Hey everyone! How’s it going? We’re on Day 9, Fantasy. We’re three days closer to Christmas and we’re kicking off the pre-Christmas celebration today with a little snow. Or well, maybe, I guess it’s A LOT of snow.
Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.
At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.
But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.
Look at the cover. At first I thought that FROZEN would be a let down. You know those beginnings where you crack it open and it seems to have nothing to do with what you were expecting? Yeah. For me, FROZEN had one of those beginnings. Later on, the beginning of the book made sense to me, but I still disliked certain aspects to it. Don’t worry. The book doesn’t continue into it. By the time I hit the middle of the book, I was enjoying it pretty well. Though the world-building was a little bit of a disappointment for me, I still really liked it. It wasn’t something I really had a problem with while I was reading the book. I did like the characters, but sometimes the plot didn’t really match up with their ages and what they were. Apparently, Wes is an ex-Marine Sergeant at the age of 16 and leads an amazing mercenary squad made out of acne-faced, beanpole kids. Eh. I still enjoyed the book’s plot, but I think certain aspects to it could be a lot better. 3.5 stars.
One day Han Alister catches three young wizard setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won’t use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battle to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father’s family. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that her mother has other plans for her—plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.
The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning page-turner from best-selling author Cinda Williams Chima.
Truly, THE DEMON KING by Cinda Williams Chima is the book that reminded me why I love fantasy so much. A little bit before I read THE DEMON KING for the first time, I went through a string of bad fantasy books in the desperate attempt to find something new that I could enjoy in the fantasy realm of things. And that was when I discovered a certain realm of amazing books. Seven Realms, to be exact. These books are so full of witty dialogue, great fantasy, fun characters, amazing world-building and a killer plot. I loved the Seven Realms, and right now it’s the closest book–in a battle with THE BOOK THIEF–to get on my five star list. To read my full review, click here.
Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids”, as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.
Piper has a secret.
Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?
Leo has a way with tools.
His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.
So I know that not everyone who was a Percy fan was a fan of this series. But I still loved it, even though at first it was hard for me to accept certain things that happened or that “Jason” (who I still refuse to recognize) and a few others were NARRATING PERCY’S STORY. But you know. I found that the Heroes of Olympus series really grew on me, especially after I read the second book in the series and everything started to really make sense. To me, Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Camp Half-Blood will always be better than anything Riordan pulls now, but I’ve come to really enjoy the Heroes of Olympus and I cannot wait for THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS. I have a lot of high hopes for Rick Riordan, and at this point I’m not sure if he’ll fulfill them or not, but I have faith in him. The fact that he was once my favorite author and still is one of them remains the same. I highly suggest the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series to anyone who has not read them (seriously, you’ll thank me later on) and for those of you who have your doubts about the HOO, think about it–but I’d suggest you try them. Because honesty, I’m not going to be ready to say goodbye to Percy anytime soon. To see my full review for THE LIGHTNING THIEF, click here!
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…
Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
I don’t do mermaid/siren books the same way I don’t do ghoul books, horror books or angel books. I’m very picky with my vampire books, werewolf and zombie books too, when I read paranormal at all. However, I made a promise (because she knows I don’t read mermaid books) that I would read it. When I first cracked open this book, I expected it to be like all the others. Girl finds out she’s part mermaid, can’t resist swimming and wanting to sing guys to death, may even find a few others like her and somewhere along the way, she has to fight who she is and keep herself from killing the guy she loves. Syrena, syrsheema, whatever, was my first impression. NO WAY. This book is quite possibly the only mermaid book I’ve ever read that I liked in my entire life. I really enjoyed Galen and Emma and a lot of the other characters to this book. I felt like the rest of the series and the first few pages to this book are not as good, but trust me–you just want to keep on going. I loved this story and the humor, ideas and writing style to it were really fun for me. To see my full review, click here.
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Yes. In short, this book is a yes. You know how I was talking about how I normally don’t read paranormal up above? Well, fey and fairy are in a different category altogether. I’ll read any and all of them, but it’s very, very hard to find one that will measure up to Julie Kagawa’s THE IRON KING. It’s not like comparing J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis to the rest of the traditional fantasy world, because that would just be unfair, but it’s something like that. That tells you my opinion about THE IRON KING and most of the rest of the series, as well as Julie Kagawa in general. To read more words and my nit-pickings, click here.
THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.
There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.
Hadrian and Royce were amazing for me, but it wasn’t only that about this book. This story was so incredibly rich in fantasy that I just loved every single minute of the world in this story. The elements to this book were so masterfully put together that there was really no other category I could put it in. While it’s not my normal read, I’m incredibly glad I gave this book a shot. To read my full review, click here.
In the Seven Kingdoms, people born with an extreme skill, “Grace”, are feared and exploited. Katsa herself despises hers, killing. Her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, commands her to punish and torture his enemies. Prince Po, with combat skills, becomes her friend, and she learns terrible truths about her Grace and a secret hidden far away that could destroy the realm.
Once you’ve read this book, I’m just saying, you run the risk of never enjoying certain books you might’ve liked if you hadn’t read GRACELING. I’m stating this because it’s true for me and a lot of my other friends who fell prey to Kristin Cashore. The thing is, there are a LOT of other books that sound an awful lot like GRACELING does, and there’s very few that measure up to this book. Whether it’s the concept of a Grace or the world that Katsa and Po live in, I constantly find myself comparing one book to this one. This book is not amazing, but it’s original, creative, enjoyable and has a great heroine. I felt like I liked GRACELING more as I read on throughout the other books, which are great too. I loved so much to this book, and I know you will too if you give it a shot. So read at your own risk… To read my full review, click here.
Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.
But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.
Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
Like THEFT OF SWORDS, I could’ve totally put this book in Awesome Characters and it would’ve worked, but the fantasy elements to this book are so rich that I decided to put this in Fantasy. I loved so much about this book. I was enchanted by the unique and amazing premise to this story and how much I began to love the world and characters that this book was in. Yukiko, Buruu and all the awesome guys and girls to this story really made it come to life and I was completely blown away the first time that I read it. I really encourage all of you who enjoy the fantasy/steampunk/Japanese-manga-anime-feel to read this story. You can read my full review here!
What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds…until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
I have to confess that while Lisa Tawn Bergren’s WATERFALL wasn’t my favorite first book in a series ever, I have to admit that I feel like it’s definitely one of the most complete first book I’ve ever read. What I mean by that it is amazing and wonderful and original. Everything you would typically expect and want of a book, while having that first-book-charm, where it leaves you feeling like you’re gonna keel over and melt in a puddle if you don’t have the next book in the series right then. Yes, it’s hard work being a book lover. This series is exciting, fun, extremely historical and incredible. This was my introduction to Lisa Tawn Bergren and I plan to be reading her books for just as long as she keeps writing them. You can read my full review here.
Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.
He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.
He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.
Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.
Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.
Stephanie Kuehn probably surprised me the most this year with her amazing debut. I had heard the rumors, so when I first started reading CHARM AND STRANGE, I was ready for a deep read. Something that was heart-wrenching and beautiful and nothing short of brilliant. Summed up perfectly by Oscar Wilde, “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” And yet Kuehn blew away any and all expectations I had. I loved Win and Drew and every second of this book. Make no mistake. This is not a quick read. It’s not light or fuzzy in any way. But it is magical. And an amazing reading experience, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time. It displays the kind of concepts that leave you awake at night just thinking about it for a long time. If you’re not up for a deep read, don’t read this book. But for those of you interested, this story will not disappoint. It’s dark, deep, tear-jerking and, well, the title says it all. Charming and strange. To read my full review, click here.
Well, that’s it for today! I hope guys enjoyed Day 9, Fantasy and that you’ll spend the day thinking about your favorite fantasy books. Have a great day and stay tuned tomorrow for theme 10, Classic of the Year.