eARC Review: Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire

middlegame seanan mcguire

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy

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I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I finished this book days ago, but I keep thinking about it. It definitely left an everlasting impression on me and I now need a physical copy on my shelf.

Middlegame is the story of two kids, Dodger and Roger. One day, when they’re both eight years old, they find out that they can communicate with each other without phones or actually being physically present – via quantum entanglement, they can speak to one another on the other side of the country and see what the others see. Almost – but not quite – feel what the other feels. Which, for Dodger, is the best thing that could have happened – she is a math genius, but otherwise hopeless when it comes to making friends, spelling and being normal. Roger is sweet tempered and has a love for language, finding in Dodger a great, daring friend. But they don’t know where they come from – they’re both born on the same day, have the same eyes, both are adopted… could they be twins? Could they be… not human at all? Continue reading

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Review: Daughter of the Burning City, by Amanda Foody

daughter of the burning city amanda foody

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, Murder Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

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Daughter of the Burning City is the story of Sorina, a girl who sees without eyes and has the power to create illusions a person can even touch and hear. Gomorrah, the wandering city she has lived in her whole life, is full of wonder, magic and danger. When a murderer starts killing her family, Sorina must find out who is behind this and why. To do that, she allies with Luca, the boy who cannot die, no matter how gruesome the attempts to his life. Is he trustworthy? Will she be able to keep her family safe? As impending war approaches, Sorina knows she must trade with care, but cannot help slowly coming to trust and befriend Luca. Continue reading

Review: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

black leopard red wolf marlon james

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fantasy

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In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, we meet Tracker in a jail cell as he recounts his life to the priest inquisitor. His exceptional nose and his wolf eye make him unforgettable (as well as his smart mouth), and he achieved fame for the case of a missing boy, which put the Tracker in an unlikely search with a group of people he wish he didn’t have to work with. After three years, it’s not possible that the boy is still alive, and yet, everyone believes he is. What importance could the boy have, and who is telling the truth?

What a book! The Red Wolf is such an interesting character and I was fascinated by him from page one. He’s so snarky, tough and unapologetic for who he is, and his complicated relationships throughout the book made for such a brilliant read. The writing is explosive, unflinching and yet there is something beautiful about it. It’s incredibly raw. It will be an uncomfortable read for lots of people, as it can get very crude and there is lots of violence and sex. This isn’t a book for everyone – I’d say, if you don’t like A Song of Ice and Fire or The Poppy War because of the violence and language, you will definitely dislike this book. Continue reading

Review: The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #1)

the gilded wolves roshani chokshi

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Historical Fiction

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The Gilded Wolves has created quite a stir in the YA reader community, giving off Six of Crows vibes with its lovable crew, heists and cool fantasy world. It’s Paris, 1889 and the air is full of tension and wish for revolution. Meet the characters:

Séverin, a rich hotelier who desperately wants his inheritance back.
Tristan, his brother, who loves all things living.
Laila, a dancer with a dark secret.
Zofia, an engineer with a debt to pay.
Enrique, a historian nerd with a desire to prove himself. Continue reading

eARC Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer

a curse so dark and lonely brigid kemmerer

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely is one of the most hyped books of this year in the YA fantasy community. When I started reading it, I was expecting the usual Beauty and Beast retelling, the girl falling in love in the end and then all problems are solved… but this was so much more than that.

This is the story of Harper, a girl from DC who’s constantly underestimated because of her cerebral palsy and has been dealing with a lot since her father left, leaving a lot of debt behind, and her mother got cancer. When she is kidnapped to the fantasy realm of Emberfall, she is sucked into the curse that has befallen the castle and its prince, Rhen. Every end of season, Rhen turns into a monster and goes on a killing spree. His family is dead and the castle has been empty except for him and his commander of guard for hundreds of seasons – and Harper is his last chance to break the curse. But that might not be enough… Continue reading

eARC Review: Guardian of the Auras, by Victoria Moschou

Guardian of the Auras victoria moschou

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

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I have received this book through the author in exchange for an honest review.

Victoria Moshou from Victorious Pages was kind enough to send me her debut, the first book in the Auras’ Chest series!

In the world of Aurora, emotion has been banned, substituted by logic and sensibility. Raised by the Priestess of Air, Aurora has a lot of expectations upon herself to pledge herself to one of the four elements and dominate it. For that, she needs to go through a test – a test that will take her through a journey to find her element. When the test goes awry and Aurora accidentally sets free all five Auras, a mysterious and gorgeous Oracle takes her in to help her and guide her.

The book’s pacing is slow, with poetic, introspective writing which reminded me a bit of The Mists of Avalon. Also the world and general vibe of the story made me think of the classic a lot! With the theme of emotions being so present, the whole story feels a bit like a fantasy take on an unconscious mind, exploring emotions, memory and growth. On that sense, it was such an interesting read! Continue reading

eARC Review: White Stag, by Kara Barbieri

white stag kara barbieri

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

White Stag tells the story of Janneke, a human girl forced into slavery when her village was burned to the ground by goblins. The memories of her first owner still fresh in her mind after a hundred years, she had to learn to adapt to this new, dangerous world in order to survive. She knows how they think. She knows what they can do. And she is losing her humanity in the process. When the Erlking dies, the Hunt begins. The first goblin to kill the White Stag will become king… and Janneke needs to make sure it isn’t her cruel captor who sits on the throne.

I am partial to a good goblin story. There is a lot of fae and vampire stories, so I am quite glad goblins seem to be having their moment, too. Continue reading

Review: The Book of M, by Peng Shepherd

the book of M peng shepard

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy

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The Book of M is one of the most talked about books of this year! And still, I was not prepared for it – it was so much more than I expected! It’s a wonderful fantasy world with well-rounded, interesting characters and a thoughtful work about memories and love. Damn, this was such a good book.

The story begins with one boy in India finding out one day that he’s lost his shadow. At first this is seen with much interest from the public, until it becomes apparent that the boy is starting to forget things: at first a few words, and within a few days, his family. When more and more people throughout the world start losing their shadows, the epidemic of memory loss and despair drives the world into apocalypse. Continue reading

Mini-Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight, by Sarah J. Maas

a court of frost and starlight sarah j maas.jpg

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

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In a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision, I bought all three Court books last year and never looked back. I was addicted to those books and flew through the steamy fantasy, so dark and new to me – neither “boring” adult fantasies nor young adult. This was new and different. So when I saw that A Court of Frost and Starlight was published, I immediately went and bought it! Then I saw lots of review saying it was basically a Christmas short story, and I was like, okay! I’ll read this in December to get the best atmosphere to read this book (it came out in May). So I waited and waited.

But the truth is that I saw no plot at all in this book, and a lot of it was just shopping for gifts and opening gifts. Some of the open points from the last ACOTAR book were briefly touched upon and then not really progressed or finished at all. More like a reminder – hey, remember this was going on? – and felt a bit pointless. Also, seeing the ultra-macho culture of the fae now, a year later, I’m cringing to think that I recommended this series both to my sister and my aunt. Gosh. I was rolling my eyes at it all the time during this book – how they say female and male, how characters’ ARCs are basically gratuitously violent pasts being now slowly healed by friendship and so on. The tortured, brooding, sexy male is abound in this series. I felt emotionally detached from all the characters, even Rhys. I’m still going to read the next book of the series, but this book really disappointed me. Was a really unnecessary thing and could’ve been a chapter or two on the last book of ACOTAR instead.

Review: Jade City, by Fonda Lee

jade city fonda lee

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fantasy, Urban

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This book is one of the best fantasy worlds I’ve read in a long time, and I am in awe. Jade City is a story about two clans, No Peak and Mountain, who have soaring tensions growing between them as the leader of the Mountain clan’s ambition and strength threatens the Kaul family, leaders of No Peak for more than two decades. It’s set in the fictional Kekon, a vibrant city of contradictions, full of promise, opportunity, tradition, superstition and, most importantly, jade. From the jade, Green Bones get powers that make them impossibly superhuman abilities. Amidst the threat of clan wars and foreign interest in Kekon’s jade for military purposes, the Kaul family must learn to stay together and survive, if they can. Continue reading