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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Waiting on Wednesday. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week on WoW is Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. Talking once again about ARCs: I'm jealous of everyone who received one. I tried so hard to get my hands on one, but living outside US means it is impossible (it really annoys me that International readers don't have a chance - although publishers will say "no" to our money. I'm sorry, I didn't want to seem so bitter). Returning to the novel... I've never read a retelling focused on the story of the Evil Queen of the tale Snow White. And, this one has a East Asian twist. I just can't wait for it. The book will be released on October 10th


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
"
From Goodreads

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Cover Reveal. A Reaper at the Gates


The cover and title of the third novel in Ember in the Ashes has been revealed. I'm so excited for this novel! This is my favourite ongoing series. However, I must confess I'm not really that fond of A Reaper at the Gates cover (or maybe I just loved the other covers too much; they were so eerie and mysterious). And, once again, the covers for this series have changed in - publishers really need to stop doing that. I do love this series, but my wallet does not like the idea of buying the first two books again so that they all look perfect together. You can see the new cover art for An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night here.

EDIT: I know there has been a lot of discussion in the book community towards this cover. People are being told they are racists for not liking it. I'm not racist, it's great to see POC characters on a cover (even though, the blonde girl is at the centre). But I much prefer the previous covers, as many other people do, and that does not make anyone racist. A few days ago, I shared my thoughts on how this world fights hate and hate, how open-minded people are those who are always ready to judge. It's so sad seeing this happening in the book community...

A Reaper at the Gates is expected to be released on April 10th 2018.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. 
The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity."
Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bout of Books 20. Sign Up, Goals, Progress & Wrap Up


"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"
Because life was chaotic back in May, I sadly missed Bout of Books 19. I completely forgot about it. 😭 But I'm back for Bout Books 20! Hopefully, I will be able to read a lot more than I did in my last read-a-thon (last time I was very busy with uni; however, I'm not sure I won't busy again by the end of August) and tackle down my TBR.

Good luck to everyone who's joining. 🙂

My goals for Bout of Books 20 Read-a-Thon are:
  1. To read every day 50 pages;
  2. To participate in two challenges;
  3. To update my progress every day.
PROGRESS

August 21st

Pages read today: 62 pages of Flame in the Mist 
Books read today: Flame in the Mist
Books finished: --
Total of pages read: 62 pages
Challenge: Introduce Yourself #insixwords


August 22nd

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August 23rd

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August 24th

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August 25th

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August 26th

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August 27th

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WRAP-UP
Thursday, 10 August 2017
BLAZE PUBLISHING. Update

These last months I've been an awful rep for Blaze Publishing because uni took all my time (they will be slimming down their reps in a few days and I probably won't make it). However, today in this post, I'll be making an update on the latests news and releases (and future releases) of Blaze Publishing.


The Unseen by Jacob Devlin (released on 9th May)

The sequel of The Carver, a novel based on Wonderland, was released last May. Here it is a sneak peek:
"A misty shadow materialized in front of Crescenzo, and when the full body appeared, Crescenzo had to squint to be sure he perceived it correctly. It had the right shape and height, the right spiky hair, but everything else was wrong: a foggy black shape clad in leather that seemed to be evaporating without really disappearing. Crescenzo’s blood went ice cold."
And another because I know one is not enough:
"Slowly, Madame Esme forced herself to turn around and confront the woman. “Avoria,” she whispered.
“Is that how you address a queen?” Avoria droned. “Really, Esmeralda, I’d assumed better of you."
Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin (released on 11th July)

I think you should read this interview with the Bucchin - Book Release Day Special: Interview with Debut Author, Hannah Bucchin. It is a really interesting interview. Also, here is it a sneak peak of the book:
"She breezes past me, striding up the rocky mountain path at a surprisingly fast pace. “You can’t lie to me, Mitchell Morrison. I know you too well.” I quicken my pace to match hers, following her dark bobbing ponytail up the mountain, and it occurs to me that she might be right."
The Underground by Case Maynard (to be published on 12th September 2017)

This novel is the sequel of The Surrender - if you have not read it yet, you should. I'll be joining the Read Along run by Blaze Publishing in September. And, here it is afew more sneak peaks because I know how important they are for a bookworm:
"They’ve been quick to tell me the deaths of John William, Ann, and Ramsey were not my fault. But I know better. My running from the Mills cost our friends their lives, and my heart is certain of it."

"Oliver’s eyes are full of some emotion I can’t quite place as he watches me. We both nearly died fighting for our freedom in the southeast. Can we do it and succeed again? Fate may not like being tested repeatedly."
Shadow Rising by Audrey Grey (to be published on 14th November 2017)

You can see here the cover reveal of the sequel of Shadow Fall. These novels have some of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen (and you all know how much I love a pretty cover).

Of Silver and Stars by T. A. Chan (to be published on 16th October 2018)

I'm very excited for this book. The cover is yet to be released but as a Rep I received a little sneak peak and I can tell you that the colours scheme is gorgeous. 
 
Running Giveaways

To celebrate the release of The Underground, Blaze Publishing is giving away Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa. You can enter to win here. Don't forget to tell your friends since the more your friends enter, the more entries you get.

I think this is all for now. Have a great Thursday bookdragons! 😄
Monday, 7 August 2017

READING CHALLENGE | THE READING QUEST

The Reading Quest is a reading challenge hosted by @Read at Midnight and it will take place between Sunday 13th August to Sunday 10th September, 2017.
"The basic mechanics of the reading challenge is simple: it’s based on a bingo board (termed The Quest Board for our purposes), each square on the board represents a stage (or reading prompt) you must complete. There is one crucial variation, the path you take on the bingo board is entirely dependent on your chosen Character Class. For the Character Class selection, you have the following 4 Options: Knight, Bard, Rogue and Mage. All characters will start off with 10 Experience Points (EXP)."
For my first quest, I decided to choose the Mage. I'm not sure if I will be able to do the other quests, but with the Mage I'll be able to tackle down my ever-growing TBR pile.
"MAGE: As wielders of spells and witchcraft, these players will conjure and summon their way through the First Down path on the quest. Their tomes contain magic and whispers of alternate lands."
Character Art created by CW @Read, Think, Ponde
How to Increase Experience/Health Points

For each finished book: +10 EXP
For each finished graphic novel/manga: +5 EXP
Books written by a marginalised author: +20 EXP
For finishing quest: +50 EXP
For every additional quest: +30 EXP

Level up: Every +50 EXP.

Every 10 pages +1 HP
Tweeting #TheReadingQuest: +1 HP (max. +20)
Photos #TheReadingQuest: +1 HP (max. +20)


Books I'm Planning to Read:

A book with a one world title: Carnaval
A book that contains magic: The Night Circus
A book based on mythology:
A book set in a different world:
The first book of a series: Broken Sky

Potions, a book concocted by 2+ authors:
Grind, a book with 500+ pages:
Time Wrap, a book set either in the past or the future:
Open World, read whatever you want:
Expansion, read a companion novel or short story:
Mini-Game, read a graphic novel, novella or poem collection:
Animal Companion, book reference an animal in the title:
Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Waiting on Wednesday. The Language of Thorns

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week on WoW is The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. As I mentioned before, Bardugo became one of my favourite authors after reading Six of Crows last year. Also, I love fairy and folk tales. So, without a doubt, I cannot wait to get my hands on this novel. I'm so jealous of everyone who were able to get themselves an ARC - in case you've already read it, what did you think of it? No spoilers, please. The book will be released on September 26h


Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.
"
From Goodreads

Sunday, 23 July 2017

My Bookish Life. I'm Back! Did You Miss Me?


I'm so sorry for not being around for such a long time. I promised myself I wouldn't let this blog be inactive ever again, but the last months of my master degree took all of my time - I had little to no free time. Even my Instagram account suffered from lack of photos because I could not find a moment to breathe. 

But great news: I finished my first year with flying colours (I'm happy to say that I'm proud of myself; it has been a long time I since I felt proud of my accomplishments). However, I've been freaking out lately because I can't decided a theme for a thesis. I'm an indecisive person by nature, and if I'm allowed to choose the world, I can't make up my mind. 🙈 I've been doing lists and more lists in hope I can find that one theme that I can compromise myself with, but it's being so freaking hard. Maybe this weekend after reading From Puritan to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature and another book related to American Literature I will have an idea. Fingers crossed? Or does anyone know a way to find a thesis theme? Any websites/book recommendations?


In other news, my @mybookishsecret t has grown a lot in the last months - even if in some months I didn't share no more than three photos. It is true that I still haven't broke the 2k followers barrier that I'm hoping for to do this year, but I've met wonderful people and became a rep for two companies. It has been more than a month since it happened and I'm still over the moon. I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!🙈

So, to which companies did I became a rep? Here it goes:
  • First, I became a Mini Backdrops rep (from July to September) and I couldn't be more exited. It was the first time I was chosen to be a rep for any company. I'm loving the opportunity to promote them, since their backdrops are made of vinyl and they look amazing on photos. If you would like to acquire one, you can use mbsecret for 15% off (you won't regret it).
  • Then I became a rep for Owlcrate through the month of July. I was trying to became a rep for them for such a long time. It has always been one of my favourite subscription boxes.  But if you use SECRET for 15% off on your first order, I may stay longer with Owlcrate. Just so you know, I'm on my knees begging you to use it! I truly am. 😛  
Also, in the last months, I found some new cute shops. I made my first order from Literary Emporium run by Rio (she is so kind and nice and lovely) and I got my first physical ARC from Illumicrate  - another amazing subscription box. I'm starting to sound like a shopaholic.

I confess I'd rather to share the books I read, but I haven't read that many - and lately it has been very difficult to read any book. And for that reason I must apologize to Blaze Publishing. I have been an awful rep, but hope I will be able to make up to you this Summer. Nevertheless, here it goes a very short list with some of my favourite readings since I took a forced break.
  • The Diviners, Libba Bay (this novel made me fall in love with the crazy 20s. One of the reasons why I'm thinking about writing my thesis on the Lost Generation; but then I don't think I can bring anything new to discussion). 
  • World After, Susan Ee (has she published any other series? Because I'm afraid of reading the last novel in this series and be left with no more books from Ee).
So, here it is a very brief sum up of the last three months in my life. What have you been up to? 🌝
Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Cover Reveal. Shadow Rise


Once again, as a Blaze Publishing rep, I've the pleasure to reveal to you the cover of Shadow Rise by Audrey Grey. Sequel of Shadow Fall (which I still have to read 🙈), the characters of the first novel are back. So, what do you think of it? In my opinion, the cover is gorgeous. I'm completely in love with it.

If you'd like to have an opportunity to receive a ARC of Shadow Rise, just click here for an opportunity to join Blaze Publishing Review and Promotional Network.

Shadow Rise is expected to be released on November 14th 2017.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Terrorist. Rebel. Traitor.

One rash decision during the Shadow Trials led to unspeakable horrors that left innocents dead, friends injured and hunted by the Empire, and Maia Graystone imprisoned in the Tower at the Archduchess’s mercy.

Unsure if Riser Thornbrook survived, Maia must find a way to battle the Empire from within its own walls and escape so she can fulfill the promise to her father and stop the asteroid. But when she breaks free and joins Nicolai's Rebel army, she discovers she’s been branded a traitor. With war between the Rebels and the Empire looming, old alliances shifting, and suspicion hanging over her head, she must fight in the Rebel Blood Courts—and win command—to regain their trust.

Only problem is, first she has defeat the reigning champion, someone she knows all too well. Will Maia’s emotions lead to her defeat, or will she rise up and claim her victory?
"
Saturday, 1 April 2017

Monthly Recap. March 2017

Has March really ended? Who can believe three months of 2017 have already passed? Time loves flying... Well, March was another busy month. But at least I got some good news (check it in Random & Randomness), Hunted was released (my most anticipated 2017 book release) as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD. Oh, and I finally have Funko Newt and Tina - they are simply adorable.


Some months are great, but others not so much. I was super happy for having read seven books in February and I was hoping I could get closer this month, bu sadly things didn't work out as I hoped for. I read three books. Nonetheless, I'm currently reading Roseblood, Everyman and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  • Angefall, Susan Ee
  • Digging in the Stars, Katherine Blakeney
  • Cosmopolis, Don DeLillo [for my master degree]
      I think Susan Ee is now part of my favourite authors list. I loved Angefall so much - I loved it so much that as soon as I finished it, I immediately ordered its sequel. This week was Digging in the Stars release and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. Read my review to know how I felt about this sci-fi novel.


      This was a really bad month. I got myself too many books (however, I did use a 10% discount code from Book Depository). But the worse part is that I that I think I'm not keeping track with all the orders I received. 🙈

      • Caraval, Stephanie Garber
      • Hunted, Meagan Spooner
      • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
      • Newt Scamander - A Movie Scrapbook (this book is so gorgeous 😻)
      • World After, Susan Ee
      • Empress of a Thousand Skies, Rhoda Belleza
      • The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden
      • Magic Under Glass, Jaclyn Dolamore
      My Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them collection continues growing... Which book shall I buy next?

      Random & Randomness, as the name indicates, is about random bookish stuff. Inspired by a few blogs, I decided to create this little space where I share some bookish love. Probably a lot more happened this month, but I can't remember. 🙈
      • Beauty and the Beast Film Release - Why haven't I watched it yet? 😿 I want -no, I need!- free time. I'm dying to watch this film.
      • Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them DVD Release - I'm completely jealous of Newt's bag special edition (I can't get it in Portugal), but I got myself the Blu-ray edition with Niffler on the cover. 😻 And, I got some extras too. See? My collection does keep growing. A LOT! 😸  
      • Game of Thrones Season Seven Promo - I'm part of a small group that is happy about the new season of Game of Thrones only coming out in July. Why? Well, uni takes away all of my time and in July I'll be on holiday which means that I'll be able to watch the new season without interruptions. 
      • Blaze Publishing Rep - For those who don't know it, this month I was chosen to be a Blaze Publishing rep. I was so happy when I was told I was now part of the family. So, for all your Blaze Publishing news visit my blog. 
        Tuesday, 28 March 2017

        Review 27. Digging in the Stars


        Title: Digging in the Stars
        Author: Katherine Blakeney
        Publisher: Blaze Publishing [thank you for the ARC]
        Published: March 28th 2017
        Pages:
        368 pages 

        "A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

        Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

        Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.
        "

        "She dreamed of faces concealed by long-nosed masks, of voices murmuring like water, and place figures swaying among bubbles of fragrance. Then her throat was filled with ash, and she could smell nothing but smoke." 

        Plot: Carter, named after the famous Howard Carter, is in a mission: find her best friend Conrad who went missing in Thor, a planet where technology doesn't work and where a great civilization was lost after several volcanic eruptions. In order to reach Thror, Conrad lies to her Archaeology classmates and professor, who delegated her the task of booking the trip to their apprenticeship in Magnus. However, Thror is not what meets the eye. The planet is a mysterious wasteland with secrets hidden at every turn and Furry Giants who created a touristic empire, but have no record of Conrad's existence - even though they were the ones who informed Carter about his disappearance. 

        I won't lie. It is clear to see that this is Katherine Blakeney's debut novel (it was something that could also be seen it in Leigh Bardugo's first novel and look where she is now). The writing is flawless, but I had a few issues with the structure. Some scenes don't seem to be in harmony with the rest of the story and, during my reading, I felt that sometimes there would be a jump, I mean, it was if some scenes were left in the middle or were cut (bear in mind that I read an ARC; most novels are edited even after ARCs are distributed). Although the main character is sixteen, the story in Digging in the Stars seems more turned to middle-graders than young adults. 

        Characters: If I had to choose a favourite character, it would be Professor P. I enjoyed her sarcasm and how she dealt with the over-friendly Furry Giants (at the beginning, the ways these creatures flirted with the Earthly women was funny, but after a few pages of flirtation it felt a bit annoying). Through the story, I felt over the fence with Carter because of her behaviour. Conrad, her best friend -and potential love interest- was missing and probably dead, yet, one moment she was worried about him, the next moment she thought Conrad wanted to steal her destiny (superiority complex, much?) and in the next one all she wanted was to find King Loreval's tomb and Conrad was all forgotten. Nonetheless, Carter is a brave girl who fights to reach her goals.

        Then, there is the rest of the archaeology class, which I found kinda of flat. There were a few times I did mistake Allison for Bryanne (or maybe it was the other way around). Their personality is very similar. However, Lizzie showed personality with her snarky observations. For most of the novel, Gioconda was not around, which is disappointing because of her hippy persona was more interesting than Allison/Bryanne personality. 

        Worldbuiling: The worldbuiling is the strongest suit of Digging in the Stars. There is so much to be learned and discovered in Thror's wasteland. The planet is crafted down to the tiniest detail, from its history to its mythology, which is slowly unraveled by the Golden Vial League; from the Furry inhabitants and their souvenir markets to their lost ancestors. An entire planet was brilliantly created from the scratch. Extraterrestrial archaeology was something I never saw developed in any other book and I found the idea intriguing and unique. I ended up loving all the archaeology references and little bits. 
        Friday, 17 March 2017

        Cover Reveal. Paintbrush


        As a Blaze Publishing rep, I've the pleasure to reveal to you the cover of Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin. What do you think of it? I'm very fond of its colours. And how the flower was conceived, the petals turning into teardrops (or maybe I'm reading too much into it). Anyway, this minimalistic cover is simply beautiful.

        If you'd like to have an opportunity to receive a ARC of Painbrush, just click here for an opportunity to join Blaze Publishing Review and Promotional Network.
         
        Paintbrush is expected to be released in July 11th 2017.
        Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
        "Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren't particularly close--at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

        But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future."
        Wednesday, 15 March 2017

        Waiting on Wednesday. Hunted

        "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
        This week on WoW is Hunted by Meagan Spooner. I'm literally impatiently waiting for my copy of Hunted to arrive at my door step as it already was released. I was so happy when I received an e-mail telling me that this Beauty and the Beast retelling had been sent sooner. Hopefully I'll have it by Friday -or maybe by the beginning of the next week. The book was released on March 14th


        Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
        "New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner spins a thoroughly thrilling Beauty and the Beast story for the modern age, expertly woven with spellbinding romance, intrigue, and suspense that readers won't soon be able to forget. Beauty knows the Beast's forest in her bones--and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who's ever come close to discovering its secrets. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there's no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas...or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva's father's misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he'd been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast. Deaf to her sisters' protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory--a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical creatures that Yeva's only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin, or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?"

        Sunday, 12 March 2017

        Review 26. Three Dark Crowns, Kendare Blake

        Title: Three Dark Crowns
        Author:
        Publisher: Pan Macmillan
        Published: September 20th 2016
        Pages:
        407 pages

        "Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

        But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

        If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.
        "

        "Three Black Witches
        All fair to be seen,
        Two to devour
        And one to be Queen."

        Writing: I'm was no stranger to Kendare Blake's writing when I first picked this book. Anna Dressed in Blood is one of my favourite horror novels and it made me fall in love with her writing style. Thus, I found myself quickly captivated by Three Dark Crows. The plot was very intriguing and I found myself flipping page after page. I especially enjoyed how Blake wrote the three sisters so differently; how Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella had different personalities. I never felt I was reading the same character.

         “In her mind, every last Queen lies at the bottom of the sea, drowned by the Goddess the moment she was done with them.”

        However, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. A few times the plot rhythm would change and certain situations would happen out of the blue, and I was left wondering what had just happened. Thankfully, this didn't happen often or probably I would not be impatiently waiting for the sequel, One Dark Throne.     

        Characters: There were a lot of characters in this story. Each chapter in the novel switches between the triplets and there was a bunch of different characters surrounding them. I don't feel I disliked any of the main characters, but there was always a issue or another that would raise my eyebrows. For example, the queens...

        Maybe my opinion is biased because I received the elemental cover, but Mirabella was my favourite queen. She became my favourite because while Katharine and Arsinoe were so obsessed with becoming powerful, Mirabella missed her sisters and worried about them. She didn't want to murder her kin. Nonetheless, SPOILER, I'm not sure how to feel about her "pseudo-relationship" with Joseph (principally because I suspect their bound was forged through magic).

        "You will need it to be true, for it is too cruel otherwise, to force a Queen to kill what she loves. Her own sisters. And for her to see that which she loves come at her door like wolves, seeking her head.” 

        On the other queens. I was really warming up to Arsinoe, but then she started being corrupted by blood magic. I don't dislike her, but her pursue to gain power made me so disappointed. Katharine's story didn't catch my attention as much and as result all I feel for her is indifference - even if her struggle with the blisters and all the consequences of the poisoning made me feel sorry for her.

        On a last note, was I the only who found the love-interests lackluster? Perhaps, I just wasn't expecting so much romance...

        Worldbuilding: I was expecting the worldbuilding to be a lot more darker. All the blood I was expecting to be shed... I blame it on Anna Dressed in Blood and on this novel's premise. However, this little detail didn't stop me from enjoy this magical and dark island. A well-developed world is always a plus and Fernbirn was splendidly crafted. The Elementals, the Poisoners, the Naturalists (loved the idea of an animal-familiar), the mythology behind the queens... I simply loved meeting a world so complex and with so much of offer.  
        Wednesday, 8 March 2017

        Waiting on Wednesday. Digging in the Stars

        "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
        This week on WoW is Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney. Did I ever tell you there was a moment in my life that I wanted to become an archaeologist? Then I realized that all the sites I wanted to work on had already been dug and my dreams were shattered. But it's okay because at least I can read books that talk about space archaeology. Since the Starbound trilogy that I fell in love with sci-fi and Digging in the Stars seems a perfect choice to make my love for this genre grow even more. The book will be released on March 28th


        Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
        "A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

        Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

        Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves."
        From Goodreads
        Tuesday, 7 March 2017

        Teaser Tuesday. The Unseen & Digging in the Stars

        Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB @  Should Be Reading.
        Welcome to my first ever Teaser Tuesday. Last Sunday I was chosen to be a Rep for Blaze Publishing (isn't the badge adorable?) and I couldn't be more excited. So, I've decided that in my first ever Teaser Tuesday I'd would bring to you some excerpts of soon-to-be-released books from my new bookish family.

        The Unseen by Jacob Devlin 


        "Crescenzo and his friends may have survived their confounding journey to the enchanted realms of Florindale, but now they find themselves fighting for their sanity and lives while stuck on the other side of the very mirror they set out to destroy.

        With their families trapped by a former ally with a crippling fear of the queen, Enzo, Rosana, and Zack must play a deadly game in Wonderland, where shadows are on the move, kings are at war, and one of them wants Rosana dead.

        As darkness hovers over the world, the friends must lean on each other and stop the King of Hearts from following through on Avoria's orders: Break them.
        "

        Teaser - "Pino curled up next to Carla, pulled her close, and hugged her. Wherever they were going, they were going together. That was almost all that mattered, except for one thought that would continue to gnaw at his mind; Crescenzo, he thought. My son, please be safe, wherever you are."

        Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

        The Unseen in the sequel of The Carver published last year. I confess I haven't read the first book yet, but after this teaser I just added it to my wishlist. Also, isn't this cover gorgeous? *.* You know I can't resist to a pretty cover.

        Digging the Stars by Katherine Blakeney


        "A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

        Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

        Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.
        "

        Teaser - "At that moment, he was no longer a sick teenage boy; he was a huge, ferocious bird of prey, a creature of the night. He was as powerful and mesmerizing as the magnificent, winged figure of Mephisto on the screen, enveloping a miniature town with his black wings as he exhaled contagion and death."

        Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

        Another beautiful cover for me to love. Between, am I the only one who can't wait to dig into Digging in the Stars? Its summary is so compelling that I simply can't wait to fall into this world.
        Sunday, 5 March 2017

        Monthly Recap. February 2017

        Another late monthly recap. Maybe I shouldn't have written last month that I was back on track (all the reviews I still have to share around here!), but at least I'm not being overwhelmed with all the uni work for now. Talking about uni, I'm proud to announce that I received my last mark and I can now say that I passed with flying colours. I'm feeling proud of myself - especially after how everything is my life has been turned upside down since I lost my Mufasa; I really need reasons to smile and feel pride.   


        The moment you realize you finished seven books. 🙀 How did this happen?! I know most were for uni but I can't believe I read so much. I can't remember last time I read so many books in a month.
        • Everland, Wendy Spinale
        • Illusions of Fate, Kiersten White
        • Mechanica, Betsy Cornwell
        • Delta Wedding, Eudora Welty [read for my masters]
        • Man in the Dark, Paul Auster [read for my masters]
        • Moon Palace, Paul Auster [read for my masters]
        • The Plot Against America, Philip Roth [read for my masters]
            Everland and Mechanica were really disappointments. Damn you high expectations! The insta-love between Pete and Gwen in Everland and how the plot only happens in two days just wasn't for me. I was so in love with the idea of a Peter Pan retelling mixed with Steampunk, but this book didn't live up to my expectations. In Mechanica I did love the fact that the main character was very strong and that it depicted positive female friendship, but the last fifty pages of the story were just a huge disappointing mess. When I finished the story, I felt I had been cheated. Illusion of Fate was a very enjoyable reading. I really liked its twists (I was soooo not expecting that) and because of such I wish the book had been longer.    


            Is it bad that I can't be sure of which books arrived at my shelf this month? 🙈 I'm sure I received a few more but those were for uni and as you know I never mention those in my book haul because I had to buy them; I did not acquire them because I wanted to as it happens with other books. Here are the books that I remember acquiring this month.

            • A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab
            • Hidden Huntress, Danielle L. Jensen
            • The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
            • The Help, Kathryn Stockett (I already owned a translated version, but I found this really adorable English edition that I just had to have it)

            Random & Randomness, as the name indicates, is about random bookish stuff. Inspired by a few blogs, I decided to create this little space where I share some bookish love. Ps.: Because my mind has been a mess, I'm not sure if all these news were releases in January.
            • Funkos, funkos and more funkos! - Have you seen all the funkos announced this month? Beauty and the Beast (film edition), Kindgdom Hearts, Despicable Me. Aren't the gorgeous? *.* I think I'll go bankrupt...
            • Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Release - I need it! It makes me so depressed not having this game on my hands yet. Kingdom Hearts is one of the last things that connects me to happy days. I still remember the day I first saw the first game announced on a magazine and then how it felt having it on my hands for the first time. Now, I'm feeling like playing and I can't because I don't have the time. 😿 
            • More Beauty and the Beast news - I'm just leaving the link to the film's twitter page because there has been so many stuff coming out that it's impossible for me to mention it all in this post. Am I the only person whose song always brings goosebumps?
            • Leigh Bardugo's "The Language of Thorns" - I'm trying to keep up with all the book announcements, but it's really difficult when my schedule is so busy. I couldn't believe I missed this January announcement! Who is ready for some more Grisha world? 🙋 Out in September 26th.