Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On My Wishlist: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
parts I & II
by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
320 p.
Published: 7/31/16
Publisher: Scholastic
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016 
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. 
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.
This is one of those... DUH! Of course I want the book NOW ones... :D

So what is on your wishlist this week? 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Audiobook Review with Crafts: Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Covenant #4
Narrator: Justine Eyre
11 hrs. 19 min.
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Source: Library/Hoopla
Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods-and Alex herself-to bring her back.The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex's power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex's connection to Seth isn't the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole "an Apollyon can't be killed" theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries. Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer or she might become the God Killer herself.
My thoughts:

I'm so happy I'm catching up with this series. It has me captivated and worried about the arc with the God Killer and(?) Seth. Having the novella Elixir helped and also had some important information before going into this book. And while that part of the arc is complete, we still have to find a way to stop what is happening and also find out what the cost will be for all our favorite characters, especially Aiden and Alex.

As stated above we undertake another harrowing journey that is an important part of the overall arc. I don't want to give too much away if you haven't read the other books in the series, but I will say this... the romance is so good. I love Aiden and I especially love the way he supports her even if she is more powerful then he could ever become. His love is true and it shines through everything he does and says. Yea, can I oversell this guy? No, not at all. :)

I enjoyed Justine's narration with her various voice portrayals as I did in the previous audios. I still have a bit of a problem with her inner voice of Alex as it still seems so tired. I also listened with this one at 1.25 and that seemed to take care of that problem I had but not interfere with the voicing of the characters. It was a good compromise.

I give this audio 4 1/2 stars. Another great addition to the series and I immediately got the next one so I can listen to it immediately. I am anxious for the final showdown, but I also can't wait to find out what happens. I highly recommend this series to those that enjoy YA PNR.

The Crafts!
I made a couple of things while listening to this audio. One is a scarf/shrug. You can use it as a scarf but if it gets chilly and you have a short or no sleeve shirt, it converts to sleeves. I used a tutorial by Bez White (free at her blog). I changed it a bit by using one length (instead of 2) and I changed the embellishing on the edges since this was for my mom and the embellishment I did was more her style. This was also the second one I did. The first one broke a needle (yes, knit breaking a needle... lol) and other things which makes it a project that will NOT see the light of day. :) I'm still learning on how to sew knits.

The second project was a yoga bag. I bought a good yoga mat to use but I have to wait for it to outgas and I cannot go near it until it does. UGH. Manufactures... please cure products before you send them out. Anyhoo... This bag is a pattern from Swoon (affiliate link). The bag is called Sophia. Ever since I saw these frogs I've wanted to do a yoga bag out of it. I thought it was too funny and cute to pass up. The mat is my old one but works. :)

Don't forget to join us if you are also a crafty person!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis

300 p.
Publisher: Pyr
Published: 4/12/16
Source: From publisher for review
The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.
My thoughts:

Oh the cover intrigued me and so did the blurb and yet I really didn't know what to expect in this book. I just knew it was about a historical setting, opera, and lots of music... and a bit of the paranormal thrown in. Yea, I knew this one would be for me.

The book goes through several POVs but what was confusing at first was just remembering who was who and that would have been a problem for me if it was only one POV. Quickly, it did settle in my head enough that the book took off and then shortly after that I had all the players securely in my head.

A mystery flows through the book and we know that the Prince is a big part of it. However, what is being planned and how much damage will be wrought? There is an undercurrent of secret society with a demon at it's center but those things tended to stay at the periphery until the end. The end culminates with the mystery surrounding the story, music and a whole lot of explosive magic. It was a complete ending.

I enjoyed that aspect of the story but what really captured me was the romance between Carlo a castrato and Charlotte who was newly widowed. Both have let society dictate their lives and both have suffered for it. They also need to learn to trust and it is hard trusting one another. However, I really was impressed with Charlotte shunning the drama for truth and that helped the romance move forward. I didn't quite see why Carlo loved Charlotte as much as I was able to see the reverse, but it didn't matter as I was still swept up in their romance. This part of the story really moved the rest of the mystery along more than the other POVs in the story.

I give this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the historical setting, the feel of Hyden's music, and the mystery behind it all. I recommend it to those that love historical mystery fiction with a bit of paranormal at the fringes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On My Wishlist: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Ever the Hunted
by Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Published: 12/27/16
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. 
However, it’s not so simple. 
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
So what is on your wishlist this week?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Series: Black Blade #3
Series finalé
368 p.
Published: 4/26/16
Publisher: Kensington
Source: From author for review
Bad Things Always Come In Threes… 
As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…
 My thoughts:

Oh I'm not a general fan of ending books. If you love the series you hate to see it end, and it also seems to be the weakest book. However, while the first half is true... I don't want to leave this world... this was not the weakest book in the series. This series planned to go out with a bang and it succeeded.

As I said everything was leading up to this book, but for the sake of those that haven't read the previous books, I will try to be non-spoilery. AND that is going to be hard.

The worldbuilding was expanded further with the monsters in the book. While the second book expanded that aspect more, we get a bit more personal here. The characters which are my favorite aspects of the series stayed consistent. While we see a glimpse of an expansion of Blake, it is only a glimpse which was my only disappointment... but then I really wasn't in the series for Blake. The rest of the characters came through and I just wished we could get more time with them. However, the series ended complete and I was satisfied.

I give this book 5 stars. I recommend the series to those that love YA PNR/Fantasy and love a female protagonist to not only root for, but admire. This is only a trilogy so start at the beginning. Those that like Jennifer Estep's other books, look out for the easter eggs in every book. :)