January Book Haul!

January Book Haul!

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Today I’m bringing you my January Book Haul! I’m trying to make a concerted effort to buy less books in 2019 – I’m also tracking how much I spend on books over the year so that will be interesting to see what the total is in December. I was lucky enough to get quite a few books from publishers (thank you so much!), so as usual I’ve split them into two lots. Let’s dive in!

Books I Bought:

1. The Wicked King – Holly Black
The sequel to The Cruel Prince obviously had to be the first book I bought in 2019. I’ve read this already and it was brilliant.

book cover (13)You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

2. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
ssdI really loved the first book in this series so I just had to pick up the second instalment of Amdanda Lovelace’s inspiring poetry. I’ve also read this one too and loved it as well.

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

3. The Witch of Willow Hall – Hester Fox
I have an e-ARC from Netgalley for this book that I still haven’t read so when I saw it in the bookshop I decided to pick it up.

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

halTake this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end… 

4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
I really love Brigid Kemmerer’s books so I’m so looking forward to reading this Beauty and the Beast retelling.

book cover (46)Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

5. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
Favourite author has a new book about one of my all time favourite characters, need I say more?

book cover (47)Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Books From Publishers:

6. The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
This dark and twisted thriller completely hooked me and I can’t wait for the next book in the series (check out my full review here)

book cover (98)A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

7. Dark Forge – Miles Cameron
The continuation to the Master and Mages series was another brilliant read and you can check out my stop on the blog tour here.

book cover (99)Only fools think war is simple.
Or glorious.

Some are warriors, some captains; others tend to the fallen or feed the living.

But on the magic-drenched battlefield, information is the lifeblood of victory, and Aranthur is about to discover that carrying messages, scouting the enemy, keeping his nerve, and passing on orders is more dangerous, and more essential, then an inexperienced soldier could imagine . . . especially when everything starts to go wrong.

Battle has been joined – on the field, in the magical sphere, and in the ever-shifting political arena . . .

8. We Are Blood and Thunder – Kesia Lupo
This honestly sounds like such a stunning book and comes out in April from Bloomsbury Books.

bldthIn a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.

A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within.

9. Five Feet Apart – Rachel Lippencott
This kind of reminded me of a Fault in Our Stars kind of story and I know there’s a movie coming out soon so I’m definitely going to have to get to it before that comes out!

book covlhkjgerCan you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

10. The Killing Joke – Christa Faust
I loved the Harley Quinn novel in this series and Titan books kindly sent me copies of book one and three!

killing jokeA tragic, unnamed engineer-turned-criminal is immersed in chemicals that disfigure him bizarrely, driving him mad and thus giving birth to the Joker. While the insane criminal is imprisoned, Batman and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) patrol Gotham City together, taking down perps such as the crime boss Maxie Zeus. Simultaneously Detective Harvey Bullock works with Commissioner James Gordon to take down a drug factory. Back in Arkham Asylum, Joker learns of a new technology he wants to acquire and escapes, setting out on a mission designed to break the Commissioner, forcing him to abandon his ideals as a police officer. In a violent home invasion he shoots and cripples Barbara, then takes Gordon hostage. Batman races to rescue Gordon, ultimately confronting his arch-foe in an amusement park fun house. This edgy adaptation by Hard Case Crime novelist Christa Faust expands upon the cast and adds intricate layers to the events of the graphic novel, further examining the nature of morality.

11. The Court of Owls – Greg Cox
This is the third instalment in the DC comics novels!

bojhghgBeware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
–a nursery rhyme

The Court of Owls is a criminal secret society that has existed in Gotham City since the 1600s, led by some of the city’s wealthiest and most influential families. They employ deadly trained assassins known as Talons, taken as children from circuses such as the one where Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. These children are trained to become the assassins known as Talons. Bruce Wayne came to the Court’s attention when he announced plans to reinvigorate Gotham, threatening their control. They sentenced him to death, bringing themselves to the attention of Batman. Though they suffer defeats, the Court continues to fight to retake control of the city’s underworld – a fight that has gone on for centuries.

12. Shadow Captain – Alastair Reynolds
This is the second book in the Revenger series, it’s been a while since I read book one so I’m definitely going to have to binge read them both.

bjhk coverAdrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen’s ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen’s hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.

Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don’t care if she’s already been killed. They’ll happily take whoever is flying her ship.

Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining … and of betrayal.

13. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland
This has long been on my wishlist so I was super excited to be sent a copy to coincide with the publication in the UK.

book cove4rJane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

14. Sky In the Deep – Adrienne Young
I’m so excited about this Viking/Fantasy story and I’ll be participating in the blog tour so make sure you check that out.

grhwoigwRaised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

15. Stronger, Faster & More Beautiful – Arwen Elys Dayton
This sounds like such a unique and fascinating read so it’s very high up on my priority list.

jjjjjSet in our world, spanning the near to distant futures, Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is a novel made up of six interconnected stories that ask how far we will go to remake ourselves into the perfect human specimens, and how hard that will push the definition of “human.”

This extraordinary work explores the amazing possibilities of genetic manipulation and life extension, as well as the ethical quandaries that will arise with these advances. The results range from the heavenly to the monstrous. Deeply thoughtful, poignant, horrifying, and action-packed, Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful is groundbreaking in both form and substance.

16. Monsters in the Mirror – A. J. Hartley
This sounds like such a fun and exciting middle grade story and this is another one that I’m participating in the blog tour for!

hjDarwen Arkwright’s world is turned upside down when he is forced to move from a small English town to Atlanta in the United States of America. Feeling out of place and struggling to fit in at school, Darwen seeks solace in a mysterious shop full of mirrors. It’s there that he discovers the ability to step through mirrors into different worlds – worlds beyond his wildest imagination. Darwen befriends creatures including Moth, a tiny being with mechanical wings, but he soon learns that there is a terrible darkness threatening this new world . . . and only he can save it.

The problem with doors is that they open both ways. There are monsters inside, and some of them are trying to get out . . .

17. End of Magic – Mark Stay
Mark kindly reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing his new fantasy novel and of course I immediately said yes. This sounds amazing and it’s definitely going to be my next read!

endThere are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again… This is not one of those stories. The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose… Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills. Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone. Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever. Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

So those are the books I picked up in January! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know which ones to prioritise!

Book Review: Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone

Book Review: Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone

Shadowscent.png
Series:
Shadowscent #1
Release Date: February 7th 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power.

When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.

To succeed, the pair must uncover secrets – cryptic, ancient tales as well as buried truths from their own pasts – in an adventure that will ignite your senses.

Review

book cover (39)As soon as I read the synopsis of this book it went on my wish list. It sounded completely unlike anything I’d read before and I was so fascinated by this beautiful sounded story. I’m so happy to say that it was everything I wanted and more. This is a superb start to a new fantasy  series that will have you hooked and leave you wanting more.

The story follows Rakel a young girl who is brilliant at detecting scents and understanding fragrances. When the crown prince comes to visit her village he is mysteriously poisoned and Rakel is suspected to be the poisoner. With the help of Ash, the prince’s Shield she must work to find an antidote to the poison, clear her name and uncover the secrets surrounding her past.

I honestly loved this story. It’s told in alternating points of view between Ash and Rakel. This was great because it gave you the chance to understand the magic system and the world from two different perspectives – Rakel is a poor village girl trying to earn enough to help her father and Ash has spent the majority of his life behind palace walls protecting the prince.

I really loved the scent based magic system in this story, it was such a unique idea and I enjoyed the way that the different scents were weaved into the plot and the mythology of the world. It’s was a really brilliant way to evoke smells and bring the story to life. The two main characters are really fascinating and each had really interesting story arcs that weaved together. They both have secrets surrounding their pasts and I was so intrigued to find out what was going on and who was behind it all.

The story is quite slow building in the begin as you get to know the world of Aramtesh and I did feel a little confused in the begin as I struggled to understand the world and how it worked. I soon settled into the story though and I definitely struggled to put the book down as the plot ramped up and the stakes were even higher. This is definitely a new favourite of mine and ended on such a cliff hanger that I am already dying to know what’s in store next.

If you enjoy beautifully told, slow burn fantasy stories full of mystery and intrigue, Shadowscent should definitely be the next book you pick up.
5 stars

Waiting on Wednesday #12: All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett

Waiting on Wednesday #12: All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett

Synopsis

The second in a sweeping and action-packed fantasy duology loosely inspired by the early climbers of Mount Everest—perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore.

After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the destruction of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect their homeland. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

Thoughts

Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday! This week I’m talking about All the Wandering Light the second instalment in the Even the Darkest Stars duology. I read the first book near enough in one sitting, I loved this beautiful icy cold setting and I really adored the characters. I adore the fact that it’s inspired by the accounts of early climbers of Mount Everest. It’s such a unique idea for a fantasy story. I’ve been dying for more since I turned the last page so I’m incredibly excited about the release of this next book. The fact that it’s a duology means this will also be the last book and I have no idea how it will end. The cover is also stunning if it has as many twists and turns as the last book I’m sure I’ll be up all night reading it. All the Wandering Light is publishing 24th January 2019 from Harper Collins.

December Book Haul!

December Book Haul!

BOOK REVIEW (79).png
Today I thought I would post my December book haul! I’ve split this into two parts, this one being books that publishers kindly sent me and books that I bought and I’ll have another post later on with the books I got given for Christmas. I’m really proud of myself because I only bought two books in December, as I’m trying to lessen the amount of books I buy. That being said I did get quite a few from publishers, so lets dive in!
 

From Publishers

This Lie Will Kill You – Chelsea Pitcher
book cover (72)This young adult mystery/thriller has been likened to Riverdale and I’m so excited to pick it up.

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

The Year After You – Nina De Pass
book cover (73)This is a beautiful contemporary ya novel coming from Ink Road books in February. It sounds like it will be a really moving story and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

New Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend Georgina doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

Once and Future – Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
book cover (74)A Merlin retelling in space? SOLD. I honestly squealed with excitement when this came through the door and it has gone straight to the top of my TBR pile. That cover is also stunning!

I’ve been chased my whole life. As an illegal immigrant in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

Stain – A. G. Howard
book cover (75)This is another release that I am honestly so desperate to read. A Gothic fairytale inspired by The Princess and the Pea? Who wouldn’t want to read that?

Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins…

After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest … disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

Burn for Burn – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivan
book cover (76)I recently read all of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before books and a few people have recommended this series to me so I was so pleased when this surprise piece of post arrived!

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

Slay On Tour – Kim Curran
book cover (78)The SLAY boys are back and this time they’re heading to Japan. I honestly can’t wait to find out what’s next in store for this demon fighting boyband!

SLAY are BACK…and this time they’re headed to Tokyo to track down another hell-raising demon. When they’re invited on tour with a super-cool band of holographic girls, SLAY find themselves whisked off around Japan – until strange things start happening on their tour train. Suddenly it seems it’s not just SLAY’s fans following their every move…

The Glass Woman – Caroline Lea
I absolutely adore historical fiction and this honestly sounds like the perfect book for me. This icy mystery is definitely going to be a great book to cuddle up with on a winter evening.

1686, ICELAND. AN ISOLATED, WINDSWEPT LAND HAUNTED BY WITCH TRIALS AND STEEPED IN THE ANCIENT SAGAS.
Betrothed unexpectedly to 
book cover (79)Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.
But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.
The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?
Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim . . .

The Fork, the Witch & the Worm – Christopher Paolini
book cover (69)Eragon and the gang are back in this all new collection of short stories from the Inheritance cycle. I was on the blog tour for this so you can check out my thoughts here!

A wanderer and a cursed child. Spells and magic. And dragons, of course.

Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia. It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. 

My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
book cover (59)I was sent this book through ReadersFirst and I ended up reading it in one sitting. Dark, gripping and fascinating, this is a brilliant read.

Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.

Books I Bought:

 Obsidio – Jay Kristoff & Ami Kaufman
book cover (77)The third and final book in the Illuminae Files, I had to rush out and buy this as soon as I finished Gemina. I’m pretty sure it’s going to break my heart though.

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken…

Evermore – Sara Holland
book cover (36)This is definitely one of my most anticipated releases. I loved Everless so I’m really excited to get back to this magical world and I hope it’s just as good as book one!

Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one.

So that’s my December book haul! If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know what you thought of them and also let me know which books you bought in December!

Most Anticipated 2019 Releases!

Most Anticipated 2019 Releases!

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With 2019 fast approaching I thought it would be fun to list some of the books I’m really excited to read in the coming year. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are spending time relaxing with lots of food and books! I’ve done Waiting on Wednesday posts about quite a few of these so I’ll just tell you a little bit about what they’re about. So without further adieu, let’s dive in!

1. The Wicked King – Holly Black
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.book cover (13)

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

2. Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Untitled design (10)Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

3. Holy Sister – Mark Lawrence
They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Untitled design (80)Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

4. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured inbook cover (47) his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

5. Finale – Stephanie Garber
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have book cover (49)been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

6. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.book cover (48)

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

7. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful book cover (46)enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

8. Aurora Rising – Jay Kristoff & Ami Kaufman
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm.book cover (45)
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates.
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder.
An alien warrior with anger management issues.
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering.

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

9. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant book cover (44)allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

10. The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston
The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite book cover (43)character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

So those are the books I’m most excited to read in 2019. What 2019 releases are you looking forward to?

November Book Haul!

November Book Haul!

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It’s time for another book haul! Today I’m talking about all the books I picked up in November!

From Publishers

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1. Mad Love – Paul Dini and Pat Cadigan

This was sent to me from Titan Books and is a novelised version of Harley Quinn’s origin story. Harley Quinn is one of my favourite DC characters so I was so excited to read this. I flew through this and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Untitled design (93)2. Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa
This was my first time reading a book by Julie Kagawa and I really enjoyed it. Shadow of the Fox is a fun and fast paced fantasy novel that you’ll find difficult to put down. I’m definitely excited to read more from this author and if you’re interested in knowing my full thoughts on this book you can check out my stop on the blog tour here!
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3. The Glass Town Wars – Celia Rees

I won a copy of this in a giveaway and the publisher sent it to me last month. This is a genre bending novel based on the early work of the Bronte sisters. It wasn’t my favourite Celia Rees book but it was an enjoyable read.

Untitled design (51)4. Skyward – Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is an author that is beloved by so many people that I was really excited to read my first book by him. Skyward is a YA science fiction novel about a young girl named Spensa who dreams of being a pilot. It was so action packed and kept me hooked from the very first page. If you want to know more you can check out my blog tour stop here!
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5. The Last – Hannah Jameson

The Last is a new mystery/thriller publishing from Viking in January 2019. The tag line is ‘one hotel, twenty survivors.’ The story follows a group of people stuck in a hotel during a nuclear blast. It sounds like it’s going to be really dark and gripping and I can’t wait to pick it up.

book cover (40)6. Wolves of Winter – Tyrell Johnston
The Wolves of Winter is a dystopian/science fiction story following a woman trying to survive since society has collapsed following a nuclear war and widespread disease. I’m clearly in the mood for some dystopian type stories between Wolves of Winter and The Last so I’m hoping I enjoy them both.

book cover (39)7. Shadowscent – P. M. Freestone
I am SO EXCITED about this book. It came in a gorgeous package with some perfume and it is top of my list to read at the start of 2019. The description reads ‘When disaster strikes and the crown prince lies poisoned, long suppressed rivalries threaten to blow the empire apart. It’s up to a poor village girl with a talent for fragrances and the prince’s loyal bodyguard to find an antidote.’ This is publishing in February 2019 from Scholastic UK and it sounds amazing.

Books I Bought

book cover (41)8. The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang
I picked up a copy of this in my local bookshop because I’ve heard some amazing things. This is a dark and brutal adult fantasy and so many bloggers have rated this incredibly highly. I’m probably not going to get this in 2018 but I’m really looking forward to reading it.
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9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee

This honestly sounds so fun and enjoyable and it is next on my TBR to read. I picked this up partly because of the hype surrounding this series, but the synopsis definitely has me intrigued. It’s another one that I’ve heard amazing things about too.

Untitled design (99)10. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan
This was another one I picked up in my local bookshop and it sounds incredible. Another dark fantasy, this one features a female/female romance between two concubines for the King. This was on my list of books I wanted to read before the end of the year but I am fast running out of time to read it!

book cover (1)11. Gemina – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Who is surprised I bought this? No one. I read Illuminae recently and thought it was basically the best thing ever so the next day I had to click and collect Gemina. I’ve since read it and I honestly can’t decided if I love Kady and Ezra more or Hanna and Nik. I’ve also picked up Obsidio and I’m excited/terrified to find out how it’s going to end.

Untitled design (50)12. Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin
I’m absolutely dying to read this but I haven’t picked it up yet because it’s so huge. I love GRRM and all things Westeros so I might start 2019 off by diving into this book which follows the history of the Targaryen line.
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13. Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is an author that so many people associate with fantasy but I have never read any of her books. This arrived in a subscription box recently and it’s quite short so I’m hoping to pick it up quickly because I imagine I’ll fly through it.

book cover (42)14. Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
This too arrived in my November Illumicrate and I’m really excited to read it. It’s one that I haven’t seen too many reviews about but I’m really looking forward to it. This edition has gorgeous sprayed editions too!

So that’s all the books I bought/received in November! If you’ve read any of these let me know what you thought and what books you picked up in November!

October Book Haul!

October Book Haul!

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This is, as is traditional with Nicole and book hauls, a very late post. So I’m just going to dive right in and talk about the books I picked up/was sent in October!

From Publishers

Untitled design (83)1. The Conviction of Cora Burns – Carolyn Kirby
This was a piece of surprise book mail that arrived from No Exit Press. It’s a piece of historical fiction about a young woman born in prison, who fears she might inherit her mother’s violent tendencies. It’s for fans of Sarah Schmidt and Laura Purcell so I am definitely intrigued to read this one!

Untitled design (92)2. Odd One Out – Nic Stone
Another piece of surprise post was Odd One Out by Nic Stone. I’m yet to read Dear Martin though I do have it on my wishlist. I’m excited to read this one and it looks like it will be quite a quick read so hopefully I get to it before the end of the month.

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3. The Haunting of Drearcliff School – Kim Newman

I love Kim Newman’s books so when Titan offered to send me a copy of his newest Drearcliff School novel, I jumped at the chance. Newman’s books are always fast paced with such fascinating spooky plots that I’m sure I’m going to love this one as much as the other Kim Newman books I’ve read.

Untitled design (90)4. Girl Squads – Sam Maggs
This is a non-fiction book about ’20 female friendships that changed the world.’ I started reading this today and honestly it’s completely fascinating. The stories range in time and location, covering athletes, artists and everything in between.

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5. The Dark Vault – V. E. Schwab

My new found love affair with books by V. E. Schwab continues with this bind up of The Archived books. I am yet to pick this up because it’s absolutely massive but I’m going to try and binge read it at the start of December.

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6. A Remedy For All Things – Jan Fortune

I participated in the blog tour for this fascinating book – you can read my guest post from the author here – and Jan kindly sent me a copy of the book to review as well. I haven’t had the chance to pick it up yet but I’m really looking forward to giving it a go.

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7. The Silver Queen – Josie Jaffrey

Josie kindly sent me a copy of The Gilded King a few months ago and I loved it. (Review for that is here). She also very kindly sent me a copy of the next book in the series, The Silver Queen. I’m honestly dying to know what happens next so I am for sure picking this up as soon as possible.

Books I Bought

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8. I’ll Be Gone In the Dark – Michelle McNamara

I’ve heard really fascinating things about this book and I’m trying to read more non-fiction instead of just fantasy and science fiction all the time so I thought this might be a really interesting read.

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9. Mythos – Stephen Fry

I’ve never read anything from Stephen Fry but I’ve always wanted to read more about the Greek myths. I saw the paperback copy of this for sale online and thought I may as well pick up a copy.

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10. The Missing Girl – Shirley Jackson

I’ve been wanting to read more Shirley Jackson since I read We Have Always Lived In the Castle earlier in the year so this short little book of short stories was a perfect chance to read more of her work. I read it earlier in the month and gave it 3/5 stars.

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11. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

Along with The Missing Girl I also bought a copy of The Haunting of Hill House. This has definitely been my favourite of her work so far. It was creepy and odd and I really enjoyed it. I gave this one 4/5 stars.

Untitled design (85)12. Sea – Sara Driver
This was in all honesty a cover buy. I picked it up in a second hand book shop because I love pirate-y/sea type books and I’m basically looking for something to fill the void that The Wicked Deep left. It sounds like a fun and quick fantasy read and I’ve heard pretty good things about it already!

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13. The Shining – Stephen King

I also bought this in a second hand book shop because I’ve never read The Shining. I saw the movie a long time ago but I don’t really remember the story so I’m excited to go into it with a blank slate and I’m hoping I really enjoy it. I was hoping to read this at Halloween but that obviously didn’t happen so hopefully soon!

Untitled design (16)14. Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
Katherine Arden’s middle grade novel was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was dark, spooky and very entertaining. I (unsurprisingly) gave this 5/5 stars and I’ll have a review up for it very soon.

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15. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White
I ordered this as soon as it came out because I was really intrigued with this fresh perspective on the Frankenstein tale. I read it really fast and I loved Kiersten’s writing style and take on this classic story. This was another 5/5 star read and one of my favourites of the month.