The Whimsical Mama

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Waiting on Wednesday #88: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee April 12, 2017

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

By: Mackenzi Lee

Coming: 20 June 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary:

When lifelong friends Monty and Percy embark on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe, they stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris’s glittering finery to the haunted, sinking islands of Venice–along the way fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other.

Why I’m excited:

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 

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*ARC Review* Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White May 10, 2015

***mild spoilers may follow***

***affiliate links are used***

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 9 September 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Status: standalone

Summary:

Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray..

My thoughts:
I was ecstatic when Illusions of Fate popped up on Edelweiss! I mean, LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s GORGEOUS! Plus the description having Downton Abbey and Cassandra Clare in it definitely piqued my interest. Usually comparisons and perfect for fans of turn me away, but sometimes curiosity gets me. Especially when a gorgeous cover is involved! I love Downton Abbey and The Infernal Devices, so a book with elements of both? YES, PLEASE!

I have only read Kiersten’s Mind Games duology, (review) so I was familiar with her writing, but Illusions of Fate is an entirely different beast. It’s definitely, hands down, my favourite of the three I’ve read. Mind Games was okay/good, but Illusions of Fate knocked it out of the park.

Leading lady Jessamin left her island home to further her education. She is faced with racial discrimination. She is darker skinned than her classmates and is poor. Wealth and privilege are the ways of the land. (Sounds familiar, right?) Her estranged father is a professor at her school, but ignores her existence. She doesn’t let that get her down though. She is determined to fulfill her dreams. I related to Jessamin through her use of sarcasm. Sarcasm FTW! (: The most refreshing thing about this delightful fantasy (besides being a standalone!) is that Jessamin isn’t a damsel in distress. She has the brains and courage to take care of herself in troublesome situations. Her fatal flaw is her stubbornness though. She doesn’t seek help even when she truly needs it. (Ouch, that sounds familiar…)

It was also fascinating to see how Kiersten handled racism/discrimination in Illusions of Fate. Jessamin is a person of colour and discriminated as such, but she also discriminates against those unlike herself. I believe Kiersten takes a delicate and very important subject and spins it into her world beautifully.

The world of Illusions of Fate is complex and thoroughly fleshed out. It would’ve been so easy to keep things drawn out and spin into a duology or even a trilogy, but Kiersten does a fantastic job of keeping the story concise while putting layer upon layer of complexity to her characters and the world.

The storyline is neatly wrapped up in the end, but I feel it leaves just enough of a void for a new story to take off if so desired. I absolutely love that Illusions of Fate is a standalone. No long commitments of waiting for a new book each year, but I also wouldn’t be opposed to a companion novel sometime.

Kiersten creates a beautiful and addicting world, and you’ll find yourself wanting to devour it in one sitting. I loved it so much I had to have a physical copy for my shelves!

About the Author
Hi! I’m the New York Times best-selling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. I also give the most awkward hugs in the world. You should probably opt for one of my books over one of my hugs, but then again, maybe you like awkward hugs.

As for me, I like writing flirting scenes, and fighting scenes, and sometimes I write scenes that fall somewhere in between the two, but only if I can’t avoid it.

I don’t check my GR inbox, but feel free to get in touch via ways listed on my website!
http://www.emerylord.com/p/site-qs.html

 

*Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway* Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore June 13, 2014

DarkMetropolisBlogTour

 

***I was granted permission to read this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review as a part of the blog tour hosted by Itching For Books. Many thanks to Disney-Hyperion!***   

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Dark Metropolis - Cover Image - High Res

Rating:5 stars
Pub date:17 June 2014
Publisher:Disney Hyperion
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eARC/ARC provided by the publisher
Status:Book one of the Dark Metropolis duology

Summary:
Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder’s mother is cursed with a spell that’s driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city’s secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they’re not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don’t always seem to stay that way.

My thoughts:

I am so happy to be a part of the blog tour for Dark Metropolis today! The first time I saw the cover, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Plus it was recommended for fans of Cassie Clare. Throw in some historical fiction action and I WAS SOLD.(Seriously, book hang over from City of Heavenly Fire? Give Dark Metropolis a look!)

I greatly enjoyed Dark Metropolis from the get go. It was clear that it was post WWI, but I wasn’t certain which country it was until I stumbled across some random facts Jaclyn posted on Goodreads. I was figuring US or UK, I wasn’t expecting Germany. (Yes, I realised my goof after remembering the references to the Chancellor. I know, I KNOW. )

I really enjoyed the world building Jaclyn did. I loved getting a view inside the club world and seeing the distinct class differences. It was great to see how the characters navigated the perilous world of mixing classes. In my life, that’s not something that happens everyday and isn’t frowned upon when it does. I guess the closest I come is mixing ranks at hubby’s military parties. It’s always a little intimidating when I speak with the higher ranks’ spouses. For the characters, everyone is pushed out of their comfort zone at one point or another.

I loved the reanimation. I’m not big into zombies. My mom tries all the time to get me into The Walking Dead, but it just hasn’t happened. These aren’t your typical zombies and I think that’s what I love about it so much. They have flashes of memories from before their deaths and are completely capable of communicating and functioning as long as they continue to take a mysterious serum. If doses are missed… well… let’s just say things get bad. As a Disney title, there was a completely unexpected twist between characters. I was not expecting the beginnings of a lesbian relationship. I do, however, believe that it fits perfectly and wasn’t something that was forced. I can’t wait to see how things continue. Yes, I’m purposefully leaving out names because I don’t want to give the game away! I feel that’s a major spoiler and I want (hope) your feelings develop for this relationship the way mine did.I have mixed feelings about ANOTHER relationship though. I think I’m for it. There are just so many things up in the air! EEP!

There were a lot of unanswered questions that you have quickly. Where’s Thea’s dad, if he’s alive like her mother maintains Why is magic being suppressed, but the government is trying to harness it? Why are people disappearing? How does reanimation work? That’s only from the immediate beginning. Thankfully, Jaclyn does a FANTASTIC job of giving you answers to numerous questions without having a single info dump. She does leave enough answered questions to leave you wanting more and for me, it’s going to be an impatient wait for book 2! The ending was SO emotional. I cried. Not ugly crying, but I cried. As usual hubby gave me the I’m judging you for crying over a book look. HEART WRENCHING. *sobs*

Dark Metropolis is a great alternate history read and I recommend it highly. It may not be for everyone, but not every book is. Dark Metropolis is full of great characters, mystery, and fantastic world building. Jaclyn weaves it in such a way it’s hard not to spoil things! Which is why I didn’t delve too much into characters. That was incredibly hard not to delve into the wonderful characters she creates. They are so wonderful!

 

*Excerpt*

“All right,” he said. “It’s just this: ever since the war, when people die from suicide, and sometimes murders and executions, the government has been reviving them. The city has been in need of manpower since the war, and suicide is no good way to die, so it benefits everyone.”

“Reviving them? After death?”

“Yes. So they can have a second chance. And do some good work for the city. That’s where I saw Nan. At the-the rehabilitation centre. Gerik has a hand in it, but I can’t breathe a word to anyone.” 

 

About the author

Jaclyn Dolamore

Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting.

 www.jaclyndolamore.com | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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