*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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*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

nikole

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Coral by Sara Ella

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Title: Coral

Author: Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: November 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales

Synopsis:

Multiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?

Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke’s and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.

Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo

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Author Information

AUTHOR (10)

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.

When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this blog tour!

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My Review

Please note: Coral includes some potential triggers, click here to see Sara’s note on trigger warnings. 

“Time was a ribbon. She could fold it and tie it, bend it, lose it. Cut it. But if she cut it, she could never piece it back together the way it was before. She could never get it back. All she had left was after. And after was never the same.”

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite stories (the original and Disney version), so of course I jumped up for joy when I saw that Coral was The Little Mermaid retelling with a contemporary/fantasy twist. This book had a ton of elements I love (retellings and anything to do with fantasy), and to me, this story did not disappoint.

One thing I loved about Coral is how the characters’ stories wrapped with one another with such ease. The way Sara Ella writes their stories with mesmerizing prose is captivating and it truly brings the story together. The characters are so well developed and genuine that it will be easy for any reader to find a connection with one of the characters. I enjoyed the inclusion of mental health and how Sara Ella made the characters feel so human and real; each character, especially Brooke, has something that makes them utterly human; with these characters, I felt like I wasn’t alone, like these characters were my longtime friends.

“True love makes life, even a broken one, worth fighting for.”

I will admit it did take me awhile to get into the story and that’s only because I’m not a big fan of contemporary books, and Coral does present some contemporary elements, but other than that, I became enthralled with the world and the main characters. Sara Ella weaves together a beautiful and heart wrenching story about love and sacrifice and finding yourself. Coral is a stunningly raw story with vulnerable characters that experience the trauma and love of life. However, I did get a tad bit confused toward the end of the book, with how the story got to its ending. But other than that, I loved this story and how much light it shines on mental health.

“It might be impossible to change the past. But who said starting over had anything to do with going back?”

Coral is a beautifully intricate story filled with life and love and hard decisions. Fans of The Little Mermaid would love this story, along with readers who enjoy retellings. Sara Ella addresses the things that make us human in her book and how she depicts everything is what made me love this book. Coral is out on bookshelves now, so grab your copy today!

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (5) finished copies of CORAL by Sara Ella (US Only) 

Starts: 15th November 2019

Ends: 28th November 2019 

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*ARC Review* Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

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Title: Find Me Their Bones

Author: Sara Wolf

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Page Count: 400 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

No 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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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

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 EntangledTeen and Sara Wolf for the early review copy of Find Me Their Bones in exchange for an honest review. 

Please note: this is the sequel to Bring Me Their Hearts; my review can be found here.This review does contain spoilers if you have not read the first book.

Bring Me Their Hearts, the first book in Sara Wolf’s enchanting Heartless trilogy, blew me away last year and became one of my all-time favorite books. And when I thought this series could not get any better, Find Me Their Bones lands in my lap and left me speechless. This book is emotionally beautiful and painful and raw. In Find Me Their Bones, relationships are tested, boundaries are crossed, and secrets are revealed. And not everyone will be prepared for the surprising twist.

Sara Wolf does it again. Find Me Their Bones is an excellent masterpiece, a sequel that stands beautifully next to its predecessor, in covers and written word. This brilliant book is full of sass and heart; I can see that Sara poured her heart into this book and that’s one of the things that makes this book so special. She has created a world and characters that I absolutely adore, and I am so thankful these books came into my life when they did.

Find Me Their Bones picks up right where Bring Me Their Hearts left off. Zera is still a Heartless, but now Lucien, his sister (who was thought to be dead), and the King know her secret. And now Zera is no longer under the control of her first witch, the witch that took her heart. She now belongs to Princess Varia, who surprised everyone by turning out to be a powerful witch that tricked Zera and Lucien.

“I’ve learned, Your Highness, that it is easier to hate than it is to love.”

Zera has so much character growth in Find Me Their Bones. She’s still sarcastic and sassy and amazing, but she starts to let herself hope that she will get her heart back and starts to imagine what her life will be like. She knows she’s messed up all her relationships with her friends and Lucien, but her main goal has always been her heart. So, she strikes a deal with Princess Varia: train a valkerax to Weep in exchange for her heart. It’s almost an impossible deal, but Zera accepts.

But along this journey, Zera discovers that there is more at stake than ever before. Princess Varia doesn’t just need the valkerax to Weep; she has a more dark and twisted plan that will change the lives of everyone in the kingdom. It will ultimately change the potentially outcome of a battle between the humans and witches. And Lucien is dead set on making sure his sister does nothing that will harm her and the people he has vowed to protect.

“‘I can assure you, as someone who spent his life chasing power,’ Gavik says, ‘when absolute power presents itself, there are no ‘justs’ anymoe. It is all or nothing.'”

Zera continues to be my ultimate favorite character. She doesn’t remember much from being human, but her emotions start to materialize more in this book. She finally has something worth dying for; she finally has friends and family she wants to protect at all costs, even if it means not getting her heart in return. In the sequel, more of Zera’s strengths (and weaknesses) are revealed. It’s clear as day that she wants to keep her friends and Lucien in her life, but she believes they’re better off without her. She doesn’t quite understand why these people would want to still befriend her, after everything she does. And that was beautiful to watch unfold, to see Zera realize that she’s not alone in this cruel world.

Wolf’s writing is masterful and captivating. Her world building is phenomenal and the characters she has created are magnificent. Sara is an instant-buy author for me because her writing isn’t just there to show the readers what is going on; she writes with emotion so the readers can understand what the characters are feeling in that moment. That’s another reason why this book is so close to my heart (I also find a kindred spirit in Zera, so that’s a plus).

“Heartless with their heart is a human who’s been injured and has injured in return. And though the wounds have been healed magically, the memories still remain, stabbing and slicing better than the instruments of pain.”

THAT ENDING. Sara definitely knows how to leave her readers hanging, and now I don’t know how I can wait until next year. This book tore me open and left me in need of a beating heart. These characters, especially Zera, mean so much to me, and I’m even more emotionally attached to them and their story than I was in the first book.

Bring Me Their Hearts is a series I will forever recommend. This series is filled with so many emotions and sassy banter and romantic moments. If you’re looking for a fun fantasy read, I implore you to read this series, you won’t be disappointed!

My rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars

nikole

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

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Title: Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1)

Author: Sara B. Larson

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: November 5th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of DEFY, Sara B. Larson, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic

“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”.

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

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Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

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Tour Schedule

Check out all the amazing bloggers on this tour!

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My Review

“As long as you’re breathing there is always hope”

Sara B. Larson is one of my all-time favorite authors. After I read her Defy trilogy, she became an instant buy author for me. Everything I’ve read by her has been beautiful. And her newest book, Sisters of Shadow and Light, is just as mesmerizing as her previous books. I was hooked from the very first line and could not put this book down.

“I didn’t know… would probably never know. That not knowing was like an itch beneath my skin, unreachable and, at times, unbreakable.”

Sisters of Shadow and Light is not just a fantasy book, but also a book about self-discovery and the unbreakable bond between two sisters. One sister, Inara, is trapped in her mind while her older sister, Zuhra, is her anchor and her protector. No one knows how to free Inara of the hold that is on her, until a dashing stranger arrives and sets both girls on a gripping journey that will lead them to discover their past and what it truly means to be unique in a world that finds you odd.

Larson has created a captivating world; her world building is phenomenal and her writing is beautiful and lush and creates an overall fairy-tale feeling. She gives her readers a tale with action right from the beginning, many twists and turns, and characters that readers are bound to love. There was never a dull or slow-paced moment with Sisters of Shadow and Light; this book truly captivated my attention from the very beginning.

“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”

This book is all about sisters and the relationship sisters share. These sisters are tested to the extreme and it’s shown just what each sister would do for the other. This story is not focused on romance (though there are hints of romance), but rather the bond between two sisters and how that bond has the power to be the strongest force in the world. These sisters are devoted to one another, and the bond they share is what drove this story home for me. I don’t personally have a sister but I could see what it would be like if I did through this book. Larson captures that bond so clearly, and I loved every second of it.

Overall, Sara B. Larson knocked it out of the park with Sisters of Shadow and Light. I’m looking forward to the sequel and cannot wait to read more about these two sisters!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (10) copy of SISTERS OF SHADOW & LIGHT by Sara B. Larson (US/CAN Only)

Starts: 30th November 2019
Ends: 13th November 2019

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

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*Saturday Spotlight* Songs From the Deep by Kelly Powell

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Title: Songs From the Deep

Author: Kelly Powell

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Page Count: 320 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Historical Fiction

Summary:

A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

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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 About the Author

Kelly Powell

Kelly Powell writes fantasy for young adults and currently lives in Ontario, Canada. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and book & media studies from the University of Toronto.

(Bio provided from author’s website and Photo provided from Goodreads)

*ARC Review* Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

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Title: Gravemaidens

Author: Kelly Coon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Page Count: 416 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

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 the advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

When I first picked up Gravemaidens, I was beyond excited to start a book with a fierce main character and an intricate plot. Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my expectations; the book offered enthralling world building and a complex and distinctive plot, but unmemorable characters.

Kammani knows being a Sacred Maiden is a curse and a death wish. She knows it means dying in this world to become a queen in the next, and to her that’s terrifying. She doesn’t see it as an honor like everyone else. And when Nanaea, her sister, is picked as one of the three Sacred Maidens, Kammani can feel her entire world crashing around her. Her sister, who is beyond overjoyed, doesn’t quite understand why Kammani sees it as just death. And Kammani doesn’t understand why Nanaea would want to die. So Kammani does everything she possibly can to save the Alu’s ruler from dying and save her sister from the Boatman.

I really did like Kammani as the main character; she’s easy to understand and easy to relate to; no one wants to see a family member die, especially their younger sister. Kammani was a strong and brave character who knew she was getting herself into trouble but did it anyway, in hopes of saving her sister. She didn’t have much time to be a child, so her childhood was spent with her growing up and making sure her family survived. And even with saying all that, I didn’t find much character growth with Kammani, which is why her story line isn’t so memorable to me. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an interesting character, I just didn’t feel that connection I look for with the main character.

I would have liked to see more characterization of Dagan, the main love interest. He’s already madly in love with Kammani and basically throughout the first half of the book, he spends his time trying to win her over. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, considering he wants to marry her. But Kammani isn’t ready to get married (which is completely fine), but she doesn’t seem to fully tell Dagan her reasonings, at least not yet. I did think, however, that Dagan improved as a character about half-way through the book. I liked his relationship with Kammani and I thought there was definitely something there, I just wish there was more development with their relationship and maybe there will be in the sequel.

In all honesty, what really put this book on my radar was the story line of the Sacred Maidens and the Boatman. It’s unique and intriguing. I was a little disappointed that there was not much on the Boatman in the book, but I understand why, since he comes to collect the souls of those that are dead. Either way, I thought it was a great idea. As Nanaea is a Sacred Maiden, the reader gets to see what really goes on behind the scenes with being a Sacred Maiden and why it is so important to their kingdom and their tradition to have these girls join the ruler in the afterlife. It’s an interesting concept, one that I enjoyed reading about.

Even though I was not loving all the characters, I was obsessed with the world building and the writing. Coon describes a harsh world but in beautiful and rich prose, and it’s downright captivating. The descriptions captured my attention and created an intricate picture of each scene in my head. Coon did an amazing job describing the hardships, the violence, and the good and bad within this world. The world itself is just as enchanting as the cover of this book (which is gorgeous!). If anything, the world was by far my favorite part of this book, and also the Sacred Maidens concept.

But overall, Gravemaidens is a beautiful tale, with a unique plot and harsh yet captivating world. Even thought I was not a big fan of this book, I do still plan to read the sequel, as I liked the ending and I’m curious as to how everything is going to wrap up.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

nikole