Book of the Week-The Enchanter Heir ARC Review

I absolutely adore Cinda Williams Chima. In the year that I have been reading her books, thumb she has easily become one of my favorite authors. Her Seven Realms series literally blew me out of the water, and her Heir Chronicles proved that it had the contemporary fantasy genre in the palm of its hands. She is a brilliant writer, and she has great world building and fantasy stories and fantastic characters. She is an author that I have fell in love with, and I am addicted to the world that she created.

I am constantly trying to recommend her books to people. Because I run a book blog, because people know me as a person who loves to read, I am constantly asked for recommendations on books and in the past year, both the Seven Realms and the Heir Chronicles have been some of the first books to come out of my mouth. I’ve told Cinda herself a million times that I absolutely love her books, and the awesome, awesome lady send me an advanced copy of the book, signed personally to me.

What is even BETTER is that she sent me an extra signed copy for YOU guys :)

560509_419097061544495_1575798976_n

Now before you run away because this is the fourth book of the Heir Chronicles, let me stress this! While this is the fourth book of the series, it is NOT necessary to read the first three to read this. So if you enjoy this review, please definitely check it out and keep an eye out for the giveaway coming VERY soon!

The Enchanter Heir ARC by Cinda Williams Chima 

Enchanter-Heir

GoodReads / Amazon Barnes and Noble

This book will hit bookstores on October 1st, 2013. 

Genre:

young adult, fantasy

Part of a Series?

Yes. This is the fourth installment of the Heir Chronicles.

HOWEVER, this book can be read without reading the previous three books. There are familiar faces from the first three, but this is an entirely new story.

You May Like if You Liked:

Books by OR Melling, Joseph Delaney, Tamora Pierce, Sarah J Maas, Michael Scott, etc.

Plot Summary:

Now, normally I do plot summaries on my own because I really love doing that. But I started doing it and realized I was not giving this book and story the credit it deserved and I really like the summary that is on GoodReads and therefore that is what I decided to put here!

Direct from GoodReads, and word-for-word from the back cover:

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.

The Bad:

That it ended? Seriously, when it ended, I almost felt my heart break into two pieces because I realized that it would be such a long wait until I get to read the next one. I already got this book about a month early as it is, and I’m not sure when the sequel is going to come out, or even what the title is. Its been rumored that The Sorcerer Heir is the possible title but there is NOTHING confirmed, at least according to her website. I hope that we hear something soon because this book was GOOD, and I can’t wait to read more about Jonah and Emma.

The Good:

I love all the characters of the Heir Chronicles. I love Jack and Ellen and Seph and Linda and Madison and all of them, and I’ve enjoyed the three previous books. However, there is something about both Jonah and Emma that had me hooked almost immediately. These characters felt so real and so likable right away. I didn’t stop for a second to give them more thought than just “I need to know what happens to these two characters”. Emma and Jonah are two very different characters. Jonah wants to care so much but its hard for him to get close to people because of his dangerous power. He is also aware of what he is, and where he came from. Emma, on the other hand, is unaware of her own background at first, and when she does realize it, she has a much easier time letting people in, even though she has every right to have grudges against. They both have the same sort of mysteries on their hands, they both have such similar backgrounds and yet they tend to push each other away and not trust each other, even when everything is screaming at them to be together, to work together, to figure things out together.

The story is so beautiful, too. Its not what I expected at all. With everything that had happened in the previous three books, it was almost difficult to see how the story could continue and yet not at the same time. This book takes place in the same universe as the first three books but its a new story, new characters, new situation. This made me incredibly wary. I have a sort of caution when it comes to series that go longer than a trilogy. I feel like there are very few authors that can accomplish this, and accomplish this well. I was immensely disappointed in Cassandra Clare’s City of Fallen Angels, and so I’ve been very wary of continuing stories, when the series has technically been wrapped up.

However, I was proven very wrong, and my fears dissipated very quickly. I should have known that the woman who could write the absolutely brilliant four book Seven Realms series would have no problem writing a fourth story in this realm. This was a fresh, fun, adventurous and addicting story. From the very beginning, when we first meet young Jonah amidst the chaos of Thorn Hill, I was invested. I was attracted to the characters, and their different stories and I was curious to see how they would eventually collide. I liked that they started off so differently but that their worlds eventually connected, their stories started to intertwine. It takes a lot of talent to create a story in two different perspectives that seemingly are on two different paths and make them come together, and in a way that you don’t see until its suddenly in your face. I love that. I love that I’m hanging on the edge of my seat, wondering at the mysteries of both of their lives and wondering how they’re going to meet and what is going to happen between them. She is an addicting storyteller than is able to weave a picture of adventure, mystery, action, drama, humor and romance. She is able to accomplish all of that in one book.

I also think that Cinda is an incredible world builder. It is the one skill of writers that I admire more than anything else, and I think a lot of that comes from the fact that I am really incapable of that kind of writing. Cinda has a great example of world building in her full fantasy, the Seven Realms, but I think an even better example of this is in these novels, and even more so in this novel. You would think maybe its easier to create a new world inside of a world that we already recognize but I think its harder. You have to create this entirely new world, a full world with all of its past, present, future, its laws and rules, its people while trying to keep consistent with the actual world that we know. I think that’s incredibly difficult and yet she does it with finesse, without flaw. There isn’t a moment while reading when you think, “this doesn’t seem real to me”. It is believable from page one to the very last page.

Speaking of the last page, without spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t read it (which is a lot, considering it hasn’t been released yet), HOW DARE YOU CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA? How dare you? I’ve had my fair share of cliffhangers. I read a lot, more than an average person does in a year, and so I’m used to the concept of a cliffhanger. However, this was still a cliffhanger that smacked me in the face and left me wanting to throw the book across the room. Of course I didn’t because it is precious to me and its signed to me! But I was frustrated, in that wonderful way that you can be frustrated. Cinda has created these characters that I absolutely love and that I want to keep on reading about, and then she leaves off the story like that and it was almost painful to not be able to continue reading, to find out what happens next. These characters will be living in my mind for a very long time, as I wait incredibly impatiently for the next book. Emma and Jonah. I am forever in love with these characters and these books.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?

Yes! Please, please, please! Someone needs to read these books. Read the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown), and read the Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir), and read this book! Cinda Williams Chima is an underrated author who deserves all your praise and your support. She is one of the best authors that I’ve read in this genre, in this reading level of young adult literature and just books in general and I will push her books on you until the end of time!

If you are a fan of Cinda’s already, you won’t be disappointed in this book. Cinda takes what she’s already proven that she can do and she makes it that much better. This is a book worth waiting for and I can’t wait til it releases so I can talk about it with all of you!

*      *      *      *      *

I hope you enjoyed this edition of this week’s Book of the Week, because it is a special one! Look out in the next couple days to try your chance at winning a SIGNED advanced copy of this book! It also comes with some swag too, which is always nice, so keep your eye out!

Happy Reading everyone!

Book of the Week-The Bitter Kingdom ARC

I am so excited to be reviewing the book that I am today. First off, ed it is the first ever ARC I have ever gotten so I’m super attached to it. Secondly, information pills Rae Carson is a brilliant writer, and caught me up in her trilogy so fast. I was very excited to read this book and I really enjoyed it.

I wanted to wait a little longer to review it so it was a little closer to the August 27th release, especially since it’s not out yet and I am doing a MOSTLY spoiler free review.

For those who may be unfamiliar with Rae Carson and her The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, you’re in luck. One, I’m about to paste the description from the first novel and two, I already reviewed The Girl of Fire and Thorns back in January, which you can read here.

The GoodReads summary of The Girl of Fire and Thorns:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do

Doesn’t that sound SO good? That’s because it IS good. Rae Carson has created an absolutely beautiful fantasy world, with rich characters and an original story that immediately caught me up. I was so happy to have a chance to read the finale early and I am even more happy to share my review with you.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson 

BitterKingdom-COMP

GoodReads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble 

Genre:
young adult, fantasy

Part of a Series?
yes, the third and final installment of The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy

You May Like if You Liked:
anything by Tamora Pierce, Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, Eon by Alison Goodman, Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Plot Summary: 

To sort of recap the previous two books, Elisa was born with a Godstone in her belly button, making her one of God’s chosen ones, to do his work. It is a huge expectation and she never really feels that she lives up to it. Her father and sister arrange for her to marry the king of the nearby country, a king of a country in turmoil who needs the chosen one. However, when she gets there, he hides her away as a guest of the kingdom, not his wife, and she feels useless. She does make friends along the way, and she saves the kingdom, though her husband dies. In the second book, she’s a queen with the smallest grasp on the kingdom and no one seems to listen to her, a seventeen year old girl with no real claim to the throne. She goes searching for something to bring her power in the a kingdom that is turning against her.

When we reach the third book of this series, Elisa is literally at the bottom of the barrel of life. Her queendom, which is hers by marriage not by birthright, is in turmoil as some of her highest nobles start questioning her rule and starting mutiny. The love of her life, though he does not know it yet (or does he?), Hector, has been stolen away from some of the most feared enemies, the Inverni, and she is determined to get him.

But she also has a few other things in mind as well. Can she be queen enough to regain the country, keep them safe and rule? Can she save Hector? Can she live up to this expectation that she has had since birth, when the Godstone was found in her belly button, declaring her one of god’s chosen ones, to do his work. She is being hunted by her own countrymen and by her enemies.

The Bad: 

Uh, it ended so soon and since it was an advanced readers copy, there’s hardly anyone to talk to about it? That’s really all I can think of. I sped through this book so incredibly fast. I was dying to read it as soon as I finished The Crown of Embers back in January.

So I guess my only gripe with this book is that its over, the series is over and I can’t read on to see what more adventures come in the future. I want to know all what happens to Elisa and Hector and all of them :) But I do have the chance to read the series over and over again, which I know I definitely will do.

The Good: 

So. Much. Good.

Where do I even begin with this novel? I love fantasy novels. I read paranormal and dystopian and sci-fi but when it all comes down to it, fantasy is where its at. When I first read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I immediately thought of some of my favorite writers, like Tamora Pierce and Cinda Williams Chima. Both of these ladies create these wonderful, believable, beautiful fantasy worlds and Rae Carson does it flawlessly as well. She creates this world that you get so caught up in, you forget for a moment that its not even real. Her countries and the customs and the cultures she creates in these novels are so real. She gets even the tiniest of details, even in the doubts that Elisa has about the history she’s been taught, that you just marvel at the creativity and originality behind it.

Elisa is such a wonderful character, in that she is the hero of the story, through and through. Even with her relationship with Hector, and his determination to keep her safe, as her guard, she still is the one to save the day, to do what needs to be done to get what she wants. And she’s so strong, so different than the girl we first meet in the first book. She goes from being this fat, unconfident, shy girl to a proud, strong fighter. The decisions she makes, the solutions she comes up with are ones that surprised me but also made me cheer too. When she meets with her sister, who has essentially taken over queen duties of her kingdom, and her friend, Queen Cosme, what results from their meeting was so incredibly unexpected but also a fantastic plot twist and a show of the kind of changes Elisa has gone through and the growing up she had to do to get there.

Which leads me to the characters. Something I appreciate about fantasy novels is that they always create such memorable, unique and rich characters. Every character in this novel has his or her own unique personality that you completely believe in. They each are so different and yet so connected to similar missions, to similar goals. Elisa’s coming of age journey is not new, and yet because of the complexity and development of her character, her journey is fresh and new and you follow it with open eyes, and a racing in your heart. Hector is equally a complex character, torn by his duty to obey his queen but also his passion and love and determination to protect her, no matter what she commands of him. And this sort of pattern with these fully developed characters continues with the people that serve Elisa, her soldiers, her servants, her friends and her enemies. Every character comes with such a defining personality.

Rae Carson has created a trilogy that won’t be long forgotten because of the timelessness she creates in it. This is not a series that can go out of style or lose interest, because she creates a world that you get so easily swept up in and won’t ever want to leave. She belongs in the realms of authors like Kristin Cashore, Cinda Williams Chima and Tamora Pierce, because of her ability to create an epic fantasy with a fantastic cast of characters, with the strong and passionate Elisa at the helm.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars. Easily

Recommended or Not? 

Definitely. Two of my absolute favorite authors on the planet are Tamora Pierce and Cinda Williams Chima and when I picked up The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I was so immediately swept up, caught up in this gorgeous fantasy world that I felt like I was in Tortall or the Seven Realms. I liked that it gave me such similar feelings to these books that I already love so much and I love that it was such a brand new story at the same time. I think Rae Carson is an absolutely fantastic writer, someone who deserves all the credit and awards she gets and more. I can’t wait to see what more comes from her as time goes on.

*     *     *     *     *

I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Book of the Week.

I hope you all get a chance to read this entire trilogy, especially when the finale hits bookstores on August 27th!

Rae Carson is going on tour this fall as well so make sure to check out her website to see where she will be!

And check out previous book reviews in the Book of the Week section!

Things to Look Forward to in 2013

The year is halfway over. Its July and its full on summer mode here in Southern California. The 4th of July is that turning point of the year; its half way over.

And I’m sitting here, viagra approved enjoying my summer vacation before I start my last two years of college, thinking about all the awesome things that have already come out and happened this year. Clockwork Princess. WonderCon. Meeting SO many authors. Star Trek premiere. So many cool things.

But then I was thinking about it, and I was like, there is still SO MUCH MORE to look forward to with the rest of the year. So much more.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Premiere Date: August 12, 2013

Release Date: August 21, 2013

url-1

I am SOOOO insanely excited for this. The Mortal Instruments series is one of my absolute favorite book series and I cannot wait to see it on the big screen. When they first started making it, I admit I was extremely wary. I was afraid of them making another Twilight, and while this series keeps getting compared to Twilight, its nothing like it and it looks amazing! I was also super wary of some of the casting, especially the casting of Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland but I ended up being proven so wrong, at least of what I’ve seen so far. So far, the directors, producers and movie studio have gone out of there to stay connected to the fans, to see what we’d like to see and what we like about we’ve seen so far and they’ve responded in kind. And the trailer shows me a seriously badass movie. I am looking forward to this movie adaptation because its looking like the best that I’ve seen in awhile.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and 12th Doctor Announcement

Release Date: November 23, 2013

url-1

I LOVE DOCTOR WHO, and my love for Doctor Who only increased when I went to Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention in February. I enjoyed Series 7, though it wasn’t my favorite, and I have been eagerly anticipating the GREAT 50th anniversary special that is sure to come this year. That is when they announced that David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) would be joining Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) and Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswin Oswald) for the 50th. I literally squealed with fangirl excitement. David Tennant is amazing, and his rendition of the Doctor is just…its the best and I ADORE Rose and I can’t wait to see the shenanigans that these four get up to. Then Matt Smith announced that he would be retiring as the 11th Doctor and all eyes and ears in the DW fandom are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the 12th Doctor. So much amazing DW coming our way :)

Tammara Webber’s Here With You

Ebook Release: August 6, 2013

Paperback Release: August 27, 2013

url-2

I wasn’t even aware that there would be a fourth book in this series but I am so excited that there will be, especially since Reid Alexander is a main player in this book again. If Reid Alexander were a real celebrity, I’d: A, want him to play Jace Wayland in City of Bones and B, I’d be WAY obsessed with him that way girls are obsessed with Justin Bieber. I have a feeling a lot is going to be going on with this book, and I think the past that Reid has with his ex, Brooke, is going to come up big time with this book. I think we’re finally going to see more of that then we’ve ever seen before.

Sarah J. Maas’ Crown of Midnight

Release August 27, 2013

17167166

The first of these books, Throne of Glass, is an absolute masterpiece and its no wonder, as it took Sarah nearly 10 years to write. Its an epic fantasy, with a badass character in Celaena, who is literally a legendary, almost mythical assassin. She can fight, and kill and she has a wicked sense of humor and she likes to curl up with a book. And she has two very different men falling in love with her, and she’s too busy trying to get her freedom. And…even though I absolutely loathe love triangles, I can’t decide which man I like better: Dorian or Chaol. But what a wonderful world that Sarah has created and I can’t wait to see this story continue and to see what other wicked adventures Celaena gets herself into.

Jennifer L Armentrout’s Origin 

Release Date: August 27, 2013

url-3

I can’t WAIT for this book (did I mention that this book and the previous two mentioned ALL COME OUT THE SAME DAY!). If you’ve read the end of Opal, the third book in the Lux series, you’ll understand. MAJOR cliffhanger, and you just know that Daemon is PISSED and he’s ready to take on the world to get Katy back and its going to be amazing. Just the differences in covers alone shows that this is going to be a VERY different novel from the previous. I hope it’ll be more action packed and it’ll take the story in completely new directions. I am SO excited for this book; I’m counting down the days.

Veronica Roth’s Allegiant

Release Date: October 22, 2013

url-4

I read Divergent TWO days before the release of Insurgent and stayed up til 3 a.m. reading Insurgent on its release day. It was released on May 1st, 2012 and I’ve already been waiting for over a year for this book. I know plenty of other Divergent fans who haven’t waited nearly as long as I have, so trust me haha, I’m dying for this book to come out, especially with the damn cliffhanger this book leaves you with! I remember reading this SO late at night and thinking, “No…no way. No, Veronica Roth, you don’t do this to me.” This is one of the most anticipated releases of the year in the YA genre, and with the movie wrapping up filming this month, its sure to be a best-seller within minutes. I canNOT wait to see the conclusion of this epic dystopian series.

Rick Riordan’s The House of Hades

Release Date: October 8, 2013

url-5

Again with the cliffhangers. The Mark of Athena, the book right before this one, leaves off with an EPIC cliffhanger. Sorry I’m about to spoil it so if you haven’t read the previous books, I would move on to the next time on the list. I’m warning you. Okay, we leave off with Percy and Annabeth (one of my OTP!) literally FALLING INTO TARTARUS, the deep depths of the Underworld and the Romans of Camp Jupiter charging toward Camp Half Blood, with attack the only objective on their minds. What a way to leave off. Only a year in between books but it is SO hard to wait. And this cover, with an extremely beat up Percy and Annabeth, running from…something, just gets me wriggling with anticipation. Rick Riordan has never failed to disappoint me so this is definitely a book to count down on.

Catching Fire Release

Release Date: November 22, 2013

url-6

I can’t wait for this movie for three reasons. One, I loved the first one but I wasn’t incredibly impressed with it. I’m hoping CF is better :) Two, Finnick Odair. Do I need to say anything else? And three, my friends all went to the Hunger Games premiere last year and had an awesome time and now we are going to the CF premiere and its sure to be a FANTASTIC time. This is a great book series, and the movie is chock full of great actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Haralson, Donald Sutherland, Jenna Malone and so much more. I am excited to see how they accomplish the build up that Catching Fire is. I also am really curious to see how well they pull of the Quarter Quell and the ridiculous arena that is the 75th Hunger Games. I remember reading it and thinking it was crazy, and its going to be epic on the big screen.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Release

Release Date: December 13, 2013

url-7

Okay, I don’t care what any of those so-called fancy Hollywood movie “critics” say. They aren’t fans of the Tolkien universe and they just don’t know. This movie wasn’t made for the critics; it was made for the fans and all the fans that I know…LOVED the first movie. I know I did. I was incredibly impressed and I wanted it to go on forever and I loved the extra stories they added from The Silmarillion and the appendices. This movie is bound to be epic because we get to see more elves (including Thandruil and Legolas) and Benedict Cumberbatch’s sexy dragon voice and so much more. I just know that the movie will continue to be as epic as the first one was. My super cool friend, Kathleen, from New Zealand got me some epic Hobbit shirts and I can’t wait to wear them when seeing this movie for the first time.

Cinda Williams Chima’s The Enchanter Heir 

Release Date: October 1, 2013

url-8

I am so incredibly…okay I’ve said it like a hundred times now…excited for this book because Cinda Williams Chima is a fantasy GENIUS. Seriously. I will push her on you until the day I die because she is an absolutely brilliant and talented writer and I don’t think its fair that she doesn’t get the credit that she deserves when there are extremely popular YA authors out there, with huge fandoms, that aren’t even good. Okay, moving on, this is the 4th book in the Heir Chronicles, though it can be read without reading the first three. Its an urban fantasy, a brilliantly crafted fantasy world wrapped up in modern day worlds. I read all seven of Cinda’s previously released books in a matter of about a month and so now I am dying to have my socks knocked off again by this amazing writer.

Anniversary Edition Harry Potter Books

Release Date: August 27, 2013

url-9

I hate change. I really do. I would rather things just be left alone and kept the way they originally were meant to be. Like the original Star Wars trilogy. Why George Lucas, why, did you add all that unnecessary CRAP  to that movie? Ugh. So when they announced that each book in the Harry Potter series would be getting updated covers for the 15th anniversary of the Sorcerer’s Stone’s publication in the US, I wasn’t really thrilled. Until the covers started to be revealed and I was thoroughly impressed. As much as I believe that Mary Grandpre’s covers are the best and will always remain my favorite, these covers (so far, five have been released) are just so beautiful done and are so incredibly impressive and full of artistic talent. I went from shaking my head, to looking at these with eyes wide and immediately rushing to Amazon to place my pre-order. And of course, this box set comes out the EXACT SAME DAY as Origin and Crown of Midnight and Here Without You…

Marie Lu’s Champion 

Release Date: November 5, 2013 

champion.indd

This is going to be the most epic finale to the BEST dystopian series that I have ever read. Yes, better than The Hunger Games, and yes, better than Divergent. Marie Lu creates a one of a kind dystopian universe (she actually talks about countries besides the US!) and she creates two conflicting, yet in love characters, and her back and forth point of views just leave us with a breath taking, addicting story. I adore both June and Day and the cliffhanger she leaves us with (SPOILER: Day is dying…and he didn’t tell June) is just too much for me to handle. Luckily, after reading Prodigy on its release day in January, I didn’t have to wait long for Champion’s release, which is in November! Not even a year. That, my friends, is possibly the best news a reader can get.

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters

Release Date: August 7, 2013

url-11

I was incredibly disappointed in the first movie. I don’t think its as TERRIBLE as everyone makes it out to be but it definitely isn’t a good movie. Its kind of one of those guilty pleasure movies; plus, Logan Lerman is so adorable, I just want to eat him up. But it wasn’t great, and it failed in the box office, so it surprised me immensely when they announced that the second book, Sea of Monsters, was being filmed. Pleasantly surprised but also wary. Now, I’ve seen stills and trailers and I’m not completely sold yet but I do like this book a lot and I am hoping that they are able to revamp this movie series and we can get to Titan’s Curse, which is my FAVE of the Olympians series. I hope, I hope!

Meg Cabot’s The Bride Wore Size 12

Release Date: September 24, 2013

url

Heather Wells is one of my idol characters to look up to because she makes me feel better about myself, both inside and out. Heather is a bigger girl, and she used to be a smaller, famous pop star who basically lost everything but as the books go on, she gains more and more confidence, and becomes so happy in the skin that she’s in and I love that. I love that the more I gain confidence in the size that I wear (which is, a size 12), the more I feel like this badass heroine. Now, after all these books, I am so happy that she is finally getting married and to the person that she’s always wanted to be married to, and I can’t wait to see what adventures she is bound to get into because its Heather and someone is bound to die and Heather is bound to catch them.

*     *     *     *     *

I am also looking forward to the return of Once Upon a Time in the fall for season 3, the new series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as well. I am excited for Vampire Diaries and the new series, The Originals. I am also anticipating the return of Sherlock, season 3, though I believe that may be in 2014. So much is coming!

*     *     *     *     *

So that was a really long, epic post but I hope you all enjoyed it! There are just SO many cool things left to look forward to in 2013!

What are you most looking forward to in the next six months of 2013? Book releases, movie releases, TV shows returning? As always, share in the comments!

Book of the Week-Of Poseidon

Okay, search so I know its totally Monday and the Book of the Week post comes out on Thursday but last week got a little ahead of me and I just completely skipped the Book of the Week. I know. I know. Worst book blogger ever.

So the Book of the Week review is a little late but its here, and I’m finally reviewing a book for you. You can expect me to be back on schedule this week, with the Tuesday Top Tens and Fandom Fridays and alllll that super fun stuff.

I am also going to start posting book reviews over at my co-blog, iFandoms Collide. I read a lot of books a week so I’m trying to review as many books as possible and this will be helpful, to spread it out between two different sites. So definitely become a fan of that site, follow it on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with my book reviews.

And now for this super belated Book of the Week post!

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

url-3

Genre:
fantasy, young adult, romance

Part of a Series?
Yes, the first novel in the Syrena Legacy, followed by the recently released, Of Triton.

You May Like if You Liked:
Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Plot Summary:

This story is a dual point of view story told by Emma and Galen. Emma is a normal girl, living in New Jersey, who literally crashes into Galen on a summer vacation in Florida. She immediately feels attraction to him, but is also embarrassed that she ran right into him. Dismissing this, she and her best friend, Chloe, going surfing where they are attacked by a shark and their vacation turns deadly. Emma escapes with her life, and returns to New Jersey, heartbroken.

Galen is a prince of the Triton kingdom, a family of Syrena (mermaids, though they won’t call themselves that). He is called to land by a human friend of him, on the authority that a girl with powers of Syrena is here on land. Galen doesn’t believe it until he runs into Emma and he feels the immediate connection. Then he witnesses Emma calling off a shark and he’s convinced that she is of Poseidon, the kingdom once allied with the Triton.

Galen follows Emma to New Jersey, determined to convince her of her powers and her legacy, and to bring her home below the water. Emma doesn’t believe him at first, but when she starts to be able to breathe under water for long periods of time, and discovers her communication with fish. Galen begins train her, so she can change, and have her fins, and discover why she was raised on land, as a human for so long.

Because Emma is part of a kingdom at outs with the Triton and if she can change and come down below, she’ll be a perfect match for Galen’s brother, Grom, who is to become king. But Galen finds himself holding back, as he begins to fall for Emma.

The Bad:

Honestly, there’s nothing SO bad that I was like, ugh, I hate this part. I’m not saying this book was one hundred percent perfect but I really, really, really liked this book. I would say…and its not really Anna Banks’ fault, but I am getting tired of all these super beautiful heroines haha. Like, Galen can’t shut up about how pretty she is. I’m really looking forward to having some chubby, average looking girls out there. Sometimes I’m like, all right, Galen, we get it, she’s pretty. But she’s also kind of badass, too, remember? So there’s that. But that’s such a small thing and it doesn’t deter from the story, or my enjoyment of it.

The Good: 

I had seen this book randomly every where but it wasn’t until I discovered Leigh Bardugo and the Grisha trilogy that this book really caught my notice. From what I can tell, Anna Banks is a good friend of Leigh’s and they just finished a tour recently for Fierce Reads with Jessica Brody and Emmy Laybourne. I had a little extra cash this past weekend and bought the book.

I gobbled this book up in one day. My boyfriend was at a bachelor party so I curled up in bed and whipped my way through this book and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it.

First off, mermaids? Okay, sorry, I stand corrected, Syrena. Mermaids is the term that they were given by human folklore but their correct name, according to Galen, is Syrena. I love it. I just love it. I love the new story of it. I love that its not vampires or demons or fallen angels or any of that. I love that its so different. I love learning something new. One of the best parts of reading books that are fantasy or dystopian, fantastical is that you get to immerse yourself in a new world, a new culture. But a lot of the stories that have been coming out have some overlap in the stories and myths. I haven’t had a chance to explore the myths and legends of merpeople so that was SUPER fun to read.

I liked the mystery of Emma, her true parentage and whether she was a true Syrena or not, because her mom seems to have no idea what is going on. I love that she spends so much time trying to figure it out and its not immediately apparent. Its a journey to discover what she is capable of, what her body is like, what she can expect of her future. I liked watching that. I love journeys, especially in the young adult genre, because that’s when so many of us are going through journeys and changes and finding ourselves.

I also liked the relationship between Galen and Emma. I liked that even though you get both of their point of views in the story, and you know that they’re absolutely crazy about each other, there’s a ton a build up and it doesn’t happen right away because of Emma’s reluctance and Galen’s duty to his kingdom and his brother and the future of his people. I love the subtlety to their relationship and that it is more about friendship and discovering the truths about Emma than their love story.

Its a really great story, an addicting one that will keep you glued to the pages until the very end, trying to figure out what Emma is, what she is going to be, and trying to figure if Emma and Galen are ever going to get together. Plus the end of Of Poseidon ends in an epic cliffhanger, which has me DYING for the next book! If anyone is feeling at all sympathetic toward a poor college student blogger, you can throw a copy of Of Triton my way :P

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 stars

Recommended or Not? 

Definitely. You may not think mermaids and their myths and lore is your type of thing, but I wouldn’t have thought that either until I picked up this book. It was nice to read something new and exciting for a change, and I can see why she, Emmy, Leigh and Jessica go on tour together with their unique stories. I think anyone with a love for fantasy and for young adult literature would absolutely enjoy this novel.

*     *     *     *

I hope you guys enjoyed this review of Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.

Check out last week’s review of Struck by Jennifer Bosworth and stayed tuned for a review of The Abandon Trilogy by Meg Cabot as part of The Romance Bookies Meg-A-Readers blog hop!

And you can read other Book of the Week posts here.

Cinda Williams Chima: An Author You Should Be Reading!

I am surrounded by book lovers. Seriously. Most of my friends, cost my acquaintances, ampoule and you, my followers, are book lovers. It makes me incredibly happy to be around so many people who love books because its just awesome. I am able to talk about them all day long, and I have people available whenever to recommend me books :) Fantastic.

But in all this time, all these people that I’ve met, all these book lovers in my life, and I have not met anyone who has read the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (or her Heir Chronicles as well).

cinda

And this seriously disappoints me!

Because she is an absolutely amazing author. I’ve only just discovered her books back in October of 2012, not even a year ago, but I am fully addicted to them.

About Her Books

Cinda Williams Chima writes two different series of books, The Heir Chronicles and The Seven Realms series.

url

The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir

The Enchanter Heir hits bookstores in early October :) 

I’ll talk about the Heir Chronicles first. I adore these books but not nearly as much as the Seven Realms series so I’ll talk about these first. These are a contemporary fantasy, a fantastical idea set in a world that we are familiar with. There are different classifications of people who have special gifts: wizards, sorcerers, enchanters, warriors, and soothsayers. For years, the wizards have held control over everyone else. The different wizard families, the Roses, hold a tournament, pitting different warriors against each other til the death. Enter Jack Swift, a normal every day boy in Ohio who skips his medicine one day and is suddenly super fast, super strong, and feeling better than ever. He soon learns that he is part of this society, that he has both magic and warrior skills, due to some circumstances that occurred when he was born. The Roses are looking for warriors for their tournament, and warriors are running out. Jack’s life soon becomes a danger, as he is hunted by those who would use him. Of course he is also dealing with being a normal teen boy as well, like homework and soccer and choosing between Ellen, the new girl, or Leesha, his ex-girlfriend.

The Seven Realms Series

The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown

Cinda’s other series, the Seven Realms series, is more pure fantasy than the Heir Chronicles. We meet two different characters. First, there is the Raisa ana’Marianna, the princess heir to the Fells, with her mother Marianna as queen and her sister Mellony. Her father is a trader of the Clans. Raisa is concerned about the strength and well-being of her country, and she is worried that her mother is focusing on all the wrong things. She is spending too much time with the High Wizard, and wizards are highly regulated and not to be messed with lightly. Raisa is both trying to have fun as a young princess heir, flirting with the cute boys and wearing pretty clothes, but also trying to be intelligent, and aware of her queendom and how she can be a good queen. Enter Han Alister, who is living a VERY different life than Raisa. A former crime lord, he is trying his best to find good, honest work in order to provide a decent enough life for his mother and his sister. This is proving hard to do when he steals an amulet from a young wizard and all sorts of bad things start to happen to him. Soon, Raisa and Han’s lives start to intertwine and they both begin to learn that there is more going on in the queendom than they were initially aware of.

How I Discovered These Books

In all honestly, it was all happenstance.

My boyfriend and I were…in Long Beach area for some reason. I can’t remember exactly why, but we were. And we were thinking of things to do and decided to go to Barnes and Noble because I can spend way TOO MUCH time in a bookstore (Hey, we ended up going to a record store later, where my boyfriend spent a whole ton of time). And Jon offered to buy me a book, so I took a REALLY long time to find one haha. I had to make sure that it was good.

Eventually I decided to get The Demon King. I really liked the cover, and its what caught my eye. I love that saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” when it comes to people but when it comes to books, I totally judge by the cover, always. And I thought the cover was pretty badass. Then I read the book synopsis and it sounded really good and I took it home. I finished the book within the next day or two, and then preceded to bust a move between the next three of the series.

Luckily enough for me, I discovered the Seven Realms series right before the conclusion, The Crimson Crown, came out…like literally the week of release. I love it when that happens. I literally consumed this series.

Then for Christmas, my dad bought me the box set of The Heir Chronicles, which I read the week after all the holidays died down :)

Why You Should Be Reading Them!

Honestly, and I mean this in the….nicest way possible, but if you haven’t read these books and have NO plans of reading them in the future, then you’re stupid.

Yeah, I went there, I said it. You are SO stupid.

Haha.

These books are AMAZING. I literally felt completely blown away by the amazingness that is the Seven Realms series. I have been impressed by books time and time again, but these books just simply blew my mind with how amazing they are.

I mean, it has everything that I could possibly want in a book. It has adventure, and magic, and a fantasy fictional world and princesses and hot guys and romance and battles and kissing and everything. Its everything packed into four absolutely amazing books.

Reasons You Should Be Reading Cinda Williams Chima 

1. She creates a brilliant, believable fantasy world. In the Heir Chronicles, its set in our world and yet you believe in the magic, and you believe in the world created with warriors and wizards and enchanters in Ohio because she makes it so easy to believe. They weave regular lives with their fantasy lives. One minute, Jack is at soccer practice, hanging out with his friends, and the next, he is learning spells and how to wield a sword. In the Seven Realms, she creates an entirely fictional world with a queendom (yes, a country ruled by women, I love it!) And again, its absolutely believable. You believe every single bit of it, and you want to live there.

2. All of her books have these incredible characters. They’re all such strong and so well developed characters. Raisa, Jack, Ellen, Seph, Han, Jason, Madison, Micah, Fire Dancer. I love them all. They all have their strengths and their weaknesses and they have their struggles and they fight so hard to overcome them. I love that, even when characters are so different, personality wise or in the circumstances of their lives, and yet they have such similar problems, and can relate to one another. Raisa is a princess, terrified of ruling her queendom as a good queen, of taking her place in her realm, while Han, a former streetlord, is struggling to leave his past behind and step into a more responsible, adult role. So different and yet SO insanely similar. All of these characters are ones that I become attached to, that I wish were my friends, or my family, my lovers, my brothers and sisters. They are such REAL, raw characters. And not only does she have these kickass, strong female characters but she has these super awesome male characters as well. I love me some awesome females, but let’s not forget about the guys too.

3. There is SO much fun going on. There’s so much action in these books, whether through traditional fighting styles, with swords and daggers and all that, or with magical powers. I mean, who doesn’t like sword fights and magic? Crazy people, that’s who. Its a wild ride from start to finish in both of her series, and you find yourself pushing yourself through one more chapter, one more chapter, one more chapter because you’re just dying to find out what happens next. She doesn’t mess around; she puts her characters in danger, she makes you believe that things are going to go wrong, that things won’t end up the way they should, and then she does just that. She takes these teenagers and puts them in these impossible situations with heavy burdens on their shoulders and you’re just glued to the pages as you watch them go through their journey. You’re just addicted to it the entire time. I was dying for that fourth Seven Realms book to find out what happened to Raisa and Han and the rest of the Fells.

4. There are some HOT guys in these books. I love me some crush-worthy fictional characters. You know its a good book when it doesn’t take long for me to fall in love with the characters, not just as characters but as boys that you just wish existed in real life. Like, I have a HUGE ginormous crush on Han Alister from the Seven Realms series. He’s a bad boy, a former crime lord turned wizard who is just so sexy, and captures my heart in approximately three chapters. He’s so snarky and charming and smart and he’ll do pretty much anything to make the absolutely impossible relationship between him and Raisa work. Sigh. I also have a major crush on Seph McCauley from The Heir Chronicles. Ditto on the snarky, sexiness.

5. She’s a seriously talented writer. You could have all the things above but just fail miserably because you’re just a terrible writer, and believe me, I’ve seen this happen! Its like so close, almost there, but no trophy. But Cinda Williams Chima captures all of the above in a beautiful writing style. And the best part is that…she has a beautiful writing style, and tells an amazing story but she doesn’t feel the need to make her language more sophisticated than it needs to be. She writes for the audience, and weaves a beautiful story that you can’t help but fall right into. She reminded me SO much of Tamora Pierce, and because of that, she soon became one of my absolute favorite authors. I also learned just recently that she is a huge influence for Leigh Bardugo as well, and I can see why. All three of these ladies are power forces in the fantasy genre.

6. No love triangles. Need I say more? There’s enough romance to keep me swooning but it doesn’t deter from the story. I love romance and kissing and butterflies in my stomach and shipping different characters and all that, but I love when this is happening for a reason, or it is part of the story. I hate romance just for the sake of romance. I don’t judge those who read pure romance books, or those paranormal romances that focus more on the romance than then paranormal, but it’s not for me. This book has SERIOUSLY steamy scenes one minute and then epic battles the next. Perfectly balanced :)

What Are You Still Doing Here?

Seriously? There are about a hundred more reasons why you should be reading these books. If I haven’t gotten you convinced by now…well I just don’t know what to do with you, except maybe hit you in the face with a wet fish a couple times.

But thats a bit cruel isn’t it?

I’m serious though! Get out there, read these books! You’ll be missing out SO MUCH if you never pick up one of these books; you’ll be missing out on a serious gem in the YA fantasy genre.

So please, check out her books, folks. You’re here on WhatANerdGirlSays, which means that you enjoy what I write, and you probably enjoy the books that I read as well…so trust me, when I say you will be crazy to not pick these up.

And check out an exclusive interview with Cinda coming TOMORROW!

Book of the Week Part Two-Seige and Storm

Oh you read that right, sickness I’m doing TWO Book of the Week reviews in ONE week.

I know, crazy, right? Its totally outside the box, breaking the rules. I’m such a rebel, you can’t handle how off the charts awesome I am right now.

So basically the plan had been to do the Book of the Week post on Siege and Storm and then do an episode of Sara’s Quick Picks on The Moon and More, and a couple other books I had read. However, I did not finish Siege and Storm in time for the Book of the Week, which is always (mostly) posted on Thursdays, therefore I did a review on The  Moon and More.

Well I stayed up til 2 am to finish Siege and Storm tonight (yeah, its nearly 4 am while I’m writing this. Yay, insomnia!) and it was absolutely positively brilliant and I’m still kind of recovering from it and I decided I would write a review for it while it was fresh in my mind.

I mean, I could write it for the Book of the Week on Thursday BUT it won’t be as fresh in my mind as it is RIGHT NOW. So this week, you’re all treated to TWO book reviews in one week. How crazy for you guys.

I just want to warn you, since this is a sequel, there will be spoilers to Shadow and Bone in this review. There are very, very minimal to zero spoilers for Siege and Storm but in order to talk about this book, I have to spoil things from the first book. I’m warning you now, don’t read this review if you haven’t read the first book.

Whew, got that out of the way. Now enjoy the Book of the Week, Part Two!

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

original

Genre:
young adult, fantasy

Part of a Series?:
yes, it is the second book of the Grisha trilogy, preceded by Shadow and Bone, and followed by Rune and Rising, out in 2014

You May Like if You Liked:
anything by Tamora Pierce, the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson

Plot Summary: 

Siege and Storm picks up where Shadow and Bone has left off: with Alina and Mal on the run from the Darkling, trying to escape into another world, to be forgotten. Alina is forced to wear a scarf to hide her new amplifier that’ll identify her in a second, and to hold back her powers because let’s face it, they are one of a kind. But Alina can’t run forever, and its not long before the Darkling catches up to her and Mal and is prepared to bring her back to Ravka so he can take over and rule it, so he can have even more power than he already has.

But soon, Alina and Mal are meeting a new friend by the name of Sturmhond, a privateer who has a bigger background than Alina and Mal are prepared for. Suddenly, Alina is alive with new purpose and escaping and running away. She has purpose; there are more powerful amplifiers to help her gain more power and more control, now that the Darkling has scary and impossible new powers. But the further she pushes herself into the Grisha world, trying to save Ravka, trying to gain more power, the further away she gets from Mal. She has to choose whether to keep going in order to save her country or pull back to be with the person she loves.

The Bad:

I have literally nothing to say. I mean, usually, even if I absolutely adore the book, there’s always something kind of nit picky that bugged me but I can’t even think of anything. It was so insanely good. I can’t…I can’t think of anything bad. Maybe I’m on a book high right now and its impossible to get down so I can’t think of anything but its just left me going WHAT THE HELL, and I can’t…too much book happiness right now. I guess the only bad thing I can think of was that it left on kind of a cliffhanger, with SO much hanging in the balance, and I have to wait until 2014 for Rune and Rising. And I’m so bad at waiting.

The Good: 

There is SO much good in this novel, I can’t even begin to start to talk about it. This book held my captivated the entire time that I read it. Alina…is such an interesting character. She’s so real and raw, and such a strong female character. I love that she’s so addicted to her power. I love that the power of it, the strength it gives her, the command that it gives her, just the sheer feeling of pure power it gives her, is so addicting to her, its something that she can’t stop fighting for. She already has an incredibly strong amplifier but she’s not satisfied until she searches for others to make herself even stronger. And I do believe that is in part to be able to be on the same page as the Darkling, who has gained IMMENSE powers since she was on the run. But I also think a HUGE part of it comes from the fact that she feeds off the power, just as the Darkling does, even though she doesn’t want to admit it.

I also like the relationship dynamic in this book. There’s enough romance and kissing in this book to satisfy everyone but it doesn’t distract from the main story, it weaves in and is a major aspect of it without turning the book into a lovey dovey mushy mess. And you’ve got kind of a love…I don’t know, square? Pyramid? A slightly bigger love triangle going on? And I don’t even mind it. Because you have three people fighting for Alina for different reasons…and even though I was so strongly Mal since Shadow and Bone…I find myself rooting for the other two that are so interested in her as well, because all three of them have their perks, their values, and they all can do something for Alina, as she can do something for them. Because its not all about love, you know? Its not like, oh god Alina is the most beautiful person ever and all the boys just LOVE her. She’s powerful, she’s the Sun Summoner, and the people of Ravka worship her, and so some of these desires come from her powers and abilities or from political strategies. I love that. I can’t decide who I like the best because it all just fits and makes sense to me.

Which leads me into the other characters in the novel: all of them who are so built, so complex, so filled out. The thing with fantasy novels is that you tend to get a TON of characters involved; it just comes with the territory of building this new, fictional world. And sometimes you can get SO confused with all these characters, and sometimes there are so many that they just aren’t flushed out well enough, they just don’t have distinct personalities. Even the smallest of characters should have a defining personality. Even if you only see them for one scene, that scene will tell you something of their personality enough to recognize them. And Leigh accomplishes that completely with all her characters. Even the smallest characters, such as Nadia’s brother, have a personality and you’re able to recognize who they are, easily, without the reminder of who they are. I love that she can briefly mention a character and you remember who they are because they were established so well previously. Like I said, so many fantasy novels just fail to do this.

Speaking of fantasy worlds, Leigh creates an amazing, believable, well thought out world. Another issue with fantasy novels is that authors tend to kind of…make up things as they go along sometimes. Like, they don’t full flesh out their world, whether it be customs or culture or religion or just the locations of different places but there isn’t a problem in the SLIGHTEST in this book. Ravka, and the surrounding countries, and their ways, their towns, people, cultures, religion, etc. come so naturally as if it were all real. It reminds me of Tortall or the Fells, in Tamora Pierce or Cinda Williams Chima books because these places feel so real. I feel as if you were to ask Leigh a question about her fictional world, she would have an answer because she’s thought about it, she’s given it life. Its not just a fictional world in paper but its a real world to Alina and Mal and the Darkling and the readers. I don’t question anything about the world because it feels SO real. Everything comes so naturally and there isn’t anything forced.

One last thing, I loved the additional characters added to this novel, especially Sturmhond, who we find out is someone super important. I’m not going to reveal anything because that would just be plain mean, but let’s just say, I did NOT see that one coming. I love him a lot because he brings the humor, the sarcastic, cocky, okay I’ll say it-SEXINESS, to the book. You guys know me, I love those kind of characters (Han Solo, Sirius Black, Jace Wayland, etc) and I was so excited when I started to get to know Sturmhond. And I developed a crush on him ultra fast. Plus…once you figure out his secrets and his motivations, he becomes a complex character, despite his charms and his cockiness and his good looking face. There’s so much more to him, and I’m really hoping he appears in the third book because I’m interested in seeing where Leigh is going to take him.

I am SO not looking forward to waiting until 2014 though :(

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars. Its hard to get that but it earned it, completely.

Recommended or Not?

HELL YES. Honestly, if you’re a reader and you love young adult literature and you love the fantasy aspect that has been blowing up, this is a series for you. Even if you’re a fantasy lover period, and not into YA, you should still read it. Just read it. Leigh Bardugo has created a masterpiece in this series so far, and I’m going to be WAY too anxious waiting for Rune and Rising next year!

*      *      *      *     *

If you liked this review, you should check out previous Book of the Week reviews as well :)

If you missed out on my recap of Leigh Bardugo‘s book release party for Siege and Storm, check it out HERE.

Also, if you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo and her books, you might also like Tamora Pierce and Cinda Williams Chima. 

My Fandom Friday post yesterday as ALL about Tamora Pierce and her YA fantasy novels, so check that out HERE.

And come back later for a post about Cinda Williams Chima and an exclusive interview!