#ARCstravaganza: The Toll – Neal Shusterman

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. You guys. I’m in complete shock. I won this in Simon Teen’s sweepstake and I cannot believe it!!!


THE TOLL – NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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ABOUT THE BOOK

37632682Title: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Release: November 5, 2019

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

#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….

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: Dark Shores – Danielle L. Jensen (ARC)

41438037Title: Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: ★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I promise, no one is more surprised by this rating than me. It really came down to the fact that I was expecting an action-pack, high-seas adventure and Dark Shores is neither of those things. I really, really wanted to like this because I love Danielle L. Jensen’s Malediction trilogy, but it honestly just fell flat.

Dark Shores is not a fast-paced book, and coupled with the lack of action, I struggled to get through it and had to force myself to sit down and read a few chapters at a time. Nothing happens for almost 80% of the book. The story is told through alternating POVs of the two protagonists, Marcus and Teriana. While I think the characters themselves are fine, I personally did not feel a connection with either of them, and so it made it really difficult to care about their journeys or their struggles.

Some of the early marketing for the book led me to believe this would be a swashbuckling tale featuring some pirates and epic adventures on the seas, but this is not that book. I know Danielle has worked hard to try to steer clear of that image because it’s not correct, but unfortunately my early ideas of what this book would be made an impression in my mind, and it was hard to ignore those expectations as I was reading. Although Dark Shores wasn’t the story for me, I’m still really looking forward to Jensen’s other new series, The Bridge Kingdom, finally becoming a print book later this year and hope I enjoy that more!