Waiting on Wednesday: ‘And I Darken’ by Kiersten White

And I Darken Book CoverWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases we can’t wait to get our hands on.

For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday pick, we chose a young adult novel that allegedly reads like Game of Thrones — if Games of Thrones were set in the Ottoman Empire — Kiersten White’s And I Darken.

Starring take no prisoners princess Lada Dragwlya, the first book in the brand new trilogy follows Lada as she plots her revenge against the Ottoman court after being taken from her home in Wallachia — because when you play the Ottoman game of thrones, you win or you die.

You can snag the bad ass sounding novel (which we hope is full of as many beheadings as promised) when it gets released on June 28, 2016.

Continue reading for the bloody synopsis!

Read More »

Mutant and Proud: Cassie-la Teleports Into ‘These Vicious Masks’ by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

These Vicious Masks Book CoverThese Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
: Galley provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group through NetGalley
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: Fiction, young adult, superheroes, supervillains, Jane Austen’s School for Gifted Youngsters
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Navigating society in Victorian England is hard enough for Evelyn, whose mother would love nothing more than to see her married off to an eligible bachelor, a goal Evelyn wants no part of. Keeping her reputation becomes difficult however when Evelyn’s sister Rose is kidnapped and Evelyn learns that they both are part of a group of individuals with specials powers. Even worse? She may be falling in love with one.

When I saw that These Vicious Masks — the first in a trilogy about people with super powers set in Victorian-era London — was dedicated to Calvin and Hobbes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I knew I was in for a treat.

While the book is by no means a completely original concept but rather the mashing of two genres (described by the publisher as Jane Austen meets the X-Men) I found it to be a fun and enjoyable read, and sometimes that’s all I want out of my YA literature.

The story itself follows Evelyn, a strong-headed Elizabeth Bennet type who finally gets to escape the shackles of societal expectations and her mother’s constant attempts to have her married off when her sister Rose (a kind-hearted Jane Bennet type) is kidnapped.

Read More »

Guest Post: A Return to Old Haunting Grounds: Shaili Reviews ‘Remembrance: A Mediator Novel’ by Meg Cabot

Remembrance Meg Cabot CoverRemembrance: A Mediator Novel by Meg Cabot
: DRC provided by HarperCollins through Edelweiss
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Fiction, romance, paranormal, supernatural
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Back Cover Summary: All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight. From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

It’s a strange moment right now where pop culturally-speaking, we’re revisiting a lot of fan favorite series from the 90s to early 2000s that were cancelled or ended prematurely. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot has long been a fan favorite, both in the U.S. and internationally, and in my opinion, is Meg Cabot’s best series. The original series, for those who don’t know, is about a teenage girl who is a Mediator, a person with the ability to see ghosts and help them cross over to the afterlife/other side. Because it was written in the early 2000s, we’ve seen many more ass-kicking heroines come our way, both on our TV screens and in YA fiction. (As another reviewer pointed out, Suze is indeed Buffy’s ghost-busting twin!) But as Meg Cabot has said, it’s been the repeated interest from fans about another installment of the series that’s really behind the inspiration for this new book.

Read More »

5 Fandom Friday: Literary OTPs

5 Fandom Friday OTP

5 Fandom Friday is a weekly feature created by Super Space Chick and The Nerdy Girlie that aims to build a blogging community and foster online friendships.

My inaugural 5FF topic — OTPs — is something that can be given a literary bent (obviously) and is perfect for February, AKA the month in which people celebrate both Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day. Apologies to the groundhogs around the country.

For those of you not in the know, an OTP or “one true pairing” is basically the couples in fiction you love above all others. Keep reading for my top five OTPs, and yes, I will go down with these ships.

Read More »

Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads: Cassie-la Leaps Into ‘Passenger’ by Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken Passenger CoverPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Fiction, young adult, time travel, pirates, romance, you can have your American history and travel to other places in time too!
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Summary: Taking place across time (but not space), Alexandra Bracken’s latest novel follows a violinist name Etta, who finds herself embroiled in a quest to save her family and her timeline from the Ironwoods, a devious lineage who uses history for their own nefarious purposes. It’s the time traveling pirate romance you never knew you wanted!

The first book in a duology, the beautifully written Passenger follows violin prodigy Etta on the adventure of several lifetimes, as she’s taken to the past, joins up with super friendly pirates and learns the shocking truth about her family tree and her ability to travel through time. You know, pretty typical teen trials and tribulations.

Due to the time travel elements, the scope of the novel is huge, taking readers on a journey through present day New York, 1940’s London, Paris in 1880, a number of exotic locales, and even 1776 … New York City!

While the novel may take a bit to really get started, once it does the characters hit the ground running.

Read More »

Rights to V.E. Schwab’s ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’ Acquired by Gerard Butler

A Darker Shade of Magic

Gerard Butler’s production company G-Base has acquired the rights to adapt Victoria Schwab’s stellar fantasy A Darker Shade of Magic for series development.

Schwab herself (adult pen name V.E. Schwab) will write the pilot, which revolves around a dimension-hopping blood magician and his ability to travel to multiple Londons.

From the magic-deprived Grey London to war-torn White London, flourishing Red London and long-lost Black London, Schwab’s series has everything from cross-dressing pirates to magical artifacts and a thrilling quest to save it all.

Read More »