Book News, Book Reviews, Books, News, Reviews

Need some new reads? Here are our upcoming review books

We here at Lytherus are always getting advanced copies of books sent our way, and we love having the chance to read and review those stories for our readers. Well, there’s been a bit of an influx of books the past few months, so we’re going to be staggering the reviews a bit, but we thought we’d share what books we have coming up in case you want to add them to your TBR pile. And bonus, there may be some extra goodies like exclusive giveaways and interviews!

Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure, by Brandon Mull, published March 14, 2017

In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies….

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

Blood Rose Rebellion, by Rosalyn Eves, published March 28, 2017

“A magical tale unlike anything you’ve read before.” —Bustle.com

“[A] richly imagined 19th-century historical fantasy.” —EW.com, A-

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

“A fast-paced historical fantasy full of magic, romance, and adventure!”—JESSICA DAY GEORGE, New York Times bestselling author of Silver in the Blood

Royal Bastards, by Andrew Shvarts, published May 30, 2017

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children. At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children. Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness. Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead–with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery. The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart–if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

 

Julia Defiant, by Catherine Egan, published June 13th, 2017

Fans of The Rose Society, Graceling, and Six of Crows will thrill to the masterful world-building and fiercely flawed heroine in this heart-pounding follow-up to Julia Vanishes, book two in the Witch’s Child trilogy.
 
“Adventure, murder, romance, intrigue, and betrayal with a 16-year-old heroine that is both fierce and flawed at the same time.” —Hypable.com
 
Julia and a mismatched band of revolutionaries, scholars, and thieves have crossed the world searching for a witch. But for all the miles traveled, they are no closer to finding Ko Dan. No closer to undoing the terrible spell he cast that bound an ancient magic to the life of a small child. Casimir wants that magic—will happily kill Theo to extract it—and every moment they hunt for Ko Dan, Casimir’s assassins are hunting them.
Julia can deal with danger. The thing that truly scares her lies within. Her strange ability to vanish to a place just out of sight has grown: she can now disappear so completely that it’s like stepping into another world. It’s a fiery, hellish world, filled with creatures who seem to recognize her—and count her as one of their own.
So . . . is Julia a girl with a monster lurking inside her? Or a monster wearing the disguise of a girl?
If she can use her monstrous power to save Theo, does it matter?
In this riveting second book in the Witch’s Child trilogy, Catherine Egan goes deep within the heart of a fierce, defiant girl trying to discover not just who but what she truly is.

Praise for Julia Vanishes:

“Egan’s debut novel sparkles. A beautifully rendered world and exquisite sense of timing ensure a page-turning experience.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers will find themselves immediately immersed in the narrative and invested in the fate of Julia, who is both feisty and flawed.” —Booklist, starred review

“Julia’s a wonderful, fully realized heroine. . . . For those readers waiting for the sequel to Marie Lu’s The Rose Society, a well-realized page-turner in the same vein.” —Kirkus
 

Spoonbenders, by Daryl Gregory, published June 27, 2017

“Hilarious, heartfelt and brimming with humanity.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest

Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it’s not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed, but her mind—Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.

Decades later, the Telemachuses are not so amazing. Irene is a single mom whose ear for truth makes it hard to hold down a job, much less hold together a relationship. Frankie’s in serious debt to his dad’s old mob associates. Buddy has completely withdrawn into himself and inexplicably begun digging a hole in the backyard. To make matters worse, the CIA has come knocking, looking to see if there’s any magic left in the Telemachus clan. And there is: Irene’s son Matty has just had his first out-of-body experience. But he hasn’t told anyone, even though his newfound talent might just be what his family needs to save themselves—if it doesn’t tear them apart in the process.

Harnessing the imaginative powers that have made him a master storyteller, Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning, laugh-out-loud new novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.

Gork the Teenage Dragon, by Gabe Hudson, published July 11, 2017

A wacky, exuberant, heartfelt debut novel: the unholy child of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter, and Sixteen Candles—and this time with dragons.

“No good human won’t love this dragon named Gork.” —Dave Eggers

“A one-of-a-kind coming-of-age story.” —Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate

Gork isn’t like the other dragons at WarWings Military Academy. He has a gigantic heart, two-inch horns, and an occasional problem with fainting. His nickname is Weak Sauce and his Will to Power ranking is Snacklicious—the lowest in his class. But he is determined not to let any of this hold him back as he embarks on the most important mission of his life: tonight, on the eve of his high school graduation, he must ask a female dragon to be his queen. If she says yes, they’ll go off to conquer a foreign planet together. If she says no, Gork becomes a slave.

Vying with Jocks, Nerds, Mutants, and Multi-Dimensioners to find his mate, Gork encounters an unforgettable cast of friends and foes, including Dr. Terrible, the mad scientist; Fribby, a robot dragon obsessed with death; and Metheldra, a healer specializing in acupuncture with swords. But finally it is Gork’s biggest perceived weakness, his huge heart, that will guide him through his epic quest and help him reach his ultimate destination: planet Earth.

A love story, a fantasy, and a coming-of-age story, Gork the Teenage Dragon is a wildly comic, beautifully imagined, and deeply heartfelt debut novel that shows us just how human a dragon can be.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer, by Leigh Bardugo, published August 29, 2017

The highly anticipated, entirely new coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Act fast! The first printing includes a poster of Diana! Each first printing in the DC Icons series will have a limited-edition poster—collect them all to create the full image!

Warbringer is straight-up dazzling, every sentence waking up your senses with a ‘Yeah, that’s right, this is BRAND-NEW, SUCKAS!’ punch.”
—LIBBA BRAY, New York Times bestselling author of The Diviners

“Will absolutely satisfy pre-existing fans of Wonder Woman, but it also readily stands alone for non-superhero fans.”
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Wonder Woman is the epitome of a kick-butt heroine, and Bardugo does her justice with aplomb.”
The Bulletin

“Bardugo breathes zippy new life into the story with a twisty plot, whip-smart characters, and her trademark masterful writing.”
—Booklist

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Enjoy your Friday the 13th with a perfect spooky read: Teen Hyde by Chandler Baker!

Friday the 13th is always seen as a creepy, haunted day, regardless of what month it happens to fall in. We here at Lytherus have the perfect way for you to add a little creepiness to this Friday the 13th: check out Teen Hyde by Chandler Baker, which hit shelves earlier this week on January 10th, 2017. This book was not only a good teen horror read but was a believable, complex story of real struggles and difficulties, and I couldn’t put it down.

What’s it about? Here’s the summary:

51OJ9Oo5coLCassidy Hyde is NOT having a good year. Her boyfriend cheated on her, killed her best friend’s date during homecoming, and was then murdered in turn by a serial killer, and that’s without counting the thing that no one knows about. (But Cassidy doesn’t like to think about that.) The point is, anyone would be a little depressed and no one can blame her for looking for a little bit of help. That’s where Sunshine comes in. This new experimental drug makes Cassidy feel like everything is good and she’s the golden girl once again. A little memory loss feels like a small price to pay to get her life back. And the fact that boys are once again going missing (boys who Cassidy does NOT want to remember) has NOTHING to do with anything! Right?

Thus begins Chandler Baker’s contemporary twist on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

This story reminded me of a horrific accident, in the best way possible. I was seriously disturbed and yet I couldn’t look away. This book was a great read, even more than I anticipated. I knew going in that it was going to play on the Jekyll and Hyde theme, but the way the author wrote it up was awesome. Both parts of Cassidy’s characters were complex and had interesting thoughts and motivations.

Also, it’s not only a good horror story, but surprisingly relatable. The main character Cassidy is dealing with some serious issues, issues that too many people can relate to, sadly, and that alone made the story interesting and a page turner. But adding in the element of multiple personalities, and what the other ‘us’ would do, took the book to a definitely creepy level. I don’t want to give too much away, but the issues keep piling on as the story continues, and the momentum speeds up all the way to a well-written end.

I’m so glad I read Teen Hyde. What at first seemed like just a teen horror romp actually delves into some really good issues, and the characters are believable and relatable. It was a quick, easy read, and I’d definitely recommend it for someone who likes getting lost in the horrors of both real life and fantasy.

You can pick up Teen Hyde on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and you can follow author Chandler Baker on twitter!

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Need gift ideas? Here are a bunch of nerdy books that are a perfect fit!

The holidays are upon us, and, if you’re anything like us, sometimes shopping for presents can be overwhelming. Luckily our friends at Thunder Bay Press and Canterbury Classics sent over a few awesome ideas for the book fans among us, and we hope you like them as much a we do!

We’ve also rounded up a number of our favorite dragon-themed books to diversify our holiday recommendations! Whether you’re buying for a classic fantasy fan or dragon enthusiast, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a gift after perusing our list!

We’ve personally enjoyed every product here (and have provided links to accompanying reviews, where available), so take it from us – these are worth snagging!


Throwback to Fantasy and Scifi Classics

Classic Tales of Science Fiction & Fantasy is the perfect present for fans of classic stories. It’s packed with incredible books like A Princess of Mars, The War of the Worlds, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and many more.

51pd1lb1tql-_sx314_bo1204203200_Long before we ventured into outer space or explored the most remote regions of the planet, writers have spun stories of what might lie in those unknown worlds, or what awaits humanity in the future. Classic Tales of Science Fiction & Fantasy ($24.99; ISBN: 978-1-62686-801-4; Canterbury Classics) is a collection of ten novels and short stories that blazed the trail for the popular genre, in a handsome leather-bound edition that is perfect for gift-giving. Works by acclaimed authors such as Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack London, and H. P. Lovecraft will transport the reader to distant places and times—and set the imagination ablaze!

Our thoughts: Guys, this book is gorgeous. With gold gilded edges, blue foiled detail on the illustrated leather cover, and awesome illustrations just inside, it definitely entices the reader to peruse.


Tolkien-Inspired Adult Coloring Books

Next up are some awesome adult coloring books set in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe:

A Bestiary of Tolkien Coloring Book illustrated by Mauro Mazzara and Andrea Piparo ($10.39)

613ylgivgvl-_sy496_bo1204203200_Gorgeous line art begs for color in this compendium of the beasts, monsters, and flora and fauna of Middle-earth. In A Bestiary of Tolkien Coloring ($14.99; ISBN: 978-1-62686-777-2)bring your favorite creatures from the books into sharp detail with your colored pencils or markers. Smaug the dragon, Balrogs, Hobbits, and Elves give you plenty of opportunity for creativity and shading. Turn each of the 90 pages into a precious work of art, in a 10” x 10” format for more coloring area!

Tolkien’s World: A Fantasy Coloring Book by Allan Curless (Author), Mauro Mazzara (Illustrator) – ($10.95)

612wt3avfrl-_sx497_bo1204203200_ This beautiful coloring book—suitable for Tolkien fans of all ages—presents more than 90 pages of famous scenes from Middle-earth, from the Trees of the Valar to Mount Doom; and characters as beloved as Gandalf the wizard, or as feared as Smaug the dragon. Line art illustrating the fantastical world of Middle-earth is readyfor your colorful imagination! Includes scenes and characters from The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings.

Our thoughts: These coloring books are so incredibly cool, and they’re pretty too, with gold foil detail on the illustrated covers. They cover the entire Tolkien universe, and I honestly don’t know which one I like more, the one with just creatures or the one that also shows locations. Either book would be a great addition to the personal collection of any Tolkien fan.


Dragons, Dragons, and More Dragons!

Not sure about you, but we’re always looking for more dragon-related books to read while we wait (im)patiently for Book 5! We’ve included a few of great dragon-y books, and included a few of our favorite fantasy novels (which may or may not feature dragons) for you to buy for yourself or for a friend!

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons ($12.50) 

For true believers only, a lavishly illustrated reproduction of a legendary volume by the world’s most distinguished dragonologist. Don’t let it fall into the wrong hands!

Do you believe in dragons? Now, for the first time, the long-lost research of renowned nineteenth century dragonologist Dr. Ernest Drake is presented in all its eccentric glory, happily bridging the gap between dragon legend and fact. The meticulous Dr. Drake assigns Latin names to various dragon species, ruminates on why dragons are able to speak, speculates on how they could fly, and explains the true purpose of their notorious hoarding habits.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ($6.70)

In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke ($6.70)

With a lonely boy named Ben on board, the brave young dragon Firedrake sets out on a magical journey to find the mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Flying over moonlit lands and sparkling seas, they encounter fantastic creatures, summon up surprising courage–and cross the path of a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge who’s determined to end their quest. Only a secret destiny can save the dragons in this enchanting adventure about the true meaning home.

The Abhorsen/Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix (Book one, $5; Trilogy box set, $27)

Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. . .

Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern series) by Anne McCaffrey (Book one, $7.50; Trilogy box set, $15)

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . .

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (Book one, $9)

Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who’s boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace’s greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.


Big thanks to Thunder Bay Press and Canterbury Classics who provided copies of the first three books!

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Stay in the Halloween spirit with these three books!

November is upon us, and it’s time to put away those skull decorations and vulture wall hangings for another year. But if you’re having a hard time letting the Halloween season go, we’re here to offer some help! Here are three amazing books, covering all ages, that can help keep the spooky spirit of magic alive for a little longer. Snuggle up with a blanket, and don’t forget to leave a light on!

51fpuecqpulMiddle Grade: The Haunting of Falcon House by Eugene Yelchin

A long undisturbed bedroom. A startling likeness. A mysterious friend.

When twelve-year-old Prince Lev Lvov goes to live with his aunt at Falcon House, he takes his rightful place as heir to the Lvov family estate. Prince Lev dreams of becoming a hero of Russia like his great ancestors. But he’ll discover that dark secrets haunt this house. Prince Lev is the only one who can set them free-will he be the hero his family needs?

My thoughts: Great story with a spooky vibe and fun ghost element. There is a lot of creepiness mixed into the descriptions of Falcon House which really brings it to life like another character. And the illustrations are just eerie enough to add an extra scare factor in. I think The Haunting of Falcon House is perfect for the 8-12 age range, but that older readers would also enjoy it (I did!). What makes it even cooler though is the fact that the story is based off of part of a book the author found when he was a kid, a sketchbook of a young Prince Lev, and those original sketches are the ones incorporated into the story. This brings a ring of truth into a fiction story that I really think readers will just eat up. If ghosts are your thing, don’t miss this one!


27969081Young Adult: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

My thoughts: This book is one of my favorite reads of the year. I really enjoyed the characters a lot, especially Alex and Nova, I could connect with them and relate, even in a magical setting. Alex has to deal with not only finding herself like any teen, but the consequences of some seriously disastrous actions. I loved the Bruja magic, the rituals were so awesome, and it felt like a new and fresh breath of magical story in a pretty saturated market. I also really enjoyed all the things that happened in Los Lagos. It is a deliciously creepy place, and all the different things the main characters encountered made for a great adventure. If you’re wanting some witchy magic to last into November, this is definitely a book to check out!


25533076Adult: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

This chilling novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in mainstream horror and dark fantasy.

My thoughts: Guys, this book scared the crap out of me, no joke. All of it was creepy as hell and well written, but some of the scenes in the middle of the book, where the reader is not sure what exactly is happening, they definitely reminded me why I don’t often read horror. The fact that I was staying in a friend’s dark basement at the time of reading probably didn’t help matters either. Seriously though, this book was great, and I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and checked it out. Complex story, interesting characters that you quickly become invested in, and of course a delightfully scary witch. If you want to continue on with the ghoulish vibes of October, definitely check this book out, you won’t be disappointed.

Book Interviews, Book Reviews, Books, Interviews, Reviews

Lytherus book club: Amazing interview with Emmy Laybourne, author of SWEET!

Sweet-cover-9-11-14-3Hey everyone! Due to schedule conflicts this interview happened later than initially planned, but once we sat down with Emmy Laybourne we quickly knew it was well worth the wait! She’s a lovely person, and the interview is interesting, funny, and full of heart.

We talk about the ideas behind SWEET and Emmy’s personal struggles with sugar addiction which led to the idea for the book. In addition to delving into the characters and writing habits Emmy teased us with a nicely detailed description of the novel series she’s currently working on. It sounds amazing and we can’t wait!

To celebrate this interview we’re giving away a copy of SWEET to one lucky winner. The giveaway runs from now until 11:59 EST on Tuesday September 15th. Don’t miss your chance to enter- the form is underneath the interview below. US residents only!

Enjoy the interview!

 

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Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: SWEET by Emmy Laybourne, part 1

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Hey all! I’m excited to be digging a bit deeper into SWEET by Emmy Laybourne in today’s post. I read this book in one sitting, and it was a quick easy read that was fun, funny, creepy as hell, and surprising! I’m covering the first half of the book today, which takes us up to around page 137. Here’s what’s happened that’s worth noting in the first half:

Like a lot of the books I’ve done this year for the book club, this story is told from the point of view of a guy and a girl, Laurel and Tom. Tom is a child star turned interviewer in his late teens, on the ship to cover the events of the revealing of the amazing Solu diet powder. Laurel is the bestie of rich gal Viv who invites Laurel to join her on this amazing cruise.

From the start, I could see what was coming (in the best way possible) Laurel doesn’t try the Solu, and her bestie Viv takes her shares. Tom doesn’t try Solu, as he’s all about getting fit the healthy way. Everyone else on the ship pretty much is head-over-heels in love with this product and what it’s doing to them.

The two protagonists meet at the start, when Laurel pukes on Tom’s shoes during an interview on day 1 thanks to motion sickness, though he noticed how pretty she is right before that happened. And then that night at the club Tom accidentally crashes into Laurel. And then kisses her straight after (for publicity, even though he didn’t really mind). During their next encounter Laurel reams him a new one about it. And so they go, back and forth, for their first few encounters]. And all the while, all the people around them are happily ingesting Solu and losing weight and feeling excited about the results.

Slowly they become more friendly, with Tom making an effort to get to know her and Laurel trying to be herself in the face of a hot celebrity. And during this we start to see a shift in those around Laurel and Tom. Viv is more irritable. Rude. Just generally off. Tom’s manager is more brusque than usual. People start getting a bit aggressive involving Solu, wanting more. Laurel notices Viv craving the snacks and describing Solu like an addict. And everyone seems to be partying harder too. And then Viv starts to look sickly, hollow and ragged. She passes out. Tom carries her to their room, where they tuck her into bed and Laurel and Tom end up kissing.

That’s where we leave off today, but let me tell you, there was no way I was going to stop reading right there!

Emmy has created some fantastic voices with these two main characters.I love Laurel. She’s a practical, level-headed gal who can totally hold her own. And Tom, I love his self-awareness, being famous but not really loving all it brings. They feel relatable and their reactions felt very realistic. It’s pretty great. I also love the plot she’s set up. I can see generally what’s coming, and I anticipate it with glee. I cannot wait to see how she plays out the story within the confines she’s created. They’re isolated from communication for a few days (Tom’s forced to pre-record a bunch of stuff at one point) so no one outside of the ship is going to know what’s happening. And something’s definitely going to be happening!

Stay tuned soon for part 2! We’re also lucky enough to have an awesome guest post from Emmy which I’ll be posting in the near future. Don’t miss it. And don’t forget to post any questions you might have for the author in the comments or on our social media feeds!

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: SWEET by Emmy Layborne

For our June book selection we’re changing things up a bit and are tackling a horror book! SWEET is the new book from Emmy Laybourne, author of the MONUMENT 14 series, and it is seriously creepy. Horror isn’t usually my thing, but I read this book in one sitting, it was so good!

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Here’s the official summary:

sweetIn order to launch a new diet sweetener called Solu, the drug’s manufacturers have decided to host a week-long juggernaut on a luxury cruise ship.

Tom and Laurel, two teens who for very different reasons decide not to take Solu, watch as the people around them are overjoyed at first – the product works! They’re losing weight! But the drug is highly addictive, and when the people in charge try to ration out the Solu, Tom and Laurel watch in growing horror as the passengers go from miffed, to mutinous, to murderous.

Will Tom and Laurel make it off the ship alive? And how will they warn the main-land about Solu’s deadly side effects?

We will be dissecting this book into two different posts throughout the month, tackling the first and second halves. We’re also excited to feature an exclusive interview with Emmy at the end of the month, along with a giveaway of SWEET. Stay tuned for more posts, and be sure to read this amazing book along with us!