The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams – ★★★★★

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Guys, we just read the bestest book ever at the MacHalo group! Jen Williams is fantasy’s best-kept secret. Is this woman a millionaire yet? New York Times Bestseller list or whatever the UK version of that is? Surely she must be winning awards left and right because her writing skills and story-telling are so bleeding good, I have no words. This is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Ever.

I would not have even read it had it not come to my attention from a couple MacHalo members. THANK YOU, you wonderful lovely ladies, you!

“Vintage” is the main character. She is about 40 (a main character who is 40, you guys, what is this madness) and a wealthy wanderer of types. She travels and studies artefacts that happen to be organic space ships from a malevolent alien race who wish to wipe out humanity and all life on Tarn. (Tarn is this world’s version of Earth.)

She also happens to have brown skin and is a lesbian (or bisexual, we don’t know for sure because it isn’t discussed; it’s no big deal; she just is who she is).

Her traveling companion is a hired sword named Tormalin the Oathless, Tor for short. He is an Eboran, a race of human-like beings who can live a thousand years, are strong, and a mix between maybe elves and vampires?

They end up taking in a fell-witch named Noon. She can summon green winnowfire. Add to the mix another Eboran, Tor’s sister, Hestillion, who is obsessed with bringing their dead tree-god back to life, their slightly crazy cousin Aldasair, a tall braided dude named Bern the Younger (who might be hooking up with Aldasair), and a psychotic fell-witch assassin after Noon.

The witches, when discovered, are claimed by the Winnowry, which is basically a prison. The fell-witches are considered an evil that must be contained and controlled.

This book was so easy to read, full of action, amazing world-building. It’s got humor, sci-fi, a bit of romance (don’t worry, it’s not a kissing book, but Tor is pretty swoon-worthy). I have not enjoyed reading a book this much in awhile. I daresay it’s a flipping masterpiece.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy and fantastical beings and worlds. Don’t worry, it’s not bogged down in fantasy-speak. You will get swept away.

There is so much more I could say, but I don’t want to spoil it! Jen Williams, remember the name. You won’t be sorry.

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She also does The Copper Cat trilogy. The second book in The Winnowing Flame trilogy is The Bitter Twins and is out now!

Follow Jen Williams at Twitter.

Okay, do you think I am fangirling enough here? Well, maybe, but it’s that good.

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May New Releases!

May 15

War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard

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This is the last book in the series. Mare wants to defeat Maven, but it’ll take a war to accomplish it. To make this happen, she must work with Cal, the man who betrayed her.

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

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Kate is an outcast because her father tried to kill the king and because she possesses forbidden magic. She saved a man’s life, and it turned out to be the man she used to love. They must work together to fight an enemy to try to prevent a civil war.

May 18

Game of Lies (The Messenger Chronicles #2) by Pippa DaCosta

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Kesh Lasota, Marshal Kellee, and Talen are kidnapped by a fae general. They all have secrets to keep and lie to protect themselves. There is more to Talen than they knew since easily fits in with the fae.

May 22

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother by Danielle Teller

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This is a retelling of Cinderella from the perspective of her stepmother. Out of desperation she was forced to take a job as Ella’s nursemaid, and eventually becomes her stepmother.

May 29

Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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Tella was desperate and promised a criminal that she would find out the real name of the master of Caraval. This was not easy information to find. The only chance of getting it was by winning the game of Caraval and possibly risking her life in the process.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and the theme today is Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early. Here is my list!

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  1. Dark Age, the fifth book in the Red Rising universe releases on September 11, 2018 according to Goodreads. I have read the previous books and love this series!

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2. Darkdawn is the final installment in the Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. It is set for release September 4, 2018. I have adored this dark, twisted tale from the start and would definitely slay a lion to get my grabby hands on this baby!

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3. Magic Triumphs is the final book in the Kate Daniels series by the most-awesomest Ilona Andrews. It is going to hit the shelves (and e-readers) on August 28th. KD is one of the best urban fantasies that exists.

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4. I listened to this on audio with the wonderful Steve West narrating, and even with that horrible cliffhanger (grrr cliffhangers), I am looking forward to this one. Release date: October 2, 2018.

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5. The next book in the Curse of the Gods series is released maybe in July 2018. There is no set date yet according to Goodreads, but I adore this series and am going nuts waiting to see what happens next. It also has one of my favorite tropes – reverse harem!

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6. Vengeful (Villians #2) by V.E. Schwab. I lurved the first one, Vicious. Release date: September 25, 2018.

Books that don’t have a cover yet:

7. The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman. Release date: 2019 *sadface*

8. Two Kingdoms (The Dark Side #3) by Kristy Cunning. Release date: 2018

9. Iron & Magic (Kate Daniels #9.5) by Ilona Andrews. Hugh’s book! Release date: June 26, 2018

10. Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet. Release date: January 1, 2019.

Well, that wraps up my list. Are you looking forward to reading any of the the books I mentioned? What books would you slay a lion to get your hands on early?

 

 

 

 

One Year Anniversary: 200 Followers and 2 ARCs Giveaway!

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We have been up and going for one year now and have passed the 200 mark with followers and email subscribers! We think our humble little quirky blog has done pretty darn well. To celebrate, we have a giveaway that starts May 1, 2018 at midnight and runs only two weeks, until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the 15th. These are the books we are giving away:

 

Here is the link to enter:

Click Here to Enter! (Rafflecopter)

Disclaimers and Legalese Stuff:

* Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 and older and a resident of the United States. The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. The value of the items is $0 USD (ARCs have no monetary value).

* You must log on to the Rafflecopter widget (at link) in order to enter an email address so we can contact you when you win!

* The giveaway starts midnight Eastern time on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 and ends at midnight Eastern time on May 16, 2018 with the winner being announced in a later blog.

** Dust Off Your MacHalo is not responsible for any errors, technical issues, and entry to the sweepstakes waives and releases us from any liability whatsoever. By entering the giveaway, you agree to be bound by the decisions of Dust Off Your MacHalo and these official rules.

Good luck and Happy Reading! ❤

 

 

“Under the Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi – ★★★★★

Oh yeah, oh yeah. This was awesome! I have had this on my TBR shelf since 2014 and it ended up being one of those where you ask yourself, “Why did you wait so long?!” Let me tell you, THIS book is a perfect example of why I will never stop reading Young Adult fantasy. There may be some stinkers out there or some big old Mehs, but then you get one like this and are like:

Okay, maybe I exaggerate. A little. But there was SO MUCH win here! It’s set in a dystopian-like world where a catastrophe has rendered the sky into an “Aether,” where storms and lightening kill everything from the soil and trees to people. The luckiest people (that is arguable) went into domes for protection. There, they have developed technology to live in Realms, through an eye piece (like a virtual reality). They have changed their biology and physiology so much that the females don’t even menstruate anymore!

So, our main character, Aria, gets exiled into the wastelands and meets Peregrine (Perry) an Outsider. A savage. They form an unlikely and unwilling alliance – Aria wants to find her mom and Perry his nephew.

Stuff happens. There are cannibals! Perry and Aria go a place that is protected where a man named Marron is in charge and they live like relatively “normal” people. Perry’s kind live in tribes.

Those born in the wastelands can have abilities. There are Seers, Auds (people who have superpower hearing), Scires (people who can smell so well, they can scent emotions and moods).

A romance blossoms, but there is definitely NO instalove. Aria is not a special snowflake or Mary Sue.

Some of it was just survival, but I loved the progression of Aria and Perry’s relationship. It just slowly sneaks up on you. Perry is BAE. I lurve him soooo much. Aria bugged me at first, but she really grows!

This was just A++++ writing and story-telling, in my view.

Young Adult April New Releases!

Kira recently posted a blog (April New Releases!) and I thought about the many Young Adult releases coming up and figured I would do a separate blog for those.

April 3:

 

April 17:

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April 24:

 

I have read Sky in the Deep. See my review here. It’s a Viking alternate history story that I think will be very popular when it is released!

I also read Traitorborn. See my review here. I am LOVING this series by Amy Bartol. It’s a dystopian and I highly recommend!

I’m really looking forward to reading Defy the Worlds and Dread Nation too. Defy the Worlds is the sequel to Defy the Stars, which I also highly recommend if you are into the AI/robot and human girl fall in love trope. 🙂

Are there any other April releases we missed that you are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments! Have a great weekend!

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Q&A Review: Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta

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What did you like about Shoot the Messenger?

Kira: Almost everything. Just like all of Pippa DaCosta’s characters, these ones were complicated and deceptive. They’re very real because they never fit into good or bad categories. The world building was awesome, but I’ll get into that more later. Last but not least, it was so easy to get into. I was constantly trying to figure out who to trust and what was going to happen next.

Shelly: Like Kira, I liked just about everything. There was so much win. I haven’t read ALL of Pippa’s books (yet), but it is very different from the ones I have read, and I think a great job was done with the world-building. This sets up so many possibilities, and I loved with mix of the traditional, “organic” fae with tech/tek. I haven’t seen that done before and it’s a mix of the traditional fae lore with sci-fi aliens.

What didn’t you like about Shoot the Messenger?

Kira: This was my first foray into a reverse harem. I’m not sure the reverse harem thing is for me although this didn’t seem like much of a harem. It is the first in the series, so I’m sure other lovers will come along. My big issue with the book was the unreliable narrator. I love a good twist in a book. This one was completely unexpected, but unreliable narrators make me feel like I’ve been lied to. That’s okay when it’s a character whose thoughts are not well known to me, but this character’s were.

Shelly: Gosh, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like! I didn’t even register that Kesh was an unreliable narrator, but Pippa is known for anti-heroes/heroines and writing characters that don’t fall into neat, tidy boxes. I guess if I absolutely HAD to pick something, it would be ending on a cliffhanger.

What did you think of the world building?

Kira: I loved it! It perfectly blended fantasy and sci-fi in a way that felt completely natural. It was a complex world, but it wasn’t bogged down with extraneous details. All of the necessary details were given when needed. I loved the the issues with magic and tek and how those two opposing forces blended together.

Shelly: It was fantastic. It felt like something you could recognize, but fresh and original. Like I mentioned before, merging the fae with sci-fi space shenanigans is just a win for me. You have enough of the fae to recognize the species, but add the idea they come from another planet and can use technology to gain more power while still being bound to life and soil and plants and blood, etc.

Who was your favorite character?

Kira: Marshall Kellee even though he wasn’t the main character. He had the most integrity of any character. So far he seemed the most trustworthy although I’m well aware that could change. He had an interesting background, which I hope to learn more about. I sympathized with him the most in the end.

Shelly: Tough one. I loved Kellee AND Talen and I even found Larsen intriguing. I guess if my back is to the wall, I’m gonna go with the mysterious fae, Talen.

Would you recommend this to others?

Kira: Absolutely! It was fun and original. It had lots of action. If you like nontraditional fae stories or sci-fi, I’d highly recommend you read this.

Shelly: Yes, I would. But don’t expect a fluffy tale about faeries in space. Expect treachery, ambiguous characters and relationships, slow burn romance, and lots of what-the-fuckery. I am very curious to see what Pippa does with the reverse harem thing since it’s a genre I absolutely adore right now!

Your rating and review:

Kira: ★★★★ Shoot the Messenger review

Shelly: ★★★★★  Shoot the Messenger review

Related post:

Pippa DaCosta “Shoot the Messenger” Cover and Q&A!