Chachic's Book Nook


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Want Books: Thorn

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

Last week, I asked for recommendations for books that will wow me. One of the commenters, Mary Anne, mentioned a title that stood out to me: Thorn by Intisar Khanani. This is the first time I’ve heard of this title or this author but I was immediately curious because Thorn is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm Goose Girl fairy tale. It doesn’t hurt that the book has a pretty cover. I’m a big fan of fairy tales retold and the only Goose Girl retelling that I’ve read so far is Shannon Hale’s. Definitely planning to check this out. I’ve had a sample sent to my Kindle and if I end up liking it, I’ll probably grab the whole novel. I’m trying to be better about buying ebooks because I have so many unread titles in my TBR pile. I keep telling myself that I should only buy books that I’ll read right away (it doesn’t always work).

ThornHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies–and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

Thanks to Mary Anne for this rec! As always, let me know what you think if you’ve read this book. Would be helpful to know more about it. Also, what book is at the top of your wishlist?


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Top Ten Books in Sci-Fi

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, we got to choose what genre to focus on for our lists. I wanted to highlight sci-fi because it’s a genre that I haven’t fully explored. In no particular order, here are the sci-fi books that I’ve enjoyed reading:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews

Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews

Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Höst

And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

… and I’m one short. I couldn’t even make it to ten! I wasn’t sure if dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels are considered sci-fi so I decided not to include them (in any case, I haven’t read a lot in that sub-genre either). I guess it’s pretty obvious that I need to read more from this genre. Would you happen to have any recommendations for me based on the titles listed above? Connie Willis and Linnea Sinclair are already on my TBR pile.


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Want Books: Generation V (American Vampire #1)

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

I keep wanting to try new-to-me adult urban fantasy books because I’ve only found two series (Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews and the World of the Lupi by Eileen Wilks) that I loved enough to keep following. I’ve tried a couple of other series but sadly, didn’t feel compelled to read the rest of the books after the first two or three titles. My friend Kristen of Fantasy Cafe mentioned that she really enjoyed reading Generation V, the first book in the American Vampire series by M.L. Brennan. I looked it up and the premise looks promising. I’ve added it to my wishlist but I told Kristen that I have no idea when I would get to read it because I have such a huge TBR pile.

Generation VHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him…

What about you, what book is at the top of your wishlist? What’s your favorite urban fantasy series? Hope you’re all having a good weekend so far.


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Retro Friday: Medair by Andrea K. Höst

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie over at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc.

MedairHaving previously loved Andrea K. Höst’s sci-fi novels And All the Stars and the Touchstone trilogy, I picked up her Medair duology when I needed to be fully absorbed by a good novel. It’s funny because out of all of her books, I wanted to read this epic fantasy duology first but I didn’t get the chance to read them until recently. Once again, I would like to thank the author for providing a review copy of the omnibus edition which contains both The Silence of Medair and Voice of the Lost. I feel that both books have to be read together so I’m glad I got them in one edition.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Medair an Rynstar returned too late to drive back the Ibisian invasion. Centuries too late.

When friend and enemy have become the same thing, what use are the weapons Medair planned to use to protect her Empire? There is no magic, no artefact, no enchanted trinket which can undo the past.

But no matter how Medair wishes to hide from the consequences of her failure, there are those who will not allow her the luxury of denying the present. Her war is already lost, but she carries weapons which could change the course of new battles.

With the skirmishes of war beginning, and hunters in near pursuit, it is her conscience Medair cannot escape. Whose side should she be on? What is she really running from?

Silence of MedairI was completely immersed in Medair’s world right from the start. I read the whole thing in just one weekend because I couldn’t get enough of the story and just had to reach the end as soon as I could. I wanted to be swept away into a wonderful world filled with magic and adventure and I’m happy to report that Medair lived up to my expectations. Having had prior experience reading Andrea K. Höst’s other novels, I knew there would be surprising twists and turns in both The Silence of Medair and Voice of the Lost and I was right. I was immediately intrigued by the premise – Medair is a Herald of her kingdom, tasked with finding a powerful magical object that will help her people win the war. She succeeded in finding what she was looking for, but she stopped to rest in a place outside of time and when she woke up, she discovered that 500 years have passed. Not surprisingly, Medair feels lost, with no idea how to move forward. A large part of the reader’s enjoyment of Medair would depend on whether one will be able to sympathize with her and the issues that she faces. Her narration is very introspective, going back and forth from the past to the present, and trying to reconcile the differences between them. There’s a lot of reflection on her part as she reluctantly becomes involved in making decisions that would irrevocably change the world she found herself in. I loved Medair’s character, I understood her hesitations, her feelings and her worries. She’s an intelligent and resourceful woman, loyal to her liege and her country, and inherently a good person. But completely at a loss with how much has been altered in her world. I do admit that there could have been less of her thoughts going around in circles, even Medair was self-aware enough to realize that she keeps doing that, but I wasn’t really bothered by it. I can see why the narration wouldn’t work for everyone but I’m delighted that I was completely engrossed by it. Aside from Medair, I was also invested in several other characters in the story and I loved seeing her interact with them even as she tries to keep a distance.

Voice of the LostThere’s a whole lot of history and political intrigue intertwined with the story, partly because of the invasion centuries ago, and also because of the alliances of the various governing bodies around the region. I enjoyed these aspects and how magic was also involved in all of it. I like that there weren’t any lengthy explanations on how the magic works but it never got confusing for me. I felt that it was seamlessly woven into the story. I believe that this review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk about the romance in these two books. While I could see it coming, it was how the characters got there that mattered. In keeping with her personality and the situation she’s in, Medair doesn’t take her attraction to a certain someone lightly. As a result, there’s tension and ambiguity. I really had no idea how things would unfold between them. Andrea K. Höst has consistently surprised me with how she builds and develops relationships in her books. While I wasn’t exactly able to predict how things would end, I can say that there was a nice build up and I couldn’t see Medair’s story ending any other way. Similar to the Touchstone trilogy, I can see the Medair duology will be a very good reread. I look forward to finding the time for it. In the meantime, I need to work on convincing more readers to pick up her books because I seriously find it surprising that they’re not as well-known as they should be. I had a book hangover after reading these two books and the only solution I could think of was to start on another Andrea K. Höst title.

Other reviews:
Me and My Books


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Want Books: Champion of the Rose

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

I loved both the Touchstone trilogy and And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst so I want to devour the rest of her books. I started reading her Medair duology this weekend because I wanted to be distracted by a good read. I’m about halfway through and I find Medair just as absorbing as her other books. I have a feeling I will want to dive into the rest of the novels that she’s written before the year is out. Next on my wishlist is Champion of the Rose.

Champion of the RoseHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

Soren Armitage is an anachronism. Proclaimed Rathen Champion by the Rathen Rose, intended to support the rule of a Rathen King or Queen.

But there are no Rathens.

Resigned to symbolising only Darest’s faded glories, Soren is not prepared for the sudden appearance of a Rathen. Now she must find and support the heir despite the machinations of the kingdom’s regent, sylvan curses, and the strange behaviour of once-dormant protective enchantments. While the odds seem stacked against her, Soren is determined to do her best to live up to the name of Rathen Champion. But what is she to do when it seems that there is something very wrong with her Rathen? Can she trust the person she is meant to protect?

What about you, what book is at the top of your wishlist? Have you recently come across an author you just want to glom into?


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Want Books: You Had Me at Hello

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

Mhairi McFarlane's books

I first found out about You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane from Nomes’ Faves of 2013 list. I’m always curious whenever a friend recommends a new-to-me chick lit author. I like the typography in the book cover and the premise seems interesting. I saw it in the bookstore yesterday but I resisted getting a copy even though there was an ongoing sale and I could get it for 20% off (you should all congratulate me for my restraint). I’m in the process of packing because I’m moving to a different flat soon – so I’m putting off buying physical copies of books until I’ve moved. Today, I just finished packing two suitcases full of books. I shouldn’t be surprised that I have that many books here with me even though I’ve been in Singapore less than two years, right?

You Had Me at HelloAnyway, here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

What about you, what book is at the top of your wishlist? Did you add any books on your wishlist after seeing them on another blogger’s best/faves of 2013 list?


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Want Books: Lhind the Thief

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

Sherwood Smith is one of my favorite fantasy authors. I recently found out about Lhind the Thief, which was released last year. It seems like the kind of epic fantasy that I enjoy reading, with a thieving heroine as an added bonus. I’m always curious about thieves in fiction. I still have so many books on my TBR pile so I can’t justify buying Lhind the Thief at the moment, but I will definitely grab a copy when I feel like I’m in the mood for something just like this.

Lhind the ThiefHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

Lhind has been on the run all her life.

Stealing what she needs, using magic for disguise, she never stays anywhere long. Lhind even has secrets from herself, for she has few memories, and those are troubling.

But life is good until she gets caught by Rajanas the warrior-prince, Thianra the bard, and Hlanan the scribe. And that’s when adventure begins, because someone very powerful wants them all dead.

As they evade pursuit and work to uncover their enemies, Lhind struggles with the invisible bonds of friendship and trust, while Hlanan begins uncovering her secrets one by one.

Then she finds that he has secrets, too.

What about you, what book is at the top of your wishlist?


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Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is things/themes that I would like to see more of in the books that I read. In no particular order, these are the things that would interest me:

Filipino YA – I’ve mentioned this previously and I’ll probably keep bringing it up: I would love to read Filipino YA novels, whether they’re fantasy or contemporary. I’ve envied Australia for its wealth of amazing YA novels for a while now and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the Philippines will produce its share of YA books that readers all over the world can enjoy.

Fairy tales retold – I love fairy tale retellings and would love to see more of them.

Court or political intrigue – I find it fascinating when characters maneuver court intrigue really well.

Magnificent or awe-inspiring mythical creatures – Like a dragon or a pegasus or a flesh-eating water horse.

Books set all over the world – Most of the books that I’ve come across are set in the US, UK and Australia (or in fantasy worlds). Some are set in France. I would like to read more from other countries, maybe in Asia or South America.

Travel – I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like so I enjoy reading travel books because I get to live vicariously through the characters. The opposite theme for this (coming home) is also something I’m interested in.

Foodie novels – I love to eat so it’s only natural that I love reading about characters who share this particular interest.

Family and awesome parents – I always appreciate books where the main characters’ families have a strong presence in the story because my own family is very important in my life.

Friendship – Similar to what I wrote above, I value my friends as well. As much as I love romance novels, I also think friendship stories are great and we need more of them.

Main characters who are readers or book bloggers – It’s always fun to read a book that has a character who loves to read. And I don’t think I’ve read a book that has a book blogger.

What about you, what are the things that you’d like to see in the novels that you read?


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Book Haul: YAckers Secret Santa

I’m sorry for the radio silence for the past few days. There’s so much going on ever since I’ve been back in Singapore that I haven’t had a chance to update the blog. I thought I’d post a quick update on a package that was waiting for me when I got to the office last Tuesday. I knew it was from the YAckers Secret Santa and I was excited to see what was inside:

YAckers Secret Santa 2013

YAckers Secret Santa 2013_2

YAckers Secret Santa 2013_3

It’s a package from Angie! Thank you so much for the lovely books and chocolates, Angie. I’ve already started on the Godiva chocolates and they’re yummy. I’m looking forward to reading these two books. :) This reminds me that I still haven’t finished reading the books that I got from last year’s YAckers Secret Santa.

What about the rest of you, did you get some nice books for Christmas?


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Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I love this week’s topic because I feel like I’ve been very lucky in terms of new-to-me authors I’ve discovered this year.

Laura Florand1

Laura Florand – I can still remember ordering Laura’s The Chocolate Thief and The Chocolate Kiss from Amazon when I was in the States earlier this year. I fell in love with her Amour et Chocolat series right away and she’s become an auto-buy/auto-read author for me.

Mary Ann RiversThe Story Guy is one of my favorite reads this year and I’m glad I got to follow it up with Snowfall before the year ended. I’m amazed at how much emotion was packed in these novellas.

Ruthie Knox – Another romance author I fell in love with this year! I’ve read most of her backlist and Big Boy and Truly are the ones I liked best. Messy, realistic and complicated relationships make wonderful reads.

Tessa Bailey – If you’re a fan of steamy romance, then I highly recommend this author’s Line of Duty series. They’re so much fun to read.

World of the Lupi

Eileen Wilks – I glommed through the World of Lupi series a few months ago and I can’t remember the last time a series hooked me like that.

Vikki Wakefield – Contemporary Aussie YA novels keep blowing me away with how good they are, All I Ever Wanted was no exception.

Rainbow RowellAttachments and Fangirl were both excellent reads even though they’re very different from each other. I really should bump Eleanor and Park up my TBR pile.

Markus Zusak – I really have no idea why it took me so long to read The Book Thief. It was as good as I was expecting and yes, it made me cry.

Andrea K. HostAnd All the Stars surprised me with all its sci-fi goodness and I can’t wait to read more books by the same author.

Brian K. Vaughn – Had so much fun reading the Saga graphic novels that I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know who reads comics. Can’t wait for Volume 3!

I think that’s a pretty good list of authors from various genres. I would gladly go through the backlist of all of the authors mentioned here (even though that may take a while). How about you, who are some of the amazing authors you’ve discovered this year?

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