Book Review

Book Review: A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?

Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…

The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.

At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.

Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.

And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

STUNNING FINALE.

It’s time.

It’s time you read this series.

It is beautiful, raw, strikes so many chords and is nothing short of a magnificent story.

I love these characters and how real everything feels to me because of how the writing conveys their tale. The highs and lows and everything in between drag out all of the emotions and made me sit there and hug this book afterwards. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky story. A lot of bad things do happen, but I love the infused sense of hope that something is better out on the horizon. That we’ll get there.

You’ll never find yourself bored or dragging through any of these points-of-view. The high stakes action bouncing off of angsty moments had me gripping pages to know where things were going. I feel like even the side characters got some great spotlight and I was hooked on them by the ending too. While yes, totally hate how some things went down (without a doubt had me in tears), it all still somehow worked out in the end. That’s what I love. The loss of who/this/that didn’t overshadow where everything was leading.

This entire series took me on a such a journey and I have a hard time putting into words what the closing of this final chapter meant. An Ember in the Ashes will definitely go down as one of my favorite young adult fantasy series. The amount of dedication and work that clearly went into this jaw-dropping. I’m a fan for life and can’t wait to see what Tahir writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: little light
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; some little detailed fade out scenes (still felt appropriate for YA genre)
  • Violence: depictions of war, gory and bloody murders and battle scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of multiple loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: The HOOK (The PAN #2) by Jenny Hickman

Rating: ☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 350 pages
Author: Jenny Hickman
Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing
Release Date: March 3rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Tomorrow isn’t promised, no matter how immortal you think you are.

In the aftermath of Vivienne’s capture, she discovers she’s destined to become one of the forgetful P.A.N. The devastating diagnosis leaves her questioning her relationships—and her place in Neverland. While on her second recruitment mission, she ignores a cardinal rule, and one of her fellow P.A.N. pays the ultimate price for her mistake.

Outrage over the death spurs Lee Somerfield’s growing rebellious faction to fight fire with fire, leaving H.O.O.K. in ashes and Neverland ripped apart from within.

Navigating new love and old secrets, Vivienne must now face the consequences of her actions … and decide if living forever is worth forgetting everything.

INCOMING.

A rant is incoming because I can’t even with this book.

First and foremost THERE WAS NO PLOT. NONE. Nothing happened.

The whole time the book focused on Deacon and Vivienne trying to bang each other but they keep getting interrupted. Or my personal favorite, they would get in a stupid argument and blow up at each other without communicating whatsoever to turn around and get back together within a chapter. AAAAAAAND the MANY instances of CHEATING that was played off as nothing. It was cheating. It should be taken seriously. Goodness gracious the rage I felt was next level.

I just couldn’t handle the level of immaturity Viv and Deacon resonated. They’re older teens (19 and 26). You would think they would be a bit more rational. I’m just begging for a little.

I am definitely not continuing this series. Even if a few side characters were okay and the only redeeming thing about this entire book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Violence: physical altercations, fires, gun violence

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Curses by Lish McBride

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Retelling
Length: 488 pages
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: GP Putnam
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling’s curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother’s choosing before her eighteenth birthday.

Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family’s cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom.

Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother’s debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?

Thank you to PenguinTeen for an eARC. All opinions are my own!

NOT BAD.

Just not great either.

I love the cast of characters. There were many, with unique personalities and I love how they were portrayed. It’s a great group of friends that end up working together to end Merit’s curse. The villains were plenty wicked (though it became too convenient in the end) and some morally gray ones are also a fun addition.

What I didn’t love was the lack of romance. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling…shouldn’t there be more? By the time Tevin is confessing his love I realized I’m not emotionally invested in this. It was a big let down for me because I definitely had higher hopes. Over the course of a long book I thought more page time could’ve been spent developing their relationship rather than my other problem, the amount of POV’s.

Usually I love multiple points-of-view. In this case, I thought it should have stuck to the main two. It would have helped a deeper connection with the main characters. We’d flit off to some side story that could have been handled (and honestly, would have been more surprising) coming from one of the main characters [Merit or Tevin]. I didn’t need to hear about everyone else to get the whole picture.

I liked the set-up for the story and how this retelling was managed. It really did feel distinctly B&tB reminiscent. I could see many parallels that helped [& occasionally hindered] the plot. There’s some good humorous moments and some soft ones too. I wish I had felt more emotionally invested to fully enjoy this tale.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Retelling
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, animal attacks, poisonings

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Dragon and the Queen (The Raven and the Dove #3) by Kaitlyn Davis

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: TBD pages
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 21st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A queen foretold to save the world…

Free from Malek’s clutches, Lyana returns to the world above determined to keep the isles from falling. But in a land where magic is forbidden, convincing the avians to believe in her power takes the one thing she doesn’t have—time. With Xander’s help, she must unravel the puzzle of the rift and gain their trust or lose her home forever.

A dragon in search of his destiny…

Turned into a monster by the king he loathes, Rafe flees Da’Kin. Yet even with the help of his crew, he can’t outrun the new power simmering beneath his skin or the gruesome visions haunting his dreams. A dark spirit calls out to him, and soon he’ll have to answer.

New enemies change the game as the final battle draws near…

Stuck in her spirit form, Cassi is at the mercy of the man she betrayed. Before he wreaks his vengeance, she must tell someone what she witnessed in the sacred nest. A demon walks the earth, an evil no one anticipated. But with all her friendships broken, who among them will believe her?

Prophecies unravel. War arrives. And passions burn, threatening to set the world aflame.

Thank you to the author for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

LET THERE BE DRAGONS.

Ohhhh I’m pumped for the last book now! Another great read for this series. I am wrapped up in all of these characters and the story.

I love these characters. So much. There’s incredibly growth each time for Lyana, Rafe, Xander and Cassi. Everyone is on their own journey and I love how they criss-cross and support one another. Nobody is always right. Yes, mistakes are made. But wow, do I appreciate the real feel of every one of them.

The only thing I could really ask for is more romance!! It was such a big point initially and now has fallen to the side a bit. Just a dash of a few more quiet moments between my ships would be *chefs kiss*. I want all the happy endings. AND I BETTER SEE THAT IN THE LAST BOOK. Quietly panicking that the last book is going to take one of them.

Diary/Journal aspects are sometimes a miss. Here? Not at all. The addition of journal entries from someone in the past (who I have some theories on now) was just what this needed! It added perfectly to the story and gave a much more well rounded background to how the islands are floating and how they even got there in the first place. I realized I was really caught up in these side characters by the end. That’s how this beautiful writing took me in.

It’s a very action packed novel with plenty of political intrigue. Many angles are being addressed and the desire to save the world is clear. I can’t wait to see how this finale wraps up because I have so many answers I need.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Violence: physical altercations, magic, small battle scenes, earthquakes

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