Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Can't Wait for Iron Gold

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Iron Gold (Red Rising, # 4)

By: Pierce Brown

Expected Publication: January 16th 2018 by Del Rey Books

480 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Honor and betrayal fuel a caste-shattering revolution in the action-packed new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Rising Trilogy. Ten years after the events of Morning Star, Darrow and the Rising are battling the remaining Gold loyalist forces and are closer than ever to abolishing the color-coded caste system of Society for good. But new foes will emerge from the shadows to threaten the imperfect victory Darrow and his friends have earned. Pierce Brown expands the size and scope of his impressive Red Rising universe with new characters, enemies, and conflicts among the stars.

Red Rising has been one of my all-time favorite series that I've read to date. I can't wait to see more from Pierce Brown...especially because we're not branching from the world he created that I fell in love with. What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Fall 2017 TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Fall 2017 TBR List.

  1. The Sound of Light by Claire Wallis
  2. Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1) by Scott Reintgen
  3. Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy, # 1) by Jodi Meadows
  4. Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, # 6) by Sarah J Maas
  5. Cage of Darkness (Reign of Secrets, # 2) by Jennifer Anne Davis
  6. Into the Bright Unknown (The Gold Seer Trilogy, # 3) by Rae Carson
  7. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, # 3) by Mary E Pearson
  8. The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3) by Rick Yancey
  9. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter, # 8) by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
  10. Everything Everything by Nicole Yoon

Some of these are review books that I'm behind on. Some of these I've had and just haven't picked up yet. And at least one is an upcoming release. Which books are on your fall TBR list? Let me know!

Monday, September 18, 2017

One Dark Throne - Review

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, # 2)

By: Kendare Blake

Expected Publication: September 19th 2017 by Harper Teen

448 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Three Dark Crowns was a slow read for me, yet it ended in a bit of a cliffhanger where we find out that Arsinoe is actually a poisoner and not a naturalist at all. I actually guessed this in some ways. What I predicted was that Arsinoe was actually the poisoner and Katharine was the naturalist. Katharine still hasn't been confirmed as a naturalist, but there was specific mention of these two being "switched" and "sabotaged." Even still Katharine was never specifically named as a naturalist, and other than her original snake, Sweetheart, from Three Dark Crowns she's never shown a particular ability with animals either. The real cliffhanger of Three Dark Crowns is that Katharine survived being thrown into the Breccia Domain. But she's returned...different.

All throughout reading One Dark Throne I kept thinking that based off the events of the story this would be the conclusion of the series. But apparently that's not the case. And I have to say that I was a bit disappointed that there will be more. I think that's in large part due to the pacing of the books. Both books were extremely slow reads for me. As a matter of fact, together they took up the majority of my reading time for the entire month of May. Plus even though there are pieces of the story that could definitely be explored further, I had enough closure with how things ended for One Dark Throne.

This might seem contradictory to the paragraph above, but I suppose I do have some conflicting thoughts about this book/series. The description pulled me in with the unique concept of three sisters with different abilities fighting to the death to see which one survives to be awarded the crown. Totally unique, right? And my first thought was that I don't want this to be one of those books where the author cops out and somehow all three sisters find a way to survive as well as potentially find their happily ever afters. Yet, that leaves me rooting for someone to be killed right? It isn't so much that I want anyone to die as much as I want this genre to step up. Not everything has a pretty ending where everyone survives. Especially when you sell a concept like three sisters fighting to the death over a crown.

Another thing I struggled with conflicting emotions over were the romances. Pietyr threw Katharine into the Breccia Domain at the end of Three Dark Crowns so I found it hard to root for him. Nicolas was pretty much a sociopath so there's no backing him. Joseph cheated on Jules with Mirabella. One thing I don't abide is a cheater. While I can respect Jules's ability and willingness to forgive Joseph, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth over the couple. I almost wanted to root for him and Mirabella despite the cheating because there seemed to be some sort of supernatural force between the two, but that petered out. Billy and Arsinoe were the closest to being able to cheer for a happy ending, but these two were a bit dramatic for my tastes. And since romance is usually one of the biggest driving forces behind my desire to read a book, this aspect just really fell flat for me.

Speaking of supernatural forces, I felt like the explanation given for the low magic which didn't really work to connect Arsinoe with her fake familiar bear, Braddock, now suddenly working wasn't enough. And this kind of thing happened a couple of times.

I know that this review has been focused on the things that I struggled with or had conflicting emotions over, but it was a decent book. I can't say that I loved it at all, but it was "good". I did feel some closure with how One Dark Throne ended, but knowing that there's more to come, I can't stop before I've seen what's going to happen next. One Dark Throne gets 3 Stars. Have you read One Dark Throne? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Post - 265

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday Irma came through our area. Thankfully it was downgraded to a Tropical Storm by this point and didn't cause near the damage for us that was predicted. I'm keeping those who did receive the damage promised in my prayers. Husband was off work to get his driver's license renewed yet of course the office for that was closed. But we took that opportunity to do some impromptu potty training for Little Girl. We'd had some early success with that when she was right at a year old but then regressed so we backed off. We continued with the training the rest of the week so we hung around the house mostly. Seemed like we'd have one good day and then one not so good day. But we're sticking with it. Little Girl and I are feeling much better. Husband's struggling with a cold now. Saturday we celebrated my niece's first birthday. Time is flying I tell you. She's such a happy and content child. I look forward to watching her continue to grow. Today we're having a baby shower for Baby Boy.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Throwbacks
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Stormcaster (Shattered Realms, # 3) by Cinda Williams Chima
Thursday: Review of An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, # 4) by Kristi Ann Hunter (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, # 2) by Kendare Blake
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday
Thursday: DNF Review of The Sound of Light by Claire Wallis

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty - Review

An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, # 4)

By: Kristi Ann Hunter

Published: September 5th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

384 pages

Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Award-Winning Regency Romance Author on the Rise

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she'll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

You guys, I've been in a huge book slump. I only read two books last month total. One was a re-read and one wasn't fiction. However, I knew the release date was coming up for An Inconvenient Beauty, and I just had this feeling that this would be a perfect read to help me out of my slump. I ended up seeing this on NetGalley for review, but somehow I missed when it was initially uploaded so I was concerned that I might have missed my opportunity to request it. I was ultimately approved to read and review An Inconvenient Beauty and I started it immediately. And just like I suspected, I had no problems blowing through it.

I was excited to read Griffith's story as he's been a central figure in the previous books in the series. Griffith has been everyone's rock. He's the one everyone else comes to for advice. Normally I would have been kind of put off by Griffith's idea that he could approach finding a wife logically. His family has a tradition of marrying for love despite the customs of the time to marry for practicality. But Griffith thinks he can do both. Considering he watched Trent (his younger brother) go from resenting his own marriage and wife to being deeply in love in An Uncommon Courtship (which was actually the first book in this series that I read), it kind of made sense that he would think that much of his ability to love his future wife would be a conscious decision.

Griffith's in kind of a unique situation. Because he's a duke, most everyone he meets wants something from him. Men want him on their side for political maneuvers and favors. Mothers want to marry him off to their daughters. The daughters also want to secure his hand. And even though he loves his family immensely, he's trying to keep them from meddling and giving him a hard time through the process of finding a wife. This makes trusting others and their motivations a bit difficult. And Griffith takes his responsibilities as Duke of Riverton very seriously. To make this worse, Griffith's made a habit of not dancing at social events except with his family so to dance with anyone outside of his mother and sisters would be equivalent to announcing his engagement or at the very least announcing his intention to court a particular lady. So Griffith attempts to go about his courting in other ways.

I was a little confused in the beginning about what was going on with Isabella. What you need to know is that she's half Scottish. Her mother was English aristocracy but cut all ties when she fell in love with a Scottish sheep farmer. Unfortunately an accident has left her father unable to take care of the farm. Isabella's uncle sees an opportunity to take advantage of her beauty and her family's poor financial situation to exploit her for his purposes. Isabella is to attract as many suitors as possible in order to help her uncle promote his political agenda. Yet, the Duke of Riverton is the one person she's not supposed to attract as his attentions to her would scare away too many other suitors.

Since Griffith has set his eyes upon Isabella's cousin, Fredericka, and Isabella has been told not to encourage the duke, these two have an opportunity to get to know each other without actually wanting anything from the other. Griffith's decision to court Freddie throws Isabella and Griffith into each other's company frequently. Especially when Freddie seems to keep escaping Griffith's attempts.

Now that I've told you too much of the story itself...I really enjoyed this one. I'm not sure I can say that this was my favorite in the series, but it wasn't my least favorite either. I was hooked into seeing if these two could figure out how they really feel for each other and work around the obstacles in their path. There can often be conflicts that are so simple to overcome yet the couple splits over something simple. This wasn't really the case. Things weren't exactly simple and where in other books I get frustrated because the couple just won't communicate with each other, in An Inconvenient Beauty I could respect Isabella for not just going to Griffith to solve all of her problems.

Favorite quotes:

-Amazing how one decision could drive a person so far from where they thought they'd never stray.

-Sometimes truth hurt. And Isabella was glad Freddie was willing to tell her the truth even as she resented the uttering of it.

An Inconvenient Beauty was exactly what I needed. The Christian aspects in the background as well as the culture of the time period kept me from being annoyed with the things that have been bothering me with modern day literature. Both of those things also ensured the story would be clear of language and sex scenes. And Kristi Ann Hunter has proven to pull me in and hook me into the story and characters. An Inconvenient Beauty was no different. I also appreciated and enjoyed the historical aspects that were used in this story to actually further the plot and not just there for decoration. An Inconvenient Beauty gets 4 Stars. Have you read An Inconvenient Beauty? What did you think? Let me know!