Book reviews and assorted musings of a book lover

Category Archives: New On My Bookshelf

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!

So here is another “haul” post, including books I received for Christmas. November and December were good to me, so I’m breaking this post up into two parts: Young Adult and Adult Fantasy. The total book count is 19. Wow…I’m just going to jump right in. Hope you enjoy!

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So the first books I got were The World of the End  by Ofir Gaftla and The Cusanus Game  by Wolfgang Jeschke. I won them in a giveaway of international books, from the amazing people of I haven’t started either of them, but they do look interesting.

The next book, which I received from the wonderful people over at Gollancz, was Moon’s Artifice  by Tom Lloyd. I am currently reading this, and so far it’s very good. The world and the characters are both very real and Lloyd has a real gift with descriptions.

After that, my family and I went to New York City for our annual holiday trip. We usually go to museums but this year I convinced everyone to go to Strand Bookstore. I had gone earlier this year, but unfortunately was rushed so I didn’t have a good chance to walk around, and it was overwhelming. I needed to go back and really admire all the books. So we all went and of course I bought a book, because who goes to Strand and doesn’t buy a book? Not me. I picked up a copy of The Passage  by Justin Cronin. I actually started this book over the summer, but it’s very dark and somewhat dense, so I put it down and never got back to it. I did enjoy it however, and when I saw the hardcover for $10, I decided to go for it. Now it is forming the base for my ever-growing 2014 TBR pile.

I didn’t get any Adult Fantasy books for Christmas, but I did get quite a few gift-cards to Barnes and Noble. So I trekked over to their Paramus store, the one with the amazing used book section, and I went a little nuts. Just a little. I bought a bunch of books, starting with Malice  by John Gwynne. I have been dying to read this book since I heard about its release in Great Britain. I thought it was right up my alley. Then I heard it was coming over to America, so I put it on my Christmas list. I didn’t get it, and when I saw it at B&N, I just couldn’t pass it up. I got a little distracted with other books, but it is next on my list to read.

I also bought Thieftaker  by D.B. Jackson. I’ve a lot of good things about it, but I don’t really know much about the plot. It’s supposed to be a really amazing Historical Fantasy, so I’m looking forward to that.

The other books I got had been on my list for a long time. The Chronicles of Amber  by Roger Zelzany is supposedly a classic, and I started it years ago, but never finished. Now I have all the books.

Devices and Desires  by K.J. Parker looks very interesting, I’ve started it already and so far its good. This is my first book by this author, but I’ve heard good things, so I’ll keep reading.

City of Dreams and Nightmares  by Ian Whates looks really good. I love books about interesting cities and I absolutely love it when an author create a city that is a character in its own right, and not just a backdrop. I’m hoping that Whates succeeds in doing just that.

The final book from above is Spellwright  by Blake Charlton. This book looks like it incorporates my other favorite story line, the young pupil must master a certain skill to save the kingdom, world etc. For some reason, these type of books really catch my eye. I love seeing a character develop from a bumbling idiot into a hero. Spellwright  looks like it has that sort of story, but with a few added twists.

On to the Young Adult books!

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Alright, the first young adult book I got was Relic  by Heather Terrell. I had contacted her for an interview, but she left on tour before she received my questions. So I was taken completely by surprise when I received a hardcover copy of Relic in the mail. I immediately dropped the other book I was reading to start this one, and I finished it pretty quick. It was good, but at the end, I just couldn’t stop laughing. If you’ve read it then you probably know what I’m talking about.

This holiday season I was involved in two Secret Santa parties. And both times I got books. The first was The Selection  by Kiera Cass. The friend who gave it to me is obsessed with the series and she decided it was time I read it. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but it does look interesting.

The second Secret Santa book was The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak. I tried to read this book when I was in middle school, but I couldn’t get past the idea that it was narrated by Death. Now its been turned into a movie, which I have not seen. It looks like the kind of book I want to read before I see the movie.

I didn’t get that many fiction books for Christmas. I did, however, get one that I REALLY wanted, which was Shadow and Bone  by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve already read it and I loved it so much. I am reading the sequel as I type this post, and it is begging for me to pick it up again. The third book, Ruin and Rising, isn’t due out until the summer and it is one of my most anticipated books of the year.

The only other books I got for Christmas were Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant  in a box set. I’ve read the first two, but someone (i.e. the Internet) spoiled the ending of Allegiant for me, so now I’m hesitant to start reading. I will though, because I love Tris and Four so much. The trilogy is so beautiful on my shelf and I have a new love for box sets. They are so nice looking.

Anyway, on the same post-Christmas Barnes and Noble trip, I bought Under the Never Sky  by Veronica Rossi. I started reading this book, and I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know, but the main character just bugged me. I’ll try to start over, but I make no promises.

The final book in this too-long book haul is Masks  by E.C. Blake. This book was also on my Christmas list, and since I didn’t get it, I bought it for myself. I read it on New Year’s Eve, because I was already staying up and I really got into it. I like the idea of the masks as a way of the government to control the people. It was a little extreme, but I enjoyed it.

So that’s my November and December book haul. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrated, and I wish everyone a happy 2014! May it be great!

Each week I receive books, whether I buy them myself, or win them, or get them for free, I’ll do a little post so you know what to expect.

This batch is from Amazon, Goodreads, and my local library.

Anyway, onto the books.

The first one I have been dying to read since I heard about its release in print form. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan was originally only released as an e-book. Somehow, it ended up printed, and blurbs and advertisements were everywhere. I fell in love when I read the blurb for the first time. It looked like a good, solid fantasy novel. I finally managed to purchase a copy. I’m super excited, and I plan on reading it as soon as I can.

“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

 Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order. 

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.”

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (A Raven’s Shadow novel)

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The second book I’ve had my eye on for while as well. Enclave by Ann Aguirre, is a grim looking dystopian novel that looks positively gripping. I’m on a dystopian, young-adult kick right now, so it’s right up my alley. Both my sister and I are looking forward to reading it.


In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.”

Enclave by Ann Aguire (Razorland Book 1)

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The final book I bought from Amazon was Garth Nix’s Shade’s Children. Another dark looking, post-apocalyptic book. I’ve started it in the past, but have put it down in favor of other books. I’ve heard great things about it, and I remember really liking the beginning. Hopefully, it lives up to what I remember.

“If you’re lucky, you live to fight another day.

In a futuristic urban wasteland, evil Overlords have decreed that no human shall live a day past their fourteenth birthday. On that Sad Birthday, the children of the Dorms are taken to the Meat Factory, where they will be made into creatures whose sole purpose is to kill.

The mysterious Shade—once a man, but now more like the machines he fights—recruits the few teenagers who escape into a secret resistance force. With luck, cunning, and skill, four of Shade’s children come closer than any to discovering the source of the Overlords’ power—and the key to their downfall. But the closer they get, the more ruthless Shade seems to become.”

Shade’s Children by Garth Nix

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This next book came in the mail, not from Amazon, but from Goodreads. I won it in a free contest on Goodreads, which, may I say, is an amazing site. Free books make pretty much anyone happy and it was a hardcover, which was a pleasant surprise. Anyway, I entered the contest and won, which is awesome. This book is an adult thriller, with, it looks like, a lot of religion. I like the idea and the main premise of the book, and I just hope that the story doesn’t suffer because of the idea of a unified religion.

“Aaron Davis joins his father’s ministry at seven years of age. He attracts national attention when he heals a woman of cancer. His services draw thousands of worshipers. He creates an organization with his sister Esther, called the Brotherhood of Man, that unites the major religions of the world. He brokers a treaty that ends the conflict in the Middle East and Northern Africa. He fields a powerful army to maintain the peace. Jack Holder, a former Congressman, becomes President. The United States is under intense international pressure to join the Brotherhood of Man’s effort to create a new world order. Jack’s secret Masonic organization wants Aaron Davis eliminated. Barbara Holder, Jack’s religious wife, believes Aaron Davis is the Antichrist. The fate of the world will depend on which side Jack chooses.”

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These last three I got from my local library system. All of them are ARCs, which I am really excited about.

The first one is Aquifer by Jonathan Freisan. It was published on August 6. This one is a young adult dystopian book, dealing with water being a scarce commodity. I like the cover, and the premise of this one, and I can’t wait to read it.

“Only he can bring what they need to survive…

In 2250, water is scarce, and those who control it control everything. And they’ll do anything to maintain their power – deceiving, dividing families, banning love… even killing those who oppose them.

But above all, they seek to control knowledge and communication – ensuring the truth that will bring their downfall will never be known. But one person verges on discovering it all.

Sixteen-year-old Luca becomes the Deliverer, the only one allowed to contact the people called ‘Water Rats,’ who mine the essential water deep underground and bring it to the ‘Toppers’ who desperately need it above. 

But when he meets a Water Rat who captures his heart and leads him to secrets – secrets about a vast conspiracy, and about himself – the net around him tightens. Luca and those around him must uncover and share the truth needed to overthrow tyranny – even as they fight for their lives.”

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The second book is Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig. This one was published in July (so these ARCs aren’t really advance anymore). This one is about a utopian society with a massive divide between the Haves and the Have-Nots. It reminds me a bit of the new movie Elysium, with the rich living high in the air, and the poor barely surviving on the ground. This book looks very exciting.

“Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow ? and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie ? his first mate and the love of his life ? forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry ? angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it. Cael’s ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.”

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The final book I got from my library was Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston. I have been super excited for this book. It was one of my most anticipated books of this month. It has magic and a completely new setting. I am dying to read this, it’s at the top of the pile. Expect a review soon. I’m so excited!

“Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.”

So, that’s all for this week. Comment if you have any thoughts!