Waiting on Wednesday – MARK OF THE THIEF

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – MARK OF THE THIEF
Mark of the Thief
Mark of the Thief #1

Written by: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 352
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

WhyImWaiting_v2

If you checked out the “genres” above, you might be thinking, “Middle grade?! Since when does Nikki read middle grade?!” Welllll, I don’t. Not often. Notable exceptions are Percy Jackson (never getting over Blood of Olympus nope nope nope)… and Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendance trilogy. Okay, okay… I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t actually finished the Ascendance trilogy (shhhh), but still. I loved the first two books and can’t wait to snag the third when it’s out in paperback. ANYWAY. All this to say – Jennifer Nielsen, writing a book about ROME? And there’s MAGIC involved?

I’m sorry, was there any doubt I’d be all over this series, or—

;D

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

Review Q&A: BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C. Parker

I received this book for free from HarperTeen. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Review Q&A: BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C. Parker
Beware the Wild

Written by: Nataline C. Parker
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 21st 2014
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars

There’s something about the swamp in Sticks, Louisiana. Something different, something haunting . . . something alive. Everyone knows this, and everyone avoids going near it. And even the Mardi Gras-bead-decorated fence that surrounds it keeps people away.

Until one morning when Sterling Saucier’s older brother Phineas runs into the swamp . . .

And doesn’t return.

Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out in his place, and all of a sudden, no one in Sticks remembers Phin at all. They treat Lenora May as if she’s been Sterling’s sister forever.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance—but first she’s got to find someone who believes her.

Heath Durham might be that someone. A loner shrouded behind rumors of drug addiction, Heath has had his own strange experience with the swamp. He and Sterling will have to piece together enough bits of memory and ancient swamp lore to get to the truth. But as the wild swamp encroaches on their town, Sterling and Heath may find a lot more than they expected . . . and Phin may be lost to them forever.

MyThoughts_v2

Beware the swampy places, child,
Beware the dark and wild,
Many a soul has wandered there,
And many a soul has died.

~ Beware the Wild, eARC, 2%

What are three words you’d use to describe this book?

Creepy. Atmospheric. Refreshing. (I know “refreshing” is an odd one, but I’ll explain soon…)

How was the plot?

Really good. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but yeah – the plot is super creepy and unsettling. And it’s the kind of thing that starts out creepy, and then the more you find out, the more disturbing it gets… It was great. XP And I don’t say this often, being a character-driven reader, but it was the kind of plot that would’ve kept me interested in the book even if I hadn’t enjoyed the characters as much as I did – I wanted to know what the heck was going on! – though the atmosphere also had something to do with my being glued to the pages, as well… which I’ll get to in a minute.

Continue reading

ARC Review: EVERY BREATH by Ellie Marney

I received this book for free from Tundra Books. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

ARC Review: EVERY BREATH by Ellie Marney
Every Breath
Every #1

Written by: Ellie Marney
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars

When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...

MyThoughts_v2

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat — I freaking loved this book.

I love Sherlock Holmes in general, so that blurb on the cover? What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door? YES PLEASE. A contemporary take on Sherlock/Watson, set in Australia? I AM SO THERE. Watson (Rachel Watts) is a girl, you say? DOUBLY THERE. Sherlock (James Mycroft) is a lanky British boy-genius-troublemaker with a tragic past? YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

…Why are you still here and not running off to order Every Breath?!

Oh, you want to read an actual review? …Fair point. So let’s get down to business.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday – An Ember in the Ashes

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes

Written by: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Vow your blood and body to the empire.
Keep your heart for yourself.

WhyImWaiting_v2

  1. Hello, gorgeous cover.
  2. “Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like worl–” You said Rome. I’m there.
  3. As if that weren’t enough, we’ve got Laia, who sounds like a seriously awesome female protagonist. A scholar who goes undercover as a slave at a military academy?? Girl’s got guts. I LIKE HER ALREADY.
  4. And then there’s Elias. Awesome soldier, apparently totally not into the whole “evil empire” thing and wants to desert. I LIKE HIM ALREADY.
  5. Vow your blood and body to the empire. Keep your heart for yourself.”
  6. Except can I possibly sell my heart to get this book early because April?!?!!? Noooooooo. ;_;
  7. (But it comes out on my birthday! This is too perfect! BUT ALSO, AS I SAID, TOO FAR AWAY.)
What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

ARC Review: SACRIFICE by Brigid Kemmerer

I received this book for free from K Teen. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

ARC Review: SACRIFICE by Brigid Kemmerer
Sacrifice
Elemental #5

Written by: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: K Teen
Release Date: September 30th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 324
Source: NetGalley
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Spirit, Secret


four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars

Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She's got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's 'bad luck'. Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war.

They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.

Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?

MyThoughts_v2

I love the Elemental series. Love. It. I will hold it up as a shining example of genuinely good contemporary YA paranormal for all time. It follows the stories of four brothers, who have powers over the elements, as they fight to stay together – and stay alive – while being targeted by people who hunt down strong Elementals like themselves.

It’s also really hard to explain without it sounding like it might be “just another YA paranormal series”, but I assure you, it is not. Brigid Kemmerer is a master of building realistic characters, writing amazingly emotional storylines, and keeping you constantly glued to each book as you read it.

That being said… my thoughts about Sacrifice, the final book in this series, are super complicated.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday – Seeker

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Seeker
Seeker
Seeker #1

Written by: Arwen Elys Dayton
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.

As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend.

But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it's too late to walk away.

WhyImWaiting_v2

I actually saw this one for the first time on Edelweiss, and HELLO. That synopsis is great, but EW has some lovely extra tidbits that make me even more excited for this one.

  • This is a contemporary Game of Thrones—families at war in a modern world with a powerful twist.
  • Story Locale: Scotland, London, Hong Kong—50 years in the future

And, thanks to a press-release about the movie (yes, movie rights have already sold to Sony), we know one other thing about this book… and what, exactly, Quin was really training to become…

The story combines sci-fi and fantasy elements to tell the story of a young girl named Quin Kincaid who, according to the studio, “has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker.’ Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her newfound knowledge and training to become View Spoiler »

- Hollywood Reporter

I MEAN — YEAH. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

The books I’m MOST excited to read this fall!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

So I used to do these Top Ten Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall TBR’s as the first ten books coming up in my reading schedule, but I have recently renewed my belief in mood-reading, so the schedule is no more! XD Below are the ten books I’m MOST excited to read this fall – starting this week and going on through December. Most of these are ARC’s, but there are a couple of “older” series I’m planning to start, which I could NOT be more excited for…

TopTenFallTBR2014_1

Continue reading

ARC Review: WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand

I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

ARC Review: WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand
Winterspell

Written by: Claire Legrand
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 30th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

four-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-stars

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

MyThoughts_v2

I was so looking forward to Winterspell. Inspired by The Nutcracker, it promised a handsome prince, romance, a dark faery tale… how could I say no to that?! And let me tell you, this book ended up being seriously good.

Our stories say that near faery haunts things change when you’re not looking. Ground becomes sky, and sky becomes fire, and the tree roots over which you stumble are not roots at all but faery arms, seducing you underground.

They say that the faeries will charm you out of  your own skin if you let them.

Winterspell, ARC, 24%

Clara Stole, our heroine, starts out as a girl who sees herself as weak and helpless, unable to protect her family or herself in turn-of-the-20th-century New York. She’s the daughter of the mayor, but the mayor is also embroiled in a mafia-like crime syndicate and Clara and her family are surrounded on all sides by pretty terrible people.  She tries to protect her sister and father (who is pretty useless after the death of his wife a year before), but Clara blames herself for the way she is mistreated by others, and her outlook is pretty bleak in the beginning of this book.

Continue reading