Can’t Wait Wednesday | 5/13

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

This week I have to talk about Where Dreams Descend. The first thing I head about this book was that it was Moulin Rouge meets Phantom of the Opera, and I had to get my hands on it. I’m excited to be included in the blog tour for it but sad that it’s publication date got pushed back to August 25th. Make sure to check it out!

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

Happy reading!

Review: Forgotten Ones – Drabbles of Myth and Legend

For as long as men have lived, myths and legends have permeated cultures across the globe. But for every known monster, are there creatures of lore, gods of fable, and rituals of old that have been forgotten by time?

Delve into the darkness that came before and witness over 100 short drabbles resurrect the ancient world in 100 words or less.

Featuring award-winning horror and fiction authors from around the world, we dare you to remember the fear of the unknown and to dive headfirst into the beyond.

Within these pages the old gods have awoken and with them, chaos will reign again.

I thought the concept of this collection was really interesting, as I’d never heard of a collection of drabbles (100 word stories) before. It may not be the best format for me as there were so many of these that I was sucked into and left wanting more. For me I’m not sure if I can be satisfied with only 100 words. Still it was a great way to get acquainted with a number of different authors and their writing styles.

There were so many of these that were written beautiful and had a great punchline, but there were also some that just didn’t do it for me, which is something you can see with any collection. Still, I did enjoy the stories but I’m not sure if drabbles are something I’m going to read a lot in the future as I feel like I will always want more in some way.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Night of the Dragon

All is lost.

To save everyone she loves from imminent death, kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko gave up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must make one desperate final effort to stop the Master of Demons from using the scroll to call the Great Kami Dragon and make the wish that will plunge the empire into chaos.

Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko to stop a madman, and to separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

Buy Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Books-A-Million AppleBooks Google Play

Night of the Dragon was easily my most anticipated book of the year. I have been eagerly awaiting the conclusion to the Shadow of the Fox trilogy and HAD to know what happened to the characters. That being said, this book pretty much broke me. If Julie Kagawa has a tear quota she needs to meet, I’m pretty sure I provided what she needs.

That being said, Night of the Dragon was just as amazing as the other two books and was a fast paced, well formed conclusion. I don’t really feel like anything was left unresolved but it was certainly a difficult and emotional journey to get to the end. We follow the same characters as we have followed previously as they continue to try to defeat Genno in his quest to claim the Dragon’s Wish. There were so many twists and turns (some predictable and some out of left field) and Kagawa again succeeded in writing this book so that it reads like an anime. It is action packed and there’s never really a dull moment.

It was heartbreaking and amazing at the same time, if you have grown to love the world she has created in the first two books, be prepared to get emotional but to also love this conclusion to the trilogy.

Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, Talon, and Shadow of the Fox series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two obnoxious cats, and a pair of Australian Shepherds that have more Instagram followers than she does.

Social Links:
Author website: http://juliekagawa.com/
Facebook
Twitter: @jkagawa
Instagram: @juliekagawaauthor
Goodreads

Thank you so much to Inkyard Press for giving me the opportunity to finally read the conclusion and be included in the blog tour!

Happy reading!

Review: Odriel’s Heirs

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out. 

This story is non stop, there was never a slow point or a point where it felt like it lagged. I really enjoyed the fact that it was so fast but also full of detail. Some of the author’s descriptions were rich and perfectly painted an image. There were certainly some elements of the story which were similar to other fantasies, but you are going to see that in a lot of stories, especially if they are following a hero’s journey.

I loved the little glimmers of personalities and felt that Kaia was a complex character. She definitely had the most depth out of everyone, but I could see other characters growing and becoming more fully fledged in further books.

I do hope that there is a little bit more world building in the next book as I feel like I don’t completely understand the world and it may be a little confusing for some at first. Still, it was a fun read and great start to a series.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: The Unwilling

The Unwilling is the story of a young woman, born an orphan with a secret gift, who grows up trapped, thinking of herself as an afterthought, but who discovers that she does not have to be given power: she can take it. An epic tale of greed and ambition, cruelty and love, the novel is about bowing to traditions and burning them down.

For reasons that nobody knows or seems willing to discuss, Judah the Foundling was raised as siblings along with Gavin, the heir of Highfall, in the great house beyond the wall, the seat of power at the center of Lord Elban’s great empire. There is a mysterious–one might say unnatural connection–between the two, and it is both the key to Judah’s survival until this point, and now her possible undoing.

As Gavin prepares for his long-arranged marriage to Eleanor of Tiernan, and his brilliant but sickly younger brother Theron tries to avoid becoming commander of the army, Judah is left to realize that she has no actual power or position within the castle, in fact, no hope at all of ever traveling beyond the wall. Lord Elban–a man as powerful as he is cruel- has other plans for her, for all of them. She is a pawn to him and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Meanwhile, outside the wall, in the starving, desperate city, a Magus, a healer with a secret power unlike anything Highfall has seen in years is newly arrived from the provinces. He, too, has plans for the empire, and at the heart of those plans lies Judah. The girl who started off with no name and no history will be forced to discover there’s more to her story than she ever imagined.

Buy Links: Oblong Books Barnes & Noble Amazon Powell’s Apple Books IndieBound

First things first, this book is very dark and has a TON of trigger warnings, so if you are considering picking it up, please look into them and judge if this book is something you can handle. There is a lot of abuse in the story, so be warned about that. Also, I’m not sure why this is being described as young adult, because it clearly isn’t YA, it’s fantasy.

The story line was complex and unfortunately a little hard to follow at times, but it did come together. I feel like this is going to be a very polarizing book, so I’m sure some people are going to absolutely love it. The characters, though most of them are young, are complex and have unique bonds that grow or are cemented through the book. There are some great connections and relationships in this book.

Overall it was a very intriguing story with lots of twists and turns. Though it wasn’t the perfect read for me, I could definitely see a lot of people loving it.

Kelly Braffet is the author of the novels Save Yourself, Last Seen Leaving and Josie & Jack. Her writing has been published in The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. She currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, the author Owen King. A lifelong reader of speculative fiction, the idea for The Unwilling originally came to her in college; twenty years later, it’s her first fantasy novel. Visit her at kellybraffet.com.

Social Links:
Author website: https://www.kellybraffet.com/
Facebook: @kellybraffetfiction
Twitter: @KellyBraffet

Happy reading!

Review: Moonstruck Vol 1

Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.

I didn’t know much about this except that a lot of people I follow thought it was adorable but I had definitely heard enough to want to pick it up. Let me just say that I am so glad I did! The art style is so whimsical and beautiful, the style and color palette just perfect for the setting and story. I loved the mystery and overall storyline and really feel like it is a good start to the series. I definitely would like to see more in the series and learn more about the characters and their backstories. These characters have such great relationships, but also their own insecurities and I would love to see more expanding on that.

Happy reading!

Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

This book was not quite what it was marketed as, but it was still amazing. I was expecting a full on portal fantasy from what was talked about and while it wasn’t quite that, I was still very surprised and pleased by the story.

I fell in love with Harrow’s writing and the clear voice that she gives to each character, whether it be January herself or character’s whose voices she reads of in books. Much of the time you don’t know who is truly on the side of January and there are some people who are constantly shifting who we aren’t sure about.

While there were some plot devices that were a little predictable, it’s an adventure filled with a ton of twists and huge growth on January’s part. While I would have loved to know a few more things at the end, it was a beautiful and at times thrilling story.

Happy reading!