Tag Archive | The Electrical Menagerie

The Electrical Menagerie Re-Cover Reveal! + Audiobook!

Guys, I’m SO excited to share with you the new cover for The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder — and also the fact that it is now an audiobook! *screaming in delight*

For those who don’t know, I absolutely ADORED The Electrical Menagerie (read my 10 reasons why you should read it!) and it was one of my top favorite reads of 2018!

And now it has a shiny new cover by the amazing Kirk DouPonce of DogEared Designs, and is being released TODAY as an audiobook narrated by Travis Baldree!

So I’m going to give you links and a cover in a minute. But first, here is a little about the book!

In brief, it’s a steampunk-ish tale set on floating islands with trains and electricals (sort of like robots) which are powered by stardust, and has one of my favorite fictional friendships of all time, namely Carthage and Huxley, and it’s suspenseful and HILARIOUS and a little like The Greatest Showman with a mystery, and I love it absolutely so so much! ❤

Here is the official blurb:

The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder

The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.

Sylvester Carthage, illusionist and engineer, has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively — but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially — but none of the scruples.

To save their show, Carthage & Huxley risk everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, The Electrical Menagerie’s bid at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians — but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there’s more at stake in this contest than the prize.

Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide… and it’s the lies Carthage & Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.

And now the cover!

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Yes, I’m making you wait. Yes, I’m evil. XD

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But really, what’s a cover reveal without a bit of silly teasing? 😛

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AND HERE IT IS.

AAAAHH. ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?? I’m in love! ❤ I’M SO EXCITED. IT’S PERFECT. I love that Endeavor the elephant is on it, and the little Carthage and Huxley on top, and the setting with the cobblestones and carriages is absolutely perfect, and the feel and just I CAN’T. IT’S MAKING ME SO HAPPY. I can’t stop screaming! *may possible need to get a new paperback copy* XD

If you haven’t picked this book up yet, YOU TOTALLY NEED TO. It was one of the top three best books I read all last year! Do check it out! ❤

Pick up the ebook/paperback or the shiny new audiobook version!

What do you think of the new cover? I ADORE IT. *screaming* It’s the perfect new face for my dear friends Carthage and Huxley! (I’m officially Huxley’s #1 Fan, just so you know. 😉 ) And are you excited about the audiobook? Because I think it’s going to be incredible! 😀 Talk to meee!

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Top 15 Favorite Reads of 2018!

It’s time for the top reads of 2018! My favorite books I read, plus some runners-up, and for fun, my top couple of nonfiction and re-reads. So let’s get to it!

But first, a few stats, because stats are fun. 😉

Goodreads claims that I read 123 books in 2018.

“Panic ye not, Grant,” in the words of my favorite Chrestomanci; many of those were short. 😉

(Brought to you by my love of spreadsheets) I read:

  • 42 new-to-me novels
  • 12 new novellas/novelettes
  • 14 re-reads
  • 30+ individual short stories
  • 4 anthologies
  • 10 nonfiction books
  • 11 picture books
  • 3 beta-reads (which don’t count on the Goodreads total . . .)

If you’re curious to see them all, you can find them here on Goodreads.

Oh, and . . . visual representation of lots of the books I read last year. 😉

Books I read in 2018 (exactly 52 physical books! Perfect) which aren’t ebooks or borrowed from libraries/friends.

TOP 15 BOOKS OF 2018

I’m terribly indecisive about actually listing favorite books in order of favorite-ness, so these are not precisely in order, although the top-ish ones are slightly more beloved. But all of these top-15 are the most splendid books I read all year and they’re all delightful. (The top 4-ish kept wanting to trade places so . . . they’re probably my favorites overall?)

1. The Electrical Menagerie (Mollie E. Reeder)

Carthage and Huxley! ❤ An introverted illusionist and his smooth-talking young manager. Floating Isles and trains run by stardust. A murder mystery, sabotage, and a plot against the throne. An electrical butler. And most of all, some of the best banter and writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! It’s so absolutely magnificent and Carthage and Huxley are my favorites! ❤ ACK. I JUST LOVE IT.

[Review]

2. Echo North (Joanna Ruth Meyer)

East of the Sun, West of the Moon. A white wolf. A scarred girl. An exuberant young man. A house with mirrors which are like books that you can step into and live their stories. Hal and the Wolf and Echo are such delightful characters and the imagination and writing left me positively pen-slain. A dash of Beauty and the Beast and Tam Lin only made it more perfect. ❤ I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

[Review]

3. Lady Moon (Rachel Starr Thomson)

I loved Lady Moon so much that I immediately re-read it aloud to my siblings. A whimsical original fairytale. A princess who we first meet languishing beautifully on the moon. A nefarious uncle. An absolutely un-pigeon-hole-able Immortal by the name of Tomas who is procrastinating his destiny (I need his clocktower to live in). And other delightful characters such as the Revolution (XD) and Winnie the wombat. I JUST CAN’T. This book is so, so fantastic and I adore it. ❤

4. Masque (W.R. Gingell)

Beauty and the Beast. A murder mystery. A delightful, funny style perfect for fans of Wodehouse, Heyer, or Diana Wynne Jones. I loved Isabella — she had such spirit! — and of course mysterous Lord Pecus. And I also loved the Horse Lords. XD Also, the book that answered questions was like a character itself, and the magical communication and hand-mirror and so on were so cool. And it was just so GORGEOUS. So many shenanigans and such humor and fun! ❤ (There’s a bit of gore due to the murders so it’s not for the squeamish but otherwise it’s perfectly delightful!)

5. Falling Snow (Skye Hoffert) — in Five Poisoned Apples

Snow White. A twist on the Huntsman and Prince characters that you’ll never see coming. A dark Faerie circus. Peril and darkness and beauty. Fire and snow. Deception and innocence. Chayse was such an awesome character and I loved him! Cynfael was so fascinating. And the writing is incredible. ❤

[Review]

6. Minstrel’s Call (Jenelle Leanne Schmidt)

The epic conclusion to the Minstrel’s Song series that began with King’s Warrior! Quests and favorite characters galore, twists and adventure, dragons, prophecies . . . It has everything. Brant and Kiernan Kane are the absolute BEST. I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH. And there were some twists and just — my mind was blown by all the epicness and it was a perfectly satisfactory conclusion. ❤

[Review]

7. Sage (Jamie Foley)

HELP. I can’t talk much about this because of the absolute stacks of spoilers involved . . . But there’s arena fights and characters on wings, fantastical super-powers and futuristic technology in a fantasy world, and it’s all so absolutely INTENSE. Jet is my favorite. So is another character who shall remain nameless but WOW. I was so impressed by said character’s story-arc! Just so, so good. It’s like a fantasy thriller and I probably didn’t breathe for all 300+ pages. XD

[Review]

8. Song of Leira (Gillian Bronte Adams)

Wow. Just — wow. A griffin. A small girl with a big Song. The saif which is on the cover (I need one to ride!). Beloved characters including plucky Ky, gruff Amos, and Cade who I particularly like. All the characters come SO far and go through SO much but there’s beauty too. The ending stuff was so absolutely epic that I simply can’t even. ❤

[Review]

9. The Return of Beaumont and Beasley (Kyle Robert Shultz)

Two novellas. Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dragon archaelogist Malcolm Blackfire and reformed jewel-thief Melody Nightingale make a perfect (and hilarious) pair! (But seriously though, Malcolm!) A canine curse. Beast-ly Nick Beasley and our favorite Crispin Beasley pair up as detectives in alternate 1920s London, and their banter and brotherly interactions and all the humor and shenanigans make my day! Absolutely hilarious. XD (Crispiiiin!)

(Originally published as The Janus Elixir and The Hound of Duville. They were then bundled together and now make Beaumont and Beasley book 4, right after The Stroke of Eleven.)

10. Horseman (Kyle Robert Shultz)

Yes, I’m putting both of these on the list because I wanted to put one on and then couldn’t pick which. *cough*

The magical wild west. Part-time centaur con-man, Todd Crane. The Legend of Sleepy-Hollow like you’ve never seen it before. No-nonsense Marshall Amy Crocket. Plus Julio the Spanish dragon and Meg the sweet Gorgon teenager. And a dash of time-travel. So many shenanigans and adventures! It’s hilarious, and Todd is my favorite.

(Also, I edited this book, which means I read it . . . three times . . . so I got rather fond of it. Plus it’s sort of dedicated to me, so it’s kinda special.)

11. Blood in the Snow (Sarah Pennington)

Snow White. The Goose Girl. Asian-inspired fantasy. Gorgeously told. Awesome and super-fascinating magical system featuring wind and water. A great heroine and prince, and fantastic side-characters who I simply loved! (Like, talk about great “seven dwarves.”) Because Gan and Chouko are fabulous. And so are Baili and Xiang. SO complex and well-written, and fits everything together so well. I just love it! ❤

[Review]

12. The Last Motley (DJ Edwardson)

A simple tailor. A many-colored boy. Mysterious magic. Sinister shadows. A quest to a far-off island. I LOVED how this felt like an instant fantasy classic. It reminded me of Lloyd Alexander or Tolkien. Roderick the tailor is such a simply good hero, Jacob the Motley is precious, and Nagan is absolutely hilarious and my favorite. XD The Gitanos are so intriguing too, and we can’t forget Portia. I loved this colorful, rich fantasy. ❤

[Review]

13. Mark of the Raven (Morgan L. Busse)

A dreamwalking heroine. Assassins. Fantastic abilities like manipulating water. Wyverns. A young woman trapped by the darkness of her mother and her people’s past. A young visiting nobleman — who she’s supposed to kill. It’s all VERY EXCITING. Selene and especially Damien make great characters. ❤ (And Lady Bryren and the wyvern riders!) It was really gorgeous and gripping and just a solid epic fantasy.

[Review]

14. A Matter of Magic (Patricia C. Wrede)

This is ever-so-slightly cheating . . . because it’s actually two books in one and I’m kind of taking them as a whole, even though I read the second one first, and that was on my favorite list last year, but I’m sort of using it again? The first one was fun but I loved the second one more and . . . anyway, I’m mostly just calling the whole collection my “favorite” of this year. Regency fantasy. A young magician gentleman. A street thief girl who becomes his ward. Shenanigans and humor and magical adventures. I just really enjoyed it. 🙂 And it works best as one book.

[Review of the second half, which I read first.]

15. The Ruins of Gorlan (John Flanagan)

The first Ranger’s Apprentice book unexpectedly stole my heart. Total classic fantasy but fresh, too. Halt the Ranger is my FAVE. He’s the best and I love his dry humor. XD And of course we like Will. I just really identified with this book and Will’s journey and wanted to be a Ranger, naturally. 😉 It was just really refreshing and plain fun! (And Halt!)

[Review]


9 RUNNERS UP THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

The above list was SO hard to make because I read so many spectacular books this year! But those were the most absolutely spectacular ones.

But I still wanted to talk about some others! So off the top of my head I’m tossing in a runner-up list of a few that were just so much fun — even if they don’t quite fit on the list, or there was something about them that made them not quite a favorite, I still really loved some element of them, so I have to mention them too. 😉

I know there’s only 5 in this picture. I can count, I promise . . .

  1. Common by Laurie Lucking — I loved the FEEL of this one and just . . . it’s so absolutely sweet (but also exciting at times) and it makes me so happy! ❤
  2. Healers and Warriors by Daley Downing — This modern fantasy series just kinda makes me happy and there was a lot of epicness and fun and fabulous characters and so many thiiings going down.
  3. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen — I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this. All the snark that is Sage. XD I did guess the twist but I don’t mind because it’s awesome.
  4. Lightporter by C.B. Cook — Because BLAZE. He’s my fave. Anvil, too. 😉 It’s just such a fun YA superhero book and I adored it.
  5. Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn — Sci-fi isn’t usually my genre, but this was such a fun book! It’s a heist story featuring Han Solo, Chewie, Lando, and others, by the best Star Wars author, and I just loved it. XD

Not pictured above because I don’t own physical copies but still make me happy:

  1. A Royal Masquerade by Allison Tebo — Because Burndee and Prince Colin bickering are HILARIOUS and the absolute best. (And the skunk. XD)
  2. The Worth of a King by Kendra E. Ardnek — Because Delaney and Granite and the winged horses and the Zovordians.
  3. The Game by Diana Wynne Jones — The whole idea and the mythosphere and all the story bits were brilliant. I wish it had been longer than a novella because it was so fascinating.
  4. The Stealthmaster’s Shadow by Hope Ann — Just because I can’t stop thinking about how fabulous Verus and his snark is. XD

(So . . . that’s sort of 24 books? I REGRET NOTHING.)


OTHER STUFF: Non-Fiction + Re-Reads

Top 2 Non-Fiction Reads

  • Tolkien: A Celebration — This one is here because of a stellar essay by Stephen R. Lawhead. I read the entire collection this year, but this essay is still one of my favorites of all time, and anyone who is a writer (particularly of fantasy) needs to read it!
  • Punctuation 101 by Jill Williamson — Speaking of writers . . . Everyone needs this one, too! 😉 I had the chance to help beta-read/proofread this little book and I absolutely loved it! PUNCTUATION 101 is practical, succinct, fun, and easy to read. I zoomed right through it! I learned a few things, and I think it will be a very helpful book to refer to in the future. 🙂

Top 2 Re-Reads

  • The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz — I’ve now read this four times and I still absolutely adore it and want to re-read it again. XD It’s hilarious and brilliant, and the characters, fairytale things, and humor, just . . . they get me every time! (Nick and Crispin and Cordelia are the absolute best!) You can read my original review here.
  • The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones — The absolute brilliance of time-travel in a fantasy world and all the characters I love and the twists and EVERYTHING. (Mitt and Navis, though!) I even forgot some of the twists from the first time I read it, so I got to re-experience some of them, which was awesome. DWJ is the only author who can do this to me. XD SO glad I finally re-read this series! (This is book 4, and it’s totally worth making it through the first three for this one. ❤ )

(Missing Masque and Five Poisoned Apples for Falling Snow in this pic because I tragically don’t own paperbacks of those two.)

So there you are! Various of the best books I read in 2018! (You can also check out my top 15 (ish) short stories of last year if you missed that, and my 2018 End-of-Year Book-Freakout Tag.)

What was your favorite book (or several) you read last year? And have you read any of these? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Also! Expect an epic recap of my writing news of 2018 along with goals ‘n’ stuff, over on my other blog, very soon!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Mini Book-News Roundup (Giveaway! Vote! Sale!)

Hey! This is just a quick post because I want to share three pieces of info in case you haven’t heard them yet! 🙂

1: Giveaway / Blogiversary

It’s the 5-year anniversary of when I started blogging, and I’m celebrating over on my other blog with a giveaway of 5 books and some character trading card bookmarks! Check it out if you haven’t. ^_^ (Giveaway runs through 9/15, so there’s only a couple days left to enter!)

2: Vote!

There’s still time to vote in the Silmaril Awards for your favorite characters! Just drop by the voting form. 😀 Let your voice be heard for your favorite fantasy characters in ten categories! Voting ends tomorrow (9/14), so hurry!

3: Sale for a delightful steampunk novel!

The Electrical Menagerie (which I flailed about awhile back and absolutely LOVE!) by Mollie E. Reeder is 99 cents until 9/24, so be sure to check it out! It’s an AMAZING book!

It even got a starred review on Publishers Weekly a few days ago! :O

And, of course, you can enter a giveaway for a paperback copy at the link above… 😉

But 99 cents! Why not? It’s SUCH an amazing, funny book, and you will absolutely not regret it. ❤

I’m moderately fond of this picture I took… *cough*


Okay, that’s the news for today! Apologies if you’ve seen it all over my social media or on my other blog already, but I had to make sure to share in case anyone’s missed these exciting things! ^_^

Thanks for reading! ❤

In Bookish News: July 2018

Hi everyone!

Just popping in for a quick post about the book releases and other awesomely bookish things going on this month. 🙂

JULY RELEASES

Here are some books which look like they’ll be awesome. 😀 (And I can’t get over how pretty the covers are together. AWK. So much shiny!)

Screenshot from Goodreads. If you’d like to check any of these books out on there, you can find ’em here at the moment.

(Titles link to places you can acquire the books or read more about them!)

  • The Green Princess series, book 1: Flower – H. L. Burke — (Okay, this was actually June 30th, but close enough, and I didn’t have it in last month’s post.) Because an adorable YA fantasy romance with a heroine who has plant powers sounds super fun. I’m curious to try this one!
  • Healers and Warriors – Daley Downing — (Similar story; just came out! EEE!) I enjoyed the first two books immensely, so I’m excited to try the third book in this series involving modern times and fae and cats and all that fun stuff. 😉
  • The Janus Elixir – Kyle Robert Shultz (July 1) — I actually read this already (as an editor) and it’s so good! I’m not even biased, I promise. I’m just excited to have a whole novella told by Malcolm Blackfire, dragon and archaeologist. 😀 It’s super funny, features Malcolm and his… er… assistant Melody Nightingale, and is set in an alternate 1816 London, with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, some characters from mythology, and some other familiar names… You’ll just have to check it out, because it’s a blast. XD And it’s free if you sign up for the author’s newsletter. 😉
  • Renegade Skyfarer – R. J. Metcalf (July 1) — I haven’t read this but I have it on good authority that it’s amazing, and it certainly SOUNDS like it is, because steampunkery and awesomeness. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
  • Launch – Jason C. Joyner (July 3) — I don’t know a lot about this one but it’s a superhero story I’ve seen some friends sharing and I think it’s a YA Christian fantasy superhero book, which sounds intriguing!
  • Fawkes – Nadine Brandes (July 10) — Alternate historical fantasy version of the Fifth of November Guy Fawkes incident? I’m sold!
  • Escape and Endurance – Sarah Holman (July 15) — Another addition to the delightful Kingdom Adventure series, Tales of Taelis! These books make my heart happy and I can’t wait to read this one. ^_^ Also THAT COVER. ❤ It’s up for pre-order. (It’s book 5 in the series, but they always stand alone!)
  • The Hound of Duville – Kyle Robert Shultz — (Not pictured because it’s not on Goodreads yet and I’m lazy.) The Brothers Beasley (Nick and Crispin) are back (I MISSED THEMMM) and hilarious as ever, in an alternate 1920s London with some magical mishaps as they solve a case involving… well… you’ll just have to read it. But there’s lots of dogs. And hilarity! XD And FEELS. O_O And it’s so good! 😀 (I may have edited this one too. *cough*)

RECENT COVER REVEALS

Take a look at these snazzy new covers! 😀

Book 1 of H. L. Burke’s Spellsmith and Carver series, Magicians’ Rivalry, which I reviewed, has a new cover!

Melanie Dickerson’s upcoming Mulan retelling has a neat cover too…

There’s a new Kate’s Case Files book from Sarah Holman, coming this September, and I’m really excited! Look at that adorable cover. 😀 It’s up for pre-order if you like Christian FBI mysteries! ^_^

And, of course, I revealed the cover of Sarah Addison-Fox’s upcoming fourth novel, Discerned, on my blog last week, but I have to share it here again because it’s so pretty. 😉

OTHER BOOKISH HAPPENINGS

The Realm Makers writer conference is happening, so I might be less bloggy than usual, getting ready for and then attending that. I’m really excited! (And if you’re going, give me a shout so we can meet! :D)

I know this is very localized, so I apologize if it doesn’t apply to you, but thought I’d share anyway. If you are, or know anybody, in the St. Louis, MO area, there’s going to be a Book Festival as part of the Realm Makers conference, and on Saturday, July 21, the book festival part is open to the public! So you can check that out here. 🙂

The Fellowship of Fantasy’s neat Summer Reading Quest is still going, and it’s not too late to join! Readers of all ages can join in and read books and earn rewards and it’s basically awesome. ^_^ (Not that I’ve been keeping up with it because so much busy right now. *cough*) (And, yes, here’s the link for older readers. ;))

EDITED TO ADD: The Electrical Menagerie, which I loved, is the book of the month for the Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub, so there’s no better time to join in on this fun group, if you do the Facebook thing, than now! 😀 Because you need Carthage and Huxley in your life. You just do.


Okay, that’s all I have for you guys today!

What books or bookish happenings are you excited about? What’s on your Summer Reading list? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂

10 Reasons You Should Read The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder

Title: The Electrical Menagerie

Author: Mollie E. Reeder

  • Date read: May 30, 2018
  • Rating: 5 stars (ALL THE STARS!)
  • Genre: Steampunk
  • Age: Any
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 323 (ebook)
  • Series: The Celestial Isles, #1
  • Fave character: Huxley (I love Carthage too, though; and especially them as a pair.)
  • Source: Giveaway
  • Notes: I won an ARC ebook in a giveaway (thanks!) and wasn’t required to write a review. These opinions are my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website • Series Website

Ten Reasons You Should Read The Electrical Menagerie

1. What did I just read? *deep breath* I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was absolutely delightful and I have a book hangover—how will anything ever be this good again? AAHH. *collapses and wails and longs for a sequel* I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this but it was INCREDIBLE and just so much fun! 😀

2. The humor! It’s an utterly hilarious book and I LOVE that so much! The humor/snark/dialog absolutely made my day and I keep wanting to quote it. XD

3. Arbrook Huxley and Sylvester Carthage, y’all. THESE TWO. ❤ You know how there are dynamic duos who are just the best, especially together? And you take their last names and squish ’em together into something iconic. Holmes and Watson. Spellsmith and Carver. Beaumont and Beasley. Well Carthage and Huxley are next on my list! I just love them and their friendship-not-friendship-whatever-it-is. Carthage is a slightly older man who’s a genius at making mechanical things and devising illusions to enchant a crowd, but he’s also got the heart of a child and is intensely introverted. I kind of related to that and he was so REAL. I love him. Then you have Huxley, who is… well… he’s Huxley! Young and dashing and energetic, he’s the smooth-talking and charismatic co-manager, and he’s so funny, especially when paired with Carthage. XD They’re my favorite thing about this book. ^_^ But both have a lot to learn, and are hiding secrets, and nothing’s going to work out until they learn to trust each other…

4. Welcome to the steampunk-ish, absolutely delightful, original world of the Celestial Isles, in which there are a string of “isles” floating above an ether sea with sky trains traveling between them. There are “electricals” (basically like robots) and I love the trains and the 1800s-esque feel. I feel like it’s such an enchanting world that it’s kind of like the best fantasy, but at the same time it’s more sci-fi/steampunk-ish, since there isn’t really anything “fantasy” or “magical” about it? Things are powered by electricity or stardust and just—everything’s so unique. I love it! It feels utterly magical without being real fantasy at all and… I can’t really describe it but I’m in love with the world. 😛

5. The Electrical Menagerie (their show) is taking part in what is essentially a circus-type competition to put on the best show. Which means there’s a lot of imaginative, gorgeous acts going on, and I loved seeing what would happen next. But there’s also a murder mystery and sabotage going on and WHO IS BEHIND IT ALL? :O Because all Carthage and Huxley need on top of the competition is secret plots and danger, right? 😉

6. There are plot twists, too, and the book took a totally unexpected turn and just—whoa! It’s very edge-of-your-seat. The adventure’s exciting, and you know it’s awesome when, on top of trying to win a competition, there’s also a deep plot and a princess in danger and lots of potential for betrayal, and ALL the excitement. I read the whole book in a day because I couldn’t stop reading. 😀

7. Aside from the wonderfulness that is Carthage and Huxley themselves, the other characters are fascinating too. I especially love Dominic the electrical butler! AAAHH. I love him so much. *feelz* His last speech in the book, though. It was… just… so touching and true. GAH.

8. This book made me laugh over and over—and, yes, it made me cry too. Like… I don’t know how it made me care that much but— *sniffles* THE FEELS. But I think I’m okay. Really. I don’t know why I cared so much but gaah. (It was still beautiful, though. :))

9. It taught me things about myself and life and deep things and—wow. Yes. I often find bits of unexpected truth in the most unlikely places, and I didn’t expect to find such soul-touching things in this super fun, swashbuckling, snarky story of two unlikely friends and their illusion show, but IT WAS THERE. It’s deep and touching even in the midst of the fun, and don’t you just love that? When a story is fun AND feelsy AND has depth AND it will just sweep you along in an utterly rollicking adventure? UGH, so good. *hugs book* It’s a clean read, too, and just so delightful.

10. Just—just—there is no way I can properly describe this book and how much I liked it, so I’m going to stop trying and simply direct you to the book itself. *points imperiously toward it* GO READ IT, PLEASE AND THANK YOU. AND YOU’RE WELCOME. (You can thank me later.) I need more adventures of Carthage and Huxley ASAP, and YOU, my friend, need to go read this one immediately. Ladies and gentlemen, that is all I have to say on this subject. Thank you, and good night. *bows*


Some Favorite Quotes

(I could quote the whole thing, and many of my favorites are spoilers, but here are some excellent non-spoiler-y ones.)

“Are you still alive?” Dominic asked him finally.
“Am I alive?” Huxley turned to him. “Yes, I’m alive. Why would you ask that?”
“You were uncharacteristically motionless and quiet. I thought you might be dead.”
Huxley blew air through his teeth. “Did I make a terrible mistake, Dominic?”
“The probability is high. But you’d have to be more specific.”
“Thanks a lot.”
“You’re welcome,” Dominic said without a trace of irony.

***

“You look like you’ve been run over by a train,” she said.
“Oh,” he said, and scrambled to rake his fingers through his hair and fix the tuck of his shirt.
“No, no…” She bit her lip. “The look on your face.”

***

He drank from a silver flask, which he held out to Carthage.
Carthage gave him a disapproving look. While at work?
“It’s coffee,” said Huxley. “Stars, you’re worse than the nuns at boarding academy.”
Relenting, Carthage took the flask. He drank a swig and nearly choked.
“What’s wrong?”
“It’s cold.”
“Well, it’s been in my coat since this morning.”
Carthage wanted to spit the lingering traces out of his mouth, but that would have been improper. He swallowed his own grimace. “Don’t offer me anything that’s been in your coat since morning ever again.”

***

“You’re very talented, and I especially admire how collected you are in a crisis. Except for that time you broke a teacup on the floor. That wasn’t very collected.”
“Huxley… what’s wrong with you?”
“I was spiked with a truth serum which seems to have drastically lowered my inhibitions.” Huxley raised a confident hand. “But it’s alright. I think it’s wearing off.”
“I’m quite certain it’s not,” said Carthage.

***

Secondly, the swarms of biting insects that came out in the early evening. Huxley called them mosquitoes and seemed unconcerned by them, even though they could bite you through your clothes and suck the blood out of your body, which seemed to Carthage like something to be concerned about.

***

Huxley’s hand darted out, finger aimed at a scallop of frosting. Carthage slapped the hand away.
“What are you doing?” he hissed.
“I’m so hungry,” Huxley said.
“You can’t steal food from the table of the Future Queen!”
“It’s not stealing!” Huxley hissed back. “My tax dollars paid for that cake!”

***

“If only my mother could see me now,” he said aloud.
“If my mother could see me now,” said Huxley, “I’d be legally disowned.”


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Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

In Bookish News: June 2018

Hey! I’m back! ^_^

It’s time for a roundup of some bookish news and fun stuff for this month. 🙂

JUNE BOOK RELEASES

Like I did last month, I thought I’d share a list of books releasing this month, because ALL THE BOOKS are coming out right now! (Like… literally all of them. O_O)

  • Kate’s Dilemma – Sarah Holman(June 1) I love the Kate’s Case Files series, so I was excited for this third book! 🙂 I loved it. ^_^ (Read my review.)
  • The Stealthmaster’s Shadow – Hope Ann(June 1) An epic, snarky hero, and a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling… 😀 Also loved! (Read my review.)
  • Song of Leira – Gillian Bronte Adams(June 5) It’s the final book in the trilogy and I’m. so. excited. O_O I’ll be sharing more about it on Tuesday, and you can watch for my review coming soon! ^_^
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes – C. G. Drews(June 7) The book itself doesn’t sound like it’s quiiite my cup of tea, but I’m excited for Cait who’s getting published! 🙂
  • The Electrical Menagerie – Mollie E. Reeder(June 9) AAHH. I just read this one and it was SO good. *collapses* Steampunk and a buddy story and just… it was AMAZING and so much fun! I recommend it highly and hopefully will share a review soonish. BUT JUST READ IT ALREADY. (Or… y’know… when it comes out, since I read an advance reader copy I won. *cough*)
  • Lightporter – C. B. Cook(June 16) Gaah, I’ve been excited for this since Twinepathy! Superheroes and awesomeness. And it’s almost here!
  • King’s War – Jill Williamson(June 19) The final Kinsman Chronicles book and I’M NOT READY — aaahh! It’s so thick and gorgeous though and I’m looking forward to reading it!
  • The Orphan’s Wish – Melanie Dickerson(June 26) I’m curious what an Aladdin story in the continuing Hagenheim series is going to be like! 🙂

OTHER BOOKWYRMERY

Here, have a smattering of other bookish news!

If you’re artistically inclined, the annual Ilyon Chronicles fan-art contest just opened…

I’ll be part of the blog tours for Song of Leira and Lightporter, so watch for those. I can’t wait!

And hopefully I’ll have a few other reviews to share, as well.

Another book that came out recently (but which wasn’t listed in the May Bookish News post, so I’m posting it here so it doesn’t slip through the cracks) is Horseman by Kyle Robert Shultz! You can read my review of sorts here, but basically it’s a hilarious wild-west magical kind of adventure and is so much fun. I also may have been an editor for it, so… you know. There’s that. 😉

The third book in the series that began with Masters and Beginners has a cover! I love it and I’m excited. 😀

Hannah Williams just revealed her debut novella releasing in August and I’M SO EXCITED AAH.

June 22: Jill Williamson and Gillian Bronte Adams are having a joint FB party to celebrate the release of Song of Leira and King’s War. I’m so excited!

June 15: Speaking of parties on Facebook, if you’re into those, here’s another one. (Because H. L. Burke and Janeen Ippolito are fun.)

And another VERY awesome thing is the Summer Reading Quest put on by the Fellowship of Fantasy! If you know (or are…) a kid who loves reading fantasy, there’s an epic summer reading challenge with prizes and stuff, for readers under 18 I think. Spread the word! I know I’d have LOVED doing something like this a few years ago. ^_^

Oh, and there’s a less-in-depth, but-still-awesome, side version of that for those of us who are technically “adults” even if we’re young at heart! 😉 So check that out.

The Summer Reading Quest started just a couple of days ago at the start of June, and it’s going to run through August, so there’s time to get involved and read all kinds of wonderful fantasy.


Aaand that’s all I have for you today.

I hope you found this helpful or at least vaguely intriguing! Let me know some bookish things YOU’RE excited about, in the comments!

I hope you have an amazing summer, filled with lots of books! 😉

Thanks for reading! 🙂