Thursday, May 31, 2018

Monthly Wrap-Up — May 2018

Picture comes from 50 Book Pledge

The World Beyond by Sangeeta Bhargava — 2/5 {DNF}
Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer — 4/5 {Reread}
Twilight Empress by Faith L. Justice — 4/5★ {My Review}
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray — 4/5★ {Review to come}
Breakaway by Michelle Diener — 4/5★ {Review to come}
The Nosferatu Chronicles: Return to Vambiri by Susan Hamtilon — 4/5★ {Review to come}
Theseus and the Minotaur by Graeme Davis — 3/5
The Lost King by Alison Prince — 2/5
The Romans: All That Matters by John Manley — 4/5

 Favorite book of the month:
Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?

Have you read any of these books or what was your favorite book of May?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M. Harris

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M. Harris
Expected publication: November 15th 2018 by Gollancz

An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings, "Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn's father,
Far less the land that he staps in.
(Child Ballad, no. 113)

So begins a stunning tale of love, loss and revenge, against a powerful backdrop of adventure on the high seas, and drama on the land. The Blue Salt Road balances passion and loss, love and violence and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless, wild young man.

Passion drew him to a new world, and trickery has kept him there - without his memories, separated from his own people. But as he finds his way in this dangerous new way of life, so he learns that his notions of home, and your people, might not be as fixed as he believed.

Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.

When I found out about this new book by Joanne M. Harris that will releas in November I almost couldn't handle my excitement. Obviously the cover is gorgeous but I just know that the story will blow me away. It sounds like it will be full of folklore and mythology. I also can't wait to see the beautiful illustrations by Bonnie Helen Hawkins.

Also don't forget to check out A Pocketful of Crows that Harris published last year, a similar book that's based on The Child Ballads. It also has gorgeous illustrations by Hawkins and I just loved that book so much. It was heartbreaking and beautiful.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway that I'm hosting to win a book of choice from TBD. 2 winners, open INTL — Click here

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Cover Reveal: Storm of the Gods by Amy Braun + Giveaway (INTL)

Storm of the Gods
Amy Braun
(An Areios Brothers Novel)
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

The first in a brand new urban fantasy series where gods roam and mortals fight, STORM OF THE GODS follows two brothers who are caught in a conspiracy revolving around ancient artifacts, and find themselves siding with their supposed enemies rather than the Olympian who demands their loyalty…
Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.
Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendent of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares’s elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.
But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena’s control—by threatening Liam’s life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.
Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.


Author Bio:
Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action.
When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.


Monday, May 28, 2018

{DNF} Review: The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George

Title: The Confessions of Young Nero
Author: Margaret George
Series: Nero #1
Publication: March 8th 2018 by Pan

Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo

Rating: 1/5 (DNF)

In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman - or child.

As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his life, and when faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.

While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his survival rests on his ability to navigate the dangerous deceit that Rome is awash with. Most lethal of all is his own mother, Agrippina, whose only goal is to control the empire. Nero's determination to escape her grasp will shape him into the man he was fated to become - a legendary emperor.

The Confessions of Young Nero is a book that I should've loved. Historical fiction set in ancient Rome is one of my favorite settings. I can't get enough of it. But when I'm reading a book and don't want to pick it up for three whole days, I know something is up. So around 30% of the book I decided to give up on it and not continue reading anymore. I just didn't like the story and I didn't want to waste more time on a book I wasn't enjoying anymore.

I felt kind of bad for not continuing with reading the book. I love reading about ancient Rome so much and I've always been intrigued by Nero because I don't think I've ever read a book about him before, whether it's fiction or nonfiction. The start of the book wasn't even that bad. I actually really enjoyed the first 50 pages and was looking forward to where the story would go next but then it started going downhill very fast. 

I started having issues with how the story told in the first person. It just didn't feel right to me. The book started with Nero being a little kid but the way he would think and speak was more like an adult would. I do have to say that I never like it when a big part of a story is devoted to when the main character in question is a child. It's just not something I enjoy reading about. But it was all still pretty weird.

I only know the basics about Nero but it was pretty clear the author tried to rewrite the history about him. I don't think there's anything wrong with that exactly because authors are allowed to write their take on a historical figure but I guess I wish she had done things differently, especially with the writing, which was kind of bland. Also, the attraction Nero had toward his mother and the things he may or may not have done with her, no matter if these things happened or not (though a lot was implied in the book) was just something I didn't want to read about. 

Another thing I didn't like was how the powerful women of the time were being portrayed. They were all basically murdereresses that didn't do anything more than poison the people around them for their own personal gain. And Nero was portrayed in a better light. I mean, sure that stuff did happen in those times but I think at this point in history we can maybe not judge women in history the way old male historians have done for ages, especially with a book written by a woman. But that's just my personal take on it.

Author bio:
Margaret George writes biographical novels about outsized historical characters: Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, Helen of Troy, and Elizabeth I. Her latest, The Confessions of Young Nero, will be published in March. All six of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers, and the Cleopatra novel was made into an Emmy-nominated ABC-TV miniseries.

She especially enjoys the research she has done for the novels, such as racing in an ancient Greek stadium, attending a gladiator training school in Rome, and studying the pharmacology of snake poison. Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cover Reveal: Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren

Survival of the Richest, an all-new emotional and romantic standalone from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren, is coming June 12th!

Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren
Publishing Date: June 12th
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A Park Avenue princess...

My story starts with a plunge into the cold water of Manhattan's harbor. A strong hand hauls me back onto the deck of the luxury yacht. Christopher was supposed to be my enemy, the son of my mother's latest husband. Instead he protects me with fierce determination when I need him most.

This tale begins with a fall, but it doesn't end there.

Because another man wants me.

Sutton wants to consume me with a passion more feral than kind. In the lush emotional wilderness I'm not sure I want Christopher to save me this time...

Or if there will be anything left if he tries.

SURVIVAL OF THE RICHEST is a book about finding your soul's desire, even if the search leads you places you never expect. A woman torn between two men. An impossible choice. And a war fought on the most dangerous battlefield--the heart.

Preorder Today!

Amazon US | Amazon Universal | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

About Skye:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Connect with Skye:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Ape That Understood the Universe by Steve Stewart-Williams

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve by Steve Stewart-Williams
Expected publication: September 30th 2018 by Cambridge University Press

The Ape that Understood the Universe is the story of the strangest animal in the world: the human animal. It opens with a question: How would an alien scientist view our species? What would it make of our sex differences, our sexual behavior, our child-rearing patterns, our moral codes, our religions, languages, and science? The book tackles these issues by drawing on ideas from two major schools of thought: evolutionary psychology and cultural evolutionary theory. The guiding assumption is that humans are animals, and that like all animals, we evolved to pass on our genes. At some point, however, we also evolved the capacity for culture - and from that moment, culture began evolving in its own right. This transformed us from a mere ape into an ape capable of reshaping the planet, travelling to other worlds, and understanding the vast universe of which we're but a tiny, fleeting fragment.

This is a nonfiction that I stumbled upon the other day while I was browsing Amazon. It doesn't release until September but I think it sounds super fascinating. It already has some amazing advanced praise so that makes me even more excited. I've always had an interest in evolutionary psychology but I haven't found any books about this certain subject recently so I was excited right away when I read the synopsis. It just sounds like some great brain food for me. :D

Don't forget to enter my giveaway that I'm hosting to win a book of choice from TBD. 2 winners, open INTL — Click here

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Top 5 Books — Books I Read Before Goodreads

Today I'm sharing 5 books that I read before I joined Goodreads, which was back in early 2011. Those were the times where I had to go to the bookstore  and their tiny English selection to see what they books had. I'm excluding the Artemis Fowl books for this because I read  the Dutch translated version when I was 13 so they don't really count. Sorry, Arty.

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
YA, Paranormal
Add on Goodreads

This is the book that introduced me to Kim Harrison and her wonderful writing. I really love this trilogy and feel like it doesn't get enough recognition or that not many readers know about it. My favorite character was Barnabas and I'm still mad Madison couldn't have ended up with him somehow. 

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
YA, Paranormal/Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

Wings was my first book that was about faeries. And oh I loved it so so so so much. And these books are still four of my all time favorite covers. The faeries in this book are pretty different from the ones you see these days that are more deadly but they still have a place in my heart. Oh and team Tamani all the way, right?!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
YA, Urban Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

Christina from Booklover's Tea Party recommended this book to me and I thought well why not it sounds good. I really didn't think I'd still be reading books in the Shadowhunter world. So the book that began it all will always be special to me. And I'm so glad Christina got me to read it so many years ago.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
YA, Dystopia/Science Fiction
Add on Goodreads

The Host is an amazing book. You can say whatever you want about Twilight. Hate it or love it (I love it personally) but The Host is the one that I think is Meyer's best one. The movie of The Host was awful, though. Absolutely the worst movie adaption ever. But seriously I looooove this book and in the days before Goodreads all I did was reread this book. I must've reread it 6 times or so in total and I hope I can reread it this year because it's been a while. And let's just all agree that Ian O'Shea was the best damn human being, okay? 

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Urban Fantasy

Add on Goodreads

Bitten is the book that introduced me to the awesome Kelley Armstrong. I've also read a couple of her YA books but Bitten is my favorite of hers. I've only read the first two books in this series so I do have some more reading to do. Elena and Clay will always be two of my most favorite couples in literature and the side characters were all amazing as well. + I really liked the tv show.

Which of these titles have you read or what books that you read years 
ago would you recommend?

Monday, May 21, 2018

ARC Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Title: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium #1
Publication: May 22nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 5/5

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to find the right words to express my love for Furyborn. Obviously it was amazing because otherwise I wouldn't have rated it with five stars. So yes it was amazing, well written, action-packed and full of twists. The perfect fantasy book, in my opinion. 

The book was basically two stories in one. First of all we have Rielle Dardenne who's been keeping her power over all seven elements secret for years until she has to safe her best friend who's also the crown prince of Celdaria. 
Second, we have Eliana Ferracora who lives a thousand years later where the tale of Rielle is nothing but a story. Eliana is an assassin for the Undying Empire until her mother disappears without a trace and she joins the rebels to find her.

I absolutely loved these two stories in one. We know from the start that Rielle's story doesn't have a happily ever after but with each chapter that revolves around her we get more and more of her story, which was truly epic. Eliana's story was equally riveting, I thought. I love reading books feauturing female assassins so I must say that my preference went out to Eliana in the end. But I really did enjoy reading about both of them. The story in itself was also really fascinating with how power like Rielle possessed it could go both ways, good or evil.

I also wanna say that the secondary characters in this book were fantastic as well. I have some favorites like Simon (I ship the hell out of him with a certain assassin...) and I also totally loved Zahra, who came a bit later into the story but that doesn't mean she wasn't amazing. The story definitely had a great cast of characters in general, even the villains like Corien who I thought was really fascinating. I'm sorry but the bad boys steal my heart. And another thing... angels. I don't want to give too much away but this book features angels. And everyone who knows me just a little bit knows I'm not a fan of books with angels but damn these angels. They're something else. I was simply hooked.

At the start of the book I hadn't expected Furyborn to end up in my top five of favorite books that I read in 2017. The book doesn't release until May 2018 so the wait for the sequel is going to be absolutely horrible but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait because I'm super excited to see how it will all continue.

{Another thing I want to mention but that has nothing to do with Furyborn is that in 2014 I read another book by Claire Legrand: Winterspell, a retelling of The Nutcracker story. And yes, it was as amazing as it sounds so I'd also highly recommend that book.}

Author bio:
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a writer and librarian living in central New Jersey (although her heart will always live in her home state of Texas).

Her first novel is The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of The Year of Shadows, a ghost story for middle grade readers; and Winterspell, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker. Some Kind of Happiness, her middle grade novel about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling, is a 2017 Edgar Award Nominee. Claire’s latest novel, Foxheart, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014.

Her work is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Stacking The Shelves: May 19, 2018

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.

I haven't read it yet but I'm so glad I finally got my hands on it! Also, this might be my favorite cover out of them all.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
I won this book from Olivia @ The Candid Cover and I can't wait to read it. I hope I'll end up loving it because this book sounds amazing!

Clash of Empires by Ben Kane
I was super surprised that my order of this book already was in my mailbox yesterday. It only arrived in 3 days from the book depository and it usually takes 10-14 days so I'm not sure what happened but oh I am so glad! 

Tardis Magnetic Bookmark
from Hello Papers Co
I've wanted a magnetic Tardis bookmark for ages but didn't realize Hello Papers Co had one on her Etsy store. When I found out I ordered it right away. I love it so much!

Naughty Desires by Sarah Castille
Piece of Work by Staci Hart

For Review:
Breakaway by Michelle Diener
The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane

Don't forget to enter my giveaway that I'm hosting to win a book of choice from TBD. 2 winners, open INTL — Click here