Waiting on Wednesday: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

waiting on wednesday

illuminae by amie kaufman and jay kristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Release Date: October 20, 2015

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

I’m sure everyone else has featured ILLUMINAE already, but now it’s my turn! I am lucky, because I’m actually reading ILLUMINAE now, and it’s bloody fantastic. It’s good sci-fi, which — yay! I can count on one hand the good sci-fi I’ve read in YA.

I’d feature the whole series for my WoW pick if there were covers and summaries for the next books, because I am so excited about this whole series. ILLUMINAE is told/written so creatively, and I’ll admit, when buzz first started for the book, I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up. You know, the hype monster and all that. But ILLUMINAE slays that hype.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

waiting on wednesday

cam girl by leah raederCam Girl by Leah Raeder
Release Date: November 3, 2015

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question:

Can we meet IRL?

Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she’s been running from—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…

Okay. SO. Leah Raeder is my favorite New Adult author. Hands down, she’s amazing, and even more so because she writes books about real characters who face real issues, and there’s tons of diversity. Not to check a box, but because that’s who the characters are. For me, Leah’s writing is the perfect combo between super descriptive and creative, and I can’t recommend her enough if you like dark and gritty books.

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Leah Raeder:
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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

waiting on wednesday

six of crows by leigh bardugoSix of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 29, 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

I’m sure this isn’t a surprise! I loved Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series, and I’m really excited to see her write more in the Grisha-verse. I always like fantasy settings that aren’t Western European inspired. And as much as I liked Alina, the Grisha, and the Darkling, I’m eager to see what life is like for normal people in that world. Well, as normal as you can be when you’re an outcast planning a big heist.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker

waiting on wednesday

daughter of sand and stone by libbie hawkerDaughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.

Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.

From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?

Libbie Hawker is a favorite indie author of mine, who has written some amazing ancient Egyptian historical fiction. The other night, I couldn’t sleep and realized I hadn’t looked at her blog in a while. So I looked and found out she has four new and upcoming books! Another Egyptian trilogy (YAY!) and this one, DAUGHTER OF SAND AND STONE. I love historical fiction that introduces me to new time periods and people. From the summary alone (and a quick Wiki trip), Zenobia sounds amazing. I can’t wait to learn more about her!

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

waiting on wednesday

reawakened by colleen houckReawakened (The Reawakened #1) by Colleen Houck
Release Date: August 11, 2015

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

I really enjoy anything — fiction and nonfiction — about Ancient Egypt. Right now I’m extra hungry for more to read since I’ve been watching Spike’s Tut miniseries. I’ve had my eye on REAWAKENED for a while, but now seems like an apt time to feature it in a Waiting on Wednesday post. I like the summary for REAWAKENED – I’m curious to see what a reawakened Egyptian prince will think of the modern world.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Half a War by Joe Abercrombie

waiting on wednesday

half a way by joe abercrombieHalf a War (Shattered Sea #3) by Joe Abercrombie
Release Date: July 16, 2015

Words are weapons

Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.

Only half a war is fought with swords

The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death.

Sometimes one must fight evil with evil

Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness

Yay, July is close! Because I can’t wait to read the last book of Joe Abercrombie’s awesomely epic fantasy series. Each book is from a new character’s POV, so this is a series you don’t need to read in order, which is always a plus. I do recommend reading HALF A KING and HALF THE WORLD because they’re amazing. I recommend this series if you like gritty fantasy.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

waiting on wednesday

ink and bone by rachel caineInk and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine
Release Date: July 7, 2015

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

INK AND BONE just sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? A world where great texts have survived to to present times because of the Great Library. But then once you factor in that personal ownership of books is forbidden, and the Library approves everything… then INK AND BONE becomes creepy. Fantastic, but creepy.

So let me “cheat” a little and say I have already gotten to read this pick of mine — and I can ensure you, it is fantastic. I should have a review up in a week or so, so remember to check back if you want to find out what I thought!

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

waiting on wednesday

the aeronaut's windlass by jim butcherThe Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher
Release Date: September 29, 2015

Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

September is a bit far away, but I just read the sample Roc sent me for THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS. The sampler only has the Prologue and Chapter One, but I’m hooked. I think this series is going to be full of steamship battles, cool technology, and magic. I haven’t yet read a Jim Butcher book (shame on me!) but THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS looks like it’ll be a good start to his work!

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

waiting on wednesday

tiny pretty things by sona charaipotra and dhonielle claytonTiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Release Date: May 26, 2015

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

TINY PRETTY THINGS doesn’t quite sound like a Leeanna book, does it? But I have a confession to make: I’m a sucker for ballet books. A book even mentions ballet? I’ve gotta read it. Now, I got a copy of TINY PRETTY THINGS for review, and I can say it is one unputdownable book. If you like ballet, drama, sabotage, or anything of the sort, I highly recommend adding this to your TBR. Even better — two out of the three narrators are diverse, and the book talks about diversity in the ballet world.

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Sona Charaipotra:
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Dhonielle Clayton:
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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell

waiting on wednesday

knight's shadow by sebastien de castellKnight’s Shadow (Greatcoats #2) by Sebastien de Castell
Release Date: June 2, 2015

Falcio val Mond is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom and then began fighting among themselves.

The horrifying murder of a duke and his family sends Falcio in a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.

Last year I raved over the first book in the Greatcoats series, TRAITOR’S BLADE. I even picked it as one of my favorites of 2014. So to say I’ve been looking forward to more of this series is an understatement! KNIGHT’S SHADOW is already out in the UK, but I’m being good and avoiding spoilers or any information about it. This cover is actually the UK version, but I haven’t found a good size of the US version, but you can click here to see it.

I’m even more excited today because I was just approved to review KNIGHT’S SHADOW, so there will be some squeeing soon on Twitter. I can’t wait for more of the author’s writing style, which is a great combination of dark humor and swashbuckling fantasy.

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna