Team Urban: 100 Words on Why Urban Fantasy is Awesome from Entangled Authors

Team Urban: Why I Love Urban Fantasy!

guard

Brenda Drake – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.

syn
Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Guardian of Secrets

fanning

Chris Cannon – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):

1. There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
2. I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
3. Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough shameless self promotion

syn
She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

Fanning the Flames

spindle-by-shonna-slayton-for-web

Shonna Slayton – Spindle:

Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.

As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.

syn
In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

Spindle

inbetween

Tara Fuller – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1):

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Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Inbetween

salt

Danielle Ellison – Salt (Salt, #1):

Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy. Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as-fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be. Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.

syn
Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Salt

my-super

Rachel Harris – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1):

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On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

atlantis

Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):

I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.

syn
We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

Atlantis Rising

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

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Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn

synWendy doesn’t remember anything about Neverland—or the experiments done on her there as a child. Seven years later, all she wants is a normal life, but shape-shifting shadows plague her dreams and turn her life into a waking nightmare. When the shadows attack at a football game and a boy disappears right in front of her, she realizes these wraith-like shadows are real. They’re not just haunting—they’re hunting.

A mysterious boy named Peter, his foul-mouthed sidekick, and a band of misfit boys intervene before Wendy faces a similar fate. But can they trust Wendy enough to take her to Neverwood Academy and reveal all of their hidden secrets when she’s hiding a secret of her own, or will the dreaded Red Skulls find her and drag her back to Neverland?

teaser

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COME JOIN THE RELEASE EVENT!
We’ll be celebrating the release of Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn
and The God Thief by Ben Hale!
Lots of fun, games & prizes!!!

giveawayEnter for your chance to win a Kindle Fire, a signed paperback of Lost Girl, a signed paperback of God Thief 

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Be sure and check out Ben Hale’s new book…
Now infamous for his exploits, Jack Myst is a master thief. 
 
As a member of the Thieves Guild he has fought assassins, reavers, and even a devil—but now he faces his greatest challenge yet, the rank of guildmaster. Ascending to the office after defeating Skorn at Margauth, he launches a daring plan, one to steal what cannot be stolen.
 
A god.
 
But Skorn has retrieved the fragments of an ancient artifact, and has begun construction on the Necrolith, the beacon of ending. He issues a king’s bounty on Jack’s head, turning governments and guilds against him. Hounded by soldiers and hunted by assassins, it will require all of Jack’s skill to triumph over Skorn.
 
He couldn’t be more excited.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL MASTER THIEF SERIES OR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE AWESOME BOOKS BY BEN HALE!
 
 authorchanda
Chanda Hahn is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of the Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children.
An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series
               
The Iron Butterfly Series
      
Underland

 

Magical reading, 
Jordan

Review: Emerald Bound by Teresa Richards

emerald-boundGoodreads/Amazon/B&N

synA princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale… Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse.

At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.

Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late. If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.

review3.5/5 Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Evernight Teen

I love retellings. When I saw this was Princess and the Pea, I was super stoked because most of the time, retellings in YA are a little too Disney-centric when it comes to picking out their fairytale characters. Emerald Bound is a fascinating retelling that combines magic, fairytale elements, physics, and is so unexpected that you can’t help but be impressed.

The premise is wicked cool. The unique pairing of science with fantasy adds a believable twist to every outlandish turn. There are some points that, because science, seem fairly plausible and that in itself is enough reason to check this out. 

The story flips between two POVs and two time periods, Lindy and Maggie, the 1600s and the present, respectively. The back story of the warring kingdoms and the poverty that makes the citizens of these small cities in Sweden desperate enough to take on sinister magic is developed and complex. It transported me to a whole different world, letting off that enchanting and semi-historical vibe of a good fairytale. 

Some elements were a little predictable. And occasionally, the switch to the past was distracting, jarring, and knocked the pace down a notch. 

Characters were developed and complex. The interactions were spot on. Maggie and her friends, that intro scene was intriguing, sucked you in, and was super playful.

Lindy’s POVs are full of melancholy, regret, and fierce determination. She loathes her past and how she let the sense of hopelessness consume her. She’s a complicated character whose past is as rich and dark as her present. 

Maggie does some seriously ridiculous stuff. You’ll want to shake some sense into her for some of her choices. She does not think things through, but there’s something endearing about her clumsy, semi-spastic ways. Maggie’s loyalty and heart are relatable and attractive as a heroine. 

The romance was cute, playful, and though a tad fast (almost instalove but without the intensity), fits with the story. It is a fairytale after all. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Love Me, Love Me Not-Alyxandra Harvey

love me love me notGoodreads/Amazon/iBooks/B&N

syn

Dating isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a blood feud.

Anastasia Vila’s family can turn into swans, but just once she’d like them to turn into responsible adults.

After hundreds of years, they still cling to the blood feud with the Renard family. No one remembers how it started in the first place—but foxes and swans just don’t get along.

Vilas can only transform into their swan shape after they have fallen in love for the first time, but between balancing schoolwork, family obligations, and the escalating blood feud, Ana’s got no time for love. The only thing keeping her sane is her best friend, Pierce Kent.

But when Pierce kisses Ana, everything changes.

Is what Pierce feels for her real, or a byproduct of her magic? Can she risk everything for her best friend? And when the family feud spirals out of control, Ana must stop the fight before it takes away everything she loves.

Including, maybe…Pierce.

This Entangled Teen Crave book contains language, violence, and lots of kissing. Warning: it might induce strong feelings of undeniable attraction for your best friend.

review

4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled Crave

Love Me, Love Me Not is an enchanting romance that reads like a fairytale. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a magical Disney story. That fluttery, giddiness that comes with stumbling upon something out of this world is there in full force. Think Practical Magic when the jump off the rooftop at the end. THAT feeling. 

PROS:

  • The concept is fantastic. It’s a play on Romeo and Juliet with a fairytale twist and tons of swoons. The Vila’s are amazing. From their haunting songs and playful ballads that can call up the winds to their fierce bows and arrows, they’re quirky and powerful. Their parkour training and self-defense skills make them all sorts of empowered. Each Vila has a unique voice and personality-from the crazies to the promiscuous ones, they’re memorable. 
  • The story is fueled by love. In order to become a swan, the Vila girls must fall in love to earn their wings. Romance is everything to them and it’s through falling in love that they find themselves and truly understand what it means to be a swan. 
  • Swoon. Sigh. Swoon. Seriously. Smells like books and coffee? Um…is there anything sexier than that? On top of that Pierce is loyal, compassionate, playful, and always there for Ana. Their friendship is strong and feels oh so right. Their wish tree. That’s probably one of the coolest and most romantic things I’ve read in a long time. 
  • There’s some assault violence that is pretty terrifying. The feud between the foxes and swans is crazy intense. The bruises and bloodshed, the taunts, stealing special tokens, pulling pranks, it all adds up to a deadly battle of whims fueled by hundreds of years of hatred. 
  • Twists and turns that will keep you guessing. The clues are subtle. 
  • Gosh, where do I even begin? She’s adorably flustered and clumsy at times, her moments of trying to speak to her crush and failing miserably are not only something anyone can identify with but will make you die laughing. She’s open-minded, independent, and fights for what she believes in. And of course, she’s blind to what’s right in front of her but you can’t blame a girl for being scared to take the leap from friends to more. 

CONS:

  • There wasn’t enough kissing. No. Seriously. For a romance there wasn’t enough build up but the kisses that were there…you’ll feel like you’re floating. Total out-of-your-mind, butterflies.
  • The villain felt randomly inserted, well, the main villain. The clues were so sparse that when the reveal happened, yes, it was shocking but you also had to scramble to figure out why. There wasn’t enough to lead you to that conclusion.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

 

NOTE: I am using this for the “main character who is not human” on the 2016 YA Reading Challenge

 

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal: Love in Neverland-Heather C. Myers

Genre: Fantasy Romance Young Adult/retelling of Peter Pan
Expected Release Date: January 25th, 2016
synLove in Neverland is as hard to capture as fairy dust. Luckily, Magdalena Trainor has no need for either. Love has never been at the forefront of her mind. Her sole focus is to keep an eye on Captain Nicholas Grey while James Hook – the only person Magda trusts – has Remy Cutler in his clutches. She doesn’t expect the task to be difficult – Nicholas Grey may have brawn but doesn’t appear to have any brain – except he turns out to be more than she bargained for. And not in a bad way.
 
For Remy Cutler, love in Neverland is impossible and uimportant.  All she wants to do is get back home, back to her parents, her easy life, and even her undesirable arranged marriage with a man she has no passion for.  James Hook may be beautiful, but he’s cold, and while he does not raise a hand to her, Remy is constantly left alone, isolated from everyone save for her handmaiden.  Rey still has no idea why she’s so special, and James isn’t sharing what he’s planning to do with her either.  There’s a threat looming over her head, and James Hook plays two parts: captor and protector.  With no one left to trust but him, she puts her life – and heart – in his hand – and hook.
authHeather C. Myers

Full disclosure: I am an acquired taste. I’m a typical blonde Orange County suburbanite who says ‘like’ more than necessary, laughs loud and probably obnoxiously, and loves to dance in the rain. I’m a 26 year old college graduate with more than a few tricks up my sleeve, and I also happen to be a pretty big Ducks fan. Oh, and I’m a writer. Like, for real.

 

I recently signed with Anchor Group Publishing, which will see two of my series being published this year. I’ve self-published over 15 books, with more on the way, so I’m familiar with both a hybrid-traditional publishing method as well as self-publishing.

I don’t speak in third person (normally) nor do I wear glasses (except when I’m feeling particularly mischievous). I’m lucky to have found my soul mate at the ripe old age of 22, even though he frustrates me on purpose to get a reaction out of me. We live near Disneyland, have two rambunctious female puppies, and have a beautiful baby girl. He has two amazing boys, and has gotten me hooked on Smallville, watching soccer (okay, okay FOOTBALL – FC Barcelona, baby!), and Cancun Juice.

Download the first book, Death in Neverland, completely FREE here:  Amazon

Sign up by January 24 Sign up HERE for FREE weekly chapters starting Monday January 25th!!
Pleasant reading, 
Jordan



Release Blitz & Giveaway: Chasing Midnight-Courtney King Walker

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King WalkerChasing Midnight by Courtney King WalkerGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Chasing Midnight 
by Courtney King Walker
Publication Date: January 12, 2016

Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing

synWISH LIST

  1. The biggest, fanciest house on Sea View Drive.
  2. Nike Flyknits.
  3. A ski-jump nose.
  4. My own car. A new BMW.
  5. Be a total pro at the piano.
  6. James Odera to like me. Be James Odera’s girlfriend.
  7. Get Spencer’s lungs fixed.

Mackenzie Love dreams of being a “lucky one”—someone who has the perfect life. Someone who doesn’t have to worry about money, a sick brother, or her high school status. So when a mysterious visitor offers to make all her wishes come true, Mackenzie jumps at the chance. But the royal lifestyle may cost more than Mackenzie is willing to pay in this modern twist on the classic Cinderella story.

ExcerptSuddenly, my ears buzz and go blank, blocking the noise around me, almost like my head has been plunged underwater.

Cale looks at me sideways. I shake my head, trying to knock the silence free.

“Is this what you wish for?” a voice booms in my head deep and smoky, every syllable alive like the air has been awakened from a deep sleep.

I turn around, knowing that distinctive voice, that spicy aroma. “You,” I say, staring straight into eyes the color of midnight, feeling myself already simmering in the scent of roasted hazelnuts. Bird Lady. Her Mohawk hair is as majestic as before, maybe even more like a jay’s tuft now. With a long, black dress that bleeds into cobalt blue at her feet, she blends into the crowd like she’s always been part of it. My eyes go straight to her bare neck, where her dark skin glimmers gold under the strobe lights above.

Is she here to reclaim her lost charm?

Before I have a chance to confess the whereabouts of her necklace, however, the room freezes with everyone in it—everyone except for Bird Lady and me.

I scan left then right, wondering if we are the only two aware that the room has been placed on pause. Cale still holds his drink to his lips, a grin stuck on his face. Fritz is mid-action, in the middle of wiping off the counter, his fingers clamped around a cloth. The music has even stopped, along with the

hum of voices and the clanking of silver on china. I wait for an explanation, wait for the world to start up again . . . for music to ignite from the grand piano tucked into the corner beneath the winding staircase, or for the murmur of conversations to begin again.

But everything seems stuck.

The glass cone buzzes in my hands, the only thing here that seems real. My mind is blank; for some reason I can’t think of anything except the Bird Lady. I close my eyes, waiting for a cue . . . for something to click in my mind and tell me what to do next, other than remain here in a sea of paralyzed limbs.

When I open my eyes again, Bird Lady is still staring at me.

“What’s happening?” I ask her, my voice carrying across the room to the other side then bouncing off the wall and back at me.

“Look,” she says, pointing at the crowd. “You’ll see in a minute.”

I spin around and scan the faces, looking for something. She steps backward, as if giving me space. The glass cone slips from my hand and hits the counter as the piercing sound of glass bouncing off stone fills the room. I’m about to demand some kind of explanation, but my words die on my tongue the

instant I recognize, even from this distance, the profile of a girl standing in the center of the crowd, at the center of attention.

The girl . . . is me.

A prettier version of me, but still, me.

I rush past Bird Lady toward the crowd, but halt at the sound of her voice.

“Don’t get too close,” she warns. “It’s only a glimpse. She will vanish if you push it.”

“A glimpse . . . ,” I repeat, wondering how I am seeing what I’m seeing.

Seeing me.

Yet there I am—wedged in between James and Brecke, a pink bubbly in my hand and what looks like a laugh ready to burst from my mouth.

My nose is different—small and ski-jump perfect, my long, dark hair smoother and stick-straight, still resting slightly above my elbows like it is now. I’m wearing a black halter dress, the taffeta skirt reaching all the way to my toes, my shoulders bare. The whole group is there beside me and I am at the center, the look in my eyes one of belonging, of being adored.

Of being a lucky one.

“Is this what you want?” Bird Lady says again, her voice everywhere, somewhere in the air, floating around me.

My breath is gone, my body is immobile, but my mind still spins. “I don’t know,” I answer, acutely aware of the sour feeling still twisting my stomach after my encounter with James and the lucky ones.

“You have to know. Some time or other.” Bird Lady glides even closer to me until her cinnamon scent starts to burn my eyes. “What will you give?” she asks.

“What?” I ask, confused, tears from my burning eyes blurring my vision.

“Nothing is free, my dear. What’s your offer?”

“I . . . I don’t know,” I say, my mind stuck in this fog. My eyes losing focus. My gaze falling back on the other me—the girl in the middle of the crowd—the girl who has everything.

“It’s your choice. You have until midnight to start the clock.”

“What clock?” “The necklace. Make your offer and put the charm around your neck, child. When you awake, it will have begun.”

teaserChasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker

“Be careful what you wish for. . . . A modern Cinderella story that will charm its way into your heart and make you second-guess the grass you think is greener.”
— Jennifer Murgia, author of Forest of Whispers

On Sale!

Looking for a romantic read? Grab Courtney King Walker’s debut young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, for just 0.99 cents! It’s a YA ghost story, where your first embrace could be your last…

On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker

Grab your copy for just 0.99 cents on Amazon, today!

authCourtney King Walker

Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. She is the author of the young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, and middle grade novel MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN. Her next YA novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 giveawayWinner will receive a signed physical copy of CHASING MIDNIGHT and $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

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Keep reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Mechanica-Betsy Cornwell

Mechanica-higher-qualityGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

cooltext1889161239 copyNicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Clarion Books

Mechanica is a magical and enchanting retelling of the classic Cinderella story. 

PROS:

  • From the first page, I was hooked. The steampunk twist on Cinderella coupled with fae magic and romance was an enthralling, whimsical mashup. You know that sweet, wonder that takes over when you experience something so dazzling and magical that you’re flooded with warmth and happiness? Mechanica did that for me. 
  • Jules, the steampunk bugs, the quirky engineering and mysterious darkness of the ashes added something really special to the story. The surprise and excitement, the wide-eyed curiosity at the spectacle that was Nick and her mother’s creations were beyond creative and reinforced the severed connection between mother and daughter. Each invention has a life of its own. The life brought to the cogs and levers made each new creation feel special and lovable. 
  • Nick (Mechanica) is a very modern woman. She thrives on engineering books and physics, she wants to make something of herself, open her own business, to create, and be a successful entrepreneur. Nick recognizes the dire, horrible reality of her situation and makes the best of it, she builds and rebuilds, she’s resilient and won’t let anyone beat her down. No matter the tragedy, Nick hold her head high and plans for a better future. Nick yearns for companionship and lost love. She puts her heart into her work and dismisses her sadness. Nick’s ultimate decision made me incredibly proud. You don’t expect it and yet, it fits, it’s perfect. 
  • Caro is irresistably charming and kind. She’s the sultry best friend any girl needs and the best companion for Nick. Their friendship is sweet and compassionate. 
  • Fin is an enigma that is almost broody at times and flirty others. He’s artistic and poised, kind. The brewing chemistry between Nick and Fin is slow, steady, and a little like love.

CONS:

  • Parts were predictable and took away from the surprise factor. 
  • The underlying prejudice and blossoming war with the fae was extremely important and fell into the background. The truth of the ashes was left unanswered. 
  • The weird sort of ménage romance was off-putting and bizarre. It kind of felt thrown in to round out the story. How Nick could be okay with that despite her obsession with the fae notion of family was hard to understand.
  • Typically, the step sisters and stepmother and terrible, ridiculously cruel people but there was barely enough interaction to truly despise them. The stepmother had a small role and while their destruction was devastating and huge, their general impression in the story was tiny.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Keep reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy