Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A + GIVEAWAY] The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick

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Welcome to my stop on The Demon Race book tour! Thank you to Alexandria Warwick for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

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Title: THE DEMON RACE
Author: Alexandria Warwick
Pub. Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Wolf Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Kindle
Pages: 351
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

A race across the desert.

An unimaginable prize.

It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom.

When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness.

Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart.

In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.


REVIEW

It’s called the Demon Race, and it does only take place every one thousand years. People enter because the prize is worth the risk of crossing the Saraj.

Namali is entrapped in an arranged marriage her father concocted. Upon this realization (and much sooner than anticipated), Namali is left with no choice but to join the Demon Race. Giving up her most prized possession and friend, she barters with a merchant to buy the necessities to enter the race.

She would enter the Demon Race. She would win. And she would wish this marriage away.

She soon discovers that things aren’t as easy as they seem, and are in fact, way more dangerous, but it is entirely worth the prize of freedom. Understanding that she will have to ride a demon across the Saraj, she quickly realizes that her soul may also be at stake. Can she win the race without giving herself up in the process?

And the prize?…What do you get if you win?

“The deepest, most hidden desire of your heart…A wish”

I love that this was a standalone novel. Nowadays, we see everything turned into a series, and this was a refreshing change. Not only that, but the idea was so unique and so unalike anything we have seen before. The reader gets a taste of romance, but it is not overpowering (thank you!). As we read, we see Namali grow as a character, and the messages were those we all should follow and strive for. This was a fast-paced, learning, and unique read that everyone should read!

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Demon Race is her first novel.

 

 

Follow Alexandria:
Website | Instagram


Q & A

Q: When did you first get the idea for The Demon Race and what was your inspiration for this novel?

A: I actually remember the moment pretty clearly. It was 2015 and I was in my last semester of university, sitting in one of my ecology classes and brainstorming, when I started thinking of the movie Hidalgo. That was the initial inspiration–a race across the desert. I’ve always been drawn to competitions because it’s an automatic high-stakes story, and I loved how the terrain would add additional obstacles for the characters.

 

Q: Did THE DEMON RACE have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?

A: The soundtrack to the video game Journey by Austin Wintory really helped me picture the setting of the Saraj. It’s very eerie. It made me think of solitude and desolation, and I feel that the harmonies he used (a lot of dissonance) were a good reflection of how Namali felt traveling alone through the desert.

 

Q: What is your dream cast for THE DEMON RACE?

A: Namali would be cast by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. In the novel, Namali does not believe herself to be beautiful, but I imagined her to have striking features as Golshifteh does. Sameen would be cast by Palestinian actor Mousa Kraish, whose features are rather boyish and open. And finally the merchant would be cast by Iranian-American actor Pej Vahdat. I always imagined the merchant to have sharper features, so Pej would portray him beautifully.

 

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

A: Hmm. This took me a while to think about because I wrote the story so long ago. I would probably say the greatest challenge was believing in the story. So many people said no to The Demon Race, and it did take a toll on my self-esteem as a writer after a while. There came a time when I began to doubt my writing abilities, my abilities as a storyteller, because the story I wrote was not the story publishing was looking for. But even when I trunked the novel, I knew I couldn’t let it stay there. So I decided to say yes to myself, to this story, and give it a chance at being read by people who would hopefully understand Namali the way I did.

 

Q: What writers inspire you?

A: This is a great question! I find that different writers inspire me for different reasons. When it comes to the types of stories I write, about young women finding their own path and learning their strengths, Tamora Pierce, hands down. She was the reason I wanted to become a writer. When it comes to navigating the indie world of publishing, Elise Kova, as she managed to build her own success. In terms of writing craft, Marie Rutkowski (her prose kills me) and Maggie Stiefvater. And if we’re talking about writing characters and character relationships that are painfully slow to develop but are wrought with tension, well, that would be none other than C.S. Pacat!


GIVEAWAY

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Bookish Features

[BLITZ + GIVEAWAY] Skerryvore by Lee Williams

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Skerryvore ebook

Title: SKERRYVORE
Author: Lee Williams
Pub. Date: September 2, 2018
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon USAmazon UK

Teenage twins Rose and Daniel aren’t allowed phones, computers, even a TV, thanks to their conspiracy-obsessed father. But when the people he always thought were after him actually turn up, the twins realise their dad wasn’t as paranoid as they’d always thought.

With their father missing and their house burned to the ground, Rose and Daniel find themselves at the centre of a worldwide conspiracy that stretches back through the ages, involving some of the most powerful and mysterious organisations on the planet.

Why them? Why their dad? The answers to these questions and other darker mysteries lie on a remote Scottish island, beyond the doors of an ancient house called Skerryvore.

These mysteries link the twins to a Dark Age king and queen, to a secret society that stands behind the City of London, and an energy source that links some of the world’s most ancient sites into a network that has the power – literally – to change the world. Skerryvore is the first book in the Dark Net series.


ADVANCE PRAISE

“Lee Williams has created an amazing adventure in this wonderfully written YA fantasy epic, Skerryvore. Exciting and well done with plenty of twists and turns to capture and hold the reader’s interest – I know it did mine! Perfectly paced and full of brilliant characters, the fast-paced action spirals you forward to an exciting climax that pulls almost all the mysterious clues together, leaving you satisfied yet still anxious for the follow-up novel. Lee Williams mixes history, science fiction and everyday social issues along with mythical characters and legends to make Skerryvore the ideal story to keep you reading and wanting to read even more.” – Readers Favorites https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/skerryvore


EXCERPT

Daniel took a deep breath. It must be right. This must be the last piece in Mr Picketty’s jigsaw that led to the secret of Skerryvore – a sword in a stone. He couldn’t just be imagining this.

He had to have faith.

Daniel closed his eyes and went through the technique Mr Humblestone had taught them for being in the present. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Empty your mind of thoughts. Listen to the sounds around you. What can you hear? He could hear the sound of waves and gunfire echoing around the metallic roof of the chamber. What can you feel? The cold sea air against his face, the hard ground against the soles of his feet, the movement of his ribcage up and down and the beating of his heart inside it. What can you smell? The smell of the sea, the metal and oil of machinery. Now open your eyes. What can you see? He opened his eyes. He could see a sword standing in a stone with no thoughts attached to it, no hopes or fears.

Just a sword in a stone.

He reached out and wrapped his fingers around the cool leather of the hilt. He closed his eyes and pulled.

With a scraping of metal on stone the sword came free in his hand, so easily in fact that he stumbled backwards and fell to the floor dropping it with a harsh clattering noise that echoed around the chamber.

Then, slowly, another sound began to rise and overtake the first. It was a sound that came from all around, like some huge and rusty gate that hadn’t been oiled in centuries. Looking up, Daniel saw that the roof of the observatory was moving, but not in the usual way. This time it was moving outwards and away from the building, like giant hands were peeling it back. The noise roared to a deafening crescendo and Daniel watched in horror as the two sides of the roof leant outwards, balanced precariously for what felt like an eternity, then toppled and fell to the rocks below like two giant petals dropping from a flower.

He was suddenly alone on a windy platform, above the sea, under the night sky.

And behind him something else was moving.


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BOOK BLITZ ORGANIZED BY YA BOUND BOOK TOURS

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Bookish Features

90’s Movie Tag

A special thanks to Jess & Teagan @ Fiction No Chaser who tagged me! 🙂 Being a 90’s baby, I am biased, but I think it is THE BEST decade ever!


The Tag

She’s All That

Name a book that is an odd pairing but they still fit perfectly

The Raging Ones
Franny and Court. I think I may be just as confused as they are about everything. 

10 Things I Hate About You

A book/series that you have a love/hate relationship with

GoT

Considering my favorite character (Khal Drogo) has been dead since the first book/season, you can understand how I feel. Make me fall in love with someone and then abandon me to my sorrows, George! Not just once, but pretty much every time.

Clueless

A character that is totally clueless but you love them anyway

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Harley Quinn for sure. Smart in one instance, but she always has those one-liners or is in her own little world. Regardless, she makes me laugh!

Titanic

Name a book that made you cry

Me Before You

Both the book and the movie had me sobbing!

American Pie

A book that makes you laugh

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Caroline is my favorite nosy, gossipy sister that is spot on with her assumptions, but her means of showing it were hilarious.

Can’t Hardly Wait

A book with a crazy party

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby– You all know what I’m talking about from high school.

Cruel Intentions

Name a character that you can never fully trust

Gone_Girl_(Flynn_novel)

So, Jess & Teagan wrote down this answer and I can’t help but agree. Amy would be the friend you’d always on your side, but could flip the switch at any second.

Drive Me Crazy

Name your favorite “boy next door” or “girl next door”  couple

The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel and Augustus are so cute!

Scream

A book with a memorable villain

Lone Survivor

Sorry to be realistic for a moment, but the shepherds in this true story I will always remember. I think they were deceitful and were spared, but are so hateful towards Americans that they can’t see any of us as good. They played a part in killing people who did nothing to hurt them personally. Don’t even get me started.

The Craft

Name a book with witches

Harry Potter

Obvi.


I Tag


What do you think of our choices? Would any of these make your 90’s Movie list? 

Bookish Features

WWW Wednesday – September 5, 2018

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you just finish reading? What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading:

 

I am currently reading Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben and Manga Classics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Stacy King.

Just Finished:

Rule

Since my last post, I finished Rule by Ellen Goodlett.

Reading Next:

Next, I will be reading The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick and Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe by Stacy King.

What’s on your WWW Wednesday this week? Be sure to comment below and I’ll check it out!

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Bingeworthy Netflix Shows

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. As you can tell, superheroes are kind of my thing haha

1. “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”

2. “13 Reasons Why”

3. “Stranger Things”

4. “Luke Cage”

5. “Jessica Jones”

6. “Daredevil”

7. “Iron Fist”

8. “The Defenders”

9. “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

10. “What Happened to Monday”

Book Reviews

Rule (Rule, #1) by Ellen Goodlett

RuleTitle: Rule (Rule, #1)
Author: Ellen Goodlett
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Three sisters. Three deadly secrets.

Only one can wear the crown.

Zofi: a Traveler. While trying to protect the man she loved, she killed Prince Nicolen. But someone knows her secret…

Akeylah: From the Eastern Reach. Tapping into Vulgar Arts, she planned to curse the man (“father”) who took care of her after her mother’s death, realizing too late she was actually slowly killing her real father, the King.

Florencia: Raised as a servant in the Palace. However, Ambassador Danton sweet-talker her into falling in love with him, while also tricking her into helping him find a grave secret that would kill many.

Someone knows all three secrets. Someone related to them is behind the threats. But who? Are they the only ones with a secret? Will the girls figure out who the blackmailer is before time runs out?

Looking around Goodreads and other blogger’s websites, this novel wasn’t a fan favorite. And honestly, I did like it, not love it. I thought it was even-paced and kept the reader wanting more. It was nice to see the perspectives of the three potential heirs. However, the only downfall, to me, was that I felt it predictable. But, then again, I’m always good at figuring out mysteries. I would definitely read the sequel when it comes out (I want to see if my predictions are correct)! 

The expected publication date is September 11, 2018.

Bookish Features

August 2018 Illumicrate Box

Illumicrate

AUGUST 2018
OH SO CRIMINAL

Exclusive Edition, Sprayed Edges, & Bookmark
Sarah J. Maas

We all know how uptight Maas is about signings, but at least give us an ARC then! Come on!

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Exclusive Villains Are My Bag
KDP Letters

Is it just me or does this make absolutely no sense?

 

 

 

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Exclusive Sirius Snacks Coaster
Katie Abey

 

 

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Exclusive Darkdawn Nail File
Hey Atlas Creative

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Exclusive No Mourners No Funerals Lanyard
Fable and Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive Antagonist / Protagonist Necklace
Down The Rabbithole

 

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Exclusive Perfect Heist Candle
Elvenwick Candles

 

 

 

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Exclusive Easiest Lies Mirror
Reverie and Ink

 

 

 

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Exclusive Gotham Sirens Print
Jamila Mehio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras from:

  • Girls of Paper and Fire, Tempests & Slaughter, Sisters of the Winter Wood, Harper 360

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Honestly, I was terribly disappointed in this box. The book wasn’t even signed and to make up for that, I was sure there would be at least an ARC, especially since there has been in the last few (and a big reason that I purchased this). Aside from that, I felt like the items were things I would be able to find at the dollar store (harsh, I know, but let’s be real). I don’t think the content was equal to the price I paid, and in my opinion, the value should be more and it just wasn’t for me. Also, I think I like the original cover better (sad sighs). I’m going to give it one more chance, but this was not a good first impression for me whatsoever.

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