The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson


 Author:
 Seth Dickinson
Series: Baru Cormorant (#1)
Read: May 18th-19th
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: political fantasy
Rating: ★★★

In short: What to say about a book so good I’ve read it twice in the span of three months? Amazingly plotted, exquisitely written—if you’re looking for a gripping fantasy novel, this is it.

GoodreadsThe Traitor Baru Cormorant is an epic geopolitical fantasy about one woman’s mission to tear down an empire by learning how to rule it.

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery – and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

28145767Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer (#1)
Read: July 1st-6th
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ★★★☆☆

In short: Under the pretty language there’s some insta-love, some confusing mythology, and setting that should’ve been fleshed out more. I had hope, but it was not to be.

Mild spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

Goodreads: Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas


Author:
 Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (#5)
Read: January 7th-14th
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ☆☆

In short: I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed the ToG books seriously. Well, it’s all coming out now, folks. Empire of Storms is a disappointment.

Spoilers for the previous books in the series, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Mild spoilers for Empire of Storms itself.

Goodreads: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

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Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers


Author:
 Sarah Ahiers
Series: Assassin’s Heart (#1)
Read: February 10th-12th
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ★☆

In short: Once again, the blurb proves too good to be true. It’s a typical case of heroine who is supposed to be skilled and tough but is actually like…plain bad at what she does.

Goodreads: In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


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Author: Morgan Matson
Series: Standalone
Read: May 15th-16th
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Genre: contemporary
Rating:

In short: The Unexpected Everything is just what I expected—funny, heartbreaking, and so, so readable.

GoodreadsAndie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

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Summer Days and Summer Nights, ed. Stephanie Perkins

I’m back! Very late, I know, but maybe reviewing twelve stories at once will make up for it?

 Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Standalone
Read: May 21st-24th
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Genre: romance
Rating: ½

In short: Some of these stories were absolutely wonderful, some less so, much like in Perkins’s previous anthology.

Goodreads: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

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The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals (#1)
Read: January 31st
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Genre: YA mystery
Rating: ½

In short: as tight and fascinating as Barnes’s plot itself is, the clichéd characters brought this book down for me.

Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

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The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner


 Author:
 Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen’s Thief (#1)
Read: January 19th
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 1996
Genre: fantasy
Rating: ½

In short: I’m a bit biased, since I’ve read nearly the whole series now, but The Thief introduces the reader to a fascinating world of politics, squabbling kingdoms, and mythology that any YA high fantasy fan needs to live in!

Goodreads: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken


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Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger (#1)
Read: January 22th-26th
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Genre: time travel, historical fiction
Rating:

In short: Passenger is one of the few time travel books I like, with a great cast of characters to boot!

Goodreadspassage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

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The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine


Author:
 Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen (#1)
Read: January 16th-18th
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ¾

In short: a little slow here and there, but otherwise a well-written, captivating story!

Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

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