Waiting on Wednesday: Replica by Lauren Oliver

WOW

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

28448287Title: Replica (Replica #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Sci – Fi / Dystopian
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016

From Goodreads:

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…

Continue reading “Waiting on Wednesday: Replica by Lauren Oliver”

Hyping a Hidden Gem: A Dicsussion of Lotus and Thorn by Sarah Wilson Etienne

reading3 (10)

Welcome back! Tune in to the fourth episode of Shelfie, where Caitlin and Cynthia discuss book news, Sci-Fi, and Lotus and Thorn by Sarah Wilson Etienne!

WARNING: This is not a spoiler free review. If you haven’t read the book or hate spoilers you should check back with us once you have read Lotus and Thorn.

Thank you so much for tuning in!This book really is a hidden gem. It’s not getting nearly enough press. We really hope you’ll read it and enjoy it as much as we did! If you have already read Lotus and Thorn we would love to hear your opinions. Share them below in the comments! We love hearing what you thought! Even if you disagree.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the books mentioned in this episode!

reading3 (11)

reading3 (12)

Copy of reading3 (4)

Copy of reading3 (7)

reading3 (8)

Copy of reading3 (8)

Stacking the Shelves: June 11th

stacking (18)

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews in which we talk about the books we’ve acquired (bought, received for review, borrowed from the library, etc.). Here’s what I’ve acquired in the past week:

Lets start with books I bought:

ladyjaneTitle: My Lady Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016

I am a sucker for Tudor Era Historical Fiction, and I have always found Lady Jane Grey fascinating. So, when I heard that this trio of ladies had written a humorous Alternate History about Lady Jane Grey, I was sold. I preordered it and it arrived right on time. I have also convinced Cynthia to give this one a chance. So, we will be talking about it on the next episode of Shelfie! That gives me two weeks to read it. I can manage that, right?

lotus2Title: Lotus and Thorn
Author: Sarah Wilson Etienne
Genre: Sci-fi / Dystopian
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016

Here is another June 7th release that excited us. We won’t be featuring it on our podcast until late in July. But, I am sure it will be an awesome read. There does seem to be some confusion about whether or not this is a Fantasy novel. Reviewers have noted that is is more sci-fi than fantasy, so if you do decide to pick it up (or tune into our discussion), remember that it’s Science Fiction. 😀 Nothing wrong with that, right?

StarQueenTitle: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016

I have been staring at The Star-Touched Queen since it came out. Every time I went into the book store I would pick it up, flip through it, and put it back. Until last weekend, when I finally took it home with me. The Reviews are a little polarizing. Some people love it where other hate it. Sarah J Maas is quoted on the cover. She calls it “dazzling”. I think that is what finally convinced me to buy it. I trust Ms. Maas. So, I’m am sure it’s fabulous!

Continue reading “Stacking the Shelves: June 11th”

Hybrid Genre Hype: A Review of Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

24397041Title: Hunter (Hunter #1)
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Genre: Fantasy / Dystopian / Sci-Fi
Publisher: Disney – Hyperion
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Kindle Edition: 384 Pages
Source: Netgalley

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why

“I see you, Hunter.” There it was, the traditional opening of a battle. But not a duel. Good, that meant I could cheat, and I intended to. 

I received an advance review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into with this book. Having never read anything by Mercedes Lackey, I went to Goodreads to scope things out. I was disappointed by what I found. Most of the top reviewers didn’t even get a quarter of the way through this novel before they gave up. While that made me nervous, I found the synopsis intriguing enough to give it a shot. I am glad I did.

Continue reading “Hybrid Genre Hype: A Review of Hunter by Mercedes Lackey”

Courts and Critiques: A Review of Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

courtoffivesTitle: Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1)
Author: Kate Elliott
Genre: Fantasy / Dystopian
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
Kindle Edition: 448 Pages
Source: Personal Purchase

On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

“There will come a moment in your life where you find yourself confronted with two choices, and both are bad ones. For me it was to stay in a place where I was choked and had nothing to look forward to and no way to prove my talents, or to leave everyone I knew and loved behind forever for a chance that might not work out. That is how the gods test us, by laying before us what seems to be a choice and yet is no choice at all. When we come to that fork in our path down which no road is clean, all we can control is what dignity and honor we take our inevitable step.”

How was the plot?

I think this book suffers from being the first in a series as well as the author’s YA debut. Elliott started out telling the story of a girl stuck between two worlds. Jessamy, the daughter of a Patron war hero and his Efean paramour, struggles with issues of race, sex and class as she tries to find her place. That story could have been compelling. Unfortunately, the author included too much and the story lost its direction. Between the addition of political intrigue and an awkward romance, I found myself overwhelmed. I felt pulled in several directions, all while trying to get a grasp on a complex world that went largely unexplained until the end of the book.

Continue reading “Courts and Critiques: A Review of Court of Fives by Kate Elliott”

Second Book Syndrome: A Review of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

glassswordTitle: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Dystopian
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Kindle Edition: 448 Pages
Source: Personal Purchase

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness of her own heart.

“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

Red Queen was not the best book I have read, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. In spite of it being predictable and a bit formulaic, it was still a fun filled, fast paced fantasy. And if you haven’t noticed, I am sucker for all things fantasy. So, I was really excited about Glass Sword. When I bought it, I was bouncing in my chair excited to see what would happen next in the Red’s struggle against Silver tyranny.

Glass Sword did not live up to my expectations. I wanted more of Red Queen, and got something completely different. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing if the sequel had been new and improved. Instead, it felt like the writing and development took several steps back.

Continue reading “Second Book Syndrome: A Review of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard”