It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 5/25/30

Happy Memorial Day!

This week I’m going to try to read a little more before I go back to work next week.

This week I’m going to read an e-arc that a Publisher sent (My Favourite Author), an e-arc for a blog tour, a book that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, and a highly anticipated sequel.

What are you reading?

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The Invention of Sound- Chuck Palahniuk

50358503A father’s decades-long search for a missing daughter.
A young woman about to perfect the darkest art.
The most dangerous secret Hollywood has ever kept.

Gates Foster lost his daughter, Lucy, seventeen years ago. He’s never stopped searching. Suddenly, a shocking new development provides Foster with his first major lead in over a decade, and he may finally be on the verge of discovering the awful truth.

Meanwhile, Mitzi Ives has carved out a space among the Foley artists creating the immersive sounds giving Hollywood films their authenticity. Using the same secret techniques as her father before her, she’s become an industry-leading expert in the sound of violence and horror, creating screams so bone-chilling, they may as well be real.

Soon Foster and Mitzi find themselves on a collision course that threatens to expose the violence hidden beneath Hollywood’s glamorous façade. A grim and disturbing reflection on the commodification of suffering and the dangerous power of art, THE INVENTION OF SOUND is Chuck Palahniuk at the peak of his literary powers–his most suspenseful, most daring, and most genre-defying work yet.

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Royal Decoy (Fate of Eyrinthia #1)- Heather Frost

51585276. sy475 A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.

A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.

A WORLD on the brink of war.

In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess’s perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

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The Girl From Widow Hills-Megan Miranda

52265515. sy475 Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again, in this propulsive page-turner from suspense master Megan Miranda.

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Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)- Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

52691509. sx318 sy475 Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Bone Thief by Breeana Shields

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Title: The Bone Thief (The Bone Charmer #2)

Author: Breeana Shields

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Release Date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

“I was absolutely swept away by the world of The Bone Charmer.” – Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series

 

A deft exploration of the weight of grief and cost of revenge, Breeana Shields’s Bone Charmer duology reaches its spine-tingling conclusion in this high-octane fantasy-thriller.

Saskia returns to Ivory Hall to train in bone magic, determined to stop Latham from gaining the power of all three Sights—past, present, and future. But danger lurks within the fortress’s marrow. Trials are underway for the apprentices, and the tasks feel specifically engineered to torment Saskia, which is exactly what Latham wants.

As she grows increasingly more suspicious, her thirst for revenge becomes all-consuming. Together with the friends she can trust and the boy she loved in another lifetime, Saskia traces clues from Latham’s past to determine what he’ll do next. Their search leads them across Kastelia and brings them to a workshop housing a vast collection of horrors, including the bones Latham stole from Gran, and the knowledge that the future isn’t all that’s in jeopardy—but the past as well.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

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Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including The Bone Charmer, The Bone Thief, Poison’s Kiss, and Poison’s Cage.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives near Washington D.C. with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

This is a review of book two in The Bone Charmer duology. To read my review of the first book, click here

“I feel like a tree branch caught in the current—bobbing along on the swells of fate, powerless to change direction. Buy maybe it doesn’t have to be that way I need to take control. It’s time to become the river.”

At the end of The Bone Charmer, we saw Saskia’s two futures become one. Now, she returns to Ivory Hall to participate in The Bone Games, which is made to help test Saskia (but it turns out to seem like her own personal torture). She teams up with her friends and Bram, the boy she loves, to pass The Bone Games and defeat Lathan once and for all. But Saskia learns that it’s not just her future and her friends that are at stake – it’s also the past. As Latham works to gain the ability of all three Sights, Saskia works to stop him while also struggling with her grief and some of her past choices.

The Bone Thief is a brilliant sequel to The Bone Charmer, one filled with intense emotions and the struggle between what is right and what needs to be done. The characters really helped to enhance these emotions swirling throughout the book – some of the side characters even helped Saskia control said emotions. But the relationships Saskia builds with these characters were beautiful and just what she needed in this time of her life.

“I’ve tried to stem the tides of hatred that spills over my heart like poison…But in quiet moments—when I have too much time to think—my hart still feels dark with hate.”

Shields did an amazing job of portraying Saskia’s revenge. She wants revenge against Latham for everything he has done to her and her family, and she lets that revenge (and her grief) overpower everything else. She’s devastated at the past and present choices she has had to make. I could feel the emotions Saskia was fighting – her romantic feelings for Bram, her appetite for revenge, and her grief for losing her mother. Her emotions are so powerful and raw in this story, and it’s really what made her character growth so exceptional in this story.

The struggles Saskia faces with the second path she was on in the first book are still relevant in this book. Even though that path no longer exists, the feelings she experienced do, such as her love for Bram, who is a different Bram in her current path. It was interesting to see Saskia’s path grow from the first book and watch her make certain decisions that could potentially alter her past and future. She was, ultimately, a brilliant well-developed character.

“And so I focus on my anger instead. I let it fester and ooze. My father once said that anger was like paint on a wall—it might be the first thing you noticed, but it’s always just covering up something else. You can’t actually building anything from it.

But I think he’s wrong.

I think if the anger is big enough, maybe it could build a whole world. A different future.”

One of my favorite parts of this duology was the bone magic system. Saskia explores her bone magic further in The Bone Thief during The Bone Games and on her journey to take revenge. I love how Shields further explored the three Sights. She weaved this enchanting magic system into a beautiful and captivating world.

And the world building. I thought the world building in The Bone Charmer was phenomenal, but Shields developed the world further in The Bone Thief in such a brilliant way. The world is so well depicted and beautifully described. Shields brought this dazzling unique world to life; I felt like I was walking the halls with Saskia in Ivory Hall or assisting her on her many dangerous adventures. It was, overall, an enchanting world.

The Bone Thief had one of my favorite endings to a duology. It’s smart and equally fitting, and wonderfully ties up the duology. It’s a story about revenge, grief, love, and finding your true path in life. It’s a well-developed fantasy duology that I believe many fantasy readers will love.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this tour!

The Bone Thief Banner

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of THE BONE THIEF by Breeana Shields (US/CAN Only)

Starts: May 20th 2020

Ends: June 3rd 2020

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Book Review* Storybound by Emily McKay

Storybound

Title: Storybound

Author: Emily McKay

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: May 5, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Summary: 

I’ve lived in nine towns in the past six years. I know my mom feels bad about it, but I don’t mind. Who wants friends anyway?

All I’ve ever needed are my books. I’ve lived a thousand lives, had adventures I couldn’t even begin to imagine. To me, the places I discovered between the pages of a book are as real as the world I live in.

When I walk into my favorite bookstore, the last thing I expect is to walk out onto the pages of the kingdom of Mithres…or that the book boyfriend I’ve loved more than life, Kane the Traveler, really exists. And he has no clue the fate that awaits him in book five…

Now that I know the truth, I have a chance to save Kane. But if I change the story, will I ever find my way home?

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Purchase Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

Book Depository

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Author Information

EmilyMcKay

I write the kinds of books I want to read. Fast-paced books with lots of world-building, snarky heroines, and swoony heroes. I love story, pop culture, gossip, and baked goods. I’m a modern-day hippy and certified LEGO nerd.

I live in the Austin, Texas hill country, with my geeky husband and two extremely geeky kids. We have dogs, chickens, cats, and more LEGOs than should be allowed by law. Oh, and I stress bake. So if my characters talk about food a lot, that’s why.

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My Review

I’ve honestly been waiting for a fun and adventurous YA book that involves travel into a fictional world. And Storybound excels at bringing this to life. It’s full of character growth, marvelous world building, and exceptional writing. I was so invested in this story and the characters that it was sad to read the last line of this book (only because I had to say goodbye to this world).

The execution of this story idea is done splendidly, and McKay’s writing is a breath of fresh air. Her narration of this story is exquisite and really provides a strong voice. Her writing is also lush and full of beautiful prose. McKay does an absolute wonderful job integrating the real world with the story world, and that integration helped to make this book shine.

The world building is just phenomenal. And not just the book world, but the real world is just as mesmerizing. But really, let’s talk about the book world. It’s fantastical and magnificently described. The whole world was so easy to picture in my mind. I could picture everything in vivid colors. The world building was so well done that days after finishing the book, I can still easily picture the landscape. It’s such a unique and rich world.

Now for the main characters. Edena (Edie) is snarky and brave and a strong protagonist. She’s not afraid to showcase her emotions or to put other people first. So, when she walks out onto the pages of her favorite series, she knows what she needs to do: save her favorite hero (who she happens to be in love with) from his untimely and unfortunate end. And then, of course, she needs to figure out how she can get home, but this becomes hard to do when she starts to create friendships with the characters she’s only known through her favorite story. Edie is definitely a protagonist that many readers will be able to relate to, and not just because she’s an avid reader.

Then there’s Kane. Kane is, without a doubt, worthy of all the swoons. Well, after he forgoes his rudeness to our fan-fave protagonist, Edie. Though his rudeness is understandable (you’ll have to read the book to find out why!). But his characterization and growth was fun to see: he’s living in a world full of hardships and at every turn, he has to determine his next move without trying to get killed.

Overall, this book was a fun and exciting read and I definitely recommend this story to those who need a new adventure fantasy read!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

nikole

*First Lines Friday 5/8/20* Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2)- Danielle L. Jensen

52715971. sx318 sy475 A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

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“Killian:

Killian dusted sand across the report, taking care not to smear the ink of what was already lackluster penmanship. Not that it mattered. The correspondance was nearly identical to what he’d sent the week prior. And the week prior to that. All quiet on the wall…”

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Interview with KayLynn Flanders, Author of Shielded

Shielded

Title: Shielded

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

Book Depository

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Author Information

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KayLynn Flanders is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a degree in English Language and a minor in editing. When she’s not writing, she spends her time playing volleyball, reading, and traveling. She lives in Utah with her family, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip. Her debut novel is Shielded. To learn more about KayLynn, go to kaylynnflanders.com or follow @kaylynnflanders on Twitter and Instagram.

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My Interview with KayLynn Flanders, author of Shielded

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog for this wonderful interview, KayLynn! And for anyone who is interested in more information about Shielded, check out my ARC review!

Congratulations on your debut book coming out this summer! What was your inspiration for Shielded?

Thank you! Shielded actually started from a dream. I won’t share spoilers, but there were people in trouble, and I woke up before they were safe. My heart was pounding so hard at the cliffhanger, and I needed to find a way for them to be safe so I could go back to sleep. So I came up with a solution, but the characters stayed with me. I let that idea grow over a few months, asking questions about who the characters were, why they were in danger, and how they got out of danger. The dream was wildly different than what my book ended up being (there were neon yellow tanks in the dream??), but the core emotion of that scene is one of the key parts of the book that hasn’t changed over the drafts.

Describe your book in 6 words or less.

Making choices. Finding your place.

What can you tell readers about your main character, Princess Jennesara?

She’s been keeping a secret for a long time from everyone but her brother. She doesn’t trust easily, but she’s got a strong sense of duty—for her brother (who’s the heir to the throne), and for her kingdom. That sense of duty wars with her desire for independence, and we get to see her struggle with that.

I love how unique the magic system is in How did the idea for that magic system come about?

Jenna’s magic was clear to me from the beginning, and I built the rest of the system around hers. I loved the idea of magic having consequences and opposites, of being almost a living thing on its own.

What was your favorite part of your writing process?

I love revising. I studied editing in college and have worked as a freelance editor for over ten years, so it’s not a huge surprise to me that I enjoy revising over drafting new words. Once the words are on the page, I love seeing them get better—communicating emotion and tying little plot pieces together. Shielded went through about twenty massive revisions!

What was the hardest part of your writing process?

Keeping the little subplot pieces tightly weaved throughout every chapter is hard for me. I forget things really fast (which can be good, but not always). I’m working on finding a way to keep track of the details so I don’t have to revise quite as much—unless everyone wants to wait three years for book two. 😀

If you could have Shielded adapted into anything (film, TV show, Broadway musical, dance, etc.), what would it be and why?

I would love to see the characters get to explore the world more in a TV series. Or, and this is a close second, I’d love an instrumental score to go along with it. Like a movie soundtrack, but for my book!

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep at it! Being an author takes a lot of patience and work. It takes loving your book enough to re-write it twenty times, and enough drive to keep trying when the odds are stacked against you. Learn all you can about writing and about the publishing industry, and go for it.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about your book?

I wrote Shielded because the world we live in is dark and messy, and I wanted a book that was hopeful. I wanted a hero who confronts hard situations and makes the best of them. So if you’re looking for a fun escape from the stress of the world, I hope you enjoy this adventurous fantasy with magic and friendship and a dash of love.

nikole

*ARC Review* Shielded by KayLynn Flanders

Shielded

Title: Shielded

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

Book Depository

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Author Information

18515282

KayLynn Flanders is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a degree in English Language and a minor in editing. When she’s not writing, she spends her time playing volleyball, reading, and traveling. She lives in Utah with her family, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip. Her debut novel is Shielded. To learn more about KayLynn, go to kaylynnflanders.com or follow @kaylynnflanders on Twitter and Instagram.

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My Review

Shielded is a fast-paced, adventurous read with strong characterization and beautiful world building. This was a book I could not put down.

Shielded is one heck of a debut, and I say that in a really good way. I loved this story so much. The world is phenomenal, the magic is unique and interesting, and the characters and relationships are wonderfully constructed. Plus, I loved the epic journey Jennesara went on to get to her destination. The author’s writing is breathtaking and a breath of fresh air. I have nothing but absolute praise for this fantasy debut.

The character development for the main character is so well-crafted. Jennesara is easily a likeable and relatable character. She’s strong and puts her family and kingdom above anything else. Though she originally refuses the arranged marriage to a neighboring kingdom, she ends up accepting it when her father explains how it will help save her kingdom. She’s brave and skilled in sword fighting (I loved the intense fighting scenes), which comes in handy, especially as she finds herself in constant danger with unimaginable magical beings. She’s also been hiding a dangerous secret for almost her whole life, a secret that could turn the tides of the war, but also puts her and those she loves in the front lines of danger, which she is not willing to risk. Jennesara is easily the embodiment of what a true heroine should be.

Jennesara isn’t the only character I loved. To be honest, I loved almost every character, even the villains (yes, you heard that, there’s multiple villains and it’s amazing and I’m here for it). I loved how the author included some chapters from the villains’ point of view; it allows the reader to see their backstory and understand why they’re the villains in this story. It also allowed the reader to see just how cruel each villain could be. Besides the villains, the side characters were amazing additions. I especially loved Chiara and Mari, sisters who would do anything to protect one another and Jennesara. It was beautiful watching all the relationships form.

And the romance is so swoon-worthy. It’s kind of (but not entirely) an insta-love story, but it works so well. It felt real and the attraction between Jennesara and her love interest was undeniable. I looked forward to every scene between the two characters; I could not get enough of them (and I’m beyond excited for more of them in book two!). It’s the romance like this in fantasy books that I look for – indisputable attraction, an instant yet fierce connection, and one worth protecting.

The world building absolutely blew me away. The world is magnificently crafted and beautifully described. Though this book was action-packed, the author took her time introducing the readers into new parts of the world, which I really liked. It wasn’t overwhelming at all and really molded well with the story. And the magic system was so unique. Not everyone is born with magic, mainly those part of the royal line and usually the first born. But what hooked me with the magic is how different it was from most magic systems. I loved the history of the magic and how, by the end of the book, it all came together. This book truly was a sensational read in every way.

Overall, Shielded is easily a favorite read of mine for 2020. It’s a strong and remarkable read, which left me feeling so much love for these characters and, of course, left me feeling in need of book two. If you are looking for an epic fantasy journey filled with intense action, believable characterization and strong relationship development, then definitely check out Shielded. 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

nikole

 

*Cover Reveal* All the Tides of Fate (All the Stars and Teeth #2)- Adalyn Grace

The ​thrilling sequel to instant New York Times bestseller All the Stars and Teeth, called “captivating” by Tomi Adeyemi, “Vicious and alluring” by Hafsah Faizal, and “phenomenal” by Adrienne Young. Now author Adalyn Grace is back with more high seas adventure in this electrifying fantasy, perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.

No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.

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You get really excited about lame stuff, like low interest rates ...

 

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