Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: The Dragon Lantern


The Dragon Lantern (League of Seven, 2) by Alan Gratz, June 9, 2015. Published by Starscape. 
Archie Dent is convinced that he and his friends Hachi and Fergus are the first three members of a new League of Seven: a group of heroes who come together to fight the Mangleborn whenever the monsters arise to destroy humanity. His belief is put to the test when they are forced to undertake separate missions. Archie and his faithful Tik-Tok servant Mr. Rivets pursue a shapeshifting girl who has stolen the Dragon Lantern, an ancient artifact with mysterious powers. And Hachi and Fergus travel to New Orleans to find Madame Blavatsky, the only person who knows the circumstances surrounding the death of Hachi’s father.

In the course of their adventures the three heroes meet potential candidates to join their League. At the same time, they learn deep-rooted secrets that could destroy the League forever...

Why: After finally reviewing The League of Seven this week, I was reminded that I completely forgot to see when book two comes out...turns out it was this past summer... So, I'm definitely in need of The Dragon Lantern because things were just beginning to take shape and there were, how should I put this, a cliff-hanger or two that I demand answers, too!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The League of Seven

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 28, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: League of Seven


The League of Seven (League of Seven, 1) by Alan Gratz, August 9, 2014. 352 pages. Published by Starscape. Source: Library.
Young Archie Dent knows there really are monster in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten -- but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn.

When his parents and the rest of The Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.
First Sentence:
The secret entrance to the headquarters of the Septembrist Society could only be reached by submarine.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: Choice of the Family

Choice of the Family: A Call to Wholeness, Abundant Life, and Enduring Happiness by Jean Laffitte, Setpemeber 1, 2015. 192 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
“The Christian life we are called to live within the family is not something just to be studied. It is something to be lived. And it is something to be lived with joy.”-Carl A. Anderson, from the Introduction
When the Catholic Church speaks of "vocation," she means the "calling out" of each human person to accomplish a task preordained by God in the co-redemption of the world. Every human being has a vocation. God created each individual soul with a specific purpose in mind. Thus, the greatest joy for a Christian is pursuing the purpose for which God created him or her. For Christians, marriage is a vocation.

In this series of interviews and reflections, the Head of the Pontifical Council on the Family at the Vatican focuses on the intricacies of family. Bishop Laffitte provides theological and practical insight to deepen our relationships with our parents, children, brothers and sisters, and, ultimately, God. The Choice of the Family stresses the importance of the family in the twenty-first century. and issues a call to action for everyone to reinvigorate the teachings of Jesus in his or her day-to-day life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Clairel

Clariel (Abhorsen, 4) by Garth Nix, October 14, 2014. Published by HarperCollins.
Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all. 
Why: I may be still catching up on the series, but if books 2&3 are anywhere near as good as Abhorsen was then I can assure you that I will be needing to get my hands of Clariel. I'm sure I'll love the rest of the series since Garth Nix is, in fact, one of my favorite authors!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Six of Crows

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 21, 2015

YA Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1) by Leigh Bardugo, September 29, 2015. 465 pages. Published by Henry Holt & Co. Source: Library.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
First Sentence:
Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Serpentine

Serpentine (Kingdom of Xia (second series), 1) by Cindy Pon, September 8, 2015. Published by Month9Books.
SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
Why: The fact that Serpentine is by Cindy Pon is reason enough for me to be "wishing" for a copy of her newest book. Her writing, world building, and characterizations are so incredible that I am beyond in need of this book. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Islands of Chaldea

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 14, 2015

YA Review: The Islands of Chaldea

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and completed by Ursula Jones, April 22, 2014. 368 pages. Published by Greenwillow Books. Source: own
Aileen comes from a long line of magic makers, and her Aunt Beck is the most powerful magician on Skarr. But Aileen's magic has yet to reveal itself, even though she is old enough and it should have, by now. When Aileen is sent over the sea on a mission for the King, she worries that she'll be useless and in the way. A powerful (but mostly invisible) cat changes all of that-and with every obstacle Aileen faces, she becomes stronger and more confident, until her magic blooms. This stand-alone novel, by the beloved and acclaimed author of such classic fantasy novels as Howl's Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci books, will be welcomed by fans old and new.
First Sentence:
Porridge is my Aunt Beck's answer to everything.

Friday, December 11, 2015

On My Mind (5): When You Can't Like Them All


I don't know what happened this year but there were some really bad books out there. There's just no other way to put it then the fact that I had a run-in with some not so great titles. Seriously though, I'm pretty sure this has been my worst year for books with no 5-star fictions reads and 11 (yes, eleven) DNF'd books.
                                         
Some of the books that I ended up not finishing were one's that I decided to, against my gut feeling, give a chance. I thought maybe I was just being prejudiced against them by not at least giving them a shot. No. JUST NO. I should have never even cracked open the cover of some of these. While I may be smirking over my folly in book choices now, there were some that I wasn't even able to make it more then ten pages in.

My biggest problem with a lot of the books I cut loose were that the stories were just bad and poorly done. I didn't like the concept, characters, writing, or the underlying messages of the books. Some of the books were so infuriating that I wanted to fling them across the room. Sorry to say that I could not do that since a good chunk of them were, thank goodness, library books (not sure I would want to explain that kind of book damage to the librarians).

To be honest, I was so disappointed in many of these, especially since there were some of them that I was really excited to read. The rest of them, well, let's just say that curiosity won out a few times and led me astray.

No, I will not be linking to or mentioning the titles I DNF'd this year. I just really wanted to vent and move on from the duds as the year draws to a close in hopes that next year will be full of bookish awesomeness. Though if you are curious, I have reviewed most of them and you can easily find them by searching the blog for "DNF".

So, was it just me this year or did any of y'all see an increase in DNF worthy titles? Please, oh please, tell me I wasn't alone with the bad books!!!

On a lighter note, now when a bad book is before my eyes I just so happen to see/hear this AMV C-Loathing in my head. It is awesome and definitely worth a watch and listen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: The Fires of Calderon


The Fires of Calderon (Balance Keepers, 1) by Lindsay Cummings, September 23, 2014. Published by Katherine Tegen Books.
After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger.

Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy arrive in the Core not a moment too soon. There’s an Imbalance in the Calderon Realm and it’s threatening to bury Albert’s hometown of New York City in a mountain of ash.

The three must train hard completing mental and physical challenges, but above all, they must harness the power of their Tiles—unique superpowers given to each Balance Keeper. So far, Albert’s mastered the art of not mastering his Tile....

With the situation in Calderon growing worse every day, can Albert, Leroy, and Birdie restore balance before New York is destroyed forever? Will Albert master his Tile before it’s too late?
Why: I've actually had The Fires of Calderon on my want list for ages now, I just haven't managed to get my hands on a copy yet. The idea of balance keepers is what really makes me want to read it; that and the fact that I really enjoyed Lindsay Cummings YA book The Murder Complex.  I believe it is well past time that I bugged requested that they purchase a copy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After


The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate, 3) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer, November 1, 2006. Published by Harcourt. Source: Own
Ten years have passed since Kate and Cecy married Thomas and James, and England is now being transformed by the first railways. When the Duke of Wellington asks James to look into the sudden disappearance of a German railway engineer, James and Cecy's search reveals a shocking truth ...

The railway lines are wreaking havoc with ancient underground magical ley lines, which could endanger the very unity of England. Meanwhile, Kate has her hands full taking care of all their children, not to mention the mysterious mute girl Drina, rescued from a kidnapper! The letters between Kate and Cecy, and between their husbands, blend magic, mystery, adventure, humor, and romance.
First Sentence:
Dear Kate,.
    It was splendid to see you and Thomas and your boys again this fortnight past.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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