Waiting on Wednesday- Flashtide by Jenny Moyer

It’s been AGES since I did Waiting on Wednesday but I thought I’d jump in again because I feel so out of the loop on upcoming titles! I’m trying to be a little more active here on my blog.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait to-read” selection is: Flashtide by Jenny Moyer

FlashtideFlashtide (Flashfall 2)
By: Jenny Moyer
Release Date: November 14th 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Summary:
Orion has survived the tunnels of Outpost Five, filled with mutant creatures and dangers around every bend. She has traversed the cordons, exposed to the radiation of the flash curtain and hunted by forces that want her stopped, dead or alive. Now, with Dram by her side, she has made it to the safety of the mountain provinces, where free Conjurors live and practice their craft of manipulating matter.

But Orion’s story is far from over.

With the effects of the flashfall spreading and the might of the protected city of Alara looming, Orion must travel into the hands of her enemies once again. Heart-pounding action and adventure await in this sequel to Flashfall.

My review of Flashfall book 1.

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Review of Flashfall by Jenny Moyer

flashfallFlashfall
By: Jenny Moyer
Release Date: November 15th 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

My Thoughts:
Gah this book! I picked it up one evening thinking I’d just start it to get a feel for it and I was sucked in and read 3/4ths of the book. It was addicting and so fast paced. I immediately connected with the main character, Orion. Her relationship with Dram was so well done and I was addicted to their chemistry.

This book was a mix of science fiction and dystopian. I thought I was tired of the dystopian genre in general but this book has reignited my love for it. It had a very distinct science fiction feel as well so I’m not entirely sure what classification it would fit under. Regardless, I want more and soon. I’ve seen comparisons to Red Rising and I can see them because of the class system and the caving for elements the higher class needs. This book had a very different feel and the pacing was much faster. I felt that it was a really unique young adult novel and I really loved the caves and how terrifying they were.

Orion was one strong main character. I adored her determination and survival instincts. Nothing was getting in her way. I loved that she cared for her Outpost. I was really impressed with how well the action scenes were done and I loved how though it was very much driven by this the characters did not suffer in the slightest. We still got growth and wonderful dialog. The secondary characters really set themselves apart and I was attached to them. Everything about this book hit me right.

I really liked that we weren’t always constricted to Outpost 5- we go with Orion to several different outposts and see more of the world and the destruction that has occurred to the human race. The world was very unique and the idea behind the Flashfall was really intriguing.

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Final Thoughts:
Anyone that enjoys science fiction or dystopian should read Flashfall. It was really unique, well done and captivating. This novel didn’t have a cliff hanger and could be potentially a stand alone but I really hope not. I felt that there was a lot more to explore about the world and the characters.

Review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crookedkingdom Crooked Kingdom
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 27th 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

My Thoughts:
This book was beyond fantastic. I am unable to really articulate how much I loved this book. It is no surprise to anyone that follows me on Instagram or Twitter but I am such a fan of Bardugo’s writing. I have loved each of her books and think that Crooked Kingdom might be my absolute favorite.

Bardugo takes her readers much deeper into each character’s backstory in CK. We get so much more development and understanding about each of their pasts. I found these bits so incredibly emotionally moving. I don’t cry often in books but this one had me in tears several times. I have such a deep love for each character I am still not over how heartbreaking it was to see this series end.

Though I love each, Kaz has got to be my very favorite. There’s just something about him that pulls me in- I love how even with how tragic his past was he still has the capacity for kindness (in his own twisted way). I love a character that straddles good and evil and Kaz did this. I never knew exactly what he’s capable of which always keeps me guessing.

Once again the city of Ketterdam was a living and breathing place. Bardugo was capable of putting so much detail into her descriptions I felt like I was there (not always a good thing!) Her descriptions of each character’s relationship to the city helped to color the setting and give it life. Since the stakes are so incredibly high the pacing was fast and I flew through the pages. I tried to savor this read but I found myself progressing far too quickly. I wanted it to never end.

The novel had an amazing finish and most of the character’s story lines had closure. There was however a character that didn’t get a full ending so I’m hoping that well see more in the future. I can’t accept that Bardugo is done with Ketterdam and its citizens.

One question I’ve been asked several times- do you need to read the Grisha series before Six of Crows? Well, I think you completely could but you will miss some of the backstory of the world and some characters do cross over. I feel that every reader should dive into both series and I personally prefer to read in publishing order though technically you could read SoC prior to the Grisha books.

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Final Thoughts:
Crooked Kingdom was an impeccable finish to Six of Crows. I can’t really complain about any aspect (even my tears) and I only hope that Bardugo weaves a couple of The Dregs into her future stories.

Now tell me- how do I live without more Kaz stories? The only thing I’ve found to fill the void left by this series ending was to purchase SoC/CK merchandise. I thought I’d share some of my favorite things…

cktote ckcandle

Crooked Kingdom Tote by Evie Seo
No Mourners No Funerals Candle by Lumiere Candle Shop
No Mourner No Funerals Art Print by Her Bookish Things

Review of The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray

TheGildedCage

The Gilded Cage
By: Lucinda Gray
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper-class England in the 1820s, is shattered when her brother mysteriously drowns. Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can’t accept that her brother’s death was an accident.

A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There’s a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham. Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother’s killer claim her life, too?

My Thoughts:
I was really drawn to this book with the promise of a gothic atmosphere and that cover. I found this book readable and an enjoyable read for the most part though it was predictable.

I think  my biggest issue with the book was my complete lack of connection to the characters. I wanted to be invested in their lives but for some reason I never was. The main character, Katherine, should have been likeable but I really never felt much towards her. She seemed a bit one dimensional to me and I never got a deeper sense of who she was. I’m not sure if it was in the short length of the book or the writing but things felt a bit face value.

The story line itself was okay but I was able to see what was going to happen before it was revealed. Overall, some scenes felt overly long and others rushed. There are two romances in the book (not a love triangle really) but neither really gripped me. One character, the lawyer, seemed to have more to him and I think I could have really liked him if he’d been more part of the story and if he’d been delved into a bit deeper. Though there was a bit of chemistry between Katherine and him it never took off or really engaged me.

The ending felt very rushed and things were wrapped up a bit too neatly. I felt that perhaps if the novel was longer we could have had more detail and character development that would have engaged me further. As it was, I was able to read this novel in a short amount of time and was interested but it was nothing I think will stick with me or creep back into my thoughts.

Final Thoughts:
Sadly, for me, The Gilded Cage, wasn’t a book that really felt original or will stick with me. Nothing about the book was bad, per se, but nothing stuck out as being all that amazing. I could see where things were going early on and picking out the ‘bad guy’ was fairly easy and clear early on. The book did deliver on some creepy scenes and the writing was very readable. This was one of those books I think I might have enjoyed more if I wasn’t such a heavy reader in the young adult genre.

My Sort-of Review for The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Okay, there are some books that are so amazing and hit you so hard that it become nearly impossible to put your feelings into words. The Heart of Betrayal was this type of book for me through and through. I loved every single word and moment so pardon my review for being short and not nearly as articulate as I’d like.

HoBThe Heart of Betrayal
By: Mary Pearson
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny

My (mish-mashed) Thoughts:

It is a rare day when I can review a sequel and say that it was even better than the first book. The Heart of Betrayal was such an incredibly strong story with excellent writing and an epic storyline. Pearson picked up directly where The Kiss of Deception left us and wastes no time to getting the reader back into the story.

Lia was such a strong character and my love for her only grew in this sequel. Really, all the characters are so well developed and well rounded. It was very interesting to watch them interact and learn more about them individually. We are introduced to a new character, the Komizar, who was such an intriguing character. Watching Lia have to survive and find her way in a new place, Venda, surrounded by enemies kept me on the edge of my seat and completely enthralled.

Gah, I keep trying to think of what to say but it mostly just boils down to READ THIS SERIES PLEASE. This sequel built upon the first book so well and I loved the expansion of the world and the characters, Lia especially. I think that if you enjoy fantasy with a historical feel, romance, political intrigue and incredible writing this series is for you.

If you feel you have similar tastes as I do then I’m confident you’ll love both The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal.

Extras

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