It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/2/19

It’s December already! Where has this year gone?

This week I’m going to read two arcs that my friends picked me up at ALA, and a book that was donated to me from a library patron.

What are you reading?

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken- Brigid Kemmerer

42952728In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

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Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things- Jacqueline Firkins

43261131In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First, there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend, and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy, and all-around player. He’s totally off-limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.

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The Saturday Night Ghost Club- Craig Davidson

42378784A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

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Title: Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

Author: Jennieke Cohen

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: December 3rd 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Fiction

Synopsis:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo| Google Books

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Author Information

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Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest | Instagram

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

TOUR BANNER

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Book Review

When it comes to historical romance books, Jane Austen is one of my go-to authors. Pride & Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite books, so when I heard of Dangerous Alliance and that it’s filled with Jane Austen references, I knew I had to read this book. And this story did not disappoint.

Dangerous Alliance is filled with beautiful prose, witty banter, and charming characters. There were scenes where I was laughing and scenes where I was gasping, not expecting certain things to happen. The characters, especially the male love interests, were delightful and made Vicky’s interactions entertaining and enjoyable.

Even though, at heart, this story is a romance story, I loved the dash of mystery. Mix mystery into a romance story, and you have a captivating storyline with irresistible characters. And that’s exactly what you get here. Dangerous Alliance kept me on the edge of my seat; I was so curious as to what would happen next that I didn’t want to put this book down. I loved the characters and Vicky and the setting is beyond gorgeous – the historical beauty is captivating, and I loved every second of this book.

“Your pride is one thing, Victoria, but when you give it more weight than your health, you do yourself no favors.”

Victoria is a fun and engaging main character who gets herself into quite the predicament. How exactly do you handle multiple men vying for your hand in marriage? And also try to solve a mystery that could potentially put her and her family in harm’s way? It’s not easy for Vicky, that’s for sure, but watching her navigate the world of society’s season was fun and humorous at times. Her reliability on Jane Austen’s words is a delight to read; it’s the right mixture of Jane Austen’s work with Cohen’s story. Vicky is also strong and fiercely independent, which I absolutely loved; she does not want to settle down and lose her freedom, but to save her family, she’ll do anything.

“Of the countless embarrassing moments in all her seventeen years, this one secured the prize for most ghastly.”

Cohen’s writing was spectacular; I mainly loved the witty banter between the characters and Vicky’s interactions with those inside and outside of books. Cohen brings this historical romance book to life. There’s just enough romance and mystery to keep the readers on their toes, which made this book even more enjoyable. Overall, this book was a wonderful read and perfect for fans of Jane Austen!

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of DANGEROUS ALLIANCE by Jennieke Cohen (US Only)
Starts: 27th November 2019

Ends: 11th December 2019

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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? 11/25/19

Happy Thanksgiving week!!!

This week will be a small reading week due to the holiday.

I’ll be reading a Riverdale book since I’ve been obsessed with that show lately and a book from an author who I’ve never read from before.

What are you reading?

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Riverdale: Get Out of Town- Micol Ostow

46155200. sy475 When Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead take a road trip, they discover that their small-town problems seem to follow them wherever they go.

Archie’s on trial for murder, and the evidence is stacked against him. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead all know that Archie is being framed by Hiram Lodge, but how can they prove it?

The gang comes up with a last-ditch plan to prove Archie’s innocence: They have to go back to the scene of the crime. They have to go back to Shadow Lake.

Threats are around every corner deep in the woods at the Lodge family cabin. Will the teens find the evidence they need to clear Archie’s name? And more importantly, will they make it back to Riverdale alive?

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Call Down the Hawk- Maggie Stiefvater

31373184The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

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*Book Review* Pax Novis by Erica Cameron

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Title: Pax Novis (The Pax Archives #1)

Author: Erica Cameron

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: November 4, 2019

Page Count: 400 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Summary:

Cira Antares is deeply loyal to two things: Pax Novis—the cargo ship captained by her mother that transports supplies across war-torn star systems—and her personal mission to save war orphans. But hiding them as stowaways on the ship is illegal, and if any of them were found, not even her mother could protect Cira from the consequences.

She has successfully kept her secret…until supplies start to go missing. Food. Clothing. Tools. All signs point to her stowaways, but they wouldn’t do anything to risk exposing themselves—or her. Especially not Riston, the oldest of the group and someone Cira has grown close to. Someone she might even be falling in love with…

And petty thefts are only the beginning—whole ships are disappearing now.

Not caught in a firefight. Not destroyed by another planet. Vanishing. Without a trace.

And Pax Novis is next.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

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Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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My Review

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a digital review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Pax Novis is a fun and thrilling space adventure set far into the future. Earth isn’t the only planet that contains lifeforms, so it was really cool to see how Cameron designs the future. I loved the overall setting and the character representation in Pax Novis, as well as the main plot behind the story.

Erica Cameron provides just enough information to make the reader aware of the world surrounding the ship, Pax Novis, which is where most of the book takes place. There were some instances where I felt there was information overload, but as the story progressed, I understood why so much was revealed at once; it was necessary to know that information for the future of the story. And I loved how everything pieced together by the end of the story!

Even though I did enjoy this science fiction story, I was a little thrown off by the slow plot. I felt that it took awhile for any action to really take place and set the story in motion. It did pick up for the last 100 pages or so, but I was hoping for more of an action-packed science fiction adventure. Those aspects are present, just not throughout the whole book, mainly the adventure part. But the mystery part was fun; I’m all for a good mystery and I loved how this one came together in stellar fashion.

It did take a few chapters before I got used to the writing and identification. One character does not identify as he/she but rather as the ‘Z’ pronouns, which I haven’t read a book yet that did that, so it was really nice to see that take shape. Even though it took a few chapters for me to get acquainted with the use of those pronouns, I thought it added a nice representation to the storyline and character. When it comes to the main two characters, I found them to be well-written and beautifully flawed, yet strong and brave. That’s what I love in characters: that characters are meant to come across as strong, but also highlight their flaws. That’s what makes them human, and Cameron does a wonderful job portraying those traits.

Overall, I enjoyed this thrilling science fiction adventure and I found it to be an entertaining and light read for the YA genre.

My rating: 3.0 stars out of 5 stars

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh

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Title: Crown of Oblivion

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: November 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship.

But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail.

From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo

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Author Information

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Julie Eshbaugh is a YA writer and former filmmaker. She made two short films and then spent several years producing an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Her new YA fantasy standalone, CROWN OF OBLIVION, is coming from HarperTeen November 2019. IVORY AND BONE (HarperTeen 2016) and OBSIDIAN AND STARS (HarperTeen 2017), her prehistoric fantasy duology, are out now. You can learn more about Julie’s writing escapades by visiting www.julieeshbaugh.com.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

“Since the day I signed up to race, everywhere I go, I feel the breath of Death on the back of my neck. But tonight is the first I hear its footsteps.”

Crown of Oblivion is a thrilling race where characters’ limits are tested and lives are lost. But at the heart of this story lies a rebellion and a villain who is bent on making sure Astrid doesn’t survive the race. Julie Eshbaugh presents a book filled with action and beautiful character development, as well as captivating prose that kept me reading long into the night.

At the beginning of the story, the reader finds out that Astrid is Princess Renya’s surrogate: every time Renya misbehaves or does something she shouldn’t, Astrid receives the punishment. And there was a time where Astrid’s older brother, Jayden, was the prince’s surrogate, but that was before he escaped and presumed dead. Now, years later, Astrid will do anything to protect her dying father and younger brother, even if it means entering a race where your past is completely wiped from your mind and you fight other racers possibly to the death to win. But Astrid has something the other racers don’t and something that could get her killed: she has powerful magic that no Outsider should have.

“…I bite my lip between my teeth to hold them still, and remind myself what courage really is. Not the lack of fear, but action in the face of fear.”

Astrid is such a strong character; she’s brave, selfless, determined, powerful, and so much more. She has the strong sense to protect her family, which is why she enters the race. She wants to make sure her and her younger brother become citizens, so neither will ever have to worry about poverty or being an Outsider again. But, as Astrid is already a surrogate for the Princess, she’s above the Outsider status. Yet, she needs to make sure her brother is always protected, and that’s when she starts to realize that she could become a Citizen, and no longer be Princess Renya’s surrogate.

But before she enters the race and as she’s given Oblivion, someone commits a murder right in front of her, someone she knows. And because the powerful Oblivion drug has taken its course, she can’t remember who it was. So, throughout the race, she struggles to reclaim her past while fighting for her future; she doesn’t know who to trust, if anyone, and who to believe. By forgetting her whole past, she’s lost the ability to know just who is really looking out for her.

“If I told you monsters could be tamed, would you want to live with monsters? Even a tame monster is still a monster.”

I really enjoyed the side characters in Crown of Oblivion, especially the enemies-to-lovers romance. That’s a romance that I will always love, and the romance in this book is slow-burn, for sure. But it’s a good slow-burn. It offers the readers the chance to get to know both characters during the race and the opportunity to root for both of them, whether it be for wanting one of them to win the race or hoping they become romantically involved.

Eshbaugh’s world building of the race was unique and intricately designed; I could easily picture every scene during the race, and the descriptions and clues kept me intrigued. I felt like I was alongside Astrid trying to piece together the clues (usually before she discovered the answers), and I found that to be really fun. It was a cool way to interact with the story, even if I did end up guessing the wrong answer on almost all the clues.

Overall, Crown of Oblivion was a great book to read; I enjoyed the characters and the world and I loved how the plot thickened as the book went on. Crown of Oblivion is out in stores today, so if you’re looking for a book with mystery, rebellion, a race unlike any other, and non-stop action, then I definitely recommend checking out Crown of Oblivion!

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a finished copy of CROWN OF OBLIVION by Julie Eshbaugh (US Only)

Starts: November 12th 2019

Ends: November 26th 2019

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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? 11/4/19

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to last week. So this week I’m reading something that I started on Friday and some arcs that I received in the mail.

What are you reading this week?

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The Institute- Stephen King

48284797. sy475 From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

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Jane Anonymous- Laurie Faria Stolarz

37650881. sy475 Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

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41085224No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Beyond the Black Door by A. M. Strickland

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Title: Beyond the Black Door

Author: A.M. Strickland

Publisher: Imprint

Release Date: October 29th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT

Synopsis:

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom…

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

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AdriAnne Strickland was a bibliophile who wanted to be an author before she knew what either of those words meant. She shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, her pugs, and her piles and piles of books. She loves traveling, dancing, vests, tattoos, and every shade of teal in existence, but especially the darker ones. She is the coauthor of SHADOW RUN and SHADOW CALL (Delacorte/Penguin Random House) and author of the forthcoming BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR (Imprint/Macmillan).

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

“Some secrets weren’t meant to be discovered. Some doors not meant to be opened. I’d already made that mistake once, and I shouldn’t be tempted to do it again.”

Beyond the Black Door was one of the books where the cover captured my attention before I read the summary. And then I read the summary and just knew I had to read this book. The cover and summary perfectly capture the mystery, the intrigue, and the subtle hints of a beautiful romance.

The inside of this book is just as lush and beautiful as the cover. Beyond the Black Door has an atmosphere that’s captivating yet peppered with darkness and mystery, and that’s what truly drove this story home for me. The concept behind Soulwalking and the black door is unique and sure to enchant any and all readers.

“If I’d found something resembling a monster behind one door, I had yet to find anything more than a rose behind the other.”

I will be honest – I was more hooked on the atmosphere and the world than I was the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are well developed and diverse and driven, but I just didn’t feel that connection I’m always looking for in books. I did enjoy Kamai as the main character: she’s curious and that curiosity is what sends her on her dark and mysterious journey, and it’s how she discovers herself and who she wants to be as a person. She was definitely one of my favorite characters in this book. And I absolutely loved the representation in this book!

The world building and setting is absolutely breathtaking. I could not get enough of this world and Kamai’s Soulwalker ability. This book is a breath of fresh air and offers its readers a beautifully imaginative world. And yes, it does have a wonderfully seductive mystery that I absolutely loved. What I also really liked about this book is how the main focus is not romance, but instead a mystery that is needing to be solved. I love romances, but I love fantasy books that can easily interwove a romance without it overtaking the plot.

Overall, Beyond the Black Door is a lush yet dark and atmospheric read that fantasy readers are sure to enjoy.

My overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Pre-Order Campaign

Pre-Order Beyond the Black Door by release day and receive the following:

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Click here to view the details.

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Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR by A.M. Strickland (US/CAN Only)

Stars: 23rd October 2019

Ends: 6th November 2019

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

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