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5/10
All the Stars and Teeth
Reviews / July 11, 2021

by Adalyn Grace In this book we follow Amora, a princess set to take over the rule of the kingdom after her father. To do so, however, she needs to perform a deadly ritual and use the magic reserved for her family’s bloodline to prove to her people that she’s strong enough to take on the burden. Her magic fails her though, and she risks execution for it not being able to control it. She flees her land with a mission to prove that she’s a worthy queen, but on her quest for redemption, she learns not only of an ongoing rebellion, but of secrets that changes everything. Now, she must decide which road to take and who’s side she’s really on.  I feel like I’ve said this a lot lately, but I’m really conflicted about this book. There are a lot of things that I like about it. It’s a great concept with an interesting and unique world, and the plot is good too. But the execution is lacking a bit for me, well, a lot actually. I had a really hard time believing the characters and their motivations and their actions. The characters are very one-dimensional and flat,…

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3.6/10
Fire with Fire
Reviews / July 4, 2021

by Destiny Soria In this book we follow Eden and Dani, two sisters who are also training to become dragon slayers. In this modern world, dragons are reduced to myths and legends, but they do still exist in very low numbers. They are very dangerous and the slayers’s job is to basically make sure they go extinct. But when Dani, who’s the protégé slayer yet a lot less invested in the cause than her sister, ends up with some unheard-of soul-bond to a dragon called Nyx, things change drastically. Not only does she learn that the truths she’s been told about dragons may be complete lies, but she’s also forced to choose between the dragon and her own family.  Going into this book, I had such high hopes. The premise sounded amazing. Dragons in the real world? Sibling rivalry, dragon friends, sorcerers and magic? It seemed to tick all the boxes for an amazing read. I was, however, very disappointed, and to be honest seriously bored reading this book. Nothing happened. It was just sitting down talking between friends and family and bantering and scenes possibly meant to build characters and relationships, but it felt one-dimensional, repetitive and incredibly slow. …

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5.2/10
The Bone Shard Daughter
Reviews / May 25, 2021

by Andrea Stewart In this book we follow Lin, the emperor’s daughter who spends her days trapped within the palace together with the boy her father has taken in. One of them will become the heir to the throne, but Lin has lost all memory of her life beyond five years, and she has to play catch-up with the protégé son her father now considers her replacement. But Lin is determined to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic, but it’s a dangerous quest and one that will question not only her father’s reign but the future of hers. This book was a disappointment to me. The premise was so great, and I loved Lin’s perspective and her as a character. It was interesting and fun and exciting and the bone shard magic, just wow. So, why the disappointment you might ask. Well, it was an unfocused mess of jumps in time, of an excessive amount of perspectives and no consistent plot to follow along with. I see what the author tried to do here, and the ideas are amazing, the whole story is great too and the characters and their stories too. But it’s…

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6/10
Ninth House
Reviews / May 8, 2021

by Leigh Bardugo In this book we follow Alex who’s been chosen to join a secret society at Yale because of her ability to see Grays, the spirits of the dead. She has a very troubled past and … well, that’s about as much as I can really remember without spoiling the whole plot in the intro to this review.  I don’t know what I was expecting going into this book, but the build-up for this book, the hints and details we got as this was being written, the marketing of the book, it all focused on these secret orders at Yale, yet this book was not about that, at all. Sure it takes place at  Yale, and the orders are present, and perhaps part of the plot, but it’s not about them.  To be honest, I’m not even sure what the book is about. There’s not really any plot here, there a mystery surrounding the strange behaviors of the Grays, and a murdered woman. Yet this isn’t really a murder mystery, while at the same time, it is. We also have the mystery of one of the POV characters having gone missing, and the details of this event is…

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5.2/10
The Shadow of the Gods
Reviews / May 6, 2021

by John Gwynne I was super excited to read this book, not only because I knew of the author and their previous works, but also because of the premise. This is an epic fantasy set in a norse inspired world. Getting into the story, however turned out to be more of a chore than a fun time. It was very slow and never really took off. I like the writing and the world and how things are explained, and I know epic fantasy tends to be rather slow paced, but this was extremely slow and with characters that didn’t really stand out on the page for me, it didn’t mix well. About 25% in and I still had no idea what I was reading, by the 50% mark there were some interesting plot lines that I wanted to follow, but none of them were enough to get me through the massive portions of scenery and unnecessary details in between. I’m sure devoted fans of the author will love this, but it was too slow and not enough forward momentum in the plot for me. I wasn’t really invested in any of the characters or their journey so, it’s a three…

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6/10
Spin the Dawn
Reviews / April 19, 2021

by Elizabeth Lim Quick summary is that this book follows Maia who has to disguise herself as her brother to partake in a trial/competition to become the emperor’s new tailor. It’s said to Mulan crossed with Project Runway, which sort of is true but also not.  I like the writing a lot here, and it’s an easy read that never really makes me stop and wonder what’s going on. It’s a straight line, easy to follow, good worldbuilding, nice characters and overall an okay read.  This book, however, doesn’t stand out to me. It’s kind of generic in a way, which is a shame because the premise is really good and the world could have been wonderful. There was so much potential here that perhaps I was just disappointed that my own expectations weren’t met.  The main characters is likeable, which is great, and I feel for her and I want her to succeed. I can’t really see the likeness to Mulan here though, apart from the “has to dress up as a boy” part of the story. But it feels like that part isn’t even developed well enough to matter. It’s never a problem for her posing as her…

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7.2/10
In the Ravenous Dark
Reviews / April 7, 2021

by A.M. Strickland Rovan is a 19 year old bloodmage in hiding, doing what she can to avoid the kingdom’s other bloodmages who have been assigned undead spirits as guardians. It’s a way for the king to control them and their power, and Rovan is determined to remain unknown to the king and therefore also unguarded. But when her lover and friend Bethea has an accident, Rovan uses her bloodmagic to save her life, exposing herself as a bloodmage. She’s instantly brought to the palace by the king’s men and is assigned a guardian of her own. Desperate to escape, she befriends some unlikely people in the palace and together they uncover secrets that will change everything and destroy their kingdom. In the Ravenous Dark is an interesting read. It’s full of queer representation in a way that doesn’t focus on the queer experience, but it’s treated as any romance subplot, the romance just happens to be f/f, m/f/f etc. And there’s also representation of nonbinary and asexual characters in the book, which is another thing I really like about it.  So, the queer rep here is prominent, it’s a big part of the book the way they discuss their…

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8/10
Mistborn – The Final Empire
Reviews / April 6, 2021

by Brandon Sanderson So the time has finally come when I finish the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. And I’m very conflicted and find it hard to write this review. I had heard so many great things about this series, been recommended it by I don’t know how many people. I suppose my expectations might have been set a little too high here. The book is good, no doubt about it, but is it great? I’m not sure. I like fast books where things happen all the time, where there’s little time to rest. I’m perhaps impatient, I want to get to the resolution and don’t have time for meandering along paths that don’t lead straight to where I want to go. And this book is far from a fast read. I should have known it wouldn’t be considering what I know about Sanderson and his writing, but I was still surprised about the level of “slowness” that this book gave me. So, to actually get into the review. We follow Kelsier and Vin, two people with a rare magical gift that makes them able to ingest and use metals to alter their physical world and/or the people that…

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8/10
Serpent & Dove
Reviews / February 9, 2021

by Shelby Mahurin  In this book we follow Lou who is a witch in hiding, and Reid who’s a witch hunter desperate to make his mentor proud.  Lou is living from day to day, hiding and stealing to get away from a past she doesn’t want to remember or speak of. Together with her friend Coco, a blood witch, she’s seeking to steal a piece of jewelry called Angelica’s Ring. It’s a magical piece who’ll help Lou hide from those who seek to find and kill her.  But when the mission takes un unfortunate turn, Lou and Reid is forced to marry to avoid a scandal. Now Lou is trapped in a tower crowded by witch hunters who’ll burn her without question if they knew what she is. At the same time, there’s probably no safer place to hide from those she’s hiding from.  So, I tried my best to share what the book was about here, but I found it surprisingly difficult. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the book is about.  I thought this would be a riveting story of a war between witches and the church, of battle and enemies…

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9/10
The Gilded Ones
Reviews / February 3, 2021

by Namina Forna In this book we follow Deka who’s a young woman in a world rules by men. All women are forced to serve men, but for those who are revealed to be different, serving the men in their lives sound like a dream. At fifteen, all girls undergo a ritual meant to separate the pure from the impure. Those who’s blue run gold are called alaki and they are tortured and murdered under the law. And when Deka is revealed to be one of them, she’s mutilated and tortured in the priest’s search for her final death, the method where Deka dies for good. But thanks to a woman she calls White Hands, Deka is rescued and brought to the emperor to train and fight as his elite force deemed to vanquish an enemy called Deathstrikers. An unholy band of beasts that slaughter humans for sports. As Deka trains with other alaki, she forms friendships she never thought possible, and she earns for the freedom she’s promised once the her 20 years of service is up. But as time passes, Deka’s powers evolve, and for every truth she uncovers about her heritage and the gilded ones, dozen more questions…