We Rule the Night – ARC Review

We Rule the Night

By Claire Eliza Bartlett

Details:


Title: We Rule the Night


Author: Claire Eliza Bartlett


Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: April 2nd, 2019

 

Thank you so much to NOVL for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.

My Review 

I was so, so excited when I received this in the mail not only because of its definite bookstagram potential (just look at that cover!!!), but because of its completely epic synopsis. As a WWII inspired, feminist fantasy novel I had high hopes going into this We Rule the Night, and Bartlett certainly did not disappoint me.

This world is absolutely fascinating and very well fleshed out! It’s completely original and different to many of the fantasy worlds I’ve been reading about lately that have all blended together into a sort of fantasy mush. The war-torn feel comes across clearly, and leaves the world feeling very reminiscent of WWII. The magic system is so intriguing and completely intertwined to the world itself. With Living Metal, the Weave, and the Spark, I can confidently say that this magic system is unlike any other I’ve encountered in my many, many years of reading, which is a truly astonishing feat. The closest thing I can think of is Leo from The Heroes of Olympus, but that doesn’t even compare to how detailed and imaginative the magic system is within these pages.

I literally felt as if I could not put this book down, and somehow managed to finish it within a few hours of picking it up. The action is great, the world it great, and the characters might be the best part of it all. Our main characters, Revna and Linne, are incredibly complex, capable, badass females we all need in our lived. They each had a certain depth to them which brought them to life, and I found myself cheering them on from the sidelines as they faced challenge after challenge. Bartlett clearly put lots of time and effort in developing these characters, and it clearly paid off. I really have nothing bad to say aside from the fact that the plot seemed to slow down and lag at times, but that didn’t do too much to hinder my enjoyment.

In conclusion, I give We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett four and a half out of five stars for fulfilling my feminist fantasy dreams. I highly recommend We Rule the Night to anyone and everyone, but especially to all of the females out there who love a good fantasy novel.

If you would like to pre-order We Rule the Night

Book Depository

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Sky in the Deep – Blog Tour and Q&A with Adrienne Young

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Hey guys! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour celebrating Adrienne Young’s debut novel, Sky in the Deep! I just want to say a quick thank you to Wednesday Books for letting me be a part of this tour because, as those of you who read my review already know, I absolutely adore this book! Here’s a link to my review in case any of you wanted to read it, and today I’m gonna share a Q&A with the author, Adrienne Young. Be sure to let me know if any of you are excited for Sky in the Deep or if any of you have already read it because I NEED to talk about it with someone!

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SUMMARY:

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OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

 

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General Q&A:

1. What inspired SKY IN THE DEEP? How did the idea and Eelyn come to you? Do you have any favorite Viking stories?

The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on this country road and that first scene just hit me – Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.

2. What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building? What languages did you study to implement the languages that the Aska and the Riki speak? What was the strangest thing you had to research for this book?

I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.

3. What was your writing process like for SKY IN THE DEEP?

Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influencers that could mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind of don’t have a social life until it’s done.

4. What was your hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

I really didn’t struggle to get this story on the page the way I have with other books so I really don’t know what the hardest scene to write was. But the easiest was the first chapter. I wrote it so fast and it just clicked in so perfectly.

5. Which of your characters are you the most like? Who was your favorite to write?

Eelyn! We have so much in common and she really inspires me. But I think Halvard was the most fun to write. I really, really love him.

6. Do you have a soundtrack for SKY IN THE DEEP? Can you share a couple songs? What would Eelyn’s favorite song be?

Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I probably listened to the most while drafting SKY are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up – Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site!

7. What books have inspired you to write? What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm.

8. Any advice on querying? Or writing advice for aspiring writers?

Querying – do not just sign with any agent who will take you. Make a dream agent list of qualified agents who have good reputations and make consistent sales. Query them. If they don’t bite, then write another book that they might want. Believe me when I say it is worth waiting for the right agent!

9. Any details about the companion novel?

I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it soon because I am really excited about it!

About the Author

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Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.
For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks
Twitter: @adriennebooks

 

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young releases on April 24th, 2018. If you would like to pre-order Sky in the Deep:

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

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Aru Shah and the End of Time – Book Review

Aru Shah and the End of Time

By Roshani Chokshi

Details:


Title: Aru Shah and the End of Time


Author: Roshani Chokshi


Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents


Pub. Date: March 27th, 2018


Synopsis:


Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?


Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of Aru Shah and the End of Time through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

My Review 

            As a kid, I grew up reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, The Hero’s of Olympus, and basically any other Rick Riordan novel available to me. From these books sprang my love for all things mythology, and I’m so, so excited about Rick Riordan Presents so future generations can learn all about different mythologies  through characters they will grow to know and love throughout their life times. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi being the first book by Rick Riordan Presents has me very optimistic about the future of this imprint. 

            Before even entering Aru’s world I loved Chokshi’s writing style from her previous novels, and I knew she would do an absolutely fantastic job. Aru Shah is a twelve year old girl who lives with her mother above the Ancient Indian Art and Culture. She has a bad habit of lying, and ends up getting caught in a web of lies by her three class mates. As a result, she lights the Lamp of Bharata, freezing everyone in time, releasing the Sleeper, and setting Aru off on the adventure of a life time. I don’t really want to say too much about the plot in fear of spoling anything, but it was just so much fun to go on the adventure with Aru, Mini, Boo, and everyone else. It was wonderfully paced, and there was never a dull moment. I really learned so much about Hindu mythology through this novel, and it has even inspired me to go out and do some of my own research to learn some more. 

            What I think really made me enjoy this novel was Aru herself. Chokshi gave her such a fantastic voice and a sense of humor that I found very Percy-esq that made this book just so much more enjoyable. There was a moment in the very beginning of the book where Aru made a reference to the song “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash, and I knew from that moment forward that I absolutely loved her. Overall I think Chokshi did a fantastic job with the novel as a whole, and I can’t wait to see where she goes with the rest of the Pandava Quartet. 

In conclusion, I give Aru Shah and the End of Time four out of five stars for being fun, hilarious, and a great entrance into the Pandava QuartetI highly, highly recommend this for young readers, anyone with any interest in Hindu mythology, and anyone who grew up loving Rick Riordan novels as much as I did.

              

If you would like to order Aru Shah and the End of Time

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

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Furyborn – ARC Review

Furyborn

By Claire Legrand

Details:


Title: Furyborn


Author: Claire Legrand


Page Count: 512


Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


Pub. Date: May 22nd, 2018


Synopsis:


When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other. (Goodreads Summary)


Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of Furyborn through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Review 


            I was so sad to see that I had missed receiving an arc of Furyborn in the November ‘Ladies that Slay’ Fairyloot box, but then I was granted an ARC off of Netgalley and all of my sadness was forgotten because I finally had the book in my hands! I didn’t read too much about it before starting because I wanted to be surprised, and I think I have discovered one of my new favorite fantasy novels of all time!

            Legrand does a fantastic job of weaving two stories together in Furyborn–Rielle’s story and Eliana’s story. Though the two take place in different time periods, they are connected in multiple ways which are revealed as the story goes on. Each chapter switches back and forth from Rielle to Eliana, which some people might find annoying, but I was so invested in both story lines that I didn’t mind it at all. It seemed to me, even though the book is over 500 pages, that it is very fast paces and almost every chapter ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. There were multiple times throughout Furyborn that I found myself completely caught up in the story, completely oblivious to the outside world. I managed to finish it in one sitting during an 11 hour plane ride, and I could barely notice the crying baby just three rows ahead of me. I thought that the plot itself was brilliant. Rielle is a lady who has grown up in court hiding her powers over pretty much every element from everyone else, until her best friend, the prince, is in danger. After revealing her power, the people are frightened, and she has to prove to them that she is the good queen, the Sun Queen, who has come to help the world. She’s put through a series of trials to prove herself, and in the midst of the difficult physical challenges, she’s going through several things in her personal life–like how to deal with this voice which has appeared in her head and her feelings for the crown prince who just happens to be engaged to one of her other best friends. That’s pretty much all I can say about Rielle’s story without spoiling it. Now, Eliana’s story reminded me somewhat of Celaena/Aelin from the Throne of Glass series. She’s a bounty hunter working for the government, but after her mom gets captured by a mysterious group who’s been kidnapping women and a group of deadly assassins try to recruit her–her life gets turned upside down. Oh, and she also has these powers she can’t explain. I really can’t say too much about her story because then I really would be spoiling it, but I think I liked her story slightly more than Rielle’s because I found it less cliche. 

            Aside from her wonderful storytelling abilities, Legrand also possesses the ability to create an abundance of characters you just can’t help but care for. The two main characters, Rielle and Eliana, are both bad ass women. There’s a constant juxtaposition between the two, and by switching perspectives each chapter, the reader gets to see how they both react to somewhat similar situations. Rielle has been forced to hide her powers her entire life in fear of what might happen to her if someone was to find out, while Eliana is the famed ‘Dread of Orline,’ a famed assassin who’s just trying to survive and keep her loved ones safe. I found myself enjoying both characters for several different reasons, and I enjoyed both of their characters immensely. Aside from the main characters, Legrand includes a plethora of side characters people are sure to love. My personal favorite is Simon, also known as The Wolf, because he is the perfect companion for Eliana, and, I’m not going to lie, they are one of my new favorite ships. In Rielle’s story, she has two best friends, Ludavine and Audric. I adored Ludavine because I could see a lot of my best friend in her, and Audric was so sweet and truly cared for Rielle. Now, let’s talk about the big, bad Corien. I loved him. I thought the way Legrand introduced him as a voice inside Rielle’s head was wonderful, and he definitely gave me some Darkling vibes which was just the cherry on top. I can’t go into too much detail on the characters in fear of spoiling something for y’all, but just know that each and every one of them is fantastic in their own way.


                In conclusion, I give Furyborn by Claire Legrand five out of five stars for being a refreshing, new fantasy novel everyone is sure to love. I already can’t wait to read the second novel, and the first isn’t even out yet! I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fantasy lover, as well as anyone who is looking to get into fantasy. I can’t wait for everyone to read it–I’m bursting at the seams to discuss it with someone! 

If you would like to pre-order Furyborn

Book Depository

Barnes and Nobles

Amazon

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