Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #35 + WWW Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
It's a weekly meme about upcoming books we're excited about!

A Death-Struck Year
by Makiia Lucier
Publication Date: March 4, 2014

From Goodreads:

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country - that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode - and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Why I'm Excited

Well, I love historical fiction, for one thing, and another - this is a fascinating event in history. Horrific, but fascinating. And this story takes place on the Pacific Northwest! Normally I don't like books that take place on my side of the country, but since it isn't actually in Washington, but Oregon (not all that far away), I'm okay with it.

Half Bad
(Half Life #1)
by Sally Green
Publication Date: March 4, 2014

From Goodreads:

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan's father is the world's most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch - or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust - not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Why I'm Excited

Okay, I admit it: I've sort of gotten into the witch-story franchise. Don't know why; maybe because I haven't read a bad one yet (though I am quite certain that they are out there). I also read a sneak peek of this book, and it caught my attention. I prefer witch stories that take place in a historical era, but modern day can be interesting, too.

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Should Be Reading

What are you currently reading?

As a general's daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin's eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him - with unexpected consequences. It's not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

I'm about nine chapters into this ARC, and I'm not really certain what I think of it. It's interesting so far, and Kestrel is a pretty good protagonist. I don't know Arin well enough yet to determine my thoughts on him. But the world is a little confusing. It has a very Greco-Roman feel, but decidedly Regency-era styles: the dresses, the instruments, and carriages. We'll see how I feel after I'm halfway through.

What have you recently read?

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates - brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find - aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge - but who will be left alive in the end?

I gave this book 4 strawberries, though if it hadn't been for the amount of profanity, I would have given it a solid 5 strawberries. It is the best revenge story I have ever read - better than The Count of Monte Cristo because revenge is actually achieved. Sydney, the young girl, is the only likable character, but Victor and Eli's twisted evilness is what makes their characters so interesting. This is a book that is plot-driven, so you don't need to like many characters. But it is also a plot-driven book that has very well realized characters. It's dark and it explores the nature of people, and I loved it.

What do you plan on reading next?

When Nadia's family moves to Captive's Sound, she instantly realizes there's more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia sense a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive's Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed - and that curse will cause him to believe he's seeing the future . . . . until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl - Nadia - from a car accident come true, he knows he's doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family's terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them.

I'm not sure I'm going to like this book all that much, but I have the ARC for Book #2 in the series, and I do rather like stories about witches, so we'll see. It might surprise me.


  1. Spellcaster looks intriguing! I think I'll give it a try. Happy Wednesday!

    1. I thought it did sound interesting - at least, the sequel did (didn't know it was a sequel when I picked up the ARC). :)

  2. Wow, what fantastic reads! Hope you enjoy them, I'll definitely be checking them out. Here's my link

    1. Thanks, BiblioBeth; I hope I enjoy them, too. :)

  3. So many good choices! I have some of these on my TBR already too!
    New follower :)
    ­Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings


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