Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

A thief. An officer. A guardian. 

Three strangers. One shared destiny . . .

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spying on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a traitor. Groomed to command by his legendary grandfather, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when he discovers a cryptic message that only one person, a girl named Alouette, can read.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have roles to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Misérables.

Jan’s Review

I am a sucker for an amazing cover and this book has an amazing cover. Have i read the Les Mis no but i did read the lunar chronicles. I not sure if i can say that it a retelling of les mis but i do see the connection to lunar chronicles.

I choose to read this on a weekend when my family and job obligations would be low. Why cause i knew that i would devour this book and having to stop and take care of something was not on my agenda. Did i achieve my goal of reading it in a weekend yes yes i did. I loved it every page, every plot twist, every delicious secret that was uncovered.

This is a long book and sometimes i am leery of long books especially from authors i know nothing about. Why cause i worried i won’t like it and spent my money on a monster book, worried that the author are not gonna suck me in the way someone i know does, and most of all worried i like most of it but the ending will let me down. Did any of that happen no, this book will suck you in, the author will not drop the story and bore you to death and best of all the ending will leave you longing for the next one.

This book does everything i want in a good book, strong characters, action that i not sure how will play out and you get to see the story from all sides as it told in each character voice throughout the book. If your a fan of lunar chronicles i can say for sure you like this book. Pick it up give yourself a bit of time and dive in. See you in march of 2020 when book two comes out.

Caster by Elsie Chapman

Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Fight Club in this action-packed fantasy about a secret, underground magic fighting tournament.
If the magic doesn’t kill her, the truth just might.

Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries.

When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn’t have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she’s entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors.

When the facts about Shire’s death don’t add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren’t paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza’s dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently.

Disclaimer

I received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program.

Jan’s Review

Wow i totally love this book, you got a complex magic system that consists of not only two types of casters those with full magic and those with half magic. You also have the ways the spells can be cast, how they are cast and what can be done to cast them. Then you got the effects of using magic one you can become an invor which is someone who used magic to the point where they will shatter from it and become unstable. Those are usually hunted down and put in cages as a warning to those who hid that they have full magic. You read that right it a bad thing to have full magic. Second cause of using full magic is pain and destruction of the Earth. Third you can also lose your magic usually by giving it away.

Not only does the amazing story have a complex magic system, their the political/gang aspects of it which force or main character into a forbidden magic casting tournament. The tournament is where all the action happens in what i think could of been a much longer book. I wanted the rounds to last longer then they did. I wanted more details about the secrets she uncovers as she fights in the tournament.

The only reason i gave this story a 4 star rating instead of a 5 is that the ending we are left with leaves us with the possibility of their being more story but their is no more story listed as being released. I did read an ARC so maybe the final copy gives us a better clue. I do know that this has the makings for a fantastic series and it could go a lot of directions with the ending of caster.

Pick this amazing story up release date September 3, 2019.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Jan’s Review

A dark, twisted, creepy, ghost filled retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princess written originally by the Brothers Grimm. If you don’t know now let me tell you those original tales are not the fairy tales i grew up with. They are just as dark and creepy as this retelling. At times i was so entranced by what was occurring on the page that if a dog barked or some loud bang happened i totally shrieked or jumped out of my chair. I not a huge fan of creepy but sometimes i do like to be scared to the point that i just so caught up i lost what is reality and what is make believe just like our main character in this tale. She haunted by her dead sisters and barely realizes she got in a game hosted by Gods.

Their is a lot of stuff in this book that could be triggers for people, still birth, dead siblings, ghosts, murder it a very dark tale so be fore warned if your not into creepy this retelling is not for you. All of the story gets wrapped up in this on creepy book so your not left with any haunting cliff hangers or anything. Pick this up August 6, 2019 and enjoy then or savior it when Halloween comes creeping around the corner.

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger. 

Jan’s Review

This story centers around Princess Kateri who lost her mother and younger brother to a gang called the Desert Boys. Their is a water shortage in Achra which is a desert kingdom. So water is a huge deal here. The crime for stealing water during this drought is to choose between two doors in the arena one holds a tiger the other your freedom. On top of all this Princess Kateri according to an ancient law must fight in the arena to prove that the dessert has chooses her to rule.

Their are lot of twists and turns to discover as the Princess goes from fighting to really discovering who is behind the drought that plagues her kingdom. She ends up more then once putting her life on the line for the desert boys that she ends up calling family. Their is some romance but it not the central part of this story and it really only comes into to play toward the end of the book.

Their are some scenes that could be triggering and emotional but i did not feel they were out of the place in this type of story where a kingdom is so hungry for water that the people will do almost anything to get it. I really enjoyed the world building and the training in the desert against the sand. It a very creative story and most of all it told all in one book. Make sure to check this book out in September of 2019.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.

Jan’s Review

This is a tale about Doors you saw that the capital D that means something magical in this tale. If your a fan of books like Chronicles of Narnia, Between the Lines, and various other books about opening doors or stepping into books. Ten Thousand Doors of January will be the perfect book for you. As i started reading i was drawn in very quickly to this tale. At times i wanted to grab pen and paper and write my own Door escaping story, other times i wanted to research about stories that contain Doors, and it really did allow me to escape for a time.

It did take a bit of getting used to going between the tale that was told in the book that January finds and the author telling of the main story. Once you understand how the story flows it picks up and carries you along. Their a mystery to be found in this tale of Doors, their a lost family, and most importantly at the heart is the survival of January herself. If you want something different pick this tale up your sure to be delighted.

Failed Future (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #3) by Elise Kova

When worlds collide, and things are rarely what they seem, there may be no one Vi can trust.

Having forsaken her crown for a chance to save her family, and the world, Vi Solaris washes up on the shores of Meru. She’s wounded and barely alive. But Vi’s fight for survival is only just beginning.

As a princess in a foreign land, everyone is after her.

The pirate queen Adela wants to sell her to the evil elfin’ra. The Twilight King wants to use her to settle an old score. And, perhaps most dangerous, is the scheming Lord of the Faithful who sees her as an opportunity to further consolidate his power.

The only path for Vi is forward. But she doesn’t yet know if she’s running toward salvation… or a brutal end to everything she loves.

Vi’s journey continues with even more betrayal, romance, magic, and a twist you never saw coming that leaves readers begging for the next book. 

Jan’s Review

With a name liked Failed Future you got to know a huge shift is approaching in this third installment of the spin off series from Air Awakens. This book is very emotional between our main characters Vi and Taavin who are on what seems impossible task to rescue Vi farther. Two characters who are from very different lands who are trying to save the world. Two characters who think they know all their is to know but as you read this incredible twisting novel you find not all is as it seems.

Vi opens herself to many people and puts a lot of trust in them but she ends up getting betrayed by those she never thought would betray her. Their a lot that happens on this journey to rescue Aldrick and by the time your at the end of the book your so far from where you started that just like Vi your not really sure where you are. I am very excited to continue this tale in book 4 Sovereign Sacrifice due out October 15, 2019.

Blink Summer Reading Tour

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Publisher: BLINK

Release Date: August 14, 2018

Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Mythology, Retelling

SYNOPSIS:

King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.

Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?

BOOK LINKS:

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36575823-a-touch-of-gold#

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2KS9xYY

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-touch-of-gold-annie-sullivan/1127456128#/

Book Depository – https://www.bookdepository.com/Touch-of-Gold-Annie-Sullivan/9780310766353

IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=A+Touch+of+Gold

Jan’s Review

This is a retelling of King Midas who turned his daughter to gold by accident and is now plagued forever with this curse. In turning his daughter to gold she has no been affected by it. Has been locked up so to speak by this curse and her uncle is threatening to over take the kingdom if she does not marry. The gold that keeps her farther alive is stolen and so sends Kora off on a quest to retrieve it along with her fiancée Aris. Their plot twists, world building and action in this novel you want to read it all in one go. The best part is their more story to be found. Can’t not wait to read the next novel.

AUTHOR INFO:

Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can followher adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

Links:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/annsulliva

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/annsulliva/?hl=en

TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY

Prize: 5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles (A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty In Punxsutawney, and Swing by Kwame Alexander) (USA)

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