These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Disclaimer: I received the e-arc from the publisher and then bought my own copy! Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: These Violence Delights

Author: Chloe Gong

Book Series: These Violence Delights Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Asian ownvoice main characters

Recommended For…: ownvoice readers, ya readers, fantasy lovers, classic retelling lovers

Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, death, romance, monsters)

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Pages: 464

Synopsis: The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Review: I really loved this book! The book had me hooked from page 1 and I read the whole thing within a couple of hours. The book is fast paced and a whirlwind from start to finish. The romance was amazingly well done and I love stories where the couple already has dating history. The character development was well done and the world building was amazing as well. I also really liked the story and how it evolved from a Romeo and Juliet retelling to a monster book!

The only issue I really had was that the monster wasn’t well utilized in the book in my opinion. I liked how it was concepted and how it sounded, but I didn’t see much of it in the book until the end and then it became a bit more complex that had me bewildered.

Verdict: I loved it! Highly recommend!

Simba The Fireboy: The Rise of a Young Warrior

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

Book: Simba The Fireboy: The Rise of a Young Warrior

Author: Derek Goneke

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 1/5

Recommended For…: fantasy lovers

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed

Publisher: DGone Publishing

Pages: 41

Synopsis: A Wondrous Village
An Invasion by the Invincibles
Bondage till Death
And a Young Boy to Save Them All,
Meet Simba, an adolescent boy whose village was invaded by a group of invincible invaders. Bound to serve the invaders until their deaths, the villagers were forced to work their mines in search of precious metals. While the villagers bow to the invaders, Simba doesn’t seem to oblige. With his newfound powers, will Simba be able to fight the Invaders? Or will the invaders prove to be invincible again? What will happen if Simba loses the challenge?
Read between the covers of “Simba the Fireboy” and walk along Simba on his surreal adventure of becoming the Young Warrior.

Review: Had to DNF at 20%. The book is good, but the world building is a mess and the story is so hectic that I’m spinning.

Verdict: Not for me, but maybe for you.

Requiem, Changing Times by RJ Parker

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

Book: Requiem, Changing Times

Author: RJ Parker

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 1/5

Recommended For…: fantasy lovers, ya readers

Publication Date: September 26, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed

Publisher: Olympia Publishers

Pages: 450

Synopsis: Clint and Corbin are having a weird day. Best friends for life, things are getting a little strange around their town, and at school. When they’re followed by a strange man looking for Clint and later attacked by an imp, it makes sense to retreat to the safety of home. But when strangers from another world, Banks and O’Neil, arrive with their medley of allies, things get even weirder. Why are they here? What do they want? And what is The Requiem that everyone keeps talking about? As Clint and his friends and family are drawn deeper into a thrilling adventure, only one thing is for sure. They may not be getting out alive. And class with Mrs Christenson will seem like a walk in the park after this.

Review: I had to DNF this book at 54%. I really tried to get into it, but the book constantly jumps around from scene to scene without any explanation and it gave me whiplash. The book also has really bad character development and story design considering we don’t meet the main characters until ¼ of the way through the book.

Verdict: Not for me, but maybe for you.

You Can See More From Up Here by Mark Guerin

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

Book: You Can See More From Up Here

Author: Mark Guerin

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: fiction lovers

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Genre: Contemporary

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed

Publisher: Golden Antelope Press

Pages: 436

Synopsis: In 2004, when middle-aged Walker Maguire is called to the deathbed of his estranged father, his thoughts return to 1974. He’d worked that summer at the auto factory where his dad, an unhappily retired Air Force colonel, was employed as plant physician. Witness to a bloody fight falsely blamed on a Mexican immigrant, Walker kept quiet, fearing his white co-workers and tyrannical father. Lies snowball into betrayals, leading to a life-long rift between father and son that can only be mended by the past coming back to life and revealing its long-held secrets. You Can See More From Up Here is a coming-of-age tale about the illusion of privilege and the power of the past to inform and possibly heal the present.

Review: Had to DNF at 43%. I wasn’t feeling the book but it’s a good book. The book is wrote well and it’s a fantastic story, but I’m not connecting with the characters and I am not enjoying reading it. It’s also reading as a bit of a white savior, but I’m not the best person to decide if that’s really happening or not.

Verdict: Not for me, but maybe for you!

One by One by Sandy Braccey

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

Book: One by One

Author: Sandy Braccey

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 1/5

Recommended For…: thriller seekers, short story lovers

Publication Date: November 2, 2018

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Recommended Age: 16+ (death, gore, violence)

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 11

Synopsis: Secrets are Deadly
John Wilson is a cop. Lisa Wilson, the supportive wife. Their world is shattered when he’s murdered, and she is charged with the crime. Rick Fellows, the detective assigned to the case, discovers a secret the couple was hiding. A secret so destructive the detective will risk his career in getting to the truth.

Review: The book is good, but the book has a lot of errors with it and it’s oddly written. I couldn’t figure out who the I is and why we were doing what we were. The character development was also non-existent for me. The book is also only 10 pages long and it’s really too short for the genre it’s in. The book needs to be further developed.

Verdict: Not for me, but maybe for you!

A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier

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

Book: A Curse of Ash and Embers

Author: Jo Spurrier

Book Series: Tales of the Blackbone Witches Book 1

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For…: paranormal, fantasy, magic

Publication Date: November 3, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 17+ (child abuse TW (emotional, verbal, physical), domestic violence, misogyny, dissociation, suicide TW, gore, death, violence, kidnapping TW)

Publisher: Voyager

Pages: 368

Synopsis: A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.

But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.

When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.

And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

Review: Overall, I liked the book. The book was very atmospheric and perfect for the Halloween season! The book had witches and darkness and  things that go bump in the night! The characters were likeable and well developed. The world building was amazingly well done. I liked this book!

The only issues I had with the book is that the pacing was a bit too slow in my opinion and the plot was a bit hit or miss in places. Sometimes I got fed up with the book and had to walk away from it. The book also talks about a lot of very tough subjects and it’s a really hard read, especially for someone like me who has somewhat thick skin.

Verdict: It was good!

Charming Falls Apart by Angela Terry

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

Book: Charming Falls Apart

Author: Angela Terry

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: romance, click lit

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Genre: Romance

Recommended Age: 18+ (romance, sexual content)

Publisher: Spark Press

Pages: 305

Synopsis: Allison James is a people pleaser and rule follower, but the day before her thirty-fifth birthday, that all backfires: she is unexpectedly fired from the public relations firm she’s worked at for twelve years, only to come home and find out that her fiancé has been sleeping with her maid of honor.

Feeling lost, Allison takes her friend Jordan’s advice and uses the time off for some self-reflection. Over the next few months, she devours countless self-help books (albeit skeptically), schedules a soul reading with an astrologer/psychic/magician, and goes on a meditation retreat in Costa Rica, where she finally starts to feel like she’s getting her groove back.

Back at home, her desire to escape the condo she once shared with her fiancé makes her a regular at the new coffeehouse in her neighborhood, where she finds some guidance from (and eye candy in) the attractive owner, Eric. Between Jordan’s support, the Barnes & Noble self-help aisle, and the Tao of Eric, Allison gradually discovers that her old life wasn’t as perfect as she thought—and that if she truly wants to find her happily-ever-after, she’s going to have to start writing her own rules.

Review: Overall, the book is really cute and if you’re into met cute and romance, then this is your book. The book has some fun moments and great characters. The book also does well to keep the pacing moving fairly paced.

However, I feel like the book is way too cliché for me and the plot didn’t really make sense for me. I struggled to get into this book.

Verdict: It wasn’t for me, but it might be for you!

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

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

Book: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

Author: K. Eason

Book Series: The Thorne Chronicles

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: sci-fi, fairytale retellings

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed

Publisher: DAW

Pages: 416

Synopsis: Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.
 
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
 
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.
 
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.

Review: Had to DNF at 73%. The book is good, it has some great plot and world building. The book also sticks to some fairytales very well, but towards the end I guessed how the book would end (I skipped ahead and was right) and I just became uninterested in it after that point. It was a bit cliché and predictable to me.

Verdict: It’s good but not for me right now.

Hunter by Nicole Conway

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

Book: Hunter

Author: Nicole Conway

Book Series: The Dragonrider Heritage

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For…: dragon lovers, fantasy lovers, YA readers

Publication Date: November 24, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (death, violence, gore)

Publisher: Broadfeather Books

Pages: 352

Synopsis: One boy must earn the trust of a blind dragon and hunt down an elusive sorceress before she can rekindle the war that nearly destroyed their world.

As the Kingdom of Maldobar emerges victorious from the brutal invasion of the Tibran Empire, much of the land is left in utter ruin. With his home destroyed and family gone, 16-year-old Thatcher Renley has no one left to turn to. And when he’s mistaken for a Tibran soldier and banished to a wartime prison camp, Thatcher knows his only hope for freedom lies in appealing to Queen Jenna directly.
But getting out of the prison camp might be the least of his worries— especially after he stumbles across a feral dragon locked in an iron cell.

As far as dragons go, Fornax is a lost cause. The battle that killed his rider also left him blind and too aggressive for any knight to control. But Thatcher can’t deny feeling drawn to the beast. Does he have what it takes to calm Fornax and join the proud ranks of Maldobar’s dragonriders? Only time will tell. And with a bloodthirsty Tibran witch threatening to rekindle the chaos of war, everyone’s time may be running out

Review: Overall, I thought this was a good book! The world building was good and the character development was sound. I liked how well the book did to keep an iconic dragon feel to it. It felt a lot like Eragon in some ways and I really liked that. The book also did well with the plot.

The only complaints I had about the book is that the book sometimes felt like it leaned too much on Eragon and it’s world building. The book also felt really slow in some parts. The book also liked to jump around a little bit and that made it hard to follow.

Verdict: It was good!

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

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

Book: Black Sun

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse

Book Series: Between Earth and Sky Book 1

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Indigenous characters, mythology, and pre-Colombian world, blind character, trans/non binary characters and xe/xir pronouns used, bisexual characters and bi f/m relationship and f/nb pairing.

Recommended For…: fantasy, sci-fi, magic

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, romance)

Publisher: Saga Press

Pages: 464

Synopsis: In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Review: I really loved this book! The world building and character development was absolutely masterful and the book plot was intriguing. The book was so well done and I loved that it’s a fantasy not steeped in European myth and culture. Honestly, we need more of those. The book also did well to include a lot of diversity. This is my second Roanhorse book and I am so in love with her writing.

The only thing I can fault the book for is that there are 4 storylines to keep straight and sometimes that can be confusing for some readers. The book also ends in a cliffhanger.

Verdict: A definite must read.