*Saturday Spotlight* The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

TTAMTitle: The Tiger at Midnight

Author: Swati Teerdhala

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: April 23, 2019

Page Count: 496 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.

Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.

Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

Inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology.

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Purchase Links

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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Preorder Giveaway

Swati has an amazing preorder giveaway going on, so check it out here! Open internationally! This giveaway closes April 29, 2019.

Everyone who preorders The Tiger at Midnight will receive a signed bookplate, one bookmark, and two exclusive, custom illustrated character cards!

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? Yes! 🙂

TTAM Preorder

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 About the Author

SwatiSwati Teerdhala is a storyteller and writer.

After graduating from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Finance and History, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how to make a proper cup of chai, the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart, and diverse representation in the stories we tell.

She currently lives in New York City. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

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*Saturday Spotlight* Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

DOTCTitle: Descendant of the Crane

Author: Joan He

Publisher: Albert Whitman Company

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Page Count: 416 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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Preorder Giveaway

Joan has an awesome preorder giveaway going on, so check it out here! Open internationally!

Everyone who preorders Descendant of the Crane will receive a set of 5 character cards! Please note: the bookmark in the photo below is no longer part of the preorder campaign.

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? Yes! Library request submitters will receive 4 out of 5 character cards.

DOTCPG

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 About the Author

JoanJoan was born and raised in Philadelphia but still will, on occasion, lose her way. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favorite kind of art. She studied psychology and Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania and currently writes from a desk overlooking the city
waterfront. Descendant of the Crane is her young adult debut. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*Saturday Spotlight* Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale

STHTitle: Small Town Hearts

Author: Lillie Vale

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Release Date: March 19, 2019

Page Count: 336 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance

Summary:

Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy. 

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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 About the Author

Lillie Vale

Lillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen. She can be reached on Twitter @LillieLabyrinth and Instagram @labyrinthspine. Small Town Hearts is her debut novel. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

TWKTitle: The Waking Forest

Author: Alyssa Wees

Publisher: Delacorte

Release Date: March 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

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BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndieBound | iBooks | Kobo

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TOUR SCHEDULE

You can visit the other amazing blogs part of this tour by clicking the link below. Blog tour schedule link: https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/02/tour-schedule-waking-forest-by-alyssa.html

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.

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GIVEAWAY

  • Prize: 1 copy of THE WAKING FOREST by Alyssa Wees
  • US Only
  • Starts: 3/10
  • Ends: 3/26

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MY REVIEW

The waking forest is one of those novels that produces an eerie yet captivating reaction on every page. I expected the writing to be beautiful, which it was, yet I also wanted to be wowed, which I was. This book read just like a nightmarish fairytale, and I loved that.

The way Wees brings the characters to life is mesmerizing. I loved how it was told from two point of views: Rhea and the Witch. Rhea sees a forest that keeps appearing and disappearing behind her house; she’s plagued by mysterious nightmares and when she thinks she’s losing her mind, a boy that blends with shadows confronts her, saying he will tell her all the forest’s secrets if she will play a game. Then there’s the Witch, who grants children’s’ wishes who dream about her. Yet, she lives the same life style, until two children come to her and one surprises her by asking her what she would wish for. Both characters’ personalities bring so much to this story; they work wonderfully with the storyline. And it isn’t just the characters that make this bewitching story alluring: it’s also the way the story is written.

The writing is some of the most beautiful writing I’ve read in YA this year. The author has a way of bringing the world and characters to life. The world was so vividly described through gorgeous prose that it was one of the reasons why this book was hard to put down. Wees has a way with words and knows how to make a fairytale feel real. The way the forest is described makes it enchanting, yet harsh, and combining both of those together with her writing made for some beautiful scenes. I was truly blown away with the writing and enthralling storyline.

With vivid storytelling and a captivating setting, The Waking Forest will be a book that will surprise you and make you believe in those bedtime fairytales you wished were real (or maybe not so real). I can’t wait to see what Alyssa Wees writes next!

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Blog Tour + Review* Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck

BtN_final_colorTitle: Beware the Night
Author: Jessika Fleck
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: March 12th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice…even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful–as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.

But when Veda’s grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun’s favor, she starts to see that the safety she’s been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real–or dangerous lies.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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AUTHOR

author (1)Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com.

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BOOK PRAISE
“The story is different and amazingly entertaining, with characters that draw you in and make it impossible to put the book down. A mixture of The Hunger Games and Throne of Glass.” —Claire Keiffer

“I was enthralled with this story. I enjoyed everything about it: the details of the culture, the back story, the twists, the dialogue, and definitely the ROMANCE!” —MJBC

“The author has a true voice. Veda is interesting and has depth. Fleck writes in layers, leaving nothing unsurfaced.” —Tricia Norling

“I love it and I’m desperate to read the next one! It’s like a cross between The Hunger Games and Divergent.” —BirdBeast03

“A gripping read, start to finish. The world-building feels whole, the action is fast-paced, and I can’t wait to read more from this author!” —Daisy

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MY REVIEW

Favorite Quotes

“And I know quite well that believing in something makes it very real.”

“And maybe it’s not so much about the secrets. Maybe it’s all about knowing you can tell another person anything. Knowing that you can be vulnerable and safe. Trusting — without doubt or fear.”

“Ad astra, to the stars, no trouble, be well. “

Beware the Night is a fun adventure filled with numerous plot twists, harrowing adventures, and countless truths and lies that are uncovered. This was a fantasy book that was unlike any other, with gorgeous prose and

What I liked about the book was the unique portrayal of Sun and Night. The Sun is viewed as a protector, similar to a god. And so is the Night, but the Night has a different view of the world and a prophecy that they believe will come to light.

Veda has been raised one way her whole life: the people of the Night are murderers, people who killed her parents. But what if that wasn’t the full truth? What if there was an important piece missing from the puzzle? At the beginning of the story, it becomes apparent that there are certain aspects of Veda’s life that are missing pieces. She wants them either to stay buried or to be filled in. But some secrets are better left unsaid. And soon enough Veda realizes that not everything in her life is what it seems.

Veda’s character development was interesting, as her character was constantly developing, like it should be for any main character. She comes to understand the realness of her world and the lies mixed in that cloud her judgment. The journey she goes on is not just to see the world differently but for her to discover exactly who she is and what she is made of.

When it comes to the two main men in Veda’s life (besides Poppy), Dorian and Nico, I couldn’t have picked two better people to fight for Veda. Though if I’m being honest, I absolutely adored Dorian and mainly just tolerated Nico. Dorian was easy to relate to and he felt like the type of friend Veda needed at certain times. Then there’s Nico, her best friend and the person she is in love with. However, Nico has no idea what goes on in Veda’s life and the hardships she has to face as a Basso. As Nico is a Bagio, he doesn’t have to worry about food on the table or safety from the Night. But Veda does, and she wants that to change. And yet, Nico seemed to be the type of character that said he would try but wouldn’t follow through and that just made him very bland to me. I’m not saying I didn’t like his character, I just didn’t like the type of person he became.

As Beware the Night was the first book, I look forward to reading the next book and seeing where Veda’s journey goes.

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*ARC Review* Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

Bloodleaf_CSTitle: Bloodleaf

Author: Crystal Smith

Release Date: March 12th, 2019

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Page Count: 384 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Perfect for fans of RED QUEEN and UPROOTED, Crystal Smith’s debut novel, BLOODLEAF, is an imaginative retelling of the Grimm Fairy tale “The Goose Girl” that takes a ghostly mystery and sets it inside an epic fantasy world.

Aurelia is the first princess born to the Renalten crown in two hundred years, destined to fulfill a treaty by journeying to marry Valentin, the prince of Achelva – Renalt’s greatest enemy. Rumors of an unwell, cruel prince abound, and the only thing that eclipses Aurelia’s apprehension of her impending marriage is her fear of those who’d kill her to prevent it.

When an assassination attempt forces Aurelia to use forbidden magic to save a stranger, she is driven from Renalt by the witch-hunting Tribunal and a mob out for blood. But before she can claim asylum in the court of her betrothed, her travel party turns on her, forcing her to trade places with her treacherous lady-in-waiting, Lisette.

Now penniless in Achleva and bereft of her identity, Aurelia must decide if she wants to surrender to her new life or fight for her old one, all while navigating the complicated ties binding her to the enigmatic prince, the unquiet ghost of an ancient queen, and a poisonous plant called bloodleaf.

Aurelia is a pawn in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war— and if she can’t extricate herself from it before Lisette marries Valentin in her stead, she may face losses far more devastating than her crown.

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Preorder Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |   Indie Bound

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My Review

Thank you to the author for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a ton of Young Adult fantasy. More than 90% of the books I own/read are in the fantasy genre. Which comes to mean that I see a lot of the same elements over and over again in fantasy books. It’s not a bad thing, not at all, but it’s also refreshing when I read a fantasy book with unique elements. Bloodleaf is one of those books. Bloodleaf has many unique fantasy elements that I absolutely loved.

This dark and luscious tale will have you hooked from the first page. Smith’s writing blew me away. It was breathtakingly beautiful and nevertheless bewitching. I was captivated by the words that flew off the pages and made the world feel so real.The world Smith has built is phenomenal and deadly and all the while enchanting. It’s a fantasy world I could easily picture myself living in. The world is illustrated in such beautiful prose. And just to be clear, this isn’t a fantasy world where happy endings come naturally. It’s a dark world filled with daunting dangers and betrayal. But the way Smith describes the world is what makes me love it so much; the descriptions are not too much or too little and they make it feel like the world is alive, which is always a plus for me in fantasy novels.

What I also loved about Bloodleaf was the magic system. The magic system in Bloodleaf is incredible. To enter the second kingdom, Renalt, you must have a stamped invitation with the king’s blood to enter, or else you risk the possibility of death. This experience that Aurelia has to go through is so well-captured that I felt like I was right there seeing her cross into the kingdom. Actually, that’s what it was like for the whole book. The story, the characters, the hardships, all felt real and that is something I look for in books. I want the worlds to feel real to me and this world and the characters did not disappoint.

Princess Aurelia is a wonderfully flawed, yet strong character. She doesn’t want to do the blood magic oath, where her and three people she loves bound themselves to her with blood, where in order for Aurelia to die, her three protectors will have to die first. She would rather die than risk the lives of those she loves. But then the blood oath is completed and Aurelia goes on a daunting journey, using the name of one of her maids, to escape the Tribunal after she uses her forbidden magic to save someone. She fights for her old life, for her destiny, and for her kingdom. She learns so much throughout her journey, and I can’t wait to see where her journey takes her in the second book.

And then there is Zan. Zan is a character I was easily swooning over. He’s intriguing yet mysterious and though he hides many secrets from Aurelia, he becomes someone she can’t live without. He’s charming even when he’s trying not to be. He overall fights for a good cause and wants to see the world change. And he sees Aurelia as being that person, with her magic and her will to change the outcome of her life.

Overall, Bloodleaf has easily become one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels. I loved the world, the character development (even the sad moments), and the uniqueness Smith brings to the fantasy genre. I’m one of the readers that is patiently (well, really, impatiently) waiting for the second book. If you are looking for a fantasy read that is gripping and intriguing with multiple fantasy elements, then Bloodleaf is a great book to read!

nikole

*ARC Review* Second Star by J. M. Sullivan

SS_JMSullivanTitle: Second Star (Neverland Transmissions #1)

Author: J. M. Sullivan

Release Date: March 5th, 2019

Publisher: Bleeding Ink Publishing

Page Count: 352 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Wendy Darling worked her entire life to rise through the ranks of the prestigious Londonierre Brigade. Now as a Captain, she has everything she’s always wanted, including a ship and crew of her own. But when the Brigade receives a strange transmission from the legendary James Hooke, lost a hundred years earlier in uncharted space and presumed dead, Wendy is willing to risk it all to rescue her hero. She races to the planet known only as Neverland; her mission to find the long-lost crew and bring them home.

But there is more to Neverland than meets the eye, and more to Hooke than what was written in history books. When Wendy crash lands on the ominous planet, she quickly discovers Neverland’s dark secret; a malevolent being known as The Shadow that’s looking for a host body to escape its eternal prison. To fulfill her mission, Wendy must decide whether to trust the dashing Hooke or the mysterious Fleet mechanic who goes by the name of Pan–and she has to decide quickly…

Before the darkness consumes them all.

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Preorder Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository   |  Indie Bound

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My Review

What I love about this Peter Pan retelling is how unique and captivating the story is. The original characters are there, but in fragments of who they were portrayed as in the Disney movie. And I loved that, because the author took a classic story and weaved it into something old and new. The author kept the characters but gave them new back stories and compelling attributes.

In this reimagining of Peter Pan, Pan is stuck in a place that quickly becomes called Neverland, with a wrecked spaceship and a Captain that’s out for his blood. And then there’s Wendy, a newly-appointed Captain of the ship dubbed Faith & Trust sent to rescue Captain Hooke and his crew from Neverland. She, and everyone else at the Academy, thought Captain Hook and his crew died many years ago, but when Wendy intercepts a transmission call, her and the Academy staff are in for an awakening. She sets out to rescue the crew, only for her ship to crash land on Neverland. Now she will have to work with Peter Pan to find Captain Hooke, find out the truth, and escape Neverland and go back home to London or risk being trapped in Neverland forever.

As the reader, I saw a lot of development in Wendy. The beginning chapters focus on her younger years and how she gets accepted into the Academy. Jump forward several years and she’s nineteen, about to lead a rescue team to Captain Hooke. She is the top of her class, which is one of the many reasons she is picked to rescue Captain Hooke. Wendy is a strong leader/individual and she wants to succeed at the Academy and finishing this mission would be a great start for her. She just never saw the dangers of Neverland coming; but those said dangers help her develop as a person and a Captain and that’s where Wendy really shines.

Peter Pan’s character is everything and he’s just as fun and enchanting as he was in Disney’s version. Him and his crew work to find a way to escape Neverland, while also dodging Captain Hooke and unfamiliar dangers. I enjoyed how much older he acted; he didn’t fully act like a kid and I really enjoyed that. He’s also caring when it comes to his crew and Wendy; he wants to protect them all, even if that means sacrificing his own life. And, of course, his relationship with Tinc is wonderful; I found myself chuckling at some of their interactions and it reminded me about my relationship with my best friend. Granted, Tinc is an advanced mini robot, but her personality and interactions with Pan were so much fun to see.

I really enjoyed the aspect of Peter Pan’s story involving space and a more technologically advanced world. The idea added to the world building and made the world fascinating to read about. I also liked how the romance came later into the story and didn’t overpower the plot and story line of the book. It was great to see the world developed first before introducing Wendy’s potential love interest.

Overall, Second Star is a great Peter Pan retelling and one I would recommend. I’m looking forward to reading the second book and seeing what is in store for the characters.

nikole