Alchemists of Loom Blog Tour

I’m so excited to be a stop on the Alchemists of Loom blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! I loved Elise Kova’s previous Air Awakens series and couldn’t wait to read her new Loom saga. I’ve got my review to share with you, as well as a tour wide giveaway, and a link to the author’s pre-order bonus.

The Alchemists of Loom
Elise Kova
(Loom Saga #1)
Publication date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. There are dragons, action, a fantastic new world, and some intrigue. It’s a fantastic steampunk fantasy.  I found the beginning to be a bit slow, but that’s often the case for me when reading a new world and trying to figure out how it fits together.

I really enjoyed the world building. It’s done in an organic way….instead of having it all laid out and explained, you learn about parts of the world as you encounter them. This can be more challenging for some readers, but I really like this approach. I generally prefer when books like this start with the characters as young children and you get your world building through that and seeing how they grew up. In the case of Loom, we’re thrown into the middle of the story of a “middle aged” (although only 22 years old) character. I appreciate that this is the story that is being told, but I love the world building aspect of fantasy books and I always wish there was more! There’s lots of world building in Loom…it just takes a bit longer to see all the pieces.

The story itself has lots of action, and bloodshed! It’s definitely gritty. This is not the story of an innocent forced to join a resistance or fight for their life. This is the story of someone who has long been on the wrong side of the law and is working to fight against the oppression of their current system.

The characters are humanoid, but not human and I did find myself put off every time they were referred to as people.

Once you get past the first part of the book it really picks up speed and I found myself deeply enthralled (riveted, even…ha ha ha). The five guilds were interesting to learn about as was the dragon culture. Ari, the main character, identifies as bisexual (although it’s hard to say when they aren’t human!) and I was happy to see the representation. She has an assistant, Florence, who is delightful. I found their relationship difficult to understand…it seemed to be somewhere between lovers/sisters/mentoring. Florence has rejected the Guild she was born into and Ari took her under her wing.

One of the messages in the book is the importance of recognizing what people are good at, not just slotting them into something because of how they were born. The hate between the dragons of Nova and the citizens of Loom is likely well justified. But we learn that there’s resistance brewing on both sides and  learning to work together and trust each other is the only way there will be change.

And finally – I am thankful I’ll never have to go into the tunnels under Ter 4 *shudder*

Overall this was a 4/5 star read for me. The slowness at the beginning and the confusion over Ari and Flor’s relationship were my biggest issues. I’d definitely recommend it and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in The Dragons of Nova!

 

Author Bio:

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Pre-Order Swag

Preorder The Alchemists of Loom by January 9th, 2017, to receive a special envelope of swag unlocked in the Guild Games from the Dragon Queen herself.

The more preorders The Alchemists of Loom gets overall, the more swag your envelope will contain. So be sure to encourage your friends to preorder The Alchemists of Loom as well!

Find out all the details here: http://elisekova.com/pre-order/

GIVEAWAY!

Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • 1 Signed Hardcover of the Alchemists of Loom
  • 3 Hardcover Preorders of The Alchemists of Loom (Available through TBD)
  • 5 Swag Packs

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour here!

XBTBanner1

Advertisements

Blog Tour and Giveaway – There Once Were Stars

ThereOnceWereStarsTourBanner

I’m excited to bring you my stop on the Xpresso Book Tours blog tour for There Once Were Stars. I’ve got my review to share and there’s a tour-wide giveaway for 5 e-copies of the book!

there once were stars

 

Title: There Once Were Stars
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Find it: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

My rating: 3.5/5

Summary:
Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

My Thoughts:

This YA dystopian was a quick read for me. I loved the concept of the story (people built domes to survive, now we start to wonder what’s outside the dome) and I was engaged with the story the whole time. The main character Natalia turns 18 and suddenly as an adult is done her schooling and must start contributing to the Dome. She quickly ends up thrust into a scientist position because of her parents legacy, not because she has any real aptitude for it. And she uses that opportunity to learn more about what happened to her parents, and what is really happening in the Dome. I’d have loved to see a bit more world building as the concept of the dome was fascinating to me and I feel like there’s more we could have learned. I didn’t connect really well with the main character. She did have some of the rebel traits that I like to see in a female lead, she also came across as being a bit whiny for me. I appreciate where her angst was coming from, she had a lot going on! But I didn’t get a strong enough sense of connection between the events happening and her attitude. The book acts as a stand-alone.  I’m not sure if there is a sequel in the works, but all of the major plot points were addressed and the ending does wrap everything up.  After reading a few books recently that left me with cliffhangers, this was a lovely change of pace! Overall I enjoyed There Once Were Stars.  It’s a good read, with an engaging plot.

 

Author Bio:

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Giveaway:

• Five (5) ebooks of There Once Were Stars are up for grabs! Enter today for your chance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stop by the rest of the tour to see other people’s reviews, excerpts from the book and guest posts. The full tour schedule is here.

 

Summer TBR Wipeout -Wrap Up

Thanks to The Candid Cover for hosting the Summer TBR Wipeout! I had lots of fun checking out other people’s reading lists and progress.  And it almost helped to keep my on track for my own reading.  But, I fell off the rails a bit and didn’t get through everything.

Here’s the list I was planning to read:

  1. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman – Did not read
  2. Everland by Wendy Spinale – Did not read
  3. How 4 feet of Plywood saved the Grand Canyon – Read
  4. Starflight by Melissa Landers – Read
  5. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – Read
  6. There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane – Read
  7. Throne of Glass by S.J. Mass – Did not read
  8. Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell – Did not read

I got through half of the books on my list.  And then I went a little off list and read a few other things:

  1. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (adapted version)
  2. Sweet Texas Kiss by Monica Tillery
  3. Sweet Texas Fire by Nicole Flockton
  4. Sweet Texas Charm by Robyn Neeley

And, I’m currently about halfway through reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Vacation actually got in the way of reading…there were lots of other fun things to do! And it definitely got in the way of reviews. So I’ve got some work to do in the next couple of weeks to get everything caught up. I’ve also learned that I’m not good at sticking to a plan. I like to read things that are the right style/genre/mood for the mood that I’m in.

I just reorganized my bookshelves and there are still lots of books left to be read, I may need another one of these challenges soon.  If you’re curious what others read, head over to the Candid Cover link up and check out the participating blogs!

 

 

Summer TBR Wipeout Update #2

It’s time for Update #2 on my Summer TBR Wipeout 2016.

I think I’ve firmly established that I’m terrible at sticking to my TBR. Once again I’ve gone a little off the list.

What ive read since the last update:

1. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – review to come on the blog but I really enjoyed this. It was a different take on time travel.

2. Starflight by Melissa Landers – I just finished this one and loved it! I read some negative reviews but it was exactly the read I was looking for so I thought it was great.

3.- 5. Sweet Texas Kiss by Monica Tillery / Sweet Texas Fire by Nicole Flockton / Sweet Texas Charm by Robyn Neeley – this was a trilogy about 3 men whose father passed away and leaves what they believed would be their inheritance to three random woman. Romance ensues. These were cute romance reads, great for relaxing at the cottage.

Whats up next? I’ve got a paperback of American Gods by Neil Gaiman and an ecopy of There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane.

Check out some of the other participants in the TBR Wipeout by following the links on this page: https://candidcover.net/category/features/summer-tbr-wipeout-2016/

Summer TBR Wipeout 2016 – Update #1

It’s my first update on the Summer TBR Wipeout, hosted by The Candid Cover. You can find my original post with my full TBR here.

Well….I’d hoped to be a bit farther along in working through my TBR. I’m going to blame it on a couple of very busy weeks at work. I’ve got some vacation time coming up soon so that should get me back on track.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

how four feet of plywood

How 4 Feet of Plywood saved the Grand Canyon – this was an okay read.  I enjoyed it, I’d recommend it to others, but it didn’t stack up against some of the other books I’ve read in this genre due to some issues with style. You can read my full review here.

cowboys kissCowboy’s Kiss – This wasn’t on my planned TBR, but I’d received it for free and was looking for a light read on a day I wasn’t feeling great. I didn’t love this one.  It had some issues with insta-love that was jarringly out of context.  My full review is still to come.

What I’m currently reading:

the girl from everywhereThe Girl From Everywhere – I’m about half-way through and so far I’m really enjoying it. I love that much of it seems to be set in Hawaii. It’s not your typical setting and I love when books allow me to explore someplace new.

Check out some of the other participants in the TBR Wipeout by following the links on this page: https://candidcover.net/category/features/summer-tbr-wipeout-2016/

I’ll be back on July 31 with another update!

How’s your TBR Wipeout going? Are you making progress? Did you get distracted from it like I did?

 

Blog Tour – Burn (and Giveaway)

Burn_BlogTour_1200x620

I’m so excited to bring you my stop on Tundra Books Burn blog tour! Tundra provided me with a copy of Burn and I’m sharing my review of it below. I loved this whole series and I’ve got an exclusive chance for you to win your own set of the books.

Burn is the last in Paula Weston‘s Rephaim  series.  We finally get answers to all of our questions.

**Note: This is book 4 in a series, spoilers for books 1-3 are below. If you haven’t read these yet I’m going to suggest you go back and read my review of Shadows and just trust me that you want to read the rest of the books 🙂 **

Continue reading

Review – Air Awakens (and Giveaway!)

CT-Banner-2

It’s Week 1 of the Crystal Tour and I’ve got a review of Air Awakens (Book 1) and an exclusive giveaway for you. I really like this series and am eagerly awaiting the fifth and final book, Crystal Crowned, on July 12th.

Air-Awakens-Cover-Cover-Reveal-677x1024

 

Title: Air Awakens
Author: Elise Kova
Find it: Amazon | Indigo | Goodreads
My rating: 4/5

Summary:
A Library Apprentice, a Sorcerer Prince, and an Unbreakable Magic Bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

Continue reading

The Crystal Tour

CT-Banner-2

I’ve got mixed emotions about this one. I’m happy to bring you my stops on the Crystal Tour…but I’m sad that we’re coming to the end of a great series!

The Air Awakens series, by Elise Kova, is a fantasy series that follows 17 year old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl as she unwittingly saves the kingdoms Prince and is pulled into the world of sorcerers and magic.

I love the Air Awakens series, and the fifth and final book, Crystal Crowned, is coming out on July 12th.  In the lead up to its release there’s a blog tour where people will be sharing their reviews of the first four books, an amazing raffle and a few other treats.

You can join me on the next four Mondays as I share my reviews of the books so far;

June 13Air Awakens
June 20Fire Falling
June 27Earth’s End
July 4Water’s Wrath


Affinity Quiz

There are four affinities in the Air Awakens world – Water, Fire, Earth and Wind.

Take a minute to do this Buzzfeed quiz and see which affinity you have and what characters you are most like. I’m a Waterrunner.

enhanced-9948-1463512680-1

 

“The ability to command the smallest amount of moisture makes Waterrunners practical sorcerers with a variety of applications such as illusions and the creation of ice weaponry. Like your element, you’re adaptable and can ebb and flow with the tides of any situation. People may mistake your flexibility for being fickle, but once you set your mind to something you will accomplish any task. You embody unassuming strength.”

 

You can find the full descriptions for each of the affinities by following these links:

Groundbreaker
Firebearer
Waterrunner
Windwalker

Other Events In the Tour

Facebook Release Party – July 12, 7:00-10:00pm EST

Come join the party and celebrate (mourn) the release of Crystal Crowned!  The more folks who RSVP, the more amazing prizes that will be unlocked.  Just click on the link below and say you’ll be there!!

URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/496464397206520/
About: Join Elise Kova and friends, Michelle Madow, Susan Dennard, Rachel E. Carter, Leia Stone, C.M. Lucas, Laura Thalassa, and Danielle L. Jensen for the Crystal Crowned release party on Facebook! It will be an evening of fun, games, discussion, giveaways, and more!

Goodreads Fan Club Discussion/AMA – July 30, 7:00-9:00pm EST

URL: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/991545-post-crystal-crowned-discussion-with-elise-kova
About: Join author Elise Kova for two hours of discussion on the conclusion of the Air Awakens series. Bring all your questions!

Raffle
This is the biggest raffle yet for the Air Awakens series. There are multiple prizes that people can win:

Grand Prize – Complete set of first edition Air Awakens hardcovers signed by Elise Kova (Author), Monica Wanat (Editor), and Merilliza Chan (Cover Artist), plus a swag pack
First Runner Up – Complete set of Air Awakens paperbacks plus a swag pack
Second/Third Runner Up – Complete set of signed Air Awakens ebooks
4 Air Awakens complete bookmark sets

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ENTER HERE

I hope you’ll join me on this blog tour. I’ve got some special giveaways planned for the tour and I’m looking forward to sharing this great series with you. If you haven’t read it yet, the ebook of Air Awakens (Book 1) is on sale now for $0.99 at all major retailers. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Book Blitz and Giveaway – Tempting Death



I’m excited to bring you this book blitz for Tempting Death.  I love Grim Reaper stories…the tv show Dead Like Me was one of my favourites. I’m looking forward to reading the Grim Trilogy! And be sure to enter the giveaway before you go.

Tempting Death
Elizabeth Holloway
(The Grim Trilogy #1)
Publication date: May 30th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi pancake, but a mysterious boy named Aaron saved her life. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper. The bigger problem? He saved Libbi’s life so she can take over his job.

Libbi has just days to choose between dying like she was supposed to or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. The choice only gets harder when she learns Aaron’s reasons for wanting out of the whole morbid business. Basically, his job sucks.

Still, when Aaron looks at her, there’s something more in his eyes. Something dark and secret. Something he’s hiding. Libbi will be damned if she’ll die without figuring it out. And she’ll be damned if she lets him go.

Continue reading