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Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Catalyst (Insignia #3) by S.J. Kincaid

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: October 28, 2014
Pages: 432
Source: For Review From Author
Rating: 4 Stars

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.
Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.

This review is spoiler-free

In short: Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid is a fantastic finale to a very entertaining trilogy.
And so ends another much beloved series. I've been anticipating the ending to this high-action, high-stakes dystopian sci-fi for a while now - and thankfully this finale doesn't disappoint! The Insignia Trilogy follows gamer Tom Raines who, upon being recruited by the Pentagon and having a chip implanted in his head, can control fighter ships remotely in space as part of an intrasolar World War III. It's Ender's Game for a new generation and it's AWESOME.

Catalyst is the darkest book yet in this trilogy - the stakes are at their highest and the plot is at its most perilous. S.J. Kincaid takes risks and introduces twists and I have to applaud her for them as that's exactly what I want and NEED to see in a finale to a series like this. This series is also memorable to me because of the many moments of hilarity it induced while reading - and while Catalyst is the darkest and least playful of the trilogy, there was still some room for S.J. Kincaid's brilliant humour and I welcomed that.

As with Insignia and Vortex, I will say that the plot reaches almost ridiculous levels - complexity-wise and plausibility-wise - in Catalyst. The reliance on technologically-related plots sometimes goes over my head, while the political inferences are sometimes a bit on the nose. This series isn't about subtlety, it's about that entertainment factor and it definitely delivers on that. I will be sad to say goodbye to the greatest friends Tom, Vik, Wyatt, and Yuri, but I am pleased at least that Catalyst was a satisfying ending to an exciting series.

Previously, my reviews of Insignia and Vortex.

Other Reviews:
Good Books and Good Wine
Planet Print

Author Links:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Published: January 6, 2015
Pages: 432
Source: For Review From Publisher
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master. All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own. There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands—and his new family from suffering a terrible fate. Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

In short: Alistair Grim's Odditorium is the start of an inventive and eccentric new series that is perfect for younger readers.
You all know I love me a quirky Middle Grade read with a cute illustrated cover! I fall for them every time. And so when I was given the opportunity to read Alistair Grim's Odditorium and found out that it was about a poor orphan who gets carried off into a wondrous and strange new world, well I couldn't resist now, could I? It's like Harry Potter with steampunk elements! Well, sort of.

There were definitely some elements in Alistair Grim's Odditorium that were reminiscent of Harry Potter, which I loved. Namely the whimsy and eccentricity of the magical odditoria and the colourful cast of characters. Alistair Grim's Odditorium is no copycat though, thankfully. It was definitely very inventive on its own. This book is the first in an intended series and I'd be curious to see where the story goes from here, as the set-up in this first book leaves room for more adventures to come and some questions to be answered.

If I had one critique it would be that this is a book meant for younger readers. Well, but didn't you know that this was MG going into it?, you may ask. Yes, I did, but I am of the firm belief that the best MG reads can be appreciated and enjoyed by all age groups, not just their intended audience. I felt that the characters in Alistair Grim's Odditorium were definitely lacking in complexity and development and the plot was pretty predictable. BUT it was still a super cute read that I would definitely recommend to younger readers!

Author Links:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thoughts on my 4 year blogoversary

My 4 year blogoversary actually came and went back in November 2014. But well, I was a bit busy at the time. When I made up my post last week featuring some graphs of my reading stats in 2014, it struck me just how much I've changed as a reader in these four years. I thought I would take some time to reflect on what has changed in the four years since I've been blogging:

1. I've found a way to maximize my reading time. With every year of blogging that passes, I read 25 more books than the year prior (in 2011, I read 50 books; in 2012, I read 75 books; in 2013, I read 100 books; in 2014, I read 125 books). When I first started blogging in 2010, I couldn't IMAGINE reading 125 books in a year. But since then, I've learned to utilize audiobooks, make the most of my spare time, and also not to pressure myself to read when I don't want to or else I get burnt out. I'm reading WAY more than when I started and I'm also enjoying myself more!

2. I've figured out my reading tastes and have become more selective. Used to be, I saw a book that had even the tiniest interest to me or a book with a pretty cover and I just HAD to have it. I'd request books willy-nilly and then become massively overwhelmed. But in these four years, I've really learned what works for me and what doesn't reading-wise and have subsequently become more selective in my reading picks, pretty covers be damned! This has also resulted in me enjoying my reading time more, with a consequent increase in my average book ratings.

3. It's good to diversify my reading genres or else I WILL get burnt out. When I started blogging, I was reading almost exclusively fantasy and dystopian fiction. Nowadays, if I read too many of the same genre one after another, the stories all start to blur together for me. Got to introduce some contemporary and historical fiction into the mix to keep things fresh!

4. Non-fiction does not mean boring reading. This is actually something that I only discovered this past year. Ditto for contemporary fiction and classical fiction. I used to avoid these genres like the plague. Now they are some of my all-time favourites!

5. ARCs and egalleys aren't the be-all and end-all. Don't get me wrong, I still get PUMPED when I get accepted by a publisher and when I'm holding an ARC in my hands. It's an unpublished manuscript and it's exciting! But it's so easy to get caught in the trap of impulse-requesting and only ever reading new releases when there so many excellent old releases to get to. I've learned to keep my requesting down, and thus the pressure of review books, and ended up happier for it as well.

6. I do not have to own every book. Sure, it's awfully tempting when you see people take in these MASSIVE hauls every week and you feel so envious because you want all the pretties too! But when I think of all the books I bought on impulse and then never read years and years later, it makes me sad. Plus, I only have so much space so you got to bet I prioritize owning only the most SPECIAL of books in my heart. I donate the rest when I'm done reading (or even before if it's been sitting on my shelf unread for years). And my wallet DEFINITELY thanks me for keeping my book buying to a minimum!

7. I do not feel compelled to finish series if I'm not enamoured with the first book. I'm hopeless when it comes to DNFing in the MIDDLE of a book, but once I'm done that first book in the series and I wasn't feeling it? Dump it. I didn't used to think that way four years ago; I still felt compelled to follow series through to the end. But now I have WAY too many series on-the-go already, so I've learned to prioritize finishing only my absolute faves.

To sum up, I am a more confident and HAPPY reader than I've ever been! I definitely still experience slumps from time to time (who doesn't?), but I like my policy of reading WHAT I want, WHEN I want and I plan to stick to it as much as I can!

I also want to take the time to say thank you to the people who have made an impact on my blogging life these past four years (in an approximate chronological order in which I met them). Thank you to Small and Gina, who were my first followers and whom I still love to have bookish chats with to this day; thank you to Alison who was my first and really only longstanding follower through Follow Friday and made me feel not so alone in the blogging world; thank you to Sara who I found soon after that and, even though our reading tastes differ so much, is definitely one of my blog bffs; thank you to Zahida who I found as a newbie blogger and to this day is my #1 author signing buddy; thank you to Alex who posts cute things that always cheer me up and who is also the sweetest; thank you to Logan who is so nice and I wish she blogged more; thank you to Jenny who was intimidating at first because she was a big blogger and I was a newbie, but turns out she is the nicest, writes the best reviews, and is a super talented designer; thank you to Missie The Unread Reader who quit blogging a long time ago, but who I still think about from time to time and miss her presence and kindness; thank you to Melissa who hasn't blogged in a long while, but who's presence I always appreciate; thank you to Julie who also hasn't blogged in a while, but who I think is swell; thank you to Juju who is always so lovely, always; thank you to Lea who writes the savviest reviews and is always trustworthy; thank you to Lauren who I want as a real life friend because she throws the best parties and is the nicest; thank you to Elena for being an inspiration with great taste in music and desserts; thank you to Lauren who writes 5 Star reviews that make you want to drop everything to get that book; thank you to Christa and Andrea who left a party to come get me and didn't make me feel bad when I was a fool and got lost in Toronto; thank you to Giselle and Jenni for being spunky and inspiring; thank you to the Edmonton Book Bloggers for being so welcoming to such a shy, awkward girl; thank you to Kristilyn, the mother of the EBBs and the cutest boy; thank you to Ambur for always being so positive that it makes me want to be a better person; thank you to Cassie and Megan for giving me rides and for great conversation; thank you to Leanne for being so great to talk to; thank you to Mel for being the sweetest Disney princess I know; thank you to Jessica for being the kindest and always liking my posts; thank you to Sarika who is one of my Potter Pals and my longest distance blog friend; thank you to Sana who blows me away with her artistic creativity; thank you to Sam who stopped reviewing unexpectedly, which is so sad because damn, she's a fantastic writer and always spot-on; thank you to Meg for all the amazing awesome comments and fangirling; thank you to Amanda and Courtney who I started following only within the past few years, but who know their stuff and are always trustworthy reviewers; thank you to Micheline, my fellow Potter Fan Extraordinaire who I found only two years or so ago but who will be my book twin for life; thank you to Elle who is the smartest person her age that I know and also more mature than a lot of adults I know; thank you to Katie, my non-fiction guru; thank you to Lauren who always makes my day with her comments; thank you to Jen who's blog changes so often, but who I will always follow because she's awesome; thank you to Shelly for being outgoing and making me feel less awkward; thank you to Romi, one of my newest blogging friends who is also one of the sweetest and most thoughtful; thank you to AveryKatie, Christina, KateKaren, Hafsah, Amna, Rummanah, CarinaKristin, Natalie, Sandy, Bonnie, Emily, Brandi, Renu, Amber, Judith, Amara, Lauren, Sarah, Cialina, Nori, LizBecky, Sugar, Maja, Lulu, Janhvi, Stephanie, VarshaChloe, Cassi, KimCaaleros, Preethi, and Lola for all the comment love over the years. I am going to punch myself if I've forgotten to name someone here - please forgive me!

And thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever taken the time to read and/or comment on my blog. BEARHUGS FOR EVERYONE!

And finally, a giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Muggle Monday: New Images from the Fully Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter

It's time for Muggle Monday, in which I highlight a significant piece of news from the Harry Potter franchise. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms.

But let's be real as to why I made up this feature: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

So it's been less than half a year since we've had news about a new Harry Potter Edition being released... so now's a good time to introduce yet another one, yes? Well, the announcement of a fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter is actually old news, but just recently, Bloomsbury released brand new photos from this new edition illustrated by the very talented Jim Kay (also the illustrator of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness):






And if you've never read A Monster Calls before (okay, first of all you SHOULD), here are some samples of Jim Kay's work from that:

So yes, as you can probably tell, Jim Kay's illustrations tend to fall on the dark, creepy side. I really love how, in the portraits we've seen so far, the characters aren't movie-star-good-looking like in the movies, nor are they cutesy-looking like on the covers of previous editions of the series. They're not exactly how I imagined the characters to look like when I first read the books, but they're a damn sight closer to my imagination than the actors in the movies, I'll tell you what! Also, J.K. Rowling has approved these illustrations herself, so that's always good to hear. This edition will be released October 6, 2015 and already I'm pondering if this is something I should own. I mean, if I were rich you got to believe I would own ALL the editions. But realistically, as much as I would LOVE to own ALL the pretties, I really can't justify it when I already own a perfectly good - and much-loved - set of my own. Plus, this illustrated edition will cost the equivalent of £30!! Damnnn, why can't I be rich?? Ah, oh well. I will just have to borrow it from the library if they get a copy in. I'm SO curious to see what the rest of the illustrations will look like! How about you, what do you think of these illustrations?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

Publisher: Roc Hardcover
Published: November 4, 2014
Pages: 448
Source: For Review From Publisher
Rating: 3 Stars

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she'll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.
Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.
With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

In short: Dreamer's Pool showcases Juliet Marillier's talent for writing and characterization, but failed to truly blow me away.
I'm beginning to wonder whether perhaps Juliet Marillier's novels just aren't for me. I'm well aware of her stellar reputation among fantasy fans, but I've yet to read a novel of hers that has completely blown me away. I can absolutely recognize that she is a talented writer and I'm always impressed with her genuine characterizations. But I find that her plots tend to be a bit on the slow, quiet side. Nothing wrong with quiet plots - especially if the writing is beautiful - but I find it difficult getting truly invested her stories, enough to make me want to come back for the sequel.

Dreamer's Pool started out very strong, I thought. Enigmatic characters with unknown backgrounds, an intense prison break, a strong set-up that promised an intriguing story to come. But after the initial excitement in the beginning, I felt like the pacing took a drastic downturn. The story continues, the plot still unraveling, but progress is very slow and I felt impatient for something MORE to happen. However, like I mentioned, the writing is quite lovely and I grew fond of the characters pretty quickly despite their sometimes prickly natures. I think I just needed more ACTION.

So I'm wondering: if you're reading this and you are a fan of Juliet Marillier's, would you recommend I read more from her? Or do her books tend to fall along the same lines as Dreamer's Pool - beautifully written and excellent characterization, but slower reads? I know Daughter of the Forest is an all-time fave for many fantasy readers - do you think I would enjoy that one even if I wasn't totally into Dreamer's Pool? All feedback is appreciated, thanks!

Author Links:

Monday, January 12, 2015

My 2014 Bookish Stats

I've always loved those bookish stats posts where bloggers look over their year in reading and breakdown their books read by rating, genre, etc. I'm always curious! So I've put together a few pie charts depicting My 2014 Bookish Stats. Don't know if anyone will even be interested in this except me, so feel free to skip this post!

Total Books Read in 2014: 125

Note: To make this easier, I've rounded UP all .5 Star Ratings. So 4.5 Stars is lumped in with 5 Stars, 3.5 Stars is lumped in with 4 Stars, etc.
2014 Breakdown by Rating: This stat pleases me: I read an equal amount of 4.5-5 Star reads and 3.5-4 Star reads in 2014 and together, these reads made up the majority of my reading for last year. A pretty solid year in books, I would say! It helps that over the years, I've gotten better at picking books I think I will like. These days, it's pretty rare that I read a book that I don't enjoy at ALL.

2014 Breakdown by Genre: No surprise here: fantasy makes up the biggest pie slice in a breakdown of reading genres in 2014. Of course, there are many sub-genres within Fantasy that I could break down some more: high fantasy, paranormal, mythology, etc. - I love it all! I'm impressed with myself that fairly sizeable portions of the pie go to Contemporary and Classical Fiction.

2014 Breakdown by Type: Here lies the reason I was able to fit in 125 books in my schedule in 2014: I very much got into audiobooks this year! I didn't always have a ton of free time in 2014 with which to read, but I DID have regular life obligations like cleaning, cooking, getting ready in the morning/bedtime, working out, etc., and those turned into the bulk of my reading time, via audiobook. 2015 is shipping up to be much the same! Audiobooks are a great way to reread favourites and act as plot-reminders pre-sequels and book-to-movie adaptations.

2014 Breakdown by Source: Those audiobooks I mentioned in the previous stat? Well, a lot of them were the freebies that SYNC Audiobooks gives out every summer. I also took advantage of Free Books of the Week deals on various websites. I'm quite proud that the majority of books I read in 2014 were either free or borrowed! If I had put together these stats in my first year of blogging, I guarantee you that Review Books and Purchased Books would make up the majority of the pie. Notably, I read only 8 review books from publishers in 2014... and I'm quite happy with that. Honestly, I've largely fallen out of love with reading early galleys from publishers. Most of the time these days, I'd rather wait to read reviews first before deciding whether the book will work for me. Generally makes for a happier reading experience for me! And indeed, the 8 reviews books that I did read in 2014 were some of my lower-rated reads.

2014 Breakdown by Author Gender and Protagonist Gender: Pretty pleased with these stats! Female to male proportions are almost equal in both a breakdown of author genders and a breakdown of protagonist genders for 2014. BUT you'll notice I have no graphs depicting the POC and LGBT representations of books I read in 2014 - basically because it's not good. It doesn't help that POC and LGBT characters don't tend to be the protagonists in the non-contemporary reads I favour. I'm already working on fixing this in 2015.

2014 Series vs. Standalone: Wow, it's surprising to see this stat laid out like this! I mean, of course I knew that I tend to favour series over standalones, but I didn't think the ratio would be 3:1. Ultimately though, I'm not one of those readers who is wanting more standalones and less series in their life... But I DO want to keep a tab on the series I do read and work on getting my overall numbers of series on-the-go down. I'm thinking I need to make a worksheet of all the series I have read/am in the middle of/want to read in the future to keep track of all of them. DROWNING IN SERIES!

So there you go! I wish I had done this in previous years so that I could compare stats from year-to-year. I guess I'll just have to remember to do them from 2015 on!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: November 4, 2014
Pages: 304
Source: For Review From Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars

Class is back in session...

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all. 

In short: Waistcoats & Weaponry delivers on all the whimsy, cleverness, and rollicking good fun that is expected from a Gail Carriger read.
Gail Carriger's books always make for a good pick-me-up between slower or more serious reads. She just has SUCH a great talent for quirky humour and breezy plots that leave you smiling and cheered. I had great fun with the first two books in her Finishing School Series, Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies, and I couldn't wait to dive back into the steampunk-paranormal world with Waistcoats & Weaponry to get me out of the reading slump I was experiencing at the time.

Sophronia is now a bit older and a bit more experienced as an intelligencer, and just as resourceful and bright as ever. In between learning how to master the art of battling with bladed fans and bestowing seductive looks to unsuspecting gentlemen at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, Sophronia - along with her ragtag group of friends - of course manage to get themselves involved in yet another conspiracy from which a romping good adventure results, as well as a little romance along the way.

Looking for a rollicking good read filled with quirky characters, clever humour, and dastardly plots? Then look no further than the Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger! Gail Carriger's special whimsical brand of humour is practically guaranteed to put you in a good mood and draw you out of a slump. Next up: Manners & Mutiny, coming this November 2015.

Previously, my reviews review for Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies & Conspiracies.

Other Reviews:
Alice Marvels
Megan Likes Books
The Nocturnal Library

Author Links:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: HarperCollins Spring 2015 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which upcoming, eagerly anticipated releases are highlighted on the blog.

This week, I've chosen to feature a few picks from the HarperCollins Spring 2015 Catalog:

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Date: April 28, 2015
Add to Goodreads

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.
Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Ahhhh, THIS COVER. Just SO gorgeous. And the synopsis is mighty intriguing, too - really out of this world, heh. I'm really hoping Magonia will blow me away!

Omega City by Diana Peterfreund
Date: April 28, 2015
Add to Goodreads

Gillian Seagret doesn't listen to people who say her father's a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War–era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to the middle of nowhere, but Gillian knows he's right and plans to prove it.
When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg's diary in her father's mess of an office, she thinks she's found a big piece of the puzzle—a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg's greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City, a vast doomsday bunker deep inside the earth.
But they aren't alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad's reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg's secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried . . . forever.

Oooh, I do love Diana Peterfreund! She always writes winners in my eyes. Omega City is her first Middle Grade novel and I can't wait to see what she brings to a new age genre!

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Date: June 9, 2015
Add to Goodreads

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

The Queen of the Tearling wasn't a perfect read by any means. But it did deliver on what it promised to be: a high-stakes political fantasy. I'm definitely curious what will happen next in The Invasion of the Tearling!

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these HarperCollins Spring 2015 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the HarperCollins Spring 2015 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?