeling or thinking and again I really appreciated that. Also, he’s not completely stuck on her, which when faced with some dangerous moments. I like that Garretson had Quinn preoccupied with keeping safe versus ‘mooning’ over Mira.

Mira is fascinating and I can’t wait to find out more about her. This is the first tale in the Torch World Series and the ending leaves you wanting to jump right into the next one.

The planet is fascinating and I loved to dislike Ansun, but on the same token, I was completely on board for learning as much as I could about the natives of the planet and not just them but the natural wildlife and the history, I wanted more.

Overall a really solid start to this YA Sci-Fi/Space Opera series, I’ve already gotten the prequel and the second book in the series off Amazon and plan to go jump into the series again!

Thank you to Reeds&Reels for a chance to read and review this in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.

 

About the Author

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Dee writes middle grade, young adult and adult fiction under her own name and also writes for the Boxcar Children series under the original author’s name. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family in a book-cluttered house surrounded by a semi-wild garden. Her two cats Piper and Poppy are her writing companions and the stars of Skype visits with book clubs. When Dee is not writing or reading, she is most likely watching old movies, cooking treats to go along with book reading or trying to learn to make jewelry.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Giveaway!

Giveaway GoodiesA paperback copy, a key chain/backpack clip and a signed bookmark.  *North America Only*

Click Here or on the Pic to be directed to Rafflecopter for the Giveaway

 

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This blog tour was organized by R&R Book Tours

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