I was really excited to start reading this and I was not disappointed!
Luke and Oscar are best friends and roommates at an elite boarding school, St. Benedict’s. Everything is normal, these two high school buddies planning to sneak out and meet a couple girls and hang out at a make-out spot in the woods. However, this is when things get crazy, they have a scary and strange experience and find out the next day that a female member of the staff was murdered that night right around where they were hiding.
So much goes on in this book. Luke has a mysterious past that leads him into privately searching for the murderer. Not only was Luke overwhelmed with suspicion, but I was too… for pretty much everybody else in this story at certain points.
I thought this was a fun and fast-paced read. I did think there were some predictable points but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.
Too much love can be dangerous, but too little love can be a curse.
I’d like to start by saying this book has a great map! If you know how I feel about maps then you know how important this is imo.
Tamsin is a witch and will cast spells for the citizens of her village for a very particular price: love. More specifically, the love that person feels for another. She does this because of a curse that took her ability to love, and Tamsin needs and desires to simply FEEL again.
Wren is the opposite of Tamsin in so many ways. She is vibrant and full of feelings and possibly a little naive. She is also a Source which means she is full of magic that can supplement a witch’s own power.
When a plague comes, a sickness that can steal a soul and make the whole world volatile and vicious, everything starts changing for Tamsin and Wren. They begin to work together and start on a journey to the Witchlands to help stop this black magic.
This story is exciting, twisty and turny, and even full of not just magic but references to classic fairytales that make this book even more fun. I adored the light romance and the interesting conversations between Wren and Tamsin that included some funny comments. Overall, an enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend!
In the Monarchy of Nedé the men, also more widely known as brutes, are gentled. This is something the reader will learn much more about throughout the book. Reina, or Rei, is a 17 yo girl living in a finca (a kind of farm or ranch) with her mother and sister and the little gentles that her mother raises with love. However, when Rei is selected as a candidate for the succession to be the next matriarch (a role her grandmother currently fills) all of her plans are put on hold. Her whole life she has been training to be an Alexia, which is a female warrior known for their prowess on a horse while facing down enemies. Rei is kind, open minded and a little badass, which only makes it harder for her to fit in with the other candidates for the succession. The Nedé have a lot of restrictions and rules about society, particularly concerning a woman’s destiny. Another restricted area of this place is the gentles themselves, which Rei has a soft spot for. This story immediately captivated me and I though the writing style was well done and very enjoyable to read. My only complaint is that the ending didn’t quite live up to what it could have been .
What an intense ride! Mara works at her father’s vineyard but instead of spending all her time amongst the vines and land, she is often found cooking meals for all the male workers. Definitely not what she longs for in life. However, Mara has a secret. A magic that gives life and helps those grapes in the vineyard grow to their full potential. Alac is the second born son to the king of the Thungrave line. The king is consumed by a stolen magic that has turned dark. Like Mara, Alac is also under restrictions and his ultimate dream is to learn how to make wine starting with the first steps, working in a vineyard. Mara is kidnapped by the horrible Nelgareth who explains his plans to put her on the throne as the rightful heir because of her magic. He really is ultimately an evil, despicable character though. When plans are made and steps are taken, this book turns into a whirlwind of surprises and sometimes, heartfelt moments. Battling magic and evil, not to mention a budding romance, makes this book a good read.
Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal was such an interesting read. Much like the first book, I didn’t love the beginning but as I kept reading, the story opened my eyes and I saw the depth behind the imagery. These books question reality and the line between life and death, not to mention the sincere way the characters deal with grief. I wound up really loving this series and do recommend it.
Isoldesse is a light science fiction read. The cover of the book is stunning, depicting four of the main characters. However, there were so many characters by the end that it honestly left me confused. So much happens in this story. Kenna, a young college aged Earthen, is given an Arcstone that is just the beginning of changing her life. Not to mention all the other storylines that flip her world and her friends, completely upside down. I would recommend this to fans of an interesting scifi for young adults, however I must reiterate that by the end of this book I felt that too many different things were going on and it was hard for me to focus. And thank you Netgalley for this ARC!
Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke is definitely an exciting story but it is not without its faults. The world is interesting and well done and I loved the characters but some things felt a little forced. Ren is a badass woman making her way through life by fighting and gambling for money to stay afloat but everything starts changing when Darek enters the scene and recruits her to join the rebel cause to overtake the throne. I enjoyed this read but the ending felt rushed and I simply think everything moved to quickly for me to feel a true resolution. The characters were well thought out. Adley and Lesa, Kellen and Holland, and Ren and Darek, separately were all great teams, but when they finally came together there just wasn’t enough explained for me to feel that there was true camaraderie between them and I feel the same about the romance between Darek and Ren. It’s a good story, I enjoyed the read but not one of my favourites.
This fictional story could not feel more real or leave me more unsettled. The Project by Courtney Summers is a masterpiece thriller revolving around a religious cult and the connection between two estranged sisters. Summers pulled me into this story immediately with her intense and powerful writing. The juxtaposition of two stories, Bea’s being in 3rd person and Lo’s in 1st, was simply brilliant. I want to add a trigger warning for religious topics, some political topics particularly concerning the year 2016, and lastly physical abuse and abuse in general. If any of this is too difficult for you to read about, then I do not recommend this book. Now, on the other hand, if your interested in a thriller that gets under your skin and has some major twists, then I would definitely recommend this. Thank you Netgalley and St. Martims Press and Wednesday Books for this Arc. This book comes out February 2nd this year!
A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier started out slow for me and it took me a while to understand the direction it was taking. Elodie is an unlikely hero. She is shy and always apologetic but by the end I believe she understands that there is much much more to the world and that perhaps she is a force to be reckoned with. I loved the interaction between Elodie and Aleida, a somewhat sisterly connection that I feel binds them. The ending of this story was the strongest part in my opinion. I recommend this if your interested in witchy vibes and unique spell craft.
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC! Wow, this ending! I have to read the next book as soon as possible! This is the perfect Halloween read. Maniscalco spins a tale about witches, demons (sexy demons!), even Vampires and werewolves. Join Emilia as she searches for her sister’s murderer and finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into dark magic and her families secrets. This was a thrilling ride and, like I said, I can’t wait for the next book!