Brandon Sanderson is an author I trust completely. I will buy every single one of his books because I know I will like them. When I heard that he was writing his very first science fiction novel, I was so incredibly excited. My expectations for this novel were sky high (heh) and I have to say that Spensa and the gang absolutely smashed those expectations.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was a smash hit last year, and the sequel has been getting so much attention and hype. I really enjoyed the first book, although the fantasy elements threw me off a bit. Rather than following our beloved Monty and Percy, The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy follows Monty's younger sister Felicity. Felicity was my favourite character in the first book and I was so thrilled to hear she was getting her own book. Lady's Guide was so hyped for me and I have to say that it more than lived up to my expectations.
Despite living in the UK now, I’m not a huge Royal Family person. However, I’ve always loved a good princess story and grew up on Disney films. The Royal Runaway sounded like my exact cup of tea -- like The Princess Diaries, but all grown up. I threw myself into Theodora’s world and drank it up.
Joanne Harris is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors. Pocketful of Crows was a standout read from last year, and The Blue Salt Road is just as good. I really appreciate retellings of lesser known fairy tales and folklore, and the Child Ballads fit the bill perfectly. Harris’s haunting style and talent for storytelling bring The Blue Salt Road to life.
Sadie is a book that is getting a whole lot of buzz right now. A dark contemporary YA novel centered around a sister going after her sister’s suspected killer and the true crime podcast inspired by Sadie and Mattie, this book is the perfect 2018 novel. I absolutely love true crime podcasts and was really interested to see how this would translate into a printed format. I heard about the incredible audiobook after I purchased the hardcover edition. While I liked Sadie a lot, I feel like the audiobook is going to give the reader a different, and perhaps better, experience.
Horror is a genre that I just don't read very often. I never know where to start, what books I'll like, and what wont scare me half to death. Sawkill Girls caught my eye way back at YALC in July because of its fantastic cover and intriguing premise. Billed as a YA horror novel filled with girl power, I was immediately interested but didn’t really know what to expect. Having finished the book, this is really one that you should try for yourself -- I can see so many readers having dramatically different opinions on it. I’m not sure how helpful my review will be for others -- it’s one of those books that will appeal to one’s personal tastes so strongly.
I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have gotten my hands on an early copy of Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix! I read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns earlier this year and absolutely adored it. Xifeng is easily one of my favourite fantasy villains because of her callousness, her calculated choices, and her cutthroat attitude. She rises to the throne and becomes Empress of Feng Lu at the end of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, but what happens next? Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix takes place 15 years later just before Jade, the daughter of the former Empress Lihua and sole heir to the throne, comes of age.