Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Face-Off: The Alchemy of Forever vs. Counting Backwards

Friday Face-Off is a weekly feature hosted by Misty at The Book Rat

This week's FFO features two covers that use the same effect of several images of the same face, one behind the other: The Alchemy of Forever, by Avery Williams, and Counting Backwards, by Laura Lascaro.

I really like both of these covers, and although they use the same effect, they are so different. I would choose Counting Backwards over The Alchemy of Forever because I am a fan of the simplistic and minimalistic design. Both of them have great elements, though. I especially like the font on the title of The Alchemy of Forever.

But now it's your turn to choose...
Which cover did it better?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

On last week's FFO: Tides and Of Poseidon faced off for their matching underwater poses. The stark cover of Of Poseidon won with one vote over the pastel-colored Tides.

As usual, you are still welcome to comment with your thoughts on old FFOs, and I will update this page accordingly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mini-Review: Foundling

by D.M. Cornish
Series: Monster Blood Tattoo #1
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published May 18th 2006 by Putnam Publishing Group
Age Recommendation: Young Adult

Summary (from Goodreads):
Set in the world of the Half-Continent—a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols—the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl’s name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters—and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully.

I really enjoyed nearly everything about Foundling, except for one complaint that tainted every other aspect: just as the reader was beginning to get familiar with the characters, something would happen that moved the plot on and away from those characters. Most of the time, they didn’t return before the end of the book (although I’m told some of the characters left behind in Foundling reappear in later books). This prevented me from ever feeling like I knew the characters, and left me a little unsettled for much of the story. Rossamund, the main character, was forever adjusting to new people and new situations, which meant that the reader had to adjust two.

That said, I did like all of the characters, if only I’d been able to spend more time with them. A few pages after each character is introduced, there is an illustration of that character (done by the author) which did help a bit with the large cast of characters coming and going. I looked forward to the illustrations every time I picked it up, and I admit that I skipped to all of the illustrations far before the story got to them. I would have liked to see more and/or other illustrations, but I was quite happy with the ones included.

The most special part of Foundling was the world Cornish created, called the Half-Continent. It was clear from the very beginning that he knew every corner of the world, all the intricacies of the society and the people living there. Cornish was not discovering the world as he wrote. He had been writing stories and creating illustrations from this world for years before he wrote Foundling, and it definitely showed in the writing. It was obvious to me that for every detail that made it onto the pages, there were tons of pages of diagrams and sketches and notes that weren't included.

Overall Thoughts: The characters in Foundling were difficult to connect to, which definitely made it tougher for me, but the incredible world-bulding made up for a lot of that. I've been told that the series only gets better as it goes on, so I might come back to it someday, but for now I am happy with what I got.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cover Crazy: The Goddess Inheritance

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays. The idea is to showcase a beautiful book cover each week.

This week, I'm crazy about...
The Goddess Inheritance, by Aimee Carter

I am so guilty of falling for the pretty-girl-in-dress cover. I freely admit it. But look at the prettiness all together! This series has a great cover design and I love that it has similar pictures and design without each book looking exactly the same.

Other than that, I really like the swirls around the title and the matching colors between her eyes and the leaves and her lips and Aimee Carter's name. I also really like the the background pattern from all the covers, although I am so glad that the cover designer decided not to use the sigmas for e's again, because that would have bothered my to no end.

Also, I am a total sucker for anything mythology-related, so these cover are practically shouting at me to pick them up and start reading. I think I will wait until The Goddess Inheritance comes out before I continue, though (I've only read The Goddess Test so far. Link goes to my review).

Want to know more about The Goddess Inheritance?
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

So what do you think?
Are you falling for the girl-in-dress cover as much as I am?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Face-Off: Diving Under

I had decided not to continue with the Friday Face-Off posts, but I really enjoy them and now that I have nearly doubled my follower count, I thought I might try again. If you like this feature, comment! Let me know your thoughts!

Friday Face-Off is a weekly feature hosted by Misty at The Book Rat

This week's FFO compares two covers that feature the same underwater pose: Tides, by Betsy Cornwell, which is a 2013 debut, and Of Poseidon, by Anna Banks, which has been getting a lot of love this year. 

While the bright white dress in Of Poseidon is more eye-catching, I prefer the softer palette of the Tides cover. To me, Tides captures the feeling of being underwater better than the stark black and white of the Of Poseidon cover. 

But now it's your turn to choose...
Which cover did it better?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

On the most recent FFO: Unraveling Isobel won with a single vote (from Andrea at Cozy Up With a Good Read) against Someone Else's Life.

As usual, you are still welcome to comment with your thoughts on old FFOs, and I will update this page accordingly.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Promotion for Enna Isilee's Birthday Bash 2012 (Part 2)

Hey, so remember when I gave you the opportunity to enter all those great giveaways on Squeaky Books? Well, it turns out that was only the first half! Come celebrate Enna Isilee by entering all of the new giveaways from the last few weeks:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

100 Follower Giveaway Winner

I am herby announcing the winner of...

Len Delgado!

I've emailed you, so please email me back within 48 hours, or I will choose a new winner.

Thanks everyone for entering, and remember, I still have two giveaways going on for Squeaky Books: Under the Never Sky and Everneath.

See you around the blogosphere!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interview Swap: Debz Bookshelf

Today I have a special treat for you: Debz from Debz Bookshelf and I are doing an interview swap. Here are Debz' answers to my questions, and when you're done, head over to Debz Bookshelf for my answers to her questions.

Welcome, Debz!

When did you start blogging, and why? 
I started book blogging in April of 2011 after my personal blog started overflowing with bookish thoughts and I needed somewhere to catch them all. And thus Darlin’ Deb’s Bookshelf was born (and then quickly renamed Debz Bookshelf, ‘cause I wanted to sound all cool.)

What is your proudest achievement as a blogger?
Surviving it all? I’m honestly kind of shocked that I’ve made it so far. And I guess the biggest things I’ve successfully done as a blogger are host my Fairy Tales Retold Challenge and upcoming/recent (Oct. 17th) Fairytale-a-Thon-- you can tell I like fairy tales.

What advice would you like to give bloggers who are just starting out?
Learn about everything and be patient! I knew nothing about book blogging when I started out, and that really effected my first year of blogging. And then once I knew what I was doing, I began being really impatient with everything. I started wanting a bunch of ARC’s and followers and it took me awhile to realize that those come with time. Now I’m just as gracious and patient as I can be, and things have never been better!

What advice would you like to ask from more experienced bloggers?
How do you balance your time? A lot of times it’s hard for me to find a good balance between reading, blogging, and the real world, But all those big bloggers seem to be pros!

What are some of your favorite reviews that you’ve written? Feel free to link them up here.
My most memorable reviews are those of Wither, Enchanted, Before I Fall, and Palace of Stone but I don’t think I could pick a favorite!

What is something surprising about yourself from your non-blogging life?
I think I have mentioned this on my blog once or twice; I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters. They keep me very occupied all the time. It’s a miracle that I can get any reading done sometimes!

What do you do for fun (other than reading)?
Bake cookies and sing showtunes (usually at the same time!)

Describe your ultimate author visit.
Let’s say that we’re at a fairy tale convention, and many popular fairy tale retellers are there. And then I find out that I’ve won some kind of huge sweepstakes involving me getting a free lunch with all of my favorite authors (including Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, Alethea Kontis (well, I’ve already met her, but she was so awesome I’ll have to meet her again), Janette Rallison, Marissa Meyer, Alex Flinn, Zoe Marriott; the list could go on and on...), as well as a complete collection of their books. And the Brother Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen stop in by way of fairy godmother of course!

What is the most important aspect of a book for you? What makes you immediately want to pick up a book?
“Is it something I haven’t seen before?” is a question I find myself asking. In a world where paranormal and dystopia are clouding the shelves and everything looks the same, I like finding something that sticks out.

What superpower would you want, and why?
Preferably none, but if I got tossed into a vat of toxic waste, I think I’d hope to develop the ability to become invisible!

Thanks for having me, Pica!
Thank you, Debz!

Leave a comment for Debz, and be sure to check out my half of the interview swap over at Debz Bookshelf!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cover Reveal / Cover Crazy: Dark Triumph

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Worms on Mondays. The idea is to showcase a beautiful book cover each week.

This week, I'm crazy about...
Dark Triumph, by Robin LaFevers

I've totally been squeeing over this cover for the entire weekend. I'll have to be brief for now, since I only have a minute to blog tonight, but I seriously love this cover for this next His Fair Assassin installment. I love illustrated covers, although I am surprised that this cover didn't have a photo intstead, since the first one wasn't illustrated.  Also, it seems a little strange that Sybella is illustrated, but the background is not.

No matter. I shall love this cover no matter what. And I so can't wait for Sybella's awesomeness in Dark Triumph!

Want to know more about Dark Triumph?
Summary (from Goodreads):
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dun geons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Are you as totally excited as I am for Dark Triumph?

Have you missed out on this amazing series? 
Check out my review of Grave Mercy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Promotion for Enna Isilee's Birthday Bash 2012

Hi Everyone,
You may not have heard yet (or seen the two giveaways going on here at Pica Reads) but there is a huge event going on over at Squeaky Books for Enna Isilee's Birthday Bash. There are tons of giveaways going on until September 21. Here is some more info from Enna:

Don't miss out on the party of the year! That's right, it's time for Enna Isilee's Birthday Bash! In fact, it's not just time, it's HALF OVER! If you want to see the full awesome that is the Birthday Bash then you can click here. Enna's put together a whole schedule and information there. But take a look at what she's giving away so far, and this is only half! The next two weeks will also have a giveaway EVERY DAY!

Click on the the book you want to win to be taken to an interview with the author where you can enter to win the book pictured! Come party with me, it's a blast!

Join me in helping Enna celebrate!
Which of these books would you most want to win?


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