Mindless Ramble

My one year blog birthday is coming up in May and I’m wondering if I should keep the page up or not.

I feel like I’m not getting the hang of this, and should just stop before I make an idiot of myself, but at the same time, I want to improve myself as a blogger and a reader.  I have so many ideas of what I could do to make the page more fun, like talking my husband into doing guest posts on what he’s reading or what video game he is currently playing.

I’ve had an idea that I kicked around with Tim and a few friends that would involve doing a “cookies and covers” type of thing, wasn’t sure if I wanted to travel around NYC and check out cookie shops or try my hand at baking my own cookies for this, or hey who knows maybe a combination of both.

I should try to be more active and try out W.O.W, or even taking part in a cover reveal or two.  I’m just not sure how to go about it, since I have a hard time wording things properly at times.  May also be why I have a difficult time even trying to word a simple email for ARC requests.  I know I can ask for help, but even them I’m worried that I won’t be asking properly.

I know this is a ramble, but at times I just need to put my thoughts out there, even if no one listens.

Feel free to comment…

 

The Bone Witch ARC Review

30095464The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch#1)

by Rin Chupeco

 Hardcover, 400 pages

Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

ISBN13: 9781492635826

4/5/books

*eARC  provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review*

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

 

—————————————————————————

I will not lie. I enjoyed this book more than I thought. The story is told from two different points of view, one is a more current story told from the point of a Bard that has sought out Tea to learn her story and to tell it to others during their travels. The other, are the flashbacks that Tea tells to the Bard. They are easy to differentiate due to the font type.

 

The story of Tea and what she went through after discovering that she is a Bone Witch was amazing.  Tea lives in a small village with her 2 sisters, her brother and mother and father. Fox (her brother) joins the military and ends up dying “by creatures unknown.”  Her refusal to allow him to be dead is that strong, that Tea draws the attention of Mykaela, another Bone Witch. Since Tea resurrected Fox they are now bound as a “master and servant” type of bond. They can sense each other mentally.

Mykaela takes Tea and Fox to Kion where she can begin her Asha training.

This is where I started to enjoy the book, knowing how Geisha training is done. The Asha apprentices go through something very similar. They reside in a house that may represent them, and pay for their training. In return the apprentices pay back the House after their debut as an Asha. The descriptions of the hua (my guess is that the hua is very similar to a Kimono that Geisha’s wear) that they wear once they are allowed to start training were just amazing.

“A deep coral that made an elegant contrast against her dark skin.  Blue-green bamboo swayed against swirling, silver cloud patterns on the rich cloth, and she had on a grey waist wrap with embroidered sparrows set in gold.” 

I mean how is that not a beautiful image?

The apprentices do go through a large amount of training in different skills there are singing lessons, music lessons, history lessons, dance even combat training since these girls are able to use elements to battle with. Tea had to learn more in combat training since being a Bone Witch/Dark Asha wasn’t very effective in battle.

My favorite character in the book doesn’t show up for awhile, but when Likh shows up working at the zivar shop (hairpin, comb, and accessory shop), I had a feeling I’d like him a lot.  I’m not sure why but when Tea explains Likh’s description I pictured Haku from Naruto.  Likh is a very feminine looking boy, and would rather train as an Asha instead of being sent off to be a Deathseeker.

Deathseekers are the male equivalent of an Asha, only males can be Deathseekers, and only females can be Asha.  They do fight side by side when fighting daeva that plague the Kingdom.  I’d be interested in knowing how what their history and backgrounds are like. Do they train in a similar style to that of a Ninja, or more like what the apprentices go though?

Another beautiful scene that was describes was at the darashi oyun which is a night set aside for the children of the Kingdom to since, dance, perform just to show the families how their teachings are going. Likh has an opportunity to perform a dance that I had a wonderful time visualizing in my mind, knowing that he was disguising himself as a female, so he wouldn’t be found out. Along with his use of fire magic during his performance, and the crowd’s reaction at the end, I wish I could have been a part of the crowd applauding him at the end.

At the start of the book Tea mentions to the Bard that she is no longer an Asha and has been exiled at the end of the world. Throughout the book the Bard sees exactly how powerful Tea is, and by the end there were more questions that I had than when I started. I do hope that they will be answered in the next book, because I need to know what happened to Likh, Fox and Tea’s one love.

Dragon’s Price Review

30407994The Dragon’s Price (Tranference #1)  by Bethany Wiggins

Hardcover, 304 pages

Expected publication: February 21st 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

ISBN13: 9780399549816

5/5 books

*eARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

 

Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon. 

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying. 

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . . 

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding? 

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

—————————————————————————

What if a dragons treasure wasn’t always the piles of gold you see in the movies or in books? What if it was something more private and personal

Since Sorrowlynns birth she has lived up to her name, but not exactly by choice, her destiny has been stated that she will die by her own hand.  Others in the kingdom have referred to her as Suicide Sorrow.  She has resolved herself to death in order to get out of an arranged marriage based on a history of the two Kingdoms.

Golmarr is the Prince that falls in love with Sorrow, and wants to be the one to marry her, but Sorrow binds herself to die by the dragon, over marriage.  He chooses to follow her into the dragon’s lair.

This is where the book gets fun.  I wanted to throttle Sorrow for being an idiot, but if she chose to marry it wouldn’t be much of a book.  Sorrow is so helpless, due to her family keeping her locked in her chambers her whole life, she can’t really do much for herself.  Golmarr comes across at the Knight in Shining Armor at this point.  Sorrow was so focused on what was proper for a Princess over trying to survive.  Her idea for surviving was a hunting knife and a bottle of Stickbane.

After fighting baby dragons and hiding from the fire dragon in the lair, they so end up coming across Zhun (the dragon).  After a bit of a fight, Golmarr is gravely injured, and Zhun turns on Sorrow, she has her vial of Stickbane in hand.  Girl loses hand, dragon digests Stickbane, dragon is getting weaker and weaker, and the girl somehow gets the strength to kill the dragon.  End of story right?  WRONG!  There is a bright blinding flash of light that knocks Sorrow out for a few minutes.  When she wakes she feels different, she has knowledge she never had before (Think Neo from the Matrix “I know Kung-Fu”).  She manages to save Golmarr, and get them out of the lair.

Now back to that treasure, when Sorrow killed Zhun she inhereted his “treasure” which is knowledge.   From this point on Golmarr and Sorrow try to survive getting back to his Kingdom, along with avoiding being killed by the other dragons in the land.  Legend is when the Fire Dragon wakes the other dragons wake too.

I loved this book, granted I always root for the Dragon; I had to root for Sorrow and Golmarr this time. The ending was heart breaking, and an awful way to leave the story for the next book.

Gilded Cage Review

30258320Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

Hardcover, 368 pages

Expected publication: February 14th 2017 by Del Rey Books

ISBN13: 9780425284155

3.5/5 books

*eARC  provided by the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved. 

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.  

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge. 

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution. 

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.  

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts. 

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

————————————————————————

I won’t lie, I almost DNF’d this.  It was a very slow start and I felt very confused about what was going on. At times, it felt like I didn’t have a complete ARC.

The only thing that kept me from not dropping it was what happened in the middle of the book, with Luke in the factory town and the people he met there and the set up for the rebellion that they put into motion.

The rest of the book was very very confusing.  There were so many things that just didn’t make sense.  Like Luke couldn’t go with his family because they didn’t have a job for him, but later on when he is brought to the estate and all of a sudden there is a job for him??

Also each chapter was from a different person’s point of view, and some of them made no sense to the overall story of the book.  There was family drama and there was political drama that had to do with the Equals, which hurt my head.

The types of “magic” these Equals had also didn’t make much sense.  I would think that a family would have some sort of inherited type of magic (like how families have hair color or eye color) but each member had something different and that was hard to follow too.

 

Frostblood Review

518ml5yebsl-_sx328_bo1204203200_Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake

Hardcover, 384 pages

Expected publication: January 10th 2017

ISBN13: 9780316273251

4/5 books

**eARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

 

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

—————————————————————————

Ruby is the kind of girl I can root for, even with her self-doubts about being a fireblood, she still finds strength to fight for what she believes in. Growing up she was trying to learn how to use her abilities with her grandmother, but after her grandmother died her mother forbid her from ever using her abilities again. Being the only fireblood in a kingdom of ice was pretty much an instant death sentence.

Ruby is outted by a local village boy, and she is taken prisoner, in the dungeons she is treated horribly. Oddly enough she is saved by some frostbloods and taken to a hidden

monastery, where while there she is trained to use her fire abilities. While there, she is told of a prophecy that she may be a part of.

While under the care of the monks at the monastery, Ruby has a love/hate relationship with the very jaded and on guard young man Arcus. He pushes her buttons to get her to use her fire abilities, but shows a kind side on rare occasions. The relationship between Ruby and Arcus drove me nuts at first, but as the story progressed it made more sense by the end of the book I was cheering for them.

I found the history of the firebloods and frostbloods very interesting and I’m hoping there will be more of this in the next two books. There is Fire and Ice along with Light and Dark, all seem to be major factors of a world that has been thrown into unbalance, and Ruby may be a part of putting it back into balance.

I’m curious to see where Ruby and Arucs are headed in Fireblood the next book in the series.

Timekeeper Review (Sunday Street Team)

81mhi0znz8l

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Hardcover, 368 pages

Published November 8th 2016 by Sky Pony Press

ISBN13: 9781510706187

4 books

Series Timekeeper #1

 

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever. 

This was a fun book to read, the setting, the steampunk vibe, the characters, the mythology and the gingerbread

Danny is a Timekeeper which means he has the ability to fix clocks, I know sounds easy, but when something goes wrong with the clock, the town is effected (example the 2 is missing, so time goes from 1:59 to 3:00, if the weights are wrong on the pendulum the town speeds up, if the clock stops, the town stops).

Danny is given an assignment to fix the clock tower in Enfield, he is unsure about this assignment since he is filled with anxiety and guilt after surviving an explosion at one of the other clock towers. Danny is told that he will be working with a new apprentice, something else that he is not happy about. After

showing up at Enfiled, he is met with who he thinks is the apprentice, a young quiet male who seems eager to learn and help Danny fix the clock. After a few trips out to Enfield, Danny realizes that the young male that was helping him was not the apprentice that was assigned to work with him, but is in fact the clock spirit for the Enfield Tower.

Danny has a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that clock spirits do exist, despite hearing rumors of one of the teachers at the academy fell in love with a spirit. Colton (the clock spirits name) has taking an extreme liking to Danny, and Danny finds out that Colton has been hurting himself, which in turns effects to tower, just to get Danny to come out there.

While Danny is fighting with his feeling for Colton, he is also trying to figure out how he can possibly save his father from Maldon. Along with trying to stop the other clock towers from possibly being destroyed. When I found out who was behind the attacks and why, I felt both anger and pity.

One aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the breaks in the story which explained the mythology background of Chronos and his children. I do hope that there will be more of that in the future books.

One character I hope shows up in the next book is Cassie. She is Danny’s best friend and she works as a mechanic fixing cars. When she first appeared in the book, I fell in love with her, she reminds me of Winry Rockbell from FMA.

I know Timekeeper just came out, but I am looking forward to the next book and seeing more of Danny, Colton and hopefully the rest of the characters.

Beat the Backlist 2017 Challege

beatthebacklistSo Novel Knight has announced a book challenge for 2017, which I debated about joining for a day.  I was worried that I’d have to submit a list of books already that I plan on reading for my challenge in 2017, I lucked out, I can just list how many I plan to read for my goal and add the titles as the challenge goes along.

My goal is going to be to read at least 30 non 2017 titles for the challenge.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4285760-danielle?shelf=btb-challenge

Feel free to join up yourself, who knows you may find some “new” titles to add to your own TBR during the challenge

http://novelknight.com/2016/10/2017-beat-backlist-challenge-information/