The Monster of Selkirk #3: The Machines of Theda by C.E. Clayton

Synopsis:

Trying to put the events in Selkirk behind them, Tallis and Tomas find themselves in a land where people and machines have created a newfound relationship. Tallis wishes to hide and heal in this strange land while giving the people of Selkirk time to forget and perhaps forgive her. For with no one but once feral elves to verify her claim that she was not responsible for the recent carnage, who would give her an opportunity to explain?

The Monster of Selkirk Book III
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September 2018 – The Bookie Box

Disclaimer: None, I bought this with my own money.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Shop: https://www.thebookiebox.com

 

Price: $36.00 for single purchase, $34.99 for one month purchase.

 

Products: Each box comes with a new Young adult book release, a exclusive candle either an 8 oz or 4 oz, an exclusive bookmark, and 2-3 other bookish goodies. Then let us know how you like your box.

 

Ships To: USA and international!

 

Contents: This month’s theme was Witches in the Otherworld

 

Here’s what was in this month’s box:

 

  • A 4 ounce Throne of Glass inspired candle from The Bookie Box
    • Estimated Price: $8
  • Wicked Deep inspired mug from Stella Bookish Art
    • $15.99
  • Bellatrix coaster designed by Salome Totadze
    • Estimated Price: $12.00
  • Henrietta Howl inspired lotion from The Bookie Box
    • Estimated Price: $10.00
  • Harry Potter inspired bookmark from The Bookie Box
    • $5.00
  • Exclusive sticker made by The Bookie Box
    • $.50
  • The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck
    • Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

      Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern–one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal–or not-so-mortal–soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

      Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire–and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

    • $17.99

 

Estimated Total of Box: $69.48

 

Verdict: I love this box and I love that we got two big items from books that don’t get a lot of love in the bookstagram community, but that we still got items from popular fandoms too. Although, I do have a complaint about the spoiler card. The back is black font on a dark grey background with white stars. It makes it really hard to read the contents. Like really really hard. But it looks pretty otherwise!

Bleeding Misery by Nicole Lambert

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Publication Date: October 31st, 2017

 

Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, mature scenes)

 

Pages: 466

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: A world of light overpowers a world of darkness.

The ICW—it stands for the International Clique Wars. It is being hosted by Jason Speirs this year, and Eternal Division has been accepted to participate.

Rebekah Jensen had returned to Marywood after just surviving the curse of Roseway along with Holly, her witchy best friend. Except for her and a few others, everyone else’s memory of Roseway had been wiped, convincing her that she can now live a normal life. But Holly informs her that things are far from being over and that she will not only be hunted by Rebecca Johnson, the name of her supposed true soul, but by Henri Anderson as well.

Rebekah’s situation worsens when the gruesome bodies of a few clique participants are found. To make matters worse, the deaths are happening the same way as the many deaths in Mandy’s self-published novel, Bleeding Misery. With the threat of the Bewitched lurking within the ICW halls, Rebekah starts to fear that the events in Mandy’s horror novel are becoming reality.

 

I feel that for the most part this is a pretty good book. The plot is intriguing and the characters are fairly well developed. This continues from the first book, but feels almost like a standalone as well. This book was unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in which events are predicted in a book that was already written… and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything about clique wars… but the book is interesting in those ways.

 

However, I did have some qualms about the book. I felt that while the characters were well developed that they didn’t sound like how middle graders are supposed to sound. They either sounded like high schoolers or like old people. There was no difference in their voices so they blended together. The pacing was off. The book goes by fast for the most part, but then it slows down significantly in some parts, which made my interest waiver throughout the book. The writing, while well done, was also a bit off I think. I didn’t find the concept of “clique wars” to be realistic or plausible. It was kind of odd how that was used in the book and it almost makes the book sound like a cute middle grade contemporary read at first. It’s just really out of place in this spooky book.

 

Verdict: Overall, I liked it but there’s always room for improvement.

 

Challenge Score: 21.5

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Disclaimer: I bought this book on my own accord. Yay me!

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, gore, mature scenes, romance, magic, diversity!!!)

 

Pages: 525

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

 

Holy hell what can I say about this wonderful book? It’s like Harry Potter level of addiction and it makes me happy inside! I love this book!! The characters are complex and developed. The plot in intriguing and there’s not an “easy way out” or “one simple solution”. The book has a lot to talk about in regards to racism and prejudice. The book has an excellent and unique magic system. The book is just WONDERFUL! I was intrigued throughout the book. I felt that the pacing was on point and the writing was well done. I also realized why there was so much hype about this book: IT’S FUCKING GOOD! It’s the diverse fantasy that I’m happy and excited to see in the book community and it’s the best thing to read when it’s rainy outside (I tested this so definitely do this).

 

The only thing I would nitpick on is that I felt it was a bit long. I feel like the book could have been broken up into two books and it would have still been just as good, so I’m wondering how long this series will be and if there will be enough material for all of those books.

 

Verdict: Diverse fantasy that we needed yesterday.

 

Challenge Score: 28.5

The Halves of Us by Sydney Paige Richardson

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Rockstar Tours and The Parliament House. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Publication Date: October 9th, 2018

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 15+ (mature scenes, slight gore, violence, curses, evillllll)

 

Pages: 377

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Twin Sisters: one destined to rule, one cursed to destroy.

Some say blood is thicker than water. But for twin sisters, Adie and Aura, their connection runs even deeper than blood.
After investigating a surprise attack carried out by dark souls controlled by the Wicked Willow, an evil  residing in a neighboring region, Aura uncovers a family secret: she is the fulfillment of a curse placed upon her family centuries ago.

While Aura is destined to destroy their planet, Thindoral, Adie is fated to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become Ruler, but even Adie’s path comes with revelations. Dangerous premonitions plague her dreams, all depicting Thindoral’s demise at the hand of her sister.

As darkness takes control of her mind, Aura must determine whether defying fate and time is the choice that will seal her destruction, or if self-sacrifice will save all she holds dear. Meanwhile, Adie is faced with an impossible decision: save her sister, or protect their world?

 

I felt like this was a very solid and intriguing book. The plot was intriguing and the world building was amazing. I felt like the characters were pretty well developed and they had interesting backstories. I feel that I’m a sucker for sibling stories with curses and this book doesn’t disappoint in that department.

 

However, I do feel that this book had something missing. The writing didn’t let the reader see the events, but rather just showed us everything that was happening, and the book’s pacing was lacking. It was jarring and uneven in pace. I didn’t like the insta love in this book and for all of its good, I felt that the book could have been better in these areas.

 

Verdict: Good solid read for the most part.

Crown of Thunder by Tochi Onyebuchi

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Razorbill/Penguin. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4/5

Publication Date: October 16th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, romance, slight mature scenes, sins, and slight gore)

Pages: 336

Author Website

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Taj is headed west, but the consequences of leaving Kos behind confront him at every turn. Innocent civilians flee to refugee camps as Karima’s dark magic continues to descend on the city. Taj must return, but first he needs a plan.

With Arzu’s help, Taj and Aliya make it to the village of her ancestors, home of the tastahlik—sin-eaters with Taj’s same ability to both battle and call forth sins. As Taj comes to terms with his new magic, he realizes there are two very different groups of tastahlik—one using their powers for good, the other for more selfish ends.

Aliya is struggling with her own unique capabilities. She’s immersed in her work to uncover the secret to Karima’s magic, but her health begins to mysteriously deteriorate. With the help of a local western mage, Aliya uncovers her true destiny—a future she’s not sure she wants.

As Taj and Aliya explore their feelings for each other and Arzu connects with her homeland, the local westerners begin to question Taj’s true identity. Karima is on his heels, sending dark warnings to the little village where he’s hiding. Taj will have to go back and face her before she sends her mostly deadly weapon—Taj’s former best friend, Bo.

I felt like for a sequel this book was well done. The writing was still as strong as it was in the first book and the plot was so interesting. I liked the relationships that were explored in this book and I liked how the characters are more developed in this book. I feel that this was a solid book and I would love to see more of this series.

However, I do feel that the ending was very rushed and it felt that there were things that were left unsaid. Some of the parts of this book could have used a bit more fleshing out. I also feel that this book had some continuality issues. It felt that there were some parts of this book that didn’t seem to line up with the first book.

Verdict: Overall, I think this is a solid read and the series is fantastic despite my nitpicking. Definitely pick up book 1 and 2 this Halloween season!

Book Tour – An Old Soul by Kristyn Gansen

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Title: An Old Soul
Author: Kristyn Gansen
Synopsis:
Until that night, Mira thought she was alive.
Answers from a creepy Ouija board have done nothing but raise questions for twelve-year-old Mira. When a series of strange events follow the Ouija game—including the discovery of a gravestone with her name on it—Mira sets out to find out just what exactly happened to her twelve years before.
A new boy in town does nothing to quell Mira’s fears. James dresses in strange clothes, hangs out in the cemetery, and makes bold claims about Mira’s past. As she gets to know the new boy, Mira wonders if James could hold the answers to all of her creepy questions. Together, Mira and her best friend work to find out what, exactly, the new boy has to do with Mira’s past—before he can impact her future.
Author bio: Kristyn Gansen lives in Minnesota with her husband, her daughters, and her hyper puggle. As a child, she sometimes explored cemeteries with her father, looking for graves of historical significance. In addition to An Old Soul, she is the author of the Hogar Haven series.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Disclaimer: I got this book on my own! Yay!

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017

 

Genre: YA Mystery

 

Recommended Age: 14+ (mentions of sex, mature scenes, violence, gore, death, suicide, attempted suicide, cyberbullying, mentions of drugs, a slightly abusive relationship, and mentions of school shootings)

 

Pages: 361

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

 

From the first page I was hooked and really intrigued by this story. I felt that this might be an easily predictable book, but it kept me guessing from page one to page 361. Karen McManus not only has a talent for writing, but also a talent for thrilling and unguessable mysteries. The voice that she uses with each of the kids are unique and compelling as well. This book also perfectly captures the trials and tribulations of high school and adolescence and it doesn’t shy away from tough topics. Other than that, the characters are well developed and the pacing is spot on.

 

However, I do feel like we could have got more backstories from the suspects families and we could have had a more conclusive resolution with Cooper and Addy. But the open-ended ending feels that the author left room for there to be more books set in this universe, so maybe we’ll get a resolution one day.

 

Verdict: A thriller that will scare you this Halloween season!

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Razorbill/Penguin! Thanks! All opinions are my own!

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Publication Date: October 31st, 2017

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, slight gore, sin)

 

Pages: 298

 

Author Website

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.

 

I had seen this cover in like every book store and I’ve always been so intrigued by it. I will say that the cover very accurately matches the tone and the happenings of the book. The character development in this book is very well done and the plot is interesting throughout the book. I felt like this book was really well written and I think the whole plot was a very interesting concept.

However, I did feel that there were a lot of characters in this book, some of them with similar names, which made it hard for this reader to keep them all straight in her head. I also feel that this book was a tad too slow paced for me.

 

Verdict: Overall, a very well written and solid read! Definitely recommend.

Undead and the City by K.E. Radke COVER REVEAL

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Prepping was his way of life.

Lincoln realizes it’s every man for himself when the big cities are swarming with the military and the law disappears in the tiny town of Dessarillo, Texas, causing chaos to erupt. People Lincoln’s known for years were attacking their friends and family with their minds set on eating them limb by limb. He’d been prepared for this exact moment, waiting for disaster to strike so he could take a front row seat to society’s self destruction.

As an outcast, he learned to rely on no one. Until he unexpectedly finds his life in the hands of his neighbor, Wyatt, the man proving to be trustworthy. Together they try to carve out a safe place while people are turning into flesh eating monsters, decaying from the inside out, and destroying humanity one bite at a time.