Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Pacifica by Kristen Simmons


Pacifica by Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: March 6th, 2017
Pages: 384

Summary (from Goodreads):

Pacifica, an all-new stand-alone, near-future adventure from the critically acclaimed author of Article 5 and Metaltown.

Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she's meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council's favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.

Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president's son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam's safe return.

When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.

Give me ALL THE PIRATE BOOKS!! YESSSS! This sounds fantastic!

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco


Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Stalking Jack the Ripper #2
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Borrowed
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 448

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

A few weeks after the revelation of the identity of Jack the Ripper in London, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on their way to Romania to study forensics at the Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science. Audrey Rose has been struggling since the conclusion of the Ripper case. Her imagination is getting the best of her, making her believe that she is seeing things.

Before they even arrive at the academy, a body has turned up and superstitious locals are attributing it  to the Immortal Prince, Vlad Dracula. A second victim is slain outside of Audrey Rose's compartment on the train to Romania. So obviously Audrey Rose and Thomas have a new case to crack.

Audrey Rose is just as amazing as she was in Stalking Jack the Ripper. I love that she doesn't have to worry QUITE as much about rules and restrictions in this book. She still does have to deal with gender related issues, though. She has to prove to her classmates and instructors at the academy that she belongs and that she is just as capable as any man there.

I just love her so much. She doesn't take shit from anyone. She pushes herself hard to succeed, despite anything that may get in her way. I love how she deals with everything that she has to go through in this book. She is just such a badass, I want to be her.

Thomas Cresswell is his same self. He is such a shameless flirt. I would love to see him in a setting where there are no rules and restrictions because I want to see Thomas Cresswell at his full ridiculous potential. He is perfect and I love him.

I absolutely adore Audrey Rose and Thomas together. Audrey Rose is so levelheaded and Thomas is just ridiculous all the time. They have a bit of a bump in the road in their relationship in this book and I love seeing how they get through it. THEY'RE SO PERFECT TOGETHER.

If I was going to complain about this book at all, I would say that I felt like the beginning was kind of slow. 

The mystery in this book was also awesome. Obviously Vlad the Impaler didn't come back from the dead to stake people through the heart and suck their blood, but I liked how the suspicion jumped around so much in this book. I thought I had it at one point and I was wrong. I didn't see it coming at all when it was all revealed!! I loved where it all went in the end.

Overall, this was an EXCELLENT sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper. The characters and romance are just as amazing as I remember them being. This new case is just as interesting and twisty as the first one and I am SUPER excited to see where the 3rd case will go!

If you liked the first book or you like gothic mysteries with badass characters and a swoon-worthy romance, I highly recommend you read this series! It would be the perfect series to read this fall!!

Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper and/or Hunting Prince Dracula yet?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#69)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to highlight books received each week!

Once again it has been awhile since I posted a Stacking the Shelves post! I have hauled a few books since my last post. Which was actually a lot longer ago than I remember, but I didn't buy ANYTHING in July.

Trade:


An ARC of Dear Martin by Nic Stone


A hardcover of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon


A chapter sampler of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

#OTSPSecretSister


A paperback of Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Purchase:


A hardcover The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid


A hardcover of Girls Who Code by Reshma Saujani

Publisher:


A hardcover of Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Netgalley:


Hinder by Kristin Ping


27 Hours by Tristina Wright


The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Have you gotten any good books lately? Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?


Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle


Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Emma @ Miss Print's ARC Adoption
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 368

Summary (from Goodreads):

If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.

Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.

When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a book that will be perfect for curling up with on a cool fall night. It's a book about things that are lost and what we'd give up to find them again. It has a bit of a mystery element to it and the twist at the end kind of surprised me.

This book is told from three points of view. We have Olive, Hazel, and Laurel. These three are the main characters, but this book really seems to surround eight characters and their experiences using a found Spellbook to call back lost things.

There are kind of a lot of characters in this book, but not to the point that it's hard to keep track of them. Olive and Rose are best friends living in a little Irish town. Hazel, Rowan, and Ivy are three teens that ran away from home and are squatting in an abandoned development. And Laurel, Holly, and Ash are three friends who used the Spellbook first.

There is romance in this book as hearts are things that can be lost. Olive and Rose both identify as bisexual. I think that Hazel is a lesbian? I am pretty sure that it didn't explicitly say that in the book or anything, but she only shows interest in girls as far as I remember.

There are two budding relationships in this book. One f/f and one m/f (with sexy times for both). I really liked both pairs. The romance isn't a huge part of this book so there really isn't a lot of emphasis on the relationships, I didn't think. I kind of wish there had been more.

I really liked the overall feel of this book. It has a kind of magical feel to it. I really liked the characters. I loved the friendships and the romances. I liked how everything fit together in the end and I like how everyone had tree names.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am glad that I read it in Indiana at my mom's house because the area where she lives is kinda woodsy and parts of this book take place in the woods and it just felt right. If you are into books that have a bit of a mystery but are really not thrillers or everyday magic and spells, you might like this book. I would definitely recommend this book.

TW: Sexual Assault

Have you read Spellbook of the Lost and Found yet? What did you think of it?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading Excerpt + Giveaway


Today I am sharing with you, an excerpt and a giveaway for the book Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold! I personally think that this book sounds like it would be super fun, but alas, I am woefully behind on my reading and don't have the time! But if you think this book sounds good as well, read on for your chance to win a copy for yourself!


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: November 30th, 2012
Pages: 336

About the Book


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxboPL0ge3Q


About the Author

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Readers can connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Excerpt

Chapter Two

Some Postcards And A Good Meal
It was a Thursday in June when "the letter" arrived. I had just walked in the front door after getting home from school and saw it there, propped up on the pottery vase in the center of our wooden kitchen table. A simple white envelope addressed to me with a return address that read Alex Tilley, Tilley Endurables, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
It was the response to my letter asking for money for my crazy summer project to go to Alaska to study humpback whales. I knew it was a crazy idea, but I had tortured myself over that letter for days. Writing and rewriting it. Discarding drafts and starting over time after time. I was convinced that I sounded too desperate, and of course I was, but crazy idea or not, studying the whales was something I wanted to do more than anything. But the question was, why would some company that had no idea who I was just send me some money? Who was I, after all? I wasn't some world-famous animal researcher or something. I was just a teenager.
I walked over to the table and looked at the envelope for a moment. I was scared to pick it up. And when I finally got up the courage to do so, my heart sank down into my already heavy stomach. The letter was awfully thin. That was a bad sign.
"Oh well," the little voice inside my head told me. "It was worth a try. You knew that it was a long shot."

With a resigned sigh I tore the envelope open and pulled the letter out. With another sigh I read, my eyes darting from line to line.
My summer adventure was on.
My crazy idea wasn't so crazy after all.
Maybe I convinced them that I wasn't just a kid. Maybe it was my carefully thought-out research plans that I attached to the letter that convinced them that I was worth supporting. Maybe it was the clever diagrams and photographs of the ingenious camera mounts I had designed to mount on the outside of my floatplane that would allow me to extensively document the activities of the whales as I flew above them. Or maybe it was that I had clearly thought of every possible way to minimize the cost of the entire expedition— by arranging to stay with Skeena's relatives in Juneau and eliminating the expense of room and board, by begging and borrowing all the photographic and technical equipment that I needed, and by saving up for my own share of the cost by working part-time over the winter and picking up extra money working odd jobs whenever possible.
Or maybe it was just that I was a kid, after all. And they simply felt sorry for me.
Whatever it was, it must have worked because the thin envelope contained a brief but encouraging letter from Alex Tilley, a gift certificate from the Tilley online store (in case I needed "any additional outfitting for my expedition"), and a check! I couldn't believe it! A check covering all of my additional expenses plus "a little extra for some postcards and a good meal," Alex Tilley had written.
The ecstatic scream that I let out upon seeing that check sent the crows flying off in all directions from the fir trees surrounding my house. Exploding out of the back door, I ran and ran and ran, screaming all the while and waving the check over my head like a prized trophy. I was halfway down the beach to the ocean before it occurred to me how easily a gust of wind could tear the check from my hands and send me on a fruitless chase down the endless beach trying to recapture my prize. I shuddered at the thought of writing back to Tilley to ask for a replacement check. They would definitely realize then that I was just some stupid kid, and they would call the whole thing off.
Safely tucking the precious slip of paper into my zippered jacket pocket, I continued my crazed run down the beach, waving my arms madly and doing a little end-zone celebration dance at the edge of the water, like a football player who'd just scored a touchdown.
Somewhere behind me a dog barked, and I looked up to see our neighbor, old Mrs. McCready and her ancient yellow Labrador, Wilson, walking past.
"Hi, Mrs. McCready," I called out to her, blushing and waving sheepishly. "I'm going to Alaska."
"I never doubted it, Ms Hawk," she replied, looking at me over the lenses of her half glasses. Some of the money I'd saved up to pay for my expedition came from doing various cleaning jobs around the McCready property, just up the beach from our house. "I hope that doesn't mean you're too rich to come over this week and clear the branches from the roof and yard," she said in her endearing, stern, old-lady kind of way.
"No, Mrs. McCready," I replied. She gave me a nod and continued down the beach with Wilson walking stiffly at her heels.
For a while I just stood there, closing my eyes and turning my face to bask in the warm June sunshine and feel the cool breeze racing in off the Pacific Ocean. Without even thinking about it, the pilot inside me instinctually gauged the direction and speed of the wind, making mental adjustments as though I were preparing for takeoff.
But in a way I was preparing to take off, wasn't I? I was going to Alaska.
An Adventure Beyond Words
The next few weeks were a complete blur. Somehow I managed to organize all my equipment and provisions, finalize flight plans, buy new clothes, arrange my accommodations in Alaska, reassure my mother that I was going to be fine (this took a little bit of help from Dad, of course), pack and load everything aboard my floatplane, and of course write a heartfelt thank-you letter to Alex Tilley.
Oh right, and somewhere in there I also found the time to write my school exams and somehow graduate from high school. I have no idea how I did it, but before I knew it, I was sitting in the cockpit of my trusty De Havilland Beaver out on the waters of Clayquot Sound, about to push the throttle forward to bring the engine to life and head for Alaska.

"This is it," I said to myself. "This is where my adventure begins.”


Giveaway

This giveaway is for your choice of a paperback or Kindle copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold.

It is open to international entries.

Please note that the prize is provided by the author/publicist and if you win, I will share your information with them.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Queens of Innis Lear


The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: March 27th, 2018
Pages: 544

Summary (from Goodreads): 

A KINGDOM AT RISK, A CROWN DIVIDED, A FAMILY DRENCHED IN BLOOD

Tessa Gratton's debut epic adult fantasy, Queens of Innis Lear, brings to life a world that hums with ancient magic, and characters as ruthless as the tides.

The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king's three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm's only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.

Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.

This book sounds a lot like Three Dark Crowns to me (which I have yet to read, but NEED to) and I am rather excited. The cover is pretty rad and it just sounds fun!!

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, August 7, 2017

DNF Review: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones


The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017
Rating: DNF @ 32%
Source: NOVL's Beach Reads Box
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 400

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

The Hearts We Sold is about a girl named Dee who trades her heart away to a demon for 2 years in exchange for the money she needs to keep going to her boarding school and avoid going back home to her parents. I got the idea that her dad was probably pretty abusive and her mom just drinks to cope with it. So when her scholarship gets cut off, she gets desperate and makes a deal with a demon.

Let me just start by saying that I don't really think that this was a bad book. There wasn't anything seriously wrong with it for me to DNF it. I just thought it was really boring.

I read about 130 pages, I think. It's not like things weren't happening, a girl traded away her heart to a demon and is now a member of a group of 3 other heartless teens who blow up voids full of something that threatens a demon. I mean, things are kind of happening. But I was just bored.

I think my problem with this book might have been that I don't necessarily like the writing? It just FEELS boring to me. I don't know, I just know that I really don't care enough what happens in this book to go on reading it.

This was kind of a pointless little DNF review, but I just wanted to give a little insight as to my reasons for DNFing and also have something to post while I'm gone this week!!

Have you read The Hearts We Sold? What did you think of it?