Monday, March 27, 2017

100 Hours - Review

100 Hours (100 Hours, # 1)

By: Rachel Vincent

Expected Publication: March 28th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

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--In this pulse-pounding new trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent, a decadent spring break getaway on an exotic beach becomes a terrifying survival story when six Miami teens are kidnapped and ransomed.

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.

I read the description for 100 Hours when I decided to request it for review, but that was months before I actually picked it up to read it. I like to do this on purpose because reading the description initially helps me decide if I think I'll enjoy the book, but not reading the description again helps me to go into the book with low expectations and as little knowledge as possible. Most of the time having as little knowledge as possible gives me the best reading experience, but sometimes I remember the initial description flat out incorrectly. And that's sort of what happened to me here. I remembered that Genesis, Maddie and their friends get kidnapped, but I thought I remembered them being kidnapped to be thrown into human trafficking or bought and sold as sex slaves. And yeah, that's not what happens at all. In this case all my misremembering caused me to do was look for clues that weren't there resulting in highlighted passages I thought might be foreshadowing...but weren't. Either way, 100 Hours was still a thrilling and mysterious ride.

Maddie and Genesis couldn't be much different. Genesis is all extravagance. Her friends are extravagant. They don't seem to care about much else besides fancy clothes, parties, and fulfilling their desires in the moment. Maddie is more reserved. Her parents aren't rich like Genesis's. She wears discount clothes. And she has diabetes so all of her food and activities need to be regulated and balanced. Genesis and Holden are together, but that doesn't stop Genesis from hooking up with other guys or flirting. And Holden turns a blind eye. They have the opposite of a healthy relationship. Maddie's never really had a boyfriend. Yet Maddie and Genesis both have something in common. They're cousins who have both lost a parent. Genesis lost her mother when she was young. Maddie lost her father within the last year.

The beginning of 100 Hours was slow for me. I wasn't excited about or connecting with Genesis or her friends. Maddie was much easier to relate to even though she could be a tad negative at times. The partying and following every whim that Genesis seemed to have was a little drawn out for me, but all of this was necessary to really establish the characters involved in this story and their personalities. Once the kidnapping actually took place, the events and intensity began to pick up to the point where I couldn't put this book down. It was the definition of a "page turner" for me. The closer I got to the end, the more I realized that this wasn't the end. Apparently, the other thing I misremembered about 100 Hours is that it is the first book in a series. I was expecting it to be a standalone. Yet I knew there was no way things were wrapping up completely with the events right at the end of the book. That being said BRING ON BOOK 2!

Even though Genesis was hard for me to connect with in the beginning of this book, she easily won be over with her skills her father spent years teaching her. She knows how to analyze a situation, she knows Krav Maga, and when push comes to shove, Genesis will do everything she can to make sure as many of the captives (and anyone else in danger) as possible survive. I appreciated the dynamics going on with her. How she does start off as this spoiled princess that runs about doing whatever she wants whenever she wants and everyone else just follows her without much say--happy to be included in her schemes. Yet she experiences betrayals on multiple fronts and still finds a way to connect to someone beyond the issues she should have and the betrayal she's experienced.

Maddie, though easier for me to like, was just as complex as Genesis. She's still grieving over the recent loss of her father, and she's not a huge fan of following after Genesis and her friends, but she learns how to stand up for herself, to survive despite her grief doubling in Columbia. She also experiences betrayals, but finds a way to rely on others to do her best to save her cousin.

Other than Luke and Indiana, I wasn't impressed with the side characters. While they all appear to be as complex as Maddie and Genesis, I just couldn't like them. Silvana, Holden and Penelope are downright awful. Neda and Nico aren't enjoyable either, but not as bad as the other two. Dominica and Rog were essentially just there. And really Sebastian was one that I just couldn't figure out completely throughout most of the book.

I'm not going to discuss the events of the book as I don't want to risk spoiling anything.

Favorite quotes (I didn't realize there were so many great quotables until I started typing them):

-The problem with being given everything in life is that you grow up thinking you can take whatever you want, whenever you want it.

-"Money is such a petty reason to ruin someone's life." "Not for those who can't afford food and shelter,"...

-"Who are you trying to be?" I mumble as I trudge past him. "Prince Charming, or Cinderella's horse and carriage?"

-"...let me give you the SparkNotes version of Hookups for Dummies: if you start out as someone's dirty little secret, that's all you will ever be."

-"I know because you are the moon, not the tide."

-"You don't roll with the flow, Genesis, you create the current. And Holden is nothing but a boat bobbing on the waves."

-"Why did you wait so long?" I whisper. "Because you should never rush a good thing,"...

-"I'm going to kiss you, but I don't want to imply gratitude of any kind. This will be an ungrateful kiss. The most ungrateful kiss. The most thankless of kisses. Purely recreational."

-"Sometimes being stupid looks like being brave." "Maybe," Indiana concedes. "But cowardice always looks like what it is."

There were moments in 100 Hours when I wondered if Rachel Vincent was trying to write some political statement into this book. I don't enjoy when I get even an whiff of something like that. I don't mind if the characters learn a lesson--even if it is political--but I don't want to ever feel like an author is trying to teach me as the reader a lesson--political or otherwise. Dancing between the two is a fine line with very little gray area. In the end, I wasn't overly bothered, but it was enough for me to take note.

100 Hours was a fast paced read for me once I got past the initial kidnapping. I was intrigued by all of the different pieces of the puzzle and the motivations behind everyone's behavior. I was dying to know if/how the characters were going to make it out. Would they survive? Would they escape or would they be rescued? I'd definitely recommend 100 Hours and I'm giving it 4 Stars. Have you read 100 Hours? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Post - 240 & Stacking the Shelves - 181

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.

You guys...the book slump is officially here. I have not been in the mood to read much at all. I'm read about a chapter every other day or so in this devotional, but the chapters are so short that even doing that isn't making significant progress. Little Girl and I had some errands to run this week, but nothing too fun. The weather has been nice so we've been walking every day. My sister-in-law and family came to visit from Georgia to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday this weekend.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Lies We Believe About God by William Paul Young (1 Star)
Tuesday: Top Ten Books/Authors I've Read in 24 Hours
Wednesday: Waiting on Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, # 1) by Mark Lawrence
Saturday: 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of 100 Hours (100 Hours, # 1) by Rachel Vincent
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Friday: March 2017 EOM Wrap Up
Saturday: Problems Only We Know # 4: When Book Covers Lie

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 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!

I'm also participating in Kimba's March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. I know I won't get to all of these, but I like having as many options as possible. Here's my list:

  1. Significance (Significance, # 1) by Shelly Crane
  2. Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, # 2) by Richelle Mead
  3. The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3) by Rick Yancey
  4. Ruins (Partials, # 3) by Dan Wells
  5. Ruin & Rising (The Grisha, # 3) by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
  7. Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, # 2) by JM Darhower
  8. End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, # 3) by Susan Ee
  9. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, # 3) by Mary E Pearson
  10. The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, # 2) by Wendy Higgins
  11. The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, # 1) by Richelle Mead (30% - On Hold)
  12. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
  13. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, # 1) by Kendare Blake
  14. Dirty (Dive Bar, # 1) by Kylie Scott

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3)

By: Rick Yancey

Published: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

338 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

( 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 enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

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, March 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up

Time for our third Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the February Wrap Up, neither Sandy nor Holly finished any series enders.

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 February giveaway runs from February 25th - March 25th. On March 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waiting on Red Sister

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, # 1)

By: Mark Lawrence

Expected Publication: April 4th 2017 by Ace

432 pages

Genre: Fantasy

( 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--I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

This sounds a little too much like the His Fair Assassins series which makes me uncomfortable. But I'm hoping it'll be good. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Books/Authors I've Read in 24 Hours

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Books/Authors I've Read in 24 Hours excluding novellas.

  1. Colleen Hoover - November 9, Confess, Ugly Love, Slammed, & Point of Retreat
  2. Jennifer Anne Davis - The Key & Red
  3. Amy Harmon - Making Faces, The Law of Moses, & The Bird and the Sword
  4. Kasie West - On the Fence & The Fill-In Boyfriend
  5. Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Take Me On, Walk the Edge
  6. Unraveling You/Raveling You by Jessica Sorensen
  7. To All the Boys I've Loved Before/PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  8. Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens
  9. Easy by Tammara Webber
  10. Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

Which books/authors have you read in one sitting? Let me know!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lies We Believe About God - Review

Lies We Believe About God

By: William Paul Young

Publication: March 7th 2017 by Howard Books

272 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian, Spirituality

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (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--From the author of the twenty million plus copy bestselling novel The Shack and the New York Times bestsellers Cross Roads and Eve comes a compelling, conversational exploration of the wrong-headed ideas we sometimes have and share about God.

Wm. Paul Young has been called a heretic for the ways he vividly portrays God’s love through his novels. Here he shares thirty-three commonly uttered and sometimes seemingly innocuous things we say about God. Paul exposes these as lies that keep us from having a full, loving relationship with our Creator.

With personal anecdotes and sharing the compassion readers felt from the “Papa” portrayed in The Shack—soon to be a major film starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer—Paul encourages readers to think anew about important issues including sin, religion, hell, politics, identity, creation, human rights, and helping us discover God’s deep and abiding love.

I didn't love The Shack by William Paul Young. I liked that it challenged me to think more deeply, but I fundamentally disagreed with a lot of the theological aspects about God as described by it. Truly the only way I made it through reading The Shack was to remind myself that it was a work of fiction. I wish I'd re-read my review of The Shack before deciding to request Lies We Believe About God, but I didn't. What I did was remember that while I didn't agree with everything William Paul Young said...it did cause me to think. And since I've been overwhelmed with a feeling of how much and how often so many people believe things about God that just flat aren't true, I was intrigued by this book. I was hoping that it would be a great reference to be able to refer people to when they misunderstand God's nature. Yet again...I was WRONG. Instead what I found was that William Paul Young himself believes quite a few lies about God.

You guys...there was SO SO SO much wrong with this book. I truly wish I could break down every single lie within this book...every single misrepresentation and present you with a rebuttal. I wish that I could, but it isn't the purpose of my blog to do so. My purpose is to review the book and what I thought about it. So I'll do my best to do so.

If you choose to believe in God there has to be a standard or a place where you receive your information about Him. You can't just make it up...although many people have. So...where do you go? Where do you find the information needed to find out who God is and what His character is like? HIS WORD. He has revealed Himself to us through His Word--The Bible. God revealed Himself and divinely inspired over 40 different authors from all manners of vocations over a period of 1500ish years using 3 different languages. For this book to be cohesive and non-contradictory is impossible without Him. Yet it is because of Him. So what I expected to find when reading Lies We Believe About God was a bunch of Scripture to back up these "lies". Instead what I found was William Paul Young quoting his own works of fiction. There are 32 references to/quotes from The Shack in Lies We Believe About God. This is not including any references to William Paul Young's other books (Eve and Cross Roads). In a 272 page book, that's roughly every 8.5 pages that he references his own book, his own thoughts as a source of information about who God is. In comparison there were roughly 14 references to New Testament Scripture within the main chapters of this book. That's roughly every 19.5 pages. So William Paul Young references his own books more than 2 times the frequency of Biblical text. (Granted, I didn't search for Old Testament Scripture references, but I also didn't cite his references to his other two books either.) He does have a chapter at the end of book that has an additional 33 references from The Bible. This means that overall the Bible is only used within Lies We Believe About God 15 more times than his own books. You guys...this is unacceptable. If you want to learn about God, you don't go to a human's work of fiction. That's no better than making things up yourself. You go to the Source. God's own Word about Himself.

There were many times when I felt like William Paul Young was arguing over semantics. Yes, I'm a firm believer that our words mean something and it is important to choose to right words in our conversation and speech so that we convey the message we mean to convey. Let's take one chapter titled "God is disappointed in me." He argues that there is a difference between disappointment and grief. "Disappointment largely revolves around expectations and imagination. I expect you to act a certain way, or I expect a specific outcome..." "This is precisely why God is never disappointed in you. God has no such imaginations or illusions. God knows you, completely, fully, and with unrelenting affection. You don't surprise God. God delights in you, as you delight in your own children; God also grieves for and with you when you act inside your lies and darkness--but not because God expected more of you." This is semantics. Whether we "disappoint" or "grieve" God because of our behavior, the outcome is the same. He is not pleased. Yes, He can and does still love us despite our actions, but William Paul Young is giving off the impression that it doesn't matter what you do...how you act...and I don't see how anyone who has read the Bible can come to that conclusion. In fact, if you've read the Bible, you don't get 3 chapters in (on page 3 in my own personal Bible) before man's actions make a huge impact and "grieve" God. Semantics. And this isn't the only time this happens. It happens frequently throughout this book.

In connection with my point about William Paul Young quoting and referencing himself and his own published books more frequently throughout the main body of Lies We Believe About God, I felt often times that he was just "making things up because they sounded good." There were often times when his thoughts were poetic. And that's hard because I believe that God is a poet. His Word is beautiful. His thoughts are beautiful. The magnitude of His knowledge and planning and working is beautiful. He is so multi-layered. Everything about Him from the way that He thinks and acts to His very character. He can be 100% Love while also being 100% Justice at the same time. And so there were times when the poetry of what William Paul Young suggested about God sounded good to my human ear, but when bounced against the Scripture it just didn't add up. I don't claim to know all there is to know about God. I don't claim to be perfect or to have a perfect understanding of Him, but having read The Bible cover to cover each year for the last 5 years and I'm working on my 6th straight read-through I feel pretty confident in being able to spot false teaching about God like this.

I don't want to judge his person...his heart. That's not my job or my duty or my desire. God is the judge. However, I felt like pride and arrogance were pouring from the pages of this book. Nearly every chapter felt full of both. I even read his acknowledgements where he says "I am surrounded by people who love me, but aren't impressed. Thank you!" Even though this was an attempt to appear humble, it didn't read so to me. It read falsely. Or at the very least "thank you all for not being impressed by me because I'm so impressed with myself." It's funny because I told Husband that this felt so starkly contrasted against Shaken by Tim Tebow where humility truly poured off every page. I felt like Tim Tebow is a truly humble person from his book and where he might struggle with pride, the effort to crush it was palpable. And this is not the same vibe that I got from William Paul Young.

I mentioned earlier the chapter at the end of Lies We Believe About God. He titles it "A Catena" which means "a connected series or chain". And ironically, because I've read The Bible from cover to cover it felt so obvious to me that these verses used to convey a specific message were pulled so completely out of context. You can use Scripture to prove just about any point sadly. The Bible even says "There is no God" (Psalm 14:1). But that's pulled out of context because the verse says "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" I think we've all witnessed how words and phrases taken out of context can give a completely unintended and false meaning. Watch any court TV show where a witness's words are twisted by a stealthy lawyer. You'll see it happen. I told Husband that reading those series of verses, Words from God's mouth, strung together out of context made my stomach hurt. Seeing God's Word twisted to mean something that it doesn't...it made those words ugly. And the sad part is that someone who might not know better could be misled by them. Context is so important. I myself have used a verse here and there to prove a point, and I don't know that doing so is wrong if you're not using those verses to make a point outside of what Scripture as a whole harmonizes to say. Yet the person unfamiliar with the Bible and what the context should be would never know. This is why reading it (the Bible) for yourself is so important. It is crucial. Not just taking the word of a preacher or family member. Definitely not taking the opinion of an unbeliever who might have "thoughts" about God and who He is and how He thinks. And not even taking the word of someone who appears to know much about God. You have to search and read the Bible for yourself.

I feel certain that there was much more that I wanted to say about William Paul Young and Lies We Believe About God, but what it truly boils down to is "this man does not know God." Don't read this book to learn about God. Read The Bible. William Paul Young references his own (FICTION) books more frequently throughout the meat of Lies We Believe About God than he does any other source--especially The Bible. This is not the book, nor the man, to go to if you want to know God. And I personally won't be reading any more of his work myself. Lies We Believe About God gets 1 Star. Have you read Lies We Believe About God? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Post - 239

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.

This week temps were in the 40s (which is cold for here) so Little Girl and I were trapped inside most of the week. We did make it out on Thursday to the grocery store and Friday temps were up in the 60s so we went for a walk. I was so ready to get out of the house by then. I managed to avoid a reading slump a couple of weeks ago, but I still feel it hanging on. I had to put The Glittering Court on hold because I wasn't a fan of the main guy character and I don't see that getting better anytime soon. I have tons of books that I'm dying to read, but none that I'm in the mood for exactly. And I think that's the real kicker. It's my mood not the books.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, # 5) by Sarah J Maas (5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Spring 2017 TBR List
Wednesday: Waiting on Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1) by Scott Reintgen

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Lies We Believe About God by William Paul Young
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2017 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!

I'm also participating in Kimba's March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. I know I won't get to all of these, but I like having as many options as possible. Here's my list:

  1. Significance (Significance, # 1) by Shelly Crane
  2. Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, # 2) by Richelle Mead
  3. The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3) by Rick Yancey
  4. Ruins (Partials, # 3) by Dan Wells
  5. Ruin & Rising (The Grisha, # 3) by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1) by Rebecca Ethington
  7. Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, # 2) by JM Darhower
  8. End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days, # 3) by Susan Ee
  9. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, # 3) by Mary E Pearson
  10. The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology, # 2) by Wendy Higgins
  11. The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, # 1) by Richelle Mead
  12. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, # 1) by Cassandra Clare
  13. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, # 1) by Kendare Blake
  14. Dirty (Dive Bar, # 1) by Kylie Scott

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!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Waiting on Nyxia

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, # 1)

By: Scott Reintgen

Expected Publication: September 12th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

( 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--Emmett Atwater agrees to leave Earth behind when Babel Communications offers him a fortune. The catch? He has to launch into deep space to get it. One of ten selected recruits, Emmett boards the company's spaceship and sets course for a planet that Babel has kept hidden from the rest of the world.

Before long, Emmett discovers that all of Babel's recruits have at least one thing in common: they're broken. Broken enough that Babel can remold them however it pleases.

Every training session is a ruthless competition where friendships are tested and enemies are made. Each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden-- where they will mine nyxia, substance that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel's ship is full of secrets. Secrets about the volatile substance they're hoping to mine, about the reclusive humanoids already living on Eden, and about the true intentions for the recruits.

Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human.

______________________________________

"Brilliant concept meets stellar execution in this fast-paced deep space adventure. I was hooked from page one."
~Victoria Schwab, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“A high-octane thriller . . . Nyxia grabs you from the first line and never lets go.”
—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Young Elites series

"Impossible to forget. Impossible to put down. This wonderfully diverse epic is an utterly thrilling binge-worthy treat." —Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

I've never heard of this author before, but this book caught my eye. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Ten Spring 2017 TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Spring 2017 TBR List.

Because I'm also participating in the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge several of these on my list are actually books I've had for quite some time.

  1. The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, # 1) by Richelle Mead
  2. Bang by Barry Lyga
  3. Shadowcaster (Shattered Realm, # 2) by Cinda Williams Chima
  4. Cage of Darkness (Reign of Secrets, # 2) by Jennifer Anne Davis
  5. Always and Forever, Lara Jean (PS I Still Love You, # 3) by Jenny Han
  6. Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, # 2) by Cassandra Clare
  7. The Last Star (The 5th Wave, # 3) by Rick Yancey
  8. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, # 3) by Mary E Pearson
  9. Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, # 2) by JM Darhower
  10. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, # 1) by Kendare Blake

Which books are on your Spring 2017 TBR List? Let me know!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Empire of Storms - Review

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, # 5)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

704 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Fae, Witches

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( 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 long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

I really have no idea where to start with this review. Throne of Glass was just kind of good to me. Crown of Midnight was a little better. Heir of Fire things started getting good for me in relation to the characters and development. But things have really picked up over these last two books. I mean I thought Queen of Shadows was packed, but that one had nothing on Empire of Storms. To be 700ish pages, Empire of Storms went by very quickly for me. And that's such a huge thing for me. I've read slow books in the past, but with not having very much time to read, I don't want books that are going to bog me down. So even the slow parts weren't all that slow to me.

As the books have progressed over the series we've continued to add more and more narrators. We started with Calaena, then added Chaol, Dorian, and Manon, now we've also got Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra, Elide, and Lorcan. And I may even be leaving someone out. I was initially frustrated with the additional narrators, but as the series has progressed it really has made sense to add each voice in as there are so many moving pieces to this story and series.

In the same way, as the characters continue to multiply, so have the romantic relationships. One could easily fault Sarah J Maas for pairing so many off, but as an avid fan of love stories, I don't mind one bit. I mean it is a bit unrealistic to have so many people finding true love in such a quick amount of time I think, but I honestly don't want to analyze it too much because I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Each and every relationship. With so much going on with the overall series arc, I've actually enjoyed breaking up that heaviness and strategy with the additional romances. I will say though that Sarah J Maas got quite a bit more descriptive when it comes to some physical scenes than I was expecting. None of it really made me personally uncomfortable, but this fact will influence who I recommend these books to.

I briefly already mentioned this point, but seriously, this book and this series has so many moving parts that I feel Sarah J Maas deserves a reward just for keeping them all straight. There are pieces that tie different books together, and I really appreciate how she hasn't "dumbed it down" for the reader. This series is one where the reader truly can't predict all of the twists and turns because not nearly enough information is given for it all to be figured out. Yet, she does give the reader just enough that they can figure pieces here and there out. But if you're annoyed with books where you don't even have a chance at figuring every piece out yourself then you might take issue with this. Obviously, I haven't read the final book in the series yet, but at this point, I'm putting the Throne of Glass series up there with Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Red Rising where each and every piece of the puzzle is important for not just the individual book, but for the overall series. I absolutely love series like this.

I feel like I can't discuss the characters hardly at all because I don't think I could do so without spoilers. Just know that all the ones you love (minus Chaol and Faliq) are present. Plus some. Each has a specific role to play. And each grows in some way or other. I will say that Dorian feels like an entirely different person from where he started, but truly that's the case for most of the characters...Aelin and Chaol also for sure.

Favorite quotes:

-"You owe me a life debt, King of Adarlan. Prepare yourself for the day I come to claim it."

-Something in Manon's chest broke--broke so violently that she wondered if it was possible for no one to have heard it.

-"You, I don't know. But I'd like to." Rowan's lips tugged upward. "I'm not on the market unfortunately." ..."She must be a rare, staggering beauty to make you so faithful."

-"You will find Rolfe, that one does not deal with Calaena Sardothien. One survives her."

-"Because even with our enemies, there's a line."

-"You have no choice but to learn to face it." ... "The fear of loss... it can destroy you as much as the loss itself."

-"It is not such a hard thing, is it--to die for your friends."

So so much happens in Empire of Storms, but this series just keeps getting better and better. Even with the length, I still felt like I was reading this book quickly. Beware that the physical descriptions go beyond what I would have expected from a book labeled as young adult if that is something that bothers you. I personally enjoyed the additional romances between the characters. I have to give Empire of Storms 5 Stars. Have you read Empire of Storms? What did you think? Let me know!