Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Cover Reveal of... Gabriel and the Swallows by Essther Dalseno

I have a very special blog post to share with you today; I will be revealing the cover for Gabriel and the Swallows by Esther Dalseno! But first have a read of the Goodread description below to find out what the book is all about!

Goodread description:
A lonely farm boy.
A girl with swallow’s wings.
An ancient city buried in a volcano.
A mystery old as blood and bone.

There is more to Gabriel than the life he’s ashamed of – the son of peasant winemakers, bullied relentlessly on account of his disabled mother. For Gabriel has a secret: the elaborate dream world he descends into at night – a grandiose, vivid existence – is becoming more real than his waking life.

Everything changes for Gabriel when he rescues a wounded creature – a miraculous girl with swallow’s wings – from the voracious pursuit of Alfio Gallo, a dangerous old enemy. Aided by the beautiful and mysterious Orlando Khan, Gabriel is conflicted by unanswered questions: who is the Dark One that dwells in the medieval tunnels beneath their city? Is he just a figment of Gabriel’s powerful imagination? And is the foundling really who she says she is?

Wrestling with manhood whilst beckoned by ancient rites and foreign lands, Gabriel is about to make a deadly decision that changes the course of life as he knows it…as long as he can decide which reality he’s in. 

Date of publication: March 2016 by Oftomes Publishing

So here it is, the beautiful cover in all it spectacular glory...
I want to say a special thank you to Oftomes publishing for sending me a picture of the cover to share with you guys on my blog! 
Thanks for reading, Axx

Thursday, 14 January 2016

New World:Rising by Jennifer Wilson

New World:Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Series: New World #1

Publication: January 5th 2016 by Oftomes 

GoodReads description:
Since witnessing her parents' murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix's only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother's dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, "Join or die." 

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

My thoughts (spoiler free):
New World:Rising was such a fast read. It's a dystopian like no other. So captivating I read it in 2 sittings; which is a rare occurrence for me. 

The setting was great. Wilson did an excitement job building up this gritty brutal world for the story to take place in. There's The Sanctuary which is built up like a utopia and Tartarus which is the city most if the action takes place in. Wilson clearly describes the 5 tribes in the city and their defining characteristic early on in the novel so we have a sense of whats out there in the city we need to be wary of. She build this fascinating cruel world that I was so interested in.

The plot was fast paced, New World:Rising is definitely a page turner. The GoodReads description doesn't give you much to go on but trust me this story is action packed and full on intense moments that will make you want to stay up all night reading to finish!

I found Phoenix to be a very interesting character. She's independent,smart and badass. Having lost her parents at a young age and trying to survive this brutal world she doesnt have any friends or allies. She has built walls around herself; and it was a pleasure to she her walls start to crumb as she befriends Mouse and Triven. Phoenix's character development was perfectly pace and done in such a subtle way. I loved it.

The ending was crazy. I didn't realise this was a series, so I was freaking out when i finished. I'm so glad there's another book 'cause that cliffhanger!!

If you like dystopian I'd recommend you give New World:Rising a go. It's definitely a new favourite dystopian of mine. Such a good book! 

My rating: 4 out of 5.

* I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!*

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Series: Passenger #1

Publication: January 5th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion 

Goodreads description:
passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

My thoughts: (spoiler- free)
I had extremely high expectations going into Passenger. I have heard nothing but amazing things about it and I am also a huge fan of Alexandra Bracken's other books, The Darkest Minds. I think my expectations affected  my reading experiences which is a bit sad.  It took me a bit to get into Passenger because I was anticipating this amazing treasure hunt trough time from the first page. We do get the treasure hunt though time but it is not until later in the story. Overall though I did really enjoy the book when I put my expectations and all the hype aside.

Alexandra Bracken has definitely  stepped up her game in the writing department. The writing in Passenger is completely different to The Darkest Minds. It's so much more sophisticated which I loved. I really like seeing author grow and try different styles of writing. Passenger is written in the third person from both Etta and Nicholas' point of view. They each have their own voices. I felt like Etta's POV had lots of description and dialogue whereas Nicholas's POV was mostly his thoughts.

I loved Etta. I found her chapters much easier to read than Nicholas's. I really liked how her love for music really shined through in her descriptions of things. I liked how she brought her love for the violin with her through the passages and used it as a way to ground her. It made her seem like a ordinary girl in this fantasy world.

It took me a while to like Nicholas. He has lots of layers to him and can be a bit closed off. I did like how he softened up at points with Etta and eventually I did start to like him. Nicholas is a person of colour and I really appreciated how Alexandra Bracken tackled the issues of racism in all the different eras. I think she did a good job. There is a distinct lack of people of colour within YA books so I definitely approve! Yay for diversity!

Of course there had to be a romance, and unfortunately I wasn't the biggest fan of it. It felt a bit rushed. I wasn't invested in the characters  individually yet so how could be invested in their relationship. Personally I like the characters to be really fleshed out and build a friendship first before taking it a step forward into a romance. I just felt like the friendship was skipped over and they jumped right into being in love.

The plot takes about half of the book before it really gets rolling, but when it does the story gets amazing. As soon as we start time travelling to different periods in time I was captivated. I couldn't put the book down. And the ending! That ending was just... No words. I need the next book!

I loved how the setting got changed every now and then. There was lots of detail so obviously a lot of research went into it which I really appreciated. I would have liken to stay in some of the places for a little  longer to explore some more but I understand why the characters had to move on.

I haven't really read time travel before so I was worried I would be confused but Bracken explained the time travel in a way that was easily understood. There was a little bit of info dumping but I didn't mind for the most part because it was so interesting. The rules created were fascinating and made sense.

Passenger was a great first book in a duology. It held my attention for the most part and I only had a few problems with. I'm very excited to see where the story goes.

My rating: 4 out of 5!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Top 10 Books I'm Most Excited for in 2016!

This is a list of some of my highly anticipated books of 2016. So many great books are coming out this year but I was able to narrow it down to my top 10.

The list is in order of publication date :) 
(I've included the GoodReads link for each book incase you want to add them to your ever growing To-Be-Read pile!)

1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Release date: 5th of January.
This is the first book in Alexandra Brackens new series about time travel!

2. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Release date: 2nd of February.
Companion to The Lunar Chronicles. It is a collection of novellas and I've also heard that there is an epilogue for the last book in the series, Winter!!

3. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare 
Release date:8th of March.
The first book in Cassie's new series The Dark Artifices. I'm a massive shadowhunter fan and have been waiting a few years for Lady Midnight to be released so I'm very excited to get my hands on this one!

4. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Release date: 5th of April
This is the first book in the Shattered Realms series. I read Seven Realms last summer and loved it; this series is set in the same world.

5. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Release date: 26th of April.
The fourth and final installment in The Raven Cycle Series. The release date for this one has been pushed back a few times so I've been waiting a while; I really hope it's worth the wait!

6. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Release date: 3rd of May.
Book 1 in his new series The Trials or Apollo. I love all of Riordans books and the blurb for this one mentions Camp Half Blood so I'm definitely excited for this. 

7. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Release date: 3rd of May.
The second book in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I can't wait to see where this series goes.

8. Throne of Glass book 5 by Sarah J Maas
Release date: September 2016.
There's no title, cover or release date yet but Throne of Glass is one of my all time favourite series so I had to include it on my list!

9. The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Release date: Fall 2016.
Book 3 in the Magisterium series. I haven't read a good middle grade series in ages and this one is fantastic.

10. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Release date: 8th of November.
An Alice in Wonderland retelling based on the Queen of Hearts.Sign me up!