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Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Face Off: PAWN vs LEGEND

The following two books are by no means cover twins, but when I recently  saw the cover for Aimee Carter's Pawn (gray background, central maze-like circle as a focal point), it immediately brought to mind another book - Marie Lu's Legend. I think both are striking in that simple, iconic way, and though Aimee's a fellow Michigander, I'm not going to let that bias me (I've actually met both ladies, and both were lovely) - so I'm leaving it up to you! Take a look at the two covers below and let me know your thoughts. Are they close enough for cover twins? Which has you more intrigued about the story? Which would you reach for first?
Which one did it better?

Last Week on FFO: The original (Level 2) and overhauled (The Memory of After) versions of Lenore Appelhans' The Memory Chronicles books went head to head and . . . you guys were pretty torn, to be honest. You liked the titles of the updated versions, but thought the covers were a little "romancey" (though still very pretty), and you wished for a more sci-fi, edgy look with the intriguing new titles. In the end, it was a rare tie - and because I agree with you, I can't even break break the split vote!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Stack of Five (11) | October, 2013

Stack of Five time!! This month's theme is HALLOWEEN READS, and I can't wait to see what you guys pick. Links to the books are below if you want to find out more (or grab the winner and join me in reading it!).
I've (finally) got my So5 video up early enough that I'll be able to announce the winner in my official October TBR video, so make sure to check back for that. Voting will be open until then. First vote is what counts, so choose wisely!
As always, you're welcome to do your own Stack of Five, and if you do, please link it up so I can come vote!

Thanks for watching and happy voting!

Bad Taste in Boys | Carrie Harris [zombies!]
Book of Shadows | Cate Tiernan [witches!]
By These Ten Bones | Clare B. Dunkle [werewolves!]
Texas Gothic | Rosemary Clement-Moore [ghosts!]
Throat | R. A. Nelson [vampires!]

To vote in the BONUS stack, click here!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WIND & SHADOW by Tori L. Ridgewood Excerpt & Giveaway

Well, we're officially in Autumn now, which means a number of things: shorter days, cool nights, pumpkin everything (yes!) and Halloween-ish reading. Pretty much a whole host of things I love.
To that end, today I've got a some potential Halloween reading for ya: an excerpt of Tori L. Ridgewood's Wind and Shadow. Click through to get a taste of the book and for a chance to win* your choice of paperback or ebook for your own Fall reading stack!

*Yes, it's international!

Excerpt from Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy by Tori L. Ridgewood

Rayvin’s teeth were grinding together. The pretty little waitress, her head cocked while she smacked her gum and smiled saucily, didn’t know with whom she was dealing. Rayvin’s hand itched to wipe those too-red lips off her freckly face; her magick boiled inside her, making the room spin slightly with its intensity. Maybe the little bitch wanted those braces to be permanently glued to her teeth? Or every freckle to spontaneously morph into ugly, enormous, oozing pimples?
Rayvin had had enough of being nice.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

August-ish, September-like BOOK HAUL

Anywho, here are the books that have found their way onto my shelves in the last month and 1/2 or so.
Thanks for watching!

United We Spy | Ally Carter
Six Months Later | Natalie D. Richards
The Dragon's Tooth | ND Wilson
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict | Laurie Viera Rigler
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict | Laurie Viera Rigler
The Trouble with Flirting | Claire LaZbenik
The Distance Between Us | Kacie West
The Subtle Knife | Philip Pullman
Summer and Bird | Katherine Catmull

Also mentioned:
The Dragon's Tooth excerpt
Laurie Viera Rigler's "Sex and the Austen Girl"
Sam @MerryGoDown and River @innocencewalker and their "Contemporary Summer Fling"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Face Off: The Memory Chronicles series

Browsing on Goodreads yesterday, I noticed a style departure between the first and second books of Lenore Appelhans' The Memory Chronicles series (Level 2 and Chasing Before, respectively). Intrigued by what prompted the change, I decided to look a little deeper and realized that Level 2 has been given a complete overhaul - not only has the style changed majorly, but even the name changed! Level 2 is now called The Memory of After. All in the span of a year, because "Level 2" was only released in January, and the redone paperback release just came out this month! BIG changes. Always fun to have on a Face Off.
So take a look at the 2 styles below. I'm going to include the synopsis for book 1 as well, so you can decide which you think suits the story better, but basically, which would you reach for? Do you like the cover/title changes they made? Does it make you more or less likely to read the books? Which would you rather have on your shelves, etc., etc.? In short,
Which one did it better?

In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen discovers that death is just the beginning.

Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost-family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.

Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian-a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life-comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.

Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

Last Week on FFO: We had a middle grade adventure Face Off to suit my Fall cravings, with the original and paperback versions of The Dragon's Tooth going head to head. An overwhelming majority of us preferred the more action-packed and active paperback cover.
Winner ------------>

Thursday, September 19, 2013

THE CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White | review

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Get It | Add It
Contemporary/Mythology/Supernatural, 288 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by HarperTeen
Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

I've said many, many times before that I think Kiersten White is a good funk-breaker author. I look forward to her stories, especially when I have a lot on my plate, because I know I'll tear through them, they'll keep me entertained, and they'll jumpstart a good reading kick. They just get me in the zone; she has this quality to her writing that draws you along and makes you keep turning pages - even when it's flawed, it goes down like candy.

But surprisingly, The Chaos of Stars didn't quite get there for me. It was still candy, I still devoured it pretty quickly, but it was like the candy in the vending machine that wasn't quite what you were craving, but you got anyway because at least it was chocolate... I just didn't have as immediate a connection as I was expecting, and though I won't call it boring, exactly, in the beginning, it was akin to boring. Boring's sometimes-amusing cousin. Boring's sometimes-amusing cousin that grows on you, fortunately, and loosens up and becomes funnier the longer you know them. Because I did enjoy this and thought the story picked up once Isadora hit US shores, but it just... It was missing some of that zing, some of that something, that made Evie from Paranormalcy pop and draw me in.  (Also, it probably took me awhile to get my bearings, because until close to the end of the book, this cover doesn't really seem to suit the story at all.)

Isadora was probably a big part of my initial disconnect, I think. She didn't really pull me in in the beginning - 'sullen, bratty teenager' is a thing best left behind when you're out of that phase yourself, thank you very much - but I never disliked her outright; she's a teen dealing with family shit, so I get it. Like all teens dealing with family shit, she becomes a little self-absorbed, a little oblivious, and a little bit acting-outy. That's believable, and fits well with White's approach to this mythological family, which above all else, is a family - all the petty drama and frustrations that come with. But that doesn't change the fact that I found her a little harder to connect to or root for as a result. These tendencies do change, and she does begin to grown up in the story - and I love me a dynamic character, as you know - so I forgave her. But if the story is going to be "bratty teen child of Egyptian gods comes to term with mortality and stuff," I would have liked to see a little more struggle and depth added to that storyline, rather than just bratty acting out, and then a sudden realization and complete reversal.  I dunno, maybe that's asking too much; every story can't be that, but whatever, it just made me a little less enthusiastic about this, whereas with Paranormalcy, I found myself wanting to push it on everyone. (And Evie isn't without flaws - but there's something captured there that really works, and I guess I wanted lightning in a bottle twice...)

But as I said, once Isadora hit US shores, the story balanced and found its tone, and I really did enjoy it from there on out. I won't say it's ever not predictable, because it most certainly is, but it still always managed to be enjoyable and engaging. And Isadora grew and became someone I really liked by the end, so that made me happy. White does give an interesting, homey take on the gods, and I wish we could have seen a bit more of that, rather than it just framing the story. It's a fairly short story, and I think I could have done with more overall. But all the same, White's style remains quick and ultimately palatable, and as always, I found myself tearing through and finishing in a sitting or two. There is just something about Kiersten White's stories - no matter how flawed, they're just always so addicting...


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

August Rewind | 2013

Yeah, so this is up late... Also, if I could not "show" the books offscreen, that'd be great... Also: CICADAS.

Anywho, here's what I thought of what I read in August. The list was a shortish one, but if September so far is any indication, I'm gonna make up for that... Thanks for watching, and let me know what you think in the comments!

The Fairest of Them All | Carolyn Turgeon [review]
Mansfield Park | Jane Austen (obvs)
Among the Janeites | Deborah Yaffe [review]
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. | Adelle Waldman [review]
Austentatious | Alyssa Goodnight [review]

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SKELETON & DUST Blog Tour: Excerpt, Playlist & Giveaway from Rhiannon Paille!

We've had indie author Rhiannon Paille on The Book Rat before, and a number of you have won books from her The Ferryman + the Flame series, so now that the next part of the saga, Skeleton & Dust, is about to come out, Rhiannon has dropped by to share a bit of the story, as well as a peek behind the scenes.
And yes, of course there's a giveaway. ;)

Click through to read a bit of Skeleton & Dust, hear a bit of Rhiannon's playlist, and then enter to win a signed books prize pack!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday Face Off: The Dragon's Tooth

I said recently that there's just something about the beginning of Fall that has me craving middle grade adventure stories. I suppose it's the whole 'back to school' thing, but like clockwork every year, I get a hankering for them. Because of this, I just posted an excerpt vlog of ND Wilson's The Dragon's Tooth, and noticed when I was gathering the links and info that it had a different cover, so I figured, why not just make a couple days of it, add it to Face Off, and have a little TDT weekend?  Below are the original hardcover and updated paperback versions for The Dragon's Tooth. I know which one I prefer, but take a look and let me know in the comments which you'd reach for, or stock in your libraries and classrooms? Which would you reach for, and which would your kids or students reach for?
Which one did it better?

Last Week on FFO: 2 versions of Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie went head to head, and though I love them both (and many of you did, too), we were all pretty taken with the gorgeous redesign of the cover.
Winner ------->

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

THE DRAGON'S TOOTH by N.D. Wilson | excerpt

I said that September always makes me crave middle grade adventure, so today = an excerpt from a middle grade adventure story: THE DRAGON'S TOOTH by N.D. Wilson!
Give it a listen, let me know what you think in the comments, and let me know what the onset of Fall makes YOU crave! =)

Get It | Add It
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.

N. D. Wilson, author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards, returns with an imagination-capturing adventure that inventively combines the contemporary and the legendary.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Austen in August WINNERS!!

Alright, you guys have waited patiently enough - after wading through the many, many entries for Austen in August, weeding out the invalid ones and what not, I have compiled a list of the MANY, MANY winners!
The full list of winners is below, and each prize is linked to its giveaway, so if you won or need a refresher, follow the link to see what you won, or if I need additional info from you!

Click through to see who won!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spotlight on Entangled's new EMBER TEEN Imprint! | excerpt, reveal & giveaway!

Many of you have probably heard of digital publisher Entangled, or perhaps some of the books they publish, like Prophecy Girl or Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series, which seems to be in my Goodreads feed every time I log in... A lot of their books have had strong YA cross-over appeal, so Entangled decided to make the most of that by launching their own YA imprint, called Ember Teen! Here's what they had to say about it:
"Our fires burn brightly for our readers and as a way to say thanks to our readers we've launched our latest division of Entangled Teen and it's name is Ember. We have two exciting launch titles: Darker Days by Jus Accardo and Chaos by Christine O'Neil. Read away!" Entangled Teen Ember is a division of Entangled Teen that specializes in digital-first YAs"
To celebrate this new imprint, Entangled is having an Ember Teen blog tour, with tons of reviews, guest posts, interactive tidbits and of course, giveaways. Today, I'll be showcasing their 2 launch titles, as well as giving you a bit of a more in-depth look at one of the titles, Darker Days. Click through to check it out enter to win!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Face Off: The Sweetness Bottom Pie

I've talked about the design of Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series before, and how I bought and read the first book, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, based on pure cover appeal. Online pictures really don't do justice to the crisp apple green color of the cover, or the general quirkiness of the design. It's simple but memorable, and I didn't really think it could be improved upon. But then I cam across an updated cover for the book,  and I have to say, I think I love it equally as much. Maybe even more... I really can't decide on this one which I like more, as I think they both capture some of the weird, offbeat charm of the book, and have that little unsettling something going on.  So I leave it up to you guys. Which would you reach for, or rather have on your shelves?
Which one did it better?

Last Week on FFO: We had a hostile (not really) takeover of Friday Face Off when Lex swooped in and forced us to watch gifs of Dan Stevens chopping wood in the rain...Yeah. Forced us...
Ahem, as I was saying, Lex took over FFO and asked us to choose between the Emma Thompson version and the Andrew Davies version of Sense & Sensibility. And frankly, far too few of you have seen the awesomeness that is the Andrew Davies version (and yes, I say that knowing full-well just how amazing the Emma Thompson version is), and many of you refuse to believe that there ever could be any other version than what Thompson and Ang Lee brought us. But surprisingly, the vote was much closer than I would have guessed, so really, in this case, no matter which version you go with - everyone's a winner.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: ASPEN by Rebekah Crane

Release Date: January 2014
Category: YA contemporary

One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn't want to remember when Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player, crossed the yellow line in her car and smashed into Aspen's. But forgetting is pretty hard- because Katelyn may have died - but she didn't leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it's kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn's gorgeous former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.

Popularity, college, Homecoming Court, hot guys - none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She's been busy trying to rein in her giant mass of blonde curls, keep her stoner mother Ninny away from Toaster, her mom's awful bongo drumming boyfriend, and prevent her best friends Kim and Cass from killing - or kissing - one another. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics looking all too gorgeous, Katelyn's spirit dogging her steps, and her obsessive snow-globe collecting therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can't control … and doesn't want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, ASPEN is about the best-worst accident of your life ... and what comes next.

To go along with the cover reveal of Aspen, Rebekah is giving you guys a chance to win a ton of prizes - just enter the Rafflecopter below and you’re on your way to getting some awesome swag! The giveaway closes a week from today.
What can you win? Take a look:

  • 10 eARCs of ASPEN!
  • 1 tie-dye shirt from Moe’s Broadway Bagels in Boulder, CO (an actual restaurant in the story!)
  • 2 Grateful Dead bumper stickers! Groovy!
  • 5 Friendship bracelets because WHY NOT?!
  • 1 hacky sack! Rad!
  • 3 flower stickers you can stick to your laptop or desk or wherever! Peace, man!

Inline image 4Inline image 3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Rebekah Crane:
Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University, but it wasn't until ten years and two daughters later that she started to write it. Inspired by her past students, growing up in Cleveland with its fabulous musical theater community, and music of all kinds (particularly the Avett Brothers), she created PLAYING NICE. It is her first published novel, but having an unbridled imagination, it's not the only fantasy world she's lived in (just ask her husband). ASPEN, her second YA creation, is set to release in January 2014. She now lives in Colorado, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

Twitter: @RebekahCrane
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/playingnicebook
Tumblr: http://rebekahcrane.tumblr.com

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September TBR + Stack of Five!

Dude, it's SEPTEMBER. How did that happen? Wanna know what's great about Fall, though (besides pumpkin everything)? So.Many.Books are coming out right now!
Check out my overly ambitious TBR for the month, and then help me add one more to the stack by voting on this month's Stack of Five below!

The Real Boy | Anne Ursu
The Chaos of Stars | Kiersten White
Sorrow's Knot | Erin Bow
Across a Star-Swept Sea | Diana Peterfreund
More Than This | Patrick Ness
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland & Cut the Moon in Two | Catherynne M. Valente
Memory | Christoph Marzi
Unbreakable | Kami Garcia

For those of you new to the game, Stack of Five is something I do every month on my youtube channel, which I normally don't post on the blog. But lately, I've figured, why not? So here are 5 books that are calling my name; you guys get to pick which one I will definitely read and do a video review of this month!
Voting is open until September 10th, and only your first vote counts!

The Kneebone Boy
Born Wicked
Liar's Moon
The Wicked and the Just

Feel free to do your one Stack of Five if you need help deciding what to read (or are just curious what people will pick for you!), and then shoot me a link so I can come vote!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Promise Me Something & This Is How I Find Her | Sara² Blog Tour

Summer is coming to a close, which of course makes us all a little =( ... but we don't have to be! Instead, let's celebrate the coming Fall, the pumpkin-everything, the return of serious contemporary and all that good stuff with a double-header giveaway as part of the Sara² blog tour!

To celebrate the release of both Promise Me Something and This is How I Find Her, by Sara Kocek and Sara Polsky, respectively, Albert Whitman & Co. is having a Sara²blog tour! You can find out more about all the fantastic stops, interviews, guest posts and (of course) more giveaways here.
But first, let me tell you a little bit about the books, and then give you a chance to win signed copies of each!

Promise Me Something by Sara Kocek
Get It | Add It
Contemporary, 311 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Albert Whitman & Company
As if starting high school weren't bad enough, Reyna Fey has to do so at a new school without her best friends. Reyna's plan is to keep her head down, help her father recover from the car accident that almost took his life, and maybe even make some friends. And then Olive Barton notices her. Olive is not exactly the kind of new friend Reyna has in mind. The boys make fun of her, the girls want to fight her, and Olive seems to welcome the challenge. There's something about Olive that Reyna can't help but like. But when Reyna learns Olive's secret, she must decide whether it's better to be good friends with an outcast or fake friends with the popular kids. . . .before she loses Olive forever.

This Is How I Find Her by Sara Polsky
Get It | Add It
Contemporary, 260 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Albert Whitman & Company
Sophie Canon has just started her junior year when her mother tries to kill herself. Sophie has always lived her life in the shadow of her mother's bipolar disorder, monitoring her medication, rushing home after school to check on her instead of spending time with friends, and keeping her mother's diagnosis secret from everyone outside their family. But when the overdose lands Sophie's mother in the hospital, Sophie no longer has to watch over her. She moves in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, from whom she has been estranged for the past five years. Rolling her suitcase across town to her family's house is easy. What's harder is figuring out how to build her own life.

By the Saras:

To celebrate sending the Saras' brand new books out into the world, Albert Whitman & Co. are offering up a prize pack of a signed copy of each for one lucky winner! This giveaway is US/CAN only, and ends  September 10th at 12am, EST. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck, and make sure to check out tomorrow's stops, as well as the rest of the blog tour!

Tomorrow - Wednesday, September 4
Visit Moonlight Gleam for a Sara Polsky Guest Post
The Writing Barn for a Sara Kocek Guest Post

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 2, 2013

ANTIGODDESS by Kendare Blake | Review

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Get It | Add It
Contemporary/Mythology, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 10th 2013 by Tor Teen
The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I loved the Anna Dressed in Blood duology.
I have more than a tiny obsession with mythology.
I harbor a bit of a girlcrush on Kendare Blake.*
Kendare Blake wrote a modern mythology retelling.

Sounds like a recipe for a book I could love, which generally means I won't, because the world is funny like that ha ha ha. But fortunately, this was one of those cases of me loving a book just as much as I was hoping to. I absolutely loved Blake's modern take on Greek mythology, the Trojan war and the Twilight of the Gods. All the petty jealousies, rivalries and cavalier attitudes of these familiar dying gods translated well to a modern setting, and Athena's growing shame over who they've all been - and whether they deserve their fates and afflictions - brings a much-needed humanness. Yes, it's missing some of the humor and lightness - and surprisingly, some of the gore - that characterized Anna, but honestly, I respected that. I want a tone and style that suits the story, not the same thing rehashed a million times with a different title and characters. Blake gave us two voices, Athena's and Cassandra's, and stayed true to those voices, and it works.

The alternating points of view worked for me, which is something that's always really dicey. I love the idea of alternating POVs, but I often don't like the execution. Even when it's pulled off admirably, I don't always think it's the right choice for the story, but in this case, I do. I can't really picture not getting both Athena's and Cassandra's stories in this way; I loved each and thought each was needed, both for contrast and for creating the whole picture. Cassandra is strong as a modern girl, and their two stories, hers and Athena's, act in tandem - as one becomes a little more human, one becomes a little more cold and god-like. And you know how normally when there are multiple POVs in a story, you sort of pick a favorite and can't wait to get back to it every time it switches? I actually had that feeling with both, which was interesting. It's "I can't wait to see what happens next" x 2. But it wasn't just Athena and Cassandra that drew me in; I liked seeing how other characters from the myths have changed and grown - and how they've stayed the same.

Some may think Antigoddess feels longish or repetitive, but I actually thought everything was needed and fit the story, and gave us time to get to know Athena and the gods. Even when it's circling the same ground, it feels like it's building towards something big - and Blake is not one to shy away from ripping the reader's heart out and then showing it to them, bloody and barely beating. [I both really respect her for this, btw, and want to shake her for it. She makes the same decisions I would make, but look, I'm used to my cruelty. I'm not used to having it turned back on me...] All told, I can't wait for book 2 and seeing more gods crop up, more betrayals and weaknesses exploited, more getting in touch with human side and fortifying the godly side, etc. If you liked Anna (or thought you'd probably like Anna, but were afraid of the gore...), or like mythology or retellings, I'd definitely recommend you pick this up.

*But the restraining order hasn't gone into effect yet, so it's cool.

Want a taste of the style? Here's an excerpt I recorded a little while back, 'cause the beginning was awesome and I had to share it. =D

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Austen in August Wrap-Up, Thank Yous & Survey

Well, that's it, everybody. My Jane event is over for another year. Thank you all so much for stopping by. I kinda love you guys. Really.
I love how enthusiastic all of you are, whether you're old-hat at this Janeite stuff, or completely new to the game. I love you you throw yourselves into the discussions, both having fun with them and being really well-spoken and passionate. You all bring such interesting perspectives and new ideas to the table, and you guys listen to each other, respond to each other, and just generally show what a freaking amazing community Janeites make.

Big thanks, too, to all of the amazing authors and guest posters who participated in this year's AIA. You guys help make this the cool, full, fabulous event that it is, and I couldn't do it without you. So THANK YOU.

There's still a week to enter all of the giveaways (they end Saturday), so go and enter if you haven't. As for all the rest of the stuff - read through and participate at your leisure - it's not going anywhere! Feel free to respond to Mansfield Park whenever you have a chance, or to hashtag something Janey on twitter with this year's #AIATwitChat tag. Keep the dialogue going, and I promise to do the same. =)

Below is a survey, which if you're inclined to fill out, would be helpful and awesome. It's brief, it's completely anonymous, and it's about your overall experience and suggestions.
Thank you all, and until next year: keep reading Jane!

Click the pic to be taken to the Austen in August Main Page!
Thanks to faestock & inadesign for the images used to create this button.


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