Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday No. 163: Crystal Storm, by Morgan Rhodes




This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!


Here's my choice for this week!



Crystal Storm
(Falling Kingdoms, Book 5)   
Hardcover, 336 pages
Razorbill
December 13, 2016
Fantasy,Young Adult Fiction


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23367261-crystal-storm?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true







An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he's no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she'll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend--and who will be safe--after Prince Ashur reveals the
dangerous price he paid to cheat death?


Why I'm waiting on this one!

I own the first book of this series, but I still haven't read it..... It's titled Falling Kingdoms. I really do want to read it, but somehow, haven't done so yet....SO many books to read!! I hope that I'll be able to get to it this year, and then eventually I'll reach Book 5..... Lol.

         
 

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!









Saturday, April 30, 2016

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 171: Newt's Emerald, by Garth Nix



Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!


This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!


Here's my choice for this week!



Newt's Emerald 
 Garth Nix
Hardcover, 304 pages
 Katherine Tegen Books
October 13, 2015
(first published November 29, 2013)
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery,
Romance, Young Adult Fiction


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24737347-newt-s-emerald?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true




My Thoughts About This Cover

Interestingly, featuring covers whose main design is typography itself has now made me more aware of such covers. I had never found them fascinating before, but now I feel differently. Such covers can indeed be beautiful, and this one is a stunning example.

The cover I've picked for today has a 19th-century feel to it, but looks modern at the same time. I love the font used for the title, as well as all the little curlicues that embellish it. I also love that the letter "N" encloses a cameo in it, while the letter "R" encloses a gleaming emerald heart-shaped jewel. 

The city walls at the top of the cover are mostly a simple silhouette, yet they contain enough detail to give the cover an exotic feel. Indeed, they remind me of the Arabian Nights. 

I love how several of the cover elements are balanced, one on each side -- the two white gloves,  as well as the scimitar on the left, and what could be a unicorn horn (or perhaps a magic wand) on the right.

The author's name is very nicely framed, with a very nice contrast between the simple font used for his name, and the ornateness of the frame itself.

The curlicues are actually all over the whole cover, which brings back memories of doodling in my notebook during boring math classes....lol. At the bottom of the cover, there's also a top hat. Springing from it are two large curlicues that strongly remind me of a handlebar mustache. This is a very nice touch!

In short, this cover has a very whimsical, cute feel to it, with hints of faraway lands and 19th-century traveling carnivals. The title itself reminds me of the signs used back then, not only for carnivals, but at the front of business establishments, as well.

The artist responsible for this brilliant cover design is Mary Kate McDevitt, a graphi designer (she refers to herself as "a letterer") and illustrator based in Philadelphia. She has a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia., which she obtained in 2007. Some of her clients include Chronicle Books, Target, Sesame Street, Hallmark, Penguin Books, and AT&T.

My list of favorfite book cover artists is certainly growing!! Now it includes artist who use typography as their main design!    
  


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!








Book Review: Last Sacrifice, by Richelle Mead (Fourth Review for The 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge)



Here's my fourth review for this AWESOME challenge,
hosted by Evie @ Bookish Lifestyle!


For the rules and a list of 
participating blogs,
Just click on the link above!
 
There are GREAT prizes involved,
so be sure to check out
the rules and consider joining in!!




Last Sacrifice
(Vampire Academy, Book 6)
Richelle Mead
Hardcover, 594 pages
Razorbill, First Edition
December 7, 2010
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Book Synopsis
Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn't even commit. She's in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She'll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose's life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back...and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead's international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series.






https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6527740-last-sacrifice





When I started reading this series, I already knew it was great. Just how great, though, I really had no idea. Richelle Mead has simply swept me away with these novels! I was unable to put down the previous books in this series, and Last Sacrifice was no exception (although Life did interrupt my reading at times). I became totally immersed in, as well as totally obsessed with, this world of good and bad vampires, dhampirs, and humans known as 'Alchemists'!

These novels have it all -- romance, action, political intrigue, mystery, suspense....and plot twists that I for one never saw coming! These are stories of loyalty vs. betrayal, love vs. duty, and the characters -- especially Rose and Dimitri -- are among the most appealing ones I've ever come across in the YA genre

In this last installment of the series, the unthinkable has happened: Rose has been accused of murdering Queen Tatiana. Her friends immediately come to her aid, hatching a wild plan to bust her out of prison, thus buying some time in order to get evidence that will hopefully prove her innocence. 

All the awesome characters readers have come to know and love are here.

Rose and Dimitri, of course, are the stars of the entire series. They have had to overcome many obstacles to their love, not least of which is Dimitri's own guilt and depression, once he has become a dhampir again. He finds it very hard to forget all the terrible things he did as a Strigoi, even though he really couldn't help doing them.

In this last volume of the series, they are thrown together during Rose's dramatic prison break. His first priority is to keep her safe long enough for evidence to be gathered, and the real murderer brought to justice. Yet, things are not quite so simple, and they must deal with the inevitable feelings that arise between them.

One character who has always stood out for me is Adrian. Yes, I do love Dimitri, but Adrian also has a very special place in my heart. Beneath his devil-may-care exterior, there's a man who is noble, kind, sensitive, and very much a passionate, tender lover. Part of me wanted his relationship with Rose to work, just because he loves her so selflessly. He's always come through for her, even though he knows that her love for him is not really as strong as he would like to believe it is.

Lissa really shines in this last novel! She has come a long way from that naive young girl I first met in the first book of the series. She and Lissa have always been great friends. Indeed, their friendship goes beyond that; they are more like sisters. They are also a study in contrasts; Lissa is a skilled user of Spirit magic, and a born diplomat, while Rose is a warrior who frequently speaks her mind, no matter what the consequences. She's also pretty much fearless.

So many things happen in this last volume....so many loose ends are also skillfully tied together. In the previous book, Lissa had turned Dimitri back into a dhampir, with the help of Spirit magic, while in this one, another character is also brought back from the ranks of the evil Strigoi, by the hand of the most unlikely person, too.  

Sydney Sage, an Alchemist Rose had met in Siberia (this was in the fourth book, Blood Promise), takes a prominent role in Rose's prison break; she is also instrumental in helping Rose and Dimitri  elude the guardians afterward

When I first met Sydney, I didn't like her much; she had a very prejudiced attitude toward dhampirs and Moroi, even though Rose patiently explained that her kind, as well as Moroi, cannot and should not be compared to the totally evil Strigoi. In this last book, Sydney has, thankfully, started to overcome her own bigotry. She's even become Rose's friend, and they begin to work together quite well.

That detestable villain, Victor Dashkov, also returns in this book, along with his Spirit-using brother, Robert Doru. As events unfolded, however, I began to feel some sympathy for Victor. Mead actually made me feel sorry for him and Robert, especially toward the end of the novel.

A new group of characters is briefly introduced in this novel. These are the Keepers, as they call themselves. They are an unusual combination of Moroi, dhampirs, and humans who live in the wilderness of West Virginia, and hold to the ancient Moroi traditions. This was quite interesting to read; these people were able to live in peaceful harmony, something Rose had never seen before.

Sonya  Karp, a former teacher from St. Vladimir's, also appears in this book. She holds a vitally important secret that will help Lissa's influence at Court, and indirectly help Rose, as well. 

The novel ends beautifully, with lots of pomp and circumstance, as well as the perfect HEA for all the main characters. Well, except one.... Still, I was completely satisfied, and now I can't wait to move on to the Bloodlines series!           

    
MY RATING:







Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.