Waiting on Wednesday – A Darker Shade of Magic

WoW_v131019
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – A Darker Shade of Magic
A Darker Shade of Magic
Shades of Magic #1

Written by: Victoria Schwab
Release date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Buy: Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—and as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London... but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

WhyImWaiting_v2

GUYS YOU SHOULD NOT BE WONDERING WHY I’M WAITING ON THIS BOOK.

Okay sorry for the capslock, but that’s really all my brain can think in, when I’m thinking about this book. Victoria Schwab is one of my favorite authors/humans of all time, and her books are seriously freaking AMAZING. I have no idea how she did it, but she basically picked all these awesome things straight off of my I-NEED-IT-IN-MY-LIFE list when she came up with this book because it has (according to her post on Goodreads):

  • Magic [Yes, please.]
  • Cross-dressing thieves [Girls masquerading as boys are one of my VERY FAVORITE THINGS EVER so just shut up.]
  • (Aspiring) pirates [PIRATES!]
  • Londons (plural) [PLURAL! I MEAN WHAT. HOW DO YOU GET MORE AWESOME THAN THAT.]
  • Sadistic kings (and queens)
  • A royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness [Let’s be real, who DOESN’T need this character in their life.]
  • More magic (blood magic, elemental magic, bad magic, etc. etc.)
  • Epic magicky fights scenes [YES PLEASE.]
  • Angst! [I am so there.]
  • And coats with more than two sides [I don’t know what this entails but I’LL TAKE IT.]

Just make your way down that list, and every. single. thing. is something I need in my life RIGHT NOW. Combine all of them, and I guarantee you this is a book you do not want to miss.

Add it to your Goodreads shelves, tell Siri to remind you when it’s coming out (Feb 24!! SO FAR AWAY OMG), tell your friends about it, request it from your library (okay it actually is probably too early for that but whatever), PREORDER IT NEARLY NINE MONTHS IN ADVANCE — just make sure you have a way to get your hands on this book when it comes out. I’m telling you. Seriously.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

ARC Review: THE LOST by Sarah Beth Durst

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

ARC Review: THE LOST by Sarah Beth Durst
The Lost
The Lost #1

Written by: Sarah Beth Durst
Published by: HarlequinMIRA
Release date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Lost your way? Your dreams? Yourself?

Welcome to Lost.

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost... well, it's a place you really can't leave. Not until you're Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go—luggage, keys, dreams, lives—where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don't want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible...

Until Lauren decides nothing—and no one—is going to keep her here anymore.

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When I first heard about The Lost, I was a goner. That is to say, the blurb appealed to me like CRAZY, and I knew I had to have this book in my life. Why? Well, did you read the blurb?! It’s about a girl who finds herself stuck in a town made up of lost things and lost people and lost dreams. I don’t know about you, but that premise alone was enough to have me dying to read the book. The potential in that idea is huge… and for me, The Lost totally delivered.

I immediately connected with the main character, Lauren, who’s at a place in her life that I found really relatable. She’s in her mid-twenties, out of school, but still in that period of just-figuring-things-out. Her voice was really easy to connect with. She’s snarky, but not too snarky – she just came across as very real, to me.

“Work is the daily activity that sucks your soul but pays your bills. It’s the path your feet walked down while your head was stuck in the clouds.”

The Lost, ARC, pg 20

Tragically, though, Lauren is slowly losing her mother to cancer. And one day, dreading the news from her mom’s latest tests, she’s on her way to work – and she decides to just keep driving, and driving… (Check out my interview with Sarah Beth Durst, where she explains where she got this idea!) Eventually, Lauren finds herself in a strange little town, stays at the motel overnight, but when she tries to leave in the morning, she can’t. She drives away from town, but just ends up headed straight back into it, over and over.

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Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

InterviewAuthorBannerSarah Beth Durst

Hi everyone! I’m so honored today to have Sarah Beth Durst here on There Were Books Involved! Sarah has written many YA books including Vessel, Conjured, and the upcoming Chasing Power (Oct 2014). Her first adult novel, The Lost, is coming out next Tuesday, May 27th, and Sarah was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions about this awesome book…


 

Interview with Sarah Beth Durst
The Lost
The Lost #1

Written by: Sarah Beth Durst
Published by: MIRA
Release date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Pages: 352
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: The Lost

Lost your way?

Your dreams?

Yourself?

Welcome to Lost.

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost... well, it's a place you really can't leave. Not until you're Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go − luggage, keys, dreams, lives − where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don't want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible...

Until Lauren decides nothing − and no one − is going to keep her here anymore.

 

Short and sweet: Tell us about The Lost in a tweet!

The Lost is about a woman trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.

 

Was there a specific thing or event that originally inspired you to write The Lost?

One of the least helpful bits of writing advice I’ve ever heard is: “Ideas come from everywhere.” You can’t do anything with that advice. “Everywhere” is too vague.

But it’s absolutely true.

Ideas can sneak up on you when you’re sitting at an intersection, blinker on, waiting for the light to turn green so you can turn left… That’s what happened with me and The Lost. I was at a stop light, waiting to turn, and I thought to myself, “What if I went straight? What if I never stopped?”

In The Lost, Lauren Chase gets into her car to go to work but instead of turning left at the light, goes straight… and drives and drives until she ends up in Lost, a town full of only lost things and lost people.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Rooms

WoW_v131019
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Rooms
Rooms

Written by: Lauren Oliver
Published by: Ecco
Release date: September 23rd 2014
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Panic

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

WhyImWaiting_v2

I’ve really been drawn to a lot of amazing-sounding adult titles from awesome YA authors, recently, and Lauren Oliver’s Rooms is no exception. I loved Panic, which was a contemporary, and Rooms is vastly different (being a ghost story, obviously, lol), but it just sounds SO GOOD. Creepy and dramatic and… I mean, ghosts that “speak through the house itself”? yeah, I need that in my life. …I mean the BOOK, not the actual ghosts! THE BOOK. Just so we’re clear!! =S

And yes, I know this one is pretty far away (end of September… GAH!) but I’m hoping to possibly maybe snag it at BEA because Lauren Oliver will be signing copies there! Fingers crossed, knock on wood, please-don’t-let-me-have-jinxed-my-chances-now-by-mentioning-this!! :O lol

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

PS: I’ve still got two awesome giveaways happening right now! One is on Twitter and the other is here. You should check them out! ;D

Book Review: THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch

Note: This review doesn’t contain spoilers for the previous books in this series – however, the book synopsis (below) does contain some spoilers. Just skip over that if you don’t want anything given away. Additionally, as with Book 1 and Book 2, this adult title contains strong language and violence.

Book Review: THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch
The Republic of Thieves
The Gentleman Bastards #3

Written by: Scott Lynch
Published by: Del Rey
Release date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 650
Source: Library
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


The synopsis below contains spoilers! Skip it and continue on to my spoiler-free review if you are avoiding spoilers for the end of Book 2.

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body - though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean's imploring - and the Bondsmage's mention of a woman from Locke's past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha - or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.

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Anyone who’s been near my blog or Twitter in the past couple weeks has surely noticed that my life of late has been completely taken over by the Gentleman Bastards. (#sorrynotsorry) This is something I do not regret in the slightest, because it’s been so long since I found a series that I wanted to sit down and binge-read, and one which I could sit down and do so — albeit with just the first three books, and not the series in its entirety. (Only three of seven books are out so far — this is why I have a Goodreads shelf called someone-find-me-a-TARDIS.)

One of the best feelings in the world is to read a series where you never want to leave the world, or the characters. It’s heart-wrenching and disorienting when you’re finally forced to do so. And wrenching myself out of The Republic of Thieves was no exception. I’ve spent the last 2+ weeks immersed in the world and lives of the Gentleman Bastards, and I still don’t want to let go. Let that statement stand as one of the main reasons why you should pick up this series — it’s so immersive and wonderful, and you will not want to say goodbye when you’re forced to.

That being said, I have to be honest about The Republic of Thieves: I’m really torn about it.

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Book Review: MOTH AND SPARK by Anne Leonard

Note: Moth and Spark is an adult title, and does contain some adult content. I usually wouldn’t say much about the target-age, because when I review adult titles, they tend to have tons of YA crossover appeal. But anyway… just so we’re clear. ;)

Book Review: MOTH AND SPARK by Anne Leonard
Moth and Spark

Written by: Anne Leonard
Published by: Viking Adult
Release date: February 20th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Romance
Source: Library
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

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I’ve really been in the mood for fantasy books lately, thanks to amazing books like The Winner’s Curse and Words of Radiance; and also in part because of a few fantasy books I tried to read recently, which I either DNF’d or just didn’t like (which always puts me in a mood to read Something Better). So when the library finally put Moth and Spark on hold for me, I immediately picked it up and started reading it.

Now, when I went into this book, I was expecting neither super-amazing wordbuilding, nor a fast-paced plot. I’ve read lots of reviews of Moth and Spark since its release in February; these all seemed to agree that, more than anything else, Moth and Spark is a romance that takes place in a fantasy world, not a fantasy book that happens to have some romance. And I couldn’t agree more. But I was in the mood for that when I picked it up, which led me to feel more favorable toward it when the worldbuilding was sparse or confusing, and when the clarity of the plot seemed to be disregarded in favor of the romance.

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