Book Review

Book Review: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: MG Fantasy
Length: 548 pages
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 27th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Strange things are happening in Nevermoor…

Morrigan Crow faces her most dangerous challenge yet in her latest Wundrous adventure. The highly anticipated third book in the award-winning Nevermoor series from one of Australia’s bestselling and most loved authors.

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

But a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realises it’s up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she ever imagined.

MYSTERIOUSLY RELATABLE.

Well this was an odd book to read in 2021. A mysterious virus, wreaking havoc and throwing Morrigan’s world into turmoil. Morrigan goes through a lot of growth in this book and I loved that! I love seeing growth in characters and this fits middle-grade so well, and depicts a young teens life (+ a fantasy world) in a way for all audiences.

I love the morally greyness that happened with Squall as too. I think there’s much more to that story there and I liked getting many backgrounds on previous Wundersmiths. Lots of information was added to further expand this plot.

Some scenes did feel unnecessary and dragged on a bit. And I missed getting more of the 919 squad. Otherwise, another well written installment that I have loved listening to on audio. This world is fun and interesting. The characters are charming and I can’t wait for the next book!

Overall audience notes:

  • MG Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Violence: magical altercations, animal attacks, pandemic

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faizal

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 592 pages
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: January 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.

As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

Lush and striking, hopeful and devastating, We Free the Stars is the masterful conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology by New York Times–bestselling author Hafsah Faizal. 

FANTASTIC CONCLUSION.

Some dulogies really hit with that second book. This is without a doubt the case here. LOVED IT. Everything I needed. Especially since I gave the first book 3.5 stars and wasn’t convinced to pick this up for awhile. It took the audio coming to my library (which by the way, is AMAZING. Highly recommend the audio) for me to read it and I’m so happy I did!!

I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. I probably will forget to name them all, but the main characters and supporting cast are well thought out and flow into the story perfectly. I loved Zafira and her fiery, determined nature. Nasir who is clearly the biggest cinnamon roll alive. Altair who I just want to be best friends with and Kifah who rounds out this crew with her loyalty and sharp wit. There’s many more I could mention. I loved the balance between plot and character drive.

The rooooomance. Oh it picked up beautifully. Anytime Zafira and Nasir were in the same location I got all of the giddy heart flutters waiting for them to connect. The impassioned kisses and utterly tender words whispered. MY HEART. And I’m pretty sure that ending added years to my life.

My only tiny complaint was that it took me a minute to get into and understand how the magic system was connecting with the larger plot. Since the WHtF was a travelling story I felt like I didn’t get a lot of explanations. Grateful that WFtS spread that out without info dumping. The world building and magic system are intricate and well plotted.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs
  • Violence: battle scenes, weapons violence, magical and physical altercations

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Thief (The Bone Charmer #2) by Breeana Shields

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Author: Breeana Shields
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 26th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A deft exploration of the weight of grief and cost of revenge, Breeana Shields’s Bone Charmer duology reaches its spine-tingling conclusion in this high-octane fantasy-thriller.

Saskia returns to Ivory Hall to train in bone magic, determined to stop Latham from gaining the power of all three Sights—past, present, and future. But danger lurks within the fortress’s marrow. Trials are underway for the apprentices, and the tasks feel specifically engineered to torment Saskia, which is exactly what Latham wants.

As she grows increasingly more suspicious, her thirst for revenge becomes all-consuming. Together with the friends she can trust and the boy she loved in another lifetime, Saskia traces clues from Latham’s past to determine what he’ll do next. Their search leads them across Kastelia and brings them to a workshop housing a vast collection of horrors, including the bones Latham stole from Gran, and the knowledge that the future isn’t all that’s in jeopardy—but the past as well.

A SOLID DUO.

This was a good duology!! I thoroughly enjoyed both books. And even though this one didn’t have the same pop as the first, I still liked it and the final conclusion.

It’s such a cool magic system. I love the vast options that magic has in the world and that tattoos play a huge part in their lives. What type of events they’ve gone through, if they’ve fallen in love, or mastered a magic. It’s interesting and one of the best parts of the series.

Saskia is a main character I liked a lot. A bit stubborn, and occasionally making mistakes made her feel real. She was also tender and loyal to those around her. I would have looooved a bit more romance like there was in the first book. Nothing really happened until the end and I wish it had flowed through the entire story more.

At times I thought the plot didn’t matter or fit the revenge plot idea from the first book. The further the book goes, things seem to round out. The tasks that Saskia and her friends are asked to do start to converge with the final showdown.

It’s a great duology with easy, magnetic writing. Even if I was struggling with the plot at times, I still never felt the need to skim. A lesser known duo to definitely look into!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical weaponry, attempted murder

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3) by Joanna Hathaway

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 432 pages
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: April 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Reeling from the tragedy that beset her family, Princess Aurelia has joined the resistance in Havenspur, spying on the Northern leaders who were once her allies and determined to stop her uncle’s machinations for war. Meanwhile, her beloved pilot Athan leads his squadron into battle as the Safire wage a losing war abroad and combat growing unrest back home.

When Athan is sent on leave to Havenspur following the death of a comrade, the pair reunite and rekindle their romance until Aurelia uncovers one of Athan’s secrets, a secret that could save countless lives. But exposing it to the right people will cost her Athan’s trust, and this time, their shared memories of love might not be enough to stop the fateful path of destruction that threatens all they’ve fought to defend.

As history unfolds around them, every move they make drives them one step closer to either recreating their parents’ shadowed past or redeeming the alliance that could bring peace.

The breathtaking finale to a legendary series. Part war drama, part romance, Southern Sun, Northern Star is the epic conclusion to the Glass Alliance series.

MY HEART.

I don’t hug books very often. They have to really hit me, this was one of those books that I hugged afterwards because I just needed the comfort that things worked out okay. BECAUSE WOW THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE.

I loved everything about this finale. The pacing was on point, I thought it moved well and always kept me interested. This isn’t a fast read, it’s a building battle that culminates over time. And the action had my heart in my throat more times than I could count. People I thought wouldn’t die did, people I expected to did. A mix of many twists and turns that make your heart race.

The roooomance y’all. While I would obviously always love more, this fit the theme and plot well. These star-crossed forbidden lovers, Ali and Athan, tore me apart. With so many tough choices before them, both made mistakes and both found a way to create change in their countries. I love them and I love how it all worked out in the end for their story. It was the kind of bittersweet, yet positive ending that fit the book so well I couldn’t find a complaint.

The whole cast was vast and diverse. Many characters with rolls to play and I found that I was attached to many of them. Everyone was built incredibly well. The world was built incredibly well and this whole series is such a hidden YA gem that I beg of you to try it out!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some light
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scene
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: implied sexual assault, loss of loved ones, gun violence, battle scenes, war crimes

Instagram || Goodreads