Saturday, February 8, 2020

Date Night with a Book: Finding Her Dragons by April Canavan

Read for: 2019 Purchase

Synopsis: "Finding Her Dragons was originally published in the Fated Mates boxed set.

She's lived in the darkness long enough.

Danica has lived her life in the shadows. Her family ran away from the dragon realm to keep her safe, but now she's all grown up and able to protect herself. One of only four females able to mate, she's both precious to their world and in danger from those who would use her for their own advantage.

Erik, Damon, Castien and Benjamin survive in the human world by running into burning buildings and feeding from the flames. It isn't perfect, but they had to leave their dying realm behind. They're content with their lives, until they see her. A woman who calls to not one, but all four of them.

The Dragon King will stop at nothing to ensure his bloodline is secure, even if it means kidnapping and forcing himself on Danica as well as the other remaining female dragons. Tired of living in the shadows, Danica steps into the light only to be faced with a terrible truth and dangerous consequences."

My Review: You put dragons and romance in a book and I am pretty much guaranteed to pick it up. I have the first two books in this series and I wanted to try it before picking up more books. I really enjoyed the setting of modern city, it makes it familiar and eases the reader into the fantasy realm slowly. We get to find out more information as we read. I liked Danica, she is tough yet naive, intelligent and determined, but makes some stupid mistakes. The guys were great and of course drool worthy but I found it difficult to set them apart in this first book. I think as we get to know them more it will get easier. I am definitely intrigued with the ending of this book and look forward to reading the next book.

My Rating: I am glad I decided to pick this one up, it was short and engrossing, there is plenty of build up and great characters.  I am looking forward to reading the next book and hopefully be able to set the guys apart a bit more.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Bedtime Story: The Last Bit Bear by Sandra Chisholm deYonge & Illustrated by Ellen Ditzler Meloy

Read for: TBR/ Munchkin's Book Reports

Synopsis: "An ecological fable tells the story of Clover, the last bear of his kind, and his journey to the sanctuary of a national park."

My Review: Munchkin received this book as a gift when he was a baby and it was lost on our bookshelf until recently. This was a really cute book that is cute and approachable for kids of all ages. The illustrations are beautiful! The story reminds me a bit of The Lorax with a more real world approach. It packs an important message about our impact on the earth and the animals that were here first. It sparked some interesting conversations with Munchkin as well.

My Rating: I love the timelessness of this tale, it can be read at any point and still relate to the disappearing natural world around us and those who are striving to preserve it.  Munchkin really enjoyed this story and we happened to read it while they were talking about recycling at school, so we got some great conversations out of it.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!

Note: This is a bit of a longer book that I usually post on Bedtime Stories, it is a first chapter book but it is easy to read with a beautiful story and great illustrations.  Going forward with Bedtime Stories I will be including a mix of Picture Books, Early Reader Books and First Chapter books as Munchkin expands his reading.  Munchkin has been required for the past 2 years now to read a book each week and write a book report every week, so we read a lot of books along these lines so expect many more in the future.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Review of A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne

Read for: Highly Anticipated/ Netgalley/ Requested Review

Daryck is from a city that was devastated by the war with the Bone Giants, and now he and a band of warriors seek revenge against the giants for the loved ones they lost. But will vengeance be enough to salve their grief?

Hanima is part of a new generation with extraordinary magical talents: She can speak to fantastical animals. But when this gift becomes a threat to the powers-that-be, Hanima becomes the leader of a movement to use this magic to bring power to the people.

Koesha is the captain of an all-female crew on a perilous voyage to explore unknown waters. Though Koesha's crew is seeking a path around the globe, Koesha is also looking for her sister, lost at sea two years ago. But what lies beyond the edges of the map is far more dangerous than storms and sea monsters. . . .

In this sequel to A Plague of Giants, these characters and more will become the voices of a new generation bringing hope and revolution to a war-torn world."

My Review:  Since I read A Plague of Giants 2 years ago, this book has been on my most anticipated list, and it is finally here and I will start off by saying it was so worth the wait!! I am glad I took a bit of time in January to re-read the first book because this one picks up immediately where it left off. I am so glad we get to dive right back in with Dervan and Fintan as well as the overall story. We got some new character POVs which was great too, I love Olet's and you can't help but smile at Hanima's quirky and cheerful determination. While this book is clearly a transitional book, it doesn't suffer from that second book slump we see so often in trilogies. There isn't as much action as there was in the previous book but we get an opportunity to get to know the characters better when they aren't scrambling in life or death crisis' constantly. There are some great discoveries revealed throughout the telling of the story that will have you just as excited as the citizens are. Also, thank goodness for well made maps to help visualize where all the characters are throughout the story! And now I have to wait ages for the next and I believe final book.

My Rating: Even though there wasn't as much action in this book as there was in the first, I was still fully invested in the story. There are some great twists, some fantastic character development and great plot movement that just keep the pages turning.  I am beyond excited for the next and final book and I can't help but give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

To find out more about Kevin Hearne and this series as well as his other books, check out his Goodreads Page or Website.   I also highly recommend joining his newsletter and following him on social media because he seems like an all around fun dude.

A Blight of Blackwings was just released on Tuesday, February 4th so you can obtain your own copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check at your local bookstore or library.  I also highly recommend the audio books for this series, they are complete with multiple narrators and voices and even the bard songs.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Review of A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos

Read for: 2019 TBR Addition/ Audio Book

Synopsis: "Long ago, following a cataclysm called “The Rupture,” the world was shattered into many floating celestial islands. Known now as Arks, each has developed in distinct ways; each seems to possess its own unique relationship to time, such that nowadays vastly different worlds exist, together but apart. And over all of the Arks the spirit of an omnipotent ancestor abides.

Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot."

My Review: I had received this book as a gift for Christmas and admittedly I didn't know a thing about it. I decided to give it a chance since it seemed like it was going to be a wintery atmospheric book. It was a rather slow read, not a whole lot happens throughout the book but yet it still kept me coming back for more. It was an unusual world that even after reading nearly 500 pages, I am still not 100% clear on, but you learn enough throughout the book to stay intrigued to find out more. It was definitely an odd cast of characters too, everyone clearly has their own agenda and you never really know what it is or who to trust. I do wish that we could learn more about Thorn and follow his character more as it appears that it would reveal more about the political machinations and world. I am not sure if I will continue on with the series but it was definitely a unique and unusual book that leaves me a little unsure about how I felt about it as a whole.

My Rating: Like I said above, I am not really sure how to feel about this book, it was intriguing and unusual and even with the slow pace and lack of action, I found that I kept reaching for the book.  I am glad I read it and if the library has the next book, I may have to give that a try.  For now I give this book a rating of Three Paws.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 5 Star Predictions

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.  It is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can find the list of topics on her page HERE.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is one that I have been wanting to do for a while (though I had been planning to limit it to 5), all about books we predict will be 5 star reads.  I don't give out 5 star ratings (or Four Paws and a Stump Wag around here) often so it is hard to predict which 10 books I plan to read that I will be giving it to (not to mention I then need to read those books relatively soon too). But I have been digging through my shelves and reviewing my anticipated reads list and here are 10 books that could potentially get 5 star ratings from me.

In no particular order .  . . 

5 Star Predictions:

This book is so beautiful but it didn't get a ton of hype last year when it was released.  I have been hesitant to pick it up simply due to my fear of pronunciations, but I have heard that it now has an audio book as well, so I think I will get the audio book to read along with it.  What reviews I have seen from trusted readers have been outstanding, so I am very hopeful this will get a 5 star rating from me.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now but it came highly recommended by one of the associates I trust at Barnes & Noble.  It sounds like it is a great blend of fantasy, politics and inspired by vikings.  All in all it sounds like a book that was written for me!

I cannot wait for this book to come out! I am absolutely in love with this series and can't imagine this book earning any less that 5 stars!

I love books that feature siblings and I can't wait to see how this battle between siblings turns out.  Not to mention this cover is to die for!

YAY for more Murderbot!! I have completely fallen for this series and this unique character.  I must admit that I am a tiny bit hesitant about a full length Sci-fi book as opposed to the novella lengths previously but I have no fear that Murderbot will lead us on a grand adventure full of snark and those pesky feelings that seem to interfere with media time.

I know I am cheating here, but the first book was so beautiful that if I had more than 5 stars to give it, I would have.  I am bracing myself to be completely swept away with these next two books in the trilogy and honestly I would be surprised if at least one if not both of these ended up with 5 stars.

I am so excited to see Kiera Cass coming out with another book similar to the Selections, which happens to be one of those series that is an absolute guilty pleasure for me.  I am really hopping we can all forget about the not so fabulous Siren book and get back to the magic of her previous books.

Do you know how long I have searched for a romance book with a hunky hero and a cat on the cover?! If this doesn't blow me away I am going to be seriously upset! Not to mention the heroine is a nerdy professor building a bookstore and he is the handy man single dad making that dream come to life, I so need this one to be good! (And there better be a cat!)

Again, I am cheating but I have really been enjoying this series and the discovery at the end of the 2nd book has me anxious to get to these two.  I am predicting that at least one of these will get a 5 star rating, but it may take me a bit to get to both of them to find out.

Finally this book has been calling to me for so long and I have found that I really love storyteller/bard characters and I am really looking forward to getting into this one and seeing how he twists stories around for politics.

So what books on your TBR do you think will earn 5 stars?  Do you give out 5 star ratings often? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so which should I start with?

Monday, February 3, 2020

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
I'll Never Get All of That Done by Bryan Smith (Bedtime Story)
Nils: The Tree Of Life by Jérôme Hamon and Illustrated by Antoine Carrion (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Belle Revolte - DNF 50%
A Winter's Promise
Dreaming the Bear
The Very, Very Far North
A Blight of Blackwings

Currently Reading:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
77:56 Hours Listened (14:43 listened this week)
3,013 Pages Read (1,135 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Drum that Beats Within Us - READ
A Heart so Fierce and Broken - READ
Nameless Queen - READ
The Raven's Tale (gift)
Steel Crow Saga
The Language of Fire


It was another rather productive reading week.  I was really struggling early in the week with Belle Revolte, I really wanted to like it after loving the author's previous duology but I couldn't get through more than 10 pages before becoming easily distracted.  I was sent it for review and I felt so guilty for not getting it read in time, but once I finally made the decision to put it down, my reading took off for the week.  Life is too short to force read books you aren't enjoying.  I really hope I can keep this momentum going this month, with a bunch of requested reviews coming up, Tome Topple with some chunky books and a stack of romances calling my name, I have a lot to look forward to this month and I have a clean slate to start with!