Tag Archives: #SwoonReads

Blog Tour: Defy the Sun by Jessica Fleck + Giveaway (INT)

Defy the Sun
Jessika Fleck
(The Offering Series, #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 10th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

In this electrifying YA dystopian sequel to Beware the Night, Veda is captured and leveraged against her best friend, who fights for the opposing force.

Civil war has come to the island of Bellona. Veda Adeline believes in the Night. She’s joined the underground revolutionaries, led by Dorian Winters, and they’re determined to overthrow the ruling Imperi and find justice for her people.

Nico Denali, Veda’s childhood friend and maybe-something-more, is one of those ruling Imperi, and he’s just been named heir to the most powerful man above ground.

As the war intensifies, Veda and Nico are leveraged against each other: Veda is above as a hostage of the Imperi and Nico is below, taken by the Night. There’s no way Dorian is letting such a valuable hostage go.

The island will burn unless Veda and Nico can come together to rip everything apart. But Nico and Dorian will never trust each other, and Veda’s heart might be the biggest casualty.

Praise for Defy the Sun

“Jessika Fleck’s duology is a lyrical adventure with a twisting vein of romance throughout. I was both enchanted and haunted till the very end!” —Erin Beaty, author of the Traitor’s Trilogy

Beware the Night

“Jessika Fleck delights with a new fantasy novel set in a world where the Sun reigns supreme and the Night is your enemy—literally. Brims with secrets, betrayal, and a genuinely believable love triangle!” —Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author of the Forget Tomorrow series

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My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

Defy the Sun picks up pretty much immediately right after Beware the Night so this is definitely one of those series you must read in order and you really do want to have to both books before you dive in because it really feels like 1 big book although one big change in this installment is that we have Nico’s POV as well as Veda’s and it’s just beautiful.

It is now all out war between the Day and Night and both sides are suffering losses they could barely afford. Nico and Veda and some others want this war to end before their whole world burns however as Nico and Veda are in position of power now, the burden mostly falls on them. But as they are separated, how are they to collaborate to end this blasted war?

To be honest, this novel is rather heavy in romance and while I expected that, I had to work hard to not hold against the love triangle issue. You’ll note I whinged about that in the last book, well… it got a bit worse in this book until it got better. Thankfully, Veda’s got a good head on her shoulders and at the end, everything worked well.

Defy the Sun was a riveting read; I was on tenterhook, not only because of the resolution of the love triangle, but also for the resolution of this world’s division. I really couldn’t guess how it could be resolved and , at 85%, had my doubts that it’d be resolved in this book! But the explosive ending totally worked and I’m left with a peaceful heart.

Thank you Swoon Reads and Xpresso Tours for including me in this blog tour & ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

GIVEAWAY (International)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter to win a print copy of Defy the Sun (ends Mar-19)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019.

Find author on:  WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

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Review: Beware the Night by Jessica Fleck

Beware the Night (The Offering Series #1) by Jessika Fleck

When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice…even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful–as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.

But when Veda’s grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun’s favor, she starts to see that the safety she’s been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real–or dangerous lies.

Published 12 March 2019 |  Publisher: Swoon Reads |  RRP: AUD$16.99

Buy it at: Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I love Swoon Reads books. Their covers are divine and to date, I’ve been very happy with most of the books I’ve managed to read that they’ve published. I guess, they’re just my kind of people 😉

In this universe, Day and Night are mortal enemies. The Day reigns supreme but yet the Night continues to resist. The people are oppressed and desperation will, sooner than later, sparks a revolution. This is the world that Veda Adelina was born into and in just a few days, she will enter her 17th year. Despite all her wish to fight back, she has no idea who her real enemies are but she’s about to find out.

I really have enjoyed this fascinating world set with the ocean on 1 end and a forested hill on another. It sounds rather like a Roman empire with the wealthy living atop a Hill and a Coliseum where rich & poor congregate to witness Offerings to the Night. The contrast between Day and Night, Light and Dark, Sun and Moon, was done rather well and those who tries to bridge the two will do best to be wary.

Veda reminds me a bit of Katniss as both are orphans (of sort) and both very capable young women. However, I find Veda to be more open and easier to like. She is also angry but she seems to be better at channelling her emotions… mostly. The only thing that I really do Not like is… the love triangle, *sighs* Oh, and this book ends with a cliffhanger! But thank goodness, I’ve got book 2 ready to go 😉

Thanks to Swoon Reads via Xpresso Tours for ecopy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019.

Find author on:  WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Blog Tour: Gone by Nightfall by Dee Garretson -a Review + Giveaway (US only)

Gone by Nightfall
Dee Garretson
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 21st 2020
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

A young woman is torn between her home and her dreams during the Russian Revolution.

It’s 1916, and Charlotte Mason is determined to make a life for herself in czarist Russia. When her mother dies, Charlotte is forced to put her plans to go to medical school aside to care for her unruly siblings. Then a handsome new tutor arrives. Charlotte has high hopes that he’ll stay, freeing her up to follow her dreams of becoming a doctor. But there’s more to Dmitri that meets the eye.

Just when she thinks she can get her life back, Russia descends into revolution and chaos. Now, not only does Charlotte need to leave Russia, she needs to get her siblings out too–and fast.

Can Charlotte flee Russia, keep her siblings safe, and uncover Dmitri’s many secrets before she runs out of time?

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I think my love for Russia as setting got to come from my love for ballet as a child. I have since devoured many books which are set in Russia including some of those big classics like War & Peace. And as the setting in this book is WWI and just before the outbreak of Russian Revolution, there were bits of it which reminds me of War & Peace even if, in time, they are a century apart.

Gone by Nightfall is told strictly from the perspective of Charlotte Mason. When her mother died, she has promised to take care of everything and so she took on her mother’s mantle in caring for her family and also the hospital her mother built. I love this family and their easygoing way caring for each other. It is a big blended family (6 children including Charlotte) with a rather older man as head (Charlotte’s stepfather).

Even as Charlotte struggled to find the time and energy to oversee all, help comes in the new tutor, Dmitri. However, he seems to be a figure of contradiction. As certain warm feelings arose between them, hot tempers are rising outside with the people and with violence threatening her family, Charlotte must decide whether she could trust Dmitri to ask for his help.

I was listening to War & Peace soundtrack (BBC) while reading the book so maybe that’s another reason why I got that vibe. But also, the way the romance was conducted with sweet whispers (so cute!). The ending and the overall feeling for this novel, however, was that it is unfinished. It doesn’t look like being series but yet why all these unconnected strands… I hope for a sequel at least if not a series.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY (US only)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter to win a print copy of Gone by Nightfall (ends Jan-30)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Dee Garretson spent her childhood helping her father build his offbeat inventions and playing adventure games in the woods. After working as a landscape designer and teaching landscape horticulture classes for several years, Dee returned to writing. Her debut novel, Wildfire Run, has been praised for its suspense and its hero, Luke, who “with his companions, displays generous measures of courage and ingenuity in rising to the occasion” (ALA Booklist). She lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Find Dee on: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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Blog Tour: The King’s Questioner -a Review + Giveaway (US only)

The King’s Questioner
Nikki Katz
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 14th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

From Nikki Katz, the author of The Midnight Dance , comes The King’s Questioner, an epic YA fantasy featuring royal drama, dark magic, and a secret that could topple a kingdom.

Kalen is a mental picklock, able to access a person’s memories and secrets by touch. His skills make him the perfect questioner to the king, and he spends his days interrogating prisoners of the crown.

But when Kalen’s estranged childhood friend, Prince Cirrus, falls into a sudden coma, the king begs Kalen to intervene. By accessing Cirrus’s mind, Kalen saves his life—and uncovers a terrifying secret. The prince has a sister, banished long ago, and she is the key to the destruction or survival of the kingdom.

With the help of Cirrus and a silver-haired thief named Luna, Kalen must find the princess and bring her home. Or risk death at the hands of his king.

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My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

I’ve always wanted to read The Midnight Dance but you know… too many books, too little time… so I’m aware of Nikki Katz and when the opportunity came to participate in this blog tour, I had little hesitation. The blurb feels like it could be right in my alley even if the cover is somewhat unappealing but I’m one of those who thinks less is more and there was just too many things happening there. Still, I could have enjoyed the story… historical fantasy YA has always been a weakness of mine.

The King’s Questioner has quite interesting premise with a protagonist who can access your mind by a touch – who wants anyone to rummage to your mind?! And a banished princess who can either destroy or save the kingdom. Friends and frenemies formed a circle to unlock this secret in a bid to save the kingdom. Will they survive? And dare I hope for romance along the way? (I can’t help it! I’m a romantic)

This world and its magic were actually exactly what I was looking for. And I truly enjoy the interaction between Kalen, Luna, and Cirrus. I really like their friendship and how they work together. The King’s Questioner was very very easy to read but I felt a little two dimensional. I think it was trying to fit too many things into it that there just wasn’t enough left to develop the world. There wasn’t a twist to jolt me and I’m also left with a number of questions. Overall, interesting world + great friendship + average romance(s) = I like it.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY (US only)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter to win a print copy of The King’s Questioner (ends Jan-23)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Nikki Katz is an author and editor living in sunny San Diego with her three children. With a BS in aerospace engineering, Nikki first put her writing skills to use publishing four nonfiction books. She moved on to writing young adult fiction, her favorite genre to read as well. The Midnight Dance is her debut novel.

Find Nikki on: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

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Review: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.

Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.

Published 16 April 2019 |  Publisher: Swoon Reads  |  RRP: AUD$26.99

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

I just adored Anstey’s debut, Love, Lies and Spies which is a bit like an Austenesque romp. It was just a fun easy read so I didn’t hesitate to pick this one up. The Hummingbird Dagger though sounds a little more gothic and even the cover hinted at something more sinister than her other books. Then again, I just lurve mysteries! This is a win-win for me 🙂

One of my favourite tropes is a protagonist suffering amnesia at the beginning of the novel and having to slowly regain their memories and identity through the plot. It was exciting start to the novel as Lord James Ellerby witnessed a carriage accident in which his brother was involved. A rather horrific accident where he found a lady, thrown out of the carriage, lying battered & unconscious. Immediately, his sense of responsibility kicked in and with a dose of kindness & generosity, he took charge of the care of this lady.

Beth, as she’s called for she could not remember her name, is a likeable heroine although I feel that I could have loved her had she known who she is. Her gentility, intelligence, and sense of independence still shone through her inability to recall her background; and she has guts! Even while she is depended on the Elerby family in investigating her identity, she wasn’t just going to sit there when the safety of herself & her friends are threatened.

The Hummingbird Dagger with its slight gothic overtone was a terrificly fun read. I feel that this is one that I’d happily snuggle up to reread upon a rainy day over & over again.

Thanks to Pan MacMillans Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Cindy Anstey spends her days painting with words, flowers, threads and acrylics. Whenever not sitting at the computer, she can be found—or rather, not found—travelling near and far. After many years living as an expat in Singapore, Memphis and Belgium, Cindy now resides with her husband and energetic chocolate labrador in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Find Cindy on:  goodreads  |  website  | facebook  | twitter