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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These Divided Shores (Stream Riders #2) by Sara Raasch

While this review is spoiler-free for These Divided Shores, tread lightly if you haven’t read These Rebel Waves yet as this review has spoilers for the first book.
What a wild ride the Stream Raiders duology was. I’m not going to lie: I was hoping that this installment would bring some piratey seafaring adventures, but unfortunately, that’s not the story this duology is telling. (15/10 would read a spinoff adventure with Teo the raider, though!) If you enjoy complex political revolutionary stories filled with political intrigue, colonization, oppression, war, disillusionment, and religious fervor then this series is for you!

“You won’t even feel it happen – something will become more important to you than fear, and you will find yourself doing amazing things.”

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Salvation Day by Kali Wallace

My favorite thing about science fiction is it is a lens through which to view possible futures and explore potential solutions. Salvation Day is an ambitious look toward the future after the Collapse forces humanity into space to find a new home. But beneath the surface, there is so much more to this story.

The world-building is vast; Wallace crafted a fully-realized future for humanity which touches on a refugee crisis, a government corrupted by power and secrets, and a group of people looking for a new home among the stars at any cost. There are multiple layers and motivations to this story, and it was exciting to see how everything connected.

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Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan

“Last summer a serial killer paid a visit to Camera Cove. By the time the dust settled, four people were dead.”

I’ve been in the mood for a mystery/thriller, and when my friend Meaghan wrote a glowing review I decided that I needed to read this one myself. And friends, I am not joking when I say that this book cured my freaking reading slump.

Ryan manages to pack so much information into the opening page of the book, relaying complex histories between the characters and hinting to a great tragedy. The writing is almost lyrical, which is not something that I typically equate with mysteries. I was instantly swept away into this story where Mac struggles to let go of his pain. But after he finds a clue from Connor on the night he died, Mac embarks on an adventure to uncover the truth no matter the consequences.

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King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

Guard your hearts because if you were emotionally destroyed during Ace of Shades… uh… yea. I yelled HOW COULD YOU when I finished this one.

REVIEW OF BOOK 1 RECAP OF BOOK 1 (SPOILERS) TO COME

While this review is spoiler-free, if you haven’t read Ace of Shades yet, I’d recommend not reading this review or book synopsis as both have spoilers for book 1.

“Oaths, omertas, Chainers – there’s a reason so many in the North Side favor such weapons. New Reynes killed the queen the very day she hoped to negotiate peace. The City of Sin was built on duplicity.”

Friends, this was one of my most highly anticipated sequels of 2019 and Foody did not disappoint! There is a lot going on in this sequel and there is never a dull moment, but the narrative is easy to follow and infectious. Guard your hearts because if you were emotionally destroyed during Ace of Shadesuh… yea. I yelled HOW COULD YOU when I finished this one. This book is action-packed with character development galore and intensely feminist.

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