The final book in the Ember in the Ashes series I’m interested to see how this one ends
It’s that time of year where we take a look back at everything we have read this year and come up with our best of the year. It’s a tough job but not one we take lightly. It’s been a very diverse year for me.
1.Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi –This fantasy was like nothing I’ve ever read. A little bit of magic, a little bit of adventure and a little bit social commentary. It took me on a wild ride as Zelie discovers her own powers and does what she can to help her people from the evil King who has done all he can to erase her people. It was a breathtaking first book.
2. A Cruel Prince by Holly Black-Holly Black is at her best when she is writing about fairies. It really is her element. The lush world that Black has created is so rich and vibrant that I almost wanted to go if it wasn’t filled with blood thirsty fairies. Looking for a fantasy full of royal intrigue this one is also for you.
3. Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab –Technically I read the first book last year but I finished the trilogy so I’m counting them all as one. It was one wild fantasy series. From truly vile villains, pirates, royalty magic and supernatural forces it really did have everything but never felt too much.
4. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland- This one I think I liked for the very beginning. Jane was born a slave but when the dead of Civil War come back to life, Jane is sent to a boarding school that teaches her and other girls of color how to fight zombies so they may one day work in a nice home as protection. Jane is resourceful, smart and funny. She knows how to kill a zombie.
5. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fischer –Carrie was truly one of a kind and is sorely missed. Her diary that she wrote while filming the first Star Wars was honest, raw and funny. Really what you would expect from Carrie Fischer.
6. Shadow and the Fox by Julie Kagawa- Add a little fox, a trained warroir with a demon infused sword and Japanese mythology and you get one fun book. I really enjoyed the story building and characters as they try to steal save the scroll that will summon the dragon that will grant wishes was great.
7. Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake- The third book in the series was definitely a keeper. I mean they all were but it was still great. We finally get to see more of the world outside of Fennbirn Island and how the Queens became to be. The mythology is really coming together and it’s going to lead to an epic finale.
8. Wildcard by Marie Lu – Emika is so cool. As she unravels the mysteries and tries to save not just Hideko from himself but everyone else from an even bigger conspiracy. It was a fun novel and reminder that not everyone on the internet is your friend.
9..Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir- Elias, Laia and Helene are on opposite sides of the fight against the Nightbringer and keeping the balance. It’s a thrilling race against time to bring down the Nightbringer and the Empire and Elias Mom, who is just frightening.
10. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson- I’m still waiting for the last book in her Shades of London series but this filled the void. Who doesn’t love a good boarding school mystery? Stevie decides she wants to go to this exclusive boarding school because she wants to be the one to solve it’s biggest mystery of who kidnapped and killed the daughter and wife of the school’s founder. Twice and turns abound in this one.
We finally made it to the third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series and things are getting real. Laia, Elias and Helena are basically on their own as they deal with the many crisis’ going on in the Empire. Laia is focused on one two things, bringing down the Nightbringer and saving her people. Elias is the new Soul Catcher but having trouble in his new role. Helena is the Blood Shrike, trying to defend the Empire and the Emperor who she doesn’t like and defending what is left of their family. As they go about their business, they have no idea that they are doing exactly what the Nightbringer wants them to do. It frustrating as it is interesting to read as the reader knows that the characters are playing into their enemies hands but are unsure as to how exactly and horrified that they is nothing they can do about it. I spent a fair amount of my time reading wanting to scream at Laia, Elias and Helena to STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! YOU ARE MAKING A DUMB MISTAKE! Especially, Helena who was supposed to be one of the smartest in her class at the Blackcliff but time and time again was easily out maneuvered by The Commandant or the Nightbringer. He biggest mistake is that she assumes that everyone loves the Empire as much as she does and will play fair and is shocked to find that’s not the case and even though she is told this many times she continues to make this mistake. (I think a certain political party is the same way and is why it keeps losing) Her unwillingness to believe or play that game keeps costing her and is even more frustrating because the one time she does, she won. Anyway, this was a great set up to the final book that will definitely feature more pain. Let’s hope our characters learn from their mistakes in this book.
I know I should be starting my Summer Pop Culture Homework but I’ve been waiting two years for the book to come out!! Homework can wait.
What books can you not wait to read in 2018? I have lots of course but here are 10 that I really Really can’t wait to read next year.
- War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. (May 15, 2018) The final book in her Red Queen Series. Will Mare and the Scarlet Guard be able take down the Silvers. Will Maven get overthrown? Will Cal stop being a dumbass?
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. (March 6, 2018) This sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Zelie comes from a long line of maji but the new crown prince wants to banish magic from the kingdom. Zelie has one chance to save magic and her people.
- Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6, 2018) It’s been 4 years since the end of the Shatter Me trilogy ended or so we thought. Restore Me is going to pick up at the end of Ignite Me. Juliette is the Supreme Commander and Warner is on her side but now that she has the world at her finger tips, what’s next?
- Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. (May 22, 2018) It’s been two years since A Torch Against the Night came out and I’ve been eagerly waiting this one. Laia, Elias and Helene are all in perilously situation. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. (January 16, 2018) I’ll admit I was hoping it would be the next book in the Shades of London series but I’m just so glad that Maureen has a book coming out. I do love a good mystery and good ghost story too.
- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. (January 2, 2018) So happy that Holly is back with a new series about fairies because no one does fairies like Holly Black.
- A Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro. (March 6, 2018) The final book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy can’t come soon enough. In true Holmes form, Charlotte has really sabotage herself and Watson can’t forgive her. They try to move on with their lives but someone wants them back together and well I want them back together too.
- Dread Nation by Justine Ireland. (April 3, 2018) The American Civil War is interrupted when the Dead of the battlefields come back to life. Jane is in combat school to learn how to take down the dead and with this comes opportunity but Jane wants more. Soon she is wrapped up in a conspiracies and plots that the dead are the least of her worries.
- Untitled Sequel to Renegades by Marissa Meyer. (November 6, 2018) Renegades was such a great book and can’t wait to read what’s next. Nova has successfully infiltrated the Renegades and her old friends are no longer around to blow her cover. Will she betray her new friends or cement herself as a villain.
- The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. (April 10, 2018) Carve the Mark may have been problematic but it was still good. I’m curious how things will turn out for Cyra and Akos. Will they be able to escape their destinies or are they running right into them?
- The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. (No set date) I’m not sure this is coming out in 2018 but I really hope so. Strange the Dreamer was so beautiful I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially after what happened at the end.
- Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas. (September 4, 2018) The final book in the Throne of Glass series and it’s been quite a ride for Aelin and friends. Who knows how it will all end. Well I guess Sarah J. Maas does but for everyone else it’s anyone’s guess.
- Untitled (WarCross #2) by Marie Lu. (No set date) Another one I’m not sure if it’s coming out in 2018 but I’m pretty sure. I was riveted by the first book and I’m looking forward to meeting the “hacker” and all the potential he is inevitably going to cause.
- Heart of Venom by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (2018) It also doesn’t have a set date besides 2018. It’s either the first in the Shadows of Fire series or #9 in the Chronicles of Nick series. However you want to look at it, it’s a switch in tone and focus for Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters. With a duel narrators of the Cyprian Malachai (Nick’s Son) and the Ambrose Malachai (Nick Himself) we find out if Nick truly does embrace his destiny or if the sacrifices he made at the end of Intensity was enough to forge his own path.
- Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes. (February 6, 2018) The final book in the closest YA book to Game of Thrones with it’s epic scope, world building and body count was originally scheduled to come out this month but was pushed back. I’m sure the extra two months will be worth the wait.
- Aru Shah and the End of Times by Roshani Chokshi. (April 3, 2018) The first book to be published under Rick Riordan’s new imprint highlighting stories from authors and characters from around the world. Aru Shah takes on Hindu legends to save her mother and classmates.
- Untitled by Maureen Johnson. (No set date) The Shadow Cabinet, the last book released in the Shades of London series had me on the edge of my feet and it’s been so long since it came out. I’m not sure that the next book is coming out in 2018 but Maureen has mentioned on twitter that she has two books coming out in 2018 so it’s a safe bet. *crosses fingers*
- Untitled by Kendare Blake. (September 4, 2018) I didn’t know that the Three Dark Crowns was originally planned to be a duology. I’m glad that Kendare Blake and her publisher decided to extend it because there are so many things about this world and these character left to be explored.
- Untitled by Traci Chee (2018) The final book in the Sea of Ink and Gold Series. Sefia and Archer continue to fight what is written and defeat their destiny while also staying ahead of their enemies.
- The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (May 1, 2018) I’m interested in this one since this in the first book that Sally Green has published since she ended her Half Bad trilogy two years ago. Half Lost left me broken and in tears. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that again but I can’t wait to see what Sally does next.
So 2016 is almost over. Thank God or Oh No. Who knows what 2017 will bring but we do know it will bring plenty of good books. Here are 10 I’m really looking forward too.
- Pyromantic by Lish McBride. – I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this one and it was everything I hoped it would. I can’t wait for it to come out in March so I can read again.
- A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – The second book was one of my favorite books of this year and the way it ended makes me even more excited for it. Feyre is back in the Spring Court with Tamlin but this time she knows who she is and who he really is.
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – I didn’t even know this was even in the works when I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s sequel P.S. I Still Love You earlier this year. I found the two books to be very charming and sweet. I loved Lara Jean and Peter and I thought their story was over but I guess not. I’m still holding out for Kitty novel.
- The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon – This is another book I got an early look at and for all of you still waiting, it’ll be worth it. I’m going to re-read The Bone Season and The Mime-Order again before this one comes out.
- King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard – Mare gave herself up to Maven and who knows what that sadistic bastard has planned for her. Will Cal save her or will she save herself? Will Farley forgive her? The rebellion continues
- The Untitled 3rd book of the Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir- This is such an awesome series I can’t say enough great things about it. Who knows what will happen next as Laia, Elias and Helene take on the Martials.
- Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth – This Veronica’s first book since the Divergent series ended. No matter how you felt about Allegiant you have to admit that Roth is one brave storyteller.
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – If her last series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is anything to go by this one is going to be a real crowd pleaser!
- The Ship of the Dead and The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan – Rick Riordan has been on a winning streak lately with both his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Trials of Apollo series’. Not only are they imaginative they are truly fun. Riordan hasn’t been afraid to take on tough subjects and bring a diverse cast of characters to his books and make them both relatable and accessible. It’s going to be a busy year for Percy Jackson.
- Silver Stars by Michael Grant – In this revisionist history story we met three brave women who are fighting in World War 2. The end of the last book saw our three heroines have all survived their first battle but the war is still a few years from ending. There are more battles to be fought before our heroines get to go home.
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
I will say this about 2016, I read a lot of good books this year. It was hard to narrow it down to just 10. So without further ado and in no particular order.
- Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – So it was hard to pick between this one and his other book Riordan wrote, The Hidden Oracle, but I choose this one because of the characters. I love that Rick has added diverse characters to his worlds. Not to mention his characters get sassier with every book.
- A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – A cross between historical fiction and dystopian novel. It’s quite a thrill ride and it left a real cliffhanger as to how the series is going to end.
- A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – After a so-so first book this one was a real game changer for the series as a hole. It delved into matters trauma and emotional abuse but still keep the story flowing.
- The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – It’s Maggie and It’s Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam and Noah. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect story.
- Half Lost by Sally Green – It was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking. Nate didn’t have an easy life and nothing about this book was easy too. It was very true to life. It doesn’t always turn out the way you expect and in war there are always painful loses.
- Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – Now this is a fun series. It’s a dystopian fantasy with X-Men qualities. Mare is not perfect. She’s complicated and conflicting but she means well and the writing only gets better with each book.
- Pyromantic by Lish McBride – This book doesn’t actually come out until next year so I’ll wait to tell you about it but let’s just say you are going to love it.
- Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – It’s a crime caper and a fantasy. You root for the the thieves and the con men to win. It’s wonderful.
- Ms. Marvel No Normal by G. Willow Wilson – likable and charming, Kamala Khan is worthy addition to the Avengers. She proves that it doesn’t matter where you come from and what you believe, you can still be a superhero.
- The Midnight Star by Marie Lu – Another great ending to well thought out series. I may have qualms about who the real villain was but I think it was heartbreaking as it was beautiful.
This may be one of the strongest sequels I have read in a long time. There was no drag or filler. It was non-stop from the very beginning. The characters are smartly written and interesting to read. You feel for all of them but for different reasons. All of their decisions are explainable even if you don’t agree with them. It is a very good book. At the end of An Ember in the Ashes, Laia and Elias are escaping Blackcliff and Serra and Helena is now sworn to be the Blood Shrike to the new Empire, Marcus who won the trials. We begin A Torch Against the Night begins right where it’s predecessor left off. Laia and Elias on the run with Helena and her men right behind them. After a run in with Elias’ Mom, the Commandant they finally escape but not without some causalities. Eventually, they met by Keenan making it an awkward march to save Laia’s brother, Darin. Who is locked up in the infamous prison named Kauf. Meanwhile, Helena feels betrayed that Elias didn’t complete the trials forcing her to work for Marcus. Marcus is cruel and knows exactly what will hurt Helena the most. Have her track down Elias and bring him back to be executed. No one knows Elias like Helena does but she is torn between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for Elias. In the previous book the point of view switched back and forth between Laia and Elias. In this one we also get Helena’s and it’s a welcome view. We know how Laia and Elias feel but Helena is still loyal and believes in the Empire. She can see it’s not perfect but she understands how it is structured to keep them safe. Slowly, she starts to see a little bit of of what they see about they have been saying all along. Her view gives us a more rounded view of the Empire. Now it wouldn’t be a YA novel without a romantic intrigue. The love triangle was already introduced in the last book between Laia, Elias and Keenan. To me it was pretty obvious who was Laia’s choice but I guess there had to be some mystery. Elias was always talking Laia up and Keenan was always talking her down but the reveal at the end was a little bit of a surprise. I figured there had to be something up with one of her suitors but not exactly how I thought it would be. But enough about romance. Laia is truly lovely. She is one determined, brave young lady. She has been through so much in the last two books but her wanting to save her brother has never wavered. She’s not the strongest or the fastest but that never stops her from joining the fight or trying to figure out how to help. Even when her confidence is low, she still fights for what she wants. She is heroine to be looked up too. If you haven’t read An Ember in the Ashes what are waiting for? I suggest you do that now so you can read this book too. You will not regret it.
I was so impressed with the first book and really excited for this one.
This year it was hard to narrow it down to just 10 books as there were so many books I really loved this year. So to narrow it down, I had to ask myself which ones was I still thinking about even after I started reading the next book? Those are ones I choose for the list. (These are really in no particular order
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – This book I really wish I read when I was a teenager as so many of the messages I could have really used. You would almost think that a book about teenage beauty queens stuck on a desert island would be caricatures but they weren’t. They were very like girls I know or were me. I could pretty much identify with all of their struggles. Plus it was a lot of fun.
- Winter by Marissa Meyer -I am really going to miss this series so much. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter made me laugh, cheer, angry ( on their behalf) and proud of all of them. Winter was by far the longest book of the series and it was non-stop action. There wasn’t any filler or time to relax. It was the perfect ending.
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – A little bit Harry Potter and a little bit of fanfiction. It was a great final book to an imaginary series. I was surprised by many of the twists and turns and touched by the romance.
- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – I loved the first book in the series and so I was nervous this one wasn’t going to be as good. It was better. Now my only complaint is that she doesn’t write fast enough.
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – It was fun, tense and very interesting. I thought I knew where things were going and then I didn’t. I’m looking forward to what lays in store in the next book.
- Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow – This wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. It was surprising. It was fresh. It had the sassiest A.I. in the history of A.I.’s. For that reason alone, you all should read it.
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – It was sorta historical fiction with a dystopian vibe and boy did it work. It was brutal and it was tense but entertaining.
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – This was very much an Ocean 11’s style caper with a little bit of a magic and darkness in only the way that Leigh Bardugo could do it. It’s set in the same world but after the events of her last series but a completely different vibe.
- The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson – This is the third book in the series so the stakes are so much higher and it didn’t disappoint. It’s full of humor, action and ghosts. What else can I say.
- The Rose Society by Marie Lu – This is the second book in the series that tells the story from the villainess point of view (though I’m not convinced that Adelina is the real villain but whatever) It was intense and was surprising, maybe a little problematic but worth the read.
There was two books that I enjoyed so much that I read the other books in the that were out in the series this year too. So I thought they would get their own category.
- Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas – For those looking for a Game of Thrones fill in until George publishes the next book, I recommend this. It was has all the twists and turns and is not afraid to kill of a character or two. I’m never really sure where it’s going to take us next but I know it will be well worth the ride.
- Talon series by Julie Kagawa – It has a little bit of everything. A Romeo and Juliet Love, a love triangle, a betrayal and yeah dragons. Who doesn’t love dragons? Ok, the idea isn’t that original but I do love it anyway.