Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope [BLOG TOUR]

I’m so stoked to be a part of the blog tour organized by St. Martin’s Press and the author!

Song of Blood & Stone_cover image.jpgSummary: Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.
Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.
Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation. The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

Here is an excerpt from this book:

Jack had found himself in a great many hopeless situations in his life, but this one was the grand champion—a twenty­two­year rec­ord for dire occurrences. He only hoped this wouldn’t be the last occurrence and sent up yet another prayer that he might live to see his twenty­third year. The temperature had dropped precipitously. His spine was as­saulted by the rocky ground on which he lay, but really that was the least of his discomforts. His vision had begun to swim about an hour ago, and so at first he thought the girl looming above him was a mirage. She peered down at his hiding spot behind a cluster of coarse shrubbery, her
head cocked at an angle. Jack went to stand, years of breeding kick­ing in, his muscle memory offended at the idea of not standing in the presence of a lady, but apparently his muscles had forgotten the bullet currently lodged within them. And the girl was Lagrimari— not strictly a lady, but a woman nonetheless—and a beautiful one, he noticed as he squinted into the dying light. Wild, midnight curls floated carelessly around her head, and piercing dark eyes regarded him. Her dress was drab and tattered, but her smooth skin was a
confectioner’s delight. His stomach growled. When was the last time he’d eaten?
Her presence meant he was still on the Lagrimari side of the mountain range bordering the two lands and had yet to cross the other, more powerful barrier keeping him from his home of Elsira: the Mantle. The girl frowned down at him, taking in his bedraggled appear­ance. From his position lying on the ground, he tried his best to smooth his ripped uniform, the green fatigues of the Lagrimari
army. Her confusion was apparent. Jack was obviously Elsiran; aside from his skin tone, the ginger hair and golden honey­colored eyes were a dead giveaway. And yet he wore the uniform of his enemy.
“Please don’t be scared,” he said in Lagrimari. Her brows rose toward her hairline as she scanned his supine and bloodied body. Well, that was rather a ridiculous thing to say. “I only meant that I mean you no harm. I . . .” He struggled with how to explain him­self. There were two possibilities. She could be a nationalist who would turn him in to the squad of soldiers currently combing the mountain for him, perhaps to gain favor with the government, or she could be like so many Lagrimari citizens, beaten down by the war with no real loyalty to their dictator or his thugs. If she was the former, he was already dead, so he took a chance with the truth. “You see, I was undercover, spying from within the Lagrimari army. But now there are men looking for me, they’re not far, but . . .” He paused to take a breath; the effort of speaking was draining. He suspected he had several cracked or broken ribs in addition to the
gunshot wound. His vision swirled again, and the girl turned into two. Two beautiful girls. If these were his last moments before traveling to the World After, then at least he had something pleas­ant to look at. He blinked rapidly and took another strained breath. His mis­sion was not complete; he could not die yet. “Can you help me? Please. I’ve got to get back to Elsira.” She stole an anxious glance skyward before kneeling next to him. Her cool hand moved to his forehead. The simple touch was soothing, and a wave of tension rolled of him. “You must be delirious.” Her voice was rich, deeper than he’d expected. It eased the harsh consonants of the Lagrimari language, for the first time making it sound like something he could imagine being pleasant to listen to. She worked at the remaining buttons of his shirt, pulling the fabric apart to reveal his ruined chest. Her expression was appraising as she viewed the damage, then sat back on her haunches, pensive.
“It probably looks worse than it is,” he said.
“I doubt that.”
Jack’s chuckle sounded deranged to his own ears, so it was no surprise that the girl looked at him askance. He winced—laughing was a bad idea at this point—and struggled for breath again.“The soldiers . . . they’re after me. I have to get back through the Mantle.”
“Shh,” she said, peering closely at him. “Hush all that foolish­ness; you’re not in your right mind. Though I’ll admit, you speak Lagrimari surprisingly well. I’m not sure what happened to you, but you should save your strength.” She closed her eyes, and suddenly his whole body grew warmer, lighter. The odd sensation of Earthsong pulsated through him. He had only experienced it once before, and it hadn’t been quite like this. The touch of her magic stroked him intimately, like a brush of fingers across his skin. The soft vibration cascaded over his entire body, leaving him feeling weightless. He gasped, pulling in a breath, and it was very nearly an easy thing to accomplish. Tears pricked his eyes. “Sovereign bless you.” Her expression was grave as she dug around in her bag. “It’s just a patch. You must have ticked someone of real good. It’d take quite a while to fix you up properly, and the storm’s coming. You need to
find shelter.” She retrieved a jar filled with a sweet­smelling substance and
began spreading it over his wounds. The Earthsong had turned down the volume of his pain, and the cream soothed him even more.
“What is that?”
“Just a balm. Helps with burns, cuts.” Her hand paused for a moment. “Never gunshot wounds, but it’s worth a try.” He laid his head back on the ground, closing his eyes to savor the ability to breathe deeply again. “A quick rest and I’ll be back on my way. Need to keep moving, though. Need to get back.”
“Back through the Mantle?” Her tone vibrated with skepticism. “And away from the Lagrimari soldiers chasing you?”
“Yes.” Her palm met his forehead again. She thought he was delusional. He wished he was. Wished the last few weeks had been nothing but the imaginings of an impaired mind.

Be sure to check out this book – it is out today! If you like fantasy and clashing kingdoms, then this is a novel worth checking out!

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Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – The Shadow Game #1

This book has been making the rounds EVERYWHERE and I seriously cannot avoid it any longer. It is just far too intriguing and too many people have been raving about it for me to ignore it. So here I go!

30238163.jpgSummary (Goodreads): Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.


My Rating:     2 star

Review: So I really wanted to love this book but I didn’t. While there were some elements that I really liked, there were others that I found less than appealing.

I found the idea behind this book to be really unique and interesting. Granted, I have never read Six of Crows and everyone is saying that this book shares many similarities to it, but this had a very noir vibe to it and I loved having a very different fantasy setting than the usual kingdoms.

I only wish there had been better worldbuilding! I wanted to know more about the Mizers and the way society came to be, but I either found that the author was too vague or just dumped all the information at one go. There was no smooth delivery of information and the story suffered for it; when I wanted more information, I didn’t get it and when I didn’t need the information, I got it. It also meant that the amount of information was too much to process, so I would forget details and wonder why certain things worked in a certain way in the book.

Initially, I really liked Enne and Levi. I thought they were both very unique characters. However, that opinion didn’t really stick for too long. As the story progressed, I didn’t really see how these two characters were supposed to connect when they kept doing their own thing. Each of them was handling their own separate crises that were connected through only the thinnest of plot lines. Enne was handling her issues quite well on her own, which is something I really liked because most novels make the heroine incapable of doing anything on her own. But then this meant that Levi was really not too necessary. There were all of these mentions of what Enne and Levi are supposed to be but I never actually saw any behaviour that matched it.

I also really didn’t like the romance. At first, I enjoyed the way Enne and Levi interacted with each other. However, the feelings of romance and attraction between them were too far-fetched for me. I just couldn’t understand how their emotions for each other were so deep so soon.

Overall, I thought this novel had a really unique premise but I didn’t think the execution was up to the mark. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

Happy reading ~

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I was super excited for this novel because it sounded like such an amazingly dark retelling of The Little Mermaid. I’ve always loved this classic tale and I have been hearing raving reviews so I knew I had to give it a go! Here is my review:

34499221Summary (Goodreads): Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


My Rating:  5 star

Review: I cannot praise this novel enough: this was definitely a book worth reading! Everything in this novel was absolutely perfect and I don’t have a single complaint.

The tale is told in alternating voices, one being Lira’s and the other being Elian’s. They are both wonderfully drawn-up characters with so much complexity that it becomes very easy for the reader to connect with them. I love that they both grow and change as the novel continues and their interactions with each other were spectacular. Clearly, they are going to be each other’s love interest so I knew I was going to get romance. But let me tell you, the romance angle is done so very well here! There are no pesky love triangles, no unnecessary drama. Their feelings develop in such a natural and unique way, and I absolutely loved it. I was rooting for them from the beginning!

The writing was just beautiful. The author had some amazing worldbuilding and there was so much attention to detail! Every kingdom had its unique feature and the author made it all memorable with her beautiful descriptions. As I was reading, I could picture everything in my head and it just came alive.

This really was the Little Mermaid reimagined. It started off dark and stayed that way throughout. I could definitely make out the elements that were similar to the classic tale I love but so much of it was made unique that it felt like I was reading a completely different story. Balancing the classic element with the infusion of new components is a tough feat – but the author nailed it.

Clearly, I loved this novel. It is an amazing story with wonderful worldbuilding and memorable characters. If you like retellings or if you like fantasy or stories with pirates and mermaids and sirens and dark elements, then you have GOT to check this book out! I’m giving it a 5/5 stars!

Happy reading ~

Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth [BLOG TOUR + REVIEW]

Welcome to my stop on this awesome blog tour for Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth!

Secondhand Origin Stories coverBOOK INFORMATION

Title: Secondhand Origin Stories
Author: Lee Blauersouth
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Publication date: 15 March 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

Book links:
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33834837-secondhand-origin-stories
Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/dp/197839781X/


Review: This was quite an enjoyable superhero novel! If you like anything to do with superheroes, then this is worth checking out!

I really liked how much diversity is in this story. I usually don’t point this out when I’m reading a book but I thought the author did a spectacular job incorporating it into the story. It added so many more dimensions to the characters.

I also really liked how character-driven this novel was. I’m a sucker for good character development, and this book definitely delivered on that front! All of the characters changed as the story progressed, and I loved that they were able to self-reflect and grow as individuals. Also…. SUPERHEROES! I loved that this novel featured them in such a unique way. It was great to view them as more than just saviours, but as humans, too.

As I had mentioned, this is a character-driven story. This means that the plot moves quite slowly. This was the only drawback to the novel; I wanted it to be a bit more fast-paced. However, I was willing to forgo that since the story had such amazing themes and characters in it.

I had so much fun reading this novel and exploring the multitude of issues it brings to the surface with the diverse cast of characters! For those reasons, I’m giving it a solid 3/5 stars!


Be sure to check out all of the other amazing blogs on this tour!

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

23 April (Monday)

24 April (Tuesday)

25 April (Wednesday)

26 April (Thursday)

27 April (Friday)

 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

I received this novel as an advance copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I’m going to start with a confession: when I heard about this book I was nervous that it was going to be just hype and not live up to my expectations. NEVER HAVE I BEEN SO HAPPY TO BE WRONG!

35297394Summary (Goodreads): Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


Review: This is hands-down one of my favourite books I’ve read this month.

At first, I was a little confused as to where the story was going to go. The writing style was very elegant but the events seemed a little too teenager-y for my taste. I was worried I wouldn’t like this book….

AND THEN IT ALL CHANGED.

The ghostliness of the story became the forefront and it was just amazing. I loved the atmosphere of this novel, with its haunting imagery and creepy scenes. It delivered on so many fronts. Every chapter began with a small section about the 3 sisters who were responsible for the curse on the island and these excerpts were so intriguing! The entire reading experience was just fantastic.

Even though I had already predicted the biggest twist in the story, I found myself enjoying the story so much that I didn’t care. I didn’t need for there to be that massive surprise when the quality of the storytelling was just so good!

I also quite liked the interactions between the different characters. I didn’t think I would since I’m not a big fan of romance, but it was done very nicely here, and I was able to really connect with the characters. Needless to say, I was pretty emotional when I got to the ending – but that’s when you know you’ve read something amazing!

I honestly cannot say enough about this book because I just loved every minute of it. If you like romance and ghostly encounters and witches and amazing writing, then check out this book! I’m giving it 5/5 stars!

Happy reading ~

Happily by Chauncey Rogers [BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY]

No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin. Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.

Happily Book Cover - RecommendedTitle: Happily
Author: Chauncey Rogers
Pages: 299
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: YA (MG-friendly) Fantasy/Fairy-Tale Retelling
Links: 

Summary (Goodreads): If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, make it.

Laure is a teenage street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests, if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.


Review: This novel was a really fun read!

I am such a huge fan of retellings, so I definitely couldn’t pass up on this book! But this is such a unique look at the tale of Cinderella – because it isn’t really about Cinderella at all!

I really loved Laure. She was an absolutely fantastic protagonist. Grumpy, rude, and smart – those are just some of her characteristics. I love that she breaks the mold of the typical female protagonists. She’s not the most likable with her gruffness but that is exactly what made me love her! The story is told entirely from her perspective and it is seriously entertaining! At first, I thought it was a little bit unusual that the story takes place in a medieval setting but everyone speaks in a modern way, but I soon stopped noticing because there was just so much going on!

I loved all of the different avenues that the plot took. There was a logical progression of ideas and events, which made me really happy because this doesn’t always happen. I could understand why the characters did what they did because their personalities were so well-formed and it just made rational sense!

I only wish the story had been longer. There were times when I felt the development of certain motives and interactions between characters lacked a little depth, and this could be easily taken care of by extending the story and working those areas a little more. This was something I felt rather keenly about the ending, which was a bit rushed. If it had had more time to set itself up, with some more clues, it would have rounded off the story in a more satisfactory manner.

All in all, this was a really awesome book and I loved being a part of Laure’s adventure! If you like fairytale retellings that are unique, I would highly recommend checking this one out! Solid 4/5 stars from me!

And now, it’s time for the giveaway!

From April 14 to the 15th, the ebook for Happily will be free on Amazon! If you are interested in giving this book a shot (and I hope you are!), click on the link below to access your free copy:

Happy reading ~

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith – Children of Icarus #1

I actually received an eARC for Children of Daedala and was going to start reading it … when I found out that it was book 2 in a series. Now, I checked reviews and it seemed like everyone was saying it was imperative to read book 1 or else book 2 would make no sense. So … I searched and searched for Children of Icarus and finally managed to procure a copy. Here is my review of this book:

29065483Summary (Goodreads): It is Clara who is desperate to enter the labyrinth and it is Clara who is bright, strong, and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It is no surprise when she is chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end.


Review: I honestly don’t even know where to start with my review for this book.

One of the things that I noticed right away when I received my copy of this book – and this is quite unusual for me to comment about – is that the cover and page quality is really really nice. The cover illustration is very dark but when you remove the dust cover, the same image is underneath and it has a very nice finish to it. I also loved the paper quality; it was thick and glossy and I felt really happy flipping the pages. Yes, I know, this is a weird way to start my review but I really couldn’t get over how awesome the book printing was … but now, let me get into the content itself.

Our protagonist in this story has no name. It is never mentioned. I actually really like this because it is an idea I myself had for a story that I wanted to write. The author overcomes the difficulty of having to reference a character with no name by telling the story in the first person narrative, which is quite smart since most readers also want to get to know the way the MC thinks and feels and this way you get two birds with one stone.

I really liked the idea of introducing mythological creatures to the story. I just wish there was more to them. There was also a maze runner vibe, what with the setting taking place in a labyrinth, which I really quite liked.

However, I didn’t like the story or the main character … or any of the characters, for that matter.

Let’s start with the story: nothing happens. Our protagonist, after surviving a harrowing attack, finds herself in the company of other survivors. And then nothing happens. All we read about is her observations of others and how daily life is among the survivors. Even when the story takes a turn towards something more interesting, it becomes bland as well. Literally, the ending is the most exciting part of the story, and the use of the word exciting is a bit of a stretch; I read it and felt absolutely nothing. I think my problem with the story is that I was expecting it to be heavily infused with mythology and for there to be tons of action. However, there really wasn’t much of that. I also think that the story had a lot of gore and violence to it, and a lot of it was unnecessary and quite sickening. And when I mean sickening, I’m referring to the behaviour of the characters.

Which brings me to the characters. Now, I really didn’t like the protagonist, and I found myself feeling both pity and anger towards her. She has no spine, no bravery, no strength whatsoever. She just sits there and lets things happen to her. On the one hand, I’m always saying that I want realistic character portrayal; if I were in her shoes, I would probably also be petrified and unable to do anything. But nobody wants to read about a character like that. There is a reason that authors write stories with main characters that have personalities; they attract readers and make the story interesting. In this case, our protagonist is the most boring and cowardly character I have ever read about. Literally, almost all of the problems could have been avoided if she had just spoken one sentence. But she didn’t. However, she suffered way too much for just that one mistake.

This is where the story really made me upset. The behaviour of the other characters towards the protagonist made me sick. I found myself getting really worked up and unable to read at times. In the beginning, I was just annoyed with how rude a few of the characters were towards our MC … but after the truth is revealed, I was just shocked at the way things escalated. There was no need for it to become that brutal and it was seriously messed up. I was not okay with it. I have no idea how I managed to push through that part of the book, and I’m glad it didn’t come up again. Consider this a warning about the seriously intense violence and brutality that the characters exhibit against each other. 

All in all, I was not very pleased with the book. I didn’t think the story was nearly as interesting as it could be and I hated all of the characters. To top it off, the scenes of cruelty and violence left me feeling very disturbed. I’m giving this a 1.5/5 stars. Since I went through all of the effort to get a copy of this book and read it just to read the sequel, I will be reading Children of Daedala. Let’s hope the story improves from here on out.

Happy reading ~

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton [eARC review]

I received this novel as an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited to read this book, with its magick and witches. I’m always on the lookout for stories about the supernatural and the occult. Here is my review:

Summary (Goodreads): When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it.


Review: This book had a lot of ups and downs for me. I’m still unsure about if I liked this book or not, but hopefully I can work through my feelings in this book! TW: There are many instances of self-harm that are mentioned in this book so please be aware!

The novel starts off narrating the story of Rona Blackburn in a textbook-sorta way. And I loved it. It was so quirky and set the tone for the serious nature of this story. It made me really excited for the way the story would unfold.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book didn’t hold as much promise.

The story is told entirely from Nor’s perspective. But Nor is really not that interesting. She has no real personality and the way things are narrated from her perspective is a little … boring. I wasn’t necessarily hoping for a quirky character but I wanted Nor to be unique. Instead, she easily morphs into the stereotypical quiet girl who likes a guy but doesn’t think she’s good for him for various reasons. It was a bit disappointing.

I also found the story to be quite confusing at times. There are a lot of characters and names thrown in and it isn’t always explained right away who they are and what their role is, which made it really difficult to keep things straight. When you eventually do find out how everyone is related, it makes a lot of sense but getting to that point is challenging.

There were also way too many areas where the plot wasn’t developed enough for my liking. Half of the problems occurred because Nor didn’t say anything to anyone. While this is a common trope to see in many novels, not just YA fiction, in the case of this story, I felt that Nor telling people what was happening to her would have actually upped the ante and led to more action-packed events. Instead, the book just moves slowly until the final climactic scene at the end.

The ending was actually my favourite part. There was the action and the strength that I wanted to see. However, the slow burn to get to this point just wasn’t worth it for me. I also didn’t like how the author tried to do a love triangle thing; it is one of my pet peeves and it really wasn’t necessary here. I did like the epilogue that was put in, as it gives the story future directions.

In the end, this wasn’t my favourite read of the month. It had a really dragging plot and a character that lacked personality. However, the ending was quite strong and the epilogue piqued my interest. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2.5/5 stars, rounded to 3!

Happy reading ~

 

School for Psychics by K. C. Archer

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I didn’t know what I was expecting with this book. It sounded like a fun read and I wanted to see where the story would go. Also, I really like psychics. I’ve always wanted to go to one and see what it’s like to have someone do a reading, but I’ve never been able to. I thought this book would be enough to stave off my eagerness to meet a psychic! Here is my review:

35297405Summary (Goodreads): Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.


Review: This book definitely was not what I expected.

This was a story that I had thought was more geared towards new adults, considering that the main character is in her 20s. But it became quite clear that this novel is staying firmly in the YA genre. This was a bit of a problem for me because I was excited for an adult character who is realizing that she has something special going on with her. Instead, the voice and behaviour of the MC and the other characters in the story were more juvenile, and leaned towards the YA crowd. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I felt cheated out of a new experience.

My other major problem with this book is that it is pretty much like every other teen fiction novel out there. You have an MC who is special and she goes to a special school with other special people. As she learns to use her special powers/skills, she discovers that there is a secret – and she decides to uncover it. There wasn’t much to this book that I haven’t seen before. We have the characters going to classes, taking tests, becoming friends, flirting. Even the decisions that they take are predictable.

Now, this isn’t a bad novel by any means. If it had been clear that this novel was for a YA audience, I probably would have enjoyed it more. This novel had a very interesting premise what with the use of psychics in the government. However, this wasn’t explored as much as I would have liked and it lacked originality. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

Happy reading ~

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

I received this novel as an advance copy from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

This was one of those books that I was super excited to read. I love anything to do with magic or the supernatural and this novel seemed right up my alley. This book was released in February but I only got to it this month because I am struggling to get through the backlog of egalleys that I have … but at least I finally read it! Here is my review:

35216519Summary (Goodreads): Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.


Review: This novel was not what I was expecting – and I don’t mean this in a good way. Unfortunately, this story just did not work for me.

From the very beginning, I struggled to understand what was going on in the story. I don’t know much about Celtic mythology and know almost nothing about Irish folklore so it was hard for me to just jump right into this story and roll with the punches. I kept hoping that the worldbuilding/explanations would come along, but they weren’t nearly sufficient enough for me to get into the plot.

I also struggled with the writing style in that it felt like the story jumped all over the place. There were random insertions about memories from the past combined with some facts/background on the augurs and the judges, and then some other random event going on. It was hard to piece it all together because it wasn’t conveyed in a very coherent manner.

Even the plot didn’t work for me. I was expecting a story full of danger with creepy forests and hunts. Instead, this was a lot more modern with more of a focus on Wren’s emotional turmoil and budding romantic feelings, neither of which were mentioned in the blurb. I struggled to get through most of the novel, and it was only in the last 100 pages that I actually felt interested in the story (but it was still confusing trying to figure out the significance of everything).

In short, this book let me down. I feel like I would have enjoyed this story a whole lot more if things were better developed and explained, and if the plot had stayed true to the blurb rather than veer off-course into a romance. For those reasons, I’m going to be giving this a 1/5 stars.

Happy reading ~