What’s new this month

Fall releases are finally here!!!!!!

337852029/5 – The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – by Alexandra Bracken

Her first foray into MG promises to be gothic and creepy! Prosper Redding is perfectly ordinary, apart from the demon living inside him thanks to an ancient relative’s dubious bargain for success. He has just days to banish Alastor the malefactor back to the demon realm or risk being trapped in an eternal contract of his own. Alastor just wants revenge on the family he helped that betrayed him, but he might have a few secrets he isn’t telling his host. I love bargains gone wrong so this sounds fun!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

281179649/5 – Cinderella, Necromancer – by F.M. Boughan

A retelling that gives Cinderella aka Ellison a dark heart! Her father remarries a woman with two daughters that Ellison can’t seem to get along with, and things don’t improve when her younger brother falls ill and she becomes a servant in her own home. But one day while wandering her mansion she stumbles across guidebook to necromancy, and wonders if she can save her brother, attend a ball, and get everything she wants by unleashing evil spirits to torment her step-relatives. But the further she goes with her plan, the more she wonders if her stepmother is the true monster in their house. I’ve read a lot of fairy tale reboots, but I am intrigued!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

327685099/5 – Girls Made of Snow and Glass – by Melissa Bashardoust

Another fairy tale retelling, this time Snow White. Mina has a heart of glass and plan to leave her ruthless father to become a queen and find love. She succeeds, and gains stepdaughter Lynet as well. Beautiful Lynet is made from snow to look just like her dead mother. She wants to be as powerful as her stepmother, but when her father makes her queen of southern territories, her stepmother’s affection vanishes. These two women are pitted to be rivals, and only one of them can be the strongest and fairest in the land. I love characters that want things desperately, this sounds totally up my alley!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

299606759/5 – Mask of Shadows – by Linsey Miller

This debut features a gender-fluid thief fighting in a competition to the death to become one of the queen’s personal assassins. It sounds a bit familiar, but I’m hoping for some surprises along the way! Sal’s home was destroyed by the nobles, so the chance to infiltrate their ranks as an assassin and get revenge drives them to enter the competition. Throw in a love interest and the chance for a brighter future, and Sal has everything hinging on whether they survive.

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

293855469/12 – Warcross – by Marie Lu

Warcross came out a decade ago and seized the world’s attention. Now everyone plays it, and Emika Chen gets paid to find the players betting on the game illegally. But when she accidentally hacks into the Warcross Championships and becomes famous, the game’s creator whisks her away to Tokyo to uncover a security problem. But Emika ends up discovering plots that endangers the entire Warcross empire. Hacking and gambling and mind games please sign me up! Marie Lu’s artwork on her Instagram for this book has been gorgeous and I can’t wait to learn the secrets of this world.

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

331527959/19 – Invictus – by Ryan Graudin

Her alternate history duology was spell-binding and I can’t wait to see how she works with time-travel! Farway lives outside of time, with parents from 2354 and 95 AD. He just wants to travel for himself, but when he fails his test he gets a group of friends together for some historical heists. Yet a girl keeps popping up ahead of him and his determination to figure out who she is could lead to some frightening truths about the timeline and himself. I’m bracing for a fast-paced, addictive adventure!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

329915699/19 – Jane, Unlimited – by Kristin Cashore

Everyone has been not-so-patiently waiting for her next book, and this one seems to defy categorization. Part contemporary, part fantastical, this story of an ordinary Jane facing extraordinary experiences at a remote mansion called Tu Reviens sounds quietly remarkable. Loosely based on Jane Eyre, this Jane explores several optional futures and what she wants for her life after the passing of her aunt and mentor. To be honest I’m not sure what to expect but I loved her other books!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

299237079/19 – One Dark Throne – by Kendare Blake

The three deadly sisters we got to know in the first book are finally going to fight for the throne. After the shocking ending of the first book, the sisters are not who they thought they were. Mirabella has given up the idea of befriending her sisters. Katharine wants revenge. Arsinoe has a secret that she thinks will give her the crown. Only one can win, and after a whole book of setting up the courts and the sisters we finally get to see what they will do!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

340769529/26 – The Language of Thorns – by Leigh Bardugo

Fairy tales and short stories from the Grishaverse! Three old tales previously only available as ebooks plus three brand new ones! I would read anything she writes, honestly, but I do have a soft spot for fairy tales of any kind. They tell you so much about a culture and characters (or our own world). I can’t wait to see what dark and creepy ideas she has thought up for this collection!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


Blood for Blood

26864835by Ryan Graudin
Historical Fiction
4 of 5 stars

This year has been absolutely fantastic for sequels! Once again I was not disappointed.

Welcome back to 1956 under the rule of the Axis Powers. Skinshifter Yael’s mission to assassinate Adolf Hitler went disastrously awry, and now she’s fleeing for her life with Double Victor Luka Lowe and Adele Wolfe’s brother, Felix. They are trying to meet up with the resistance, which is struggling to overthrow the Third Reich even as reports of Adolf Hitler surviving the Victor’s Ball start surfacing throughout the empire.

Now that she’s not alone, Yael must decide who to trust–and how much–with her past and her present. Through all three characters’ points of view, we see the iron grip of Hitler begin to crumble, and tenuous alliances form.

The break-neck pacing and continuous cliff-hangers of the first book are here too; moments to breathe are brief and few! Through Yael we see desperation, vengeance, and hope from someone who can’t afford the luxury of putting their head down to survive. Through Luka, what happens when “good people” avoid looking at what is going on around them because it is easier. Through Felix, how selfishness can crowd out empathy for anyone else.

I’ve found revolution books tend to struggle in the final act because the stakes have gotten too large for the main characters. Their role in events becomes unbelievable (teens with no experience leading armies?), or it becomes overwhelming to read. This isn’t the case here! Yael and the rest fit in perfectly and realistically in the narrative and still their decisions are surprising.

This is a fitting end to Yael’s story and if you liked the first book it will captivate you just the same!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Blood for Blood is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – Kate’s father was killed over a map to a rumored gold mine and she is ready to avenge him. This YA western is addictive and atmospheric! See my review here.
  • Risuko by David Kudler – Risuko is just a girl who loves to climb, but when her skill is noticed by a noblewoman, she is plucked from obscurity and begins training to become a “very special kind of woman” who may change the course of her country. See my review here.
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – Etta’s violin debut does not go as planned. She is dragged to 1776 by an estranged family member and her family history only gets stranger from there. Etta wants to return to her own time but if she doesn’t locate the astrolabe for her grandfather, she won’t save her mother’s life. See my review here.
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard – Eleanor’s brother goes missing and when she contacts the Spirit Hunters to find him, she learns that a necromancer has captured him. And that a horde of the Dead are going to invade Philadelphia. This might put a damper on her mother’s plans to set her up with a nice boy. See my review here.
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen – A contemporary retelling of Sleeping Beauty through Becca’s quest to uncover her grandmother’s past. As she travels the world and starts realizing that her grandmother’s bedtime stories were all true, she must confront dark secrets before she can learn who her grandmother really was.

What’s new this month

Happy start to NaNoWriMo, aspiring authors! These are the books coming out this month from people who had the same dream as you:

2686483511/1 – Blood for Blood – by Ryan Graudin

This month starts off with a bang! The sequel to last year’s Wolf by Wolf is FINALLY here! It was one of my favorite (and fastest) reads last fall and I have been anxiously awaiting the conclusion to Yael’s quest for revenge. Yael’s made it to the ball, and even managed to shoot Hitler–but from there nothing has gone as planned. As the government and Yael both race to uncover the truth of what happened, the fate of this alternate 1950’s era world hangs in the balance. The first book was nonstop action and twist after twist, so I can only imagine this book will make me nervous until the last page!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

2922349511/1 – The Bone Sparrow – by Zana Fraillon

A much-needed heart-wrenching story about refugees, families torn apart, and struggling to survive. Subhi has lived his whole life behind a fence, with only his mother’s stories to give him hope. Then Jimmie arrives on the other side of the fence, a tough girl with a book from her mother that she can’t read. Subhi and Jimmie comfort and strengthen each other with their stories.

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

1858485511/8 – Heartless – by Marissa Meyer

The Queen of Hearts has had a loud voice this year, but this is the most anticipated one for me. Coming off The Lunar Chronicles (retellings of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White) I think Meyer is in top form and ready for one of the wickedest fairy tale villains. Cath is a just a girl who wants to fall in love — unfortunately, she falls for the Court Joker, Jest, instead of the King of Hearts. Fate has other plans for the would-be baker and free spirit. (I just wish the cover was prettier!)

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

2555670911/15 – Scrappy Little Nobody – by Anna Kendrick

One of my favorite funny starlets has decided to impart her life’s story and wisdom to us! Books by comedians aren’t always as funny as they are, but I’m hoping this is one of the good ones. I’m especially interested because small, cutesy women tend to be underestimated, and I’m intrigued by the stories she can probably tell. So if you enjoy her films or her Twitter account, I think this is worth checking out!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

2516430411/22 – Of Fire and Stars – by Audrey Coulthurst

I was lucky enough to read an ARC a few months ago thanks to my friend Katy! Once I saw the cover and the jacket summary I NEEDED this book! Denna and Mare are princesses from two kingdoms, thrown together when Denna becomes engaged to Mare’s brother for an alliance. The two navigate court intrigue and horse-back riding lessons together–only to realize they might be falling for each other. This story is cute and romantic and wonderful, so be sure to grab yourself a copy!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

Wolf by Wolf

wbwby Ryan Graudin
YA Fantasy / Historical Fantasy
5 of 5 stars

This starting popping up on other blogs I follow and I was immediately intrigued! Alternate history is always fascinating, especially with the proper research, so I grabbed this from my library as soon as I could. This is one of those treats where the story reads like a cinematic adventure. Fast-paced yet emotional, beautifully written and doesn’t let you go until the last page. It was torturous reading this so slowly thanks to my work schedule!

Yael’s story takes place in an alternate timeline where Hitler and Emperor Hirohito won World War II. They control Europe and Asia with slow expansion into the rest of the world. Yael spent years in a death camp undergoing horrendous experiments intended to transform her “impure” appearance into that of an Aryan. Her mother and everyone she’s ever known don’t survive their imprisonment, but Yael walks free thanks to the unintended consequence of the experiments: skin-shifting. She can take on any appearance she sees and uses this to escape one night. The secret resistance finds her, and Yael becomes part of a plot to kill Hitler. She’ll impersonate the only female winner of the annual Axis Tour motorcycle race in hopes of getting close to Hitler at the celebratory ball and ending him. Who doesn’t want to follow Yael’s journey?! I already can’t wait for the next book!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Wolf by Wolf is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – Kate’s father is killed for possessing the map to a gold mine. Kate goes after the gang for revenge, joined along the way by unlikely companions. This is an unbelievably good story that grabs you from the first chapter. See my review here.
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – This is similar in tone to me, and Ender’s burden to save humanity from killer aliens reminded me of Yael’s feelings about stopping Hitler to save the world. Both of them are children with incredible responsibility forced on them. See my review here.
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – A shape-shifting girl apprenticing herself to the resident super villain has her own motives for causing mayhem. This satirical and entertaining graphic novel is set in an mashup world of technology and medieval elements – definitely worth reading. See my review here.

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