ARC Review: Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

ashlords

Title: Ashlords
Author:
Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Interesting POV choices, commentary on class divisions, phoenix horses
Recommended Readers: This one’s for all the horse girls and competitive sports enthusiasts out there! (Is revolution a competitive sport?)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Well, Scott Reintgen has actually done it. He’s gotten me to read a horse-racing book, the nerve of him. I couldn’t resist, though. I was blown away by his Nyxia triad over the years, falling in love with the way he tells stories and the ideas he generates throughout. I’ll pretty much read anything he does at this point.

But, c’mon, do I look like a horse girl to you? Never mind that when I was little I watched Black Beauty until the tape broke and my mom wept in sweet relief. Never mind that I lined up my little plastic horses along the length of the kitchen because they were in a parade, and the other animals weren’t invited. Never mind that I’ve seen Hidalgo, Seabiscuit, and War Horse in theaters. But I definitely wasn’t and am not a horse girl. Turn horses into phoenix horses, though, and I am a complete sucker apparently.

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update: September & October 2019

What up, y’all? Sooooo, I’ve been all over the place the last two months and totally had no time to do any Reading Challenge updates until now. I’m not too bothered by it, though. I’ve been to some work events, seen some awesome concerts, spent time with great friends at NYCC, moved to a house with some of my best friends, and gotten completely obsessed with Death Stranding. It’s been a good time, but now it’s time to get back to some books.

Let’s give a look at what books I read in September and October!

The Five-Star Favs

final fantasy vii
Finished: 9/8/19| Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story by Kazushige Nojima probably isn’t a LitRPG book in the strictest sense of the word, but it is a book based on the classic JRPG Final Fantasy VII, focusing on the Turks, a mob-like, fictional organization, and a slew of original characters. And Kadaj, let’s not forget that. I’m still stunned by how amazingly written and in-character this translated book was. [Review]

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ARC Review: Saving Fable

saving fableTitle: Saving Fable
Author:
 Scott Reintgen
Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters
Recommended Readers: Anyone searching for a wholesome fantasy and a tribute to stories
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

I don’t read Middle Grade books much anymore, but when a publicist from Random House Children’s Books reached out about an ARC, I couldn’t pass it up for the same reason they offered: I became an instant fan and reviewer of Scott Reintgen with his Nyxia Triad, and I couldn’t wait to see what else he produced. In this case, it’s Saving Fable, the charming first book of a Middle Grade fantasy series that’s also a tribute to literature and storytelling.

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Book Review: Nyxia Uprising

nyxia uprisingTitle: Nyxia Uprising
Author:
 Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Version: Hardcover
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, LGBTQA+ characters, Social class struggles
Recommended Readers: Fans of space adventures and high stakes
Rating: ★★★★★

No, it’s over! Why??? Hats off to Scott Reintgen for delivering not only one of the best sci-fi trilogies in YA but also one of the best trilogies period with the Nyxia Triad. Like the others, Nyxia Uprising does not disappoint, and in fact it might rival the first book as being my favorite. I didn’t think that was going to be possible, but Reintgen did it!

Since this is the final book, I’m not going to be offering a synopsis since it will spoil the others, and I want people to go into this trilogy with fresh, eager eyes like I did. Nyxia Uprising especially contains the right balance of character, action, grit, heart, and heartbreak that begs to be experienced. Part of me wishes I could go back and read it all over from the beginning, not knowing what’s coming, and the best way I can do that is to recommend it to everyone I know.

If you’re looking for a fun space adventure with a diverse cast and thoughtful prose, the Nyxia Triad is it. If you’re looking for a “fuck corporations, pro-middle class” narrative, here you go. If you’re looking for a group of down-trodden kids with their own motives, goals, and dreams who grow in adversity, rivalry, collaboration, and friendship into a found family, look no further. If you love exploring gray morality and trying to make the right and/or strategic choices in the face of survival, you’re welcome.

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April 2019 Book Releases

It’s the start of April, which means it’s time to talk about the book releases I’m most excited for this month! I swear, each month is getting faster, and I don’t like that, even if it is bringing me closer to some awesome books.

In fact, there’s so many books I’m looking forward to this month that it was beyond difficult to choose a most anticipated, but reading a certain ARC clenched it for me:

wicked saints
Release Date: April 2 | Goodreads

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

Why I Want to Read This: I love darker works of fiction; this is just a consistent thing about me. It’s thrilling at the same time it’s cathartic. I also love morally gray characters and seeing multiple sides of a situation. I love books with monsters and powerful gods that try to manipulate and play with humanity’s fate. I love when characters have their world views challenged while still trying to hold on to their morality. After being fortunate enough to read an ARC of Wicked Saints, I can say that Emily A. Duncan delivered on every account. I love this book, I already own a copy, and I’m excited for others to experience it, even if it’s not their brand. [Review]

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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: Nyxia

nyxia

Title: Nyxia
Author:
 Scott Reintgen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Version: Hardback
Page Count: 377
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: ★★★★★

The first reason I picked this book up was actually because of the author’s note on the dust jacket:

Scott Reintgen has spent his career as a teacher of English and creative writing in diverse urban communities in North Carolina. The hardest lesson he learned was that inspiration isn’t equally accessible for everyone. So he set out to write a novel for the front-row sleepers and back-row dreamers of his classrooms. He hopes that his former students see themselves, vibrant and on the page, in characters like Emmett.

It warmed my heart and made me tear up a little.

The second reason was the premise. Emmett Atwater has been selected, along with nine other recruits, by Babel Communications to compete in a competition in space. Only eight recruits will secure spots to go down to the planet Eden to mine nyxia, a substance that’s become the most valuable material in the universe. Winners will be set financially for life while the losers get nothing.

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