ARC Review: The Dragon Republic

the dragon republicTitle: The Dragon Republic
 R.F. Kuang
Genre: Fantasy/Adult
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 672
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC characters, Chinese-influenced history, visceral and brilliant depictions of war
Recommended Readers: People who want their minds blown by an unapologetic grimdark fantasy and its equally unapologetic characters
Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Just like last year with her eye-opening, debut novel The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang has crafted a brutal, god-touched, and war-torn narrative with its sequel, The Dragon Republic.

So as to not spoil the first book, here’s this for the summary: Rin is looking for purpose after the actions she took to end the Third Poppy War, and the Phoenix, the vengeful god in her head granting her incredible incendiary powers, seems determined to drive her insane. Fortunately, revenge is still on Rin’s mind, so she sets her sights on destroying Nikara’s traitorous Empress. On the run, addicted to opium, and with few allies, Rin has little choice but to join the Dragon Warlord as he attempts a coup on the Empire, but is his vision for a democratic republic sincere or a smokescreen for ulterior motives?

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update – July 2019

Hello, hello! I hope you’re doing well and not melting when you go outside. It’s gotten stupid hot where I am; so glad summer decided to finally show up, I guess.

Today, I’m going to be reviewing how I did on my reading challenges for July. I, uh, actually skipped June because I started a lot of books that month but didn’t finish enough to warrant a post, oops! Sorry if you noticed, but if not, that works for me. I’m just going to include the two I did finish here.

The Five-Star Favs

we set the dark on fire
Finished: 6/17/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

  • A book published by HarperCollins – @MommyMannegren’s 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge 2019

Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, published We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, but there’s honestly so much more to say about it than that. It’s gay, it features Latinx culture and characters, and it’s the better version of The Handmaid’s Tale, imo. [Review]

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Book Review: War

 Laura Thalassa
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Version: ebook
Page Count: 427
Publisher: Lavabrook Publishing, LLC
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Fantasy-ish story featuring the Biblical end times; romance featuring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Recommended Readers: [Simon Cowell voice] It’s a no from me.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I had hoped that when Laura Thalassa had to change the covers of this series to this godawful thing, it wouldn’t be an indication of the story quality tanking, too. Pestilence was a shockingly, incredibly moving story with an engaging plot; contained a running commentary on human nature; featured a glorious, problematic villain love interest; and yeah, had some actual, well-written sex scenes. Who knew I could actually have it all in this genre, right? But then the cover change happened, War was unveiled looking like this, and I feared it was an ill omen of things to come.

Judging by my rating, you can see I was right, and you’re probably correct in guessing that, unlike the arrival of all my fears and doubts, I didn’t come at all. Instead, I am hugely disappointed by one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and even worse—War broke my five-star rating streak.

Upon finishing War, I am left with two burning questions: 1) Was Pestilence a fluke? 2) If not, then what the hell happened here?

Alright, let’s back up. It’s synopsis time, and oh yeah, expect spoilers throughout.

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