Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

34733250Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor, illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo

Expected publication: September 12th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

256 Pages

Goodreads Summary: In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

Review: Earlier this year, Strange the Dreamer was my first experience with Laini Taylor’s words.  I instantly fell in love with her writing.  So I was really eager to get into her previous series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  When I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I really loved Zuzana’s character.   She was so spunky and had a great sense of humor.  Her friendship with Karou reminded me a lot of my own friendship with one of my best friends.  When I heard about Night of Cake and Puppets I was so excited to be able to read about how Zuzana and Mik come together because, let’s face it, they’re absolutely adorable.  I’m a big sucker for romance and big romantic gestures so this seemed like it was going to be a really great read. Plus there is just something special about having Laini and her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, teaming up to take this book to the next level.  I read this ARC in a few hours because I could not put it down!  The first section is from Zuzana’s POV and it totally took me back to those times when I had a huge thing for a guy and wasn’t sure how to approach that.  I also really loved the little flashback stories of when Zuzana and Karou first became friends. One of the things I really love about Laini Taylor’s writing is that it is so visually descriptive without overdoing it so it is really easy to visualize the scenes in your head.  I’ve dreamed of going to Prague for years and with her help, I feel almost as if I have been there.  When it got to the section from Mik’s POV, I couldn’t help but swoon.  This story was everything I hoped it would be and more.  The illustrations that were included in the ARC were absolutely incredible so I can’t wait to see how they look in the final copies!

5 Stars

I received a copy of this from The Novl in exchange for an honest review.

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The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

33785202The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Expected publication: September 5th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion

362 Pages

Goodreads Summary: “I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

Review: I normally don’t read a lot of middle grade titles anymore but with Alexandra Bracken behind this one, I couldn’t resist and I’m really glad I took a chance on it. I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the first chapter.  It really reminded me of Stars Hollow around the time of the annual Fall Festival.  Prosper seemed like a misunderstood kid who was kind of the black sheep of the family… never quite good enough to meet his family’s insanely high standards.  Even his twin sister Prue who he stuck by through years of serious illness was rather cruel to him. This made me instantly feel for him.  So when he returned home for dinner and crazy things started happening, I didn’t blame him at all for the terror he must have felt.  With the introduction of Nell, I hoped that Prosper would be able to finally have a good friend who could show him that he is worth more than how he has been treated in the past.  At first she treated him with disdain because he was a Redding, but slowly she gradually realized that he was different than his family in a good way.  Alastor, the demon inside of Prosper, was a little over the top but eventually I got used to it.  That was probably the only thing that bugged me about this book.  There were two big twists in the book which I did not see coming! And that cliffhanger ending!!! I need book two ASAP! Overall I really enjoyed reading this book that reminded me of Hocus Pocus crossed with a little bit of Harry Potter.  A perfect read for fall!

4 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

33784362Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Expected publication: September 26th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

464 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

In this heart-stopping adventure, Ryan Graudin has created a fast-paced world that defies time and space.

Review: This book was incredible! It was completely thrilling but also thought provoking and emotional.  Far being born outside of time and all of the effects from that event at first just seemed like small annoyances for him but as the story went on more devastating consequences are revealed. I was not expecting to fall in love with the Invictus crew, but I did whole heartedly. Far, Imogen, Priya, Gram, Eliot, and Saffron, the adorable red panda… such a unique cast of characters that fit so well together despite their differences. Their friendship was so strong and I loved seeing them bond over their experiences together but also embracing each others’ quirks.  They stick together through it all. There were so many exciting scenes but one of my favorites was when Far was on the Titanic. I don’t want to say too much more so I don’t spoil things because this book has so many twists and thrills that you need to experience first hand.  If you’re looking for a wild adventure through time with an awesome group of friends, check out Invictus!

5 Stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Also, if you preorder Invictus you can get a set of trading cards for the Invictus crew when you upload your proof of purchase here!

(Image from The Novl)

WWW Wednesday – August 30, 2017

WWW WednesdayWWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words.
Each week we answer the following three questions:
-What have you recently finished reading?
-What are you currently reading?
-What are you reading next?


Well it’s been about 2 months since my last WWW post! I hadn’t really been doing much reading with everything going on with our house stuff in the last couple of months.  But I started reading again last week and it’s been pretty great.

Recently Finished

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I did an audiobook re-read of Anne of Green Gables. It was a really delightful narration done by Rachel McAdams.  It’s been a long time since I last read Anne of Green Gables so it was really enjoyable to relive that story.  I also read Days of Blood and Starlight, which is book 2 of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. I didn’t like it as much as book 1 but I still really liked it.  Then I picked up my ARC of Night of Cake and Puppets which will be published as an illustrated hardcover on September 12th! The illustrations that were available in the ARC were stunning so I can’t wait to see the rest when the final copy is released! Plus I love Zuzana and Mik so I loved getting to read this story of them.

Currently Reading

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Slowly but surely I am continuing on my reread of Outlander.  I read a little bit last night and if I hadn’t stayed up late the last two nights, I probably would have stayed up a little bit longer to keep reading.  This morning I continued on in the eARC of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding.  It is a middle grade novel that will be published next Tuesday! I don’t normally read a lot of middle grade anymore but I took a chance on this because of AB and so far I am really enjoying it!

Up Next

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Up next I have a slew of ARCs that will be publishing in early October that I plan to read so I have plenty of time to get through them and post reviews.  Ringer publishes on October 3rd so I will probably start with that one next. The next three (The Rules of Magic, The Hollow Girl, and All the Crooked Saints) all publish on October 10th which is why I want to make sure I have plenty of time!


What have you been reading lately?

 

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

23264671Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (Nevernight Chronicles #2)

Expected Publication: September 5, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

448 Pages

Goodreads Summary: A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

Review: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  

For those who have not yet read Nevernight, my review for this sequel is simply…. This book was absolutely incredible and completely blew Nevernight out of the water!  You need to pick up Nevernight and start this epic journey now to prepare yourself for the release of this kickass sequel due in September.

For those who have read Nevernight, proceed to my full review below.

Without a doubt, this book was my #1 most anticipated read of 2017 and it did not disappoint at all!  This book took the epicness of Nevernight and multiplied it by a thousand.  There were so many intense moments to the point where I was almost constantly sitting on the literal edge of my chair tapping my feet in nervousness.  The book starts out going back and forth between Mia’s present day and the past few months after saving the Red Church from total destruction.  As a history major, I continue to enjoy the footnotes with little tidbits of background information on certain people, places, or historical events.  The past few months sees Mia continuing her role as a blade for the Red Church and on one of her missions, she runs into a couple old friends.  In the present, Mia is once again working on her quest to avenger her familia by murdering Consul Julius Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo.  All along the way, Mia begins to learn things that will alter her course.  There were so many twists and turns!  A few of them literally had my mouth gaping open because WHOA, MIND BLOWN!  Some new characters were introduced and it didn’t take long for me to feel attached to them.  Kristoff broke my heart a few times and I am still reeling.  Omg and the cliffhanger ending!!! WHAT!  I’m going to need the next book ASAP!  There was laughter, anger, sadness, swoons, etc…. full spectrum of emotions while reading this book.  I haven’t been in the mood to read anything else after finishing Godsgrave because it was so intense and just grabbed me by the feels!

5 Bloody Stars

All US preorders come signed no matter where you buy it from.  Barnes & Noble does have an exclusive edition that includes full color endpapers and an exclusive chapter.  Read more about that edition in Jay Kristoff’s blog post here.

Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition  |  Amazon

Also… let’s drool together over the UK cover.  (Click on the image below to purchase the UK edition from Book Depository.)32055872