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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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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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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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A Promise of Fire: Review

A Promise of Fire: Review

This is such a frustrating review to write. The story doesn’t have bad bones. The writing and plot are fine, and might well have been very enjoyable. There’s considerable action and adventure. But there were two major obstacles that prevented me from enjoying this (and they’re big ones). I couldn’t stand the main character, and I I did not at all care for the romance. Not liking the romance is going to be an instant downer in a book that is explicitly a fantasy romance. Cat is a young circus performer on the run from her abusive past. Cat makes her way in the world as a soothsayer, but her real “gift” is the ability to tell truth from lies. Anytime someone tells a lie in her presence Cat feels a searing pain. Considering the prevalence of lies in daily human interactions she spends the book in much less pain… Read more »

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Lucky Few: Review

Lucky Few: Review

It’s interesting that the blurb for this book compares it to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. While I can see some common threads of interest (namely the contemplation of mortality), this is a very different book. First, no one in this story is actually dying. Next, the dynamics of relationships between the characters, the nature of their revelations, and the overall tone of the story is wholly different. Lucky Few is a funny contemporary that examines relationships, growing up, and the very nature of change through a sweetly morbid lens. The story is eminently readable. From the first page it flows with self deprecating humor and charm. The chemistry and interaction between the three main characters feels natural and adds a rhythm to the story that is noticeable for its absence when the characters are apart. Stevie is wry and judgmental, but with a good nature and easy… Read more »

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Steeplejack: Review

Steeplejack: Review

It’s interesting to ponder what qualifies as a fantasy and what exactly makes that so. You can have fantasy that takes place in whole other realms replete with magic and magical creatures. You can have fantasy that places in our very own world, but with elements of the wondrous. Then you have works like Steeplejack, in which there is no magic (or none yet presented) but the world it takes place in is not our own, and so it is a fantasy work. It just occurred to me while reading how interesting the many varietals of fantasy works are.  This is a book that reads very much like a historical crime novel that takes place in 19th century South Africa. But it is not 19th century South Africa, only a land in an unknown world that has many echoes and similarities to it. Does this seem like a complaint? Not… Read more »

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