Monday, October 31, 2016

#Monday Review - The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye #YALit #Fantasy #Historical @EvelynSkyeYA @BalzerandBray

Series: The Crown's Game # 1
Format: Hardcover, 399 pages
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

The Crown's Game is the first installment in author Ellen Skye's new series by the same name. The story is a Young Adult, Historical Fiction novel set during the reign of Alexander I of Russia. The key characters are Nikolai Karimov, Vika Andreyeva, Pasha Romanov, Galina Zakrevsky, Sergei Andreyev, and Alzhana. Nikolai and Vika are magical users. Both have been under the tutelage of chosen mentors (Sergei & Galina) to learn how to wield their incredible abilities. Both are about to face each other in a what's called The Crown's Game to become the Emperor's one and only Enchanter.

16-year old Vika has lives on Ovchinin Island along with her father. She's been under the impression that she is alone as Imperial Russia's only enchanter. She's incredibly strong and powerful. Vika has the ability to control the elements, and magic is definitely strong in her bloodline. That strength and power will soon be put to the ultimate test. Vika accepts an invitation from the Tsar to prove her worth. The winner gets to be the Tsar's Enchanter. The losers will die.

18-year old Nikolai lives in St. Petersburg. He is a Kazah orphan who has been studying to become the Tsar's Enchanter. He, like Vika, have been told they are the only enchanters in Imperial Russia. Nikolai, like Vika, is pushed to accept his part in the Crown's Game. Like Vika, he has some unique and interesting abilities that can twist stone to life, and make clothes come together. After learning he's not the only enchanter in Russia, and that he will have to participate in a 5 round contest called The Crown's Game, things become much more serious when he learns what the loser is fated for.

16-year old Pasha Romanov is the Crown Prince, Heir to the crown, and Nikolai's best friend. He has been known to sneak around disguised as one of the commoners which gives him more understanding at what his people are feeling and thinking. Upon hearing about The Crown's Game, Pasha becomes enthralled about the possibility of magic users in Russia. Pasha is a softie for a heir of a country. That softness leads him to a girl with the ability to make rivers flow different colors.

I am not afraid to say I really liked this story. First, because it was during the time when Russia was under siege from the Ottoman Empire. Second, because even though the main characters are fictional, the amazing setting of St. Petersburg, and the historical aspects of Tsar Alexander I make the book that more realistic. Even though Pasha is a soft character, I still liked him because he wasn't afraid of doing what he wanted to do even though it might make his family upset. I'm not normally a huge fan of multiple narratives. I would have preferred to stick with just Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha. But, it doesn't affect my overall rating.

Sequel: The Crown's Fate, releases May 16, 2017

Saturday, October 29, 2016

#Stacking the Shelves / Bought, Borrowed & Bagged #37 Lots of #YALit in My Diet!

Bought Borrowed and Bagged is all about the latest additions to your library – virtual or actual, with books that are  bought, borrowed, won or ARCs  you will be reading soon. Bought Borrowed and Bagged is a homage to to Barron’s Books and Baubles from Karen Marie Moning’s amazing Fever series, and is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe. 

Thanks for Shopping by!

Have a Great Weekend!

This Weeks Reviews: 

Monday - A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith (YA, Science Fiction)

Tuesday - Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter (YA, Paranormal Romance) 

Wednesday - Vassa in the Night by Sara Porter (YA, Fantasy, Retelling)

Thursday - Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson (YA, Historical Fiction)

Friday - Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (YA, Fantasy, Retelling)

Saturday - The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas (YA, Fantasy) 

Scheduled for Next Week: 

Monday - The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (YA, Fantasy)

Tuesday -  Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson (YA, Historical Fiction)

Wednesday - The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (YA, SyFy)

Thursday - An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Maresca (Fantasy)

Friday - Mosaic by Sarah Fine (Paranormal Romance)

Saturday - The Operator by Kim Harrison (SyFy)

*Received from NetGalley/Library*


Friday, October 28, 2016

#Saturday Review - The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas #YALit #Fantasy

Series: The Elemental Trilogy # 3
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Fantasy

In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort…

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

The Immortal Heights is the third and final installment in author Sherry Thomas's The Elemental trilogy. The story picks up right where The Perilous Sea left off with Prince Titus IV, Master of the Domain, and Iolanthe Seabourne, the powerful elemental that Bane, leader of Atlantis, desperately wants, fighting against the Bane's forces in an effort to keep Iola out of the Bane's clutches. This series has been based on prophecies which have haunted Titus from the very beginning. 

Whether or not that prophecy actually happens, and whether or not Iola can actually defeat the Bane so that she and Titus can have a future together, is at the center of everything that happens in this story. Titus, Iola, Mohanda Kashkari, and Amara, commander of the Rebel base in the Sahara, find themselves jumping from continent to continent in an effort to stay one step ahead of the Bane. I am happy that Amara has become one of the four main characters in this story. Her participation, her actions, and her overall storyline adds a bit of depth and likability to the story.

The story is told in alternating narratives. Sometimes it ends up being Titus, sometimes it ends up being Iola/Fairfax's. In case you haven't read the first book, you might find it strange that Iola is called Fairfax. I would encourage you to go back to the beginning so that I don't spoil that reasoning for others. Titus is a character who believes that he should be the one to face the Bane, while keeping Iola as far away as possible. I often split hairs over this kind of relationship because I find it a bit condescending that Iola is supposed to be this all powerful mage capable of taking care of herself, but Titus feels that she needs to be kept out of harms way instead. 

I give the author credit that she didn't stumble into the trap of gathering yet another twisted love triangle. No. Titus and Iola are supposed to be together. They are together because there is a bit of honesty, and trust between the two of them. There are no other suitors. There are a group of characters who are friends, and friends look out for each other. They respect each other and don't try to interrupt things be getting in-between Titus and Iola. 

I had fun with this world, and the characters. It was interesting to see Atlantis for the first time. It was fun watching Iola and Titus learn to trust each other. Add in the flying chariots, wyverns, floating fortresses, the Crucible, and powerful magic users, and wow, what a ride. I loved the prologue. Such a twisted, heart warming ending to the trilogy. I am glad that the author wrapped up things in a way that leaves no room for suggestions of what will happen next. We know that they've lived through a major war, and it is now time to get on with their lives.

#Friday Review - Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge #YALit #Fantasy #Retellings @rosamundhodge @BalzerandBray

Series: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire Duology
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages 
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings

Sabriel meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning and atmospheric novel from the author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound.
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.
The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou, share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on the Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.
Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding the Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.
Mahyanai Runajo only wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. 

Author Rosamund Hodge's Bright Smoke, Cold Fire is the first part of a two part duology. As the synopsis indicates, her prior works include Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound. Hodge takes her own artistic impressions of Romeo and Juliet and creates a strange journey by adding necromancers, zombies, reapers, and a strong villain who holds all the cards. Then she puts them all inside a walled city called Viyara, where the last remaining survivors of the Ruining have found shelter. Hodge then interweaves her story through the narratives of Mahyanai Runajo and Paris Catresou, while Romeo and Juliet are side characters.

Even though they are side characters, there are several flash back chapters that give the readers pause to understand how they ended up meeting, and how things got to the point where the story picks up. This book takes several different storylines, and gives them their own life and narratives. In the beginning of things, Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet's guardian. Juliet, who has fallen for Romeo, is supposed to return the favor by killing Romeo. But, of course, that isn't exactly what happens. Instead, Juliet tries to bind Romeo as her guardian, and the attempt goes horribly wrong.

Instead of Romeo being bound to Juliet, he is now bound to Paris Catresou, who is supposed to be Juliet's new guardian now that Tybalt is dead. Meanwhile, The Sisters of Thorn have been keeping the walls up with blood sacrifices that have become more regular than they used to. For Runajo, her only desire is to save the city even if it means her own life. Everything else, including being a rebel against her own sisters and trying to find access to the Sunken Library where she hopes to find answers, is just icing on the cake. After Runajo grabs Juliet before she can cross over, she becomes The Juliet's de-facto guardian. 

I must say that if you love twisted stories, then you will love the hell out of this story. I am more of a fan of Runajo's than any other character in this book. She's got a plan. The plan may not go exactly as she expected, but at least she does have a plan. She may fight dirty at times, but again, she really wants Viyara to survive. If the only way to do that is to use unconventional means, including using The Juliet, so be it. I can't say I liked Paris. He's is just not very bright at most times. The part that I did like was his bromance with Romeo, and meeting the King of Cats named Vai. I shall not spoil that, but I am a fan of Vai's as well. I could grow to like Juliet in time. I prefer the ruthless Juliet to any other version. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

#Thursday Review - Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson #YALit #Historical #Fiction @raecarson @GreenwillowBook

Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy # 1
Format: Kindle, 464 pages
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times-bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. Walk on Earth a Stranger begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of young adult literature.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns series, dazzles with the first book in the Gold Seer Trilogy, introducing a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance, as only she can.

Rae Carson's Walk on Earth a Stranger is the first installment in the author's The Gold Seer Trilogy. The series features Leah Westfall, a girl who has the sense to know when gold is around. Leah and her parents live in Dahlonega, Georgia where the gold rush happened in the early 1800's. In many ways, 15-year old Leah is the bread winner of the family because of her amazing gift at finding gold in the most unusual locations. After her parents are murdered, and her (half White, half Cherokee) best friend Jefferson leaves Georgia for the new gold rush to California, Leah's world turns on its head.

What's worse is when her Uncle Hiram comes to claim what he considers HIS property, which also means Leah and her ability at finding gold. Leah's choice to disguise herself as a boy, take whatever money she has leftover, and flee on her horse Peony, is not only tense, but heart breaking. As a reader, you can really feel the emotions that Carson is trying to put forward after watching Leah go from a stable situation, to hell rather quickly. Here is a girl who has lost everything, and has no desire of being anyone's pawn to get rich off her skill set. 

Leah, now known as Lee, is a protagonist that readers will love to read about. She's smart, and a protagonist that you can actually like and not worry that she will turn into a Mary Sue character who needs someone to tell her what to do and when. Her skill at shooting and hunting, comes in handy once she joins the wagon train and her best friend heading for California. Carson puts Leah right in the middle of the California Gold Rush and doesn't offer happy go lucky caravans who walk on water without danger happening to anyone. 

She makes Leah a helluva a shot with a rifle, which comes in handy. She can hunt better than most men. And, in many ways, she much braver than those men she ends up traveling all the way to California to. Especially when bloody Mary
finally shows up in the middle of nowhere and she has to improvise so no-one knows she's actually a girl. 

Walk on Earth a Stranger is very factual story in the regards that Carson does a fantastic job of capturing the dangers of crossing an undiscovered country with illness, fatal injuries, exposure to wild weather, buffalo appearances, and Indians who are featured rather kindly and not badly in this first novel. It took a whole lot of faith and determination for settlers to arrive in tact once they left the confines of the already discovered countryside.

Note: I have moved on and read the sequel and I have to say that this is a series that you must read. If you are curious about romance possibilities, don't give it any thought. While Leah and Jeff are best friends, and there are feelings, there are way too many other things going on that take priority over any romantic interludes. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#Wednesday Review - Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter #YALit #Fantasy #Retellings @sarahporterbook @torteen

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher 
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair.

Vassa in the Night is a young adult, fantasy retelling by author Sarah Porter. Porter is also the author of the Lost Voices trilogy which features mermaids. Vassa in the Night is Porter's retelling of a Russian tale called Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga. Porter's version takes place in what is an alternative version of Brooklyn where night is becoming longer and longer each day. 

In Porter's story, 16-year old Vassa Lisa Lowenstein plays the part of Vasilisa the Beautiful. Vassa lives with her stepmother and 2 older sisters who are about as similar as night and dark is. But, Vassa has a secret which she has never told anyone. Vassa has a beautifully detailed doll she calls Erg which belonged to her mother. Erg is a talking doll who can eat more than her fill, and she also has a tendency of taking things that don't belong to her. 

Not unlike Vasilisa the Beautiful, Vassa in this story has issues with her sisters. One of them, Stephanie, sends Vassa off to a strange place called BY's for light bulbs. BY's is a place that is notorious for beheading anyone who steals from the store. With Erg in her pocket, Vassa finds herself meeting her very own version of Baba Yaga. This is a disturbing place folks. Not going to lie. There is a parking lot that has poles with heads on them. Night scenery for someone who has lived a sheltered life. 

BY's owner is Babs Yagg, and she has a creepy cast of misfits who keep things more than interesting in their own masochist ways. Caught and put into a precarious situation, Vassa finds herself having to stay within the confines of BY for 3 days. She will have to face tough challenges, and even more craziness in swans who seem to be attached to her. She will also have to work out a way to escape and help others out from under Babs magical enchantment. BY has another interesting twist. The store itself dances on chicken legs!

There are also the strange lawyers in Pangolin and Picnic who add their own bizarre angle to the story. But, the strangest part of the story to me is the motorcyclists who drive around in circles non-stop until Babs tells them to stop. Yes, folks, this story has some interesting hi-jinks. Some bloody good times, and a character in Vassa who is helped along by the only "person" who may actually care about her, or what happens to her in Erg. Have to say that Erg is a whole lot of twisted, but were it not for Erg, this story would have not been as interesting to me. I love the relationship between Vassa and Erg. I even have to give credit for the back story which really is important to the overall enjoyment of the story.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#Tuesday Review - Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter (#YALit, Paranormal, Romance) @CCHunterBooks @StMartinsPress

Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark # 4
Release Date: Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Author
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance

Being a dyslexic witch is a curse in itself, but Miranda Kane’s time at Shadow Falls has helped her harness her magical powers. Now, just as she’s finally mastered them and is preparing to graduate with her friends, a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

Miranda awakens in the hospital with a mysterious tattoo that no one can explain. As she struggles to make sense of it – and questions her feelings for a certain irresistible shape-shifter and a hot new guy – the strange markings begin to spread all over her body, leaving her desperate to find answers. But before she can solve that problem, a new one arises: her sister is missing.

Has her sister been kidnapped? Miranda will risk her life to find out. Will she live to share the day she’s worked so hard for with her friends? When the clock strikes midnight, will Miranda make it to her graduation at Shadow Falls?

C.C. Hunter brings The Shadow Falls saga to a spectacular conclusion in this thrilling finale: Midnight Hour!

Midnight Hour is the fourth and final installment in C.C Hunter's Shadow Falls: After Dark series. In what may be the most ironic move on the author's part, dyslexic witch Miranda Kane gets to close out the series. As readers of this series know, Miranda is the roommate of Chameleon Kylie Galen, and Vampire Della Tsang. But, what's even more curious, is that Hunter adds the perspectives of shape-shifter Perry Gomez, (Miranda's Ex) and warlock Shawn Hanson, who is Miranda's current love interest. 

I could argue that the intentional use of a love triangle is nothing new for this series. Kylie and Miranda had similar issues to disentangle before they settled on the one's they were meant to be with. Midnight Hour starts out with Miranda and her half-sister Tabitha going to a supposed palm reader. When things go sideways, Miranda and Tabitha end in the Hospital. Meanwhile, a mysterious tattoo spreads on Miranda's body and nobody knows it's origin or cause. Miranda's learning mode kicks up to a whole new level of curiosity, and in some ways, makes her a badass like Kylie and Della.

For Perry's part of the story, he has gone off on his own in an attempt to find his parents who abandoned him when he was a child. Perry's adventures with his parent's, leads to a reunion with Miranda. It is Miranda that Perry hears in his head calling for his help. Even though Perry left Miranda behind nearly a year ago, he's never really found another love interest. This, of course, makes things strange when Perry and Shawn have to work together. 

Shawn is a member of the FRU, working closely with Chase and Lucas. Shawn's storyline is one that made me scratch my head. There were subtle hints that Hunter intended to give Shawn a twisted storyline, and she did just that. Not sure if it was intentional on Hunter's part to do what she did, but in the end, things end up as I expected. I'm thankful that the strangeness between Perry and Shawn don't ruin the story. I am thankful that the choice Miranda has to make between the two isn't dragged on until the very end.

One could say that Midnight Hour is a nice way to say good-bye to the characters we've come to love. We see that Burnett and Holiday really do consider each of these characters family, and would do anything to ensure that they are taken care of. Sometimes Burnett can be a misogynistic
ass, but he means well when it comes to Miranda, Della, Kylie, and the rest of the students at Shadow Falls.  The next thing that I loved was the author not covering up how terrible dyslexia can be. Miranda struggles mightily in comparison to her roommates. She struggles with passing the SAT so that she can go to college with her friends. She struggles in remembering things. But, Hunter doesn't try to cover up her struggles. She embraces them, and shows how Miranda grew up right before our eyes thanks to those surrounding her.

I'm happy that Miranda got to close out the series. I am sad that she didn't get more than one book and a novella considering that Kylie got 5 books, and Della got her own storyline. In the end, the series closes on a warm and cuddly moment, and not an ending that readers are forced to do their own thinking of what happens next for these characters.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

#Monday Review - A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Fantasy

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

A Darkly Beating Heart is a young adult, science fiction novel by author Lindsay Smith. Smith is also the author of the Skandal duology which I loved. A Darkly Beating Heart is about a troubled American born girl of Japanese ancestry named Reiko Azumi. Reiko is sent to Japan by her parents to sort out her issues, while also waiting for word on whether or not she gets into the school of her choice. 

After being discharged from school, and sent to a psych ward, Reiko sets herself on a path towards destruction and revenge. She feels betrayed by her ex, let down by her parents and brother, and plans on making one helluva exit when she gets her revenge.  

"I am mastering the path of hatred. I am in control. I will make them pay." 

In the three months she's been in Japan, Reiko has been working for her uncle's company as a photographer. Since she speaks barely any Japanese, the language barrier is often an issue for Reiko. Surprising or not, Reiko has little understanding of her own parents culture and heritage. Her cousin Akiko is all about me, me, me, and more me. When Akiko takes Reiko, Kenji, and Mariko to the Kuramagi village for a cultural fair, Reiko is swept away to the Edo era of Japan.

There she becomes a girl named Miyo who is hated by the entire village, and loathed even by her own father. Reiko believes that she can permanently leave the present behind and all her grievances, and become Miyo who has her own revenge plots just waiting to be revealed. Miyo, not unlike Reiko, has made mistakes that have ostracized them. Both of them, in a way, have embarrassed their families to the point where they both now want revenge on those who they feel stabbed them in the back.

Both girls are about violence, upheaval, and renewal. Both girls find comfort in a Samurai warrior named Jiro, but Reiko may also like a girl who works at the Bed & Breakfast she's staying at. One could say that this story is a multi-diverse story. Reiko is not only Asian-American, but she is also bisexual. Reiko is a character who takes a whole lot to like, but eventually you get the whole story of what made her turn towards revenge. The time travel part of the story is definitely the highlight of this book. There are some minor cultural issues that I had problems with, but nothing so drastic that I would throw a hissy fit over.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

#Stacking the Shelves / Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged # 36 *Featuring Blog Tour Tuesday!

Bought Borrowed and Bagged is all about the latest additions to your library – virtual or actual, with books that are  bought, borrowed, won or ARCs  you will be reading soon. Bought Borrowed and Bagged is a homage to to Barron’s Books and Baubles from Karen Marie Moning’s amazing Fever series, and is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe. 

Thanks for Shopping by!
If you like Giveaways, check out Blog Tour Tuesday! Short and sweet week. A few approvals via NetGalley and nothing from the library. Gives me a chance to catch up on 2015 reads I really want to read.
Have a Great Weekend!

This Weeks Reviews: 

 Blog Tour TuesdayOf Flame and Light by Cecy Robson (PNR)

Wednesday - Once Faith Broken by Seanan McGuire (Urban Fantasy)

Thursday - The Courier by Gerald Brandt (Science Fiction)

Friday - Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (YA, Fantasy)

Scheduled for Next Week: 

Monday - A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith (YA, Science Fiction)

Tuesday - Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter (YA, Paranormal Romance) 

Wednesday - Vassa in the Night by Sara Porter (YA, Fantasy, Retelling)

Thursday - Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson (YA, Historical Fiction)

Friday - Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (YA, Fantasy, Retelling)

Saturday - The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas (YA, Fantasy) 

*Received from NetGalley*