Publisher: Harper Collins

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The Queen of Blood: Review

The Queen of Blood: Review

The Queen of Blood is the sort of quiet, more subdued fantasy that mostly feels dreamy and innocent. And then Sarah Beth Durst will turn right back around and remind you at various points that this story has quite the emotional barb. The story of young Daleina, training to be a potential successor to the queen of Aratay, is one in which you will find many of the more common fantasy tropes, but also many subverted. And it’s such an endearing story, and well done in the telling, that I found I didn’t much mind how much of the book follows well worn fantasy paths. Daleina’s world is one full of bloodthirsty spirits. There are spirits for each of the four elements, as well as tree spirits. These pernicious inhabitants barely tolerate the existence of humans; their blood thirst is only ever barely sated. The one force keeping the spirits from… Read more »

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Carve the Mark: review

Carve the Mark: review

This post is sponsored by HarperCollins. This does not affect the content of the review. Are you ready for this? It’s Veronica Roth’s new book! After bursting on the scene with Divergent, the author experienced meteoric success with her trilogy, which also resulted into some pretty enjoyable films. It’s been 3 years since Allegiant caused an avalanche of tears, so everyone is curious: does Carve the Mark live up to its predecessor? The short answer is: yes, if you enjoyed Divergent, you will enjoy this. For myself, I liked Carve the Mark overall, though I’m also left with some questions. Which is not unlike the experience I had with Divergent, for what it’s worth. Things I liked: — The powers are cool. To name a few: Cyra has Rogue-like powers (without that pesky “you can’t touch me” business), Akos can take pain from others, and another guy named Vas feels… Read more »

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Disruption: Review

Disruption: Review

  Finding gems in YA dystopian fiction is something that has sadly proven to be few and far between for me in discovery. But I am very happy to say that with Disruption I found the action-packed, tightly plotted, and well characterized sci-fi escape I’ve been yearning for. Add in a very swoon-worthy romance and the package is sealed. Disruption immediately envelops the reader in the near-future world of our main character, and anti-heroine, Maggie. Near-future DC is much like the present, and then much is not. Most notably, all citizens are fitted with a mandatory M-Band which is like a super advanced version of an Apple Watch. M-Bands have the capability to detect any person’s (in)compatibility  with any other via their pheromones. You may turn off your pheromone matching system if you prefer. However, it is also required that everyone over the age of 18 must rate with at… Read more »

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Three Dark Crowns: Review

Three Dark Crowns: Review

This is the dark, twisted tale of three sisters fair destined to destroy each other. Or rather, only two need die. One will emerge victorious. On the island of Fennbirn, when the queen gives birth it is always to triplet girls. Each new queen is either a poisoner, a naturalist, or an elementalist. The queen identifies which queen is which and then abdicates. The new queens are raised together until the age of 6, when they are claimed by their different factions and trained in their powers. In the year of their 16th birthday, the Ascension year, the queens will each put their powers on public display and then proceed to attempt to murder each other. They have one year to accomplish their tasks. The last queen standing wins. Of the three sisters, we spend the most time with Arsinoe, the naturalist. The naturalists live in a seaside town that evokes a humble,… Read more »

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Flamecaster: Review

Flamecaster: Review

Some things Flamecaster contains: spies, blood-drinking assassin priests(!!!), magic, dragons(!!!!!), intrigue, deception, and heartbreak. Oh, that heartbreak. It’s interesting both that the author chose to return to the same world as a previous series, and also was not at all afraid to wreck some heavy damage in the lives of previously established and beloved characters. Things have not been happy for Raisa and Han in recent times. Their eldest child, and heir to the throne, was killed in combat not too long before the start of the book. You wander along thinking, “Yes, this is pretty bad.” And then it gets worse: Yes, she goes there. But I admire this for the boldness of it, if nothing else. And also, When I saw the first synopsis for this book, and its heavy mention of Adrian sul’Han, I must admit I was worried! One of the things I enjoyed so much… Read more »

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Girl Against the Universe: Why Anxiety Doesn’t Make Us Weak + international giveaway

Girl Against the Universe: Why Anxiety Doesn’t Make Us Weak + international giveaway

This is where I would usually write an introduction about why you should check out Paula Stokes’ new book Girl Against the Universe, but honestly, her guest post does a brilliant job of that already! It’s a contemporary YA novel about a girl named Maguire who feels guilty for surviving a bad accident and has started to believe she might be the cause of anything bad that happens around her, and it’s a story that’s strong on friendships, parent/teen relationships, positive therapy experiences, and more. I think many readers can relate to being introverts, or feeling nervous in social situations, so I’m honored to have Paula here to talk about how fear can manifest in an anxiety like Maguire’s. She’s also generously offering up an autographed hardcover to our readers, so stick around for the giveaway at the end. Why Anxiety Does Not Make Us Weak by Paula Stokes I… Read more »

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The Girl from Everywhere: Review

The Girl from Everywhere: Review

Well, this is frustrating. There are times when you read a book and you feel like it’s not the book, it’s you. This is one of those times. There is so much contained in this story that I should love. We have time travel, pirates, romance (well, ha, we’ll get to that shortly), and diversity! But The Girl from Everywhere was a book I struggled to connect with from the beginning, and unfortunately, failed to connect with overall. The premise is very interesting. We have a girl born in Hawaii in 1868, but who has grown up on a tall ship literally throughout time and place on this Earth. Her father is from modern NYC, so Nix is equally at home on her smartphone in 2016 as she is traversing to 19th century India. Nix finds herself on this ship thanks to her father, the captain. Her mother having died… Read more »

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