REVIEW: Relic – Bronwyn Eley (ARC)

46218744._SY475_.jpgTitle: Relic (The Relic Trilogy: Book 1)
Author: Bronwyn Eley
Rating: ★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher.

Relic is the first book in a new fantasy trilogy that is sure to impress many readers, myself included. With a strong heroine, excellent worldbuilding, and a very interesting premise, this was one heck of an entertaining story!

The premise of Relic felt really unique and fascinating, which is what originally drew me to the story. The book follows our protagonist, Kaylan, who has been chosen to be the next shadow: a personal servant to the Lord whom basically absorbs all the negative energy and pain given off by their magical relic. The worldbuilding present in the Relic was truly excellent. It was so easy to understand how the world worked without feeling confused or overwhelmed. Bronwyn Eley did a great job with placing the necessary pieces into the story and avoiding any information dumping.

I found Kaylan to be an excellent heroine! She was smart, caring, and resilient. Family and friendships mean a lot to her and are a central part of the story. She showed a lot of grit and determination in trying to solve her predicament, unwilling to simply roll over and accept her fate. I also thought she was very astute and made good decisions. For instance, when learning about a rebellion brewing, rather than joining forces with them straight away, she makes note of the negative consequences that rebelling could have on citizens. I loved that aspect! In many YA books, the hero/heroine jump ship to the rebels without even stopping to think if they were truly any better, or to at least weigh the pros/cons first. Bronwyn Eley excelled with that part of the book.

Overall, I thought Relic was a great debut fantasy book! I really enjoyed the main character and the premise of the story. This is the first book in a trilogy and I look forward to seeing what happens next!

REVIEW: The Girl the Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young (ARC)

42867937Title: The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Author: Adrienne Young
Rating: ★★★½

ARC received by the publisher through a giveaway.

Sky in the Deep quickly became one of my favorite books after I finished reading it, and so The Girl the Sea Gave Back was something I was highly anticipating. Adrienne Young continues to be a wonderful storyteller and has crafter another novel full of strong characters and powerful writing, however it’s quite capture my attention the same way Sky in the Deep did.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is a companion novel rather than a sequel to Sky in the Deep, so it is entirely possible to read this alone. I absolutely loved the Viking-inspired world Adrienne Young created in her previous work and she does an amazing job expanding on that world even more in this one with the introduction of new clans and traditions.

As for the rest of the book, it fell kind of flat. And trust me, no one is more disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this that much as I am. The majority of the book had very little action and didn’t seem to be going anywhere. It was missing a lot of the tension and angst that made Sky in the Deep so compelling.

I also didn’t connect as much to the characters. I really enjoyed Halvard and his point of view, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to connect with Tova. I will say that I really enjoyed how Adrienne Young handled the romance aspect (if you can even call it that?). There were many times when she could have pushed those characters together romantically, however, I’m glad she avoided that because it would have come off as forced and inorganic. Although, she does give a teaser at the end of the story that hints towards a possibility of something!

The Girl the Sea Gave Back was missing many of the captivating elements found in Sky in the Deep, and I was supremely disappointed that I couldn’t love this more. This was a very slow moving story without a lot of action or payoff that didn’t keep my attention. Adrienne Young is an amazing writer and I look forward to more stories from her in the future!

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Song of the Abyss – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Song of the Abyss book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

BOOK COVERTitle: Song of the Abyss (Tower of Wind #2)
Author: 
Makiia Lucier

Release: August 27, 2019
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy

As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer.

But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna’s escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors–her captain, her countrymen–have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal . . . including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom.

Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?

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REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher.

Isle of Blood and Stone is one of the most under-hyped books, and it’s companion novel Song of the Abyss can join its ranks as greatly written YA fantasies that deserve way more attention than they are getting.

The main character’s name is Reyna, and I will 100% admit that it was the reason I decided to pick up this ARC and forced me into reading the first book. Reyna was one of my favorite characters in Isle of Blood and Stone and it was so awesome to see her get her own story!

There was more action in Song of the Abyss, which along with the fantastic pacing, made this such an easy book to fly through. The story follows Reyna as she goes searching for her missing friends to a mysterious kingdom. As with Isle of Blood and Stone, Makiia Lucier does an amazing job in creating a story that blends adventure, mystery, and a hint of romance together with excellent writing and memorable characters. I definitely recommend these books to anyone looking for a fun fantasy done right. My message to the bookish community: stop sleeping on these books.

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorMakiia is the author of historical fiction and historical fantasy for young adults. She grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam (not too far from the equator), and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Her debut novel, A Death-Struck Year, was called a “powerful and disturbing reading experience” by Publishers Weekly, and was a finalist for Germany’s top book prize for children, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. Her second novel, Isle of Blood and Stone, was inspired by her love of Indiana Jones movies and old, old maps.

She lives with her family in North Carolina.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | InstagramFacebook


GIVEAWAY

Win one of three finished copies of Song of the Abyss (US only).

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

August 21 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

August 22 | The Candid Cover
August 22 | The Inked In Book Blog
August 22| Fictitiouswonderland

August 23 | Wishful Endings
August 23 | MetalPhantasmReads
August 23 | The Reading Corner for All

August 24 | Moonlight Rendezvous
August 24 | Bookishly Nerdy
August 24 | Library of a Book Witch

August 25 | L.M. Durand
August 25 | Story-eyed Reviews
August 25 | Some Books & Ramblings

August 26 | Camillea Reads
August 26 | The Clever Reader
August 26 | Paws and Paperbacks

August 27 | Bookish Looks
August 27 | Read at Night
August 27 | Book Butterfly in Dreamland

REVIEW: No Judgements – Meg Cabot (ARC)

43386668Title: No Judgements
Author: Meg Cabot
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Meg Cabot is a staple of my reading experience growing up. The Mediator series continues to be one of my favorite sets of books ever, and so I was really excited to see she was writing a new series of contemporary romances! No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer beach read.

The thing that reeled me in the most about No Judgements was how relatable I found both the story and Bree! We share the same nickname so that was a unique aspect that I haven’t read before and definitely added to my liking. And as someone born in Florida–and who spends a good deal of vacation time down there these days–I also really loved the Key West setting!

The romance between Bree and Drew was really well written. The obvious chemistry and slow-build tension was fun to read, and the way their relationship was built was very believable. Bree and Drew are both animal lovers and it was great to see them work together to help the pets left behind by their owners during the hurricane.

No Judgements was a heart-warming, romantic story perfect for a summer read! I had a lot of fun reading this and I look forward to more stories from Meg Cabot in this series.