A Court of Wings and Ruin: Initial Impressions

Squeeee!!!!! I got my copy of ACOWAR in the mail yesterday, and I’ll tell you right now – I read that sucker in 3 hours flat. It was so good. I am still an incoherent mess 12 hours later.

First Impressions? SJM outdid herself. She really truly did. While ACOMAF will always hold a special place in my heart, ACOWAR is quite possibly on that pedestal with it. I’m not sure yet, because I need to reread, absord, and just come to terms with just how good that book really was.

But. The feels. 

Ahem. I will be posting a full review later, probably not this week or the next, because they’re AP Exam Weeks, but definitely soon after that. I will try to pop in and out a little during these weeks, but I’ll be a sleep deprived incoherent mess. 🙂

ACOWAR Countdown: 6 Days Left

Only 6 more days left. That’s it. I can’t wait before I finally have the book in my hands, and can inhale that smell unique to a great books, feel the weight of it in my palm . . .
Sorry got lost there for a second. But. I have excellent news for you!

 Sarah J. Maas finally released her ACOWAR excerpt! It’s over here. Go check it out now!

7 Days Until A Court of Wings and Ruin

So. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I’m a HUGE Sarah J. Maas fan. She, for those unfortunate souls who have not been introduced to her work, is a goddess who is … I can’t think of a single adjective that will do adequate justice to the beauty that is her.

Let me try to describe her.

Most authors have a weak point, world building, character development, the story arcs, something. Sarah J. Maas doesn’t have this issue. Everything she writes is just about perfect. That isn’t to say that she doesn’t make mistakes, she does, but the pure awesomeness of the rest of her work outweighs the small, tiny really, blunders she makes.

This is seen nowhere better than in her plot twists. The littlest of things the smallest of details, they change ENOURMOUS things. I swear, she could have one of her characters dye her hair and have it be a secret message, a trap, and a disguise all while you think it’s just for vanity. And the reveal will come at the moment you least expect it and leave you just gaping

All of this is just my opinion of course, but, I dare you to read her works and not feel the way I do, or at least something close.

To prepare for the third book in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorn and Roses series, j will be rereading the first two books and posting my reviews here. These reviews, unlike what I normally post, will be full of spoilers, and theories for ACOWAR.

Let the reading begin!

Release Day Spotlight: Darkstorm

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been neglecting you for a while. 😦 I promise I’ll try to do better in the future.

I’m here today to tell you about a new masterpiece being released today. Introducing …

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Cover.jpgFaced with an imminent cataclysm that will destroy the magical heritage of their people, a conspiracy of darkmages resolves to open the gateway to Hell. The only mages who stand a chance of opposing them are Sephana Clemley and her acolyte, Merris Bryar, along with their protectors, Braden and Quin Reis: two brothers with a turbulent past and a caustic relationship.

Will Braden and Quin be able to protect Sephana and Merris long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they fall victim to manipulation and become darkmages themselves?

 

Grab a copy from Amazon today!

Author Bio:

M.L. Spencer grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She was also awarded 1st Place Prose in in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration.

Ms. Spencer lives in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by night she sweats over a beaten-up keyboard. She is now in the process of expanding the Rhenwars Saga into a trilogy.

Visit her at:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

 

This blog tour was hosted by:UFB Banner

Release Day Spotlight

Hey Guys! Remember that review I did awhile back for Chameleon Assassin? Well the second book has just been published!

Introducing … Chameleon Uncovered! Now in stores!

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The dark sequel to the best-selling Chameleon Assassin.

Libby has a chance to build a legitimate reputation when she’s hired by one of the world’s most prestigious museums to bolster their security. The gig is in Chicago, where her heartthrob lives, so she hopes for a little romance.

She’s on a first-name basis with larceny, mayhem, and death, but Libby’s not used to being on the receiving end. Chicago is far darker and more dangerous than her native Toronto. Amidst terrorist bombings, stolen treasure, and murder, a mutant prophet calls for revolution. Away from her family and friends, Libby has nowhere to turn as enemies assault her from all sides.

Their mistake. Libby is a dangerous enemy.

 

Author Bio:

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

As to my other interests, I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff.

 

eStories: A Review

Some time ago, I was contacted by eStories.com to do a review of their system. For those of you who might not recognize the name, eStories is the non-Amazon version of Audible. I was given a book credit and one month free trial in exchange for an honest and open review about my experience. Here is what I have seen.

The Selection

When I first logged on, I did so armed with a list of books to try and find. I did not really expect to find that many of them, as let’s face it. Most book sites that are not the big three (Amazon, Google, and Barnes and Noble) don’t really tend to have that large a collection.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I found that most of the big names on my list were not only on the site, but in fact had a decent sized collection of their works available. A little research, and information from the marketing manager at eStories, revealed that this is because TriPlay (the company that runs eStories) has landed contracts with many of the big publishing houses, and has in fact over 80,000 bestselling titles and new releases.

The Experience

I have to be honest. While I used to be obsessed with audio books when I was younger, as I have gotten older and busier I have slowly turned away from them. This was a wonderful opportunity to turn back to the joy of hearing someone else’s interpretations of the characters. Going to the technical side of things, I found both the site and the app (I have an Android) easy and intuitive to navigate. Not only is it easy to find and download books, but one account can connect to up to 10 devices, making one subscription easy to use for the whole family 🙂 Not only that, but device brand is not a problem. According to the marketing manager who  contacted me this service “works with ALL devices from ALL brands” and even offers a “cloud service to upload your existing collection to eStories” for easy access.

The Cost

At $11.95 a month, this service is the most affordable out there. In addition, for a limited time only, subscribers get their first audio book for free. Adding in the knowledge that over 80% of the audiobooks are DRM free – meaning you are free to do with them as you will – and this service is a very good bargain.

Get your free audiobooks trial here

 

*As stated before, I recieved a free 30 day trial and audiobook credit in exchange for my review. All views expressed are unbiased and my own.*

Added Focus For Reviews

Hi everyone.

As you may know, I have generally focused on reviewing Urban Fantasy, SciFi and YA Fiction on this blog. As the months have gone by, I have realized that I have another genre that I enjoy just as much if not more than these three. So I have made a decision. Along with those genres I review currently, I am adding romance to my repertoire.

Expect to see some new reviews soon!

 

Blog Tour and Author Guest Post!!!

Hi y’all!

 

I have some exciting news for everyone! I am one stop on the Stack a Deck Virtual Blog Tour, and as a part of this stop Bestselling Author Sue Duff is here to write a guest post on how she began writing! Let’s all welcome Sue.

Sue Duff

I stumbled into writing. Well, more like tripped, if that’s even possible with skis that don’t eject because they’re set for an experience skier. Only a newbie skier would be stupid enough to slowly ski backwards down an icy run, watching as your son navigates the ice cube hill you just finished. Stupid me, I was worried about him and didn’t see the mogul that reached up and grabbed my rear ski tip, sending me on a tumbleweed journey down the slope. It ended with my son standing over my prone body, then had the audacity to say, “Well that was embarrassing.”

The inevitable surgery two months later laid me up for the entire summer. The beforementioned son, however, eventually discovered that the handicapped car sticker was good for something. A small price to pay for waiting on mom the first couple of weeks. I was used to being active, independent and resourceful. I had to put that aside, along with my self-esteem, and scoot down stairs on my rear and traverse my house while hopping from one stable surface to another.

I turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. It also helped to ignore the whiny teenager who wasn’t old enough to drive himself anywhere and had convinced himself that mom had chosen to make him a prisoner in his own home. Like that would have been my first choice. EVER!

The novel that emerged from that summer was a welcomed respite from my frustration, lack of control and the inevitable self-pity. I loved the newfound control over a world of my making, but especially characters that I loved and loved to hate. Who needs therapy when you can hang out with people of your own creation, have them fall in and, if you feel like it, out of love. Instead of killing my teenager, I killed others and avoided incarceration in the world that frowns upon such atrocities. I found out that I not only enjoyed writing, but that I was good at it. Racing thoughts transformed my fingers into a typing machine and I’d stay up till the middle of the night, having forgotten to feed the dog, eat more than a single meal, or provide sustenance for the boy who peeked around the corner, no doubt wondering where his mother had gone, and who this stranger was that took her place.

I LOVE writing! On my journey to a successful series with four novels and two anthologies, to-date, lining my shelf, more than anything, I cherish the writers I’ve met along the way. They are incredible people with more talent than I, and I want to be them someday. All it took was a stupid accident. May you be so lucky 🙂

If you want to follow the rest of the tour, click the banner below to see the other stops.

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Blog Tour and Review of Chameleon Assassin by B. R. Kingsolver

Displaying the chameleon assassin.jpgLibby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.

Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized. There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets.

In the year 2200, the world has barely recovered the level of technology that existed before the ice melted and the subsequent wars. Corporate elites live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.Libby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.

Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized. There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets.

In the year 2200, the world has barely recovered the level of technology that existed before the ice melted and the subsequent wars. Corporate elites live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.

Hello Everyone!

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the Chameleon Assassin Blog Tour, one of the better books I have read in a long time. I will get to the review in just a second, I know you’ve all been waiting for it 🙂 But first, let me tell you about the rest of the stops on this blog tour, or rather, send you the place where you can learn about them.

Just click on the picture below and it will give you a list of stops, as well as what the content on their blogs will be!

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And now, on to the review.
Characters

One of my favorite parts about this book were the people. Libby was amazing, an assassin, thief, hacker, and basically a jack of all trades in the criminal world. Best of all, she knew her own limits – meaning she never shied away from asking for help when she needed it.

“I’d also want my own cavalry.”

His brow furrowed. “Cavalry?”

“You know, tough guys ready to ride to my rescue. I’m pretty slippery, but I have a cogenital aversion to pain and death. If I get into something I can’t get out of, I want to know someone has my back.”

That’s not to say that Libby is a damsel in distress, quite the opposite!

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah. Why shouldn’t I be?”

“You just had a run-in with a gang and killed two people.”

“Oh, that. Jorey had it coming.”

Libby is simply the rare person who realizes that there are situations in which she might need help, as all mortals do. And she isn’t scared of asking for it.
Character Relationships

Besides a protagonist who has enough self confidence to know what she can and cannot do, this book also boasts one of the best character relationships I have seen in a while.

The one involving Libby’s mother and father. Though it is described as a one night stand that produced a baby their relationship is a tangled mess that is so fun to watch.

What truly speaks to the talent of B. R. Kingsolver is that though this relationship is so fun to watch, you don’t really see it in the novel but rather see it through Libby’s interaction with her parents and her parents interaction with her.

Setting

The setting of the novel was interesting and fun to read. I particularly liked the way that the world had changed since the apocalypse. Dallas was in the middle of the desert and had moved underground, Toronto didn’t get any snow, the air was so toxic that you couldn’t breathe in without gas masks, all of it woven in to make a place that was vibrant and alive.

Questions, Gripes, and Complaints

A few nitpicks I have with the novel, which are really small things in the grand scheme of things.

  1. What was the point of the beginning? Though it was only a small point of the overall novel, it seemed like there was a lot of filler that there really was no need of. I mean, yeah Libby is a badass, but we found that out later in the novel too.
  2. Some small writing mechanical type complaints. The story could have been smoother, but really, not that big a deal.

I give this book a B.

I was provided with a ARC copy of this novel by the author for the purposes of a free and unbiased review. All views expressed are my own and true to what I think.