Blog Tour & Contest: The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O'Brien

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on the blog tour for Caragh M. O'Brien's newest release, The Rule of Mirrors. This is the second book in her The Vault of Dreamers series, and it's nearly as bonkers as the last book. Thank you to Caragh and Roaring Brook Press for having us on the tour. They're providing a copy of the first book of the series, The Vault of Dreamers, or the newest book to one lucky WFTM reader. Stick around after the review for your chance to win!

If you haven't read The Vault of Dreamers yet, turn back. The blurb has spoilers! Read my review of the first book in the series over here instead.

The Rule of Mirrors

Caragh M. O'Brien

Released February 16, 2016
Roaring Brook Press
432 pages
YA / Science Fiction / Thriller

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

The fast-paced, psychologically thrilling sequel to The Vault of Dreamers follows Rosie after her consciousness has been split in two.

The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students' dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie's dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie's consciousness woke up in that body--a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

Told from alternating points of view between Rosie as she makes sense of her new identity and the shattered subconscious that still exists in her old body, this sequel to The Vault of Dreamers will keep readers on the edge of their seats and leave them hungry for more.

After the exciting events that culminated The Vault of Dreamers, I felt inclined to write the continuation of Rosie’s story myself. Thankfully, I didn’t have to as the author has returned with another bizarre sci-fi meets psychological thriller romp that balances on the edge of social commentary. Whereas The Vault of Dreamers had an element of analyzing the culture that turned realty television into an everyday occurrence and the effects it has on its maybe-not-so-willing stars, The Rule of Mirrors at times examines what actually makes us who we are as people.

Normally this is where I would put a warning about spoilers for the end of The Vault of Dreamers, but the blurb for The Rule of Mirrors provides plenty of spoilers on its own, so… perhaps that’s unnecessary.

As was implied at the end of the first book, Rosie’s consciousness has been split in two with only her internal voice left behind in her real body. The other half has now woken up thousands of miles away in an Icelandic clinic within the body of a pregnant teenager. Both face new challenges as they try to regain control of their lives and find some way to break free from the Evil Mastermind™ of Dean Berg at the Forge School and stop the dream mining that ruined their lives.

The book is told from both points of view with Thea’s chapters (Rosie’s consciousness in the body of the pregnant former coma patient) regularly focused on what makes a person who they are. Do your memories and mental thought patterns make you who you are? Or is it the scars on your body and the way people see you that determine your identity? Or maybe something in between? O’Brien only barely brushes the surface of these philosophical conundrums, but they’re the most interesting elements of Thea’s story until late in the book. The rest of her plot often feels anticlimactic and a running parade of side characters marching across the screen with little effect to the larger story overall.

The chapters told from Rosie’s point-of-view are the most interesting as the internal voice that often voiced her darkest thoughts in the first book now has control of the steering wheel. While Thea spends a good portion of the book bedridden, shackled by her parents’ restrictions, or fighting people’s dismissals of who she truly believed herself to be, Rosie travels across the country, crosses paths with familiar faces and has more action in her story.

It isn’t until the two eventually come together that the story really hits all cylinders and starts to gel. Most likely because this is the middle book in a trilogy, it doesn’t have the most satisfying conclusion and much of the last 60 pages or so feel rushed after the more languid first half, but so many doors have been left wide open for an exhilarating conclusion.

The Rule of Mirrors might be a bit slower than its predecessor, but some big ideas are touched along the way and some new tech is added to this odd little science fiction thriller. This series is unliked much of anything I’ve read in the YA sphere, so it will be interesting to see if Rosie is ever able to get her happy ending.

 

Sound like something you'd be into? Then enter below to win your choice of a copy of the first book, The Vault of Dreamers, or the newest book The Rule of MIrrors. Open to those with US mailing addresses only. The publisher will be providing the winner's prize. Contest ends on March 10 at midnight Central time. Good luck!

Visit the other blogs on The Rule of Mirrors blog tour below:

·  2/16: Ex Libris Kate

·  2/17: Fiction Fare

·  2/18: A Dream Within A Dream

·  2/19: Bibliophilia, Please

·  2/20: Book Briefs

·  2/21: Fiktshun

·  2/22: Once Upon a Twilight

·  2/23: Reading Nook Reviews

·  2/24: Seeing Double in Neverland

·  2/25: Working for the Mandroid

·  2/26: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

·  2/27: Reads all the Books

Author Blog Tour & Contest: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker - What's Your High School Horror Story?

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Chandler Baker's blog tour for her new book, High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein. I'm really excited about this new series retelling classic horror stories by way of high school students. As part of the tour Chandler and members of the Feiwel & Friends team are sharing their own personal high school horror stories. The team over at Macmillan was kind enough to offer a space for me to share my own horror story, but I hated high school so much, I've actively repressed all memories of it.

We are also lucky to have a copy of Teen Frankenstein to give away to one lucky WFTM reader and an opportunity to win a special prize straight from the author herself. Stick around until after the horror story for instructions on how to enter.

So here is the high school horror story from one of of the Macmillan team with the request of anonymity. Enjoy the schadenfreude!

While I’ve always been relatively athletic, I’ve never been even remotely fast. It might be genetic: my mom’s nickname on her softball team was ‘Chariots of Fire’ (a reference to that scene where they run in slow motion). And perhaps because of my inherent lack of speed, I’ve always despised running, and coincidentally fell ill on the days of the so-called Elementary School ‘Fun Run.’ Given all this, you’d think that the last thing I would EVER do would be to join a cross country team.
Well…it started at the mall. One Saturday afternoon when I was in ninth grade, my friend Carly and I had just exited Bath & Body Works, reeking of Sun-Ripened Raspberry, when all of a sudden, we were greeted by a grade-A teenage hunk. Jake. I’d never seen him before. It turned out he went to private school and knew Carly from a county-sponsored cross country team. After a few minutes of discussion about who knows what (I think it may have involved Austin Powers), I was smitten. So I did the only logical thing: I asked Carly for information and convinced my parents to let me join the team.
I suffered through a few weeknight practices, trying my best to look attractive as I sputtered along behind everyone else, never getting even close to Jake, the fastest guy on the team. When the first meet came along, I was warned by the coach that I might not be ready- but I also knew through the grapevine that after meets, the team went out for pizza, and I knew that that might be my chance to win Jake’s heart. I signed up.
The meet was in the middle of nowhere. My parents gamely drove for 90 minutes to get me there, as I applied and reapplied Bonne Bell lipsmackers in the backseat. When we finally arrived, I joined the other runners in my division at the starting line and told myself that I just had to suffer through these three miles and then I’d be able to make my move. Well. The course was hillier than anything I’d run before and I quickly fell behind the pack. They became distant dots on the horizon. And then I couldn’t see them. I had to stop and walk several times. I was a red, sweaty mess. And by the time I finished, all the vendors were packing up their stands and most of the other teams had left. The only people left were my parents and my teammates who had all clearly finished ages ago, and were all clearly annoyed at having to wait. As I approached the finish line, they began a slow clap. Embarrassed at being such a spectacle, I then burst into tears and, with my eyes blurred, tripped and face-planted on the muddy finish line.  As I looked up, I could see Jake trying his absolute hardest not to laugh.
There was no redeeming this. I trudged back to my parents’ car, skipped the pizza party, and vowed to never again force myself into something just to impress a boy. (This lasted about a year, until I met the Morrissey-loving hipster, but that’s a story for another day…)

Teen Frankenstein
Chandler Baker

Feiwel & Friends
Released January 12, 2016
368 pages
YA / Horror / Classic Retellings

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost--Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life...

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Enter to Win a Copy of Teen Frankenstein

Macmillan and Chandler Baker are offer a hard cover copy of High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to one lucky winner. Enter through the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. The contest will run until midnight January 31. Winner must have a US or Canada mailing address.

If you're brave enough, submit your own high school horror story in the comments below and Chandler herself will be reading each story. She'll pick a few of her favorites from all the blog tour stops and will provide a very special prize to each of those winners. Your high school misery could finally get you free stuff!

About the Author

Chandler Baker got her start ghostwriting novels for teens and tweens, including installments in a book series that has sold more than 1 million copies. She grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin with her husband. Although she loves spinning tales with a touch of horror, she is a much bigger scaredy-cat than her stories would lead you to believe. 

You can find Chandler as the books contributor on the YouTube channel Weird Girls.

  • Add High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to your to-read list on Goodreads.
  • Join in on social media with #HighSchoolHorror
  • Visit Chandler's website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

Visit the Other Stops on the Tour!

11-JanFierce Reads

12-Jan  Good Books and Good Wine

13-Jan  Jana's Book List

14-Jan  Booki Emoji

15-Jan  Sci Fi Chick

16-Jan  Novel Novice

17-Jan  Word Spelunking

18-Jan  XPresso Reads

19-Jan  Working for the Mandroid

20-JanKatie's Book Blog

Author Blog Tour Guest Post & Contest: Viola Carr, The Devious Dr. Jekyll

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Viola Carr's author blog tour for The Devious Dr. Jekyll, hosted by Pump Up Your Book tours. Viola has stopped by to discuss steampunk, anachronism and Victorian-era CSIs as well as give away a $25 gift card to one lucky reader of the tour. The Devious Dr. Jekyll is a fun take on the classic Jekyll and Hyde tail starring a female protagonist in a steampunk version of Victorian England. Take it away, Viola!

Steampunk, Anachronism and Victorian-era CSIs

A cool aspect of steampunk (and its many derivatives) is anachronism. It’s alternate history – you can mess with the timeline. Move historical figures and events around, kill someone off or pretend that an important event from 'real history' never happened. Take what you want, and discard the rest.

I love steampunk, and the Victorian era, but I'm only an amateur historian. For me, so long as the writer gets the sense of the period authentic, they can add in whatever they like – zombies, clockwork people, steam-powered airships – and I'll buy into it.

My Electric Empire series centers on Dr. Eliza Jekyll – yes, the daughter of that Jekyll – whom I've invented and transported to the mid-Victorian-era, as a physician and crime scene investigator. Cool, eh? She's a combination of detective, forensic specialist and mad scientist. CSI: Jekyll & Hyde.

Never mind that, in the real 1850s, there was no such thing as a CSI. I've had to alter history quite a bit, in subtle ways.

Firstly, the physicians of the day were notoriously standoffish about getting their hands dirty – as opposed to surgeons, whom physicians sneered at as mere artisans, little better than butchers. Physicians would be more likely to confine themselves to laboratory testing for poisons or illnesses, which more often than not, they got wrong. So the idea of my physician attending a dirty crime scene in person is ahead of its time.

Oh, and qualified female physicians? No such thing in England until 1865, when a formidable lady named Elizabeth Garrett Anderson bullied her way in through the back door, fighting a hostile College of Physicians every step of the way. But never mind. This is steampunk!

I also had to deal with the fact that in the 'real' 1850s, crime scene investigation as we know it today – searching for trace evidence at the scene – hadn't been invented yet. By modern standards, it was appallingly easy to get away with murder.

Locard's Exchange Principle – the now-common concept that 'every contact leaves a trace' – hadn't yet been formulated. And even if it had been, contemporary science was woefully inadequate to the task. There was as yet no test to prove that a stain was blood, or that it was human and not animal. Poisons such as strychnine were undetectable. Of course, no one had ever heard of DNA, or even blood typing.

Autopsies were done on the spot, in poor light and filth, by inexpert people. And much of the common medico-legal wisdom – such as the idea that a murder victim's retina preserved an image of the killer's face, or that if a dead infant's lungs floated in water, it indicated breathing and therefore infanticide rather than stillbirth – were just plain wrong.

On top of that, police procedure was dodgy, too. Crime scenes were routinely contaminated by curious passers-by, who were encouraged to view the gruesome scenes for entertainment. Crucial evidence was lost, misidentified or ignored because no one knew any better. And identifying suspects properly was impossible, without fingerprinting or a proper filing system for photographic records.

With all these limitations, a real Victorian CSI wasn't left with much to do! Luckily, steampunk and weird science have come to my rescue. Eliza Jekyll has all manner of improbable gadgets: portable electric lights, bottles of special solution, an array of fantastic lenses and sensors that perform feats of detection that are scientifically impossible without a little magic. She reaches conclusions about crime scene evidence that her real-world contemporaries could not.

But hey, it's steampunk! We can suspend a little disbelief here. And in a world where Dr. Jekyll's potion is real and actually works, sinister brass automatons stalk the streets, and the electric underground train has been invented forty years before its time… well, it'd be stranger if forensics didn't happen.

Enter to Win a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins October 26 and ends on November 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
  • Good luck everyone!

The Devious Dr. Jekyll
Viola Carr

Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Steampunk
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Audible 

Find It on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Dr. Eliza Jekyll, heroine of the electrifying The Diabolical Miss Hyde—an edgy steampunk retelling of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—investigates a bizarre murder case in an alternate Victorian London while battling her treacherous secret half: Lizzie Hyde.
Solving the infamous Chopper case has helped crime scene physician Dr. Eliza Jekyll establish her fledgling career in the chauvinistic world of Victorian law enforcement. But the scrutiny that comes with her newfound fame is unwelcome for a woman with a diabolical secret. And there is the mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man Remy Lafayette. Does he want to marry her, eat her, or burn her at the stake? Though Eliza is uncertain about Remy, her dark and jealous shadow self, Lizzie, wants to steal the magnetic and persistent agent, and usurp Eliza’s life.
It’s impossible to push Remy away when he tempts her with the one thing she can’t resist: a bizarre crime. The search for a bloodthirsty ritual torturer dubbed the Pentacle Killer draws them into a terrifying world of spies, art thieves, and evil alchemy, where the price of immortality is madness—or damnation—and only Lizzie’s dark ingenuity can help Eliza survive.
As Eliza and Remy race to thwart a foul conspiracy involving the sorcerous French, they must also overcome a sinister enemy who is all too close: the vengeful Lizzie, determined to dispose of Eliza for good.

About the Author:

Viola Carr was born in Australia, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat. She loves history, and pops down to London’s many historical sites whenever she gets the chance.  She likes steampunk, and thought it would be cool to investigate wacky crimes with crazy gadgets…just so long as her heroine was the creator of said wacky gadgets: a tinkerer, edgy, with a dash of mad scientist. Readers can follow her on twitter at @viola_carr  and online at http://www.violacarr.com.

For More Information
Visit Viola’s website.
Connect with Viola on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

 

Visit Other Stops on The Devious Dr. Jekyll Tour!

 October 26

Guest blogging at Tez Says

Book featured at 3 Partners in Sh0pping

 

October 27

Book featured at What is That Book About

Book featured at Teatime and Books

 

October 28

Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

Book featured at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures

 

October 29

Interviewed at The Cosy Dragon

Book featured at Kristy Centeno

 

October 30

Book featured at Harmonious Publicity

Guest blogging at The Romantic World of Leigh Anderson

 

November 2

Book featured at Mikky’s World of Books

Book featured at Celticlady’s Reviews

 

November 3

Book featured at Kayl’s Crazy Obsession

Guest blogging at Working for the Mandroid

 

November 4

Book featured at Around the World in Books

Book featured at Lisa’s Louisiana Home

 

November 5

Book featured at Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions

Book featured at Curling Up by the Fire

 

November 6

Book featured at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

 

November 8

Book reviewed at Rhi Reading

 

November 9

Guest blogging at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Book reviewed at Doing Some Reading

 

November 10

Book reviewed at Here’s to Happy Endings

Book reviewed at Words I Write Crazy

 

November 11

Book reviewed at Book Him Danno

Book reviewed at Worth Getting in Bed For

 

November 12

Book featured at Chosen By you Book Club

Interviewed at Urban Fantasy Investigations

Book reviewed at Reader Girls

 

November 13

Book featured at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews

Book reviewed at Moonlight Rendezvous

Book featured at Dawn’s Reading Nook

Author Blog Tour: Three Days in April by Edward Ashton

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on the Three Days in April blog tour. We're so excited to be part of this tour for Edward Ashton's recently released techno-thriller hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours and Harper Voyager Impulse. Today we have a review of this odd sci-fi thriller along with a contest to win a $25 gift card to the e-tailer of your choice.  

Three Days in April
Edward Ashton

Harper Voyager Impulse
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released September 15, 2015
384 pages
Techno-Thriller / Weirdness

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Anders Jensen is having a bad month. His roommate is a data thief, his girlfriend picks fights in bars, and his best friend is a cyborg…and a lousy tipper. When everything is spiraling out of control, though, maybe those are exactly the kind of friends you need.
In a world divided between the genetically engineered elite and the unmodified masses, Anders is an anomaly: engineered, but still broke and living next to a crack house. All he wants is to land a tenure-track faculty position, and maybe meet someone who’s not technically a criminal—but when a nightmare plague rips through Hagerstown, Anders finds himself dodging kinetic energy weapons and government assassins as Baltimore slips into chaos. His friends aren’t as helpless as they seem, though, and his girlfriend’s street-magician brother-in-law might be a pretentious hipster—or might hold the secret to saving them all.
Frenetic and audacious, Three Days in April is a speculative thriller that raises an important question: once humanity goes down the rabbit hole, can it ever find its way back?

The summary blurb for this book is a little misguided. Other than Anders’ roommate being a data thief, it oversimplifies and labels relationships that are not nearly so clear cut in the actual story. It also frames Ander as the main character of the story, which is just incorrect when the story is told from the shifting points of view of four or five different characters. Anders is just our initial entry point into this weird techno world and all the action seems to start and revolve around him. With that warning said, this book is still as odd and entertaining as the description makes it sound, but just with a slightly different set of characters than are presented on the back of the book.

Three Days in April is an odd techno-thriller that starts off surrounding Anders Jensen. He’s a bit down on his luck, teaching as a part-time adjunct professor to bored rich kids that don’t care while regularly suffering injuries caused by his very heightened (but delicate) reflexes caused by the mouse DNA added to his genetic sequence before birth. He meets a Neanderthal girl named Terry at a bar, and instead of getting into a fight with her after spilling her beer, they become friends-who-might-sleep-together-maybe-some-day.

This fortuitous meeting along with a job he picks up from his half cyborg friend (it would be a huge stretch to call him a “best” anything with as little character development as he gets) to decipher documents drags Anders straight into the middle of a potential government conspiracy. A town near Washington, D.C., suddenly has 88 percent of its population drop dead and the government fire bombs it to protect the rest of the country from a rouge illness. Before long Anders, Terry, and his hacker roommate Gary are having bombs dropped on their heads because they inadvertently know too much.

Three Days in April is not quite goofy, but it definitely doesn’t take itself seriously. I mean one of your leads has mouse DNA as his superpower. Another character is shady street magician who may or may not be able to become invisible. Gary is a nano-bot energy drink chugging, greasy dread wearing slob, who gets away with calling his new associates by rude nicknames and still maybe gets the pretty girl. It’s all very silly, this world of gene hacking and technological body mods, but it never is laugh out loud funny. It’s a strange subtle line Ashton walks along, but it more or less works for him.

The overarching story is the ragtag group of weirdos figuring out the truth behind what happened in Hagerstown without getting killed by shady government agents. There’s a decent amount of technobabble, but not too much that I got lost or felt as though I’d fallen into a lecture. There are bigger conflicts like the inequality and tension between modded people and “homo saps” (or completely natural people), but the surface is really just barely scratched on these bigger issues. Far more world building could have been done, but it’s sacrificed for this misfit adventure instead, keeping the pacing fairly steady. A few moments lag as Anders and his friends catch their breath before going on to the next misadventure, but for the most part this book read very quickly.

The final few chapters turn into a bit of split second Taratino movie told in rapid changes of perspective before just ending, which was probably the most unsatisfying part of the novel. By the time the book wraps up, questions are answered, but I didn’t feel like the crazy conspiracy danger handing over everyone’s heads had been truly resolved. Instead I was left with a bunch of characters that survived because of hand waving and a lack of paper rather than because there was a conclusion to the story. It’s unfortunately this could have been a much more enjoyable story had the conclusion been more satisfactory. Instead I was left scratching my head a little, wondering if I’d missed something important or had a few more chapters missing from my copy.

This is a strange techno-thriller that could really work for anyone tired of the overwrought drama and seriousness of most books in the genre. I wished there was a little bit more, but it was still a fun little jaunt into a different type of book for me. The world building was intriguing and the characters were weird, so I’d call this one a win.

About the Author

Edward Ashton lives with his adorably mopey dog, his inordinately patient wife, and three beautiful but terrifying daughters in Rochester, New York, where he studies new cancer therapies by day, and writes about the awful things his research may lead to by night. His short fiction has appeared in dozens of venues, ranging from Louisiana Literature to Daily Science Fiction. Three Days in April is his first novel.

Enter to Win a $25 Gift Card to the e-Retailer of Your Choice!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins September 15 and ends on October 9.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on October 10.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

Visit the Other Stops on the Three Days in April Tour:

September 15

Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping

Book reviewed at Polished Bookworm

September 16

Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

September 17

Book reviewed at Cubicle Blindness

September 18

Interviewed at Review From Here

September 21

Book featured at Archeolibrarian

September 22

Guest blogging at Voodoo Princess

September 23

Book featured at Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions

September 24

Book featured at Chosen By You Book Club

September 25

Book featured at Fabulous and Fun

Interviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt

September 28

Book reviewed Queen of All She Reads

September 29

Book reviewed and Guest blogging at Working for the Mandroid

September 30

Book featured at Literal Exposure

October 1

Book featured at Abibliophobia Anonymous

October 2

Guest blogging at Around the World in Books

October 5

Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

October 6

Book featured at Celticlady’s Reviews

October 7

Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight

October 8

Book featured at Lori’s Reading Corner

Book feature at A Room Without Books is Empty

October 9

Book featured at Booklover Sue

Author Blog Tour: Last Song Before Night by Ilana C Myer

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Ilana C Myer's blog tour for her debut novel, Last Song Before Night! We are so happy to be part of this tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I'm about midway through the book and it's a beautiful and captivating world of song and magic along with some creepy mystery and really well formed characters. I'll have a review for you in a few days, but in the meantime learn more about Last Song Before Night and Ilana before entering to win one of three hard cover copies from Tor!

Last Song Before Night
Ilana C Myer

TOR
Releases September 29, 2015
416 pages
High Fantasy | Magic

Find it on Goodreads

AMAZONB&NiBOOKS | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN

A high fantasy following a young woman’s defiance of her culture as she undertakes a dangerous quest to restore her world’s lost magic

Her name was Kimbralin Amaristoth: sister to a cruel brother, daughter of a hateful family. But that name she has forsworn, and now she is simply Lin, a musician and lyricist of uncommon ability in a land where women are forbidden to answer such callings—a fugitive who must conceal her identity or risk imprisonment and even death.

On the eve of a great festival, Lin learns that an ancient scourge has returned to the land of Eivar, a pandemic both deadly and unnatural. Its resurgence brings with it the memory of an apocalypse that transformed half a continent. Long ago, magic was everywhere, rising from artistic expression—from song, from verse, from stories. But in Eivar, where poets once wove enchantments from their words and harps, the power was lost. Forbidden experiments in blood divination unleashed the plague that is remembered as the Red Death, killing thousands before it was stopped, and Eivar’s connection to the Otherworld from which all enchantment flowed, broken.

The Red Death’s return can mean only one thing: someone is spilling innocent blood in order to master dark magic. Now poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a challenge much greater: galvanized by Valanir Ocune, greatest Seer of the age, Lin and several others set out to reclaim their legacy and reopen the way to the Otherworld—a quest that will test their deepest desires, imperil their lives, and decide the future.

 

About Ilana C. Myer

Ilana C. Myer has written for the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and the Huffington Post. Previously she was a freelance journalist in Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Daily Forward, Time Out Israel and other publications. She lives in New York City.

Ilana was born in New York but grew up in Jerusalem, Israel, where she spent her teen years haunting secondhand bookstores in search of books written in English—especially fantasy. It was in one of these shops that she discovered David Eddings and realized that epic fantasy continued after Tolkien, and from there went on to make such marvelous discoveries as Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, and Guy Gavriel Kay.

Since learning to read, Ilana had decided she would write books, but during college in New York City was confronted with the reality of making rent, and worked as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and executive assistant where she on occasion picked up dry cleaning. She afterwards found more fulfillment as a journalist in Jerusalem where she covered social issues, the arts, and innovations in technology, and co-founded the Middle East environment blog, Green Prophet. It was during these years in Jerusalem, on stolen time, that Last Song Before Night took shape.

She writes as Ilana Teitelbaum for various outlets, but decided early on—since the days of haunting bookstores, in fact—that “Teitelbaum” was too long for a book cover. “Myer” is a variation on the maiden name of her grandmother, whose family was exterminated in Germany. It is a family with a long history of writers, so it seems appropriate to give credit—or blame—where it’s due.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | GOODREADS

 

Enter to Win a Copy of Last Song Before Night!

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT. US Only.

Tour Schedule

Week One:

9/21/2015- Library of a Book Witch- Interview

9/22/2015- A Book and a LatteGuest Post

9/23/2015- A Trail of Books Left BehindReview

9/24/2015- Working for the MandroidPromotional Post (Future Review)

9/25/2015- Chasm of BooksInterview

 

Week Two:

9/28/2015- GalleywampusReview

9/29/2015- DanaSquare- Guest Post

9/30/2015- Fic GalReview

10/1/2015- The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan ClubInterview

10/2/2015- History from a Woman's PerspectiveReview

WFTM Podcast Episode 15: The Television Engine

Leslie and Fernando discuss the start of binge watching Empire and Black-ish, the lackluster summer of movies, what they’re looking forward to this fall on the big and small screens, the third volume of Lazarus, the steampunk werewolf hunters of The Shadow Revolution, and much more.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

We’re now on Stitcher as well!! If Stitcher is your chosen app of podcasting choice, listen to the Working for the Mandroid podcast here

So what’s in Episode 15?

News:

Netflix announced the November 20 as the release date of Jessica Jones and put out a teaser trailer

DARPA released some information about a robotic prosthetic arm that provides sensation and it’s awesome!

Funko announced the Smuggler’s Bounty Star Wars subscription box!

What We’re Watching:

We started binge watching Empire and Black-ish

A look back at the movies we enjoyed this summer and the ones we’re looking forward to this fall

What new and returning shows we’re looking forward to as the fall TV season starts back up next week (and Leslie learns she’s the engine driving most of their television watching)

What We’re Reading:

Lazarus Volume 3: Conclave by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

We Can Fix It by Jess Fink

Little Robot by Ben Hatke (enter to win a copy here!)

The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith

What We Predict For the Next Week:

Fernando: Still playing a lot of Madden and looking forward to television starting back up again.

Leslie: They’ll finish up Empire and enjoy it. She’ll finish up Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson and it will end in a cliffhanger that will drive her bonkers. Scorch Trials the movie will be in their viewing future.

Author Blog Tour: Little Robot by Ben Hatke

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop of Ben Hatke's blog tour for Little Robot! A million thank yous to First Second and Macmillan for having me on this tour to celebrate this gorgeous and captivating graphic novel/picture book. We love robots here at Working for the Mandroid, so Little Robot was right up our alley. Below you will find my review and hang around to the end to enter to win your very own copy of Little Robot. To see the entire blog tour lineup, check out Macmillan's website here.

Little Robot
Ben Hatke

First Second
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Released September 1, 2015
Graphic Novel | Children's Book | Robots!

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!

#1 New York Times Bestselling author Ben Hatke brings his signature sweetness to a simple, moving story about friendship and overcoming fears that will appeal to readers of all ages

This book, you guys! This book! It broke my heart and pieced it back together again in the 25 minutes it took me to slowly read through it. Then I spent another 20 minutes flipping to my favorite panels to stare at the captivating and colorful illustrations while I got lost in this world of robots and friendship. Little Robot is the epitome of making a picture book for children that is as emotionally impactful and enjoyable for adults.

We follow our protagonist, a little girl who is seemingly isolated through much of the day as she goes on an adventure. She’s very curious, highly imaginative and very smart. She travels through the lands around her house, poking at animals and exploring. She finds a tool belt and a box that’s washed up on the shore of a river. Inside is the most adorable robot ever. Through the course of 134 pages of beautiful illustrations, she and her new robot fan discover the power of friendship, the pain of betrayal and the gratitude of forgiveness and compassion.

All with maybe 30 words and assorted robotic sound effects in total in this book. It’s a stunning piece of art that is perfectly executed and makes me ridiculously giddy to witness. Our protagonist is a little girl of color who can fix and build machines. She is made of compassion and love, and our new little robot friend is the perfect receptacle as she teaches it how to walk, the joy (and fear) of cats, and what it means to be a true friend. I love how smart and capable this nameless girl is, and how awkward and scared she is when it comes to other human children. She overcomes fear to save her friend and her friendship helps create more helpful robots along the way.

Little Robot is an imaginative and colorful adventure. I can’t wait to share this book with my niece and nephew. This would be a great book for someone just on the cusp of learning to read or any child that loves colorful pictures with the imagination to tell themselves a story. Ben Hatke has create something beautiful and fulfilling with Little Robot and I hope every child (and their parents!) gets a chance to experience it.

About the Author

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times-bestselling Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel trilogy and the picture book Julia's House for Lost Creatures. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. When not writing or drawing he jumps around a lot, practices archery, and sometimes breathes fire. Ben posts stories, art, and comics online at BenHatke.com.

Find Ben on: 

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

 

Sound like something you'd love to? Enter in the Rafflecopter below to enter a copy for yourself! The contest will run until midnight on September 24 and the winner must have a US shipping address. Good luck!