BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Dark of the West – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Dark of the West book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

32949202Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Release: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Dark of the West has an extremely fascinating premise. The best way to describe the book would be YA fantasy meets World War II. The story is full of political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, family drama, and interesting characters. The prologue does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the book and promising a story in which not everything is what it seems. 

The worldbuilding was very intricate. I loved the blend of fantasy and history and I think Joanna Hathaway did an excellent job combining two different genres seamlessly and in a way that made sense. Plotwise, there is a whole lot going on. And while I really enjoy books that have plots that are complex and multidimensional, with Dark of the West I was confused about what was going on for a good portion of the book. There are so many different conflicts and it took me a very long time to figure out who was fighting who and why. However, as the book went on it was a bit easier to start to piece things together and I could appreciate how complicated everything was. When it comes to war and politics, not everything is black and white. 

Dark of the West is told through the POVs of two main characters, Aurelia and Athan. I still remain unsure about how I feel about Aurelia. On the one hand, I found her to be a little naive and didn’t connect with her at all. But as the book went on, she really started to show some significant growth and I thought her character arc was handled wonderfully. Athan was a character that I absolutely loved! He was so extremely interesting to read about, especially with his family dynamics and his internal conflicts. I really loved the complexity of his character and never wanted to be pulled away from his chapters. The romance was okay. The feelings between Aurelia and Athan developed in such a short time that I didn’t come across as genuine. I love a good enemies(?)-to-lovers trope, but I think it could have been written a little differently to have been more convincing. That being said, not everything was revealed and so I look forward to seeing how the consequences of the secrets being held will affect their relationship! 

Overall, Dark of the West is a well-written, engaging story full of political scheming, military tactics, romance, and friendship, with an excellent blend of fantasy and history! If you enjoy books with complex plots and intriguing characters, I would recommend adding this book to your TBR! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorJoanna was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.

 

Follow Joanna:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


GIVEAWAY

Win one(1) of ten finished copies of Dark of the West. US only. 

✨ ENTER HERE


FOLLOW THE TOUR

February 5 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

February 6 | Wishful Endings
February 6 | Paws and Paperbacks
February 6 | Book-Keeping
February 6 | Confessions of a YA Reader

February 7 | Dazzled by Books
February 7 | Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
February 7 | Maddie.TV
February 7 | My Bookish Escapades

February 8 | NovelKnight
February 8 | Another Book in the Wall
February 8 | Samodivas
February 8 | Adventures Thru Wonderland

February 9 | Oh Hey! Books
February 9 | Library of a Book Witch
February 9 | Moonlight Rendezvous
February 9 | Novel Nerd Faction

February 10 | Book Slaying
February 10 | It Starts at Midnight
February 10 | A Dream Within A Dream
February 10 | A Bookish Dream

February 11 | A Court of Coffee and Books
February 11 | The Secret Reader
February 11 | Omg Books and More Books
February 11 | Utopia State of Mind

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Lady Smoke – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Lady Smoke book tour! Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

lady smoke designer credit billelis @billelisTitle: Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)
Author: Laura Sebastian
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 512

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher.

Lady Smoke is the sequel to Ash Princess, which was one of my favorite debuts that I read last year. The first book captured my attention very early on, and the sequel was one of my most anticipated for the year. I’m extremely pleased with the events of Lady Smoke and thought it was an excellent and exciting sequel!

It was so easy to fall back into this world. The fact that I read the entire thing in one day really says a lot about how engaging the story and characters were. I was completely engrossed by the book. Theo continues to be a well-rounded protagonist. Her character is so well-written and I really enjoy the fact that her point of view is written in first person, as it makes it so much easier to connect with her. She’s a realistic, complex heroine not without flaws, and capable of making mistakes. She struggles between putting the needs of her country, Astrea, ahead of her own personal wants, but matures and grows as the story evolves. It was also great to see character development not just in our main character, but in the supporting characters as well. We learn a lot more about Theo’s friends and the people she’s chosen to surround herself with throughout the book. 

In Ash Princess, there was a very blatant love triangle and as I’ve said before, it was one that I actually did not mind, as I think Laura Sebastian handled it extremely well. The romance is actually less prominent in Lady Smoke, with a greater focus on the plot and action, but it’s not missing completely. Enemies to lovers is my personal brand, so it’s obvious which side I favor. The love triangle is not quite through yet, however it seemed to me like it was beginning to resolve itself. One of Theo’s relationships had much more development and growth, compared to her relationship with the other character which remained in stasis throughout the book. 

Lady Smoke was full of forward-moving action, a little bit of mystery, and plenty of character development to make this a great sequel capable of captivating readers. Fans of the first book are going to love this, and if you haven’t read Ash Princess yet, I highly recommend adding it to your TBR! 

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author-photo-300x200Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Three (3) winners will receive a finished copy of Lady Smoke. US only. 

 ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
January 1 | To Be Read
January 2 | A Dream Within A Dream
January 3 | Here’s to Happy Endings
January 4 | Random Bookish Banter

Week Two:
January 7 | Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews
January 8 | Jrsbookreviews
January 9 | Omg Books and More Books
January 10 | Fiction Fare
January 11 | Du Livre

Week Three:
January 14 | Loie Dunn
January 15 | A Court of Coffee and Books
January 16 | Paws and Paperbacks
January 17 | A Gingerly Review
January 18 | Lifestyle of Me

Week Four: 
January 21 | Paper Reader
January 22 | Adventures and Reading
January 23 | Popthebutterfly Reads
January 24 | Adventures Thru Wonderland
January 25 | YA Books Central 

Week Five:
January 28 | Confessions of a YA Reader
January 29 | Colorimetry
January 30 | Smada’s Book Smack
January 31 | Kat’s Books 

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Realm of Ruins – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Realm of Ruins book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

M3SFH_vwTitle: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2)
Author: Hannah West
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: YA Fantasy

Valory’s power is different…it’s dangerous, unruly, and destructive. But can she channel it to crush a cunning enemy and save the realm from chaos? 

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

Weaving together her imaginative world of gritty fairytale magic with snippets from Beauty and the Beast and other classic stories, Hannah West’s dark and dangerous adventure is a gripping, immersive companion to her acclaimed debut, Kingdom of Ash and Briars. This richly packaged edition includes an illustrated family tree, detailed map, and embossed jacket with shimmering metallic effects.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Kobo


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher. 

Realm of Ruins is a companion novel to Kingdom of Ash and Briar, and while there are a few references to the previous book, you can definitely enjoy this without reading it and understand everything that is happening! 

One of the things I liked best about Realm of Ruins, was that the action started right away, quickly pulling you into the book. There is so many elements of fantasy (especially YA fantasy) in this that I really love: magic, fairy-tale retellings, quests, hidden powers. Hannah West does a great job introducing the world and magic system in a way that is understandably, and yet without long passages of info dumps. The Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid aspects of the story were intricately woven into the plot, although I do wish those parts of the story had been expanded upon a bit.

The action and the characters are the main driving force of the story. The book is non-stop action and adventuring from the beginning, so the story was able to hold my attention throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed the characters and their contributions to the story, which also helped keep me engaged and interested. I absolutely loved how the story ended. To me, the last chapter seemed a bit ambiguous – especially in regards to Valory – and I was totally digging it. I almost wish the book had ended there, instead of with the epilogue, because I think it would have been a stronger finish. The epilogue didn’t focus as much as closer for the characters as I would have liked and I really feel like there were a few loose ends that needed wrapping up. I’m not sure if it was the author’s intention or not, but it almost feels like another book is possible in the future? If so, I look forward to it!   

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

-QDTbixgHannah West is the author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars and its companion, Realm of Ruins. She’s always loved writing about magic and fairytales, but her time studying abroad in Orléans, France inspired her to finally write and publish a fantasy novel. She’s a freelance writer and vegetarian living in Texas with her husband and their rambunctious blue heeler.

 

Follow Hannah:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Win one (1) of five Nissera Chronicles bundles. Bundle includes one copy of Kingdom of Ash and Briar and one finished copy of Realm of Ruins.

 ✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
December 4 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

December 5 | The Reading Corner For All
December 5 | Wishful Endings
December 5 | Utopia State of Mind

December 6 | Paws and Paperbacks
December 6 | Jrsbookreviews
December 6 | Bri’s Book Nook
December 6 | Mythical Books

December 7 | Rhythmicbooktrovert
December 7 | Moonlight Rendezvous
December 7 | Adventures and Readings

December 8 | Nay’s Pink Bookshelf
December 8 | 808bookdr
December 8 | Library of a Book Witch
December 8 | Confessions of a YA Reader

Week Two:
December 9 | A New Look on Books Blog
December 9 | The Critic Uncritical Bookworm
December 9 | Kait Plus Books

December 10 | My Fangirl Chronicles
December 10 | Fyrekatz Blog
December 10 | Belle’s Book Blog
December 10 | Oh Hey! Books

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: West – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the West book tour! Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!

Thank you to HMH for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of East. You can find my review of the first book here!


ABOUT THE BOOK

31822495Title: West (East #2)
Author: Edith Pattou
Release: October 23, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 528

In the sequel to the beloved high fantasy East, Rose sets off on a perilous journey to find her true love when he goes missing in a thrilling tale of danger, magic, adventure, and revenge.

When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.

Goodreads | Amazon | AudibleBarnes and Noble | iBooksBook Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher. 

If East is a whimsical, magical fairytale, then West is it’s darker, more mature sister novel about what happens after the happily every after, and how things don’t always remain that way.

Everything I loved about the first book was also present here: the fairytale-esque aspects, the magic, the bonds between family and friends, the adventure-filled quests, and lovable characters. But the book also has some grimmer aspects, and our beloved characters go through some really tough times – and they don’t always end well. Rose is the same determined, caring young woman that she was in East, but now that she’s a mother, it was great to see her grow even more and the unconditional love she has for her son and Charles. 

West is not as whimsical and light-hearted as East, but there was still so much that I absolutely loved about it. From the characters, to the world, to the folklore elements, there’s something wonderful about this book, and I believe fans of East will not be disappointment with this long-awaited sequel. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ½


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EdithEdith Pattou is the author of Ghosting, a contemporary novel for young adults, told in free verse. She also wrote three award-winning fantasy novels for young adults – East, a retelling of the Norwegian folk tale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” and the two Songs of Eirren, Hero’s Song and Fire Arrow. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling picture book, Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden.

She was born in Evanston, Illinois, grew up in Winnetka, and was a teenager in the city of Chicago where she attended Francis W. Parker School. She completed her B.A. at Scripps College in Claremont, California where she won the Crombie Allen Award for creative writing. She later completed a Masters degree in English Literature at Claremont Graduate School, followed by a Masters of Library and Information Science at UCLA.

She has worked for a medical association, a clothing boutique, a recording studio, the Playboy Foundation, a public television station, a school library, two public libraries, two advertising agencies, and two bookstores.

She has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Durham, NC, Cambridge, England, Stockholm, Sweden, and currently resides with her husband, Charles, in Columbus, Ohio.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Three (3) winners will receive a finished copy of WestUS only.

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
October 15 | Rhythmicbooktrovert 
October 16 | A Backwards Story 
October 17 | Forever Lost in Literature 
October 18 | Mythical Books 
October 19 | Patriotic Bookaholic 

Week Two:
October 22 | Read, Eat, Love.

October 23 | Dani Reviews Things 
October 24 | Adventures and Reading
October 25 | BookHounds YA
October 26 | Jena Brown Writes

Week Three:
October 29 | Ace Reads
October 30 | Novel Novice
October 31 | All the Ups and Downs
November 1 | Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 2 | Paws and Paperbacks

Week Four: 
November 5 | Smada’s Book Smack
November 6 | if the book will be too difficult
November 7 | Vesper Dreams
November 8 | Oh Hey! Books.
November 9 | Two Chicks on Books

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: This Cruel Design – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the This Cruel Design book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of This Mortal Coil. You can find my review of the first book here!


ABOUT THE BOOK

40042561Title: This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil #2)
Author: Emily Suvada
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Science-Fiction, Dystopian

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I started this immediately after finishing This Mortal Coil, and finished it within a day, so that should tell you all you need to know about my feelings about this book. This Cruel Design was just as fast-paced, well-written, and absolutely addicting as the first book.

The book picks up right where This Mortal Coil leaves off, and the action begins almost instantaneously. Readers have no cause to worry as there’s no second book syndrome here! I could hardly put it down and there are plenty more plot twists and reveals that kept me hooked. As with the previous book, the science and technology elements continue to be really intriguing and unique. I had no problem following along with all of the terminology and jargon.

I was under the impression that this was a duology, so the last couple of chapters really had me nervous! The ending is a total cliff-hanger and I have so many questions! I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the wait for the final book. This Cruel Design was a fun, action-packed, thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

82GXiAfgEmily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

Follow Emily:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Two (2) winners will receive a finished copy of This Cruel Design. US only.

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
October 22 | That Artsy Reader Girl 

October 23 | The Reading Corner for All
October 23 | Fan-Girl-Tastic
October 23 | Oh Hey! Books
October 23 | Boston Book Reader
October 23 | It Starts At Midnight

October 24 | Book Dragon Lair 
October 24 | Angela Walker’s Reviews 
October 24 | JusticeReads 
October 24 | 808bookdr 

October 25 | Vicky Who Reads 
October 25 | Paws and Paperbacks 
October 25 | Reader Rising 
October 25 | the Bibliophagist 

October 26 | RhythmicBooktrovert 
October 26 | Nay’s Pink Bookshelf 
October 26 | Belle’s Archive 
October 26 | Bri’s Book Nook 

October 27 | Portrait of a Book
October 27 | MetalPhantasmReads
October 27 | Morgan Vega
October 27 | Confessions of a YA Reader

Week Two
October 28 | Bookish Friends and Felines
October 28 | Magical Reads
October 28 | Library of a Book Witch
October 28 | The Critic Uncritical Bookworm
October 28 | Luchia Houghton

October 29 | Kat’s Books
October 29 | Book Lady’s Reviews
October 29 | Vicarious Bookworm
October 29 | Haunted by Books