Friday, August 22, 2014

Blog Tour- Storms of Lazarus by Karen Kincy Review and Giveaway

Welcome to my tour stop for Storms of Lazarus by Karen Kincy. This is the second book in the Shadows of Asphodel series. This is a new adult dieselpunk romance and is now available!  The tour runs August 11-22 with reviews, interviews & a few guest posts. Check out the tour page for the schedule and more information.

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Storms of Lazarus (Shadows of Asphodel #2)

Sometimes escape is impossible. Sometimes love isn't enough.

1913. Christmas Eve. Ardis hardly expects a quiet holiday with Wendel, between fleeing Constantinople and hiding from an ancient society of assassins. And they owe a debt to a certain archmage.

In K√∂nigsberg, Prussia, they work with Konstantin on the next evolution of Project Lazarus. Wendel once called K√∂nigsberg home, the city now besieged by the Russians and their clockwork engines of war. This may be Wendel’s last chance to save his family and find redemption, but he's tormented by nightmares and tempted by laudanum. Ardis fears her love isn’t enough to save Wendel. Her hands are full piloting the automatons, and she's terrified to tell him a secret of her own. Will they—and their love—survive the storms of war?

Goodreads | Amazon

*Spoilers if you haven't read the first novel

I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, THE SHADOWS OF ASPHODEL, so much so that I helped a tiny bit with Karen Kincy's Kickstarter for this novel, STORMS OF LAZARUS. While I think things were a little murky about archmages and the technomancy in the first novel, it is pretty straight forward in this novel. There is a war brewing and Wendel is needed for his necromancy powers to run the automaton army that the archmages have built. Several new characters are added to this novel but I really loved that we got to meet Wendel's family.

Wendel's family....I now understand why Wendel is so skittish and jokes about everything to do with them as if they mean nothing to him. Those scenes must have been so hard to write because they were very hard to read. I was choking people with my hands as I read. I wanted a weapon to knock someone out. And I felt like Ardis should have done so, but Ardis is much cooler headed than I am. Wendel is lucky to have her instead of me. He'd have no family left.

The funny thing about the war is that it is right on Wendel's ancestral home's doorstep. And he is asked to help the very people that have hurt him so much. But then his consolation is Ardis. The relationship is much more a forefront in this novel and a little more explicit. The banter back and forth between Ardis and Wendel is so frank during their lovemaking it makes me smirk and a little jealous at the same time. I wish I could be so direct and honest all the time. Though I am uncomfortable with love scenes with detail, I found these enjoyable because of the honesty and lack of drama. The banter continued out of the bedroom as well and made the relationship between Ardis and Wendel feel real rather than contrived for a plot device.

So now I will say, I loved this second novel in the series! I think it is completed though there is always room for more adventure. It has a definite ending which I need as a reader. The story moves quickly and happens over only a few days. The dieselpunk machines and magic are never over my head and really clever. I loved one in particular though I can't say. I highly recommend this novel if you read the first one and liked it, even it you thought it was so/so. If you are into steampunk, New Adult, (not too much explicit sex but some), alternate history, magic or just need to try something new, I highly recommend this series! And don't forget to enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon! Then you can buy the series for yourself!

Karen - author photo2 (1)

About the Author:

Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.

Find the author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve, illustrated by Sarah McIntyre

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve, Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
Available September 5th
Oxford University Press
To Buy- Amazon/Kindle / BN/ Book Depository
Hardback 195 pages
Middle Grade Fiction
Goodreads:  Oliver grew up in a family of explorers - but his biggest adventure is about to begin!

Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there's the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of greasy, green sea monkeys to contend with . . .


Oliver's parents love to explore, but finally they have come home and Oliver is very happy about that. As he gets reacquainted with a home he barely remembers, his parents take a short exploration of some islands that have appeared in the cove behind the house since they've been gone. Night comes and when Oliver discovers their dinghy without them, he goes off to find them. Oliver is a very well prepared explorer so no matter the emergency, he's got the right thing in his pack for it. Though he didn't expect to meet a traveling island holding his parents hostage or a nearsighted mermaid (girl) and a talking albatross.

Oliver's adventure is imaginative, a creative tale about standing up for yourself and doing what's right, hidden in a tale about moving islands that compete for the title of best seawig every seven years. As you can imagine, there are many things a moving island can decorate his/her shores with from the ocean and competition is fierce. But one particular island doesn't play fair and neither does the human that resides on it. 

There are some very interesting characters that add to this unique tale, sarcastic seaweed in...The Sarcastic Sea, of course. Slimy Sea Monkeys, real Monkeys, not those that you ordered through the mail when I was a kid. I think that the target audience for this tale will enjoy this novel more than I did. Nothing really reached out to make it special for me except the illustrations. It just didn't have anything that set it apart from other books in this genre. But it was cute and not hard to read at all. There were a lot of illustrations, very detailed pictures that add a lot to the story. 

I think the younger middle grade readers will enjoy this story, either read to them or stronger readers will enjoy reading it to themselves. It has some bigger words in it, something I like, to encourage young readers to expand their vocabulary without it seeming like a lesson or needing a dictionary.

**I received an e-arc of this novel from Oxford Press via NetGalley for review. This had no influence on my review. All opinions expressed are my own.***

Philip Reeve

Sarah McIntyre


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