Sanctuary by Caryn Lix Review | Nonstop Action in this Alien-Infested Scifi

32855090Sanctury
Author: Caryn Lix
Series: Book 1
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I separate Sanctuary into two acts, and I’ll explore my thoughts on the story separating these two halves of the book. I really enjoyed the fast-paced, blood-rushing action, but the thing about large amounts of action (which is definitely fun and exciting) is that it sacrifices relationship exploration, characterization, and world/story-building to make up for everything else that’s going on. Because of this, I think certain interesting aspects of the story weren’t drawn to their fullest potential. Despite that, sci-fi lovers who are itching for an Alien-like story of survival will definitely devour this one. I certainly did!

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Girls Can’t Hit by TS Easton Review | Feminism =/= Telling, Not Showing

Girls Can’t Hit
Author: TS Easton
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A funny, feminist teen story about knowing when to train . . . and when to fight.

Fleur Waters never takes anything seriously – until she turns up at her local boxing club one day, just to prove a point. She’s the only girl there, and the warm-up alone is exhausting . . . but the workout gives her an escape from home and school, and when she lands her first uppercut on a punching bag she feels a rare glow of satisfaction.

So she goes back the next week, determined to improve. Fleur’s overprotective mum can’t abide the idea of her entering a boxing ring, why won’t she join her pilates class instead? Her friends don’t get it either and even her boyfriend, ‘Prince’ George, seems concerned by her growing muscles and appetite – but it’s Fleur’s body, Fleur’s life, so she digs her heels in and carries on with her training.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was super excited for this book because, hello! Feminist story about a girl who, despite external protests, becomes a boxer? But unfortunately the execution of this premise made it a 2.5 star read for me, rounded down to 2 because I just don’t get Fleur’s humor. This book is also a revamp, as it was published last year already, so check out the cute new cover!

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Review | Another Fairy-Tale Fantasy Hit!

36896898Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“A moneylender’s daughter, even a bad moneylender, learns her numbers. I wrote and figured and wrote and figured, interest and time broken up by all the little haphazard scattered payments… And when I had my list finished, I took all the knitting out of my bag, put my shawl on, and went out into the cold morning.”

And thus begins Miryem’s beginning as a cold moneylender, and eventually the queen of the cold.

This was another winner from Naomi Novik! After reading and adoring Uprooted when I first started reviewing books (you can find my review here), I was exceptionally eager for Spinning Silver and I was NOT disappointed. While the books are not connected at all, they follow a similar fantastical theme, with the most recent being fairy-tale based. Both books are amazing for different reasons, and I can’t wait for readers to pick up and love Spinning Silver like I did.

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Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen Review | BATB Retelling I Couldn’t Get Into

31019831Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Author: Lisa Jensen
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Well, this made for a rather peculiar retelling.

Before I begin the actual review, I do want to let readers know about certain important triggers that they should be notified of:

  • 12% into the book, a rape scene occurs where the heroine experiences it – and the consequences – first hand. It is mildly described.
  • 16% into the book, the heroine is devastated after the rape and tries to drown herself.

These are not light topics, and it was rather shocking to see it in the story, and so early. The revenge after the rape is what serves as Lucie’s driving motivation – and basic plotline – of the book. Soon enough, Lucie’s wish for revenge is granted when the handsome chevalier who attacked her gets transformed into a hideous beast, forcing all the servants to flee. Everyone leaves except Lucie, who gets turned into a candelabra so he can see his ugliness every day. Or something like that. It was a weird explanation for keeping her there.

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Book Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Renegades #1)

28421168Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Renegades #1
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Superhero fans will definitely recognize Renegades as a book that calls to them. It’s a classic superhero book with villains, secret identities, and saving humanity. While Nova may be considered an anti-hero, I didn’t really think so. Her character isn’t morally grey as some (such as Adelina from The Young Elites for example.) She’s vindictive, for sure, but she also believes in a just world – and in the end, that’s what the Renegades are fighting for too. The whole 500+ page book is just one adventure after another, likening it to an episodic kind of vibe (very similar to Flash, the DC show). It was a fun, light sci-fi that explores what society really needs in a world of superheroes.

“Don’t worry about helping yourselves. You’ve got enough on your plate, what with all the hiding and moping you’ve been doing lately. You take a day off. We’re superheroes. We’ve got this.
Hope called themselves the Renegades.”

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Iron Magic by Ilona Andrews Review | Is it possible to turn an antagonist into a beloved hero?

35126152Iron and Magic
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Iron Covenant #1
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: NYLA
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This is a spin-off Urban Fantasy series to Kate Daniels. Reading the previous series is not necessary, but I highly recommend doing so to increase your enjoyment of this book!

WHAT A WILD RIDE.

The Ilona Andrews team really did not disappoint with Iron and Magic, which follows one of the antagonists in the Kate Daniels series, Hugh d’Ambray. I came in knowing that this was going to be a tough sell. The thing about Hugh’s character in the Kate Daniels series is that he’s written so well as an antagonist. He’s killed beloved characters, imprisoned, and tortured many people and shapeshifters. However, the authors write this redemption book so well, even someone who was side-eyeing the announcement of this book like me fell in love with it. As someone who has been subjugated in a manipulative relationship before, I am very harsh when it comes to redemption arcs. The Andrews team writes Hugh’s with dexterity and care. Many loose strings when it came to his character in the Kate Daniel’s series is wrapped up. The heroine they introduce, Elara, is a force of nature that holds her own against Hugh. All in all, Iron and Magic is another example of the authors’ tactical and heartfelt writing that I have grown to love. Continue reading

Book Review: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

33876440This Mortal Coil
Author: Emily Suvada
Series: Book 1
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

We’re bringing back dystopian thrillers with this tight, action-packed, adventurous read! This Mortal Coil follows the first-person, present-tense POV of Catarina Agatta, a talented genetic hacker who can manipulate DNA the way coders manipulate data. The author takes a lot of the beginning to introduce the world (quite an info-dump that makes it drag a bit), and takes us on a road trip adventure to finding the cure of a contagious virus that’s ready to wipe out the human civilization. The science is super interesting in This Mortal Coil and Suvada does go rather in-depth. Nonetheless, the characters are constantly on the move through each twist (although I did find it a bit predictable since I’ve read so many similar dystopians). Continue reading

ARC Review: The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

35796027The Boyfriend Bracket
Author:Kate Evangelista
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Publisher: SwoonReads
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan…right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I wish I liked this book more than I did! The Boyfriend Bracket is all the fluff of a marshmallow, but nothing past the sugary-sweetness. The fact that it’s a bit over 200 pages doesn’t help either, giving only glimpses of character and relationship development. Over the course of these pages, Stella goes through almost her whole senior year of high school. It’s a huge time frame that passes by really quickly, making for a hastened pace that makes the glimpses mentioned above even more scarce. Nonetheless, it was an adorable read that romcom lovers should consider picking up!

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Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh Blog Tour | Playlist + Graphics! Part 2

Smoke in the Sun Tour Graphic

Hello everyone!

Today I’m continuing from my first post around Flame in the Mist a week or so ago (you can find it here!) to finish up with Smoke in the Sun, the stunning sequel to Ahdieh’s newest duology. You can find my review of the first book over here. This follow-up story is packed with action, betrayals, secrets, and a drop of lovely romance. It’s everything a reader ever wants in a sequel as well as a conclusion. I can’t wait for more readers to finish this one, so we can rave about that ending!
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Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (The Folk of Air #1)

26032825The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of Air #1
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review
So the most important question for this book to me is… hype – worth it or nah? For me, the answer is in the middle. There are some parts I liked about The Cruel Prince (namely, the main character), and other parts that fell very flat with me. This book follows the tangled politics and court intrigue of the High Court of Faerie and the human girl that resides there and is ready to rise up in the ranks. There is a bit of a romance (honestly, hardly anything and I’m disappointed that people place so much on it), an intriguing father-daughter relationship, and sisterhood that pushes past certain boundaries. It’s a pretty large book, but in the end I’d say it’s worth the read. Continue reading