Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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23437156Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

“This isn’t a job for trained soldiers and spies. This is a job for thugs and thieves.”

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Digimon Book Tag [Original?]

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With Pokemon GO’s release a month ago the world is currently obsessed with catching them all. But what about Pokemon’s “rival”, Digimon? The two franchises have been competing with each other since their debut in the 90’s and it definitely seems that Pokemon has made a bigger impact in the West. But there are still a lot of us Digimon fans around as well. And we’re back out with the release of Digimon Adventure Tri, the direct sequel to Digimon Adventure 02 that premiered in 2000.

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Img taken from Crunchyroll

The original Digimon seasons featured Crests that highlighted the main trait within each of the DigiDestined and gave them the ability to Digivolve past their limits. And that’s where the tag will focus. I came up with the idea for this as a kind of call-to-arms for my fellow Digimon fans within the book community. We may not have Digimon GO (yet…?) but that doesn’t mean our love for the franchise has faded nor have we.

Also, I found this video from Books All Over You but I can’t speak Portuguese to translate his prompts. So I’m not too sure how original this tag is. Either way, check out his video! (And if any Portuguese speakers want to let me know how much my tag has in common with his it would be greatly appreciated).

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The Ladies of Literature

Happy International Women’s Day!

In honor of today being a day where women are celebrated worldwide I decided to do a blog post featuring some of my favorite women: authors, artists and characters alike.

Authors:

Victoria Schwab/ V.E. Schwab — The Archived series, A Darker Shade of Magic series

 

Amy Ewing — The Lone City trilogy

 

Maggie Stiefvater — The Raven Cycle series

 

Artists:

Fiona Staples — Saga graphic novel series

Katsura Hoshino — D. Gray Man manga series

 

Akira Amano — Reborn! manga series

 

Miki Yoshikawa — Yamada and the Seven Witches manga series

 

Characters:

Vin (Mistborn: The Final Empire trilogy) — Brandon Sanderson

Mackenzie Bishop (The Archived series) — Victoria Schwab

The Duchess of the Lake (The Lone City trilogy) — Amy Ewing

Alexia Tarabotti (The Parasol Protectorate series) — Gail Carriger

Genya Saffin (The Grisha trilogy) — Leigh Bardugo

Agatha (The School for Good and Evil trilogy) — Soman Chainani

Cleo (Falling Kingdoms series) — Morgan Rhodes

 

These are all my opinion, but feel free to agree or share some impactful ladies of literature in the comments below.

GJA.

Cover Reveal: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times revealed the cover Crooked Kingdom, the sequel to Six of Crows by fantasy superauthor, Leigh Bardugo

 

23437156Six of Crows was released in September 2014 and was described as a step up from her already bestselling Grisha trilogy. It follows a band of misfits, ostracized from society, they survive by cheating, lying, and killing — all while each others’ throats.

 

Having enjoyed Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, I waited for the reviews to pour in. After gathering a slew of four and five-star reviews, I ordered SOC during release week. And of course, I still haven’t read it.

That aside, I was still patiently awaiting the arrival of the cover for the sequel once Bardugo announced the cover will be coming our way on Feb 22. I was a little hesistant because of SOC’s cover style, but I was pleasantly surprised when the designer was able to keep the style alive with its sequel.

See the cover and synopsis for Leigh Bardugo’s newest release, Crooked Kingdom, below the cut. Crooked Kingdom is set for release on September 27, 2016.

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Anticipated 2016 Releases

Now that we’ve broken the seal on the new year I think it’s time to give a list of some books that I’m looking forward to this year. Some of these book have titles, covers and synopses, while others have one or none. Either way, here’s a list of my most anticipated 2016 releases in order of release date:

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6) by Brandon Sanderson

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With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.

Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

Release date: January 26th, 2016

Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi

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For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen–Conquest, Famine, and Death–are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now–bound, bloodied, and drugged–Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for–not to mention all of humankind–he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

Release date: February, 16th 2016

A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

Release date: February, 23rd 2016

The Road to Amazing (Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years #3) by Brent Hartinger

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According to the author’s blog post:

What’s The Road to Amazing about? Well, I don’t want to give too many spoilers, especially if you haven’t read Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams yet. But I can say the book takes place over the course of a single wild weekend, there’s a mystery element, and Russel’s friends Otto, Min, Gunnar, and Vernie Rose are all back with plenty going on in their lives.

Release date: March 2016

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

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All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Release date: April, 26th 2016

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

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The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.

As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.
When Kate discovers August’s secret, the pair find themselves running for their lives and battling monsters from both sides of the wall. As the city dissolves into chaos, it’s up to them to foster a peace between monsters and humans.

A unique, fast-paced adventure that looks at the monsters we face every day—including the monster within.

Release date: July, 5th 2016

Crooked Kingdom (The Dregs #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Following SIX OF CROWS, this is the second book in a new fantasy epic from the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING, Leigh Bardugo.

SIX OF CROWS took Leigh’s fans back into the world they know and love, and now she continues the adventure in the dangerous and fascinating underworld of Ketterdam city.

As gripping, sweeping and memorable as The Grisha Trilogy, this is perfect for fans of Laini Taylor, Kristin Cashore and Game of Thrones.

Release date: September, 22nd 2016

The Lost Metal (Mistborn #7) by Brandon Sanderson

The Lost Metal is the tentative title for the fourth and final book set in Mistborn Era 2.

Release date: October, 20th 2016

The Black Key (The Lone City #3) by Amy Ewing

Release date: 2016

The Inexplicable Logic of My Heart by Benjamin Alire Saenz

A YA novel set in El Paso about family and friendship, life and death, by Printz Honor author Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe).

Release date: 2016

Favorite Books of 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 is officially over, and we welcome 2016 with open arms and hopes of new and exciting experiences.

But for a new beginning, there was an ending. And so, to end 2015, I’m going to be recounting the six books that I absolutely loved reading this year.

 

#6 The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

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I mentioned this book in a few of my recent posts. The Art of Loving is a non-fiction book that describes psychologist Erich Fromm’s theory of love. In it he explores his ideas of what love is and why people experience love the way they do. I had to read it for my Personality Theory class and I’m very grateful that I did. This book changed the way I view relationships.

#5 My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

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MHAOBH is a contemporary novel that tells the story of a young couple that made a pact to end their lives together. I didn’t plan on reading it. I had seen contemporary novels that talked about depression and suicide before, and I just wasn’t interested. But then something made me pick it up and read the first few pages, and the next thing I knew I was neck deep in the story. It was powerful and heartbreaking and it put Jasmine Warga on my radar.

At the end I was so at a loss for words I couldn’t write a coherent review. Instead I made a playlist of songs that I feel fit the tone of the book.

#4 Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Not so much Ruin and Rising, than the entire Grisha trilogy. This trilogy is definitely something. It’s a bit slow at first, and it continues to build as the books progress, but what really caught me were the world and the characters. I still feel like the plot lacked something, hence why these books each got four-stars from me. But the characters and setting made up for the weakness of the plot.

Regardless, the series still has a huge fanbase, and a spin-off series that I have yet to get involved with. I will definitely be addressing that in 2016.

#3 Soulless by Gail Carriger

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Gail Carriger’s Soulless is just a wild ride from start to finish. I was instantly hooked by the authenticity of Victorian English dialogue. And the protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti, was different to other protagonists that I’d read before. In the first chapter alone, she slays a vampire with a parasol. Who else does that?

In 2016 I’m looking forward to continuing on with the series. I already went ahead and bought the second in this five book series. I just have to start it.

#2 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Perks of Being a Wallflower

If I remember correctly, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book quite a few people read for school in the US. I never had to. Perks was one of the first books I read in 2015 and I still remember the feeling I had turning the pages, eagerly devouring Charlie’s story. Upon finishing the book itself, I turned to the movie and shed a few tears.

I have yet to get a physical copy of this book, but it’s definitely one that I need for my personal collection.

#1 More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

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My favorite book of the year. It made me feel all of the good and happy things, and all of the not so good and sad things. More Happy Than Not started off a little slow but when things got started, they got started. This book is the reason I had a reading slump for a few months, and I think that deserves my #1 spot.

If this is what Adam can do to me with his debut novel, I can’t wait to see what his later books will bring. Probably more feels, maybe even some tears, and definitely more reading slumps. But it will all be worth it.

The Emoji Book Tag

I was tagged by Sara at Freadom Library to do this tag. It’s really simple and fairly flexible, which I like.

The idea behind this tag is to choose your top 5 most used emojis (a word that rubs me the wrong way), describe the way you use them and match them to a book. See? Easy.

#1 favorite-emoji-choice-side-eye

I use this emoji to show that I am so done. And I use it very frequently. The book I choose that made me feel so done was, unfortunately, The Last Seeker by Fleur Camacho.

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I tried reading this book a couple months ago as the author had given me a free ebook to read and review but I just couldn’t. Around 20% in nothing had happened and I started skimming pages to around half the book and still, NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. I was more than done with this book.

#4 emoji_set_121

This is another one of my favorites. This emoji has a very simple meaning: YASSSSSSSSS. Also, nine out of ten times, I send this emoji several times which is then followed by some kind of excited message in all caps. If you get this out of me know that I am tickled pink. What book tickled me pink? I’m going to go with a current read, The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

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Like I mentioned, I’m currently reading this one and I stopped at a point that literally had me going YASSSSSS TESSA. I’m only 12% in but I’m enjoying it more than The Naturals. It’s still too early to say. It might just be a bomb beginning but I have faith that JLB will continue to deliver.

#3 flat,220x200,075,t.u3

I use this one to show that I’m better than you. I think the best way to explain this emoji (shudders) is with a gif:

For this I choose Soulless by Gail Carriger.

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Soulless has a rather sassy young lady for a protagonist in one Miss Alexia Tarabotti. I really don’t want to use any quotes to demonstrate the fact that her sass is out of this world so instead I’m just going to ask that you read this book. Please?

#2 fearful-face

This is the face I use when someone has gone too far. Not only is the poor guy so scared his eyebrows have shot to the sky, he’s turning blue. I couldn’t really think of any books that made me uncomfortable but I went with The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky because of something they included in the movie.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

#1 bfc9fffa8d290536a28e6d141c61a0d1

This is my general emoji for sadness or discomfort or a general moment of “Noo why is this happening?”. And so, I decided to match this emoji with Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo because of events.

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And with that we’ve ended the EMOJI BOOK TAG.

September 2015 Anticipated Releases!

I know I haven’t been very active this month because of moving and getting settled into my new living space but with September around the corner, here’s to a fresh start! Here are the books coming out this month that I’m looking forward to:

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

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Genre(s): fantasy

Release date: 1st September, 2015

All of the Above by James Dawson

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Genre(s): contemporary, queer fiction

Release date: 3rd September, 2015

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

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Genre(s): fantasy

Release date: 29th September, 2015

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Genre(s): high fantasy

Release date: 29th September, 2015

T5W: Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Stories

I’m not going to lie: I kind of had a hard time coming up with this list. Usually I’m pretty satisfied with books, their stories and the characters. If I don’t like a character I stop reading. But there have been some cases where I have pushed through (*cough Paper Towns cough). So without further ado, let’s get on with it:

#5.5 (Bonus round) Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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This isn’t even based around a character but I really, really love the world of SLA. The first book kicks off after the Winter Kingdom was invaded by Spring so what I want is a story of Winter in its prime. I’m sure we’ll have some version of that by the end of the trilogy (because that’s just how these things go) but that will be like WInter 2.0. I want to see the original Winter.

#5 Sandra Sharpe in The Curse Workers by Holly Black

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Sandra Sharpe is the mother of the protagonist, Cassel Sharpe, and an emotion worker. Throughout the entire book she’s in jail for being caught conning rich men. I want to know more about Sandra and her con work. I’d love to see a book or two about Sandra in her twenties maybe? Or before she meets Cassel’s father. The books can end when she meets him or gets pregnant, I don’t care. I just want more Sandra because I felt like she was a way more interesting character than Cassel ever was.

#4 Any of the Naturals from The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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It’s no secret that I really enjoy this series and all of the characters that inhabit it. I would really like a book about any one of the characters’ before they joined the Naturals program. We know they all had difficult pasts because of their skills but it doesn’t really go that much in depth and that’s what I want. Depth.

What caused them to require the skill. How they developed it. How they used it afterward. All leading up to their enrollment in the program.

#3 Gabriel from The Half-Life by Sally Green

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Literally the only reason I read book two of this series was for Gabriel. Gabriel is the shining light in the chaos that is this trilogy. Please, more Gabriel and less Nathan.

#2 Raven from The Lone City by Amy Ewing

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I know we get Raven’s perspective in the novella THE HOUSE OF STONE, and it was good. But it wasn’t enough. From the first line you get a glimpse into Raven’s personality and she’s definitely more interesting than Violet in my opinion. Maybe a collection of short stories from her perspective throughout the trilogy? Similar to Veronica Roth’s FOUR? I just need something to work with here. I have so many questions pertaining to her after reading book two.

#1 Nikolai from The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo

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Everyone loves Nikolai Lantsov. And the fact that I remember his last name goes to show you how attached I am to this guy. He’s a pirate. He’s a king. He’s snarky and witty and great. What else is there to say?

And if you don’t like Nikolai…. what is wrong with you?¿?¿¿¿?