#ARCstravaganza: Wicked As You Wish – Rin Chupeco

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza 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.


WICKED AS YOU WISH – RIN CHUPECO

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ABOUT THE BOOK

45184250Title: Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release: March 3, 2020

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends. 

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….

The ABC Book Challenge | J

Happy Friday! I’ll be honest guys, I almost skipped this letter because – to my great surprise – apparently I have only ever read a handful of books starting with the letter “J,” and cannot find any on my TBR with that letter.


MEMORABLE TITLES THAT START WITH THE LETTER “J”


BOOKS STARTING WITH “J” ON MY TBR

I literally could not find any on my TBR, so if you have a suggestion, tell me in the comments!

 

REVIEW: Fireborne – Rosaria Munda (ARC)

36578543Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

There are not enough words to describe my feelings about this book. Finishing this book left me feeling utterly speechless. I’m awestruck that this is Rosaria Munda’s debut, because it was nothing short of amazing. Fireborne is a thrilling, thought-provoking, powerful, gripping story that I can confidently say is easily my favorite book of the year, hands down.

Fireborn had been pitched as “Inspired by Plato’s Republic…Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons, set in the aftermath of a bloody revolution.” This is literally the most accurate book description I’ve read in my life. The story is told from the dual POVs of Lee and Annie. Lee is the only remaining survivor of the previous aristocracy who were massacred during the revolution. Annie is a orphan whose family suffered at the hands of that former aristocracy, and thanks to the new regime is offered an opportunity that would have been previously been unheard of. I found both Lee and Annie’s characters to be extremely compelling and well-written, and the complexity of their relationship was one of the highlights of the story. Both characters also had tremendous character growth by the end of the book and I was totally invested in them.

As for the book’s best feature: the political intrigue and turmoil. I’ve never said this before in a review – because in my opinion it’s in a league of its own – but if you enjoy the political intricacies and the grayness of which side is right/wrong, you will absolutely love this. This is a book in which the “good” guys do bad things, and the “bad” guys can be sympathized with. And books that have that aspect are my favorite, because in the real world there are no absolutes. Rosaria Munda does an excellent job developing those intricacies in her world and bringing adding an emotional depth to them.

Another thing I absolutely loved was the dragons! Many times, there are so-called “dragon” books, but the actual dragons are barely featured within the pages. That is definitely not the case in Fireborne. The dragons are heavily present in the story, and there are plenty of action-filled scenes with them! I also liked that the action scenes were descriptive enough to follow along and picture the scene, but not overdone to the degree where they become tedious or confusing. There are plenty of heart-pounding, page-turning scenes to love in this book!

I could go on and on about this book. I honestly had to force myself to put it down. My entire drive home from clinicals and work I fantasized about getting to read more chapters. I thought about the characters and the plot while I was in class. Fireborne is a politically-savvy, emotional, intoxicating story, and if it’s not already on your TBR, it needs to be.

REVIEW: The Storm Crow – Kalyn Josephson (ARC)

38330596Title: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher.

“Crow or no crow, one way or another, you will fly. You were always meant to rule the sky.”

The Storm Crow had been on my radar for a while and so I was ecstatic when I learned an ARC would be included in the December FairyLoot box! Who wouldn’t want to read a fantasy about elemental crows that can be ridden?! The Storm Crow was a fun new fantasy full of magic, strong female friendships, and a handsome tortured prince. 

The action begins right from the first chapter, which is the best way to hook me in. There were a couple slower moments, but for the most part The Storm Crow keeps the plot moving forward with plenty of action. The writing is excellent; Kalyn Josephson is a talent writer and does a great job pulling the reader into the story and painting a vivid picture. 

The author also does a fantastic job handling Anthia’s grief and depression. She doesn’t gloss over the character’s feelings and is very forthcoming portraying the emotions. It’s not hard to feel for Thia and want her to succeed in her journey!

As far as the romance, I will say that I feel kind of led on by the synopsis? The romance went in a direction I was not expecting. There’s nothing really wrong with the love interest per se; it was justv ery insta-lovey and meh. I’m not sure if we’re going to get a love triangle in the next book – some of the things Thia says towards the end make me feel doubtful – but I think I speak for the majority of people who’ve read this book in that we’re all rooting for someone else 😉

The Storm Crow was an entertaining story and I cannot wait for the second book! I look forward to more of Thia, Ericen and storm crows! 

REVIEW: The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

42785825Title: The Friend Zone
Author: Abby Jimenez
Rating: ★★★★

What I expected upon picking up The Friend Zone was a light-hearted, fluffy contemporary romance perfect for summer. And while the book delivered with the romance, angst, and humor, it also contained a layer of emotional complexity that was unexpected in the best way.

I’ll admit, I was pretty hesitant reading upon reading the first quarter of the book. The beginning of the story features some very grey-area cheating, which is not my cup of tea. However, I was thankful that that particular conflict was resolved early on in the book, allowing me to then fully immerse myself in the story and the characters.

A large focus of the story was on Kristen and her infertility issues, and I think Abby Jimenez did an very excellent job with the subject. Kristen was a great character and it’s impossible not to root for her – even when she’s being extremely stubborn! It was easy to understand her reservations and struggles, but still want her to take a chance on a the person she loves.

Other than the grey-area cheating at the beginning, there were a couple other things that kept me from fully loving this book. Josh constantly compares Kristen to other women, repeatedly saying things along the lines of how she’s “not like other girls” and she’s a “cool girl.” I really don’t appreciate when the heroine of the story is show in a positive light by bringing down other women in comparison. The other thing that bothered me is probably going to sound super nitpicky but YOU CANNOT USE A DEFIBRILLATOR WHEN SOMEONE IS FLATLINING!!! This is a huge misconception perpetuated by all the medical drama shows. Stop this nonsense. The paddles are used for when the heartbeat is dangerously out of rhythm, not when there is an absent of a heartbeat. This honestly made me so irate.

The ending took me by surprise. The best way I could describe the events of the last few chapters would be bittersweet. There is a particular part of the story that is emotional and heartbreaking. The epilogue was the perfect ending and helped balance the heartache. Overall, I was really impressed by this debut and would recommend The Friend Zone to anyone looking for a moving, captivating read!