Saturday, November 6, 2010

Book Review: Watersmeet

I bought WATERSMEET by Ellen Jensen Abbott a while back since I was going to be meeting her. She was very sweet and very happy to meet her readers. I started the book before the signing and put it down a few chapters in. That was months ago. And I finally picked it back up the other day.

And please don't think that that has anything to do with the book. It's me... 

I really enjoyed this story. I was a bit hesitant and worried that I wouldn't. Abisina leaves her home in search for Watersmeet (it took me a long time to figure out why this place was named Watersmeet, despite how obvious it was) and her father. In her home, she is an outcast because of her dark hair, and she is only saved because her mother is a great healer. The southern part of the country is a place where humans hate centaurs, dwarves, fauns... and even those of them that don't look like Vran. It is a place where differences are not tolerated. After Charach arrives, chaos begins, and Abisina's journey begins. 

Now why was I worried that I would not enjoy the book? Abisina's journey begins by chapter three or four, and I've found that I'm not much a fan of high fantasy books about a big, long journey. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Along the way Abisina befriends dwarves, is put in danger by centaurs, and watches fauns dance. And when she finally reaches her destination, she learns things are not as she grew up believing. 

There are a lot of similarities with this mythical world and our own. Abisina grew up in a place where differences aren't tolerated, and when she finds herself in a place where people of all colors, races, and species live as one, she has trouble accepting it. Children who are taught to hate, will hate. In addition to this message, WATERSMEET also teaches that eyes can be opened to acceptance.

This story was beautifully told, with a rich message everyone needs to hear. There were some twists and turns. Things I didn't expect. And things that I did expect, that didn't happen. I love how Ms Abbott left it open for a sequel. I really hope there's a sequel.

ETA: And this is what I get for not checking sooner. There is a sequel. Details here. Sadly, you can't find this book in stores, so click the first link in this post and order from Amazon, asap!


From her birth, Abisina has been outcast--for the color of her eyes and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother's status as the village healer has kept her safe. But when a mythic leader arrives, Abisina's life is ripped apart. She escapes alone to try to find the father and the home she has never known. In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Abisina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.

Friday, November 5, 2010

FaerieCon Giveaway!

Okay, so some of you may have seen my tweets or previous years blog posts on FaerieCon. What is FaerieCon you ask (music will play when you click the link). It's a convention all about faeries. There are things I love more about this than Faerie Fest, and things I love about Faerie Fest more. But since this is my really big festival/convention that I go to every year, I'm doing a huge giveaway in honor of it.

There will be six books up for grabs. Four of which are already signed, and one more that I hope to get signed next weekend. Which means one will go unsigned. Which books? Just keep reading.

FRAGILE ETERNITY (paperback with "Stopping Time") signed by Melissa Marr

BALLAD: A GATHERING OF FAERIE (paperback) signed by Maggie Stiefvater

THE IRON KING (paperback) signed by Julie Kagawa

BLACKBRINGER (hardback) by Laini Taylor

FABLEHAVEN (paperback) signed by Brandon Mull

TROLL BRIDGE (hardback) signed by Jane Yolen

There will be more prizes as well. Since I don't know all of what will be at FaerieCon this year, I'm not sure what those prizes will be. There will be three winners. Each winner will get two books and a prize (bookmark, statue, art print, I don't know what) from FaerieCon!

Contest Closed

Cover Love: Wolfsbane

Have you read NIGHTSHADE? It's okay if you haven't. It's on my TBR also.

And it doesn't take having read the book to love the covers. Here is the cover for WOLFSBANE, the sequel to NIGHTSHADE.

What do you all think of it? Personally, it's probably my favorite YA cover ever!

Book Review: Raised by Wolves

RAISED BY WOLVES is yet another fabulous YA werewolf tale. Jennifer Lynn Barnes tells a tale of Bryn, a girl who was "raised by wolves". A rabid (werewolf with no pack allegiance) attacked her family when she was young. But lucky for her, Callum rescues the four-year-old before she can be eaten.

This novel is set in first person, which allows us to learn through her eyes. She's fifteen at the start of the novel, and we soon learn that all is not what it seems. But at the same time, she is not always right in her assumptions, which leads us to believe one thing, when another is true. Personally, I find this fun.

She soon meets Chase, a boy who was bitten and is turning into a werewolf. But that's impossible... isn't it? I enjoyed Bryn and Chase, and their interactions. I also really enjoyed scenes with her best friend Devon, and her friend Lake (a rare female werewolf). I enjoyed the ending, as things got wrapped up nicely, and I assumed it was a stand-alone based on the ending. However, TRIAL BY FIRE is the next book in this series, and we'll likely see that next year.

Be sure to pick up this book if you're in the mood for a werewolf story that is quite different from others out there.


Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it.  That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Release Day (2)

Welcome to Release Day 2... here are some books that will hit the shelves today!


Immortal: Love Stories With Bite, edited by P.C. Cast (author of the #1 New York Times phenomenon House of Night series), collected dark, romantic short stories from seven of the hottest vampire writers in YA. 

Now Eternal: More Love Stories With Bite presents all-new YA stories featuring vampires, the romantic heroes and heroines that still hold the reading public enraptured. A mix of writers from the first anthology and new contributors makes for a fresh new collection with all of the dark romance of its predecessor, and a book that’s sure to thrill vampire romance fans old and new.

The book includes an original introduction by Cast.

HERO by Mike Lupica

Fourteen-year-old Zach Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed, as though he can text message himself across miles. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Zach. What Zach never knew was that his father was no ordinary man--he was a superhero, battling the world's evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries.

And now it's Zach's turn to take on the fight. It's Zach's turn to become a hero.


Bartimaeus, everyone’s favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now, for the first time, fans will go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950s BC. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match. He’ll have to contend with an unpleasant master and his sinister servant, and runs into just a “spot” of trouble with King Solomon’s magic ring….

VIRALS by Kathy Reichs

Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.
As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot--if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.

Fortunately, they are now more than friends--they're a pack. They are Virals.


When Celia Lovejoy's grandmother moves in with her family, she tells her granddaughter magical stories of fairies living in the woods behind the Lovejoy home. Ten-year-old Celia believes they are just that-stories-until the day she receives an unexpected visit from Mira, a real, live fairy. Mira needs a favor in a matter of the utmost importance. It seems that Celia's house and the adjoining woods are in danger of being demolished to make way for a new highway. The person behind this horrible plan? Vicky McClutchy, a spiteful woman who holds a childhood grudge against Celia's dad. Fairy magic can counteract this evil, but it will only work with Celia's help. Aided by neighborhood friend Paul, Celia begins a danger-filled quest that takes her out in the woods at night to face her greatest fears. This magical tale of a plucky girl combines an entertaining story with an underlying message about the power of ordinary kindness.

PEGASUS by Robin McKinley

A gorgeously written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her Pegasus. 

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. 

But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. 

Other books of interest: