Thursday, July 11, 2019

My Thoughts: The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
The Crown's Game
(The Crown's Game #1)
by Evelyn Skye
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Publication Date: May 17th 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 407
ISBN: 9780062422583
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss Review Copy \ Own

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Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose. (Goodreads)

I originally read The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye way back in 2016 when it was first released, and I remember loving the story SO much, but for some reason never read the second book in the story. After recently reading Evelyn’s newest book, Circle of Shadows, which I enjoyed SO much as well, it reminded me that I still needed to finish this series, so I set out to do just that!

As I mentioned above, I originally read this book a few years ago, and while I remember some of the story, most of the details have been forgotten in my old brain. (That’s what happens when you read hundreds of books a year!) I do remember how much I enjoyed the story the first time I read it, so I was more than happy to dive back into it again, and I’m thrilled that once I did, all the details from the story came rushing back. That being said, I think I enjoyed reading the book even more the second time around, and I’m excited to get my hands on the sequel now!

One of the things that I love most about The Crown’s Game is how magical the story is. It reminds me a little of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which happens to be one of my most favorite fantasy stories. The storyline for this book was absolutely addictive, and the setting was so well described, that I could picture everything perfectly in my mind.

The book also has a really great group of characters, including the two main characters, Vika and Nikolai, who are both enchanters, and who are both absolutely fantastic. The story is told from their alternating viewpoints, and I was completely fascinated by them both.

I also want to add that I listened to the audiobook for this re-read, and it was Fantastic. Steve West did an amazing job of narrating the story, and it made this magical story even more magical. If you have the opportunity to check this book out in audio format, I highly recommend it.

Overall; I enjoyed The Crown’s Game the first time I read it, and I think I enjoyed it EVEN MORE the second time around! I am absolutely kicking myself for not having finished this series sooner, but I’m thrilled that I am doing just that now. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book asap! If you’re a fan of magical fantasy stories, do check this book out right away!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday: Vow of Thieves & The Merciful Crow
Vow of Thieves
(Dance of Thieves #2)
by Mary E. Pearson
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Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt
ISBN: 9781250162656

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Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits. (Goodreads)

It's pretty obvious to ANYONE who follows me how much I love The Remnant Chronicles and Dance of Thieves series by Mary E. Pearson, so of course one of my WOW picks will have to be her newest upcoming release, Vow of Thieves, the second and final book in the Dance of Thieves series! This is my MOST anticipated read for 2019, and it was SO worth the wait. I'm halfway through already, and I love it, and I don't want it to end. :) I can't wait for my finished copy to arrive so I can add it to my collection!

If you haven't yet read these series, you should.
The Merciful Crow
(The Merciful Crow #1)
by Margaret Owen
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Publication Date: July 30th 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt (BYR)
ISBN: 9781250191922

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A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own? (Goodreads)

Ummm, did you read the summary for this book?!
Does it sound like it's going to be an awesome read, or what??
I am very much looking forward to checking this out as well!

•   •   •

Those are my WOW picks for this week!
Now, what books are you waiting for??
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

My Thoughts: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
Waiting for Tom Hanks
by Kerry Winfrey
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Publication Date: June 11th 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781984804020
Genre: Adult Fiction | Romance | Contemporary
Source: Review Copy / Own

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Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years. (Goodreads)

When I first discovered Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey, I knew I would have to read the book! Not only is Tom Hanks one of my favorite actors, but his movie with Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail, is my all-time most favorite movie ever. (Seriously, I have watched it HUNDREDS of times, and it never gets old.) The summary for the book sounded really awesome, and I was excited to check it out. I’m SO glad I did!!

If you know me any at all, then you know that I am a HUGE fan of contemporary and rom-coms, and I’m always on the lookout for something new in this genre to read. I started Waiting for Tom Hanks because Tom Hanks was in the title, and I stayed because it was such a fun read.

This book has a super great cast of characters, and I really enjoyed following the main character, Annie, as she tried to find her Tom Hanks. Annie has so many fun moments throughout the book, and it was fun experiencing them with her. Also, the love interest in the story is adorable, and I loved their meet cute. There are a lot of fun secondary characters in the story as well!

And while the characters in the book were great, I also want to add that I enjoyed the storyline as well. It was cute, and fun, and I loved that ALL of my favorite movies were mentioned throughout the book as well! (You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, etc.) I do not know of many other books that mention these, and it instantly made me love the story.

Overall; Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey was a super cute, quick read, and I’m so glad that I checked it out! I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more books from Kerry in the future!

Monday, July 8, 2019

My Thoughts: Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
Soul of the Sword
(Shadow of the Fox #2)
by Julie Kagawa
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Publication Date: June 18th 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9781335184993
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos. (Goodreads)

Soul of the Sword is the highly anticipated second book in the Shadow of the Fox series by Julie Kagawa, and was high on my list of anticipated reads for 2019! I am huge fan of Julie’s books, and I am always excited to read something new by her. I was completely engrossed by Shadow of the Fox when I read it last year, and I was very much looking forward to seeing where this sequel would take me. I am thrilled to tell you that this sequel was everything that I hoped it would be, and MORE!

It had been a while since I read a book by Julie Kagawa when I picked up Shadow of the Fox last year, but I devoured that book faster than expected, and after the ending in that book, it left me wanting more. So to fill the time until Soul of the Sword was released, I decided to read Julie’s Talon series, which was also great, and which revived my love for Julie’s writing. By the time Soul of the Sword was set to release, I was extremely hyped for the book, and I couldn’t wait to devour it as well.

Soul of the Sword picks up right where Shadow of the Fox left off, and I had no idea what to expect next in the story. Without giving away any spoilers, this book was a wild ride, full of twists and surprises, and I was absolutely hooked as I turned the pages. The world-building for this series is excellent, and I love that Julie describes things in a way to where I can picture it all perfectly in my mind.

Also, all of the characters that we met and loved in the first book are back again in this sequel, along with a few interesting new characters as well, and I very much enjoyed them all! I do have to say that I missed the Tatsumi that we knew from the first book, and I hope that we get to see the real him again soon. Otherwise, the characters are all great, and I love Yumeko and her crew so much.

Overall; Soul of the Sword was an excellent sequel to Shadow of the Fox, and I now can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series, Night of the Dragon, which is currently set to release in April 2020. I am super curious to see where this story will go next. Fans of Julie Kagawa, or fans of fantasy stories in general, do add this awesome series to your TBR!

Monday, July 1, 2019

My July '19 TBR

Happy First Day of July, Bookworms!!

Can you believe it's July already?? I still can't believe June went by so quickly.

June was a great month for books and reading, and I'm hoping to have another great month in July as well. What better time of year for reading by the pool, (or inside in the air conditioning), and I'm hoping to read as much as I possibly can this month.

Here's my tentative July TBR!!

Books I'm Reading:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir *
The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye
Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
The Young Elites by Marie Lu *
LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
Avenged by Amy Tintera
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

* = re-reads

e-ARC's I'm Reading:

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

•   •   •

There you have it, my little TBR for July! I also have a few beach and summer themed books and audiobooks that I'm excited to check out as well, and I'm super excited to get started on everything.


What's on your July TBR??

July Bookstagram Challenge!! #AlltheBooksJuly19

Happy July, Bookworms and Bookstagrammers!!

Are you looking for a fun book challenge for July??
If so, head over to Instagram and check out #AlltheBooksJuly19,
hosted by myself and @Loriimagination!!

A Book Challenge is a great way to fill your feed with lots of bookish photos,
as well as a great way to meet fellow bookworms like yourself!!

And just imagine seeing all those great bookish photos in your feed. :)

Sound like fun?? If so, head over to Instagram and join along!!

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