Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Post - 194

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Happy May!!! Let's see. Tuesday we went to have Baby Girl's tongue tie clipped. I wish we would have done it when she was much younger. My mom's Mother's Day present came in the mail this week. I'm excited to give it to her. Friday night we hung out with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for a while. They found out this week that they're expecting a baby girl too, and we couldn't be more excited. Speaking of babies, our nephew (who's only a year younger than me) and his wife just had their baby boy on Saturday. I'm so excited that Ever's going to have some cousins to grow up with. No new books this week, but I did end up finishing a 2nd book for this month. I was beginning to think I would only finish one book this month.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, # 1) by Cinda Williams Chima (4 Stars)
Saturday: April 2016 EOM Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink
Tuesday: Childhood Characters I Want to Revisit As Adults
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2016 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016 EOM Wrap Up

I have read 3 books this month (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
*The Natural History of Us (The Fine Art of Pretending, # 2) by Rachel Harris
Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, # 1) by Cinda Williams Chima
Dreamology by Lucy Keating


I have reviewed 4 books this month. *These qualify for the 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
*The Natural History of Us (The Fine Art of Pretending, # 2) by Rachel Harris
*Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers, # 4) by Jamie McGuire
*Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy, # 3) by Pierce Brown
Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, # 1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 190 & Stacking the Shelves - 137
Sunday Post - 191
Sunday Post - 192
Sunday Post - 193
Top Ten Books My Daughter Needs to Read
Top Ten Books that Will Make You Laugh Out Loud
Waiting on Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge – April Wrap Up

Goals:
I'm ahead of schedule for my daily Bible reading.
I've read 38 out of 52 books (of course most of those are children's books).
I've read 5 out of 10-12 series enders

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flamecaster - Review

Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, # 1)

By: Cinda Williams Chima

Published: April 19th 2016 by HarperCollins

544 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

I haven't read the Seven Realms series. The Shattered Realms is apparently a spin off series of the Seven Realms, but I loved the cover for Flamecaster and the description drew me in. Plus when I went to look, the Seven Realms series received really good reviews. So all of that led me to request Flamecaster for review. And in the end, I enjoyed it.

Ash is the prince of Fellsmarch. When Flamecaster starts Ash is reeling over the loss of his older sister. He also loses his father rather quickly when his father tries to rescue him from assassins. Ash, of course, feels guilty that his father died trying to protect him and so he runs away to a school that will help him better his abilities as a mage. While Ash is naturally gifted at healing he also has other abilities and other interests. Over the years, Ash doesn't just learn how to heal others, he learns to be an assassin himself. And his ultimate goal is to kill the king of Arden who was responsible for both the death of his older sister and his father.

Flamecaster is told from multiple points of view. Mostly from Ash and Jenna, but also from a few other characters at times. This narration style was more the type of eye in the sky where any character's thoughts and feels and actions were available for discussion at any point. This isn't always my favorite narration style, but it worked for Flamecaster.

That being said let's discuss Jenna next. She was a young girl working in the mines of Delphi when the book starts up. The king of Arden comes to visit Delphi one day and two of Jenna's friends also die that day as a result. And thus Jenna's hatred of the king springs up. She lets all of Delphi believe she died that same day and she goes into hiding in plain sight. After that, she makes it her mission to work against the king of Arden by blowing up bridges and generally causing mischief whenever she can. However, there's something mysterious about her. Jenna was adopted and she has this unknown mark on her neck. The only thing she knows about her birth family is the her birth grandmother told her that she would be hunted because of the mark.

There's also Destin Karn who plays the role of lieutenant in the king's army and Lila Barrowhill who works as a black market smuggler and spy. These two have key roles to play, but I can't discuss them too much as they both have spoilerish storylines.

When Jenna is finally discovered, she's injured to the point of needing healing that only magic can do. Enter Ash. While trying to find an in to the palace in order to assassinate the king, Ash gets spotted as an exceptional healer. He's brought in to heal Jenna so that she can be questioned, and of course the two begin to develop an attraction to each other. Yet there's more beneath the surface.

Truth be told, I feel like the entirety of Flamecaster was really just set up for the Shattered Realms series. There were many pieces of the puzzle that weren't revealed until the near end, but all that did was excite me to see what's going to happen next. While I don't think all of the "twists" were entirely unpredictable, I still don't know how everything fits together so I'm looking forward to the next book to find out.

Favorite quotes:

-It was one thing to break their hearts; it would have been worse if he'd held their hearts in his hands.

-"That's the thing about guilt," his father said. "It always seems like there's enough to go around. The only ones who don't take a share are the ones who are actually guilty."

-"In our story, the king of Arden gets eaten by wolves in Chapter One."

-"It's the worst thing in the world, to risk yourself by loving someone. At the same time, it's the best thing in the world--and worth the risk."

-"It's easy to die, Mageling," Taliesin said, stroking his hair. "It's staying alive that's hard work."

-"The problem is, hope is the thing that can't be reined in by rules or pinned down by bitter experience. It's a blessing and curse."

-"Give me another suggestion"..."something a little more creative than self-sacrifice."

-"You never know when you might face the sudden need to die," he said.

In the end, I really enjoyed Flamecaster. I'm intrigued enough to want to know what's going to happen in the rest of the series. Cinda Williams Chima is one of the first authors since finishing Morning Star that had me wanting to keep reading. Flamecaster wasn't perfect for me, yet I think I would have enjoyed this even more if I'd first read the original series, Seven Realms (which I do plan to do). Flamecaster gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Flamecaster? What did you think? Let me know!

Monday, April 25, 2016

2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up

Time for our fourth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the March Wrap Up, I have not finished any series enders this month. Holly finished one: The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, # 2) by Amy Engel.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the April giveaway runs from April 25rd - May 25rd. On May 25rd we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Post - 193

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

So I thought I'd get caught up on blog comments and visiting others last week, but it didn't happen. We had company half the week. My husband's friend from Japan. That was fun but busy. It's taken me an entire month to read one book. I feel so deflated when it comes to reading and blogging lately. But I've been trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself. That being said, I still haven't gotten any other new books until I get a few more read. Baby Girl turned 6 months old on Wednesday. She's cutting her 3rd!!!! tooth. She's also beginning to do well sitting unassisted. We started her on sweet potatoes. Time is just going too fast.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy, # 3) by Pierce Brown (5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, # 1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2016 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2016 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!