Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood #1) by Kim Smejkal

I am so excited to bring you my (late) review for Ink in the Blood as part of the blog tour! This was supposed to go up last week, but my hospital visits kind of disrupted my reading. But good things come to those who wait!

“You two are bright stars in the Rabble Mob, and the Rabble Mob is family.”

I first fell in love with this book when I saw the cover reveal last year, and friends, let me tell you that the insides of this dark fantasy debut from Kim Smejkal most certainly match!

Smekjal’s writing is lush and beautiful with beautiful descriptions, but is also fast-paced and engaging. We jump straight into the thick of the story, and I love the way that we are introduced to the world. The action, character introduction, and worldbuilding are all introduced slowly while not sacrificing one aspect of the story for another.

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ARC Review: Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

This book has rended my heart and spoken my soul. Its prose flows freely, layers of meaning shrouded behind every word. This won’t be a book for everyone, but it certainly was for ME. I loved it with my whole heart and loved the feeling of empowerment that I got from reading this feminist retelling of Macbeth. This book is dark, twisted, and powerful.

“Fair is foul and foul is fair – another spell.”

So much of what I love about this book is how it retells Macbeth. How it lends itself to analysis and comparison. But I don’t want to spoil any of that for you, dear friend.

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Review: The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Friends, I know this sounds dramatic, but CALL THE POLICE! I’ve been personally victimized by this amazing book. The writing is lush and captivating, the characters are vivid, and the chemistry between characters oozes off the page. Honestly, it has been three months since I read this book and I could write this review from memory.

The atmosphere of this book is all-encompassing. Set in 1870s New Orleans, the city comes alive for the reader. I’ve been there once and felt like the book transported me back onto its streets. The lush descriptions paint such a full picture of being there and draws in the senses. Food is an important part of the city’s culture so it has a place of importance in the story and how Celine experiences New Orleans. The city itself is definitely a character in its own right.

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ARC Review: Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

Narrative style: third person | Perspective(s): multiple (Anna, Nathaniel, Eliza)

This science fiction debut is so incredibly special, friends. I didn’t expect to adore these characters, but here I am, utterly attached and wishing it wasn’t a standalone novel so I could go on more adventures with them.

“There was nothing quite like the first tick of a new heart.”

Tarnished Are the Stars finished copyThe book instantly sucked me in with its opening chapter, situating the reader within the world and providing so much backstory in an easily digestible way. It starts at the operating table; a young boy named Roman needs a mechanical heart to stay alive. Lucky for him, they are outside the walls of the Settlement and the life-saving technology is available to him.

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ARC Review: The Deep by Rivers Solomon

b>Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future.”

The Deep simply blew me away with its powerful prose and blend of history and fantasy. It’s a story of memory and history, the individual versus the group, of identity, of pain and of hope. This is such a beautifully crafted and powerful story that I can’t recommend enough.

“Forgetting was not the same as healing.”

The Deep arcDescended from pregnant African women thrown overboard from slave ships, the wajinru have no long-term memory, instead choosing to live in the moment without the burden of the past. It is the responsibility of their historian – Yetu – to hold the memories for them so they aren’t lost, and once a year they have a ceremony to remember the history for a brief time. But the weight of the painful and traumatic memories consumes Yetu and threatens her life.

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