ARC Review, Dustborn by Erin Bowman

I loved the idea of this story, the sandy and hot atmosphere reminded me of Dune and Mad Max. There were, however, a few things I did not love but I will get to that shortly.
Delta is a badass female MC and she has a good reason to be. Not only does she live a hard life at Dead River, but she also is one of two people with a secret map to The Verdant branded on her back. One night she takes her sister to receive help with her pregnancy and although Delta loses her sister to childbirth that night, she takes the baby and returns to her people, her family… only to find out that raiders trashed their settlement and took her family to Bedrock which is where a man known as the General rules like an overlord.
The story honestly just gets better and better. What I had difficulty with was not being able to really feel that the characters were being genuine and realistic when they communicated with one another. The way they spoke felt forced to me personally.
I do think this was a fun and fast paced read, definitely original with some mystical touches to it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this arc. All opinions are my own.

Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders, ARC Review

Tina is just your average teenage girl… whom is also an alien with a beacon in her chest that will go off when it’s time to start her new life… in space. And yes, it’s just as cool as it sounds!
When Tina’s beacon goes off, her and her best friend, Rachael, make a run for it. They are soon surrounded by the enemy aliens (super creepy enemy aliens), but they are still doing their best to escape. Luckily, a friendly face appears… or, at least, a face that doesn’t look murderous, Yatto the Monthaa. Yatto (they/them) takes both Tina and Rachael to The Royal Fleet… and things get even more exciting.
This story is a tale of the best group of misfits working together, a tale of what it means to really be a hero, and ultimately a tale of peoples coming together to fight oppression. I couldn’t help but cheer everyone on at the end, but don’t worry…. there will be more! And I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley, ARC Review

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!

A Gentle Tyranny by Jess Corban, ARC Review

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 .

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco, A Quick Review

“You are grieving,  Audrey Rose.  Grief doesn’t equate breaking.  You are rebuilding after something… destructive.  You’re coming back stronger. “

Audrey Rose and Thomas are in Romania battling for spots in Dracula’s Castle, AKA The Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science.   They may be prepared for anatomy classes, however the chilling murder/mystery that takes place comes as a complete surprise.

I loved this atmospheric and creepy tale.  Particularly because the setting in the castle and the dark and mysterious woods of Romania were so perfect after the evocative setting in the dark streets of London in Stalking Jack the Ripper. 
And of course… there is a little romance! 

Ghosts of the Shadowmarket by Cassandra Clare, A Quick Review

“We have to trust people,  right? Like you were saying.  Not just people we love.  We have to believe in people,  and we have to defend them.  As many people as possible, so we can be stronger. “

This is an amazing anthology centering on Jem while also being a must-read addition to the Shadowhunter World of Cassandra Clare.
These stories are full of heart and sometimes,  heartbreak.  But love shines through.
Not to leave out the ending that is what carries this story onward.  It ends happily enough but overshadowed by potential evil that I do not yet know how this edge will carry on.
And so, I will gladly continue on my journey through the Shadowhunter World with great expectations and perhaps,  a little fear of what may come.

Isoldesse by Kimberley Grymes, A Quick Review

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!

Winter by Marissa Meyer, A Quick Review

“Broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”

This was such a great conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles and I’m so glad there are some novellas with a little extra so I can come back and visit this great group of characters. 
Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter and their companions are just so likeable.  The easy way this story tells all kinds of different tales that all speak of equality and are not only relatable but heartwarming.
This has been a great experience and I definitely recommend this series to any fans of the YA genre. 

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke, A Quick Review

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.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, A Quick Review

“You decide you will find a solution when the time comes,  but when the worst happens,  you find yourself unprepared. “
This series has been leading up to a certain breaking point, and when it happens,  it happens fast and wildly. 
The Dark Artifices was a great series.  Some of Cassandra Clare’s longer books to be sure, but thoroughly enjoyable.   I think the whole “Faerie Threesome ” idea had me blushing and smiling like an idiot every time those sections appeared. 
Overall,  I would highly recommend this series and the Shadowhunter world to anyone who loves YA Fantasy.