Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bookanista Review: The White Assassin, by Hilary Wagner--AND A SIGNED ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!

Today's Bookanista Review is extra special, because not only is it for an awesome middle-grade read--but it's part of the author's official blog tour. So exciting--and huge thanks to Hilary for letting me be a part!!! And of course by "Hilary" I mean the awesome Hilary Wagner. Today I get to gush about her recently released sequel, THE WHITE ASSASSIN.

Here's how the publisher describes the story:

Book II in the Nightshade Chronicles begins three years after Juniper and his rebel band of rats liberate the Catacombs and defeat their oppressors.

A sense of peace has settled over Nightshade City, but it is a false one. Billycan, the white assassin, has been found. Deep in the southern swamps, he now rules a primitive horde of savage swamp rats eager to overrun Nightshade City and claim it for their king. With the help of an ancient colony of bats and an uneasy alliance with the swamp snakes, Juniper and his Council set out to thwart Billycan’s plans. When an old secret is revealed—one so shocking it shakes both Billycan and Juniper to the core—the fate of Nightshade City and the life of Juniper’s only son depend on Juniper’s decision: should he help his mortal enemy? The past resurfaces with devastating impact in this exciting sequel to Nightshade City, a dark tale of intrigue, deception, and betrayal.

I love that summary--it has that awesome dun dun DUNNNN feel! :)

So, if you don't already know, this is the sequel to NIGHTSHADE CITY (which I already gushed about HERE), and if you are a fan of series like Redwall or Warriors you will LOVE these books. But even if you're not a fan of anthropomorphic animals, I strongly recommend you give them a chance. Because that's the amazing thing Hilary does--she makes you forget that you're reading about a bunch of animals. And not just animals. RATS. And WORMS. And BATS. And SNAKES. Could there be a more motley cast of critters? 

And yet, somehow she not only makes us care about them--she makes us forget that we're not reading about humans. But not in a way that makes it feel weird like... why are they rats, they act EXACTLY like humans? (I hate when authors do that). They are definitely still rats. Just... the cool kind of rats we wish we had hiding in our attics.

I wish I could tell you more than that, but once again I'm finding myself at a loss for how to talk about the sequel without giving away any book one spoilers. So I'm just going to say that in GENERAL terms, the story is packed with both action and heart and she manages to outdo what she did in book one and still keep everything we fell in love with the first time. It's a great read, and I highly recommend it to all of you. 

AND, the book finally released in stores on October 2nd, so you can go buy it RIGHT NOW if you want to. 

Or, you can try to win the lovely SIGNED (and doodled in) ARC I'm giving away here. To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, October 15th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, October 16th. International entries welcome.

For more fabulous book recommendations, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are talking about:

Elana Johnson  is obsessed with Possess
Christine Fonseca  twirls for Audition
Shelli Johannes-Wells applauds The Pledge
Beth Revis interviews The Girl of Fire & Thorns author Rae Carson
Carolina Valdez Miller delves into The Future of Us – with signed book giveaway
Shana Silver shouts out about Shut Out
Sarah Frances Hardy fancies You Will Be My Friend


  1. That's awesome you're part of the blog tour too. I don't usually like animal stories but I love this series. I think I loved The White Assassin best because of the villain Billycan. Hilary did an amazing job with him.

    I won't enter the contest because I'm also giving away a signed copy of Hilary's Arc at Literary Rambles.

  2. Nightshade City was awesome, and Hilary truly knew how to create a convincing underground world. Looking forward to this one!!

  3. This looks like a fun book. I recently recommended these books to the kids I babysit for because they have been asking for a rat. I told them they should read awesome books about rats like these books.

  4. Shannon, thanks for your uber awesome review! It's funny you mention the doodle in the ARC. I have a bachelors degree in painting and art history and since I no longer show my paintings (since I wrote Nightshade City) I sign every book with my little rat doodle! I have to use that degree for something!! ;)

    Can't wait to see who the winner is!

    Thanks again!!! :):):):)

    xoxo -- Hilary

  5. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love THIS BOOK AND HILARY WAGNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  6. Hi Shannon, I have heard a lot about Hilary's book. It sounds really awesome. I have so far met very few of MG writers. Its great to meet you two.

  7. Thank you!! Great interview and boy I would love love to win a signed and doodled in copy!

  8. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  9. I've been hearing fabulous things about this!

  10. Great review. I'd love too read it. Please enter me. Thanks!
    Follow on GFC!


  11. This looks amazing!! Please enter me in and thank you for this giveaway.

    ajiehuang1997 9at) gmail (dot) com

  12. I do love to read your reviews cause they are so full of love for the book that make me want to read it now!

    count me in!

  13. Yes, go Hilary! So excited to read The White Assasin!

  14. I'd love to play please.

    GFC follower.


  15. Oh! I would love to win a copy of this. <33 Thank you so much for the chance :)
    Love, Carina ~

  16. Would love to see those doodles!

    Thanks for the review.

  17. I loved Nightshade City and I just received my copy of The White Assassin. I'll be reading it soon. Oh, and don't enter me. :) Have a great weekend.

  18. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a longtime follower! :)


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.