REVIEW: The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman (ARC)

36535913Title: The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray #1)
Author: Christine Lynn Herman
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

The Devouring Gray is a release I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while, and I super thankful I was able to get my hands on an early copy! This spellbinding book is full of supernatural spookiness with a lot of Riverdale Stranger Things vibes and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. 

The Devouring Gray is completely atmospheric. The vivid descriptions really brought forth the creepy elements and made it easy to become immersed in the story. The plot follows the founding families of Four Paths, and how they use their gifts to protect the town from the Gray. The types of magic the families possess were dark and mysterious, and I loved the gothic vibes. 

The story is told through three POVs, but there are arguably four main characters. I wasn’t that invested in the characters to begin with, but I changed opinion by the end and came to really like them all. Usually if I don’t connect with the characters, I tend not to like the book, but the plot and writing were so good it was easy to overlook. The romances are very subtle, and while I didn’t like either of the pairings at first, they did begin to grow on me by the end. I’m looking forward to the next book and the continued growth of these characters and their complex relationships with each other!

REVIEW: The Waking Forest – Alyssa Wees (ARC)

Waking Forest Leo Comps6APPROVED.inddTitle: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Rating: ★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. 

“And so she cast a glamour over herself and snuck out of the castle at night, fleeing to the forest where the monsters lived. Where she could be a monster too.”

First of all, that cover is extremely alluring and fits the book perfectly. The Waking Forest has such an interesting premise and a really well constructed novel. It’s atmospheric, eerie, and spellbinding.

The writing is something that readers are either going to love or hate. For myself, I found the beautiful prose and lush descriptions the perfect compliment to the two enchanting stories already being told. I can totally see how some people might find it to be too convoluted at times and leading to confusion, but I had no problem following along.

The way the author has crafted the book is very impressive. She weaves two different stories together seamlessly, and the way they converge by the end was extremely creative and made for a unique story. It was very easy to find myself tugged along the as the story went on, but still able to pick up on the little hints that everything was not quite as it seemed. I found the book to be pretty fast-faced and easy to get through, and I was invested in the characters the entire time. I really enjoyed this one and I hope others do as well!

#ARCstravaganza: We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal

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. This book was so good. If it’s not already on your TBR, it needs to be! And even though the original cover was beautiful, the new cover design is just as gorgeous!


WE HUNT THE FLAME – HAFSAH FAIZAL

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ABOUT THE BOOK

dxyuyoyuwaajtgcTitle: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1)
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Release: May 14, 2019

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds— and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Dark of the West – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the Dark of the West 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

32949202Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Release: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

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REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Dark of the West has an extremely fascinating premise. The best way to describe the book would be YA fantasy meets World War II. The story is full of political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, family drama, and interesting characters. The prologue does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the book and promising a story in which not everything is what it seems. 

The worldbuilding was very intricate. I loved the blend of fantasy and history and I think Joanna Hathaway did an excellent job combining two different genres seamlessly and in a way that made sense. Plotwise, there is a whole lot going on. And while I really enjoy books that have plots that are complex and multidimensional, with Dark of the West I was confused about what was going on for a good portion of the book. There are so many different conflicts and it took me a very long time to figure out who was fighting who and why. However, as the book went on it was a bit easier to start to piece things together and I could appreciate how complicated everything was. When it comes to war and politics, not everything is black and white. 

Dark of the West is told through the POVs of two main characters, Aurelia and Athan. I still remain unsure about how I feel about Aurelia. On the one hand, I found her to be a little naive and didn’t connect with her at all. But as the book went on, she really started to show some significant growth and I thought her character arc was handled wonderfully. Athan was a character that I absolutely loved! He was so extremely interesting to read about, especially with his family dynamics and his internal conflicts. I really loved the complexity of his character and never wanted to be pulled away from his chapters. The romance was okay. The feelings between Aurelia and Athan developed in such a short time that I didn’t come across as genuine. I love a good enemies(?)-to-lovers trope, but I think it could have been written a little differently to have been more convincing. That being said, not everything was revealed and so I look forward to seeing how the consequences of the secrets being held will affect their relationship! 

Overall, Dark of the West is a well-written, engaging story full of political scheming, military tactics, romance, and friendship, with an excellent blend of fantasy and history! If you enjoy books with complex plots and intriguing characters, I would recommend adding this book to your TBR! 

★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorJoanna was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.

 

Follow Joanna:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


GIVEAWAY

Win one(1) of ten finished copies of Dark of the West. US only. 

✨ ENTER HERE


FOLLOW THE TOUR

February 5 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

February 6 | Wishful Endings
February 6 | Paws and Paperbacks
February 6 | Book-Keeping
February 6 | Confessions of a YA Reader

February 7 | Dazzled by Books
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February 8 | NovelKnight
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February 9 | Oh Hey! Books
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February 10 | Book Slaying
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February 10 | A Dream Within A Dream
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February 11 | A Court of Coffee and Books
February 11 | The Secret Reader
February 11 | Omg Books and More Books
February 11 | Utopia State of Mind

REVIEW: Warrior of the Wild – Tricia Levenseller (ARC)

43446574Title: Warrior of the Wild
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher. 

“Each scar marks me as a survivor. A warrior of the wild.”

This book was so much fun to read. Warrior of the Wild is an action-packed, fast-paced adventure with a loveable, fierce warrior girl as the star of the novel. The action starts from the first page, and doesn’t let up until the last.

Warrior of the Wild captured my attention early on, and I had such a hard time putting this book down. Rasmira was such a wonderful heroine and I enjoyed reading through her point of view so very much. She’s fierce and intelligent, and yet has moments of vulnerability and doubt that make her not only relatable, but also realistic. Her perseverance in the face of adversity makes it easy to root for her throughout the story!

“I am both a woman and a warrior. And I will not let anyone cause me to forget.” 

In addition to our protagonist, we also are introduced to two side characters, Iric and Soren. Both were well-written characters with their own distinct personalities. I loved all the interactions between those two boys and Rasmira and the eventual friendships that develop along the way. I won’t say much in terms of romance so that I don’t spoil anything, but I WAS HERE FOR IT. Readers are in for such a treat. The love interest was absolutely perfect and the romance that develops between him and Rasmira was so good. 

Warrior of the Wild is an adventure story full of non-stop fun, mythological monsters, quests, friendships, and action. I loved the theme of overcoming adversity and growing into the person you want to be, regardless of what others believe of you. I was completely take by surprise by how much I loved this story and I hope other readers find as much enjoyment by this book as I did! Tricia Levenseller can just take my money in the future, because after Warrior of the Wild and the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, I’ll read anything she writes.