Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

First Impression Friday: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

It’s time for another First Impression Friday post! For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.

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Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

I’ve been hearing good things about this book, and the sequel, for quite a while now. I typically love all things pirates and badass female protagonists, so this one seems like a good fit for me. I really haven’t gotten too far into the story yet, but Alosa has the potential to be an interesting protagonist. That being said, however, I do see some potential turn offs already. The interaction between Alosa and Riden hints at a complicated romance situation on the horizon. This is not entirely surprising, given what the blurb on the back cover reveals, but still, it feels like it might be going in an overly cheesy direction. As someone who tries not to overdo it on dairy products, I’ll skip the cheese, please.

I don’t think I’ve read quite enough of the story to make any plot predictions yet, but I’m hoping for a lot of sword fighting, swashbuckling, and pirate booty.

ARRRRRRRE you guys ready for the weekend? I sure am! 🙂

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Non-Fiction · Young Adult

Top Ten Tues: Best Books I’ve Read in 2018

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday again! (TTT is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’d like to participate, a list of the weekly themes can be found here.) This week’s topic is “Best Books I’ve Read in 2018.” Sounds like an easy one, right? WRONG. I’ve read so many good books in the past six months that I don’t even know where to begin.

I actually did a post on my favorites of 2018 (so far) about a month ago, but I’ve read several other great books since then, so here’s the updated list:

The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

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To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

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Robots vs. Fairies (Anthology)

The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Recently Added to the TBR Pile

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Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

via Goodreads

I’ve been wanting to read this one since hearing Zoraida speak on the panel I attended at BookCon. She talked about the recently released sequel Bruja Born and the history behind it. I was somewhat intrigued by her talk of brujas (witches), superstition, and keeping true to the folklore than inspired her story.

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The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost…

via Goodreads

To be honest, I’d never even heard of this book until everyone started posting reviews of the sequel, Ravencry, recently. Both books sound fantastic (and a bit dark) and I look forward to reading them.

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Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

via Goodreads

This doesn’t sound like one of my usual reads, but it sounds like it could have some potential. I’m hoping J is really a Dalek or The Master in disguise. 😉

Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Hello! I have returned from vacation, a year older and slightly tanner. Despite all my trepidation about turning thirty, my birthday was pretty good. A huge thank you to those of you who wished me a happy birthday. I really do appreciate it. 🙂 I promise I will be posting pictures and details from my trip soon, but for now you’ll just have to settle for this book review.

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Despite the trepidation I shared during my FIF post about this book, I enjoyed this one. It was definitely not the YA-dystopian-romancey read that I was anticipating. I guess it was kinda silly of me to think that go begin with, given that Victoria Schwab doesn’t exactly stick to stereotypical characters/plots.

Kate and August were great protagonists – flawed, broken, and wanting nothing more than to find peace in a world of chaos. Kate was a difficult character to like at times. She was a bit reckless and naive, which got on my nerves. I suppose this made her more human and more relatable though, so it’s not really a bad thing. Of the two, August felt like the more well-rounded and level-headed one, which was ironic, given that he’d been pretty sheltered for most of his existence.

The way that music was used (as a way to lure victims), was interesting. I do find this tactic slightly impractical though. How are you expected to carry around a musical instrument all the time? Seems like it would be an inconvenience, if you ask me.

One of the main premises of this book is that violence breeds violence. The monsters in the story were all born from acts of violence, only to go forward and cause more violence in the world. It’s such an intriguing and haunting concept, and quite different than the usual monster backstory. There were a lot of villain-type characters in this book, not all of them actual monsters, so you never knew who to trust. I even found myself questioning the main characters a few times.

The horror and bleakness of the world Schwab created definitely made this a unique read. It gets two thumbs up from me.

Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

First Impression Friday: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

It’s time for another First Impression Friday post! For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.

23299512

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

I’m going to be honest, if I didn’t hear so many good things about this book and didn’t already love the author, I probably wouldn’t have picked this up. The blurb on the back makes it sound like it’s going to be a dystopian romance, which isn’t usually my forte. BUT, there’s monsters involved, so I figured I’d just give it a shot.

So far, the story is interesting, albeit a little slow paced on revelations. It goes back and forth between August and Kate’s POVs, so you don’t get too much all at once. Perhaps this is the author’s way of building up the suspense? I’m interested to find out more about the characters, especially the “monsters.” I’m also curious to see how music ties into all of it, since, judging by the title, it’ll obviously play some big role in the story. Maybe they’ll play the Monster Mash and have a giant flash mob scene! 😛

Whether I’ll enjoy this one or not is still up in the air. I guess we’ll find out later!

 

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read By the End of the Year

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is “Books I Want to Read By the End of the Year.” Since this one is pretty straight forward and doesn’t need much further explanation, let’s jump right in.

  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  • Down Among the Sticks and Stones by Seanan McGuire  (Note to self: Post review of Every Heart a Doorway)
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

What books are on your list? 

 

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Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Book Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

I enjoyed this one, but it was nothing spectacular. The time travel + pirate thing is a pretty cool concept. It’s like Doctor Who, but at sea. (Why weren’t there more pirates on Doctor Who?) Something that really bugged me though was that there wasn’t much of an explanation for Navigation and how hey actually got from time/place to time/place. The explanation we are given is super vague and didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The characters were okay. Truthfully, I found some of the side characters to be more interesting than the main character, Nix. Her crew mate and close friend, Kashmir, was probably my favorite character, as he had more personality than everyone else.

As I predicted in my First Impression Friday post, there was some romance happening (although not necessarily in the way I expected), which I didn’t care for. Romance in adventure stories don’t always work, in my opinion. My other predictions were incorrect, although I see the potential for them happening in the sequel.

Overall, the story wasn’t bad. If you like light adventure with some romance/love triangle stuff thrown in, then you might enjoy this one.