Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Series: N/A
Genre: Fantasy/Retelling
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For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she's never had ... until she's betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family's cruelty and the court's contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies--and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman's, giving Alyrra the first choice she's ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she's never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

T5W Books I Want to FINALLY Read in 2017

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

This week we get to talk about books that have been lurking and loitering for years - something I have quite a few of - and books I finally hope to actually get to next year.

Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan
The future is coming...for some, sooner than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when faced with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World. 

Welcome to the future and a new sci-fantasy thriller from the bestselling author of The Riyria Revelations.

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani's newfound wealth brings her a prince—and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Swordplay, dragon magic--and a hero with a desperate secret

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye--an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. 

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan
"We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician."

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders...and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

What the Magicians' Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

So... Which one do I absolutely have to read, right now? Are you interested in any of these?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This is one of my favorite topics each year. I love looking back and seeing what awesome, unexpected books I've read this year and taking the chance to see if I still love the authors that I thought so highly of a few years back. (Usually, no.) It was also a lot of fun to see what these authors look like because for several, I had no idea. And for one, I still don't. :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

December Releases

Welcome to my final Monthly Releases post for 2016. Whoohoo! *throws confetti* Actually, no, I'd much rather know how it's almost 2017. I mean, it feels like it should be April or May of 2016 to me. This is crazy but where has my year gone?

Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest... There's really not many books releasing this month that caught my eye.

Releases December 13th

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes
An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he's no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise. 

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she'll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend--and who will be safe--after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

Releases December 27th

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

Ever the Hunted sounds really awesome, but it also has the potential to go very bad. I'm definitely going to be waiting for reviews on it. Crystal Storm is the fifth book in the series and, even though the previous book was kind of unenjoyable for me, I still want this one. Maybe I just don't learn, but I still hold out hope for this series.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December TBR

I'm trying to be practically book-less by the start of the new year. Unless I manage to read about 20 books this month, I won't make it. While that's not impossible, I seem to have majorly slid with the book-per-month I read throughout the year. So, even if I don't get all my books read, these are the ones I hope to at the very least.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November Wrap-Up

So, I actually have things to say for this month - not just more of the same ol' same ol'. First, I cut my hair! (Yup, I cut it, I didn't have someone else do it.) For about two years now I'd been letting my hair grow out with only an occasional trim. Finally, I just got sick of it being so long and whacked it all off. Short. You can see my ears now. And I love it! I always say when I get my hair cut short after having it long that I'm never going to have long hair again and, guess what, I'm never going to let my hair get that long again.

I do also want to make a quick remark about the US presidential election - even though I still feel like I could write a whole post on that, I'll try to keep it short. I know a lot of my readers are not from the US and that some that are might not know this. The president is not elected by the citizens that go out election day and vote. Nope, the president is instead elected by what is called the Electoral College - which is mostly comprised of State Representatives and Senators. That is where Trump won the vote. The people, the average US citizen that goes out and votes, voted for Clinton. (By what I would not consider a narrow margin.) (And I you don't want to hear a sore winner, don't even think of searching out what Trump had to say about losing the popular vote.)

I don't think I need to tell you how sick it makes me that Trump won the election - but the fact that the people DIDN'T vote him into office gives me more hope than I can even say.
Also, on a much more chipper note, I've now went through my second Thanksgiving where I was gluten and dairy free. Honestly, I'm not sure if it seems like it's been longer or shorter. But, I have to admit, it's been a lot easier than I ever thought it would be. Sure, I don't get to go to fast food places anymore - but it's healthier this way anyhow!

What I've Been Reading...

Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward - ***** - Review
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells - ***** - Why You Should Read It
Warrior by Zoe Archer - **** - Review to Come!

Earth 2788 by Janet Edwards - *****
Thorn by Intisar Khanani - **** - Review to Come!
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan - ***** - Why You Should Read It to Come!

What I've Been Watching...

Mostly, this month has been a bit of this and that. They finally released Martial Law on DVD and I watched season 1 of it. It's really so weird to think this show is about 20 years old because it had more racial and ethnic diversity than most shows nowadays. I'm not saying it was the best representation, or anything, but you hardly even see that kind of diversity even now.

I also watched season 2 of The Flash and I absolutely love that show. For me, season 2 was even better than season 1 and I am so looking forward to season 3. (No spoilers, please, I don't get to watch it as it's aired!)

Watched X-Men Apocalypse and it's definitely one of my favorites from the X-Men world.

I rewatched Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan season 2 (subtitled as Demon Capital) and I wonder if it's possible for me to like the show any more the second time around than I did the first. Because if it is, I did.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Top 5 Favorite Villains (Totally Cheating)

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

This week we talk villains and I'm about to do something I promised I never would. I am about to cheat. 

You see, not even a full two months ago, Top Ten Tuesday had a topic on ten favorite villains and - no matter how much I love villains - even I don't have five new favorites since then. (If you're interested, here's the post.) So, I'd have nothing to post today, which would be a total shame because I love talking about villains.

Unless I'd take all the villains from the same book!

Earlier this month I read and reviewed the awesome book Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward. (Check my review here.) And, guess what, there are five villains in this story that I absolutely love.

Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward
Villains: Sam, Valerie, Blackmail, Arcie and Kaylana

Everything about this book is great and pretty much perfect, but these villains really are the best thing about this book. It takes a bit of a look into what makes villains and heroes and I adore these five!