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Hardback Review: Even the Darkest Stars

Title: Even the Darkest Stars
Author: Heather Fawcett
Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count: 304
Genre: YA Fantasy

Review:

This book was high on my expectations list, and did not disappoint. The cover fit extremely well with the story, which made me happy. I loved the dark blue cover of the book, and the title, which was initially what made me snag this book from the library. I now want to buy my own copy at some point in the future, it was that good. My only complaint was that it left off at a cliffhanger (readers of this book might groan at the obvious pun).

This book had it all-pet foxes as familiars, witches, demons, dragons, mountain climbing in dangerous terrain, and searching for an item as a means of a quest. The characters were driven, each in their own way, towards their own goals. You didn’t know who to trust, who to believe in when they had their scenes. Although I think my favorite scene was imagining baby dragons heading towards Chirri’s cabin.

Magic was complex, there was history of their world, and the Nightwood was a fascinating topic that I wished was discussed more often, because it contained witches who had a long time grudge against the human empire from blocking them off from the rest of the world. There was also ghosts in this book, which was a startling surprise, and there were explorers…

I just loved this book so much.

The author drew me in slowly, and built up until I had reached the very end. I knew that their situation wouldn’t be resolved when I had fifty pages left, and by the time I hit fifteen pages before the end of the book I realized that this was going to be one of those authors whose books I would snap up in a heartbeat in the future. She writes as though everything is desperate, the characters are at deaths’ door, there’s no more choices left…

And it’s exciting reading, full of adventure, magic, and mystery. There’s Lusha with her ravens, and poor Aimo, and River, and Ragtooth, and all of the characters I just loved to pieces. The story was epic, the book lived up to its expectations, and I couldn’t ask for more-but I am. I want book two. I want it now. Please don’t tell me that this is how the story ends, because if that’s the case, then that’s a terribly sad ending.

Overall, I give this book five stars. It was worth the wait, and I’m glad that this is still helping me out of my reading slump as well.

Go, read the book. I’ll wait.

Until then,
Pass Me That Book!

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Hardback Book Review: The Last Place On Earth

Title: The Last Place on Earth
Author: Carol Snow
Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pages: 298

Review:

I dove into this book and didn’t come up for air until I hit the very end, closing the book with a satisfication that I hadn’t done in an age. While there were books that I had liked here and there, there hasn’t been one that I really *clicked* with, and this book did it for me. It was all about surviving out in the wild, a trope that I really love, and learning how to get on after the fall of humanity. I saw where this book was going when the first few classmates that Daisy had started sick, but it was still an unexpected twist at the end. I liked Henry, I liked Kyle, and Karessa, and Kirsten was awesome. I liked Mrs. Hawking, and Daisy’s mother, and Peter. The characters were all identifiable. The situation was something that I believe fully possible, though I didn’t believe the solution to the epidemic was correct.
This is a book about “preppers”, families who go out into the wild to survive against any kind of ‘fall of humanity’ type of situation, anything from the zombie apocalypse to the buobonic plague. It’s all very fascinating, and some of it read like a horror novel as well, which was a bonus to me. Daisy spent most of the book searching for her best friend Henry, who mysteriously disappears. After breaking into his home to see if he left any clues (he did, a note that reads “save me”), she goes on a quest to find him. As she searches for him, there are all kinds of various survival situations. I was disappointed this wasn’t an “alien invasion” type book, but it still was one of my favorites. I believe fans of “The Fifth Wave” by Rick Yancy would really enjoy this book, it echoes that world very strongly.
The Last Place on Earth is going to be one of those books that lingers long after I read it, and I’m happy to say that it’s also helped shove me out of my reading slump that I’ve been in lately. I’ve read this one, and immediately after that I’ve read a handful of others as well that will soon have reviews posted at some point in time.
Five stars!

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ARC Review: The Fires Beneath the Sea

ARCRead

Title: The Fires Beneath the Sea
Author: Lydia Millet
Genre: YA/Junior Fiction Fantasy
Publisher: Small Beer Press
Page Count: 248

Review:

This was a truly fascinating and unique read. There was plenty of action, and adventure, for it being a middle grade kids book. Lydia Millet definitely knows how to draw a reader into an entirely new world, filled with monsters in the form of water, sunken pirate ships, and a war that’s been going on for a long, long time.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Cara, Max, and Jackson-who can read minds, and is incredibly smart for a kid his age-are missing their mother, who seems to have left without a trace, leaving only behind a note for her family: I cannot stay, danger. Danger for whom? Cara misses her mother, and tries to be normal, even when things that aren’t normal happen around them-like her little brother talking to turtles, and otters appearing where they shouldn’t.
This book has all my favorite things meshed together, and I especially liked the scenes with the sunken pirate ship, and Max with his truck. There are all kinds of good things to find in this book, and I’ll say that the only bad thing was the terrible cliffhanger at the end, where the author leaves you wanting more.
This book will likely hit home for fans of “The Dark is Rising” by Susan Cooper, and “Deep Waters?” by Diane Duane, even ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeline E’Lengle. It’s got the same elements, the same kind of theme-kids saving the world, kids keeping their family together while battling dark forces. It’s a good trope, and one of my favorite kinds-especially when done right. This book is going to be right along with those books on my shelves at home. I really love how this book turned out, despite that wicked cliffhanger. Cara is someone that I emphasized with, and identified with as well. Jackson, and Max, both were also kids that I could understand, and even feel for at times. Everyone had a role to play in the book, even their dog Rufus who got his own impressive scene towards the end.
I commend the author for a really very lovely read, one that I will likely remember long after I’ve finished reading it.
Five stars!

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Thanksgiving Book Haul!

I bought more books and I can’t deny

I got more than I wanted to buy

There’s always a reason why

I’m not allowed to go in alone. 

It doesn’t rhyme, I know, but it’s the honest truth-I spent maybe forty-five minutes and came out with nine books, *barely* staying in budget. I don’t know if any of the rest of you have this issue about loosing track of time when in a bookstore, but it’s one of my ultimate curses! Down below are the new books that I’ve received:

And those are the books that I’ve gotten. Apparently, “She” is a classic, and I hadn’t realized it at the time when getting it. It was only two dollars at Half Priced Books (20% off allll items, which made my budget much better), and most of the books I got were under $5, the most expensive book I got being the brand new The TwistRose Key at just under $7. I would’ve gotten more books, if I’d the money. I especially wanted to buy book three and four of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, but it was out of budget.  Maybe next time?

If you’re interested in me writing up a review for any of these, please don’t hesitate in asking in the comments. I’m torn about which one to start, but I have to wait until I finish the few library books that I’ve gotten. I just started the City of Lies novel by Victoria Thompson, and I’m also reading The Library of Fates (by a different author) as well.

So what books did you wind up getting for Thanksgiving? Are you reading anything good? Let me know!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful bookish thanksgiving!

That’s me signing off.

Now, pass me that book!

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Paperback Review: All Systems Red

Title: All Systems Red

Author: Martha Wells

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Publishing Date: 2017

~*~

This book wowed me from the first page, which is a rare occurance! My favorite line, I think mayyybbeeee out of the entire book was within the first couple of paragraphs where Murderbot (the main character) says

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

It was that line that I knew I was going to love this book to the point that hopefully one day I’ll be able to go out and buy the entire series, because snarky pessimistic robots are apparently my new favorite thing. Who knew?

I read this to my mother on the way to my mother’s friends house for a thanksgiving day meal, and she laughed as much as I did throughout this book. It was a lot shorter than what I originally thought it would be-only 150 pages! I was pleased that not only did I get to knock another book off of my TBR, my mother got to read a book for the first time in ages, as normally she’s too busy fixing people’s houses to sit down and read. She read the other half when we got here, and finished it in less than an hour and said that it was a splendid read. I agree mom. It’s definitely a splendid read, one that everyone will definitely enjoy-especially if you love snarky robots.

My main complaint was that the ending of the book felt a little too rushed. I would’ve liked more detail about how the bad guys got their just desserts, and I would’ve definitely loved the team-after taking their new friend home-getting together to go shopping and helping Murderbot adjust.

Overall, I’m giving this book five stars because it’s well deserving of it. I really want more snarky robot right now, because snarky robots are the best kind of robots! With plenty of action, humans you can emphasize with, and a stellar plot (see what I did there?) this book is definitely one you shouldn’t miss out on!

 

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Paperback Review: The Outsiders

The above cover is the version that I have (though the edition that I have looks much nicer, and is a darker version). In all honesty, this is one of those books that I was forced to read way back when I was 13/14 years old. My mother didn’t think it appropriate because of all the gang violence and such in it, she was very unhappy that I had to read it, but in all honesty-I LOVED IT, even back at that young age. I identified strongly with Ponyboy, and a lot of the other characters as well. I loved the characters, the setting, and the story itself was enchanting. The part with the burning building was also intense. My only complaint is that the book is too short! I wish there was more to the story, more to Ponyboy and the rest.

I think it’s been over 50 years at this point (quickly checks on google: apparently, it is!) I hadn’t realized that this was a major book birthday, the book was published way back in the year 1967 by Viking Press when the author S. E. Hinton was only 17 years old. {Sighs, I really need to get a move on with publishing my own books!}

The Outsiders: by S.E. Hinton (1967)I have yet to see the movie version of the book, partly because I don’t want the movie to ruin the beautiful book by putting the wrong faces to the characters. Even so, one day I will likely sit down to watch it. I love this story, as it’s the non-musical version of West Side Story, and Grease.

Has anyone else read this? Was forced to read it and wound up loving it? Let me know what you think of it! Here’s the old trailer that I found, it doesn’t particularly wow me into watching, but it still seems interesting enough. A lot of the actors I recognize, wow do they look so young!

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ARC Review: Author Tony Daniels

I received this book, as well as the Amber Arrow book (both by Tony Daniels, and books 1 and 2 in a series) by Baen publishers who were kind enough to send me ARC review copies. I loved book one, and book two was just as good as book one, though seemed not quite there.  I have never before read Tony Daniels, though I’ve heard a lot of good things from various fantasy fans that his works are fantabulous. The location was a bit weird for me in the books-it mentioned Romania, and Mississippi and a handful of other random places from time to time that seemed historically accurate but confused me a good deal.

Firstly, thanks to http://www.baen.com for giving me these beautiful ARCs. They are gorgeous, and I will treasure them. The maps were beautifully made, and the storyline was epic in every sense of the word. I particularly loved the characters, and the whole Game of Thrones feel to it.

The books are filled to the brim with action, and book two is the same. There’s action, adventure, romance, and grave peril for all the characters at some point or other within these two beautifully written books. I have thanked the provided in email, but I’ll thank them again because these are truly unique books that I am glad to have been given a chance to read. I really cannot wait to get my hands on book three, and see how the trilogy ends. Tony Daniels is one of my new favorite authors, and one most definitely not to be missed!

Wulf is an engaging character, and I loved all the boys learning to fight, and the dragons, and the girls in this book are particularly awesome. There is so much going on, that one needs to re-read it, which is why it took a bit for me to write up these reviews. There is quite a bit of world building, and I was really enchanted by the falconry scene in the first book, as well. Both books are now one of my favorite series, and I definitely look forward to getting the third one at some point in the future.

Both books are going to be read again when the third one comes out, and I hope that book three comes out sometime soon, because both of the first books left off as cliffhangers! Danger is lurking everywhere for our characters, and there is the threat of war, as well as the loss of several loved ones in the first book. Don’t get attached to the characters, there is every chance they might die in the end.

As it is, the books are awesome, and I’m very grateful for receiving them. To those who’ve yet to go and read the books, what are you waiting for? It’s got dragons and dukes and falling stars and a fantastic new world to live in!

Until next time,

Ria Potter (Pass Me That Book!)

Here is the Goodreads Link to the book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27205855-the-dragon-hammer

Here is the link to the Author’s Homepage: https://www.facebook.com/Tony-Daniel-fiction-writer-271126209957/

 

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Book Spotlight: A Wrinkle in Time

My wrinkle in time edition that I’ve had since I was thirteen is worn, and needs to be replacing but I won’t ever get rid of it. It was one of the first magical books that I remember reading, right along with Chronicles of Narnia, the Golden Compass, and the Harry Potter series. This was one of my absolute favorite books, because it was one of the few books that showed a main female character with glasses. Now, Harry Potter had glasses, and that’s another reason that I love the HP series, but this was a female main character that had an obvious defect where she had to use it against her advantage when traveling the universe to save her much love father. And while I didn’t exactly have a good father figure growing up, I emphasized with this. A Lot.

I’m writing about this, because I haven’t seen anyone do A Wrinkle in Time review, at least not on the blogs I’m familiar with. It’s one of my all time favorite classics, and so I thought I would find a bunch of various covers that I like, and share those too. The first one is of the paperback edition that I have at home. The rest of these are ones that I found that I really love.

And these are just some of the covers that I’ve found that I really admire. There are hundreds of different ones, and I love each of them. There’s also a remixed movie edition coming out with a Sweet Dreams trailer as well that I adore. Here’s the video:

This looks pretty epic, and SOOOO different from the first version! I really, really hope it turns out as well as it looks. It’s got me pumped enough that I finally collected all five books of the Wrinkle in Time first series, and I’m re-reading the first one and then finally getting to the remaining four. So, here’s to A Wrinkle in Time and its author for providing me with a ground breaking fantasy that set my imagination on fire and many more exciting years to come.

Happy reading, readers! Now, Pass Me That Book!

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ARC Review: The Crystal Doors

The Crystal Doors (Book 1) by Jevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta was a fine story with remarkable characters, and a wild watery adventure! It was a little young for my tastes, admittedly, but it read very well and I liked the story overall. It was a fun book, and I spent the last couple of days reading it and wondering why I hadn’t encountered this book sooner. I’m pretty sure that if I had read this as a teenager, it would’ve been one of my most favorite books.

I requested this book from Baen, who kindly sent me a kindle version of it. They also sent me two other physical books which I will review shortly, but am not quite finished reading yet. This one was one I requested because I’m familiar with the author Kevin J. Anderson’s works, and have always liked his writing style. I’ve never read Rebecca Moesta, I don’t think. Still, both writers have talent, which is evident in this book here.

As its book 1, I will definitely be needing the next book as it left several things unanswered at the end. I think my favorite character out of the book was probably Afirik (don’t ask me to pronounce it, please, lol). She was pretty awesome, though I also like the two main characters Vic and Gwen. Both of them are smart, intelligent kids who have a whole new world to discover and play in with plenty of danger that follows them.

Overrall, this reminded me strongly of series like Animorphs and Dinotopia, both favorites of mine., with its grand epic scope and size of the new world featuring all kinds of people and monsters. I’d easily give this a  5/5 stars, for its clever writing, and witty characters.

So go out and get this book. You won’t regret it. It’s got everything one could want in an otherworldy adventure!

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Paperback Review: The Neverland Wars

The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse was a signed book that I picked up from the Half Priced Book Fair in Kansas City. I read it in a couple of hours, when I was finally in the mood for a retelling, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. There are stories within stories, strong characters, familiar themes, and interesting ideas on why kids should have the choice to not grow up.

This was a fantastical novel, and a story that I’m sure we’re all familiar with; though there are differences here. For one thing, the girl that was taken had an older sister who was a teenager who managed to get to go to Neverland, despite being a bit older than what Pan usually took.

Gwen is attempting to convince her little sister to go home with her. Gwen’s sister convinced Pan to take her because she was an amazing story teller. And the stories she told took my breathe away, they were fantastical and unique in every sense of the word. I really, really loved the one about the stars and Eugene.

Overall, I’d rate this book 5/5 stars. The only disappointing factor was it didn’t have one of my favorite Pan characters, Captain Hook.  But otherwise, great job to the author for a tale well told!

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