Early Review – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews

August 26, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2016 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9
Published by Ace on September 20th 2016
Pages: 336
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

four-stars

The latest novel in the New York Times bestselling series that “stands apart.” (Library Journal)

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Kate Daniels series

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) [Review]
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2)
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3)
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4)
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5)
Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) [Review]
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) [Review]
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8)

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Kate is back!!

It pleases me to no end how fantastic and thrilling this installment was. Things got a little rocky for me in the Kate Daniels fan club with installments 6 and 7 so if any of you happen to feel the same, don’t give up hope. While the tenth installment will be the last, you heard me, Magic Binds is the PENULTIMATE installment, I’m still oh so very excited to see how the chips fall. But yes, very soon, Kate Daniels’ story will be coming to an end.

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This both breaks my heart and reinforces just how fast time flies. Kate Daniels was one of the very first Urban Fantasy series I read and I only discovered it after joining Goodreads (in 2011!) and making friends with people who recommended some excellent books. It will be most sad to see this come to an end because this is hands down one of the top five best Urban Fantasy series of all time. This series has elaborate world building bringing total fantasy to the real world, complex characters that make it easy to grow to love them over time, exciting storylines in every installment, and I can’t forget to mention the unbelievable chemistry between Kate and Curran. It’s some steamy shit, people. If any of these descriptions seem mildly entertaining to you, get on it. But I’m getting sidetracked, back to Magic Binds.

I already said this, but this was one action-packed and exciting installment. We’ve got wedding planning shenanigans, we get to see Kate and Curran work through their relationship drama (showing a lack of perfection which is always appreciated), an oracle that comes bearing quite a bit of bad news, Kate’s ongoing understanding of her vast powers and fighting against the lure of becoming exactly like her father, and the hilarious dynamic between Kate and her father, Roland. Sure, Roland is setting up a future war between him and Kate, but their banter back and forth is laugh out loud funny.

“Father, you are sending mixed signals. You dispatched a woman to murder me today and now you’re upset about my wedding reception?”

There’s additional amusing banter between Kate and… well, it’s a bit of a spoiler. But just be aware that there is much banter. And it’s oh so good. There’s also a Pegasus named Sugar that is QUITE a character.

‘At least I had stopped worrying about Sugar flying off and leaving me to fend for myself. She seemed to find me amusing and stuck around. I’d learned to sneak off before taking a bathroom break, however, because she decided that pawing at me with a hoof after I found a secluded spot to pee was the funniest thing ever.’

We’re given a bit of a cliffhanger which was honestly to be expected with the second to last installment but it left me feeling CONFLICTED.

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Both. Definitely both.

We’ll see how it all plays out… sometime in 2017. Until then, let’s all start hoping and wishing for a spin-off series.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Burning World (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac Marion

August 24, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – The Burning World (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac MarionThe Burning World by Isaac Marion
Series: Warm Bodies #3
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on February 7th 2017
Pages: 512
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Being alive is hard. Being human is harder. But since his recent recovery from death, R is making progress. He's learning how to read, how to speak, maybe even how to love, and the city's undead population is showing signs of life. R can almost imagine a future with Julie, this girl who restarted his heart—building a new world from the ashes of the old one.

And then helicopters appear on the horizon. Someone is coming to restore order. To silence all this noise. To return things to the way they were, the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak. The plague is ancient and ambitious, and the Dead were never its only weapon.

How do you fight an enemy that's in everyone? Can the world ever really change? With their home overrun by madmen, R, Julie, and their ragged group of refugees plunge into the otherworldly wastelands of America in search of answers. But there are some answers R doesn't want to find. A past life, an old shadow, crawling up from the basement.

About Isaac Marion

Isaac Marion grew up in the mossy depths of the Pacific Northwest, where he worked as a heating installer, a security guard, and a visitation supervisor for foster children before publishing his debut novel in 2010. WARM BODIES became a #5 New York Times bestseller and inspired a major Hollywood film adaptation. It has been translated into twenty-five languages worldwide. Isaac lives in Seattle with his cat and a beloved cactus, writing fiction and music and taking pictures of everything.

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This is finally happening! Guess I need to finally break down and read The New Hunger now that I know the next one is coming soon. 🙂

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Still Haven’t Read From My Pre-Blogging Days

August 23, 2016 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 8 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I’ve been blogging now for 5 whole years (since July 15th, 2011!) so finding books from my pre-blogging days that I still haven’t read is completely depressing. Suffice it to say, I found (at least) ten that I can’t believe I still haven’t read… and here they are:

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Horror

Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King // I didn’t even start reading King until after I started blogging, but I still have my wonderfully beat up copy of Nightmares and Dreamscapes that my mom gave me when I was a teen.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters // This was the very first Sarah Waters book I bought because I love a good ghost story. It’s not the only book of hers I haven’t read, but it’s the one that is most surprisingly unread.

Urban Fantasy

Mind Games (The Disillusionists #1) by Carolyn Crane // Joining Goodreads really got me hooked on Urban Fantasy and I remember everybody raved about this series and… it’s been on my list since.

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1) by Stacia Kane // Honestly, no idea how I haven’t read this yet. I even picked it up, read about 20%, loved it, but then felt guilty about not reading review books and set it aside and have yet to come back to it. Stupid review books.

Mystery Thrillers

Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1) by S.J. Bolton // I used to read nothing but mysteries so I had nothing but these on my shelf. This is one series I never got around to… and it’s even supposed to be very ‘Ripper-esque’ which only makes me want to read it more.

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French // I once read something describing this series as literary mystery and it completely put me off from these books for some reason. I still own them. And I still plan on reading them. Someday…

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Historical Fiction

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton // The Secret Keeper was my very first Morton and I adored it. I promptly added everything else she had written and then never read any. I finally read The House at Riverton in 2014 though so it’s a start.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield // Books about books are the best kind of books. This one has been on my list for ages but I made the mistake of reading Bellman & Black first and I subsequently lost most of my desire to read this. Someday it will happen.

Fantasy

Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier // I never read a lot of fantasy when I was a teen so joining Goodreads definitely helped me discover more that I would enjoy. This was one of them. It’s still unread but I’d like to think it’ll happen eventually.

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien // Okay, so if I’m honest I did actually read this one when I was a kid but only got through half of The Two Towers. Like I said, fantasy wasn’t my go-to genre and I think I may have read it too young. I’d like to give it another go.

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of August 22nd, 2016

August 22, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of August 22nd, 2016

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Scavenger of Souls (Survival Colony 9 #2) by Joshua David Bellin [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers

Eight Rivers of Shadow (13 Days of Midnight Series #2) by Leo Hunt [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Candlewick Press

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Under the Lights (The Field Party #2) by Abbi Glines [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Simon Pulse

100 Days by Nicole McInnes [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Peñaflor [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Roaring Brook Press

Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Dial Books

The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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Spellbreaker (Spellwright #3) by Blake Charlton [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Tor Books

The Kind Folk by Ramsey Campbell [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Tor Books

Breath of Earth: A Novel by Beth Cato [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Harper Voyager

Mirror Image by Michael Scott [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Tor Books

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Cold, Cold Heart: A Short Story by Karin Slaughter [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Witness Impulse

The One Man by Andrew Gross [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Minotaur Books

Surrender, New York: A Novel by Caleb Carr [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Random House

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books

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The Dollhouse: A Novel by Fiona Davis [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Dutton

The Secret Book of Kings by Yochi Brandes [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Random House

First Star I See Tonight (Chicago Stars #8) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by William Morrow

I’m Still Here (Je Suis Là) by Clélie Avit [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

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Book Review – The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

August 19, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni FaganThe Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
Published by Hogarth on July 19th 2016
Pages: 288
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Magical Realism, LGBTQIA
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

four-stars

The stunning new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of The Panopticon

It's November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There's snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland. As ice water melts into the Atlantic, frenzied London residents evacuate by the thousands for warmer temperatures down south. But not Dylan. Grieving and ready to build life anew, he heads north to bury his mother's and grandmother's ashes on the Scottish islands where they once lived.

Hundreds of miles away, twelve-year-old Estella and her survivalist mother, Constance, scrape by in the snowy, mountainous Highlands, preparing for a record-breaking winter. Living out of a caravan, they spend their days digging through landfills, searching for anything with restorative and trading value. When Dylan arrives in their caravan park in the middle of the night, life changes course for Estella and Constance. Though the weather worsens, his presence brings a new light to daily life, and when the ultimate disaster finally strikes, they'll all be ready.

Written in incandescent, dazzling prose, The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature's most violent hour; by turns an homage to the portentous beauty of our natural world, and to just how strong we can be, if the will and the hope is there, to survive its worst.

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‘The North Atlantic Drift is cooling and Dylan MacRae has just arrived in Clachan Fells caravan park and there are three suns in the sky.
That’s how it all begins.’

The North Atlantic Drift is a wind driven current of warm water that is responsible for the warmer climates in Europe. The ongoing thaw of the polar ice caps result in massive amounts of fresh water being released in the oceans, vastly changing its salinity. Changes in salinity have the potential to unsettle ocean currents and thus our weather. A decrease in salinity would cause the North Atlantic Drift to slacken, subsequently changing Europe’s climate slowly over time. We’re experiencing this subtle climate change now and have been for many years, but in The Sunlight Pilgrims, Fagan brings us to the year 2020 where the worst case scenario has finally become a reality. It’s November, before true winter has even arrived and the weather outside is -6°F. By the end of January temperatures will have dropped to -38° and a small village in Scotland is struggling to endure.

‘Dark is following them. It’s coming to cloak everything. Each day it will eat a little more light until they will wake up one morning to find the sun won’t rise again.’

The alarming Ice Age chronicled in these pages never quite becomes the focal point for this story. It’s the aura surrounding the true story. The dire circumstances help to establish the characters and showcases their most base natures, but at center stage is twelve year old Stella Fairbairn, who thirteen months ago used to be referred to as ‘he’.

‘Cael Fairbairn has ceased to exist. Thirteen months ago the girl that wore his body got up and told everyone to quit calling her by the wrong pronoun.’

Stella has finally found some form of peace after no longer having to show the world one person when the person she feels she is on the inside is completely different. She’s headstrong and determined to find her new place in the world amidst all the appalling bullying she’s forced to deal with from her classmates who she used to call friends. She resorts to finding people with similar stories on the internet to make her feel less alone and to find people that will accept her for how she is. Meanwhile, her and everyone else fights to stay alive in the rapidly changing climate. And at heart, that’s what this story is all about: surviving. Whether it’s surviving growing up in a society that refuses to accept you for who you are or whether it’s surviving in a harsh and unforgiving climate, it’s all the same.

Stella isn’t the only enticing character in the book; its chock-full of them. Constance, Stella’s free-spirited, survivalist mother, Dylan, the giant of a man who arrives in the village carrying the ashes of his mother and grandmother, and their neighbors which include a porn star, lesbian school teachers, some Satan worshipers, and a guy determined to prove the existence of aliens. While their descriptions alone would seem to guarantee a most quirky read, The Sunlight Pilgrims was a surprisingly subdued and almost peaceful read about the possible end of the world as we know it. Fagan has once again placed the spotlight on individuals that would typically be relegated to darkened corners. The Panopticon gave juvenile offenders the spotlight and now The Sunlight Pilgrims displays the marginalization of individuals undergoing a gender transition. Between the doctors that suggested anti-depressants to her instead of the hormone blockers she requested and the majority of the community that looks on her with nothing but disdain. All while this is happening, the Ice Age is still coming on slowly but surely. It all seems so insignificant that these individuals are still able to maintain their scorn and self-righteousness while there are more important things going on outside; like the world ending.

Fagan’s writing is almost restrained yet still remains vibrant and descriptively lush. She aptly describes icicles growing to the size of narwhal tusks, “…the long bony finger of winter herself.” While the world around them is being encased in ice, there is still a remarkable beauty to be found.

‘Sun spirals down through treetops showing up sediments of silver and amber dust. A frozen pond. Curls of ice make a frost flower on a fallen bough. Each iced petal is perfectly curled and see-through. Winter has been hand-carving them overnight. Placing them here.’

‘A flock of birds fly low overhead.
Mossy greens and purples and red-golds have faded to brown.
Sleet billows off the mountain.
Treetops disappear in one blink as the white owerblaw races over the mountaintop and drifts down thicker and faster, painting everything white until within seconds the whole landscape is utterly changed.’

While the mere concept of negative double digit temperatures is horrifying, Fagan manages to make it a poetic experience. There’s even a pinch of magical realism added to this most realistic world, when Dylan first sets eyes on Constance, “…she reaches up a pale arm up into the sky and polishes the moon.” It was a frivolous addition to the story, however, it added a touch of magic to the existing beauty and I loved it.

When I sat down to write this review tonight, I was distressed because I didn’t have any idea what to say about this story or if I’d even be able to successfully explain what made it so special. I spent over an hour researching salinity and the North Atlantic Drift so that I could understand just how something like what happened in this story could actually happen. My research took me right back to how this story made me feel: aghast yet somehow sanguine. Survival is always a possibility, no matter the circumstances.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Journey’s End by Rachel Hawkins

August 17, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 1 Comment

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – Journey’s End by Rachel HawkinsJourney's End by Rachel Hawkins
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on October 25th 2016
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

The town of Journey's End may not literally be at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick.

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family can’t afford to consider it a threat. The McKissick’s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back.

…Unless you do. Albert Etheridge, a boy who disappeared into the Boundary in 1914, suddenly returns--without having aged a day and with no memory of the past hundred years. Then the Boundary starts creeping closer to the town, threatening to consume everyone within.

While Nolie's father wants to have the village evacuated, Bel's parents lead the charge to stay in Journey's End. Meanwhile, Albert and the girls look for ways to stop the encroaching boundary, coming across an ancient Scottish spell that requires magic, a quest, and a sacrifice.

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the author of Rebel Belle and theNew York Times bestselling series Hex Hall. Born in Virginia and raised in Alabama, Rachel taught high school English for three years before becoming a full-time writer.

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Rachel Hawkins. Middle grade adventure. Magic. Scotland. Yes, to all of the above!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Top Ten Tuesday – Boarding Schools

August 16, 2016 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 5 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

Honestly, the amount of books set in Boarding schools is astounding. There’s just something about a story set in a boarding school that produces the most fascinating of adventures… some good, some bad. These are (some of) my favorites. Clearly I couldn’t decide on just ten. (In no particular order because I couldn’t decide on a ranking either.)

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt [Purchase]
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling [Purchase]
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany [Purchase]
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro [Purchase]
A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) by Libba Bray [Purchase]
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins [Purchase]
Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) by Rachel Hawkins [Purchase]
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett [Purchase]
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan [Purchase]
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richellle Mead [Purchase]
White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) by Holly Black [Purchase]
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta [Purchase]
The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1) by Mindee Arnett [Purchase]
Soulbound (Legacy of Tril, #1) by Heather Brewer [Purchase]
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich [Purchase]
The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1) by Soman Chainani [Purchase]

Even with having all these books about boarding schools, there are still a ton I have yet to get to.

What books set in boarding schools would you recommend?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of August 15th, 2016

August 15, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 1 Comment

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of August 15th, 2016

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Vicarious (Vicarious #1) by Paula Stokes [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Tor Teen

The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise #2) by Rachel Vincent [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Delacorte Press / MIRA Ink

Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives #2) by Kate Elliott [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles #4) by Kresley Cole [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 15th 2016 by Valkyrie Press

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Cherry by Lindsey Rosin [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Simon Pulse

The Almost King (Take Back the Skies #2) by Lucy Saxon [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

The Edge of the Light (Whidbey Island Saga #4) by Elizabeth George [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Thornghost by Tone Almhjell [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Dial Books

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The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Orbit

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Tor Books

The Sight: A Devil’s Isle Novel (Devil’s Isle #2) by Chloe Neill [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by NAL

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Invasive (Zer0es #2) by Chuck Wendig [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Harper Voyager

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Tor.com

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Mulholland Books

Moxyland by Lauren Beukes [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Mulholland Books

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Nothing Short of Dying (Clyde Barr #1) by Erik Storey [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Scribner

Rise the Dark by Michael Koryta [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company

Love Her Madly: A Novel by M. Elizabeth Lee [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Atria Books

Sting by Sandra Brown [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

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Curious Minds (Knight and Moon #1) by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Bantam Dell

Damaged (Rosato & DiNunzio #4) by Lisa Scottoline [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

The Gentleman: A Novel by Forrest Leo [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Penguin Press

Divorce Is in the Air: A novel by Gonzalo Torné [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by Knopf

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Stacking the Shelves (144)

August 14, 2016 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 1 Comment

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Recent Blog Posts

New Books

I got most of these a few weeks ago but kept forgetting to mention them! I need to get into the habit of doing my Sunday book haul… every Sunday.

For Review

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Bad Boy by Elliot Wake [Purchase]
Lady Cop Makes Trouble (Kopp Sisters #2) by Amy Stewart [Purchase]
Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes [Purchase]
Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror by Ellen Datlow [Purchase]
Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith [Purchase]

What new book goodies did you get this week?

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Early Review – Bury the Living (The Revolutionary Series #1) by Jodi McIsaac

August 13, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2016 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Bury the Living (The Revolutionary Series #1) by Jodi McIsaacBury the Living by Jodi McIsaac
Series: The Revolutionary Series #1
Published by 47North on September 6th 2016
Pages: 302
Genres: Time Travel
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

one-half-stars

Rebellion has always been in the O’Reilly family’s blood. So when faced with the tragic death of her brother during Northern Ireland’s infamous Troubles, a teenage Nora joined the IRA to fight for her country’s freedom. Now, more than a decade later, Nora is haunted by both her past and vivid dreams of a man she has never met.

When she is given a relic belonging to Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, the mystical artifact transports her back eighty years—to the height of Ireland’s brutal civil war. There she meets the alluring stranger from her dreams, who has his own secrets—and agenda. Taken out of her own time, Nora has the chance to alter the fortunes of Ireland and maybe even save the ones she loves. In this captivating and adventurous novel from Jodi McIsaac, history belongs to those with the courage to change it.

style-3 (1) review

*spoilers are hidden in spoiler tags*

In 1990, Nora O’Reilly is fifteen years old with an unruly temper that gets her into far more trouble than would be otherwise necessary. Being angry at the poor situation her family finds itself in, a murdered father, a mother that can’t put down the bottle, and a brother that is the sole breadwinner, Nora takes it upon herself to start selling pills in order to make some side cash. Cash that will hopefully one day get her family out of Ireland and away from the ongoing war for freedom. The only thing it does it get her into more trouble than her temper ever did and before long, she’s signed up to be a member of the Irish Republican Army, and won’t manage to leave Ireland for another 10 years. Flash forward to the year 2004, Nora is now thirty years old and has been spending the last several years of her life as a relief worker in various foreign countries. She’s been having strange dreams for many months which feature the same man who never actually says anything to her yet leaves her with a sense of urgency that has her puzzled. When she dreams of him one night and he actually speaks, asking her to go to a town in Ireland because he needs her help, she brushes it off as nothing but a dream but she can’t completely shake off the pull to follow through on his request. When she does as the man in her dream requested, she ends up on an adventure through time itself, ending up in the year 1923.

Bury the Living was initially tempting to me because it’s a time travel adventure and marketed to fans of Outlander. It’s an understandable similarity, yet, Living falls undeniably short of living up to the comparison. The writing was enjoyable and kept me reading till the end but the characters themselves really blurred together after a point, except for the main character who seemed to have never grown out of her teenage temper. There’s an extensive focus on the historical detailing of the time as well as a romance, but the confusing aspects of the time travel itself, the inclusion of some puzzling fantasy aspects, and the lack of a logical plot made any positive aspects of this story fall by the wayside.

The historical detailing: This was the best part of the story. This is all information I had to take at face value because I knew little to nothing about the history of Ireland and the wars and strife they went through for decades. It was terrible yet fascinating but quite clear that the author did a lot of research for this book.

The romance: There isn’t a Claire and Jamie type of love, although, they’re truly incomparable. The building blocks were established for the romance in this first installment of the planned series, but I can’t say I felt any sort of chemistry between our two supposed love birds. I expect that will come later.

The time travel: After Nora’s dreams send her to a church in Kildare to find ‘Brigid’, a nun there is prepped and ready because she also had been having dreams warning her of Nora’s impending arrival. With the help of an ancient relic View Spoiler » from Saint Brigid herself, Nora is sent back to the year 1923. I don’t know, it was all just a little too methodical for my liking.

The fantasy aspects/Plot: The majority of this is quite spoilery so I’ll just include these bits in spoiler tags. View Spoiler »

Bury the Living is an informative time travel adventure through the arduous 1920s of Ireland. It’s evident this is the first installment of a planned series and the ending definitely leaves you hanging whether Nora will ever manage to accomplish her goal of changing the future. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll be picking up the next book to find out.

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