Mundie Moms

Thursday, May 5, 2016

WINDWITCH by Susan Dennard / EW Reveals Cover & Shares Excerpt for the Sequel to Truthwitch

This is the sequel I've been waiting for! I absolutely loved Susan Dennard's TRUTHWITCH, which released last year. If you've not read it yet, hurry up and read it, it's so good (read my review for it here). It was one of my top 10 reads last year! In WINDWITCH we get more of Merik's story. *sigh* Prince Merik.... wait till you meet him. 

While we have to wait until the beginning of 2017 to pick up this sequel, EW has not only given fans a look at the stunning cover, they've shared an excerpt from WINDWITCH, which you can read here. I've also shared part of the excerpt below.

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Merik swiveled his wrists slowly. At night, the temple was too dark to see the blood dripping from his arms, pooling on the granite flagstones. He felt it falling, though. Just as he felt the new, burned flesh on his hands stretching beneath torn gloves.
Yet even as pain shivered through his body, he couldn’t help but think: Only a fool ignores Noden’s gifts. For if Merik looked at this case of mistaken identity from the just the right angle, it could in fact all be seen as boon.
The assassin in the night. The fire on the Jana. The attack of a Waterwitch in Pin’s Keep. Each event had led Merik here, to Noden’s temple. To a fresco of the god’s left hand.
To the Fury.
Twice now, he’d been mistaken for that monstrous demigod, and twice now, it had worked in Merik’s favor. So why not continue using the fear invoked from that name? Was Merik not doing the Fury’s work by bringing justice to the wronged and punishment to the wicked? It was clear that Nubrevnans needed Merik’s help, and his sister Vivia…Well, she was stil out there. Alive. Wretched.
So was it not Merik’s moral duty to keep her off the throne? And he could do that if he could just prove she had indeed tried to kill him—that it was she who’d purchased that prisoner from Vizer Linday, and she who’d sent the prisoner to kill Merik.
Yes. This was right. This was Noden’s will. It throbbed in Merik’s wounds. It shivered across his scalp and down his raw back.
Take the god’s gift. Become the Fury.
Merik rose, stiff but strong, from the temple floor, and with a new purpose in his movements, he tugged his hood, his sleeves, his gloves into place. Then he turned away from the Fury’s gruesome fresco and set out to bring justice to the wronged.
Punishment to the wicked.
Read more of the excerpt here!

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If you're attending BEA next week in Chicago, don't miss the SURVIVING FICTIONAL WORLDS w/ Tor Teen panel on Friday, May 13th at 3:30 ~ Susan Dennard will be there along with Kristen Simmons & Sarah Porter. I'm so thrilled I'll be moderating the panel with these amazing ladies! Be sure to add it to your BEA calendar! Get more info about the panel here. See you there!

The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer / Blog Tour - Book Review

By: Kate Hattemer
Published by: Knopf
Released on: April 19th, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source- Arc from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

Which would you choose: a long, quiet life, or a short, heroic one? Jesse Serrano has always been drawn to this question, but he's never really had a choice. He's known since birth that a hole in his heart would render his life a short one, whether he likes it or not.

As his dying wish, Jesse sends his cousins, best friend, and girlfriend on a trip across Europe--a mysterious mission that seems more harebrained with every leg of the journey. THE LAND OF 10,000 MADONNAS (on sale 4/19/16) the new novel by Kate Hattemer, author of The Vigilante Poets Society of Selwyn Academy tracks their fateful roundtrip as they trek across the continent, unsure if they should be basking in a backpacking trip before heading off to college or searching for something deeper. Through the museums, ancient ruins, landmarks, and more religious iconography than could fill a Holy Ark, they begin to wonder if they'll ever be able to complete the passage that Jesse laid out for them--and if they even want to without him along for the ride.

In turns hilarious and heartbreaking, THE LAND OF 10,000 MADONNAS, chronicles an unforgettable journey of lost and found, laughter and tears, and a myriad of Madonnas. -Quoted from back of arc

My Thoughts

A coming of age story that has a wide range of emotions in it. From grief, anger, broken heartedness, friendship and much more. This is a story about a boy who sends those he loves the most, on a trip to Europe to grieve, and cope together over his passing, and in the process they'll find something so much more. I liked that Hattemer doesn't shy away from grief, and all the other emotions that come with it. Each of the characters are dealing with grief at it's different stages. Along with their journeys, I loved how the themes of travel, history and art all tie into the story.

I liked the concept of Jesse sending his friends on a quest/trip across Europe to help deal with their grief of his passing. Not only would this give the friends (his cousins, best friend and girl friend) a support group, it would also allow them to cope with his passing in their own ways. I really enjoyed Hattemer's descriptions for the various European countries their visited. At times it felt like I was there right along with them. I also liked how history, and art ties into Jesse's story, and how the different characters connect with these themes. Unfortunately, that was about all I really liked.... and I really wanted to like this book too. 

I found it hard to really get into this story. I don't know if it was the writing style, the characters or the confusion at how often this story switched who's point of view I was reading from, without any sort of warning. Maybe it was all of these combined that didn't work for me. The only time it was noted when the point of view switched, was with Jesse's point of view. I really liked getting to know the little bits and pieces I got of Jesse through the flash backs from his point of view, which were through his notebook he left behind for his friends. I also really liked how Hattemer shows readers how each of the characters is tied to Jesse, and some of their experiences with them, through his notebook. 

Aside from Jesse, character wise, I liked Trevor, and Matt. I liked that Trevor brought some of the more light hearted moments to a story that doesn't shy away from some tough emotions when losing someone you love. I have to say, I was really frustrated with both Cal and Lillian. Not only were both girls horrible to each other, they were very selfish and treated this trip like it was a burden for them to be on, vs enjoying the trip for what it was. There's a reason Jesse sent those he cared about most, on this trip. I'm glad that by the end of the book, they at least figured out why. I also liked the importance of motherhood and mothering in this book. Being a mom it's something that stood out. It's an important theme for a reason, and I liked how Hattemer tied it to Jesse's story. 

This book has such a great premise, that unfortunately fell flat for me. As a reader I wanted to feel an emotional connection to this story, but sadly I didn't. It pains me to say this, but the execution of the story wasn't one that worked for me. What I had hoped would be a story that left it's mark on me, ended up being one that missed it's mark.  

Favorite quote:

"In the long run, people just want you to be nice." ....... "That's kind of my life philosophy, anyway." 

Praise for The Land of 10,000 Madonnas

“John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Rainbow Rowell fans will be deeply moved by Hattemer’s novel of a pilgrimage.” — School Library Journal

“A moving read for readers of all ages.” — Publisher’s Weekly


KATE HATTEMER graduated with a degree from Yale in Classics. She works as a bookseller in Cincinnati and is the author of The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, which has received five starred reviews.