Recent Reads: June 2015

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Welcome to the revamped Recent Reads! As previously mentioned here, I’ve switched to a new book review format to accommodate a change in blogging priorities. Recent Reads will now be a retrospective of the books read over the past month, and will consist of multiple, shorter reviews. Now that I’m reading faster that I used to, I’m hoping this will be a more “economical” way of sharing bookish thoughts. So, in addition to any comments on the individual books, let me know what you think of the new format in the Comments section at the end.

So, onto the books I read last month!

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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 12: Long Ago and Far Away…

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

All of the books in today’s stack have one thing in common: They take place in times or places very different from my own (and perhaps yours, too). It’s a mix of fantasy, science fiction, romance, and exotic cultures. Murder, mystery, magic, and family. Freedom, power, secrets, and friendship. Intrigued? Then what are you waiting for? 😉

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Waiting On Wednesday, Vol. 5: “Defiant” by Karina Sumner-Smith

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases that I’m looking forward to. My WOW postings won’t be weekly, but they’ll come on Wednesdays when my blogging schedule is open and when I add a yet-to-be-published book to my wishlist. 

These Waiting on Wednesday posts are going to come “furiously” over the next few weeks, since a number of 2015 releases I’m looking forward to are coming out this spring. 😉

This Wednesday, I’m waiting on Defiant, the second installment in Karina Sumner-Smith‘s Tower Trilogy. The first book (and Sumner-Smith’s debut) Radiant was one of my favorite reads of 2014. Mostly because of the world that Sumner-Smith has created: It’s a fantastic mix of futuristic / dystopian science fiction with magic, ghosts, and night-walkers – all things I’ve never seen together in one book yet make complete sense here. Plus, I really enjoyed the friendship that developed between Xhea and Shai. So I’m excited to see how the world expands (or rather, starts crumbling to pieces) as Xhea learns more about her magic and the powers that be start coming after the heroines again. This series is worth checking out if genre-bending speculative fiction sparks your interest.

Defiant cover

Defiant (Towers Trilogy, Book #2)
Karina Sumner-Smith
Fantasy / Science Fiction / Dystopian
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Synopsis:

Once, Xhea’s wants were simple: enough to eat, safety in the underground, and the hit of bright payment to transform her gray-cast world into color. But in the aftermath of her rescue of the Radiant ghost Shai, she realizes the life she had known is gone forever.

In the two months since her fall from the City, Xhea has hidden in skyscraper Edren, sheltered and attempting to heal. But soon even she must face the troubling truth that she might never walk again. Shai, ever faithful, has stayed by her side—but the ghost’s very presence has sent untold fortunes into Edren’s coffers and dangerously unbalanced the Lower City’s political balance.

War is brewing. Beyond Edren’s walls, the other skyscrapers have heard tell of the Radiant ghost and the power she holds. Rumors, too, speak of the girl who sees ghosts who might be the key to controlling that power. Soon, assassins stalk the skyscrapers’ darkened corridors while armies gather in the streets. But Shai’s magic is not the only prize—nor the only power that could change everything. At last, Xhea begins to learn of her strange dark magic, and why even whispers of its presence are enough to make the Lower City elite tremble in fear.

Together, Xhea and Shai may have the power to stop a war—or become a weapon great enough to bring the City to its knees. That is, if the magic doesn’t destroy them first.

What book(s) are you waiting on this Wednesday? Are you also looking forward to Defiant?