#Review | Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms.jpg
Falling KingdomsFalling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Published by Razorbill on December 11th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 412
Format: Hardcover

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Happy Canada Day: #CanadianReads

Canadian-Recos

Hey Bookworms!

Today is July 1st, which means it is Canada Day! This year marks Canada’s 150 birthday since becoming a country back in 1867. Canada in my opinion is the best country in the world! I am proud to be Canadian, and so are these amazing Canadian YA authors.

I thought it would be a fun post to make with all my favourite Canadian recommendations. It’s a bit of a long list, but I hope you can stick around until the end!


Morgan Rhodes

Morgan RhodesMorgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess — the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, reality TV, and is an extremely picky, yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a national bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.

Notable Novels/Series:

Falling Kingdoms Series

Spirits and Thieves Series


E.K. Johnston

E.K. JohnstonE.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.

Her books range from contemporary fantasy (The Story of Owen, Prairie Fire), to fairy-tale reimaginings (A Thousand Nights, Spindle), and from small town Ontario (Exit, Pursued By A Bear), to a galaxy far, far away (Star Wars: Ahsoka). She has no plans to rein anything in.

Notable Novels/Series:

A Thousand Nights Duology

EXIT, Pursued by a Bear

That Inevitable Victorian Thing

Star Wars Ahsoka


Kelley Armstrong

Kelley ArmstrongKelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. All efforts to make her produce “normal” stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the NYT-bestselling “Women of the Otherworld” paranormal suspense series and “Darkest Powers” young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

Notable Novels/Series:

Darkest Powers Series

Age of Legends Series


Kevin Sands

Kevin SandsSince escaping from university with a pair of degrees in theoretical physics, Kevin Sands has worked as a researcher, a business consultant, a teacher, and a professional poker player. He lives in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of the bestselling The Blackthorn Key series.

Notable Novels/Series:

The Blackthorn Key Series


Erin Bow

Erin BowHi!  My name is Erin Bow — physicist turned poet turned author of young adult novels that will make you cry on the bus. I’m a white girl, forty-something, feminist, geeky enough to do the Vulcan salute with both hands — in public.  I live in Canada.  I love to cook, hate to clean, and yes, I do own a cat.

Notable Novels/Series:

Prisoners of Peace Duology


S.K.  Ali

S.K. AliS. K. Ali is the author of Saints and Misfits. She lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti. She is currently working on her second YA novel, featuring an ensemble cast of diverse souls, as well as LOVE.

Notable Novels/Series:

Saints & Misfits

Saints and Misfits


Sarah Raughley

Sarah RaughleySarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to SF/F TV to Japanese Role Playing Games, but she will swear up and down that she was inspired by ~Jane Austin~ at book signings. On top of being a YA Writer, she is currently completing a PhD in English, because the sight of blood makes her queasy (which crossed Medical School off the list).

Notable Novels/Series:

Effigies Series


Alwyn Hamilton

Alwyn HamiltonAlwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.

Notable Novels/Series:

Rebel of the Sands Series


Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth OppelI was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia…At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). I started out writing sci-fi epics (my Star Wars phase) then went on to swords and sorcery tales (my Dungeons and Dragons phase) and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games (written, of course, during my video game phase). It turned out to be quite a long story, really a short novel, and I rewrote it the next summer. We had a family friend who knew Roald Dahl – one of my favourite authors – and this friend offered to show Dahl my story. I was paralysed with excitement. I never heard back from Roald Dahl directly, but he read my story, and liked it enough to pass on to his own literary agent. I got a letter from them, saying they wanted to take me on, and try to sell my story. And they did.

Notable Novels/Series:

Silverwing Series

Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing


Lesley Livingston

Lesley LivingstonLESLEY LIVINGSTON is a writer living in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of twelve books to date. Her first novel, WONDROUS STRANGE, was winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year 2010, a White Pine Honour Book, shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction, and in 2015 was named one of CBC’s “100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian”. DARKLIGHT, the second book in this series was a finalist for the Indigo Teen Read Awards. The concluding volume in the trilogy, TEMPESTUOUS, was a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award. These books have sold to more than ten countries to date, and WONDROUS STRANGE has been optioned for film/TV by Shaftesbury Films. Her other trilogies have both won the Copper Cylinder award for Young Adult fiction.

Notable Novels/Series:

Wondrous Strange Series

Starling Series

The Valiant Series

The Valiant


Amy Alward

Amy AlwardAmy Alward is a 30-something Chinese-White author, born in the UK and raised in Canada, currently based in Toronto. In 2013, she was listed as one of The Bookseller’s Rising Stars. Her debut fantasy adventure novel, The Oathbreaker’s Shadow, was published in 2013 under the name Amy McCulloch and was longlisted for the 2014 Branford Boase Award for best UK debut children’s book. Her first book written as Amy Alward, The Potion Diaries, was an international success and the second novel in the series, The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour will be published in August 2016. She loves travelling the world, researching extraordinary settings and intriguing stories for future books.

Notable Novels/Series:

Potion Series


Elly Blake

Elly BlakeElly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a BA in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, reporter for a local business magazine, and library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky mix who definitely shows Frostblood tendencies.

Notable Novels/Series:

Frostblood Saga


Danielle L. Jensen

Danielle L. JensenDanielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Malediction Trilogy: Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress, and Warrior Witch (Angry Robot Books). A prequel, The Broken Ones, will hit shelves in June 2017.

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

Notable Novels/Series:

Malediction Trilogy


Eve Silver

Eve SilverNational bestselling author Eve Silver has been praised for her “edgy, steamy, action-packed” books, darkly sexy heroes and take-charge heroines. Her work has garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Quill and Quire, two RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Library Journal’s Best Genre Fiction Award, and she was nominated for the Romance Writers of America® RITA® Award. The first book in Eve’s new teen series, THE GAME: RUSH, is available now. Watch for PUSH, coming from Katherine Tegen Books, June 2014.

Eve lives with her husband, two sons, an energetic Airedale terrier and an exuberant border collie/shepherd.

Notable Novels/Series:

The Game Series

Otherkin Series


Rachel Hartman

Rachel HartmanRachel Hartman’s first YA fantasy novel, SERAPHINA, will be published by Random House on July 10th, 2012.

Rachel was born in Kentucky, but has lived a variety of places including Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She has a BA in Comparative Literature, although she insists it should have been a BS because her undergraduate thesis was called “Paradox and Parody in Don Quixote and the satires of Lucian.” She eschewed graduate school in favour of drawing comic books. She now lives in Vancouver, BC, with her family, their whippet, and a talking frog and salamander (who fight zombies)(really. There are a lot of zombies in the Pacific Northwest).

Notable Novels/Series:

Seraphina Duology


M-E Girard

M-E GirardM-E GIRARD is a Canadian writer of contemporary fiction—mostly young adult fiction, sometimes new adult fiction, usually queer fiction, and always about girls. Her debut novel GIRL MANS UP will be published in September 2016 by HarperTeen/HarperCollins and HarperCollins Canada. M-E was a fellow of the 2013 and 2015 Lambda Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Her writing has appeared in Plenitude Magazine. M-E is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Writers’ Community of Durham Region.

Notable Novels/Series:

Girl Mans Up

Girl Mans Up


Amy McCulloch

Amy McCullochAmy McCulloch is a Canadian living in London, who fits writing around work as a Editorial Director at one of the UK’s leading children’s publishers.

She was bitten by the travel bug at an early age while accompanying her parents on buying trips around the world for their oriental carpet business. It was this love of travel that inspired her to set a novel in a hot, desert location (moving to freezing Ottawa, Canada, where her first winter hit -40°C, might have had something to do with that too). She studied Medieval and Old English literature at the University of Toronto.

Notable Novels/Series:

The Knots Sequence


Heather Fawcett

Heather FawcettI was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, where I enjoy wandering around in the wilderness and only occasionally getting lost. I’ve also spent extended periods of time in Italy, where I learned very little Italian but ate quite a lot of pizza, and Ireland, where I searched half-successfully for puffins and selkies.

Before becoming a writer I worked, among other things, as an archaeologist, a technical writer, and a backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre company (which I could write several novels about). I have a Master’s degree in English Literature and briefly considered becoming a professor, before I realized it involved more than reading books, drinking excessive amounts of tea, and wearing colourful elbow patches.

Notable Novels/Series:

Even the Darkest Stars Duology

Even the Darkest Stars


Kristen Ciccarelli

Kristin CiccarelliKristen Ciccarelli hails from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm. She spent her childhood running wild with her cousins, adventuring in the woods, building forts in the barn, and obsessing over books, dragons, and girls wielding really cool weapons.

Notable Novels/Series:

Iskari Series

The Last Namsara


Gabrielle Prendergast

Gabrielle PrendergastI’m a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada.

In 2014 I was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 I was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. I have also been nominated for the White Pine Award and the CLA Award. I won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016.

Notable Novels/Series:

The Nahx Invasions Series

Zero Repeat Forever


There you have it! Some of my favourite Canadian authors and their amazing books. Have you read any of these? If so which ones are your favourite?

Until next time,

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The Book Blogger Test | Tags & Misc.

The Book Blogger Test

Hey Bookworms!

Today I thought it would be fun to do a tag, but not tag anyone. Basically I just wanted to do something fun without the hassle of going through my follows and tagging others to do it as well. So if this interested you, then by all means and give it a try!

It all started at Laura from Laura’s Book Reviews!


The rules:

You must answer all of these questions truthfully and once you’ve completed this tag, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer the questions next.


What are your top three book pet hates?

  • Cover changes after I bought the first book!
  • Bending page corners to mark place in book.
  • Being talked to while I’m trying to read. Can’t y’all see the book in my face?

Describe your perfect reading spot.

Man I wish I had a cool reading corner/room/nook because that would be the most ideal reading spot. Sadly, I have either my bed or the rocking chair in the living room.

Tell us three book confessions.

  • I only just got a library card for the first time last month. (I’m 25 years old)
  • I go into book stores just to smell and flip through the books.
  • I reorganize my book shelves every month.

When was the last time you cried at a book?

Hmm… I don’t think I’ve cried while reading a book. I have come super close though.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The 5 Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

How many books are on your bedside table?

Five… yeah. I’m a book polygamist.

What is your favorite snack whist you’re reading?

I can’t eat and read at the same time. I find it too distracting and I don’t want to dirty the pages. So I will just brew some tea or have water/juice with me.

Name three books you’d recommend to everyone.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.

I am way too lazy to snap a picture of my shelf, and they are overcrowded and messy at the moment. But here is a picture of someone else’s beautiful shelf!

Beautiful Book shelf

Write how much books mean to you in 3 words.

Couldn’t live without.

What’s your biggest reading secret?

I secretly love audio books. Why is this a secret? Because I used to trash them and say how horrible they are and how hard it is to focus while listening to them.

I was wrong.


Well there you have it, The Book Blogger Test! Like I said above if you guys want to do this too, by all means. I tag EVERYBODY!

Until next time,

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Weekly Cover Reveal Recap | March 27 – April 2

Weekly Cover RevealsHey guys!

Here are the covers that were revealed during the week of March 27 – April 2. Click the author to hop on over to their GoodReads page to add it to you’re TBR!

This was a big week for reveals. Hope ya’ll enjoy.

FANTASY / SCI-FI

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #6)

Published by Razorbill

December 12th 2017

Immortal ReignAs two lethal elemental gods set out to destroy Mytica, sworn enemies must become allies in the final fight to save the kingdoms.

Jonas continues to willfully defy his destiny, but the consequences of plotting his own course are drastic. As the fight for Mytica rages on, he must decide just how much more he’s willing to sacrifice.

Lucia knows there’s something special about her daughter and she’ll do anything to protect her, even if that means facing Kyan alone.

Amara is called back home to Kraeshia. Grandma Cortas has her own plans for Mytica’s future. She promises Amara power, revenge, and dominance if she agrees to be part of her scheme.

Magnus and Cleo‘s love will be put to the ultimate test. Dark magic is causing widespread destruction throughout the kingdom. Enemies across the sea are advancing. And unrest is stirring throughout the land. Is their love strong enough to withstand the outside forces tearing them apart?

The Dazzling Heights by Katherine McGee (The Thousandth Floor #2)

Published by HarperCollins

August 29th 2017

The Dazzling HeightsNew York, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amidst high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…

LEDA is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden–even if it means trusting her enemy.

WATT just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good?

When RYLIN wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

AVERY is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him… no matter the cost.

And then there’s CALLIOPE, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York, determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin.

But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. And in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Published by Razorbill

September 5th 2017

Beasts Made of NightIn the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

Published by Sky Pony Press

February 6th 2018

The Unbinding of Mary ReadeThere’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mother, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy aunt, where a girl could never be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a hired sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s profession―and her safety―depend on her ability to disguise the fact that she’s a girl.

Leastways, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and right in the middle of the swashbuckling crowd of bloodthirsty pirates, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate. The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain and earns herself a spot among the pirates’ crew.

For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living life as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything―her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.

CONTEMPORARY

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

September 12th 2017

AutoboyographyThree years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb

Published by Clarion Books

February 27th 2018

The Calculus of ChangeAden isn’t looking for love in her senior year. She’s much more focused on things like getting a solo gig at Ike’s and keeping her brother from illegal herbal recreation. But when Tate walks into Calculus class wearing a yarmulke and a grin, Aden’s heart is gone in an instant.

The two are swept up in a tantalizingly warm friendship, complete with long drives with epic soundtracks and deep talks about life, love, and spirituality. With Tate, Aden feels closer to her mom and her mom’s faith than she has since her mother died years ago. Everyone else even Aden’s brother and her best friend can see their connection, but does Tate?

Navigating uncertain romance and the crises of those she loves, Aden must decide how she chooses to see herself and how to honor her mom s memory.”

COVER REVEALS WITHOUT SYNOPSIS

The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Welcome Home by Eric Smith & Others

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins


Are you looking forward to any of these books? Let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned for next weeks cover reveals!

Until next time,

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Top Winter 2017 Reads!

Top 2017 Winter Reads

Hey guys!

We can all come out of our caves soon as winter will be ending in a few short weeks. I’ll pause here and let you all cheer! I don’t know about you guys, but I quite like winter to be honest. It might be the Canadian blood running through my veins, but I don’t find it harsh or oppressive in any way. The snow is romantic and beautiful to watch fall, skating is a fun activity, and not to forgot skiing! Who else likes to curl up with a book on the couch with some hot cocoa or tea?

But let’s make way for my favorite season and new arrivals! Spring is coming~ To end this winter I wanted to show you guys the best books I read over those cold months!


Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Crystal StormThe ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Best series for: love, betrayal, breaking alliances, war, and magic.
  • One step closer to the final battle/conclusion.
  • Oh the poor characters are always getting themselves into trouble!

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine

The Cursed QueenAnsa has always been a fighter.

As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.

Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.

With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • LGBTQ+ characters.
  • Beautiful writing and storytelling.
  • Strong willed heroine.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • #OwnVoices
  • Tackles current issues that are occurring in present day.
  • Amazing story, beautiful writing, real characters.

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frost BloodThe frost king will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Amazing and cool mythology!
  • Brooding prince-type character.
  • Fantastic world building.

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

The Wish GranterThe world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

Why You Should Pick This Up:
  • Sinister villain.
  • Amazing visual storytelling.
  • Connectable characters.

Well there you have it, my Top Winter Reads of 2017! Let me know what books you really enjoyed this Winter or if you read any of the ones I’ve listed here.

Until next time,

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Top 16 Books of 2016 | Books at Dawn

best-books-of-2016

Hey guys!

Welcome to a new year. How crazy has time flown by though; so insane. Well to start off the new year right, it only makes sense to list my favorite reads from 2016. The top 16 best books to be exact. Get it, 16 for 2016. I know, how original.

By doing this I hope to discuss some of the books that we both read together, or bring to your attention some books that you might have overlooked last year. So without further ado, here is my Top 16 Books of 2016:


16. Siren’s Song

Siren's SongNym and Draewulf prepare to face off in a battle destined to destroy more lives than it saves.

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. Only to discover it may already be too late for the monarch and her eerie kingdom. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones—along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice—Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling . . . or surrender to a different strength—one of sacrifice?

Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Siren’s Song Review

15. Paper Princess

Paper PrincessFrom strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

My Thoughts:

Paper Princess was a deliciously addictive contemporary romance with tons of drama, sex, and swoon worthy bad boys. I can’t wait to pick up the sequels in the near future!

14. Air Awakens

Air AwakensA library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

My Thoughts: 

Air Awakens is the beginning of what I imagine is going to be a vast and intriguing fantasy about the last of her kind. This book sets up a lot with characters, world, and history. I look forward to some more action and adventure in the future installments!

13. The Swan Riders

The Swan RidersGreta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country’s crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path.

She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.

If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.

Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
The Swan Riders Review

12. The Impostor Queen

The Impostor QueenSixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
The Impostor Queen Review

11. Court of Fives

Court of FivesOn the Fives court, everyone is equal.

And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Court of Fives Review

10. Empire of Dust

Empire of DustIn Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust.

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Empire of Dust Review

9. Fate of Flames

Fate of FlamesYears ago, everything changed. Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time four girls, the Effigies, appeared, each with the unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Fate of Flames Review

8. Boy Robot

Boy RobotSeventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

4 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Boy Robot Review

7. The Sun is Also a Star

The Sun is Also a StarNatasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
The Sun is Also a Star Review

6. Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three ThingsEverything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Tell Me Three Things Review

5. The Serpent King

The Serpent KingDill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending one that will rock his life to the core.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
The Serpent King Review

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

HP and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream).

He wants to find out about the mysterious event that supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Can you believe that I am almost 25 years old and I am finally reading Harry Potter for the first time? That’s insane right? Well I am LOVING it. HP and the Goblet of Fire is by far my favorite one in the series so far. Just like it was my favorite of the movies also. I love how much more character growth and insight we get from the books. I’m hoping I can finish the series by years end!

3. We Are the Ants

We Are the AntsThere are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
We Are the Ants Review

2. Golden Son & Morning Star

Golden SonDarrow is a rebel forged by tragedy. For years he and his fellow Reds worked the mines, toiling to make the surface of Mars inhabitable. They were, they believed, mankind’s last hope. Until Darrow discovered that it was all a lie, and that the Red were nothing more than unwitting slaves to an elitist ruling class, the Golds, who had been living on Mars in luxury for generations.

In RED RISING, Darrow infiltrated Gold society, to fight in secret for a better future for his people. Now fully embedded amongst the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his dangerous work to bring them down from within. It’s a journey that will take him further than he’s ever been before – but is Darrow truly willing to pay the price that rebellion demands?

Hic sunt leones.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s growing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

Morning StarDarrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

For my full thoughts, check out my review:
Golden Son Review & Morning Star Review

1. Frozen Tides & Crystal Storm

Frozen TidesCLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

My Thoughts:

You all know that the Falling Kingdoms series is my all time favorite. Well book 4 does not disappoint at all! It’s fun, action packed, and a wild ride from beginning to end. So much is revealed in this installment that my brain and feels could not take it anymore! A ship finally gets together… and one of my favorite characters rises from the dead. Considering how many characters have died in this series, it’s not much of a spoiler to who it is!

Crystal StormThe ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5 Stars

My Thoughts:

OH-EM-GEE. What a freaking ending that was. How, why, what???? This series has now taken on a whole new level of awesomeness. My poor babies…. what is going to happen to my precious, precious characters?? I guess we will have to sit back and find out!


Well there you have it! My Top 16 Books of 2016. What did you think? What were some of your favorite books of 2016? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

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December 2016 Wrap Up!

December Wrap Up

Hey guys!

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone. This year sure did fly by didn’t it? And aren’t we all glad it did? What a shit show of a year that was.

This past month has been extremely difficult for me. A lot of new changes have occurred in my life and I had to take a step back and re-evaluate some things. I took a mini hiatus/break/slump type thing this past two weeks or so for a couple reasons. One, I got a bit sick, two, I got a new job and the workload is longer and more stressful, and three, I just did not feel like posting anything of significance unfortunately. But that is life I guess.

Here is to hoping next month/year will be better! I’m going to remain optimistic about it!


Wrap Up Books I've Read

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine – December 10th, 2016

Air Awakens by Elise Kova – December 13th, 2016

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes – December 20th, 2016

 

Only 3 novels this month!

Other books I’ve started:


Wrap Up Reviews

Paper Princess by Erin Watt – 4/5

 

(Click the links to read the reviews)

Reviews Coming in January:


Wrap Up Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday

The Cursed QueenDecember 7th, 2016

The Alchemists of the Loom – December 14th, 2016

Blood of Wonderland – December 21st, 2016

The You I’ve Never KnownDecember 28th, 2016


Wrap Up Top 10

Top 10 Tuesday

New to Me Authors: 2016 Edition – December 6th, 2016


Wrap Up Awards

December Awards

N/A

December Achievements

730 Blog Followers  December 2016

30,500 Blog Views – December 2016

12,500 Blog Visitors  December 2016


Wrap Up Book Tags

N/A


Wrap Up Discussions at Dawn

N/A


Wrap Up Cover Reveal

November 28th to December 4th

December 5th to 11th – BIG REVEAL: Blacklist 

 


And that was December. I hope you all fared better than me this month, so as always, thank you guys for spending it with me! See you guys in January!

Until next time,

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