Book Promo · Books · Pre-order · Promo Blitz

Promo Blitz: Aetherstorm (Songs of Sarin, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Aetherstorm Banner - Pre-Order

Book Title: Aetherstorm
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Series: Songs of Sarin (Book 1)
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Author: Alexander Ferrick
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Genre: Fantasy
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Book Synopsis

What is the Aetherstorm?

They said it was a tournament to discover the mightiest warrior in the land, but it is far more…

To the Demons, it is a chance to reclaim their former glory…

To a Prince, it is a chance to prove himself worthy of the crown…

To a Rebel, it is a chance at freedom…

To an Orphan, it is a chance at justice… or vengeance…

…What is the Aetherstorm?

The Aetherstorm is a trap.

When demons disguised as elves begin inviting the citizens of Sarin to a fighting tournament, Prince Maronir takes it upon himself to go there in secret and discover what the demons are up to.

Along the way, a botched assassination attempt forces Maronir to join Luca and Garron, two human orphans who are also going to the tournament to find the man who killed their adoptive father and mentor.

As the prince and his new friends journey across Sarin, he finds himself confronted by the harsh reality of his kingdom, and learns that the greatest tests of kingship happen far from the battlefield.

Will those lessons matter after the demons true plans are revealed? Time will tell…

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~Click here to Pre-order your copy!~
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Aetherstorm Promo Photo - Pre-order

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Excerpt

“Son of a bitch,” Garron shouted, “it’s a bloody gravity mage.”

“What’s a gravity mage?” Thorisg’Ad murmured.

“It is the worst nightmare of a smith like you,” Garron answered, “The magic uses Luca’s armor against him. The more crap he’s got to carry, the less he can move, and the heavier the mage’s rod becomes. Luca will die in there if the fight isn’t stopped right away.”

Garron watched in horror as the cloud of dust from the last blow cleared, and Luca stood up out of it, with his left arm hanging useless and out of joint at his side, complete with the mangled hump of metal that had been his shield. The limb was broken in at least three places.

“Stop the fight you damned fool!” Garron shouted at Shane, leaping over the partition into the arena, “Can’t you see his arm’s broken?” An outstretched hand from Shane stopped Garron’s approach, and Luca smiled up at the two of them.

“Just a scratch, brother,” Luca grimaced, “I’ve had hangnails worse than this.”

Luca had always had a rather interesting relationship with pain. He liked it. The more something hurt, the stronger Luca knew he would be at the other end of it. Nothing had ever hurt like the sensation in his arm at the moment, and Luca relished it.

“That’s a neat trick,” he called to the mage who stood opposite him. The elf was visibly stunned that Luca was even standing after the blow he had just received. Luca dropped his blade to the ground, and used his one good hand to un-strap all of his armor, allowing the beautiful metal to sink with a heavy thud into the sand.

“Would you care to see how we fight in the human villages?” Luca called, playing off of the elf’s fear. He remembered what Maronir had said about how humans were viewed, and he decided that if he was already cast as a nightmare in this man’s mind, then he had better live up to the part.

Without his armor weighing him down, Luca was almost able to walk normally in spite of the gravity mage’s spell, and he allowed his mutilated arm to hang in front of him as a visual threat to the elf. Micah had taught him years earlier that most creatures could not survive a broken bone. They would pass out immediately from the pain and shock. Even the infamously hearty dwarves occasionally died on the spot form a wound like this. The only creatures in all of Sarin that could survive such an injury were humans, and that was part of what made them so frightful to the others.

The elf trembled in fear as Luca closed the gap, and he swung out wildly with his scepter, but his eyes were half-closed. Luca ducked under it and reached out with his good hand to seize its shaft, pulling it away from the elf, while kneeing the man in the gut for his trouble. Once he had wrested the weapon free from its owner, he kicked the elf to the ground, and stood with the scepter over his shoulder, and his foot planted on the elf’s chest. Luca looked over at Shane, expecting the match to be ended in his favor immediately, but instead he saw the smirking elf shake his head.

“Continue, human,” the referee ordered, and Luca looked down at the terrified elf, and felt sympathy. He threw the scepter away, so that it was well out of reach, and he began to kick the elf in the ribs, aiming for the strongest parts of the wooden armor, so that his adversary would not be too gravely injured. Shane looked on in frustrated silence while this went on for several minutes, and unfortunately, Luca did feel at least one rib break in spite of his efforts at mercy.

“Enough,” Shane said at last, and then after he had loaded the elf into his cage, he leaned into Luca and whispered, “you will not defy me like that again, human.” Luca watched him with gritted teeth in silence, and once the referee was a safe distance away, Luca fell to the ground and passed out. Garron followed close while his friend was carried to an infirmary under the coliseum, and was pleased by the care the attendants gave him. He stood watch over Luca’s sleeping form until his own name was called that afternoon…

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Website: https://alexferrick.wordpress.com

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #7: Top 10 Anticipated March Book Releases

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It’s that time of month again, you little book stalkers!
And I’m NOT talking about the time of month for all you ladies out there!!!!
HAH!
…………..

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*cough*….anyways…
It’s nearing the end of February, we’re just about to enter MARCH, and I have some AMAZING new releases to share with you!
There’s a little Fantasy, some Romance and Historical Fiction, a couple murders and bad guys. Maybe a witch or two.
You know. The usual.

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~* My Top Ten Anticipated March Book Releases *~

 

1. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Dealing in Dreams

Sixteen-year-old Nalah runs a vicious all-girl crew in Mega City, and has worked her crew to the top of the most feared and elite. But Nalah wants to get off the streets and make a life for herself in an exclusive and luxurious place called Mega Towers. This story follows Nalah as she tries to make her dreams a reality, while also trying to protect those she cares about in the process.

It looks like it has a dystopian vibe to it – so maybe a Mad Max/Mortal Engines/Six of Crows type of feeling? Can’t wait!

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2. Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Bloodleaf

I feel like there are so many AMAZING retellings coming out this year!

Bloodleaf is a retelling of “The Goose Girl” and tracks Princess Aurelia as she travels to her kingdoms rival territory in order to be married to it’s Prince, Valentin. With so much hanging on the impending nuptials between these courts, much danger is presented to Aurelia during her journey as assassination attempts are made on her, and she is eventually forced to swap places with her devious lady-in-waiting. 

This story sounds like a book filled with manipulative royals, which I LOVE, so I cannot wait to read it. It’s described as a mystery/fantasy, and tells the story of how Aurelia survives after being stranded and how she fulfills what is expected of her.

 

3. Lovely War by Julie Berry

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Romance

Lovely War

So THIS is an interesting combination of history, romance, and some Greek mythology.

It starts in 1917 and follows four characters as they try to fight for love during a pivotal time for the world as it gears towards the first World War. It also intertwines World War II and the Greek goddess of Love/Beauty/Passion, Aphrodite, as she tells the stories of these four lovers to her husband and her lover, Hephaestus and Ares.

This story begs the question of why Love and War are always so easily intertwined, and which one wins in the end.

It feels like Atonement for the Greek Mythology obsessed.

Show of hands, please.

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4. You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

You Owe Me a Murder

MUUUUURRRRR-DERRRRRRRRRRR!!!

This story is just like it sounds.

It’s about a girl, who owes another girl, a murder!

Kim and Nicki meet on a plane trip to London, where Kim confesses her contempt for her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Eventually her ex-boyfriend ends up dead, and YOU GUESSED IT, Nicki begins to blackmail her for not holding up her end of the murdering bargain.

It sounds like it’s going to be THRILLING and mildly f***ed-up, so I am MORE than ready!

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5. The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The Waking Forest

This one is shrouded in a vague description and with a sprinkle of mystery, so let’s jump in to it confused together, shall we?

The Waking Forest tells the story of a Witch and a girl named Rhea as their paths cross. Rhea lives on the edge of the forest, but finds that she is drawn to the dark and mysterious place. The Witch lives in the forest on her throne carved of bone (dope) and waits to grant the wishes of children.

I’m assuming for evil purposes.

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6. Beware The Night by Jessika Fleck

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Beware the Night

Beware the Night is a fantastical story of rebellion, sacrificial offerings, and worshiping the Sun so that you don’t get taken at Night to never be seen or heard from again.

Strange? You bet!

In Bellona the citizens pray to the Sun for protected from the Night, when innocents are snatched from their beds without reason or cause. It sounds like a story where the character begins to realize that what she was taught isn’t what it seems, and they there may be more to fear than just the people of the Night.

 

7. The True Queen (Sorcerer Royal, Book 2) by Zen Cho

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

The True Queen

This is book 2 in the Sorcerer Royal series, and is a series I have been DYING to read!

Book 1 is Sorcerer to the Crown and follows Zacharis Wythe, a gifted magician and Sorcerer Royal of a highly respected and elite organization. The story takes Zacharis to Fairyland (YES!) in search of a “cure” for the magic that is beginning to fade in England.

Sounds like Harry Potter meets the Fae world.

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8. Never-Contented Things by Sara Porter

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/LGBT

Never-contented things

Another story with little information, but one that sounds soooooo intriguing!

It is about two foster-siblings who possess an indestructible love for one another, who are seduced and ensnared by Prince and his cruel fairy courtiers.

Is it a “Cruel Prince” type of vibe? I’m really not sure. But it sounds like it is going to be EXACTLY the OPPOSITE of what you expect, and I am totally okay with that.

Can we also take a moment for this cover?

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9. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mystery

Girls with Sharp Sticks

I have been waiting SO LONG to read this!!!!

Innovations Academy is an all-girl boarding school where math and science courses are non-existent, and growing beautiful gardens and being obedient is at the top of everyone’s to-do list. The girls of Innovation Academy are sweet, docile and humble creatures. Or…are they?

I honestly have no idea what this story is going to turn into, AND I DON’T CARE!

Is it a Stepford wife tale for the Young Adults?! Is it a tale of murder and backstabbing?! ARE THEY WITCHES?!

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I HAVE NO IDEA.

But when I find out, I’ll let you know.

(I’m kidding, I’m not going to let you know)

10. Winter War Awakening (Blood Rose Rebellion, Book 3) by Rosalyn Eves

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Winter War Awakening

Book 3 in the Blood Rose Rebellion series!

If you haven’t read the AMAZING that is book one, allow me to indulge you.

Anna’s family is part of the Luminate, magic users, but she is barren. Or so they all thought. She makes a COMPLETE mess of her sister’s debutante spell, and is shipped off to Hungary to be exiled. There Anna finds that the Luminate are not what they seem, and so ensues a tale of rebellion and even a little romance.

It is a really interesting and different sort of tale, so read it!

 

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There it is!

My Top Ten Anticipated Reads for March, and I am SO stoked to get this month rolling! I’d love to hear what you guys think of these books, as well as any other books that you are excited to release in the coming month.

As always, stay halfway classy but full-on witchy!

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Binding of Bindings · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #3: My Ten Anticipated February Book Releases

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I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

Can you feel it guys?!

That first month of 2019 is just about to blow away into the wind. A distant memory. An inconsequential blip in the amazingness (shhhhh, it’s a word) that next month will be.

January was just a warm-up. It was a couple high knees, jumping jacks and about ten half-assed burpees. You were exhausted, you looked a little crazy. But it’s okay.

Because you’re conditioned now.

And Walking into February like…

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What BETTER way to get hyped for the big F-E-B than to check out its anticipated reads?!

Here it is boys and girls:

My Ten Anticipated February Book Releases

 

1. The Queen of Cursed Things (Book 1) by S.M. Gaither

Release Date: February 1, 2019

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I’ll just never get enough of these rebellion stories.

And you better not either…because there’s a whole couldronload of them below ❤

This is a story about humans and Gods, and about a girl who brings back a clan that was thought to be eradicated decades before. Alana learns that she is the descendant of the serpent clan, and accidentally awakens them. It sounds like it is going to be a battle-royal and a great story where a female kicks some ass. You go girl!

 

2. The Cerulean (Book 1) by Amy Ewing

Release Date: February 5, 2019

the cerulean

A YA/Fantasy by Amy Ewing, writer of The Lone City series?

Psh. Say no more.

I have a REALLY strong inkling that this book/duology is going to be truly amazing and special. It already sounds like the perfect amount of fantasy and imagination that all of us crave! It’s about a girl who lives in a city above the sky which connects to the (or a…?) human world below. She feels like an outcast around her people, the Cerulean, and wishes they would just cut the tether that connects the two worlds.

So she is chosen as a sacrifice to break the tether of the worlds. Basically, she just has to throw herself off the ledge and die.

The….f**k?!

Honestly. Amy Ewing is a Goddess.

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3. Lady Smoke (Ash Princess, Book 2) by Laura Sebastian

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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MY TOP ANTICIPATED READ FOR FEBRUARY!!!!!

Did you guys DIE for Ash Princess like I did?!?

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I have been waiting and waiting for book 2, but it seems my approval from Netgalley has…*cough cough*…gotten lost in the mail…

I don’t want to reveal too much if you haven’t read book 1 – Ash Princess (DO IT NOW), but it hards not to. Theodosia is a princess who has been trapped under the Kaiser’s thumb for years, and now she has finally made her move against the people her ruined her kingdom and life. It is a tale of deception and sadness, and royalty and rebellions. Obviously, my favorite.

 

4. Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Release Date: February 5, 2019

enchantee

I THANKFULLY received this beauty from Netgalley (thank the witches) and CANNOT wait to get it started. I have been hardcore into these YA/Fantasy/Historical fiction books. I don’t know what it is about these books.

The GLITZ, the GLAM.

The Murder.

It’s positively swoonworthy.

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5. Courting Darkness (Book 1) by Robin LaFevers

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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Another Historical Fiction for February!!!!

 

to be honest, the description of this book has me a little lost. Sybella is the darkest of Death’s daughters (ugh to-die-for), accompanies a duchess to France to help with a battle of sorts, and to save her sisters in the process.

Look. Sometimes that’s all you need to get a girl hooked, okay?! Let’s do it.

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6. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Release Date: February 5, 2019

a danger to herself and others

Another book I so graciously received from Netgalley, and one I cannot WAIT to sink my teeth into!

Call me a psycho, but I just love a tale about a character being put into a mental institution.

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Although the description of this story gives the reader a slight inkling that it may have a more serious mental health tone rather than a murder-y vibe, it still tells the reader that they are going to be guessing and guessing during the entire read.

Curiouser and Curiouser.

 

7. Crown of Feathers (Book 1) by Nicki Pau Preto

Release Date: February 12, 2019

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Fierce Warrior Queens? Pheonix Riders?

A young woman who infiltrates a man-driven legion of warriors?

Enough said.

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8. James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster

Release Date: February 19, 2019

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If you don’t know who James Acaster is, you need to get involved.

The British Panel Shows have a special place in my witchy heart, and so do all of the interesting characters who fill them. James is at the top of my favorites list for his comedy. He’s a man-boy prone to brooding with snarky comments and a whole host of embarrassing stories. His book details countless moments from his life when his NERD has shown proud, and he has made a giant ass of himself.

If that doesn’t grab you, just look at those yellow/brown color choices for attire.

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9. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Release Date: February 26, 2019

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The cover, the title…it’s just working.

You all know i love a rebellion book, and this one is just REEKING of rebellion. There are high and low factions, and a school where women are groomed to go into one of two roles: to run a husband’s household or raise his children. Daniela is the top of her class, but has a secret.

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Anything that leaves me in SUCH suspense with their description is a MUST read.

 

10. What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman

Release Date: February 26, 2019

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This cover gives me tingly M.C. Escher vibes.

I saved the BEST cover for last…but also because it comes out the latest in February…so..

It’s about two siblings that couldn’t be more different, and who don’t have a keen fondness for one other. One if the siblings, Liv, decides to sue her parents for emancipation but on the day of the hearing the parents disappear. It’s in the mystery “aisle”, but I’m wondering what type it will be. Will there just be a wild hunt where the siblings bond? A murder?!?! A twist of all twists? Oh, the anticipation!

I hope you guys found some new reads for your overflowing TBR lists, and some you plan on reading in February!

As always, stay witchy my amazing readers!!

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Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

The Cold is in Her Bones

The Cold is in Her Bones will be available for purchase on January 22, 2019.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Teen/Fiction/Fantasy/Retelling

Plot: Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Opinion:

Something slithery this way comes.

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Gather ‘round my cunning Slytherins!

I’ve got a retelling of our dear mummy dearest:

Medusa

If Milla knows anything, it is that she must be a good girl. She must do her chores efficiently, must always stay clean and tidy, mustn’t ask questions that do not deserve answers, and must always pray to keep the demons away. But Milla’s’ life is one of loneliness and solitude. She does not have the luxury of traveling to the nearby village or making friends, and her mother shows her much less attention and affection in comparison to her brother. Though the arrival of a young girl named Iris gives Milla someone to finally talk to and befriend, Milla finally learns of the reasoning behind her forced solitude. These is a curse on the girls in the village, one that makes each of them go insane, and Iris is showing signs of possession. Milla races to help her new friend, but soon finds that she might be changing as well.

Without a doubt, this is my first official positive WTF read of 2019.

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The Cold is in Her Bones is supposed to be a retelling of dear mother Medusa, but it’s a loose retelling. The tale goes as such: A young girl named Hulda lived with her mother and father, and her dearly beloved Sister. As young children the sisters were inseparable, sleeping so entwined with one another that they would wake with their hair knotted together. But as they grew older, the sisters drifted apart. Hulda was not given the same adoration and attention as The Sister, and grew lonely and isolated. To fulfill her loneliness Hulda spent her time in the woods, making friends with the snakes, learning their names and letting them burrow in her hair. But when one of the snakes was seen in her hair, it was ripped out and thrown into the fire by The Sister’s betrothed. For the anguish and grief that Hulda felt for her snake, the others saw her as being possessed. Her family took her into the woods, buried her in the snow, and left her there in the hopes that the demon would leave her body. When Hulda woke with vengeance in her heart, and a body consisting of snakes, she cursed the village and all the inhabitants so they may never again feel peace or content.

You know those horror movies set in the 1800’s where there is a family, with their farm, and they churn butter and chop wood? Where an older sibling will tell the younger children folk-tales about witches and curses, so as to scare them into being good? This is EXACTLY like that…

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except much more sad, and way less gruesome.

This feels like a Tim Burton film waiting patiently to be made, or at least one of similar taste. It has the oddities and dark tones that every great children’s horror has, but it is also loaded with all the necessary lessons and positive morals that one is told as a child. Or should have been told. It centers on themes of family values, being kind to others, having compassion for differences, and the cruel nature of vengeance. There are many small tales within this tale that is told to the reader, and each one enhances the grittiness and somber themes that envelope this story.

Once the reader is told the tale of Hulda, the story then switches off to Milla. It explains her home life and the struggles she endures to constantly be good and to please her parents. Milla lives in the shadow of her kind and seemingly-perfect brother, and she feels like she is a disappoint and burden to her family. She is unable to travel to the village and is kept under tight lock and key, with unknown reasons as to why. The story begins to unfold when Milla meets Iris, a girl that will eventually be married to her brother. The girls become very quick friends and create a fierce bond, but it all changes when Iris becomes possessed. Iris is taken somewhere called “The Place” where she will be held with other girls who have become possessed. Milla learns that it all stems from a curse that was placed on the village. A curse that was placed by her aunt, Hulda.

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The writing in this book is AMAZING. The author did a fantastic job of making the story feel like a folktale in how the characters spoke to one another, how the setting is given to the reader, and even during Milla and Hulda’s inner dialogues. But where the author REALLY shines in The Cold is in Her Bones is when she describes very beautifully heartbreaking moments where Milla feels like an outcast.

’Pretty is as pretty does,’ Gitta had always said to Milla. But Milla knew that couldn’t be right. Milla had never done anything but behave, and still she wasn’t pretty the way her mother was. If she were, she’d know it. She’d see proof of her prettiness in her mother’s eyes, or her father’s. Instead what she saw there was disappointment. Perhaps it wasn’t true that pretty is as pretty does…”

Though I can confidently say that I enjoyed this read, it DID take me a week to read it. Usually I can fly through a book in about two days, but this one was really taking me awhile to get through. The story moved a little slow for me, and at times I was feeling a little bored and irritated that I wasn’t moving on to what happened quicker. BUT, once I was finished, I realized how much I didn’t care at all about the pacing or how long it took me to get through it. I LOVE a creative and unique story, and that is EXACTLY what this is.

I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something different to read, who doesn’t get weirded out too easily, and who doesn’t have an affliction to snakes. Don’t go into this expecting an only slightly twisted retelling of Medusa, because this is completely different! The story has given me the inspiration to go on to read Peternelle van Arsdale’s other horror story, The Beast is an Animal, which is apparently in development to becoming a movie. Excitement!

If you want a little magic, to hear some folktales, dive into a curse, and even meet a witch (fangirling) then you MUST give The Cold is in Her Bones a try!

It’s so creative that it makes me wish I had snakes growing out of my own head.

4-stars

 

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Book Reviews · Books · Edelweiss+ · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: The Giver, Graphic Novel by Lois Lowry and P. Craig Russell (Illustrations)

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The Giver, The graphic Novel will be available for purchase on February 5, 2019.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, via Edelweiss+, for an honest review.

Genre: Teen/YA/Fiction/Graphic Novel/Comic

Plot: Placed on countless reading lists, translated into more than forty languages, and made into a feature film, The Giver is the first book in The Giver Quartet that also includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

In this new graphic novel edition, readers experience the haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas and his seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment, through the brilliant art of P. Craig Russell that truly brings The Giver to life.

Witness Jonas’s assignment as the Receiver of Memory, watch as he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community, and follow the explosion of color into his world like never before.

Opinion:

I can picture it so clearly as if it were yesterday.

I was sitting in class, a wee youngster at the time.

A black book with an old man on the cover was dropped on my rickety desk; assigned reading for the semester. Audible groans and grumblings of “this looks boring” and “dude, come on. Something from this century, PLEASE” were heard throughout the room.

The story of a young boy was given to us with a cover so wise beyond our years, with words so eloquently written, that it almost felt too much for our wandering minds to grasp. A book we appreciated and grew to love, but one that still left a dryness across our eyes.

If ONLY we had been given this beautiful version.

You all know the story of young Jonas and his path to becoming the Receiver of Memory. Living in a place where color does not exist, and the memory of it is not taught. But when he is given his Life Assignment, he is given a job unlike his friends. He is to be the Receiver of Memory, the one who holds all the memories of the world, including those with color. So ensues Jonas’s journey to learning about the world, one filled with happiness and pain, sadness and elation. This version of The Giver pulls in readers of all ages and gives them beautifully illustrated images of Jonas’ story.

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This graphic novel is AMAZING.

I honestly didn’t know how much I needed a graphic novel version of The Giver, until now. These illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and perfectly portray this story. Not only is it a great version for all us who had read this in school or when we were kids, but it is a FANTASTIC way to get the younger audiences and newer generations interested! I feel SO lucky that we were given a movie, and now this! The story is the same, but naturally, not every word from the original was transcribed to this rendition. This form of The Giver is much more direct with its delivery of the story, thanks to the illustrations being able to shorten the originals descriptions of scenery.

Instead of the reader having to imagine Jonas learning about colors and the world, they get to SEE it happening as they read. It’s a movie and a book in one! I think all ages can enjoy this adaptation of the classic novel by Lois Lowry, but I feel that it might end up targeting a younger audience overall. Due to the writing being shortened to accommodate the illustrations, it seems that some of the more dark and somber moments from this book are reduced. The reader can see the emotion from the illustrations, but it definitely doesn’t have that gut-wrenching effect that the original has.

Some things from the original were shortened, like Jonas’s big escape with the baby and some of the moments with the current Receiver of Memory. I also found it interesting that the illustrations only portrayed moments of full color for Jonas when he was receiving a memory, or when he had left. I would have expected him to have full color before then, but really, I suppose it doesn’t matter!

In comparison to the original form of The Giver, I found this graphic novel to be breathtaking and VERY enjoyable. As a long-time lover of this book, I was hit with a rush of nostalgia and happiness while reading. This version is truly a masterpiece and will be a great interpretation for younger audiences. I cannot WAIT to get this in a print version!

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5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · JKS Communications · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review:Immortal Girls by Griffin Stark

Immortal Girls

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by JKS Communications on behalf of the author, for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/YA/Teen

Plot: The year is 1095, Normandy, France. Five year old Skylar runs away into the woods to escape nuns who are convinced her inexplicable seizures are the work of Satan. She survives after being adopted by wolves, when two mysterious strangers appear and reveal Skylar’s destiny to her. Skylar is the first of the Immortal Girls, destined to save humanity from itself.

“Immortal Girls” follows Skylar, Rachel, Caitlin, Beth, and Bethany, five immortal sisters who, over the course of a thousand years, attempt to learn the purpose of their own existence while hunting down the worst criminals this world has ever seen. They’ve faced the likes of Jack the Ripper and the Nazis, but as a new enemy arises to threaten the sisters’ survival they’ll soon learn that immortality doesn’t mean forever.

Opinion:

It is I, on this Sunday, that blesses you with this:

A book with the potential to reach the stars

if only it had gone through a few Beta/Alpha readers first.

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This book has tremendous potential to be amazing, but it just doesn’t feel finished. There are a few positives, a few negatives, and some gray areas in-between. There were times when I really enjoyed the authors writing, and times when I had no idea what he was trying to convey to the reader. If I look at the work as a whole, I find it to be a cute story and something I really didn’t mind reading. But it could have been SO much better.

Let’s start with the length of the book. Yes, it is short. But let’s categorize it into the “Short Story” genre then. In that regard, it is the perfect size. The writing is quick and to the point, and doesn’t waste time with too many words and unnecessary “fluff”. But if the intention is for this to be a novel, then okay, it’s short. However, in my opinion, I think the story is fine at this length. I saw a few complaints from readers expressing that it was too short for a fantasy story which caused there to be a lack of story and character building. But every book is different. This just happens to be a shorter fantasy book that doesn’t include an exuberant amount of description and detail, but I think it works.

The plot for this book is what immediately interested me, and what compelled me to accept it for review. I loved the creative idea of moving through historical events and characters, and bringing a fictional side into it. The author successfully weaved a tale of inventive possibilities and outcomes that COULD have happened in history, and it was enjoyable to see them play out. I liked the interaction with Joan of Arc and how the author portrayed her as a typical teenage girl who was seeking friendship, the idea that Anne Frank met a girl in her concentration camp and wished her to share her diary with the world, and that a few eighteen-year-old girls were the true demise of Jack the Ripper. This is all VERY creative. But some of it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

The change of scenes was only separated by paragraphs, which made it EXTREMELY difficult to keep up with what was happening. There was a moment when one immortal girl was introduced and described to the reader, but in the next paragraph the reader is thrown into a scene from her past. Where was the notice that this was happening?! It could have been completed with just three small characters. Look, it’s so simple:

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The author paints the parents, Isabelle and Alistair, to be these divine and heavenly beings who are tasked with showing the girls the “right” path in life that could save the world. I mean I think that was his goal? It’s not very clear. But who are these two characters? Where did they come from? They could be tricksters from Satan for all I know about them! But what is even more confusing is that these girls are actually “trained” to be savage killers. And when I say “trained” I mean they become immortal, and then instinctively know to reach through a guy’s chest and rip his heart out.

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I DID like the introductions for each Immortal girl though, and how each one was a little different. I REALLY liked the introduction of Caitlin when the author described her. THIS is how they entirety of the story should have been described. It was detailed and gave me a PERFECT image of what she looked like and who she was, but wasn’t overly wordy. It was just right. But then by the end of Caitlin’s story I was confused again because I didn’t understand if she was already immortal at that point, or if she was then going to become immortal?

Also, I think those cheesy one-liners when the girls are killing don’t even need to be touched on.

Honestly.

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By the end of the of the book I was a bit annoyed, but I had learned to accept it for what it is. I think it would be a great idea for this author to use Beta and Alpha readers for his next book, because it would only benefit him to have the opinions of readers that are going to give him honest helpful criticism. I think this story was cute and creative, but it just didn’t execute in the way I had hoped it would.

2-5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

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The Dark Beneath the Ice will be available for purchase on August 7, 2018

Pre-order a copy through the links below:

Amazon.com – The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

Barnesandnoble.com – The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

Goodreads.com – The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

Bookdepository.com – The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Teen/Paranormal

Plot: Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic.

But their first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. Whatever is haunting her, it wants everything she has—everything it’s convinced she stole. Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

Opinion:

Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity in this compelling ghost story about a former dancer whose grip on reality slips when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her”

So this was…interesting.

Marianne’s life has never been more out of control. With her parents announcing their divorce despite seeming to be so in love, her mother’s recent hospitalization, and the drama surrounding Marianne’s decision to quit dance; it feels like Marianne is drowning.  As she is sent to live with her aunt, strange things begin to happen in Marianne’s quiet world. Losing time, objects being moved without her moving them, strange knocking and banging on the walls, and the never-ending feeling of being watched. After a loss of time happens in one of Marianne’s classes, she attempts to reach out to the goth girl named Ron in hopes that her psychic mother may help her. But when communicating with whatever haunts Marianne only strengthens it, everyone close to Marianne is in danger. Something is coming for Marianne, and its angry at her for being shoved down and drowned. But in the end, Marianne may be the one being dragged beneath the ice.

Intriguing concept and idea, but a bit of a miss for me.

Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some positives! The story started out great in regards to the writing style. It was so descriptive and beautiful, I felt as if I was reading a more relaxed form of poetry. The writing feels like a well-choreographed dance, and I found myself having to read between the lines to figure out what these characters were hiding. It was constructed well, had an even tone throughout, and was a very quick and easy read. The theme that the author kept with through this story (as you can tell from the title) is a theme of being drowned or shoved down beneath ice. Marianne uses her memories of the river near her aunt’s house as a meditative tool when she begins to feel overwhelmed or scared. She pictures the calming feeling of her being submerged in the water, and the silence and security that comes with hiding under the surface.  The water is her safe place, and the ice on top of the water becomes her shield against anything negative. This theme is carried throughout the entire book, but becomes less of a symbolism and more of a….sighit honestly just becomes ridiculous.

As I started this read, I was really into it and devouring the words in order to find out WHAT exactly was going on. Is this a ghost story, is it a story of delusions and misconceptions, or is it a fantastical read about demons?! Halfway through the story I had decided that this was a ghost haunting/exorcism story that was about to be twisted and wild, and it was proving to be just that. Marianne would wake up at the piano in her aunt’s house banging on the keys in the middle of the night, or she would find herself up in front of her class at school being scolded by her teacher but having no recollection of what had happened. Things got worse after Ron, the goth/emo girl from school, tries to give Marianne a tame version of an exorcism. But even after enlisting the help of Ron’s mother, the physic, things turn dangerous. Knives floating in the air and being aimed at herself, bruises on her body, and a distinct pulling feeling that tries to drag her into the river and drown her.

However, how this turns out just DOES NOT ADD UP.

*Watch out, there’s a puddle of SPOILERS down there*

Nearing the end of this story I had a thought that MAYBE this was all just a symbolism for Marianne figuratively drowning herself in her hardships and woes and BLAH BLAH BLAH. MAYBE there isn’t actually a ghost or anything haunting her, MAYBE it’s just her.

Well, guess what?

It was literally both of those things.

It was her own “shadow self” trying to drown her because Marianne had pushed her “shadow self” beneath the figurative surface, and the “shadow self” wanted out because the “shadow self” was actually the original Marianne, and the Marianne that is now Marianne isn’t actually the original Marianne. The “shadow self” is actually the first Marianne, but in the end they are actually both Marianne.

Makes total sense right?

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Apart from that complete mess, the character of Marianne that the reader follows during this read proves to be another negative in my eyes. Marianne is, simply put, annoying as all hell. She felt a bit dull, emotionally confusing, and extremely desperate and needy in a way that made me scrunch my face up in a “WTF” sort of way. She has this fabricated idea of friendships in her head that I just didn’t follow. She was so worried about looking needy all the time, but it just made her look doubly needy and a little stalkerish. She just wasn’t my cup of tea. Ron on the other hand, was a more agreeable character for me. This could be because of my tendency to favor the weird gothy kids though. But Ron proves to be a strong character, she is willful and a “take no s**t” kind of gal, and I love her for it.

Also as a heads up, there is a bit of LGBT moments that happen in this story. They are very tame and mild, so if this is your thing or isn’t, just a warning in advance.

All in all, that ending really ruined the story for me. It started out promising, I loved the writing style, but the main character and the conclusion just didn’t hit the mark for me. I appreciate where the author was trying to take this story, but I don’t think she was able to take this book to the place it needed to go. The ending just didn’t feel completely thought through, and the delivery was a bit lacking. Of course, this is just my own opinion, and not all readers share my thoughts. If you think this might be a story that interests you, then I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

2-stars

 

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