Book Review

Book Review: The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 514 pages
Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: January 26th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.

The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.

As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them.

MY EYES BETTER HAVE DECEIVED ME.

UH.

I REFUSE TO BELIEVE WHAT I JUST READ.

RE. FUSE.

No no no no no no no.

Yes, it did end on a cliffhanger. One of those what just happened kinda moments. Fair warning. We’ve waited years for this book and IT HURT.

Though honestly, this book was fantastic. I was so excited when I finally got my library copy. I love this story and the characters. It’s really impressive world building and its magic system is intensely intricate.

I am smitten with Arcturus and Paige. SMITTEN. To finally have some moments between them had me shouting YESSSSSS. I love their connection and the way they lift each other up and provide steady support.

My only tiny issue (and why I took half a star off) was because of Paige’s antics. She kept having to do something dumb to further the plot and it was annoying me. Paige is intelligent and sharp so seeing some of the decisions had me shrugging.

Otherwise. Great read. Fantastic. For a thick fantasy book it really flew by. I liked the change of location and the new plot lines unraveling. Getting more answers to questions needed was a nice touch too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scene
  • Violence: skirmishes, physical altercations, torture (fairly gruesome descriptions)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: PTSD, loss of loved ones

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2021

Biiiiig fantasy mood this month y’all. Lots of good reads!

Favorite books of the month: Royally Rearranged, my rereads (The Love Hypothesis and The Simple Wid), Dial A for Aunties, Pawn/Knight, As Good As Dead

Least favorite: Crave and The Friend Zone

  • Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl
  • Royally Rearranged by Emma St. Clair
  • [Reread] The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
  • [ARC] The Righteous (The Beautiful #3) by Renee Ahdieh
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1) by Stephanie Garber
  • The Trouble With Hating You (The Trouble With Hating You #1) by Sajni Patel
  • [Novella] Sunreach (Skyward #2.1) by Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson
  • The Bronzed Beasts (The Gilded Wolves #3) by Roshani Chokshi
  • Crave (Crave #1) by Tracy Wolff
  • The Friend Zone (End of the Line #1) by Sariah Wilson
  • The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan
  • A Little Bit Witchy (Riddler’s Edge #1) by A.A. Albright
  • The Nabob’s Daughter by Jess Heileman
  • Witchy See, Witchy Do (Riddler’s Edge #2) by A.A. Albright
  • White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by JLA
  • The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
  • [Novella] Memento (The Illuminae Files #0.5) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
  • The Gilded Cage (The Prison Healer #2) by Lynette Noni
  • Lucky Witches (Riddler’s Edge #3) by A.A. Albright
  • [ARC] Bound by Firelight (Wickery #2) by Dana Swift
  • [ARC] The Elle Project by Summer Dowell
  • Blackveil (Green Rider #4) by Kristen Britain
  • Dial A For Aunties (Aunties #1) by Jesse Q. Sutanto
  • Pawn (Fae Games #1) by Karen Lynch
  • Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by JLA
  • Gild (The Plated Prisoner #1) by Raven Kennedy
  • Knight (Fae Games #2) by Karen Lynch
  • As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson
  • Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4) by Shannon Messenger
  • [Reread] The Simple Wild (Wild #1) by K.A. Tucker
  • Shiver Me Witches (Riddler’s Edge #4) by A.A. Albright
  • Glint (The Plated Prisoner #2) by Raven Kennedy
  • Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliot
  • Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by JLA

How was your reading month? What was your favorite read?

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Keeper of the Night (The Keeper of the Night #1) by Kylie Lee Baker

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Kylie Lee Baker
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: October 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

MURDEROUS.

That’s pretty much the whole vibe of this one. Dark, twisted, and oh so murderous. And while that’s not generally my jam, this grim YA fantasy was pretty good. I cringed a lot and the mental pictures painted are a bit horror movie style, and that’s its charm!

I really enjoyed the main character Ren. Struggling with her identity as biracial and not feeling like she fits in anywhere, she goes to Japan in hopes of finding a new home there. Upon arriving with her brother are when things start to turn, ahem, deadly. She’s very much morally grey and you’ll want to follow her down to the dark side.

The lore behind all of the terrifying monsters had me keeping the lights on. The writing was vivid, and I felt myself on the journey with Ren. I adored her brother Neven and the opposite views he created. He was the necessary dichotomy to a wicked story.

Plot wise, it did drag sometimes and it took me awhile to understand all of the different things Ren was trying to accomplish and why. But I loved her journey and her ability to express and acknowledge her emotions and standing in her feelings while she worked through what life had handed her.

The ending was wild. Did not see the majority of it coming and am so dang curious how the second book rectifies it all. There is a dash of something akin to a romance, but I don’t want to say more because it would definitely be spoiler-y. It was rich in explorations of family, identity and place to be who Ren wanted to be and I can’t wait to follow her journey further.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: intense kisses/make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: ableism, racism, many blood & gore depictions, mutilation of bodies (dismemberment, etc.), death of a parent, multiple murders, exile, bullying

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kylie Lee Baker grew up in Boston and has since lived in Atlanta, Salamanca, and Seoul. Her writing is informed by her heritage (Japanese, Chinese, and Irish), as well as her experiences living abroad as both a student and teacher. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Spanish from Emory University and is currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree at Simmons University. In her free time, she watches horror movies, plays the cello, and bakes too many cookies. The Keeper of Night is her debut novel.

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Book Review

Book Review: Temple of Sand (The Gods of Men #2) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: NA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 523 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sable has been exposed for who she is: Imari, the illegitimate daughter of Istraa’s king, and a Liagé—someone born with forbidden Shah power. After ten years of hiding and surviving in the bitter cold Wilds, she is finally returning home.

But it’s not the homecoming Imari envisioned. After all, her father proclaimed her dead ten years ago, and with an anonymous Liagé leader operating in Istraa’s shadows, attacking villages and burning down temples, her father fears the people will blame Imari.

It could mean his throne, and her life.

Worse yet, the night Imari played her flute in Skyhold’s court, something unlocked inside of her, and now her power will not quiet. Neither will the growing fury she feels on behalf of Istraa’s Sol Velorian labor— people who share her blood.

As that fury becomes too loud to ignore, Imari chooses to use her position to liberate the Sol Velor. But can she free them without angering enemies hungry for the power she wields—a power that could rip the Five Provinces apart?

INTO THIS.

Oh how I’m loving all of these Kindle Unlimited finds. This is another great fantasy (with a large romance plot) series that I am without a doubt enjoying.

I love the way that religion was used in this story. The details were woven into the characters lives and it played a large part in decisions and actions. Combining the religious aspects with music was another great style choice. It was enchanting reading the way the musical tones were being conveyed. I like to think music can be soothing to us all (whatever genre/style we prefer!) and thought this was a great addition to the overall plot and story.

Ohhh how I wish Jeric and Imari found each other again sooner! I hate waiting until half the book is over for my love interests to be back on the same page. Once together, sparks started flying all over again. I LOVE these two. They have banter, and beautifully touching sentiments. Some heated moments (with a little steam) and I want them to end up together. Better get my happy ending in the next book!!

This story is very interesting and the plot feels like it’s always thickening. The villains are flat-out vile and appreciatively not one-dimensional. Temple of Sand combines dark aspects with hope and light to achieve a gorgeous book. I can’t wait to read the next one and definitely think you should take a chance on this!

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: heated make-outs; one mild open door scene
  • Violence: gory/bloody; murder, demon possession, physical, creature attacks, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, hints at past sexual assault

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