The Falconer by Elizabeth May {Book Review}

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Falconer was everything that I wanted and more! I have recently picked up some other historical fantasy where the main character’s life is changed from ballrooms and dances to weapons and blood, but none of them hold a candle to The Falconer.

Aileanna was an incredibly believable character and was written very truthfully. She didn’t pretend to be another pretty face, she gave in to the urge she had to hunt the Fae and would let nothing get in the way of her mission of vengeance.

I really liked the author’s take on the Fae and reading a book where they are not all good. Historically faeries were not friendly beings, but over the years many stories are told that way. It was a lot of fun to read a story where even the “good” faerie can’t totally be trusted.

Full of interesting and fun (Derrick!) characters, this story is sure to attract a lot of readers. The steampunk setting also makes this a fun ride. I enjoyed that Aileanna uses her smarts to not only create some things stereotypical steampunk (i.e. flying ships, etc.), but also her own weapons to fight the Fae. She is a strong main character and one that readers can look up to.

I cannot wait to continue the series and see what happens next!

9 Books to Read if You Miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Book List]

Originally written by me for YALSA’s The Hub.

btvs-hub

Though the show aired one to two years before most of today’s high school seniors were born, Buffy the Vampire Slayer still has a cult following amongst fans of all ages. I have even heard a child in the children’s section of the local library singing songs from the musical as they browsed books. If you’re like me, a crazy fangirl of the show, you miss it immensely. It had humor, heart, and the characters became like family. It has such a huge following that it, thankfully, has continued in graphic novel form. Fans continue to write fanfiction, attend cons to meet the actors, and in general, keep the Slayer alive. Another way to do this is by reading novels that could easily be set in the same world, or that Buffy (and Giles!) would definitely approve of.

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The description of this novel even says it’s great for fans of BtVS. When I saw that I KNEW I had read it. I was not disappointed. The main character, Kali, is a normal human girl…most days. On every other day she becomes a finely honed weapon, a demon hunter. On these days she battles hell hounds, demons, and other monsters. On her human days, she simply tries to get through high school life. But when she discovers a student will die in 24 hours, she has to figure out how to save them…as a regular human. This was very reminiscent of BtVS in many ways: the setting, the action, and the dilemmas the main character faces. It also reminded me heavily of the season three episode, Helpless, where Buffy battles a crazed vampire, sapped of her strength. This is perfect for any fan of the show!

In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This was one of the first YA vampire novels that I read growing up and it absolutely possesses that same gothic quality that many of the BtVS (and Angel) episodes contain. This tells the story of Risika, a 300-year-old vampire. It starts off in modern day where she appears to be living a quiet life, until someone from her past starts following her. The story is told in the present and in flashbacks, much like the episodes of BtVS telling the stories of Angel, Spike, Darla, and Dru. If you like a good vampire story, this is definitely one for you! The best part? It continues on in a series, which brings in witches and other creatures, much like BtVS!

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

This novel is great for fans of BtVS because it has a strong female character, but she also struggles with the path that was chosen for her, without her consent. Kestrel is a general’s daughter and is expected to do one of two things: join the military or get married. Neither of these choices are what she wants and they are things she struggles with throughout the story, very much like Buffy in the season two episodes What’s My Line? Part 1 & Part 2. At the beginning of the novel Kestrel makes a hasty decision on her own, and the rest of the book (and trilogy) shows how her actions echo into her future. Also, if you like a brooding love interest such as Angel or Spike, this book has got you covered with Arin!

Sabriel by Garth Nix

I feel like this book does not get enough recognition for how amazing it is. Perfect for BtVS fans as it contains fantasy, humor, and goes to some fairly dark places. Sabriel, like Buffy, is pushed into a destiny out of her control. She is a necromancer, an Abhorsen, like her father. When he goes missing she must venture into the Old Kingdom, a world of magic, to find him. This novel is full of unexpected characters and twists, much like the show. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and could not put it down. This is another one that continues on into a series, which is still being written, so you get to spend a lot of time with the characters.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Though this novel is about vampires, they are not quite like the ones we meet in BtVS. The vampires in this novel are elite, but they are not powerful and strong. In turn they have dhampir to protect them. Dhampir are humans that have vampire blood running through their veins. Rose is a dhampir to her best vampire friend, Lissa. When Strigoi, vampires that never die, start to hunt Lissa, Rose must train to protect her friend. This is appealing for fans to BtVS because it has a strong heroine that must hone her strength and skills to fight off unknown foes. It also has a lot of interesting folklore and vampire history, much like Giles’s books. And if you love this, you have a whole series AND spin-off series to enjoy!

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

This is technically an adult series, but has high appeal to YA readers. Yelena is set to be executed, but is saved when offered a job as the food taster for the Commander of their land, Ixia. She is kept in line by the chief of security, who daily feeds her a poison and antidote. If she fails to return for the cure, she will die. While she works for the Commander, she discovers many secrets about her world. Yelena and Buffy are similar in that they have to be resourceful to get out of certain situations where brute strength is not the only answer. This series also has a great brooding love interest for the main character, much like Spike or Angel. It also continues in a spin-off series!

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

A nominee for 2017’s Abraham Lincoln Award this novel (and rest of the series) is perfect for BtVS fans. Not only does the novel contain mysticism and mystery, it also has some butt-kicking female main characters. Each novel is told from the point of view of a different teenage girl that was marked by death himself and trained to be an assassin. These books have everything a BtVS lover is looking for: action, adventure, romance, and humor. I could easily see Buffy finding her way into this world, or somehow being connected to it!

MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

This first novel in a series harkens back to the first and second seasons of BtVS. Many of those episodes had evil baddies that showed up in one episode and were defeated by the end, but that did not make them any less scary. In this book, four friends attempt to summon Bloody Mary, but are unaware that her dark backstory has caused her to be full of rage. After summoning her they must be cautious at every turn while they attempt to lock her away. This is definitely a case that the Scooby Gang would have taken on while in high school as well!

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston

This story (a 2017 Caudill nominee) is as if Willow were to tell the story of Buffy. Siobhan is your typical high school student, when suddenly a young, up-and-coming dragon slayer starts attending her school. They quickly become friends, which in turn ends up with her becoming a part of his dragon slaying entourage, as his bard. Siobhan is more than his bard though, she helps him solve problems and accompanies him on many dangerous missions. This is fantastic for BtVS fans that enjoy the relationships between the characters. It is also great for readers who would like to get more of a point of view from someone that isn’t the main hero. Owen is also similar to Buffy in that he has to accept this legacy that was put upon him, but in turn makes it his own, and chooses not to go it alone.

These novels are some of my favorite for getting through my post-BtVS blues. Have you read any of these? Do you have any novels you would recommend to BtVS fans?

  • Tegan Anclade, currently reading The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Now and Forever by Simi K. Rao [Book Blast!]

About the Book:

Can Shaan and Ruhi face their biggest fears and unite together?

Shaan and Ruhi Ahuja, very much in love Indian newlyweds, discover each other in Simi K. Rao’s Now and Forever—the sassy and sexy sequel to Inconvenient Relations. After getting the scare of their lives while traveling in the Grand Canyon, Shaan and Ruhi go back home to one dilemma after another. Shaan’s job is in jeopardy, and one of Ruhi’s closest friends, Sunshine, needs her. How will Shaan and Ruhi handle life’s hurdles, while still trying to get to know each other as husband and wife? Will they be able to forsake all others and consolidate their relationship?

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon


Trivia, Random Facts
Who says science and art
cannot coexist. They can and Simi K Rao is a living example. She is a practicing
physician who is also an author. Writing fiction fulfills her creative urge
while her profession keep the home fires burning. She has managed to pen four
books so far– Inconvenient Relations, The Accidental Wife,
Milan (A Wedding Story)
and her latest Now and Forever
the sequel to Inconvenient Relations. Except Milan
all are works of contemporary romance written from the Indian American
perspective. In the future, she hopes to take on more challenging projects. She
lives in Denver, USA with her family.
Random facts about Simi in her own words

 

  1. I have a dual personality. I
    exist in two worlds at the same time. It can get quite confusing.
  2. Writing is a stress buster for
    me. I write for myself rather than anyone else.
  3. My heroines can be pig headed,
    rash and violent. I think they learn their traits from me.
  4. My stories are occasionally
    clichéd just like life is sometimes- banal and boring.
  5. My books are not just for
    women. Men should read them too. They can get a few pointers on what women
    want.
  6. I believe cuss words are a
    means of expression. Used appropriately they can be very effective.
  7. I also believe that at any time
    there are two conversations going on. The nonverbal one happens to be more
    interesting.
  8. I credit my Dad for my fondness
    of the written word. By giving me books instead of toys he gave me the
    best gift ever.
  9. Writing helps me stay lucid while
    reading blurs my cynicism—two traits vital for day to day life.
  10. Be warned; I’m one of the least
    interesting people you’ve met. So move on and forget about me. Just read
    my books. 



About the Author:

Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. The inspiration for her books, and other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.

Much of Rao’s down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.

A practicing physician, Rao lives in the United States with her family.
Contact the Author:

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads



Other Books in the Series:

Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

This multi-cultural contemporary romance story of an arranged marriage is a beautiful blending of showing the Indian and American cultures. Readers will learn more about the Indian heritage and the romance that happens behind closed doors in an Indian relationship in Simi K. Rao’s Inconvenient Relations. This coming of age story about true love explores multi-cultural issues.

Giveaway:

1)  A $10 Amazon Gift Card 

2) A kindle copy each of Inconvenient relations and Now and Forever. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Armada by Ernest Cline [Book Review]

armada

 

Here is another review written as if I wrote it for School Library Journal. Between this and Bones & All I wanted to write a positive review and a more critical review. This is the more critical one. I have not read Ready Player One yet, so sue me, but I will definitely still be giving that one a try.

One thing I wanted to add before the review, I listened to the audiobook version of this and Wil Wheaton absolutely made a book that wasn’t my favorite still interesting to listen to! He is a wonderful narrator!

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Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis [Book Review]

Let me preface this post with a little description as to why this review is different. I currently review for School Library Journal and I wanted to practice writing reviews in their style before I submitted my initial application. This review is in the style as I would do it for them.

Also, Camille DeAngelis is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE authors and I am so grateful for this advanced copy that she sent me! If you have not read her books, I highly recommend that you do! This one won an Alex Award, which are awarded to adult fiction novels that would appeal to teens.

Hope you all enjoy!

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Glitter by Aprilynne Pike – [Book Review]

glitter

*I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This novel was pitched as Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette and I KNEW I had to have it. I really went in with no expectations, as I had no idea how these two subjects would connect, which I think is why I enjoyed this so much. If I went in expecting one thing and it did not pan out that way, I would have been disappointed. I am glad I read this without any preamble, it made the ride that much more fun!

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