Publisher: Simon Pulse

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Fate of Flames: Review

Fate of Flames: Review

Fate of Flames is a kick-ass, girl powered, diverse superhero novel. I know, what on Earth is not there to like?! In a world almost identical to our own, incredible monsters known as phantoms stalk the Earth killing indiscriminately and causing mass chaos. They can take any form from small to large, serpent to wolf. But all are terrifying and all are capable of inflicting massive damage. The world has managed to develop anti-phantom technologies that can keep entire cities safe. But there are also four Effigies, girls chosen by what force we do not know, and imbued with the power necessary to fight and destroy phantoms. There are only ever four Effigies at any time; when one dies, her replacement is called up. An Effigy could be any girl, and you’ll never know until it happens that you will become one. Such is the case with our heroine Maia… Read more »

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Blackhearts: Review

Blackhearts: Review

I was excited to read Nicole Castroman’s debut, Blackhearts, because I love historical fiction! I love historical fiction set in the 18th century! and Blackbeard! And, um, as a North Carolina resident, I went to the NC Maritime Museum this summer and saw artifacts from Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. If you are in or around Beaufort, NC, by the way, you too can do this thing. While I did not totally love Blackhearts, I am not sure that it’s the fault of the book? I went into Blackhearts wanting richly developed historical fiction with a little bit of romance on the side. What made Edward Teach into Blackbeard? Instead, the book is … a lot of romance. It’s primarily about Teach’s relationship with Anne Barrett, who is working, when they are first introduced, as a maid in Teach’s father’s home. Anne is the daughter of a white merchant and a… Read more »

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Willful Machines: Review

Willful Machines: Review

When I saw Kirkus describe this book as “Gothic, gadget-y, gay” I knew I needed it in my hands as soon as humanly possible. I am happy to say it is all of those wonderful things. And while I didn’t quite love it, I did really, really enjoy this book. There’s so much to like! Yes, there  are wonderfully complex characters, killer robots, and the sweetest M/M romance. The writing beautifully evokes the brooding boarding school setting. This is a near-future sci-fi thriller with a touch of the dystopian. 16 year-old Lee is the closeted son of an ultra-conservative president who is both fiercely anti-gay and anti-robot. It’s unfortunate then, that Lee has a penchant for tinkering with mechanicals, too. The Human Values platform was created in response to an attack by Charlotte, an AI gone rogue, in which  Lee’s mother was murdered. Ever since, Charlotte has been using her… Read more »

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