Book Review

Book Review | A BLADE SO BLACK, by L. L. McKinney

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A Blade So Black, by L. L. McKinney

Publish Date: September 25, 2018
Published by: Imprint
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.


My Review:

When I first started this book I really enjoyed it. It pulled me in quickly and held my interest throughout the story. The writing is excellent, the storytelling very well done, and the characters were very lifelike and distinct. It had a bit of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe which I digged a lot, and the action and intrigue kept me captivated throughout. My only issue, though, was that by the end it started to feel like things were getting dragged out, and with so many new issues occurring and adding up on top of each other, it felt like the plot would never end.  Continue reading “Book Review | A BLADE SO BLACK, by L. L. McKinney”

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Book Review

Book Review | TWICE DEAD, by Caitlin Seal

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Twice Dead (The Necromancer’s Song #1), by Caitlin Seal

Publish Date: September 18, 2018
Published by: Charlesbridge Teen
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through NetGalley and as an ARC at BookCon 2018, in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue. 

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.


My Review:

I really wanted to like this book. From the minute I saw the title, the cover, and read the synopsis, I was eager to read it. A book about necromancy told by the perspective of one who has been brought back from the dead? I thought it sounded interesting and unique. And while it was both of those, the world-building unfortunately was so confusing at times that it sadly ruined the whole story for me. Continue reading “Book Review | TWICE DEAD, by Caitlin Seal”

Book Review

Book Review | A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE, by Sangu Mandanna

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A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1), by Sangu Mandanna

Publish Date: September 11, 2018
Published by: Sky Pony Press
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received an egalley of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back. 

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali. 

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart. 

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.


My Review:

On picking this up, I was immediately immersed and interested in the world Sangu Mandanna has created. With a wonderful mixture of both sci-fi and mythological magic, this book was an engaging and enticing read. It has intrigue and action, emotional struggles and political schemes, and an interesting cast of characters. There were some issues I had with it (mainly the romance which, honestly, did absolutely nothing for the plot and really could have been done without), but for the most part these could easily be overlooked for the rest of the quite enjoyable story. Continue reading “Book Review | A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE, by Sangu Mandanna”

Book Review

Book Review | THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE, by Lauren James

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universeby Lauren James

Publish Date: July 3, 2018
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)

**I received an egalley of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on the Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.

Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.

Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone….


My Review:

I really wanted to like this book. I thought when I read the summary that it was going to mostly be some bittersweet romance in space. But I was so wrong. I kind of glossed over that last bit at the end of the summary that was actually and BIG part of the story and I just…have mixed feelings about it. Continue reading “Book Review | THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE, by Lauren James”

Book Review

Book Review | MY PLAIN JANE, by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

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My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2), by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

Publish Date: June 26, 2018
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 464
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Retelling
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

**I received an egalley of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.


My Review:

To be thruthful, I wasn’t even sure I was actually going to be reading the egalley of this any time soon. I haven’t read My Lady Jane yet and I just read another Jane Eyre retelling last month, so I was afraid I wasn’t going to be interested in this one. But from the prologue onwards I was hooked. Continue reading “Book Review | MY PLAIN JANE, by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton”

Book Review

Book Review | LIFEL1K3, by Jay Kristoff

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LIFEL1K3 (LIFEL1K3 #1), by Jay Kristoff

Publish Date: May 29, 2018
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)

**I received an egalley of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.t.


My Review:

When I first heard about this book, I kneww I wanted to read it mainly because of Jay. I’ve loved everything else I read by him, so I had high hopes for this one as well. Sadly, I just don’t think it hit the same spot as his other books have done for me in the past. Continue reading “Book Review | LIFEL1K3, by Jay Kristoff”