The Waking Land **ARC Review** (Spoiler Free)

Author: Callie Bates | Published: June 29, 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton | Series: – N/A | Length: 384 pages | Genre: YA Fantasy | Source: I got his book in my June Illumicrate

Fourteen years ago, Elanna was taken hostage by the king as her father’s rebellion failed.  From that point on the king raised her as one of his own, but now rebellion is being whispered about in the kingdom, and Elanna’s father is at the head of it again.  In a twist of events, she is taken back by her father who wants to use her as the figurehead of his rebellion, claiming she is the Wildegarde reincarnated, a powerful sorceress who could control the earth.  Little do they know, Elanna actually has the legendary powers, but she has kept them hidden for so long that she has no idea how to use it.  And being the first Caveadear, or steward of the land, in hundreds of years means that there arent’ an abundance of teachers to help her learn how to use her powers.  As war looms on the horizon, Elanna must choose which side she is on and whether to use her powers for mercy or war.

I was very excited for this book because I saw that it was recommended for readers that loved Leigh Bardugo and I flipping adore Bardugo’s work.  I went into this book not really knowing much and was so confused for about the first 30%.  I’m not much of a high fantasy reader, and this book felt like it read like one.  There were so many names and places and history to take in that I almost just couldn’t get through it because I’d get so lost.  Right around the time things really got rolling in the book it did get a little better, but I still felt a little disappointed with it.  I did end up skimming some paragraphs, which did me more harm than good as I’d miss important parts amidst Elanna’s endless inner battle with her powers or fawning over Jahan.  Both of which got fairly annoying rather quickly.  Another thing that really got me was I really didn’t know who was ruler over what.  Yes there were kings/queens, but there was also an empire involved and it sounded like the empire may rule over them or I could have been wrong.  Either way it confused me a bit.  There was another part I question, but in asking my question I would give away so much so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Altogether I did fairly enjoy this book.  If it really is going to be a trilogy I’m not sure if I will continue it or if I’ll just leave it after reading the first one.  Hears to hoping the series gets better.

I gave this book 3.5/5 stars on Goodreads.

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Paper and Fire Review (Spoiler Free)

Author: Rachel Caine | Published: July 5, 2016 by New American Library | Series: The Great Library #2 | Length: 354 pages | Genre: YA fantasy| Source: I got this book from my local bookstore.

PLEASE NOTE: While this review does not contain spoilers for said book, it may contain spoilers for the first book in the series.  So if you have not read the first book and do not wish to be spoiled please do not continue to read this review.  You can read my review on the first book here.  Thank you!

After surviving the introduction to the Library, Jess Brightwell finds out that serving in its army isn’t any better.  He meets with his friends in secret as they plan to free one of their own.  As they carry out their plan to free their friend, the Library’s automata turn on them.  They escape to London to find that the Welsh army is approaching with plans to burn the city.  Soon, Jess must choose where his loyalties lie between either his friends, his family or the Library, who is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to keep control.

Starting up right where Ink and Bone ended, this book did not fall into the “second book slump.”  There as almost the same if not more action in this book compared to the first!  the Library is so ruthless and cold-hearted that it’s scary at times.  They will do anything to stay in power.  I loved getting to delve a little deeper into the world of the Great Library and see the lengths to which they would go to hide information from the public, and how on the reverse side, people would die over owning and smuggling real books instead of the Library issued blanks.  One thing I can say is poor Frauke.  Her story cannot end like that!!  I absolutely adored this book, and cannot wait to start the next in the series!

This book has some amazing quotes that really make me think of how much of an impact books can have on anyone.  “Books spoke mind to mind, soul to soul across the abyss of time and distance.”  “With the right books, we can change everything.”  “We’re just paper on a shelf, in the end.”  That’s only a few, but I literally could go on and on with all the amazing writing contained in this book.

The deeper and deeper I get into this series the more and more I am reminded of Fahrenheit 451, which was one of my favorite reads in high school.  The Burners remind me of the firemen in the way that they would burn books almost as a statement.  It’s making me desperately want to read Fahrenheit again.  If you have read it and liked it, I highly recommend that you pick up this series! Do it! Do it now!!  You won’t regret it!

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

June Wrap Up (2017)

YAY! Yet another great reading month!😁 I think I finally kicked my slump in the butt!!😋 Which is perfect because I have a lot of books to read in the next few months.  And without further ado, my June wrap up:

1) The Vanishing Throne by: Elizabeth May 5/5 Stars

This book!!  AHHHH!!😱😱😱  I know a lot of second books in a series go through what many readers call the “second book slump.”  This definitly did not!  It jumped right into the action and kept going THE WHOLE BOOK!  I can’t even put all my feelings on this book into words.  I have a full review written here if you would like to read my attempt at talking about it.

2) Snow Like Ashes by: Sara Raasch 5/5 Stars

I read this book way back in January or February 2016 along with the second book.  Since then, the third book has come out, but I nearly forgot everything about this series.  I decided to get the audiobook from my library and listen to it so I can officially finish this series.  Everything about this world is exquisite.  The fact that the kingdoms are either a season🌷🍀🍂❄️ or a rhythm. In a way I am kind of sad that I will be ending this series, but I love having the opportunity to dive into this fantasy world again.  I will also write reviews for this series as I continue to read them.  I also bumped up my rating on this book since the last time I read it.

3) Ink and Bone by: Rachel Caine 4/5 Stars

Due to me snagging an eARC copy of the third book in this series on Netgalley, I knew I had to start and read the first 2 books.  I knew little going into this series other than it was about an almighty Library that controlled the distribution of knowledge between the people.  This book turned out to be everything I wanted in a fantasy book.  You can read all of my thoughts on this book here.

4) Cruel Beauty by: Rosamund Hodge 3/5 Stars

I wasn’t really sure about this book.  The world was really interesting in the way that there were 4 elemental hearts that controled everything and it was a Beauty and the Beasy retelling, but I found my mind wandering while listening to this audiobook.  Strong female characters are great in YA novels, but it almost felt like this main character was bratty and bossy and then just wanted to make out.  It was a bit strange….

5) Crimson Bound by: Rosamund Hodge 3/5 Stars

I hoped this book would be a little better than the last one, but it was only better by a small margin.  It was supposed to be set in the same world, but it seemed as if this was set on the opposite side of the planet.  Again we were stuck with a main character that was stubborn and bratty and only wanted to make out.  Like what???  I give the author props though for writing a love interest that doesn’t have hands✋🏻🤚🏻

6) Paper and Fire by: Rachel Caine 4/5 Stars

And back into the world of the Great Library.  Just like the first book on this list, this one didn’t go through the “second book slump.”  Packed with action and a tad of romance things really start to pick up for Jess and his rebels.  And all I can say is poor    .  My review for this book will be posted in the next few days and I’ll tag it here once it goes up.

*Sigh*  It is such a breath of relief to have a good reading month☺️.  I’ve got some crazy high hopes for next month with my 7+ book TBR pile.  Well off I go to get started!!  Happy reading! 📚

June Book Haul (2017)

This was an amazing book haul month!!  I got to go to Book Con and snag quite a few books there (you can read my all about my Book Con haul here).  #Booksfortrade on Twitter was also very kind to me and I was able to get a bunch of ARCs from there and through a few friends.  I’m so blessed to have gotten all of these books, and I’m very ecstatic that I get a chance to read these books before they are published!

1) Flame in the Mist by: Renee Adieh

I have not yet read anything by Renee(shame on me!), but I do have all of her books.  When one of the Twitter chats I partake in talked about this book I knew I just had to have it!  I heard that it was a lot like my favorite anime, Inuyasha!!  Anything set in feudal Japan is a win in my book!!

2) Seekers by: Veronica Rossi

I got the first book in this series a while ago, but I haven’t had a chance to pick up either book yet.  I was really intrigued by the horses on the cover which is why I bought them in the first place lol.

3) Umberland by: Wendy Spinale

Not only is this cover absolutely stunning, but having another fairytale retelling on my shelf is perfect!  This is yet another second book in a series that I haven’t read the first book :(.  I’m hoping to get to this series fairly soon, but who knows when “soon” will be lol.

4) Saga Vol. 7 by: Brian K. Vaughan

I’m so freaking excited that I have this book!!  I need to continue with this comic series ASAP!  Volume 6 left off on such a big cliffhanger that I almost couldn’t bear waiting for this one to come out.  Now that I have it, I know it will be a quick read and then I’ll be craving the next one!

5) Truth or Dare by: Non Pratt

I got this book in my Illumicrate box for the month of June.  I don’t really know much about it other than it is in the same style of formating as Replica by Lauren Oliver.  I’m very interested in reading this book and I’m glad that I got a copy of this book.

6) The Walking Land by: Callie Bates

I also got this book in my Illumicrate box.  I love how pretty this UK cover for the ARC is!  It’s drop dead gorgeous!!  I’m really hoping that I can get to this book before it comes out so I can review it for y’all.

7) Royal Bastards by: Andrew Shvarts

The premises of this book really had me hooked from the moment I read it.  I know there have been a lot of, for the lack of a better word, bastards in history, but we never really get to hear about them because they were normally kept a secret and hidden from the eyes of the public.  I think this will be a really interesting book and I can’t wait to dive into this side of royal life!

8) Whichwood by: Tahereh Mafi

Y’all!!  I was so blessed to get an advance copy of Furthermore last year(which I have yet to post a review -_-) and now I have an advance copy of the second book!!  I really, really enjoyed the first book so I’m hoping that I enjoy this companion novel as well!  I’m going to be reading this book closer to the publication date so I can post a review :).  I’m really hoping this book is as whimsical as the first!

9) All the Crooked Saints by: Maggie Stiefvater

AFDVJBADFVSJDCNASUOVHO. . . . .  OMG!!  I cannot believe I have this book in my hands!  I have loved Maggie’s writing since I read Shiver way back in 2009.  Since then I have craved more and more work from her.  I was wicked excited when we got the Raven Cycle, but I was also a little nervous to hear what other projects she had planned for after her latest series was over.  When I heard about this book, I freaked!!  I cannot wait to delve into this world of miracles and saints!

10) Warcross by: Marie Lu

My mind is absolutely blown with the fact that I have this book in my possession!  It’s so beautiful and I want to read it, but I’m nervous that this book will not live up to all the hype surrounding it.  I can not believe myself for yet again owning all of an author’s books but not having read a single one!  Shame!  Shame on me forever!  I’ve heard so many good things about Marie’s books, and now I really have to pick them up! Or at least this one lol!

11) Otherworld by: Jason Segel, Kristen Miller

I got this book from a friend who had an extra copy.  This book sounds like a mix of Warcross by Marie Lu and the anime Sword Art Online.  With that said, I need to read this book!  Plus it is written by one of my favorite actors, Jason Segel!  I can’t wait to see what this alternate reality world has in store!

12) Invictus by: Ryan Graudin

More time travel!!  This book will definitely be interesting as Ryan has written history books with a hint of sci-fi and now this is a sci-fi with a hint of history.  If this book is anything like Passenger or any of the other time travel like books I have read I know I will love it!

13) The Cruel Prince by: Holly Black

Looking back, I cannot believe I have not read anything by Holly Black(I’m doing it again -_-), yet I have heard a lot about her fairy books.  It seems like books with evil fairies have been really popular lately, but it sounds like this one will be no exception.  I’ve heard that the main character, Jude is one of the best heroines of YA literature.  If that doesn’t make you want to read this book I have no idea what will!

14) The Sandcastle Empire by: Kayla Olson

I got this book in my June Owlcrate.  I have never heard of this book, but the synopsis sounds pretty interesting.

15) New World: Rising by: Jennifer Wilson

I also got this book in my June Owlcrate(that’s right!! Two books!!) I have had my eye on this book for a while now.  I’ve told myself when I have some spare money I’ll buy this book, and I’m so glad that I waited.  I really could use a good dystopian style book so I may pick up this book fairly soon.

16) Obsidian and Stars by: Julie Eshbaugh

I totally forgot that I had preordered this book until it showed up on my doorstep lol.  It’s even signed and personalized!!  I have yet to start this series, but I couldn’t pass up a series set in prehistoric times.  Hopefully I’ll get to them fairly soon so I can review them for y’all.

17) Dividing Eden by: Joelle Charbonneau

I got this book in my first Book(ish) Box.  I had a bit of money left over from my birthday and I’ve always wanted to gibe this box a shot.  I was thoroughly pleased with everything I got in the box and with this book.  This book has been on my radar since I heard of it, but I have no Idea why I didn’t buy it right when it came out.  Either way, I have this gorgeous book on my shelf now :).

I know I said a few months ago that my hauls would be getting a lot smaller than they had been in the past.  In my defence, I did get a lot of these books through trade or with access birthday money.  I definitely won’t turn down the opportunity to get a book though lol.  I cannot wait to get to read and review these lovely books for y’all!