“The Warrior Maiden” by Melanie Dickerson— Book Review

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I have been reading Melanie Dickerson’s books since 2010. And though I have not LOVED all of the books I have read by her, I always add her YA fairy tale retellings to my TBR.

Her newest it a light retelling of Mulan. Did I LOVE it? Hm, I say not LOVE. But I enjoyed it and think it is one of my most loved out of all her books to date.

This book had so many twists. A summary of my mental musings about these twists: “Like, wow, did not see that coming…. Whoah, what happened? Eeeek! Poor characters! GET TOGETHER ALREADY!!!!!”

Another thing I liked is that it also lightly touched on the damaging effects of racism. Mulan, the only girl of Mongolian decent in her village, suffered unjustly because she did not look like everyone else. ๐Ÿ™ Total reminderย that we should not treat people badly because they are different. *looks at rude villagers* Not cool, guys.

As someone who is facinated in Asian cultures, I would have loved there to be more of a Mongolian feel to the book. Yet I understand why Dickerson did not do so in this tale. The book is part ofย series that follow European characters. She wanted to include a Mulan story in her series of fairy tale retellings, and she did BUT in a subtle way. (I guess this might throw off some readers looking for a purely Asian-set retelling, so if that is what you are looking for, this is not the book for you.) So, though it could have been better, it was still okay for me that she chose this route for this retelling.

Story negatives…

Okay, so maybe it is because I read an ARC, but I felt like Mulan’s character had a major flip from clumsy to warrior. In the beginning, she is portrayed to be a struggling clumsy maiden (lol, like me!), but when she becomes a warrior it just goes away. Totally threw me off a bit. Maybe her confidence took over, but I feel that, realistcally, she would still struggle some with her lack of gracefullness despite becoming a soldier.

And…yeah.

With a few nods to the Disney film mixed with a whole lot of faith, this book is sure to take Dickerson’s fans on an exciting journey that they will be able to enjoy far from the danger of battles.

I give “The Warrior Maiden” a rating of four. No, you do not have to read the books before this one to enjoy it, but you will totally be missing the full experience if you don’t read them first. It releases early 2019, so…

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I ย liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish

*Thanks to the publisher through Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. Not required to write a positive review.

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“Retrieve” by Sarah Addison-Fox— Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Oh my word. You guys! Today I am participating in the cover reveal for “Retrieve” by Sarah Addison-Fox. I must say that I am quite excited for this book. My friend told me it was likened to a mashup between Mulan AND Prince of Persia. *jaw drop* So. Many. Hearts. I neeeeed this book! Now.

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The Cover:

Retrieve
Sarah Addison-Fox
(The Stormers Trilogy #1)
Publication date: December 26, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

What if the job you took to stay alive might be what kills you?

Kade knows what it is to suffer. He knows what itโ€™s like to lose everything and everyone around him.

His job in a Stormer Unit guarantees not just his survival in the decimated country of Azetaria, but his sister Megโ€™s. Even if it means facing the Numachi warriors baying for his blood, heโ€™ll do what it takes to keep her safe.

Hadley is alone and surviving the only way she knows how. By hiding where predators wonโ€™t find her and scavenging enough just to keep her alive.

When desperation drives Hadley to search for her missing brother, she mistakenly accepts the offer of recruitment into the Stormerโ€™s camp, only to be partnered with Kade and sent as a scout into Numachi territory.

The intimidating young Stormer may just know where her brother has gone. But can they stay alive long enough to find him?

About the Author

Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born misfit who writes action-packed fantasy with a smattering of punch ups, mega amounts of romance and a dash of family values. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 28 years, can still make her blush. When sheโ€™s not working on her YA fantasy romance series’ she can be found binge watching Mission Impossible movies, drinking lager and eating curry.

Website โ€” Facebook โ€” Newsletter

 

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win the Stormers Giveaway and go on a thrilling adventure! With over $100 of bookish goodies and exclusive swag sent from New Zealand, these prizes will certainly give every reader a thrill. Click the entry form below to enter! (Open INT.)

>>> Entry-Form <<<

 

“Shadow of the Fox” by Julie Kagawa— Book Review.

It’s not completely weird to fascinated/low-key obsessed with a certain type of mythical creature. The big one these days seems to be unicorns…

For me, it is the nine-tailed fox. And that is what the heroine of “Shadow of the Fox” is! *fan girl squeal that more literature is including my favorite mythical being*

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The story is about a a michevious, yet naive, nine-tailed fox who lives with a bunch of monk’s in a temple… That is until the temple is destroyed. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ During the temple’s fall, the head monk instructs the fox girl to take a piece of a powerful scroll (reason temple is attacked) to a hidden temple. He instructs her on where to find a priest who knows where the hidden temple is located. Having never gone anywhere far beyond her home, she enlists the help of a mysterious purple eyed young man to escort her on a journey to find the hidden temple…. (which is dangerous because he’s possessed. Eeek!)

I’m just going to come out and say that I enjoyed this story. To me, it isn’t the BEST book. The writing was pretty basic in areas (Though I read an ARC of it, so maybe the final version is better). I also found the characters were sometimes kind of cheesy…

BUT despite those minor-for-me flaws, it had an east Asian feel, with fantasy elements that made it feel kind of like my favorite dramas (Korean and Chinese dramas) while also still being awesomely different since it was Japanese inspired. Seriously LOVE the world of this book. Can I just go there right now? Please?

The plot was fascinating. I wanted to know what happens next, and was surprised by more than one unexpexted turn of events.

As for the characters, I say they are fictional friend worthy. The heroine was sweet yet imperfect, which I found a unique combination. Also, she is a Kitsune, so… (Not biased at all, y’all. ๐Ÿ˜‰). The hero’s struggle to overcome his many pains was fascinating. He definitely is a complicated dude. Felt bad for the poor guy. I mean, someone PLEASE love this poor abused cookie.

There’s also quite a few side characters, most of which were neat individuals. (EXCEPT THE VILLAUNOUS, WHO IS CREEEEEEEPY!)

I did have a few things that I did not care for in this book, despite it being a mostly for me book. To me, the book was a bit slow in spots. I wanted them to hurry, but villains kept attacking them. #why???

It also had a few more bad words than I care to read, plus some crude humor. ๐Ÿ˜›

Okay, enough negative. Anything else… Ah, yes. Before I wrap this review, I have to say I have found another EMPRESS of Epic Ending in the author.. Did not see it coming… It’s awesome because I love to be surprised in books, but also aggravating because I need book two asap. A-S-A-P.

I give “Shadow if the Fox” by Julie Kagawa a rating of four. Hurry, book two.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I ย liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish

*Thanks to publisher through Netgalley for a complimentary e-ARC of this book in exchange for honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

“Spark” by J.M. Hackman— Book Review

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Imagine you go to school one day and fire unexpectedly explodes from your hands. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

But that is not the end of your thrilling day. No, you are then escorted by your grandmother and father to a portal that leads to another world that you had NO IDEA existed. Of course, you end up in that world.

Say What???

Soon you’re surrounded by fantastical beings, magically gifted people, and to top it off you’re told you are the one foretold about in some prophecy… a bit much for any person, let alone a highschool girl.

While it is highly unlikely that this kind of thing would happen to any of us (Though wouldn’t it be awesome?!), you can secondhand experience it in J.M. Hackman’s adventerous book, “Spark.”

“Spark” is an enjoyable debut book. I really liked the heroine’s voice, and how relatable and snarky she can be. I also totally think she handled her situation wayyy better than I would have handled it.

One of my favorite parts of this book were all the fantasy creatures. Can I say FLYING GIANT BLACK CAT!!!!! I want one!!!!

*coughs* Excuse my enthusiasm…

The story had a fantasy feel, yet also felt like a contemporary. (I guess that’s because it is a magical realism book, though. #sillyme). It reminds me a bit of a modern Narnia, as well as Ashlee Willis’ novel, “The Word Changers.” Basically it’s a cool mashup of modern world, fantasy world, with a dash of allegory mixed in a plot pot.

Oh, and the magic system was pretty cool. It’s not complicated, but I liked it nonetheless.

As for negative feelings, I think my one complaint is that the dialogue sometimes made some of the characters seem a tad immature. One character tried to imitate slang from our world, and to me it didn’t flow well. ๐Ÿ˜

ANYWHO.

I hope the sequel comes out soon. I’m curious to see what happens next. ๐Ÿ˜€

I give “Spark” by J.M. Hackman a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I ย liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish

*Thanks to the author for providing me a complimentary ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Dramfever… *sadface*

*cries*

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I used to joke with my friend that one of the reasons I buy Kdrama dvd’s is in case one day Dramafever is not available to me.

 

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However, my favorit(est) East Asian Drama watching site… ๐Ÿ˜ญ

My dear Dramafever is gone. I know this is a first world problem, and that there are other ways to watch my favorite shows… But it is like I lost a friend who I spent hours, days… heck, YEARS with, and then they leave with no warning. So yeah, I’m probably sadder than what is considered healthy, but imagine Netflix disappearing with no warning. That’s what this is to me. *dramatic swoon*

Dear Dramafever, I’m really going to miss you.

Anyone else feeling the pain?

*looks at Viki and Kocowa with a defeated look*

Ink Blotted Beka—Artist Tour

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One of my dear friends is having a tour showcasing her lovely artwork. When she asked me to participate, I totally agreed. ๐Ÿ˜„

She’s also giving away a wonderful prize. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here’s a bit about the awesome artist…

About Beka

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Beka hails from the Great White North (aka Canada), where she reads, dreams, and doodles away. She loves bringing characters from the written page to the visual eye, and dabbles in pencil and coloured pencil and the occasional watercolor. Her dream is to one day get into digital art and save some trees.

Artwork

 

Doesn’t she have talent? Like, wow. I’ve always been a bit envious ย (which is SO wrong and something I need to work on…) of people who can draw well. I especially love the one with the man and woman on the couch. So much epic detail, ahhhh!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Find Her…

Facebook

Instagram

Tour Schedule

Oct. 1

Anne Louise Twitchell – Spotlight

Tammy Lash – Spotlight

Savannah J. – Spotlight

Oct. 2

ย Jenelle Schmidt – Spotlight

Bryn Schutt – Spotlight

Oct. 3

Skye – Spotlight

Katie Hanna – Spotlight

Oct. 4

Rebkah DeVall – Spotlight

Elizabeth Brown – Interview

Oct. 5

Penny Wood – Interview

Fran Laniado – Interview

Oct 6.

W.R. Gingell – Spotlight

Grace Mullins – Spotlight

Oct. 7

Rachel Rossano – Interview

Sarah – Spotlight

Oct. 8

Anna Willis – Spotlight

Grace Maples – Spotlight

Liv. K Fisher – Spotlight

Ann Marie Pavese – Spotlight

Giveaway

Winner receives one custom drawing from Beka based on the characters of their choice. Giveaway runs from October 1st โ€“ October 9 at 12 Am Easter Time. Giveaway is open internationally.

Click to enter the giveaway.

 

It’s…OCTOBER?

This year is going by pretty fast. Wasn’t it just Christmas 2017? Valentine’s Day? Easter???

Wasn’t it just 2009?

But in all seriousness, it’s also been a crazy year for me. Well, crazy in some aspects. I quit one job because of… well, let’s say “stuff.” Then the job I had afterwards only lasted a few months (I knew it was a temporary thing that probably would not last forever),ย  and then I began another job…ย  oi! *dizzy spinning*

My reading has suffered A LOT. I’ve read less this year than I have in years, which is a totally depressing thought and makes me cringe when I look or think about my Goodreads goal because I. am. wayyy behind on it.

My drama watching has also been pretty low, especially because I wanted to rewatch Boy Over Flowersย dramas I’ve seen before. You know, like I’ve never seen them before and have no clue what is going to happen.ย ๐Ÿ˜‚

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I guess I’ve just been leaning more towards comfortable, familiar things because my heart has just been so down in the gutter. I’ve been struggling with major depression, which I know is part of the reason I’ve not been reading/watching as much as I know I can do.

But it’s a new month, and it’s Fall, so why not make a goal to read/watch more than I have all year? Never too late to try, right?

Books I Hope To Read In October

  1. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame Smith and Jane Austen— Because it’s October/Fall, which means I like some creepy. This book looks more hilarious than creepy, though.
  2. “An Enchantment of Ravens” by Margaret Rogerson— I started this one last month, but set it aside for a bit. Hope to continue and finish it.
  3. “King’s War” by Jill Williamson— Also started this finale to the “Kinsman Chronicles” last month, but it is a big book! #pleasedontbreakmyheartbook
  4. “By These Ten Bones” by Clare B. Dunkle— Another creepy kind of read. It’s by the author of one of my favorite books (“The Hollow Kingdom), and it just looks like an Autumn book. Plus it’s short. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  5. ย “Shadow of the Fox” by Julia Kagawa— Nine-Tailed Foxes =ย ๐Ÿ˜. Got a review copy, and I’m excited.
  6. “White Stag” by Kara Barbieri— Looks like a magical read with Goblin-like creatures. Which is one of my favorite kinds of books. ๐Ÿ˜€
  7. Audiobooks— Not sure which ones I’ll get to, but I have a few audiobooks I want to listen to.

Dramas To Watch in October

  1. “Arang and the Magistrate”— Excited for this one. I’ve watched some of it and found it humorous.
  2. “My Shy Boss”— While not perfect, most of what I’ve seen from this drama has been interesting. I like how realistic the shyness of the boos is. Relate-able, for sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. “Lovely, Horribly”— The only recent show, about a writer whose ghostly script-in-progress seems to be mirroring things happening in real life. I LOVE this drama so far.

 

That’s a wrap for this post. What are you reading and/or watching this October?