REVIEW: Sadie – Courtney Summers (ARC)

34810320Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher. 

But She’s dead is the reason I’m still alive. She’s dead is the reason I’m going to kill a man.

This book was damned good. Sadie is a brilliant, gripping YA thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you’re reading.

Sadie is told in two separate parts: the story alternates between Sadie’s POV following the murder of her sister and in the form of podcast episodes as the host attempts to find Sadie, who has since gone missing. I really liked the format. I think it worked well for the story being told and that Courtney Summers executed it perfectly. The ending feels like a sucker punch: it’s completely ambiguous and yet it fit the tone of the novel exquisitely. 

Sadie pulled me in from the first chapter and I couldn’t seem to stop turning the pages. I highly recommend this book, especially those who enjoy listening to podcasts like Up and Vanished or Serial. 

REVIEW: The Lantern’s Ember – Colleen Houck (ARC)

38188583Title: The Lantern’s Ember
Author: Colleen Houck
Rating: ★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Disappointed would the be the best word to describe my reading experience. I wanted to love The Lantern’s Ember so much. Not only is that cover is absolutely stunning, but the synopsis was intriguing and promised all sorts of paranormal goodness. Sadly, the story and characters were lacking.

I went into The Lantern’s Ember expecting a cool, spooky story similar to urban legends like Sleepy Hallow, full of paranormal creatures and magic. Instead, I got a strange steampunk version of Halloweentown. I actually would have been okay with that, but the writing was mediocre and the story seemed a bit juvenile for my tastes. Ember was the super special heroine that acted naively and never bothered to follow common sense, much less warnings given to her by other people. And yet despite her shortcomings, all three of the male characters happen to be in love with her. None of the characters felt fleshed out or had any kind of character growth as the story went on. The book is written in third person omniscient, which I think heavily contributed to the fact that the characters didn’t have much depth. The plot itself didn’t have much substance to it either; it was predictable, boring at times, and many of the conflicts were resolved a little too conveniently. 

I really wish I had enjoyed The Lantern’s Ember so much more than I had. The first couple of chapters had me falsely excited for an eerie story full of supernatural creatures. The combination of the characters, writing, and plot ultimately caused the story to fall flat for me. 

WWW Wednesday #10

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words in which the three W’s stand for:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

38188583WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

 

 


37825410WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

 

 


35750273WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

One Small Thing by Erin Watt

#ARCstravaganza: Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Happy Monday! #ARCstravangaza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post.


Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

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About the Book

34433755Title: Girls of Paper and Fire
Author: Natasha Ngan
Release: November 6, 2018

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel. But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

REVIEW: Seafire – Natalie C. Parker (ARC)

37822534Title: Seafire (Seafire #1)
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher.

This year, we are blessed with so many female seafaring books, and this might have been one of my favorites. A crew of fierce, loyal women determined to take down a dangerous warlord? Uh, YES PLEASE. Seafire was everything I could have hoped for, and more.

One of the things that appealed to be about this book was the inclusion of more modern technology and weaponry. It really made Seafire stand out more from all the other high-seas fantasies I’ve read. The book is very fast-paced and plot-driven, and this emphasis on the story’s action and the sisterhood of the crew pays out creates a book full of fantastic storytelling. There was also almost no romance at all, and what little there was could probably only fill a page or two of the book. The love interest actually was totally unexpected (by me at least), but I found myself pleasantly surprised by the development!

She shouted, “In a storm of Bullets, who do we trust?”
Their voices spiraled together, rising up like the early morning sun. “Our sisters!”
With a grin, she finished the call. “We fight together!”
And they responded, “Or not at all!

The book’s strength comes in the form of its characters and their relationships with each other. In addition to our bold captain, Caledonia, there are so many other characters to root for: lovely Hime, relentless Redtooth, dependable Amina, and the always fearless Pisces. The unbreakable bonds and unwavering respect that is present between each member of the Mors Navis crew was such a delight to read. Seafire was an enthralling  story full of adventure, courage, vengeance, and found families. You can bet I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next installment.