Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (367)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Bruja Born
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

From Goodreads:

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister's newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula's bruja healing powers can't fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula's world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn't the only one who's been brought back...

Oooooooo. I love the sound of this, just like with Labyrinth Lost. It sounds deep and dangerous and magical and very much steeped in a culture rich in history and meaning. This sounds like it's going to be a massive punch to the heart.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Me on Heart of Iron

Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins imprint)

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him. Ana's desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn't care what he'll sacrifice to keep them. When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive. What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana's past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Heart of Iron is a book of secrets hidden among the stars, a book of fire and iron and blood. Of plots and plans, treason and murder. It's a book about one girl's search for a way to save her friend and the ghosts she uncovers, the darkness that unfolds.

Ana is rough and brash, an orphaned girl found with a Metal guardian in an escape pod, face scarred and memories lost. She has no family but the one that took her in, the pirate captain and her crew that helped Ana and D09, raised her and trained her. Cared for her. And she'll do anything for them, even if that means searching for ways to fix the glitching D09, who knows he doesn't have much time left before the glitches shut him down permanently. Robb is a Valerio, an Ironblood. One of the elite. And he's searching for someone. He's desperate to find his missing father, searching for the location of a lost fleetship. Desperate to answer questions he's had since he was a child. Desperate to get away from his plotting mother and evil brother. But then a dirty pirate girl and a Metal trying to take the coordinates from him. But then they follow him. But then he ends up on a pirate ship on a journey to the lost fleetship. On a journey toward the hard truth.

I was rather intrigued by this book. It moved a bit slowly at times, setting up for surprises and action in the later half of the story, but all the setting up needed to happen. I was curious how it would go, the author taking the idea of the lost Romanov princess from the early 1900's, putting it in deep space in the far future, and adding some deep dark galactic mystery to it. The different view points were a good choice. In a story like this, with players deep in their plans but a little shallow in others, seeing more than one side provides depth and characterization. The determined Ana, the glitching D09, the Ironblood elite Robb, the roguish pilot Jax. They all have their strengths and their flaws, and those flaws are often manipulated as they all try to stay alive. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the next book after that ending, and I would recommend this to fans of Defy the Stars.

(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Me on This Week's Book Week (296)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hi all! It snowed here this week! I know it's Canada, but the winters here are usually mild. And after a mild winter it doesn't usually snow in mid-February. But if the cold air is going to come down, it might snow. Of course it was all gone after a couple of days. ;)

Reviews going up this week will feature Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston (Tuesday) and Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Friday). :)
The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara (e-galley from Skyhorse Publishing through NetGalley)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Me on The Witch Boy

Title: The Witch Boy
Author/artist: Molly Knox Ostertag
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Graphix (Scholastic imprint)

In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted... and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family... and be truly himself.

The Witch Boy is a story of searching and secrets, of magic, of the battle inside Aster of following through with what he feels is right and continuing his family's traditions.

Surrounded by family, his parents and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins, Aster is lonely. He's quick and perceptive, caring and eager to learn, but lonely. He doesn't really fit in with his extended family of witches and shapeshifters. He's more interested in learning witchery than shapeshifting, but only girls are taught witchery. And so Aster is stuck between what he wants to be and what his family tells him he's supposed to be. But when something dangerous circles the family, when it takes and twists some of his cousins and threatens his family, Aster will have to gather up all of his courage in order to save them.

I rather enjoyed the artwork, it was the little details that I loved. The way everyone in Aster's family looked a little similar, how often red hair popped up in his family. The expressions on Aster's face, confusion and sorrow and shame. The little bits of magic, the symbols and the tools, the herbs hanging in the kitchen. The look of the monster hunting Aster's family, its unnatural shape.

I was looking forward to reading this and I'm happy that it didn't disappoint. It's about magic and family, about figuring out who you are inside. About lessons and learning. About being honest and finding the strength to tell your family the truth about yourself, that you're one thing instead of another. For Aster, that's telling his family that he's a witch instead of a shapeshifter, which was hard for him because at every turn he's reminded that only the girls of the family are taught to be witches. Knowing there will be another book, I'm curious to see where it will go, if Aster will be allowed to learn witchery and what he'll discover next.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (366)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Sophie Cameron
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan imprint)

From Goodreads:

Sometimes, I imagine alternate endings to the story: last-minute miracles, touches of magic. I picture how things might have gone, if I wasn’t there. If I’d left just a few minutes later. If I hadn’t been alone. It doesn’t make any difference. One way or another, the crash always comes.

Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.

When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.

Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.

There's a lot in the summary, a lot that's made me rather interested in both the story and how it'll all turn out. It all sounds rather interesting, Jaya caught up in her grief, her secrets, and the angels falling from the sky.