WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Blood Heir (Blood Heir #1) by Amelie Wen Zhao.  This book underwent some controversy earlier this year due to sensitivity concerns.  The author pulled the book from publication, made some revisions, and it’s scheduled to be released later this month.  I’m nearly halfway through and captivated by the world-building and Ana’s quest to clear her name for her father’s murder.

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

Over the weekend, I finished Reverie by Ryan La Sala.  Judging by other reviews, this is either a love it or hate it type of novel.  For me, it was a love.  Upon finishing the book, you may feel like you just finished a psychedelic trip on a bizarre carousel.

Inception meets The Magicians in the most imaginative YA debut of the year!

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.

As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

This wildly imaginative debut explores what happens when the secret worlds that people hide within themselves come to light.

Next, I’ll read Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Maggie Stiefvater.  This is a spinoff of The Raven Cycle and one of my most anticipated reads this year.  I can’t wait to immerse myself in this world again.  Ronan Lynch is hands down one of the best characters I’ve come across in YA fiction.

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

The Last Christmas: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson #bookreview #supernatural #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Jack is back.

Wilson never said he was through with Repairman Jack. He said he was through turning in a new novel every year. He also said when a story came along that was right for Jack, he’d write it.

The Last Christmas is that story.

It’s late December between Ground Zero and Fatal Error, a winter of discontent for Jack who’s perhaps spending too much time hanging at Julio’s. An old contact, Edward Burkes, convinces him to take on a missing-person fix. As usual, nothing is as it seems, and the missing person isn’t exactly a person. In fact, it’s like nothing anyone has ever seen.

And in the middle of all this, the mysterious Madame de Medici hires him to safeguard a valuable object. Simple, right?

Not even close.

Yep, Jack is back and, as usual, weird trouble is on his heels.

Many years ago, a friend loaned me Conspiracies, the third Repairman Jack novel. I was immediately hooked and scrambled to read the first two in the series.  Since then, I’ve remained a loyal fan and have read every book, as well as Repairman Jack: The Early Years.  I was distraught when I’d believed the last book of the series had been written a few years ago – so imagine my excitement when I saw a new Jack book on NetGalley!

Repairman Jack is hands down one of the coolest characters I’ve ever read, and it was such a treat to hang out again with him, Abe, Gia, Vicky, Julio, and Parabellum again.  This latest “fix” involves some genetic engineering, but still ties in with the overall arc of the series.  Jack using his powers of “persuasion”, sweet moments with Gia and Vicky, discussions over food with Abe, nail-biting close calls – it’s all here.

This series is classified as horror – not the gore variety – but closer to supernatural occult.  If that’s even a category.  If you enjoy intelligent MCs, otherworldly themes, exciting action sequences, and memorable characters, look no further.  Repairman Jack will always be at the top of my list of favorite books.  Jack is back!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#CoverReveal Subject A36 (The Colony Series #1) #YA #scifi #fantasy

A lot of you know how I struggled to name this book.  It was referred to as Book 3 for so long, I wasn’t sure if it would ever have a proper title.  But thanks to Staci Troilo and her perfectly apt suggestion, that day finally came.  Thanks to Black Rose Writing designer, David King, the cover wasn’t quite as difficult to come by.  And today, I’m so excited to reveal it!

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

I’m loving this cover!  The release date is February 13th, 2020, and paperback copies are available for preorder through Black Rose Writing here.  Use promo code PREORDER2019 for a 15% discount!  I’ll post an update when the ebook preorder is available on Amazon.

The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) by Richard Paul Evans #bookreview #YA #fantasy

My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.

To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he’s unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

I’ve had this title in my TBR for longer than I can remember, and when the assignment for my book club was to read a novel set in school, I decided it was time pull this one out of the pile.

I loved Michael right away.  He has a lot on his plate – he’s dealing with the loss of his father, his mom is miserable in a job for which she’s overqualified, money is tight, he’s bullied nearly everyday at school, and he has Tourette’s syndrome.  He also has the ability to shock people – not the minor type of shock you’d receive from an electrical outlet – it’s the fatal kind, and he has to hide it.

Michael and his best friend, Ostin (who is smarter than all the characters put together), have unique voices and bring a big dose of humor to the table – especially Ostin.  Even when put in extreme situations and forced to make impossible choices, Michael keeps his wits about him and is a pretty cool customer.  He has the makings of a natural leader – and from the hints at the end, I’m pretty sure book two heads in that direction.

Although an interesting read with enjoyable characters and a bad guy you love to hate, it’s similar to many other superhero origin stories and doesn’t offer anything new or unique.  But I’m still a sucker for this kind of book, and I’ll probably continue with the series at some point.

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda #bookreview #YA #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

With comp titles like Red Rising and Game of Thrones, how could you not want to read this book?  I didn’t even care about the rest of the description once I saw those comps.  And let me tell you – they’re spot on.

Conflict always makes for an exciting reading experience, and this book is loaded with it.  The tension is nearly palpable.  My emotions were torn in every direction, and I’m not sure how I’ll last until the next book to find out what happens.  Magnificent world-building with brewing war, clashing views, political intrigue, and dragons psychically bonded to their riders.  Right and wrong aren’t clearly outlined in this world – something I always enjoy.

Lee and Annie are fascinating characters with complicated backgrounds, secrets, and a strong bond forged at a young age when they meet at an orphanage.  Their backstories are devastating and, as dragonriders, they shoulder an enormous amount of responsibility and are required to make incredibly hard decisions that hurt not only themselves, but those they care about.

This book doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of its readers, and is easily a crossover to an adult audience.  Harsh, brutal, thrilling, heartwarming, compelling – all are apt descriptions for Fireborne.  Add this to your TBR today.  You won’t regret it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

 

Calendar Girls: Eleven (Strangest Book You’ve Ever Read)

Calendar Girl is a monthly meme now hosted by Katie@nevernotreading and Adrienne @darquedreamer

The Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile. It was inspired by the 1961 classic song by Neil Sedaka and created to ignite fun bookish discussions among readers and bloggers.

Each month we get a new theme and choose our favorite book for the theme. The participants get to vote for their favorite.

With Bad Moon Rising and other life stuff, it’s been months since I’ve participated in Calendar Girls, and I’ve missed it.  But I’m back – yay!

This category nearly stumped me.  I read mainly sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, so I’ve come across all kinds of strange things, but considering the genres, that kind of goes with the territory.  So they’re not really that strange.  To me, anyway.  Nothing immediately came to mind, so I had to go back to my Goodreads lists for the past few years.  When I finally came across it, I knew.  My choice is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Dark Matter wasn’t strange in a bad way, but it’s a book I gobbled up in less than a day.  Over three years later, it’s stuck with me.  It was mind-blowing, intense, and a stunning blend of of sci-fi, suspense, thriller and, believe it or not – romance.  I can’t say much more about it without spoilers, but for sci-fi fans, it’s absolutely a must read.  It’s been optioned for a movie by Sony, but who knows if it will ever get made.  Below is the book description – but if you’re participating in NaNo, don’t even try reading it this month.  You’ll never meet your goal!

Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters.

It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin to fathom—what would anyone want with an ordinary physics professor?—and grows even more terrifying from there, as Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness.

When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab, strapped to a gurney—and a man he’s never seen before is cheerily telling him “welcome back!”

Jason soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.

And someone is hunting him.

 

 

#BadMoonRising Thanks You!

Bad Moon Rising had over 4K views as of yesterday, and most of the credit goes to everyone who shared on social media, spread the word to friends, mumbled in their sleep about it, grabbed random strangers on the street and forced them to listen – you get the picture.  So many of you dropped by to read, comment, and support the authors who participated, and your efforts are deeply appreciated.  I love hosting Bad Moon every year, but couldn’t do it alone, so big thank you hugs go out to all of you.  We’ll do it again next year!

I’m diving into the NaNoWriMo pool today, so lots of luck to everyone participating!