Book Review: The Serpent’s Secret

Title: The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)

Author: Sayantani DasGupta

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Scholastic on February 27th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781338185706 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Serpent's Secret

Synopsis

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

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Book Review: Mirage

Title: Mirage (Mirage #1)

Author: Somaiya Daud

Genre: Young adult sci-fi fantasy

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By Flatiron Books on August 28th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781250126429 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book for promotional purposes as part of a blog tour and this in no way influences my opinion

Mirage

Synopsis

In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Studying (Mirage Blog Tour + US Giveaway)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for August 28th, 2018 is: Back to School/Learning Freebie. Since I’m also on the blog tour for Mirage, I had to find a way to incorporate this prompt creatively into my post and I decided to talk about books which have some kind of learning, studying or training in them. Thanks a million to Aimee @ Aimee Always for organising the blog tour!

TTT 8_28_2018

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Top Ten Tuesday: Epic Book Mashup!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for August 7th, 2018 is: Books You’d Mash Together. This basically means that you pick two books you think would make an epic story if combined. I have 5 exciting mashups to show you all today, so let’s get into the post.

TTT 8_7_2018

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Lived up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for July 31st, 2018 is: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype. I’d done a blog post similar to this way back in February – Reading Hyped Books. What I’m going to do today instead is talk about books that were recommended to me by my bookish friends that were as good or even better than they told me it would be. I trust their reviews implicitly and would like to give them a shout-out because I usually decide my TBR based on friends’ opinion rather than read whatever is popular. I’m also going to mention one book that I want to add to my TBR because this person loves it or has recommended to me.

TTT 7_31_2018

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Sorting Book Characters into Hogwarts Houses

July is the months for all things Harry Potter, so I got on board too. Initially, I wanted this post to be about some famous problematic books and how it’s okay to like them as long as you’re aware of the nature of the content, but I’ve been writing serious posts lately all the time, so I decided to take a break and do something fun instead. We’ll reserve that discussion for some other day, shall we? For today’s sorting ceremony, I’m doing four characters each from different books across genres for a bit of variety.

Sorting Characters

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Book Review: The Smoke Thieves

Title: The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1)

Author: Sally Green

Genre: Young adult fantasy

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By Penguin Random House on May 3rd, 2018

ISBN13: 9780141375397

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

The Smoke Thieves (Book Review)

Synopsis

A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I’d DNF-ed

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for June 5th, 2018 was about DNF-ed books. DNF stands for Did Not Finish for those unfamiliar with this term. Since I have DNF-ed maybe a book or two in my entire life, I thought I’d change up the topic to talk about some of the books I wish I had stopped reading because they were either not worth my time or I ended up not liking as much as I would have if I had read it another time.

TTT 6_5_2018

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Book Review: La Belle Sauvage

Title: La Belle Sauvage

Author: Philip Pullman

Genre: Young adult fantasy

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Random House Children’s Publishers UK on October 19th, 2017

ISBN13: 9780385654081

Grade: Outstanding

La Belle Sauvage (Book Review)

Synopsis

Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy…

Malcolm’s father runs an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his dæmon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue. He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust – and the spy it was intended for finds him.
When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, Malcolm sees suspicious characters everywhere; Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a dæmon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl – just a baby – named Lyra. Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make chocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Asian Lit Rainbow Book Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for May 8th, 2018 is: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title). I feel like a lot of people are going to choose the colour purple for sure, so I decided to change the prompt. Since I’m taking part in the Asian Lit Bingo, a month-long reading challenge in May hosted by Lit CelebrAsian, I decided to recommend some of my favourite Asian stories. There’s one each for every colour of the rainbow, so I’ll be doing 7 instead of 10 this time around.

TTT 5_8_2018

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