Blog Tour: Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) by Amanda Foody

Heyyyy, Book Friends! Hello!

Today I am here to chat about one of my most anticipated books of the year, Amanda Foody’s,¬†Queen of Volts, the third and final installment of¬†The Shadow Game¬†trilogy.

Queen of Volts is published by Inkyard Press and was released on September 1st.

As I generally do with series I love, I am taking my sweet time with this final book. It is a frequent habit of mine to put off final books for months, even years sometimes, just because I am not ready to say goodbye to the characters, or the world.

After being asked to join the Blog Tour for this release, I knew I couldn’t put it off. I really wanted to take part in the celebration of a series I LOVE!!!

I am 50% through this currently and already my heart is aching. I swear, Inkyard Press is out to get me this year. On March 31, 2020, they published the final book in my other favorite YA Fantasy series, Shadow of the Fox, by Julie Kagawa. I’m still recovering, y’all.

If you have never heard of The Shadow Game trilogy, which consists of Ace of Shades, King of Fools, and this novel, Queen of Volts, let me sum it up for you real quick; or at least try. This YA Fantasy is set in a City of Sin called New Reynes. Think Las Vegas, but with magic. The narrative follows a group of well-rounded, edgy characters, who essentially rule the underworld of the city.

There is a ton of political strategy and maneuvering, power plays, dangerous games and beautiful, complex friendships, as well as ruthless ambitions and cunning. I cannot express enough how much this series feeds my soul. It really has everything I love; it’s like Macbeth on steroids.

There is quite a wide cast of characters to follow over the course of the trilogy and it is told from multiple perspectives. I think Foody really excelled at developing the characters. The arcs and growth within them all as the series unfolds, and I do mean all of the characters, not just the main characters, is incredibly well done.

My favorite evolution is that of our main female protagonist, Enne Salta. At the start of the first book, Ace of Shades, Enne is just arriving in New Reynes on a search for her mother, who had recently gone missing.

When Enne arrives, she is straight out of finishing school and the seedy environment of New Reynes is a huge culture shock for her. I love how instead of being scared, she sinks her teeth in and with each book grows stronger and more confident, to the point where you can barely recognize the naive girl who first stumbled onto the scene in Book 1.

Like Enne, the books in this trilogy continue to grow stronger with each release. Additionally, they continue to surprise me, which is such a treat. Foody definitely knows how to draw the Reader in and keep them invested. With this book, each chapter is filling me with dread, at this point, I have no idea how this is going to end!

There is so much suspense. I just need all of my babies to be okay. New Reynes is a dangerous place and at the point I am at in the story, the stakes are higher than ever.

I highly recommend this series. If you have yet to pick it up, now is the time. This is the perfect story for binge-reading and I know I will be rereading it in its entirety again someday!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review, as well as including me in the Blog Tour. I have received early copies of this entire trilogy and have been on the front lines of singing its praises. I appreciate it so much!

As I said above, I have no idea how this one is going to turn out, but you better believe you can find my full review here once I finish it!

Queen of Volts¬†is available now, as are the other two books in the trilogy. Pick them up and make a weekend of it. You won’t regret it!

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa

Hello, my lovely book friends. I hope you are all doing well in these troubled times. I hope you are safe and healthy.

As we are all aware, the world is suffering through a pandemic at the moment and many of us have been asked to shelter in place in order to help stop the spread of this virus.

Because of this, many schools  and workplaces have closed. Additionally, a lot of events that a great many people were looking forward to have been cancelled.

In the book world, author tours have been cancelled, along with bigger events such as NoVaTeen and Book Con either being rescheduled or called off entirely.

One thing we can all count on however, is new books being released on Tuesdays. Oh, how I love Tuesdays!!!

This coming Tuesday, March 31, 2020, my most anticipated YA book of the year is set to be released: Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa!!!

Night of the Dragon is the third and final book in the Shadow of the Fox series, a Japanese-inspired fantasy series that literally stole my heart when I first picked it up last year.

From the very first chapter of the first book,¬†Shadow of the Fox,¬†I was hooked. Kagawa’s writing style is so pleasing, the lush world, the cleverly crafted characters, all of it combined to be a recipe for an absolutely engrossing tale!

At this point you may be thinking, yes, this sounds great, but what is it about?

In the land of Iwagoto, the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, has the power to bring forth the Kami Dragon.

The dragon is capable of granting the summoner a single wish. If they are pure of heart, theoretically, all is well, if they are not, all hell will break loose.

In order to protect the land, the scroll was divided and the separate parts hidden away to prevent such disastrous consequences from happening, as it had in the past.

People are always searching for the parts, however, as combining them again could grant the summoner unrivaled power.

Yumeko, has been raised in the Silent Winds Temple where one piece of the scroll has been hidden away. When the Temple is attacked by demons, Yumeko is forced to flee, with the scroll.

She promises the monks she will transport it to another temple, where she will then receive further directions. Trained her whole life to hide her Yokai nature, half kitsune, half human, Yumeko is a master of illusion and mischief which obviously aides her in her travels.

Some clarification if you are new to Japanese Fantasy, a Yokai is a type of supernatural being in Japanese folklore. A kitsune, is one type of Yokai, a fox spirit that frequently appears in such folklore.

In the past couple of years, I have read a few different books with kitsune main characters and I feel it is a very fun perspective to read from!

On the run, Yumeko meets up with Kage Tatsumi, a samurai of the mysterious Shadow Clan.

Tatsumi has been sent out in search of the scroll. He finds Yumeko close by the now destroyed temple and promises to get her to her destination safely. Of course, he has no idea, she actually carries what he seeks.

They meet up with another character along the way, Okame, a ronin, basically a traveling samurai without a master. He begins to travel with them and quickly became my favorite character. A source of almost constant humor, I just cannot imagine this story without him!

In addition to the lush world and fantastic characters, this triology also has one of my most loved tropes in literature: A QUEST. A ragtag group of characters trying to get from Point A to Point B, overcoming obstacles along the way, nothing keeps me turning pages faster.

At its heart, this is a fantastic quest story.

The stakes, the secrets, the magic, the world, I think you can tell I fell head-over-heels for it all. And don’t even get me started on the hella SLOW-BURNING romance!

The second book in the series, Soul of the Sword, continues directly on from the events of the first book, doing what it should: upping the stakes and continuing to build out the complexity of the world.

Another way I like to describe this entire story, if you aren’t sold already, is anime come to life. The atmosphere and tone of this is so dynamic, it leaps off the page and into your minds-eye so clearly. It’s honestly tremendous.

I am currently halfway through the final book. Honestly, I am taking my time with it. I don’t want it to end!!!

So far, this story, again, has continued to build, I know the final scenes are going to be epic. Kagawa has such a beautiful way of showing you the world. I have never felt confused. In fact, I am completely immersed. When I am reading it, the rest of the world could stop and I wouldn’t even notice.

During this difficult time, if you need a way to escape, something to immerse yourself in to forget life for a while, I cannot recommend this series strongly enough.

Now is the perfect time to get lost with Yumeko and Tatsumi, to go on that adventure and maybe save the world. Who knows?

I want to thank the publisher, Inkyard Press, for blessing me with an early copy of this book. I am thoroughly enjoying it and plan to finish it later today. Make sure you check back in for my full review. Also, if you have read these books, let me know your thoughts in the comments below or contact me through any of my social media links.

Where ever you are and what ever you are doing, I hope you are doing it in good health and happiness. Love you all!

Cheers & happy reading!

 

 

 

Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A truly delightful reading experience. All the SCIFI stars!

When Rose Franklin is 11-years old, she falls into a hole while out riding her new bike. When she is found and rescued, it is discovered that she is laying atop a giant metal hand. Less than 8-hours later, the U.S. Military takes over the scene.

Years later, when Rose is working for the University of Chicago, the opportunity presents itself for her to study that very same hand, along with 4-enormous panels with writing from an unknown language on them. Could the writing perhaps solve the mystery of where the hand came from? Of what it truly is?

Armed with a large grant from the NSA, Rose sets to work. Soon there is a world-wide search for the missing pieces of this ginormous robot.

With action, mystery, political intrigue and entertaining science, this heart-pounding novel kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end, and oh, what an end it was!!! I am so happy that my Sci-Fi September lead me to some new favorites, this one definitely being up there.

I cannot wait to move on with the Themis Files and highly recommend this series to any science fiction fan, particularly those who enjoy a mixed media format!

Bottom line:

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FAVORITES: Dracula Appreciation Post!!!

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A true masterpiece.

Believe it or not, I am still considering how to best write a ‘review’ for this, one of my favorite novels of all time.

I annotated this most recent time reading, in the hopes that it would help when it came to composing my final thoughts.

What I am really struggling with is the idea of little ole’ me ‘reviewing’ a masterpiece.

I guess my goal is more to compel people to read this amazing piece of world literature as opposed to providing a critique of Stoker’s work. Let me think on this a while longer. In the meantime, have a gander at this The Lost Boys gif — a movie greatly inspired by Dracula:

Review or not, I am so happy to have reread this for the 3rd time. Dracula is a book I will continue to reread periodically for the rest of my life.

If you haven’t read this yet, please give it a go, it may surprise you. You may think you know this story…

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While attending a Spring Break party, Starr Carter, runs into her best childhood friend, Khalil. They haven’t seen each other in a while and Starr is happy to catch up with him. They used to be real close but drifted apart once Starr started attending a private school out of their neighborhood.

After a violent incident erupts at the party, Khalil offers to give Starr a ride home, which she accepts. On the way, they get pulled over. A nightmarish scene then plays out in front of Starr’s eyes. Khalil removed from the car and ultimately gunned down in the street by a police officer. Badge number 1-1-5.

The rest of the books follows Starr in the aftermath of this killing; what she goes through, what her family goes through and what her community goes through.

There is nothing that I can write that hasn’t been written before in regards to this book.

It’s so important, so well written and so needed.
I loved it beginning to end.

Believe the hype. If you haven’t picked this up yet, please do.
I’m so glad that I did. As an aside, I listened to the audiobook while following along in my hardcover edition. As I already knew, but maybe you don’t, Bahni Turpin is a goddess. She is such a great narrator, bringing stories to life.

I will definitely be picking up On the Come Up very soon! Thank you for writing this, Angie Thomas.

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Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR!!!

This book stole my heart.
My whole freaking heart!

I went into this knowing one thing: Japanese-inspired fantasy. Nothing else.
I was hooked from the very first chapter.
The tone of the writing, the lush world…

Anime brought to the page in the best way imaginable.

In the land of Iwagoto, the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, has the power to bring forth the Kami Dragon. The dragon is capable of granting the summoner a single wish. If they are pure of heart, theoretically, all goes well, if they are not, all hell breaks loose.

This has happened before and in order to protect the land, the scroll was divided and the separate parts hidden away to prevent such disastrous consequences from happening again. People are always in search of the parts, however, as combining them whole could grant the summoner unrivaled power.

Yumeko, has been raised in the Silent Winds Temple where one piece of the scroll has been hidden. When the Temple is attacked by demons, Yumeko is forced to flee, with the scroll. She promises the monks she will transport it to another hidden temple where she will receive further directions.

Trained her whole life to hide her Yokai nature, Yumeko, half kitsune/half human is a master of illusion and mischief. She is also the most sweet and sticky baby cinnamon roll I have ever read in my whole life and I just love her to the moon.

On the run, Yumeko meets up with Kage Tatsumi, a samurai of the mysterious Shadow Clan. Tatsumi has been sent out in search of the scroll. He finds Yumeko close by the now destroyed temple and promises to get her to her destination safely. Of course, he has no idea, she carries on her what he seeks.

They meet up with another character along the way, Okami, a ronin, basically a traveling samurai without a master. He begins to travel with them and quickly became my favorite character. A source of almost constant humor, I just cannot imagine this story without him.

One of my most loved tropes in literature is a quest. I heart a quest all day long. A ragtag group of characters trying to get from Point A to Point B, overcoming obstacles along the way, nothing keeps me turning pages faster.

This was a great set-up for a fantastic quest. The stakes, the secrets, the magic, the world, I fell head-over-heels for it all. And don’t even get me started on the hella SLOW-BURNING romance!

I am actually happy I didn’t read this right when it released because I would have been in agony waiting for the next book. Now I only have to wait two months…
Wait a minute, two months!!?!!?

That still feels like an extraordinarily long time.
Maybe I will have time to read this one again…

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Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby TeethBaby Teeth by Zoje Stage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bloody brilliant.

When Suzette becomes a new mother, she is excited and anxious, like any new mother would be. She didn’t have the greatest relationship with her own mother and she feels she has to do better than that by her own child.

Suzette and her husband, Alex (p.s. not a fan), work hard to provide their new daughter, Hanna, with a home she can grow and flourish in. However, it becomes apparent overtime that Hanna is no ordinary child.

Due to Hanna being non-communicative, Suzette is forced to keep her home and provide all of her schooling and care. She doesn’t want to do this. She wants Hanna to go to school like the other children. She want her to learn how to play and interact with others. And, yes, let’s be honest, get Hanna out of her hair for a while but Hanna is not having none of that.

What transpired within these pages chilled me to the core. THE CORE. This kid. Mmmmm, she is not messing around. I WANTED to get away from her and she’s a fictional character.

This story is a story you think you know. It’s the classic The Omen evil child trope. I don’t think I am giving anything away by saying that. You can deem that much from reading the synopsis but this book is SO much more than that. It is unnerving in the reality of it. This could happen and probably does. I know there are parents out there who are afraid of their children. This book made ME afraid of their children.

I loved this book. I added it to my favorites shelf and I haven’t done that in LONG time. This disturbed me in such a glorious way. I shall be singing its praises for years to come and you best believe I will be picking up anything else Zoje Stage chooses to write!

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My Favorite Read of January 2018

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3)The Waste Lands by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reflecting back on 2018, I have decided to pick my favorite book I read per month to officially come up with my ‘best reads of the year list’. ((Inspired by an Instagram challenge – #bookstabest2018 – check it out if you are on Insta)). For January, it was an easy choice. This book blew my mind.

The incorporation of all the riddles and the story of Blaine the Mono. I mean, who comes up with this stuff?

The King, that’s who. Stephen. Freaking. King.

Original: Okay, well, I finished this over a week ago and I still don’t know how I can possibly review this adequately. What more can I say besides the fact that I freaking loved it?! As you know if you are reading this, this is the third book in King’s epic Dark Tower series. This book knocked The Drawing of Three out of the top spot for me – it was that good! Most compelling was the resurgence of my favorite character of this series and it just made me so, so happy!

There is really nothing else I can say about this that would be any more creative or insightful than what countless others have no doubt written in their reviews. For me, one thing I always think when reading a book from this series is how absolutely EPIC this story is. The detail, the atmosphere, the artfully drawn characters – it is truly astounding to me that all of this, ALL OF THIS, came out of one man’s brain!

I have already started the fourth book in the series and it is equally amazing, although the pace is a little different thus far. I look forward to seeing this series out to its conclusion.

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Top 5 Favorites – 2018, Quarter 1

Happy Friyay Geeks & Gals! Today I thought I would write-up a list of my top 5 books that I read in the first quarter of the year (January 1st to March 31st). I have watched a few booktube videos that inspired this idea for me. It was really hard to choose just 5 so I will definitely be including an ‘honorable mentions’ list at the bottom! So, without further ado, let’s get into it. In no particular order:

  1. The Shining by Stephen King – This was my second time reading this psychological horror classic. The first time I read it, I was in high school and not going to lie, it scared the shit out of me. The slow burn narrative style and descriptions of the happenings at The Overlook Hotel, leave you with a feeling of dread and suspense throughout the book. Certain aspects sent chills right down my spine! Without giving too much away, I will just say elevators, topiary gardens and playgrounds are spooky to me now. As an adult, I think I have an even greater appreciation for this book in regards to the more ‘adult’ themes of addiction, family life and career struggles and aspirations. I certainly picked up more details my second time through as well and I know I will end up reading this fabulous book again in the future. The Shining is hands down one of my favorite books of all time!
  2. The Troop by Nick Cutter – I finished this book back on March 18th and still haven’t written a review.¬† The reason for this is mostly I am nervous about being able to adequately express how much I enjoyed it. This is a horror novel that follows a group of boys who are taken by their Scoutmaster to a island off the coast of Eastern Canada for a weekend camping trip. When a very ill stranger stumbles into their cabin a horror is unleashed that is beyond all expectation. The characters were so well drawn and their relationships and inner thoughts and desires so well expressed that in spite of being a horror novel, this can be appreciated as a true character piece. In a way, it reminded me a lot of the Lord of the Flies – with this, I am thinking of how each character is sort of placed into a stereotypical societal role and then we see how those roles play off one another. Among the group of boys we have the tough guy, alpha male; the nerdy, know-it-all, mother of the group; the golden boy who excels at sports and gets along with everyone; a wiry, cagey little guy with the absent father and bad temper; and finally the sociopath who’s inner thoughts are a horror story unto themselves! I was so impressed with the quality of Cutter’s writing and have already purchased another book of his, The Deep, which I plan to read in May.
  3. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman – This is a prequel to Hoffman’s novel, Practical Magic, which was made into a very successful movie starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. In this book we get to follow the early life of the Practical Magic Aunts, Jet & Franny (along with their brother Vincent, who I personally, didn’t even know existed – sorry Vincent!). At its core, this book is a beautiful coming-of-age tale/family drama sprinkled with magic. Hoffman’s writing style is so lyrical and flows in such a way, that as a reader, you can completely immerse yourself in the story, forgetting the world around you. In my opinion, no one does magical realism better. It can be a truly beautiful experience. I cried, I laughed out loud and as I closed that final page my soul wept with the fact that it was over. Yep, I loved this book.
  4. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas – This books sticks in my mind mostly due to its originality and boldness. The story is present day and follows the lives of four women as they experience different ‘women’s issues’ from their perspectives of age, familial status and place in society. The content was topical and didn’t shy away from very difficult topics related to sex, women’s health and motherhood. The writing style was riveting and kept me engaged from the very beginning until the final chapter. This is definitely a story that will make you think and as a woman, I felt that there were aspects to each character’s arc that I could relate too. I felt the author showed real courage in writing this book and appreciate her quality of work (this was her first published novel, y’all!). I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!
  5. A List of Cages by Robin Roe РThis YA Contemporary novel is honestly one of the most moving stories I have ever read in my life.  Because of this, I think it would definitely take a spot in my favorite books of all time list. This one took me completely off guard. I had heard it mentioned over and over again on booktube and finally picked up a paperback copy for myself on the cheap from Amazon. I annotated it as I was reading and there are literally tabs galore on that baby! The story follows the perspective of two male high school students who have had completely different life experiences but come together in this most charming way. These characters are so well drawn. Julian, so sweet, innocent and trapped in his loss. Adam, fun, popular and extremely caring. I love the relationship of the two boys and how it evolves over the course of the book. This will be a hard one to forget. It was heartbreaking, I was shattered after reading it but also filled with love and hope. I ended up feeling a strong connection to these boys, just such good eggs, the both of them. There is a strong message of kindness and empathy here that should not be missed! I highly recommend this one.

So, those are my top 5 for the quarter, however, I have read a lot of good books so far this year, some honorable mentions would be: The Wastelands (Dark Tower III) and Wizard & Glass (Dark Tower IV) by Stephen King; NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, MacBeth by Jo Nesbo, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills, Final Girls by Riley Sager and Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. What have been your favorite books that you have read so far this year? I want to know! Leave a comment below or message me on Instagram or Twitter – contact links on the side menu bar. Thanks for reading!

Cheers~