Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine to spotlight upcoming book releases that we're excited about.

This week's pick
Release date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Goodreads description
From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

Victoria Schwab doing a parallel universe story with different versions of London? Count me in! I can't wait to see the different versions of London and meet Kell and Delilah. I love reading about girl thieves with a taste for adventure. What do you think of the description?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week's topics is about stories that get us in the Halloween spirit

I loooove Halloween, even though we don't celebrate it here! I've always loved spooky and creepy things (I read my first vampire book when I was 8 and my favorite stories were about ghosts and witches), so here are 5 books and 5 movies to get you in the spooky mood :)


Nevermore, by Kelly Creagh
It's Poe-inspired and incredibly eerie! Also, Varen is one of my favorite book boyfriends.

Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake
Murdering ghost. Ghost-hunting teenager. With a knife. And plenty of snark.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Genevieve Tucholke
Modern-day gothic including a small town, an old manor, haunted mines, and a boy who is not what he seems.

The Shining, by Stephen King
I don't think this one needs any introduction. But the book scared me even more than the movie. I think the nest of wasps and those hedge animals in the  labyrinth were some of the creepiest parts.

Blackbirds, by Chuck Wendig
Great mixture of gross and psychological horror. Miriam Black is one tough cookie.

I've highlighted many of these before but I just can't help myself when it comes to a great creepy or eerie story...


The Nightmare Before Christmas (duh)
This one is a classic. And you can watch it on both Halloween and Christmas! The music is so beautiful and I just love Tim Burton's style. I also wanted to include Corpse Bride on this list but since Sleepy Hollow is another Burton movie, I thought that'd be a bit overkill.

The Lost Boys
Sleep all day. Party all night. It's good to be a vampire! It has music by Bauhaus. It's funny. It has young Kiefer Sutherland. It has the Frog Brothers who steal holy water from a baptism to fight off evil vamps (as seen above). This movie may be two years older than me but it's pretty awesome.

photo found here
American Horror Story
I've seen Murderhouse, Asylum, what's out for Freak Show so far and the first few episodes of Coven. So far, I like Murderhouse and Asylum best. And I was definitely plenty freaked out during both of them! Mostly though I just think the actors and the storytelling are amazing. I also love how each season is completely independent from the others but since you've got part of the same cast, you automatically draw comparisons between the different characters an actor has played.

Donnie Darko
This one's a classic. It's not just eerie, it actually features Halloween. And the idea of costumes. And time travel. Sleepwalking. The end of the world. I really need to watch it again.

Sleepy Hollow
Great mixture of creepy and funny. I just love seeing Johnny Depp faint in this one and bumble his way through Ichabod Crane's investigations XD When I read the novella this is actually based on, I was really disappointed. The movie is so much better.

So what do you guys think of my picks? Have you seen/read any of them? I'm also curious about your picks so that I can discover more creepy reads and movies :) Anything that makes me feel like this on Halloween would be great:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: Cranes and Painted Faces at the Japanese Circus

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

This week was all ebooks for me... I'm still waiting for at least one hardcover that I ordered to arrive. My weeks was generally rather uneventful, but the weather was mostly nice, with a clear autumn sky. It's gotten cold though and I'm glad the heating's finally been turned on in our building. I also had a pretty fruitful writing session yesterday - my hope is to get my current WIP up to 15k words before the start of NaNoWriMo and it's looking good. Anyhow, here's what I got:

For review

Owl and the Japanese Circus, by Kristi Charish

Thanks so much Kristi for setting me up with it! In short, this book is about an archeology student turned antiques thief who has a vampire problem and makes a business deal with a dragon in Vegas to get rid of it. Obviously, this sounds awesome to me and I'm very excited to read it!

Bought as ebooks

Painted Faces, by L.H. Cosway - currently free on Amazon
Crane, by Stacey Rourke
Get Bent, by C.M. Stunich
Rae of Hope, by W.J. May

Painted Faces is set in Dublin and it's about a young woman who begins to fall for her neighbor, who is a cabaret performer - in drag. She's intrigued. So am I.
Crane is a re-writing of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, featuring a female descendant of Ichabod Crane, the Horseman, and Rip Van Winkle.
Get Bent is the second book in the Hard Rock Roots series. I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with book 1, but after the way it ended I knew that I'd get to the second one eventually.
Rae of Hope sounds like a typical YA paranormal. Girl with dark family history comes to boarding school, must receive powers on 16th birthday. But it's been recommended to me and I'm still a sucker for those boarding school stories. Also, it was free on Amazon when I got it.

That's it for this week :) Have you read any of these? And what's new on your shelves this week?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: A Cold Legacy, by Megan Shepherd

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine to spotlight upcoming book releases that we're excited about.

This week's pick

Release date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Goodreads description
After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.

I was really reluctant to start this series for some reason, but when I did it blew me away. I love how Shepherd combines The Island of Doctor Moreau, Jekyll & Hyde as well as other classics in a tale that is set in the 1890s but still so, so relevant in today's world! I can't wait to see what she does with Frankenstein and read more about Juliet, Edward, and Montgomery.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: newish series I want to start

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week is all about great series that started within the past 2 or so years that we haven't started yet but would love to curl up with

My top ten are in no particular order.

Kendare Blake - Antigoddess
I loved her Anna Dressed in Blood duology and I've always had a thing for Greek mythology and the deaths of gods. I'm sure Kendare gave this one her very own spin. And aren't the new covers pretty?

Josin L. McQuein - Arclight
I actually have the first one on my Kindle but haven't gotten to it yet. I wanted to take a pass on that series at first, but so many bloggers whose taste I trust loved it, so I'm going to give it a try.

Victoria Aveyard - Red Queen
I've got an ARC of that one from Edelweiss and I'm very curious about it! I'll read it closer to release. It's a bout a world where the color of your blood (and its powers) determines your social standing. Its planned to be a trilogy.

Romily Bernard - Find Me
Can't resist the smart hacker kids from the wrong side of the tracks. I just got the prequel and will hopefully get to the series soon.

Marie Rutkoski - The Winner's Curse
I want this one so badly, and now the next one is already almost out. It sounds so unique! I loved Rutkoski's writing style in The Shadow Society and I hope that will be true for this series as well.

Shannon Messenger - Let the Sky Fall
I've wanted this one for so long and thought I'd buy for sure once the paperback is out but it never happened. It sounds like something different. I haven't read about storms and air elementals much.

Amie Kaufmann & Megan Spooner - These Broken Stars
Spaceships. Abandoned planets. Survival. A romance where the characters can't stand each other at the beginning because their lives up to then have been so different. Also, the reviews have been amazing. Definitely buying this one once the paperback is out.

Kasie West - Pivot Point
Parallel worlds. A girl who can see the different outcomes of futures depending on her decisions... and pick the one she wants. Do you know how often I've wished I could do that?

Alex London - Proxy
This one is about a dystopian society and picks up on the figure of the 'whipping boy'. When the wealthy guy screws up, the less-wealthy proxy is beaten. But then stuff happens and the two sides of the spectrum have to work together...
P.S.: Me is not happy about the cover change...

Amy McCulloch - The Oathbreaker's Shadow
This one is about a world where you tie a knot for every promise you make. If you break an oath, it bursts into flames and scars you as an oathbreaker for life. You're shunned and have to live out in the desert.The protagonist has always had one knot tied around his wrist, but no one knows what promise it represents. So when he unwittingly breaks it, it's run or die.
Doesn't this just sound like such an awesome concept?! I need this one in my life!

It was actually kinda hard to come up with a ton ten for this topic. So many series I want to start reading are older than from the last two years, and there are a lot where I've already read the first book and just never got around to continuing it. Have you read any of the series I've featured? Do they sound up your alley? Also, please link me up to your own post :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Get-To-Know-Me Sunday: 20 things you might not know about me

Hey guys, it's been a very long time since I've done one of these! But I've seen this list of questions on a couple other blogs, among others that of the wonderful Micheline at Lunar Rainbows, and I've decided to fill it out myself. I'm not officially tagging anyone, but if you've done/want to do these questions you're welcome to link me up :)

Question 1: How tall are you?
164 or 165 centimeters. I don't always measure at the same height *shrug* I guess I tend to stoop? Anyway, I think that's either 5'4'' or 5'5''.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?
I don't have any talent that I'd call or keep hidden...

Question 3: What's your biggest blog related pet-peeve?
Reviews that are basically a one-paragraph summary + 2 short, non-specific sentences about how they liked it. Not very helpful. Also, crammed sidebars, glittery stuff that blinks at me, lots of different fonts with different colors.

Question 4: What's your biggest non-blog related pet-peeve?
Slow-walking people who take up the whole sidewalk so I can't push past. People who don't clean up after themselves in the kitchen. And never call me 'babe' or 'baby'. You won't like the consequences.

Question 5: What's your favorite song?
They tend to change and I love a lot of songs! But here are the videos of a few that I find myself listening to a lot lately:

And if Bring Me The Horizon is a bit too metalcore for you, I can give you this beautiful acoustic Death Cab For Cutie song:

Ever since watching the movie Only Lovers Left Alive last December, I've also been obsessed with Red Eyes & Tears by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club:

... and to round it off, the new Motionless In White album just came out and I'm listening to it a lot while writing, so here's their newest single. Again, this might not be for everyone...

Question 6: What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours?
I haven't been on Etsy much lately... when I go, it's usually to shop either for cool steampunk stuff people make or for fandom-related things that I can't get anywhere else here. There's no particular shop I buy from.

Question 7: What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone?
I obviously read a lot, but lately I've also started watching more movies and TV series again (I'm looking at you, American Horror Story!). My sister and I (we're roomies) also got an Xbox early in the year and I've been kinda obsessed with the Assassin's Creed series.

Question 8: What's your favorite junk food?
I hate junk food. On some days, the smell alone is enough to make me nauseous.
That being said, I don't consider ice cream and chocolate junk food. Because here it's made of real food instead of weird processed chemistry crap.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?
I don't have pets in my apartment in Zurich because I'd feel bad about leaving them alone all day and I also can't afford the food right now. But I really miss our family cat back in the countryside at my parent's house! He's such a cutie. I also grew up around my mum's two iceland ponies and was horse-riding pretty much from birth until quit at 14.

I love this little guy :)
Question 10: What are your favorite fiction and nonfiction books?
Ugh oh god I hate this question >.< How am I supposed to pick only one?! That being said, I love all of Holly Black's books, everything I've read by Neil Gaiman, and I devoured Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy earlier this year.

As for non-fiction, I don't read much of it. I read a lot of articles etc. for my studies, but nothing I'd consider a favorite. But there's a book by a Swiss author about the time she moved to San Francisco with her family for a few years before coming back that I really enjoyed. It's called Flowers in Your Hair, by Milena Moser.

Question 11: What's your favorite beauty product?
Compact powder and eyeliner.

Question 12:  When were you last embarrassed? What happened?
I don't get embarrassed that often anymore. Usually it's just small things that I can laugh off. It was bad when I was a teen though.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Coke Zero.

Question 14: What's your favorite movie?
Gah >.< Same as the books. I love a lot of horror-ish, dark movies like The Crow or Donnie Darko, but I also love Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, various book adaptations, and I have this obsession with 80s teen movies like Heathers, Breakfast Club, or Ferries Bueller's Day Off.

Question 15: What were you in highschool: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?
The high school equivalent in Switzerland is quiet different and doesn't form the same types of cliques. For instance there are no school sports teams, which gets rid of the jocks and cheerleaders. That being said, I guess I'd have been the nerdy emocore girl. You know, all black, band shirts, backpack full of buttons and patches of various band logos.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Tough one. I love London and during my time in the US I also fell for San Francisco. I think it's a wonderful city to be a reader or writer in. But I also really like it here in Zurich, even though I know that at some point I'll have to emigrate if I want to work in the field I studied.

Question 17: PC or Mac?
PC all the way. The only apple product I own is my iPod. I don't even have an iTunes account.

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?
My love life is pretty much nonexistent. Basically I just never fall for anybody *shrug*. I haven't had so much as a crush in 4 years.

Question 19: Favorite celebrity?
Erm. Jennifer Lawrence is awesome, obviously. I also really like Tom Hiddleston. He seems like such a genuine, intelligent, and dignified person. And he still also does silly stuff and doesn't take himself too seriously.
I have endless respect for Davey Havok, the singer of AFI. His lyrics have done so much for me in the past almost 10 years and inspired me to be a better writer.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly wish you were best friends with?
Micheline from Lunar Rainbows! I really really hope we can meet some time in the future, maybe at BEA!

That's it :) Comments on anything or questions are welcome! Do we have anything in common? (Taste in music, maybe? It's so hard to find anyone I share book AND music taste with!). Also as I said above, feel free to do the survey yourself or link me up to your post if you've already done it :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: devils and stormdancers are wicked within and lie with every breath

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase all the books we got in the past week. Those can be bought, won, gifted, for review, borrowed, print or ebooks... no matter, just share what you got :)

I didn't do an StS last week because there wasn't much new to show off, so this is my haul of the past 2 weeks.

For review from NetGalley
 Every Breath, by Ellie Marney

I finished this one this morning and it's one of my favorite contemporaries of the year! I loved it so much, I had to order myself a pretty hardcover immediately. Review to come next week.

Bought in print
Heaven's Net is Wide, by Lian Hearn
Last Blood, by Kristen Painter
The Wicked Within, by Kelly Keaton

I read Lian Hearn's other books in this series as a teen, but this one was (I think) never published in German and thus never made it on my shelf. It's a prequel to the rest of the series and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in that world again!
The Wicked Within is another one I'm really looking forward to, especially because it almost didn't happen (the publisher had only bought the first two books and for a while it looked like we'd never get to see the story end).

Bought as ebooks

Die For Me, by Amy Plum
Lie For Me: Griff's Story, by Romily Bernard
Stormdancer, by jay Kristoff
Broken Symmetry, by Dan Rix
The Devil's Reprise, by Karina Halle
Red at Night, by Katie McGarry
Yeah, I went a bit crazy with the one-click option. But I've wanted to read Die For Me and Stormdancer for years, and both were finally on sale even from my location, so I had to have them. Broken Symmetry entranced me with that cover as well as the description: it's a sci-fi thriller about a girl who can step through mirrors into a parallel world, and it was free when I got it. I'm also really looking forward to the Katie McGarry novella! I haven't read anything by her in about a year.

As for what else is going on this week: I posted my review of The Fall by Bethany Griffin yesterday, and my giveaway for the Spooktacular Hop is still running, in case you haven't entered yet :)

What do you think of my haul? Have you read any of them? And what did you get in the past week? Link me up! :)