Book Review: The Magnolia Sword

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CHINA, 484 A.D.

A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.

Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling–the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it’s too late.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Magnolia Sword”

Book Expo America 2019-The 10 Year Anniversary #BookExpo19 (Day 1)

Book Expo America will always and forever hold a dear place in my heart. When I first went to BEA I was 16; my mom went with me to NYC (for the first time ever for me), we stayed at this small dirty hotel, and basically navigating NY was terrifying for a girl from Florida (that says a lot). I probably heard about BEA from another blogger, though I can’t for the life of me remember which blog. I don’t remember what books I got, I don’t remember which authors I met, but I do remember whom I met at that BEA and that is my best friend and co-blogger Lexie.

So all in all, I WON AT BEA FOREVER AND ALWAYS because I fell asleep on a total stranger who turned out to be my bestest friend (we will not talk about my issue with boundaries at this point in my life).

That was 10 YEARS AGO. I haven’t gone to BEA in a couple of years because of life (aka James, my one year old) and also ever since BEA joined with BookCon it had gotten a lot more hectic than I can deal with, so I opted to go to other book conventions instead. But this year I decided to brave BEA once more…

…and it was actually quite a blast!

Though BEA did throw a wrench into my most carefully laid out plans by opening the floor on Wednesday for half a day, which was supposed to be our “tour NY, walk around, go to Bloomsbury HQ and Blog Bound!” day, now turned into our “WE HAVE TO SCRAMBLE IF WE WANT TO MAKE EVERYTHING HAPPEN/SACRIFICES MUST BE MADE!”

My Friday schedule looked like this:

BEA Day 1

I made it to ONE signing. I had to make the MOST DIFFICULT DECISION of either going to BlogBound (which was held in the Harper Offices) or get Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. LEIGH FREAKING BARDUGO.

I decided to go to Blog bound–I was very excited to attend! We got to see the Harper Offices! Which I had never seen before, so that was an experience I was not willing to give up. Not even for Leigh Freaking Bardugo.

At 9am we made a pit stop at the Javits Center to pick up our badges, and then it was off we go to Bloomsbury HQ.

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The place was amazing, and the ladies at Bloomsbury sure were SUPER excited to talk about their new upcoming books! We got an ARC of The Gravity of Us (which was on my list of books to pick up at BEA! ) and a fantastic tour inside their offices.

Some of their AWESOME upcoming titles include:

Some Places More Than Others The Dragon Warrior The Gravity of Us A Heart So Fierce and Broken (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #2)

After Bloomsbury we walked back to the Javits–While we had Blogbound still that afternoon we did have a window to go to the BEA floor and walk around, hopefully pick up some ARCs and hit a few signings before we had to go. I did make it to the Meg Cabot signing for Black Canary: Ignite!

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After wandering about the BEA show we headed out to the Harper HQ where we got to meet up with other bloggers and attend panels! The panels I attended were: Jobs in Publishing, and Building a Community.

I got a couple of things from these panels, which were:

  • Getting into publishing and leaving the “intern” phase is HARD and you need to network/meet the right people in order to make it.
  • The author of The Princess and the Fangirl, Ashley Poston, is HILARIOUS and I could listen to her moderate a panel all day long.
  • Having a community of like minded people, like you all amazing book bloggers who will maybe manage to get through this post, is really what helps keep us going in this little sliver of the internet. Without Lexie I would have given up blogging long ago, and I really want to try and build up that community for myself once more and get back into the swing of things.

And that concludes our first day of Bookish AMAZINGNESS–thank you to anybody who got through this long post! And now, a few pics for the FIRST DAY HAUL!

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List of ARCS:

Season of the Witch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #1) American Royals Black Canary: Ignite

Tarnished Are the Stars The Dark Lord Clementine Winterwood

Batman: Nightwalker (Graphic Novel) There Will Come a Darkness (There Will Come a Darkness, #1) Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)

The Tenth Girl Tell Me How You Really Feel The Gravity of Us

The Grace Year Cursed Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew (Moonstruck #1)

Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1 Angel #0

The Magicians: Alice's Story Just Beyond: The Scare School Original Graphic Novel Super Fun Sexy Times

Midas (The Midas Flesh) The Black Mage The Tea Dragon Festival

Rebel (Legend, #4) Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1) Pumpkinheads

More days to come,

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Book Review: Descendant of the Crane

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Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Note: Mild spoilers that are actually fairly big spoilers once you get the reference.

Continue reading “Book Review: Descendant of the Crane”

You Don’t Want to Miss This: Descendant of the Crane

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Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

If I had to compare DotC to other books I’d find myself hardpressed. Joan created a world that while familiar feeling on the surface doesn’t sit back and let you assume. I made assumptions going through the book; assumptions about character motivations, assumptions about world lore, assumptions about relationships because like Hesina I thought I understood what drove people.

I’ll have a full review closer to the publish date – this is more of a ‘get ready for the cool!’ As a disclaimer I am part of Joan’s Street Team (Minister of Personnel reporting for duty), so I was given the chance to read the Advanced Reader’s Copy as well as have Joan answer questions and reveal tidbits before the public. This didn’t affect how I viewed the book or make me feel more inclined towards giving it a better rating then it deserved.

Continue reading “You Don’t Want to Miss This: Descendant of the Crane”

YA Review: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall #SURVIVAL #EdgeofYourSeatGood

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STAND ALONE • 336 Pages • Young Adult

TASCHIMA’s Verdict:
4 Stars
Publish Date *New Release*: July 24th, 2018

After
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.
Before
Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.
After
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father… and she wants revenge.

Holy shit this book was good.

It kind of reminded me of The Martian (I mean, duh, it is a survival book) though instead of space Jess is stuck in the middle of nowhere in Canada.

Continue reading “YA Review: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall #SURVIVAL #EdgeofYourSeatGood”

New Cover Lurve! or more like Mary E Pearson decides to be a drain on my Finances #TheRemnantChronicles

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Facts:

  • These are Paperbacks
  • B&N Exclusives
  • Available on 8/7/18, according to author’s INSTAGRAM.
  • My favorite is The Heart of Betrayal, that orange color is spectacular.
  • Close second is The Kiss of Deception (raise that sword high Lia!)
  • Don’t see that much or any of a difference between “The Beauty of Darkness” covers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • You need them in your life 🖤

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Six of Crows Collector’s Edition Being Released in UK, Aus & NZ…But there is Hope Yet!

If you are in the US, and wish to collect this BEAUTIFUL edition of Six of Crows (whether or not you have read it yet, or own it already, is irrelevant)…

Go to THE BOOK DEPOSITORY and PRE ORDER, like now!

FREE SHIPPING WORLD WIDE!

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No, I am not going to get absolutely any money from giving you this tip, I was just so excited to find out about it myself I figure I’d spread the joy!

Six of Crows is the continuation to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. It can be read as a stand alone, or as part of the bigger picture. You choose!

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My #1 Reason to Look Forward to the New Year: Slayer By Kiersten White!! #BuffyTheVampireSlayer

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I am a huge HUUUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I was (teenage) raised on Buffy, watched every single season (own them still), plus Angel (even though I am TEAM SPIKE), and am currently reading the ongoing comic book series (up next is season 12! First issue to be release June 20th according to my research–Wut wut!).

Anywhooo, I just want to make sure that everybody understand that when I say that I am excited about Slayer by Kiersten White you know I am LEGIT excited.

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When I first heard the news Kiersten White was writing Buffy I was a bit iffy. Will she do it justice, is it canon, will it intersect in any way with the comic?

I do not quite know yet all the answers to these questions, BUT I did get a chance to read the Entertainment Weekly excerpt (which I almost never do because excerpts are such a tease) and it has made me feel 100% better about this whole endeavor as a die hard Buffy fan.

From the excerpt I got:

  • It is set around season 9 of Buffy. Because that is when we deal with the “end of magic” and the main character kept referring to Buffy’s fuck up, and “how are watcher’s supposed to deal without magic?”
  • Kiersten White likes to write about twins.
  • The main character is totally adorable, and I already love her a little.
  • Wanda WYNDHAM-PRICE… am I to believe this is WESLEY’s Mother?! We shall see…
  • I need the book right NAO. Only an apocalypse can keep me away!

CLICK HERE FOR THE EXCERPT!

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Books I Knew Nothing about Until #BookExpo2018

Book Expo America, one of the biggest book industry events around happened just this last weekend…

And I totally missed it, for the 3rd time?

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But I did obsess over the Twitter feed (#BookExpo2018). For days. Which is how now I have a handy list of book titles coming out within the year that look INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC and that I must pre-order straight away!

Continue reading “Books I Knew Nothing about Until #BookExpo2018”

Who Wants a Sneak Peak of WILDCARD (Sequel to WARCROSS) by Marie Lu?

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Click on the Image for the PREVIEW

My attention shifts to a police barricade at the end of the street. They’re directing us to detour down a different block. Ambulance lights flash against the walls, illuminating a covered gurney being lifted into the vehicle. I only need to catch a glimpse of officers pointing up at the roof of a nearby building before I figure out what occurred here. Another criminal must have jumped to their death. Suicides like this have been peppering the news.

And I helped make all of this happen.

Marie Lu, Penguin’s powerhouse, is coming out with the sequel to Warcross on September 18th, 2018.

I personally gave Warcross two out of five stars, I was unimpressed, but I want to give Wildcard a chance to blow it out of the park. Make me regret ever saying bad things about Warcross, make me believe again…

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Here’s to hoping,

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