New Releases

July 2020 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 2 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang
Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy
Expected publication: July 1, 2020
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New York City, 1899. Tillie Pembroke’s sister lies dead, her body drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck. Bram Stoker’s new novel, Dracula, has just been published, and Tillie’s imagination leaps to the impossible: the murderer is a vampire. But it can’t be—can it?

A ravenous reader and researcher, Tillie has something of an addiction to truth, and she won’t rest until she unravels the mystery of her sister’s death. Unfortunately, Tillie’s addicted to more than just truth; to ease the pain from a recent injury, she’s taking more and more laudanum…and some in her immediate circle are happy to keep her well supplied.

Tillie can’t bring herself to believe vampires exist. But with the hysteria surrounding her sister’s death, the continued vampiric slayings, and the opium swirling through her body, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a girl who relies on facts and figures to know what’s real—or whether she can trust those closest to her. 

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh
(The Beautiful #2)
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected publication: July 7, 2020
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Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart. 

Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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Reviews

Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review

The Beautiful
The Beautiful
by Renée Ahdieh
(The Beautiful #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
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Synopsis
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

What I thought
I was in need of beautiful writing and gripping storytelling and I knew that Renée Ahdieh would deliver.  I love her writing, I was sucked into the story from the beginning.

I know there have been quite a few reviews complaining that there were not vampires until the end of the book.  So I want to address this first, this isn’t really the case.  Now hear me out I think the issue is vampire culture has changed over the years (twilight onward).  I’m not criticizing the change so don’t come after me, but this book relies on old vampire lore knowledge.  They are everywhere in the book if you know how to look for them.

I loved this book.  I liked that I finally got a vampire book to read that sticks to the old culture, maybe I am just showing my age but oh well.  I personally just can not get into the “twilight age” of vampire books.  This is going to be either you love it or you hate it kind of book.  So I am interested in seeing your thoughts below if you liked it or not.

The next book in this series is supposed to be out on June 2, 2020, and I really hope that the date does not change.  I cannot wait to pick it up.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review

Smoke in the Sun
Smoke in the Sun
by Renée Ahdieh
(Flame in the Mist #2)
Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn’t expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn’t expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.

Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign’s brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.

As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami’s rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.

Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, Smoke in the Sun is the breathless, romantic, not-to-be-missed fiery conclusion to a spell-binding adventure.

What I thought
With this being the second part of the Flame in the Mist duology. I am going to keep this super short so I don’t spoil the story if you have not read it yet.

Mariko is no longer having to pose as a boy but she has to don an even bigger facade in this installment.  When she reaches the capital she is thrown into court politics and she is expected to carry on with the arranged marriage. Mariko has to balance her heart and her duty.

Mariko shows how clever she is as she tries different ways to try to free Ōkami.  I loved it when we got to see private moments between Markio and Ōkami., the way he spoke to her just melted my heart.  

Renée Ahdieh’s writing is just beautiful and I loved how I felt like I was being transported to feudal Japan.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

The Beautiful
The Beautiful
by Renée Ahdieh
(The Beautiful #1)
Fantasy, Vampires, Historical Fiction, Paranormal

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

Expected publication: October 8, 2019

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Reviews

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review

Flame in the Mist.png
Flame in the Mist
by Renée Ahdieh
Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

What I thought

Let’s get down to business to defeat The Huns.

So this is literally what has been playing in my head since I finished this book I’m not complaining because I love Mulan.

This is a loose Mulan retelling that takes place in Japan.

I am really glad that I waited so long to read this book when it first came out there was a lot of hate because people expected a strict Mulan retelling. This story takes place in Japan so the culture is very different than the movie since it takes place in mainland China. I think that this might be why people felt let down by the retelling aspect.

The Mulan essence lives in our main character Mariko. Due to actions out of her control, Mariko has to dress like a boy to survive. Mariko fights for what she feels is right no matter the cost. Also, we have the hate to love trope that we all know I am such a sucker for.

There are some big thing that happens at the end of this book that really has me on the edge of my seat to see what happens. This book is told from a few different perspectives that should all come together in the Smoke in the Sun. Well, at least I really hope they do.

I am going to read the two short stories that came in between books 1 and 2. And just in case you did not know this but they appear to be free on Amazon.

This story is part of the duology so I’m super excited to pick up the second installment.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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