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Stealing Snow – Danielle Paige

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Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

Copied from Goodreads.

Review:

This is a retelling of The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen.

I absolutely loved the beginning of this novel. It opens up in a mental institution, where Snow dubs the medication she is taking, her dwarves. Each medication she is given has a certain effect, even with one she is slightly allergic to and makes her sneeze. It was a great twist to the tale.

The innocence of Snow in this novel isn’t as pure in this retelling. While most have Snow with a sweet disposition and sheer gullibility, Paige gives us a harder, more jaded Snow. She is innocent of the world but harbors inner demons. I think this gives readers a more believable character, or maybe, a more relateable character.

As with most fairy tales, romance takes center stage in this retelling. Snow doesn’t even know the world of her past exists, until her beloved Bale is pulled through a magical mirror and into another realm. The same night a stranger appears in her bedroom, telling her where Bale has gone. She follows this strangers instructions to a tree that has been haunting her dreams. She crosses through the portal and every step of the way, she tries to find people to help her reach Bale.

However, this does not stop her from making a connection with two other boys during her journey. Kai, who never acts like he wants anything to do with her, until he plants one on her in the heat of the moment, and Jagger, the orderly from her dreams.

This novel takes the love triangle trope and gives us even more. It is apparent that Snow is looking for human connection in any form but it causes others to view her need for connection as wanting more.

I had heard many good things about her other series Dorothy Must Die, and I am now super excited to pick that one up as well, but this was an impulse buy… Just look at that cover 🙂

Quotes:

“…this boy I had known for less than a heartbeat, was the boy of my dreams. Only my dreams were nightmares.” ― Danielle PaigeStealing Snow

“I don’t know who you are. You hide your real faces from one another. How is that living? I don’t want to hide my scars, I wish I didn’t have magic and I’d rather dance with my feet on the ground! I don’t want to live in a dream- I just want to live. Like a normal person. And I want to feel things for free.” ― Danielle PaigeStealing Snow

Recommendations:

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) by Gena Showalter

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

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Posted by on September 26, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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My Top Reads of 2016

I’m going to be completely honest here and let you all know I didn’t do a lot of “my choice” reading in 2016. I joined a few book clubs and delved into NetGalley, then started my own novel (hence the absence). However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t come across gems this last year. Here are my top 10.

10. The Stolen Throne – David Gaider 

I honestly love all things Dragon age. 

The thrilling prequel to Dragon Age: Origins, the hit role-playing video game from award-winning developer BioWare!

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne

After his mother, the beloved Rebel Queen, is betrayed and murdered by her own faithless lords, young Maric becomes the leader of a rebel army attempting to free his nation from the control of a foreign tyrant.

His countrymen live in fear; his commanders consider him untested; and his only allies are Loghain, a brash young outlaw who saved his life, and Rowan, the beautiful warrior maiden promised to him since birth. Surrounded by spies and traitors, Maric must find a way to not only survive but achieve his ultimate destiny: Ferelden’s freedom and the return of his line to the stolen throne.

(Copied from Goodreads)

9. The Ritual – Adam Nevill

This one brought the creeps factor. 

Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect. Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their lives.

Lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, they stumble across an isolated old house. Inside, they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones. A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest, and now they’re the prey.

As the four friends struggle toward salvation they discover that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees…

8. The Demonists- Thomas E. Sniegoski 

I have loved his Fallen series for quite some time. This was just as good.

There is more to our world than meets the eye—darker things, crueler things. Exorcist John Fogg and his wife, psychic medium Theodora Knight, know what lurks in the shadows. But even they’re not prepared for the worst Hell has to offer…
 
It was supposed to be a simple exorcism, a publicity stunt to firmly establish John and Theodora’s thriving paranormal investigation empire in the public eye. But something went wrong, leading to an on-air massacre that unleashed a malicious host of demons and left Theodora catatonic, possessed by countless spirits.
 
John sets out on a desperate quest to find a cure for his wife, but his obsession brings him face-to-face with an even more terrifying problem: Theodora’s possession is only one piece of a deadly plot that is threatening the entire world. Because an ancient evil is about to make Earth its battlefield—and without John and Theodora’s intervention, there is no chance for salvation..

7. The Neverland Wars – Audrey Greathouse

Any fairy-tale retelling will catch my attention and this was no exception!

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance. 

6. Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard 

One of the best YA reads of the year!

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart. 

5. Grave Surprise – Charlaine Harris 

One of my favorite authors. I love this series! (Book two)

When I was fifteen, I was struck by a bolt of lightning through an open window of the trailer where we lived…I recovered, mostly. I have a strange spiderweb pattern of red on my torso and right leg, which has episodes of weakness. Sometimes my right hand shakes. I have headaches. I have many fears. And I can find dead people. That was the part that interested the professor…

At the request of anthropology professor Dr. Clyde Nunley, Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis to give a demonstration of Harper’s unique talent. And what better place to have that demonstration than in a very old cemetery?

Dr. Nunley doesn’t bother to hide his skepticism, especially when Harper stands atop a grave and senses two bodies beneath her – one of a centuries-dead man and the other of a young girl, recently deceased. When the grave is opened, Harper’s claim is proven true. The dead girl is Tabitha Morgenstern, an eleven-year-old abducted from Nashville two years previously – a child whom Harper had tried, and failed, to find. The coincidence raises suspicions about her among the police – so she and Tolliver undertake their own hunt to find the killer. They make a nocturnal visit to the cemetery, hoping that Harper can sense something further about the murder.

And then, the next morning, a third dead body is found in the grave…

4. The Novice – Trudi Canavan

Any fan of Harry Potter should pick these up immediately! (Book two)

“Even if a magician’s powers surface of their own accord, he will
soon be dead if he does not gain the knowledge of how to control
them.” Alone among all the novices in the Magicians’ Guild, only
Sonea comes from lowly beginnings. Yet she has won powerful
allies—including Lord Dannyl, newly promoted to Guild Ambassador. But
Dannyl must now depart for the Elyne court, leaving Sonea at the
mercy of the lies and malicious rumors her enemies are busy spreading
. .. until the High Lord Akkarin steps in. The price of Akkarin’s
support is dear, however, because Sonea, in turn, must protect his
mysteries—and a secret that could lead a young novice mage deep into
the darkness. Meanwhile, Dannyl’s first order to resume High Lord
Akkarin’s long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge is
setting him on an extraordinary journey fraught with unanticipated
peril—as he moves ever-closer to a future both wondrous . .. and
terrible.

3. The Last Days of Magic – Mark Tompkins

Truly magical!

An epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and druids, and the goddess struggling to reign over magic’s last outpost on the Earth

What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and—with her twin, Anya—unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today’s world—and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.

2. The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh

Couldn’t put this one down!


In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
1. The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

These books are so beautifully written. It is just something you must experience for yourself.


My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived…until Kvothe.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

 Thanks for reading!!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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Red Queen

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Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

Review:

This book was so incredibly hard to put down. I did not want to adult. I wanted to lock myself away and not come out until I was done… oh, wait, I did that.

I loved that this novel, while still following the dystopian formula, had some surprising turns. Just when I was ready to accept something at face value… Boom! The tables were turned.

I am a fan and I will be purchasing Glass Sword on its release date in just a few weeks!!

Favorite Quotes:

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Anyone can betray anyone.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Rise, red as the dawn.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Words can lie. See beyond them.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I told you to hide your heart once. You should have listened.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“If you know someone’s fear, you know them.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“A lie will raise me up, and one day another lie will bring me down.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“It’s our nature. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I’ll make the others scream for you, Mare, every last one. Not just your parents. Not just your siblings. But every single one like you. I’m going to find them, and they will die with you in their thoughts, knowing this is the fate you have brought them. I am the king and you could’ve been my Red Queen. Now you are nothing.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I’m a Red girl in a sea of Silvers and I can’t afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“I can’t believe I didn’t see him for what he was from the beginning: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And now I’m the sheep pretending to be a wolf.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Red in the head, Silver in the heart” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

“Mare?”
“Are you afraid, Maven?”
“I am. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of letting this opportunity pass us by. And I’m afraid of what happens if nothing in this world ever changes. That scares me more than dying.” 
― Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

Recommendations:

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

The Young Elites – Marie Lu

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Cinder – Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis:

Cinder, a cyborg mechanic, is looked down on by everyone she knows, simply for being what someone made her to be. She works while her stepmother and two siblings sit at home. One day, while working, an android is dropped in front of her and a harried young man asks her if she can fix it. She is about to tell the young man that the android probably isn’t worth saving but realizes the young man is none other than Prince Kai. She then promises to work on the android and return it as quickly as possible.

A plague has swept the globe and no one knows its source. On the same day that Prince Kai drops off his android, the market sees its first case, and it’s not to far from Cinder’s booth. She rushes home and finds her sisters and stepmother getting fit for new dresses for the ball coming up. When Cinder tells her stepmother she will be out for her dress fitting after she gets cleaned up, she tells Cinder she is not going unless she gets their family vehicle fixed. While out at the scrapyard, the only sister who cares about her begins showing signs of the plague, she is forced to call and report her case and she is shipped away to die with all of the other plague victims.

Review:

Android Cinderella!!! Take everything you love about the classic story and add robots, a plague and an evil Lunar queen and you have one of the best retellings I have read to date.

I loved every aspect of this book and I cannot wait to start the next book. I have nothing more to say, because I feel it would all be redundant.

Favorite Quotes:

“I don’t know. I don’t actually remember anything from before the surgery.”

His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. “The cybernetic opetation?”

“No, the sex change.”

The doctor’s smile faltered.

“I’m joking.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

“Cinder twisted up her lips. “Do you think it could have a virus?”
“Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai’s uncanny hotness.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

“The queen’s eyes smouldered. “I know my own kind when I see them, and right now there is one in these city walls.” She pointed a finger toward the balcony.”I want her found and brought to me.”
“Right,” said Kai,”that’ll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I’ll get right on that.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Recommendations:

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)  by Kady Cross

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)  by Julie Kagawa

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)  by Gena Showalter

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)  by Victoria Aveyard (Review to Come)

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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