Review: The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen

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I love what Mike Klaassen has done to The Frog Prince, the fairy tale we all know and love. He has fleshed out the characters of the frog prince and the princess, made them more well-rounded with motivations we can believe in and get behind. The frog prince also exhibited growth in his character, a lesson learned over the course of his period as a frog–though I wish we could see just how he came about the revelations that prompted this growth. The story ended on a whimsical note, a perfect period to the tale.

Overall, I highly recommend Mike Klaasen’s The Frog Prince, especially to tweens and teens. Continue reading

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Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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You know what they say about hypes: either they live up to what’s being said or they disappoint you with the reality.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding CARAVAL. When you read the reviews in Amazon, there are lots of positive reviews. I agree with most of them–the magic, the fantasy, the beautiful scenery and stuff in Caraval (the game)–it’s hard not to get swept away. The twists and turns are compelling; with each new layer peeled away, each new revelation, you’ll go “wow”, “oh!” and the truth–or what you know as truth–is turned upside-down and you get to see things differently.

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Endless pages…

Of adventure, romance, whatever you want!

I read a lot of books in a year… maybe 100 or so. Not as many as some (I know someone who reads 200 to 300 books!), but it’s all the time (and $$$) I could afford. Libraries are a big help, of course, as well as free books won in contests, and being a reviewer for awesome sites (The Romance Reviews, Reading Alley and YA Insider). I would include Net Galley in the list, but it’s no secret that I was only able to be approved for the books I got in Net Galley because I was affiliated with TRR and YA Insider. So…credit where credit is due.

But I digress.

I wanted to say that I love novellas–you get to read more while experiencing the similar arcs in romance–but at times, I yearn for longer works, especially when the world is fascinating and the building of it is superb, and you get invested in the characters and you just want to stay there longer, immerse yourself until you forget reality.

Normally, novels I read reach to around the 3000 location count in Kindle. Usually, it’s like 3500 or 3800, so when I see something that’s like double or more (6000 and above), that’s…wow… reader heaven!!!*

*Only if the book is compelling.

Here are some books that fit the bill:

Note: I only included the first book in the series.

I’m currently reading this and wowza! It’s fantastic. I’ve always wanted to read a book about assassins. It’s more adventure than romance, although there is some of the latter. Also, the second book is even longer. Yay!

Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.

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, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic ― the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.

Revenge.

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Whee!! Shadowsong Cover Reveal and an Excerpt!

Cover from Bustle

Yes, I think it’s beautiful. S. Jae-Jones’ covers sure are pretty. She’s so lucky! Wintersong (the first book) initially caught my eye because of the cover, I have to admit.

SHADOWSONG is the second book and it follows Wintersong, 6 months after Liesl left the Underground. For new readers, I would advise you to read Wintersong now! I’m not sure if you’ll understand Shadowsong without reading the first book–maybe you will, maybe you won’t–but why would you deprive yourself of one of the most epic reads I’ve had the fortune to enjoy? Go get it now!

Here’s where you can check out the excerpt for Shadowsong: https://www.bustle.com/p/s-jae-jones-returns-to-the-world-of-the-goblin-king-in-shadowsong-cover-excerpt-reveal-63280

Oooh, can’t wait, can’t wait for January 2018!!! I hope Liesl and the Goblin King have a happy ending… Too much to hope?

Review: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

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BROTHER’S RUIN is my first in the gaslamp fantasy (sub)genre, and I was intrigued and fascinated all at the same time. I love the mix of magic with the historical era, in this case, Victorian, if I’m not mistaken. This is a novella introducing the Industrial Magic series, and it’s a good first book in the series, as I want the next one now!

In Charlotte’s world, people who show magic–especially one as powerful as hers–are often taken away to be trained in the Royal Society of Esoteric Arts. While the mages are then trained to control their magic, the downside is that they lose their freedom. Or so Charlotte believes. Thus, she hides her magic, but when her father became indebted and needed money, he had no choice but to report her brother, Benjamin, who had exhibited some talent so that the family could be compensated for “losing” their son to the arts. But Ben isn’t the talented one, but his sister… Continue reading

Review: Disenchanted by Susan Carroll

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DISENCHANTED is one of the best fairy-tale retellings of Cinderella I’ve read. Susan Carroll writes a compelling tale that is full of magic and enchantment, yet also flawed and very human characters. Needless to say, I was in love from the first page, and I can’t wait to read more!

First, the worldbuilding. Ms. Carroll built a totally new world that is full of magical elements, complete with fairies (not the small, lovable types), witches, magic potions, and more! The descriptions of the places–Midtown, Misty Bottoms, etc–were so vividly done that I can totally see them and imagine myself there.

Next, the characters. I love the total reversal of Ella’s family, that instead of the wicked stepmother, she had a kind one who really treated her as her own daughter, but she, as well as her daughters, had some character flaws that resulted in Ella doing everything for the family because it was just easier that way. See? This is what I liked about Ms. Carroll’s story. The same elements in the original fairy tale are there, like Ella being a servant in her own house, but there was a twist, and the twist also makes sense. It makes you see things differently. How wonderful is that! Continue reading