Book reviews and assorted musings of a book lover

Tag Archives: dystopian

So, I decided to make a list of some debut authors that are going to make their first appearance later this year. Debut authors hold a special place in my heart, because all authors were, at some point, debut authors, awaiting the success of their first novel. One day, I hope to be a debut author too. I always give author’s first books a chance: most of the time they are very good, and hold a lot of promise for further books. Anyway, onto the list:

Wordless by AdriAnne Srickland
Release: August 8

“The Gods made their Words into flesh, giving privileged individuals the powers of creation…”In Eden City, a member of the illiterate wordless class would never dream of meeting the all-powerful Words … much less of running away with one. So when a gorgeous girl literally falls into his lap during a routine trash run, seventeen-year-old Tavin Barnes isn’t sure if it’s the luckiest or worst day of his life. That girl is Khaya, the Word of Life, who can heal a wound or command an ivy bush to devour a city block with ease. And yet she needs Tavin’s help.By aiding Khaya’s escape from the seemingly idyllic confines of Eden City, Tavin unwittingly throws himself into the heart of a conflict that is threatening to tear the world apart. Eden City’s elite will stop at nothing to protect the shocking secret Khaya hides, and they enlist the other Words, each with their own frightening powers, to bring her back.”

I first heard of this book last year around New Year’s. I wanted it so badly. I’ve thought about words and what it would be like for someone to have the power over a word and what it meant, and it sounds so interesting in this books! I really an excited to see how the magic of the Words affects the entire world.

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
Release: August 5

“In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where shecame from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.”

This book sounds simply amazing. I love the premise, and the setting, and the mystery. Kai (while I’m not overly fond of the name) sounds like an interesting girl and I really want to learn more about her world.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Release: October 14

“A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.”

This cover!! I saw the cover release on Tea Time, a weekly show on Youtube by two women who work for HarperCollins (You should check them out!). I tend to love YA fantasy because I love the magic and everything, but it isn’t as dense as some adult fantasy can be. Really looking forward to this one.

Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
Release: September 23

“A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder–and the one boy who can help change her future.Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.”

Magic! And witches! The cover is very striking, and I really like the purple color. The premise of this book sounds interesting. I love reading about people trying to understand their magic powers, so this one looks right up that alley!

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Release: September 2

“The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.”

I am a little confused as to what this book is about, but it’s been hyped as The Selection meets The Handmaid’s Tale, so my interest was piqued. And the cover it beautiful!

I know: the next two are already out. But I haven’t read them yet and they look awesome.

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Release: May 6

“Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?”

I am a huge sucker for books that take place in old time periods. 1844 Scotland? Sign me up! And I like the twist on the ‘pretty girl with double life’ plot.

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Release: June 10

“Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.”

I’ve heard a lot of mixed review on this book. It apparently take some ideas from Gone by Michael grant (which I have not read, so I cannot compare them) and some older television shows. Again, the girls on Tea Time raved about it, so I’ll definitely give it a shot!

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Release: July 8

“Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.”

The final book in this lineup I actually haven’t heard that much about, even though it comes out soon. I read the author’s blog and she said Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series was a huge inspiration for her. That series is still one of my favorites and I cannot wait to pick this book up!

Thank you so much for reading! What are some of your most anticipated debut books of 2014? Let me know in the comments! Bye!


So, this will be just the highlights of the books I’ve acquired over the last few months.

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THE BOOKS:

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!


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!


Face it, everyone buys books based on their covers.

I am a huge fan of books, but if the cover isn’t appealing, chances are I’ll pass it over for something else. For me, if I’m looking for a new book that I haven’t already read or heard about, I look at a few things. The title and spine design, the cover, the blurbs, and reviews.

I DO sometimes buy books solely based on their title, or if an author I love gave the book a great review, but I mostly choose my books based on their cover and blurb.

The cover of a book serves the purpose of drawing potential readers in. It’s supposed to represent the story, or an aspect of the story, in a single image. Everything is important when there is so little space to work with. The font, placement, and most of all, the art. Obviously, what appeals to one person won’t necessarily appeal to someone else. Certain colors, fonts, or setups could perk someones interest, or make them put the book down. I know I like books whose cover doesn’t give any details of the story away. I like symbols, things that represent the story or a character. I like a little mystery when I pick up my books, I don’t always want to know everything about the book.

This applies to both the cover and the blurb on the back cover or inside flap. I want to know what the main point of the book is, but I never want to know how it ends. There are certain covers out there that instantly draw me to a book. Every time I see these covers I say to myself, “I need to read that”, even if I’ve read it already.

Here is a list of book covers that I absolutely love:

I can’t get over how much I love these covers.

Wool by Hugh Howey– I like this one because it gives nothing away. I know it had nothing to do with the book, but I like the simplicity and colors. The paperback copy I have is also the perfect size. It’s between mass-market and trade. The blurb is what really got me. I could not possibly read anything else until I read this. You can read it HERE, as well as my review.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien– I already had a copy but I bought one with this cover because I liked it way better. Again, it’s simple, but the colors are so vibrant. I already have a beautiful set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I wanted this edition as well. May I also add, that the Hobbit is the perfect thickness. Every time I stack my books, there is always a dead space, where nothing will fit, but the Hobbit always fills the empty space.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson– This cover basically sums up the entire book in one picture (which is it’s job). The two figures are characters (who I will leave nameless), and the clouds and landscape actually play a huge roll in the plot. The bright colors really drew me in and besides, I love Sanderson so much, so I was going to buy it regardless.

Divergent by Veronica Roth– This is the cover that inspired this post. Every single time I look at this book I want to read it all over again. The cover is a symbol for one of the factions in the book (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the book yet). The colors are absolutely gorgeous and the font isn’t too big. The single line at the top is amazing too, “One choice can transform you.” I’m getting goosebumps. If you don’t know already, Divergent is going to be movie, starring Shailene Woodley. It comes out on March 21, 2014. I’m so excited.

The Unremembered by Peter Orullian– When I first saw this book, I said to myself, “What a beautiful cover.” Then I read the excerpt, and I said, “I NEED this book.” So I bought it and I haven’t read it yet. I’m a terrible person. The overall story-line basically steals everything from Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World. So I stopped reading it, but I still think it has a gorgeous cover.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch– The copy I own actually has a different cover, but the only reason I picked it up is because I saw this cover on Goodreads and thought that the style of art was very good. So I picked up my copy and read it. I loved it and you can read my review HERE. Both this book and its sequel have absolutely amazing covers. I can’t wait for the third one!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare– This cover is the movie-tie in edition, and it’s beautiful, isn’t it? I almost bought a second copy just so I could have it. I love the reflection of the city and how different runes are included in the design. I also, for some reason, am very drawn to the lighting. I love the soft sun in the back round and how it makes the city look.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas– I love this cover so much. It’s killing me that it’s not out yet. I love, again, the reflection and how different the opposite sides are. I love how realistic the water is and the faint outline of a castle. I want this book so bad!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey– This is one of my all time favorite covers. It really symbolizes how alone the main character (Cassie) really is. I like how dark it is, and the sunlight really stands out. I also really like how the title is in the center of the cover, and is not too big. This cover just feels real to me, like it’s a picture of a real girl. The book is absolutely amazing, and you can read what I thought of it HERE.

There must be hundreds of other covers I’ve missed. Tell me your favorite covers in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!


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.

“WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

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!


Sadly, summer is coming to an end. The days will get shorter and colder, with more predictions of snow. And with these dreary days comes a chance for more reading time. To curl up under a blanket and read a new book as you listen to the snow plows and sooner or later, Christmas music.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

This summer I read some fantastic books. Here’s a look at the books I read, but didn’t have a chance to review. Just a few thoughts on each title, and maybe a recommendation or two….enjoy!

“After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele—and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior… and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.

Someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough…”

This is the sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora. I reviewed the first one here. I loved that one, and the author kept the plots and schemes coming in the sequel. I adored it completely. Jean and Locke are my new favorite duo. The third in the series, The Republic of Thieves, is due out October 8. A review is forthcoming.

“There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon’s law…but now the pattern is running over the Emperor’s own arms. His body servants have been executed, he ignores his wives, but he is doomed, for soon the pattern will reach his face. While Beyon’s agents scour the land for a cure, Sarmin, the Emperor’s only surviving brother, awaits his bride, Mesema, a windreader from the northern plains. Unused to the Imperial Court’s stifling protocols and deadly intrigues, Mesema has no one to turn to but an aging imperial assassin, the Emperor’s Knife.
As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the invincible Pattern Master appears from the deep desert. Only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who once saw a path in a pattern — a path that might save them all.”

The first in a trilogy, The Emperor’s Knife is complex and unique. The Persian-like empire, and the different character backgrounds allows the reader to enjoy the story to a new extent. The sequel is already published, and I am eagerly awaiting the final book.

“After spending most of his life in captivity, Sarmin now sits upon the Throne of Cerana. But his reign is an uneasy one. And the emperor’s own heart is torn between two very different women: Mesema, a Windreader princess, and Grada, a lowborn untouchable with whom Sarmin shares a unique bond. In times past, a royal assassin known as the Emperor’s Knife served to defend the throne from menace, but the last Knife has perished and his successor has yet to be named. Sarmin must choose his own loyal death-dealer . . . but upon whom can be he bestow the burden of the Knife-Sworn?”

Sequel to The Emperor’s Knife, this book lives up to its predecessor, and then some. We meet new characters and learn more about the motives of familiar ones. I can’t wait for the third book to come out!

“Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.”

The Brad Pitt movie was nothing like the book. I was terrified, as this was my first zombie book. The changing perspectives didn’t allow a connection to form, but it showed the reader so many different takes on a single event. It was thrilling and I was hooked easily. I loved the style of this book. I know there really isn’t room for a sequel, but I wish was there was one!

“Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.”

I liked this book. It was easy to read and I found it to be less action packed Hunger Games. It was diverting, but boring at times and the characters were somewhat simple. However, I found the world to be unique and interesting.

“In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.”

The sequel to Matched, and not as good. The rebellion hiding in the wilderness was a little cliché. This book was a quick read, but interesting enough to make me want to read the final book in the trilogy (already published).

“In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city.

Oree’s peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger — but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?”

Second book in the Inheritence Trilogy. I absolutely loved the first book, and I loved this one just as much. I was disappointed to leave the characters from the first book, but the author does a good job of introducing new people. I don’t like the sex in either book, but the story doesn’t suffer because of it.The characters are wonderfully real and flawed. I cannot wait to read the last book.

Tell me the books you loved this summer in the comments!


Wool by Hugh Howey
Publisher: Century
Published: 2012
537 pages (US Hardcover)
Received: Bought at an independent bookstore

“In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.”

“What would you do if the world outside was deadly and the air you breathed could kill? And you lived in a place where every birth required a death, and the choices you made could save lives or destroy them?

This is Jules story.

This is the world of Wool.”

I had seen this book in a few different stores, but had put it back on the shelf more than once. I regret doing that, because this book was amazing. It was thought-provoking and gripping and I loved every minute of it. I got this while I was on vacation and instead of swimming at the beach, I was completely absorbed in the story.

To start off, this is an adult dystopian novel. The setting is a massive underground silo, with over one hundred levels. The top is were the wealthy live, the middle is for the computers and middle class, and the bottom is for the Mechanics, where our main character comes from.

Juliette, Jules to everyone, is stubborn, strong willed, and creative. She works in the darkest, dirtiest place in the entire silo, and loves it there. She is the best girl for any job. I loved her take on problems that didn’t involve her and how her sense of right and wrong drove her to ask questions. I loved following her through the story and I was rooting for her the whole time.

For the record, the title has nothing to do with the book. There is no wool in the story, not even sheep. I don’t quite understand where the title came from. Perhaps he is referencing the saying, “removing the wool from someones eyes”, but it seems a bit far-fetched. It bugged me the whole book.

I found this book to be a more mature Hunger Games. An oppressive government keeping secrets from the people, a heroine fighting for the truth, and a world that is alien, but at the same time eerily similar to our own.

This story was originally five separate novellas, that have now been combined to make this great book. Each one is slightly different, whether in perspective or overall tone, but they all flow together.

This is the sort of book I would recommend to anyone. When I finished it, I begged members of my family to read it. No one has yet, but I will be suggesting this to everyone I know for a long time.

Overall opinion: I absolutely loved this book. Five stars, ten stars, the highest it can go. The title was annoying, but the book itself was spectacular. As I said, I suggest this to anyone and everyone.

If you liked this book, you may also like:

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Update (9/5/13) : I just discovered that Wool is part of a trilogy. Woohoo, two more books!!! I’m so excited. The second is called Shift and the third is called Dust! I can’t believe I didn’t see them sooner. I want to read them so bad!