Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: THE READER by Traci Chee

Waiting on Wednesday:

The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1)

Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by Putnam

The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1)

From Goodreads:

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible. 

Anyone else dying to read this one? What else is on your list of must-have-this-now books?

Happy reading,

Monday, June 13, 2016

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White

And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1)

The story starts at the very beginning with Lada's birth. Then her brother Radu is born a year later. We skip ahead four years. Lada is 5 and Radu is 4. Their father is scheming for political gain, barely noticing them. He's absent most of the time and their mother leaves. Raised by the nursemaid, Lada is allowed to run free and we see the girl she's becoming. We skip ahead another six years. Lada is 11 and Radu is 10. 

Following an infant from birth to age 11 should be tedious, but OMG it isn't. The writing here is fabulous, visual and dynamic, with not a word out of place. 

Lada is a daughter instead of son in a world where men have all the power and women are items to be traded. Lada knows her place and refuses to accept it. She fights for everything a daughter can't have, and I love her.  I am a huge sucker for the anti-hero and Lada has that in spades. She is a fighter. She's dark and surprising and she knows what she wants.

Her brother Radu is everything she isn't: pretty, gentle, soft-spoken, and emotional. But they're both vulnerable, which is why this is such a powerful story. The first half of this book is character-driven and the second half is plot-driven, which I think is absolutely necessary here. First, given Lada's nature, we need to know why she is the way she is in order to feel for her. Second, without seeing the process, the end results would be unbelievable. 

And the ending! OMG the ending. I need the next book right now. I loved this book from cover to cover and give it five dark stars. 

Find it on Goodreads for more reviews and links to buy.  Find me on Twitter @chellypike. I love comments.  Are you dying to read AND I DARKEN? What's your most anticipated book of 2016?

Also, for a chance to win 3 shiny new books, enter my June Giveaway here.

Happy Reading,


*I received an eARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

CHASING CHAOS by Katie Rose Pryal

Chasing Chaos (Entanglement Series, #3) 

From Goodreads:

Daphne Saito, a beautiful and talented Hollywood screenwriter, might look like she has the perfect life, but on the inside she’s lost. She’s wandered from one meaningless relationship to the next—and now, just as she breaks up with her longtime boyfriend, Dan—she finds herself facing someone new, someone she could fall in love with. But Daphne, still traumatized by an accident involving her best friend, Greta, five years earlier, is afraid to love. Harm has always come to those close to her. 

Over five life-changing days, Daphne lets her guard down and steps toward this new love. But trouble is never far behind. Dan, angry at Daphne’s departure, has targeted an innocent young woman, someone close to Daphne’s new love, as part of a plan for revenge. And an enigmatic woman from Daphne’s past returns with revenge plans of her own. Danger is on the horizon for all of Daphne’s friends—and for her.

What I thought:

Daphne is a great, flawed character and I really enjoyed her story. I loved the friendships here and how the other relationships developed. There was a bit more narrative distance here than I'm used to, but Daphne is a more closed-off character, so it feels organic and juxtaposes nicely against the moments of deeper POV. Overall, it works well, and the places where we get closer to the characters gave me all the feels. Like, seriously, major feels.

This is not the first book in the series, but it is the first one I've read. It definitely stands alone. That said, there is a major event--Greta's accident--that is hinted about repeatedly, but never explained. I assume the actual event is in one of the earlier books. Here it's a mysterious thing that happened. If that sort of thing eats at you, then read the series in order. Earlier books might also give characterization that is missing here, but all the characters are well-realized so it would just be a bonus.

I'm hooked. I will definitely keep up with the series to see where it goes. 4.5 stars. *I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find more reviews and links to buy on Goodreads. If you pick this up, I'd love to hear what you thought about it. I adore comments. What are you reading? What is your most anticipated book of 2016? If you like my reviews, follow my blog via email (I'll never use your email address for evil. Acutally, I'll never use it at all), google+, or bloglovin.

Happy reading,


Friday, June 3, 2016

SPELLS OF BLOOD AND KIN by Claire Humphrey

Spells of Blood and Kin

Spells of Blood and Kin

From Goodreads

Where we love, we ruin…

Some families hand down wealth through generations; some hand down wisdom. Some families, whether they want to or not, hand down the secret burdens they carry and the dangerous debts they owe.

Lissa Nevsky's grandmother leaves her a big, empty house, and a legacy of magic: folk magic, old magic, brought with Baba when she fled the Gulag. In the wake of her passing, the Russian community of Toronto will depend on Lissa now, to give them their remedies and be their koldun'ia. But Lissa hasn't had time to learn everything Baba wanted to teach her—let alone the things Baba kept hidden.

Maksim Volkov's birth family is long dead, anything they bestowed on him long turned to dust. What Maksim carries now is a legacy of violence, and he does not have to die to pass it on. When Maksim feels his protective spell fail, he returns to the witch he rescued from the Gulag, only to find his spell has died along with the one who cast it. Without the spell, it is only a matter of time before Maksim's violent nature slips its leash and he infects someone else—if he hasn't done so already.

Nick Kaisaris is just a normal dude who likes to party. He doesn't worry about family drama. He doesn't have any secrets. All he wants is for things to stay like they are right now, tonight: Nick and his best buddy Jonathan, out on the town. Only Nick is on a collision course with Maksim Volkov, and what he takes away from this night is going to crack open Nick's nature until all of his worst self comes to light.

Lissa's legacy of magic might hold the key to Maksim's salvation, if she can unravel it in time. But it's a legacy that comes at a price. And Maksim might not want to be saved…

My Review:
The language here is stunning and so visual. The world building is layered and feels effortless. The characters are multi-dimensional. Told in multiple POVs, each voice was distinct and every character was alive on the page. The pacing was steady all the way through and kept me reading. I like my stories dark and this was definitely that. My only complaint was the end felt a little abrupt, but maybe that's because I didn't want it to end.

Not sure if this is a stand-alone or a series, but I can't wait to see what comes next from this author.
I give this book 4.5 stars and I'm adding Claire Humphrey to my auto-buy list.

*Received an eARC of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find more reviews and links to buy on Goodreads. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of SPELLS OF BLOOD AND KIN or tell me which book you can't wait to read.

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, June 1, 2016


2016 fantasy

Hi. *waves* I see a lot of people are reading my reviews, but I don't have many followers and that's the sort of thing publishers look at when deciding to hand out review copies. So...I'm doing my first ever giveaway in hopes of finding new readers and luring current readers to follow me!

My TBR pile is huge and I think yours should be too. There are sooooo many amazing YA books coming out this year that I can't make you pick just one. I'm giving away 3 New YA 2016 releases. Winner's Choice! Enter via rafflecopter below! (U.S. ONLY.)

Don't want to follow my blog but want free books? That's okay too.

(Not limited to the books in the picture, and if you just can't decide now, I'll send you a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble instead)

For more titles, check out this list on Goodreads.

Good luck and Happy Reading,


a Rafflecopter giveaway