Book Review

Book Review | DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), by Laini Taylor

Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 418
Genre: YA Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


My Review:

To say this was a disappointment is a bit of an understatement. This is one of those books that everyone in the YA community seems to have read and loved. I’ve been anticipating reading this one for several years, and finally got around to it, only to find my expectations to be completely dashed to bits. Continue reading “Book Review | DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor”

Book Review

Book Review | SUPERNATURALLY, by Kiersten White

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Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2), by Kiersten White

Publish Date: June 1, 2011 (audiobook published July 26, 2011
Published by: HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Emily Eiden
Length: 8 hrs 12 min (336 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.


My Review: Continue reading “Book Review | SUPERNATURALLY, by Kiersten White”

Book Review

Book Review | PARANORMALCY, by Kiersten White

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Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1), by Kiersten White

Publish Date: August 31, 2010
Published by: HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Emily Eiden
Length: 8 hrs 35 min (335 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through supernatural glamours.

She’s also about to find out that she may be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.


My Review:

I listened to this as an audiobook and fell in love with Evie almost immediately. Probably right around the time she kicked a gremlin into someone’s arms and shouted “Goal!” Continue reading “Book Review | PARANORMALCY, by Kiersten White”

Book Review

Book Review | THE ARCHIVED, by Victoria Schwab

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The Archived (The Archived #1), by Victoria Schwab

Publish Date: January 22, 2013 (audiobook published March 30, 2019)
Published by: Hyperion/Tantor Audio
Audiobook Narrated by: Piper Goodeve
Length: 9 hrs 54 min (321 pages)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.


My Review:

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I’ve been struggling to find something that captured my attention as wonderfully as the Kerstin Gier audiobooks did (especially Dream a Little Dream and its sequels), and while I’ve enjoyed other audiobooks, none of them have kept me engaged as much until The Archived. Maybe it was the narrator who captured the emotion so very well (although she could have varied the voices of the characters a bit more to separate them from one another), or maybe it was Victoria who always manages to write a story that has me enchanted. Or maybe I just have a thing for other-worldly doors. Continue reading “Book Review | THE ARCHIVED, by Victoria Schwab”

Book Review

Book Review | ROAR, by Cora Carmack

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Roar (Stormheart #1), by Cora Carmack

Publish Date: June 13, 2017
Published by: Tor Teen
Length: 380 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


My Review:

Not going to lie, the cover was a real draw for me when it came to picking up this book. I was in the mood for a good high fantasy read, and I thought, “Magic and storms? Why not?” I was instantly drawn into the world of Caelira, where storms rampage sentiently, and only a certain handful of people can control them. It turned out to be a really enjoyable read, despite some qualms here and there about relationship situations and how certain plot devices were added into the storyline.  Continue reading “Book Review | ROAR, by Cora Carmack”

Book Review

Book Review | BONE CRIER’S MOON, by Kathryn Purdie

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Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1), by Kathryn Purdie

Publish Date: March 10, 2020
Published by: HarperCollins/Katherin Tegen
Pages: 480
Genre: YA Fantasy
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:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.


My Review:

I know this book doesn’t come out for quite some time (March of 2020), but I was in a bit of a rut when it came to what I wanted to read next. I knew it wanted to be some sort of fantasy but I just wasn’t sure until I came across this on Edelweiss. What definitely got me was the bit about Ailesse having to kill her soulmate in order to become a Ferrier, only to be kidnapped by him instead, and everything inside me just went YES PLEASE. It sounded so interesting, and while the concept was really original and I thought the world-building was unique, I just feel like the writing style left a lot to be imagined and didn’t make for as magical a storytelling as this could have been.
Continue reading “Book Review | BONE CRIER’S MOON, by Kathryn Purdie”