ARC Review: The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

What a delightfully atmospheric and imaginative read this book is! I was swept away by the world-building and atmosphere.

“Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters. The great Old Floods had done more than exile humanity to the depths of the oceanic abyss. They had also ravaged humankind of all faith and, like expiring pockets of air, sucked out any belief they would ever again live in peace.”

The Light at the Bottom of the World is set in the year 2099, about sixty-five years after a cataclysmic climate event made the ocean’s waters rise and the surface of the Earth uninhabitable. What remains of humanity lives 1,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, stuck in the past and afraid of the unknown.

Shah absolutely nails the atmosphere. Even though I have never done more than snorkeling, I could envision the world that she created. Dark and mysterious, a never-ending expanse for exploration but danger in every crevice. The world-building is fantastic and the tone of writing captures the anxiety and fear of what lurks outside of safety. Because while humanity has continued, it’s as dangerous as ever.

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Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco

*sighs* As much as it pains me to say it… I was disappointed with this book. In terms of the mystery’s plotting, Maniscalco did an incredible job crafting a good mystery that kept me guessing. But what I enjoy most about the series is the characters, and I was left frustrated.

“I inquire once more, which will you lose before the week is through? Your heart? Your head? Perhaps, you will lose your life, your very soul to this magical traveling show.”

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There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool | ARC Review

There Will Come a Darkness is an ambitious epic fantasy debut with fantastic world-building and a cast of fully realized characters you can’t help but love. This book is action-packed and has high stakes, making for a gripping read!
There’s one final prophecy that’s been closely guarded for over 100 years since the Prophets left the world. Does it spell the end of the world, or a new beginning? The time foretold is now and all that (maybe) stands in its way are five characters but their roles are unclear.

I’m a simple reader: put doomsday prophecies, loveable characters doing their best, and morally grey characters in a book and I’m summoned! This book is epic fantasy at its best, building the world up around the reader through the characters and their experiences. The world is rich and vast, but the world-building is doled out slowly so it never feels like an info-dump.

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The Babysitter’s Coven (The Babysitter’s Coven #1) by Kate Williams | ARC Review

A quick note before we dive in: as a reviewer, I strive to be critical yet respectful because I know how much work goes into writing a book. I prescribe to the belief that no two readers read the same book and make an effort to highlight positives about the book, be clear about the reasons why I didn’t enjoy it, and to the extent possible share who may enjoy it. I originally was going to rate this 2 stars, but after sorting through my feelings and writing my review I realized I personally cannot recommend this book. I think there have got to be better witchy reads out there without harmful stereotypes and creepy adult behavior for teens to read.

Believe me, no one is sadder than I am that this book didn’t work for me. The cover is absolutely eye-catching and “Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a phrase I didn’t know I needed until I heard it. I wanted to love this book and it was one of my most anticipated Fall releases. But unfortunately, I was left wanting for character development and worldbuilding and found the narrative at times questionable and uncomfortable.

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