Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gold Star Review: The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys

The (Almost) Perfect Guide to 
Imperfect Boys 
by Barbara Dee

According to Finley and her BFF, Maya, middle school boys can be put into three separate categories: tadpoles, croakers, and frogs. Per their official Life Cycle of Amphibian Boys, while tadpoles are totally not developed yet (read: boys who still love fart jokes and can't have a normal conversation with girls without making fun of them), a frog is the top of the boy food chain--evolved and mature. Sadly, not many boys have reached that elusive frog status at Staunton Middle School.

Finley thought she had everyone pegged, until Zachary Mattison enters the picture. After suddenly leaving the year before, Zachary's surprise reappearance at SMS forces Finley to see him in a new light. And when the official life cycle list falls into the wrong hands, it causes a battle between the boys and girls that turns into an all-out war--one that Finley isn't sure anyone can really win...
(Description from

I love Barbara Dee's middle grade books.  I have fun reading them and as a Librarian I love to recommend them.  Let me tell you why: 

As a reader, I think that Barbara Dee has an uncanny knack for capturing middle school behavior in a fun and engaging way.  The characters are so relatable to both the middle schoolers that I meet now and to how I recall my middle school years.  The focus on friendship and smarts make me smile and there's the hint of romance but not in an overwhelming way.  Her books are all just FUN to read. And, in this one in particular, there's an awesome School Librarian - so, ummm...yeah. LOVE. 

As a Librarian, I find so many themes that I can use to help recommend her books to other readers. In this book, Finley and Maya are struggling to understand the way that the boys in their lives are maturing and how that affects their relationships with them.  They use science to help them explain the things they observe.  Though the main plot of the book revolves around their "Life Cycle," what I really loved was Finley's relationships with the other people in her life.  This is a book that I can confidently hand to readers looking for a friendship book, or a book with stellar parental examples. The way that her mother interacts with not only Finley, but also her friends... so great. 

Dee also builds up each of the girls into smart, talented characters who are NOT boy-crazy, just experiencing the normal blossoming interest in dating. These girls truly care about their academic success and their individual hobbies.  I loved the way Finley starts to really think about her photography as true art and not just snapping photos of friends.  The boys admire the girls in Dee's books for being who they are, not just because they're cute and I wish we had more and more books that we could hand to readers at this age that puts that point forward as the way things should be... 

To this fun and engaging middle grade read I grant a GOLD STAR. 

Don't forget to check back tomorrow when I have a fun interview with the author, Barbara Dee!

Full disclosure: Review copy received from Publisher

Monday, September 29, 2014

Novella Review: In the Storm

In the Storm 
by Karen Metcalf

Abandoned by the world around her, Carly believes she is fated to a life of torment at the hands of her stepfather and is desperate for an escape. When she can bear the abuse no longer and gives in to a thunderous rage, she suddenly finds herself in an unfamiliar, yet beautiful, storm world. This limbo between dimensions appears to be her private sanctuary, but it may just be her purgatory.

No one escapes fate without sacrifice, but is the price more than Carly is willing to pay? (Description from

This novella captures an intriguing premise.  Carly, trying to escape the horror of her abusive life, takes refuge in another world...only to find that even that haven may not be the wondrous place she'd hoped. Her one salvation may be the mysterious boy who seems to care more for her happiness than anything else in any of the existing worlds. 

Though this novella tackles a tough topic - physical abuse - Metcalf does a good job of creating scenes that are not too graphically violent, yet still keep readers on the edge.  Language can get a little rough, but that's to be expected when dealing with a horrific situation like the one that Carly can't seem to escape.  Metcalf's greatest strength, though, is the way that she weaves hope through the story and finally gives Carly a little peek into what may be a better future ahead.  

A quick, evocative read. Some readers may not like the subject matter, but in general things are handled well and with its short length the emotional toll to readers shouldn't be too overwhelming. 

Full disclosure: Review copy received from Author

Friday, September 26, 2014

Anxiously Awaiting... The Vanishing Throne!

So, not too long ago I posted my slightly gushy Gold Star review of Elizabeth May's The Falconer. Well, today Elizabeth posted the title and cover (UK) of the sequel THE VANISHING THRONE.

I am BEYOND excited for this one... I'm just sad we still have to wait so long for it!!

The Vanishing Throne 
by Elizabeth May
The Falconer, book two

Publication date: Sept 17, 2015 

My name is Lady Aileana Kameron.

First the fae murdered my mother. Then they destroyed my world.

Now I’m fighting for more than revenge.

Aileana took a stand against the Wild Hunt, and she lost everything: her home, her family and her friends. Held captive by her enemy, and tormenting herself over her failure, escape seems like only the faintest possibility. But when she gets her chance, she seizes it . . . to rejoin a world devastated by war.

The future is bleak. Hunted by the fae, running for her life, Aileana has only a few options left. Trying to become part of a society scarred by – and hiding from – the Wild Hunt; trusting that a fragile alliance with the fae will save her; or walking the most dangerous path at all: coming in to her own powers as the last of the Falconers . . .
(Description from Elizabeth May's website)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gold Star Review: The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair

The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair
by S. S. Taylor
illustrated by Katherine Roy
The Expeditioners, book two

Kit, Zander, and M. K. West are settling into their new lives as students at the Academy for the Exploratory Sciences when Kit finds another mysterious map left for him by their father, the brilliant, famous — and presumed dead — explorer Alexander West. Why did Alexander leave the maps behind, and why are government agents so determined to seize them? What is really going on in a mysterious and unknown stretch of the Caribbean, famous for its violent storms and shipwrecks? And what is the huge contraption M. K. is building in her workshop? As two world powers come to the brink of war, Kit must find a deadly hidden island and unlock its secrets, hoping he has the courage to follow the trail of maps, wherever it may lead. (Description from

When I was able to interview author Sarah (S.S.) Taylor a few weeks ago, I believe I reminded you all exactly how stoked I was to get a signed ARC of this book at BEA this year! I really truly love this middle grade steampunk adventure series.  I am excited to report that book two absolutely lived up to my expectations and I'm now going to be waiting even more anxiously for the next book in the series. 

While book one introduced the West siblings and their friend Sukey, here in book two we discover that perhaps all their fates are not as entwined as they'd originally thought.  As they are learning their own strengths and weaknesses, they are also trying desperately to live up to each others' expectations, and those of the adults structuring the world around them.  They are still hunting for the truth about their father's disappearance and are finding strife with one another along the way.  

I found the new tension among the siblings to be both heartbreaking and utterly realistic.  They are in a world that seems to be stacked against them, danger at every turn, and now with their country on the brink of war, the Wests must stick together, and struggle to trust one another again.  They've gained new friends and new enemies, and they've discovered new and exciting places.  Their lives keep changing at a breakneck pace and I can't help but be pulled right into their story. 

With lots of fun new gadgets, intriguing new species and undiscovered lands, a great new mystery with a VERY enticing destiny planned for Kit, especially, I thought this was a marvelous addition to the series.  I cannot wait to see the Wests' adventure continue! 

A shiny gold star for a wonderful book!

Full disclosure: Signed ARC received at BEA 2014, Finished copy received from Publisher

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Author Interview - Heather Hildenbrand!

Do you remember when I posted my review of Imitation at the beginning of September?  The really cool book about clones being used for replacement parts, or as body doubles, or in Ven's case, as...bait.... well today I have the author, Heather Hildenbrand as my special guest on the blog!

Mini Biography:
Heather Hildenbrand is the bestselling author of the Dirty Blood series and the epic sci-fi adventure Imitation. She was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was home-schooled through high school. She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result. Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels.

Heather splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs. [Taken from Alloy Entertainment]
Heather graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her writing and Imitation for me today.  So, here we go:
1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs to write your newest book, Imitation?

Well, originally, it took about 3 months and then in March 2013, I self-published it. The version you’re reading now is a slightly tweaked/changed story from the original. The changes I made this time around (when I signed it with my publisher) took about 3 months again.

2. I know that Imitation deals with clones and organ donation. What type of research did you do for this book?

I googled cloning and checked out books from the library. I didn’t go too far in detail with the science of it because, frankly, it boggles my mind and I don’t understand things like split chromosomes and such. But I think it’s VERY interesting that the technology for something like this already exists. But our laws prevent it currently. Hmm. What if …

3. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?

Oh I don’t know about that. I wrote a New Adult last year with some sexy scenes that go all the way and it was so hard for me! All I could think about was Your mother will read this! So I think I’m good for now. 

4. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?

Riding an elephant!!! It’s definitely on the list for 2015!

5. Quick Picks List:
Favorite vacation destination- out of places I’ve been, Dominican Republic. Out of places I want to go, Thailand.
Favorite childhood book- A Hole is to Dig. Or Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Favorite writing snack food- Peanut M&Ms.
Favorite clothing item- Boots! (and jeans)

As I mentioned before, I love thinking about all the nuances and ramifications that arise from cloning.  The ethical issues, the potential good... and bad that can be done.  I find it fascinating! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to answer my questions, Heather. I really appreciate it.  

For all of you, if you'd like more info on Heather you can check out her blogFacebook, or Twitter.  For more info on Imitation, you can check out Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Author Interview - S. S. Taylor!!

So, last year I gushed over the first book in a fabulous middle grade steampunk adventure series, The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon. I was SUPER excited to get a signed preview copy of the next book at the 2014 Book Expo in New York.  I was even MORE excited to meet author, S. S. Taylor, and illustrator, Katherine Roy.

They were both super sweet and I couldn't express to them how excited I was for the second book! Today, I get to share with you an interview that I did with Sarah [S. S.] to see if I can't get you almost as excited about the upcoming second book, The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair, which comes out September 23rd!

1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs to write your newest book, The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair?

It’s hard to say with the second book in a series because on some level, I was thinking about this book the whole time I was writing The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man’s Canyon. But I suppose that it was about a year and a bit from the time I started working on it in earnest to those final page proofs. I did a lot of revision on this book. Structure and character development seemed especially important in a second series book and I really wanted to get it right.

2. I love the steampunk aspect of this adventure series, did you purposely set out to create that vibe in the books or did it just naturally evolve that way?

I knew I wanted to set this series in a world where archaic technologies were the norm and I could play with some of the visual trappings of Steampunk, but I didn’t necessarily set out to write a book within the genre. As I worked on it and learned more about the world I was creating, it sort of evolved into something that looked more Steampunky every day. I’ve really had fun with that part of it.

3. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?

I don’t know that I would even need to use a pseudonym, but I’m kind of obsessed with spy fiction. I’d love to write a spy novel. The third Expeditioners novel actually has a little bit of espionage going on, so I’m getting to do as part of the series and I don’t even have to hide my identity!

4. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?

I couldn’t cross it off in one day, but one of my personal bucket list items is hiking the Appalachian Trail.

5. Quick picks list:
Favorite vacation destination – I went to graduate school and lived in Ireland for a couple of years in my twenties and boy do I love that country. I never get tired of visiting there and discovering new things about Irish history and culture.
Favorite childhood book – I loved The Secret Garden. I went back to it over and over again.
Favorite writing snack food – Chocolate. Dark. That is all.
Favorite clothing item – I have a tweed walking cape that I adore, though I’m trying to figure out how to pull it off on a daily basis. It still gets me some strange looks at school pick-up or the supermarket, but when I wear it I feel adventurous and dramatic.

Thank you SO much, Sarah, for stopping by the blog and answering my questions.  

Sarah Stewart Taylor has been fascinated by maps ever since the age of 10, when she discovered an error on a map of her neighborhood and wondered if it was really a mistake. She has a strong interest in books of all kinds, expeditions, old libraries, mysterious situations, long-hidden secrets, missing explorers, and traveling to known and unknown places. She lives in Vermont.

This was absolutely one of the top five books that I HAD to get at BEA this year. I cannot wait to share my review with you in a couple of weeks.  Stay tuned and in the meantime, check out book one!!!!! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014


by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan... But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? 
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? (Description from

As a fangirl, myself...though I don't write fanfiction...I really loved and connected to Cath.  Not only did I love her geeking out and feeling compelled to be an active part of the fandom, but I also really connected to her as I remembered what it was like to start college.  Thank goodness I met my friends, now my best friends, in the dorms in the first few months, and just like Raegan pulled Cath out of her room and made her interact, my friends encouraged me to do the same.  Without them, my college experience could have been totally different. Quiet, full of nothing but homework, boring... 

This is actually the first Rainbow Rowell book that I've read and I really enjoyed it.  It was sweet and well done in its own right and then had all these nods to fandoms that added an extra layer of fun.  My only complaints were that A - We don't actually get to read "Carry On, Simon" now and B - That even though the fictitious author makes a slight nod to Cath's fanfiction in basically refuting it, there wasn't a more direct sort of acknowledgment of all her hard work.  I know it's not realistic, but honestly I would have loved if Gemma had actually acknowledged Cath in some fashion... 

Now, I REALLY need to read Eleanor and Park, which I've heard is EVEN better! 

Full disclosure: Audio Book borrowed from my Library, eBook purchased for my Nook

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gold Star Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
by Bernie Su and Kate Rodrick

Based on the Emmy Award–winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Twenty‑four‑year‑old grad student Lizzie Bennet is saddled with student loan debt and still living at home along with her two sisters—beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When she records her reflections on life for her thesis project and posts them on YouTube, she has no idea The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will soon take on a life of their own, turning the Bennet sisters into internet celebrities seemingly overnight.

When rich and handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck‑up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie’s viewers. But not everything happens on‑screen. Lucky for us, Lizzie has a secret diary.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet takes readers deep inside Lizzie’s world and well beyond the confines of her camera—from the wedding where she first meets William Darcy to the local hangout of Carter’s bar, and much more. Lizzie’s private musings are filled with revealing details about the Bennet household, including her growing suspicions about her parents’ unstable financial situation, her sister’s budding relationship with Bing Lee, the perils of her unexpected fame, and her uncertainty over her future—and whom she wants to share it with.
(Description from

I cannot tell you how perfectly I think that Bernie Su and his team reimagined Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Oh, wait...LOL...when I was desperately binging, I mean catching up on, the Emmy Award winning web series I wrote this gushy post. Then when I heard that they were writing a companion book, I immediately added it to my "I WILL READ THIS IMMEDIATELY WHEN IT COMES OUT" list...which I almost did.  I was bound and determined that I would read this one just for fun and I was not at all disappointed! 

In fact, I was delighted beyond my initial expectations.  Su and Rorick cleverly added even more layers to the story they initially presented to viewers online.  They fleshed out the story through Lizzie's diary and there were moments there that referenced the things we got to see on video, but they built a new story that could just be taken in through this format alone.  In other words, they created perfection AGAIN! *love, love, love, love*  

I felt as if I was revisiting old friends and experiencing their story in a whole new way.  I went back and rewatched some of the videos to see the story with these added bits to flesh things out even more between videos.  

When I saw a very teasing bit in the interview at the end stating that there might be the chance of even more of Lizzie and Darcy's story, my eyes filled with tears...I couldn't help it. I'm so excited.  Whether it's a book or more videos or something in a completely different format once again...I will be there when it debuts. I will happily, greedily gobble it up. No matter what! 




Full disclosure:Borrowed from my Library (though I'll be buying this one with my next gift card, for sure!)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Island of Excess Love

The Island of Excess Love
by Francesca Lia Block
Love in the Time of Global Warming
book two

Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin. (Description from

I have to admit that I have not read book one in this trilogy, Love in the Time of Global Warming. It's been on my list of things to read, but I just somehow have not made the time. I've actually never read anything by Francesca Lia Bloc., though I've heard she writes beautifully.  The one other book of hers that I tried to pick up a few years ago didn't really hit me the right way then, but I really enjoyed this one. 

I think because I'm already predisposed to like this series.  I love post-apocalyptic worlds and I love re-imaginings of classical works.  This book which is based from Virgil's The Aeneid, follows the heroine, Pen, who has finally been reunited with her friends and family in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Having had a few months of peace, the last thing Pen wants is to leave her comfortable and familiar surroundings.  When safety is no longer guaranteed, though, the group must flee, and unfortunately, they end up having to go on a ship that is cursed, leaving them all under the effects of a wicked spell. 

Relationships start to break down as reality and fantasy become indistinguishable. Danger and impending death seem to loom around every corner.  So, when they wash up on the Island of Love and meet its generous and benevolent King, Pen, her brother, and most of their friends happily accept his hospitality.  Pen's lover, Hex, though sees how the King covets Pen and tries to dissuade them, eventually becoming the epicenter of a fissure in their group brought on by an epic betrayal.  

Though I had not read the first book which tells the story of how these characters came together, it still broke my heart as things starting pulling them apart.  Block writes so evocatively...her word choices are haunting and beautiful... I'm not sure another author would have been able to write this book so well.  I'm anxious now to go back and read the first book and I'll definitely be looking to read the final chapter of Pen's story. 

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


by Heather Hildenbrand
Clone Chronicles, book one  

Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.

Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?
(Description from

Gosh, do I love science fiction books about clones...yes, yes, I do! All you need to do to get me to read a book is to dangle the fact that it's about teenage clones in front of me and I'll pick it up in a heartbeat.  There is just something so shiver-inducing about the fact that we're so close to these scenarios in real life - it creeps me out in a way that pure horror stories really can't.

I love contemplating the ethics of cloning.  The idea behind it is usually altruistic and worthwhile - organ replacement, etc.  When you factor in, though, that you are creating a human being, one who will be walking, talking, thinking, and feeling..that's when things get truly interesting.  Could you kill someone - a thinking, feeling someone - to save the life of someone else that you loved?  What if they had been created solely for that purpose?  Is it right?

Poor Ven.  She was created to be whatever Raven Rogen needed.  An organ donor, a temporary body double - but is asking her to be bait for attempted kidnappers/assassins too much?  Heck yeah! I loved the way that Hildenbrand set this novel up so that you slowly discovered things about it as Ven went into the "real world."  There were lots of surprises, even amid the tropes you knew to expect because the story wouldn't work without them.  Having to speculate about who might or might not be an Imitation and who might or might not want to grab Raven or Ven and why... I was on the edge of my seat for a good portion of this book!  

In fact, as I was trying to contain my drool over the fabulous and quite swoony bodyguard, Linc, I just found myself becoming more and more intrigued with the larger story in Ven's world.  What exactly is the true purpose of Titus Rogen's creating the Imitations? Will Ven ever truly be able to escape? Who can she truly trust?

I cannot wait to see where things head in the next book... So, if you're as intrigued as I am...keep an eye on the blog because pretty soon I'll be hosting an interview with author Heather Hildenbrand right here! 

Full disclosure: eARC received from Netgalley, eBook purchased for my Kindle App 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Sassy and Sexy Romance Party is Tonight!

So tonight (from 4 - 8 pm Pacific Time) two great authors are celebrating the release of their newest books with a SASSY AND SEXY ROMANCE PARTY on Facebook! Sounds like so much fun...great books to discuss, great people to chat with, and of course...prizes. *grins*

Just look at this lineup!

Join romance authors Tera Lynn Childs and Crystal Perkins and a whole crew of author friends for fun and games to celebrate the releases or Trying Texas (City Chicks #3) and Creating A Love (Griffin Brothers #3). Hang out and discuss sassy heroines and sexy heroes with Diane Alberts/Jen McLaughlin, Sawyer Bennett, Marissa Clarke, Karina Cooper, Shana Galen, Codi Gary, Chris Marie Green, Sophie Jordan, Emily McKay, Alison Packard, and Tracy Wolff.

Tentative schedule as follows:
4:00 Welcome with Crystal and Tera
4:20 Diane Alberts/Jen McLaughlin
4:40 Sawyer Bennett
5:00 Marissa Clarke
5:20 Karina Cooper
5:40 Shana Galen
6:00 Codi Gary
6:20 Chris Marie Green
6:40 Sophie Jordan
7:00 Emily McKay
7:20 Alison Packard
7:40 Tracy Wolff
8:00 Farewell with Crystal and Tera

They're also giving away a full set of Tera's amazing City Chicks series and Crystal's Griffin Brothers' books!
a Rafflecopter giveaway should check out the party tonight at, but even if you can't, I really recommend you check out Tera and Crystal through social media...and, of course, read the books! LOL

Places to find Tera and Trying Texas:
Her website
On Twitter 
On Facebook
Trying Texas on GoodReads

Places to find Crystal and Creating a Love:
Her website
On Twitter
On Facebook
Creating a Love on GoodReads
Creating a Love on Amazon

Monday, September 1, 2014

Taste of Darkness

Taste of Darkness
By Maria V. Snyder
Healer trilogy, book three

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat: The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.

Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.
(Description from

I love Maria Snyder's books. She writes such an interesting world - fantastic in the types of magic within it but so believably realistic, too.  I always feel as if I could drop right into the world and actually feel the grass beneath my feet...probably before I'd be running for my life for one reason or another, LOL. The scenery seems to just come to life off the page.  

Her characters are also so multifaceted and entertaining. Not only do the main characters, like Avry and Kerrick, seem to dance so smoothly through my imagination, but she manages to create these fabulous secondary characters that I cannot help but love. I gobble up every scene that Belen, Odd, and Flea make appearances in! It was the same in her Study series! 

No matter what she writes, I will read Snyder's books.  I will say that right now I'm DYING to read the next book in the Study series - Shadow Study. It was sort of a surprise that she went back to those characters, but one that I, at least, am SOOOOO grateful for...Valek! *swoons*

Full disclosure: eARC received from Netgalley, ebook purchased for my Nook