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

waiting on wednesday

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.)

Socialize with the author:
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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi MeadowsMy Lady Jane Published by HarperTeen on June 7, 2016
Genres: Alternate Universe, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 512
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
4 Stars
Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

Book Review:

MY LADY JANE is a book that shouldn’t work, but it does. There’s a mishmash of things: shapeshifters, pop culture references, fourth wall breaking, tons of humor, and alternate history. Jane is still Queen of England for nine days, but Edward lives and is on a quest to retake his throne after Mary deposes Jane. And, maybe most importantly, MY LADY JANE is hilarious.

Humor can be hit or miss for me, especially in written form, but I must share a sense of humor with the authors, because I found their writing super funny. That said, I’ve never seen/read THE PRINCESS BRIDE, and I think there’s a lot of references to it in MY LADY JANE. But there were plenty of other things to keep me laughing: Jane’s bookworm antics, Gifford turning into a horse every day, Edward hearing he’s a spoiled brat, etc.

In this version of England, there are two factions. Shapeshifters (E∂ians) and non-shapeshifters (Verities). They’re not religious factions, but as people have taken sides, it’s very reminiscent of Protestants versus Catholics. Just a whole lot more fun. The authors take the idea that King Edward was poisoned and run with it, giving him a happily ever after just as they do with Jane. This is first book I’ve read that develops Edward as a real person, and I’ve read a lot of Tudor books. Same with Gifford, aka G, aka Guildford Dudley. He’s not the jerk I always assumed him to be. I had a lot of fun with the authors’ alternate versions of such famous historical figures.

I liked a whole lot about MY LADY JANE:
♥The alternate history, as I already mentioned. Jane Grey deserves a happy ending, and I’m really happy to see her get one.

♥The E∂ian concept was fun, although at one point I thought Oprah was passing out shapeshifting forms (and you get a dog! and you get a horse! and you get a bird!).

♥The romances. Jane and G are arranged, just like they are in history. But here, G turns into a horse every single day, leaving almost no time for him and Jane to get to know each other. And at first, Jane’s furious she had to marry G, who she assumes is a philanderer, because no one knows the truth about him. Over the course of the book, they really develop as a couple, with plenty of misunderstandings and tender moments. They go from enemies to friends at a believable clip.

MY LADY JANE is perfect for when you need a combination of history and humor.

Socialize with the authors:

Cynthia Hand:
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Brodi Ashton:
Website
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Jodi Meadows:
Website
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– leeanna

Getting Started With Warcraft Books, Part 2

world of warcraft book guide

Welcome to Part 2 of my guide to Warcraft books! If you missed it, Part 1 is here. Now we’re getting to the books set just before or during World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), which really just means you play with other people. You don’t have to do activities with other people, but the game world of populated with real players as well as game-created content, like enemies to kill and shopkeepers to buy stuff from. Some of my fondest online memories involve playing Warcraft with various friends over the years — I’m still friends with some of them!

I’m oversimplifying here, but Horde = orcs and Alliance = humans.

By the way, I realized that I forgot a book in my first post. Sorry! It’s a graphic novel, so it flew under my radar.

warcraft: bonds of brotherhood by paul cornellWARCRAFT: BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD by Paul Cornell. Goodreads.

As I just said, BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD is a graphic novel, and tells the story of Llane, Lothar, and Medivh. AKA the Alliance side of things. It’s the official graphic prequel to the movie, even though it’s set decades in the past. It’s a cool idea, to have both a graphic and a novel prequel. And that’s all I have to say about it, because I can’t find many sample pages to preview!

 

 

LEVEL 30: Books set during World of Warcraft

warcraft: cycle of hatred by keith r.a. decandido WORLD OF WARCRAFT #1: CYCLE OF HATRED by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Goodreads.

CYCLE OF HATRED is one of my least favorites in the universe. I remember feeling like the author didn’t have a good grip of Jaina or Thrall, both of whom are big characters in the game. In the book, Jaina (Alliance) and Thrall (Horde) are trying to avoid a fight between their factions, but a demon is trying to stir up trouble. My 1 star review.

warcraft: rise of the horde by christie golden WORLD OF WARCRAFT #2: RISE OF THE HORDE by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

Another Christie Golden book! She overwrites sometimes, but it’s also super obvious that she plays the game. She always puts little details in her novels that players will recognize and appreciate. RISE OF THE HORDE details just that: the rise of the Horde. How the peaceful orcs changed into a warrior race. How the orcs got tricked by the Burning Legion. And why the orcs need a new world. My 5 star review.

warcraft: tides of darkness by aaron rosenberg WORLD OF WARCRAFT #3: TIDES OF DARKNESS by Aaron Rosenberg. Goodreads.

TIDES OF DARKNESS is another one that didn’t impress me, but it still tells an important part of the Warcraft story. I personally didn’t like the author’s writing, but that’s because I read it just after Christie Golden’s RISE OF THE HORDE. Anywho! TIDES OF DARKNESS shows the formation of the Alliance as the different human nations (and dwarves and night elves) band together to fight the orcs and trolls. It’s the story of the Second War. My 2 star review.

warcraft: beyond the dark portal by aaron rosenberg WORLD OF WARCRAFT #4: BEYOND THE DARK PORTAL by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden. Goodreads.

When you hit level 58 in Warcraft, you go to Outlands. Outlands is the broken form of the orcs homeworld, Draenor. BEYOND THE DARK PORTAL takes the heroes of the previous book, TIDES OF DARKNESS, and sends them to the orcs’ homeworld to try and stop villain Ner’zhul, because if they stop him, they think they can stop the Horde’s invasion of their own world, Azeroth. My 3 star review.

warcraft: night of the dragon by richard a. knaak WORLD OF WARCRAFT #5: NIGHT OF THE DRAGON by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.

Welcome back Krasus from the War of the Ancients trilogy! Richard A. Knaak is responsible for a lot of the dragon lore in Warcraft. NIGHT OF THE DRAGON is a follow-up to one of the books mentioned in Part 1, DAY OF THE DRAGON, so I’d advise reading that one first.

warcraft: arthas by christie golden WORLD OF WARCRAFT #6: ARTHAS: RISE OF THE LICH KING by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

ARTHAS: RISE OF THE LICH KING follows Arthas Menethil’s journey from heir to the throne of Lordaeron to the monstrous Lich King. If you play the game, chances are you’ve seen “Why is the Lich King’s mount called Invincible if I can still see it?” posted in /2 [Trade Chat]. Invincible is Arthas’ horse, and even the horse’s rise and fall is depicted in this book. My 3 star review.

warcraft: stormrage by richard a. knaak WORLD OF WARCRAFT #7: STORMRAGE by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.

If you play a druid, chances are you’ve heard of the Emerald Dream. In STORMRAGE, the Emerald Dream has been corrupted. Tyrande Whisperwind, leader of the night elves, must enter the Emerald Dream and save Malfurion Stormrage, her beloved and the first druid.

warcraft: the shattering by christie golden WORLD OF WARCRAFT #8: THE SHATTERING: PRELUDE TO CATACLYSM by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

If you’re a new player to Warcraft, you’ll be hearing all this stuff about Warlords of Draenor or Legion, orcs, and demons, and the Iron Horde. Etc. But you’ll be hearing that stuff from other players/news sites, because in game, the big thing when you’re leveling is Deathwing. The Cataclysm expansion pack changed a lot of the leveling zones, but they haven’t been updated since ~2010. THE SHATTERING leads into that expansion pack, so it’ll give some background information.

warcraft: thrall: twilight of the aspects by christie golden WORLD OF WARCRAFT #9: THRALL: TWILIGHT OF THE ASPECTS by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

After the events of THE SHATTERING, Thrall travels around Azeroth and tries to heal the damage from Deathwing.

warcraft: wolfheart by richard a. knaak WORLD OF WARCRAFT #10: WOLFHEART by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.

One word: WORGEN!

warcraft: tides of darkness by christie golden WORLD OF WARCRAFT #11: JAINA PROUDMOORE: TIDES OF WAR. Goodreads.

TIDES OF WAR is about the fall of Theramore, set just before the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack.

warcraft: shadows of the horde by michael a. stackpole WORLD OF WARCRAFT #12: VOL’JIN: SHADOWS OF THE HORDE by Michael A. Stackpole. Goodreads.

It’s a TROLL BOOK. Sorry about my excitement, but trolls are my favorite race in Warcraft. Most Warcraft books focus on orcs/humans, with some dwarves and night elves. Plus, Michael A. Stackpole wrote some of my favorite Star Wars books.

warcraft: war crimes by christie golden WORLD OF WARCRAFT #13: WAR CRIMES by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

WAR CRIMES is set at the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion and before the Warlords of Draenor expansion.

I thought there would only be two installments in this series, but I was wrong! Be sure to check back at the end of the week for the third and last. It’ll be short, I promise ;)

– leeanna

Book Review: Hope and Red by Jon Skovron

Book Review: Hope and Red by Jon SkovronHope and Red by Jon Skovron
Series: Empire of Storms #1
Published by Orbit on June 30, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
5 Stars
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two young people from different cultures find common purpose. A nameless girl is the lone survivor when her village is massacred by biomancers, mystical servants of the emperor. Named after her lost village, Bleak Hope is secretly trained by a master Vinchen warrior as an instrument of vengeance. A boy becomes an orphan on the squalid streets of New Laven and is adopted by one of the most notorious women of the criminal underworld, given the name Red, and trained as a thief and con artist. When a ganglord named Deadface Drem strikes a bargain with the biomancers to consolidate and rule all the slums of New Laven, the worlds of Hope and Red come crashing together, and their unlikely alliance takes them further than either could have dreamed possible.

Book Review:

HOPE AND RED is the first in the Empire of Storms trilogy. The book follows Hope, a girl trained as a monk assassin to get vengeance for her slain village and Red, an orphaned thief with a gift for smooth talking his way in and out of trouble.

Sounds like your run of the mill fantasy, right? Wrong.

HOPE AND RED is dark and gritty fantasy, two underdogs taking on the corrupt empire. It’s also funny, with characters like Sadie the Goat and lots of the underprivileged making fun of the rich and their lacey ways. And it’s serious, such as when female characters challenge and beat male expectations. Add in plenty of action, scary magic, and there’s a lot to like.

The author has a real gift for making memorable characters. Hope and Red are the standouts naturally, and I liked both for different reasons. But even characters who only showed up for a page stayed with me. Such as Hope’s father, who wore his daughter’s gift of a necklace and didn’t care that the other fishermen mocked him. Or Captain Carmichael, whose life eventually showed Hope vengeance wasn’t the only answer.

While we don’t get to see the entire empire in HOPE AND RED, we do get a good introduction to how life is for the poor. From Hope’s village being destroyed for a biomancer experiment to Red’s mother dying from toxic paints, life sucks a lot if you’re poor. Crime bosses and their gangs control what the imperials don’t.

I was sucked into the hard world of HOPE AND RED from page one, and I couldn’t get enough. Also, the author created some slang, which fit perfectly into the world. Most words are easy to figure out, but there’s a funny glossary at the end, written by one of the laceys.

I made myself read HOPE AND RED in several sessions, so I could enjoy the book for longer. But I really wanted to read the whole thing at once, because I enjoyed it that much. I definitely can’t wait for book two, BANE AND SHADOW, because I know it’s going to be even more epic.

Socialize with the author:

Jon Skovron:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul KruegerLast Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
Published by Quirk Books on June 7, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
3 Stars
A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

Book Review:

LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE is a fun, quirky urban fantasy. Featuring a squad of “new adult” bartenders taking on the dark forces of the night, the book is definitely one I’d recommend for aficionados of properly mixed beverages.

Fresh out of college and unable to find a job, Bailey’s working as a barback for her friend Zane’s bar. It’s not a job worthy of her Ivy League education, but Bailey tries to overachieve anyway. One night she mixes herself a screwdriver, walks home, and is ambushed by a gruesome creature. But that screwdriver? It gives her the power to knock the beast into smithereens.

Bailey finds herself in a secret part of Chicago, where a perfectly mixed drink gives the imbiber magic powers for as long as the drink’s in their system. Each drink gives different powers based on its ingredients. Scattered throughout LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE are pages from The Devil’s Water Dictionary, Bailey’s guide to mixing magic drinks. Those pages were quite cool; one of my favorite parts of the book. They really added to the flavor of the author’s world.

As I said above, this book was quirky and fun. I also liked that the author worked in Bailey’s underemployment and living at home, as those are things a lot of college grads are dealing with. And I liked seeing her make friends, become confident, and realize she can do more than memorize and regurgitate information from a book.I liked seeing Bailey think on her toes. Let’s just say… Dumpster tank.

But there were also a few things that didn’t work for me. Sometimes I felt like the author forgot to mention stuff, like he forgot an important thing here or there, or it was edited out. Once in a while I felt like I was missing something vital. I also thought the romance between Bailey and Zane was unnecessary, awkward, and resolved way too quickly. I think it would’ve worked better if they stayed friends, rather than getting over the Fight and jumping together. I also wanted more background on the tremens.

Right now I think LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE is a standalone, and while I had a few issues with the book, I would definitely read more about Bailey and the Alechemists.

Socialize with the author:

Paul Krueger:
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– leeanna

Getting Started With Warcraft Books, Part 1

world of warcraft

Maybe you just came from seeing the Warcraft movie (Warcraft: The Beginning), and you want to find out more about this world of orcs and humans. Or you’re a long time player of World of Warcraft looking for something to tide you over through Warlords of Draenor’s content drought.

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft on and off (mostly on) since the 2004 open beta. Right now I main a resto/balance druid and beast mastery hunter, but I have at least one of every class at 100. I’ve done hardcore raiding to casual, and everything in between. HORDE FOR LIFE!

I’ve been reading the Warcraft books ever since I knew about them. Say what you will, but books based on games/movies can be fun! I know when I get obsessed with a franchise, I want to devour everything I can. If you’re the same as me, you’re lucky — there are a ton of Warcraft books!

Sidenote, I haven’t read any of the comics, so I can’t help there. (But I think they are out of print anyways)

LEVEL 1: Official movie books

warcraft: durotan by christie golden WARCRAFT: DUROTAN by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

Because Warcraft has been around since 1994(!), the lore can be a little messed up/contradictory at times. To keep things from being too confusing for the movie, some things were simplified. I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m sure Christie Golden did a good job of setting up the events before the movie. This is a prequel to Warcraft: The Beginning.

warcraft: official movie novelization by christie golden WARCRAFT OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

This is the official movie novelization. I think that sums it up :D

Level 10: Books set during the original Warcraft games

warcraft: day of the dragon by richard a knaak WARCRAFT #1: DAY OF THE DRAGON by Richard A. Knaak. Goodreads.

The story consists of Rhonin, a mage, being sent on an observation mission into orc-held territory. He believes it is a chance to redeem himself for his previous adventure, one that went disastrously wrong. But his chance quickly turns into much more, as he is actually the pawn of two dragons who are each attempting to guide him into fulfilling their own devious plans. My 4 star review.

warcraft: lord of the clans by christie golden WARCRAFT #2: LORD OF THE CLANS by Christie Golden. Goodreads.

LORD OF THE CLANS is the story of Horde hero Thrall, from slave to warchief. While I’ve never been a big fan of Thrall (the game designers have a habit of overusing him), I did like this book. Christie Golden made me care more about Thrall than I ever did in the game.

warcraft: the last guardian by jeff grubb WARCRAFT #3: THE LAST GUARDIAN by Jeff Grubb. Goodreads.

Do you remember Garona and Khadgar from the movie? THE LAST GUARDIAN tells their original story in the game universe. I remember liking this book quite a bit, because the setting of Karazhan is one of my favorite ever Warcraft raids, and I liked seeing Medivh.

Level 20: Books set during the War of the Ancients

warcraft: the well of eternity by richard a knaak warcraft: the demon soul by richard a knaak warcraft: the sundering by richard a knaak

This series is a little hard to put in the timeline, since it has time traveling. Rhonin from DAY OF THE DRAGON goes back in Azeroth’s history to the first invasion of the Burning Legion. The Burning Legion is a force of demons who have repeatedly attempted to take over Azeroth. They’re the baddies of the upcoming expansion pack Legion, which you’ll hear about if you play the game.

Aaaand that’s enough for now! Be sure to check back next week for the second and last installment in this series.

–leeanna

Book Review: Run by Kody Keplinger

Book Review: Run by Kody KeplingerRun by Kody Keplinger
Published by Scholastic on June 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
4 Stars
Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.

Book Review:

RUN isn’t normally the type of YA book I’d read — contemporary just isn’t my thing — but I was intrigued by the summary. Agnes is blind and stifled by overprotective parents. Bo is the town slut with a meth addict mom. After the two strike up an unlikely friendship, they end up on the run… but from what?

RUN alternates between Bo’s narration of present events and Agnes’ showing how their friendship started and grew. Agnes likes Bo because unlike everyone else in town — especially her parents — Bo treats her like a normal person. Bo doesn’t think she’s special or extra good or an angel because of her disability. Thanks to their friendship, Agnes begins living for the first time in her life, breaking out of the cage of her parents have created to keep her safe. And also thanks to their friendship, Agnes learns how many people in town misjudge and insult Bo simply because of her family’s reputation. Even she did, before she knew the real Bo.

There’s so much good stuff in RUN. It’s one of those YA books that has a lot of what I’d like to see more of: genuine female friendship, a mature look at sex (no instalove here!), a disabled protagonist that’s more than her disability, etc. There’s depth to both Agnes and Bo, and while the book tackles a lot of issues, it doesn’t feel like an “issue book.”

The last few pages of RUN didn’t quite gel with the rest of the book for me, which is why I gave 4 instead of 5 stars. I felt like Bo threw away a lot of what had been important to her, which just didn’t fit with the rest of RUN.

But overall, RUN is fantastic!

Socialize with the author:

Kody Keplinger:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

Book Review: Age of Myth by Michael J. SullivanAge of Myth by Michael J Sullivan
Series: The Legends of the First Empire #1
Published by Del Rey on June 28, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 418
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine, NetGalley
Goodreads
5 Stars
What does it mean if the gods can be killed? The first novel in an epic new fantasy series for readers of Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, and Scott Lynch.

Michael J. Sullivan’s trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership. Now, Sullivan’s stunning hardcover debut, Age of Myth, inaugurates an original five-book series, and one of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer, Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom, and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.

Book Review:

I’ve wanted to read something of Michael J. Sullivan’s forever, since I’ve heard good things about his Riyria books. But I never got to any of them, so when I saw he had a new series coming out, it seemed like the perfect time to finally check out his work. And by the gods, am I glad I read AGE OF MYTH, because now I want to binge read all of his books.

First, I appreciated the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book. I’m always wary of starting new epic fantasy series because there’s that chance they won’t be finished. No worry of that here — all five books in The Legends of the First Empire are already written. That gives me such peace of mind knowing I’ll get the entire story, and too, I like knowing the author stuck to his ideas for how everything would go, and was even able to work in lots of foreshadowing.

Second, I like the squad of unlikely heroes. Born in a harsh land, Raithe has only ever known fighting and becomes the mythical God Killer. But all he really wants is to quit fighting and find a quiet place to settle down. Widow Persephone must give up leadership of the clan she’s helped lead for 20 years when her husband is killed. But when the new chieftain shows himself unworthy of protecting their clan, she kicks aside generations of tradition. And so on.

Third, AGE OF MYTH is epic fantasy without requiring 800+ pages per volume to be epic. There are big consequences to little events, battles where the underdog is overwhelmed and against the wall, and big powerful bad guys who see humans as rats. Classic fantasy stuff in some ways, but Sullivan puts his own spin on it all. And that ending? Oh man oh man! It’s going to be a long wait until summer 2017.

Socialize with the author:

Michael J. Sullivan:
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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

waiting on wednesday

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!

Socialize with the author:
Website
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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Book Review: Drag Teen by Jeffery Self

Book Review: Drag Teen by Jeffery SelfDrag Teen by Jeffery Self
Published by Push on April 26, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
3 Stars
A fantastic, fabulous, funny YA debut from Jeffery Self, one of the gay icons of the YouTube generation, that follows one high school student on a drag race to his future.

Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: to be the first in his family to leave Clearwater, Florida, and go to college. The problem is, he has zero means of paying for school -- until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition for a college scholarship.

Book Review:

JT needs to get out of Clearwater, Florida, a town that’s too small and just not for him. But he doesn’t have money for college, and his grades aren’t good enough for scholarships. Then his boyfriend Seth finds the perfect solution: JT will compete in the Miss Drag Teen Scholarship Pageant. The only problem? JT loves being in drag — it’s the only time he feels proud and powerful — but the last time he did it, he was booed off the stage of his high school talent show.

DRAG TEEN is a breezy yet serious book, on a subject I haven’t seen in YA before. There’s no angst over JT being gay; he’s already out to his parents and everyone else. No, the focus of the book is JT’s journey to find himself. Drag is a big part of it, because that’s his confidence booster, but there’s also a lot about him learning to quit worrying, live in the moment, and not put himself down.

I liked DRAG TEEN the most when it stayed in the moment, just like JT was learning to do. Sometimes the book got a bit too serious, and it didn’t quite fit the tone of it, like the author’s intentions were coming down like a sledge hammer. Sometimes JT’s revelations were a bit too mature, like a thirty-year-old looking back at being seventeen.

I liked the message of DRAG TEEN, I really did. I saw a lot of myself in JT, as I’m sure other people will. It’s so easy to be negative about yourself, to doubt things, to refuse the help of your friends, and so on. But anytime JT got into trouble, a miracle always showed up to help him. Flat tire on country backroads? Cue rescue by a superstar country singer who was also happy to lend JT wigs and costumes. By the end of the book, I was tired of JT never having to work for anything; everything he needed to find himself was handed to him.

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Jeffery Self:
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– leeanna