Stars and Smoke by Marie Lu 🌟 Arc Review 🌟

A secret agent and a pop star work together to find evidence that could stop a world war. There is romance, action and a whole lot of danger. There is a big twist in the end and I loved reading this. (I’m fairly certain there will be a sequel and I can’t wait!)

Winter is the most famous pop star in the world while Sydney is one of the most talented secret agents at Panacea. Panacea is a large group that is separate from the CIA and works to keep the world safe. When Winter becomes an agent and Sydney is to work with him as a partner (pretending to be a body guard), things start getting intense very quickly.

Marie Lu has always been one of my favorite authors. I feel like it’s so easy for me to lose myself in her books. Her writing is very smooth with characters that I can’t help but fall in love with. Lu always keeps the plot moving fast, keeps it exciting, and, in few words, helps me visualize everything very clearly. I’m pretty sure this is Marie Lu’s first book without any fantasy, a NA thriller/romance.

Out March 28, 2023!

Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan for this opportunity!

Skyhunter by Marie Lu, My thoughts on the extended excerpt

The first thing I want to say is, I love Marie Lu! The second thing, is if you love Marie Lu then you are going to adore her new book! Talin is a Striker for the nation of Mara, meaning she kills ghosts that are attempting to infiltrate and attack their land. This is another super creative story by Marie Lu, full of action. Its intensely edgy but still has the heart that makes Lu’s books so enjoyable. And I cant wait to get a copy of the full book and devour it! Also, thank you to Netgalley for this sneak peek!

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu, A Review

This has been a thrilling and heartwrenching series but I am so glad that Marie Lu gave it such a satisfying conclusion.

It has been a year since Enzo’s climatic return, and although the prince is not with Adelina, she is not only ruling as Queen but conquering. Her descent into darkness is becoming more and more apparent and throughout this book I didn’t know if she would ever be able to redeem herself.

Part of the madness that is plaguing Adelina is based on the truth to Rafael’s findings about what is happening to the Elites. Their powers are turning against them all and even effecting the rest of the world in terrible ways.

Adelina may be set on conquering the world with her Elites, The Rose’s, but she has to consider working with the Daggers again to save this world and possibly herself in the process, too.

What a whirlwind of a series! I never expected this much darkness from Marie Lu, but I must say that it was a fun quick read with still enough positivity to keep me going. I highly recommend this for all fans of Marie Lu!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

The Rose Society by Marie Lu, A Review

Marie Lu’s second installment in The Young Elites trilogy must be the darkest novel she has ever wrote. I did find it difficult to read about all this pain, but the story had such a fast pace that I was able to push through.

Adelina has decided to make her own society of Elites and she has the help of her sister, Violetta, and her power to sense others like them. Their trials are not in vain because when they find more Elites, they are some of the best!

This whole time, Adelina is battling falling too far into her illusions with the threat that they are taking over her life. It doesn’t help that she feeds off of people’s hatred and fear to make her stronger. Like I said, Marie Lu takes the reader to some very dark places to make this point.

At the end of The Young Elites, the first book, I really had a good impression of how Adelina was further developing into a villain. However, in The Rose Society, that part of her persona seems to become complete. And I am not sure if there is any help for her.

I highly recommend delving into this dark and twisted series for a unique look into the making of a villain.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu, A Review

This first book in the series left me feeling somewhat despondent. I was expecting another one of Marie Lu’s loveable protagonists, but this story focuses on the creation of a villain.

Adelina and her sister, Violetta, survive the Blood Plague at a young age. But while the younger Violetta is left unmarked, Adelina not only loses her left eye but is marked as a malfetto with her now silver hair.

Adelina is one of many “Malfetto’s” with markings, but with her marking came a supernatural power that makes her one of the few, an Elite. Adelina escapes her cruel father one night only to be captured by the inquisition led by the lead inquisitor, Teren. A figure that will become a major part of her life, and not in a good way. She escapes being burned at the stake with the help of The Young Elites, The Dagger Society, led by a young man named Enzo.

This story is thrilling and full of action. Although Adelina is now surrounded by friends, she has hard decisions to make as she is continuously haunted by the ghosts of her past. Everything revolves around the choices she makes, to trust especially. And by the end, I got a glimpse of what she would become.

I highly recommend this series. It is so different from the usual young adult fantasy series’. Instead of focusing on a positive protagonist, I got to witness the creation of an antagonist that somehow I cant help but still love.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu, A Review

I really enjoy Marie Lu’s writing a lot. It’s always fun and full of non stop action that keeps me turning the pages and wanting more. However, I do not believe this was her best work. I personally feel like she does an amazing job with the characters that she personally creates, and Batman is just such a popular character that has a very long history before Marie Lu became involved with this book. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that her writing and characters that are of her own imagination completely are just more natural.

However, I did enjoy this book. Bruce Wayne is 18 yrs old and is finishing his senior year in high school when, after abruptly leaving a benefit in a sporty, new car, he finds himself involved in a high speed chase trying to stop one of the nefarious members of the Nightwalkers group as he escapes from a crime scene. This lands Bruce in trouble with the law and Detective Draccon decides that 6 weeks of community service at the Arkham Asylum will do the trick.

Believe it or not, Bruce still finds a way to become involved with an interesting case that centers on one of the inmates, Madeleine. A young, beautiful girl who refuses to speak with anyone until Bruce crosses her path.

This story is full of tricks. Some I felt were predictable. But an intense web of cunning schemes that kept me interested until the end. It really is a fun way to think about the beginning of such an iconic hero. And the grand finale of the story is very exciting.

I recommend it if you are looking for a unique look at young batman. This is really before the name “Batman” was even created. If your also a fan of Marie Lu, maybe you too will understand why I dont think this is her best. But honestly I blame that on the fact that these characters weren’t completely sprung from her personal imagination.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Wildcard by Marie Lu, A Review

This is the sequel to Warcross and also the final book in this duology. I love the main character, Emika Chen, and I’ve been looking forward to reading about the rest of her tumultuous journey in the Warcross Championships.

If you dont know, this series takes place in our world but in a future time setting that is not exact. Also, it doesn’t feel like it is too farfetched of an idea that would make this hard to envision as a real future for our world . This is the time of the Neurolink. Just wear a pair of Neurolink glasses or contacts and the world around you is enlivened with digital images that can be interacted with just by blinking your eyes or saying a few words. And honestly, it seems like a lot of fun!

Warcross is a game that has developed with this new way of life and has become so popular that it’s best players are skyrocketed to instant stardom. Emika became involved when she glitched herself into the opening ceremonies and her life has become a whirlwind of fame ever since. She joined the talented team, the Phoenix Riders, who have become not just excellent teammates but unstoppable friends as well that have Emika’s back no matter what.

Emika thinks every thing spirals out of control by the end of the first book, Warcross, with her compelling relationship with the Neurolink creator himself, Hideo Tenaka. Join her in Wildcard as things only get more complicated but also incredibly entertaining for the reader.

I had a blast finishing this story. I love the importance of the community and friendship between Emika and her fellow Phoenix Rider family. It also has some romantic parts that absolutely made me melt! I highly recommend this series, especially if your looking for something that’s just plain fun to read about.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!