*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

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Title: Woven in Moonlight

Author: Isabel Ibañez

Publisher: Page Street Books

Release Date: January 7th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Kobo

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Author Information

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Isabel Ibañez was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and is the proud daughter of two Bolivian immigrants. A true word nerd, she received her degree in creative writing and has been a Pitch Wars mentor for three years. Isabel is an avid movie goer and loves hosting family and friends around the dinner table. She currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband, their adorable dog, and a serious collection of books. Say hi on social media at @IsabelWriter09.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

Woven in Moonlight is one of the books I could easily fall in love with: enjoyable characters with strong development, incredible world building, and lush prose. It had all the elements I love in a fantasy novel. This book is truly a strong and masterful debut in the Young Adult fantasy genre.

“Words empowered by justice can never be silenced.”

Ximena is the decoy for the Queen, someone she easily sees as her sister. She understands how important her role is and what it means to protect the condesa from those that would wish to harm her. And when a Llacsan king demands the condesa’s hand in marriage, Ximena goes in her place, doing what she can to protect the condesa. But Ximena has plans of her own: plans that involve breaking this forced marriage and finding a path of her own, one that might possibly separate her from the condesa’s standin. Her courage and love for her people is inspiring, and it makes it difficult for any ready to not like her as a character. Yes, she has flaws (what character doesn’t?), but those flaws never overpower her true mission or her heart.

The world building in Woven in Moonlight is by far phenomenal and beautiful; the lush descriptions really make it easy to picture the world and the hardships many people face, including Ximena. This story is filled to the brim with storytelling and that dash of magic, I thought, really brought this story together nicely. I was, overall, very impressed with the layout and pace of this story – it’s not too slow, not too fast, and it builds tension (and a slow burn romance, might I add) really well, well enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

“Rising tides can’t be held back, but they can be ridden.”

Ibañez has a way with her words. Her writing is powerful and lavish; she could turn even a truly dark scene into a scene that captures the beauty of the light. Her writing brought this world to life and gave the characters a strong and heartfelt voice, especially Ximena. It’s what made the story authentic and feel so real. Ibañez did an amazing job giving this novel (and the characters) a voice.

Woven in Moonlight is inspired by Bolivian culture and history and the current political situation; with all that said, this book beautifully captures that culture and historical background. I was really moved by this book and became deeply attached to some of the characters. I’m looking forward to reading Ibañez’s next work, as she has easily become an instant-buy author for me.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers that are part of this tour!

Woven in Moonlight

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Giveaway

PRIZE: Win a copy of WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT by Isabel Ibañez (US/CAN Only)

STARTS: 20th January 2020

ENDS: 3rd February 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*ARC Review* The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

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Title: The Iron Will of Genie Lo

Author: F.C. Yee

Publisher: Amulet Books

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Page Count: 304 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Summary:

The fate of the heavens is at stake in this hilarious and highly-anticipated sequel to the The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi

Genie Lo thought she was busy last year, juggling her academic career with protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as the Heaven-appointed Guardian of California, she’s responsible for the well-being of all yaoguai and spirits on Earth. Even the ones who interrupt her long-weekend visit to a prestigious college, bearing terrible news about a cosmos-threatening force of destruction in a nearby alternate dimension.

The goddess Guanyin and Genie’s boyfriend, Quentin Sun Wukong, do their best to help, but it’s really the Jade Emperor who’s supposed to handle crises of this magnitude. Unfortunately for Genie and the rest of existence, he’s gone AWOL. Fed up with the Jade Emperor’s negligence, Genie spots an opportunity to change the system for the better by undertaking a quest that spans multiple planes of reality along with an adventuring party of quarrelsome Chinese gods. But when faced with true danger, Genie and her friends realize that what will save the universe this time isn’t strength, but sacrifice.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

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My Review

Hold it! This is a review of the sequel to the very amazing and kick-butt book, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. This review may contain spoilers from the first book, so you have been warned if you choose to read on. You can check out my review of the first book here.

Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In 2017, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was one of my favorite reads. I remember being so excited when I found out there would be a sequel. And let me tell you, the sequel did not disappoint. It was honestly one of the best sequels I have read. There’s action, back-and-forth character banter, and so much character growth; the characters (and the story) stay true to what the first book brought to the table.

In the sequel, Genie is not just dealing with the demons – protecting them and finding them a home. She’s also struggling with the idea of her senior year and what comes after: college. Genie knows her parents can’t afford the college she wants to go to, and that insight causes another strain with her parents, especially after the health scare with her mom. And then there’s the part where Genie and Quentin are at a stale part of their relationship and neither really knows how to move forward. All in all, Genie doesn’t really have it easy this year.

One of the reasons I loved this book and its predecessor is the witty and sarcastic banter between the characters, especially Genie and Quentin. It makes the story humorous and makes the characters feel real. Genie and Quentin have such a genuine and loving relationship and, ultimately, have each other’s backs through everything. In this book, they’re now dating, which easily becomes another struggle for Genie. She’s figuring out how to navigate their relationship and how exactly it will fit in her life; she wants Quentin in her life, but with almost every conversation between them ending in an argument, she doesn’t know how to get through the rough patches.

So, needless to say, Genie has a lot on her plate. And her plate starts to overflow when she tries to change the system the gods and goddesses have been following for centuries. Which pegs the ultimate question: will Genie be able to handle everything she’s gotten herself into? What I loved about this is that it really did make Genie feel like a real character. This book showcases her strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t hesitate to illustrate when Genie reaches her breaking point. She dealt with stress and defeat and her anxiety of the future, and I could relate to that on a high level because that’s exactly what it felt like for me when I was finishing high school. It was great to see that portrayal and it was executed in such a phenomenal way.

The writing and flow of this story is wonderful and just as captivating as the first book. There was never too much action, nor was there information overload, which I really appreciated. F.C. Yee has a way of bringing a story together with characters that fit so well and feel so real. He will continue to be an instant-buy author for me, and I cannot wait to see what his next work brings.

Overall, The Iron Will of Genie Lo is a wonderful sequel to the first book, one that is equally as good as its predecessor. Those who loved the first book will not be disappointed, and may, like me, end up liking the sequel more.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars

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*Blog Tour + Review* Oasis by Katya de Becerra

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Title: Oasis

Author: Katya de Becerra

Publisher: Imprint Macmillan

Release Date: January 7th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?

Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.

With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage.

The answers turn Alif and her friends against one another, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave . . .

Katya de Becerra’s new supernatural thriller hides a mystery in plain sight, and will keep you guessing right up to its terrifying conclusion.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books 

Apple Books | Kobo

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Author Information

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Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology and now works as a university lecturer and a researcher. Katya is a short version of her real name, which is very long and gets mispronounced a lot. What The Woods Keep was her first novel (out now), which is followed by another standalone Oasis in 2020. She has also authored and co-authored academic articles, book chapters, guest posts and opinion pieces.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers that are part of this tour!

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My Review

Oasis is a story that will capture your attention and intrigue you; you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out the mysterious happenings that plaque this group of friends. Oasis provides nonstop tension with a touch of the supernatural. Katya’s first book, What the Woods Keep, was a favorite of mine last year, so you can imagine my excitement at the release of her second book. Which, I will say, did not disappoint. The idea of mixing science fiction with archaeology is a wonderful and unique idea. And with those two combined, Katya brought to the table a thrilling read.

When Alif and her friends join her dad on his architectural dig site, none of them expect there to be a sandstorm. None of them expect to end up so far away from the campsite that they lose their sense of direction. And none expect to find a beautiful, yet mysterious oasis in the middle of the desert. This intriguing oasis gives the group of friends a safe haven, with food and water and shade from the sun. But only a few of the friends question the surprising popup of this oasis, Alif included.

Alif and Tommy, the guy Alif likes, start to notice strange happenings while they stay at the oasis: delicious fruit and salivating water and beautiful sceneries are great, but something’s not right. But then strange things start to happen: they’re water supply gets poisoned and their rescue seems to never be able to find them, even when they’re in clear site. And there’s this mysterious, yet creepy cave that holds an unknown object that intrigues this group of friends. That’s when they all start to realize that something isn’t quite right with this oasis, that something dark and possibly sinister is taking place. And then tragedy hits this group of friends, which ends up binding them all together. But what that tragedy brings is their rescue and with it, a sense of change in their world and their minds. So, that then poses the question: What really happened at the oasis and was that sandstorm a fluke or a coincidence? And what, exactly, happened at the oasis?

When it comes to Katya’s writing, her writing is descriptive and provides that eerie creepy feeling she had in her first book. As the reader, I was questioning everything and trying to make sense of everything. I enjoyed how Katya de Becerra only released hints of the supernatural plot at certain times and not all at once. Her writing and story structure kept me intrigued and waiting for more.

As with the characters, I was hoping for more character development from the group of friends, as I didn’t feel a true connection with any of them. However, the experience of reading this story and seeing the effects it has on each person physically and mentally did prove for an enjoyable read. There were descriptive scenes with tension and betrayal, where friends were pitied against one another. And I enjoyed how Katya depicted how each experience effected each friend differently.

Overall, Oasis was an interesting and intriguing read with descriptive scenes that illustrated what supernatural traumas can do to the mind. I was pulled into the lush scenery and the mysterious oasis. This was an unique read and a great second book from Katya de Becerra, one that I would recommend to readers that are looking for their next archaeological supernatural read.

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Giveaway

Prize: Win finished copy of OASIS by Katya de Becerra (US Only)

Starts: January 1st 2020

Ends: January 15th 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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