Quick Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

shadow of the fox I was first introduced to Kitsunes thanks to the TV show Teen Wolf (I miss that show) A japanese story of someone who can turn into a fox.  Yumeko is only half-kitsune and has been raised by monks in a temple.  Like foxes, she’s mischievious and curious.  She plays tricks on the monks to some of their chagrins but the Monks also teach her how to control her kitsune powers, which will come in handy when it is revealed that the temple guards a piece of the dragon scroll. The dragon scroll when put together raises a dragon every 1000 years.  The person with the scroll is granted one wish and depending on who making the wish it can be good or bad.  It’s almost time to summon the dragon and many people are after the scroll.  One of them is the master to the Demonslayer, Tatsumi from the Shadow Clan. Tatsumi has a very powerful sword that contains a dangerous demon.  He has to control his emotions or the demon in his sword will take over him.  Tatsumi and Yumeko team up to find the missing scroll.  Well, Yumeko has one piece but needs Tatsumi to help her get it to another temple and keep it safe.  Through their journey they meet other people along the way, including the delightful ronin, Okame and noble Daisuke.  They are challenged by spirits and other supernatural beings who try to get the scroll away from them but they grow a bond that is unmistakable.  For all the fear of the some of the monks that Yumeko’s fox side will take over her humanity, they shouldn’t have worried because it’s her compassion and quick thinking that often saves them.  Her first time outside of the temple, she is often filled with wonder of her surroundings.  Some of the most amusing bits is when Okame introduces her sarcasm for the first time.  At first she is confused by it but soon begins to understand it.  It’s wonderful.  I really liked this book and can’t wait for the sequel.  It’s full of lush descriptions of samarai’s and court life and nature that you can’t be helped to be sucked in.  I highly recommend it.

Books I Can’t Wait to Read this Fall!!

Summer is over and now it’s to look forward to some fall reading.  So get your pumpkin spice latte ready as here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall.

  1. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)-The sequel to Strange the Dreamer and left off one big cliffhanger.
  2. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (October 2)-Shapeshifters, samurais and Japanese mythology.  Yes please.
  3. A Very Large Expense of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi (October 16) In our attempt to read more diverse voices.  Tahereh Mafi releases probably her most personal story yet.  Shirin is a muslim girl starting a new school a year after 9/11.
  4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)- The last book in the epic Thorne of Glass series.  Who will prevail and who will die?
  5. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (November 6)-The second book in the Renegades trilogy.  The ending of Renegades really changes the dynamics of this one.
  6.  The Storyteller by Traci Chee (November 13)- The final book in the Sea of Gold and Ink trilogy.  Is the future already written for Sefia and Archer?
  7. The Reckoning of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin (November 13)-Noah Shaw has done some bad things and so has her girlfriend Mara Dyer.  The consequences might be finally catching up to them.

What are you looking forward to reading this fall?

Review: Inferno by Julie Kagawa

inferno The final book in the Talon Saga was kinda of a disappointment in the sense that I didn’t really love it only liked it.  It took a really long time to get going and for the final book the lack of urgency was a strange.  The characters kept telling each other about how the end is coming soon but really didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to prepare for it until they had no choice to and then things Finally got going.  But damn, we had to go through a lot of things to get there.  There was the unnecessary trip to Brazil to meet an ancient dragon that was never mentioned before and there was another trip to Asia for the that we all knew how it would end up.  There were past mentioned characters showing up and taking up time for no reason but fit in one more heroic arc?  I don’t know.  The finale however was worth it though.  The final battle between the Rogues, St. George and Talon made up the lackluster beginning.  It had drama, suspense and melodrama all wrapped into one.  I appreciate the theme of the series being that even though we may be different, what we all want out of life is the same.  We want to live in peace and have freedom of choice.  And authoritative governments are bad.  The best way to bring down an oppressive regime is to overcome our differences and work together and learn from each other.  I very important message for today.  That’s what you should take away from this series in the end. I just wished the last book wasn’t so bogged down in so many side trips.

Quick Review: Legion by Julie Kagawa

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**I was granted a digital ARC of this book and read it a month ago.  Thank you Harlequin Teen for the advance**

Four books in and we finally learn what makes Ember so darn special and it’s creepy.  I won’t spoil it but let’s just say I look forward to seeing the leader of Talon being taken down.  She’s a real piece of work.  I also think she’s another argument as to why immortality or really Really long life spans are not a good idea.  It makes people do some really crazy insane things.  Anyways, fans of this series will be happy with this installment.  It picks up right where the cliffhanger ending of Soldier ended.  The stakes are higher now that the truth of the Order of St. George and Talon have been exposed.  The Order is complete disarray but Talon has a secret that we as readers know about but the characters don’t. So while, it was a good idea at the time to expose the leader of the Order, it also played right into Talon’s hands.  Talon has become the real big bad of the series.  The Order, while not at all innocent, has been played just as much as everyone else.  Their own prejudices and inability or willingness to try to think differently was their ultimate undoing.  As for our heroes.  They all do some growing up.  Constant near death experiences will do that to you.  The biggest lesson they have learned is if they are going to defeat Talon, they are going to have to work together and reach out to new allies, even if that means reaching out to old enemies too.  I believe there is only one more book left which is good because the ending really seems to have set up a potentially epic final battle between our heroes and Talon.  It’s been a fun ride.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

In Memoriam of all the Series that Ended in 2016

In the tradition of award shows every way, we at Stacks would like to recognized those series that are no longer with us.  They have ended.  They and solved all their mysteries and tied up any loose ends.  We were said to see them go but they will always be remembered for the joy that brought to our lives.

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Quick Review: Soldier by Julie Kagawa

soldierI think this was the best book of the series so far.  The world and the characters are now well established so we can get on with the conflict of the story.  When we last left off, Garret left after hoping that Ember would tell him to stay.  Ember was too raw from the fight with her brother and her dragon side feelings for Riley to say what she truly felt and let him go.  They both understood that they are two different species so it probably wouldn’t work out.  That’s how they justified it at least.   Garret has gone to London where St. George is headquarters to get answers to if the order knows that their are good dragons, while Ember and Riley try to track down who is leaking information on his safe houses.  Garret soon finds information that St. George and Talon have been working together and have set a trap for Ember and Riley so off he goes to rescue her.  Meanwhile, Ember’s twin brother Dante gets promoted to a secret project that we won’t know it’s true purpose until the next book but it’s definitely not good.  Even though he is all in with Talon, he is having some reservations about what he is doing but not enough to stop him from doing what he is told at all cost.  So the stakes are much higher.  Both Talon and St. George are after them and only if they can work together to break up the alliance.  Ember is starting to come into her potential about how powerful she can be but in doing so she finds that what she has to do to survive is not always easy to live with.  Killing is never easy.  Garret knows that St. George is corrupt but it doesn’t make going against his former order and brothers any easier.  Also Riley has been shut down for so long that it’s hard for him to open up to Ember.  This book was far more action packed then previous book with a pretty big cliffhanger.  One can only hope that everyone gets out alive or at least get a Jon Snow treatment.