Waiting on Wednesday (96) – Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)

Midnight Thief
(Midnight Thief #1)
Livia Blackburne
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
To be released: July 8, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

I cannot wait for this book to be released next month. I read the prequel Poison Dance and loved it. I’m super excited that Livia Blackburne will be doing a signing in Cambridge, MA at Porter Square Books on July 24th at 7pm, and hoping that nothing comes up between now and then that would prevent me from going.

What book are you Waiting on Wednesday for? Let me know! I’m always on the lookout for great new books to read.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne

Poison Dance (Midnight Thief, #0.5)

Poison Dance
Livia Blackburne
Publisher: Lion’s Quill Press
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Series or Standalone: Midnight Thief #0.5
ISBN: 9781940584003
Pages: 86
Website:
Rating: 4 Stars
Poison Dance serves as a prequel novella to Livia Blackburne debut novel Midnight Thief. It’s currently available for FREE on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
I’m going to start off by saying that I’m super excited to read Midnight Thief when it comes out next month. Poison Dance serves as a great introduction into the world of Livia Blackburne’s novel. 
James is an assassin in the crumbling Assassin’s Guild. He meets Thalia, a dancer, who asks James to help her kill a powerful nobleman. While the novella is short, it does a good job setting up the world for Midnight Thief and is a great introduction to Blackburne’s writing. I haven’t read Midnight Thief yet, but if it’s anything like this prequel, I’ll know I’ll love it. 
I really liked James and can’t wait to see more of him in Midnight Thief. While he might be an assassin, he’s a good guy. He’s not corrupt and at first refuses to help Thalia because of the dangers of the job, for him and her. He’s got a good group of friends to whom he is loyal. He makes his decisions for the right reasons. When the Assassin’s Guild new leader starts targeting him, James just wants to get out of Forge, but events make that difficult. I’ll be interested to see more of him in Midnight Thief. 
Thalia was an interesting character. I felt bad for her. Her actions are motivated out of love for her sister. She knows the risks of attempting to kill a powerful nobleman, and is willing to do anything to avenge the death of her sister, including losing her own life. I was hoping she would have a happy ending…but we don’t always get what we wish for. 
While the story is short, the plot is intricate and detailed. Livia Blackburne manages to weave together two story lines into one short novella, an impressive task. The pacing was spot on, with details being revealed at the right time to keep the readers interest. The action is great, and the twists impressive. I cannot wait to see how this ending shapes the world in Midnight Thief.
Short and sweet, Poison Dance introduces us to the world of Forge, a world riddle with corruption. I cannot wait to see more of James and the world Livia Blackburne has created. If possible, I’m even more excited now for Midnight Thief than I was before!

Waiting on Wednesday (92) – The Torn Wing

The Torn Wing
(The Faerie Ring #2)
Kiki Hamilton
Publisher: Tor Teen
To be released: October 2, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

A bloody escape, a deadly threat, a shocking revelation…

Tiki’s greatest fear suddenly becomes all too real: the fey have returned to London seeking revenge. As war escalates in the Otherworld, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Leopold, is attacked. In order to protect her family and those she loves, Tiki needs to know the meaning of an fáinne sí, the birthmark that winds around her wrist. But will she be brave enough to face the truth?

If you haven’t read the first book in this series, The Faerie Ring, I highly suggest you go do that. It was one of my favorite books of 2012 and I cannot wait to read the sequel. I’m so excited to see what is gonna happen to Tiki next and to learn more about her. I’m dying for it to be October to read this book.

While I’ll wait I’ll just re-read my character interview with Tiki and author interview with Kiki to tide me over.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Series or Standalone: The Grisha Trilogy #1
ISBN: 9780805094596
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Websites:
Leigh Bardugo – Website
Leigh Bardugo – Blog
Leigh Bardugo – Twitter
Shadow and Bone – Facebook

Rating: 3 stars

I feel like I went into this book with very high expectations that it did not meet. Everywhere I looked prior to publication of this book I saw glowing reviews of this book and was super excited to read it. Shadow and Bone seemed right up my ally, and it was a YA fantasy to boot, so I couldn’t wait to read it. However, I was a bit confused about how I felt after I finished and a bit disappointed.

I liked the first half of the book, but I felt that the second half of the book fell apart for me. The pace seemed to accelerate in the second half and everything Alina knew up to that point seemed to go out the window and we were supposed to side with her. I wish that when Alina changed her mind there was more explanation.

I feel like this book really could have benefitted from a slower pace and more world building. With fantasy, world building is key and I really wished that this book had a bit more of it, especially with it being the first book in a series. I wasn’t too sure about this society and land that Alina was from and would have liked to learn more about Ravka before diving straight into the story.

Alina felt like a very flat character to me as well. I liked her, but I didn’t understand why she made the decisions she did. She was very one-dimensional and lacked a strong personality. I really wish she was a bit more developed because it would strengthen the book as a whole.

The Darkling was definitely my favorite character. He had the most engrossing personality and definitely was one of the main reasons I kept reading the book. He was surrounded by mystery and I really enjoyed trying to figure out what he was all about. Was he good or was he bad? I still think it could be up in the air and really want to see more of him.

I really would have liked to see more character development with Mal as well as with a lot of the other secondary characters. Mal, like Alina, felt flat. I feel we didn’t know enough about him to fully appreciate him as a character or become attached to him. Alina liked him but I couldn’t fully see why.

I finished this book and the first thought I had was “huh.” I will probably be sticking around to see what happens next as I did enjoy the story and want to see what happens next, despite the issues I had with the book. Hopefully in the second book, we will learn more about Ravka, the Grisha and Alina’s world as well as see more character growth. I just wish this had been a strong fantasy. 

Waiting on Wednesday (89) – Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms

Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
To be released: December 11, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

This book sounds awesome. I’m big into fantasy right now and this sounds right up my alley. I cannot wait to read this! Too bad it comes out in December.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.