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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018 But Didn't Get To


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different question for book bloggers to ponder over. 

This week's topic:

BOOKS I MEANT TO READ IN 2018 BUT DIDN'T GET TO


In all honesty, I think that I could just say "all of them" and be done with this post. Haha. There are always tons of books that I want to get to and then never do. Such is life. Here are the top ten that I remember from 2018.

1. The Styclar Saga by Nikki Kelly 
(books 2 & 3)

I read the first book in The Styclar Saga, Lailah, in January of 2018. I fully intended to finish the series and then I hit my hardcore reading and life slump in February. At this point, I feel that I would have to reread Lailah to even understand the rest of the series. The book was that complicated.

 

2. A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

I actually started this one on audio before the end of the year. It was in November right before it started really snowing here for the year. At the time I was listening to it on my walk to pick my kids up from school every day. Once it started snowing the walking stopped and so did listening to the audio. I definitely need to pick this one back up since I am desperate to know what happens in the end!


3. Sightwitch (The Witchlands #2.5) by Susan Dennard

I finally, finally got around to reading Truthwitch and Windwitch in 2018. I am so glad that I did, but I meant to also read Sightwitch and never got around to it. I need to read this one before Bloodwitch releases next month!


4. The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken 
(books 2 - 4 + novellas)

I read the first book and loved it a lot. I planned to read the remaining books in the series plus the novellas. I actually had these books on my TBR for several months, but my reading mood changed and I never got around to reading them.

 ,
 

5. The Young Elites series by Marie Lu 
(books 2 & 3)

I didn't pick up the second and third book after reading the first book because the first book wasn't working for me. To be honest, I noticed that a lot of books that I read around the same time are ones that I didn't get into. I think that I was forcing myself to read when I should have taken a break from reading. I feel like I need to reread those books and see if it makes a difference in how I feel about them. This series especially because I adored Marie Lu's Legend series. It has my heart and I expected this series would be the same. I was pretty shocked when it wasn't.

 

6. Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

This book released in December and I anticipated reading it straight away after release. My December got away from me though with the holidays and whatnot. I only read 9 books in December, which is about half of what I was reading in previous months.


7. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa 
(books 2 - 7)

Yep, I wanted to knock out this series in 2018, but I only got to the first book. This is one of the books that suffered during my aforementioned force myself to read when I should take a break period. 

  
  

8. Batwoman Volume 6: The Unknowns

This is one of many trade paperbacks that I didn't get to in 2018. This is the last one in this particular series and I wanted to finish it up before moving on to another series. I had an abysmal year in reading graphic novels and trade paperbacks. I normally read them constantly, but in 2018 I dropped the ball.


9. Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven

I was disappointed that I didn't get to this one in 2018. I have heard such wonderful things about this book and I need an adult fantasy in my life.


10. The Field Party series by Abbi Glines 
(books 2 - 4)

I read the first book, which I enjoyed. I planned to finish out the series in December.

  


Have you read any of the titles listed above? Which books did you not get to in 2018? Feel free to leave the link to your Top Ten Tuesday post!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake


Title: Analiese Rising
Author: Brenda Drake
Publisher: Entangled Teen 
Published: January 8, 2019
Pages: 350
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: ARC



When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.  

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you. 

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself. 


MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author.

 This was such an exciting book! I absolutely loved Brenda Drake's Library Jumpers series so I knew that I had to pick up this book. 

I absolutely adored this unique take on mythology. I think that the premise for this book is incredibly original and thought-provoking. The plotting was delightful. The suspense and the mystery that was unfolding as the story progressed was amazing. It definitely kept my interest. I couldn't wait to see what was happening next.

The world building in this book was excellent. Analiese and Marek visit several European countries on their journey. I felt very much in the story because of the vivid descriptions and flawless detail of the well-known places in the book. 

The romance in the book was adorable. I loved the slow-burn romance. Analiese and Marek definitely had chemistry, but it wasn't over the top. 

I really liked the representation for mental health and anxiety issues. I personally have an anxiety disorder and it was nice to see that in a character and see how it impacts their story. 

I felt that the character development was a little stunted. I definitely enjoyed the story as a whole, but I realized as I was reading the book that I didn't really know the main characters. Sure, I knew of their families but I didn't really know their personalities. A few things were touched upon in terms of hobbies, but it didn't feel real enough. Sure, Analiese liked going on hikes with her father and Marek liked to work out but those things didn't really define them. And their passion for these things is lost on the reader since they are only seen or mentioned lightly. As to what any of their other hobbies, interests, or passions are, I couldn't say. They didn't feel like blank slates by any means, but they didn't feel as real as they could have. 

I am really on the fence about the ending. Things came to a close, but there was so much left open. The ending is structured in such a way that the reader expects a sequel, but I have no idea if there will be one. I have seen no mention of a second book or even that this is going to be a series of books instead of a stand-alone. I feel like this book needs a sequel. Having a sequel would very much benefit this story. 

Overall, this is a compelling story with plenty of twists and turns. It has a fascinating take on mythology that will captivate readers. If you are looking for a fast-paced fantasy story with a lot of mystery and a scavenger hunt, then you'll love this book! I so very much hope that there will be a second book to this story!




Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother's animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda's world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there's always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she's not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).





Blog Tour Organized By: 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday/WWW


Can't Wait Wednesday is a meme hosted by Wishful Endings. It is based on Waiting on Wednesday which was hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post, we spotlight upcoming releases that we are super jazzed about.

WWW Wednesday is a meme currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words and previously hosted by A Daily Rhythm. This meme tackles three questions each week:

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


Title: Two Witches and a Whiskey
Series: The Guild Codex: Spellbound #3
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Published: February 8, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Three months ago, I landed a job as a bartender. But not at a bar—at a guild. Yeah, the magic kind.

I'm not a badass mage like my three smokin' hot best friends. I'm not a sorcerer or an alchemist, or even a wussy witch. I'm just a human, slinging drinks like a pro and keeping my non-magical nose out of mythic business. Seriously, I know my limits.

So why am I currently standing in a black-magic ritual circle across from a fae lord?

Somewhere behind me, my three mage friends are battling for their lives. Somewhere near my feet is the rogue witch I just knocked out with a stolen spell. And I have about five seconds to convince this very angry sea god not to shmoosh me like a bug.

I'm pretty sure this wasn't part of the job description.




Thoughts


I have been (not so) patiently awaiting this release. This series is so fun! The first two books in this series were released in the fall of 2018 and I fell hard for this series. Anything that Annette Marie writes is golden. I read the first two books in this series three several times the first week they were each released. I love them that much! And I don't doubt the same will apply to the third book! I'm so excited!



Currently Reading

 
16%                          5%

Recently Finished

  
    
(I read The Cruel Prince twice this week!)

Okay, I admit I have a problem. I am totally besotted with this series. (Most of us are, am I right?) So far this month I have read The Cruel Prince twice and The Wicked King twice. And I am about to read The Wicked King for the third time because I made a bargain with my husband to read it to him. (I know! Rule one of Fairieland is not to make deals!) So I read him The Cruel Prince over a couple of days and now we start The Wicked King. 

Reading Next


Next up is my Air Awakens series reread in preparation for Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) which comes out at the beginning of February! I can't wait to revisit this world!


What is a book that you are patiently (or not so much) waiting on? What books have you been reading recently? Feel free to leave the link to your Waiting on Wednesday and/or WWW post! (Or comment if you want to fangirl about The Folk of the Air series or the Air Awakens series!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different question for book bloggers to ponder over. 

This week's topic:

NEW-TO-ME AUTHORS I READ IN 2018

1. Stacey Marie Brown

This is my top discovery of 2018. I tried one of her books and fell into it like Alice fell into Wonderland. I read the entire series and then moved on to the next one and then the next. I read her entire back library apart from a single book. Fifteen books total in a matter of weeks. Her writing is incredible.

   

2. Pippa DaCosta

I read the first four books in The Messenger Chronicles series. The last book releases in April of this year. I was hooked onto this series immediately. I look forward to reading all of her backlist titles.

   

3. Jennifer L. Armentrout

So many people love her, and now I do too! Everyone and their mother has already read the Lux series so I decided to give it a go. I loved it! I consumed this series in the blink of an eye! Now I look forward to reading her backlist books and I am anticipating her new releases.

  
 


4. Erin Watt

The Royals series is another series that I felt like everyone apart from myself had read. I was in the mood for an angsty romance so I gave this a try. Well, to say I loved this series would be an understatement. I read this series and then I immediately read it again for a total of twice in a single month!

  
 

5. Susan Dennard

I am so glad that I finally read The Witchlands books! (Except I haven't read Sightwitch yet!) I loved them just as much as I thought I would. 

 


6. V.E. Schwab

Yep, I admit that I hadn't read a single Schwab book before 2018. I am glad that I can say that I've ridden this rollercoaster. The world of her Shades of Magic series is so unique that I can just gobble it up! (I started A Conjuring of Light on audio, but I still need to finish it.)

 

7. Brandon Sanderson

Another author that I am glad to say that I have under my belt now. I had heard so many wonderful things about his books and they did not disappoint in the least. This man is a genius!

 

8. Cinda Williams Chima

This woman writes incredible fantasy! I love her writing style and her characters fall into your heart. I am super stoked to read her other fantasy series.

   

9. Abbi Glines

Trying this author was one of my adventurous leaps into the contemporary genre. I enjoyed her writing and I am planning to read the rest of her Field Party series and see where it takes me.


10. Julie Kagawa

I have been wanting to try this author for ages. All of her books are about things that highly interest me, so I suppose it was inevitable. I am wanting to finish her Iron Fey series and move on to some of her other book series.



Have you read any of the titles listed above? What were some new-to-you authors that you read in 2018? Feel free to leave the link to your Top Ten Tuesday post!
 

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