In release radar

RELEASE RADAR: Fall Fantasy Releases I'm excited For!



What's up you guys! September is upon us, which means fall is right around the corner. Fall season is my favorite for reading (so much coziness!) and the autumn months have a GREAT line-up coming up in terms of book releases. I quickly want to point out that these are releases that I'm personally excited for, but not nearly all of them as then the list would get a little too excessive! I've divided this post into three parts: New Releases, Romance Releases (coming soon), and Sequels. This is extremely late as September has already started but let's roll with it anyway! 

New Releases:


Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: September 3rd

Serpent and Dove features witch Louise le Blanc, who has fled her coven and gets caught in a marriage with witch-hunter Reid Diggory. This promises to be all kinds of intriguing, witchy, and maybe even romantic. Can't wait to read this beauty!



Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: September 3rd

This is an own voices African inspired fantasy that follows a last witchdoctor who must go the ultimate lengths to save her kingdom. Early reviews for this book have been amazing and it's filled with dark magic, and rich world-building!



There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: September 3rd

This book sounds very Avatar The Last Airbender mixed with an ensemble cast like Six of Crows. The Seven Prophets have foretold a dark fate before they all mysteriously disappeared and it's now up to five people to save it. All I know is that there's supposedly a very interesting magic system. I'm excited to read this book as I've seen it all over the book community and all I've seen are raving reviews! 


The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: September 3rd

Jenn Bennett's first dip into the fantasy genre centers around 17-year old Theodora, who, together with her childhood friend Huck, set out to find an ancient ring that belonged to Dracula himself. This story is very Stalking Jack the Ripper meets A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and is such a treat to read!



The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: September 10th

The Ten Thousand Doors of January follows protagonist January who finds herself in a mysterious mansion. She stumbles upon a secret book that takes her to other worlds. This book sounds all-around magical and fantastic, and the cover is nothing short but gorgeous. 




Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyr Muir
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Release date: September 10th

I must admit I don't know a lot about this new adult fantasy other than that the reviews have been amazing. The blurb is kept rather vague, but follows swordswoman Gideon who becomes a necromancer for the emperor. This book honestly sounds like some great fun so I'm excited to see what it brings to the table!


The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrove
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: September 19th

Aside from this GORGEOUS cover, The Deathless Girls also has a very intriguing premise to go with it. This book follows the story of Dracula's wives. Lil and Kizzy are kidnapped and taken to work in the castle kitchens of the mysterious and infamous 'Dragon.' Gothic, enthralling and feminist: this isn't a story you want to miss.



The Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: September 24th

Another fantasy series featuring those ensemble casts I love so much. This follows four people, who, despite coming from different backgrounds, are ready to bring down a killer who plagues their kingdom and defies the laws of magic. I'm super excited for this one, especially since the author is a Fullmetal Alchemist fan and supposedly there's some easter eggs in this one to find! 


The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release: September 24th

This seems like a perfect read for the Halloween months! The Bone Houses follows Ryn who works as a grave-digger in her family's graveyard. Everything is spooky and well, until an ancient curse brings the dead back to life. This book promies zombies, mystery, and so much spookiness!


The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBTQ+
Release date: September 24th

It's rare for me to be as excited as I am about YA contemporaries but this one has been on my radar for a while. The Infinite Noise follows Caleb, who starts experiencing bouts of extreme empathy for others. When he experiences the high emotions of fellow schoolmate Adam, his therapist urges for them to become friends. This is a story about mental health, self exploration as well as a hint of fantasy. This is such a cool and original concept and I'm pumped to see what the author does with it.


Crier's War by Nina Varela
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBTQ+
Release date: October 1st

Ready to avenge her family's death, servant Ayla prepares to kill lady Crier. Only, she hadn't expected to fall in love with the royal in the progress. The two must band together in order to wage war against forces that threaten their country. To be quite honest, this just sounded very feminist and has LGBT characters, and I'm all for those things so this got bumped to the top of my TBR. That's all I know, but I'm excited!


Into the Crooked Palace by Alexandra Christo
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 8th

Alexandra Christo has written one of my favorite retellings (To Kill A Kingdom) and is back with another fantasy series! This is being described as another heist story following a set of criminals. This sounds very much a la Six of Crows or The Gilded Wolves, which are two books I ADORE, so I'm ready to devour this RIGHT NOW!


The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 8th

This is another one of those new releases that's been all over my Twitter timeline, and it's The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh. I adored The Wrath and the Dawn (as is no secret) and I'm pumped to get back into the vampire genre. The Beautiful follows Celine, who is caught in a murder mystery in 18th century New Orleans. This book takes elements of a good mystery, vampire novel and historical fantasy and combines them all into one masterpiece, and I'm so hyped!


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fantasy, Adult, 
Release date: October 8th

I honestly don't know where you've been if you haven't heard of this book, but Leigh Bardugo's new Ninth House series is everywhere. This follows Alex Stern, who survives a mass murder and is asked to attend an elite university on a full ride. She joins a group of elites with very strange and sinister hobbies. This sounds completely different from her Grishaverse, but very intense and intriguing. Be mindful that this is an Adult book, and thus contains many triggers! 


War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 15th

Pitched as a sisterly tale set in futuristic Black Panther-inspired Nigeria, this book promises all sorts of goodness. Sick of living in a country full of violence and political unrest, two sisters set out to wage a war against their current society. 


Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Release date: October 15th

This is pitched as being reminiscent of The Lunar Chronicles. Tarnished Are the Stars follows Anna, who has an illegal clockwork heart and supplies the black market with illegal technology. Tasked to capture her, son of the ruler of their society, Nathaniel, sets out to find her. This is an own voices sci-fi, which I've been told features ace characters too, so I'm delighted this is releasing soon!



The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 15th

The Never Tilting World follows a story where one side of the world is set is perpetual darkness, while the other side never sleeps. This is pitched as Mad Max meets Frozen, so a very interesting premise indeed!


Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 29th

This book is one of my most anticipated ones. The premise sounds unlike anything I've ever read before. Gravemaidens follows Kammani, who lives in a land where each time a ruler dies, three girls are chosen to accompany him into the grave. Desperate to save her chosen sister, Kammani uses healing abilities to save her dying ruler. This sounds like a spooky, fantastical tale of sisterhood and is perfect for the fall season!


Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 29th

This is set in a futuristic underwater world among the ruins of London. When Leyla's father is wrongly arrested. Leyla joins a race to secure her father's freedom, but is presented with an unseen opportunity: leave London to retrieve her father on her own. The concept of an underwater society just really peaked my interest so I'm excited to get to this!


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy, Adult, 
Release date: November 5th

Erin Morgenstern is hugely popular for her earlier book: The Night Circus, and The Starless Sea marks her long-awaited return. It centers on Ezra, who finds a book in an old library that transports him to a secret world. It's hard to explain the specifics of this story, but the premise is enchanting to say the least!


Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: November 5th

I've recently finished reading The Raven Boys, so this spin-off comes at the perfect time for me. Call Down the Hawk follows Ronan and Adam, two characters from Stiefvater's previous hit series on their adventures post-TRC. Lots of hype surrounding this one!


The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: November 5th

A twist on Arthurian mythology, this book follows Guinevere who is coming to Camelot to marry Arthur. There's a catch: Guinevere's real identity needs to remain a secret. She's a changeling, a secret protector of Camelot. There's magic, knights, and kickass females in this book, so every reason to add it to your TBR!


Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: November 19th

Hello, dark Anastasia retelling anyone? So, this book was an automatic add for me since I'm obsessed with anything Anastasia, but this follows a captured princess, Ana, who must put her trust in a con-man to win back her kingdom and find answers to her past. This speaks for itself, but as goes without saying, I'm infinitely pumped to read this!

Sequels:

Fall also contains the release of many notable sequels. Check them out below!


Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: September 10th

Capturing the Devil marks the fourth and final instalment in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, and the release of this one is bittersweet. I'm excited to read it, but not ready to say goodbye to the characters just yet. Luckily, Kerri has hinted at potentially writing another series set in the same universe, and has already announced her newest series which releases in 2020! 


Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: September 17th

Following the events of Seafire, this pirate fantasy picks up with Caledonia in captivity. I loved Parker's previous book in this series and this one promises another action-packed, feminist, keel-hauling adventure!


Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Release date: September 24th

Wayward Son is the long-awaited sequel to Carry On, which is a spin-off series to Rowell's older book Fangirl. Wayward Son continues Simon and Baz's magical adventures, but this time the two are in America! This book is set to have all kinds of shenanigans, so get ready. 


Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: September 24th

Bid My Soul Farewell is the sequel to Give the Dark My Love and follows alchemist turned necromancer Nedra, who has chosen to come to the dark side (literally). Now, her love interest and friend Grey needs to find a way to bring her back. Another dark read perfect for the spooky months!



Supernova by Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 1st

Supernova is the third, and final, instalment in the Renegades series, and one of my personal favorites. This brings back Nova and Adrian one last time as they hopefully confront each other about their secret identities. In my opinion, Marissa Meyer doesn't know how to write a bad book, so I have no doubts this one will blow me away.


Reveal Me by Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: October 8th

After Defy Me comes another novella set in the Shatter Me universe. This one is again told from Kenji's POV and bridges the gaps between two novels. These are always short but sweet reads so I will be sure to pick this one up when it releases. 


Rebel by Marie Lu
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: November 19th

Having read the Legend series last year, and it being one of my favorite YA series ever, I can't tell you all how pumped I am for this sequel to release. Rebel is a continuation of Marie Lu's Legend series and is set a few years in the future. The book will have a dual POV and follows both the Wing brothers.


Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Release date: November 5th

It feels like it was only recently that I was blown away by Girls of Paper and Fire, but the sequel is already almost upon us! Girls of Storm and Shadow follows Wren and Lei as they have escaped the palace and must navigate their lives as free people. 


The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, 
Release date: November 19th

It's very fitting to end this long list with a BANG, and I think it's pretty safe to say that The Queen of Nothing is one of the most anticipated sequels of the year. Following the climactic ending of The Wicked King, this last instalment in The Folk of the Air series is very deserving of all the hype!

These were all the fall fantasy releases on my TBR. Check back here next time for a fall romance release radar, and I hope you guys enjoy this reading season! 


Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1

0 Comments

In romance wrap up

ROMANCE WRAP-UP: August


It's your girl, back at it again with the romantic recs. August has been a very heavy romance month. When putting together my TBR at the beginning of this month, I decided to not limit the amount of romance books I wanted to consume in favor of fantasy, and I really liked how motivated I was to read. Don't get me wrong, I love fantasy, but it's easier to get in a slump reading bulky YA than quick romances. I read close to 15 romances this month, most of which were 4 stars or higher! Let's dig in!

Title: Sledgehammer
Author: P. Dangelico
Rating: ✭✭✭✭,5/5

I have recently discovered I have somewhat of a weak spot for romances that have a slightly ridiculous undertone. Sledgehammer is one of those. This book follows Amberm who, after almost burning down her ex's house, is on her way to jail. This is where lawyer boy Ethan comes in, who bails her out using his own money and, in turn, makes her live in his house with him. The premise sounds kind of idiotic, which, apparently, is a thing I'm in to, because I LOVED THIS. The writing is humoristic, the characters have a great dynamic, and this was such a quick, fun read. There are some tiny flaws, but those are easily overlooked. I loved it! Will surely check out more of this author.

Title: The Best Thing
Author: Mariana Zapata
Rating: ✭✭✭✭,5/5

When people ask me for romance recs, Mariana Zapata is my go-to (together with The Hating Game, of course). She is the absolute slow-burn queen, and I have yet to find another author who executes this trope as excellently as she does it. The Best Thing had been on my radar for a while, and when it dropped I snuck off to the break room to read this gem. The blurb is pretty vague; Lenny once liked a guy named Jonah, and he shows up after she vows to be done with him. The trope of this book, then, is something you have to be in to; it's either your thing or it isn't (the premise makes it sound like a second chance romance but there is a specific twist that will divide a lot of people). I, however, LOVED this. This particular trope is one of my all time favorite things, hence the high rating. I didn't love it as much as From Lukov with Love or The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, but this is another definite favorite.

Title: Twisted Loyalties
Author: Cora Reilly
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

I won't lie and say that I love the mafia sub-genre, cause I just don't. I've been reading this series for a friend of mine, who adores them, but I don't think these will ever gain more than 3 stars from me. This is a spinoff series of her Born in the Blood Mafia series, and follows mafioso Fabiano as he navigates his feelings for the ordinary and 'innocent' Leona. Reilly's writing isn't that strong, and most of the characters are two-dimensional or inconsistent. These are great to entertain yourself but they're not my new favorite romance reads and that's okay! They're definitely on the better side of the mafia spectrum, to be fair.


Title: The Right Swipe
Author: Alisha Rai
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

The Right Swipe was one of my most anticipated romances for the year, and it didn't disappoint! This follows business woman Rhiannon, who is the CEO to a dating app. She had a summer fling with Samson, the CEO of a rival app, but he ghosted her after one night together, to which she vows to never forgive him. However, the two encounter each other at a work function, and sparks fly yet again. This book was very refreshing. Aside from the relationship, which wasn't my all-time favorite thing in the world - I didn't think their chemistry was that palpable - this book talks about the struggles of (black) women in top functions, which is something I very much appreciated. I really liked this and I'm already pumped for Rai's next novel set in this universe. 

Title: Our Stop
Author: Laura Jane Williams
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

I wasn't initially planning on reading this book, but the premise sounded too cute to pass up: Boy sees girl on the metro, boy writes an anonymous message to the daily paper looking for girl, the two of them spend ages trying to locate each other and find out who is behind the messages. I'm glad I picked this up because his book was so ADORABLE. Our Stop had its frustrating moments because of the relatively slow pacing and the (a little bit contrived) misunderstandings and miscommunications, but this was still a very solid 4 star read. So! Cute!

Title: Say You Still Love Me
Author: K.A Tucker
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

K.A Tucker is a household name within the romance genre, but I have yet to find a book that I adore. Say You Still Love Me follows Piper Calloway, heir to her father's company. She encounters her childhood lover who's working at her own company as a bodyguard. This sounds exactly like what it is: another second chance romance. This book consisted for 50% of flashback chapters, which aren't my cup of tea. They made me feel a little disconnected from the characters (due to the very many switches), and they kept me from enjoying the book to its fullest potential. I'm also starting to doubt if I've outgrown the second-chance trope a little since I find myself not Loving them as much as I used to anymore. For now, I'll keep looking for a K.A Tucker read I absolutely adore, but this remains at four stars. 

Title: The Perfect First
Author: Maya Hughes
Rating: ✭✭✭,5/5

If there was ever a series that reminded me so much of Off Campus by Elle Kennedy, this one is definitely it. The Perfect First is about goodie-two-shoes Seph, who puts out an ad for someone to take her virginity. To protect her from potential creeps who want to take advantage of her, star football player Reece makes her an offer: he'll help her work on a list of things she wants to experience, but no sex. As I said, this series is very reminiscent of Elle Kennedy's Off Campus series, and very much sets up to have that same feel. I actually found myself to really enjoy this book, be it the writing was a little corny. But, I'm definitely looking forward to the next books in the series! This is perfect for people who are looking for an easy, quick college sports romance.

Title: Good Time
Author: Jana Aston
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

I've mentioned her in my previous wrap-up, but Jana Aston is an auto-read author for me. Her books are the perfect mix between funny and romantic. Her writing is just short of ridiculous, but it somehow works. Good Time, too, falls into this category. Good Time follows Payton, who marries strip-club owner Vince in Vegas, after a night out. This is very much all you need to know about this book. It's hilarious, slightly unrealistic, and pure, authentic fun. I loved this book and it managed to make me laugh on numerous occasions! Definitely recommend. 


Title: Irresistible
Author: Melanie Harlow
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

Sometimes you have these tropes that just make you weak. I found this book while looking through a 'single-dad' romance list on Goodreads, and decided to give it a go. Irresistible follows former marine 'Mack' has recently divorced his wife, which left him with three daughters to raise on his own. He enlists the help of Frannie, who is also the daughter of his boss. This is as cliché as it sounds; namely a babysitter romance, but I enjoyed it on a superficial level. This is quick, easy, and keeps you reading, but forgettable in the end. 


Title: Kick, Push
Author: Jay McLean
Rating: ✭✭✭/5


This book I saw going around on Twitter and decided to pick it up on a whim. The premise sounded interesting: ex-skater who turned single father meets a mysterious girl who comes to live with his landlady. In the end, though, this fell kind of flat for me. The main girl, Becca, has been through something traumatizing (TW for Abuse) and the author desperately tries to makes it emotional for the audience, but as much as I wanted to like it, I just wasn't invested. This is the first part of a duet which I'm not sure if i'll end up reading the rest of. This was forgettable, heavy, and kind of clichéd. (I'm sorry).


Title: Long Shot
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Rating: ✭✭✭/5


The last romances of the month belong to the same series. I've seen these books floating around the romance community, and figured it was high time to pick them up. I've read Kennedy Ryan's previous series (Grip and Flow), which was enjoyable, and I like how her protagonists are poc's. Long Shot follows Iris, who is in an incredibly abusive relationship (this book is incredibly heavy and graphic, TW's for rape, abuse, and domestic violence).  She meets pro-baller August, who she has an instant click with. Ryan talks about how she has been to women's shelters to give an as accurate as possible representation. After going through these awful scenes, the highlight of the book is definitely the relationship between the two main characters. This was filled with heartbreaking, but also soft moments, which actually managed to make me emotional. This book is such a powerful, well-written book, and I loved it despite the incredibly heavy subject-matter. I do wish that there had been a clearer content warning for this, since the topics mention are very heavily depicted.

Title: Block Shot
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Rating: ✭✭/5

You know that high feeling that you get reading a great first book in a series: the feeling that you might have found one of your new favorite romances? Well, I had some high hopes for this one. After seeing how powerful Long Shot was, Block Shot completely missed the mark for me. This book follows Banner Morales, who had a college romance with Jared. Their thing ended very badly and the two haven't spoken in year. But, the two are rivaling sports agents, and when they run into each other at a work function, sparks fly again. This book, was incredibly frustrating for me. I couldn't stand Jared, despite Ryan's obvious efforts to redeem him. He describes himself as an assh*le, which makes him very self-aware, because there was almost nothing redeemable about him. He's selfish, convinces Banner to cheat on her boyfriend with him, and then shows zero remorse. Banner also got a lot less likeable as the book progressed, which all-out just did not manage to make the book work for me. I didn't like this at all and I'm kind of gutted about it. 


Title: Hook Shot
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

The last romance of the month managed to redeem the Hoops series for me. Ryan showed the same power with this book as she did with the first one. Following Iris' eccentric cousin Lotus, who meets single dad and fellow pro-baller Kenan. The two hit it off, but due to Lotus' childhood trauma, face intimacy struggles. Hook Shot gave me the same empowering vibe that Long Shot brought to the table, and I actually think I liked Hook Shot the most out of all three Hoops books. Lotus and Kenan are something special, and I adored Lotus' character. These books are truly something special, and I highly recommend checking out Ryan's writing, because its power has blown me away.

Thank you for reading this month's wrap-up, and I'm looking forward to another month of romance-reading! 

Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1

0 Comments

In arc review

REVIEW: Rage


Title: Rage
Author: Cora Carmack
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: August 27, 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭,5/5

"Life happens how it happens, 
and you can either move with the maelstrom or die wallowing about the change in the winds."

Reading Roar earlier this year has left me wanting more of this series. I'm trying to keep this review short and sweet otherwise it will get very spoiler-heavy, but this was a very solid sequel. 

What is this book about?
Rage is the second book in the Stormheart trilogy, and features a universe that is ruled by storms. Previously being part of a Stormling family, Aurora is now part of a team of stormhunters, ready to join a revolution and reclaim her country. 

What did I think of Rage?
I absolutely flew through Rage. This was such a fantastic sequel. Second instalments often tend to have this effect on me; after getting used to the universe and world-building, it's easier to fully immerse yourself into the story and its characters. My favorite character in Roar was Aurora, and she continued to uphold that title in Rage. I loved seeing the development of her character, as well as her relationship with Locke. 

Rage is a lot more action-packed than Roar, which focused a lot on the initial world-building and travel of characters. Rage, then, is full of new developments. Cassius has wormed his way into my heart, and the reader learns to understand the characters a lot more. One of the newest and my favorite development in Rage, though, is the blossoming of yet another relationship, quite an unexpected one. I won't spoil who or what in this review, but I adored their relationship. The book ends on a cliffhanger, which manages to steal your breath and leaves you eagerly anticipating the next one.

Carmack manages to weave together such an intriguing universe that reminds me of a mix between Graceling and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I'm loving every minute of it. This series is slowly worming its way into my heart and I can't wait for the undoubtedly stunning conclusion! 

** Thank you to Cora for providing me with an ARC 

Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1

0 Comments

In arc review

REVIEW: The Lady Rogue



Title: The Lady Rogue
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: September 3rd, 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

"He said the beauty of travel was that if you never came home for long,
 you never had to face your problems. 
There was always another town, another country, another treasure to distract."

Pitched as The Last Magician meets Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Jenn Bennett's latest YA Fantasy novel The Lady Rogue immediately peaked my interest. As is hopefully well-known, The Gentleman's Guide is one of my all time favorite YA books, so I'm always on the hunt for something that could potentially give me that same feeling. I'd also previously read a few of Jenn Bennett's contemporary YA's, and her writing style is right up my alley. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to dive into this one!

What is this book about?
The Lady Rogue is quite different from Bennett's usual YA's. This fantasy follows Theo, who is hungry for adventure. Having been under her father's protection her whole life, she longs to discover and explore. Together with her once-upon-a-time-lover Huck, the two embark on a trip through a Gothic Europe to find a ring that belonged to the infamous Vlad the Impaler. 


“I’ve yet to hold the devil’s handiwork. 
Everything evil I’ve found was made by human hands.”


What did I think of The Lady Rogue?
First of all, this book reads like a dream. As I mentioned in my introduction, Bennett's writing style is completely my cup of tea in the sense that it's fast paced and very witty. I find that the lighter undertone and the comedic moments mixed with the slightly heavier fantasy setting provides a very nice balance. In that way, it's also indeed very much like Gentleman's Guide as the comparison blurb mentions. I'm someone who very much enjoys speedy fantasies, fantasies where the world-building doesn't generally take ages, and I'm able to immediately jump into the story. This, then, absolutely was one of those.

Now for the negatives: where this book loses some points is the plot. The plot of The Lady Rogue reminded me a lot of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. It has the historical setting, and the subject too is Dracula's lineage. However, contrary to HPD, I didn't find this to be too groundbreaking or original. Some of the plot-points and problems felt a little contrived and were solved a little 'too' quickly. The ending too, is kind of underwhelming and solved the major issue of the book in what feels like seconds. This all meant that a large part of the story didn't really manage to capture my full interest, and I wasn't shocked by any of the revelations or the major twists (because they were already solved by the next chapter!)

Then, the reason I'm giving this book such a high rating is be far characters. Huck, to start with, provided such a refreshing take on the stereotypical YA love interest. He's witty, cocky, but also somewhat of a scaredy cat, which adds a humorous layer to his character. However great Huck is, the real star of the show was the female protagonist Theo. Theo's witty, quick way of thinking and her fiery personality really made the story come together as a whole. Her somewhat impulsive perspective in combination with Bennett's writing style provided such a nice reading experience that pulled me into her as a characters despite the plot not being that interesting. I really enjoy the way Bennett builds and portrays her characters, and because of that, this book almost read like a movie at times.

All in all, I think the main issue with this book, hence why I didn't give this a full 5 stars, is that the plot was too weak for a standalone. When I read a standalone, I expect to be blown away by the plot and world-building since you have less time for build-up. The plot thus has to pull you in. In conclusion, whereas the writing was great and did keep me reading, the storylines weren't original enough to justify a five-star rating. I overall really enjoyed The Lady Rogue and do give it a solid 4 stars thanks to Jenn Bennett's way with characters and her witty writing style. This was, however, definitely a nice fantasy debut, and I hope to see a longer fantasy series in the future! 

*Thank you to Netgalley for this Advanced Review Copy!

Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1

0 Comments

In wrap-up

SERIES WRAP-UP: The Raven Cycle


Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Young Adult

“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. 
She was interested in going out and finding her own.” 

This is one of those series I’ve been putting off since forever. I tried reading The Raven Boys last year, and couldn’t really understand the hype. The characters were Great, but the plot seemed lacking to me. It was weird, kind of abstract, and very, and I mean VERY slow-paced. This year, however, I figured I’d give the series another shot and continue where I left off.

Book 1:
The Raven Boys

Rating: ✭✭✭/5

Book 2:
The Dream Thieves
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

Book 3:
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

Book 4:
The Raven King
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5


"Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.” 

What is this series about?
Explaining the plot of The Raven Cycle is a difficult task. I’d say it’s about dreamers in a Canadian town called Henrietta, but that doesn’t do the plot justice. I’ll try anyway. The Raven Cycle centers around Blue Sargent, who’s the daughter of a clearvoyant family. She meets a group of boys from an elite school named “Aglionby Academy,” and they set out on an adventure to locate a dead Welsh King, who supposedly will grant one of their wishes.

What did I think of The Raven Cycle?
As I mentioned, the plot to this book is very complex and unlike anything I’ve read before. I can see what the hype is about, albeit it does have to be your specific cup of tea. It took me at least three books to fully emerge myself into the plot and become wholly interested in it, which, for a series that contains four books, I’d say is quite a long while. I do have to admit that by the end of the series, I still can’t say I wholly loved the plot. I’m someone who tends to prefer fast-paced plots, which is what I feel like these books lacked. The series has this witchy, spooky vibe, and, yes, is cool and all, especially if you read them during Halloween time (which I did not, oversight), but the majority of the plot and story is just too slow-paced for me to care.


The characters, then, is where this series really shines. The cast of characters in this book, particularly the main gang (or ‘gangsey’ as I’ve been told) fully outshines the somewhat boring-ness of the plot (I said it!). Every single one of the six Raven Boys is very nicely fleshed out and layered. You won’t find a two-dimensional character in this gang. All of them are completely different but fit very nicely.

Writing-wise, this book also gathers its stars. Stiefvater has a specific way with words that just reads very nicely and all somehow fits together. The use of an omniscient narrator who follows a bunch of different characters (depending on the books) was very nicely done, especially seeing how these different stories all came together in the end. It’s safe to say I really liked the writing style and Stiefvater’s poetic way of writing.


All in all, I finally understand the hype surrounding this series, which is something I didn’t think I’d say after reading the first book. The characters are what made the book for me, even though the plot wasn’t as bad as I initially thought. It’s very unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before, so kudos to the author for that. It’s rare for me to be surprised by YA these days since a lot of stories tend to resemble each other (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; if it works, it works!). This series receives a four star average from me, with the highlight definitely being the last instalment!

Read More

Share Tweet Pin It +1

0 Comments

Powered by Blogger.