Book Review

Book Review | GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE, by Natasha Ngan

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Girls of Paper and Fire, by Natasha Ngan

Publish Date: November 6, 2018
Published by: Jimmy Patterson Books
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.


My Review:

I really wanted to like this book. Going in, I was so excited for an Asian-inspired fantasy story about two girls falling in love while prisoners to a tyrannical King. It sounded inspiring and beautiful, and while there were moments of both, particularly in certain passages and quotes, I was just so utterly bored throughout the whole story that I can’t help but being disappointed in this book. The plot dragged, with characters that were only slightly interesting, and the twists were so predictable that I was completely unenthused even when the action started happening. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I made it past the halfway point and was not in the mood to start something new while I was in tech for a show, I would have DNF’ed this a lot sooner. But with all the positive reviews I just kept hoping it would get better, but it just never did for me. Continue reading “Book Review | GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE, by Natasha Ngan”

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Book Review

Book Review | NOT YOUR SIDEKICK, by C. B. Lee

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Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad #1), by C. B. Lee

Publish Date: September 8, 2016 (audiobook published 2018)
Published by: Duet Books (audiobook published by Tantor Audio)
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Pages: 283 (approx. 8 hrs)
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether


My Review:

I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite some time, so finding an audiobook of it on Hoopla was a wonderful discovery. I loved the whole concept of a daughter of superheroes finding a job with a villain, paired with a f/f romance that covers the trope of secret identities. And while it was everything I expected it to be and a little more, I still felt frustrated at times and not completely enthralled with the story. Continue reading “Book Review | NOT YOUR SIDEKICK, by C. B. Lee”

Book Review

Book Review | THE CONFECTIONER’S GUILD, by Claire Luana

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The Confectioner’s Guild (The Confectioner’s Chronicles #1), by Claire Luana

Publish Date: October 23, 2018
Published by: Live Edge Publishing
Pages: 395
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.

Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.


My Review:

On reading the premise of this book I was immediately intrigued. It sounded both magical and mysterious and I was in the mood for a little bit of both. The Confectioner’s Guild turned out to be a semi-sweet tale that had a lot of intrigue and intricate world-building, some really interesting characters, and a unique blend of magic that added just the right touch to the story. Continue reading “Book Review | THE CONFECTIONER’S GUILD, by Claire Luana”

Book Review

Book Review | THE DEVIL’S THIEF, by Lisa Maxwell

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The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2), by Lisa Maxwell

Publish Date: October 9, 2018
Published by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 704
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)

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


Synopsis:

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.

Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.


My Review:

I absolutely adored reading The Last Magician last year so of course this was going to be one of my most anticipated releases this year. I loved Maxwell’s world-building in this first one, and it continued to be just as great in this one, if a little more confusing with some new information, and of course the characters are definitely what kept me going. There were some flaws, though, and it did feel like it dragged a bit at times, but overall I was mostly content with it as a sequel. Continue reading “Book Review | THE DEVIL’S THIEF, by Lisa Maxwell”

Book Review

Book Review | EMERALD GREEN, by Kerstin Gier

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Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3), by Kerstin Gier

Publish Date: December 8, 2010 (audiobook recorded in October 8, 2013)
Published by: Macmillan Audio
Translated to English by: Anthea Bell
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Pages: 451 (approx. 12 3/4 hrs)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along. Emerald Green is the stunning conclusion to Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red Trilogy, picking up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.


My Review:

I had my fears that not everything was going to be able to be wrapped up in this book, because the first two had so much mystery that left me with so many questions, but thankfully it did. I wouldn’t have minded a fourth book, to be sure, but this one was just as fun to listent to as the others (and let me just say, the narrator Marisa Calin, is amazing with all of the different nuances she puts into the character voices). It was a very good conclusion to the trilogy, with intrigue that continued to keep me on the edge of my seat, and answers that were both expected and unknown. Continue reading “Book Review | EMERALD GREEN, by Kerstin Gier”

Book Review

Book Review | SAPPHIRE BLUE, by Kerstin Gier

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Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red Trilogy #2), by Kerstin Gier

Publish Date: January 5, 2010 (audiobook recorded in October 30, 2012)
Published by: Macmillan Audio
Translated to English by: Anthea Bell
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Pages: 357 (approx. 9 hrs.)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean. At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.


My Review:

This one was just as fun and exciting to listen to as the first one! I absolutely love Gwen’s narrative voice, the mysteries are starting to make sense, and the intrigue is still enticing me along. Continue reading “Book Review | SAPPHIRE BLUE, by Kerstin Gier”