Waiting on Wednesday 09/21/16

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

I’ve read almost all of Lauren Oliver’s books. I was on the fence for this one but read an amazing review and a suggested reading style for it. It hyped me a bit and I believe she’ll be at Yall Fest. The only thing I’m not sure about is if I want to pre-order it or picked up a signed copy at Yall Fest!

Replica
Replicaby Lauren Oliver

Publishing Date : October 4th, 2016

Publisher : HarperCollins

Amazon | Book DepositoryGoodreads

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…

Thoughts and Review : Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan

ColdForgedThe Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan

☆☆☆


Published by Tor.com
Publication Date : September 13th, 2016
Available as eBook – 112 Pages
Source : NetGalley (Thank you!) and Purchased

The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm. Its clarion call creates ripples, substance, something more. It is a summons, a command. There is will. There is need.
And so, in reply, there is a woman.

At the beginning—no—at the end—she appears, full of fury and bound by chains of prophecy.

Setting off on an unexplained quest from which she is compelled to complete, and facing unnatural challenges in a land that doesn’t seem to exist, she will discover the secrets of herself, or die trying. But along the way, the obstacles will grow to a seemingly insurmountable point, and the final choice will be the biggest sacrifice yet.

This is the story of a woman’s struggle against her very existence, an epic tale of the adventure and emotional upheaval on the way to face an ancient enigmatic foe. This could only spun from the imagination of Marie Brennan, award-winning author and beloved fantasist, beginning a new series about the consequences of war—and of fate.

Thoughts:
There is always a lot of good things to say about Marie Brennan’s work and I’ll go ahead and say the biggest flaw I had with this was that it was just too short. I love novellas and especially Tor.com’s line of them, some of my favorite books and stories have come from that line for this year. This was another home run for me.
We begin knowing as much about our narrator as she knows about herself. She opens her eyes upon a rock and she’s sent on a quest. Starting out I almost laughed, I didn’t expect to care that much. Because our character knows so little about herself and we know so little about her I didn’t think it’d be interesting. However just like in previous books by Marie Brennan I found myself sucked into the world itself. For a good chunk of the story I was reading for the world. I cared about the main character after a 20 or 30 pages but I ultimately came to care about what was happening around her almost more. The few side characters we meet early on, all men, were interesting hooks into that world. Who are the people who pulled our narrator into the world? Why did they send her on this quest? The big one for me was, what kind of crazy island is this? The quest is to retrieve something from an island off the shore of their very Scottish seeming inspired local. The island is dangerous, and not really in a way I expected. It’s special attributes made it just as much a character in as the actual human ones.
So for me, in that regard, the characters and place were so entwined that they worked together. They held up the story for me till we got more information about our narrator. I won’t give any spoilers about her away besides the accepted ‘she’s a badass lady’. However I’ll add that beside her ‘badass lady’ cutout, she’s incredibly self-aware. To the point where I began reading into what she was saying about her definition in life. She had to find what she wanted, her drive, and what defined her – all why only knowing herself for a few hours? She’s smart about. She thinks more about that voice and definition than some people think about their dinner. Especially considering all her human interaction was coming from men. I loved that, that was what got me in the end. Her insight to herself kind of nudged me to think about my own insights.
As I said, my biggest flaw in this is the shortness. I highly suspect that once the second book arrives and I reread this back to back with it I’ll bump this up the last star it needs. I just was left wanting more now, I didn’t have the complete resolution I wanted no matter how much I loved the people and world. Definitely pick this one up – it’s up there with Binti for me, and I am beyond excited for the next story.

Waiting on Wednesday 09/07/2016

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

I am SUPER excited about this particular release, I have  NetGalley arc to read and will have a review up a few weeks before the release! This one looks so amazing.

Cold-Forged FlameColdForged
by Marie Brennan

 

Publishing Date : September 13th, 2016

Publisher : Tor.com

Amazon | Book DepositoryGoodreads

The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm. Its clarion call creates ripples, substance, something more. It is a summons, a command. There is will. There is need.
And so, in reply, there is a woman.

At the beginning—no—at the end—she appears, full of fury and bound by chains of prophecy.

Setting off on an unexplained quest from which she is compelled to complete, and facing unnatural challenges in a land that doesn’t seem to exist, she will discover the secrets of herself, or die trying. But along the way, the obstacles will grow to a seemingly insurmountable point, and the final choice will be the biggest sacrifice yet.

This is the story of a woman’s struggle against her very existence, an epic tale of the adventure and emotional upheaval on the way to face an ancient enigmatic foe. This could only spun from the imagination of Marie Brennan, award-winning author and beloved fantasist, beginning a new series about the consequences of war—and of fate.

Waiting on Wednesday 08/24/2016

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

My Lady Jane
By Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
MyLadyJane

Publishing Date : September 1st, 2016

Publisher : Penguin Classics

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

A comical, fantastical and witty re-imagining of the Tudor world, perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger – and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

Thoughts and Review: The Transference Engine by Julia Verne St John

EngineThe Transference Engine by Julia Verne St. John

☆☆☆


Published by DAW
Publication Date : July 5th, 2016
Available as eBook – 320 Pages
Source : NetGalley (Thank you!) and Purchased

A fantastical steampunk novel of magic and machines set in an alternate 1830s London.

Madame Magdala has settled comfortably into her new life in London, as the proprietress of the Book View Café, a coffee shop and extensive library. Her silent partner is Ada Lovelace, who will one day become the world’s first computer programmer—but who now is simply the young woman for whom Madame Magdala was a nursery maid.

Ten years ago, Ada’s father, Lord Bryon, was known as a great writer. But few knew of his powers as a necromancer. Upon his death, his devoted followers tried to repair the Transference Engine—a device that would allow Byron’s soul to claim the body of its choice. Magadala, along with Mary Godwin—a.k.a. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley—had to stop them.

While the original Transference Engine was destroyed, they were unsure whether they truly stopped Bryon and his followers. Together, they fled to safety in London, and built new futures for themselves.

Now, Magdala and Mary care for the Book View Café’s community, leading fashion, following gossip, and reading the latest periodicals. But when members of the café’s community mysteriously disappear, and rumors of a threat of royal assassinaton grow, Magdala finds herself with new mysteries to solve. The more she learns, the clearer it becomes that this is the same mystery returned—the Transference Engine is back with a vengeance.

Thoughts:
Necromancy and Steampunk. Two things I’m always willing to give a try. Naturally this, back when I saw the cover revealed on (I think it was Bibliosanctum), was one of my most anticipated reads for this year. Not only did I get a digital ARC but I did in fact buy a physical copy of the book. I was stoked!
The book was interesting – but not as mind blowing as I had hoped unfortunately. It had a few things going for it and few things batting against it. The good things were the ideas and the settings, again I have to state Necromancy and Steampunk. Great ideas and the actual premise of this sounded super promising. The bits that dealt with Byron and Ada, spoke about them at length, those were some of my favorite parts.
The world in this one was also interesting to me. She built what could be a pretty typical steampunk London but I give her kudos – she made it seem very gritty and dirty. The idea of the coal being burnt for the steam to power everything made the city very dirty, something she conveyed well. I always love a good cost to an exotic setting.
Where it stumbled for me was in the pacing and characters. The pacing was odd, slightly slow at first building to a breakneck pace at the end. The constant and weirdly spaced flashbacks really did not add a lot to the story – confusing me at times. Every time we had one I had to reread the beginning to be sure we weren’t in the book’s present but the past. Also, I felt like I was reading a sequel, and I was! I had to look at other reviews and research but most of the grand escapades referenced (constantly) by our heroine are in a collection of short stories. I wish I’d known that going in.
Probably due to the pacing I couldn’t get attached to the characters. I found it hard to enjoy our main narrative because of the almost infallibility of the main character. This could entirely be because I didn’t get to read those short stories but she always seemed to know what to do and when, no problems. Other characters came and went at her disposal, an awkward and hazy after sex scene accompanying many out the door. I didn’t get to enjoy those characters – again because of the strange over-familiarity that never introduced me to them.
I wish, ultimately, that someone had told me this was a sequel of sorts. Was it the fault of the publisher for leaving that very important information out or is digging up that collection (which, may I add is under another name of the author’s) on the reader’s head? Remains to be seen. I think I’ll give the collection a shot then perhaps return to this one for another try. It definitely has some first book syndromes that could be solved with time, but I’m hoping the short stories could clear up the bigger issues I had.
I can’t recommend this knowing the stories are needed – but if you’ve read those, give this a shot! Maybe tell me if it helps?

Thoughts and Review: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

NineFoxNineFox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

☆☆☆


Published by Solaris
Publication Date : June 14th, 2016
Available as eBook & Paperback – 360 Pages
Source : NetGalley (Thank You!) & Purchased

The first installment of the trilogy, Ninefox Gambit, centers on disgraced captain Kel Cheris, who must recapture the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles in order to redeem herself in front of the Hexarchate.

To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

Thoughts:

Ninefox Gambit is a book I wouldn’t recommend if you mind being dumped into something head first with little to no explanation. Having finished the book I’m still not 100% I have the scope of the story or understand it after finishing it but I loved what I think I understand. Basically you’re put into a space faring, militaristic culture where the belief in the calendar and the appointed holidays and celebration days keeps reality stable. If something varies from the calendar (numerically) it causes rot or problems. There are a lot of neat other things like ‘exotic’ weapons that tie into the calendar system and the big things too like the way people march into battles. I’m most definitely going to reread this one to get a better scope on it, I super excited to read the second next year, so it’s high on my list of anticipated releases.
Inside this fairly complicated world we follow Cheris as she is singled out to lead a strike group on a rebellion. She ends up tied to another General for the duration of this operation. His input is necessary even if he’s a special kind of undead. Cheris herself, while a solider, is a mathematical genius so her strengths work well with General Jedao. That being said Jedao is a dangerous man who has done some pretty… foul things in his past.
The book, while seeming to focus at first on the nuances of the world like the science and politics eventually swings into the characters themselves and how they interact with these things. It takes more of a look at their relationship as well. It was incredibly fun to try and follow Jedao and Cheris. It’s never clear to the reader till the very end if he’s a madman, a genius, or just the luckiest person in the world. That was incredibly smart. I found the world interesting and the politics just as interesting but the book really hooked me with that change to characters.
I had a blast with this, even if it took me about 60 or 70 pages to understand what I was dealing with in the world. It’s a mix of science and fantasy that makes for a wildly unique world. In the end some of the reveals you get about Jedao are amazing and some things I never actually saw coming, so well done! I do wish we’d seen more of the characters the book opens with and while I did figure out the system in the book just a little bit more information would have been fantastic. However with this being the first in the trilogy I’m sure we’ll see more of both the characters and the how-to of the world.
I almost forgot but guys – the servitors are probably my favorite tiny factor of this book. I want those to be so important in the story. So important. I feel like they really personify the story in a weird way at the end. So good.

Just a note : I’d also like to say there is a character with a learning disorder in this book that I myself have so seeing that in someone in what I read tickled me! I had been reading the story actually thinking ‘I’d never make it in this world unless I just got really good at espionage or shooting things’. The importance to the story was just so neatly handled. Bravo!

Waiting on Wednesday 07/13/2016

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

If you’ve been around a while you know I like the creeptastic stuff. Even if you take away that incredibly unsettling cover this subject matter is one I’m super interested in. I love the creepy, give me all the creepy stories.
But for real, make that image big. Click it. It gets worse.

 

The Penguin Book of the Undead : Fiften Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters
Edited by Scott G. Bruce
BookofUndead

Publishing Date : September 27th, 2016

Publisher : Penguin Classics

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Since ancient times, accounts of supernatural activity have mystified us. Ghost stories as we know them did not develop until the late nineteenth century, but the restless dead haunted the premodern imagination in many forms, as recorded in historical narratives, theological texts, and personal letters. The Penguin Book of the Undead teems with roving hordes of dead warriors, corpses trailed by packs of barking dogs, moaning phantoms haunting deserted ruins, evil spirits emerging from burning carcasses in the form of crows, and zombies with pestilential breath. Spanning from the Hebrew scriptures to the Roman Empire, the Scandinavian sagas to medieval Europe, the Protestant Reformation to the Renaissance, this beguiling array of accounts charts our relationship with spirits and apparitions, wraiths and demons over fifteen hundred years, showing the evolution in our thinking about the ability of dead souls to return to the realm of the living–and to warn us about what awaits us in the afterlife.

Waiting on Wednesday 07/06/2016

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

I don’t know a lot about this one, but there were a few things that piqued my interest and one thing that is always a buzz word for me.
1) Adam Gidwitz wrote it and he is hilarious.
2) Look at that subtitle. Look at it.
3) Undead dog? Holy dog? Someone even said it TALKS.
And finally buzzword here – Dragon. To make it better, it farts.
I’m soooooo pumped for this one.

 

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
TheInquisitor

Publishing Date : September 27th, 2016

Publisher : Dutton Books for Young Readers

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children: William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead.
As the narrator collects their tales, the story of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Their adventures take them on a chase through France to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. And as their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam’s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor’s Tale is bold storytelling that’s richly researched and adventure-packed

Waiting on Wednesday 6/29/2016

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

Yet another graphic novel! I’ve been getting more and more into these lately. I’m not good with single issues, not at all, but I love getting the bind ups of these. Bitch Planet is one I adore, I cannot wait to see where this goes.

 

Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, Valentine De Landro

Publishing Date : October 18th, 2016BitchPlanet

Publisher : Image Comics

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) follow up on the success of Extraordinary Machine with the second installment of their highly acclaimed and fiercely unapologetic Bitch Planet. A few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords results in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But what happened on Earth that this new world order came to pass in the first place? Return to the grim corridors of Auxiliary Compliance Outpost number 2, to uncover the first clues to the history of the world as we know it…and meet President Bitch. This volume collects issues numbered 6-10, a reader discussion guide and additional bonus materials. “Bitch Planet is the best kind of [f-d]-up: a comic that entertains, breaks hearts and wields the power to change the way you look at the world around you.” (kotaku.com).

Waiting on Wednesday 6/22/2016

WaitingOnWednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines.

Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat because this book is a classic and in America a large chunk of us had to read this for school. There is also a movie of this out. BUT LOOK AT IT! IT IS A THING OF BEAUTY.
Seriously though. That cover? That cover is stunning. I haven’t read this since high school and I’m on a huge classical novel reread and examine binge. I adore this one.
It’s so creepy…

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson  HauntingofHillhouse

Publishing Date : September 27th, 2016

Publisher : Penguin

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by award-winning director Guillermo del Toro Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro s favorites, from Mary Shelley s “Frankenstein” and Ray Russell s short story Sardonicus, considered by Stephen King to be perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written, to Shirley Jackson s “The Haunting of Hill House” and stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Ted Klein, and Robert E. Howard. Featuring original cover art by Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, these stunningly creepy deluxe hardcovers will be perfect additions to the shelves of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal aficionados everywhere. “The Haunting of Hill House” The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre. First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s”The Haunting of Hill House” has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a haunting;’ Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.”