Book Review: King of Scars

king of scarsTitle: King of Scars
Author:
 Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: Hardback
Page Count: 514
Publisher: Imprint
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Spin-off duology, exploring more with previously established characters
Recommended Readers: Fans of both Six of Crows and the Grishaverse trilogy–especially those that wanted more from the latter
Rating: ★★★★★

I was able to finally get to Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars, and I’m so happy I did because she took my low but timidly hopeful expectations and delivered on them in the most delicious, agonizingly slow way.

Here, we follow Nikolai Lantsov, the king of Ravka, who is trying to keep his country from falling once again into a war with enemies surrounded on all sides, balancing the threads of power along with finding ways to protect his people. Perhaps his greatest challenge, however, is to discover a way to be rid of the dark magic the defeated Darkling left within him, turning him at night into a monstrous creature devoid of reason or thought. Grisha Squaller Zoya Nazyalensky must also find a way to protect king and country no matter what the cost, even if that means sacrificing Nikolai for the sake of her people. Meanwhile, Nina Zenick is undercover on a mission in Fjerda. Deep in enemy territory, she is seeking to bury her past and find meaning in the future by saving as many Grisha as possible.

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update – April 2019

Hey, I’m back with a new reading challenge update! April was a slower month for me, mostly because I hit a book slump toward the beginning of the month because something I was reading just wasn’t doing it for me.

I wonder if you can guess which one it was. 😉

The Five-Star Favs

wicked saints
Finished: 4/3/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

Wicked Saints has solidified itself as a modern gothic fiction novel—it has that romantic horror vibe to me—and I’d love to see certain scenes on the big screen, namely That One with Serefin. [Review]

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Book Review: Blood Heir

blood heir

Title: Blood Heir
Author:
 Amélie Wen Zhao
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 496
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Anastasia retelling, POC characters
Recommended Readers: Fans of fantasy and X-Men
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Please note: this is a review of the original ARC before the subsequent pull and re-publication of the novel.

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao follows Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess of the Cyrilian Empire, who is presumed dead and in hiding after being framed for the murder of her father, the Emperor. To clear her name and find the real killer, Ana enlists the help of notorious con man Ramson Quicktongue, who has dark ambitions of his own. However, Ramson’s ulterior motives aren’t Ana’s only concern. She is an Affinite, a person with a particular gift at controlling the world around them, but Ana’s affinity isn’t earth, wind, the mind, or even flesh—it’s blood, and it comes with deadly intent. As Ana learns more about the dark side of her country—particularly how rampant the human trafficking trade for Affinites truly is—she must face what she is willing to do to change it, including embracing herself and her own power.

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may 2019 book releases

May 2019 Book Releases

Hooray, it’s May–and with it come my birthday and a new selection of my most anticipated book releases!

Even if you haven’t enjoyed all this pollen we’ve suffered for the May flowers everywhere (at least where I am), this month has so many good books in store to make up for it.

Including a new series by two of my favorite duo authors:

aurora rising
Release Date: May 7 | Goodreads

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Why I Want to Read This: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff were born to write stories together. I fell head over heels for the Illuminae Files, so I screamed when I saw they were doing Aurora Rising together. This time with more traditional storytelling featuring a colorful ensemble cast. I was going to try to predict who my favorite character is going to be, but I don’t think I can. They all sound so amazing, and I cannot wait to get to know them all (and suffer alongside them). Yeah, I know how these authors do. I’m already trying to connect the dots between the title, the Aurora Academy, and this girl Aurora that’s coming out of two centuries’ worth of cryo-sleep. What are y’all up to???

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The Birthday Book Tag

Hey, everyone! Today is my birthday, so I wanted to do a quick book tag for it because why not? This is actually a combination of questions from book tags I liked, so not 100% original but oh well.

I hope everyone’s having an amazing day so far. Other than my birthday, May 2nd marks some cool historical events:

  • The Soviet Union announced the Fall of Berlin in 1945
  • Dwayne Johnson was born in 1972
  • Osama bin Laden, the FBI’s most wanted man, was killed by U.S. Special Forces in 2011

And as far as fandom events are concerned—Battle of Hogwarts and Voldemort’s death, anyone?

Cool facts, let’s get to the tag!

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www wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 4.24.19

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. If you participated in your own post, please feel free to leave a link in the comments, so I and others can see! Otherwise, feel free to leave a comment with your responses. I’m always happy to hear what other people are reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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Book Review: Soul in Darkness

soul in darknessTitle: Soul in Darkness
Author:
 Wendy Higgins
Genre: New Adult/Romance/Fantasy
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Greek mythology retelling
Recommended Readers: Hmm… I cannot do this.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Oh, beautiful cover that matches my tastes, oh, Wendy Higgins, how did we go so wrong here?

First, the details. Soul in Darkness is a retelling of the Cupid/Psyche myth. Y’know, the one where Venus gets super jealous of this mortal princess, Psyche, because the people are worshiping her and praising her beauty over Venus? The one where Venus punishes Psyche by marrying her to a monster that she cannot see and is forbidden to touch, unaware that it’s Cupid, Venus’ son, in disguise? The one where Psyche breaks the rules and has to undergo a series of grueling tasks to prove to Venus that she truly loves Cupid, before she knew he was a beautiful god?

Okay, great, you’re caught up because the book follows the myth less like a retelling and more like a checklist.

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abc book challenge

The ABC Book Challenge – K

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to another ABC Book Challenge post. I decided to do this to add more variety to the blog and also because it looked incredibly fun (and so far, it is!). Once again, thank you to Sofii @A Book. A Thought. for introducing this tag to me, and for her support. You should definitely check out her blog if you haven’t already!

Here’s the challenge: Every week (though I have not strictly been following this, haaaa), I’ll have a post sharing my most favorite titles as well as those on my current TBR list that start with the corresponding letter. (For weird letters like Q, X, and Z, I might have to bend the rules a little and just have those letters somewhere in the title, but we’ll see.)

This week is the letter K!

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April 2019 Book Releases

It’s the start of April, which means it’s time to talk about the book releases I’m most excited for this month! I swear, each month is getting faster, and I don’t like that, even if it is bringing me closer to some awesome books.

In fact, there’s so many books I’m looking forward to this month that it was beyond difficult to choose a most anticipated, but reading a certain ARC clenched it for me:

wicked saints
Release Date: April 2 | Goodreads

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

Why I Want to Read This: I love darker works of fiction; this is just a consistent thing about me. It’s thrilling at the same time it’s cathartic. I also love morally gray characters and seeing multiple sides of a situation. I love books with monsters and powerful gods that try to manipulate and play with humanity’s fate. I love when characters have their world views challenged while still trying to hold on to their morality. After being fortunate enough to read an ARC of Wicked Saints, I can say that Emily A. Duncan delivered on every account. I love this book, I already own a copy, and I’m excited for others to experience it, even if it’s not their brand. [Review]

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Book Review: Wicked Saints

wicked saints
Title:
 Wicked Saints
Author:
 Emily A. Duncan
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 385
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Dark, gothic atmosphere with no punches pulled, villain romance, diverse cast
Recommended Readers: No moral purists allowed
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Before we get started, note that Duncan used 99% real Eastern European names within her novel, and that is absolutely awesome that she didn’t dilute these names and the culture just because the names are “hard to pronounce.” More like, a lot of us aren’t used to them because of how often Western societies have forced people with these names to change them, so I’m very happy to see them here. For those curious, Duncan uploaded a handy pronunciation guide on her Twitter that I absolutely referenced while reading.

The countries Kalyazin and Tranavia have been locked in a holy war for centuries. On one side are clerics who derive their magic from praying to their patron deity; on the other side are blood mages who have rejected the gods. As the war shifts in Tranavia’s favor, Nadezhda “Nadya” Lapteva finds she’s the last cleric left in Kalyazin, but instead of only hearing the voice of her patron goddess, she hears all of them, an unheard of feat. When her monastery is attacked by the High Prince of Tranavia, she is forced to flee, becoming entangled in a plot with two foreign Akolans and a rogue Tranavian that could turn the tide of the war.

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