While January was the month of self control, February was kind of the month of Treat Yo Self. Work stress and depression meant that I was adding books into my Barnes & Noble cart a lot more frequently than normal… oops. The good (?) thing is that most of my spending was in pre-orders for books not coming out yet, but the bad news is that Future Kaleena has to remember to have money in the bank for when they ship!
As always, I want to reiterate that you do not need to buy and own a lot of books in order to be considered a book blogger or lover. I am quite frugal with everything else so that I can buy books because I love them, but I do not ever want to make you feel bad if you cannot afford to buy books or have poor access where you live.
Physical Book Haul
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
Middle Grade, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.
After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.
Yea…. I succumbed last month and got the February OwlCrate, and this cute graphic novel was included!
Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joanna Hathaway
Young Adult, Fantasy
He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner’s Curse in Joanna Hathaway’s Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.
Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.
Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.
This was the February pick for the Mysterious Galaxy Fantastic Firsts YA subscription.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Young Adult, Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
I nabbed the Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of this book essentially immediately after I read Hexen Librarian’s review.
A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy, #1) by Sangu Mandanna
Young Adult, Fantasy, Space Opera, Retellings (Mahabharata)
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.
Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.
It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.
Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
I was fortunate enough to read an ARC of this book last year and loved it, but I never got around to buying a finished copy for my collection. I quickly rectified this mistake when Kate finally read the book last month and reminded me my shelves need this book!
Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau Preto
Young Adult, Fantasy
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
I mainly nabbed the February OwlCrate because I wanted this special edition, but sadly mine didn’t come signed like it was supposed to. Rude!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Young Adult, Fantasy
A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
I was on the fence about this book because at 848 pages, it’s T H I C C. But I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to read the first 7 chapters, which convinced me to pre-order a copy! Sadly the spine is a little cracked and I’m afraid to read it, so I am hoping to drive to the city to exchange for an undamaged copy soon!
B&N Collector’s Edition: Jules Verne by Jules Verne
Classics, Science Fiction
Writing in France in the nineteenth century, Jules Verne was fascinated by adventure and exploration. Collecting Five Weeks in a Balloon, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Round the Moon, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island, this omnibus offers a unique compilation of seven of Vernes Voyages, stories in which he extrapolated developing technology and invention into marvellous fiction. This volume offers readers a generous introduction to Jules Verne, whose books are as alive today as they were for readers new to the ideas expressed in them during his time. This edition of the text is exquisitely bound in bonded-leather, with distinctive gilt edging and an attractive silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectable, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensable cornerstone for any home library.
Electronic Book Haul
Anna Undreaming (The Metiks Fade Trilogy #1) by Thomas Welsh
New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Anna is a student surviving the city, and she lives by a simple credo, “Never play their game; their game is always rigged.” For every man she has ever known, it’s a saying that has served her well.
That all changes on the night of “The Big Storm,” when Anna is slipped a date rape drug. Though she saves herself and her best friend, Anna is lost to the dark heart of the city and finds herself hunted by The Night Collectors. Unsure if these monsters are real or hallucinations, Anna nonetheless fights them as best she can. The battle attracts a stranger—Teej—who saves her using powers she cannot understand. He explains that she is an Undreamer and possesses the same powers, and in the future, he will not be the one to save her. She will save him.
But Anna is not yet ready to join Teej and stand against The Dreamers. She has difficult decisions of her own to make. Decisions she has always run from. She still has her partner’s suicide letter. It remains unopened. She still wears his ring, though she can’t seem to remember his face.
Anna learns of The Dreamers – artists so preeminent in their respective fields that they can paint, dance, sew or sing new realities – and as she travels through their creations, she learns that there’s as much beauty in the world as there is horror. With a complex conspiracy at work within the community of Dreamers that threatens to undermine reality itself, Anna will have to look deep within herself, and eventually have to face the horrors of her own past, to save her old world as well as her new one.
Anna Undreaming is a dark urban fantasy, and the first book in the The Metiks Fade trilogy.
If you follow me on Twitter, I am sure that you’re sick of my screaming about this book. But it bears repeating that this is the adult fantasy written in the YA style I’ve been craving! While I was given a finished paperback by the author for review, I loved it so much that I actually bought 4 copies on the Kindle – 3 that I gaveaway and 1 tht I kept for myself.
Books from Publishers
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Adult, Science Fiction
Expected Publication: March 7, 2019
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet meets The 100 in this unforgettable debut by a brilliant new voice.
A century ago, scientists theorised that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. Today, ten astronauts will leave a dying Earth to find it. Four are decorated veterans of the 20th century’s space-race. And six are teenagers, graduates of the exclusive Dalton Academy, who’ve been in training for this mission for most of their lives.
It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years spent in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong. And something always goes wrong.
Thank you so much Simon & Schuster UK for sending me one of my most anticipated science fiction releases! I can’t wait for my reading slump to end so that I can dive into this book.
The Design and Construction of the Nautilus by Demetri Capetanopoulos
Nonfiction, Science Fiction Inspired
Published: October 13, 2018
Is there anyone, of any age, who has read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and not sketched their vision of the Nautilus in their imagination or down on paper? For 150 years, the submarine created by Jules Verne has captivated readers and inspired countless interpretations.
Jules Verne was meticulous about incorporating cutting-edge technology of his time and making reasonable extrapolations. The Design and Construction of the Nautilus takes Jules Verne’s in-text descriptions, paired with extensive research on the technology of the time in which Verne’s iconic book was written, and presents detailed construction plans, design notes, and operational theories based on modern submarine technologies.
The Nautilus is more than just a 19th-century mechanical marvel. She has always represented the ultimate technological triumph over nature, a symbol of mankind’s mastery of our domain, and the human desire to explore the unknown.
I don’t read a lot of nonfiction or engineering books, but I was really intrigued by the idea of applying current engineering knowledge to see how the Nautilus in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea could have been created. Thank you to Boyle & Dalton for sending me a finished copy for review.
Electronic ARC Approvals
King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: April 30, 2019
Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.
Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.
As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…
Or die as legends.
The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 12, 2019
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?
Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge (Illustrator)
Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Expected Publication: April 2, 2019
Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything… ESPECIALLY solving crimes. But her totally-in-control-and-obviously-running-perfectly-smooth-(but-not-really) life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed.
KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits) team up to present an all-new modern spin on a classic mystery icon!