Stacking the Shelves

Whew, it’s been AGES (a month) since I’ve done one of these. I’m not going to gather up all the books I’ve gotten over the month though (too lazy) so this will be just this week’s worth.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

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Eeee. So excited about this haul! 9 of them are unsolicited but I’m intrigued so I’ll give them a go. I am really excited about Dreamers Often Lie. Anyone read it yet? I think I’ll read And I Darken first. I’ve not had the best luck with White but I’m really, really hopeful I’ll love it. So many thanks to Random House, Tor, Scholastic, and Harper.

How have you been? Read any of the books I got this past week? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Review of A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows FinalA Gathering of Shadows
By: V.E. Schwab
Release Date: February 23rd 2016
Publisher: Tor
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
It would be fair to say I had some freakishly high hopes for this sequel since I loved the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, so very much. I’ve been a long time fan of Schwab having read each of her books as they release. I really do think that with every new book her writing, characters and story continue to improve (how is that possible?)

When jumping into a sequel I always question if I’ll be able to connect since it’s been a long while since I read the first book. Inevitably the question arises- should I reread book one? I didn’t bother to and yet I was easily transported back to this world. I found myself loving how Schwab built upon A Darker Shade of Magic and threw me right back into feeling tense and needing to see how it would all come out. I am always pleased when the events of the first novel have major effects on what happens in the sequel and was very pleased to see that this carried through with A Gathering of Shadows.

This was the type of book that I tried to read slowly so that I could savor every word and really allow myself the time to get immersed in the world and feel what the characters are feeling. I found this to be pretty tricky because I kept speeding through the words to find out what happened next. I had a constant battle of trying to slow down yet wanting to see what happened next.

Schwab is a master of setting and adding in creative bits that make her work unique and so completely captivating. It’s easy to forget that you are reading about a fantasy world because it becomes all too real. Her descriptions are so vivid and detailed yet not overly long. In this sequel we continue with where the first book left off but with the addition of a new element- a magical game- the Element Games. I’ve got to admit the idea of a magical inspired game to find the best has been done before…often. But, still, somehow this felt new.

I love that the characters in these books are so well developed and complex. The events of the first book changed each of them and helped to shape their actions. It was easy as the reader to understand their motivations and relate to their story. I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite character- each was so well done. The interactions between characters was done beautifully and as always I love their dialog and banter. You don’t need to be told what they mean to each other you can feel it.

The romance was very scarce but the slow burn between the characters was so evident and major strides to occur (you just have to be patient for them). I was literally at the edge of my seat waiting for the pieces to fall in place and needing to have these characters in the same room speaking (kissing). Don’t expect for the characters to get face to face for many, many pages but trust me, the wait was worth it. Schwab is a master at writing build up between characters and, as with the first novel, you are easily at her mercy (and loving it).

I will give out a warning- this book ends on a cliff hanger (evil, evil cliffhanger). If you are sensitive to that be forewarned.

Final Thoughts:
I really can’t speak highly enough about this series and recommend that anyone with the desire to read a captivating world with characters that you are in love with should read them.

Look for A Gathering of Shadows February 23rd. Until then, if you’ve not, go read A Darker Shade of Magic. I demand it.

Blog Tour- A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab + Giveaway

Darker Shade Magic Web Banner
Welcome to my stop on the A Darker Shade of Magic Digital London Blog tour. I’m so excited to have Victoria answering a question today on the blog and offering a reader the chance to win this book along with a double sided poster.

You might have seen my post on why you must read this book-I hope you’ll take my word for it and give not only A Darker Shade of Magic but Victoria’s other books a chance. Victoria is a gifted story-teller and has the ability to create unique worlds and characters that you remember long past reading the book.

You might have seen a Buzzfeed Quiz which allowed for you to find which London you would fit into best. My results…

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Which is funny because our stop today is Grey London. Coincidence? Or does this show I’m free of all magic?

Gladstone quote

My Question to Victoria

If you had to live in any world that you’ve created which would it be and why?

Either Red London—a place where magic thrives—or Merit, a world where superpowers are possible. The former, if I could be a magician, and the latter if I was guaranteed to come back with an awesome power like Victor’s or Sydney’s, since the world of VICIOUS is only ExtraOrdinary if you are.

About the Book

A Darker Shade final for Irene

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

On Sale February 24, 2015
Print – IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Powell’s, Walmart.
E-Book – Kindle, Nook, iBooks, eBooks, Google Play, Kobo

 

About the Author

 

V. E. Schwab author photoV. E. SCHWAB‘s first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Schwab is the author of YA novels The Near Witch, The Archived, and The Unbound, and the Everyday Angel series for middle grade readers.

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Giveaway (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other blogs on the tour

Showcase Sunday #22

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review (via NetGalley):
Sick by Tom Leveen

From Publisher– Thank you Tor!
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Anyone that follows me knows I adore Kendare Blake. I have already read Antigoddess–you can read my review here. I also had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Kendare (my first interview for the blog!) Read it here. Coming up later this month we’ll have a Lego cover for Girl of Nightmares.

 

Be sure to enter my GIVEAWAY for The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

 

 

Review for Delia’s Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer

Delia's ShadowDelia’s Shadow
By: Jaime Lee Moyer
Release Date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Tor
Pre-Order:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

An electronic copy was given in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
A dark, romantic fantasy set against the backdrop of San Francisco devastated by the Great Quake

It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.
It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

The Story:
Half crime drama and half paranormal Delia’s Shadow pulls from both genres melding them extremely well. Moyer successfully creates an eerie aura with enough anxiety to keep the reader’s interest. I adored the Victorian setting and felt that the book stuck well to the times and location it was representing.

This was the first book I’ve read, in memory, that alternated between first person (Delia’s point of view) and third person (Gabe’s story). I felt that this created an awkward mix in the beginning, feeling like two books rather than one. As I continued to read I acclimated and didn’t feel pulled out of the story when the shift happened.

My biggest issue with this novel was the lack of depth and detail put into the serial killer’s personality and character. I felt that when the big reveal finally happened it was a bit of a let down because there didn’t feel to me to be any major plot twists. Moyer had a few things twist and turn through-out the novel but none of them took my breath away.

The Characters:
I felt that Moyer did an exceptional job giving Delia a well rounded personality and showing the reader how life was for her being haunted and constantly at a ghost’s whim. I felt that the secondary characters were well done and felt very unique, Isadora being an easy favorite. There was a slight romantic aspect threaded through but was never the main focus of the story.

Though the point of view shifts were awkward, I found I enjoyed seeing things from both Delia and Gabe’s eyes. I think that alternating did give me a better look into the overall story arc but wished the switch could have been smoother.

Final Thoughts:
Overall Delia’s Shadow was an intriguing read though it dragged in places and could have used more details about the serial killer to help give the reader a legitimate fear of him.

Delia’s Shadow will be available September 17th by Tor