Review: The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

Release Date: October 12th 2017

Published By: Gollancz

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

ReviewThe Last Namsara had everything I could want in a YA fantasy: dragons, political agenda, mythology, oppression and a deadly heroine.

Oh, and did I mention dragons?

Who would not want this book?!

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Review: Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2.5) by Laini Taylor, Illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo

Release Date: September 12th 2017

Published By: Little Brown Books (US), Hodder & Stoughton (UK/Aus)

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

Review: My dreams have finally come true, and they are so much better in real life than I could have ever of dreamt up myself!!!!

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Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Release Date: September 21st 2017

Published By: Orion/Little Brown

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Review: I will admit that I normally stay away from stories revolving around time-travel – but this book just appealed to me in a way that time-travel normally does not. Travelling across history including ancient Rome and the Titanic, and add heists – where do I sign up?! (plus look at that gorgeous cover!)

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Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Release Date: September 7th 2017

Published By: Allen & Unwin

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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: How far would you go to become someone else? A masterful young adult thriller from the author of blockbuster bestseller We Were Liars.

Imogen is an heiress, a runaway, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a chameleon, and a liar.

Imogen is done pretending to be perfect, and Jule refuses to go back to the person she once was. Somewhere between the mansions of Martha’s Vineyard and the shores of Cabo San Lucas, their intense friendship takes a dark turn.

A masterful thriller from the author of the unforgettable We Were Liars.

ReviewGenuine Fraud is a mind messing thriller from the author of We Were Liars.

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Review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Release Date: September 7th 2017

Published By: Harper Voyager

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

ReviewGodsgrave is the bloody and stabby sequel to Nevernight, and wow, did this book live up the expectations that the first book set!

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Review: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Release Date: August 1st 2017

Published By:  Harlequin Teen

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Review: A smouldering circus, illusions, magic and a mysterious evil killer – what more could one want in one story?

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Review: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: May 16th 2017

Published By:  Hodder & Stoughton

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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath. So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace. The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Review: I was very excited for the release of this title, as it had everything I was looking for – written by a solid author., it had mystery and danger, alchemy, a kick-ass heroine, and of course, a beautiful cover. Sadly however it did not live up to my expectations. (more…)

A Monster Calls: Q&A with Patrick Ness + Giveaway!

 

A Monster Calls, the mpvie adaptation is being released in cinemas in Australia from July 27! And here are some exciting things to help you celebrate: the trailer. a Q&A with author Patrick Ness, and a giveaway!

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Review: Risk by Fleur Ferris

Release Date: July 1st 2015
Published By: Random House
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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends.

So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes.

But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would.

One day. Two days. Three . . .

What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy?

When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.

Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?

 

Review:  In my opinion this is a book that every teenager (boys as well as girls) and their parents should read. It is a thought provoking story about cyber security and the consequences of what you post online. Having met some of my closest friends online I consider myself lucky that everything turned out ok.

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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 2nd 2017
Published By:  Bloomsbury
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

 

Review: This review contains small spoilers for A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury.

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Why I think ’13 Reasons Why’ is important

 

Here is my opinion on the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why: I think it is important. This maybe not a popular opinion with everyone, but there it is.

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Review: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

Release Date:  March 28th 2017
Published By:  Hodder & Stoughton/Hachette/Little Brown
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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

 

Review: Captivating from the very first page, Strange the Dreamer is a truly enchanting story filled with mystery and wonder, tragedy and romance, beauty and sorrow. This is master storytelling at its very best!

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Review: Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake

Release Date:  January 12th 2017
Published By:  Hodder & Stoughton
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Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light – until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable…and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King’s men, she’s taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her – and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she’s spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies – but together create a power that could change everything.

 

ReviewFrostblood is another 2017 brilliant YA fantasy from a debut author! Cold, heartfelt, intense and intricate, Frostblood is an enthralling read and the start of what I believe will be a fantastic series.

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Review: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Release Date:  January 31st 2017
Published By:  Hodder & Stoughton
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Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

 

Review: Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard about Caraval. Caraval is one of mostly highly anticipated releases of 2017 from debut author Stephanie Garber, and if I had to put it in most simplistic of terms – it is absolutely stunning!

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Review: The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani Chokshi

Release Date: December 1st 2016
Published By:  Harlequin Teen
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Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

 

Review: The Star-Touched Queen is a beautiful story filled with beautiful prose, lush world-building and a just the right amount of stars to captivate readers of all tastes.

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