Thursday, 21 September 2017

Blog Tour: Before She Ignites

28524058

Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)

  496 pages 
  Publication: September 12th, 2017 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books 

Synopsis: Before Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland. But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station. After Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect. No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

US Amazon - UK Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository

The Beginning

Going into this book I knew three things: there were dragons, the main character was black, and the main character had anxiety. All three of these things made me say YES! I NEED TO READ THIS!. How often is it that you find a book with dragons AND anxiety? (I don't know if I ever have!) Plus Jodi is a favourite author of mine so I was very excited!

The Middle

Characters
Mira was definitely a unique character. As I mentioned above, I've never read a fantasy book where a character very openly has anxiety- she even takes medicine for it! At times she could be so frustrating, she had such low self-esteem and put such an emphasis on her appearance. Obviously when she was in prison she wasn't looking too great and so sometimes that was her biggest focus. Considering she was IN PRISON and being treated horribly I felt like she had bigger things to worry about. Then again, she is a young girl and for her entire life as a figurehead her parents have told her she needs to be beautiful. Years of being told such a message must have made it hard for her to shake!
I liked that the characters around Mira were just as well-developed as she was. Sweet, quiet but intensely grounded Aaru; tough, athletic Gerel who has a soft spot for the girl beside her. I just love them all. The thing that impressed me most was that this book did not have a toxic romance! It seems like there have been many books lately where prisoners have fallen in love with their guards who *aren't that bad* (yuck). Luckily that did not happen here!

Plot
The start of this book had that perfect amount of push and pull where the reader was given information but enough was withheld that you needed to keep reading.  As the book went on though I found the plot was a bit slow. There isn't anything wrong with slow plots but I think there is some expectation that fantasy is fast paced so I just had to readjust my thinking. That being said, I found that the other aspects of the novel, like the world-building and characters were engaging enough to push me to keep reading.

Worldbuilding
I LOVED how Jodi created a world where a nation didn't have a singular culture/language. A lot of times in fantasy we end up with vast lands where everyone is the same but not so with Before She Ignites and the Fallen Isles. I enjoyed getting a taste of the nations mythology and religions and a bit of general history (I'm a nerd for world-building!). In a way the Fallen Isles remind me of Japan in a sense- just because of the nation of isles and the differences between the islands etc. This wasn't intentionally done by Jodi but it's still neat that she created a history that is actually realistic (in a sense)

The End

Overall, despite some slow spots I would give this book 5/5 starts. It's such a fun, compelling but also important story. I can't wait to share its beautiful cover with some kids who will see themselves reflected!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
To our wonderful readers, Thank you for stopping by the blog for Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows Tour! As a thank you and appreciating we have a GIVEAWAY for you in ALL TOUR STOPS!
Miss Jodi Meadows was very kind and generous and donated 2 Finished copies of 🔥 Before She Ignites🐲 for 2 lucky winners!!! Giveaway is at the end of this blog post.
For more chances to win this amazing GIVEAWAY please don't miss the all the stops. Which will be full of interviews, creative posts, reviews and an excerpt!
But first, we would like to introduce to you the outstanding book trailer for Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Book Trailer

 
Thank you, Sarah, from the book blog The YA Book Traveler for designing the beautiful images and for creating the amazing book trailer which we can't stop watching! We can't appreciate you enough.

Giveaway

Tour Stops

Monday 9/4 -TheLifeofABookNerdAddict - Guest Post
Monday 9/4 - TalesofTheRavenousreader- Creative Post
Tuesday 9/5 - BooksAndPrejudice - Review
Wednesday 9/6 - EaterofBooks - Interview
Thursday 9/7 - ForTheSakeofReading - Review
Friday 9/8 - ABackwardsStory- Guest Post
Monday 9/11 -MaryHadALittleBookBlog -Guest Post
Monday 9/11 - thatartsyreadergirl.com -Review
Tuesday 9/12 - TheYABookTraveler -Review
Wednesday 9/13 - AThousandWordsAMillionBooks - Interview
Thursday 9/14 - BookCrush- Creative Post
Friday 9/15 - TheReaderAndTheChef- Review
Monday 9/18 - YAandWine - Review
Tuesday 9/19 - TakeMeAwayToAGreatRead - Creative Post
Wednesday 9/20 - AphonicSarah - Interview
Thursday 9/21 - TheKindredReader - Review
Friday 9/22 - ReadWriteLove28 - Excerpt
Friday 9/22 - LoveIsNotATriangle - Guest Post

About the Author:

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy, the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology, and the FALLEN ISLES Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of MY LADY JANE (HarperTeen). Visit her at Website: www.jodimeadows.com Twitter - Goodreads - Website   

Sponsored by

Sunday, 10 September 2017

SST- Cinderella Necromancer

By: F.M Boughan
Published: Sept. 5th, 2017
Rating: 4/5


"Cinderella, Necromancer is Chime meets Anna Dressed in Blood and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He's happy and doesn't quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father's mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters' every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother's grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison's power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster. "

The Premise

I was super interested in the premise of this book because I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings! I'm not a fan of the original Disney Cinderella movie but there have been some really great adaptations of Cinderella! The thing that drew me in the most was that this retelling seemed like it was throwing it back to the dark, grim, original fairy tale stories. And oh boy was that true.

The Plot

Retellings can be a tricky thing because you have to balance the original source material that people know and figure out how to make it interesting and new for your readers. Boughan did a masterful job of weaving old familiar plot with new and exciting twists. There was a beautiful balance between the Cinderella story that people already know and love, but there was also new plots that fit in so well. 

There were many times throughout the book where I was sure I'd figured something out and I just HAD to keep reading. Or I'd have two theories and was just dying to see which one was true. It definitely had a nice, fairly fast pace where just as a the reader was feeling comfortable BAM a new twist was introduced.

The way that necromancy and magic was introduced to the story was also very intense and engaging. Sometimes I wanted to scream out to Ella and give her some advice. I've read a lot of books with magic but the way that the necromancy was developed was unique to anything else I've read. In particular I thought the religious tones were very cool and also historically accurate.

The Characters

I don't know if I've ever heard the prince in Cinderella as having an actual name before but it sort of helped me to ground where the story was taking place. Plus who doesn't love a prince named William?!

The main character Ellison (Ella) was a very interesting character. At times I was frustrated with her and her choices but other times she was strong and bold. She also was a well-rounded young character who didn't always have to be perfect and didn't always know everything. And I think that makes the best kind of main character.

Ella's stepmother and stepsisters were scary to me- maybe I'm just a wuss but man I would not want to run into them anytime soon! And I liked how they were the evil stepmother and stepsisters but Boughan gave that a new twist 

I think this is one of my favourite written Cinderella stories and I loved the characters so much that I really hope we get to see more of them!




You can check out the other Sunday Street Team posts for today here:
Omg Books and More Books
A Thousand Words a Million Books

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Wonder Wednesday- Rebirth

Welcome to my newest feature- Wonder (Woman) Wednesday! In this feature I will be sharing/reviewing a variety of different Wonder Woman comics. This feature is going to be aimed at new fans or fans who are interested in reading more about Diana Prince. Up first we have Rebirth series lead by writer Greg Rucka 

Wonder Woman DC Universe Rebirth
Volume 1- The Lies, Volume 2- Year One


These anathologies are among the newest Wonder Woman comics out there but that doesn't mean that they are lacking any of the charm of the original Diana Prince that the world fell in love with. 

Comic Details

In Vol. 1 Diana struggles to remember who she is, what she has done and why she is in the world. That doesn't keep her from fighting hard to save innocents though! This volume is pretty neat because there are many well-developed women who are good, bad and a little bit of both. 

In Vol. 2 We jump back in time and get to see the very first events that occurred to lead up to the events of Vol. 1. It doesn't give us the entire picture but its just enough to hook you in until you NEED to know more! 

Both volumes are quick reads (I read each one in an evening). They have beautiful colour panels and the facial expressions on the characters are so amazing and intricate! As well, there are covers and alternate covers from each comic included in the volume.

Why Read It?

These comics are a great place to start if you are looking to read more about Diana because they've got a great mix of connections to the movie plot, as well as newly introduced plots. We get to see the Steve Trevor and Diana Prince that we love, as well as many new characters. This comic does a pretty good job in terms of diversity with multiple characters of colour, and LGBTQ characters. 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

ARC: Zero Repeat Forever


Zero Repeat Forever

By: G.S Prendergast
Published: August 29th, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster CA
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other

My Thoughts
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This in no way influenced my review and opinions*

Initially I saw this book pitched as an alien invasion/survival novel set in Alberta and I KNEW that I needed to read this book. I’m from Alberta and pretty much the only books I’ve ever read sent in my province were pioneer stories- I was SO ready for something new!

Plus I’ve oftentimes scoffed at zombie shows or alien invasion shows because in the province I grew up in, you could happily disappear into the mountains and live a happy live with the bears and mosquitoes. With that idea in mind I could wait to see how Prendergast would take this idea and run with it. 

I loved how this story and it’s characters where so real (sometimes heartbreakingly so). The characters fought for survival, they questioned their abilities, they made mistakes. Above it all, there was a constant thread that these crappy things happen, and sometimes we don’t know what to do, but somehow humanity lives on. 

The main character Raven is so complex and intricate. Prendergast has woven a true, real young teenager in the character of Raven which is this books biggest strength. She makes mistakes and gets frustrated, she’s angry and sad and in love all in one. I would really like to see more of her family dynamics in the second book- Raven herself is both black and white and struggles with not fully belonging to either group. On top of that her stepfather is an influential Metis activist. Her character was such a realistic example of what it means to be Canadian.

I had heard this book being marketed as a romance but I’m not sure how much I agree with that. In a sense, I feel like the story is more about the deep bonds of friendship and learning what it means to love another being. Its about the innate need of all humans to have a connection with others and while that connection may be a romance, it can also be so much more. So I would say that this novel is so much more than a fluffy romance, it is flawed and intertwined and full of deep explorations of humanity and what that means.

Looking back I also love how the cover and title connect so well with the book! The cover is pretty without any context but once you read the book and understand I can see how perfect the design is for this book. 

So I'd mark August 29th on your calendar and head out to your local bookstore and pick up this great Canlit book