Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April Wrap-Up

*Contains spoilers for the April FairyLoot and Wildest Dreams boxes*

These are the books I planned to read this month . . .


Northern Lights (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman - paperback - 4/5 stars.
Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.
Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - paperback - 4/5 stars.

Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1) by Bree Barton - FairyLoot hardback - 2.5/5 stars.
Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan - 3.5/5 stars - read my review here.


 Shades of Magic, Vol 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab - paperback - 3/5 stars.
Romanov by Nadine Brandes - eARC - 3/5 stars - review to come as part of the blog tour.
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) by Philip Pullman - paperback - 3.5 or 4/5 stars.


This is my smallest monthly haul for ages!

 Music and Malice in Hurricane Town by Alex Bell - this was the April Wildest Dreams book
Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2) by Renee Ahdieh - I got this ARC in a trade (thanks Naima!)
Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1) by Ashley Poston
Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1) by Maya Motayne - this was the April FairyLoot book


Firefly: Big Damn Hero (Firefly, #1) by James Lovegrove


Game of Thrones started so I've been watching that. It's been so good!

I saw Avengers: Endgame and can't stop thinking about it.
I cried so much!

We got a puppy! A German shepherd called Mia!

What did you do in April?


Monday, April 29, 2019

Wildest Dreams Unboxing - Myths and Legends (April Box)

Wildest Dreams is a YA subscription book box run by the lovely Zoe who blogs at No Safer Place.

Each box included a YA book, a tea, a bath product, and usually a bookmark and something extra.

This month the theme was 
Myths and Legends
Here's what was inside . . .

A skull-shaped bath bomb inspired by the book of the month, which smells like several different flowers, musk, wood and cassis with a touch of zest. This is from Pretty Suds.
A print of Hua Mulan, the legendary Chinese warrior that the Disney animated film is based on. This is by @lostinink_.
Stickers of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. These are from Enchanted Bookmarks on Etsy.
A badge for Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell.
A bag of fizzy crocodile sweets.
Earl Grey tea inspired by Abraxos the Wyvern in the Throne of Glass series. This is from Rosie Lea Tea.
The book of the month is Music and Malice in Hurricane Town by Alex Bell. This came with a postcard, a bookmark and some information about Hurricane Town.
Overall I'm pleased with this box.
The book sounds interesting and I love the Mulan print.
Did you get this month's box?
What's your favourite item?

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Blog Tour + Deleted Scenes + Giveaway - King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

Find the tour schedule here.

King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: April 30th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult


Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all...

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both theirheads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics...with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive...

Or die as legends.

Book Links:

 Deleted Scenes

He knocked, and the door swung open, revealing a girl in a nightdress with her hair in curlers, pointing a pistol at his chest. Levi raised his hands in surprise and surrender.
            “Who are you?” she demanded.
            “Who am I?” He blinked. He hadn’t gotten that question in a few months, and certainly not from someone pointing a gun at his face.
            Another girl appeared behind her, one with wide-brimmed glasses that made her eyes look several sizes too big. She whacked the first girl in the head with a stack of papers. “Are you thick? That’s Pup.” Her voice had a squeak like she’d swallowed a bug.
            The pistol girl squinted. “You’re better looking in your wanted poster.”
            The bug girl gave an exasperated sigh and pushed her aside. “What are you here for? No one comes here.” She looked him over, flushing. “Um, especially not more boys.”
            Levi was quickly regretting his decision not to call ahead of time. The air inside smelled far too much of nail polish and floral perfume. “I’m looking for Séance.”
            The pistol girl smirked. “I figured as much.” She elbowed the bug girl in the side. “Go get her.” And as she scampered off, Levi was left standing with her alone.
            “Can I come in?” he asked.
            She leaned against the doorframe and inspected her pink manicure. “Nope.”
            It was an awfully hot day outside to make him wait. He crossed his arms. “What did she mean about ‘more boys?’” He thought Enne only hired girls.
            “We have thirteen cats and one boy. He’s tied to a chair upstairs.”
            Levi clicked his tongue. He wasn’t in the mood for joking. In fact, he’d been rehearsing his speech all morning, still entirely uncertain what he’d say to Enne. He’d kept his share of secrets, but he thought they’d put them behind them. When he first drove off to come here, he was going to tell her that what she did was unforgivable. By the time he reached halfway, he only wanted to see if she was all right.
And now that he’d arrived, he was more lost than ever, but it was too late to turn back now.
            Somewhere in the school behind her, a girl shouted off a string of numbers, which was followed by bickering and the sound of a blade scraping down a chalkboard. He was no longer sure if he was curious to go inside or mildly terrified. Tock had explained the atmosphere of the Spirits’ hideout to him once or twice, but he hadn’t quite believed her. Maybe they did really keep a man tied upstairs.
            “Levi?” Enne asked, appearing in the doorway, with several other girls peering at him behind her. He felt incredibly on display. Enne whipped around and pushed the girls away. “You all havework to do,” she groaned, and closed the door.
            “Are you about to tell me,” Levi said carefully, “that those six girls are controlling the thousands of volts of nearly every enterprise in the North Side?”
            “Well right now they’re not,” she huffed. “Right now they’re certainly all watching from the window.”
            Levi turned, and sure enough, several faces were pressed against the glass. One of them blew him a kiss.

About the Author

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she lives in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

Her books include DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY and ACE OF SHADES. The next installment of THE SHADOW GAME TRILOGY, KING OF FOOLS, releases on April 30, 2019.

Author Links:

 Tour-wide giveaway

Open to US only



Thursday, April 25, 2019

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - The Devil’s Own by K.A. Fox

 Find the tour schedule here.


The Devil’s Own by K.A. Fox
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: April 20th 2019
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Delaney Murphy has always known she’s the Devil’s daughter. And although the title itself is a burden, she never expects to inherit all her father’s infernal abilities. When her newfound magic begins to poison the people closest to her, Laney must make a choice. To protect the world from the worst she can do, she leaves everyone she loves behind and builds a new life for herself, alone, in a place where she can control the urge to give in to the magic living within her.

But when she recognizes a familiar pattern in a string of murders, Laney leaves her peaceful, isolated life behind and goes on the hunt, unleashing a threat she never dreamed possible. Confronting this menacing specter could mean giving in to temptation and becoming the one thing she fears most. Will she use her magic to do the right thing, even if it means hurting the ones she loves?

“Top 10 Fictional worlds”

1. Firefly/Serenity – I’m a Browncoat, through and through. I love the mash up of Wild West and Sci-Fi. 

2. Supernatural – this urban fantasy is my guilty pleasure. It’s going to be so hard to say goodbye.

3. Narnia – I dreamed about having my own adventures in this world when I was younger. 

4. Pern – dragons that choose their riders. What else needs to be said?

5. The Potterverse – Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Platform 9 ¾ will live forever. 

6. Shannara – Druids, Elves and magic plus the classic battle between good and evil. 

7. Middle Earth – I would never pass up the chance to ride with Aragorn or fight beside Hobbits. 

8. The Hollows – Kim Harrison’s urban fantasy world of witches, vampires and poisonous tomatoes sucks you in. 

9. The Pararsol Protectorate – Gail Carriger’s steampunk world is charming, funny and keeps you wanting more. 

10. Shades of Magic – V.E. Schwab’s series about parallel Londons is simply masterful.

Author Bio

K.A. Fox is a proud military brat who has lived all over the world but now calls the Midwest home. She uses her psychological training to facilitate successful negotiations at work and to convince her husband and three sons that she’s always right. When not writing, she can usually be found hiding somewhere with a book and a bit of chocolate, or chasing after her own adorable Hell Hound.

 Tour-wide giveaway

Open INT


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Easter Readathon Recap

(Graphics are pinched from the lovely Kate at Reading Through Infinity)

 Kate at Reading Through Infinity hosted a readathon over Easter for the second year.
This was my first ever readathon but I wasn't expecting to get much reading done as I recently got a puppy.
I am pretty happy with what I managed to read. 

I finished off Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan which I gave 3.5 stars (my review can be found here) and Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton which I gave 2.5 stars.


 I read Shades of Magic Vol 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab which I gave three stars and I managed to start The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.

I didn't get everything on the bingo card but I got quite a few.

Did you participate in the Easter Readathon?
What books did you read?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review - Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)
Author: Natasha Ngan
Pages: 400
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 6th November 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honour they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.
Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after - the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable - she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley*

Lei lives in a land with different castes, some human, some demon with animal-like attributes.
Lei is human and in the lowest caste, the Paper caste.
Years ago, Lei's mother was taken in a raid and when soldiers once again come to her village, it is Lei herself who is taken. The soldiers heard rumour of a human girl with golden eyes and take her to the king's palace to become a Paper Girl, one of nine girls who will spend a year as the king's concubines while learning the skills needed to fit in at court, and giving the king whatever he wants.
While at the palace, Lei falls in love, but not with the king.
Can Lei keep her forbidden romance a secret?
Can she escape a life she doesn't want?

I was really excited to read Girls of Paper and Fire, but also hesitant because it isn't often that I enjoy hyped books as much as everyone else. Unfortunately, this was one of those occasions.
Lei and Wren were my favourite characters. I liked them both and found them interesting.
The setting was intriguing, as was the idea of demons that were human-like but had animal characteristics like cat ears or scales.
The plot was interesting but I wasn't hooked.
There were times when I found myself getting angry on behalf of the Paper Girls because of how the king treated them.
I liked the romance but it wasn't one of my favourites that I've read.
I am intrigued to see what happens in the sequel but it's not something that I will go out of my way to read.
I am disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.

Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Easter Readathon

(Graphics are pinched from the lovely Kate at Reading Through Infinity)

 Kate at Reading Through Infinity is hosting a readathon over Easter. This will be the second year she has hosted it and I've decided to give it a go!
This will be my first ever readathon! 
I'm not expecting to get much reading done as I recently got a puppy who is taking up most of my time, but I'm determined to give it a shot.

These are the Easter Readathon challenges:

I'm kind of cheating with these first two books as I've already started them, but I'm hoping to finish them over the Easter weekend.

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan - new-to-me author, LGBTQIAP+, author of colour.
Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1) by Bree Barton - new-to-me author.

I'm hoping I'll get to read at least one of the following books as well . . .

Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard - new-to-me author, green cover.
Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab - graphic novel that's been on my TBR for ages.

 The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) by Philip Pullman  - involves an animal or pet (daemons count right?)
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds - yellow cover, new-to-me author, author of colour. 

Are you taking part in the Easter Readathon?
What are you planning to read? 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Review - Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Skyward (Skyward, #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Pages: 528
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: 6th November 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

Spensa's world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity's only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what's left of the human race. 
Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's - a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa's chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They've doubled their fleet, making Spensa's world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .

My Review:
*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley*

Spensa's ancestors came to the planet of Detritus while escaping an alien race called the Krell.
Ever since, the survivors have been struggling to defend their new home and pilots have become heroes.
Spensa has always dreamed of being a pilot, but she is the daughter of the only pilot to flee a battle, something that she is never allowed to forget.
Can Spensa achieve her dream of becoming a pilot?
Can the inhabitants of Detritus win against the Krell?

Skyward was my first Brandon Sanderson book and, after hearing so much praise for his books, I'm very disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.
I liked Spensa overall but there were times when she was very juvenile - although I think this was probably a defence mechanism.
My favourite character was M-Bot the talking spaceship. I would like to find out more about where/when M-Bot came from.
I found the setting interesting, especially the debris that formed a protective layer around the planet.
I feel like Skyward could have been a lot shorter. I know that this is the first book in a series so it was setting up the series, but not much really happened. Some of the cadet training was a bit repetitive. The twist at the end was interesting but I'm not sure if I'll read the next book.
I liked the writing style and I do want to try another Brandon Sanderson book.

Overall this was an enjoyable but disappointing read.