Mask of Shadows

Mask of Shadows cover

Author: Linsey Miller

Genre: Fantasy/YA Fantasy

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 352

 

Sallot Leon, better known as Sal, is a street fighter and an excellent thief. Sal, however wants more from life than robbing nobles and fighting. In the midst of a robbery one day, Sal finds a flyer for auditions for the position of Opal in the Queen’s Left Hand- her personal assassins, named after the rings on her left hand, and decides to go for it. The auditions turn out to be not only training, but a fight to the death with the other contestants. This is a fight that Sal may not be prepared for, but is determined to win and get revenge for their country that was destroyed by the nobles that are in the capitol and the heart of Elise, who they are growing closer and closer to. Will Sal survive to live out this dream?

Guys, I finished this book, and immediately said that I needed more! Seriously, check my Twitter feed! This is that wonderful rare occasion where I have trouble believing that this is a debut novel. The characters were so well rounded and fleshed out. I absolutely loved that the main character, Sal, was gender fluid. It made this character all the more interesting, and definitely an underrepresented community that we should see more of. Miller writes characters that you want to become invested in. The world building was so lovely, and easily visualized. It had enough romance in it to add to the story, but not so much as to make it the focus. This is written as a YA Fantasy, but truthfully it is just a very well written Fantasy that would appeal to anyone looking for that type of escape. I can’t wait to find that escape again in the next installment!

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The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl from Everywhere, Book 2)

Ship Beyond Time cover

Author: Heidi Heilig

Series: The Girl from Everywhere

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Pages: 464

 

This sequel to The Girl from Everywhere finds us once again aboard the ship Temptation, where it is now Nix’s turn to take the helm and try and change fate- this time the fate is her own and Kashmir’s. After everything that happened in Hawaii, the crew find themselves back in New York where Nix finds out that it has been seen that she is destined to lose her love. She can’t imagine her life without Kash, and is determined to find a way to change this destiny, when the possibility presents itself. Is it possible to change fate? What is she willing to give up to change time?

This is one of those wonderful instances where the sequel was as good as, or possibly better than, the original book in the series. Heilig’s writing is rich and captivating. Her characters, even the secondary ones, all have great depth. The world building is absolutely phenomenal. I would say that it is even better in this installment than it was in the first. I loved that this book had some chapters told from Kash’s POV, so we got an even better look in to his mind and thoughts. Although I have always been a fan of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres, I have never been one to be caught up in anything involving time travel. This series, however, has grown to be one of my favorites. The only hesitation that I would have, is that this was originally slated to be a duology. The ending left it open to the possibility of further installments, though, if the author chooses to do so. I, for one, fervently hope that she does, because I would like to see the story go a bit further, and have some questions answered, before we call it the end.

 

New Work from Author Lisa Carlisle Coming Up!!!

                             When Darkness Whispers

When Darkness Whispers promo

Haunted by an unclear past, biologically enhanced Marine, Eva Montreaux, can’t be distracted from her mission. With Americans being murdered on the island of Okinawa, it’s critical. But when her investigation brings her face to face with Marcos Delacruz, it triggers memories. Ones she lost. Memories that somehow include him.

You guys will remember this wonderful author from my past review of her novel Knights of Stone: Mason, you know, the series with the hot Gargoyles! She’s back with this new novel, which promises to be very different, but looks like it will be awesome. I, personally, can’t wait to get my hands on it! Of course, my review will follow once I do. It releases this Thursday, May 11, so pick up a copy!

-T

http://amzn.to/2oCpbw5

https://books2read.com/whispers

 

Ungrateful God (Unwilling Souls, Book 2)

ungrateful god cover

Author: Gregory Little

Series: Unwilling Souls

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Pages: 464

 

Ses and the Artisan Guild are on the run, after she unwittingly revealed their headquarters while saving her father and keeping the gods imprisoned. She placed her trust in the wrong person, Murien. They now must make the long journey to their new headquarters, Ocypode. Once they arrive, however, things are not the way that they expected them to be. They are worse. Meanwhile, Murien is sent undercover in the Pit to infiltrate the apprentice smiths. Things begin happening there, and he doesn’t know who he can trust- quite the turn of events. The gods have servants who are on the move, and putting plans in to action, and Ses is forced to team up with unlikely allies to get to the bottom of it.

I was blown away by the first book in this series, Unwilling Souls. Unfortunately, a lot of time when that happens, the sequels can’t live up to the original. I am so, very, happy to say that was not the case here! The phenomenal world building from the debut only got better. The character building continued, and the characters became more complex. This story was just as gripping as the last, and was so enjoyable to read. I look forward to much more from this author!

The Library at Mount Char

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Author: Scott Hawkins

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Broadway Books

Pages: 388

 

Carolyn and her adopted siblings have been raised in the Library, by Father, since their parents were all killed in an incident many years before. They are all Librarians, in the broadest sense. They are tasked with, collectively, learning literally everything- each about their own catalog. Father, however, wrote the Library. He is what one would consider a god of the age. The problem: Father is missing, and possibly dead. The Librarians know that there will be a battle brewing to take his place, and Carolyn has been preparing for that. She has a plan…

 

This was one of the strangest, and most odd, novels that I have read in a very long time possibly ever- and I loved every second of it! This dark fantasy gripped me from the beginning, because I just needed to figure out what was going on. Honestly, I’m not sure that I really did until close to the end. The structure was laid out in a very different way, but it really worked for this novel. The characters were all very well developed, and fully fleshed out, especially the MCs. I wasn’t entirely sure what to think about Carolyn, the protagonist, throughout most of the book. I liked her, I disliked her, then I rooted for her again. The world building was spectacular. While it is technically set in “our world”, it’s a different world altogether. (Sorry, it’s a bit difficult to explain without spoilers!) I will reveal to you that there were some scenes that may be a bit difficult for some readers. They are not gratuitously placed, in my opinion, they fit in to the plot of the novel. If you want a story that will keep you wondering what is going to happen next, scratching your head, and that is wholly original (not something I can say very often!)- this book may just be for you!

Something Like Voodoo Blitz!!

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something-like-voodoo-cover

Something Like Voodoo
by Rebecca Hamilton
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton

High School can be a witch.

A teen girl with the ability to predict deaths through her drawings shouldn’t need to lie constantly to make her life sound interesting. But that doesn’t stop Emily from spinning stories faster than she can keep up.

After transferring to a new school, Emily’s ‘dull’ life is shaken by the appearance of a boy who seems unfazed by her far-fetched stories. A too-handsome-for-his-own-good senior, Noah has some secrets of his own. He needs Emily’s special gift to save him from Sarah, queen bee of the school’s It Girls, whose own supernatural abilities have forced him into a life of silence and solitude.

But when Emily tries to free him from Sarah’s voodoo curse, things go belly up, landing Emily on Sarah’s hit list. Soon, Emily and Noah are on a collision course with the It Girls, leading to a shocking revelation that ties them together in unimaginable ways. If their powers remain unchecked, this teenage popularity contest could spell the death of them all …

Romantically charged and eerily chilling, Something Like Voodoo weighs the choice of saving your life versus fighting for a life worth saving. This paranormal romance will put a spell on you.

 

Excerpt:

He was being tortured, but by what? And was I the only person seeing all these other things?

The scene flashed like a strobe light in front of me—a flash of the Noah I knew, then a flash of the painted Noah that made no sense. I scoured the room for someone to help, but no one else seemed to notice what was going on. Except for Sarah, her glower across the room turning to a maniacal grin.

“STOP!” I screamed at her.

The unexplainable vision melted away. Standing at the cafeteria doors, Sarah gave one last smirk before turning on her heel and walking away. A crowd of people hovered near us. The school nurse appeared next, hurrying as quickly as her short legs would carry her.

“Paramedics are on the way,” she said as she arrived, kneeling beside me. “Everyone, please, go back to your tables.”

When no one listened, she yelled, “Go!” This cleared away a few of them. I didn’t leave. Noah’s head still rested in my lap, his eyes closed, though he wasn’t convulsing anymore. His body had gone limp, the rise and fall of his chest nearly unperceivable.

“What happened?” the nurse asked.

Before I could answer, the EMTs rushed in with a stretcher. They pulled him away, yelling all sorts of things I couldn’t understand as they started performing CPR.

“Hang in there, buddy,” one of them said. He passed some small white tube-like packet under his nose, but nothing happened. “Can you hear me?”

No response. At this point, I thought Noah had stopped breathing, making me feel more hopeless than I’d ever felt in my life. What in the hell did Sarah do to him?

More CPR. More failure.

“It’s not working!” said the attending EMT. He put his ear to Noah’s chest then nodded toward the exit. “He’s breathing, but his heart rate is low. We need to transfer him now.”

And just like that, Noah was gone, flying away on that stretcher like a helium balloon in the wind.

Purchase:
(99¢ for 2 days only!)

 

rebecca-hamilton

AUTHOR BIO:
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.

Rebecca Hamilton is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Author links:
http://www.rebeccahamiltonbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaHamilton/
https://twitter.com/InkMuse
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5295294.Rebecca_Hamilton

 

Three Dark Crowns

three-dark-crowns-cover

Author: Kendare Blake

Series: Three Dark Crowns

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 398

 

Every generation brings a new set of triplets to Fennbirn; a set of triplets born with three distinct types of magic. This generation brought Mirabella- the elemental (and the sister considered to be the strongest in this generation), Katharine- the poisoner (considered weak, although the poisoners have ruled for generations), and Arsinoe- the naturalist (also considered weak, but possibly hiding a secret). Each of these triplets is an equal heir to the crown. The catch: they must fight to the death to win the right to rule. The fight begins the night that the sisters turn sixteen, and ends when only one sister stands. Who will rule this new generation?

This is a YA novel, that reads like the beginning of a good high fantasy series. It is layered with a huge cast of characters, that I was concerned may get a bit bogged down at the beginning. Blake, however, did a wonderful job of separating out the most important primary and secondary members of the cast, and giving them the attention needed to allow the reader to know them and formulate opinions about them. The world building was phenomenal, especially for the world that was needed in this novel. The story was very intense from the beginning. It did start out a bit slow for me, but it continued to build and got better and better as it went on. It ended on a fantastic cliffhanger, and I need the sequel right now!