ARC Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)

 

Before I started this book, I feared it would be a repeat of nearly every other fantasy book that has come out lately. I wish I could say I was wrong… but I cannot. This felt uneventful and predictable.

Short recap: Anna, a “Barren” girl, follows her grandmother to Hungary. Anna’s family is part of the Luminate, a rich group and powerful throughout society. The society is controlled by “The Circle”, which is an highly elite group of magic-holders. Anna must choose a side in the battle that is about to begin.

This was one of the most boring fantasy stories I have read. It read like historical fiction with a wee bit o’ magic thrown in for fun. I read more about proper edicate of a lady during the time period and how a woman should be courted by a man of wealth than anything about magic or battles. The talk of magic was thrown around like it was a cold to be caught. It was something everyone had yet nobody really wanted. Perhaps it was simply taken for granted. Regardless, the story was dreadfully uneventful. There was no heart stopping moments of, “OH MY GOSH! WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!” or “GASP!”. Instead, it was about high tea and what dress should be worn for what event. Yawn. The best part of the story itself was the setting. I haven’t read a story set in Hungary so that was interesting, but only partially. I really would have liked the author to expand on the historical impact and what actually lead the story to be set in Hungary other than the MC’s grandmother was from there. Too convenient in my mind. Alas, it did not happen and I was left wondering.

The characters did not feel developed, instead they felt flat and dull. I read no personalities, no flair, no individuality. You could have given every character the same name as they all sounded the same. I struggled to keep everyone straight because they never came alive for me. Anna came across as the most naive and dimwitted character I have read in a long time. She continued to do dumb things and then was shocked when the outcome was not favorable. Surprise, surprise. As such, I was not invested in what she did or what happened to the other characters. This should not come as any surprise but the MC was said to be “a special snowflake” with “special abilities” yet she is “just like everyone else because she doesn’t want to stand out”. Not original at all.

The number one reason I did not like this story: instalove. GAAAAAHHH! I cannot stand instalove! On top of that, Anna goes around kissing every single boy she comes into contact with. How can you tell me Anna has instalove with someone, yet continue to write her flirting and kissing every boy? That does not make sense. This story is set in a time when marriages are arranged for the sake of convenience and money. You cannot expect me to believe Anna behaves the way she does and it is okay when her sister is practically in an arranged marriage for money. That caused me to lose all faith in all aspects of this story. There was zero chemistry and I quickly lost interest in who she was flittering after next. I actually lost all interest in characters and the story but refused to DNF because I really didn’t want to DNF an ARC.

After forcing my way through this terrible story, I wish I had swallowed my pride and put this book down. This was such an unoriginal mashup of every other fantasy story that has been released. The characters were bland, the world building was lackluster, but the only thing that was slightly intriguing about this was the setting, which is why I gave this 2 stars and not 1.5. That was not enough to save this story. I know I will not be picking up the next book in this series.

 

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Rockstar Book Tours: Blood Road Release Celebration! (Excerpt & Giveaway)

 
 
I am so excited that BLOOD ROAD by Amanda McCrina is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Amanda McCrina, be sure to check out all the details below. 
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate courtesy of  Month9Books and 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:

Title: BLOOD ROAD
Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 329
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.
Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.
Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.
Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.
Exclusive Excerpt
He touched her arm. She tensed but did not move away. He took off his
glove and traced her cheekbone with two fingers, brushing the tears from her
cheek. She drew a shivering breath. He turned her head and held it between his
hands and brushed the tears from her eyelashes with his thumbs. She stood very
still and silently while he did it, her eyes closed, her lips tight. He bent
his head and buried his face in her black hair—and she slipped in suddenly
under his arms, looping her arms around his neck, resting her cheek on his
chest. Then she twisted against him, tilting her head back to look up in his
face. “It’s no good,” she said. “I can’t feel your heart beat.”
“It’s the plums. I think I’ve suffocated.”
She laughed. He felt it echo through her body. He felt her muscles
loosen. Her breath was warm on his neck. “If that’s all,” she said.
They sat below the boundary wall. She unbuckled his helmet and cuirass
and held the cuirass for him while he shrugged it off. She sat against him with
her knees folded up on his lap, her shoulders under the curve of his arm. She
unlaced his jerkin and bent her ear to his chest. “Better,” she said. “And
this—just to be sure.” She leaned into him and pressed her lips gently to the
pulse in his
He kissed her. He sat up from the wall, cupping her head in his hands,
and he bent his face to hers and kissed her lips, her eyelids, her forehead; he
lifted her chin with his fingers and kissed the hollow at the base of her
throat. Her arms were around his neck and her cheek against his and her tears
running on his face. He tried to lift her to look at her. She shook her head.
Her lips brushed his ear. “Don’t,” she said. Her voice was thick. So he put his
arms around her waist and held her, his head and shoulders braced against the
sun-warmed stones of the boundary wall, his chin on her shoulder, and he
listened with his eyes closed while she cried.
He opened his eyes at the smell of wood smoke. They were smoking the
hives over in the bee field. Over Ceno’s shoulder, he watched the smoke trail
away southward toward the city. He could see the Hill just visible above the pines
in the hazy distance, the Palace and Senate buildings in delicate white-marble
miniature—and the moment shattered against it, and there was nothing but Tasso,
and the orders in his saddlebag, and the cavalry column mustered and awaiting
his command on the parade ground at Vione.

 
 
About Amanda: 
Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey
season.
 
 
 
 
Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting on Wednesday: A Million Junes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

A Million Junes

 

 

From Goodreads:

Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry’s brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations.

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

This sounds really good! Is it already on your TBR?

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Cover Reveal: Hide From Me by Mary Lindsey

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Hide From Me by Mary Lindsey

presented by Entangled TEEN!

I cannot WAIT for this book to come out this fall!

What do you think of the cover?

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Something’s not right about Rain Ryland’s new hometown. On the surface, it’s a friendly, tight-knit community, but something deadly lurks underneath the small-town charm. Everyone he meets is hiding something—especially Friederike Burkhart, the hottest girl he’s ever laid eyes on. Rain’s determined to find out her secret, even if it kills him…and it just might.

Ancient magic and modern society collide in a sexy, spellbinding romance perfect for fans of C. C. Hunter and Maggie Stiefvater that proves sometimes beauty is the beast…

Hide From Me
By Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Available for Pre-order:
Amazon

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten-ish Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Top Ten-ish Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want A Book

 

Reviews: I am sure you are like me and browse Goodreads when you find a book you are interested in to see what others say about it. If I see a majority of my trusted book friends don’t like it, consider me the one to avoid it.

Story at the back of the book: If there is not much of a description on the back I won’t rush to purchase the book. I want to know what it is about, not see a vague blurb or random quotes from people I have never heard of.

The book cover: I openly admit that I will judge a book by its cover. This is the first thing I see and if I cringe at the cover, I’ll leave it sitting on the shelf and keep walking.

Author tours/book festivals: If I have the chance to see an author at a festival or on a tour and they are not nice people, I will not want any of their books. (this has happened IRL and I gave away all of that author’s books.)

The author on social media: There have been certain authors on social media that have been huge … jerks. They popped off about sensitive subjects and as a result, I won’t buy, borrow, or have anything to do with their books.

Book topics: If the book is “high fantasy”, I usually shy away from it. (Sarah J Maas, anyone? I still haven’t read anything from her.) I’m just too worried I won’t know what is going on.

Book labels: The one that grinds my gears the most is “‘The New (fill in a very famous book)’“. Stop doing that! I know publishers use that to attract readers but it gives the book a certain level of expectation. The comparison won’t make me want to read the book any faster, it makes me want to avoid it.

INSTA-LOVE: I. Hate. Instalove.

 

I know I couldn’t find ten things that made me not want a book but I listed my highlights. Do any of these apply to you? What makes you not want to read/pick up a book?

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ARC Audio Review: A Crown of Wishes

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)

**Huge Thank You to the publisher for providing me with an audio version of the book to review!**

 

I struggled with the first book in this series but really wanted to give the second book a try. This was a beautifully created world, but I don’t feel it was enough to hold my interest. It was not enough for me to like this story to give it more than 3 stars.

Gauri is the princess of Bharata and is a prisoner of war, captured by her kingdom’s enemies. She has so few choices on who to trust and questions everything when she has to trust the prince from another land, Vikram. This unlikely pair teams up to enter the Tournament of Wishes, where the winner will be granted one wish. Can these two work together to make it out alive? Or will what they desire most get the better of them?

When I finished Star-Touched Queen, I was underwhelmed and lost. Still, I promised myself I would give the sequel a chance. I did and yet I could still not get into this story. The writing is breath-taking but it was too…. flowery? Too showy? Too much? Whatever term I want to use, I use it because the wording covered up the actual plot of the story. I was again lost in the words and confused by what was going on. I couldn’t follow what was happening. I know for a fact there is an amazing story within the words of this book, but I couldn’t find it. I felt overwhelmed by the overuse of descriptive terms to explain the simplest items and/or tasks. It felt like too much.

Even though I was lost in the overall story, I did enjoy the characters this time around. Gauri and Vikram were very well done. Gauri came across spunky and fearless, while Vikram was steadfast and headstrong. These two together were a force to be reckoned with. The banter and chemistry between them was what I enjoyed most. I dare say I liked them better than Maya and Amar.

Even though my review has been rather ho-hum and almost repetitive of the first Roshani book, I still gave this story 3 stars. Why? I cannot deny how beautiful the writing is. I cannot get over how effortlessly the words come off the pages. However, the writing felt verbose. The overuse of words to describe something that should have been simple caused my mind to check out. I quickly found myself not excited to read the next page or the next chapter. I was not invested in the characters, their romances, or their journeys. I kick myself for not being able to love these stories the way everyone else does, but then again, not every book is meant for every reader.

I adore Roshani as an author and will forever support her, but this particular book series just is not for me. I know she will be a powerhouse of an author and will be around for a very long time. I’m so thrilled for her and wish her nothing but success as she continues to write novels. I will say that I will give her next book/series a chance, but I cannot read any more within this series itself. While I did not enjoy TSTQ that much, I hope people give this book a chance. I believe the characters are better and are more enjoyable to read.

 

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ILLUMINAE Paperback Blog Tour & Review

ILLUMINAE

www.rockstarbooktours.com

Illuminae paperback

 

Title: ILLUMINAE

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Pub. Date: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Ember

Pages: 624

Formats: Paperback

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

 

 

 

It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica-shaped hole in my heart.- –Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of The Red Queen

Read the New York Times bestselling blockbuster that critics are calling -out-of-this-world awesome.- The first in an epic sci-fi series unlike anything else out there.

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents–including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more–Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Brace yourself, because you’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.- –Marie Lu, author of the bestselling Legend series


Prepare yourselves for Illuminae.- –EW.com


You’re not in for an ordinary novel experience. . . .- –Bustle.com


A truly interactive experience. . . . A fantastically fun ride.- –MTV.com

 

Don’t miss the rest of the series!

The Illuminae Files_02: GEMINA

The Illuminae Files_03 — OBSIDIO

 

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My Original Review:

https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/review-illuminae/

How does one properly review this KICK ASS book? HOW?

Let me make this brief: The illegal Kerenza colony is attached by BeiTech and two teens, Kady and Ezra, find themselves in serious danger while fighting to stay alive. They are aboard a spaceship that is supposed to take them to safety, but they end up trying to outrun the Lincoln, a BeiTech spaceship that is clearly set on destroying them. As if that wasn’t enough, the main ship’s AI system becomes damaged and becomes… deranged. Crazy, if you will. But just to add a cherry to the top of this sundae, while trying to outrun an enemy space ship and outwit the current ship’s crazy AI system, there is a deadly plague aboard the ship that threatens to whip out all human life. No pressure, right?

THIS. BOOK. This book blew my freaking mind. GONE. *POOF* It is a 600 page book that I tore through in no time. It is so action packed and suspenseful that you cannot put it down. It is told in such a unique way that the reader (YOU) have to keep going. It is told through emails, chat logs, memos, transcripted video surveillance, official debreifs, and more. It is so completely originally told that it actually makes the story better. (PSSST: there are even sections told from the AI’s POV!)

I cannot even start to talk about development of characters because Ezra and Kady simply do what needs to be done. They are two kickass, badass characters that bite the bullet and throw themselves totally in harm’s way to try to save everyone. It does not take long to get to know the characters when the book starts and soon you feel as if you are on the ship with them. You truly feel as if you are taking the journey with these two and it is mind blowing. So many twists and turns that will keep you guessing!

The way the pages are presented are what helps set this book apart from the rest of sci-fi books. As I mentioned, most of the story is told from files, emails, IMs, etc. But some of the pages are maps of pilot’s flight journeys, or pictures written in ASCII (google that if you don’t know what it is… it’s so cool!), or text looped over the pages to represent when the AI was talking. My words are not doing this justice but I hope you can sense the passion I trying to express. It is amazing beyond what I am able to properly convey.

I do not believe there are enough descriptive and good words in the English language to properly describe how much I loved this book (or maybe I lack the right words). This book is so full of everything unique, awesome, and edgy that when you finish, you sit the book down and let out a single whisper: “wow”. The authors took a risk with this book and it paid off a million times over because it was done perfectly. All of the stars in the sky are given to this book because it is amazing and everything else positive that I am not able to say.

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About Amie & Jay: 

Illuminae Author Photos credit Christopher Tovo

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, ENDSINGER, is out now. He’s also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi… thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and NEVERNIGHT, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a paperback of ILLUMINAE, US Only.

 

Rafflecopter Embed Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjU3NA==/?

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/24/2017- A Gingerly Review– Re-Post-Review

4/25/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview

4/26/2017- Mary Had a Little Book Blog–  Blogger Content

4/27/2017- YA and Wine– Review

4/28/2017-Such a Novel Idea– Review

Week Two:

5/1/2017- YA Bibliophile– Interview

5/2/2017- Owl Always Be Reading– Re-Post-Review

5/3/2017- Book Briefs– Review

5/4/2017- BookHounds YA– Re-Post Review or Blogger Content

5/5/2017- Novel Novice Interview

Week Three:

5/8/2017- Page Turners Blog– Re-Post Review or Blogger Content

5/9/2017- YA Books Central Interview

5/10/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Review

5/11/2017- Two Chicks on Books Interview

5/12/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Re-Post Review or Blogger Content

 

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