Friday, February 22, 2019

Anticipated March 2019 Releases!

As usual, February has flown by somehow even faster than I anticipated. The upside to that is we are just that munch closer to all of these awesome March releases! As always, I've collected some March releases to share with all of you and I was still surprised by just how many are set to publish in March--though I really don't think I should be surprised anymore by the sheer amount of books being published each month.
Are you looking forward to any of these books? What books are most anticipating for March?

The Rosewater InsurrectionThe Waking ForestThe TestThe Bird King
The Devil AspectThe Weight of the StarsHeroineThe Wolf and the Watchman
Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1)The Witch's KindOnce & Future (Once & Future, #1)A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)
GingerbreadTo Best the BoysSky Without Stars (System Divine, #1)The Trial of Lizzie Borden
Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of ArcThe Last Voyage of Poe BlytheGirls with Sharp SticksBeware the Night
Never-Contented ThingsThe Tragical Tale of Birdie BloomThe Island of Sea WomenShout

The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel || March 1st -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell || March 5th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Weight of Stars by K. Ancrum || March 19th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag || March 5th -- Amazon | Book DepositoryIndieBound

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith || March 5th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Witch's Kind by Louisa Morgan || March 5th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy || March 26th -- Amazon | Book Depository  | IndieBound

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine || March 26th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi || March 5th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber || March 5th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound (review coming soon!)

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell || March 26th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott || March 26th -- Amazon Book Depository | IndieBound

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie || March 26th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young || March 19th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Never-Contented Tings by Sarah Porter || March 19th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom by Temre Beltz || March 26th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See || March 5th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson || March 12th -- Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: No Way by S.J. Morden

*No Way will be published Tuesday, February 26th!* 

No Way
No Way by S.J. Morden (Frank Kitteridge #2)
Orbit, 2019
Paperback. 416 pages.

Note: This is the sequel to the first book, One Way, and although I will have no spoilers from this book, there will be things mentioned that may act as inadvertent spoilers for the first book. I never give specific spoilers, but I just want to give a head's up if you haven't read the first book.

About No Way:

"'In the sequel to the terrifying science fiction thriller, One Way, returning home from Mars may mean striking a deal with the very people who abandoned him. 

They were sent to build a utopia, but all they found on Mars was death. 

Frank Kitteridge has been abandoned. But XO, the greedy--and ultimately murderous--corporate architects of humanity's first Mars base made a costly mistake when they left him there: they left him alive. Using his skills and his wits, he's going to find a way back home even if it kills him. 

Little does he know that Mars isn't completely empty. Just over the mountain, there's another XO base where things are going terribly, catastrophically wrong. And when the survivors of that mission find Frank, they're going to want to take even the little he has away from him. 

If there's anything in Frank's favor, it's this: he's always been prepared to go to the extremes to get the job done. That's how he ended up on Mars in the first place. It just might be his ticket back."

No Way picks up almost immediately after the events of One Way and I would want it no other way. The intensity and the excitement are just as high as they were at the end of One Way, although this time Frank has some new high stakes to deal with that are vastly different than what he death with before--though they are just as deadly.

Frank is now alone on Mars--or so he initially thinks--and must take on all of the responsibilities around the base in order to keep himself alive for NASA's arrival in order for him to potentially go back to Earth one day. This, of course, includes cleaning up all of the mess leftover from the violent events that ocurred at the end of the first book in order to keep XO happy and to ensure Frank is able to safely leave Mars. Predictably, nothing can possibly go smoothly on this dry, lonely planet, and Frank is suddenly dealing with even more stress than he already was.

Frank remains the same 'too-old-for-this-shit' sort of man that he was in One Way, and I appreciate how consistent Morden has kept his personality. Frank has definitely had major character development throughout both books, but the core things that make him who he is, such as his somewhat standoff-ish nature and his lack of a charismatic presence, continue to shine and make him an oddly and uniquely compelling character. I also enjoyed seeing Frank's interactions with the NASA crew that arrives, as it really put him in an uncomfortable position, what with XO still essentially controlling what he can say and Frank's own moral dilemmas with the information he holds onto. I liked that Morden took into account that Frank, who had spent months alone on Mars, would have some issues being suddenly inundated with an entire crew of new people, along with his trauma from the events of the previous book. I liked that Morden focused on the mental components of the entire ordeal in addition to the rest of the plot.

I mentioned in my review for the first book that the author trained as a planetary geologist, and his passion and dedication to the more technical aspects related to this story continue to shine in this book. I'm no rocket scientist myself and I can't say I have much knowledge of the specifics of how surviving on Mars would work so I can't professionally comment on it, but it appears his research is really well done and it adds so many layers of authenticity and realism that make this book all the more compelling. When something feels real, the stakes always feel higher and more personal and that's exactly what happened here. I think one of the things hat makes these books so captivating and chilling is that it all feels eerily believable. I do believe that there are people who would create companies that have such little compassion for human beings and would put them in dangerous situations.

No Way is the sort of book that you can't put down. Morden has true skill in knowing how to craft each chapter and event in such a way that makes the reader fully engaged with what's happening in the present, while also constantly yearning to find out what is going to happen next. He has a simple yet sophisticated prose that is filled with foreshadowing and excellent descriptions.

Overall, I've given No Way 4.75 stars (rounded up to five on Goodreads, etc.)! This is such an exciting series and I haven't been able to tear myself from the pages. I don't know if there is a third book in the works, but I desperately hope that there is because I will absolutely read it! 

*I received a review copy of No Way courtesy of Orbit books in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.

This week's upcoming book spotlight is:
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (Teixcalaan #1) 
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019
Tor Books
464 pages

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)From Goodreads: 

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident--or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court. 

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion--all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret--one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation."

The reviews for this already have me so curious to find out what this book is all about. It seems ike it's going to be a really exciting and clever sci-fi and I just love the sound of it. 

What do you think about this upcoming release? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Great Books that have Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is:

I remember doing this same topic for a Top Ten Tuesday post a while back, but fortunately I've read a lot more books since that post and have many more books to choose from. I have to say that I was really surprised by how many books were under the 2,000 mark, as I assumed quite a few of these would be far over it. Were any of you as surprised as I was about some of the books you found (or the ones I've posted belo) under 2,000?

(And I can count, I promise, I just chose to feature eleven books because I'm indecisive.) 

The Tower of Living and Dying (Empires of Dust #2)
The Tower of Living and Dying by Anna Smith Spark
# of ratings: 161

"Marith Altrersyr – father-killer, dragonlord, leader of the blood-soaked Amrath Army – is keeping his promises. He is determined to become King of all Irlast and take back the seat of his ancestors. 

Only Thalia, once high priestess of the Lord of Living and Dying, the holiest woman in the Empire, might stop Marith and his army’s deadly march. But she is torn between two destinies – and if she was to return home, what would she fi nd there? A city on the brink of ruin: diseased, despairing, dying? 

Crawling through a tunnel deep under the ruins of her city, Landra Relast vows vengeance. Her family has been burned, her home destroyed, and now Marith – once her betrothed – must die." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Confessions of Young Nero (Nero, #1)
The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George
# of ratings: 1,862
"Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar's imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman or child.

With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival." Goodreads 

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The World of Tomorrow
The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Matthews
# of ratings: 783
"Three brothers caught up in a whirlwind week of love, blackmail, and betrayal culminating in an assassination plot, set in prewar New York.

From the smoky jazz joints of Harlem to the Plaza Hotel, from the garrets of artists in the Bowery to the shadowy warehouses of mobsters in Hell's Kitchen, Brendan Mathews brings prewar New York to vivid, pulsing life, while the sweeping and intricate storytelling of this remarkable debut reveals an America that blithely hoped it could avoid another catastrophic war and focus instead on the promise of the World's Fair: a peaceful, prosperous World of Tomorrow." Goodreads

Soul of the World (The Ascension Cycle, #1)
Soul of the World by David Mealing
# of ratings: 343
"It is a time of revolution. in the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. and on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.

Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor. Arak'Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves. Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands. Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Miranda and Caliban
Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
# of ratings: 1,379
"We all know the tale of Prospero's quest for revenge, but what of Miranda? Or Caliban, the so-called savage Prospero chained to his will?

In this incredible retelling of the fantastical tale, Jacqueline Carey shows readers the other side of the coin—the dutiful and tenderhearted Miranda, who loves her father but is terribly lonely. And Caliban, the strange and feral boy Prospero has bewitched to serve him. The two find solace and companionship in each other as Prospero weaves his magic and dreams of revenge. Always under Prospero’s jealous eye, Miranda and Caliban battle the dark, unknowable forces that bind them to the island even as the pangs of adolescence create a new awareness of each other and their doomed relationship." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Empire's Ghost
The Empire's Ghost by Isabelle Steiger
# of ratings: 158
"The empire of Elesthene once spanned a continent, but its rise heralded the death of magic. It tore itself apart from within, leaving behind a patchwork of kingdoms struggling to rebuild. But when a new dictator, the ambitious and enigmatic Imperator Elgar, seizes power in the old capital and seeks to recreate the lost empire anew, the other kingdoms have little hope of stopping him. Prince Kelken of Reglay finds himself at odds with his father at his country’s darkest hour; the marquise of Esthrades is unmatched in politics and strategy, but she sits at a staggering military disadvantage. And Issamira, the most powerful of the free countries, has shut itself off from the conflict, thrown into confusion by the disappearance of its crown prince and the ensuing struggle for succession. 

Everything seems aligned in Elgar’s favor, but when he presses a band of insignificant but skilled alley-dwellers into his service for a mission of the greatest secrecy, they find an unexpected opportunity to alter the balance of power in the war. Through their actions and those of the remaining royals, they may uncover not just a way to defeat Elgar, but also a deeper truth about their world’s lost history." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Apprentice Witch
The Apprentice Witch by James Nichol
# of ratings: 1,417
Arianwyn has flunked her witch's assessment: She's doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch-- much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her. Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Arabella of Mars (Adventures of Arabella Ashby, #1)
Arabella of Mars by David Levine
# of ratings: 1,596
"Ever since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, they proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in the flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby. A tomboy who shares her father’s deft hand with complex automatons. Being raised on the Martian frontier by her Martian nanny, Arabella is more a wild child than a proper young lady. Something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

Arabella soon finds herself trying to navigate an alien world until a dramatic change in her family’s circumstances forces her to defy all conventions in order to return to Mars in order to save both her brother and the plantation. To do this, Arabella must pass as a boy on the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company with a mysterious Indian captain who is intrigued by her knack with automatons." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Queens of Innis Lear
The Queens of Innis Lear
# of ratings: 1,509
"The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king's three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm's only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.

Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Balam, SpringBalam, Spring by Travis M. Riddle
# of ratings: 64
"Balam is a sleepy town on the eastern coast of Atlua, surrounded by forest and sea. It’s a village where nothing happens and everybody knows each other. But now, people are dying. 

School is out for the spring, and schoolteacher Theodore Saen is ready to spend the next few months relaxing with his family. But when the town’s resident white mage falls ill and several townspeople begin to show similar symptoms, they must call on a new mage. Aava has freshly graduated from the nearby mage academy when she is swiftly hired to deduce the cause of the unknown illness and craft a cure before the entire town is afflicted. Aiding her is an ex-mercenary named Ryckert who keeps to himself but has grown bored with retirement and is itching for a new investigation when a suspicious young man appears in the local pub the same night the sickness begins to spread.Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

ImpyriumImpyrium by Henry H. Neff
# of ratings: 915
"For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Whether it’s treachery from a rival house, the demon Lirlanders, or rebel forces, many believe the Faereginese are ripe to fall. 

Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the Empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel’s talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the outer realms, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines—and to spy on them." Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

Have you read any of these books?