Wednesday, June 20, 2012

[review] China Miéville - Railsea

Title: Railsea
Author: China Miéville
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Personal collection
Format read: Hardcover
Buy from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository

Summary (via Goodreads):
On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he'd bargained for. Soon he's hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham's life that's about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

From China Miéville comes a novel for readers of all ages, a gripping and brilliantly imagined take on Herman Melville's Moby-Dick that confirms his status as "the most original and talented voice to appear in several years." (Science Fiction Chronicle)
Random paragraph: "Here a small train, three carriages only, manoeuvring the rails of the harbour at the end of great thrumming cables, tugged by two great birds. Well: a buzzard-train, emissary from the Teekhee archipelago. Wooden trains decorated with masks; trains coated in die-cast tin shapes; trains flanked with bone ornaments; double- & triple-decker trains; plastic-pelted trains stained in acrylic colours. The Medes passed the clatter & clank of diesel vehicles like their own. Past the shrill fussy shenanigans of steam trains that spat & whistled & burped dirty clouds, like irritating godly babies. & others." (pgs. 135-136, hardcover edition)

I'm not sure how I can possibly give this justice, but I suppose I'll try Haha, it's really hot. Let's see what happens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

[review] Rachel Caine - Cape Storm (Weather Warden, #8)

Title: Cape Storm
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Weather Warden, #8
Publisher: Roc
Format read: Mass market paperback
Source: Personal collection
Buy from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository
Summary (via Goodreads):

Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin and her new husband, the Djinn David, are running from a malevolent hurricane bent on destroying her. Joined by an army of fellow Wardens and Djinn onboard a hijacked luxury liner, Joanne has lured the storm into furious pursuit. But even their combined magic may not be enough to stop it-nor the power-mad ex-Weather Warden controlling it...
Random paragraph:  "Passengers--even me--weren't allowed on the bridge. Apparently, that only happens in the movies, or to Cherise. I helped Lewis get through the rest of the passenger and crew interviews in neutral, nonsecure locations. No real surprises: a couple of drug smugglers, some embezzlers, and a few people who had raided the cabin steward's closet for illegally obtained soaps and pillow mints. Other than that, we were clear of evil influences ... except for the two we already knew about." (p. 125, mass market paperback edition)

This is the second-to-last book in the Weather Warden series. I AM SO SAD ABOUT THIS.

Yarrrr, a warning: thar be spoilers beneath this cut.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Showcase Sunday (4)

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea that lets bloggers highlight any books or book-related swag they received this week, whether they're from bookstores, libraries, received for review, etc.

I got this in the mail this week! I'm about 2/3rds through it and I really like it so far.

Title: Enchanted
Author: Alethea Kontis
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Summary (via Goodreads):
It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

And I got this from the library:

Title: The Killing Moon
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Series: Dreamblood, #1
Publisher: Orbit
Summary (via Goodreads):  
The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Along its ancient stone streets, where time is marked by the river’s floods, there is no crime or violence. Within the city’s colored shadows, priests of the dream-goddess harvest the wild power of the sleeping mind as magic, using it to heal, soothe... and kill.

But when corruption blooms at the heart of Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru—most famous of the city’s Gatherers—cannot defeat it alone. With the aid of his cold-eyed apprentice and a beautiful foreign spy, he must thwart a conspiracy whose roots lie in his own past. And to prevent the unleashing of deadly forbidden magic, he must somehow defeat a Gatherer’s most terrifying nemesis: the Reaper.

Thoughts? :D

Thursday, June 14, 2012

[review] Maggie Stiefvater - Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)

Title: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Books of Faerie, #1
Publisher: Flux
Format read: Paperback
Source: Local library
Buy from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository
Summary (via Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

Random paragraph: "I woke up giddy. Last night, I'd been weirded out by the experience in the church and the idea of faeries stalking me, but this morning, fully rested, with early pale light filtering in through the delicate white curtains, I felt on top of the world. All the negatives seemed far away, and my mind just kept replaying his kiss over and over again." (p. 97, paperback edition)

When I closed this book, I had a huge grin on my face. After a string of less-than-satisfying books, it felt amazing to read a book that worked.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

[review] Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl - Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles, #1
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.
Format read: Paperback
Source: Personal collection
Buy from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository
Summary (via Goodreads):
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.

Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

There was a curse.

There was a girl.

And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Random paragraph: "The room was frozen, except it wasn't. I was frozen. My father was frozen. His eyes were narrow, his lips rounded to form sounds that hadn't had a chance to escape his lips. Still staring at the plateful of mashed potatoes, untouched. The Sisters, Aunt Caroline, and Marian were like statues. Even the air was perfectly still. The pendulum of the grandfather clock had stopped in mid-swing." (p. 288, paperback edition)

I'll be upfront: I'm disappointed because this could have been totally awesome.

Waiting on Wednesday (6): A. G. Howard - Splintered

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 2013
Summary (from Goodreads):
For sixteen years, Alyssa Gardner has lived with the stigma of being descended from Alice Liddell -- the real life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's famed novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But cruel jokes about dormice and tea parties can’t compare to the fact that Alyssa hears the whispers of bugs and flowers ... the same quirk which sent her mother to a mental institution years before.

When her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong for Alyssa to bear, she seeks the origins of their family curse. A set of heirlooms and a moth tied to an unusual website lead Alyssa and her gorgeous best friend / secret crush, Jeb, down the rabbit hole into the real Wonderland, a place more twisted and eerie than Lewis Carroll ever let on.

There, creepy counterparts of the original fairytale crew reveal the purpose for Alyssa’s journey, and unless she fixes the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, Wonderland will have her head.

Why I Look Forward to This: Oh my gosh, just... everything about this. The slightly-insane cover! The summary! And Melissa Marr posted her "first ever detailed" review on Goodreads for this book, in which she praises it HIGHLY. And I trust her taste. Booo on the release date, though; I'd love to see it out sooner!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Showcase Sunday (3)

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea that lets bloggers highlight any books or book-related swag they received this week, whether they're from bookstores, libraries, received for review, etc.

I didn't do this last week because there wasn't much new, but this week was fairly awesome!

For book-related swag, I got a signed bookplate from Thea Harrison -- she was doing a giveaway on her blog for her birthday wherein if you donated books to her library and e-mailed her, she'd send you some swag. One lucky winner got hand-made soap. I didn't get the soap, but the bookplate was super-awesome and I stuck it into my copy of Dragon Bound.

I won a copy of Arise from @HarperTeen on Twitter, so I purchased the $0.99 version of Hereafter for my e-reader to prepare myself. I was hesitant about checking this series out, but Melissa Marr gave it a positive recommendation on Goodreads, and I trust her taste.

Title: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Series: Hereafter, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Summary (via Goodreads):
Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss.
Yesterday, I went to Barnes & Noble -- my membership card is expiring at the end of the month, and I wanted to use the discount before it goes. Because I really appreciated the bookplate, I bought the next book in the Elder Races series, Storm's Heart:

Title: Storm's Heart
Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races, #2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Summary (via Goodreads):

He's a Wyr warrior, a god of storms. She's the heir to the Dark Fae throne. But desire will bring both to their knees in this all-new Novel of the Elder Races.
During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle's death, there are those who don't want to see her ascend to the throne.

Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr's best weapons. And he's sent to protect Tricks when she's almost assassinated in Chicago.

Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.
I've been looking for this next book for AGES in stores, and finally found it yesterday, so I got it while I could. Loved the first one in the series, heard this one was even better, so I'm looking forward to it:

Title: The Broken Kingdoms
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Series: Inheritance, #2
Publisher: Orbit
Summary (via Goodreads):  
In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a strange homeless man on an impulse. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city. And Oree's guest is at the heart of it...

 What do you think? What's new on your shelves this week? :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I've been in such a slump lately -- sorry! I've entered a strange non-reading mood, which I hate... but I think I've found an antidote. I picked up Beautiful Creatures and am tearing through it. :) Hopefully, I'll be back up to speed after I finish it.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I just saw this trailer for Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, and it's making me pretty excited for the book. Absolutely adored The Scorpio Races and can't wait to read this one. I like that she did the art and music for this herself:

She's doing a contest on her blog -- share the trailer, get entries to win one of ten ARCs. Go forth!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

[review] Josephine Angelini - Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)

Title: Dreamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed, #2
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format read: ARC
Source: Publisher via Goodreads giveaway
Buy from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository
Summary (via Goodreads):
Can true love be forgotten?

As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling STARCROSSED delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds expectation.
Random paragraph: "The room erupted into several conversations at once. Apparently, Orion was the first Scion ever to inherit two Houses, which made sense once Helen thought about it since the Furies worked so hard to keep the Houses separate. As Helen picked snippets of conversation out of the turmoil, it became clear that there was a prophecy concerning Orion, and it wasn't a good one." (p. 131, ARC edition)

Not as strong as the first book, but a decent follow-up with an intriguing ending. WARNING: SPOILERS FOR STARCROSSED AHEAD.