Book reviews and assorted musings of a book lover

Tag Archives: Rick Yancey

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!


The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Published: 2013
457 pages (US Hardcover)
Received: An ARC in a contest on Goodreads

“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until see meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother – or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.”

     I wanted to read this book since I saw the blurb. The idea of different waves of destruction really caught my attention. The aliens didn’t outright attack, but sent four waves to wreck havoc on Earth. The first killed the power, the second was a massive tsunami, the third was a deadly disease and the fourth was them picking off humans. I wanted to know how people survived these “waves”. Not to mention, it had a cool cover; just a girl walking by herself.

     I really enjoyed Cassie’s narrative. She spoke as a girl that grew up during a series of catastrophic events, and turned into a different person. She is strong and smart, and devoted to finding her brother. I liked how she carried his teddy bear to remind her of her promise. She is sarcastic and I found myself rooting for her from page one. She is afraid, but she hasn’t given up and when faced with a choice, she decides to fight. I loved her spirit, and the way she tried to not let her past decisions haunt her.

     Throughout the entire book, I felt connected to Cassie. She lost everything and is now all alone, but she feels compelled to find and rescue her brother. She is realistic about her situation and predicament and she doesn’t hide her fear of death. I understood her and could easily relate. I believe that most readers, male or female, will be able to, on some level, connect with Cassie. The author does an amazing job of creating a character that in no way feels like a piece of fiction, but rather like a friend.

     I was hesitant about the character change, when halfway through the book the point-of-view was no longer Cassie’s. I was deeply engrossed in Cassie’s story and I didn’t want to leave. However, because of the change the reader experiences the other side of humanity. The other children that are now being trained to fight and kill. I didn’t like the nicknames, “Zombie” and “Nugget” were just odd and I stumbled over them. I was horrified to see how the children were treated and manipulated in the camps.

     I am usually against relationships in books, most times it takes away from the story, in my opinion. At first, I was disappointed when I realized that there was indeed going to be a relationship between certain characters (it’s very difficult not to write any spoilers), however, the author manages to balance out the relationship(s) with action and suspense. It didn’t feel forced or rushed, and it didn’t hinder the story at all.

    The pace of this book is just right. Cassie’s flashbacks allow the reader to see who she was before the Arrival and how she has changed. Her memories, such as the Crucifix Man, haunt her. There is enough action to keep you interested and enough backstory so the characters seem real. I could not put it down, I was hooked. I am fairly certain I missed a few meals while I was reading this and I anticipate doing the same when the next book comes out (which it is scheduled to do so next spring).

Overall Opinion: I loved this book. It was fast-paced and the characters were realistic and imperfect. Cassie especially. There were plenty of unanticipated plot twists that blew my mind and I could not put the book down. This book got me in a dystopian book craze. The author does a great job of creating an unfamiliar setting, even though it takes place on Earth. I absolutely cannot wait for the second book.

If you liked this book, you may also like:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Maze Runner by James Dashner