A Spark of White Fire, by Sangu Mandanna || Complex families, political schemes, & interstellar awesomeness (& a giveaway)


Title: A Spark of White Fire
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Copy: Physical ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* More about the blog tour.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.

Review:

Despite being heavily influenced by the ancient epic Mahabharata and other Indian lore, there is nothing quite like Mandanna’s latest novel – A Spark of White Fire is an absolutely unique, genre-defying gamechanger in YA. I’ll admit that I have never read the Mahabharata (although after reading this novel, I definitely plan to eventually get to it) so I don’t know how much material was adopted in the story. Nonetheless, by the end of it all, A Spark of White Fire is truly an incomparable gem of a space opera.

READ THE ENTIRE POST

Advertisements

Fall 2018: Asian sci-fi & fantasy releases to fall in love with

I’ll be honest with you, guys. I was born, raised, and still currently reside in the Philippines, which only has two seasons: really wet and really dry (Speaking of, another huge typhoon just hit the country – what else is new, really – and I’m hoping everyone was safe and unharmed). Having never experienced fall, winter, or even spring, I had to ✨ Google search ✨ my way into figuring out what months of the year comprise the fall season.

According to Google, falls begins on the first day of September and lasts until the last day of November – so that’s the timeframe I’m working with. If I’m wrong and Google has betrayed me without my knowledge, feel free to correct me!

Anyway, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, the prompt is ‘Books on My Fall 2018 TBR’. I recently discussed why I’m not the type to make TBR posts, and if you read that post, you would understand why I’ve decided to share science fiction and fantasy releases from Asian authors that will be (or have already been) released in Fall 2018.

READ THE ENTIRE POST

Mirage, by Somaiya Daud || This could be the sci-fi enemies-turned-lovers Sapphic romance we deserve (& a giveaway)


Title: Mirage
Author: Somaiya Daud
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* More about the blog tour.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty–and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Review:

If I’m being totally honest, a lot of my expectations weren’t met – and I mean that in the best possible way. Somaiya Daud’s #OwnVoices, Moroccan-inspired dystopian debut novel delivered in a myriad of ways I never could have foreseen. Although I was expecting a thrillingly paced, adventure-filled narrative with incredibly high stakes and hard-hitting action, I found myself easily entranced by Daud’s wonderfully lush prose and charming cast of diverse characters.

READ THE ENTIRE POST

Wildcard, by Marie Lu || Wildly unpredictable in a ‘what is this hot mess’ kind of way.


Title: Wildcard
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Copy: ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Pre-order via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Review:

It’s no secret that Wildcard, which is the second and final installment of Marie Lu’s Warcross, is one of the most highly anticipated sequels of 2018. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I cannot scroll through the ‘#arcsfortrade’ and ‘#bookishwish’ hashtags without seeing this title at least 15 times. I’ve also read nothing but fervent praises and glowing reviews about Wildcard, so it basically sucks that I’m here to burst some people’s bubble with a strongly contradictory take: Wildcard is, in my opinion, so many kinds of awful that I don’t even know where to begin.

READ THE ENTIRE POST

Review || Secondhand Origin Stories, by Lee Blauersouth


Title: Secondhand Origin Stories
Author: Lee Blauersouth
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* More about the blog tour.
* Purchase via Amazon.

Synopsis:

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

READ THE ENTIRE POST

Review || Princess of Tyrone, by Katie Hamstead


Title: Princess of Tyrone
Author: Katie Hamstead
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:
Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone.

All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss. Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable.

Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming—but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her newfound friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado and their love blossoms.

READ THE ENTIRE POST

Review || Red Rising


Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generation ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow – and Reds like him – are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

READ THE ENTIRE POST