Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab

Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse. —Joseph Brodsky

Friends, Vicious is a book that totally surprised me in the best of ways. I've owned this book for months but was kind of afraid to read because of the hype and my lukewarm/conflicted feelings about the Shades of Magic trilogy, but when I impulse bought the Limited Special Edition OwlCrate for Vengeful and decided that it was about time that I give this book a try... and I am so glad that I did because I loved it! If you enjoy morally gray characters and anti-heroes like I do, this definitely is a book for you.


Vicious is told in the perspectives of Eli and Victor, who are former college roommates turned enemies, I really enjoyed the storytelling overall: the narrative shifts between present-day and ten years prior, meaning that the reader is thrust into the present with little context and slowly discovers what happened to turn friends into foes. Continue reading...

Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne #1) by Peter McLean

"Ellinburg is corrupt to the core," she said. "From Governor Hauer on down, the city all but stands on the shoulders of its underworld."

Priest of Bones is the first installment of the new grimdark fantasy series War for the Rose Throne. If you are like me and love morally grey characters and anti-heroes, then you will love Priest of Bones! Tomas Piety is an army priest who prior to being conscripted to fight in the war was the boss of the Pious Men, a gang that ruled the streets of Ellinburg known as the Stink. When he and what's left of his men return home, he finds that he's been dethroned by some opportunistic outsiders. Continue reading...

A Darker Shade of Magic book review

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Three very different Londons, in three very different countries, and Kell was one of the only living souls to have seen them all.

Welcome to the Darker Shade of Magic realm, where parallel Londons exist in very different countries and outside the understanding of all inhabitants save royalty and a select few. Long ago travel between the Londons was possible, but the doors have long since been closed to all but the two remaining Antari - rare magicians with the ability to travel between the Londons. A Darker Shade of Magic is the first installment to the Shades of Magic trilogy and I am excited for more!

"There's Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London. See? I'm a fast learner."

Continue reading...

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

"We are not foretold."

Beneath the Citadel is a standalone young adult fantasy which at its heart challenges the notion of destiny and predetermination. The city of Eldra has been ruled for centuries by the High Council, which maintains its power through prophecy. It's been four years since the rebellion was quelled, but there's a ragtag group of friends determined to fight back against the council so that the all the lives lost meant something.

This is a difficult review for me to write. While I enjoyed the overall plot and found it to be unique, the writing style didn't really work for me and I personally found the execution to be lacking. It is worth it to note that I buddy read this with Melanie, who loved it, and at the time of writing there is an average rating of 4.05 on Goodreads. While this book didn't hit the spot for me, I do recommend this book! So without further adieu, let's hop into the review! Continue reading...

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

This is such a weird and beautiful book. Friends, I am struggling to find the words to articulate how much I adored this book. While the premise of a hundreds-year old pacts that provide prosperity to a town in return for sacrifice isn't new, I found Strange Grace to be refreshing and captivatingly written. It is one of the best witch stories I've ever read.

Three Graces is an idyllic town: there is no disease, the weather is perfect, injuries heal overnight, and crops grow in abundance. Continue reading...

The Night Crossing by Robert Masello

"At night, the shadows run free."

Friends, I was so excited to receive an advanced copy of The Night Crossing for review as I love spooky stories and historical fiction. A mysterious golden box, London in the late nineteenth century, and an evil that must be overcome are all ingredients that I love and I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met: I found the writing a to be a bit lackluster and I struggled to connect with the characters. While I found the overall plot to be interesting, I struggled to find the desire to read... and the last 25% of the book infuriated me to no end. Continue reading...

A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna

"Your arrow was a spark. A spark of fire so hot and white that no one will be able to put it out. And even a spark of fire can consume an entire forest if it can jump from tree to tree...Watch as one act leads to another and then to another after that. Watch the trees pass white flames on. Watch the forest burn."

If you enjoy political intrigue, space operas, complex characters, and amazing worldbuilding A Spark of White Fire is for you! This is one of my most anticipated releases in a year with a large number of young adult releases focused on the politics of rule, and I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint! This is a genre-bending retelling of the Mahabharata that is easily accessible to YA fantasy readers and I cannot wait for you to fall in love with Esmae, Rama, and the rest of these characters! Continue reading...

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

The line between greatness and villainy is as thin as a garrote wire.

Friends, I was really excited for The Lantern's Ember from the moment I saw this stunning cover and read the synopsis, and I was so excited to get an opportunity to read an advanced copy for review. While the book started strong and appeared to be full of spooky folklore, overall this book unfortunately did not live up to my expectations as it quickly descended into drama, angst, and a predictable plot. While it is a fast read, I found the characters to be one-dimensional and mostly unlikable, lacking growth, and I was left wanting more about the characters and the world. Continue reading...

Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Reading this book brought back memories of watching Pretty Little Liars; if you enjoyed the tv show I would recommend this to you! This is a book full of deadly secrets, political intrigue, and a fantasy world where the ruling class is out of touch with the people over whom they rule. While these are ingredients that I love to read, I unfortunately found the execution for Rule to be a bit lacking: the characters were one-dimensional, character relationships to have little to no development to justify their actions, and I was left wanting more worldbuilding. The base ideas are interesting and intriguing, but in my opinion need more development. Continue reading

Mirage by Somaiya Daud [Blog Tour]

Friends, Mirage is such a beautifully written debut novel from Somaiya Daud and I cannot wait for the rest of you to experience it! Poetically written and instantly captivating, this book draws you into a new world so vivid you feel as if you could walk the streets. This is a powerful own-voices Moroccan inspired SFF tale of culture, family, oppression, and rebellion with a diverse cast of complex characters that you cannot help but adore. Continue Reading