So I was just wandering around on the Internet, when I stumbled upon a link to an artist’s gallery. I clicked and I instantly recognized some of his work. So I looked up his name, and I found an interview over at A Dribble of Ink, a blog run by Aidan Moher.
The artist’s name is Kekai Kotaki. He was born on Hawaii, and moved to Seattle to go to college. He worked at ArenaNet, then left and started doing freelance work.
His work is beautiful. He worked a lot on the Guild War franchise, but he’s done quite a few fantasy book covers. Here’s a few you might recognize:
He’s also done the covers for Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean le Flambeur trilogy (starting with The Quantum Thief) and a few covers for Alexey Pehov’s books (such as Shadow Prowler and Shadow Blizzard).
I just thought his work was amazing, and I wanted to show you all. Which one is your favorite?
His website: kekai.blogspot.com. Hope you enjoy!
So, on May 31, the first BookCon happened.
Some background: BookExpo America is a yearly conference in NYC. Each year, thousands of publishers and authors and professionals gather in the Javits Center for this industry event. Over the last two years, BEA has experimented with allowing consumers onto the floor on the final day of the event.
This year was the first year they separated the events, cordoning off an area for consumers. This floor area became BookCon. There was a controversy surrounding this switch: some people (such as I) had already purchased tickets to Power Reader Day, which was scheduled to happen as usual. I was caught up in the uproar, and rightly so: I paid to go to BEA and was instead given tickets to a smaller experimental event.
I was angry, but I made the best of it. BookCon did not impress me with the celebrities they got to attend. In the beginning there were more movie stars than authors (and of course, very little diversity within the announced attendees). There were a few authors I wanted to see, but not too many.
When we got to the Javits Center (I also convinced my neighbor to come with me), there was a huge line for Autographing tickets. It stretched around the building. The ticket booth open at 9;00, but, to cut down the line, they opened early. We decided to skip it, and forgo the big ticketed authors (i.e. Cassandra Clare) and instead got in line to wait for the floor to open.
When the floor opened it was a mad house, everyone rushing this way and that. Immediately it was obvious the space for BookCon would not be able to hold everyone. The aisles were much too narrow, and the in-booth signings and giveaways clogged the pathways even further. It was chaos.
Besides that, many publishers gave out all their advance copies in the first ten minutes. This caused a panic with those who wanted to get those titles (lots of grabbing hands). I was reaching for Afterworlds, the upcoming novel by Scott Westerfeld, and someone slapped my hand out of the way. Then the booth ran out. So I didn’t get one. This basically set the tone for the whole day.
My neighbor and I split up, and I went to line up for Alexandra Bracken, author of The Darkest Minds trilogy, with my sister. We got there 15 minutes early, just in case, but we were turned away by a very rude BookCon employee. She yelled at the growing crowd to disperse, and threatened to refuse to let us get a book if we didn’t leave. The crowd kept getting bigger, and my sister and I made a few new friends that we waited in line with so we would have a group to stay with.
We ended up waiting in two separate lines, for over an hour. The entire time, BookCon employees herded us around like animals. My sister and I and new friend Sarah (Hey, Sarah!) were one of the last people to get a book. Alexandra Bracken was signing hardcover copies of her second book Never Fade. She was so young and pretty, and super nice. She couldn’t believe the crowds at all.
After that madness, we decided to get lunch. The cafeteria was insane. There was a big selection, but all the lines were ridiculous. We ended up splitting a sandwich. I then hustled off to the BookTuber Meetup, which was without a doubt the highlight of my day!
I’m just going to say it before it becomes painfully obvious: I am a very shy person. So when I walked into the crowd of BookTubers and fans, I was overwhelmed. I actually walked right into Heather’s (from Bookables) husband. She and I talked for a bit. She was so nice and personable.
I also saw Tiernan, from TheBookTuber, who was super tall. He and I talked a couple of times. I had a cool discussion with him and Bekah (Bekah AwesomeBookNut) for a while. I took lots of pictures, I promise.
I walked around for a bit, taking in all the fans and BookTubers interacting with each other. It was surreal. I loved being able to see these regular people in real life. All of them were so kind and just as frazzled as I was.
I waited to say hi to Jesse, from jessethereader. He was talking to Reagan (PeruseProject) and I didn’t want to interrupt. I got talking with this nice girl named Christina ( I remember because she gave me her business card), and together we introduced ourselves. He was so nice and I got a picture. I had quite the fangirl moment.
I caught a glimpse of Jeff and Jaime (Ermahgerd Berks), but I didn’t get the chance to say hi. Then I got to meet Kassidy Voinche, who I adore. She’s a wonderful hugger and I loved her dress. She was super funny and really, really sweet.
Here are the pictures from the Meetup:
After that, I walked around the floor a little bit more. I was disappointed. There were no books left. Some booths had books for “inspiration”, which meant you couldn’t take them or purchase them. It was frustrating. The crowds were still horrendous. I never got to talk to a publisher or representative, which was a priority of mine. I had hoped to make a few connections to industry professionals, but alas…
On a bit of an aside, I was waiting on line to go to the bathroom (which was a thirty minute wait) and I saw the “line” for the John Green panel scheduled to happen in two hours. There were so many people, and security guards were just yelling at everybody. It was a pit of madness. Look:
After that unfulfilling day, I went back home. It was a very quiet train ride. No one I was with was happy. BookCon was actually just a Con, there weren’t many books at all.
So, I don’t know if I’m going to attend BookCon next year. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say it’ll be better organized next year, but they have their work cut out for them. My goal is to get tickets to BookExpo America, and also check in on BookCon, but who knows?
Thanks for reading. Leave me a comment if you went to BookCon! Bye
So, this will be just the highlights of the books I’ve acquired over the last few months.
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Wool, Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey
A Sword of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Half Bad by Sally Green
Daughter of Smoke and Bone/Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, and City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
This haul is super exciting! I’ve been dying to get my hands on Words of Radiance and The Crimson Campaign. And I finally, FINALLY got myself a copy of The Fault in Our Stars!! I’m re-reading it right now (I’m also reading A Storm of Swords. Great combo.)
I plan on marathon-ing the Wool trilogy and posting a review, and I really want to get to Brandon Sanderson! I also plan on reading the entire Mortal Instruments series soon too.
Just wanted to give everyone a look at what’s to come. See you soon!
I just wanted to quickly apologize for the huge lapse in posts. I do realize my last post was in January. I was swamped with work and all else fell to the wayside. I am sorry.
I have more time now, and it is my goal to to post much more frequently on this blog. I’ve read quite a few books in my absence, so stay tuned for some great reviews!
Thank you all so much for understanding! See you soon!
I know this isn’t about books, per se, but it is book related. For those of you who don’t know, John Green’s amazing book The Fault in Our Stars is coming out as a movie June 6.
Here is the movie poster:
Isn’t it beautiful?
I read this book in one sitting. It is not the sort of book that you can walk away from. I, for one, am still deeply attached to the characters in the story, and I think this book affected me as not only a reader, but as a person.
I know not everyone is fond of book to movie adaptations, but I enjoy them. Don’t get me wrong, I am a monster if the movie completely messes up the book, but I love how the movie gets the story to more people who otherwise would never have experienced it. I love being able to talk about characters and worlds with other people and I love hearing someone say, “That’s a book? I have to read it!”.
So, needless to say, I am excited for this movie. Very excited. Like, almost more excited than I was for the first two Hobbit movies. And very close to how excited I am for the Divergent movie (coming out on March 21).
The book made me cry, and the trailer made me cry too. Watching Hazel and Gus and Isaac and all the other people from TFIOS come to life, and live, was amazing to see. I have to say I think the casting is spot on. Augustus is exactly as I pictured him, and Shailene Woodley as Hazel isn’t much of a stretch at all.
And without further ado, here is The Fault in Our Stars trailer:
In common fangirl speak: OMG, the feels!!
(I can’t upload the actual trailer, but I promise this is a link to the real trailer.)
Now begins the agonizing wait for the movie release. June cannot come fast enough.
I am aiming to re-read The Fault in Our Stars right before the movie comes out. I’m thinking about posting my progress here as I read it. Sounds like a good idea.
Here’s another beautiful picture:
So, enjoy the trailer and all the feelings that it entails. And of course, DFTBA.
Time for the obligatory “Most Anticipated” post. I originally thought this would be a smaller list, but as I looked a publishing dates, I realized it was going to be big. Very big. So I’m breaking it up into two parts: books that are going to be the first in a planned series, and sequels in ongoing series.
I am super excited, so let’s dive right in. I’ll start with the first books in new series, and these will be in no particular order. Onwards!
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Release Date: August 5
I love N.K Jemisin. I’ve read all her other books, and loved them. She’s kept this book pretty much secret, so I’ll give you all the official teaser blurb from her blog:
“The Fifth Season is set in a world which has suffered frequent, repeated Extinction Level Events for millions of years, and all life (and magic) in this world has adapted to it. Hundreds of years might pass between these events—easy, plentiful years in which great cities rise, and people have the leisure for art and science and rapid advancement—but then, again and again, the cities fall. The world is littered with the detritus of these times of plenty, and this cover hints at them: past ages of decadence, now decaying; stone that endures beneath flaking gilt.”
So you can see why I am dying to get this book. Magic and apocalyptic events, what more could you want?
The Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence
Release Date: June 3
From the author of Prince of Thorns, comes an entirely new story. I really want to see how he develops a whole new character. I wonder if this book will be as graphic as his previous trilogy, but we shall see. This book sounds very interesting and I am definitely looking forward to it!
The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley
Release Date: January 14
I know this book is already out, and I’ve heard some amazing reviews. It was really hyped last year as one of the biggest publications, and so far I think it has lived up to the hype. I haven’t managed to get a copy yet, and I am absolutely dying to read it. This is one of my most anticipated of the year, and it’s only January!
The Path to Power by Karen Miller
Release Date: July 8
So, I know very little about this books, but I’ve read her past books and liked them. I’m not so sure about the blood and dead bodies on the cover though. They’re a little disconcerting.
The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke.
Release Date: March 18
“Saker looks like a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. It’s a dangerous job, and more lives than merely his own depend on his secrecy.When Saker is injured by a foreigner’s strange blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility that comes with it, Saker can only follow its lead. It will put Saker on a path that reveals terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he serves, and likely lead to his own destruction. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.”
I really liked Larke’s other series, the Watergivers trilogy. I haven’t finished it yet, but I mean to before this book comes out. I like her style of writing and I will definitely pick this book up when it is released.
Twelve Kings of Sharakhai by Bradley Beaulieu
(This is not the cover art)
Release Date: September 2
I love it when fantasy novels are set in unusual places, for example, the desert. All I know about this book is that it is about a female pit fighter who somehow rises to the top and challenges the twelve magical kings that have ruled the desert for centuries. Something like that. I am so excited for this book, I can’t wait.
The Revolutions by Felix Gilman
Release Date: April 1
Again I know very little about this book, save that it is set in London. I absolutely loved The Half Made World as well as The Rise of Ransom City. The language and style of writing Gilman uses is amazing. I could not put either of his books down, and I hope this new story will be just as thrilling.
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
Release Date: July 8
I haven’t finished Abercrombie’s last trilogy, but I like that he has branched out into young adult. I think with his talents he’ll do incredibly well. I am excited to meet a whole new bunch of his characters.
The Waking Engine by David Edison
Release Date: February 11
I got a galley of this book on my Kindle from NetGalley, and I’ve started it already. So far, it’s very good. I can’t wait to finish it. Say tuned for a possible review!
The Leopard by K. V. Johansen
Release Date: June 10
I had found this book right before I started this post and I just got very excited. I’ll give you all the blurb and let you see why I am so excited for this book:
“In the days of the first kings in the North, there were seven devils…
Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard.
To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.”
So that’s all for the first books in new series. Let’s move onto the sequels. Some of these are my most anticipated for the year. I can’t wait for all of them to finally be released. The wait is killing me.
Anyway, onto the books!
The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks
Release Date: August 26
I absolutely loved the first two books in this trilogy, The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife. The magic system is one of the most original I have ever seen. I loved the main characters and I am dying to know how their story ends. The second book left on a pretty nasty cliffhanger, and I really want to know happens.
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Release Date: May 6
The first book, The Promise of Blood, was one of my favorite books of last year. I managed to find a signed copy too, which was amazing. I read it in two days, I physically could not put it down. The complexity of the government and the characters, all their stories and histories, it was all deftly woven together to create a superb novel. And the magic, oh my goodness, I cannot get over how amazing the different types of magic were, the powder mages, Privileged, Marked, Magebreakers and so on. I simply loved the whole story, and I can only imagine the sequel will be just as epic.
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Release Date: September 16
I know this isn’t a fantasy book, but the first in the trilogy, The Fifth Wave, was another of my favorites for 2013. I loved the heroine, Cassie, and the world she lived in and how realistic she was. I’ve been dying to read this book for a while, and I cannot wait until September.
The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch
(This is not the cover art. But it is beautiful)
Release Date: Fall 2014
This book is only tentatively set for release this year. The first three books were all amazing and I loved all of them. Locke and Jean are one of my favorite duos in fantasy right now. I love their chemistry and how much they understand each other. I am dying to go with them on a another adventure.
The Bastards and the Knives by Scott Lynch
Release Date: March 3
Another Scott Lynch book, this one is a prequel to the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora. I am looking forward to hearing from characters that have been gone for a long time. I can’t wait to see the whole group back together and doing crime again.
The Shadow Throne by Django Wexler
Release Date: July 1
I have a soft spot for military fantasy, and I completely fell in love with this book and all the characters in it. All the details were perfect and I was engrossed in the story from page one. The sequel is shaping up to be just as amazing and I can’t wait to read it.
Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick
Release Date: May 6
I confess…I haven’t actually read the first book yet, but it is at the top of my TBR pile. I just haven’t found the time to get to it. I’ve heard amazing things about it, and I do plan on reading it in the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll wait and marathon both of them. Stay tuned.
Sword of the North by Luke Scull
Release Date: June 1
I really like the first book in this planned trilogy. I loved all the different characters and how they all interacted with each other. I am looking forward to finding out more about their story, and where the trilogy is heading.
Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
Release Date: July 1
This is one of my most anticipated books of the year. I loved the first book. I really like coming of age books, and the book managed to take that basic premise to a whole new level. I really enjoyed read the first book, Blood Song, and I am dying to see where all the characters go. I also really like the cover. The colors are interesting. I am so excited about this book!
The final book on the list, and easily my most anticipated of the year is…
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Release Date: March 6
Oh my goodness, I can not begin to describe how excited I am for this book. Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors, and The Way of Kings is one of my favorite books of all time. I devoured the first book in a few days. This is the second in a planned ten book series, and I’m glad I’m around to see each publication. The cover art is as beautiful as the first. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. I think that will be a highlight of my year.
So, those are 20 of my most anticipated books of 2014. This year looks like it is shaping up to be pretty spectacular. Tell me what books you are excited about in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
Hope you all enjoy your winter!