Blog Tour: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Blog Tour: Renegades by Marissa MeyerRenegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 7th 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Superheroes, Young Adult
Pages: 576
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound
Goodreads

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Have no fear…THE RENEGADES are here! Well…ALMOST! Don’t worry though, you’ve got less than two weeks to go until Marissa Meyer‘s epic superhero novel hits shelves, and I am here to tell you it is DEFINITELY worth the wait! Renegades feels like a cross between Marvel and X-Men, but with a fun YA Vibe and super(see what I did there) intriguing storyline.

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Renegades by Marissa Meyer”

Sarah

Book Feels Lite: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Book Feels Lite: Wayfarer by Alexandra BrackenWayfarer (Passenger, #2) by Alexandra Bracken
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 532
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed.

When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

Friends, this review is woefully, shamefully, embarrassingly late. Especially considering how much I absolutely loved it. “Wayfarer” is the second and final book in a gorgeous duology by Alexandra Bracken. I absolutely adored the first book, “Passenger” (my review), when it released last year which meant that “Wayfarer” was one of most anticipated releases of 2017. So, once again, we ask that age old question…did it live up to my expectations?

Continue reading “Book Feels Lite: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken”

five-stars
Sarah

Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer {GIVEAWAY}

Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer {GIVEAWAY}Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.1, 3.6) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Science Fiction
Pages: 304
Amazon
Goodreads

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

--The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.

Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….

The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.

The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.

After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.

The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess

The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.

Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

 - hosted by Breaking the Spine -
– hosted by Breaking the Spine –

How lucky are we, dear readers? We get not one…but TWO books from the Lunar Chronicles in less than three months time. We all remember that one time when the final book in the series, Winter, came out right? Wayyyy back on November 10th. The glorious day that shall forever be known as they day that the Lunar Chronicles came to an end. Tears were shed, ships were sailed and million of Marissa Meyer fans dove head first into the 800+ page behemoth!

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Continue reading “Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer {GIVEAWAY}”

Sarah

Book Feels: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken {BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY}

Book Feels: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken {BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY}Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: ,
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 496
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

passage, n.i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.ii. A journey by water; a voyage.iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks
The Book Depository

Passenger Banner

Did you guys hear the news yesterday??? Passenger debuted at number one on the New York Times best seller list! I was so excited to see this news announced on Twitter! So, now I’m even more thrilled to be today’s stop on the Passenger blog tour! Today I’ll be sharing a mood board I created, as well as my review, but be sure to look over the tour schedule below to check out other reviews, guest posts, playlists and more! Continue reading “Book Feels: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken {BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY}”

five-stars
Sarah

Mini Book Feels: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Mini Book Feels: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi LeeThis Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Siblings, Steampunk, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.
His sweetheart, Mary—gone.
His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

This Monstrous Thing

Continue reading “Mini Book Feels: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee”

four-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Feels: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.This afternoon, her planet was invaded.The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

Illuminae Continue reading “Book Feels: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff”

five-stars
Sarah

Blog Tour: Soulprint Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Soulprint Review + GiveawaySoulprint by Megan Miranda
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Goodreads
four-stars

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island—not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next—and Alina is sick of being guilty.Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she’s not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat history.This stunning “new world” romance from acclaimed author Megan Miranda will leave readers wondering how far they would go to escape the past.

 

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Welcome to the official Soulprint blog tour, hosted by Bloomsbury Publishing! Soulprint released this past Tuesday and to celebrate I’ve created a mood board that was inspired by the book and am sharing my thoughts today in a review. I want to thank the team over at Bloomsbury for inviting me to be a part of this tour, I’m a big fan of Soulprint and am excited to have the opportunity to tell all of you about it!

Soulprint

Alina has spent her whole life under the watchful eye of others, ensuring that she doesn’t fulfill the same destiny as the person who carried her soul before. As she grows older, Alina begins to realize that she’s  become a prisoner in her own world and dreams of a future outside of the four walls she’s all too familiar with. I was immediately intrigued with this story because the author built  a strong history for Alina and gives the reader a real insight as to how trapped and desperate she is to break free. I was sufficiently creeped out by the island “home” of Alina’s and the people who monitor her every move, and was just as anxious as she was to find a way out.

Thankfully, Alina is broken out of her prison by a trio of strangers who give no explanation as to why they are helping her out. The entire escape scene had me so nervous and I found myself trying to read as fast as I could because I wanted to know what was going to happen and WHY it was happening. As this trio begins their journey together and the story unfolds, we learn along with Alina that not everything is as it seems. The evolution of Alina’s individual relationships with the people she’s traveling with is an important aspect of the book, and I appreciated that they all brought something different to the story. Each character is fully formed and as the reader I appreciate that we are given the opportunity to understand the various motives flying around.

Out of all the fantastic plot points in this book, the concept of the soul passing along from person to person was the most fascinating to me. The author took that concept to a whole other level by expanding on the idea and creating a fully formed society and history around it. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then Soulprint would be a great choice for your next read. There is so much in this story that completely threw me for a loop and was so unexpected, by the end you’re left with more questions than answers. Don’t get me wrong, you get some really big (and shocking) answers, but I love the fact that in doing so, a whole new level of craziness is discovered!

I love a book that keeps me on my toes, and Soulprint was a wild ride filled with mystery and intrigue. It’s a fast-paced, intense story about one young woman’s journey of self-discovery but with an fresh twist.

TourSchedule

February 2nd – That Artsy Reader Girl
February 3rd – Nose Graze
February 4th – Effortlessly Reading
February 5th – Andi ABCs
February 6th – What Sarah Read
February 9th – Across the Words
February 10th – Great Imaginations
February 11th – The Eater of Books
February 12th – Step Into Fiction
February 13th – Dana Square

GiveawayBanner
Enter below for a chance to win your very own copy of Soulprint!

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This is a US only giveaway for one hardcover copy of Soulprint.
Must be 13 years or older to enter!

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Miranda_picAuthor Information

MEGAN MIRANDA is the acclaimed author of Fracture, Vengeance, and Hysteria. She spends a great deal of time thinking about the “why” and “how” of things, which leads her to get carried away daydreaming about the “what-ifs.” She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Visit Megan online at www.meganmiranda.com and on Twitter at @MeganLMiranda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

four-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Book Feels: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus SedgwickThe Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Macmillan on January 6th 2015
Genres: General, Historical, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven, the mesmerizing new novel from Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick. They are there in prehistory, when a girl picks up a charred stick and makes the first written signs; there tens of centuries later, hiding in the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who people call a witch; there in the halls of a Long Island hospital at the beginning of the 20th century, where a mad poet watches the oceans and knows the horrors it hides; and there in the far future, as an astronaut faces his destiny on the first spaceship sent from earth to colonize another world. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.

I’ve never read a book quite like The Ghosts of Heaven and I definitely went outside of my comfort zone when I decided to pick this one up. The cover art and book summary were intriguing though, and I decided to give it a shot. As I’m writing this review it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished this book, and I still can’t say for certain what my thoughts and feelings are about it. All I know is that I still think about it from time to time and wonder what exactly it was all about. Which I suppose is the sign of a well-written book.

GhostsofHeaven

The Ghosts of Heaven is broken up into four separate short stories, that are distinct in tone and style from one another, but when put together as a collection, you can see the thread of commonality that runs through them all. In the introduction of the book the author explains that you can read the collection in order, or you can read in whatever order you’d like. I chose to read them in order because that’s just the kind of person I am. Even before I got into the first story, I was sucked in by the introduction. It was a beautifully written account of the beginning of the universe, and being the science geek that I am, I totally loved it. As a matter of fact, I would say it was my favorite part of the entire book.

As I mentioned, the book is broken into four very different sections. Part one is set during pre-historic times and focuses on a young girl trying to become a larger presence in her tribe. She knew there was something more to her existence. Along her journey she likely discovers the first form of written communication but because of certain circumstances she never gets the chance to share her knowledge. This portion of the book was written in verse and I really enjoyed how the writing really conveyed not only what, but also exactly how the character was thinking.

The second section focuses on a young woman who is trying to tap into the power passed down to her through her lineage. She’s faced with an extremely bleak set of circumstances and is continually trying to determine the source of the mysteries that surround her. This story was really depressing for me and I just couldn’t shake the bleakness of the main character’s situation.

The third story takes part during the turn of the 20th century and is set in an insane asylum. I found this story pretty creepy and there were times I felt so haunted by some of the characters. It’s the story of a doctor and his daughter who come to live in the building with its patients, and how they adjust to that life. As you get further in, you start to learn about one of the patients there who has an inexplicable knowledge of the doctor and his past. By the end the story takes on a little bit of a twist and I was actually pretty pleased with where it left me.

The last story is set some time in the distant future on a space station travelling to the far reaches of the galaxy in search of a new home for the human race. We follow one of the people on the ship and as the story progresses we learn along with him that things are not exactly what they seem to be on board. Out of all the stories in this book, the ending of this one really confused me. I’m still not certain I understand exactly what happened.

I did find the fact that each story had a common thread to be extremely compelling and intriguing. I liked how the author found ways to introduce that theme in each story in a distinct but cohesive way. Each time the theme popped up it was a lightbulb moment for me.

This book is beautifully written and the imagery and symbolism was amazing. Although I do have to admit that sometimes I didn’t quite get the symbolism and that frustrated me. Overall, I had a hard time connecting to this book, and that was my major disappointment with it. In my mind, you can have the most beautifully written words but if I can’t connect to them I’m left feeling like something fell short.

This book is certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but when all is said and done I decided to give it three stars. While I didn’t find a connection to any of the stories, I can still appreciate how well it was written and the value of the book as a whole. I would suggest giving it a try to see for yourself if it’s a book you enjoy. Then come back here and let me know what you think, as this book is sure to spark some lively discussions.

Many thanks to Brittany at Book Addicts Guide for allowing me to borrow her ARC! Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.

three-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Book Feels: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia GrayA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Published by Harper Collins on November 4th 2014
Genres: Law & Crime, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live in a parallel universe, or if there is another version of yourself floating around out there making different decisions and dramatically altering the course of their lives? A Thousand Pieces of You plays on that fascination and answers the question of “What if?” that we all end up asking ourselves at one point. Claudia Gray has written a thought-provoking and exciting story of one girl’s journey to avenge her father’s death that ends up being a lot more than she bargained for. In order to catch her father’s killer she must track them through parallel universes using a device he created, all while questioning every thing she has ever known.

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What I loved most about this book was the vivid worlds that Gray creates as backdrops for her character’s travels. Even though these worlds exist in alternate universes, they are still totally recognizable to me as the reader and I was easily transported to these different versions of the world we know. Even when we are introduced to a world that has been drastically altered due to climate change, I was still able to quickly change gears thanks to Gray’s amazing work-building and attention to detail. Gray does a masterful job of balancing our time in each world, and I was really intrigued with the subtle (and not so subtle) changes in each parallel universe. It really kept me on my toes. The science behind the story was also intensely intriguing, and even though I’m the furthest thing from a science-minded person, I couldn’t help but get sucked in to the technical details of travelling between worlds and all that fun science-y stuff. See…not a science person!

I found myself invested in each character and the fact that each of them had their flaws and secrets only made them more interesting to me as a reader. I love a good curve ball and there were a few times throughout this book where a character did something completely unexpected and it totally threw me for a loop. Each character was constantly evolving and just when you think you have them figured out they do something or you learn a little more about their past, and it causes you to see them in a completely new light.

As much as I loved Marguerite as a main character, my hope is that her character develops a bit more in the forthcoming books and she becomes more confident in her abilities and more calculated in her choices and decisions. There were times throughout the story where I felt like she wasn’t giving herself enough credit and relied too much on the people around her, even when she isn’t entirely sure they can be trusted.  But, this quirk definitely made Marguerite more human and interesting, and I  don’t mind being a little frustrated with characters every once in a while. Keeps me on my toes!

The romance aspect of the book does venture into love triangle territory and I’m still not quite sure what “team” I’m on…I’m not entirely convinced that Marguerite knows the answer to that either. The triangle worked for me though, in the sense that there is soooo much going on that she is still trying to figure out, so the shifting dynamics between her and Paul and Theo make sense to me. I will say that I sensed more chemistry with one over the other, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide which team you’re on. Either way, I enjoyed the swoonier moments of this book…and we all know how much I love swoony moments.

A Thousand Pieces of You was a nearly perfect book in my opinion, but I found the portion set in Russia to be a little slow and I wasn’t quite sure what purpose it served to the rest of the story except to add more drama to the romance aspect of the plot. I just feel like when I got to this part of the book it started to drag and I found myself not as invested as I was with other portions of the book. Otherwise, the pacing and plot were exciting, fast-paced and intriguing!

This book is perfect for people who enjoy science-fiction stories that have shifting dynamics, as well as a good dose of romance. A Thousand Pieces of You managed to hit on all of my bookish faves and I’m so excited to see where book two takes us. Especially the cover…can you even imagine how gorgeous that cover is going to be?

four-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Book Feels: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan DennardSomething Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Published by HarperCollins on July 24th 2012
Genres: Historical, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

There's something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia. . . . Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she's just read in the newspaper: The Dead are rising in Philadelphia. And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor . . . from her brother. Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she'll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

This book starts off with a bang, jumping right into the action and kicking into high gear the very first sentence. We find ourselves in Philadelphia during the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, but not the Philadelphia as we know it. Something strange is happening and we find out right away that the book’s MC, Eleanor, is living in a very different version of history. I really enjoyed how Susan blended historical fiction and fantasy in this novel. It results in some fantastic world building that is both familiar and strange. Susan places us on the dirty city streets and back alleys,but in a new and frightening alternate history. A world in which the dead have begun to rise and are taking over Philadelphia.

Eleanor is living in a world in which her father is dead and her family is left struggling to maintain its prominent social and financial status, and since her brother has mysteriously disappeared she has taken on the role of securing a better future for her family. But all of this is set aside when Eleanor becomes involved in the dangerous world of the spirit hunters in her quest to figure out what happened to her families fortune, why the dead have begun to rise, and also, what happened to her brother.

Eleanor is my favorite type of female MC; naturally curious, brave and ahead of her time. She is not afraid to speak her mind and question authority. She also has a natural heroism about her, in that she is always willing to do what it takes to make things right or help someone out of a dangerous situation. I really enjoyed how she broke out of the stereotypical mold for a young woman of her time and was unashamed to be strong-willed and aware of what she wanted. A lot of things she did in this book rose eyebrows and I loved that about her. I always find that the characters I appreciate the most are the one’s that have some sort of personality trait I wish I had myself. For Eleanor, it would be honesty and bluntness in situations. I was so impressed throughout this book at how forthright she was. One of my favorite passages of the book is when Eleanor goes without a corset and wears pants for the first time. Her reaction to the feeling is an amazing metaphor for the freedom a woman feels when set free from her restraints.

Susan Dennard is an immensely talented author, not only does she have this uncanny ability for writing such vivid scenes but I was so drawn in by the devices and machinery she imagined and invented for this story. Susan clearly has an inventors mind! She also did a phenomenal job of turning the zombie mythology on its head and created a monster that was all her own.

But I feel like her true gift rests in her ability to write amazing characters. There was not one person in this book that wasn’t fully formed and realized. Each person had motivations that were believable and (sometimes) justifiable. There wasn’t one character in this book that I didn’t enjoy; whether they were good or evil, I wanted to learn more about them. To write characters in a way that truly invests me in each and every one of them, is another testament to Susan Dennard’s writing talents. I will say there was one character that I am VERY eager to learn more about because I feel like he has a LOT more going on beneath the surface, and I sense some swoony moments ahead. And you all know how I feel about swoony boys!

Susan also does a wonderful job of setting the story up for the next two installments. There were several moments where we were given quick glimpses to future locations, buried secrets and hidden lies. Although this book is essentially setting up for the rest of the tale, it was a marvelous stand alone novel that stands so firmly on its own. There’s a fantastic cliff-hanger at the end and so many stunning revelations that you can’t help but be eager to start the next book!

five-stars
Sarah