TBR of the Week: The Silver Skull, by Anne Renwick (The Elemental Web Chronicles #2)

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Hello, lovelies! Its Sunday, so welcome to another edition of the TBR of the Week! Today I chose a book I started last week, called The Silver Skull, by Anne Renwick =D I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review – it will be up over here sometime around January 27th, but I want to speed my ARC reads, haha!

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27 Days to Midnight, from Kristine Kruppa

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Hi, there! I’m back with a review for a book that destroyed me. Seriously, this book just grabbed my heart, squeezed, stomped on it and left me. Just like that. I’m talking about the painful standalone 27 Days to Midnight, from Kristinne Kruppa!

I’ve received my copy from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

27 days to midnight

summary

Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.

Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.

Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.

In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Did I mentioned that this book destroyed me? Seriously, it did. The notion of having your exact lifetime engraved in a watch was so romantic and so creative! I loved the world building, the characters, the narrative style, the humor, the drama, the steampunk element, EVERYTHING! I fell in love with both Dahlia and Farren and I couldn’t get enough of them. The end was so perfect that led me to tears in my second confirmed case of tears due over-perfection. Five stars is not even close to watch this book really deserves: A MILLION INFINITE STARS!

its so beautiful

The narrative style was third person with switching points of view. We follow Dahlia and Farren most of the time, but we can also see the story from the POV of other characters whose identifies will be kept a secret due spoilers. Despite being a mystery book, the switching is very well done and helps the reader to have all the pieces to put together. However, Kruppa waits until the very last moment to give us the glue, haha! You saw what I did there.

sheldon laughing tbbt

Kruppa’s writing also was wonderful, as the book had a good pace, was packed with feelings, a lot of humorous moments to break the dramatic and desperate scenario of both Dahlia and Farren, and a fluid language that made the reader fly through the pages without noticing it.

The plot was BRILLIANT AND A WORK OF ART! Ahem, ok, I’m controlled. I think. Maybe not. Let’s move on? Hahaha!

I loved how Kruppa slowly eases the reader into her world, without rushes or endless pages of explanations. Each time that she switches POVs, the author manages to bring her own world in a new way, on the way in which that particular character sees it, giving more importance to some elements over others. For example, when we follow Farren’s mind, the nature and the freedom are the main themes, because those are the things that matter for him. Isn’t this magical?

As I already ran myself over, let’s get deep on characters, haha! Talking about Farren: he is one of the sweetest boys ALL TIME and made it to my bookish boyfriends list with ease since his first scene. I love smooth talkers, oops! Also, come on: the guy is gorgeous. You have to give me a break, haha!

he's really really hot

I loved how Kruppa portrayed his struggle to accept his eminent death and how not okay he was about it despite the brave face he put on. Farren gives value to every breath that he has and he honestly loves to be alive, so it makes us think. Would he be like that if he didn’t know how much time he had?

Oh the other hand, we have Dahlia. She didn’t know how much time she had until the incident with her father and she lives as if life isn’t a present, but a granted deal. A scene that really dug on my heart was right on the beginning, when a street lady freaks out because her watch is about to stop and asks Dahlia for help. Dahlia has a very immature and selfish behavior towards the woman and never gave her a second thought. I was so shocked then that I swore I’d hate Dahlia. Well, I didn’t know how much she would grow as a person during her adventure or how much Farren would change her for good. I just wished Dahlia had remembered that woman at some point after her change, to seal it, but I guess she doesn’t need closure as I do, haha!

Also, I thought it amazing of Kruppa to come up with a heroine that wasn’t white. YA books are notoriously in need of more diversity of gender and race without the big drama behind being anything other than straight and white. Double round of applause for Kruppa, that managed to have a non-white heroine and not make a big deal about minorities at the same time!! ❤

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I fell hard for the villain, as he was crazy, sexy and murderous at the same time, haha! Oh, and beautiful. I love beautiful, crazy and very fictional men on those circumstances ;D And he took the final steps into the madness hole for love. I find this so romantic, in a dramatic and gothic way! I may need therapy.

wee i guess i can't hide my crazy

Everything has been wonderful, everybody is happy, the book is perfect and made me cry and I need more. Cool, nice. HOWEVER, I did have some problems with it. As I mentioned above, I’m one of those people that need closure in life, of any sort. It just needs to close, seriously. And there were many loose ends on this book AND THE END SHOT ME IN THE HEART AND KICKED ME IN THE BACK WHEN I FELL ON THE FLOOR. As it is a standalone book, I got really angry and cried more, as I’ll never see this characters again in new situations. I may re-read and find new bits, it’s true, but nothing major. Not straight forward answers. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LIVE WITH THIS.

i'm depressed I need a cookie

Also, I didn’t like the fact that the chapters had titles. THEY WERE HUGE SPOILERS D: Sometimes, this works in books. This isn’t one of those cases.

but i have a sweet and forgiving nature endora bewitched

Okay, I’m good now. Let’s go back to the place where this book is all perfect and move to the cover, because I decided to always make a meaningful comment on the covers now. (#what) The cover was what drawn me to this book in the first place. Then I read the summary and was done for, haha! I usually am not a fan of illustrations, but this one was so delicate and romantic and mysterios AND BEAUTIFUL that I couldn’t bring myself to be a bore about it. I just want to hug it, haha! Also, the golden details really matched the blue shades. This one made it to my personal list of beautiful covers ❤ (Yes, I have lists for EVERYTHING. Judge me)

However, despite the dramatic and brilliant title, this book may be misjudged for a children’s book easily, especially the ebook version in which you can’t see how long it is. Just saying.

Now, I took the liberty of selecting some of the most awesome quotes in the book for you to understand how cool it is 🙂

“Dahlia tried to ignore him (as much as anyone could ignore an eight-foot-tall cyborg). She was too busy putting together a few choice phrases to use in her argument once he [the cyborg] quieted down.”

~*~

“The physical wounds were infinitely more manageable than the emotional ones.”

~*~

“He was back at the beginning, more alone than he’d been before he knew what it was like to not be lonely.”

~*~

And this killer dialogue:

Farrren: You okay, sweetheart?

Dahlia: Yes. I was just thinking.

Farren: Ah. Dangerous stuff.

Dahlia: Dangerous, yes, but necessary. It’s a pastime you might want to consider.

Farren: Ouch.

~*~

If you ask me, the strongest points on this book are the steampunk element, the characters construction and the humor behind it 🙂

Overall, this book had some flaws, but nothing that shadowed its perfection. Kruppa made a hell of a job here and I find it hard to believe that this is her debut novel. If you like steampunk, adventure and heart shattering books, you need 27 Days to Midnight in your life. NOW.

5star

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Thanks for reading my review and thanks so much to YA Bound Book Tours for my review copy and spot on this tour!

assinatura

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Book Blitz: 27 Days to Midnight, by Kristine Kruppa

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Hi, there! Welcome to the book birthday of a very potentially awesome steampunk book: 27 Days to Midnight, by Kristine Kruppa! Brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours 🙂

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27 Days to Midnight
by 
Kristine Kruppa
Genre: YA Steampunk Adventure
Release date: May 3rd, 2016
Giant Squid Books

summary

Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.

Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.

Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.

In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out. 

goodreads iconpurchase links

You can find 27 Days to Midnight in both paperback and ebook formats 😀

Amazon paperbackAmazon kindle

the author

Author Photo_credit Sunny Wong,

Kristine Kruppa is a mechanical engineer, writer, and world traveler. Her days are spent designing cool new car parts, but her evenings are filled with writing and cats. She has traveled solo to seventeen countries on five continents. Her other hobbies include hunting for the perfect cup of coffee, exploring used book stores, and accidentally climbing mountains.

To keep up with her adventures, follow Kristine on Twitter @kskruppa.

 TwitterGoodreads

giveaway

There will be three lucky winners in this giveaway!

  • Two lucky INTERNATIONAL winners will take home each a digital copy of 27 Days to Midnight;
  • One lucky US resident winner will take home a paperback copy of 27 Days to Midnight!

Regardless of the prize that you are aiming for, if you desire to enter this giveaway, just click here and good luck: GIVEAWAY! 🙂

That’s it, thanks for reading! I’m crossing my fingers now to be selected for the blog tour, haha! 😉

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BOOK BLITZ + GIVEAWAY: Steamsworn, by Eric R. Asher (The Steamborn #3)



Hi, there! Welcome to a slightly different book blitz, haha! I’m always complaining on my Instagram or offline life that I read few steampunk and sci-fi books, and our star of the day is a steampunk series that managed to catch my eye, haha! I loved my previous steampunk experiences (All Men of Genius and Sigmund Shaw), so let’s give this series a chance! Directly from Xpresso Book Tours, I present you with the third volume of The Steamborn series, by Eric R. Asher: Steamsworn!

Steamsworn
Eric R. Asher
(The Steamborn Series #3)
Publication date: April 5th, 2016
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult

The world dies in war only to be reborn. It is the way of things, and always will be.

Forged in the Deadlands crucible, and armed with the knowledge of their true enemy, Jacob, Alice, and their allies bring the fight back to Ancora. They’ll liberate their homeland, or die trying.

The wounds cut deep in their darkest hour, but in the end, vengeance will light their path.

All mystery, right? Haha! You can find Steamsworn on both paperback and ebook formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble 😀

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Previous books in the series

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And we follow tradition and have an excerpt! ❤

EXCERPT

“Whoa,” she said, jumping away from the burst of heat and flame. “That went up a little faster than I expected.” She reached the edge of the rack with her toe and forced it beneath the boiler.

Another rumble and crack echoed from the corridor behind them. Jacob turned around in time to see Drakkar come running back into the station, his cloak rising in the breeze behind him.

“Scythe Beetles!”

Jacob swung the air cannon off his back and racked the slide.

“Jacob, Alice!” Samuel’s voice rang with authority. “Fall back with Smith. If you need to use the cannon, use it at the last second. You don’t want to injure a Scythe Beetle. You want to kill it.”

Drakkar’s arm snapped out to the side, and his sword unfolded with a rapid series of clicks.

There was a calamity behind the Cave Guardian, and it grew louder with every second. Jacob and Alice scrambled off the railcar. Jacob paused and then ran to the pump to turn it off. The last thing they needed was wet fuel bars.

Alice made it to Smith ten steps before Jacob did. Samuel and Drakkar set up a loose line between the railcar and a steeper section of the shattered wall.

Smith spoke into his transmitter. “Mary! Get the chaingun down here now!

Her static-laced reply came back in an incoherent burst.

“Chaingun! Now!”

Mary cursed and began shouting orders before she stopped transmitting.

Drakkar had the best view of the corridor, and everyone tensed when he said, “Here they come.”

The iron gate in the stone hall collapsed at the first impact. The metal rattled and screeched as it was twisted and trampled. The creatures were not very fast, but once they were moving, nothing seemed to stop them.

They ran on three-toed claws, the spikes on their legs tearing through stone and rending metal as they crashed onto the platform. Jacob watched in awe and horror as the front most beetle paused, and its back split open. A pair of leathery wings extended from beneath the carapace and gleamed in the rising moonlight.

Bellow, you can read more about the author, Eric!

Eric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

And now to the giveaway!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will be able to choose a SIGNED copy of any book in The Steamborn Series!

To join me on this opportunity, just click the rafflecopter link bellow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s it, thanks so much for reading! And thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for the blitz 😀

assinatura

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BOOK COVER REVEAL: Whispers of Bedlam Asylum, by Mark C. King!

Hello, there! Good morning and good Tuesday for you 😀 I have excellent news!

Mark C. King, author of the AWESOME book Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Novel [review here!], has just revealed the title and cover for his upcoming novel, sequel to Sigmund Shaw’s book!

I’m especially excited for and proud of this book, as I was one of Mark’s beta readers and gave him the last little nudge for this title to go out as it did, so Whispers of Bedlam Asylum already is a huge part of my life, one that I’m very thankful for! ❤

Without further ado, here we have the cover!

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SO. BEAUTIFUL. I can’t wait for this book to hit the stores :DD Mark believes Whispers of Bedlam Asylum shall arrive to our hands in late February, 2016. IT’S ALMOST HERE, PEOPLE!

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Oh, by the way, Whispers of Bedlam Asylum also has a Goodreads profile and an official blurb, folks!

There are no boundaries in madness…

Few places on earth have as dark a reputation as Bedlam Asylum in turn of the century London. Whispered rumours of brutality, fear, and hopelessness turn out to be only the beginning of its cruelty. One man is trying to protect his family by uncovering the darkest of Bedlam’s hidden secrets. One woman is following in her late husband’s footsteps to try and help those that can’t help themselves.

They will learn that finding what you are looking for does not make one prepared to face it.

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I need this now. Right now.

That’s it! Thanks for reading and sorry for making a scene, but I’m so excited, haha! Do you like suspense/steampunk novels??

assinatura

Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure, from Mark C. King

Hi, there! The review today is about a steampunk book! I love this genre, but I’ve had only read one steampunk book so far in my life (All Men of Genius, from Lev A. C. Rosen). I was so happy when author Mark C. King reached out to me and sent me his book, Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure, in Exchange for an honest review! Thanks again 😀

from my Instagram :)
from my Instagram 🙂

Story

In a steampunk London, Sigmund Shaw is a common young man – almost. Born into a middle class family, it was his duty to look out for his sister Alex after his father’s death. As a couch driver, his earnings not always were enough to put food into their table, so Sigmund started to master another skill: stealing. However, there’s a tiny detail: Sigmund would only steal things that their owners disliked or that wouldn’t be missed. That agreement with himself allowed taking care of Alex and later, of his niece, Sarah, until Alex’s second marriage.

Sigmund loved his calm and now honest life, but his brother-in-law, Jamison, presents a new challenge to him. Sarah was born paraplegic and never was able to walk. Alex and Sigmund took her to several doctors and the answer was always the same: there wasn’t a solution for Sarah. Jamison, through a college, heard of a Italian doctor with new techniques that could be a chance for Sarah; however, the appointment with the man was extremely expansive and, even with Jamison steady income, he wasn’t noble or a rich man. To pay for the appointment, Sigmund would have to steal something and fast, before the doctor left London.

There were no second thoughts in Sigmund’s mind; it was his dream to see Sarah walking. Desperate, he starts to search frantically, trying to find something very valuable that wasn’t needed by its others anymore. After a scheme to steal a priceless necklace from a hotel’s vault, Sigmund finds himself trapped in a political web that could change England’s destiny – maybe even the whole word. The question is how far will Sigmund go to help his country? How far would he go for a cure to Sarah?

Intense business, guys! Haha!

Analysis

Just reminding that those are my impressions and opinion as a reader, ok? 🙂

I loved this book. It was such an intense reading, full of action, adventure, fantastical machines and a breathtaking villain! It took me so much time to understand what was going on and who was behind it, which was very cool. Each time I thought I had figured the book out, there was a twist and I was left so lost, haha! I loved Sigmund, Chief-inspector Holmes, Sarah, Harry, everything! 5 stars with pride!

I really enjoyed the narrative pace. It was fast, but without overlook details, it was very much the other way around, actually. King was very meticulous in his descriptions, always worried to leave the reader insert inside Sigmund’s skin, despite the book’s narrative being in third person in several perspectives – which was great!! Without holes on the plot ❤ I mean, there is a little one, but I have privileged information and I know this hole will be the queue for the second book, so I’m not counting that one, haha!

Talking about the plot itself, I found it brilliant and amazing. As I said, there is several twists, mystery, adventure, rich descriptions, wonderful characters. It’s the kind of book that you finish and want to start it over again, to see if you’d have guessed things faster, haha! Nothing seems obvious and I just wasn’t more fearful for Sigmund’s life because, again, I already knew the second book was in the oven. One thing that the journalist in me really enjoyed about King’s writing was that he was worried in back grounding, even that just a bit, every character that was minimal relevant on the book. I love learning about people, what makes them who they are, so I was amazed by this. Despite Sigmund’s perspective being the main one, there are several characters that are followed through the book and it was very good to complement the story, as Sigmund was the last person to know a lot, haha! I tend to prefer third narrative books because of that 🙂

In matters of characters, I loved the humanity in them all. Of course, Sigmund is already another bookish boyfriend – I need to write down this list, haha! – as he was perfect in his flaws. I judge many of his actions through the book, but I can’t even imagine him doing anything differently because that’s who he is: a kind and good-hearted person until the end. I have no special feelings for Alex, I loved Sarah and think her very fortunate to have someone as Sigmund watching over her and wanted to personally kill Jamison, haha! I can’t say why without spoiling you, sorry 🙂 As for Harry, Sigmund’s partial stepfather, well, he has a place on my heart. A strong point here are the villains, as they were too human in their desires. Every move was coordinated by greed and vanity, in a search for a “clean” world. I only thought Richard Sutton forced, as his manners were too calm for certain situations. Anyway, nothing is perfect.

For sure the strongest points in the book are the humanity in King’s characters and the action through the story. It’s not something bothersome and obvious, necessary to the plot, it’s just natural; you feel the time against you as well as Sigmund does. I love this kind of book that makes me lose my subway station (#truestory), that makes me forget that I need to analyze and weigh details. It’s a great sensation!

Overall, I can’t hold anything against King. A complex and vivid plot, very human characters filled with stories of their own, an thrilling adventure; that’s Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure. If you are into action/mystery/steampunk, this is a must-read for you ❤

5star

That’s all! Thanks for reading my review and thank you again, Mark, for sending me a wonderful book!

assinatura