S4 E7 Aurora Rising

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Jess is a gearhead with both eyebrows, Dan is a stunningly attractive Ace, and Maggie finds herself with newfound responsibilities on this episode of Booked All Night when we discuss Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

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An Interview with Emma Steinkellner

This week we talked with Emma Steinkellner, author and illustrator for the graphic novel The Okay Witch,  coming to you September 3rd. 

The Okay Witch

Sabrina the Teenage WitchmeetsRoller Girlin this hilarious, one-of-a-kind graphic novel about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town and is doing her best to survive middle school now that she knows everything!

Magic is harder than it looks.

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.

In this spellbinding graphic novel debut, Emma Steinkellner spins a story packed with humor and heart about the weird and wonderful adventures of a witch-in-progress. 

Partners in PenHaving an artist on the podcast means playing some fun art games! Don’t worry. We’ve got pictures for you.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

Storm and Fury

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

Storm and Fury, Jennifer Armentrout
June 11, 2019

I wanted to try something new. I tend to shy away from stories where the summary is heavily focused on the romance. It tends to lead to books I don’t often enjoy.

But I was intrigued by the main character who was losing her sight and was a human among gargoyle protectors. It gave me some serious 90s TV vibes. So I tried it out.

And it wasn’t for me.

I couldn’t get into the writing style at all. It felt like there was so much in the story that wasn’t being told–so I did some research, and it turns out Storm and Fury is a spin-off from one of the author’s other series. It obviously expected you to have read the other series as a lot of details seemed to be missing for a first-time reader.

Then there was Trinity. I was super into a mostly-blind MC. But the only times we were ever really made aware of the fact that Trin was losing her eyesight were occasional comments like “my eyesight was shit”.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love this book. I was not one of them. In the end, it just made me think of the shitty teen romance fantasies I read as a teen–which isn’t a good thing.

RATING: 🌟🌟

The Heart Forger EXCERPT

Jessica's Bigger Better Blog Header (1)

He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.

It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.

The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.

“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”

Children of Blood and Bone ★★★☆☆½

cbbZélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

I’m a little torn over what to rate Children of Blood and Bone because I really enjoyed her world building but I had such issues with other elements of craft.

We spend no time in each conflict. I can understand flying on the way to Chândomblé so that we can get into the meat of the story, but every conflict is immediately resolved for Zélie. She needs to find the temple, she finds it in the next chapter. She needs her magic back, she is awakened almost immediately and has little to no trouble controlling or understanding powers she has never known. She needs to find a stone and only knows a little bit about where it was last, conveniently, she emerges from the desert in the exact town she needs to be in and the stone is there too. We never get to stew in the tension or let it rise at all. They find an arena, people take a single page to fight in the arena, Zélie discovers a little inconvenience about her magic.

Inan also shows immediate prowess with his powers and he should be fighting a lifetime of believing magic to be evil. His acceptance and use of magic should come much later in the book.

At least for the first 200 or so pages, I feel like a lot has been cut out. I’m missing some characterization. I’m missing some relationship building. I’m obviously missing some scenes because so much has happened in so few words.

It’s fantasy. I will readily read a 1,000 page book with giant leopards and magic tribes. All you need to do is make it available.

My other issue is that I was almost 3/4 of the way through the book when I finally felt like I was getting to the meat of the story, where the Inan and Zelie ship finally starts to sail.

That being said, I did enjoy the world building and the characters, even with a sizable chunk missing. The world is clearly it’s own and Adeyemi’s work is incredibly detailed. Her writing is wonderful and full of images, right down to the colors of fur on each of the mounts. I hope she slows down a bit for her next installment, which I eagerly await.

Children of Blood and Bone Publishes March 6th 2018
Buy It Here
Amazon . Barnes and Noble

Listen on Google Play Music .  Listen on iTunes . PlayerFM
or use our FeedBurner link to add it to a podcast service you prefer.

 

Giveaway: Children of Blood and Bone

cbbTomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Support the Booked All Night podcast by using our affiliate links to make your pre-order.
Amazon . B&N

Every so often we like to run giveaways here at Booked All Night. They can be books, ARCs, or even our super special cozy booknerd kit.

Our next giveaway will be

February 22, 2018
to
February 28, 2018

and we will be giving away an ARC (Advanced Reader/Reviewer Copy) of

Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

so long as

we have 100+ subscribers to the podcast.

Listen on Google Play Music .  Listen on iTunes . PlayerFM
or use our FeedBurner link to add it to a podcast service you prefer.

Rafflecopter

If you want this giveaway to fly make sure to share episodes of the Booked All Night podcast and subscribe!

 

GIVEAWAY: Children of Blood and Bone

cbbTomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Support the podcast by using our affiliate links to make your pre-order.
Amazon . B&N

Every so often we like to run giveaways here at Booked All Night. They can be books, ARCs, or even our super special cozy booknerd kit.

Our next giveaway will be

February 22, 2018 – February 28, 2018

and we will be giving away an ARC (Advanced Reader/Reviewer Copy) of

Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

so long as

we have 100+ subscribers to the podcast.

Listen on Google Play Music .  Listen on iTunes . PlayerFM
or use our FeedBurner link to add it to a podcast service you prefer.

Rafflecopter

If you want this giveaway to fly make sure to share our episodes and subscribe!

 

Shimmer and Burn ★★★★☆

Blog Features & Headers (4).png

Don’t you just love when you pick a book for the cover and the writing is just as beautiful?

To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.

Everless ★★★☆☆½

everlessTime is a prison. One girl holds the key. This is a thrilling, high-stakes new fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Red QueenThree Dark Crowns, and Six of Crows.

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is extracted from the blood, converted into coins, and used as currency or consumed to add to one’s lifespan. The rich aristocracy amass eons in their vaults, while the poor are forced to cut their futures short in order to survive in the present. And few families are richer than the Gerlings, who lord over the peasants from Everless, their palatial estate.

A fateful accident once spurred Jules and her father to flee Everless in the dark of night. But ten years later, in order to save her dying father, Jules must secretly return. Everless holds more temptations—and dangers—than Jules thought possible. Soon, she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets, and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

This dazzling debut novel, starring a fierce heroine and rife with high-stakes adventure, engrossing mysteries, star-crossed romance, and captivating magic all set in a richly built world, will leave you counting down the seconds until the next installment.

I’m mixed about this one. I definitely loved the prose and the very literal take on “time is money.” I really loved the greater world that Holland created here with the Sorceress and the Alchemist, and general fantastical elements that wove their way around this story.

But I hated the pacing and particular character flaw so much I put it down.