Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Torch Against the Night: Audiobook Review

Author:  Sabaa Tahir
Format:  Audiobook
Narrator:  Fiona Hardingham, Katherine McEwwan & Steve West
Publication Date:  August 30, 2016
Genre:  Young Adult Fiction
My Rating: 5

Goodreads Synopsis

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

My Thoughts...

If you are reading this, then I’m assuming you’ve read book An Ember in the Ashes or my review.  If not, be careful of spoilers in this review.  I try not to include any spoilers, but with a series, that gets harder to do.   So please be careful reading my thoughts.

After reading book #1, it’s glaringly obvious Sabaa Tahir breaks the conventions of Young Adult fiction.  I constantly found myself, in this book and the last, waiting for something or someone to stop something that cannot happen from happening.  I would find myself standing stock still in the kitchen listening, unbelieving, to courageous and awe-inspiring storytelling.

Most second books of a series fall into a lull of plot fillers – problems and actions that happen but don’t necessarily relate to the overall arch of the story.  In ATITN, this does not happen.  Tahir has a plan for everything, and the story is so well put together that I almost want to keep notes just so that I can truly appreciate how intricate the plot is.

After finishing this book, I don’t know where this is going, but I can’t wait to find out.  On to book #3!!!

The Characters...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Blog tour for Harbinger by Nicole Conway

(Dragonrider Legacy #2)
by Nicole Conway
Publisher:  Month9Books
Publication Date:  August 14, 2018

Victory is written in the blood of the brave. As the armies of the Tibran Empire continue to march across Maldobar, a path of scorched destruction and despair is left in their wake. Even with the formidable princess, Jenna Farrow, leading the charge, the strength of the dragonriders is waning. Tibran victory appears inevitable—especially after Princess Jenna and Prince Aubren are taken hostage by the infamous Lord Argonox. Separated from her brother and tortured for information, Princess Jenna refuses to bend to the iron will of Argonox. But her strength and resolve may only last so long. Held prisoner in his dark tower, it would take a miracle to set her free—or perhaps a pair of demigods and their dragons. With revived dragonrider legend, Jaevid Broadfeather, at his side, Reigh must now make a choice: face the truth about the origin of his dark powers, or turn his back on world in need. But throwing off a lifetime of shame and self-doubt is not so easily done—especially when the cost of failure means the destruction of the world. The long-awaited hero has awakened. The ancient spirits are stirring. The dark goddess has chosen her champion. But is he ready to embrace that rite and become the HARBINGER Maldobar needs him to be?

Guest Post - Cover Love

By Nicole Conway

Monday, August 13, 2018

An Ember in the Ashes: Audiobook Review

Author:  Sabaa Tahir
Format:  Audiobook
Narrator:  Fiona Hardingham & Steve West
Publication Date:  April 28, 2015
Genre:  Young Adult Fiction
My Rating: 5

Goodreads Synopsis

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Thoughts...

This is the first book in a series, so usually the plot builds slowly to allow the author to build his/her book universe.  Book-verse? Is that a word?  Oh well, I’m going with it.  While normally it takes an author time to build their book-verse, An Ember in the Ashes is an exception.  We, the readers, are literally thrown into the action as if dropped into the middle of an ongoing story.  From that point, you and the characters are pulled along with the current of events that have already been fated.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Shelf Space Updates 8/12/18

Shelf Space Updates

Every week I like to take a look back and see what books I have read, which books I have added to my TBR (to-be read) pile, and which books I have tossed, i.e. decided I will unfortunately not have enough time in this life to read.  You’ll notice that this last section will not appear very often, for two very important reasons.  I LOATHE getting rid of books and absolutely hate admitting that I can’t read them all.

Books Finished

Beartown (Beartown #1)

Beartown (Beartown, #1)
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a , profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

A Reaper at the Gates

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)The highly anticipated third book in Sabaa Tahir's New York Times bestselling EMBER QUARTET.

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

TBR Additions

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