Book Tour – Fliers by Laura Mae

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Synopsis:

As descendants of fairies, fliers were an old, forgotten species who appear human but could fly without wings. They lived peacefully amongst humans for several decades until a secret government agency developed new technology that allowed experimentation on fliers and discovered how to make ordinary people fly. Not sitting back and accepting the news, Sydona Wilder and her fairy Raoul, set out to find the agency and put a stop to the capture of the rare species. But Sydona will have to fight her own battles of facing her dark past and learning how to trust people again.

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Author Bio:

Laura Mae is a new author with her first book released in March 2018 called Fliers. About a year before it was published, she was working on it for about 7 years, on and off. With a single dream as inspiration, her idea for the book came to life. Writing has always been a passion for her. Growing up, she would write short stories, poems, song lyrics and even attempt screenplays. It wasn’t until recently she became more serious about her writing and wanting to show the world what she could do. When she’s not writing, her other passion is graphic design. Basically anything she can spend hours in front of a computer screen doing, is her ideal activity. She also enjoys hiking and the outdoors, loves animals, wine, video games, binging Netflix shows and spending time with family.

 

The author is also working on the second installment of the series (Sparrows) and the series will be a trilogy!

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Sleep, Merel Sleep by Silke Stein

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through KidLitExchange in return for a review. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Genre: MG Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 8+ (dark and a little scary for some younger readers)

 

Pages: 108

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Who wants to be awake forever?

Life has changed for eight-year-old Merel. Since the birth of her sick baby brother, her parents seem to have forgotten she exists. But when she finds a tiny silver violin in her bedroom rug, things take a turn for the worse.

Merel learns that her sleep has abandoned her and that she must embark on a perilous journey to recover it or stay awake forever. Together with her devoted toy sheep Roger, tired Merel sets out in search of Lullaby Grove. Before long, she finds herself haunted by a scary stranger.

Follow Merel into a surreal world. Meet a sleepy king with an obsession for feathers and a transparent old man on a night train going nowhere. Discover why the moonfish cry, why you should never walk across the Great Yawns ― and if poor Merel can escape her pursuer, win back her sleep, and realize what matters most in her life.

 

I secretly love books and video games that involve dreaming and exploring dreams and this book was amazing because of that. This book really reminded me of Among the Sleep. It’s dark, but still child friendly, and it has a perilous adventure involving a young child through a dream land of sorts. I really loved how well developed the characters were and how well developed the world building was. The book was absolutely inspirational and the story was so well written and developed. I definitely recommend this for any young or old reader who’s interested in this obscure genre of dream books like I am.

 

The only con I really have is that the ending was very abrupt and left the reader wondering and wanting more. It also left a lot of questions unanswered, but maybe there will another book?

 

Verdict: An absolutely beautiful and amazing book for middle graders and above.

Seconds: The Shared Soul Chronicles by Brindi Quinn

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author because I’m on her Street Team. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy/Steampunk

 

Recommended Age: 14+ (love and steampunk and twists and turns)

 

Pages: 278

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: “The scarlet tattoo marked him as one who’d never been born. It marked him as a Second.”

In a steam-filled world, Seconds run rampant. Split-personalities manifested into human form, these beings possess thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

But do they deserve to live?

One scrap huntress is about to find out.

Tide is no ordinary girl; she zones out, possesses freakishly good climbing skills, and claims to have a serpentine demon after her. Simply put, she’s abnormal.

When Tide meets a fanboy named Rye, she thinks she’s found her match. He’s cute, he’s quirky; but there’s a problem: Rye is a Second. Can Tide find a way to make Rye whole before his existence kills?

It’ll take more than just love and luck on this journey to discover the secrets of the soul.

 

I’m usually not a big fan of steampunk and I’ve been severely burned by some of them (I’m looking at you Wendy Spinale) but I decided to give this book a try… anddddd… and I thought it was really good for the most part. The world building and the plot were very well developed and the story was engaging for most of the book. The characters were memorable and unique. They were well developed as was the plot.

 

However, I do feel that the after the first 13 chapters the book took a weird turn and it became a bit harder to follow. I also feel that the last part of the book was very fast paced and uneven with how the rest of the book was told. For the most part the writing was extremely well done, but the ending just threw me off the book.

 

Verdict: An adventure that only Brindi can write in her own funky, but entertaining way. Seriously, if you’ve not read a book from Brindi Quinn definitely pick one up today.

The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for my opinions on it. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 1/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: DNF

 

Pages: 288

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.

The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

The Oddling Prince is a tale of brothers whose love and loyalty to each other is such that it defies impending warfare, sundering seas, fated hatred, and the very course of time itself. In her long-awaited new fantasy novel, Nancy Springer (the Books of Isle series) explores the darkness of the human heart as well as its unceasing capacity for love.

 

This will be a fairly short review as I had to DNF this book. The book immediately jumps into the story and doesn’t give the reader any backstory nor does it give the reader any orientation as to world building or character development. The book reads as a fast paced movie and that type of story doesn’t translate well in book form. Also, the synopsis gets solved in the first chapter of the book…. Soooo…. There’s not that much of a plot. It also seemed that the two main characters might be into each other which is cool, I’m all for LGBT books and stuff but I will say that my dislike for instalove transcends all orientations.

 

Verdict: Hopefully you have a better experience with this book than I do.

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from Just Reads Tour to provide a review for the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 13+ (some violence)

 

Pages: 328

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too

 

In a world where almost every idea has been done at least once before, can there be an original idea? Yes there still can be and a prime example of this is The Story Peddler! The book was super unique and very imaginative. The writing was well done and the plot was very well developed. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I can’t wait for the next book.

 

However, I did have some issues with the book. I really didn’t understand why we had a POV from Braith, but I did enjoy her story as well. I didn’t like how the magic wasn’t explained. I’d really like to know more about how it works and what causes it in certain people. Lastly, I didn’t like how she strung her friend along the whole story. It was a nice change of pace from the girl being strung along by the guy, but I still get angry at characters who do it.

 

Verdict: Overall a fantastic story that will leave you wanting more.

Bright Burns the Night (Dark Breaks the Dawn Duology #2)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free courtesy of KidLitExchange and the publishing company. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling

 

Recommended Age: 14+ (slight gore, violence, sexual references)

 

Pages: 320

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Ten years ago, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom Dorjhalon defeated Queen Evelayn and cut her conduit stone from her. Since then, he has kept her trapped in her swan form. With the loss of balance between Dark and Light, winter has descended and the Draíolon of Éadrolan lose more power every day. But once a year, Lorcan transforms her back to her Draíolon form and offers a truce. And every year Evelayn refuses — for he requires her to Bind herself to him for life.But now, with an Ancient power bearing down upon them, everything may change. Evelayn will learn that the truths she once believed have shattered, and that she may need her enemies even more than her allies. Lorcan and Evelayn become partners in a desperate quest to return the balance of power to Lachalonia. How far will this partnership go? Can friendship — perhaps even love — bloom where hatred has taken root?Sara B. Larson delivers a thrillingly romantic and hauntingly satisfying end to this extraordinary duology.

 

I really need to watch Swan Lake. The ballet can’t be as beautifully tragic as this book right? Anyways, we return where we left off in the first novel of this duology: Evelayn is trapped as a swan doing her swan thing. She actually got a gathering as swans to see her as their queen, which was kinda cool. Anyways, I can’t say anymore because of spoilers but the novel was beautifully well written and it actually feels like you’re in a mid 1500s book. The plot was interesting and the premise was as well.

 

However, I do have some qualms about this book. The plot was intriguing, but at the end nothing is really solved. It just ends. I’m not sure if there was more to the novel that I’m missing since I only have an arc but the book just ended without a proper ending. The characters weren’t that well developed and the book really failed the Bechdel Test. The female characters in particular were lazily written and added nothing to the plot. Even Evelayn, who was my favorite of the previous novel, was severely weakened in this one. The other two females, who had their own strengths, were so weak in comparison to the males of this book. The men in this book basically protected and shielded the females and the book was so tropey that it made me angry. The book didn’t even go back into the swan thing, which I thought was the main point of Swan Lake.

 

Verdict: This book had so much potential, but in the end it let me down. It’s still a beautifully well written book however.

Ozland by Wendy Spinale (Everland #3)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through KidLitExchange from the publishing company Scholastic Press in exchange for review and promotion. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Genre: YA Dystopian/Fantasy/Retelling

 

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, slight gore, murder, and poison)

 

Pages: 288

 

Amazon Link

 

Author Website

 

Synopsis: With Everland and Umberland both destroyed, the survivors have taken refuge in a small village tucked within the shadows of the Bloodred Queen’s castle. Doc has found an actual cure for the Horologia virus, while Gwen, Pete, and Alyssa begin plotting the assassination of the queen with the help of Gail, an excellent huntress. But killing the queen won’t be enough. The world has been destroyed and its needs a ruler to set things right again. A ruler who is good, kind, and fair. Someone like the former king of Germany. But he’s dead … or is he?

There’s a rumor that the king has been hidden away in a secret land, where only the worthiest can find him. Desperate to end the war, a plan is hatched that could put everything right again, only before it’s set in motion, the village is burned to the ground, all survivors taken prisoner to the castle. Except Gail.

But is one girl enough to find a long-dead king, kill the wicked queen, and save the world?

 

While I was heavily disappointed with how Umberland turned out I wanted to complete the series, thus I started this book. This book takes place a few months (weeks? Unsure) after the events in Umberland. The book does really well at drawing in your interest immediately with all the death and destruction of this world and it’s amazing to see how twisted a retelling can be. The plot overall was also good and well thought-out as was the steampunk elements of the book.

 

However, I did feel that there wasn’t any character development and that the book was incredibly fast paced. Dystopians are usually slower paced then what we see in this read and the pacing of this book really makes the reader rush through all the elements of this world. The world building in this book was almost non-existent and the writing was a bit confusing to read. I’m not sure if the fault in that was from the multiple POV or because the writing flew by a lot of important items and retelling portions in the book. The book is good overall, but I feel that if this entire series was expanded in terms of world building and character development then I think the series would be better overall.

 

Verdict: Good, but not as good as the original.

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 15+ (death, violence, gore, sexual references)

 

Pages: 320

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Disclaimer: None, I got the audiobook with my own audible credits!

 

Synopsis: On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.

 

Let’s start this off with this: this was one of the cheesiest YA books I’ve ever read and it had oodles and oodles of YA tropes… but it was actually surprisingly okay. The plot was pretty good and the writing was pretty well done and it did well making the language stick to the time period.

 

However, as you can see above, I didn’t talk about a lot of the usual things I do. The book was actually a struggle to get through the first 41 chapters. The world building wasn’t there, the characters weren’t developed outside of two of the main characters, and the book was really confusing to follow at times. Things happened or the characters did things that I didn’t understand what for. I was for sure I was going to give the book a 2 star rating until the last chapter. The last chapter surprised me so much with its misdirection and its terror that I had to bump up the score significantly. I’m going to read the sequel based solely on the last chapter. Honestly, that chapter should have come sooner in the novel as the rest of it feels so awful in comparison. I feel that the book is one big prologue to an amazing novel… aka the sequel.

 

Verdict: Plie your way to the last chapter and then to the sequel.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy/Feminism

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (sexual references, trigger warnings for attempted rape, violence, gore)

 

Pages: 314

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from TheNovl in exchange for promotion and my honest review. Thank you so much!! All opinions are my own.

 

Synopsis: In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

 

 

Let’s start off this review by saying it’s hard to right a feminism novel. And the author succeeds in doing so if we go strictly by the definition. Feminist novels are supposed to establish and defend equal civil, political, economic, and social rights for women and the book did well at promoting these qualities. The book also serves as a warning at how fragile rights are for everyone (except maybe white males, but theoretically they could have their rights striped away too) and for people to not take their rights for granted nor for people to easily let people lord over you when they do not have a right to. While the book was not diverse enough in my opinion, I do see that some of the lessons of the novel could be for everyone. Other than that, the world building was fairly well made and the book was well written for the most part. I also thought the book had a pretty good twist at the end.

 

However, I personally don’t think this is my favorite feminist novel. I felt that the characters weren’t very well developed, the plot was kind of everywhere, and I felt that the twists were either predicable or not thought out well. I felt both of the main characters relied too much on their male love interests. While being a feminist novel doesn’t mean that the book can’t have romance, in my opinion I feel that the female characters should not be defined by their male counterparts. I felt the most development occurred when the girls were with their guys, and frankly I wanted to see the girls be without romantic interests. Without the males, the story really doesn’t go anywhere and they’re left just in the story without a plot… and that to me isn’t a feminist novel. I also want to say that there was an unnecessary love triangle and I felt that the YA trope just killed this novel for me.

 

Verdict: Feminism, but the main characters rely a whole lot on the males for help.

Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle #2) by Christopher Paolini

Rating: 3/5

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: can’t rate, DNFed

 

Pages:706

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Disclaimer: None, I got this book from my husband!

 

Synopsis: Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life. . . .
 

I tried guys, I tried! I just can’t with this series anymore. Maybe I’ll return to it like I did Eragon, but I can’t at the moment. It took almost 200 pages for the book to even get remotely interesting for me (except for Roran’s parts which I loved) and I just couldn’t read anymore of Eragon’s neverending journey to the Elf kingdom and then his wandering around. I’m sorry, but my tolerance for Eragon apparently only lasts so long.

 

Verdict: Read in small chunks.