Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: (62)

A Poison Dark and Drowning 

Jessica Cluess
Kingdom on Fire, #2
Random House Books for Young Readers
Expected: September 19th, 2017


Description from GoodReads:


   The magicians want her to lead.
   The sorcerers want her to lie.
   The demons want her blood.
   Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
   But will his dark magic be her undoing?


   Henrietta doesn't need a prophecy to know that she's in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

   Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook's system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

Why I Want It:


   A Shadow Bright and Burning happened to be one of the many ARCs that I picked up at BEA 2016, and since I had the ARC already, I decided to sign up for the Blog Tour. Who would have thought that I'd eventually fall in love with this sudden chance of a book? Since September of last year I've been dying to get my hands on the sequel! Magicians, Sorcerers, Magic, Demons and chosen ones that aren't actually the chosen ones, who could want anything less?


   That's my Waiting on Wednesday this week! Will you be picking up A Poison Dark and Drowning? What are you waiting on this week?



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Read: May 3rd-6th, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3
Format: Indigo Exclusive Hardcover, 705 pages
Source: Bought




Description from GoodReads:


   A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

   Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Review:


Contains Minor Spoilers:

   Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.
   I knew two things when finishing A Court of Mist and Fury one year ago; one, being that the wait for A Court of Wings and Ruin was going to being even more unbearable than the one for A Court of Mist and Fury was, and two, that I would never be able to prepare myself for what was to come in the final book of the trilogy. Of course where Sarah J Maas is concerned, I was not wrong.
   The year leading up to ACOWAR's release was certainly a hard one, from the long countdown of its release to trying not to predict too much of what I thought might occur in the book. Doing so to avoid being disappointed if what I predicted or wanted to happen didn't occur.
   A Court of Wings and Ruin was everything I could have wanted, but in the end I still couldn't help but feel a little unsatisfied with the ending. My major problem with the book, one that I still think about a week after initially reading the book, was that Sarah J Maas left too many loose threads and unfinished plot lines. A little while after A Court of Mist and Fury was released, the publishing announced that Maas was to write three more novels in the same universe as the characters in the series, as well as two novellas. These novels and novellas were to be set around secondary characters from the originally series. If you went into A Court of Wings and Ruin knowing this little bit of information like I did, then you understood why Maas left the loose threads like she did. But it still didn't stop me from feeling extremely dissatisfied. When reading a final book in a series, I would like to have finished the book feeling like the story has been completed and everything resolved. I never got that feeling from A Court of Wings and Ruin, and thus can't help but be angry with it. This being the first final book in a series that Sarah J. Maas has written, I had high hopes for how she would wrap up her book series. But now I don't know how I feel about her ending her Throne of Glass series in 2018, will she actually end her series like she said she would, or would she leave us unsatisfied again and continue dragging on the series for the sake of it being popular? In the end, the unsatisfied feeling remains on my shoulders a week after completing the book.
   The book brought back all my favourite characters from A Court of Mist and Fury, and even gave me a bunch of new characters to love. We were finally introduced to all of the High Lords (officially anyway), and were able to to see a few more of the courts that we were not able to experience in the previous books. In particular, I loved the High Lord of the Day Court, Helion, with his charisma and humour. We also met the High Lord of Winter and his mate, Kallias and Viviane, who I think will both have a part one way or another when it comes to the continuing novels or novellas. Their stories felt as if they still had much to say, the same went with many of the other characters. These were the loose ends that appeared continuously throughout the novel. Along with Kallias and Viviane, it was clear that Maas still had a story to tell for Drakon and Miryam, Vassa, Nesta and Cassian, Elain, Lucian and Helion, and even Mor and Armen. Although I am excited to be able to experience their stories later, I couldn't help but be disappointed with the bare mininmun that we got in A Court of Wings and Ruin. I wanted their stories to end with Feyre's, happy and free, but now we must suffer with questions until the next books release.
   With how A Court of Mist and Fury ended, it was clear that Tamlin was to be apart of the next book, and of course he was. Unfortunately for him, Maas tried to redeem his character in this book. I never liked Tamlin, from the second I met him in A Court of Thorns and Roses, I could never connect with him and as the series continued, I learned why. With him in this book, there was bound to be tension and hate surrounding his character, but in the end Maas decided that she wanted to redeem him which personally made me uncomfortable as well as make me wonder why bother? His character was ruined already, so why bother trying to fix him? If anything, I think Maas just didn't feel like having to introduce a solution if he died with out having living relatives to rule the court. Even with so low standards in the first place, I was disappointed even further with his character.
   I felt as if A Court of Wings and Ruin was a completely different sort of book when compared to its siblings. With the first two books being about Feyre finding love, as well as herself, it didn't leave any windows open for this book. Having already found happiness, the intense connection we had to her in the previous books just wasn't there. Of course swooning still occurred when Feyre and Rhysand were together, but it felt like the book was more of a book of plot than anything else with all the characters already having been established.
   With that being said, the plot itself was very thought out and keep its audience compelled to continue on with the book. From living in the Spring Court, to returning home, and then the war. Every little detail planned out, and necessary in one way or another, making it a true Sarah J Maas novel. From discoveries made with the Bone Carver and the Weaver, as well as perhaps even some connections to her Throne of Glass series.
   There have been many books where the lead up to "the final battle" have been hyped to the point where the final battle feels small and practically nothing. With the war in the book, I was very satisfied with how it ended, even blown away in some cases. With just the right amount of death, blood, surprises and destruction, you couldn't have hoped for more.
   I have many different favourite parts from the novel but the ones that stood out the most for me were when the Court of Dreams were reunited with Feyre, the meeting of/meeting the High Lords, as well as when the three particular human ships sailed in to help the battle. The last one being one of the few different scenes that left me emotionally unstable throughout the book.
   A Court of Wings and Ruin wasn't what I was expecting from the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. There were many cases where I was very unsatisfied, but then there were also many cases where I don't think Sarah J Maas could have done better. The series has been apart of my life for two and a half years, and has certainly become a large part of it. A Court of Wings and Ruin may not have become my new favourite in the series, but I am still sad to see the series go. Now the countdown begins for when Maas can bring us back to the beautiful world that she has written.


Rating:




Favourite Quotes:


"Be happy, Feyre."

"You belong to all of us, and we belong to you."

"Remember that you are a wolf. And you can not be caged."

"When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds."

"Night Triumphant - and the Stars Eternal."

"Kindess can thrive, even amongst cruelty."

"Leave this world.... a better place than how you found it."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, New Adult, High Fantasy, Fae, Magic, War, Battles, Intense Romance 



Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller

Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Read: March 29th-April 5th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Kaitan Chronicles, #1
Format: ARC, 400 pages
Source: McNally Robinson/ Two Thumbs Up Program




Description from GoodReads:


   Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can't resist her, even if her ship is an antique. 

   As for Nev, he's a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary. 

   But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they're more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive. 


   Nev's mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she'll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power--and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

Review:


   What am I supposed to do?
   I can be a big space person depending on the day, depending on the book or movie. So I thought that Shadow Run would be up my ally, the reviews I saw from friends certainly made me think so. Unfortunately in the end I was wrong.
   Right away Shadow Run put off bad vibes for me, it took me a week to get into it, but only one day to finish, and that was only because I wanted to be done with it already. If I was one of those people that DNF books (I don't for the most part), then I would have done just that with this book.
  Overall I think that the story felt like it was missing backstory, so when it jumped right into the main plot it was like I had missed so much. I felt like the world, or I guess I should say universe in this case, could have been so much more. Even if the story took place in a spaceship, I felt as if the story literally locked me in a metal box. I didn't feel anything creative about the story, nothing to hook me in.
   Honestly, I felt like Shadow Run was just way too similar to the movie Jupiter Ascending. I felt the exact same way as I did with the movie as I did with the book, they were both wasted potential.
   I had had hope for Shadow Run, that it would be a next favourite of mine. In the ends things didn't work out that way, and I probably won't be picking up the sequel in the future.  


Rating:

Favourite Quote:


"Do I drink blood?"- Qole

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Spaceships, Royalty, Bounty's



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm Back!

   Hi guys! Long time no talk! I'm sorry that I was gone for so long, again. University once again consumed me, and drained me of my creativity and will to blog. Fortunately this time a round, I was actually able to get some books read. Once the stack started to pile up, I knew I had to force myself to get reviewing, so here we are!

   I already have a few scheduled posts for the next few weeks, so be sure to expect those. Hopefully I'll be able to keep to a routine again until University starts up again in September! 

   Thank you guys so much for being so understanding.



   

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blog Tour: But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure


   Hello and welcome to the But Then I Came Back Blog Tour hosted by Raincoat Books! Today I have for you my review of the book, as well as a brief interview from the author. I hope that you enjoy!

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure


Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Read: March 19th-27th, 2017
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Series: Standalone
Format: ARC, 320 pages
Source: Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review



Description from GoodReads:


   “Something does exist. I saw. It’s a place. Like this but different.”
   “Okay, so let’s say we do reach her, that something like that is even possible. Then what?”
   “Then we ask her to come back.”

   Eden: As far as coma patients go, Eden’s lucky. She woke up. But still, she can’t shake the feeling that she might have dragged something back from the near-afterlife.

   Joe: Joe visits the hospital every day, hoping that Jaz, his lifelong friend, will wake up. More than anything, he wants to hear her voice again. But he’s not sure anyone can reach her.

   Eden & Joe: Even though she knows it sounds crazy, Eden tells Joe that they might be able to talk to Jaz. Opening themselves up to the great unknown—and each other—Eden and Joe experience life: mysterious and scary, beautiful and bright.

Review:


   Time is speeding, speeding while I stand perfectly still.
   By now most of you know that I personally don't enjoy Contemporary novels all that often, but on occasion, like this one, I do put in an effort to pick one up. When I first heard the synopsis for But Then I Came Back I was intrigued, the book sounded to me as a new story from all the other contemporary novels that I'd read. When Raincoast Books announced that they'd be hosting a tour for But Then I Came Back, I hopped on the chance.
   But Then I Came Back was a unique read, I've read novels where characters go into comas or where the story takes place while the character is in a coma. But I haven't read a story where the character wakes up from one and is recovering. That was my favourite thing about the story, I liked how we went on a journey of recovery with Eden, the protagonist. Laure showed the recovery process of coma patients from after they wake up, showing how smoothies are the only thing that they can swallow for a while because the patient hasn't been able to swallow food or drinks for as long as they've been out, and it damages their throats. Facts like this show up in the novel, facts that you probably wouldn't have thought of.
   Although But Then I Came Back is considered a standalone, there was the odd time where I didn't completely understand what role a specific character played or who they were. I feel like these characters were explained in the first novel that Estelle Laure wrote, This Raging Light, where this novel takes place in the same world but with different characters.
   And finally I felt that I could relate to Eden on a personal level when it came to her brother and best friend dating, I'm currently in a somewhat similar situation and I still don't know how I feel about it or how to deal with it. I also felt like the relationship between the brother and best friend could have been explained a bit more, but it's understandable why it wasn't considering This Raging Light is based off of that story.
   But Then I Came Back was a little slow at times, but a very intriguing read. I enjoyed hearing the stories of the characters in But Then I Came Back, so I can not wait to pick up This Raging Light

Rating:

Favourite Quote:


"It’s so damn sweet to be nothing but a riversong."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Death, Afterlife, Coma Stories




But Then I Came Back is your second book to be published, it’s been said that this book also takes place in the same world as your first book This Raging Light. For people who’ve read This Raging Light, what are they to expect in But Then I Came Back that is similar to your first book? And for people who haven’t read This Raging Light, would you recommend that they read that one first before reading But Then I Came Back?

   People who read This Raging Light can expect to see some familiar faces and get further into that story, maybe get some answers about things I left open in the first book. Also, and for me this was the most interesting part, they will see that no one is how they seem on the outside. Eden seems like she has it all together from Lucille’s perspective, but once you’re in Eden’s head you’ll see everyone is grappling with their own difficulties and insecurities. But no, I don’t think you have to have read This Raging Light at all. If you have, it will have an extra layer, but it’s not like you won’t understand what’s going on.


   Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.
   Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoy the rest of the tour!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017 SerendipiTEA Tour: Leah Henderson


   Hi all, and welcome to The 2017 SerendipiTea Tour! I'm your host for today, and Ohana Reads is featuring Leah Henderson! 
   The tour is a unique one, each author on the tour pairs their book with a tea! Sounds great right? So I hope that you enjoy! And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson


Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages



Description from GoodReads:


An orphaned boy in contemporary Senegal must decide between doing what is right and what is easy as he struggles to keep a promise he made to his dying father in this debut novel laced with magical realism.

Eleven-year-old Mor was used to hearing his father’s voice, even if no one else could since his father’s death. It was comforting. It was also a reminder that Mor had made a promise to his father before he passed: keep your sisters safe. Keep the family together. But almost as soon as they are orphaned, that promise seems impossible to keep. With an aunt from the big city ready to separate him and his sisters as soon as she arrives, and a gang of boys from a nearby village wanting everything he has—including his spirit—Mor is tested in ways he never imagined.

With only the hot summer months to prove himself, Mor must face a choice. Does he listen to his father and keep his heart true, but risk breaking his promise through failure? Or is it easier to just join the Danka Boys, whom in all their maliciousness are at least loyal to their own?

 


What Leah has to say about her tea choice:

    I have created a tea blend from two teas I enjoy in Senegal. The first is green tea which is the tea most commonly used in attaya, the tea ceremony which is practiced quite often in Senegal and other parts of West Africa. It is usually made with green tea leaves, loads of sugar, and possibly mint. The tea is mixed over and over between small glasses to help stir the ingredients and then it is served in three times where the tea becomes sweeter and minter each round. Attaya is often a time for friends and family to come together and talk as they wait for each round of tea.
   Along with the green tea, I’ve also added a bit of hibiscus, which is the key ingredient for my favorite drink in Senegal called bissap juice. Bissap is simply hibiscus leaves boiled with sugar then chilled to make a sweet, refreshing drink. So I hope I have created a smoky sweet blend that will transport you to the sun-kissed shores of Senegal and Mor’s Lat Mata.

What Leah has to say about her book:

   One Shadow on the Wall is a book about loss, family, friendship and self-reliance. It follows newly orphaned Mor Fall and his two younger sisters after the death of their father. In order to stay safe and together, Mor must choose between doing what is right and what is easy when a group of boys want what little he and his sisters have. Mor has to figure out what type of person he wants to be while trying to make it through the summer months before his aunt’s return. It is a novel laced with magical realism and I hope loads and loads of heart!

How the tea suits the book:

   Since attaya is a very common tea ceremony in Senegal, it was only natural that I would try and include it. It is featured early on in my book, in an important scene where the adults are discussing Mor and his sisters’ future.

The author's tea life:

   I absolutely love tea. I have cabinets full of it. And in another life I would definitely own a small tea shop and writer’s nook in some charming town in the South of France (there’s a long story behind this, but needless to say earlier in this life it was a very real thought ☺). You can pretty much find me drinking tea all day, everyday. I even have a mug right now. My flavor of the moment is pomegranate oolong. But ask me in an hour and I might have genmai cha, rooibos lemon cloud or some other blend I’ve found irresistible on my travels. 

   Leah has always loved getting lost in stories. When she is not scribbling down her characters’ adventures, she is off on her own, exploring new spaces and places around the world. Her debut middle grade novel, One Shadow on the Wall, will be available June 6th by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. Leah received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University and currently calls Washington D.C. home.
You can find her on Twitter @LeahsMark or through her website at leahhendersonbooks.com. 

















April 8th--no post




















   Thanks for stopping by, I hope you guys enjoyed!