Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Nemesis by Anna Banks.

Nemesis –
Feiwel & Friends

But with new problems come new solutions, and Tarik is not interested in clinging to custom if it means losing his people. Some traditions are to be respected—but so is common sense.
— Chapter 36

He dares not ask, for no matter what her answer, he will hear only the truth. And some truths he cannot bear the weight of. Only recently did he learn this about himself.
— Chapter 50




This book had me giggling for a completely unintentional reason: one of the gifted people is called Lingots, which has to do with hearing the truth but also being able to speak and understand any language … and funnily enough my language learning app rewards you in a currency called Lingots. I’m quite sure it’s unrelated but a nice detail anyway.
Only because someone is able to hear if they are being lied to obviously doesn’t mean they know the answer to everything. This becomes ever more clear when the two main characters of this duology … let’s call it meet. Tarik is a Lingot and Sepora has way too many secrets to hide, including her very existence. And apparently hiding in plain sight actually works. For a while at least.
I had a lot of fun reading about these two dancing around each other and learning to navigate personal and political matters (because obviously while falling in love you also must be able to run/save a nation/the future of your continent). I realised just now that most of my bookmarks happen to be in Tarik’s chapters. Maybe because the outside perspective of his third-person narration lends itself better to being quotable than Sepora’s first-person point of view. That or I’m toast, which is also a good explanation. Anyway, these perspective switches are a neat narrative method. It might have been confusing to switch points of view within characters as well, but sometimes that could have added another layer of mystique or insight. I would have loved to really have Tarik’s perspective or a more external view on Sepora, but I understand why this might have seemed unfeasible.
The book ends on a mean cliffhanger but luckily the second book is already out so that torture can be avoided.

Would you like to be able to immediately know if what you hear is the truth? I think this can be a real burden while at the same time also be quite useful for various reasons. Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones.

Wintersong – Titan Books

“But remember, Elisabeth, our childish games are behind us now.” Those wolf’s eyes glittered. “When I play, I play for keeps.”
— Chapter 6

But hope … hope was stubborn. Like a weed it returned, even after I had plucked it away again and again.
— Chapter 30




Happy Spring Equinox/first day of spring. (And happy birthday to two very important people in my life, although I suspect that if at all only one of them will read this ;)) Winter returned with a vengeance this past weekend to my neck of the woods, I hope you have been faring a little better than this sun and warmth deprived reader. So what could be better fitting than a book with winter in the title?
I was very pleasantly surprised that the setting of this book hit very close to home for me geographically speaking. And linguistically, because the author amusingly adds the odd German phrase here and there and while I usually find this a little tedious if the foreign language is then immediately translated this wasn’t the case here but I imagine that non-natives will be able to discern the meaning. I’m also quietly pleased that I only found one grammatical error and one stylistic oddity among those phrases. I wonder how the exotic phrases were handled in the German translation. But I digress … language nerd.
There is a second book recently published to which I will come eventually. It will be interesting to see if the connection of faery (yes, again) to motives from other mythologies will remain as strong there. Or maybe even stronger for there is a secret to be uncovered and a possible curse to be broken. As well as several other fun elements that I hope to see again and see resolved. It’s very fun to see one’s home depicted as a magical and to English readers also foreign/possibly slightly exotic place. After all, the deep dark German woods are the home to many of the original faery tale creatures. And if after you’ve read this book you feel the urge to read the decisive poem on der Erlk├Ânig by Goethe, I’ll direct you to my favourite translation right next to the original and the literal version here. Only know that our heroine would soundly disagree with this version of him as she comes to know him in quite a different capacity.

Have you ever been surprised by a book being set in what is basically your neighbourhood? I suspect this happens more often to English readers than to Germans reading English books. Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

The Cruel Prince – Little, Brown
Books for Young Readers


I do not yearn to be their equal.
In my heart, I yearn to best them.
— Chapter 4

“So you accept.”
It’s frightening to have a choice like this in front of me, a choice that changes all future choices.
— Chapter 10




Faerieland may have several kings, queens, and other royalty but it most definitely has one high queen to rule them all and her name is Holly Black. I have always loved Holly’s writing and especially the characters who populate her ever more fantastic stories. And I could not be more excited that after so long she not only returns to Faerie but that we also get two more books with these characters. If you’ve read her other Faerie books, you’re in for a special treat of cameos and other eastereggs.
The usual perspective for stories like this is the human looking in or the fae looking out but with this Holly has mastered the art of having a mortal brought up and more or less fully adapted to the strange tradition and doing everything to remain in, possibly overdoing it and in a way besting the fae at their own games. It’s in my opinion and interesting play on nature vs. nurture and the willingness and ability to adapt, to survive and thrive. And with this cast of characters, it’s really Holly at her best, each with their own motives, schemes, characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses … and the occasional frustrating/endearing blind spot.
I’m fully jumping on the “I need the second book now if not yesterday” waggon. Not because the first book ends on a mean cliffhanger but because I cannot wait to find out how all of these plots continue. It’s a little like leaving a highly competitive chess match right when both players are about to check each other with equal chances of checkmate. Only that this game has more than two players and the rules change whenever you blink.

Readers know that wishes and bargains with the fae are dangerous. Would you feel prepared enough to enter into such an agreement? Share your ideas and teasers in the comments.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson.

Truly Devious – Katherine Tegen Books

Stevie had no fears of the dead. The living, however, sometimes gave her the creeps.
— Chapter 10

It had the feeling of a strange game, and one that filled Stevie with a low, simmering worry.
Games are not fun if you don’t know you’re playing.
— Chapter 13




Book titles are hard. I don’t say this as an excuse for every bad title ever made but from a sympathetic position. What I love about this title is that it so obviously states its intent. And that it works so well on so many levels for this book. I have disliked the analysis of poems and prose ever since my school days because I think that you kill words once you have to pick them apart, but I could easily write a whole essay on the title of this book. Which I won’t do, no worries, I’m just still quite captivated by all the layers.
I might be a little cross with Maureen for writing this before continuing Shades of London (I really hope there is another book coming) but I understand that if something demands to be written it has to take centre stage (and all the other reasons her writing was delayed – those definitely take precedence). Luckily, this prominent spot is quite deserved. Stevie is a very compelling main character and I immensely enjoyed following her on her investigation. I also liked the dual timelines which don’t exactly interact but intersect and inform each other on a very interesting level, you basically get two stories for the price of one and possibly a third overlay.
The nature of a mystery calls for inconsistencies so I’m not calling on them until I’m certain they aren’t intentional. I am very much looking forward to the continuation and how Stevie deals not with one but two discoveries/developments. And I really hope she solves at least the staircase riddle if not the whole thing, which feels very interconnected.

Are you a mystery and/or crime reader? I’m usually avoiding them unless it’s an author I already know and trust. Share your teasers and preferences in the comments.