Waiting on Wednesday: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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

24909346Title: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016

From Goodreads:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and theHypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Why we are waiting:

Guys! I am such an Illuminae fan girl! I just cannot recommend that book enough. It is Space Opera at it’s finest. Now, I know that Gemina doesn’t follow the same main characters as Illuminae, but if it has the same unique formatting, I am positive that I can get past that.

This one has to be just as good, right?

 

- The Butcher (1)

Daggers in the Dark: An Advance review of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

26114463Title: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date:  August 9th, 2016
Kindle Edition: 643 Pages
Source: Netgalley

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

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

Gory, violent, and visceral, the story of Mia Covere is unapologetically raw. It starts in blood and ends in blood and in between… well, there’s more blood. To avenge her family, the nobleborn Mia pledges herself to the Red Church and the dark Mother Niah. As a trained assassin, Mia gains the skills to touch the untouchable. Touched by Niah herself with a kinship with the dark itself, Mia gains an advantage both rare and terrifying. A feline shade twined to her shadow, Mia hasn’t known true fear in so long she’s forgotten the sensation. Useful, when one wants to squelch worries that could cost one their mark. Not so useful, when the lack of fear makes one arrogant, a lesson Mia learns shortly after beginning education in the arts of death.

Nevernight promised me assassins, an enigmatic anti-heroine, and a rich mythos—all things I tend to be drawn to in my fiction. Technically, it delivers on those promises. Technically. But, the fallen noble-turned-assassin story has been done, with both genders, across various media, many times over. Nevernight needed to present an exceptional take on the trope to make more than a passing impression. Unfortunately, I felt the book failed on that score. While I didn’t dislike the book, I didn’t particularity care for it, either. I’m of the school of thought that indifference is akin to death, and my feelings for Nevernight border entirely too close to indifference.

Continue reading “Daggers in the Dark: An Advance review of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff”

Conquering Dracula: A Discussion of And I Darken by Kiersten White

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And our third podcast is up! Isn’t that exciting? Tune in for our discussion of And I Darken by Kiersten White, where we gush about Vampires, Anti-Heroines, and Vlad the Impaler. What could be more fun than that?

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 And I Darken.

Thank you so much for tuning in! Remember that we would love to hear your opinions on And I Darken, so you should 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!

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Stacking the Shelves: June 11th

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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”

Stunning Space Opera: A Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

illuminaecoverTitle: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Hardback: 599 Pages
Source: Gift

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.”

Five years ago a friend loaned me a copy of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I got a quarter of the way into the 700 page tome and decided it just wasn’t for me. I absolutely hated the non-traditional formatting the author used to tell his story. I considered taking scissors to the book in order to “correct” it a handful of times before I finally called it quits. I promised myself that I was done with “unique” formatting. My OCD simply couldn’t handle it.

I stuck with that promise until Christmas, when I asked for Illuminae. I couldn’t help it. I knew going in that the formatting was going to be interesting. I knew that I would probably hate it. The reviews were just too good to ignore. Plus, I can’t get enough space opera. So, I broke my promise and I read it. It took me a grand total of three days to blow through all 599 pages.

Guess what? I didn’t reach for my scissors once.

Continue reading “Stunning Space Opera: A Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff”