Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

What we’re reading this week! “A Thousand Pieces of You,” “Codex Alera,” and more!

Howdy all! The shelves are slowly emptying out, and we couldn’t be happier! This week’s set of books are great, and we can’t wait to tell you about them. But first, here’s what we here at Lytherus have been reading this week:

DIANA

51iWOxQ4DsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This week I read A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, by Claudia Gray. I kept hearing great things about it, and the cover is absolutely gorgeous, and the plot (travel between parallel universes and how they change) sounded amazing. So I had very high expectations for this book.
And it definitely didn’t disappoint! I was a bit wary at first because the romance was shaping up to be a love triangle (no spoilers, it’s fairly obvious from the beginning) and I’m not a big fan of romance as the central focus of a book, much less a love triangle. But I thought it was done well, nicely interwoven with the story, and it didn’t detriment the plot itself. The book is just one big adventure that rarely stops, with very good pacing with the occasional, very rare lull. But in those occasions you have great character development as well as a really interesting story. The writing is also good and very easy to read, and I found it a very, very enjoyable read and I could barely put the book down.
This is a definite recommendation to science-fiction (and YA) fans. Can’t wait for the sequel, and to see what Claudia Gray is going to do with the Star Wars franchise this year!

EMMA

M_O_BlackThis week I managed about 2.2 things!  I tried reading Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME for the Hugos, but I haven’t read any of the other books in the series and had to give it up. I really like Butcher’s CODEX ALERA, and I  enjoyed the little of this story I read as far as tone and characters. It just doesn’t really stand on its own.
I did however finish MIME ORDER – another book that doesn’t stand on it’s own! This time I’d read the preceding book, BONE SEASON, and I felt that MIME ORDER did an extraordinary job of continuing the saga. As Paige Mahoney’s story continued to unfold, I felt like the entire series finally clicked for me. The first book just never quite shook the Harry Potter/Divergent feel, but as author Samantha Shannon unfolded her world more and more in MIME ORDER, I began to fall in love with the story and characters in a way I hadn’t during BONE SEASON.
I also read a short story collection called KALEIDOSCOPE which comes out of a small independent Australian press.  Even though KALEIDOSCOPE is marketed as YA, it’s probably the best anthology I’ve read so far this year. Often in books like these, I consider it a win if I read 50% of the stories, but I didn’t skip a single entry in this collection!

LAUREN

 

Seraphina_book_cover_(US_addition)This past week’s book was a re-read for me: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman (I did the audio this time, which was a cool change). This series is the book club series for the month of April, and I wanted to go into the sequel, SHADOW SCALE, as fresh as possible (You should read along with us, and submit your questions for me to ask Rachel in the interview at the end of the month!). At least 4 different times I said out loud, “man, I forgot how much I loved this book!” It really is a wonderfully creative, well-written book with interesting characters and a really cool world. I’m about half-way through the SHADOW SCALE audiobook right now, and so far it’s also great. It’s getting creepy, which is a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. Next up on the docket? I think I’m going to do the audio of RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard, which I’m excited about. Stay tuned!

 

This week we’re lucky enough to have some input from the lovely Erica Cameron, author of SING, SWEET NIGHTINGALE. I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with Erica this week, and when I told her what I was doing she happily added her recent reads into the mix. Enjoy!

ERICA

neverwhereRight now I’m reading Beware the Wild by Natalie Parker. This lyrical, wonderfully creeptastic, Southern Gothic story grabs you from the first sentence, digs in its claws, and drags you toward the finish. I’m still in the middle of this book but I cannot wait to see how it unfolds. I’m expecting a brilliant finish and I’m pretty sure I won’t be disappointed.

Also, I’ve recently been trying to get myself into audiobooks because of how much time I’m going to be spending on the road this year. So far I’ve listened to the BBC production of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Neverwhere was extremely entertaining and imaginative (which is to be expected from Gaiman’s brilliant mind) and I loved listening to the fantastic cast recording. With Verity, it seemed as though the intensity was heightened by listening to the talented narrators. Since the story is told in the form of journal entries, it really was like being inside these girls’ heads while events were unfolding. Kudos to the author and the performers of both books for a job extremely well done. I’d give both audio versions five stars. Highly recommended.
On to the giveaways! This week we have an amazing set of a whopping FIVE books! They’re all middle-grade, and they’re all fabulous:

This is an extra awesome set of books for two different reasons. First, all of them except Beyond Foo are ARCs, so they’re a lot rarer than a regular book. And Beyond Foo? It’s signed by the author! So these are super fun goodies this week. (US only)

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It wouldn’t be a spring cleaning giveaway without a Christopher Paolini goody, so this week we’re throwing in a signed photo:
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We ALSO have a bonus giveaway this week: Erica Cameron’s Sing Sweet Nightingale, which is signed! There’s a catch though: if you win it you’ll have to review it for us to post on the site and share with the world! We want to hear your thoughts on her awesome book, so here’s your chance to be a guest book reviewer on Lytherus! Only enter if you’re interested. (US only)
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Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Dual author interview and giveaway! Tessa Gratton and Natalie C. Parker talk books at SDCC 14!

We’re thrilled to bring you a really great dual author interview with Lytherus favorite Tessa Gratton and awesome newbie author Natalie C. Parker (just in time for Natalie’s book release tomorrow)! We had a blast talking at SDCC 14 about all sorts of bookish things, and we’re really excited to share the interview with you. And as a bonus, we’re going to be giving away copies of both books below.  Check it out!

Tessa Gratton is the author we’ve interviewed the most here at Lytherus, and that’s because we love her. Her United States of Asgard series is fun, fresh, and filled with cool Norse myths that she combines with modern times. The second book in the series, The Strange Maid, continues the awesome that was started in book one with some new characters that are unlike any we’ve ever encountered before. Here’s the summary:

strange maidFans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater will embrace the richly drawn, Norse-influenced alternate world of the United States of Asgard, where cell phones, rock bands, and evangelical preachers coexist with dragon slaying, rune casting, and sword training in schools. Where the president runs the country alongside a council of Valkyries, gods walk the red carpet with Hollywood starlets, and the U.S. military has a special battalion dedicated to eradicating Rocky Mountain trolls.

Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of war, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny

Also, tomorrow marks the release of another book a really enjoyed, Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild. I remember Natalie telling me about this book almost two years ago, when she was hanging out as I got Tessa’s measurements for the Beyond Words author calendar. This book is perfect fall reading, filled with Southern myths, creepy swamps, great characters and an interesting story. Here’s the summary:

beware the wildSouthern Gothic gets a whole new twist in this debut novel, sure to appeal to fans of the New York Timesbestselling Beautiful Creatures series.

The swamp in Sterling’s small Louisiana town proves to have a power over its inhabitants when her brother disappears and no one but Sterling even remembers that he existed. Now Sterling, with the help of brooding loner Heath, who’s had his own creepy experience with the swamp, must fight back and reclaim what—and who—the swamp has taken.

Beware the Wild is a riveting and atmospheric page-turner readers won’t want to miss.

So enjoy the interview as we talk about traditions in stories, locations as characters, writing people who are flawed and more!

Also, since we’re in the fall spirit, we’re giving away a copy of each book to one lucky winner. AND, BONUS, you’ll get some surprise swag from each author! Be sure to enter below. US entries only. Giveaway good until 11:59 pm
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