Blog Tour: Review of Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Title:
Wicked Saints
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: E-arc from publisher
Rating: ★★★★

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Synopsis:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy . . . 

RAVING BLURBS:

“Prepare for a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” – Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

“This book destroyed me and I adored it.”- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval


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Oh, Wicked Saints, you were just a whirlwind to read, and I was so happy be caught up in your storm. As a fantasy novel, Wicked Saints started off with a bang . . . but a very confusing bang: chaos and war proceeded throughout the pages and I was desperately scrambling to understand the magic system and who was who. In all honesty, it took me about 15% of the book to finally familiarize myself with all the characters, who had what powers, and understanding the political and religious powers that fueled the war littered throughout the pages. But once I started to understand the holy mess and revolutions that ensued, I could not put this book down. 

As a rarity among society, Nadezhda can speak to gods. With this commodity, the gods grant her divine powers, but the power-granting gods hope for something in return. As Nadezhda tries to break the veil for the gods to finally return and stop a war, she is thrown into political intrigue and religious turmoil. The country and kingdom are crumbling, while her path interweaves with a drunken prince who has seen nothing but war and blood throughout his young adulthood and she also joins ranks with a band of misfits (and an often-smiling, monstrous boy) who seem too trusting and all too good to be true to accept as allies. 

You guys, you need to prepare yourself for the dark character agencies and merciless blood magic that saturates Wicked Saints. There are jaw-dropping moments of lies, deception, bloody kisses, and utter betrayal. And you know what, I am so here for the next book to knock me off my feet. 

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“The future was magic, it was power, it was mankind stepping out of the shadows and finding out the world had been kept in the dark by these gods.”

“We’re all monsters . . . some of us just hide it better than others.”

“You must make a choice, little bird. Do you continue on with your wings clipped or do you fly?”

“I don’t think love is such a force that it will stop you. I’m not sure you’re even capable of it.”

“He was a liar and she wanted his truths.”

“A witch is just a girl who has realized her power is her own.”

Emily A. Duncan
About the Emily A. Duncan

EMILY A. DUNCAN works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. Wicked Saints is her first book. She lives in Ohio.

 


SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: https://eaduncan.com/
Twitter: @glitzandshadows
Instagram: @glitzandshadows
Tumblr: http://glitzandshadows.tumblr.com/

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Note: Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me an early copy of this book. I received this book as a #partner with St. Martin’s/Wednesday Books. All statements and opinions are my own. Please note that all quoted material are not final and may change in the final publication of the book.

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: The Lady Rogue
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy

Synopsis

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: Review of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

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Title:
Serious Moonlight
Author:  Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Physical ARC from publisher

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Synopsis:

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.


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Hi, my name is Cassie and I am a Jenn Bennett book addict . . . I mean fanatic.

If Jenn Bennett writes it. I will read it.

And I’m going to be completely honest with you right now, in the next few weeks, I will probably have multiple posts about Serious Moonlight on my blog. Yes, this post here serves as my official review, but do not fret, I will definitely be posting my favorite quotes and a possible “Raves & Craves” post, which will involve pie . . . yummy, yummy pie.


So what did I love about this book, you ask?


1. Birdie and Daniel’s awkward, sweet, cute, and witty banter. There is an undeniable connection between these two characters, and I really enjoyed how naturally their friendship grew from a “missed connection,” being co-workers, detective work, and their reserved ability to confess their insecurities and establish trust between each other.

2. I adored the most heartwarming relationship between Birdie and her late-mom’s best friend who Birdie calls Aunt Mona. Birdie and Aunt Mona are so enjoyable to read on the page. They are so hilarious and flipping fantastic. You know how in Pretty in Pink, Andie discusses so much of her life’s troubles with her amazing manager, Iona, and their banter is so grown up and funny? That is Birdie and Aunt Mona in a nutshell. I freakin’ love it.

3. There is a date that involves a murder mystery dinner, and GD it it’s so thoughtful and cheesy. This chapter is truly worth the muscle-aching cheeks from all the happy grinning and swooning.

4. Pie. Cherry pie. Breakfast pie. All the pie. 

5. Jenn Bennett’s approach to teen issues is always so gut-wrenching, realistic, and truthful. She handles and approaches issues like teen sex, insecurities, familial problems, mental illness, anxiety, suicide, grief, and depression in Serious Moonlight so well. Jenn’s characters and stories are so honest and relatable, and I look forward to gifting a finished copy of this book to my 16-year-old niece.
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Note: The HUGEST thank you to the Simon Pulse/Simon Teen for providing me an ARC to read and review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Dreaming Darkly
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Publication date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery

Synopsis

Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

A moody and twisty gothic mystery with an impossible romance, Dreaming Darkly is an atmospheric, fast-paced page-turner written by comics veteran Caitlin Kittredge.

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


This week’s topic is…Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Top Ten Books 

(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE)

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April 2, 2019

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April 16, 2019

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May 7, 2019

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May 7, 2019

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May 7, 2019

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May 7, 2019

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May 14, 2019

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June 4, 2019

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June 11, 2019

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June 25, 2019

What books are on your Spring TBR?

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review & Favorite Quotes of The Waking Forest

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Title: The Waking Forest
Author: 
 Alyssa Wees
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

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Synopsis:

Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?


review and quotes

You guys, I found The Waking Forest to be a combination of one of the most mind-boggling, creepiest, and eeriest books I have read in a long time. Told in chapters with alternating settings, this book was like reading dark fairy-stories within other grim fairytales. The novel truly felt like a web of dreams within nightmares within dreams.

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I have a strong fascination with fantasy books set in dark forests, and I loved how The Waking Forest used the forest as an entity to thicken the plot and mold the most magical scenes. Sometimes the highly decorated language was jarring and puzzling because it was literally being told through the character’s own eyes, which often stilted some scenes for me. But overall these specific instances kept me entranced by well-kept secrets and the yearning to know what was going to happen next.

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Overall, The Waking Forest is truly a dark and spellbinding novel. Once I was used to the alternating chapters and the multiple character perspectives, the book became a constant page-turner. The twisted lore and fascinating character development created a hint of mystery, and the unraveling of fantastical secrets was a constant eyeopener. Purple prose decorates the story with vivid imagery and unbelievable scenes filled with fox pets, undiscovered constellations, and tasty wishes that melt on your tongue. Family, friendships, sacrifice, and self-acceptance are important themes that allowed this story to grow into its own form of a memorable fairy tale.

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giveaway

WIN One copy of The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees (USA only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

about the author

 

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In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.
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Note: Thank you to the The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me on this blog tour. And a huge thank you to Delacorte for providing me an ARC to read and review for free in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own. Please note that all quoted material are not final and may change in the final publication of the book.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Shores by Danielle J. Jensen

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Dark Shores
Author: Danielle J. Jensen
Publication date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense, a ship beholden to the Goddess of the Seas. Her people are born of the waves, and they alone know how to cross the impassable oceans between East and West. 

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his only family, and even they don’t know the secret he’s been hiding since childhood.

A DANGEROUS QUEST
When a power-hungry ruler captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they help him conquer the unknown West, the two are forced into an unlikely–and unwilling– alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble