Genre: YA Fantasy

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes | Review

Posted January 15, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes | ReviewThe Darkest Magic (Spirits and Thieves, #2) by Morgan Rhodes
Published by Razorbill on June 28th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 426
Goodreads

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes's highly acclaimed Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, danger looms and the mystery deepens as two warring evils vie for possession of one elusive, powerful book.
Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca's spirit to Ancient Mytica--the same book that their enemies would kill them for.
Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.
Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca--and the remarkable book in their possession.
New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with volume two of the Book of Spirits and Thieves series, an epic contemporary saga perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17th 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Goodreads
five-stars

The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

I had every intention of doing a video review for The Dream Thieves after I read it but then got nervous, since it was so close to the release of The Raven King, that I would get spoiled for later books in the series. Whether blatant spoiling or simply from people dropping subtle hints about later developments I’d be speculating about in my review… So I put it off.

I’ve already done a video review on The Raven Cycle here, and a lot of my thoughts remain the same for The Dream Thieves. The world feels magical and dark, and that atmosphere carries into everything about the reading experience. I actually liked this book far more than the first one, one of the main reasons most likely being that it was less scary for me. I walk a fine line with these books and they can creep me out at times, so I feel I have to be on guard and can’t fully connect with the story. Since The Dream Thieves takes a bit of a break from the main plot, it allowed me to connect a bit more. That may either be a plus or a minus for some people, as I know some reviewers hated that it strayed from the main plot too much. I personally liked a lot of the back story we got on various characters, and delving more into dream magic and it’s ramifications. I also found the villain enigmatic yet tragic, and the entire tone of this installment is something I wish we’d be getting more of. But sadly, for me, we will be returning to the main plot in the next book. And I’ll return to being on edge.

This second book stays true to the tone of the overall story, and the deep focus on this band of characters and their relationships. Fans of the series will enjoy this book, even if it meanders a bit more than some may like.

five-stars

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The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | Review

Posted January 13, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Wrath and the Dawn & The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | ReviewThe Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 388
Goodreads

One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

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Am Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | Review

Posted January 12, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Am Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | ReviewAn Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Razorbill on April 28th 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 446
Goodreads

Laia is a slave. 
Elias is a soldier. 
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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Everbound by Brodi Ashton | Review

Posted January 11, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Everbound by Brodi Ashton | ReviewEverbound (Everneath, #2) by Brodi Ashton
Published by Balzer + Bray on December 23rd 2013
Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy
Pages: 384
Goodreads
two-stars

Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen - and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.

Everbound is the second book in the Everneath trilogy, which was marketed as a Hades and Persephone retelling. I already have a review here of the first book, Everneath, stating how that was not the case.

Everbound continues in the same vein as the first book. The reader gets a tad more information about the world, but not much. The writing is still very simple, and easy to read. I enjoyed this one slightly more, as the characters get to visit the Everneath, and trips to the underworld are always a good time in my opinion. But the plague of the fake love triangle continues, and it continues to be useless. As I said in my review of the first book, this isn’t a real love triangle as it’s not as if both love interests have an equal chance. The protagonist has made it very clear from the beginning who she wants to be with. So dangling the other love interest in front of readers as if there is a possibility she is going to choose him…..is a joke. And a waste of a subplot.

Like I said in the first review, I will finish out this series as it is marketed as a Hades and Persephone retelling and one of my goals is to read and review all of the well known titles that are supposed to be Hades and Persephone retellings, but this is not necessarily something I would recommend.

two-stars

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The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | Review

Posted January 10, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | ReviewThe Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski
on March 29th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 484
Goodreads

Some kisses come at a price.
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.
At least, that’s what he thinks.
In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.
But no one gets what they want just by wishing.
As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury | Review

Posted January 10, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury | ReviewThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Published by Razorbill on February 23rd 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 340
Goodreads

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...
When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.
But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?
As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge | Review

Posted January 8, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge | ReviewCruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1) by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 28th 2014
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 352
Goodreads

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | Review

Posted January 6, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | ReviewTruthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard
Published by Tor Teen on January 5th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 415
Goodreads

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | Review

Posted January 5, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | ReviewPassenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
on January 5th 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy, YA Historical Fiction
Pages: 496
Goodreads

Passage, n.i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.ii. A journey by water; a voyage.iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

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