Sea of Strangers (ARC) by Erica Cameron

Hi Bookworms! I have some really exciting news to share with you all – I will be participating in the Sea of Strangers Blog Tour, presented by Entangled Teen!  The Blog Tour runs from December 11 – 29 (M-F), and I will be hosting the tour stop on December 27, 2017!

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron, is the second book in an epic fantasy series titled the Ryogan Chronicals (you can find my review for Island of Exiles here), by Cameron, which will be released on December 5th, 2017. The Ryogan Chronicles is currently predicted to be a trilogy, so there’s at least one more book to look forward to in this fresh and exciting fantasy series (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Sea of Strangers from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review)!

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal. Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

Image result for sea of strangers erica cameron

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Empress by S.J. Kincaid

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it? 

Related image

Continue reading

Siege of Shadows (ARC) by Sarah Raughley

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughly from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Set to be released in North America on November 21, 2017, Siege of Shadows is the second book in Sarah Raughley’s Effigies series (which is a planned trilogy). Siege of Shadows follows up the lack luster performance of Fate of Flames (November 22, 2016). In this second installment, Maia and the other Effigies seek out the true origins of the Phantoms that terrorize their world, in what can only be described as a confusing and stunningly boring sequence of events.

There’s nowhere to hide. Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone. When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets. Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Image result for siege of shadows

Continue reading

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

“Conquer your fear, and you can conquer the world” – Jay Kristoff, Godsgrave (p.144).

Godsgrave is the second thrilling installment of the award-winning Nevernight Chronicle, from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff. Released in North America on September 5th, 2017, Godsgrave has already received a plethora of stellar reviews, with editorial reviewers raving about this original piece of literature, calling it “sexier, grittier, bloodier and fiercer” than its predecessor. And I have to agree – fans of Nevernight will adore this second installment, even as Kristoff effectively rips their hearts to pieces.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a ruthless assassin continues her quest for vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family. Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia’s suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow. When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Image result for godsgrave

Continue reading

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Released in North America on August 29th, 2017, the highly anticipated, entirely new coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo,  is the first of a series of DC Icons books, inspired by some of the most well-known DC Superheroes of all-time. This new series features megastar young adult authors Leigh Bardugo (Wonder Woman), Marie Lu (Batman), Sarah J. Maas (Catwoman), and Matt de la Peña (Superman).

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . . Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Image result for wonderwoman warbringer

Continue reading

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

In Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, a skilled human painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince. Filled to the brim with folklore and beautiful prose, An Enchantment of Ravens is a must read for fans of the genre – and especially those who love all things faeries!

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life. Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

AEOR

Continue reading

The Falling Kingdoms (Books 1-3) by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms is a fantasy book series for young adults by Morgan Rhodes.It follows the lives of four teenagers, Princess Cleo, Prince Magnus, Princess Lucia, and Jonas (the wine sellers son) as they, and others, navigate through increasingly dangerous political, personal and mythical situations. This review will focus on the first three books in the series – Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering Darkness. I will be reviewing the latter three books in a future review.

While I enjoyed Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering DarknessI am sad to say that overall,  I found them to be lacking. The character development felt quite forced and artificial, the relationships so “black and white”, so clear-cut that they too felt forcefully constructed, and the world-building was really just lacking – sometimes it was there, and other times Rhodes seemed to just forget about it.

Image result for morgan rhodes falling kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms (Book 1) 

“War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.”

Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen. The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything. Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making. Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

Falling Kingdoms was definitely an interesting book, but unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to love it, for several reasons. First off, this book is perhaps the best example of my earlier statement regarding character development feeling quite forced and artificial. In fact, it was less character development, and more a character suddenly morphing into a completely new person after one singular event – Jonas, Cleo and Magnus are all exemplary examples of this flaw. By comparison, Lucia’s character development felt much more holistic and natural, leaving me quite disappointed that she wasn’t featured very heavily in Falling Kingdoms.

Secondly, the world-building in this one was just all over the place – characters seemed to teleport from one location to another, and then other times travel took a more reasonable amount of time, leaving me quite confused about the actual size of Mytica.

Finally, and this is perhaps my biggest qualm with Falling Kingdoms, the writing simply felt childish. Often, the vocabulary used felt more suited to a middle grade novel than YA. Moreover, the plot development was similarly childish, building for far too long, with a disappointing climax and conclusion, leaving the reader feeling cheated. Overall, this was not a fantastic book, but I maintain high hopes for the rest of the series (2/5).

Image result for morgan rhodes falling kingdoms

Continue reading