Fawkes Review

 

 

Fawkes

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GoodReads:
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

Hey guys, totally decided to do my own review, non-tour related! I know, I am in shock as well!

Anyway, I did the readalong for Fawkes in October, cohosting with the awesomeness of fellw Ninja Street team member and awesome Bookstagrammer, TheLibrarianFiles.

Finally I am getting around to writing this review after being super delayed in reading the end of this.

Also, be prepared, my pros and cons lists are returning. But first, the nice tidy paragraphed review!

I loved the creativity behind this, blending fantasy and historical fiction with fact. I’m a huge sucker for interesting historical fiction and Guy Fawkes is definitely near the top of the list for UK’s interesting peeps.

I have NOT read Romanov of the Out of Time Series so this means, *gasp* this was my first Brandes read! I know, I know, horrible street team member, but, I was so excited about the premise of Romanov that I knew I was going to love Brandes, and I was right. Of course I was, I’m always right when it comes to internal dialogue/debating.

Brandes has a really nice flow to her prose, you are able to feel this sort of rhythm to her writing and it’s great. I felt like it just allowed you to be carried away by a sort of current between her style and the pacing of the plot. This is always a huge plus for me, especially since I can be easily distracted by…everything.

Thomas was a fantastic protagonist, I have to admit, most protagonists I read about are girls, so, this was a nice change of pace for me, and the emotions he has are so easily relatable/sympathetic in their expression. He’s a teenager, basically a man in his time, and he has not had an easy life. His mother gone and his father, more legend to him than anyone else, has forsaken him. Why?

Thomas has the stone plague, in a time where there’s color magic and masks, two ‘faiths’ of color magic are pitted against each other, each blaming the other for this plague that turns you to stone. Contract it and you are suddenly condemned to a life on the outskirts of society. If you’re lucky it will go dormant and you will live, if you’re unlucky, it will suffocate and consume you, killing you.

Thomas is ‘lucky’ he has only to cover up his plague which has taken an eye, using an eye-patch to keep himself from being found out. But still, Guy Fawkes, his father, has refused him a mask in which he can practice color magic, and without that mask, he is turned away from his school, doomed a life as bad as if those knew of his plague. There’s only one option and Thomas decides to go for it; find his father and demand his color mask, as his right.

The journey of Thomas is one that once again I felt was relatable, he is looking for acceptance, especially in the eyes of his Father and so he makes decisions rashly, wanting to win his father’s approval and gain his mask.

Still, Thomas begins to see how the decisions he made may not be the right ones, and in the end he stands for not himself but the truth, with the help of his friend Emma.

A girl who is the opposite of his father in almost every way, and yet, someone to aspire to. After all her color magic is the best, and she has a bravery in her that allows her to fight for everyone in need, even if they do not share her views.

At the core of all this, the color magics and two different sectors, Keepers and Igniters, there is White Light/Magic, it is the power from which all color magic is born and it is who both sides fight for.

But what does the White stand for?

Thomas finds out, but you’ll have to read to find out yourself!

I loved the White and Emma, hands down the best parts of the book where parts with either/both of them in it.

Emma is strong and brave and a great parallel to draw against Guy Fawkes for the two paths that Thomas has awaiting him to choose.

There’s also some great sub characters! The plotters were really fun to read about and I seriously enjoyed Henry versus Thomas, every time, haha.

Overall this was a super enjoyable read, I loved the stone plague and how it came to be, I also loved how Thomas went on this radical journey to get where his destiny always meant for him to be, and I SHIP the relationship in this so much. Spoilers, so, no giving away the answer.

The ending was perfect and the reasoning for four cups of coffee on this is the ending and the pure enjoyment I felt in reading it.

Pros:
– Awesome magic system
– The different color ‘faiths’ Igniters and Keepers
– There’s Guy Fawkes
– Plotting, gunpowder, and treason!
– Color magic in action is so much fun to read
– Emma
– White Light’s sass. That’s right, it has a personality.
– The masks were so cool
– Soul searching to the max
– Stone plague was such a creative twist to ‘the plague’
– Thomas’s character development was off the charts

Cons:
– Not enough background on color magic to me
– Also not enough of it in the story to satisfy my wants loooool
– I wanted more development of Emma
– More interaction between Henry and Thomas would have been good
– I wanted to know more about Dee’s motivation, it felt slightly lacking but the action scenes filled that out nicely.
– More of Guy Fawkes and Thomas would have been nice
– MORE WHITE LIGHT PLEASE AND THANK YOU. Again I wanted more interaction of it with Thomas.
– I think more knowledge about Thomas’s years at school would have helped
– There was a small lull in the transition between the first and second third of the book, but, the pacing picked up nicely after that.
– Why not more color maaagic
– Uh…why not more everything? BRANDES I WANT MOOOOOOORE.

 

Street Team

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About the Author

Nadine Brandes

NADINE BRANDES once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She is the author of FAWKES, ROMANOV, and the award-winning Out of Time Series. Her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she’s not busy writing novels about bold living, she’s adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. Nadine, her Auror husband, and their Halfling son are building a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom.

Author Links

Website | Instagram | Youtube | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Died and Gone to Devon – Blog Tour

 

 

Died and Gone to Devon

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GoodReads:
X marks the spot for murder…
In the seaside town of Temple Regis, seagulls are wheeling overhead and the holidays are getting close. And then the body of political candidate Odile Clifford is discovered on the balcony of the lighthouse.
Fearless Riviera Express reporter Judy Dimont goes in search of the killer – but who is it? And where will they strike next?
What’s more, Judy’s position as chief reporter is under threat when her editor takes on hot-shot journalist David Renishaw, whose work is just too good to be true.
Life is busier than ever for Devon’s most famous detective. Can Judy solve the mystery – and protect her position as Temple Regis’s best reporter – before the murderer strikes again?

 

My Review

‘Died and Gone to Devon’ was a cute book a ‘cozy’ murder mystery with a very neat protagonist.

Though I did enjoy reading this, it unfortunately wasn’t for the mystery of it. The murder mystery was lacking for me, it felt as if this were more of a journalist who was living in a quirky town with an enjoyable cast of characters, but, for nearly the first half of the book there was nothing really to do with the mystery part other than an occasional mention.

The buildup was unsatisfying as a mystery, but, I did enjoy learning about the town and the crew of the ‘Riviera.’

Judy is a fun character and overall I would say this was still an enjoyable read and I thought the writing style was the definition of cozy. So, I gave this three stars, but, again, not for it fitting its genre.

One thing I really appreciated in the end was the way the time realistically lapsed, Judy didn’t solve this in two days, it took months for everything to come together and the way it all did mesh was clever and it really was a nice way to end it all.

Overall, it was a three cups of coffee read for me, and I do look forward to hopefully reading the others at some point in this series! [Though this could easily be read as a standalone as I read it]

Thanks so much to BloggerHQ and Harper Collins for a chance to read and review this honestly as part of the tour.

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Soul of the Sword Blog Tour

Thank you to Harper Collins HQ for a chance to be part of this blog tour. Below is an honest review in exchange for a copy of the book.

[And….honestly, this is now one of my favorite trilogies and I haven’t even read book three yet]

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Synopsis:
The Time of the Wish Approaches…
Yumeko the shapeshifter had one task: take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple and prevent the summoning of the great Kami Dragon. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, has escaped and possessed the samurai she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with Genno, the Master of Demons, to break his curse and set himself free. But Genno wishes to overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness. To do that he needs only one thing, the scroll Yumeko is hiding. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross again the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
And Chaos will darken an Empire
Return to Juli Kagawa’s beautiful and perilous land of shapeshifter, samurai and demons as Japanese mythology and magic swirl together in the New York Times bestselling author’s brand new adventure. 

Book Information:
Title: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Publication Date:
27 June 2019
Publisher: HQ, Harper Collins
Paperback: £7.99
eBook: £3.99
Audio: £12.99

 

My Review

I could probably fangirl about this and book one for weeks if you all let me, no lie just a post a day for each character and then one a day for each lovely detail…weeeeeeks. But, I will refrain and try my best to give it to you without too much gushing.

I had not read any of Julie Kagawa’s works until Shadow of the Fox and once I did, I realized this was going to be something I was going to love and treasure. Kagawa gives us such a lush and beautiful world steeped in Japanese mythology and descriptions that make you want to go visit so you can help Yumeko and ‘the gang’ as I call them.

While we’re still striving for diversity the fact that Kagawa just pushes out this amazing fantasy book and gives us a main female protagonist and the great creatures from myth which sometimes we forget about with all the books dominated by the Medieval Western inspired worlds [and to be fair, I love those books too].

Yumeko was an isolated and sheltered girl in the first book and though she’s certainly learning the way of the world, our lovely kitsune still retains some of her innocence which makes for some pretty heart felt and chuckle induced moments. Still, the fact that Kagawa has Yumeko reaching into herself and accepting a part of her she’s really kept at a distance is a beautiful thing to watch. Not only that but Yumeko builds her relationships closer with others around her as Tatsumi -Hakaimono are elsewhere. [Not giving away any spoilers other than what’s already given away from the blurb!]

It’s almost as if there are no side characters in Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox books, each one is hashed out and given such attention in the details that you feel as if you really know them all. Especially Okame and Daisuke, Reika, well it fits that she’s still the one we know the least as she keeps her distance emotionally more than the others.

We also get to see more inner thoughts of Hakaimono and those were some of my favorite parts, he’s still this imposing monster in every aspect of the word but even he can see how 400 years has made him change ever so slightly being in the presence of humans, even if it has been in a sword.

Suki is actually one of my favorite characters and I was so excited we got to see more chapters with her this time around. I think she’s so precious and man, Kagawa broke my heart for in like the first three pages of Shadow of the Fox

Like the first book, Soul of the Sword shows us more of the world that our beloved group of characters is in, there’s no revisiting, it’s pushing onwards towards their goals, their mission which is integral to the whole world at this point. Each new city and territory discovered was described so well that it felt like Kagawa might have travelled to this fanatasy world and painted a picture of it all with her words. We encounter some new faces, we get to see more of the Kage clan and more importantly, we get to see more magic.

If you’re looking for a fantasy read that gives you everything your heart desires with world building, great characters, and awesome fighting and magic, then go pick up Shadow of the Fox and then immediately go pick up Soul of the Sword. I’ve never loved the first two books so much in a trilogy before, I couldn’t pick between the two so it’s safe to say Kagawa brings her A game and will continue to do so.

Fair warning this left me with a terrible book hangover. [Don’t believe me? I’ve now had dreams of the characters of Soul of the Sword recreating Rurouni Kenshin in their own style.] This was hands down a 5/5 Cups of Coffee read for me and I’d be happy to write another five paragraphs but I’ll leave it alone for now.

What am I supposed to do while waiting for book 3? Reread already? Seems acceptable…anything to fill the hole in my heart that Soul of the Sword has left.

About the Author

Picture used from her website
Julie Kagawa is the author of the bestselling Iron Fey and Talon series. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart of his own good, ant he latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

Rest of the Tour Schedule

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The Wise and the Wicked Blog Tour

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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

 

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

 

 

About the Author

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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

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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:

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