Review: Debris (The Veiled Worlds #1) by Jo Anderton

Debris by Jo Anderton

Copy Courtesy of Angry Robot
Already Released

Tanyana is one of the best architects in a city where everything is basically built out of things called pions or rather she was until one day she has an accident and wakes up unable to see the pions which used to follow her beck and call. Instead she must collect debris, which is a destroyer of pions. In order to find out what happens to her, she may have to find the truth behind debris.

This novel might actually fall into a category called science-fantasy since it has the feel of a science fiction novel, but it's not based on the science of this world so it's therefore fantasy as such. I'm going to classify it as fantasy for now.

This book moves from the gorgeous creation of a statue out of pions to the filth of the living conditions of those who must collect debris. In some ways this felt really surreal as you get acclimated to this future world yet magical feeling place. I think I enjoyed the sensation though.

It managed to hit just the right combination of weirdly interesting that despite the main character being annoyingly clueless (or perhaps arrogant?) at points I ended up liking the story. I'm looking forward to more details about the world being fleshed since I feel like I have a sketch of the world that isn't quite colored in at this point.

Star Rating: 3.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Debris at Amazon

Third Sentence Thursday (#49- #??) is being hosted at Proud Book Nerd

Third Sentence Thursday
Heather from Proud Book Nerd has graciously offered to host Third Sentence Thursday while I take a break from blogging (if you don't know what I'm talking about go here)

Head on over to her place!

Bad Excuses, A Break, and the Like

You may have noticed that in the past month reviews and posts in general have dropped off severely. I apologize for this lack of posting and such.

The main reason this has happened was that I was in a bad reading slump all of October. I only managed to finish one book during October - Song of the Nile - which was fantastic, but that doesn't get me anywhere in terms of reviews. This happened in part because school started up, and the full force of actual grad level courses hit me. Another reason was because my boyfriend and I started house hunting which has required a lot of meeting people, seeing places, and of course the surrounding research and learning. Also, I got slightly obsessed with a game called Glitch, and that turned out to be a free time suck of which I really didn't have much of to begin with.

The final reason for the slump was really because reading has become a bit like a chore because of the reviews, which in combination with all the other things made me feel overly stressed. So, to remedy the situation:

1) I have quit playing the game for the time being to free up time and energy to get back to reading because the lack of reading was definitely disturbing.

2) I have decided to officially go on a break from the blog for the next month (incidentally this is about the time until my quarter ends). I will likely write a few reviews in this time, but I won't be posting them until I come back in December in order to give myself some cushion.

3) There shall be giveaways to compensate for my absence when I come back in December. (there MIGHT be a Shatter Me giveaway just saying~~)

4) Third Sentence Thursday will also be taking a break until I come back since I want this to be a complete break from the blog for awhile. Fear not though, it shall be back and better than ever. Edit: this is void. It is now being guest hosted over at Proud Book Nerd. There was an announcement about that here.

Winners for Song of the Nile and Witchlanders!

First up is the winner of Witchlanders:

Julie W.!

and the winner for Song of the Nile:

Caroline M.!

Congratulations ladies, your prizes should be on their way too you soon ^.^ As always, thank you to everyone who entered these giveaways!

Third Sentence Thursday (#48)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme which likes to curl up with a good book and hot chocolate!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

"Cold." -The Restoration Game by Ken Macleod

Wah! Very informative... as in not :(

Review: Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter #2) by Stephanie Dray

Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

Copy Courtesy of Penguin and Stephanie Dray
Already Released

This is the second book in the series, and you should definitely check out the first - Lily of the Nile - if you haven't read it yet. This review may contain some spoilers if you haven't read the first yet.

Selene Cleopatra is now a young woman and about to be married off to a man not of her own choosing. The marriage means a throne of her own in Africa, but she still yearns for the throne of Egypt. What price will she be willing to pay to gain it?

Banish any doubts you may have had about the sequel. It takes the momentum Dray built up in the second half of the last book, and continues it. What we end up with is a powerful and magical story that will grip you from beginning to end.

Selene comes into her own as she discovers her own powers, and living through her joys, failures, and numerous sorrows is so vivid that I forgot about this time and place while reading. The supporting characters are very well fleshed out and added much to the story. The backdrop is well, stunning.

I highly recommend Song of the Nile to you. It's a wonderful second book, and as I hear that there will be a third one, am eagerly awaiting it.

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Song of the Nile at Amazon

Third Sentence Thursday (#47)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme which likes to curl up with a good book and hot chocolate!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

"The day Amy was born, her mother, Jeannette, was nineteen years old." -The Passage by Justin Cronin

Nineteen is not very old to be having a child. At least, not in modern times, and this book takes place now-ish. It just doesn't bode well, and while I wish Jeannette and Amy the best of luck, I can't help but think this won't end well.

Interview With Stephanie Dray (w/ Giveaway!)

Today I would like to welcome back Stephanie Dray, the FIRST author I EVER interviewed on this blog! Her new book Song of the Nile is out, and she's back to talk about it ^.^ I'm super excited. BTW, you can read my review of the first book in the series Lily of the Nile, as well as my previous interview with her ^.^ Also, the if you noticed the title I said GIVEAWAY that's right! ^.^ Keep reading for the details


Stephanie graduated with a degree in Government from Smith, a small women’s college in Massachusetts where–to the consternation of her devoted professors–she was unable to master Latin. However, her focus on Middle Eastern Studies gave her a deeper understanding of the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion.

Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has–to the consternation of her devoted husband–collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.


1) I was completely sucked in by Song of the Nile, and I wonder how hard of a book this was to write? And/or in what ways was it the same or different from the other books you have written?

I have to tell you, this book almost killed me to write. I didn’t think it would be hard because I had almost fifty thousand words already written when it sold. But I soon realized that most of that had to be tossed away--that the real story was still about Selene’s twisted relationship with the emperor. I was also suffering from a serious crisis of confidence because I knew that this book was going to be darker and more controversial. In the end though, it made me cry, and I think that’s always a good thing.

2) In your afterword of Song of the Nile, you talk about the historical facts versus what changes and spaces you filled in. How did you balance the real versus storyteller's freedom?

My first duty is as a storyteller. I’m not a biographer. And frankly, historians would have a difficult time writing a biography about Cleopatra Selene because the evidence of her life is so fragmentary. However, the implications of those little historical snippets were too delicious to deny Selene her day in the sun. She spent most of her life without being able to voice her true feelings. I hoped to honor her by giving her a voice with which to speak to women today. I do a lot of research to make sure that if I am deviating from history, I’m doing so with a very clear purpose. For example, we don’t know what happened to Selene’s twin brother Helios, but he’s a very important character in my novels because of what he represents to her.

3) What happened to Helios after his disappearance in Lily of the Nile? I'm curious because while there are mentions of Helios in Song of the Nile, his story isn't anywhere near as fleshed out as Selene's. Basically, can there be a story of his journeys?

Assuming that Helios is actually alive, and not a spiritual manifestation of Selene’s darkest needs, I would love to do a story on his journeys during this time period. Can you imagine the exotic travels through Arabia and Kush? I can! Not to mention the fact that the Mediterranean was a wild and wooly place of piracy in those days and Helios would have been in the thick of all of that. I think you should talk to my agent; she would like to hear this idea you have for some side projects for me!

Sniffly Kitty: I would totally tell her that I want to see this story written. HEY STEPHANIE'S AGENT HELIOS' STORY = AWESOME SIDE PROJECT!!!

4) What was it like to do some tough things to your characters? The last book definitely saw some of that, but I feel there are definitely rougher moments in this book?

Some very bad things happen to my characters in this book and they hurt me to write them. What made it harder is that Selene is so overwhelmed with loss at some point that she can’t even cry anymore. And I thought about that--what it might feel like to lose someone you love and not even be able to cry at their funeral. For those periods of depression, I had to draw from a very dark place. The saving grace is that Cleopatra Selene triumphed over these tragedies in her life and I think we can all take inspiration from that.

5) Will there be more books in this vein from you? And any details you are allowed to share would be appreciated.

I have just accepted an offer for the third and final book in the trilogy, so I’d better get to work on writing it! This last one will cover Selene’s life as a mother, and the legacy she will leave behind in her children and in her kingdom. And of course, throughout the empire...

Sniffly Kitty: OOh, I didn't realize there would be a third book! I'm super excited ^.^


Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra’s daughter has become the emperor’s most unlikely apprentice and the one woman who can destroy his empire…

Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.

Forced to marry a man of the emperor’s choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name. She quickly establishes herself as a capable leader in her own right and as a religious icon. Beginning the hard work of building a new nation, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests.

But it’s the magic of Isis flowing through her veins that makes her indispensable to the emperor. Against a backdrop of imperial politics and religious persecution, Cleopatra’s daughter beguiles her way to the very precipice of power. She has never forgotten her birthright, but will the price of her mother’s throne be more than she’s willing to pay?


1. Giveaway of 1 Brand Spanking New Copy of Song of the Nile, direct from the publishers to you!
2. You refers to 1 person who is chosen at random!
3. Also refers to US & Canada residents only (sorry other folks)
4. Fill out the giveaway form below!
5. Do 1 of the following (bonus points for doing multiple):
- Subscribe to her newsletter
- Follow her on Twitter
- Like/Fan her Facebook Page
6. Giveaway is open until Nov 2, 2011 (that's next Wednesday)
7. Must be over 13 to enter.

Review: Mastiff (Beka Cooper #3) by Tamora Pierce

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Copy Courtesy of Random House
Release Date: TODAY!!!

This is the third book in this series and there may be some spoilers if you haven't read the previous 2 books (Terrier and Bloodhound), but honestly these stories are pretty standalone so you shouldn't worry too much.

The ultimate task for the best tracker team in the kingdom: Beka and her dog Achoo. The prince has disappeared, and the kingdom is in grave danger unless Beka can track him down. The trail though is a treacherous one, and there will be many twists, turns, and surprises.

I'm still squee-ing over having gotten my hands on this book. I may in fact be a bit of a fangirl... tiny teeny HUGE bit. As was decided when I featured this for a Third Sentence Thursday, this series is grittier than some of Pierce's other works, but it's still got the Pierce touch.

I took this book with me on my trip to Taiwan, and I kept wanting to read instead of going off and doing things. I was definitely surprised by how the hunt for the prince turned out, which was yay ^.^ and filled with lots of tense moments. I was able to slide into this story faster than the others perhaps because I've gotten used to the slang of Beka's day.

I think this was a great last book for this trilogy, and it satisfies much better than the Protector of the Small series (in my opinion anyway). I also love how this story wraps back around to George Cooper since we started with a small vignette from his home life at the beginning of the series. So, what are you waiting for? Go get it ^.^

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Mastiff at Amazon

Witch Eyes Sequel!!

There was a TON of buzz for Witch Eyes when it came out. I will admit that I haven't read it yet, but then that's the case for so many books that I'm going to skip the being embarrassed about it part. ANYWAY, apparently there is now a deal in place for the sequel which shall be called Phantom Eyes although there is no release guess. For the official announcement, head on over to Scott Tracey's blog.
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