The Wicked King – Book Review

The Wicked King

By Holly Black

Details:


Title: The Wicked King


Author: Holly Black


Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Pub. Date: January 8th, 2019



Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

My Review:  

When I first tried to read The Cruel Prince I decided I hated it before I got through the first twenty pages. I was convinced that the rest of the world was wrong, and that The Cruel Prince was absolutely terrible. I posted about it, talked about with friends, and probably made enemies with a good half of the bookstagram community. But one of my friends would not give up on me. She promised that if I finished The Cruel Prince she would read a book of my choice that I’d been begging her to read for ages, so I begrudgingly agreed. I forced my way through the pages, hating almost every character I met along the way, but somewhere around halfway through I found myself unable to put it down, utterly invested in the story. I finished the book two hours later and made amends with (almost) everyone. From the moment I finished The Cruel Prince I put The Wicked King on my most anticipated reads of 2019, and started reading it on my Kindle the moment it was released.

This book absolutely infuriated me in the best way possible. Holly Black does a fantastic job and sucking readers back into the world of Elfhame–this time with Cardan on the throne. I loved how Cardan and Jude interacted throughout the story, the tension is tangible between the two, and the moment it finally breaks is absolutely epic and has given a new meaning to “I hate you”. Cardan and Jude’s relationship progresses in a way that is both entertaining and well done. There were moments between the two that made me swoon, made me yell, and made me wonder why I like to torture myself, but they are definitely one of my favorite ships. Jude is just as badass as ever (if not more), and Cardan a pompous ass who I both want to hit and kiss. Taryn and Locke still remain as two of my least favorite characters ever created, but that alone is a testament to Black’s incredible characterization…I don’t think I’ve ever loved hating anyone as much as I love to hate them. Their whole relationship just pisses me off to no end, and I swear to god the reveal near the end that involved Taryn had me screaming and tossing my book around the room. Speaking of things that had me screaming, I love how the Undersea was more involved in this book. Queen Orlagh and Nacasia and Balekin really raise the stakes in The Wicked King, and provide a wonder antagonizing force for our favorites to go up against. The only issue I have with the conflict in this novel is that it takes a while to get to it. I felt like the beginning of the novel, though interesting and necessary to establish where we are in time and what’s happened while we’ve been away, could have been much shorter. That and the fact that I had to wait a year for this book and another year for The Queen of Nothing are the only issues I really have. Oh, and that the ending had me absolutely sobbing due rage because of my problematic faves and sadness that I’d have to leave Elfhame again until next year. In all honestly the ending is amazing, and it has left readers begging for the next book as soon as possible.

In conclusion I give The Wicked King by Holly Black four and a half out of five stars for being an incredible sequel to what was one of my favorite books of 2018. I highly recommend The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King to anyone who loves fantasy, epic relationships, and dramatic fae princes.

If you would like to order The Wicked King

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If you would like to order The Cruel Prince

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An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason – Book Review

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

By Virginia Boecker

Details:


Title: An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason


Author: Virginia Boecker

 


Pub. Date: October 23rd, 2018



Synopsis:

When Lady Katherine’s father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn’t the only secret he’s been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father’s mission, and to take it one step further–kill the queen herself.

Katherine’s opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn’t know is that the play is not just a play–it’s a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play’s leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on. 

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

My Review 

As a fan of Shakespeare and historical fiction in general, I was itching to get my hands on the books from the moment I read the blurb. An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason has to be one of the most entertaining YA historical fiction novels I have ever read. It’s a wonderful take on classic Shakespearian tropes that I can see many, many people enjoying. 

A royal spy and an orphan out for revenge on the people who killed her father, Toby and Katherine could not be more different. One is out to prevent the people who are plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth and the other out to assassinate her. Katherine disguises herself as a boy, Kit, and auditions for a play which is being put for the queen in order to assassinate. The play itself is actually being put on by Toby who is using it to Lure the assassins in and stop their plotting. Over the course of the novel the two start to develop feelings for each other, and, of course, drama ensues. I really enjoyed both characters, and the similarities with the play which is being performed, Twelfth Night. I loved how we got to see Katherine grow and find herself over the course of the novel, and I found her story to be very relatable and empowering. Toby was so passionate and funny–he’s a character that you can’t help but like. The only real issue I had with this book was the pacing. I felt that there were a lot of things that could have been sped up such as all of the plotting, the investigating, even the relationship between the two main characters. The ending though, that definitely made up for the pacing issues. It was fun, exciting, and the perfect way to tie up the novel. One thing I really need to give props for is how well researched this book was. Reading it, I could tell that Boecker actually put effort into trying to make things as historically accurate as possible which is something that not every author does.

In conclusion I give An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason four out of five stars for being a fun-filled read as well as one of my new favorite YA Historical Fictions. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but especially to fans of Shakespeare.

              

If you would like to order An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason

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The Leading Edge of Now – ARC Tour and Review

I was invited by the wonderful Victoria @ thepetitebookblogger.wordpress.com to participate in an ARC tour for The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis. I hadn’t really heard about this book before joining the tour, so I was wonderfully surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Synopsis:

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn’t sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find — and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34520598-the-leading-edge-of-now

Book Trailer:

My Review:

I really didn’t know much about The Leading Edge of Now aside from the fact that it was a contemporary novel. I was expecting it to be a quick, fun read, but it was so much more than that. Grace’s story is raw, emotional, and focuses on difficult topics that I don’t believe get featured very well in YA literature. I must put a trigger warning for rape/sexual abuse which is something that is heavily featured in the book, but Curtis does such a fantastic job at addressing it in a way that I believe to be very prevalent in our society today.

The story starts out with Grace reconnecting with her Uncle, Rusty, after two years of being in foster care. She also learns that her ex best friend and ex boyfriend have moved next door and it’s a lot for her to take in all at once. She used to hold so many great memories in New Harbor, but all those great memories were tainted after she was raped. She doesn’t remember what happened that night, and blames herself. Throughout the course of the story, we get to see Grace slowly but surely reconnect with her friends and family in a way that is more believable than most stories, as well as confront her past. The Leading Edge of Now is an emotional rollercoaster full of twists and turns. We get to witnesses Grace’s journey through a very dark time in her life and see her come out the other side. Her character was so realistic, and I often found myself wanting the best for her. We get to see Grace go from a victim to a survivor, and I think thats it is a very important and inspiration story that girls of all ages should read.

Overall, I give The Leading Edge of Now four out of five stars for being an inspirational story of a survivor who goes through the darkest time of her life to come out the other side a better person. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a realistic, inspirational read, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Author Information:

Marci Lyn Curtis is the author of young adult dramedies The One Thing and The Leading Edge of Now. She lives near Tampa, Florida with her husband. You can find out more about Marci on her website (marcilyncurtis.com), on Twitter (@Marci_Curtis), on Instagram (@marcilyncurtis), or on Facebook (marcilyncurtis).

 

 

Thanks so much again to Victoria for inviting me to be a part of this tour, and thanks to the author, Marci Lyn Curtis, for providing an ARC of the book.

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Leading Edge of Now:

Amazon

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Book Depository

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The Impossibility of Us – Book Review

The Impossibility of Us

By Katy Upperman

Details:


Title: The Impossibility of US


Author: Katy Upperman


Publisher: Swoon Reads


Pub. Date: July 31st, 2018



Synopsis:


The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.

When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.

But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.

Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?


Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of The Impossibility of Us through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

My Review 


            After reading Katy Upperman’s debut novel, Kissing Max Holden, last year I knew I had to get my hands on her next novel as soon as possible. I was such a huge, huge fan of Kissing Max Holden so my expectations were high, and Katy did not disappoint. The Impossibility of Us was such a wonderful, emotional read, and it was so much better than I expected. I didn’t expect this book to make me cry, but I was crying buckets by the end. Upperman does a fantastic job of making the reader feel so many things all at once, and I can truly say this is a story I won’t soon forget.

            The characters were probably my favorite part of this novel. Elise was so relatable and headstrong and Mati was so sweet and strong–their relationship is so adorable!!! I loved how the story was told from both of their perspectives–Mati’s being more poetic and Elise’s being written in prose. It really added an extra element of creativity to the story that I haven’t seen before. I thought Upperman did an amazing job at addressing Islamophobia by making Mati Afghan and showing how terribly people, including Elise’s mother, treat him. I especially enjoyed the moments when Mati taught Elise about his culture–I found those moments to be so precious.

            Overall I think Katy did an incredible job with The Impossibility of Us. It touches on topics I don’t think I’ve ever read about in YA novels in such a fantastic way. In conclusion I give the Impossibility of Us four out of five stars for being a heart wrenching, emotional read that’ll be sure to have everyone crying. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but especially to fans of contemporary romance. Katy Upperman is a fantastic author, and I truly can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

             

If you would like to order The Impossibility of Us

Book Depository

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The Supervillain and Me – Book Review

The Supervillain and Me

By Danielle Banas

Details:


Title: The Supervillain and Me


Author: Danielle Banas


Publisher: Swoon Reads


Pub. Date: July 10th, 2018



Synopsis:


Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.


Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of The Supervillain and Me through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

My Review:  


            As soon as I saw The Supervillain and Me on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. I’m a die hard superhero fan and a die hard YA fan, so the combination of the two was practically screaming my name. I started reading it the minute I was approved…and finished it two hours later. I can already tell you that Danielle Banas is going to become one of my insta buy authors–her writing style has to be one of my favorite that I’ve read in a while, and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

            This story is so freaking funny and cute!!!! Banas does a fantastic job of pulling the reader in with her fun and easy to follow writing style, and I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. Overall, I thought the story was perfectly paced with no dull moments, and I just couldn’t put it down. The one complaint I have is that, although I enjoyed the story, it was somewhat cheesy and cliche. The cheesiness didn’t bother me at all because that’s to be expected with anything involving superheroes, but I was able to figure out one of the big reveals of the story very early on. Even though I found the plot to be a bit predictable during certain parts, it didn’t do too much to diminish my enjoyment of the story. I also wish we got a little bit more background on Morriston and why it’s so crime ridden when other cities don’t seem to have that big of a crime problem. Overall, I thought the story was super fun and action packed, and I really enjoyed it.

            The characters were probably my favorite part of The Supervillain and Me, and I could tell that Banas had spent a lot of time creating each and every one of them. Abby was a wonderful main character, and an absolute theatre nerd. She had so many wonderful lines that had me in stitches, and her romance with the Iron Phantom was absolutely swoon worthy. The Iron Phantom himself was a fun character as well, and I enjoyed getting to know both of his personas. Each of Abby and the Iron Phantom’s interactions in Abby’s bedroom were some of my favorite scenes of the entire book. The other supers we get to meet in the book, Red Comet, Abby’s older brother, and Fish Boy, were both really fun as well. I loved getting to know each of  their back stories and see both of them in action. Sarah, Abby’s best friend, might’ve stolen the show for me because she reminds me so much of some of my friends who have One Direction shrines as opposed to Red Comet shrines. I love the description of  her car as well as her reaction when she discovers Red Comet’s true identity. As one of my teachers one said, a good plot is only possible through good characters, and the plot of The Supervillain and Me is truly driven by the wonderful character development done by Banas.

In conclusion, I give The Supervillain and Me four out of five stars for being a funny, cute, entertaining story that’s perfect for the summer time. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys super heroes and  cute teen romance stories. 

              

If you would like to order The Supervillain and Me

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

SkyintheDeep Blog Tour.png

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:

Sky in the Deep_cover image

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

Final_Young, Adrienne_NO CREDIT

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:

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Snow City – Book Review

Snow City

By G.A. Kathryns

Details:


Title: Snow City


Author: G.A. Kathryns


Publisher: Sycamore Sky Books


Pub. Date: February 7th, 2017



Synopsis:


Her name is Echo Japonica, and she lives in Snow City. But she was not always Echo, and she did not always live in Snow City. Somewhere else, she was someone else, and it was to Snow City that she fled in order to escape a place and a self that had at last become intolerable.

For Snow City is a dream — Echo’s dream — of a better place, an idealized place, a place of both anonymity and fulfillment. It is, for Echo, a haven of peace, a refuge, a sanctuary.
But Snow City remains, nonetheless, a dream, and dreams, being such fragile things, can so easily shade into nightmare…


Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of Snow City in exchange for my honest review.

 

My Review:  


            Upon reading the summary for Snow City by G.A. Kathryns, I was instantly intrigued. I really love magical realism when it’s done right, like The Night Circus or A Monster Calls, so I went in to Snow City with high expectations. However, it turned out to not be what I was expecting.

            This story is weird, let me get that out of the way right now, and I often found myself unsure as to where the story was going. It wasn’t that the plot was bad–it was just very slow paced. It took me longer to finish this book than normal because I often had to put it down after every chapter or two to take a break before I continued on. Aside from the pacing, I did actually find the plot to be very interesting. Out main character, Echo, creates Snow City to be a sanctuary from the horrible real world. One day she meets this girls, Charity, who actually turns out to be a ghost. Echo doesn’t like the way people treat Charity, so she takes her in, and, in doing so, she starts to notice that the utopia of Snow City isn’t all she thought it was. This book made me constantly question what is real, and that’s something I found I quite enjoyed.

            Kathryns’ poetic, elegant writing style really added to the book as a whole. It was very beautiful, and almost Jane Austen-esq. I found myself reading the story with a very British accent in my head at times. Every description was enchanting, and it really helped to emerge me into the world of Snow City. Although I found the writing style so beautiful, there were some instances where sentences felt as if they were dragged out for the sole purpose of making them poetic, and that just made the point of the sentence get lost in the delivery. Overall, I thought the writing was fantastic, and I’d love to read something in this style again.

            Finally, let’s talk about the characters. It took me a while to warm up the the main character, Echo, but that might’ve had more to do with the pacing rather than the actual characterization. I kind of felt like the author was trying a little too hard to make her come off as odd and quirky, but as the book progressed that feeling went away. I think Charity actually ended up being my favorite character from the novel. Kathryns writes her to be extremely brave and generous, and I love the mother-daughter like bond formed between Charity and Echo. This is a story truly built around the characters.

In conclusion, I give Snow City by G.A. Kathryns three and a half out of five stars. It’s a truly weird, unique book, and that’s something you need to be ok with if you decide to pick it up. I recommend it to fans of magical realism, and I hope that you enjoy it if you decide to read it!

If you would like to purchase Snow City

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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

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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

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Sky in the Deep – Spoiler Free ARC Review

Sky in the Deep

By Adrienne Young

 

Details:

Title: Sky in the Deep


Author: Adrienne Young


Date of Publication: April 24th, 2018


Publisher: Wednesday Books

 

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of Sky in the Deep in exchange for my honest feedback.

Summary:

            Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, 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 if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family. (Goodreads Summary)

 

My Review 

           As a massive fan of the Vikings TV show as well as the history of the vikings in general, I was looking forward to Sky in the Deep from the moment I read its description on Goodreads, and I did not leave this book disappointed. I managed to finish it in one sitting, and am already dying to get my hands on Young’s next novel.

            I don’t often get to read YA historical fiction/fantasy stories, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Sky in the Deep.  Young manages to build a lush, wonderful world while following what we know of the vikings from history. The story itself had me hooked in from the very first moment with an epic battle scene to start the story off. While reading it, each chapter seems to flow into the next, leaving you wanting more until you reach the very end. It’s both brutal and violent, while also managing to be a touching story about family and loyalty. I especially love the description Young includes in her fighting scenes; she never holds anything back and allows for there to be blood and gore. I don’t want to say too much about the plot in fear of spoiling it, but Young does a fantastic job in pacing her story so it doesn’t feel rushed, letting things occur naturally. Sky in the Deep is truly an incredible Viking inspired story that will not only make your pulse race with adrenaline, but also cause you to appreciate those you have in your life.

            A badass story has to have some badass characters, and Young certainly delivers in that category. Our main character, Eelyn, is a piece of work and I absolutely love her. She is a fierce warrior who loves ferociously, and will do anything to protect those she loves. I loved how we got to see her develop throughout the story from an Aska who hates the Riki with every fiber of her being, to living and fighting amongst them. Fiske, her love interest, is the strong, silent type. He and Eelyn don’t start off on the right foot, but we see them grow together, bringing out the best in one another. Young did a fantastic job in not letting the romance take over the story. Instead, the romance sneaks up on you when you least expect it, and actually adds to the story as a whole. Aside from the two main characters, there are also several other well written characters with tons of personality such as Inge, Halvard, Runa, Iri, Myra, and so many more! I can’t discuss everything I loved about every single one of them without spoiling things–or making this review about five thousand pages long–but I feel I need to mention how Young doesn’t skip out on the character development of any of the side characters as well. I’ve truly finished this book with several new favorite characters who will stay with me for years to come.

                In conclusion, I give Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young four and a half out of five stars for being an exciting, action packed piece of YA historical fiction, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new book to read–but especially to anyone who enjoys the history of the vikings. I can’t wait to see what else Adrienne Young comes out with in the future.

If you would like to purchase Sky in the Deep

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Amazon

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