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What are we reading this week? “Hawkeye,” “Mark of the Thief,” and more!

Last week we started a spring cleaning of our giveaway shelves, and to enter you had to tell us what books you’re enjoying right now. We got a lot of really cool answers, so be sure to check them out:

Here’s what some of our staffers have been enjoying this week:

Emma

the great zoo of chinaI’m fairly new to comics and am always looking for the titles I can read without needing fifty years of backstory. So, this week I bowed to the collective wisdom of the internet and gave Matt Fraction’sHawkeye a try. It definitely was one of the best stand alone comics I’ve read, but I struggled with it a bit since I couldn’t quite get the comic Hawkeye and the movie Hawkeye who I met first to mesh. I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the run though — if nothing else, Kate Bishop is probably the funniest comic character I’ve met yet.
I also read The Great Zoo of China. I’d be tempted to sum up this book with, “it’s Jurassic Park but with dragons,” but that really isn’t terribly accurate. For one thing, everyone in the book is very aware ofJurassic Park and does in fact bring up the startling similarities between it and the new zoo in a “who seriously thought this was a good idea” type way. Secondly, Crichton’s novel was actually heavily based in science. Reilly’s novel is much more fantasy driven. Because it’s not pretending pretending to beJurassic Park 2.0, The Great Zoo of China really succeeds at being a clever, modern day, thriller type novel. I highly recommend it!

Lauren

kiss of deceptionI listened to the audiobook for the first book in Jennifer A. Nielsen’s new series, Mark of the Thief. I adored The False Prince series, and this one sounded right up my alley, as it was about ancient Rome. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first series, which made me sad. It seemed to lull a bit in places for me. But I did find it overall interesting, and the magic in the story is really cool. Plus, there’s a gryphon, which is awesome.
I’m currently about 3/4 done with the audiobook of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. So many of my book friends adored this book, and I am kicking myself for waiting so long. I cannot believe how much I love this story. It’s about a princess who runs away from her arranged marriage, and is followed by the prince and also an assassin from a rival kingdom. They both befriend her, and the way the story plays out between the three of them is soooo coooool. There’s really interesting talk of magic too, though we’ve only gotten tastes of it up to this point. But I can already say, just for the back and forth between the three main characters, I’ll definitely be recommending it. I cannot wait to see how it ends, and I’ve already lined up borrowing the ARC of book 2!

Diana

clementineI just finished CLEMENTINE, by Cherie Priest, a sort of sequel to BONESHAKER in The Clockwork Century series. But you can read both separately, because although CLEMENTINE has a few common characters with the other book, they didn’t have a lot of “screen time” there.
I loved so much about the previous book that this felt… flat, in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it. Cherie Priest is a brilliant writer, and her imagery and descriptions are great (specially all the steampunk details), but since this is a sequel, even if just indirectly, I couldn’t help but compare it to BONESHAKER. And CLEMENTINE didn’t have a lot to make it stand out, to make me read hours without stopping, nothing that surprised me. The characters and setting are interesting, but the plot itself suffers from the small size of the book. It seems like the main conflict falls out of nowhere and ends up feeling anti-climatic, despite some epic airship battles. There was something missing. I felt like the story needed more time to be developed, so more chapters would definitely have made this better.
But I think I wouldn’t have skipped this book if I knew beforehand. It was still an entertaining read, and Priest is an amazing writer. The steampunk worldbuilding aspects of the story are still good, as they were in the other book, and they’re gritty and very well developed. It’s a good, quick adventure, and even though it doesn’t compare to the previous book, it’s still an interesting addition to the series.

We’re also on week two of our April spring cleaning giveaway! We’re doing both a US giveaway and an international giveaway, so there’s something for everyone!

We have so many cool James Dashner books right now that we wanted to share some of the Dashner love this week. For the US crowd we have four books: The movie tie-in cover of The Maze Runner, a Maze Runner movie guide, an ARC of The Eye of Minds, and a hardback of The Rule of Thoughts! 

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We’re also including another signed Paolini goodie, a signed bookmark with Glaedr on it!
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If you’re an international fan, you’re in luck, we have some Dashner/Paolini goodies for you too! We’re sending you the brand new James Dashner collector’s edition omnibus, which has The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, plus some extra content!

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We’re also throwing in a Brisingr bookplate, signed by Christopher Paolini!

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REMEMBER: Only US residents can enter to win the four Dashner books, and only International can enter to win the omni. Make sure you enter in the correct giveaway!

 

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(***THE INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY IS FOR NON-US RESIDENTS ONLY. IF YOU’RE A US RESIDENT AND ENTER FOR THE OMNIBUS, IT WON’T COUNT! ***)

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