Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@JamesENicol @chickenhsebooks]

This week I chose the trailer for  The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol for my post because the beginning of the YouTube description was just too good to pass up: "Every witch has a rough spell, especially when they fail their witch's test!"

Here's the trailer:



A special middle grade debut of magic and courage in a world of witches, written with the charm and enchantment of Circus Mirandus and The Apothecary.

Arianwyn has flunked her witch's assessment: She's doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch-- much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her.

With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch--even if she's only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride . . . for Arianwyn and the entire land.




July 25, 2017 // Chiecken House // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@JMCwrites ‏@DuttonYR]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



BLOOD WATER PAINT by Joy McCullough

A stunning debut novel based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome's most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough's bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia's heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia's most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman's timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do.

published March 6th by Dutton Books for Young Readers

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I really love historical fiction and both Artemisia Gentileschi and seventeenth century Rome are new to me. I have read novels with stories of women (both real and fictional) being something other than what was expected of them in Regency or Victorian times, during the French Revolution or the Tudor Court but those are eras we're all more familiar with. I am really looking forward both to learning more about Rome in 1610 and how it is a part of Artemisia's story.

I am incredibly intrigued by the fact that Blood Water Paint is a novel in verse. It is a different style of storytelling and I am curious how it will work with this historical fiction tale.

Blood Water Paint sounds very appealing and I can't wait for its March release.



That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bring Her Home ~ David Bell (earc) review [@DavidBellNovels @penguinusa @BerkleyPub[

Bring Her Home
Berkley Books
July 11, 2017
464 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father's worst nightmare....

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price's fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer's bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer's life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He'll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Bill Price is a recent widower whose teenage daughter Summer, along with her best friend Haley, has been missing for a few days. Now, an early morning phone call tells him to get to the hospital: they've found the girls.

I thought the author did a great job in the very beginning with Bill's portrayal. He seemed to be a great mix of upset, angry and confused, but glad his daughter was alive. He was sort of awkward in what he said or expected, but it worked. As things continued,  did have problems with Bill. He is a very angry person, which I suppose could be largely attributed to his grief (but not entirely as we're shown in some scenes from prior to his wife's death). He also seems to decide things (like what happened to Summer or who did it or why) without much or any basis or evidence. His fervent belief in these things, his overzealous actions and proclamations were just too dramatic.

I think that if there had been more focus on some of the other characters, or they had been more fully developed, I could have liked it more. There were just too many problems with Bill's character, the central one, for it to work for me.

There were small details, that while not really harming the story were distracting for being illogical or not following what had already happened. (Two non-spoilery ones: Bill notices Summer, while in the ICU, is not wearing her bracelet and wonders if whoever took her stole it. Only there's no way the hospital would have left that on her. There was no autopsy when his wife died because it was clearly an accident - except a healthy, young woman dying, alone from an accident seems like it would still require one.)

The language of Bring Her Home could get repetitive (phrases, specific words, even a story from Bill and Paige's childhood) and the twists were almost entirely predictable (the first may have been because I previously read a book, based on something true, where the same thing happened), but something did keep me reading this book. As much as Bill and his actions did not work for me, I did really wan to find out how it all ended. Bring Her Home was definitely dramatic but also very intense and that intensity keeps you pulled in, wanting to know the final whodunit (and why). Give Bring Her Home a try, Bill's character might work well for you.

NB: I checked points of issue against a finished copy and only factored those not changed into my review (some absolutely were removed/fixed).






digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, July 17, 2017

Seeker ~ Veronica Rossi review [@rossibooks @torteen]

Seeker (Riders #2)
Tor Teen
May 16, 2017
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

** My review of Riders (#1) **

When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth.

She wasn’t losing her mind; she was gaining the Sight—the ability to see the future. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first—and worst—mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael, the last surviving demon of the Kindred, guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It’s up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on instincts, intelligence, and blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil?

The very fate of humankind may rest in the answer.
Just like Riders introduced us to Gideon, Marcus, Jode and Sebastian, four young men who have become the four horsemen of the apocalypse (War, Conquest, Famine, and Death), Seeker gives more of a look at Daryn, their Seeker.

Without reading Riders first, you will be a bit lost in Seeker. The main story here about rescuing Sebastian and some of the characters (beyond the main five) were either introduced in the first book or are the result of how that story ended. You also won't be familiar with who Gideon is, what happened to him or how he came to know Marcus, Jode, Sebastian and Daryn. There are reminders, of course, but it's better if you read the first book, well first.

Seeker does not give us as much about the guys, who they are and what they can do (or why) as the first book but it does give you a fuller picture of Daryn and who she is, what she can do. I liked the focus on her character, her past, and on the characters' different relationships. Now that they know what they are and have spent some time together (some rather life altering time, at that) things are able to go beyond that preliminary, introductory phase.

As a follow-up to Riders, Seeker was a good story. It gave us more of the characters and their relationships and expanded on some things (like where Sebastian was trapped) from the ending of Riders. As the last book of a duology and presumably the last we'll see of these characters and this world, it was disappointing. I wanted more of the big picture, of the future and what them being War, Death, Conquest and Famine was going to mean. I liked the character developments but it was almost a bit of, 'can't see the forest for the trees,' where it focused on the problem of rescuing Sebastian and there wasn't as much of the grand scheme of things stuff I wanted.

Still, it was an enjoyable read and I recommend it to fans of Riders -- and recommend Riders if you have not already read it.



(although if this ends up not being the end to this series, it may change to four stars)





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