YA Books Central recently debuted the cover for Megan Shepherd’s follow up to the amazing Madman’s Daughter (hint: we loved it!) and it was crystal clear which book we were waiting on this week: Her Dark Curiosity!
After a recent visit to the Magic Castle, I’ve kind of been obsessed with magic. A simple visit to this place made me feel like a kid again even though I was never one to love magic. After reading Born of Illusion, I feel like I’m back into that space, reveling in the magic and mystic of every nook and cranny.
After a life of travels, Anna and her mother have settled down for a bit in NYC for their headlining magic show and secretive seances at their home. Anna’s struggles are evident from the very beginning. She is more or less stuck in her mother’s shadows, and while Anna actually has magical talent and visions that show the future, her mother makes up for her lack of talent with schemes and scams. The magic unravels in this story for Anna as she tries to figure out what her recurring vision means, while at the same time trying to avoid people that might be bad for her. We learn more about Anna’s past, while also learning about the people trying to get closer to her.
Danger, mystery and magic combine for this great historical young adult story. I feel like Born of Illusion did for New York City what Ruta Septey’s Out of the Easy did for New Orleans. I loved the period touches of this book- the clothes, the clubs, the slang. I just wanted to revel in it all and immediately go out and buy some vintage jewelry and clothes. And that cover! LOVE LOVE LOVE. The font is fabulous, as is the simple image of the girl.
I really loved seeing this setting and the characters we meet through Anna’s eyes. Cole was just the kind of guy I thought he would be, but I felt like we get stringed a long a bit too long with him and his story. Owen and Jacques were an odd ball set of characters and I loved the drama they added to the mix. With everything, it turned out to be a magical story indeed, and I can’t wait to see where Anna ends up next.
From the Victory Tour 2013 website:
Will you be going? This looks awesome and we love that it’s virtual so anyone can attend!
I’ve previously read Beautiful Creatures, which is co-written with Kami Garcia, so I was excited when I first heard about Icons. I was doubly excited when I saw Ally Condie’s wonderful blurb about Icons, so I knew this was going to be a book to read.
Icons starts out with a really heart warming turned creepy as heck scene where little baby Dol is left alone as everyone around her suddenly drops dead. This event, later termed “The Day”, is when nearly everyone within a certain radius of large cities across the globes were killed. Thankfully Dol was found and connects with a boy, Ro, close to her age.
After a series of unfortunate events, Dol and Ro find themselves stuck at a compound under the Ambassador’s watchful eye, where they slowly uncover some shocking secrets about themselves and the other two kids, Tima and Lucas, with the same mysterious tattoo like markings on their skin.
I really loved the pacing of the book, which gave me just enough to completely draw me into the story without leaving me feeling bored. I’ve started venturing out into the sci-fi genre in young adult and this was another fantastic book. I loved the story and plot development, and really loved Dol. I had a little quirk about it and that was the nicknames. Is it just me or does every character in YA these days seem to some weird quirky nickname? I don’t know why this bothers me, but for some reason it does, and manages to somehow pull me out of the story I’m reading.
Icons packed a lot into the first book in a series, and the ending was big, it makes me wonder how much bigger the series can get. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the sequel to this one!
Of Darkness and Crowns (Goddess Wars #2)
by Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Cover artist: Steven Novak
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours
***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK ONE***
Summary from Goodreads:
The moon goddess has taken up residency
within Prince Caben, darkening his mind and soul. Now he hunts the very women
he sacrificed his life to save, his conflicting desires for love and power
raging a battle within him. Kaliope possesses the key to setting Bale free, and
Caben will stop at nothing to see his goddess restored. Even if that means destroying
the kingdom he’s sworn to protect, and the infuriating woman who torments his
now the leader to the newly formed Nactue Guard, has vowed to save Caben. But
with a traitor lurking among her people, and powers she’s unable to fully
control, Kaliope’s mission becomes shrouded with doubt. Her new role as watcher
over Caben’s kingdom brings a burden she’s unable to bear alone, and appointing
the right person in charge of the prince’s affairs has turned a kingdom against
the Nactue leader. Saving her stubborn, willful prince from the darkness
overtaking him will be the battle of her life, and she needs people she can
trust by her side. But bad blood between members of the Nactue obscure Kaliope’s
journey, while her feelings for Caben cloud her judgment.
time comes to do what she must to destroy the goddess of chaos, will she be
able to if it means losing Caben forever?
of the Goddess Wars is told in dual point of view from Kaliope and Caben. New
Adult Dark Fantasy, intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
***Excerpt (Caben’s POV)***
The Crusher grinds to a halt. I’m
propelled forward, and my head smacks the low-hanging ceiling of the front
“Damn, you fool!” I palm my
throbbing forehead, eyeing the driver of the Crusher—the machines I now call by
their Otherworlder name.
“Sorry, my liege,” he says,
backing against his seat, farther away from the glowing ribbons circling my
Ignoring him, I study the luminous
white—like the surface of the moon—crawling beneath my skin, and marvel at the
power. My power. Had I possessed it
that day the Cavan Army forced me from my home, they never could have done so
easily. But then, I never would have obtained this power. Ironic.
“Just drive,” I tell him. I take a
seat on the front bench, away from the foul stench emanating from the back
compartment—our diversion tactic that will gain me entry into my palace, where
I know she’s being kept.
The glow beneath my skin
illuminates brighter, reminding me of her
skin. I curl my fingers into a tight ball.
The battle up ahead is only part
of my plan, one that I know Kaliope will fall for. I need the reserves away
from the palace. Then we’ll take care of her Nactue once we’re inside. My back
molars clamp down hard at the thought of her—a mix of something like fire and
nausea invading my stomach.
At one time, I felt things for the
black-haired beauty. I chuckle to myself. Well, at least my groin did. Just
thinking of her body makes me ache, and I have to adjust myself. But that was
when I was weak, when I only thought and felt with that weakness. As much as I hated my father for thinking me too feeble
to rule, he was right. I was pathetic.
Bale freed me. Released the part
of me that I kept buried, locked away deep down, and I no longer fear anything. I think of everything that
once made me shudder or quake with dread and laugh. It’s so simple.
Without fear, there is only
And if I free Bale completely,
releasing her from within my being and making her corporeal, she’ll bestow me
with even more power. I don’t care what the dark goddess does or where she goes
once I restore Empress Iana’s relic. I don’t give a damn what happens to the
maggoty Otherworlders or their realm.
I just want her out of my mind.
And I want the power.
Then I’ll set my sights on
Perinya, and on gaining what’s mine.
A deep cackle fills my head, deep
“Quiet, woman.” I roll my eyes.
We’ve come to a compromise, the goddess and I, that she may remain within my
mind, but she’s to keep quiet. I got tired of her constant lectures and angry
rants about her sisters. She does stay silent…for the most part. But the sooner
I get her out of my head, the better.
Having a woman fill your thoughts
is a weakness in itself. A sudden flash of a smiling, laughing Kal blurs my
vision, and I shake my head.
There’s only one way to rid my
thoughts of that woman.
“Burrow, leach,” I command the
driver. “We’re coming up on the battle. Go underground.”
“Yes, my liege.”
Tonight, I plot. Find a way into
the capital of Perinya and into my home. And then take back what’s mine. The
goddess can have what she wants. I’m only interested in claiming what’s mine.
No one will ever take anything
away from me again.
in my way, Kal.
I shake my head harder, trying to
quiet the pesky thoughts that always spring up when I think of her. Something
left over from before—a residual feeling, an effect she has on me.
It won’t be there much longer. I
smile, and Bale laughs.
Of Silver and Beasts (Goddess Wars #1)
by Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: April 19th 2013
Summary from Goodreads:
sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life,
preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching
her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling
faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she
becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a
neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the
last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared
Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where
they must fight for their life in a caged arena.Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive
while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic
that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can
somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
Where to find Trisha:
The Fault in Our Stars
As I said in last week’s Top Ten Tuesday I am very picky when it comes to book covers. Last week I showed you some of my favorite book covers. This week’s top ten I’ve chosen are my top ten favorite book with my least favorite book covers. (in no particular order)
I absolutely love The Fault in Our Stars. So much. But this book cover? Doesn’t speak to me one bit.
Wicked Lovely- I actually preferred the original cover, I feel the updated cover is just super cheesy looking.
I didn’t read this book until Mockingjay was almost released. Why you ask? Because I didn’t think I would like it based on the book cover. After multiple people told me I absolutely had to read it I finally gave it a go and kicked myself afterwards for not having read it sooner!
I absolutely preferred the original hardcover cover over this one. The newly released paperback cover for Born Wicked makes the book come across to me as a cheesy paranormal book cover.
I didn’t read Vampire Academy for the longest time because of the Angelina Jolie lookalike on the cover.
I have a hard time with both Legend and Prodigy’s cover. I get where it’s coming from, so I don’t dislike it so much as just wish it was different?
I love the redesign for this cover. I still purchased the hardcover because I heard wonderful things about the book (which will all accurate- this is a fantastic book!). I felt the cover with the girl in a dress didn’t do the book justice. The new book covers are perfect.
The bookcover for Eve kept me from reading this one for a while. It just seems so non-descript and didn’t do anything to pull me.
I’m going to go there and also list The Great Gatsby. This cover does nothing for me in regards to the book and makes it seem rather drab and dull.
This cover is interesting because of the Alice tie in, but I think it would be swell if covers stopped using girls on them, as it seems very few get it right in my eyes. On one hand this is a fun cover, on the other hand it comes across a bit cheap looking.
Of Triton starts off right where Of Poseidon left off. The first book did a lot of character and a bit of world building, and Of Triton gets right to the grit of things. It seems Galen knows that Emma’s mother is actually the long lost Princess Nalia, who everyone thought died in the mine explosion, and turns out she thought Grom had died so she fled to live on land. I loved that we finally got to hear what brought her to land and how Emma came to be.
We learned how some of the laws work to the Syrena people, and honestly I got a little bored with the whole hearing to debate on whether or not Nalia is who they said she was. I think my frustrations with the characters involved bled over into my feelings for this situation.
I thought that Of Poseidon was a really fun read and a great start to a trilogy. However, It didn’t come across as very in depth and developed, so I’m glad to see that Of Triton expands on the world and characters a bit. Seeing more of the underwater world and the other Syrena characters really helped advance the storyline and give me a peek into this world. Things were intense at times, dramatic and times and even touching. It definitely didn’t feel like the second book in a trilogy.
The ending wasn’t as OMG as the first book, but still leaves the story open for the third book in the series, Of Neptune.
Arclight was another one of those books that I didn’t think I would like, and was very pleasantly surprised. Marina was a girl found in the water by a dock in the Grey. She has no memories but knows she made it to Arclight where you’re safe if you follow the rules. One day after a lockdown, a Fade is discovered in the halls and is taken into custody. After Marina has the chance to see him, she discovers a weird connection with him. From there all hell breaks lose in this stunning book.
This was a really enjoyable read that kept me enthralled throughout it. Even though some bits seemed a bit obvious it was a still a great read which is all that matters to me. Marina was a great character to see into the world of the Arclight and beyond. Tobin was adorable and I just wanted to pick him up and cuddle him for hours. Together, they take on some heavy tasks and attempt to accomplish what the adults in the Arclight won’t.
There were parts that I felt fell a bit flat, but the great characters and interesting storyline more than made up for a few shortcomings. Overall this was a thrilling book and I can’t wait to read the sequel.
What a book. And this was a book with a lot going on. The synopsis is a bit misleading as I thought it was going to have a lot more regarding his relationship with Stephen and the consequences from his church community. The Waiting Tree is the story of a boy struggling in what seems like every sense of it. He truly was dealt a crappy set of cards. His parents are dead, his twin brother has special needs, he’s gay, his boyfriend was sent away to get fixed and he’s struggling to fit in. Phew. That is a lot.
On one hand I thought this was a fantastic coming of age book that in parts reminded me a bit of The Outsiders. On the other hand, it was jumbled. I was reminded of that quote “Before you leave the house, take one thing off”. This story line had a lot going on, and I feel there was too much for everything to be truly developed. Simon is being pulled in seven different directions, which would work if the story was developed a bit better.
Despite this, I still felt that the Waiting Tree was a great read. The Waiting Tree deals with a lot of real world issues that brought up a lot of emotions in me while reading it. I kept reading to find out what was going to happen to this hodge podge mess of characters, and was sad that the book ended too soon.