2018 New Releases I Can’t Wait For!

The following are all books I am really looking forward to reading that are due for release in the first half of the year (not including January and including July- yeah, I made it complicated).

This is definitely NOT an all inclusive list and is just a short one. I’m sure there are many more I can’t wait to read. But these are the ones that come to mind first! Yes, the majority of them are Young Adult fantasy (that is one of my favorite genres)! 🙂

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  1. LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff (May 29, 2018)
  2. Ash Princess (Untitled Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian (April 24, 2018)
  3. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (April 24, 2018)
  4. Traitor Born (Secondborn #2) by Amy A. Bartol (April 17, 2018). My review for the first book: Secondborn (Secondborn #1) by Amy A. Bartol – Five Stars!
  5. Defy the Worlds (Constellation #2) by Claudia Gray (April 3, 2018). My review for the first book, Defy the Stars.
  6. Shoot the Messenger (The Messenger Chronicles #1) by Pippa DaCosta (March 2018)
  7. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (July 10, 2018)
  8. Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2) by Scott Reintgen (July 17, 2018). My review of the first book, Nyxia.

 

What are some new releases you are looking forward to? Do you agree with any of my choices? I’m always looking forward to recs so feel feel to add some more in the comments. My TBR can never be long enough! LOL

 

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Secondborn (Secondborn #1) by Amy A. Bartol – Five Stars!

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Nine Fates of the Republic rule: The Fate of Virtues, Fate of Swords, Fate of Stars, Fate of Atoms, Fate of Suns, Fate of Diamonds, Fate of Moons, Fate of Seas, and Fate of Stones.

The Virtues rule over all. Swords = military and might. Stars = technology. Atoms = medical. Diamonds = entertainment and journalism. Stones = service-oriented. (I’m not sure that the book goes into what the others specialize in.) This book focuses mainly on the Swords.

The Fates are ruled by firstborns. Procreation is only allowed among firstborns and they can only have two children. The secondborn goes through a Transition, where he or she leaves his family and life to go into a type of job, like being a soldier, nurse, scientist, or if they are lucky, an assistant to a firstborn.

Once the secondborn transitions, they are treated as basically servants or slaves, make very little money (most goes to their firstborn sibling or parents), are not allowed to have relationships or children, and in the case of Swords, live communally in barracks.

This is about a secondborn named Roselle St. Sismode. Her mother is the Clarity of the Fate of Swords, a very powerful leader and politician. When she Transitions, she goes to a military base, where she is not expected to live long. The public has watched her grow up, but the foot soldiers think she is spoiled and not one of them.

The good thing is, she was trained her whole life to prepare for war by a kick-ass warrior named Dune, and isn’t so easy to kill. She finds new friends and of course gets wrapped up in a rebellion.

I LOVED this! I love dystopians, so may be a bit biased, but this is a perfect offering for the genre. Yes, it does possibly have similarities to other famous dystopians, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. It’s a little bit Mockingjay (this is more sci-fi with flying ships and technology).

The Census is another part of this twisted world. Those who work in it search for thirdborns and kill them (and the mother)! They also work to uncover traitors and anyone breaking laws. The are basically unpoliced. Crow is one of them who has his twisted eyes on Roselle.

I think this would make a great movie too!

Other reasons I liked this:

1. Roselle is a good female lead!
2. I liked the romantic interest.
3. I loved Crow, the villain. Love to hate, I should say.
4. I loved Clifton, the wealthy firstborn playboy, who is probably evil, but acts good – for now.
5. I LOVED Flannigan, the best minor character ever.
6. I devoured this in one day.
7. Roselle’s mother, Othala needs to be taken down! I hope she gets what is coming to her!
8. I loved the ragtag crew Roselle befriends – Edgerton and Hammon (Gilad, not sure about him).
9. The cyborg wolfhounds were cool!
10. No annoying angst or drama!

The follow up comes out in April 2018 and is on Netgalley!

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Rules of Engagement by Lily White

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Unfortunately this wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be. It involved stalking, but half of the time that part of the story was shoved in the background. Both of the main characters had tragic things in their pasts, but neither of those things were as screwed up as I thought they’d be based on each of their unusual responses to their pasts.

Mia got a pink slip. She had no resources to fall back on aside from going to her parents whom made her miserable. A website dark realities popped up on her computer. It offered to make all kinds of dark fantasies become true. Since she was in desperate need of cash, she signed up to be stalked. The stalking did get creepy at times, as expected. It irritated me that Mia seemed so shocked at what was happening to her. Obviously she didn’t take the warnings on the website seriously or until that point in her life she had been seriously disillusioned as to what stalking really was like.

Donovan was the love interest. He was a reclusive rich guy who was mute by choice. I never liked him. He was meant to be an asshole in the beginning, but I never warmed to him like I was clearly supposed to. Although he improved by the end, the pushy asshole side of him remained too strong for my liking. Honestly I spent half of the book wondering why she didn’t tell him to get lost.

The suspense part of the story was okay. The mystery was who was behind the stalking. It appeared to be one character for most of the book. At the same time, it seemed way too obvious. I never figured out precisely who it was, but this book only had 5 characters. One was Mia and the other her friend. Clearly it wasn’t either of them, leaving only 3 possibilities. The end was okay, but I didn’t love it.

Thanks to Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My rating ★★★

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Dual Reviews: Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3)

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Shelly’s Review:

This is the final book in the Kingmaker Chronicles trilogy (well, I suspect there will be more books set in the same world, but it concludes the three-book arc). The book begins with a shocking betrayal before Cat and Griffin head off to find a potion to help her unlock her powers, since they haven’t been reliable.

I’m not quite sure how to even properly write this review because I love the world Amanda Bouchet created and using Greek/Roman gods and mythological creatures was fantastic! I love Griffin, Carver, Kato, and Flynn. I love Lycheron, the alpha centaur. I feel like the supporting characters didn’t have much to do in this one. It’s mainly Cat and Griffin.

We spend a LOT of time in Cat’s head, and to be honest, it took a lot away from my reading experience. Cat still has so many doubts, she blames herself for everything, she angsts, she doesn’t trust, she doesn’t believe in herself, etc. etc. And we hear about it. A LOT.

It felt like there was SO MUCH talking. There would be an awesome action scene and then twenty pages of talking. I felt like there were really only about three main scenes in the whole book, a couple love scenes, and the rest was talking.

The scenes with Cat’s mother, the mega villain, were great. But, on the other hand, the ending felt… anti-climactic. I suppose it was fitting, in its own way, but there was no epic battle. The previous books felt to me like there was going to be an epic battle.

“Little Bean” is Cat’s nickname for her unborn baby. I really appreciated that Cat wasn’t “benched” during the book because she was pregnant. She still fought and was in the thick of it all. So that was excellent. What I didn’t like is just that it was used SO MUCH (87 times, I checked).

Overall, I would still recommend this trilogy. Griffin is one of my favorite male leads in romantasy. There are still plenty of stories that could be told in this world – and I would read them! Personally, and unfortunately, I just didn’t love this final installment.

One other thing I would say is that the second love scene was very well done. It was sexy, yet intensely emotional and intimate. I would imagine it’s difficult to capture that balance between alpha and sensitive husband without making it seem cheesy.

My review for A Promise of Fire.★★★★★

My review for Breath of Fire.★★★★

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Kira’s Review:

Once again I have mixed feelings. Some things were so good. I love Cat, Griffin, and their friends and family. They didn’t get enough page time together, so it wasn’t as humorous as the other books. Lots of page time was spent in Cat’s head while she wallowed in endless self pity and tried to figure things out. In a way it’s a good thing that Cat doubts her worth because I’d probably hate her if she were the arrogant type. There was a little too much of it. How many amazing things did she have to do before beginning to realize her worth?

To wrap things up Cat had to spend time with some new characters or see old ones in a new way. I desperately missed Beta Team. They were there, but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t really a group effort to do things; it was all about Cat. The good thing was she was making better decisions and wasn’t as reckless. The character growth was needed, some of which came from her interactions with different characters.

I adore Griffin. The guy is almost perfect, but therein lies the problem. Perfection isn’t always interesting and can be predictable. Griffin is a great character, an excellent book boyfriend, but it was so easy to figure out what he’d do next. He strove to do what was right and fair. That part of him being perfect I liked. It was his constant support of Cat that got on my nerves. When she did really stupid things I wish he wouldn’t have forgiven her so quickly. Sometimes someone other than Cat needed to call her out on her own bullshit.

I didn’t care much about Ianthe or Bellanca. They both popped up towards the end of the last book. Neither of them got enough page time for me to get an attachment to them. Neither of them played much of a pivotal role in the story either. It was weird to me how attached all of the characters were to these two. It made sense that Cat cared for Ianthe since she was her sister, but none of the other bonds seemed realistic.

Little Bean are two words I’d be happy to never hear again. Was it really necessary for a baby the size of a bean to be mentioned so much? The way the baby reacted to things was unusual. The baby didn’t do anything, but still had a strong presence. It was weird.

The end had no big surprises. There were a few bumps in the road on the way to getting there. There were some surprises but none of them feel truly shocking. They didn’t drastically alter what was already known. It’s the characters that made this series, which more than made up for the other areas where it was lacking. Overall, I’d definitely recommend reading this series.

My review for A Promise of Fire ★★★★★

My review for Breath of Fire ★★★★

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The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1)

This is my first review in 2018! It was a buddy read with my MacHalo ladies (surprise surprise). This year, we are doing themes for our books of the month and January was paranormal romance. The Magpie Lord was the winner.

This book also fits one of the challenges in the 2018 Madcap MacHalo Fantabulous Bookish Challenge Extravaganza (MMFBCE™): Mystery and Mischief. One down, eleven to go!

The Magpie Lord is a paranormal mystery with romance. It’s about a man named Crane (or Lord Crane, as he has recently inherited an earldom) and a justiciar named Stephen Day, who is basically a magician or mage or whatever you would like to call it.

Someone is trying to kill Crane and they are using magic to do it. Dirty, dark magic. Warlocks.

The story is about Crane and Day trying to figure out who is doing it and why and during the investigation, sparks fly. The romance is a rather slow burn, but there is a steamy scene towards the end! But it works quite well because who needs all that angst and lovey-dovey stuff, anyway?!

The writing is great and set in a sort of slightly reimagined Victorian times, I believe. There are trains and such, but candles are still used for lighting.

This isn’t a very complex mystery, but I did enjoy the rather satanic warlocks and their grotesque methods of magicking. (What can I say, I like dark stuff.) I’d like to find out more world-building about the ether and how the magic in this world works, but this was solid start to a series (and actually much better than a lot of “first book in series” books).

Crane and Day are a great couple and complement each other well. They are very different, yet enough alike to be intriguing and sexy.

I’m in for book two for sure!

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Best TV Shows of 2017

Happy (almost) New Year everyone! Since the year is almost over, it’s that time where we tend to reflect on the last year. Being a single mom, I don’t get out much, so binge watching tv is what I do in my free time when I’m not reading. I love going to the movies. I don’t get the chance, so I’m not up to date on movies at all. TV shows are often better than movies IMO. TV shows are less episodic and more like a long movie divided into parts. Some shows this year were absolutely addicting.

Game of Thrones

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Definitely my favorite show this year. I’ve watched it more times than I’d like to admit. It even inspired me to rewatch the series. Actually I’m watching the HBO marathon of it right now lol. Check out my thoughts on this season here.

Stranger Things

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Not quite as good as the first season but still really good.

Schitt’s Creek

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This Canadian comedy is hysterical although probably not for everyone. This once rich now poor family is still as snobby and self-absorbed as ever. Watching them interact with their hick neighbors is lots of fun.

Riverdale

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This is a guilty pleasure. It’s completely unrealistic, but I’m always dying to know what happens next. And I like seeing Luke Perry on tv again. I never thought I’d like a modernized Archie remake.

Taboo

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Tom Hardy is so good in this. It’s a dark slow moving tale about a man who came back to claim his father’s estate. There is a slight paranormal twist to it. I know some people didn’t like it, but I thought it was great.

Good Behavior

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Love this series! Letty and Javier are great together. He’s a hitman, and she’s a con artist/thief. It’s not realistic. These two would be in jail by now, but I can’t get enough of them. The book of short stories it’s based on is really good too.

13 Reasons Why

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The topic is highly controversial. Suicide brings about strong feelings. I liked the way this was portrayed. IMO it didn’t glorify it or make it look like the right or wrong thing to do. I thought it did a great job of showing how many people are hurt when someone does commit suicide. Not sure how season 2 is going to work, but I’ll watch it anyway.

Westworld

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Not the best show ever, but it did surprise me a couple of times. I always love a shocking twist!

Sneaky Pete

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The gist of the plot wasn’t new i.e. a con artist grows to care about the people he’s conning. It was well done, so I liked it anyway. It had a great cast.

What were your favorite shows from this year?

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Kira’s Best Books of 2017

Anyone who follows me on Goodreads knows I read a lot. Most of the books I read this year were disappointing. It’s probably me most of the time. I’m really picky about weird things in books. There were some great books that came out this year. Enough that it was actually hard for me to narrow down a best of list, which was surprising. These are my favorite books that were published in 2017.

 

I did read a few really good books that weren’t published this year, but they were new to me. I’ve been on a major romance kick this year, so it didn’t escape my notice that most of my favorites were romances or had strong romantic elements. These are the older books read in 2017 that I loved.

What are the best books you’ve read this year?

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