A Murder of Crows (The Ravenscourt Tragedies #1) by Annie Kirke

Rumours are nasty things. They lurk in the shadows and feed off people’s worst instincts.

I love me some strong female characters, so when Dying Arts Press reached out to me to offer me a chance to read this YA fantasy I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this book did not work for me: I found the characters flat, world-building confusing, and the plot to be predictable and, if I am being honest, a little troublesome.

Abigail is 13 years old and her father just mysteriously died. Part of the burial process of loved ones is known as the Resting, where the spirit can say their final goodbyes to loved ones before crossing over. Unfortunately something went wrong and her father’s soul wasn’t there, so they are left alone with their grief and questions without their chance to say goodbye. Within a couple of days, his estranged brother comes and invites the family (Abigail, her mother, and her brother) to stay with him at Ravenscourt for awhile. And then the mysteries really begin.

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Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

BRIEFING NOTE: This is an addictive, fast-paced adventure that I didn’t expect to ███████ lurrrrrrve as much as I did.

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Greetings chum. I don’t even know how to adequately review such an amazingly unique reading experience. Illuminae is not your traditional book. It breaks conventional storytelling and is told in multi-media format: the book is the compilation of emails, instant message conversations, redacted memos, and more as if you are reading a confidential dossier.

“It’s not the bullets that kill you. It’s moments like these. One piece at a time.”

The year is 2575 and this morning Kady Grant broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra Miller. Hours later their tiny planet of Kerenza, which is an illegal mining colony, was attacked by a mega-corporation. Bad day, I’d say.

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The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

“Everywhere he looked, he was surrounded by gilded wolves. And for whatever reason, it made him feel perfectly at home. Wolves were everywhere. In politics, on thrones, in beds. They cut their teeth on history and grew fat on war. Not that Séverin was complaining. It was just that, like other wolves, he wanted his share.”

I am a sucker for historical fantasy, and The Gilded Wolves delivers an action-packed story with a diverse cast of characters that I treasured with every ounce of my being. A secret society that pulls the strings of society (Illuminati?!)? Hunting for artifacts? Magic and technological invention when the world was on the cusp of Industrialism? Heck. Yes. If you are in the mood for an adventure with a precious found family, this book might be for you!

It’s Paris, 1889. The world is at the brink of the Industrial Revolution, but there is another kind of technology that goes back way further. “The art of Forging is as old as civilization itself,” and is the magic system of the book. Those born with the ability manifest it by their 13th birthday and can either influence the mind or matter.

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Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

“Blackness, a sort of darkness we didn’t have on Earth. A perfect pitch dark. A complete absence of light. Void-like. Terrible.”

What a creepy and atmospheric story! Pitch Dark is a fast-paced and frightening story; I was completely sucked in on the first page and captivated until the very end. There are so many different layers of complexity here and Alameda crafted a really good book. My friend Destiny recommended this book to me months ago after I read and fell in love with Contagion by Erin Bowman, and when I saw it available on BookOutlet for $6 back in September I had to get it. She gets an A+ for this book recommendation, if you enjoyed Contagion or other horror/sci-fi mashups then this book is for you!

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The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman

What lay ahead was a lifetime of unexplored terrain, and I was more than ready to explore it and to find out who an what I was.

Friends, it has been a few months since a book has made me feel like this. I devoured The Dark Side of Nowhere in a couple of hours and after finishing it I was left with the feeling of awe. I can’t get this book out of my head. It is magical and exactly what I love about science fiction: the light that it casts on the darkest parts of our society through storytelling. The themes I picked up of otherness, political divide are hauntingly relevant to society today.

This is a book that I heard nothing about. No one recommended it to me, I haven’t seen any reviews. It honestly just caught my eye when I was browsing on BookOutlet earlier this month. I’ve seen good things about this author’s newer work and the synopsis caught my eye, so I bought it on a whim (along with 12 other books, shhh).

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