Cover Snark (199): The Snark of Right Now

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note that you should by no means contact the author if you do not like their cover; they likely have ZERO control. Feel free to express opinions in the comments, but please do not @ an author on Twitter because of anything you’ve seen here. Let’s keep it kind.

Shiny and New:

1. The Continent (The Continent #1) – Keira Drake
Thoughts: Icy up top, party on the bottom.


Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #2
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 546
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

It’s safe to say that I’ve anticipated no sequel in 2016 more than Crooked Kingdom. For every bit of anticipation and need, though, there was fear. More than the usual amount of fear I feel coming in to a potentially painful and grisly final book. See, I adored the Grisha trilogy, had every faith the ending would be everything I’d dreamed, but then Ruin & Rising disappointed me almost across the board. No worries, guys. No mourners. No funerals. With Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo, through some sort of fiendish magic, finishes out a duology that is practically perfect in every way.


Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve CogmanThe Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #1
Published by Roc on June 14, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Mystery, Adventure, Alternate Universe
Pages: 343
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.

One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.

London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself...

There will never come a time that I’m not immediately interested in a fictional book about libraries and librarians. I mean, duh. Still, I’ve struggled a bit with Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series, and I feared The Invisible Library would be too similar, as they both feature powerful, magical libraries who send their librarians out into dangerous situations to collect rare books. Mileage may greatly vary here, since my GR friends seem to prefer Caine’s series to Cogman’s, but for me The Invisible Library was everything I hoped I’d get from The Great Library, adding strong characterization to an excellent premise.


Top Ten Books on My Free Read TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

For this week’s TTT, rather than talking about ARCs I’m excited about (because inevitably if I put them in a TTT post, I end up hating them), I’m going to let you guys have a window into my upcoming free reads (aka books I’m reading not for review). Here are the ones I have coming up that I’m most excited about! I make no promise to actually get to them this fall, but whatever.

Blackbringer - Laini Taylor
Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta

Blackbringer & Silksinger by Laini Taylor

Copies of Laini Taylor’s Silksinger are almost impossible to find, so when I lucked into one at Books of Wonder, I snatched it up. I’ve heard it’s not as good as the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (how could it be tbh?), but I’m still so curious.


Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare BlakeThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 20, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Adventure, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
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Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Kendare Blake’s one of those authors I always think I like more than I actually do. Does this happen to anyone else? I get super excited for her new books, and then I read them and remember that I’ve actually never loved any of her books. I’ve read most of her books, though I never finished the Goddess War trilogy because I couldn’t remember ANYTHING (which is extreme even for me) about the series by the time book three came out. Consistent with my prior experiences with Blake, Three Dark Crowns has strong world building and plotting but weak characterization and romance.