Tag Archives: Snow Like Ashes

Nine Books I Want to Pre-Order

I had this idea that blogging book reviews would actually reduce my spending on literature. You know, publishers send me books. I read great, current books for free and then recruit people to listen to my opinion on the internet. Heavenly.

And it is, but mostly what it does is educate me better on what’s coming soon. So now I have a list of must-have books that haven’t even hit the shelves yet. I’m not one to order a lot of books ahead of time, but I’m absolutely on pins and needles over these hot new titles. Here are nine books I want to pre-order:

Why is This Night Different from All Other Nights by Lemony Snicket1. Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? (All the Wrong Questions #4) by Lemony Snicket (9/22/15)

My daughter and I have been giggling our way through this whole series, and I expect this last book to be every bit as good as the first three have been. Apprentice Detective Lemony Snicket and his team of associates are closing in on the villain Hangfire’s evil plot. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

2. Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis (10/6/15)

Gah! Another Disney/Hyperion title that looks super cool. Honestly, it kind of seems like Disney is doing what they do and modeling a product line after a big industry success. Here we have a sci-fi fairytale retelling that bears some strong resemblance to The Little Mermaid. Okay, so that was my favorite Disney movie growing up and the idea of setting it in space totally has me intrigued.

3. A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston (10/6/15)

This one just looks too good. It looks like a sort of retelling of the story of Shahrazad, whose nightly stories saved her life.

I keep requesting Disney/Hyperion titles, but so far I’m a no-go on NetGalley. Disney may be looking for more frequent posts or higher blog stats or something. So, alas… I’ll have to buy it off bookstore shelves like everyone else.

4. Dark Tide (Waterfire Saga #3) by Jennifer Donnelly (10/13/15)

I’m a huge fan of Ms. Donnelly. I loved A Northern Light and Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga. I love that it’s a whole different spin on a mermaid story. There’s no prince to rescue, no mermaid wishing to be human, just a mermaid princess trying to save her people from a terrible evil. The Waterfire Saga is on my list of books to read with my daughter this year.

5. Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sarah Raasch (10/13/15)

I stumbled onto the first book in this series and immediately loved Raasch’s storytelling style. The plot unfolded in directions I didn’t anticipate. The characters earned my respect. I am definitely interested in what happens next to the sole survivors of the kingdom of Winter.

6. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (10/27/15)

These Shallow Graves caught my eye because it bears Donnelly’s name. It looks a bit darker and more suspenseful, and it’s got some mystery to it as the heroine explores the truth behind her father’s death. It’s a little different than my usual picks, but all the more reason to bring it on.

7. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer (11/10/15)

It’s the LAST book in the Lunar Chronicles. I confess I didn’t start reading the series until after the second book, Scarlet, came out, so I read the first three in pretty close succession. Each time I’m like, how is Meyer going to top that? And then she goes and does it. Winter features themes familiar from the fairytale Snow White. I can’t wait to see how Meyer explores the sci-fi retelling of the classic story and weaves it into the dramatic climax of what has been an incredible series.

8. Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood (12/8/15)

I read another book by this same publisher (Running Press) and was so blown away by the craftsmanship of the story that I immediately put them on my list of publishers to watch. While the book I read before (When You Leave by Monica Ropal) was a contemporary novel, Inherit the Stars is a sci-fi tale that looks to be loaded with political intrigue and maybe a bit of star-crossed love. Count. Me. In.

9. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater (2/23/16)

This series has been one of those guilty pleasures. It definitely contains some spiritual content that’s pretty far off the path in terms of themes I’m usually comfortable with in literature. I got the first book for free and have been hooked since. Plus, I have to say that Will Patton’s narration of the audiobooks makes it one of my top favorites, ever. The Raven King is the final book in the series, so I’m especially eager to find out what happens to Blue, Gansey, Ronan and all their friends.

Do you pre-order books or prefer to wait until they hit shelves before you buy?

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes
Sara Raasch
Balzer + Bray

Meira has spent her entire life under the shadow of the Spring kingdom’s oppression. Her own kingdom, Winter, has been decimated by Spring armies and most of her people enslaved. Only a handful of refugees live free, protecting the future king, waiting to execute the plan that will restore Winter’s magic. Only then can the other Winterians be set free and the kingdom restored.

All Meira wants is to fight for her people. Yet every time she tries, it seems someone stands in her way. When she finally finds her own way to fight, she learns a truth that shatters everything she thought she knew about her life, her people, and how to free them.

Readers looking for a strong heroine will definitely find that in Meira. I liked that finding her strength wasn’t as simple as learning to handle a sword or having a chance to go into battle. Though she holds her own in more than one conflict, she learns that there’s more to serving her people than killing some bad guys for them.

I loved the way the romance developed. I kind of thought I knew what was going to happen, and Raasch switched things up, and I found I liked that even better. In other series’ I sometimes feel like the two boys that the heroine has to choose from are not very equally matched. One is really passive or weak and the other is really the strong one. In Snow Like Ashes I felt like Raasch did a great job bringing two strong lads to the table. I’m excited to see how the series progresses and if there are some more unexpected twists and turns in the romance waiting for Meira.

Fans of The Red Queen or the Graceling books will enjoy this one.

Language Content

Sexual Content
In one scene, Meira’s enemy forces her down on a bed. It’s unclear whether he intends to rape her, but it’s definitely intense. There are a couple of brief kisses.

Spiritual Content
Each ruler has an item which serves as a source of magic for the kingdom. Some rulers use their magic to help promote success among all their people while others use magic to control the people. Magic used to harm increases the power of an evil magic Meira calls the Decay.

Most of Meira’s countrymen are imprisoned in work camps and terribly mistreated. There’s not a lot of description of this, though. She recalls a memory about a man who escaped from Spring soldiers only to die of his wounds. There are a few battle scenes with some brief but vivid descriptions of war wounds.

Drug Content