Thursday, August 16, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Review + Photo

Tour organized by Fierce Reads
See the full schedule below 

Dance of Thieves
by Mary E. Pearson
Read: July 16 - 25, 2018
Published: August 7, 2018 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: Galley from Macmillan (Thank you!)
Category: Fantasy, Secrets, Spies, Magic,

Series: book 1/2

Book Description: A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
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NOTE: While Dance of Thieves takes place some time after the events of the third Remnant Chronicles book (The Beauty of Darkness), it is its own series. We do see some overlapping characters in passing, but the focus is on new characters and events. While Dance of Thieves can be read without having read the previous books, they do lend depth and background to the world and some of the characters. 

Dance of Thieves was excellent!! And I do mean it with those double explanation points. I read this fairly slowly at first, I think, because I kept worring something would change to remove my elated state over this story, but it never did. This book was just great from start to finish, and so far, I like this series better than I did the previous one starring Lia. Partially, because Dance of Thieves doesn't have an almost love shape - no triangle in any form exists here, and I'm confident of that continuing to be the case. (YAY!) 

The other main reason I enjoyed this story so much is because of its two main characters  Kazi and Jase. They each intrigued me from the beginning, and together are a fantastic match. From their first not-so-pleasant meeting, I loved getting to know each of them as they got to know each other. The beginning when they are literally attached to each other for a while and forced to collaborate to survive, was one of my most favorite parts of the story.  I was also very pleasantly surprised with how much romance was in this story. 

But this book also contains other classic Mary Pearson elements. Scheming and intrigue, danger and deceptions. Plus secrets and opposing loyalties make Kazi and Jase's romance tenuous at best, while also heightening the tension between them. But this book isn't just about these two. They each have a close network of of people around them. Kazi has her Rathan crew. Such great girl power and friendship! While Jase has a large family that endeared me so much. I adored so many of these extended characters and hope for more of them in the next book.

Dance of Thieves didn't at all end how I expected it to, which was both exhilarating and terrifying. Some elements were more settled than I guessed, while others had me biting my nails and screaming for the next installment. This book is not to be missed. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: High

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My Photo Inspiration: 

Kazi and Jase spend some time wandering in the wilderness in Dance of Thieves. It is one of my favorite parts, and this is my photo inspiration about that time. 


Find this and other Bookish photo inspirations in my Instagram @loveisnotatriangle

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron is the fourth book in a series. See my thoughts on the previous installments 


Smoke and Iron
by Rachel Caine
Read: May 20 - 26, 2018
Published: July 3, 2018 by Berkley Books
Source: ARC from publisher (TY Penguin/Berkley!)
Category: YA, Fantasy, Sequels, Library, Alexandria, Alchemy

Series: book 4/5?
Find: Goodreads 

Book Description: To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and BonePaper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

Buy the Book: AmazonKindleBarnes & Noble, NookIndieboundiBooksKoboGoogle PlayBooks a Million,
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Smoke and Iron is the fourth book in Rachel Caine's great library series and by this point I am Very Invested in the lives of this ensemble cast and their plight to 1) save the library from the evil Archivist and 2) stay alive. The last installment ended on a huge cliffhanger, with these 8 characters in dire situations, and this book picks the story back up right in the middle of that danger. 

In this story we get four different POVs - Jess, Khalila  Morgan and Wolfe - all separated from each other, and all but  Khalila completely alone in hostile environments (she is in a hostile environment accompanied by Santi, Glain, Thomas and Dario). Jess, Khalila  Morgan and Wolfe each has a different mission, and I was eager to watch everything unfold, and desperate for them to get back to each other. I really enjoyed reading from each of their perspectives, as we haven't gotten so much of that before. Have I said yet that I love all of these characters so much?

I admit that I had a little trouble getting into the momentum of this book, meaning that it wasn't a super fast read for me. But honestly, I think that's mostly because of my own fears of what would happen to all of these dear characters - I was so worried about them that I kept stopping to take a breath and then come back later. And many difficult things did happen in this book - one that I'm still devastated about. But also exciting things happen too. Thankfully Smoke and Iron doesn’t end on a huge cliffhanger, although there is definitely a final book to come, and I cannot wait to read it. 

In sum, this is one of my favorite series, and Smoke and Iron picks up where the last one left off and continues the overall storyline in thrilling - and devastating ways. This ensemble cast of 8 has stolen my heart, and I cannot wait to find out what next is in store for them. If you haven't started these books yet, do it now! 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low/Medium - not as harrowing as the end of the last book, but still a lot more to come.  


Follow Author Rachel Caine TwitterInstagramFacebook 

See this and other bookish shots on my instagram @loveisnotatriangle

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War I Finally Won
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Read: May 21 - 24, 2018
Published: October 3, 2017 by Dial Books
Source: Gift from @SandieChen (TY friend!)
Category: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, WWII, England,

Series: book 2/2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Book Description: When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she?

World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?
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NOTE: This is the second book in a series. See my thoughts on the first The War That Saved My Life

This book is SO GOOD. This series is SO GOOD. I just cannot handle how much I love Ada's journey through this duet. It took me quite a while to start The War I Finally Won, because I didn't believe it could live up to the hype of The War That Saved My Life, but it did. I loved this book just as much, or maybe more - I can't decide! 

Two of my most favorite aspects of this series are a) Ada's voice - it is strong and clear all the way through, and I truly experienced this tale though her eyes. Once again, I became completely wrapped up in her emotions and life. And b) as an adult reader I also understood this story - and Ada - though a larger, more complex "adult" lens, especially through Susan's perspective. The layers in this book just keep going. 

In fact, every character was distinct and felt real, and I was able to connect to this story on many different levels. And wow, was it emotional at times. So many things happen as the war begins to hit home for these characters, and I definitely sobbed more than I expected to. The War I Finally Won is the end of the duet, as far as I can tell. And though, I want to know what happens next to these characters, especially as the story concludes still during the war, I also love where the story leaves Ada and Co. and I don't want to bother them again.

One final comment: I listened to this book on audio, and though I generally struggle through first reads of books that way (I'm so much better visually the first time through a story, and typically get antsy in audio and want to pick up the physical book) - I made it all the way through this one by listening, and truly think I loved it even more because of that. Jayne Entwistle is an incredible narrator, and I would definitely recommend this on audio as a first read or reread. 

Love Triangle Factor: N/A (none)
Cliffhanger Scale: Series End


Friday, June 8, 2018

Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser

Whisper of the Tide
by Sarah Tolcser
Read: May 29 - 31, 2018
Published: June 5, 2018 by Bloomsbury YA
Source: ARC from publisher (TY Bloomsbury!)
Category: YA, Fantasy, Sequels, Pirates, Princes, Treasure, Ships, 

Series: book 2/2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Book Description: The second in the immersive series set along the waterways of a fantasy world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir.

Caro has settled into a routine: Wake, eat breakfast, try to figure out who is going attempt to assassinate Markos today. The currents aren't exactly calm. Markos is in constant danger, and his claim to the Akhaian throne is largely unsupported. Without military strength he doesn't have a chance. Relief appears on the horizon when a powerful Archon wants to side with Markos in his fight for the throne. But in exchange for an army, Markos must marry the Archon’s daughter. They must decide which is more important: their love for each other or the fate of Akhaia. And Caro will have to decide if her destiny is to sail with the tide, or chart her own course.

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and devastating romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing fate.

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NOTE: Whisper of the Tide is the second book in a series, following Song of the Current. 

Piracy, lost treasure, betrayals and magical creatures, Whisper of the Tide was such a fun read! I’m always a little apprehensive to start the second in a series but this was just as exciting, if not more so than Song of the Current. In fact, I'm pretty sure I liked this sequel even more. I especially enjoyed Caro’s growth arc. She gets a little lost and makes some bad choices at some parts, but I was rooting for her still so much. And I cared about her through it all. There is a great theme of redemption in this story, and I came to see a few characters in different lights while reading too. 

One of my favorite aspects of this series is the romance, and while I got a little freaked out at one point while reading - my angst meter went off a bit, the romance ended up being one of the best parts of this story for me. After some noble but ill-advised choices, I loved watching Caro and Markos work together, communicate, and figure out their path forward. 

If I could have wished for anything in Whisper of the Tide it would have been a glossary, since there are a lot of characters and I couldn’t remember all of their significance from the first book at first. 


This is the end of the duet but I have high hopes we will see a story in the future from Markos’ sister’s perspective. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: end of duet. Possible set up for a future companion book.



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