Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst ~ Waiting on Wednesday

A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week ...

  • ISBN-10: 0062433253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062433251
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray 

  • Release Date ~ November 22, 2016

  • Synopsis:

  • Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.
    Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.
    When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
    But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

What books are you waiting for? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

  • Series: Archived
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (January 22, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1423157311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423157311


Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da's death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

I was scrolling through Goodreads to see what books called to me  a few weeks ago and I came across The Archived by Victoria Schwab. The cover was enough to capture my attention but the synopsis closed the deal! 

The Archived ended up surpassing all my  expectations! It's filled with heart break, sorrow, healing, love as well as a bit of horror (more spooky than scary) surrounding the interactions between the  living and the dead. 

The story is fast paced, plenty of action and the characters well rounded and believable. I found the concept of "the archives" absolutely intriguing and the story had some twist and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. 

All in all ~ a fantastic read! I can't wait to read Unbound, the second book in this series.

4.5 Stars

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Upcoming New Star Trek Series by CBS!

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

  • Series: Crown's Game (Book 1)
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (May 17, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0062422588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062422583


Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red QueenThe Crown’s Game is a thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia about two teenagers who must compete for the right to become the Imperial Enchanter—or die in the process—from debut author Evelyn Skye.
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know.  The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

There are times when I read a book and decide to just go with the story, see where it takes me and leave the "reviewing" for after I finish the book. From this perspective, I truly enjoyed reading The Crown's Game! 

The story is full of magic, mysticism, romance and I found it to be  an enjoyable, relaxing and fun read. I walked away from this story with a whimsical smile and a warm feeling in my heart.  

From a reviewer perspective though, there were definitely some sticking points. The characters themselves and their interactions were not as believable as I would have wished for and the story was a bit choppy in it's flow. Some of the sub-plots were not developed enough to flow with the story and really did not impact it well. 

In regards to the "life and death Crown's Game", the book's synopsis built the story up as one of intense magic but the story itself did not live up to that. Could it be the synopsis of the book was off and it negatively impacted the reception of this book's true story?  

Having shared all the above, I have to say I enjoyed reading The Crown's Game and I am eager to read the second installment of this series when it's released.  Check this book out for yourself; I'd love to hear what you think about it!

3.5 Stars

Thank you to Balzar + Bray as well as Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely ~ Waiting on Wednesday

A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Another pick for this week ...

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 9, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1400205875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400205875

Release Date ~ August 9, 2016


The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.
In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:
  • Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
  • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
  • Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
  • Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside."
  • End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

What Books Are You Waiting For?