Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Monday, June 16
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Trial By Fire (WorldWalker 1)- Josephine Angelini
You may remember when I fell completely head over heels for Josephine Angelini’s first series, Starcrossed, Dreamless and Goddess. I love those books more than I can possibly convey with words. There would need to be jumping and hand motions and squeeing in an octave only dogs can hear to explain how much I loved those books. SO unsurprisingly, Trial by Fire was my most anticipated book of BEA and it did not disappoint.
The story follows a sick and hyper-allergic girl, Lily, as she gets thrown into a foreign world that is a mirror of her own, one where magic rules instead of science, where she’s not sickly but an extremely powerful witch, and where class differences are about to bring about a civil war. I found Angelini’s mythology and world building as wonderful as ever—-the intersection of magic and science is beautifully done and delightfully conceived for this science nerd. I loved Lily, who despite her fragile body has a warrior’s heart. And shall we discuss Rowan? Cause that boy is a perfect fit for Lily, matching her heart with his strength. But then again, Angelini excels at creating perfectly matched characters doesn’t she? What impresses me more, however, is how well developed her secondary cast of characters are, each of them as riveting as the main ones: Tristan, Caleb, Gideon, Juliet and Carrick all have really interesting story lines worthy of their own books. I for one can’t wait for more world walking, especially with the ending we get in Trial By Fire! I can already tell I’m going to reread this book when I’m in the mood for something a little witchy—-so the fall pub date is perfect; I’ll certainly want a little magic to get ready for Halloween.
love burns. worlds collide. magic reigns.
Overall: A+
Trial By Fire is due out from Feiwel and Friends in September. Pre-order your copy here. 
ARC provided gratis by Macmillan Publishers at BEA. 

Trial By Fire (WorldWalker 1)- Josephine Angelini

You may remember when I fell completely head over heels for Josephine Angelini’s first series, Starcrossed, Dreamless and Goddess. I love those books more than I can possibly convey with words. There would need to be jumping and hand motions and squeeing in an octave only dogs can hear to explain how much I loved those books. SO unsurprisingly, Trial by Fire was my most anticipated book of BEA and it did not disappoint.

The story follows a sick and hyper-allergic girl, Lily, as she gets thrown into a foreign world that is a mirror of her own, one where magic rules instead of science, where she’s not sickly but an extremely powerful witch, and where class differences are about to bring about a civil war. I found Angelini’s mythology and world building as wonderful as ever—-the intersection of magic and science is beautifully done and delightfully conceived for this science nerd. I loved Lily, who despite her fragile body has a warrior’s heart. And shall we discuss Rowan? Cause that boy is a perfect fit for Lily, matching her heart with his strength. But then again, Angelini excels at creating perfectly matched characters doesn’t she? What impresses me more, however, is how well developed her secondary cast of characters are, each of them as riveting as the main ones: Tristan, Caleb, Gideon, Juliet and Carrick all have really interesting story lines worthy of their own books. I for one can’t wait for more world walking, especially with the ending we get in Trial By Fire! I can already tell I’m going to reread this book when I’m in the mood for something a little witchy—-so the fall pub date is perfect; I’ll certainly want a little magic to get ready for Halloween.

love burns. worlds collide. magic reigns.

Overall: A+

Trial By Fire is due out from Feiwel and Friends in September. Pre-order your copy here

ARC provided gratis by Macmillan Publishers at BEA. 

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #macmillan #feiwel and friends #trial by fire #josephine angelini #starcrossed #dreamless #goddess #witches #paranormal #world walking #world walker #fantasy #reading



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Monday, May 12
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Talon (Talon #1)- Julie Kagawa
Julie’s done faries. She’s done vampires. And now, she’s doing Dragons and DAMN! Is she doing dragons! Talon was a riveting book, as much about being human as it is being “other.” Where the Iron Fey yielded interesting questions about humans and technology, Talon brings up questions that are more interior—investigating what it means to be truly human. From the start, we’re thrown in to a centuries old war that’s about as morally ambigious and complicated as you can imagine. What resonates most is Ember’s unfailing moral compass, her desire to be true to herself and live up to her own expectations rather than others. And Garrett? Well it’s hard not to pity the boy who knows less about being human than a dragon does, isn’t it? I really loved them. What bugged me a little was this love triangle thing with Riley. It reminded me a bit of the relationships in Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I can already tell there are going to be serious team factions for the Talon fandom. Frankly, Team Garrett Xavier Sebastian all the way. ;)
Overall: A
Talon is due out from Harlequin Teen on October 28th. Pre-order your copy here. 
ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Talon (Talon #1)- Julie Kagawa

Julie’s done faries. She’s done vampires. And now, she’s doing Dragons and DAMN! Is she doing dragons! Talon was a riveting book, as much about being human as it is being “other.” Where the Iron Fey yielded interesting questions about humans and technology, Talon brings up questions that are more interior—investigating what it means to be truly human. From the start, we’re thrown in to a centuries old war that’s about as morally ambigious and complicated as you can imagine. What resonates most is Ember’s unfailing moral compass, her desire to be true to herself and live up to her own expectations rather than others. And Garrett? Well it’s hard not to pity the boy who knows less about being human than a dragon does, isn’t it? I really loved them. What bugged me a little was this love triangle thing with Riley. It reminded me a bit of the relationships in Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I can already tell there are going to be serious team factions for the Talon fandom. Frankly, Team Garrett Xavier Sebastian all the way. ;)

Overall: A

Talon is due out from Harlequin Teen on October 28th. Pre-order your copy here

ARC provided gratis by Harlequin Teen

Tags:   #i read #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #books #reading #publishing #harlequin teen #julie kagawa #talon #iron fey #dragons #fantasy


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Wednesday, May 8
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BLOG TOUR: SILENT ORCHIDS by Morgan Wylie

I’m delighted to have Morgan Wylie on the blog today to talk about music and her new book Silent Orchids, out now! Check our what Morgan has to say and check back for my review of The Silent Orchids here tomorrow!

xoxo 

V.V.


Morgan:

When I started writing, I thought it was interesting to hear about people’s playlist for their books. But I didn’t really get it. I didn’t think I would be the type of person to write with music—I just didn’t think I would be able to. Now, granted I LOVE music. My husband is a musician and I’m surrounded by it, but write to it… probably not.

There were times when I was writing that I felt stuck or couldn’t find life in the words on the page… it felt dry. To take my mind off it, I put on some music or I’d be somewhere and a song would come on. Suddenly, I would feel it. Whether it be the words to the songs, or just the emotion that poured out from the music itself, it would stir inspiration inside of me. I would see a scene play out in my mind, or I could relate to the emotions the character was trying to portray. All because of the music.

I’ve read several articles other writers have written about their experiences with music. I even read some medical research of studies being conducted to gauge the affects music has on writing and creativity. Music is everywhere! It’s used in movies, TV, commercials, jingles, etc. For most, it provides a focus and an atmosphere for emotion. 

So I put together some songs that I felt inspired by to write. After months of adding music as I would find it, I ended up with over 2 ½ hours worth of music. I found that the songs with lyrics I was eventually able to tune out the specifics of the song and let its emotion or rhythm it take me where I needed to be inside my book or a certain character. I could listen (or not listen and just feel) to it over and over as I would write.

I had a soundtrack made for my specific book, which I also listen to, but at the writing of this post it was not yet available for purchase through iTunes so the songs were unavailable to use in the playlist (see below for more info) So this is a sampling of my Silent Orchids playlist…

As I mentioned above, my husband Steven James Wylie is a musician. He teamed up with talented Blair Masters and they created this beautifully haunting soundtrack that reflects the tone and heart of Silent Orchids. If the links are not yet available, please visit my site or the Amazon preview link here to hear this original music. 

Thank you so much for having me today!! ~Morgan Wylie

Tags:   #i read #books #fantasy #morgan wylie #playlist #music #young adult #ya #ya lit #young adult fiction


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Wednesday, March 13
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COVER REVEAL: SILENT ORCHIDS By Morgan Wylie
Isn’t that just a stunning cover? Don’t worry, there’s going to be a stunning fantasy story to go along with it. 

ABOUT SILENT ORCHIDS:
A dying realm.
 
The ancient evil of the Droch-Shúil has been unleashed.
The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long? 
Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.

Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.
 
ABOUT MORGAN WYLIE:
Morgan Wylie has been writing on and off throughout her growing up years, but started seriously working on her first novel in the Spring of 2009. 7 months pregnant with her first child, she didn’t start off with a lot of focused writing time. But Morgan had an epiphany, if you will, and the story flashed before her so she began to write. And she’s still writing. Her debut Young Adult fantasy, SILENT ORCHIDS, will be out this summer.
LINKS:
Twitter: MWylieBooks
Blog:www.morganwylie.blogpost.com
Web: morganwylie.net
Friend Morgan on Facebook or Goodreads

SILENT ORCHIDS Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17340090-silent-orchids?ac=1

COVER REVEAL: SILENT ORCHIDS By Morgan Wylie

Isn’t that just a stunning cover? Don’t worry, there’s going to be a stunning fantasy story to go along with it. 

ABOUT SILENT ORCHIDS:

A dying realm.

 

The ancient evil of the Droch-Shúil has been unleashed.

The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long? 

Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.

Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.

 

ABOUT MORGAN WYLIE:

Morgan Wylie has been writing on and off throughout her growing up years, but started seriously working on her first novel in the Spring of 2009. 7 months pregnant with her first child, she didn’t start off with a lot of focused writing time. But Morgan had an epiphany, if you will, and the story flashed before her so she began to write. And she’s still writing. Her debut Young Adult fantasy, SILENT ORCHIDS, will be out this summer.

LINKS:

Twitter: MWylieBooks

Blog:www.morganwylie.blogpost.com

Web: morganwylie.net

Friend Morgan on Facebook or Goodreads


SILENT ORCHIDS Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17340090-silent-orchids?ac=1

Tags:   #i read #books #cover reveal #inkslinger pr #silent orchids #morgan wylie #fantasy #ya #young adult #young adult books #ya lit #fiction


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Wednesday, October 3
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The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races- Maggie Stiefvater

I waited a long time to pick up this book, but I am SO SO SO glad I did. I have always loved Maggie’s writing and her stunning prose continues in The Scorpio Races. She has a talent for stringing words together in a musical way.  I actually listened to this book as an audiobook  which is harder for me to like generally. However, the writing was so lovely and the narrators’ voices so perfect for the characters, I refused to get out of my car because I needed to keep listening. Seriously, I sat there for an hour just to hear more. Steve West should make a recording of him reading the dictionary because I’d buy that just to listen to the soothing timbre of his voice. I don’t think I’ve been that relaxed in ages. Fiona Hardingham is amazing too.

But I digress, the story of The Scorpio Races is unique. The capaill uisce are dangerous sea horses who who run on blood lust and the siren call of the sea, and they are as lethal as they are beautiful. Sean and “Puck” are beyond endearing protagonists. They are both loyal, protective, fierce, passionate and stubborn. It’s a perfect match. I am head over heels for this story, for the Thisby island, for Kate Connolly and Sean Kendrick, and for the deadly Scorpio race that rules them all. I only wish I had entered their world sooner.

Overall: A

This book is out now from Scholastic. The audiobook is from Scholastic Audio. You can get your copy here.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #young adult books #young adult fiction #ya lit #scholastic #maggie stiefvater #fantasy #audiobooks #i listen



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Monday, June 18
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I Have Outwalked the Furthest City Light

The City’s Son- Tom Pollock

The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, #1)


Friendship is man’s greatest good. It’s a sentiment from time immemorial or at least back to Socrates. And most wondrous strange, The City’s Son feels like an old friend already. Though it is completely new and wholly unique, it sings the song of old human truths—of friendship and love, sacrifice and bravery, of fear and loss. It is the type of book that has you holding your breath to the very last page, and upon coming to that end your exhalation brings painful, blissful relief.  The plot reminds me of an epic saga though I suppose stories of war and friendship when done right should remind one of the rage of Achilles, the friendships of The Shire, the love of Odysseus, the bravery of the kings and queens of Narnia, and the dangers of Mordor.  It is impossible not to love and cheer for Fil, Beth and Pen. 
It is impossible not to fight with them, cheer them in their triumphs and cradle them in their fragility. Even the parental element was well done, which is so rare in YA these days.

Pollock writes as though he were the boy with the city in his skin.  He gets it—the allure of iron and concrete and towers that reach to kiss the heavens. He sees the magic they hold. For a long time I’ve held that each city has it’s own pulse-a heartbeat you can hear if you’re listening for it. New York’s is the fluttering beat of hummingbird wings more of a constant buzz then a drumbeat. New Orleans sounds more like the slow, lazy upward tilt of a jazz song (I always think of Datri Bean’s “Slow Down Summertime” when I’m there).  I’m convinced Pollock can hear the city’s pulse too, and what is more he can help others hear it.

The prose is practically poetry all at once both searing and subtle. It resonates to the core of universal truths and expresses what before had been ineffable with such stunning grace it honestly stole my breath. On nearly every page was a phrase that needed underlining; a glimpse into brilliance itself. I can’t quote everything because it would ruin the loveliness for you when you experience it the first time but I will say these pages I’ve dog-eared and underlined in my book: 53, 124, 129, 182, 188, 193, 261, 276, 334, 380, 398. And those are just the dog-eared pages, forget about the ones where I annotated the margins.

At the end what matters is this: the story, the characters, the writing are exceptional and far exceeded any expectations I had. To say The City’s Son is a must read doesn’t even do justice to the book; it is a read that conveys what it is to be human and more so what it is to be human in this awe-full world of cities. Can you say PRE-ORDER?

Overall: A++ (Yes two pluses are necessary)

P.S.  Thank God there are two more books coming. 

P.P.S. I actually edited out whole paragraphs of this review so you can thank me for that but honestly there is so much I want to talk about with this book. So please read it and ask me so we can talk about it, dammit. 

P.P.P.S. Bonus points if you know where the title of this post comes from. If so, color me impressed. Googling does not count.

xoxo

V.V

The City’s Son is due out in September from Flux (@fluxbooks). Pre-order your copy here.

Follow Tom on twitter @tomhpollock or at his website here.

ARC provided gratis at BEA. 

Tags:   #i read #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #books #tom pollock #the city's son #flux books #fantasy #trilogy


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Tuesday, July 26
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The Future Queen

Legacy- Cayla Kluver

Legacy (Legacy, #1)

Legacy melds historical fiction with fantasy.  It took some time for me to appreciate Alera. Eventually I came to enjoy her voice.  What kept me reading through that wavering phase was Narian’s story. Narian is charming and mysterious, and frankly, still an unknown factor by the end of the book. Is he a threat or a savior? There are lots of questions still to be answered.  Kluver has a great attention to detail, though at times I felt a bit hit over the head with the whole “women don’t have any rights” thing. I sincerely disliked this ending. It actually made me question whether Alera was the girl that I had come to appreciate or if she was a snivelling git to be bossed around. Also, small pet peeve, this is clearly set in a different world yet they celebrate Christmas? It confuses me a bit. Apart from those small issues for me, Legacy was a great debut in the historical/fantasy genres.

Overall: B+

You can purchase your copy here.  Follow Cayla on twitter @CaylaKL or at her website here.

This eGalley provided free by Harlequin Teen via Netgalley.

Tags:   #young adult, #cayla kluver, #i read #young adult fiction #ya #ya lit #fantasy #romance #historical #legacy #harlequin teen


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Saturday, October 30
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Tags:   #i read, #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #fantasy #tiger saga



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Sunday, June 13
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Zombies vs. Unicorns

Apparently, Zombies vs. Unicorns is an age old question that needs answering, well at least according to Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.  Their new anthology of zombie and unicorn short stories by some of the best writers in the YA paranormal and fantasy field attempts to answer once and for all which is greater: the zombie or the unicorn?  Holly supports the unicorn and Justine the zombie as they quip at each other throughout the book.  Their comments alone make this book worth reading. 

In a few stories I had some confusion over gender until at least midway through and a few in which I didn’t really bond with the protagonist.  There were a few standout tales, including “Princess Prettypants” by Meg Cabot and the cleverly titled “The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn” by Diana Peterfreund.  Perhaps if I liked zombies or unicorns, I would have enjoyed these stories more.

Overall: B+ 

Bound Manuscript free at Book Expo America

Tags:   #anthology, #young adult, #fiction, #holly black #justine larbalestier #zombies #unicorns #i read #paranormal #fantasy


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Saturday, February 20
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You MUST read Beautiful Creatures

I just finished Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. 

There is nothing I dislike about this book.  Not a single thing.  The characters Lena and Ethan are enchanting; I was mesmerized and engrossed by their story.  The ferocity of their love and the rawness of their emotions is articulated with such spectacular clarity and depth.  The plot is scintillating, with classic themes like good vs. evil, love vs. hate, and sacrifice.  The portrayal of small town life is disturbingly accurate (having been raised in a small town myself).  While I am not a expert on the South, I believe their portrayal goes beyond the cliche and superficial.  The writing is precise and brilliant.  The true test of a book for me is whether or not I can figure out the ending in advance.  I was so caught up in every word, every page of this book that I didn’t even think about the ending, making it all the more magnificent when it occurred. I cannot wait to read the sequel.  Heck, I can’t wait till tomorrow to re-read this one! 

Soundtrack Song: Sixteen Moons (from the book itself) or "10,000 Nights of Thunder" by Alphabeat.

Overall: A+

Tags:   #fiction, #i read, #young adult literature, #Beautiful Creatures #Kami Garcia #Margaret Stohl #fantasy #romance #alphabeat #10000 nights of thunder


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