It Ends in Fire by Andrew Shvarts

Disclaimer: I received a finished copy of this book and an e-arc copy. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: It Ends in Fire

Author: Andrew Shvarts

Book Series: Standalone for now

Diversity: Sapphic romance, Bisexual MC

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: Young adult readers, fantasy readers, epic fantasy, magic, sapphic romance

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Presents

Pages: 384

Recommended Age: 16+ (Gore, Violence, Language, Death, Parental death, Alcohol consumption, Genocide mention, Bigotry, Slavery, Romance, Sexual content)

Explanation of CWs: Lots of gore and violence in this book. Language is sporadic, but still cursing throughout the novel. Alcohol consumption by minors and at one instance the MC describes her first drink at 13. Genocide and bigotry play a role in this book, with Marovian people almost entirely eradicating Izachi people and with the haterd Marovian people have against Humbles people and Izachi people. Slavery is also present in the novel, with non magical humans (no mention of color) being forced into servitude from birth. There is also one sex scene in the book.

Synopsis: ALKA CHELRAZI IS ON A MISSION:
1. Infiltrate Blackwater Academy
2. Win the Great Game
3. Burn Wizard society to the ground

As a child, Alka witnessed her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of Wizards before she was taken in by an underground rebel group.

Now, Alka is deep undercover at the most prestigious school of magic in the Republic: Blackwater Academy, a place where status is everything, where decadent galas end in blood-splattered duels, where every student has their own agenda. To survive, Alka will have to lie, cheat, kill, and use every trick in her spy’s toolkit. And for the first time in her life, the fiercely independent Alka will have to make friends in order to recruit the misfits and the outcasts into her motley rebellion.

But even as she draws closer to victory — to vengeance — she sinks deeper into danger as suspicious professors and murderous rivals seek the traitor in their midst, and dark revelations unravel her resolve. Can Alka destroy the twisted game…without becoming a part of it?

Review: I really liked this read! It was fun and electric and it hooked me from the first sentence. The book did well to have a fun magical storyline that was fairly unique in structure and the character development was amazingly well done. I also loved the world building, albeit a little confusing, and the pacing was well done.

However, there were some bits that I had issues with. First of all, this book is very much like a certain TERF’s signature magical series. If that’s triggering or upsetting to you then you might not want to read it. However, I did like that it was a murderous version of that other series, so maybe you’ll like it too. There is also an error in book in Chapter 29. The author put a character (Talyn) in the House of Zartan when he’s always in the House if Javellos otherwise in the book. It’s a glaring issue, but quickly done away with after that.

Verdict: It’s really good!

Audiobook Appreciation

Hey bookies! I missed Audiobook Appreciation Month in June, but because some people in the book community want to pretend that audiobooks aren’t real books, here’s a post showing some of my fave audiobooks!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
While a lot of books will have one narrator, some books that have multiple POVS will have multiple narrators. While this isn’t a full cast audio, this has a lot of different and talented narrators. They really brought the characters to life and this is what made me love this book.
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

This is a full cast audio and it is SO GOOD. The audio is moving and when the names are read during the memorial scene, I cried… and almost hit a deer.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

I got an early access to this audiobook and it was AMAZING. My husband and I were able to read the book at about the same time and I loved the narrator. The way she read Kira was perfection in my mind and I loved how haunting her voice was.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
Not gonna lie, I was a little confused going into this audiobook and the narrator has a little bit of an accent that threw me, but the read was amazing and I loved the narrator by the end of the book.

I’ve also had the pleasure of getting more audiobooks early, but most of those are text-to-speech. However I’ve loved most of the ones I’ve received and I’m excited to read more audiobooks in the future. What’s your favorite audiobook?

The Temple House Vanishing

Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Temple House Vanishing

Author: Rachel Donohue

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: Mystery lovers

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: February 6, 2020

Publisher: Algonquin Publisher

Pages: 336

Recommended Age: 16+ (sexual content, TW suicide, slight gore, child abuse TW)

Explanation of CWs: Suicide at the beginning of the novel and child abuse is present throughout the novel.

Synopsis: Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace…

In an elite Catholic girls’ boarding-school the pupils live under the repressive, watchful gaze of the nuns. Seeking to break from the cloistered atmosphere two of the students – Louisa and Victoria – quickly become infatuated with their young, bohemian art teacher, and act out passionately as a result. That is, until he and Louisa suddenly disappear.

Years later, a journalist uncovers the troubled past of the school and determines to resolve the mystery of the missing pair. The search for the truth will uncover a tragic, mercurial tale of suppressed desire and long-buried secrets. It will shatter lives and lay a lost soul to rest.

The Temple House Vanishing is a stunning, intensely atmospheric novel of unrequited longing, dark obsession and uneasy consequences.

Review: This book was pretty good. I liked the plot and I thought the writing was well done. I also liked the character development overall.

However, I did think that the opening was rather off-putting. It was really similar to other books like it. I also felt like the world building wasn’t as well done as possible. The pacing was also a little too slow for me.

Verdict: It was great!