Mini Reviews: ARCs #2

*I received all of these books from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

1. Fable- Adrienne Young

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is the story about Fable, daughter of the most powerful trader of the Narrows. She has only known the sea as her home. It has been four years since her mother died, and four years since she watched her father leave her on the legendary island of Jeval, full of thieves and little food. Here she struggles to make a life for herself with only herself and the skills her mother taught her when she was still alive. Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

I wasn’t a HUGE fan of this one at first. I struggled to get into it and to care at all about the characters. I found Fable to be naive and ignorant about the ways of the world, especially seeing as she had literally been relying on her and only herself to survive. She was an annoying perspective to read from and I felt like the side characters were more enjoyable to hear about. That being said, they weren’t really fleshed out at first and felt rather flat. This definitely changed as the story went on and as we learned more about them. I feel like part of it was that the characters were unwilling to open up to Fable, so we only learned as much as she did. I liked how there was that found family aspect as well. The romance came a little bit out of nowhere and I don’t feel like there was much development in that regard either. I’m interested to see how this will develop later on in the series.

That being said, about 75% into the book I really started to care for the characters and for Fable. She really grew into her role as the protagonist. The ending really had me curious for the next book and I plan on reading the rest of the series. I also really appreciated the pirate stories. Also, the cover is gorgeous. This book should be released on September 1st, and I highly recommend you check it out if you love found family and pirate stories!

Places to Buy: Amazon || Bookshop (support local bookstores!)

2. A Curse of Ash & Embers- Jo Spurrier

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was certainly unexpected. Not necessarily in a bad way. I didn’t love this one too much, but I didn’t hate it. I felt like there is a romance that was starting up, but it kind of came out of nowhere? There was no real… development of that relationship. The conflict fell a little flat for me, at least until the very end. That being said, there were some twists and turns that left me reeling in a good way. I mentioned the conflict being flat until the end, because the book felt like there was no pacing until the last 30% or so.

The characters were okay. I didn’t feel one way or another about them. I felt like the main character, Elodie was a little bit… naive. That being said, I think she was SUPPOSED to be naive. This is a girl who has never left the family home, leaving home and being thrust into this new world that was very very unexpected, and new to her. The witch in the story, Aleida Blackbone can step on me. I would LET her step on me and thank her for it.

All that being said, if I get the opportunity to read the sequel, I will. I think that the story has some potential!

Places to Buy: Amazon

3. Firefrost- Camille Longley

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ll be honest here, I wasn’t expecting to love this one. Especially in the beginning, the writing felt a little clunky, but as it went on, it got SOOO much better. The writing isn’t super flowery, but it’s also not clinical. It’s that perfect mix of poetic and descriptive.

The pacing was good and the plot felt real and believable. The romance was also paced well. I don’t feel like it was over the top rushed or anything. The magic was also really interesting. The idea was something that I had never really seen before and it was nice to see a new concept being implemented the way that Firefrost did.

The characters, Kelan and Sol were interesting to read the perspective from and I loved them as a couple. The changes that they underwent together and their falling in love was wonderful to read about. The romance is an enemies to lovers and it had some angst and build up that I was 100000% here for. This is a prequel to the first book in the Flameskin Chronicles and I plan on reading the next in the series, Flameskin.

Places to Buy: Amazon || Bookshop (support local bookstores!)

4. Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Black Sun is the first book in the Between Earth and Sky series by author Rebecca Roanhorse. Her prose and writing is gorgeous and impeccable. It’s beautiful and lyrical without taking itself too seriously. This is a book that takes place in pre-Columbus America (Fuck Christopher Columbus to Hell) with rich cultures and even richer people. The characters are all so multi-faceted and fun to read from the perspective of. We follow the perspectives of Naranpa, the Sun Priest in the city of Tova. We also follow Xiala, a disgraced Teek, a sea captain who can calm the waters with her voice and Serapio, a young blind man who is seeking passage on Xiala’s ship, they make their way to the city of Tova, days before a holy celestial event that is set to change the course of the world. Once these characters collide, everything changes. The journey getting there was beautiful and heartbreaking. Roanhorse writes unforgettable characters with clear and undeniable skill. I highly recommend this one and cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Places to Buy: Amazon || Bookshop (support local bookstores!)

5. Ignite the Sun- Hanna C. Howard

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book. This F–KING book. Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard was amazing. When I first started this I was unsure. The writing felt clunky, but the world building was amazing. My God, it was so great. The world and culture and subsequent magic system was amazing. It was all so well written and built in such a way that it made me love the world that much more. The magic really made this world and was new and the fact that it had it’s limitations made me love it all that much. That being said, there were moments where this deviated away from that, but I could ignore that mostly because of how much I loved the characters. Each nymph and magical species had their own strengths or weaknesses and I was here for it.

The characters were also pretty wonderful and varied. There was definitely a degree of found family here which is another of my favorite tropes. The romance was always enjoyable to read and I was rooting for them to be together from the start.

The plot was believable and woven in a way where it felt real. Nothing there felt like it was out of the norm for the world and I was having a really good time while reading it. I did have to suspend my sense of belief alot more than I usually do in fantasies, but this was a wonderful book filled with magic, hope and found families and the power of friendship and light.

The one thing that kind of detracted from my enjoyment of this was that the formatting for the e-book that I received was not good. I had a hard time reading it at times due to the formatting. This is probably just a me thing and is not something that affects the finished copy! (I checked with Amazon’s e-book preview.

Places to Buy: Amazon || Bookshop (support local bookstores!)

Mini Reviews: ARCs #1

***All of these books were provided to me through Netgalley for free in exchange for a review. I want to thank Netgalley and the authors for this opportunity.***

1. DRAGONFLY MAID- D.D. CROIX

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


The e-book to this had some formatting issues that made reading it difficult. There were sentences that were repeated (I think due to the formatting). This is nothing against the book itself, as this is a review copy.

D.D. Croix makes you care about the characters and makes you rather invested in what happens to them. The characters all have their own voices and are complex. Jane can be too trusting at times, but overall, I enjoyed reading from her perspective.

The world feels real, and Victorian England has always interested me.

That being said, I don’t feel like the action in the book takes place until I had gotten about 60% into the book. Once the pace of the book picked up though I felt like it progressed nicely. I plan on reading more books in this series.

I want to thank Net Galley for allowing me to review this book!

Places to Buy: Amazon


2. THIS ETERNITY OF MASKS AND SHADOWS- KARSTEN KNIGHT

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Representation: Queer characters, Inuit characters (I’m not sure about how valid the representation is, so you may want to check out Inuit reviewers)

This was an interesting read.

Gods and goddesses walk the Earth, reincarnated every few hundred years. This book follows Cairn, the daughter of Sedna, Inuit goddess of the Sea.

The story follows her as she is trying to discover what, or who killed her mother. She discovers that her mother went on a voyage that ended in unspeakable tragedy and that every member that went on that voyage, one by one, is dying. Cairn with the help of Detective Nanook, Inuit Master of Polar Bears, they try to find who, or what is killing off Gods and Goddesses.

When I first started this, I was worried that it would not keep my attention, but boy was I wrong. This book is a wonderful blend of myth, superhero tale, and urban fantasy. The world here is so similar to our own but the world-building here was amazing.

The characters were all varied and complex and the villain didn’t seem like a caricature either. I would highly recommend this!

Also, there is LGBT rep, and I loved the main couple. The casually queer relationship was so wonderful to read about. It didn’t overtake the story, it just…existed. It wasn’t a main plot point, it was just a part of the characters and who they were. I loved the way that it was done. It wasn’t a struggle to overcome or anything. It was widely accepted and wasn’t questioned.

Places to Buy: Amazon


3. SPRING GIRLS- KAREN KATCHUR

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Another Spring. Another Dead Girl.

This was a thrilling read that followed Detectives Geena and Parker as they attempt to find the serial killer that has been terrorizing their hometown. Every Spring a new body is found in a nearby lake. The killer has come to be known as the Spring Strangler, and his victims? Spring Girls.

This is the third book in the Northampton County mystery series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

While we get the point of view from the detectives, we also get the point of view from Janey Montgomery, the first victim. The one who survived. The characters were interesting to read from the perspective of. I liked the main characters, which were mainly Geena and Janey. I liked how they interacted together and I liked how Janey handled herself. She was very obviously a victim of a horrific crime and she acted in a way that a victim would act. By the end of the book she was much stronger and was more sure of herself and she had a lot of character growth.

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was certainly thrilling and took some very unexpected twists and turns. The plot kept me engaged and had me on the edge of my seat. It kept me guessing and led to places that I didn’t expect it to.

The conclusion was good and it didn’t pull any punches. Neither was it totally out of left lane. It was like being in a Criminal Minds episode and I would highly recommend it.

Places to Buy: Amazon


4. ODESSA- JONATHAN HILL

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A story about 3 siblings, Virginia, Wes and Harry as they traverse a post apocalyptic United States. Eight years ago, a major earthquake destroyed much of the Western U.S. But, for Vietnamese-American, Virginia Crane, her life changed shortly after the earthquake, when her mother left the family and never returned.

This story follows the siblings years later while they go in search of their mother and meet many other characters along the way.

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I expected it to be…more. The bad guys didn’t have any real reason to be bad other than the fact that they just were? Their motivations felt a little non-existent to me. There was more action at the end of the novel, so the rest felt slow moving.

The relationships in here felt like true sibling relationships. They bickered and fought just like siblings do, and they also had some heartwarming moments, which I appreciated.

The art style was okay? It wasn’t for me, but it definitely fits with the narrative of the story and the rough nature of the world that the story takes place in.

It looks like this might be the first book in a series, so there was definitely a lot of set up that is going to lead up to future plot lines. I would be interested to see where this goes.

This book is going to be released November 10th! Pre-order below!

Places to Buy: Amazon


5. THE HOUSE OF STYX- DEREK KÜNSKEN

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Representation: Queer, Trans, Autistic characters

This book was… not for me. Don’t get me wrong, the idea was soooo interesting, but this book could have been 300 pages shorter. It went in LABORIOUS amounts of detail in describing the different things about living on Venus.

The characters were interesting to read about and varied. You really felt for them and wanted them to succeed. A lot of that was hidden behind the fact that I didn’t want to keep reading the long winded text that could have been simplified. That being said, I appreciated that there were some very diverse characters, along with some neuro-divergent characters.

The plot was good, I really wanted the d’Aquillon family to prevail over the “enemy” of the story, but I felt like this was -A LOT- of build up for following stories and I had a lot of periods of being kind of bored throughout reading. That being said, just because I didn’t love this one does not mean that others won’t! If you like family sagas with lots of science and details, you’ll love this one!

This book comes out August 20th! Pre-order below!

Places to Buy: Amazon


These are just some of the ARCs that I’ve had the pleasure of reading over the last few weeks! What are some anticipated reads for you for the months of August and September?

~Cam

Book Review: Mooncakes (ARC)


Rating: 5 out of 5.


A Brief Description

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.


A Spoiler Free Review

I wanted to thank Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review this wonderfully heartwarming story.

For starters, this book had wonderful representation for hard of hearing and LGBTQ rep. Nova is hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid. Tam is non-binary and goes by they/them pronouns. They are referred to as such for the duration of the story as well. Nova had two grandmothers who were in a relationship and this wasn’t questioned and there was no homophobia in this respect, or any other.

The friendship between Tam and Nova is pure and wonderful. Their relationships is even more so. I fell in love with their characters and found myself rooting for them and crying with them as well.

The art in this story is GORGEOUS. The drawings are cute and it’s very colorful and pleasing to the eye. I found it very engaging and it kept me wanting more. Most of the ARC I received had color but the last few chapters were not, but either way, the art style still kept me engaged.

The plot felt high stakes and engaging as well. It felt believable and I loved the characters and how they stood up for each other.

I highly recommend this story to anyone and everyone who wants a heartwarming coming of age story about queer witches set in New England in the months of autumn. This book comes out October 15th, 2019 and can be found below:

Goodreads || Amazon (US)