Waiting on Wednesday: The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

waiting on wednesday

the wall of storms by ken liuThe Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty #2) by Ken Liu
Release Date: October 4, 2016

In the much-anticipated sequel to the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR) Grace of Kings, Emperor Kuni Garu is faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders.

Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara—and chaos results.

But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara’s savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history.

I read book one of The Dandelion Dynasty, THE GRACE OF KINGS last year. It’s one of those books I didn’t like at first but grew on me, and I’m still thinking about it a year later. So when I saw THE WALL OF STORMS was coming out, I instantly added it to my TBR. Happily October isn’t that far away! I recommend this series if you’re in the mood for Asian-inspired epic fantasy.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

waiting on wednesday

blood for blood by ryan graudinBlood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin
Release Date: November 1, 2016

The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

I’m a big fan of alternate history, especially WWII alternate history, so I was quite excited for WOLF BY WOLF last year. Ever since finishing that great mix of imagined history and action, I’ve been looking forward to BLOOD FOR BLOOD. I’m eager to find out what happens next to Yael, as well as see the impact of the resistance.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

waiting on wednesday

gemina by amie kaufman and jay kristoffGemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Release Date: October 18, 2016

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

I loved ILLUMINAE. If you’re one of the few who haven’t read ILLUMINAE yet, go do that, and then join me and tons of others in waiting for GEMINA. I’m actually reading GEMINA right now, but I’m eager to check out the finished copy for artwork and other cool bits.

Oh right. Why am I looking forward to GEMINA? Because The Illuminae Files is a kickass YA sci-fi series that is everything I ever wanted in book form.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

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long may she reign by rhiannon thomasLong May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
Release Date: February 21, 2017

The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

I liked the ideas Rhiannon Thomas explored in her other two books, where she put a realistic twist on the whole insta-love, the prince kisses Sleeping Beauty to wake her up. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you’ll know insta-love is something I hate, so I was happy to find a different, refreshing take on it. I’m hoping for more of that trope twisting/exploring I’ve come to associate with the author in LONG MAY SHE REIGN. Plus that cover is so pretty!

To tide me over, I’ve been reading through the author’s Feminist Fiction blog, which I recommend.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting On Wednesday: The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

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the enemies of versailles by sally christieThe Enemies of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #3) by Sally Christie
Release Date: September 13, 2016

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches inevitable revolution.

I love the Mistresses of Versailles series! I’ve reviewed book one (THE SISTERS OF VERSAILLES) and book two (THE RIVALS OF VERSAILLES) two times each. There’s just something about the author’s writing that tugs me into Versailles. I’ve learned a ton about Louis XV, his court, and his mistresses, and while I’m sad the series is almost finished, I’m excited to see Comtesse du Barry’s story.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

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crossroads of canopy by thoraiya dyerCrossroads of Canopy (Titan’s Forest #1) by Thoraiya Dyer
Release Date: January 31, 2017

At the highest level of a giant forest, thirteen kingdoms fit seamlessly together to form the great city of Canopy. Thirteen goddesses and gods rule this realm and are continuously reincarnated into human bodies. Canopy’s position in the sun, however, is not without its dark side. The nation’s opulence comes from the labor of slaves, and below its fruitful boughs are two other realms: Understorey and Floor, whose deprived citizens yearn for Canopy’s splendor.

Unar, a determined but destitute young woman, escapes her parents’ plot to sell her into slavery by being selected to serve in the Garden under the goddess Audblayin, ruler of growth and fertility. As a Gardener, she yearns to become Audblayin’s next Bodyguard while also growing sympathetic towards Canopy’s slaves.

When Audblayin dies, Unar sees her opportunity for glory – at the risk of descending into the unknown dangers of Understorey to look for a newborn god. In its depths, she discovers new forms of magic, lost family connections, and murmurs of a revolution that could cost Unar her chance…or grant it by destroying the home she loves.

I saw CROSSROADS OF CANOPY on someone else’s Waiting on Wednesday post last week and instantly added it to my TBR. I’m in the mood for fantasy — too bad I have to wait until next January for this one! But this book sounds quite unique, so it’ll be worth waiting for. I love the idea of a fantasy set in the trees, and the god/goddess system sounds neat, too. Plus it’s Ancient Greek inspired. Lots of great stuff in CROSSROADS OF CANOPY.

(BTW, while you’re here, make sure to check out my giveaway of INK AND BONE.)

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

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not your sidekick by c.b. leeNot Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Release Date: September 8, 2016

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

I heard about NOT YOUR SIDEKICK just after BEA, I think. Thank you, book Twitter! Superhero books aren’t always my thing (I never got into comics), but supervillains are a whole different matter. Plus it’s F/F scifi! If I had superpowers, I’d get my hands on NOT YOUR SIDEKICK now. :D

(BTW, while you’re here, make sure to check out my giveaway of INK AND BONE.)

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

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style by chelsea m cameronStyle by Chelsea M. Cameron
Release Date: June 2016

Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.

Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.

Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.

But is there ever a good time for falling in love?

Here I go again with contemporary! So unlike me. But I’m a fan of Chelsea M. Cameron, and I know STYLE will be just the thing when I need a pick-me-up. It sounds super cute, plus it’s an #OwnVoices book. Gimme!

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Out On Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler

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out on good behavior by dahlia adlerOut On Good Behavior (Radleigh University #3) by Dahlia Adler
Release Date: June 14, 2016

Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.

Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.

This is what happens when you’re mostly away from the book/Twitter blogopshere — you totally miss books that are coming out soon. I remember Dahlia talking about this book on Twitter a while ago, and I just saw the teasers she’s been posting. Good thing June isn’t too far off! Of course, the upside to losing track of stuff is that time goes faster, so I don’t have a long wait for OUT ON GOOD BEHAVIOR. I don’t read much contemporary, but Dahlia’s one of the authors I’ll turn to when I want something good.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Star Wars: Catalyst

waiting on wednesday

star wars catalyst a rogue one storyStar Wars: Catalyst, a Rogue One story
Release Date: October 4, 2016

The must-have prequel novel to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” the upcoming film, set before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” that reveals the untold story of the rebel effort to steal the plans to the Death Star!

It’s really too early to feature CATALYST, but today is Star Wars Day! So I had to pick Star Wars book, and this is the one I’m most excited about for 2016. The trailer for Rogue One has me super excited for another movie (maybe more than The Force Awakens!). I’m still a diehard Star Wars Expanded Universe fan, but maybe this book will get me more into the new canon. Well, as long as it has some Bothans. Because you know they were involved in the theft of the Death Star I plans.

(Yes, I know I sound like a total nutcase unless you’re a Star Wars fan).

Evidence I’m nuts:
star wars books

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna