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6/10
A Reaper at the Gates
Reviews / January 25, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir This is the third book in the Ember Quartet and here we follow Laia, Elias and Helene. To avoid spoiling, I can’t really go into much of the plot here, but in this book we’re basically following three different plotlines with different goals and motivations that slowly but surely starts to merge as the Nightbringer’s plan gets more and more revealed. I’m really conflicted when it comes to this book because I feel like there was so much potential here and so much that could have been great, but wasn’t. I really enjoyed the plot and the sub-plots in this book, but oh my what a “skim-fest” this was. There were so much stuff that wasn’t needed, so many words that were just completely unnecessary. It slowed down the story so much that nothing felt urgent even though it was repeatedly expressed in the book how little time there were until things were too late and so on. But then all those pages that just went on and on about whatever. I wanted to throw the book away so many times. On top of the slow pacing of this book, there was no surprises, no moment when…

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6.5/10
A Torch Against the Night
Reviews / January 15, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir This is the second book in what’s called the Ember quartet. And in this novel, we continue following Laia and Elias as they try escape Serra and the Martials that are after them. In this book we also follow Helene, who is Elias’s best friend and a Mask as she’s forced to hunt down her friend. I think this is a solid continuation of the series, however I do find that it’s a bit slow and I found myself skimming a lot to get to the action. That’s probably just a personal thing, but I like books with fast pacing and lots of action. I don’t enjoy lingering on feelings and boring stuff.  There are also quite a lot of brutality that sometimes just seems to be there for shock value rather than something necessary for the story. It’s not like I’m turned off by the brutal descriptions and all that, but it’s more like they are too shallow and happens too often for them to really mean anything. When a character gets tortured, both physically and mentally, I want to care, I want to be horrified. But when they get out of one kind of torture…

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9/10
An Ember in the Ashes
Reviews / January 9, 2020

by Sabaa Tahir In, An Ember in the Ashes we follow Laia and Elias, two people with two very different lives. Laia is a Scholar, a suppressed people living under the strict ruling of the Martials. They fear for their lives every day. Elias is a Mask, a force trained to kill and torture for the Empire. When their stories align, Laia have to get into Blackcliff, the school where Masks are trained, and Elias wants out. This book was a win for me, that much I can say. I flew through it and I found myself constantly wanting to read more and it was hard to put it down. Sabaa Tahir is great with tension, of building up each chapter in a way that makes it impossible not to read the next one and the next one. And it was this tension that made me end the book feeling like it was great, that it was a clear 5/5 stars for me. And because of that feeling, I am going to give it a full score.  The relationship between Elias and Laia is instantly full of tension. He’s a Mask and she’s grown up fearing them. It makes for…

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2/10
At the End of Your Tether
Reviews / October 4, 2019

by V. V. Glass, Adam Smith There’s one word that perfectly summarizes my feelings towards this graphic novel, and that’s confusing. I have no idea what I just read, and despite giving it my best effort there was nothing that explained the complex plot in this book in a way that made it understandable. The idea is wonderful, the art it great, but the biggest problem here is that the dialogue doesn’t seem to fit with the images, there’s no natural flow between the different frames and it’s impossible to keep up with what’s happening. One moment we’re learning that Arlo has disappeared from her home, but the next frame jumps back in time and without explanation we’re given what appears to be a completely random scene from the past.  It all starts in the 1st chapter, and I didn’t understand a thing. There wasn’t anything cohesive about the chapter and I actually had to stop and make sure that it wasn’t a case of formatting gone crazy on my computer. The dialogue didn’t match up, and it seemed as if the characters answered the wrong questions. So odd. I still decided to keep reading and I had high hopes…

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8.6/10
Ashlords
Reviews / October 3, 2019

by Scott Reintgen In Ashlords we meet three characters from very different cultures, and they are all competing against each other in a horse race of a lifetime. One is an Ashlord golden girl, born into a position of power and fame, one is a revolutionary’s son who bears the fate of his people’s freedom on his shoulders, and one is a determined alchemist protégé who hopes to show the Ashlords her people are done bowing to them. When I got the chance to read and review Ashlords I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve read several books from Scott Reintgen and I’ve truly loved all of them. As I stared reading Ashlords, I had no idea what this book was about. I hadn’t read a single thing about it, nor did I read the blurb, all I did was begin at page one. The first thing I noticed was how unusual this world was, and I really fell in love with the whole concept of riding horses that had died and burned to ashes every night and had to be revived at sunrise. It was so fascinating to see the alchemy and what could be done with it, and the…

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7.9/10
Saving Fable
Reviews / September 30, 2019

by Scott Reintgen Scott Reintgen describes this book as a love letter to the world of literature and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a fun and adorable adventure/mystery that features all the characters that authors write their stories about, but also the characters that never get a part in a story.  We follow Indira, a character-in-waiting who’s chosen to come to Fable and study at the Protagonist Preparatory, a place where authors find the characters for their stories. But when a failed audition puts Indira as a side-character rather than a protagonist, she has to work twice as hard to prove she can be the hero of her own story.  This book is a light and fun read that never stops to surprise. The world is so interesting and when I read this book, I actually felt bad for all the characters I’ve written about and given up on and deleted in my own writing. Scott Reintgen made Fable seem to real that I wanted to go back and finish my shelved stories and give all of them the chance to shine. And I truly loved that about this book, how it hooked me and made me care so much for…

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6.7/10
Windward
Reviews / September 23, 2019

by S. Kaeth Palon is a dragonbonded, which means that she shares the mind and life with a dragon. Her dragon partner, Windward, also shares her love for risky adventures. Together they have become renowned among their nest for their flying skill, and Palon is known to take big risks and bend the rules a little more than she probably should. And paired with her tendency to lash out, Palon’s reputation doesn’t help her when treasures from the dragons’ hoards are found in her collection. No one believes her when she tells them she’s innocent, and she’s forced to risk everything to find the true culprit and prove she was framed. I got this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I want to say that this is a great book with a new take on dragons (at least for me). I found the world very interesting and the characters were well developed and there was a great plot with good twists and turns that made it interesting to read all the way to the end. So, if you like fantasy, and dragons, don’t hesitate to order a copy of this book. I’m sure…

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6.3/10
Pseudocoma
Reviews / September 13, 2019

by Alex Austin In this book we follow actor Philip Raines as he tries to piece together what really happened when his friend Niya was shot and left in a pseudocoma. We get to follow Philip as he somehow tries to maintain a somewhat normal life after what happened while he simultaneously takes his on-screen role as a detective into the real world and searches for Niya’s attacker and the reasons someone wanted to take her life. As for Niya, she’s stuck in her hospital bed and shares the horrifying story of how she ended up in America after escaping an arranged marriage to a much older man. This book is a little outside of what I usually read, but I do enjoy a good mystery and I think this book had a lot of great twists and turns that comes with a great mystery book. It was interesting and personal and felt real in so many ways. I particularly enjoyed reading about Philip and following his investigation and even though I knew more than he did (since we also get Niya’s backstory) I never felt bored with his journey. It was a joy to read about his discoveries, and…

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8/10
Willoughby’s World of Wonder
Reviews / July 26, 2019

This is the International Edition of Willoughby’s World of Wonder, a fictional reproduction of the famous 1882 Field Guide to Strange Beasts & Curious Creatures. Willoughby’s, as it was popularly known, was created by noted cryptozoologist and naturalist, Angus Willoughby.

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6.9/10
King of Scars
Reviews / July 26, 2019

by Leigh Bardugo In King of Scars we follow the young prince we first met in the Grisha trilogy, only here, Nikolai has become king and has to work hard to keep the enemy from marching upon a much weakened Ravka. The only problem is that Nikolai carries a dark secret—the Darkling’s monster resides within him, and it’s fighting for control. Nikolai has to find a way to defeat the monster and keep his secret hidden while at the same time maintaining his image as a king in control. A task that gets harder by the minute. I read this book in a fairly short amount of time, which is a sign that it’s an interesting book that was easy to read. And I did enjoy the book for the most part, but also not so much at all. I’m very conflicted about this book to say the least. As usual, I find Leigh Bardugo’s sense of characters and personality to be on point. Her characters are the most interesting part of her stories and she makes them feel so real, like old friends and family. And I really love that because I rarely get so attached to characters as…