[Review] Everless by Sara Holland


ABOUT

Title: Everless
Author: Sara Holland
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Goodreads Page
Purchase: Indigo

Synopsis:
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

[Blog Tour] S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett


ABOUT

Title: S.T.A.G.S.
Author: M.A. Bennett 
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: January 30th 2018 

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Greer, a scholarship girl at a prestigious private school, St Aidan the Great School (known as STAGS), soon realizes that the school is full of snobs and spoilt rich brats, many of whom come from aristocratic families who have attended the institute throughout the centuries. She's immediately ignored by her classmates. All the teachers are referred to as Friars (even the female ones), but the real driving force behind the school is a group of prefects known as the Medievals, whose leader, Henry de Warlencourt, Greer finds both strangely intriguing as well as attractive. The Medievals are all good-looking, clever and everyone wants to be among their circle of friends. Greer is therefore surprised when she receives an invitation from Henry to spend a long weekend with him and his friends at his family house in the Lake District, especially when she learns that two other "outsiders" have also been invited: Shafeen and Chanel. As the weekend unfolds, Greer comes to the chilling realization that she and two other "losers" were invited only because they were chosen to become prey in a mad game of manhunt.


[Review] The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli


ABOUT

Title: The Last Namsara
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli 
Series: Iskari #1 
Release Date: October 3rd 2017 

Synopsis:
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

[Blog Tour] An Interview with Sara Holland, author of EVERLESS!



Hello my lovelies! Today I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with Sara Holland, the debut author of Everless! I'm obsessed with stories about time so I was immediately drawn towards this book!

But first, here is some info about the book:


ABOUT

Title: Everless
Author: Sara Holland 
Series: Untitled #1 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Goodreads Page

Synopsis: 
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Interview

Ri: Describe Everless in 6 words.

Sara: Twisty, bloody, magic, friendship, secrets, self-discovery.

Ri: What inspired Everless?

Sara: There wasn't really one "aha" moment. Stories for me usually begin in the form of images, and I had this image of a girl kneeling barefoot at the side of an icy lake, having lost something important. So I was trying to excavate her backstory. I had also just moved to New York without any savings (would not recommend) and was working all the time to make ends meet, so every second was precious, leading me to the question of "what if time was actually money?" So Jules and her world sort of developed, intertwined, at the same time.

Ri: Do you have favourite time-related media pieces? (Books, tv, movies)?

Sara: Probably THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig! It's a time travel book, but there's so much more to it then "character finds herself in strange time, has to find her way back." The main character, Nix, lives with her father on a ship that can take them to any time or place--real or imagined. The writing is gorgeous, and I fell in love with the characters right away.

Ri: Was there anything strange or interesting you found through research for this novel?

Sara: In trying to create the actual, physical process of bleeding time, I did some research about the historical process of bloodletting, which was pretty gross. I learned that some doctors used leeches for that purpose... I decided to just stick with knives.

Ri: If you had a year blood iron coin, what would you do with it?

Sara: I'd like to think I would give it to someone who needs it more than I do!

Ri: What are you currently reading?

Sara: I'm on the road next week for a series of Epic Reads meetups at bookstores around the country, and I'm supremely lucky to be alongside some Harper authors who I've admired since forever--Maureen Johnson, Kasie West, Kendare Blake, Rae Carson, and Colleen Oakes. So I am rereading some of their books--I'm excited to get to fangirl over them in person!

Ri: What is some advice for aspiring fantasy writers?

Sara: I think fantasy writers in particular sometimes feel pressure to have the world and plot all figured out before embarking on a story, and I would caution them not to be beholden to that. While of course the world we live in always influences us, the characters are just as important, and you can always go back and straighten out the worldbuilding after the story is on the story is on the page.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. I graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, I can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in my bloodstream. EVERLESS is my debut novel.


Thank you so much to Glasstown and Sara Holland! You can check out everyone else on the tour at the blogs below:





Happy Reading,
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Review: Last Seen Leaving


ABOUT

Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Relase Date: October 4th 2016 

Synopsis:
Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

[Blog Tour] Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Happy new year everyone!! Today I come to you with Between the Blade and the Heart!

Here's some information on the book:


ABOUT

Title: Between the Blade and the Heart
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Valkyrie #1 
Release Date: January 2nd 2018 

Synopsis: 
When the fate of the world is at stake

Loyalties will be tested


Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin's Valkyries, Malin's greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.




*** EXCERPT ***

ONE


The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers.

In the city, it was never quiet or peaceful, even at three in the morning. There were more than thirty million humans and supernatural beings coexisting, living on top of each other. It was the only life I’d ever really known, but the noise of the congestion grated on me tonight.

My eyes were locked on the flickering neon lights of the gambling parlor across the street. The u in Shibuya had gone out, so the sign flashed SHIB YA at me.

The sword sheathed at my side felt heavy, and my body felt restless and electric. I couldn’t keep from fidgeting and cracked my knuckles.

“He’ll be here soon,” my mother, Marlow, assured me. She leaned back against the brick wall beside me, casually eating large jackfruit seeds from a brown paper sack. Always bring a snack on a stakeout was one of her first lessons, but I was far too nervous and excited to eat.

The thick cowl of her frayed black sweater had been pulled up like a hood, covering her cropped blond hair from the icy mist that fell on us. Her tall leather boots only went to her calf, thanks to her long legs. Her style tended to be monochromatic—black on black on black—aside from the shock of dark red lipstick.

My mother was only a few years shy of her fiftieth birthday, with almost thirty years of experience working as a Valkyrie, and she was still as strong and vital as ever. On her hip, her sword Mördare glowed a dull red through its sheath.

The sword of the Valkyries was one that appeared as if it had been broken in half—its blade only a foot long before stopping at a sharp angle. Mördare’s blade was several thousand years old, forged in fires to look like red glass that would glow when the time was nigh.

My sword was called Sigrún, a present on my eighteenth birthday from Marlow. It was a bit shorter than Mördare, with a thicker blade, so it appeared stubby and fat. The handle was black utilitarian, a replacement that my mom had had custom-­made from an army supply store, to match her own.

The ancient blade appeared almost black, but as it grew closer to its target, it would glow a vibrant purple. For the past hour that we’d been waiting on our stakeout, Sigrún had been glowing dully on my hip.

The mist grew heavier, soaking my long black hair. I kept the left side of my head shaved, parting my hair over to the right, and my scalp should’ve been freezing from the cold, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel anything.

It had begun—the instinct of the Valkyrie, pushing aside my humanity to become a weapon. When the Valkyrie in me took over, I was little more than a scythe for the Grim Reaper of the gods.

“He’s coming,” Marlow said behind me, but I already knew.

The world fell into hyperfocus, and I could see every droplet of rain as it splashed toward the ground. Every sound echoed through me, from the bird flapping its wings a block away, to the club door as it groaned open.

Eleazar Bélanger stumbled out, his heavy feet clomping in the puddles. He was chubby and short, barely over four feet tall, and he would’ve appeared to be an average middle-­aged man if it wasn’t for the two knobby horns that stuck out on either side of his forehead. Graying tufts of black hair stuck out from under a bright red cap, and as he walked ahead, he had a noticeable limp favoring his right leg.

He was a Trasgu, a troublemaking goblin, and his appearance belied the strength and cunning that lurked within him. He was over three hundred years old, and today would be the day he died.

I waited in the shadows of the alley for him to cross the street. A coughing fit caused him to double over, and he braced himself against the brick wall.

I approached him quietly—this all went easier when they didn’t have time to prepare. He took off his hat to use it to wipe the snot from his nose, and when he looked up at me, his green eyes flashed with understanding.

“It’s you,” Eleazar said in a weak, craggy voice. We’d never met, and I doubt he’d ever seen me before, but he recognized me, the way they all did when their time was up.

“Eleazar Bélanger, you have been chosen to die,” I said, reciting my script, the words automatic and cold on my lips. “It is my duty to return you to the darkness from whence you came.”
“No, wait!” He held up his pudgy hands at me. “I have money. I can pay you. We can work this out.”

“This is not my decision to make,” I said as I pulled the sword from my sheath.

His eyes widened as he realized I couldn’t be bargained with. For a moment I thought he might just accept his fate, but they rarely did. He bowed his head and ran at me like a goat. He was stronger than he looked and caused me to stumble back a step, but he didn’t have anywhere to go.

My mother stood blocking the mouth of the alley, in case I needed her. Eleazar tried to run toward the other end, but his leg slowed him, and I easily overtook him. Using the handle of my sword, I cracked him on the back of the skull, and he fell to the ground on his knees.

Sigrún glowed brightly, with light shining out from it and causing the air to glow purple around us. Eleazar mumbled a prayer to the Vanir gods. I held the sword with both hands, and I struck it across his neck, decapitating him.

And then, finally, the electricity that had filled my body, making my muscles quiver and my bones ache, left me, and I breathed in deeply. The corpse of an immortal goblin lay in a puddle at my feet, and I felt nothing but relief.

“It was a good return,” my mother said, and put her hand on my shoulder. “You did well, Malin.”


Copyright © 2018 by Amanda Hocking in Between the Blade and the Heart and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.




Happy Reading!
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