Book Traveling Thursdays

yyyyyyyBook Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. To Find out more, join the Goodreads group.

Topic: We’re halway through 2016. Choose your favorite book of the year so far. 

This was a hard choice! For me it’s a 3-way tie between Wolf by Wolf, Rebel of the Sands and Starflight. I loved all of these books so far this year and yes, Wolf by Wolf was released last year, but it’s new to me! The writing, the emotion throughout and the whole “what if” history just captivated me from start to finish. I cannot wait until the sequel is released later this year. I am so excited that I have it marked on my calendar and I never, ever do that.

Original Cover/Cover From My Country:

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This cover is just so perfect! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!! ♥️

Favourite Covers:

The covers are basically the same, just the colour has changed. Equally amazing and a perfect fit for the story. It reminds me of the World War II era propaganda posters. I can’t stop gushing about how I adore everything about this book.

Least Favourite Covers:

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This Italian cover is not my cup of tea. So little of the story actually happens in Berlin (or Germania) and the main character spends the whole novel covered up because of her wolf tattoos that I don’t think it represents the novel very well. They didn’t even try. Ugh!

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ARC Review | The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay
Release date: August 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

Who will be left after lights out?

At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

pink-divider-hiThe beginning of the book was immediate action. Something was happening and it caught my attention right away!!! Cate the main character is attending a talented kids school but she seems pretty normal, no special gift. The school is located on an island and has different activities according to the special abilities each student has. She is into art and that’s it. One day, she is taken from her bed ! She realized that the GAME has just started and she is delighted to be part of it! The ASSASSIN’S GAME.  The rules are simple, ONLY PRANK kills. The secret society called THE ASSASSIN’S GUILD is running the game this year and Cate is finally a player!

Vaughn shows up!  Yay!!! Vaughn’s Cate’s best friend before she got to that school. They stopped seeing each other at 8 years old, and now miraculously, he is a student and apparent “gifted kiddo”. Cate is confused and has this guilt trip feeling because she left their neighborhood without saying goodbye. Now he is back into her life and she needs to make things up. Not to mention he is extremely athletic, fit, handsome and smart.

Once the game starts everything is a thrill! Every kill has its essence and uniqueness. It was not until the game turned SERIOUS and there was an actual and REAL murder. At this point, I was really happy with the shift. The mystery under every kill and the quest to find WHO THE KILLER IS was good! And Vaughn and Cate ally and began to haunt the killer together, getting themselves in dangerous and risky situations!!!

I thought that this was a good idea, the turning points in the story are amazing! The very last chapters were also amazing and I can say that despite some bad or poor reviews, this is a good book. I have trouble with thrillers and mystery because most of the time they are not mysterious at all, however, The Assassin Game pleased me too much. I loved Some characters and hated some and that just feels so good because I enjoyed this a lot! The story went fast paced and started uncovering some facts about the characters that were not stated before and that made it more amusing since those facts were key to the whole story. The end of the book was unexpected at some point. Yes….. At the end, the truth was revealed, but there was something in the way Kirsty wrote the book that made it still engaging.

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

26114463This week I am waiting on Nevernight by Jay KristoffWhat attracted me to this book was the cover. It’s interesting, mysterious and totally creepy. Then I read the synopsis and was hooked. An amazing vengeance seeking assassin? YESSSSS!!! The book will be released in August.

Synopsis: In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Top Ten Tuesday

Untitled.001Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. It’s freebie week! Since the topic is up to me, I’m going to focus on novels from 2016 debut authors.

There are so many great books coming out this year from first time authors. One of the reasons I love blogging is that I can help get the word out about these books. The more support means more books from the authors. Recently, I received emails from a few debut authors to thank me for reviewing their books or featuring them on various weekly memes. This was completely unexpected. I blog not because I want to receive praise or freebies. I do it because I love books and want to share my thoughts about them. Everything else is just a completely awesome bonus!

Anyway, these are the debut books I’ve enjoyed so far this year and some that I’m eagerly waiting for! ❤

My Favourites So Far:

Books I Can’t Wait For:

Which debuts have you loved this year? Which ones are you most looking forward to? 🙂

ARC Review | The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

27276218The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
Release date: July 19th, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

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When a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.

He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.

Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won’t be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.

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NOTE: I wrote this review ages ago when I first started the blog, so in January or February. It was one of the first books I received on NetGalley. That seems like ages and ages ago! 😮

I guess I have recently developed a thing for dragons? I jumped into this book right after finishing Henchgirl by Rita Straddling. While Henchgirl was non-stop action, The Dragon Round was a slow burner that took some time to get going. It opens with Jeryon, the rule abiding captain of the Comber, being abandoned at sea by his mutinous crew following a disastrous dragon attack. He is fortunate enough to survive the perilous journey and is washed up on island where he witnesses the hatching of a baby dragon. And this is where things really begin.

While slow at the start, the plot really got moving at around the mid-way point on. What really stood out for me was that the plot was not driven by any type of romance. Love triangles were nowhere to be seen (thank goodness)! The book featured two lead characters (Jeryon and his apothecary Everlyn) interacting together as partners and working toward a common goal. The downfall? The characters never really go anywhere. The remain as they were at the beginning of the book. No development whatsoever. However, I did like Everlyn as she was, a strong female who could take care of herself. She definitely gave Jeryon a run for his money. The characters don’t really develop because a lot of time is spent introducing secondary characters to help drive the plot along. I often found myself going back and forth between pages to refresh my memory or to keep them all straight.

The Dragon Round has some faults, but these shouldn’t take away from the fact that the novel did have a lot of promise. The idea was interesting and it wasn’t badly written. Once past the slow start things do start to pick up and become exciting. The conversations between characters flowed and weren’t awkward at all. Its main fault came down to the fact that not enough attention was given to developing the main characters. So overall, the book was a decent read that would be enjoyed by people who like fantasy and adventure.

July TBR

ja.001I’m officially on a reading roll! *jumps up and down* My NetGalley list is now down to 3 books and I’m checking off a lot of books I planned to read this past month for various challenges. Of course, in June I went completely off course and only read 2 of the 5 books I planned on reading. So, that’s why the list looks similar to the one I created last month. I’m excited about reading again and couldn’t be happier 🙂

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Finally, this weekend I will receive my Uppercase Box and a physical ARC for NEMESIS by Anna Banks! I have had Nemesis on my TBR for last month I think, but it was not until now that I received a positive reply to my insistent requests!!! 🙂 I also have some eARCs from NetGalley that I need to read this month!

Review | Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

25231892Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember
Release date: April 21st, 2016
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: Young adult, romance, fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon

Goodreads | Amazon

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After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

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I’m so pleased that I finally read this book! I saw it on NetGalley and debated requesting it, but didn’t because I had so many other books to read. I read Unicorn Tracks as part of the June edition of #AYearAThon. The theme was LGBTQQIAAP+ books and this novel fit perfectly.

I really, like REALLY, liked this book. The world building, the mythical creatures, the characters, the amazing cover…I could honestly go on and on. I’m now kicking myself for not reading it earlier! The setting was magical. It’s the African savannah meets the world of Harry Potter. The description of the land and the animals was so beautiful. I want to go right now! Also, loved the beast/creature guide at the end! It’s such a cool addition. 🙂

The thing that stood out for me was the relationship between the main character Mnemba and Kara, the woman she’s tasked with guiding around, is natural. The attraction was there right away and yes, the relationship didn’t take much time to develop, but it still felt like it was natural. It didn’t follow an insta-love formula found in a lot of YA books nor did it jump up and down showing off is female/female romance. It handled the situation beautifully. The relationship that developed was full of support, respect and tenderness. I wish more books were written like this.

The only issue I had was the length. At around 160 pages it was too short for my liking. I wanted more from the world, more from the characters. In particular, I wanted more of what happened to Mnemba and her family dynamic to be explored. There were glimpses of opportunity, but a lot of the conflicts were resolved too quickly. Another 100 pages or so could have avoided this situation. Also, with it being on the shorter side and fast paced, I went through it too quickly. I wanted to get to the end, but also slow down because I knew the adventure would be over. Ugh! Bookish problems!

Anyway, this is a book that you need to read! Seriously, check it out because it’s a blend of some many different things that there is something for everyone!