ARC Review: Sparrowhawk

sparrowhawkTitle: Sparrowhawk
Author:
 Delilah S. Dawson & Matias Basla
Genre: Graphic Novel/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 128
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Biracial main character, a brutal Faerie world
Recommended Readers: Anyone looking for grimdark to go with their fairytale
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Thank you, NetGalley and the Publisher, for granting this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Uh, well, hmm. I really didn’t like this one, which is very surprising to me. The five issues that make up Sparrowhawk, written by Delilah S. Dawson and illustrated by Matias Basla, seem like they would contain plenty of elements that I love: a diverse woman protagonist, a brutal world of faeries, and gorgeous art. The graphic novel certainly has some of these things, but the execution is definitely not to my tastes.

Artemisia Grey is born of a British naval captain and an African slave, and despite coming to live with her father’s family, she is treated with shame and disgust by everyone except her half-sister, Elizabeth. On the eve of being married off so she’ll “have some use” to her family, Art is pulled through a mirror by an evil faerie queen, effectively switching places with her. To survive in Faerie against the Unseelie, Art makes a bond with a mischievous fae who cannot lie to her but certainly has his own agenda. If she wants to return home and defeat the faerie queen that’s taken her place, Art must kill any evil faerie that stands in her way and absorb their power, but as she does, she starts to undergo her own strange metamorphosis.

Doesn’t this sound awesome? Why don’t I feel any kind of satisfaction or gladness upon reading it?

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Book Review: Blood Heir

blood heir

Title: Blood Heir
Author:
 Amélie Wen Zhao
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 496
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Anastasia retelling, POC characters
Recommended Readers: Fans of fantasy and X-Men
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Please note: this is a review of the original ARC before the subsequent pull and re-publication of the novel.

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao follows Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess of the Cyrilian Empire, who is presumed dead and in hiding after being framed for the murder of her father, the Emperor. To clear her name and find the real killer, Ana enlists the help of notorious con man Ramson Quicktongue, who has dark ambitions of his own. However, Ramson’s ulterior motives aren’t Ana’s only concern. She is an Affinite, a person with a particular gift at controlling the world around them, but Ana’s affinity isn’t earth, wind, the mind, or even flesh—it’s blood, and it comes with deadly intent. As Ana learns more about the dark side of her country—particularly how rampant the human trafficking trade for Affinites truly is—she must face what she is willing to do to change it, including embracing herself and her own power.

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Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author:
 Tomi Adeyemi
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 531
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Nigerian-based mythology, all-black cast of characters
Recommended Readers: Anyone looking for diversity and beginner fantasy
Rating: ★★★☆☆

You know, for once, I’m giving a rating that absolutely kills me to give. But you gotta be honest about your feelings, right? I just wasn’t blown away by Children of Blood and Bone. I liked parts of it, but definitely not all of it.

Is it because the hype was too high and I had greater expectations going into this than I realized? I’m not sure yet.

In this debut novel, maji used to conjure great and awe-inspiring magic, each of them connected to a specific deity. However, a ruthless king came to fear them, sealing their magic away and killing them, leaving only their children alive who never came into their own power. But with the help of an ancient scroll and a crown princess gone rogue, Zélie is determined to bring magic back to the land of Orïsha and inspire her people to rise up against their oppressors.

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Most Anticipated Book Releases – August 2018

Hey all! Back with another anticipated book release round, this time for August 2018. This year is just flying by, it seems, but at least the book releases have kept up.

I’m going to be doing the formatting for these a little differently, at least for now as I try new things out. But enough talking shop, let’s get to the books!

City-of-Ghosts


City of Ghosts
by Victoria Schwab takes the top spot because frankly, I love Schwab and I trust her. After many successful YA and Adult series, she’s now bringing her talents to the Middle Grade genre. I haven’t read any Middle Grade books in a long time, so I’m excited to dive back in and meet Cassidy Blake and her ghost best friend, Jacob (and possibly a cat???) as they investigate Scotland for malevolent spirits who should’ve been sent beyond the Veil instead of being left to haunt her world. Sounds spooky and fun, I’m in! Release date: August 28

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Book Review: Nyxia Unleashed

nyxia unleashed

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author:
 Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Version: ARC ebook
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, Social class struggles
Recommended Readers: Fans of space adventures and high stakes
Rating: ★★★★★

First of all, thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen. Nyxia was one of my favorite book discoveries for 2017, and now I’m delighted to say that the sequel did not disappoint. In fact, I extol its virtues and the trilogy as a whole to anyone reading this. That’s how much regard and faith I have in it, so please give it a shot if you haven’t already.

Obviously, if you haven’t read Nyxia, don’t continue reading this review because there are spoilers for the first book all up in this.

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Book Review: Warcross

1514692187

Title: Warcross
Author:
 Marie Lu
Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Version: Hardback
Page Count: 353
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Diverse Main Characters
Recommended Readers: Y’all like video games and action, right?
Rating: ★★★★★

I’ve only ever read Legend by Marie Lu, so I’m glad I gave her latest series a chance. I have a soft spot for virtual reality stories (thanks, Tron: Legacy), and Warcross promised to be in a similar vein.

Every day all around the globe, millions log in to Warcross, a virtual reality game that blends seamlessly with real life through special glasses technology. Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter in New York City, tracking down those who bet illegally on the official Warcross games. The job is the only thing keeping her from being evicted from her apartment, having lost her father and only parent. When the job goes awry and Emika needs some fast cash, she hacks into the opener of the international Warcross Championships out of desperation—but in doing so, she glitches herself into the game, something that should be impossible.

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Book Review: Iron Cast

iron cast

Title: Iron Cast
Author:
 Destiny Soria
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, LGBTQ+ characters, Friendship-focused
Recommended Readers: Fans of magical realism, 1920s-era
Rating: ★★★★★

Ah, gosh, I loved this. Magical realism, 1919 setting, diverse characters, thoughtful prose. Consider me swept away!

Iron Cast is Destiny Soria’s debut, standalone novel, and I am an instant fan. The cover alone stole my breath, and the contents inside delivered, taking me to this historical yet magical Boston that I didn’t want to leave.

The novel follows the fierce friendship of two young women, Ada Navarra, the daughter of immigrants, and Corinne Wells, the daughter of an elite Boston family. Neither of them seem to have much in common besides the fact that they’re both hemopaths, or people whose blood cannot tolerate iron and who possess certain gifts. Corinne is a wordsmith who can bring people into her thrall, experiencing any emotion and memory she desires by reciting poetry, and Ada, a songsmith, does the same with her violin.

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