Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Title: Hold Back the Stars
Author: Katie Khan
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Random House UK via NetGalley
Goodreads




Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.

Unless they can come up with a good idea, they're going to die in about an hour and a half.

But it doesn't need to end like this.

Adrift in space, Carys and Max can't help but look down at the world they left behind; a well-oiled, efficient machine that they can no longer call home. Perhaps they might have done things differently if they'd known what was going to happen...

Katie Khan's debut novel is an epic lovestory that will leave you breathless. Set in a future world that bans relationships before a certain age, Hold Back the Stars begs the question: How hard would you fight for the chance at love?
Review by Nara

Monday, January 16, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Hachette via NetGalley
Goodreads


Two sisters bound by love and a father they fear escape their tiny, secluded island for the wondrous performance of Caraval, where the audience plays along in a mysterious and magical game of determining what's real and what's fantasy. And where only one sister might be brave enough to win the ultimate prize of 'an impossible wish'...

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for lonely Scarlett, it represents freedom, an escape from her abusive father and from her own dark past.

Still, Scarlett is too scared of her father to leave Trisda. Until she is kidnapped by her wild younger sister Donatella and a dangerous yet oh-so-seductive sailor named Julian and taken to the mystical Isla de los Suenos, the site of this year's Caraval. When they arrive, her sister immediately disappears. Since protecting Tella is all she knows, Scarlett is forced to join forces with Julian and find her before the evil Master of Caraval does...
Review by Nara

Friday, January 13, 2017

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Title: Frostblood
Author: Elly Blake
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Hachette via NetGalley
Goodreads


The first in a page-turning young adult fantasy series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen and Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series.

In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies - but together create a power that could change everything.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Windwitch (Witchlands #2)
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: PanMacmillan
Goodreads









On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake-and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik-cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.
Review by Nara

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Source: Ebury via NetGalley
Goodreads







A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.
Review by Nara

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Title: Of Fire and Stars
Author: Audrey Coulthurst
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss
Goodreads



Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Review by Nara

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

Title: I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss
Goodreads




From acclaimed author Gretchen McNeil comes her first realistic contemporary romance—perfect for fans of Kody Keplinger’s The Duff and Morgan Matson’s Since You've Been Gone.

Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?
Review by Nara