Ace of Shades (ARC) by Amanda Foody

Set to release in North America on April 10, 2018, Ace of Shades is Amanada Foody’s second book. Set in the devilishly wicked City of Sin, Amanda Foody’s newest novel explores a world where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow. Readers will be swept away by the story of Enne Salta, a lady-to-be who must brave rowdy casinos, street gangs, and Ponzi schemes gone wrong as she searches for her missing foster mother – and the truth about her own past.

Thank-you to Edelweiss for providing me with the opportunity to receive a Digital Review Copy of Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody, in exchange for an honest review.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted. Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city… And she’ll need to play.

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February 2018 Reading List

I am very excited for February 2018 – some of my most anticipated books for the early part of the year are coming out this month, including Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (February 6, 2018) and Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (February 13, 2018)! It may be a busy month, but I know I’ll find time to read, because between these new releases and the books still remaining on my TBR, I’ve got tons of good content to get reading!

That being said, for February I’ve put together a list that combines the books I already own with a few upcoming releases that I am excited to add to my TBR pile!

  1. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (Release Date: May 3, 2016)
  2. The Last Star Burning by Cailtin Sangster (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Release Date: January 2, 2018)
  4. Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Release Date: January 16, 2018)
  5. Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (Release Date: February 6, 2018)
  6. Tarnished City by Vic James (Release Date: February 6, 2018)
  7. Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (Release Date: February 13, 2018)
  8. Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza (Release Date: February 20, 2018)
  9. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston (Release Date: February 27, 2018)
  10. Furyborn (ARC) by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 22, 2018)

What will you be reading this month? Let me know in the comments – I am always looking for more books to add to me TBR (even if I shouldn’t be!).

 

The Hazel Wood (ARC) by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood is Melissa Albert’s debut novel, set to release in North America on January 30, 2018. It promises to be a mesmerizing and unique modern fairy tale that weaves together our own world with one far more fantastical, and far more sinister (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away-by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began-and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

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January 2018 Reading List

As we head into a new year, I’ve been looking forward to what release I am most anticipating in 2018 – It’s looking to be a good year for YA, Sci-Fi and Fantasy books, so I am excited to dive into another year of reading and blogging! Among some of my most highly anticipated books are Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (February 7, 2018), Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (February 13, 2018), Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (Febraury 6, 2018), Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (March 13, 2018), War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (May 15, 2018), and Rage by Cora Carmack (June 5, 2018).

Focusing on the month of January, I’ve put together a list that combines the books I already own with a few upcoming releases that I am excited to add to my TBR pile!

  1. Nyxia by Scott Reintegen (Release Date: September 12, 2017)
  2. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Release Date: September 19, 2017)
  3. The Last Star Burning by Cailtin Sangster (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  4. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  5. Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson (Release Date: October 10, 2017)
  6. Runebinder by Alex R Kahler (Release Date: November 14, 2017)
  7. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Release Date: January 2, 2018)
  8. The Defiant by Lesley Livingston (Release Date: January 23, 2018)
  9. The Hazel Wood (ARC) by Melissa Albert (Release Date: January 30, 2018)
  10. Furyborn (ARC) by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 22, 2018)

What will you be reading this month? Let me know in the comments – I am always looking for more books to add to me TBR (even if I shouldn’t be!).

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron

Sorry for the delay bookworms, but here it is – my full post for Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron! I am participating in the Sea of Strangers Blog Tour, hosted by Chapter by Chapter, which I am so excited about! Unfortunately weather, travelling and family commitments delayed this post, but I am still excited to share it with you all! For the remainder of the blog tour stops, or to check out previous stops, check here!

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron is the second book in an epic fantasy series titled the Ryogan Chronicles (you can find my review for Island of Exiles here), by Cameron, which will be released on December 5th, 2017. The Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy, so there’s at least one more book to look forward to in this fresh and exciting fantasy series (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review)!

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal. Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

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I had really enjoyed the first book in this series, Island of Exiles, and I couldn’t wait to read the next installment in this sprawling YA fantasy series! With engaging characters, human struggles, a society that (in some ways) is reflective of our own, and an engaging mission, I couldn’t imagine what I wouldn’t like about this one!

I have to spend a moment here talking about the fantastic world building in this series: It’s complex, diverse in so many ways and oh-so-amazing for the reader! As with Island of Exiles, I simply loved the sprawling nature of Sea of Strangers. Cameron immersed readers in a rich and intense culture – one that is similar but unique to the culture explored in Island of Exiles. The Ryogans have their own prejudices and problems, and they are also subject to the changing nature of their environment, just of the residents of Shiara are, but this new continent also brings with it a while new host of problems, beliefs and magical understandings. There are (seemingly) no easy solutions to this struggle, and new information emerges at every turn, quickly grabbing the reader’s attention and hanging onto it as the story progresses. Furthermore, the magic system was well established in Island of Exiles, and while complex and vast, it did not feel too overwhelming – although I would recommend a quick re-read of Island of Exiles to refresh yourself. Each new power was explained, and each caste of magic-wielder has a title and a role, making it easy to follow along. And, perhaps more importantly, this character and term heavy novel featured both a character list and a glossary.

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Now, on to the plot of Sea of Strangers. As mentioned, the plot is quick, action-packed and full of twists and turns. Not only this but the plot just flows so instinctively and never feels forced. The characters are faced with situations and frustrations that make so much sense and there’s absolutely no unrealistic surprises which I can definitely appreciate! As I have mentioned before, a pet-peeve of mine is when authors create some mythical power and/or item at the last moment that is conveniently capable of solving all the problems presented throughout the story in one fell swoop. Cameron instead sticks to her guns, with minimal alterations to the pre-established magic system, and what few new reveals she does insert are far from what could be described as the Holy Grail of solutions.

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While this was a fantastic and epic fantasy adventure that will certainly have fans of the YA Fantasy genre intrigued, it was the inclusive nature of Cameron’s writing that really reeled me in. The diversity is amazing and what I love about it is that it is so raw and genuine without ever being forced upon the reader that ‘this book is diverse’. It’s not there for the sake of being diverse – it just is diverse. There’s diversity of culture, of skin colour, of gender (including a third gender), of sexuality (including asexuality). Cameron handled to topic of LGBTQ2+ characters, racial diversity and cultural diversity with ease, twisting the topics together until they felt natural within the society she has created. I especially lied how, at the beginning of the novel, Cameron had a character list. While this is not uncommon, especially in YA Fantasy novels with large casts, it was something else that Cameron included on this list that caught my eye – she included the preferred pronouns of all of her characters (he/him, she/her, em/eir). Beyond this, Cameron also tackles the topic of prejudice against individuals of supposed “deviant” sexual prejudices and different abilities/physical features. While the society in Shiara was generally accepting of these differences, the Ryogans are less so, and this is perhaps a reflection of our own society.

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Overall, readers of the genre will really enjoy this addition to this fantasy series by Erica Cameron, which presents a sprawling, diverse world with complex issues and a wealth of magical power. Readers will be ensnared by the scope of the world Cameron is creating, but also by the depth of the characters, and the humanity behind their struggles (4.5/5).

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November 2017 FairyLoot Unboxing

Better late than never…right? This unboxing post was delayed for a handful of reasons, the most pressing being how overwhelmed I’ve been with all my Teacher’s College work!

FairyLoot is a monthly book subscription box that specializes in Young Adult Fantasy books, based out of London, England. Recent themes include Villainous (October 2017)All That Sass (September 2017), and Otherworlds (August 2017). Every month they have a different theme and select an exciting newly released fantasy novel, in addition to 4-6 hand selected goodies – like book inspired teas, candles, bookmarks, tote bags, and more!

So, how can you get a FairyLoot box of your own (because once you see the awesome books and all the awesome loot in them, I know you’ll want one too)? For more information, check out FairyLoot’s website!

And, if you decide to subscribe? Check out my FairyLoot Page for current discount codes for 3 and 6 month subscriptions!

So now, on to the exciting part – the unboxing! The theme for November 2017’s FairyLoot box was “Ladies That Slay”, and it celebratesour favourite ladies from Young Adult Literature that kick butt, including ladies from Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Raven Cycle and more! So if you love a good badass female lead, then you are going to love this box – and even if you don’t, there’s no doubt in my mind you would love it anyways! There’s a TON of fantastic items, including TWO books – one which is an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of an epic YA Fantasy that won’t be released until May 2018 – how cool is that? Some of these items have never been included in a FairyLoot box before, so I was super excited to unbox this month’s box!

(Warning: Spoilers for box contents past this point)

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Sea of Strangers (ARC) by Erica Cameron

Hi Bookworms! I have some really exciting news to share with you all – I will be participating in the Sea of Strangers Blog Tour, presented by Entangled Teen!  The Blog Tour runs from December 11 – 29 (M-F), and I will be hosting the tour stop on December 27, 2017!

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron, is the second book in an epic fantasy series titled the Ryogan Chronicals (you can find my review for Island of Exiles here), by Cameron, which will be released on December 5th, 2017. The Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy, so there’s at least one more book to look forward to in this fresh and exciting fantasy series (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review)!

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal. Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

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