The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green- Blog Tour Review

thesmokethievesThe Smoke Thieves
By: Sally Green
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Viking

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

My Thoughts:
I have been so excited about Sally Green’s newest book, The Smoke Thieves. That summary! The cover! I just knew I had to read it as soon as I could. I am so excited to be part of the blog tour and share my thoughts about this book with you.

This book was written with multiple point of views which really helped to get a great look at the cast of characters. We follow several characters on their journeys- I believe my favorite was Princess Catherine. I enjoyed seeing the world from her view. Her father was overbearing and thought very little of her. She was a pawn for him to use to strengthen his own reign. It was hard reading about how she was treated by him and even her brother. Her one bright spot was her relationship with her hand maids and Ambrose, her body guard. Like her, I clung to these little moments she could find of happiness. As the story progressed she really grew and found her voice. I am so excited to see where her character goes in the next book.

Tash was such a fun character- she was essentially demon bait. She helped lure demons into a trap where they are killed and their essence was captured. When they die they release a smoke that if captured and then inhaled by humans has drug-like effects. Her scenes had a lot of action and she was very mature for her age. I got the impression she was very young but her rough life had her dealing with far more than her age  group should be dealing with. Her dialog with her boss as well as her scenes were some of the most fun in the book- though I did feel that she was a tad less developed as some of the others. I’m hoping we get a lot more from her in the next book.

March was a hard one for me to really connect to. He was out for revenge after his people were virtually wiped out. I felt that his people as well as himself were a bit less delved into. I want to know much much more. I did like seeing him have to grapple with his feelings versus the goals he had set for himself.

With comparisons to Game of Thrones you will  expect a sweeping fantasy with a lot of characters, lands and motives. Don’t expect the level of violence you’d find in Game of Thrones but there was a lot going on and I imagine as the series continues the stakes will be raised and there will be a lot more political intrigue.

Final Thoughts:
The Smoke Thieves will give fantasy readers characters they will love and a world they’ll want to know more about. I loved that Green added demons into the mix- not often do we get them in books. I hope eventually we’ll learn more about why the demons are around and if they have thoughts, feelings and plans.

Blog Tour Review- I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

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CoverI Have Lost My Way
By: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Publisher: PenguinTeen

Summary:
A powerful display of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven’t been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they’re supposed to be.

Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, Gayle Forman’s newest novel about the power of friendship and being true to who you are is filled with the elegant prose that her fans have come to know and love.

Gayle FormanAbout the Author:
Gayle Forman is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of If I StayWhere She WentJust One DayJust One YearI Was Here, and Leave Me. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

My Thoughts:
This was my first Gayle Forman book to read! Shocking I Know. I’m not sure how I’ve gone so long without reading her work. I Have Lost My Way was such a beautifully written, sad yet hopeful story.

The book was from three point of views- Freya, Harun and Nathaniel. I honestly connected most with Nathaniel’s story. I really felt for him and what he went through as a child. The history of each character was revealed as the book progressed and it was so powerful. You start seeing everything clearer with each page. Forman put so much heart into each of these character’s stories.

All the characters are diverse and Forman did, I think, a really good job. I loved seeing each character’s take on things and their internal struggles. I do think Nathaniel was the easiest for me to relate to since he suffers from depression and I do as well. I loved being able to see the world out of the other character’s view points. Freya, who had lost her ability to sing,  felt that was the only thing making her worthy- Harun was Muslim and trying to figure out how to come out to his family. The relationships these three develop over the course of the story was so beautiful and inspiring. They each lifted each  other up and brought out the best.

This was a very quick read (I read it in one sitting) but to me it ended a tiny bit abruptly- I wanted to read more about the character’s stories. Some huge things happen towards the end and you don’t get a clear picture of what each character will do next. I did like that the way it left off allowed for me to muse about what might happen next and dream for the character’s futures. Just like life- there was no nicely wrapped up conclusion.

This book was a perfect quick read that was full of heart. It was very emotional (suicide had a large part in the story) but also so hopeful. It isn’t the type of book that makes you feel poorly when you finish- it made me feel hopeful and think about my relationships. I will definitely be reading more books by Forman.

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE

3/19 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist

3/20 – Alexa Loves Books – Gift Guide

3/21 – Buttermybooks – Outfit based on the book

3/22 – My Friends are Fiction – Review

WEEK TWO

3/26 – YA Wednesdays – Music Monday tie-in post with Songs for each character

3/27 – Oh the Book Feels – Creative Pinterest Board

3/28 – The Fandom – Creative Content

3/29 – Book Reporter – Review

WEEK THREE

4/2 – Forever Young Adult – Review

4/3 – Home of a Book Lover – Review + Playlist

4/4 – Simply Kelina – Review

4/5 – Just Add a Word – Review

Blog Tour Review- Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

 unnamedI am SO excited to be participating in the blog tour for Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton. I love these books so much! Today I’m reviewing the last in the series. But first…

ABOUT THE BOOK:

HeroAtTheFall_JK.inddHero at the Fall
By: Alywn Hamilton
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Summary:
When gunslinging Amani Al’Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she’d join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn’t have a choice.

Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

AUTHOR BIO:

Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and lived between Canada, France, and Italy until the was three, when her family settled in the small French town of Beaune. She studied History of Art at King’s College, Cambridge, graduated in 2009, and lives in London.

MY THOUGHTS:

This book was a rather lengthy read but I sped through it in no time (a couple of days). I fell in love with the first book, Rebel of the Sands, and have been eagerly awaiting this finale. I had no clue where Hamilton would take and end the series and I’ve got to admit I was scared! Would the characters be ok? Would my ship sail?

Amani was just as awesome as always in this book. She has really grown as a character and you can feel the weight of her worries baring down on her shoulders. She makes really tough choices in this book (I was at the edge of my seat seeing what she would do). I loved that her actions had consequences. This book was full of action, suspense and heavy stakes.

What made it a faster read really were the characters. They all had such well developed personalities and their interactions with each other really is my favorite aspect of this series. The friendships are gorgeously rendered and upped the tension so much! How would they all make it out safely? And, of course, Amani and Jin. SIGH. I love these two so, so much. They really bring out the best in one another. I love having read how they have grown together as the books have progressed.

Another thing I LOVE- the setting! Each book adds more and more to this world and in this on we have a LAND SHIP sailing over the desert! I loved this part SO much. I mean, how often do we get to see that? The descriptions were all so vivid and it played out in my mind like a movie. Pure perfection really.

If you haven’t read these books DO SO SOON. Hero at the Fall releases March 6th so it is the perfect time to start these books (or reread or continue)

HERO AT THE FALL TOUR SCHEDULE

REBEL AT THE SANDS SCHEDULE
 
WEEK ONE
1/30 – Spinatale Reviews – Review
1/31 – Library Ladies – Review
2/1 – I Fangirl about books – Review
2/2 – Aimee, Always – Quote Wallpaper
 
WEEK TWO
2/5 – Opalsbookjems – Review
2/6 – Mundie Moms – Review
2/7 – As Told By Michelle – Review
 
TRAITOR TO THE THRONE SCHEDULE
 
WEEK THREE
2/12 – YA and Wine – Review
2/13 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – “5 Reasons to Read the Series”
2/14 – ReadingAnyone – Review
2/15 – The Clockwork Bibliophile – Booklook + Photo Feature
 
WEEK FOUR
2/20 – The Lovely Books – Review
2/21 – Never Too Many To Read – Creative
2/22 – Sisters Who Read – Creative Post
 
HERO AT THE FALL SCHEDULE
 
WEEK FIVE
2/26 – Writing is Hard – Review + Social Media Promo
2/27 – Mike the Fanboy – Fun Recap of Series
2/28 – My Friends are Fiction – Review
3/1 – The Young Folks – Review
3/2 – Lisa’s Lost in Lit – Creative
 
WEEK SIX
3/5 – The Reader Bee – Review + Bookstagram Post
3/6 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review + Creative Insta Post
3/7 – A  Book and A Cup of Coffee – Playlist
3/8 – Fiction Fare – Moodboard
 
WEEK SEVEN
3/12 – The Eater of Books – Moodboard
3/13 – Love Is Not a Triangle – Review + Bookstagram Picture
3/14 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Creative Content
3/15 – Forever Young Adult – Review

Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour- Author Guest Post

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I have been a long time fan of Morgan Rhodes and the Falling Kingdoms series. These books have been so much fun to read and just look at those covers. I am so excited to have Morgan Rhodes here on my blog today.

About the Book

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An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption. LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise. JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey. AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge. And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

Author Guest Post

Throughout the series so many of your characters have changed allegiance and grown in so many ways. Has there been a specific character that has surprised you the most as you’ve written the series? Which one and why?

If we take the one character I believe has grown up the most over the six books of the Falling Kingdoms series, I would have to pick Princess Lucia Damora. The adopted (aka: kidnapped from her birth parents) daughter of King Gaius, the “King of Blood”, Lucia is the subject of a prophecy that she’s a sorceress. The king wished to use her magic to strengthen his reign. When we first meet Lucia, she is overprotected and naïve and has no clue about these rumors

Through many painful lessons, Lucia goes on a journey where she went from denial to acceptance of her magic; from hate and blame over those she feels have betrayed her; and to the knowledge that if she isn’t part of the solution, she’s part of the problem. Lucia has made a lot of mistakes throughout the series, and is an excellent example of “power corrupts.”

The only question remaining is, in IMMORTAL REIGN, the sixth and final book in the series, will Lucia finally step up and use her magic for the greater good?

Tour Schedule

WEEK ONE (Book One: Falling Kingdoms and Two Book: Rebel Spring)
January 8  Adventures of a Book Junkie  Intervieww
January 9  The Book Nut  Review and Playlist
January 10  Quirky and Peculiar  Review
January 11  I Fangirl About Books  Creative Post
January 12 Lovely Loveday  Author Guest Post
WEEK TWO (Book 3: Gathering Darkness)
January 15  Glimpses of my Books Cover Art and Author Gust Post – her inspiration for the character Magnus Damora?
January 16 Book Briefs Book Review
January 17 In Wonderland Review
January 18 Star-Crossed Book Blog Review
WEEK THREE (Book 4: Frozen Tides)
January 22 Ex Libris Interview
January 23 Ensconced in Lit Review
January 24 Step Into a Book World Review
January 25 Ria Reads Review
WEEK FOUR (Crystal Storm)
January 29 My Friends are Fiction Author Guest Post
January 30 Adventures through Wonderland Review + Instagram
January 31  A Thousand Books to Read Interview
February 1 A Page with a View Review
February 2 Never Too Many To Read Book Spotlight and/or Review

Blog Tour- Review for Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk + Giveaway

Blog Tour Banner

I am excited to be reviewing Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk today! I love gladiator stories and a fierce female lead. This book has both in spades!

About the Book

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Blood and Sand
By: C.V. Wyk
Release Date: January 16
Publisher: Tor Teen

FORGED IN BATTLE…
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA…
A LEGEND WILL RISE

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic—and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves. 

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.

My Review:

I am so excited that more books are being released that feature gladiators and Roman times! This historical novel reads less historical and more fantasy to me (pacing and depth of world etc). It was fast paced and a quick read. I immediately was captivated by the characters, especially Attia. She was amazingly fierce, determined, and relatable. She was groomed to take over Thrace but instead is captured and sold as a slave. Instead of giving up she used her strengths to start a change. Got to love that!

Wyk did an impeccable job describing ancient Rome and the people living in it. Her descriptions were well done and she didn’t hesitate to write about the violence of this time period. The action sequences were really well done and I could really see this book as a film.

The bond between Attia and Xanthus was perfect-I loved that they slowly warmed up to one another (slow burn is my ultimate favorite thing). There wasn’t an instant connection between these two. Both didn’t want to really see good within the other but eventually they really related to one another. I thought it was beautifully (and realistically) done.

The side characters weren’t ignored- you really cared for them and feared for their futures. This made the choices Attia made more realistic since not only would she be impacted but the people around her would be too. Since you cared for each character it was really a tense read in parts.

I honestly don’t know too much about Spartacus (I haven’t watched the show or researched the story) so I can’t tell you how well this accomplished the retelling aspect. But, I can say that no prior historical knowledge is needed to become immersed in this book and characters. And, you might even find yourself Googling Spartacus after you read it.

Giveaway:

Tor Teen has provided 3 Hardcovers to be sent to 3 winners in the US or Canada. You must be 12 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Jan 8 “ Mary Had A Little Book Blog

Jan 9  Novel Knight

Jan 10  The Book Nut

Jan 11  Short & Sweet Reviews

Jan 12  Rabid Reads

Jan 15  Brittany’s Book Rambles

Jan 16 Powder and Page

Jan 17 Arctic Books

Jan 18 My Friends Are Fiction

Jan 19 Itching for Books

Jan 22 Pretty Deadly Reviews

Jan 23 Chasing Faerytales

Jan 24 Bumbles and Fairytales

Jan 25 Ageless Pages Reviews

Jan 26 Gizmo’s Reviews