Book Review

Book Review: Exile (The Extinction Trials #2) by S.M. Wilson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopia
Length: 384 pages
Author: S.M. Wilson
Publisher: Usborne Publishing LTD
Release Date: June 1st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials.

After surviving on Piloria once, Storm and Lincoln are the obvious candidates to return to the dinosaur continent to test the new virus that should clear the way for human settlement. But they have their own priorities – finding a cure for the plague that’s sweeping Earthasia, and keeping themselves alive.


Wow am I so happy I found this series! It’s pure entertainment for me (as a dinosaur fanatic) to get to read these. I love the dystopian-type setting and the exploration of Piloria.

Once again we have our two main characters, Lincoln and Stormchaser. I still liked them this time around. Though it looks like there might be some feelings there and I want more exploration of that. More exploration of all the characters interactions and musings. It’s a continual high stakes read with being chased by dinosaurs and surviving in the wild, that I’m realizing I’m not getting a lot of character connection.

I did see it come out towards the end and am so happy that it went the direction I was hoping. I think Strom and Lincoln both have some big decisions to make and it has amped up the finale. This series is overall an intriguing premise and I will practically read anything that involves dinosaurs.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: dinosaur attacks, endemic of a skin disease, physical/weapon attacks

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 496 pages
Author: Ayana Gray
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome and magical creatures to pay off her family’s debts and secure their eventual freedom. But the night her loved ones’ own safety is threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand–and the consequences are dire.

As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six–an elite warrior–and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, a fire upends his plans. In its midst, Ekon not only encounters the Shetani–a vicious monster that has plagued the city and his nightmares for nearly a century–but a curious girl who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.

Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani down and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani and selling it for a profit could be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon–each keeping their true motives secret from the other–form a tentative alliance and enter into the unknowns of the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.

In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the ancient creature menacing their home–and discover much more than they bargained for. 

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for an eARC. All opinions are my own!


There has to be more right?

Because I need ANSWERS.

Admittedly, it’s not an insane cliffhanger, but it definitely opens up for another novel with some questions and plot that need resolved. Crossing my fingers there’s more to come!!

I really enjoyed this one. It is SLOW though. Know that going in. It took about 30% before I fully grasped what the point of the plot was (as I only read the synopsis once I usually forget what exactly is supposed to happen by the time I read a book). Once I got an idea of where this was all going I was much more invested. Beautiful writing kept me engaged and turning pages and I melted into the slower pacing as I soaked up this world.

Koffi and Ekon were great narrators and main characters. I love the dual POV (+ a third one, that I won’t name for spoilers!). Moving back and forth between them helped establish the connection building in their relationship and the dynamics of reasoning for both of their situations. There’s a very subtle and light romance as well that I found really sweet. This is definitely not a romantic fantasy, but it’s a good little sub plot.

This is a solid debut novel filled with Pan-African influence. I loved the magical hunt and all of the wild creatures that were encountered. The action keeps ticking up as the pages increased leaving me flipping fast at the end. It’s a beautiful world, with a magic system I thought was well constructed and I look forward to [HOPEFULLY] a second book!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: animal attacks, a large scene involving spiders, physical altercations, weapons use
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: physical/verbal abuse, loss of loved ones, drug use, kidnapping, murder, sexism, slavery/indentured servitude

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: August 2021


I made it through 42 different books this month and unfortunately, so many were misses. *sigh*

Hopefully September will be better! The last book on the list is an anthology of 20 romance novellas so I’ve been working through those in between my big books.

Favorites reads: Where the Stars Meet the Sea, Heart in the Highlands, The Cheat Sheet, Wings of Shadow, XOXO, The Dating Playbook, First Rider’s Call

Least Favorites: When Night Breaks, The Secrets We Kept, The Stable Master’s Son, They’ll Never Catch Us and a couple of the novellas from the anthology

  • [ARC] Lakesedge (World at the Lake’s Edge #1) by Lyndall Clipstone – (☆☆☆)
  • Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery #5) by Ellie Alexander – (☆☆☆)
  • Witchshadow (The Witchlands #4) by Susan Dennard – (☆☆☆)
  • Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic Novel] Fence Vol. 3 by C.S. Pacat – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic Novel] Fence Vol. 4 by C.S. Pacat – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2) by Janella Angeles – (☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Devil and the Heiress (The Gilded Age Heiresses #2) by Harper St.George – (☆☆☆)
  • The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell – (☆☆☆)
  • A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen – (☆☆☆)
  • Heart in the Highlands by Heidi Kimball – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic Novel] Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken – (☆☆☆)
  • The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein – (☆☆☆)
  • Wings of Shadow (Crown of Feathers #3) by Nicki Pau Preto – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott – (☆☆)
  • All I Want for Christmas by Wendy Loggia – (☆☆☆)
  • XOXO by Axie Oh – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • I Found You by Lisa Jewell – (☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Allen Campbell – (☆☆☆)
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Dating Playbook (The Boyfriend Project #2) by Farrah Rochon – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Córdovav – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan – (☆☆☆☆)
  • A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2) by Elise Kova – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Stable Master’s Son (Sons of Somerset #2) by Mindy Burbidge Strunk – (☆☆)
  • They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman – (☆)
  • First Rider’s Call (Green Rider #2) by Kristen Britain – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Triumphant (The Valiant #3) by Lesley Livingston – (☆☆☆☆)
  • From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Anthology of Contemporary Romance Novellas] Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After
    • An Unwanted Love Story by Ellie Hall – (☆☆☆)
    • Her Plus-One by Summer Dowell – (☆☆☆☆)
    • Head Over Stilettos by Liwen Y. Ho – (☆☆)
    • Looking for Love (Sort of) by Meg Easton – (☆☆)
    • Lassoed into Love by Rachael Eliker – (☆☆☆)
    • Take a Hike by Sophie-Leigh Robbins – (☆☆☆)
    • Worst Neighbor Ever by Rachel John – (☆☆☆)

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Book Review

Book Review: Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2) by Shannon Messenger

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Middle grade fantasy
Length: 576 pages
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny–the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities–her life finally seems to be coming together.

But Sophie’s kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger.

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever.

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more.


I’m really enjoying this series! I feel like getting two books in, I’m starting to settle into the characters and story and am feeling my investment increase.

I know this book is about Sophie and I’m loving her as a main character, but y’all, KEEFE. I am head over heels for Keefe. I beg this series to let him continue to be present because it will easily become a favorite.

This had some second book syndrome vibes. I thought it was a bit slower with the plot and where things were going. There wasn’t as much of a focus on the wider story, but more on Sophie and solving some things in her life. I’m glad we got some more info on her background. Though I’m more curious where the Black Swan and the rest of that group is up to.

Without a doubt, I’m going to be continuing this series and seeing what happens next!

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle grade fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Violence: magical, physical

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