Cover Reveal: Circle of Ashes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

I’m super excited to be able to participate in the cover reveal for Circle of Ashes, the second book of the Wish Quartet! I’m always impressed with Elise Kova’s book covers and this one is no exception. I can’t wait to share it with you! But first, what is the book about?

EVERY WISH HAS A COST BUT WILL THE SOCIETY BE WILLING TO PAY IT?

Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself.

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be.

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history.

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.

 

This novel sounds so good that I’m a bit sad we have to wait until 9 April 2018 to be able to read it. I don’t generally read much romance, but as this one is listed as New Adult Urban Fantasy Romance and it’s by one of my favourite authors, I’m certain I’ll enjoy it anyway!

 

About the Authors

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Elise Kova is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens series, Loom Saga, and Wish Quartet.

In her past lives, she has graduated from an MBA program, lived in Japan for a bit, and worked for a Fortune 500 technology company. However, she finds herself much happier in her current reincarnation as full-time author. When not writing, she can usually be found playing video games, drawing, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She’s happy to call Saint Petersburg, Florida, her home, but is always looking forward to her next trip.

Lynn-Larsh-Author-Photo-sm.jpgLynn Larsh considers herself to be a serial hobby-dabbler. She got a bachelors degree in music (which she used for all of four months), studied aerial acrobatics and classical piano for many years, worked briefly as a stunt woman in a Wild West stunt show (it’s a long story), and eventually settled down into the bar tending business in St. Petersberg, FL. When she’s not acting as a purveyor of fine libations, you can find her diving head first into her newest venture as a New Adult author, or simply writing Voltron fan fiction on Archive of Our Own.

 

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for!!

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Is this not one of the most gorgeous covers you’ve ever seen?! I’m in love! You can preorder your copy from Amazon! Like Society of Wishes, Circle of Ashes is available free to members of Kindle Unlimited!

Also, if you don’t have access to a Kindle or the app, you can send proof of purchase from Amazon to Elise.Kova.Author@gmail.com to get a “read anywhere” link when the book is released, so no worries if you want to read it but can’t read a kindle book!

 

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If, like me, you haven’t quite gotten to read the first book of the Wish Quartet, Society of Wishes, there is an Official Read Along over on Facebook. If you’d like to participate in it with me, you can find more information about it here. Elise ran a similar special with Society of Wishes as she is with Circle of Ashes, so if you don’t have access to Kindle you can still participate in the read along! 😀

 

But wait! There’s more…

Would you like to win a SIGNED Paperback of Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh? Well, it’s a good thing you kept reading this post, isn’t it, because this is the part of the post where you get the chance to win just that! This giveaway is run by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh via Rafflecopter.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

That’s it for this post, bookworms. Happy reading!

January Plans: What Will I Read?

Hi, bookworms! I know this is a few days late, but I wanted to at least put out what my hopes for my January TBR are before we get too deep into the month. Here’s a list of the books I’ve read so far this month and those I’d like to read with their synopsis as listed on Goodreads!

 

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

I’ve already read this one and reviewed it for the blog tour. The giveaway is still active if you’d like to give that a go, though it is US only. Here’s the link for that post if you’d like to check it out!

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

I already read this beast and will hopefully have a review up for it shortly. Woot!

 

Traitor’s Prize by Thaddeus White (The Bloody Crown Trilogy #2)

One man’s treason is another man’s loyalty. The crown itself may be the traitor’s prize.

William Penmere dispatches his bodyguard Sir Hugh to rescue a woman claiming to be Sophie Hurstwood, the woman he was meant to marry. But with the enemy pillaging Hurshire, can Hugh reach her before Stuart Esden?

The Usurper’s son has been tasked with crushing dissent in Hurshire, and brings sword and fire to the earldom. Robbed of glory by being sent south instead of confronting Black Will, Stuart quenches his wrath in a bloodbath of his foes.

Meanwhile, William is trapped in Norshire. Cut off from retreat and reinforcements, he must destroy an enemy far more powerful than himself, or lose his throne. And his head.

Armies are mustered and cities besieged, but it’s the smiler with the knife who makes the nobles tremble.

Thaddeus White is one of the few authors who I’m okay with emailing me work even though I’m closed to review requests. (George R. R. Martin, if you’re reading this you’re good to send me WoW. Just saying!) He sent this over in November and I was in such a slump I couldn’t read much of it. I finally picked it back up today and couldn’t put it down for three solid hours. This is a very good sign!

 

Tarnished City by Vic James (Dark Gifts #2)

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

Another victim of my reading slump, I’ve had a digital galley of this one from NetGalley for over a month now and I completely forgot about it. It’s up next on my digital reads after Traitor’s Prize and I’ll hopefully be able to knock it out and review it by the end of this month.

 

Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

I have this one on audiobook and it’s up next to be my bus book. As it’s only six and a half hours long, it’ll only take me a couple of days to knock out because my current bus time is between four and six hours a day.

 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (DC Icons #1)

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

This is next in line audiobook wise after Fairest. I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one so when my audiobook hold came in, I got SO EXCITED! I’ve heard it’s amazing and I love all of Leigh Bardugo’s other work so I’m really looking forward to listening to and reviewing this one.

 

Everless by Sara Holland

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

This one came in the mail with the subscription box I got myself with a gift card someone gave me for the winter holidays. It looks really interesting so I’m hoping I’ll be able to dig in and review it soon!

 

I know my January 2018 TBR is a bit ambitious, but with at least a few of them being audiobooks that I’ll listen to while doing other things like riding the bus to and from work or cleaning I’ll somehow manage to make it happen. If you have any suggestions for my February TBR, please leave them in the comments!

That’s all for today, bookworms. Keep living one page at a time!

Blog Tour: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

I’m really excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking! I’ll be giving my full review of the novel and, if you stick around to the end, there’s even a giveaway! But first, let’s have a look at what the book is about.

When the fate of the world is at stake Loyalties will be tested Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

 

My Review:

I managed to breeze through reading Between the Blade and the Heart while on the tail end of a reading slump, which really says something about the writing style, I think. There are things that are both positive and not that I noticed while reading it that I’ll discuss specifically in their own little sections (since I’m apparently organized in my reviews now, I guess?) but let’s start it out with the trigger/content warnings I noticed during the story. These are by no means all of the needed warnings but they’re the ones I personally noticed.

  • Drug use
  • Blood
  • Death of a family member

One of the things I really enjoyed about Between the Blade and the Heart was the characters themselves, especially the unexpected bit of LGBT+ representation I found in it. There was also a dysfunctional and borderline abusive mother/daughter relationship that I thought was written very realistically. Unfortunately, the characters were also something I didn’t like about the novel. (I know. I’m making all kinds of sense today. Bear with me!) Some of the character descriptions felt info-dumpy and repetitive. After having spent an entire page and a half learning about the way a character looks, I don’t need any more description later. I just wish it had either been done more efficiently or not in a way that was so repetitive.

The characters didn’t blur together very often and I was able to keep them all straight just based on their personalities in relation to the point-of-view character, Malin. I feel like, at least for character development, Amanda Hocking made a good use of first person narration. My favourite character is most definitely Oona, the sorceress-to-be best friend and roommate of our main character. She’s sweet and caring and knowledgable, even if she is little use in a fight.

The majority of the story takes place in a very urban area of a large city. The settings are described with just enough detail that, since I live in a large city myself, I was able to put myself into the settings Malin found herself in. There were areas like Malin’s apartment and the Evig Riksdag that I would have liked more details on because I had trouble picturing them well, but overall I thought the visuals were adequate.

Where the world building excels is with the culture surrounding immortals, humans, Valkyries, and everything in between. The development of subcultures within that culture was impressive and, for the most part, believable. I really enjoyed immersing myself in this world and discovering new ways of seeing how things might be in some alternate reality where immortals and humans live side by side.

So, I’m not entirely certain about Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner, but I definitely got some Percy Jackson meets the Chicagoland Vampires vibes throughout the novel. It’s definitely a New Adult novel content wise but I felt like some of the writing was geared more toward a Young Adult audience. This gave me the impression that it’s meant for those just making the transition from YA to NA. Once I allowed myself to grasp onto the fact that the novel was New Adult, I found myself really enjoying it.

Overall, I rate Between the Blade and the Heart 3 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Get your hands on a copy and enjoy it for yourself. A few places you can order your copy from are:

 

Amanda Hocking NEW--credit Mariah Paaverud with Chimera Photography.jpg

About the Author

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

 

 

 

Giveaway

Wow you made it almost to the end of the post! And, as promised, I have a giveaway for you! This giveaway is US ONLY (sorry, international bookworms!) and is for:

  • ONE (1) finished copy of Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking!

Some important giveaway related information: The winner’s information will be emailed to my contact at the publisher, who will send out the prize! The winner will need to be eighteen (18) years old or have parental consent to provide this information to me and St. Martin’s Press. This giveaway begins on the day this post goes live and ends on Monday, January 15th. The winner will be contacted via the email used in the entry form and will have twenty-four (24) hours to respond before a new winner will be selected and contacted.

Best of luck to you all!!

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

 

Congratulations to Kelly Woods on winning a finished paperback copy of Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! 😀

 

Thank you so much to Amanda Hocking for writing this intriguing beginning to a series. You’re a real rockstar!

Thank you also to Justine Sha at St. Martin’s Press for allowing me the privilege of reading this novel before its release and participating in this blog tour!

Release Blitz: Ever The Brave by Erin Summerhill

I am so excited that EVER THE BRAVE by Erin Summerill is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Erin Summerill, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 3 finished copies of the book courtesy of Erin, HMH, Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

 

About The Book:

9780544664463_hresTitle: EVER THE BRAVE (Clash of Kingdoms #2)

Author: Erin Summerill

Pub. Date: December 5, 2017

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 464

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads

Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.

After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

 

Excerpt:

The king and his men ride away into the Ever Woods.

Gillian sweeps in, face beaming. I want to shake her shoulders and erase that smile. I slam the door.

“You look murderous.” Gillian spins around, her skirts swishing against the stone.

“I am.”

A blink. “You don’t like the dresses?”

“Really? You’ve been living with me for a month.”

“Right. So they’re not your usual choice, but they’re variety. Something different form brown trousers.

“They’re for the Royal Winter Feast Ball. He wants to sprinkle royal dust on me and make me noble.”

Gillian presses her hands to her cheeks and pretends to swoon.

“Stop it,” I snap.

She flounces into the bedroom and lifts a rose dress from the bed. That grin. Seeds. She’s as mad as the King Aodren.

The pull to the king, still taut in my chest, halves my attention from her squealing prattle. I press my palm to my sternum. I’d give anything to be free of him. To be able to live in peace on Papa’s land. But I don’t know how to break the bond.

If Enat were still alive — the thought flattens me — she’d know what to do. She’d tell me how to free myself from King Aodren. He’s been gone for five minutes, and I can still pick out his location in the Ever Woods.

I pound my fist on the door. I have to figure out a way to rid myself of the bond. I have to.

Gillian jerks to a stop. “It’s not the end of the world.”

I start to respond, but an answering rush of something strange and shuddery slips under the surface of my skin. I lurch, cradling my suddenly clammy hand, eyeing Gillian, then the door with growing alarm. Unease spreads from the top of my head to my heels, a drop of poison fanning through a jar of ale.

I’ve felt this way before.

“What is it?” Gillian’s fists crinkle a rose-colored gown. Breath suddenly short, I yank the door open and stare deep into the Evers. The breeze’s icy fingers caress my face. There’s nothing to see, but something is very wrong.

“The king.”

 

About the Author:

ErinErin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of EVER THE BRAVE, US Only. Ends December 12 th midnight EST.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

A big thank you to Erin Summerhill for writing this series! You’re the real rockstar!!

Another thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for allowing me the privilege of participating in this Release Blitz!!

Release Week Blitz: Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros

Hey, Bookworms! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1)
by Aden Apolydoros!

Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

Congratulations Aden!

 

 

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…

Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1)
by Aden Polydoros
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Amazon | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

 

Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library. As a teenager, Aden decided that he wanted to be a writer. He spent his free time writing short stories. He was encouraged by his English teacher to try his hand at writing a novel, which inspired him to begin PROJECT PANDORA. The YA thriller is set for publication with Entangled Publishing in Summer of 2017. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Click Here To Enter

 

 

​Blog Tour: The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova

If you’ve talked with me on social media in the past month or so, you know how super excited I am to be participating in this blog tour! I’m going to give you my fully opinionated review of The Dragons of Nova, but first I have a real treat to share with you.

Elise Kova has decided to come by Vicarious Bookworm for a quick interview! Thank you so much for joining us!

 

Which of the characters in The Dragons of Nova do you relate to the most and why?

It’s always hard for me to pick just one character because every character ends up being a mash-up of myself and people I know. That being said, my friends say I’m the most like Arianna, perhaps because I’m usually logic and efficiency driven.

 

Which of the characters is least like yourself?

As I am now? Florence. The reason why I specify that first bit is because I think there was a time where I was like Florence, younger and discovering who I was. But I’m on the other side of that transition now, I think. So I see the least of myself in her.

 

What authors have inspired you the most?

In my formative years, the works of Dave Duncan and JK Rowling were especially transformative for me. Among my peers today, I really admire Danielle L. Jensen and Susan Dennard. They’re both very dedicated to their craft and manage work and life admirably

 

How do you feel your start as an author has affected the way you see the publishing industry?

Being rejected by literary agents out the gate and deciding to self-publish really made me see that there are a lot of ways to be “successful” in publishing, and every person will define what success means to them. There’s nothing wrong with publishing just to be published, and you’re not more or less of an author if you go with a “big five” or not. I think my start really lit a fire in me to blaze my own trail, no matter what.

 

Finally, is there an indie bookstore where readers might find signed editions of The Dragons of Nova?

My local indie, Books at Park Place, usually has signed copies. I’m stopping at Books of Wonder in NYC on my tour, so they may have some on hand. I also will stop into bookstores a lot when I travel for work or pleasure, so if you want me to stop in somewhere, let me know!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

Now I bet you all want to know what The Dragons of Nova is about so here’s a Goodreads synopsis of it!

Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

Sounds great, right! What are my opinions on this book? Well, I thought you’d never ask!

 

My Review:

First, there were a couple trigger/content warnings that I noticed in this one so lets get them out of the way.

  • Air raid
  • Genocide
  • War crimes
  • Blood
  • Depictions of slavery
  • Torture
  • Homomisia (addressed on the page)
  • Death

If you follow me on any social media, you already know how much I love this series so please excuse me while I fangirl my way through this review.

The characters were developed really well for the most part. I felt like I could have had a conversation with all of the primary and a few of the secondary characters. There was an inconsistency in the relationship between Cvareh and Petra in that he is initially described in The Alchemists of Loom as her younger brother, but several times in this novel she is described as the youngest of the three siblings. This is easily remedied in editing and, as I was reading an unedited copy, I won’t allow that to take away from my rating, especially since others noticed this detail and wrote it into their reviews pre-publication.

I continued to love Ari, even though some of her behaviors and reactions to things made me want to scream and hit her. She definitely allowed herself to open up to new possibilities in The Dragons of Nova, even if they confuse or frustrate her. Finally, Flor. Ohh my sweet Flor and her rude awakening broke my heart. I just want her to be okay! If I’m being honest, Flor’s arc is my favourite because she’s grown so much.

The world building in The Dragons of Nova is absolutely stunning. I can confidently say that the world itself is the shining beacon of this novel. Enough information is given throughout the novel at intervals that I felt like I had been dropped onto Nova and Loom and left to wander about with the characters. The building up wasn’t info dumpy at all. The increments of world building that are done throughout the book were hardly even noticeable beyond the expansion of my ability to put myself into the world of the story. There were things about the world that bothered me but that’s mostly the story and not the world.

However, the things in the story that bothered me were meant to be troubling. The depictions of ongoing slavery, the genocide, the torture…these things were all parts of the story that specifically brought on dislike for certain characters. The story flows very well in a way that kept me from being able to put it down. I spent literally every possible moment devouring the words, needing them as I need air. I really enjoyed how incredibly well written it is.

I mentioned in my review of The Alchemists of Loom (which you can find here) that I was very pleasantly surprised to find intersectional representation. Elise Kova followed through and brought that to the next level. The intersection of bi/pan, OCD and PTSD are clarified in canon and done so brilliantly, but we also have another canon intersection added: questioning and anxiety. It also seemed to me in this book that the bi/pan character may also be demisexual, but this is not made canon. There’s something about seeing one of my intersections so clearly represented that warms my heart and makes a permanent home for this book nearby.

Overall, I rate The Dragons of Nova 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of The Dragons of Nova and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:

 

About the Author

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga.

 

Remember that giveaway I mentioned? You have the chance to win

  • 1 hardcover finished copy of The Dragons of Nova
  • 1 The Dragons of Nova Swag Pack

Enter here:

Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Luckily for me, I’m in amazing company on this blog tour. Luckily for you, the more tour hosts you visit, the greater your chances of winning! Check out the full blog tour schedule here so you can be sure not to miss any stops!

 

Thank you so much to Elise Kova for writing The Dragons of Nova! You are a blessing upon bookshelves everywhere.

Thank you to Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours for allowing me the privilege of being a host on this tour! (Seriously, if you aren’t registered as a tour host with them yet, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.)

And lastly, but most definitely not least, a huge thank you to Keymaster Press for sending me an ARC of this brilliant novel.

 

That’s all for now! Happy reading, bookworms!

Blog Tour: A Void the Size of the World by Rachele Alpine

I’m really happy to be able to participate in the blog tour for A Void the Size of the World! The first thing that really drew me in about this book and made me realize that I had to be part of this blog tour was the book and what it’s about. So, what’s it about?

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

A haunting novel about a girl who must face the consequences after her actions indirectly lead to her sister’s disappearance.

Rhylee didn’t mean to kiss her sister’s boyfriend. At least, not the first time. But it doesn’t matter, because her sister, Abby, caught them together, ran into the dark woods behind their house…and never came home.

As evidence mounts that something terrible has happened to Abby, no one wants to face the truth. Rhylee can’t bring herself to admit what she’s done: that she is the reason her sister ran away. Now Tommy, Abby’s boyfriend, is the prime suspect in her disappearance, and Rhylee’s world has been turned upside down. Slowly, Rhylee’s family is breaking–their lives center on the hope that Abby will return. Rhylee knows they need to face the truth and begin healing–but how can they, when moving on feels like a betrayal? Ad how do you face the guilt of wishing a person gone…when they actually disappear?

A Void the Size of the World Cover Art

Now I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a suspenseful bit of awesomeness to me. Also, take a moment to enjoy that cover because I know I am.

Today on Vicarious Bookworm we also have the special treat of having Rachele Alpine here and she’s going to answer a few questions for us! Thank you so much for coming by, Rachele!

 

What first inspired you to write Rhylee and Abby’s story?

This started as a short story called “Circles Within Circles” for the MFA program I was in. It was maybe around fifteen pages, but after I workshopped and revised it, the characters would not get out of my mind. I thought about them for years and what really happened between these two sisters. I began to explore the spaces in between the lines I had written and slowly the book emerged from that.

 

Wow so this book has been a long time in the making! What was your favorite part of your writing process for A Void the Size of the World?

I loved exploring the relationship with these sisters. Because the book started as a short story, the dialogue and pacing had to be tight, so turning this into a novel gave me the freedom to dive deep down into who these two girls were. I found myself discovering things about each of them as the plot moved forward, and it was a lot of fun being surprised by characters who you thought you already knew. I also think the bond between sisters is so strong and unique. My own sister is a year younger than me and we’re very close, so I loved examining the dynamics of these two girls and what it means to be a sister.

 

That’s one of my favorite parts of writing too! Because of that, I feel like the authors who really explore who their characters are inspire me most. What authors have inspired or influenced you most?

I love authors like Laurie Halse Anderson, Courtney Summers, and Nicola Yoon. They tackle a lot of important topics and tend to push the structure of narratives and how you tell a story. I also love the language of Curtis Sittenfeld and Jandy Nelson. Their words are so beautiful, and I could read their books over and over again just to hear the sound of their sentences.

 

Those are definitely some inspirational authors. Getting back to the novel itself, what is one thing you know now that you wish you’d known before you started working on A Void the Size of the World?

That this book would find a home with a publisher and editor I loved. I worked on this book for so long and there were definitely moments of doubt and struggle as I tried to get it right. It’s not easier turning a short story into a novel, and there were a lot of times when I wasn’t confident about my writing and the story I was telling. It would have been great to know that I would be able to figure it out, love the way it turned out, and find an awesome home for it!

 

That definitely would have been something nice to already know! Now that your story has found such an amazing home and will soon be released to readers everywhere, is there an indie bookstore where readers might find or order signed copies of A Void the Size of the World?

Yes! It should hopefully be at all the indie bookstores, and if it isn’t, just ask and I’m sure they’ll order it. As for signed copies, I’m happy to send signed bookmarks and bookplates to put inside the books. Just send me an e-mail at rachelealpine@gmail.com requesting one!

 

That is so kind of you! I don’t want to use up too much of your time and I know you have other tour stops to get to. Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

This book was released on July 4th so it’s already available in stores! You can get your hands on a copy from:

 

About the Author

Rachele AlpineRachele Alpine is a love of binge watching reality TV, dogs, knitting, gummy peaches, and lots and lots of coffee!

One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit.

By day she’s a high school English teacher, by night she’s a mom and wife, and she writes during any time she can find in between!

Rachele lives with her husband and son in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there.

You can find more information about Rachele Alpine and her work on her website.

 

I know you all remember that giveaway I mentioned back at the beginning. You could win a finished copy of A Void the Size of the World by Rachele Alpine! Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more chances to win? Follow the blog tour! You can find the full schedule of stops here!

 

Thank you so much to Rachele Alpine for writing this intriguing novel and for stopping by the Vicarious Bookworm today. You’re such a rockstar!

And a big thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour!

​Blog Tour: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

I’m so super excited to be participating in the blog tour for The Disappearances! Let’s start with what first drew me in: what’s the book about?

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Thick with mystery, buried secrets, and magic, nothing is safe in The Disappearances. Be careful, or you might lose yourself in this strange and wondrous world, where stars go missing, reflections don’t exist, and the question, how much would you sacrifice for love? is given entirely new meaning. I adored this book!” – Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

With a synopsis like that, I’m sure you can understand why I HAD to read it! Did it live up to my expectations, you ask? Well, we all know I’m an opinionated little dragon, but first I want to highlight a few of my favorite exerpts because highly quotable historical fiction is the best historical fiction.

 

Favourite Quotes:

Page 11

That ship has sailed, honey. Now you can either drown or hitch a ride on the next one.

Page 49

“May your dreams be filled with stars and not with shadows.”

Page 77

“What needs darkness to grow instead of light?” she asked me one night when we were younger.

“I give up,” I finally said.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Her eyes flashed more silver than gray. “Secrets.”

 

My Review:

I went into this one with some pretty average level expectations and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. First though let me get the trigger warnings I noticed out of the way.

  • loss of a parent (death)
  • grief
  • bullying
  • stalking/harassment

The story is written from a first person point of view which is both interesting and frustrating at different points of the story. It makes it very easy to get to know the main character, Aila, but horribly difficult to learn about the other characters outside of Aila’s knowledge of and feelings toward them. This is not to say the other characters are two dimensional–quite the opposite. The characters are all rounded out enough that they are all individual and very three dimensional. It’s easy at any given point to imagine interacting with them. I had a special soft spot for Miles because he was a wee trouble maker but he was also sweet as pie when it suited him, much like another almost eight year old that I happen to have the pleasure of knowing.

The story is set in the United States during WWII. I found this time hard to get into, though I’m not certain if it’s because of the author’s ability to bring us to that time or if it’s because my family just barely survived it and I’m not able to see it without thinking of the horrors that caused it. I was a bit frustrated by the lack of any mention of nazis, jews, concentration camps…any mention of the reason for that war was left out.

What we did get, however, was small town USA and, coming from a small town originally myself, I can without a doubt say that part of the story was perfectly built. The relationships with other residents of the town, gossip, festivals, and being able to walk from one place to the next (even though some were miles apart and it might have been a better idea to ride a bike or drive) without having to worry as much as we might in a city were perfectly done. I love how the nuance of small towns was perfectly built here so that the reader can understand the dynamic without having to even visit one.

The story itself is what held my attention the most. It starts out with Aila just having lost her mother to a horrible and unknown illness and her father having just been drafted into the military. She’s sent to stay with one of her mother’s oldest friends in the town where her mother grew up. It starts off small and hinting at mystery right away. From about page 2 I was hooked! The creativity, science, magic, and history put together in the story is beautifully and near seamlessly done.

I had so much trouble putting this story down that I fell asleep reading it and woke up the next day needing to know what happened next. The world building and storytelling style are absolutely gorgeous. Emily Bain Murphy has managed to take the American 1940s and turn them into something stunning and magical. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

Overall, I rate The Disappearances 4 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Preorder a copy of The Disappearances and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:

 

About the Author

Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts and Connecticut home. She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Her debut YA fantasy, THE DISAPPEARANCES, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017. Murphy currently lives in San Francisco with her family and is at work on her second novel.

 

Remember that giveaway I mentioned? You have the chance to win one of three finished copies of The Disappearances! This giveaway is US only (sorry, international bookworms)! All you have to do is enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for more chances to win! Here’s the schedule:

26 June


27 June

  • YA and Wine – Review
  • Vicarious Bookworm – Review & Favorite Quotes


28 June


29 June


30 June


1 July


2 July

 

Thank you to Emily Bain Murphy for writing this incredibly suspenseful historical fiction novel.

Another thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to be part of this tour.

And finally, thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a digital ARC of The Disappearances!

​Blog Tour Guest Post: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

Hello, bookworms! I can not believe it’s been a year since I started out blogging here! I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for The Best Kind of Magic! It just seems like a fitting tour for my blogversary.

We get a special treat here on Vicarious Bookworm today! Crystal Cestari has accepted my invitation to guest post about an author who inspires her! Without further adieu, I’ll hand the keyboard over to her!

 

One author who made a big impact on me was Roald Dahl. When I was in second grade, I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the first time, and it was a huge “a-ha!” moment for me.

I can remember the scene very clearly: I was sitting at my desk, quietly flipping through the pages, and got to the part of the story where Charlie is in the great glass elevator scrolling through all the buttons leading to the seemingly hundreds of rooms within the factory. I had been enjoying the story up to this point, but something about reading through those many, many descriptions of all the candy-themed rooms set something off in me. For some reason, that list of imaginative descriptions made me realize how special this book was, and how extraordinary it was that someone had written it.

My childhood brain was absolutely exploding. Someone had dreamed up this over-the-top chocolate factory—filled with crazy characters and golden tickets—and took the time to sit down and write about it. This person, this writer, transformed a daydream into something real. And because of that effort, readers like me were now able to share those adventures. What an unbelievably amazing job! It’s not like up until that point I hadn’t realized that books were written by people, but it was the first time that it seemed like the coolest thing ever.

Something clicked inside me that day. I already loved reading, but I hadn’t experimented with writing much yet. I was inspired to try, and started dreaming up stories of witches and unicorns, fairies and far away lands. I loved filling up the pages with words and drawings, and watching how a blank piece of paper could turn into so much more. To this day, I still write all my first drafts longhand; for me, penning my thoughts on paper flows so much better than on a glowing computer screen.

Beyond this major moment, I appreciated the variety and creativity of Dahl’s writing. He showed me a way to weave magical elements into any story, whether they be about sly foxes, friendly giants, or in my case, matchmakers who can actually see true love. I loved how he made up his own silly words, and took ordinary objects like peaches and transformed them into something imaginative and new. He had a unique worldview that I loved being a part of, and hoped to emulate in my own creative endeavors.

I have read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory many times since then, and recently read it to my daughter for the first time. One of the main characters in The Best Kind of Magic is named Charlie, and I have all of Roald Dahl’s books on my shelves. I’m so thankful for the foundation he gave me.

 

Thank you so much for joining us today, Crystal! I love how we are able to pass down our childhood favourite books to the next generation! Roald Dahl was also a favourite of mine growing up, but my favourite of his was always Matilda because what bookworm wouldn’t want to be telekinetic?

Goodreads Synopsis:

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.

 

About the Author

With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.

 

Happy belated book birthday to Crystal Cestari! This is definitely a book to add to your Goodreads list! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy of The Best Kind of Magic are:

 

Or, you could win a copy from the blog tour giveaways! Yes, plural and I’ll explain that in just a bit. The winners will each receive ONE finished copy of The Best Kind of Magic. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada ONLY (sorry international bookworms!). Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Vicarious Bookworm giveaway ends 26 May 2017. The winner will be notified on 27 May 2017 and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

Now, you know how I said the plural of giveaways and winners? Disney-Hyperion has given permission for each blog on the tour to give away a finished copy! That means your chances to win a copy go up for each stop on the tour you visit!

There is a catch, however. Each person can only win ONE copy of this book. If you’re selected as the winner on more than one stop, it’s expected that you’ll decline any copy more than one. I know y’all are honest so it won’t be a problem, but anyone who doesn’t decline the extra copies will be disqualified from winning. Good luck!

 

Here’s the schedule so you can follow the tour!

17 May

 

18 May

 

19 May

 

20 May

 

21 May

 

22 May

 

23 May

 

Thank you so much to Crystal Cestari for writing this beautiful book. You’re a rock star!

Another thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour!

And, finally, thank you to Disney-Hyperion for allowing us the unique privilege of giving away so many copies of The Best Kind of Magic on this tour!

​Blog Tour: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Oh my gosh, bookworms! I am SO EXCITED to be able to participate in this blog tour!! Let’s get started with what the book is about!

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

 

Doesn’t that sound amazing? I’ll bet you want my thoughts on it, right? Here you go!

 

My Review:

It took me the longest time to be able to write more than “SCREAMING” and “JUST GO PREORDER IT AND YOU CAN THANK ME LATER” for this review. (Really though, you can thank me later.) Now that I’m somewhat able to articulate my thoughts on it, hopefully I won’t revert to screaming mid-review… I can’t promise anything though.

Most of the characters are described clearly enough that I was able to picture them, but I had a little trouble visalising the two characters of color beyond the small details given. The personalities were developed pretty well though, to the point where I felt like I understand all the characters, even if I didn’t like them. And I found myself disliking a couple of them a LOT.

The world probably could have had a bit more building to allow us to better see the LIC, or Love Interest Compound, a bit better. However, given that the entire story is told from Caden’s perspective, many things were understandably left out because he wouldn’t have known them. The bits of the world that were built up are done so in an immersive way, giving each of the senses a grasp of the setting without getting info-dumpy about it.

The story and the idea behind it are what truly shine about this novel. It takes a couple basic tropes, makes mockery of them, and then smashes them to pieces before putting the story back together as it sees fit. The LIC is basically an academy where kids are turned into teenage tropes–the guy next door, the motorcycle riding bad boy, the cute flirty cheerleader, etc.–before being sent out into the world as well-placed spies.

These spies are sent out in twos to compete for their placement via obtaining the interest of the person to be spied upon. Enter the forced love triangle! However, things go a bit awry in The Love Interest because instead of going all out in courting their target, we get what I’ve decided to call an inverted love triangle where the two pursuing parties instead decide to pursue each other.

Really though there’s more than the inverted love triangle, which I’ve decided is my new favourite trope. We also get action, suspense, awesome technology, friendship, and less than ideal parental relationships. It was so fun reading this book beginning to end and only one part that had me frustrated (as I’m sure was intended by Cale Dietrich). I can’t wait for you all to read this brilliant ownvoices novel so I can watch you scream and flail about like I have been since I finished it last week.

Overall, I rate The Love Interest 5 out of 5 bookworms.

Don’t just take my word for it. Preorder a copy of The Love Interest and enjoy it for yourself when it’s released tomorrow, 16 May 2017! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:

 

About The Author

Cale Dietrich is a YA devotee, lifelong gamer, and tragic pop punk enthusiast. He was born in Perth, grew up on the Gold Coast, and now lives in Brisbane, Australia. The Love Interest is his first novel.

 

Remember that giveaway I mentioned? Here it is! One person from the US or Canada ONLY (sorry, international bookworms!) will win a finished copy of The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich!! Enter here by 19 May 2017:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more chances to win, follow the blog tour! Here’s the other stops you should definitely check out.

10 May

 

11 May

 

12 May

 

13 May

 

14 May

 

15 May

 

16 May

 

A HUGE thank you to Cale Dietrich for writing this novel. You’re such a rockstar!

Another thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour!

And finally, thank you to MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group for the digital review copy!