Serpent & Dove: ARC Review

Perfect for fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope, Serpent & Dove is powerful and full of swoon worthy moments, but an over abundance of snark and a shaky magic system keep this from being the perfect book.
Rating: 4.5 Stars

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The Bone Houses: ARC Review

Deeply haunting and atmospheric, The Bone Houses is the perfect autumn book and will certainly be in my top ten reads of the year.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Mind Games: ARC Review

Mind Games is a fast paced, mind bending debut set in a future where all our memories are stored via programs in our brains. Think a YA mashup of Inception and Memento.
Rating: 2.5 Stars

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Darkdawn: ARC Review

Darkdawn is a masterful end for this stabby, smutty, snarky, and definitely not YA series. As usual, I’d like to say thank you and fuck you to Jay Kristoff in equal measure.
Rating: 5 stars

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The Beckoning Shadow: ARC Review

This ARC was sent to me by the publisher via Storygram Tours. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own and not influenced in any way. After reading the ARC I pre-ordered my own copy of the book. Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books and Storygram Tours for giving me a chance to read this book early.


The Beckoning Shadow
Author: Katharyn Blair
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Synopsis: Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.

But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.


Rating: The Beckoning Shadow is the electric debut novel from Katharyn Blair, filled with snarky and strong characters, a magical fight club, and heart-breaking plot twists. Welcome to my new favorite book!
4.75 stars


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The Merciful Crow: ARC Review

This ARC was sent to me by the publisher at my request. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own and not influenced in any way. Thank you to Henry Holt (BYR) for giving me a chance to read this book early.


The Merciful Crow
Author:
Margaret Owen
Publisher: Henry Holt BYR
Release Date: July 30, 2019
Synopsis: A future chieftain: Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince: When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard: Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?


Rating: The Merciful Crow is an intriguing debut that tackles some hard issues, but suffers from too much journey and a writing style that can be off putting for some.
3 stars


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Aurora Rising: ARC Review

This ARC was provided to me by the publisher at my request. The following review reflects my unbiased opinion of the story and is no way influenced. Thank you to the publisher, Knopf Books for Young Readers.

FYI: This review is spoiler free.


Aurora Rising
Authors:
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Synopsis: The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunk mates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from inter-dimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.


Rating: Kaufman and Kristoff have once again struck me deep in my Sci-Fi loving soul with their new high stakes space adventure featuring found families and healthy doses of snark.
Stars: 4.5

Aurora Rising is the newest YA Sci-Fi offering from my favorite killers of feelings, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. They have once again created an in depth SF world, given us a group of misfits to love, and then put them through many ghastly situations. It’s the kinda of emotional trauma we’ve come to know and love from these two.

While each character is unique, all were well fleshed out with the exception of Zila, which is a damn crime. The few, very brief POV chapters she had were perfection, but I wanted more of her straight-forward observations of the wild situations Squad 312 found themselves in. I almost feel like the authors didn’t know how to flesh her out and just left her characterization to be built through the other character’s POVs. I am certainly hoping for more Zila in the next book. That being said, all the other characters had their own voices and each were extremely lovable in their own right. Squad 312 will easily shoot their way into your heart.

The plot was well paced, and the slower bits were filled with intriguing back story or world building, so they never felt boring. I got some Firefly vibes, which I loved, but this story is entirely it’s own. If Kaufman and Kristoff know one thing, it’s how to write a gripping, hilarious, mysterious, and emotional space adventure.

Did I mention it has super hot space elves?

If you haven’t pre-ordered this book already, I highly urge you to do so. Don’t let your squad down. Pre-order links can be found at the publisher’s website.