Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mini Reviews: Sampler Edition!

Hi friends! Today, I'm sharing mini reviews of three samplers of books I can't wait to read. Many of you know how I dislike samplers; in this case, I requested Long Way Home without realizing it was a sampler. I decided to include two other samplers in this review post. I have the full novel of Wayfarer, and I actually already read the full Windwitch. All three samplers were good. Enjoy!


Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Book Two of the Passenger series
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk. 

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives. 

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

Review:

Samplers really aren't my thing, especially samplers for novels that I am dying to read - like Wayfarer. I decided to go through with downloading and reading this sampler because I now have a copy of Wayfarer and will be reading it soon. This is a way for me to support the author, via NetGalley. I'm pleased to say that I liked this sampler a lot.

I recalled very little from Passenger, sadly! I read the book in November 2015, so it's been a while, plus that book was massive. I think Bracken did an excellent job of bringing the reader back into the world of Passenger, without confusing the reader. I had no issue slipping right back into the story.

So far, in this sampler (which is a little over one hundred pages long), we get Etta's POV and Nicholas's POV. If you remember the ending of Passenger, then you'll know why they are currently separated. These first few chapters take off pretty quickly, for both characters. Etta finds herself trapped among Ironwoods, and Nicholas is determined to find Etta and find the astrolabe, with a very prickly Sophia Ironwood. I love how Etta never stops fighting, Nicholas never stops being so determined to find Etta, and Sophia never stops being so brutally honest and a pain in the butt (in a good way. I like Sophia). 

The sampler ends on a point in the story that is rather cliffhanger-y! Very strategic place to end the sampler. If I didn't already have Wayfarer, I'd be screaming. As samplers go, this one is a good one, and it definitely made me want to read (the rest of) Wayfarer even more than I already wanted.


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Windwitch by Susan Dennard
Book Two of The Witchlands series
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Review:

I'm cheating a little because I've already read the full-length novel, so I really didn't need to read/review the sampler. Like with Wayfarer, I downloaded the sampler of Windwitch to support the author via NetGalley. More sampler downloads means more interest expressed, which is good.

You can read my review of Windwitch (the full novel) on my blog. I enjoyed the book, though not as much as I'd enjoyed Truthwitch. This sequel was a lot more heartbreaking and gritty to read, with more despair and sadness than its predecessor. All of this "sad stuff" was very necessary to the series, and I trust that Dennard knows what she is doing. Windwitch picks up after some time has passed between Truthwitch and Windwitch, but it's not at all difficult to get back into the story and recall the key events that happened in Truthwitch

Merik's story hit me the hardest, because he suffers the most, even in just this short sampler. We also get Iseult's POV, Safiya's POV, Aeduan's POV - and, surprise! Vivia's POV. Vivia is definitely one of my new favorite characters of the series. In this sampler alone, we learn more about her. She's not nearly as crazy and as villainous as I thought she was. 

There is no romance in this sampler, nor is there any interaction among the four witches (Merik, Safiya, Iseult, Aeduan), with the exception of Aeduan and Iseult. That pair clash and begin to work together in an unexpected way. I can't wait to see more from them in future novels. 

This sampler ends on a cliffhanger-y note, as did the sampler of Wayfarer. Again, very strategic on Tor's part, in choosing to end the sampler at that point. I already read Windwitch in its entirety, otherwise I would be screaming and throwing things (Merik! Quit picking on Merik!). Thankfully, all the screaming and throwing things that I'll be doing is because I am desperate needs of Bloodwitch (book three)!


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Long Way Home by Katie McGarry
Book Three of the Thunder Road series
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley


Summary (from Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.


It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all. 



Review:

I don't do samplers, but I didn't realize that the posting on NetGalley of this book was for a sampler, and not the full-length galley. Still, I am very excited to read this book, and I'll take the sampler. I thought Nowhere But Here was pretty good but I LOVED Walk the Edge. Long Way Home features Chevy and Violet, two characters that I adore and whose second-chance romance I could not wait to read and enjoy. 

This sampler is incredibly short! Of the three I'm reviewing today (Wayfarer, Windwitch, Long Way Home), it is the shortest, at approximately sixty pages. But I really enjoyed the preview. It was easy to get back into the story, and there was no introductory lag or boredom. The story starts with Chevy's POV and ends with Violet's POV, a symmetry that I appreciated.

I remember liking Chevy in previous books but not really focusing on him a lot. So far, I absolutely adore him, just from what I've gathered from this sampler. He is such a sweetheart and a gentleman, despite the "bad boy" aura surrounding him. He is so kind and patient to Violet's brother, and he's a good guy. There is too much weight on his shoulders.

Violet is a tough girl, though like Chevy, there is too much weight on her shoulders. She feels responsible for her brother, whose brain works a little differently. She broke up with Chevy because he wouldn't run away with her, and she hates the Club because they are always trying to interfere with her and her family's life. In this short sampler, readers clearly see how Violet feels about the Club, about her brother, and about Chevy.

I am SO excited to see how this romance progresses! It's so obvious that both of them are not over the other. Violet broke up with Chevy and it destroyed him, but Violet felt betrayed by Chevy, which is why she broke up with him. (Context: he wouldn't run away with her.) I don't usually like second-chance romances, but I have a feeling this one will be swoony and tender and steamy.

Like all samplers, this one ends at the most cliffhanger-y point possible (trust me - holy guacamole, that last chapter). I assume that's why the sampler is so short - it needed to end at a strategically hooking point, and it did just that. I have no idea when I'll get a chance to read Long Way Home, but reading this sampler ensured that I would definitely be reading it as soon as possible. 


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30 comments:

  1. I think that all of these could have made a gorgeous covers list! Boo on the sampler...

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    1. YES! All of them are gorgeous! Good books, too. (The sampled part, anyway.) :D

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  2. Samples always through me off I just want the whole book! Great reviews and I like that Wayfarer leaves you with a big cliffhanger!! These books look great I will need to check them out.

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    1. YUP! I try to avoid them at all costs, heh. But these three books are three that I am dying to read! (In Windwitch's case, I've already read it.) ^_^

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  3. These are really nice reviews :):). Long Way Home seems really cool. Agreeing with Reading Tounwind, we don't ever read samplers because we just want the whole book! Again, nice reviews!
    ~ Pendragons

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    1. Thank you! Long Way Home hit me in the feels already. I need the full-length novel! :D

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  4. Truthwitch and Windwitch I need to get to, maybe I'll binge 'em here early in the year. Nice reviews. :)

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    1. That's a great idea! The series is a long one, so there's not rush. Thank you, Greg!

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  5. I really need to read the earlier books in these series. I don't tend to download the samples on NetGalley, with the eception of the Buzz Books, since I hate being left with a cliffhanger. Glad you had at least a couple of the full length books ready to read.

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    1. Yeah, all of them have predecessors! In terms of the Thunder Road series, I liked Walk the Edge more than Nowhere But Here.

      The cliffhangers with which the publishers end these samplers are brutal! I need the full-length novels now! Though in Windwitch's case, I've read it. Wayfarer, you're next!

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  6. I wanted to read some of these samplers, but then I feel like cheating when I don't read the whole book.
    I'm dying to read Windwitch!!

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    1. I know that feeling! I'm glad I have Windwitch already read and Wayfarer here to be read... but Long Way Home, that one is killing me!

      I hope you love Windwitch!

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  7. Ooh, I've never read sampler reviews before but this is such an interesting format! I'm curious to see how the full book compares! Great reviews!(:

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    1. Samplers are so difficult to review! Do I post on my blog? Goodreads? Definitely NetGalley. I had an open spot on my blog and here we are. ;) Thank you, Keertana! <3

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  8. These are all books I want to read!!!
    And, I've never read/reviewed samplers before. I'm thinking that I should. :)

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    1. I hope you get the chance to read these soon, Christine!

      I never know what to do with samplers, honestly! I don't really read them, so when I do, it's usually in bulk. :D

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  9. Ohh, lovely sampler review sweetie :D Yay for enjoying all three samplers. <3 Gosh, I must read Wayfarer soon. I just. I'm worried that I will forget things, since I'm not re-reading book one first, haha :) Just need to find the time to start this one.

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    1. Thank you! I don't usually read samplers, but I made exceptions here. I do recommend a bit of a Passenger reread, at least in terms of the ending! OR check out Bracken's spoiler-y recap (it's a graphic). I linked to it in my full review!

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