Powered by Blogger.

The Wanderers by Kate Ormand #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway

The Wanderers
by Kate Ormand
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: September 1st 2015

A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?

   

The Wanderers takes a different creature of the paranormal world and gives them their own unique story. We have shifters who survive by being part of a traveling circus. Things quickly fall apart when the hunters come calling.

I really like the idea of the shifters disguising themselves by being a traveling circus. Although it seemed the circus itself was minimal. With only one main tent attraction it wasn’t really elaborated on. I was more interested in the characters so it didn’t bother me but I could see how you might be expecting a larger circus scene. It made me think of Ringling Bros coming to town as oppose to going to Circus world and Baraboo. It was pretty cool how all the acts are actually people who can change into animals. At times though the circus seemed more like a prison than a refugee.

I thought the part with the animal cruelty protesters was interesting. I was thinking in my head what they would do if they knew the people were the animals, and the reason they have to hide is because they are endangered by hunters. How would they react to that.

Flo and Jett have an established relationship, so you don’t have the build-up but it’s just as sweet. They work through the story as partners and truly respect each other. They are also both understanding how they don’t want to leave either one behind. I enjoyed their romantic scenes.

There are all kinds of characters coming in and out. I think I would have to write down what everyone his to remember what animal they can shift to. We spend the most time with Flo who is a horse and Jett who is a bear. The triplets who are elephants also have a big part in the story, at least they are more memorable to me. Then of course the elders who run the show.

It has that thriller aspect where they are on the run from the hunters and finding out more about the history of the circus. It always stresses me out when I read a book like this, like why can’t they just be safe! It’s also addicting for that reason, I need to read to find out if they will ever be safe.

I really enjoyed the book. I think if you are fan of paranormal with that kind of thriller vibe. This is definitely a unique read. I don’t know if I have ever read a book with such a broad spectrum of shifters.



KATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise.

You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).

      



Unboxing my @Owlcrate August


The theme for Owlcrate this month is Mystery. So the book feature is Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. I have heard about this book but didn't have it so now I will have to read it. It also came with a bookmark and button.


I love Nancy Drew so I was excited about this keychain. I already put it on my keys!


I'm also a fan of Sherlock Holmes and so I adored this notebook that I can write all my people watching observations and then of course some cool nail decals.


This is what the decals look like. I have to try to put them on. I'm terrible with that stuff.


I have never actually read Harriet the Spy but this picture postcard is cute. 

I loved this month's theme. Can't wait to see what next month is.


Unboxing August @Uppercasebox


Life has been crazy and so I haven't really done an update on the blog. I wanted to share the recent boxes that I have gotten though because they are probably my favorite of my subscriptions so far. Great pick me ups for this stressful month.


First to start off with my Uppercase Subscription Box, check back tomorrow for my Owlcrate post.


I was pretty excited about this one because I had my eye on Rebel Mechanics and was actually kind of hoping that it would be the pick. Not only is it cool that you get the book with a signed bookplate

but the little post-it notes for extra content give the reading that extra level.


Plus check out this awesome bookmark. I absolutely love it!! I'm such a huge steampunk/gears fan and so this is absolutely perfect for not just this book but for all my books.


The Ampersand made me giggle. It's so cute plus I like that is looks like rose gold. Which is my favorite of the gold groups. Also I did put on a Litographs tattoo at BEA and had wanted to buy one. I just couldn't decide and then didn't do any. So I loved getting this one. Now I have to figure out where to apply it. 


Plus a Swoon Reads postcard and a Winter button. I love buttons. I'm starting to get caught up on the series. I finished Scarlet and am moving on to Cress finally.

So overall. I completely loved this box!! Really the boxes just keep getting better so if you are looking for a good one. I would definitely say this is a good choice. 






Jubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway

FFBC Juible Manor Blog Tour
Jubilee Manor (Landry Park #2)
by Bethany Hagen
Publisher: Dial/Penguin
Release Date: August 11th 2015
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

The thrilling conclusion to Landry Park is full of love, betrayal, and murder--perfect for fans of Divergent, The Selection, andPride and Prejudice.

In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.

This conclusion to Landry Park, which VOYA dubbed "Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games,” is a richly satisfying, addictive read.

     

Book 1
Jubilee Manor picks up right after Landry Park. We are seeing a shift in politics that trickles down to everyone quality of life and state of being. I like how we are now in the reconstruction mode and the struggles that come along with that. We also have a bit of a mystery going on as the gentry heirs are suddenly being knocked off. Madeline powers through and shows us what it really means to be a Landry.

The thing I found most interesting about Landry Park and Jubilee Manor is their take on the typical dystopian novel. Normally we would be reading in the perspective of the oppressed rather than the oppressor. Landry Park was about the Rootless finding their freedom but we saw through the eyes of someone in the gentry. I thought that was an interesting take. Also in Jubilee Manor where other dystopias often end, with and we are free and are going to start rebuilding. Jubilee Manor actually takes on the struggle of rebuilding after gaining your freedom. It takes us past that ending you often see. I think the blurb on the first book mentions Gone With the Wind and you can definitely see some of that spirit injected here as well as history of the Civil War and the Reconstruction era that happened after. Empire is kind of like the carpetbaggers. Of course I say spirit because this is it’s own story.

I really liked what we see in Jubilee Manor as far as reconstruction. Madeline trying to navigate politics with her Uncle Jack but also the the strong family theme that is represented. We see Madeline find common ground with her father. Welcome new family members and even find that Landry Park is a part of her, no matter where she goes. The murder mystery was interesting. I always like a good mystery and I thought there were plenty of viable suspects. It could be anyone which made the reveal great. Sometimes they were take one step forward and two steps back. Of course there is also Madeline and David’s relationship with it’s ups and downs. Personally I was like eh you don’t need him.

I’m not going to lie. I was kind of iffy about David at the end of Landry Park. I just felt like he was kind of a putz and not really reliable. I know that’s not nice but I was almost rooting for Jude, even though I was kind of iffy on him too. So the romance for me in Jubilee Manor was more of a side thing and I think that is how it is portrayed. Madeline is such a strong character with so much going on, I can’t imagine her spending time gushing about her love interest, which she doesn’t. There are definitely cute romantic parts too though. So don’t worry they are in there, for me it wasn’t the focus and I wasn’t worried about it.

I loved Madeline. She is such a great character because she doesn’t make decisions idly but she is also not always right. She is a young girl but she has been raised to be a leader and when push comes to shove. She really takes on the role. I think she finds she is stronger than she even realized she is. She wants to help the rootless but she also has to make her own adjustment to how life is changing. She has lived one way for almost eighteen years, she also needs to change gears. She always tries to be empathetic and compassionate.

I really liked the book and it takes a great combination of dystopia and history, fusing them together. I can’t say which book I liked more but reading them together really makes for a seamless story and since they are both out you can do just that.




Bethany Hagen was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up reading Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur, and went on to become a librarian. Landry Park is her debut novel.