When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed book tour and Giveaway!

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Title: When Planets Fall
Author: Abby J. Reed
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Description (Source: Amazon):

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Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.”


Review:

When Planets Fall just skyrocketed to the top of my favorite reads of 2017 list. The book follows three different characters, Breaker, Melani, and Luka. As said in the synopsis, the world this is set in is divided by three different species who have either blue (the Eliks), red (humans), or green (the Hurons) blood.  I immediately fell in love with both Breaker and Malani’s characters. Breaker is a superstar mechanic who also happens to be an amputee, due to something that happened to him in his childhood. I think the struggles of Breaker dealing with his disability are really well written, and not very common to read about in this genre. Melani is a complex character. While she shows strengths in some moments, we are also reminded that she is a scared child in others. Melani has PTSD from her kidnapping as a child, which again, is written very well. I didn’t immediately like Luka, but he really grew on me and actually become my favorite character as the story progressed. 

The story line itself was great and had all the markings of a fantastic Sci-Fi : world building, lots of action, and plot twists! The ending was 😱😱😱. I truly did not dislike anything in the book, but I should warn of a couple things:

  1. cliffhanger at the end 
  2. graphic violence, some involving children 

Again, these things did not bother me, but you should be aware. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
–I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one! 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it.


Click here to see the rest of the book tour over at Xpresso Blog Tours!


Author Bio:

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Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, was published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.
Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at www.abbyjreed.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Format: Audio
Narrators: Will Patton
Description
(Source: Amazon):
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, Book 1) by [Stiefvater, Maggie]

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”


Review:
There has been a lot of hype about this series, which is why I think I was reluctant to start them, and the synopsis didn’t really appeal to me either so I kept putting it off. I ended up getting the audio from my library because it was available and I’m on the wait list for a few other things.

From the very first chapter something about this book ensnared me.  I absolutely adored this book, but I still don’t even know how to put into into words why. The writing is beautiful, the story is interesting and surprising, and the characters are well developed and complex, but I’ve read plenty of books this year that share those same characteristics. This book had a little something extra that had me feeling addicted – just one more chapter. I’d take the long way home so I can just get a few more minutes. Yesterday while listening I even moved a restoration project up (one of my hobbies is restoring antique furniture) so I could work on it while listening to this book. It had that “it factor” that kept calling me back. I had just finished ACOWAR and had a bit of a book hangover from that, which makes me even more surprised at how much I loved The Raven Boys. 

I’m not going to give away anything from the plot because I think it’s better to go in not knowing what the book is really about and without getting any of the twists hinted at. 

Review of the audio:

At first, I though Will Patton kind of sounded like Donald Trump – which had me initially:

Within the first chapter though I thought maybe I was mistaken because I didn’t notice it anymore so I was surprised that my husband commented “that guy sounds just like Trump” when he walked into the room and I had the book on speaker. Don’t let it deter you though because it seriously vanished for me as he began getting into the story more.

His southern accents were great. I’ve found that some voice actors/narrators make southern accents sound like either stereotypical red-necks or uneducated. Patton did a great job at capturing that “old money” Virginian accent. And the whispering willow trees were creepy AF with him narrating, I kept getting goosebumps and looking over my shoulder every time they “spoke”.

Side note: I can’t be the only person who pictured this at first with the tree? 😂😂

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– It has got great characters, a forward moving plot, and superb writing. I’ve already purchased the next book on audio.


City in Embers: Collector, Book 1 by Stacey Marie Brown

Title: City in Embers
Author: Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audio
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Description (Source: Amazon):

Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.

After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.

But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.

When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey’s whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.


Overall Assessment:
Y’all. I am in love with this series. I’ve actually owned this audiobook for over a year because I bought it on impulse, but never got around to reading/listening to it.  I’ve been reading a little more romance lately and wanted something that wasn’t quite YA, and not quite PNR either. I read the reviews on this one and it seemed to be a happy medium. 

The description pretty much tells what the plot is without me having to further delve into it.  Overall, the story moves quick. The audiobook is about 11 hours long and not once did I get bored. The first chapter draws you in as you meet our main protagonist, Zoey, and get introduced to her world. 

About Zoey – she is tough, and not the kind of tough where the author just tells you about it, but you never see any evidence of it in the story. Zoey is not only a formidable fighter, but she also possesses a mental hardiness and resilience that she acquired from bouncing around foster homes the better part of her life. 

And Ryker—sighs dreamily. He is described as a Viking, so naturally I just picture Ragnar from the TV show Vikings. 

Excuse me while I wipe up my drool. Ryker starts out as kind of an asshole, but you can tell there is a squishy center under all the brooding. I know, this sounds like another case of the “bad guy becomes good” trope, but it is done really well. It’s a very slow transition for him, and he’s not quite a “good” guy, just complex. 

The chemistry between Ryker and Zoey is great. It’s definitely going to turn into a romance in the following books, but it’s a verrrrryyyy slow burn. They pretty much bicker the majority of this book, but it’s laugh out loud funny at times. I found myself grinning like a fool several times while listening. 

Rating:

   

What I liked:
– Strong female protagonist! 
– The build up to an epic romance between Zoey and Ryker.
– Sprig, the lovable little monkey sprite. There were times i wanted to ring his adorable little neck because of the “moments” he accidentally broke up, but he adds some extra comedy to a sometimes dark story. 
– Brown does a great job at getting you attached very early to supporting characters. I won’t say anything else about that because of spoilers, but lets just say I may or may not have been crying by chapter 3. 

What I didn’t like:
– I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like. 

Final Thoughts:
– It ends on kind of a cliffhanger, but you learn a major plot development point right before the end. Plus the next book is already out, so quit complaining about it 😉 


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Re-tellings (Beauty and the Beast)
Format: Hardcover
Description (Source: Amazon):

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones–and in her blood. Though Yeva grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory–a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?”


Overall Assessment:
I’m still on my Beauty and the Beast binge (and actually beginning another retelling tonight, lol). Hunted has been one of my most anticipated reads this year so I actually set aside everything else I was reading once it came in. 

Hunted is a B&B retelling, yes, but it is also different in many ways. Yeva, our “beauty”, is a hunter. Yeva’s family consists of her, her two sisters, and her father. Her father is a merchant, but lost all their fortune – not in a bad slimy way like gambling. It was just a mixture of bad business decisions and terrible luck. Immediately I loved all of them. Yeva’s father is loving and dotes on his daughters; her sisters are strong and kind, and Yeva herself is strong-willed, selfless, and intelligent. She is one of the most likable characters I’ve read in a while and thoroughly enjoyed reading about her. I don’t want to give too much away, but many of the other characters are different as well. 
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One cool feature of the book is that before each chapter we get a short journal-like entry from the Beast’s POV. We see his struggle as he continues to grapple between humanity and becoming the beast he shares a mind with. The beast’s curse is unlike any other I’ve read in these kind of retellings. Saying anything other than that might give it away, but it’s definitely unique.
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I know I’m not giving much of the plot in this review, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Just read it! And then come find me so we can talk about it!

Rating:

   

What I liked:
– Likable characters all around. There was literally not a single character that I didn’t like in the book.
– The many twists on the original tale. Even though it was a retelling, it still felt very original.
– The slow-burn romance between Yeva and the beast. It’s definitely not an insta-love situation.
– The big surprise at the end. Actually, throughout the book there were many surprises to be had.

What I didn’t like:
– I can’t think of anything I didn’t like. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it was necessary for the plot progression and character development.

Final Thoughts:
– Hunted is not just another regurgitated B&B retelling. While sticking with the common overall theme, it is filled with original ideas and characters. I recommend it to everyone in need of a refreshing B&B retelling, and anyone who loves a strong female protagonist.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audio, via Audible
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans

As a reminder, I review sequels a little different from other reviews. I am going to hide the description from the main page so you will have to click “Continue Reading” due to potential spoilers from previous books in the description or my review. 

Rating:

 

‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
Format: Audio, via Audible
Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

As a reminder, I review sequels a little different from other reviews. I am going to hide the description from the main page so you will have to click “Continue Reading” due to potential spoilers from previous books in the description or my review. 

Rating:

 

‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult (Some may say YA, but I’ll explain below)
Format: Audio, provided to me by eStories. Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
Description (Source: eStories):

When nineteen16096824 year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

 

Overall Assessment:
Wow. I’m on a roll with listening to amazing books this month. I could.not.stop. listening to this book. I found myself devising ways where I could listen to this book as much as possible and finished it in only 2 days (it was a 16 hour book!). For my note about why I would not classify it as YA, there are a few steamy scenes. More steamy than other YA novels, but tastefully done and not overly graphic. Just be prepared for a little more romance than usual.

TLDR; Strong heroine, a good amount of romance, likable characters, unique story. 

 

Rating:

   

If I could give it more, I would. 

‘Heartless’ by Marissa Meyer

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, Re-tellings, Fantasy
Format: Audio, narrated by Rebecca Soler
Description (Source: Amazon):

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

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Overall Assessment: 

crying
Me right now

I waited for a few months after buying this book because I knew it didn’t have a HEA. –This isn’t a spoiler because we know what a miserable evil nightmare the Queen of Hearts is.– Anyway, I hesitate reading any book that doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies at the end. If you are looking for warm and fuzzies, do.not.read.this.book.

With that being said, ohmygosh. This book was so good. I could not find enough excuses to listen to this book, I even cleaned my carpets for extra listening time, lol!

Rating:

 

‘Frostblood’ by Elly Blake

Title: Frostblood

Author: Elly Blake

Genre:  YA, Fantasy

Format: eBook ARC via NetGalley. It will offically be released next week (1/10/2017)! Links to purchase below.

Description (Source: NetGalley):

The Frost King will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating–yet irresistible–Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her–and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are moral enemies…but together create a power that could change everything.

frostblood

Overall Assessment:
I was cautiously excited to receive this book from NetGalley for review. Hear me out – I adore the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard (check out my review of the first book here), and the blurb sounds very similar to this series. While there are similarities, it is definitely not the same. I enjoyed reading this book from the very first chapter until the last line.

Rating:

 

‘Mordacious’ by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Title: Mordacious

Author: Sarah Lyons Fleming

Genre: Zombies, Sci-Fi, Dystopian

Format: eBook and Audio

Narrators: Luke Daniels, Therese Plummer

Description (Source: GoodReads):

Sylvie Rossi has the loner thing down pat, with the exception of her best friend, Grace. But when the two are trapped in a hospital during the last gasp of a dying city, alone time is no longer an option. A nurse’s offer of sanctuary promises Sylvie the supplies she needs to survive the zombie apocalypse–it’s the coexisting with people that might do her in. Eric Forrest will do whatever it takes to get into the dead city for his sister, including ending up dead himself. He’s used to taking risks, but with every mile he travels death looks likelier and likelier, and finding his sister may be his only prospect for survival—if he can make it home. Sylvie doesn’t need more than food, water and shelter. Eric wants only to find his sister. But sometimes what we think we need isn’t what we need at all, and what we find is more than we expected.

mordacious

Overall Assessment:
FINALLY! I have been waiting for this book since Sarah Lyons Fleming announced it after releasing the last book in her last series (Until the End of the World, book/series review here). The City Series will be on the same timeline as UTEOTW.

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Of course, it did not disappoint! I have been waiting to hear what happened to Maria (Penny and Ana’s mom from UTEOTW) and Eric (Cassie’s brother). I am so glad we finally get some answers! I’m so excited to see what she will do with Sylvie, Eric, and co. !

Rating: