Safiya fon Hasstrel is the Domna to a floundering estate, but she hides a dark secret, one that could get her killed. She's a Truthwitch, someone that can discern lie from truth. Many countries would kill to have that kind of power, so when she and her thread sister Iseult are pushed into the middle of politics, they must decide which way the wind is blowing; even if it means running into the protective guardianship of Windwitch Prince Merik. Filled with lies, lore, politics, and magic, this story is non-stop until the end.
-Let me get this out of the way first, Safi was interesting, but Iseult was where it was at. She was intricate, interesting, and witty at just the right times. Plus, her abilities are fascinating in ways that a Truthwitch aren't.
-Safiya comes off as bratty, yet strong. I guess it should be understandable considering her upbringing with her uncle and attitude toward the crown.
-The Bloodwitch Aeduan was one of the best characters. He's like an antihero on steroids. Do I like him? Do I hate him? Is he Nomatsi? Is he just an opportunist? We find out at the end, which was a tad predictable, but which side will he choose?
-The girls becoming the Cahr Awen wasn't a surprise either, but throwing in that they are Aetherwitches is a shock, as Iseult is the only one hinted to have this ability. Safi just punches people if they lie...sorta.
-Monk Evrane was another character I enjoyed. I appreciated the twist at the end with her being Aeduan's mentor. Nice touch.
-Okay Kullen lovers, if you didn't catch it, they were in on the cleaving and events at Lejna. That's why Ryber's heart threads were blue with sorrow. Just in case you missed it.
-I want to know what the whole conspiracy with Safi's uncle and the prince was. There's definitely something going on there. Whether it's to keep the peace, or break it, was never quite explained. It leaves quite a bit to play with in the next book.
-I really liked the ending, even If Safi doesn't quite get away. She isn't upset. She's FREE. Even if she's pretty much a captive she made the decision on her own. I loved it.
Tea is used to magic, has grown up with it really. But when she loses her brother in a war to monsters, she inadvertently raises him from the dead in her grief. What follows is the coming of age story of a Bone Witch, a dark necromancer. Someone so powerful they can raise the dead and kill monsters called Daeva.
But when Tea is yanked away from all she’s known, she has to quickly learn self-control and pride, especially when most people would shun her and her abilities. It takes all she has to learn and grow into the Dark Asha she’s meant to become, and save the nation she calls home; even if they turn their backs on her.
- There is a lot going on here. It's a mix of coming of age fantasy and Memoirs of a Geisha. In fact, it was so close to Memoirs that I almost DNF. The story was so well written that I knew I had to give it a chance, and I'm really glad I did.
-The relationships and developments within the book all have a purpose, which I really appreciated. There are many strong female characters woven throughout the plot, it's worth a read just for that.
-The Bone Witch is a slow burn, which to me goes well with the prose. One major thing happens, but other than that, it's a character development story. The descriptions of her surroundings, schools, and the everyday culture and world building are thorough and well imagined.
-THE ENDING! I kinda knew what was coming, but it was a nice twist. Really nice. Who doesn't love a good anti-heroine?
-I can't go full on review with the details because this was an advanced reader copy, but it's definitely worth the read, slow burn and all.
*I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
*This Book will be released on March 7th, 2017*
~You can pre-order on Amazon below~
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Blogging takes time, book blogging even more so since there's a ton of reading and writing involved. Now with Instagram and Youtube, it's turned into a full time job (depending on what path you choose). I stick to blogging, Instagram and a little bit of Twitter (even though I know a little bit of Twitter isn't quite enough).
Instagram gives immediate book envy, but you have to reign it in to be at peak performance. You aren't going to be a rep for anyone if you are in the 100's of followers. You are probably going to have to buy some props, maybe a couple of those Pop figures that look so cute daintily perched on that shiny white book shelf, and you will most likely have to buy some books. I don't buy books if I can help it...and this is how I do it.
Libraries are the best place for free reads, not to mention library book sales, where you can practically get books for pennies on the dollar. The only issue is books from libraries are often not very good for pictures. Laminated hard covers, stickers, and damage can all detract from a picture. Luckily, most books from library sales are donations and don't have many issues except for damage or wear. There is always a strategically placed prop to use if you get desperate.
This one takes the most effort, but the payoff can be big. I have gotten multiple signed books from thrift stores. My best find was a signed, advanced reader copy of Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
The three books above cost me about 2.50 all together. You'll see a lot of duplicate books (Twilight, Hunger Games, Better of Dead, Da Vinci Code) but there is always the chance you'll find something fantastic.
NetGalley and Blogging for Books
These are review websites for librarians, book buyers, and book bloggers. If you have a book blog it usually has to be up for at least six months before they will consider you, but numbers speak.
These are all e-books, but most of them will be advanced reader copies. They have an archive date so you don't really own them. I've had the pleasure to read some really enjoyable books this way, but make sure to review and link to all your social media if you use this method.
BLOGGING FOR BOOKS
I really love this site. It's limited, but the books are usually hardback and sent out quite quickly. Some of the best books I read came from them last year, you just have to make sure to review and link thoroughly, similar to NetGalley.
You can buy new here for sure, and it's especially good if you've got prime. The one thing a lot of people don't use though is the click here for other options button. I have bought books for a penny (only paying for shipping) this way.
I strongly suggest getting on mailing lists of your favorite authors and publishing houses for whatever genre you review. They will send you deals and contests you can enter with a click of a button. Pre-order goodies are on the rise. I love bookplates and bookmarks I can use everyday-and publishing houses are catching on fast. These are perfect for pictures too!
Goodreads giveaways are cool, but they are too saturated to expect anything.
This picture is actually from my Secret Santa in December (that the lovely @critic_uncritical_bookworm sent me), but there are trading tags on Twitter (#booksfortrade) and certain forums where you can look around. Just make sure when you trade it's with someone you have interacted with before or looks like they have a good history of trading.
Used Books Stores
We have a Second and Charles where I live, and I love it. Used book stores have become rare, so if you can find one, stay loyal. Trust me, it will help you in the long run. (I also go to locally owned used bookstores)
Friends, writing group associates, and random writers may ask if you want to review their books. This is a great opportunity, even better if the book is spectacular. Just make sure to list what you will or will not review before taking on offers. For example, don't review a Romance if you do SciFi. It will waste you and your reader's time.
Is there anything that you do to make your experience in book blogging easier?
Britta has had a rough life steeped in mystery and rejection, mostly due to her mother's ancestry combined with her father's work as the King's bounty hunter. After her father is killed under mysterious circumstances, and his former apprentice is accused, she must navigate a foreign land with enemies at her back in a race to find the truth.
You can get
Ever the Hunted
*I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Here's a short IG list of my best reads of 2016!
You can see my full year review on Goodreads!
There has been some...odd tele on lately. And I love it. Nerdy TV is in, and it's all I've wanted. Some of these are older, or have been out a season or two, so if you haven't seen them, you need to watch!
Halt and Catch Fire
Rotten Tomatoes 89%
As a former IBM employee rounds up the best of the best in programming and building computers, he starts the take over of a small electronics company in order to start a digital revolution. Lies, emotional manipulation, and feminism all come in to play in one of the best tv shows about tech I've seen in a while.
*I swear to god, this show has some of the greatest one liners I've ever heard. Cameron is the best thing to walk out of eighties nostalgia for a while.
Rotten Tomatoes 72%
Sightless Prairie Johnson has been missing for seven years, but after her parents see a video of her attempted suicide off a random bridge several states away, they arrive to her hospital room hoping for a happy reunion. Except when they get there she can see-and she has no idea who they are.
With more than one scene that will give you chill bumps, this story is one to hold out for, even with an ending that may dissapoint some.
*Think of this as a new age fairy tale... with a bad dance scene.
Rotten Tomatoes 72%
Todd has a rough life, but when things start to come crashing down after he loses his job, a random stranger comes climbing through his window insisting Todd is his new asssistant.
*I really enjoyed this show. Think an odd blend of Guy Ritchie ensembles, Douglas Adams humor, and JJ Abrams scifi craziness, and you have Dirk Gently. Along with a cat that has an amazing ability and a dog with a great personality.
Rotten Tomatoes 95%
I'm sure if you haven't heard of this show you've been living under a rock, but that's okay. Watch it before people start thinking you're crazy.
In a twist on Stephen King horror and Goonies adventure, three kids embark on a journey to find out what happened to their missing best friend, but come across more trouble in the form of an odd girl named Eleven. Things spiral as the search grows more desperate, but they may have the answers they've been looking for all along.
*This is a Stephen King book, if all of the characters had the best intentions.
Rotten Tomatoes 96%
An anthology of Twilight Zone style episodes, this show focuses on our current technologies, and the horror of what can be done with them, and what we can do to destroy ourselves.
This show swings from the mediocre to the abolute best. Before watching I would really do some research on what people think are the best episodes, because one episode can definitely turn you off the whole series for good (I've heard this said multiple times).
My Personal Faves:
-The Entire History of You
Rotten Tomatoes 75%
Missing socialite Julie Moa sets off a chain of events that scatter from Earth to Mars, and through The Belt, affecting the entire system in an unknown arms and political race.
*I can't say enough good things about this show. It's a +100 to Battlestar Galactica.
Rotten Tomatoes 92%
Two Brothers hunt demons. And "things".
*If you haven't watched this show (It's been renewed for a thirteenth season), I really don't know what to say. I used to be one of you. All it takes is binge watching this sucker on Netflix for a couple of days to catch the fever. It usually veers into the humor side just as equally as the horror, so don't be scared to give it a go.
Rotten Tomatoes 70%
Quentin has dreamed of a world inside of his favorite books for years, a world of magic and adventure. But when the time to start college comes, reality hits hard. That is until he's invited to an elite magic school full of people that have real magical abilities, himself included.
*I really hated the book. This was primarily because the characters were so self absorbed (which was sort of the point). This actually works really well in the show, since they cast such great actors for thier respective characters.
Rotten Tomatoes 98%
A bunch of grade A programmers, with B grade personalities, struggle with life and attempted success in Silicon Valley.
*There are...so many things. So many. This show is the pick me up I need if I have a bad day. It's one of those shows I look at and think "Not right now", but then I put it on and I remember why I've watched it. There is a particular scene with whiteboards and a discussion of conference room floor ratios that I won't talk about.
I thought I would start the year out right with a review of this fantastic book. Filled with Victorian charm, monsters from the netherworld, and more romantic interests than you can shake your diamond encrusted staff at, it's a great start to a series full of corseted promise.
Henrietta Howel has struggled with a penchant for setting things alight when the passion strikes. But when a government sorcerer comes knocking at the charity school she's been teaching at, it may take all she has to protect herself.
-The story uses a lot of fantasy tropes, but the story is well written enough that you tend not to care.
-The "Chosen One" idea is milked throughout the storyline, but it isn't because it's true, it's because Henrietta is trying to pretend to be the chosen one. It's a great twist.
-There were some confusing traits between magicians, witches, and sorcerers that just didn't make sense. There really needs to be some clarification on that in the next books.
-The ending was amazing. I can usually tell what's about to happen, and for the conclusion of this book I had no clue. Well done Cluess.
-I really enjoyed Howell's friendship (and whatever else) with the boys. I wasn't a huge fan of Rook, for some reason I'm not digging the main character love interests right now. He just wasn't developed enough for me to care, really.
-There is always something really interesting about the dynamic of one female protagonist in a group of boys, especially one that can hold her own. It was very well done and , surprise, not everyone was in love with her.
-I was able to finish this one quickly because it was an enjoyable, sometimes shallow, read. I don't think that will be an issue in the next books though, as I think this was a set up for those to come.
-Overall, for a fantasy ya reader, I think it's definitely worth the read. The boys are charming, the heroine can hold her own, and the monsters might just make you look under your bed at night.
I was given a complimentary copy of the book from blogging for books for an honest review.