Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

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The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

I picked up an ARC from NYCC in October.

At First In Line I showed them the email I received in exchange for the Blood Rose Rebellion. I got very excited when I read the jacket because I have a friend from Hungary named Noémi (No-amy). I messaged her about the book and asked if her name is popular in Hungary. She said:
“It’s not a very common name, actually. It was a writer who came up with it in 1872. In that book the main guy is an aristocrat and he goes on his boat and discovers an island where only a mom and the daughter lives. He falls in love with the daughter, whose name is noèmi. It means beautiful. So then he starts going back and forth between his real life and the mysterious island with his beautiful lover. And writers like to use the name in their books ever since.”

I liked the character Noémi and wish there was more of a storyline for her. Perhaps in book 2. I really appreciated the glossary and the character guide in the back. It helped immensely. I still pronounced words and names wrong. I would ask my friend Noémi if I was saying it correctly and I was embarrassingly wrong.

As the world building goes, I liked that magic was not a secret society but out in the open and controlled by the aristocracy. I think the mix with some Hungarian historical events made it an interesting historical fantasy novel. I don’t know much about Hungarian history so I learned a little bit.

I was glad I read The Bear and the Nightingale first so that I was familiar with some of the mythical creatures that make an appearance.

There were many things I did like about the story, like Anna’s struggle with her decision and how breaking the binding was not done in a simple 1,2,3 rushed plot. It took a few tries. However, towards the end of the book I lost motivation to finish. I pushed to finish and even started to skim it. I can’t say why I lost steam because I liked the story and the characters, but it took me more than a month to finish.

I can’t say I’ll go out and buy the second book of the series, but if I see an ARC at Comic Con or Book Con I’ll pick it up.

3 out of 5 Broken Spells.

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

I picked up and ARC at NYCC in October.

I really liked the set up of this alternate reality where those with magical powers (Skill) are the rulers (Equals). Usually the magical beings are in hiding and have their own world separate from those without magic. This turn around makes for an interesting story with power struggles, political maneuvering, and a rebellion that’s going to be a bitch of a time. Some reviewers on Goodreads said it was too political and they couldn’t keep the characters straight. I don’t get what they mean. It’s YA and easy enough to follow.

I was happy that it was told from different POVs in the third person. That really gave the world building a fuller picture and we got to understand both the Equals and the slaves. Some characters got more chapters than others and so their story was better developed, but I hope to see more from Silyen in the next book. He’s so conniving and the most mysterious.

A great starting point for a new trilogy. I’ll be awaiting the next book.

4 out 5 Years of Servitude.

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

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Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies. But when Beckan’s clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn’t have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected. This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.

I am back on the Book Con wagon. A friend gave me this book when I told her I only picked up one book that day after being in panels all morning. I should start off by saying that I read the ARC and the novel will be released on August 18, 2015.

This book started out confusing. The story is not linear, the world building was not described in great detail. At one point I wondered if the lore had contradicted itself. The history of the war between the different races (or is it species?) was not as well described as I was expecting.

Then you have this passage at the end of Chapter 1

Shit, what the fuck am I even doing? What kind of history book doesn’t even have a map? Once upon a time there was a writer who couldn’t write a fucking book. I don’t know what comes next. That whole chapter’s going to need to get thrown out anyway. You completely forgot halfway through that you’d said it was raining at the beginning.
Was it raining?
No one’s ever going to know, and it’s all your fault.
Put a fucking map in the next draft.

I had no idea who was speaking there. For a while I thought it was Hannah Moskowitz herself talking to us, the readers. My immediate thought was, “Oh, it’s supposed to sound like a first draft manuscript on purpose.”

Pages 68-84, it all starts to make more sense. I realized the reason why the story sounded like a journal with scrapbook clippings. Also, once I realized the different between the races I knew that an error had not been made with the mythology.

Basically, it starts out strange and disjointed, not everything is as well explained or developed as it should be, but stick with it because it’s an enjoyable story. It’s also written in such a unique way that it stands out from other fantasy novels.

The story is more about the effects the war has on these young fairies, gnomes and a tightroper. It’s about the twisted relationships and trying to survive their circumstances.
There are dark themes: what is murder and what is self-defense during war time, teenage prostitution, and mentions of rape.

I also got the sense that in this world, there are no hangups about sexual orientation. There are prejudices, discriminations and slurs thrown around for other reasons, but not for one’s sexual orientation. I wonder if that was intentional as part of the world building.

I found myself engaged in the characters and their story, and it was not all what I was expecting.

4 out 5 specs of glitter. 

Book Reviews: The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places, by Carrie Ryan

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The Dead-Tossed Waves(The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2)

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

I enjoyed this a bit more than The Forest of Hands and Teeth. There was a wider view of the world where the community was not as sheltered and led to believe they were the last ones left alive. It gave the story more to work with.

As for Gabry, the inner monologues of her doubts became redunant and I couldn’t get into the love triangle between her Catcher and Elias. Though I did like the boys individually.

I did really like the scenes between Gabry and her mother, Mary. That being Mary from The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The relationships and aftermath from the first book tie in nicely. Any questions I was left when I finished The Forest of Hands and Teethwere answered.

3.5 out of 5 Waves.

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The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #3)

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah’s world stopped that day, and she’s been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn’t feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?

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Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan

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In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

*spoilers* *spoilers* *spoilers* *spoilers* *spoilers*

What I liked best about this story is though there is a love square, the protagonist, Mary, doesn’t choice either suitor. She chooses her own path. I have seen some reviews call her selfish, and I disagree. Why should she compromise her faith and dreams to settle for anyone who thinks she is chasing a fairy tale? How unfulfilling.

I did have a few issues with the story. I would have liked to know more about The Sisterhood; their secrets and their history. I suspect they were religious and political zealots who used the zombie apocalypse to their advantage to cut off the rest of the world and control the town in a puritan enviroment. (When reading about their world I was reminded so much of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.) It’s the only conclusion I came to because why not be proactive. Go out and kill the Unconsecrated. Take back the land, especially since most of them are so slow it would be an easy kill. They did a lot more scratching and clawing than biting.

Also, I thought that since the village was run by religious fanatics that the story would go more into depth about Mary’s loss of her belief in God. I though that by the end when she finds what she was searching for her faith would be restored. The matter was dropped somewhere along the way.

However, I still really enjoyed it. It was a page turner. I really wanted to know what would happen next. Mary didn’t hide in a corner and let the men fight. She found a way to overcome her nerves and fear to fight and survive.

III.5 out V Gates.

After finishing TFoHaT, I went back to re-read Carrie Ryan’s short story “Bougainvillea” in Zombies Vs. Unicorns. I remember it being one of my favorite stories in the collection, but had to refresh my memory as to why. It is set in the same universe, though I believe decades (centuries?) earlier and not in the forest.

There are two more novels set in the same universe and I will read those next.

New York Comic Con 2014 – Sunday, October 12

Got a bit of a late start. After packing everything up and leaving the luggage with the concierge we got to Javits around 11am. First thing we did was get wristbands for Sleepy Hollow. Just as I thought, there was no reason to be there at the crack of dawn; there were plenty of wristbands left and we didn’t have to wait on line. It took two minutes to get them.


So until the afternoon we roamed the exhibit hall and artist’s alley.

My luggage and carryon was already so full and heavy with books that I had to stay away from the publishing booths, but I picked up only one book. It’s an ARC of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton.

I stared reading it that afternoon when I was waiting on the Sleepy Hollow queue. Here is a description and my review:

For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she’ll be with the boy she loves–who’s also her best friend.

But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it’s too late to walk away.

It was an enjoyable read. The world building was well done. It is very much secluded to their world though. I often wondered if the consequences of the Seekers’ actions in the world would come back and have a bigger impact on the whole of the story. It was briefly mentioned in passing, but this is the first book of a series and so it is possible that we’ll see the repercussions of that night on global scale.


The start to developing the characters was good. They have a mix of strength, determination and flaws. You certainly understand their motivations. I liked that it was told from different point of views. I must say though that that love triangle was weak, especially on Quin’s part. Some of her feelings came on too suddenly.
Maud was my favorite character. I found her and her history to be the most interesting of all.

It is described as “For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.” It is a very tame GoT (the PG-13 version).

The action was good, however, some parts lacked suspense. I put the book down for a week around the beginning of part three. Also, and maybe it’s not fair to judge too harshly since it is an ARC, but it did get repetitive about the time jump. It got to a point where I would think to myself how many times in a chapter will we be reminded that some time has past? I lost count.

Although I lost some motivation to continue reading, I did finish and it has interested me enough to see what the next book brings to the story.

3 out 5 athames

In artist’s alley I bought this print of Padmé Amidala from Jason Palmer:

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My sister and I looked through his portfolio and he has many great drawings from different fandoms. Here are several examples:

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Next time I’ll get the one of Arrow.

Victoria asked if he does any commissions and he said he does not at the moment because he is so busy.

Sleepy Hollow
Sunday, October 12| 3:00 PM-4:00PM| Main stage 1-D

The guest speakers were: actors Orlando Jones, Lyndie Greenwood, Sakina Jaffrey; and producers and writers Len Wiseman and Alex Kurtzman. 

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Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare

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Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian, but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

I wrote a guest review for Lazy Book Lovers, where I remained spoiler free. If you don’t want any spoilers please read  my review on LBL.

If you have already read it and would like to know my thoughts and discuss the book, please continue.

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