*Mini Review* The Wicked Deep- Shea Ernshaw

35297394. sx318 Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

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My Review

“Love is an enchantress—devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”

Everyone that knows me knows that I’m a huge whore for everything Witches. So this book was a double win for me because this author is one of my favorites.

This book was freaking amazing. Some of the major twists in this book were very predictable but Shea has such a wonderful way of building the perfect captivating atmosphere that none of that mattered. Usually, predictability will ruin a book for me but not this one.

Everything about this was perfect to me. It had some creep factor along with mystery, and a sisterly bond that can’t be beaten. I’m so in love with this mysterious and haunting tale of witches and lore. 

stacy

*ARC Review* The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

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Title: The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2)

Author: Kalyn Josephson

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: 

Princess Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’s show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’s magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

Book Depository

And if you preorder, make sure to submit your receipt here to receive 1 of 2 bonus scenes (either in Ericen’s or Kiva’s point of view)!

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Author Information

Kalyn

Kalyn Josephson is the author of THE STORM CROW duology. By day, she’s a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl).

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

If you would like to read my review of The Storm Crow, click here. Please be aware that this review may include some spoilers from book one. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. All quotes below are from an early copy of the book and may not be in the final story.

“Maybe leading didn’t mean just making decisions and enforcing them. That was what Razel would have done. What my mother would have done. Maybe leading meant being the kind of person people wanted to follow.”

Kalyn Josephson has done it again! The Crow Rider is one heck of a ride. Bustling with countless action scenes, gripping emotional character interactions, and beautiful relationships, it’s a sequel that truly outdoes its predecessor. And The Storm Crow was one of my favorite reads of 2019, one I didn’t think many fantasy reads could top, but the sequel is absolutely breathtaking. This sequel is overflowing with emotion and magic and exquisite writing.

“A thousand feelings bubbled to the surface: the need to prove myself capable, to be strong. To handle things myself for once. To be a leader. And with that, the fear that I would fail, only to slip back into that heavy darkness.”

In The Storm Crow, Thia dealt with a deep depression and a lingering hopelessness. She didn’t know how to move on from tragedy. But then she grew, she fought her darkness and found the light she needed to fight her demons. And now Thia knows her life, her world, is worth fighting for and she will stop at nothing until the one who hurt her kingdom is dead. She still faces challenges with her mental health (and so do many side characters), and that’s what helps make her character feel so real. Thia’s character development is so strong and beyond relatable. She’s no longer afraid to speak her mind and fight battles. She knows she can rely on those closest to her for support, even when there are downfalls and hard decisions. And that knowledge is part of what makes her one of my all-time favorite book characters.

Of course, her relationship with Res is the absolute best. They remind me of my relationship with my dog, which gave me a new love for this story. Res is brave, courageous, willing to protect those he loves, outspoken, and also has just a little bit of a sweet tooth. I constantly caught myself smiling and reminiscing during these scenes; Thia and Res’s relationship is so similar to mine with my dog that it made this story extra meaningful and special. I could relate to just about everything and everyone in Thia’s life in some type of way and that was something I truly loved about this story.

“You have every bit the potential to become a monster as I do.”

On the villain side, Razel is a notable opponent. She is every bit the monster people fear, and Thia will stop at nothing until her reign ends. Josephson brought a power-hungry villain to life within these pages. She is, without a doubt, an equal foe for Thia. The battles were intense and had me gripping the book and my eyes glued to Josephson’s words. Razel is a villain that believes friends and love are a weakness, but Thia is set on proving her wrong; Thia knows that it’s not a weakness, it’s a strength. And that strength is what will hopefully change the tide of the war.

Josephson’s writing is poetic and lyrical, her story filled to the brim with lush world building and phenomenal character development. Josephson has created an intricate world with a wonderful magic aspect. What I liked is that Josephson further explores the magical elements of this world. I loved the new information on the elemental crows and the captivating storytelling behind the Sellas. This world, this story, is remarkable and stunning and everything I love about fantasy books.

The Storm Crow duology is by far one of my top favorite series. There’s not a single thing I do not love about this series. It’s a duology I will continue to support and recommend to anyone looking for a great fantasy. And I cannot wait for Josephson’s next story!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Instagram Giveaway

Visit my Instagram page to enter to win The Storm Crow duology set, hosted by myself and lily at Lily’s Latest Reads! All rules and disclaimer information will be found on my The Crow Rider Instagram post! Giveaway closes Friday, July 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 6/29/20

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

This week is going to be a strange one. Places are fully opening back up and I don’t think we’re ready for that. Alas, I don’t make the rules. Stay safe out there.

I’ve read last week’s books so fast that I’ve read more than I posted, so I’m going to share those and then what I plan on reading this week.

Last week I additionally read a sequel that just arrived in the mail and a very short story by an Irish Author. This week I’m going to attempt to read a book that I’ve planned on reading numerous times before (fantastic surprise book mail kept getting in the way), an arc that I’ve picked up at ALA Midwinter, and a book that I want to read before watching the tv show.

What are you reading?

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Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)- V.E. Schwab

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Kate Harker is a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows -one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons- Kate must face a monster she thought she’d killed, a boy she thought she knew and a demon all her own …

 

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Mr. Salary- Sally Rooney

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My love for him felt so total and so annihilating that it was often impossible for me to see him clearly at all.

Years ago, Sukie moved in with Nathan because her mother was dead and her father was difficult, and she had nowhere else to go. Now they are on the brink of the inevitable.

Sally Rooney is one of the most acclaimed young talents of recent years. With her minute attention to the power dynamics in everyday speech, she builds up sexual tension and throws a deceptively low-key glance at love and death.

 

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Autoboyography- Christina Lauren

36320723. sy475 Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

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Cemetery Boys- Aiden Thomas

52339313. sx318 sy475 Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

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NOS4A2- Joe Hill

51221431. sx318 sy475 NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

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stacy

*First Line Friday 6/26/20* The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison #1)-Natalie Mae

42893340Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.

Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.

All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.

With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.

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“All good stories start with bad decisions. This is the questionable mantra I repeat in my head as we watch the boat come in.”

stacy

*Book Review* The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #2)- Swati Teerdhala

40304179. sy475 The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.

Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.

But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.

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My Review

“When I think of you, Esha, I imagine the monsoon. Warm and life-giving. Fierce and powerful. A contradiction, just like a warrior poet.”

Writing a sequel has to be one of the hardest books to accomplish as an author. There’s a lot of pressure to write something that is just as amazing as the first. It can make or break an entire series. And Swati stepped up with a sequel that was even better than the first. My mind is blown by the way my expectations were exceeded.

From the start, I knew that I was hooked. Every word struck me like a sharp and cold wind, it left me wide-eyed and breathless in the best way possible. The story flowed like nothing I’ve read before and it bloomed like a beautiful flower.

The author created a world where the characters and the setting had a lot of room to grow and she definitely hit the mark. The visionary descriptions of those aspects made it easy to imagine. It was mesmerizing. Now I’m desperate for book three.

The Archer at Dawn was an action-packed filled story with a tale worth swooning over. The stakes were raised with political intrigue, gore, and a little bit of romance. The books in this series get better and better and I’m ecstatic to find out how this all concludes. All I know is that I won’t be disappointed.

stacy

 

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross

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Book Title: Sisters of Sword and Song

Author: Rebecca Ross

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: June 23rd 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

From the author of The Queen’s Rising comes a thrilling YA stand-alone fantasy about the unbreakable bond between sisters. Perfect for fans of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep, and Court of Fives.

After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.

Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross grew up in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, lively dog and endless piles of books. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from UGA. In the past she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

“Failure is never final unless you choose it to be.”

I was already a big fan of Rebecca Ross’s work from her first book, The Queen’s Rising. But Sisters of Sword and Song made me an even bigger fan of her writing and her worlds. It’s a beautifully crafted and tightly woven tale, filled to the brim with Ancient Greek mythology, the power of a sisterly bond, and emotional trepidations. This powerful stand-alone is deserving of all the praise and more.

At the center of this story is that powerful sibling relationship. Halcyon and Evadne are sisters who both lead two very different lives. Halcyon is a warrior while Evadne is a scribe. When Halcyon is accused of treason, Evadne agrees to work for five years for Lord Straton in exchange for her sister’s freedom. But Evadne uncovers secrets about Halcyon and her world that ultimately place both girls in the front lines of danger.

“There is steel within me. I will not bend. I will not break.”

The bond between Halcyon and Evadne is the heart of this story. Both sisters would do absolutely anything for one another. I loved being able to read from both of their perspectives and see how each handled the danger set in their path. Halcyon had secrets she had to keep hidden deep and Evadne had secrets she had to discover to prove her sister’s innocence. Both girls suffer from different types of pain, but that and all their grief is something each has to learn to overcome. And it wasn’t just the main relationship that hooked this story for me; I loved the side relationships and the budding romance. Everything about this book – the characters, the world, the story – was just magical and mesmerizing and I cannot wait to read this book again.

And let me just add: this world and its occupants are marvelous. Ross does a magnificent job of bringing this magical world to life. It’s so beautifully descriptive and filled with lush and vivid scenery. I fell in love with this world and the characters. It’s a world with darkness and light, magic and life. It’s a story with an intricately woven plot with gods and magic and love. I cannot express enough how captivating Ross’s writing is: she has created such an abundant and extraordinary world that I can still picture everything clear as day weeks after finishing the story.

I know Sisters of Sword and Song is a stand-alone, but I’m really hoping Ross visits this world again sometime in the future. It’s such a magical story steeped with breathtaking Greek mythology. Sisters of Sword and Song is a strong and powerful story, one I hope many readers fall in love with. This is, without a doubt, my favorite Rebecca Ross book so far – it’s a story I highly recommend!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers on this book tour!

TOUR BANNER (13)

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of SISTERS OF SWORD AND SONG by Rebecca Ross + 4 myth cards (The Fall of Kirkos, Ari’s Shawl of Stars, The Entrapment of Pyrrhus, and Acantha’s Crown) [US Only]

Starts: June 17th 2020

Ends: July 1st 2020

SOSAS & Myth Cards

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

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*First Line Friday 6/19/20* The Court of Miracles- Kester Grant

38580035. sy475 Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

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“It is a time of famine, a time of hungering want that threatens to eat you from the inside out, leaving you good only to wait for the coming of death. And Death the Endless always comes.”

stacy

*Blog Tour + Review* The Boundless by Anna Bright

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Title: The Boundless (The Beholder #2)

Author: Anna Bright

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: June 9th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

Synopsis:

This breathtaking sequel to The Beholder will take you on a journey into a darkly sparkling fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Selection and Caraval.

 

When Selah found true love with Prince Torden of Norway, she never imagined she’d have to leave him behind. All because the Beholder’s true mission was a secret Selah’s crew didn’t trust her to keep: transporting weapons to the rebels fighting against the brutal tsarytsya, whose shadow looms over their next port of Shvartsval’d. A place Selah hoped she’d never go.

But gone is the girl who departed Potomac filled with fear. With a stockpile of weapons belowdecks and her heart hanging in the balance, Selah is determined to see the Beholder’s quest to its end.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

anna bright

Anna Bright is an indie bookseller by day and an author by night who still gets in trouble for reading when she’s supposed to be doing other things. When not hiding out among books, she loves concerts, roller coasters, and adventures at home and abroad. Anna lives with her husband and cat in a charming cobblestoned neighborhood in Washington, DC, but you can find her online at www.annabrightbooks.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @brightlyanna.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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My Review

Avast! This is a review for the sequel to The Beholder. Please know that are some spoilers below that give away some plot points from the first book. If you would like to read my review of the first book, you can find that here

I loved the story of The Beholder but the sequel’s story is full of more adventure and high stakes and that makes for one heck of a thrilling ride. I truly could not put this book down – and I may have been hoping for some Selah and Torden scenes (don’t worry fellow shippers, there are!). Romance does take a more background role in this story, but that’s to make room for the heart of this sequel and that’s to showcase rebellion and bravery. I usually don’t love sequels more than the first book, but The Boundless exceeded all my expectations. It’s a sequel worth all the praise.

”I already know where my journey ends. It leads me home, to you.”

Selah becomes such an exceptional character in The Boundless. She’s stronger, braver, and she realizes she has the power to change her fate. I loved how Selah was no longer as shy as she was in The Beholder; she grasped the potential she knew she had and used that to become the person she knew she was meant to be. She has the capabilities to help the rebels and change the pace in the war. Her growth is extraordinary as a character and really demonstrates just how much a journey like Selah’s can change every outcome. But what’s also great is that Selah isn’t the only character readers will see grow and develop.

In the sequel, the readers get the opportunity to learn more about the characters from the first book, especially Lang and the crew. But I also loved the addition of some of the new characters. They added a new element to the story, and all the characters constantly challenged Selah, which was an aspect that led her to her new found confidence. Even though Selah is the main character, it was great to see some of the side characters take a much larger role in this story and grow in their own way.

“Not only monsters awaited us in Shvartsval’d, inside the gray boundaries of the Imperiya Yotne. We would meet plots already in motion, characters in masks designed to deceive.”

Bright’s writing is just as strong and lush as The Beholder. She beautifully depicts every scene and character and truly makes this story a delightful ride. Bright also sprinkles in plenty of twists that keep readers on their toes and presents magnificently well-written villains. And the world building is vibrant and well depicted. I loved the world building more in this book than The Beholder. Bright’s writing was, overall, charming and rich, filled with dazzling storytelling and relatable characters.

It was sad to see this story come to an end, but everything wraps up wonderfully. The ending is beyond perfect and just what I was hoping for for Selah and her friends. I’m a fan of Bright’s storytelling and writing and I cannot wait to see where her next story takes us.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Pre-Order Campaign

pre-order campaign BOUNDLESS

The author is giving away two BOUNDLESS-themed cross-stitches, both pictured above.

Giveaway ends June 24th 2020.

Original Post

Rules

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#BeBoundless Campaign

The author is giving away a fairytale-themed necklace to one person who photoshops THE BOUNDLESS’s cover into a photo of themselves on an adventure.

Giveaway ends June 8th 2020.

Original post with information

Rules

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Tour Schedule

Check out the amazing bloggers part of this tour!

The Boundless Bannersword 1

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

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 6/15/20

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone is doing well and reading lots of fantastic books.

This week I’m going to read a book that I’ve judged by its amazing horror cover, a book that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, an arc a friend sent to me, and a hardcover book that I’ve gotten signed at ALA Midwinter.

What are you reading?

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

27161228UK National Book Awards 2013 “Book of the Year”

“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.

“[Gaiman’s] mind is a dark fathomless ocean, and every time I sink into it, this world fades, replaced by one far more terrible and beautiful in which I will happily drown.” New York Times Book Review

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Tigers, Not Daughters- Samantha Mabry

52776262. sx318 sy475 The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.

In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.

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House of Salt and Sorrows- Erin A. Craig

39679076In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

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The Grace Year- Kim Liggett

43263520. sy475 No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

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*First Line Friday 6/12/20* The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2)- Margaret Owen

41022295. sy475 Dangerous magic, a tormented romance, and lethal betrayals come to a head in the thrilling sequel to Margaret Owen’s The Merciful Crow.

As the new chieftain of the Crows, Fie knows better than to expect a royal to keep his word. Still she?s hopeful that Prince Jasimir will fulfill his oath to protect her fellow Crows. But then black smoke fills the sky, signaling the death of King Surimir and the beginning of Queen Rhusana’s ruthless bid for the throne.

Queen Rhusana wins popular support by waging a brutal campaign against the Crows, blaming them for the poisonous plague that wracks the nation.

A desperate Fie clings onto a prophecy that a long-forgotten god will return and provide a cure to the plague. Fie must team up with old friends? and an old flame? to track down a dead god and save her people.

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The Thousand Conquests

Fie was taking too long to cut the girl’s throat.”

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