Macmillan and #SixofCrows Is Doing Marketing to Bloggers Right!

One of the best things about being a blogger who does this as a hobby and not a paying gig is when surprise packages show up on my doorstep from publishers. I love finding new books on my doorstep, but every now and again something shows up at might door that truly stands out from the crowd. Normally that package comes from Macmillan because they are awesome.

Today a package in black bubble wrap showed up at my door. It was pretty unassuming. "Awesome! A new book!" I thought to myself.

And then I opened it to find this.


It is indeed a book. A book, in fact, that I've wanted very much, and it's in some pretty impressive packaging.

First there's the pencil/makeup bag with an intriguing quote I assume is from the book.

Inside is a postcard sized one sheet about the book, but even it has been creatively designed to reflect something of the story. I like when marketing doesn't feel like just marketing and this playing card does that.


And then there is the actual box the book is in. It has wings. Really big wings (please ignore the state of my desk, Fernando keeps getting on me about cleaning it up).

And finally the shiny galley. This book is hefty, both in size and weight. I can't wait to read it!

Thank you so much, Macmillan! You guys made my day!


For those of you who haven't heard of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, here's the blurb. Get excited! It comes out September 29th.

Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-new book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Author Blog Tour & Contest: Guest Post from Taran Matharu, Author of The Novice: Summoner Book 1

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Taran Matharu's blog tour for The Novice: Summoner Book 1, which just came out last week. I'm really excited to have him on the blog talking about sidekicks and what qualities really make a sidekick stand out. I mean, every good hero needs a sidekick, don't they?

You can see the entire tour schedule over on Mac Teen's blog here. If you'd like to read more of Taran's work, check out what he has hosted on WattPad here. We also have a copy of The Novice to give away, so stick around until the end of the post to enter!

What Does It Take to Create a Memorable Sidekick?

Creating a memorable sidekick is no easy task. With so many characteristics to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down what kind of character you want them to be. That being said there are a few common traits that I love to see in sidekicks. Here are just a few of them.

1.) Big, hairy and even a little simple

Both powerful and adorable, these creatures tend to be immensely protective of their partners. Some of the best known examples of these are Ludo from Labyrinth, Chewbacca from Star Wars, Baloo from The Jungle Book and Carol from Where the Wild Things Are.

2.) Only capable of saying one word or phrase

By limiting their ability to communicate, their connection with the protagonist becomes less cerebral and more emotional, which is just how I like it. I can’t help but include Chewie again on this list, as well as Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, Pikachu from Pokemon, Hodor from Game of Thrones and the Librarian from Discworld.

3.) Stubborn, independent and even a little mischievous

Sidekicks are not obedient servants to be ordered about. The best ones are always strong characters and think for themselves. My favorites are Lilo from Lilo and Stitch, Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, Hooch from Turner and Hooch and Donkey from Shrek (to name but a few).


Thanks for stopping by Working for the Mandroid, Taran! I can't wait to see where Fletcher and his sidekick go next!

The Novice: Summoner Book 1
Taran Matharu

Feiwel & Friends
Released May 5, 2015
398 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

Win a Copy of The Novice: Summoner Book 1 by Taran Matharu!

Taran and his lovely publisher have provided a hard copy of The Novice to give away to one lucky Working for the Mandroid visitor. If you're interested and have a mailing address in the US, enter below before May 31 for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

Kiss of Deception
Mary E Pearson

Henry Holt
I received an ARC from the publisher.
Released July 8, 2014
492 pages
YA / Fantasy

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

One of the worst things about my impromptu blogging hiatus was not only could I not use a computer to write reviews, but writing by hand prevented my arm from healing correctly too. I wish I had those original thoughts after finishing Kiss of Deception still in my head, but thankfully the book was so enjoyable that the characters and main plot points still live in my brain over a month later. This is a really fun start to a not-so-traditional fantasy series that grabs tropes and twists them into pretzels.

Princess Lia is a modern girl living in a medieval society. She has been forced to live her life by the rules of father, rules that have gotten progressively stricter the older she gets. When she faces marrying a stranger to strengthen military ties, she does what any headstrong modern woman would do in a situation you couldn’t otherwise get out of – she leaves. With only a bag, a horse and her handmaiden with her, she flees her father and the castle where her entire life is.

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Review: The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

The Rule of Three
Eric Walters

Farrar Straus Giroux
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Releases January 21, 2014
405 pages
YA / Action / Post-Apocalypse

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.

Eric Walters has made me paranoid. I am constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for the inevitable disaster that will leave humankind helpless and devolving into animals. I feel inclined to horde guns and canned goods, barricade my windows and doors, and start stock piling gasoline in my garage (which can’t be safe). Eric Walters may have just ruined my life. It will never be the same. Thanks for that.

The Rule of Three is a bit of an odd little book. It’s the days and weeks following some sort of EMP or computer virus that knocks out all the power and computers in the world, and the events that follow within a small community. It follows 16-year-old Adam, son of the local police commissioner and novice pilot, through the not-so-every-day moments after a life-as-we-know-it level disaster. Luckily he lives next door to a slightly eccentric elderly man, who Adam assumes used to be a spy and is quite the survivalist, stockpiling supplies, food, chlorine tablets, and grenades just in case.

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Stacking the Shelves (15): JJ Abrams, Winner's Curse & Penguin Goodies

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently.

The last few weeks have seen numerous packages landing on my doorstep, but most of them contained books for other people, particularly my neice and nephew for Christmas. I did, however, get a few shiny new additions to my bookshelves over the last few weeks.

Thanks to Penguin and Destination Elsewhere, who held the contest where I won:



And thank you to my awesome sister-in-law and brother for S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst.

Then I came home one day to find a package from my friends at Macmillan sitting on the porch. What was inside was a pretty awesomely packaged version of The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

I've very excited by all the new additions to my bookish family. What awesomeness have you added to your collection recently?

Stacking the Shelves (14): Balzer + Bray Care Package, Alien Invasion & Others

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently.

The other day Fernando came home from work with a package that looked like a pillow. I was expecting anything, so I was incredibly surprised to find that the lovely people at Balzer + Bray had sent me a few of their upcoming February 2014 releases. Needless to say that package along with a few others that have come in over the past few weeks have my book card filled for quite some time.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Her Dark Curiosity by Meghan Shepherd

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

We Will Destroy Your Planet by David McIntee

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (won from the awesome Pabkins over at My Shelf Confessions)

Johnny Hiro: The Skills to Pay the Bills by Fred Chao

Not shown: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (e-ARC through Netgalley)

Thank you to Balzer + Bray, Tor, Random House and Macmillan for their generosity.

Stacking the Shelves (13): MacMillan Loves Me, Space Exploration & More

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently.

The UPS man has become my friend the last two weeks and has brought me lots and lots of new shinies to sit on my shelves and mock me because I don't have the time to read all of them in any reasonable amount of time. These are the books I've collected since the last STS edition a few weeks back.

My friends at Macmillan have been incredibly generous lately and are mostly responsible for the presents on my doorstep. I'm very, very excited to read these upcoming winter 2014 releases.

Nil by Lynne Matson

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Unforgotten by Jessica Brody

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Desert Tales by Marissa Marr

The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Cracked by Eliza Crewe

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Starhawk by Jack McDevitt

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Thank you to Macmillan and their various subsidiaries, HarperTeen, Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot, Mindee Arnett, Atria and Ace. Also, thanks to the local library for getting Perfect Ruin so quickly.