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. 

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.

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Nyxia Unleashed – ARC Review

NYXIA UNLEASHED

Welcome to my stop on the Nyxia Unleashed book tour! Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop! 


About the Book

35424762Title: Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 400

Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all. Discover book two in the trilogy Marie Lu called, “a high-octane thriller.”

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces — Babel and the Adamites — with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Nobles | iBooks | The Book Depository


Review

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

My only disappointment with Nyxia was that we never actually got to see the Genesis kids make it down to Eden, which is why I think I enjoyed this so much better! I was worried that it would suffer from the dreaded Second Book Syndrome, but thankfully Nyxia Unleashed was just as action-packed and fast-paced as the first book.

Nyxia Unleashed picks up right where Nyxia ended: it starts out right in the middle of all the action, and never slows down once. The world-building was expanded in this book: Scott Reintgen did a great job with the introduction and descriptions of the alien planet and the unique creatures Emmett and the others encountered. We also got to see them finally meet and interact with the mysterious Adamites, as well as learn more about this other lifeform and their home. 

“I told my team when we landed and I’m going to tell you all again so you don’t forget it: we have each other. We can’t count on Babel. We can’t count on the Imago. We have each other. Shoulder to shoulder. Fathom?”

I also really loved how the characters and their relationships changed and grew. The characters in Nyxia Unleashed transition from a competitive environment onboard Genesis, to landing on a completely different world. It was wonderful to see them adapt to the circumstances: rivalries were set aside or evolved into partnerships, friendships grew stronger, and a sense of family formed among them as they all understood the need to stick together in order to survive and achieve their common goal.

If you enjoyed Nyxia, I would highly recommend continuing the series with Nyxia Unleashed! The Nyxia Triad is perfect for fans of well-written, unique, and fast-paced sci-fis. I can’t wait to read the final book in the trilogy!

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ScottScott Reintgen was always a back-row dreamer. As early as kindergarten, teachers noticed his tendency to stare out of classroom windows and disappear to more interesting elsewheres. In high school, he began laboring away on the opening chapter of his first fantasy novel. One of his favorite English teachers agreed to read the pages and the very next day she switched him (illegally) out of Spanish and into a Creative Writing class. The story got tossed eventually, but he never lost the confidence he was given by that single act of empowering faith.

Convinced he would one day be a writer, Scott spent most of college and graduate school investing in the world of literature. This eventually led to a career teaching English and Creative Writing in North Carolina. He strongly believes that every student who steps into his classroom has the right to see themselves, vibrant and victorious and on the page. It’s his hope to encourage a future full of diverse writers. As he’s fond of reminding his students, “You have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it.”

As for his own writing, Scott continues to follow in the footsteps of his favorite authors. It was Tolkien who once wrote, “The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.” And Scott hopes his books are a trail of withered leaves that might lead readers to the bright elsewheres through which he constantly finds himself wandering.

He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Katie, and family.

Follow Scott:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Three (3) winners will win a finished copy of Nyxia Unleashed. US Only.

ENTER HERE


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
July 2 | Jena Brown Writes 
July 3 | Paws and Paperbacks 
July 4 | Pacific Northwest Bookworm 
July 5 | Here’s to Happy Endings 
July 6 | MNBernard Books

Week Two:
July 9 | Flyleaf Chronicles
July 10 | Life of a Literary Nerd 
July 11 | Overflowing Bookshelves 
July 12 | RhythmicBooktrovert 
July 13 | Adventures and Reading

Week Three:
July 16 | Feed Your Fiction Addiction 
July 17 | Crazy4Books 
July 18 | JustAddAWord 
July 19 | Book-Keeping 
July 20 | The Layaway Dragon

Week Four:
July 23 | Book Dragon Lair 
July 24 | The Desert Bibliophile 
July 25 | The Clever Reader 
July 26 | Smada’s Book Smack 
July 27 | Nerdophiles

Week Five:
July 30 | Lori’s Little House of Reviews
July 31 | A Gingerly Review

REVIEW: Baby Teeth – Zoje Stage (ARC)

35410511Title: Baby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

This book gave me chills while reading, and that’s exactly the feeling I’m looking for when I decide to pick up a thriller. Baby Teeth was a complete page-turner, with a plot unlike any other I’ve read before.

This book was uncomfortable to read at times, and I’m sure it won’t be for everyone, but I loved every second of it. I found myself easily sympathizing with Suzette’s frustration not only in regards to Hanna’s behavior, but also with Alex’s reluctance to believe her. The story is told through both Suzette’s and Hanna’s points of views, and it was executed perfectly. There were times when I could understand Suzette’s short patience and trepidation towards her daughter, and even a few times when I could also understand how Hanna’s feelings and behaviors might have developed.

There were some parts that totally creeped me out. Some of Hanna’s behaviors reminded me of a particular incident I had at work not too long ago when I had to float to the psychiatric unit and sit with a pediatric patient with psychosis. They were most stressful and frightening four hours of my life, and it allowed me to imagine how terrifying Hanna’s chilling words and actions would have been to Suzette since I have witnessed similar words and behaviors. 

Baby Teeth is fast-paced, thrilling, and easy to read. The alternating POVs between Suzette and Hanna had me flying through the pages, and I had trouble putting it down. Highly recommend to those who like a disturbing read that’s sure to stick with you through the years!