Reviews

Review: We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing

Published: February 26, 2019

Rating: ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

Synopsis:

Let Rebellion Burn.

At Medio School for girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run her husband’s or raise his children, but both wives are promised a life of comfort anf luxury, far from the frequent political uprising of the lower class.

Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret – that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio – and a chance at a forbidden love?

Review:

This story feels uncomfortably close to what is happening in our world with women being excepted to conform to being subservient roles and let’s talk about the wall that keeps out what the government considered to be “illegals” even though they are part of the same world. Does it sounds familiar?

The story is across between The Handmaiden Tale and The Hunger Games. The difference is that the story follows young women who are being trained at Medio School for Girls to be wives who are sold to the wealthiest, influential families. The twist is that the girls are married in pairs to one man, there is a Primera (whose roles is to handle the everyday household and the right hand of her husband) and a Segunda (whose role is to be the one gives her husband children).

We follow Dani and Carmen who have graduated from the school and have been married to Mateo. Dani was not happy to have Carmen to be the Segunda because of the way Carmen treated her throughout their time in school.

I enjoyed seeing the development of Dani’s character in the story. You see that she trying to be strong and tries to not show her fear that her secret would be revealed that can ruining everything that she work for and her family. She doesn’t allow her fears get in the way what she has to do to survive and becomes clear that she really wants to help and be part of the revolution with La Voz. To be able to fight for people who can’t do it for themselves. She was my favorite character from the book.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Carmen because I really didn’t like her in the beginning of the book but eventually I did start feeling different about her especially seeing how she started to show herself with Dani and seeing how relationship with Dani getting stronger. The romance that developed between Dani and Carmen is when I knew that Carmen was being real and truly care for Dani. Their relationship was so sweet and real in a world that was fighting against everything around them.

The one character that I really hated was Mateo. All I can say about him is that he is truly an egotistical asshole! I hope he gets what he deserved in the next book.

Overall, this book was amazing with it vivid descriptions of the world and you can tell the influence of Latin culture which was nice to read for this Latina.

I can’t wait for the second book to come out so we find out what happens with Dani, Carmen, and the rest of the characters in the book.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Reviews

E-ARC Review: The Magicians Original Graphic Novel: Alice’s Story by Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges

By Lev Grossman and Lilah Sturges

Publisher: BOOM! Archaia

Publishing Date: July 10, 2019

Rating: ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

Synopsis:

Alice Quinn is manifestly brilliant, and she’s always known that magic is real. During her years at Brakebills College for Magicial Pedagogy, she rises to the top of her class, falls in love with Quentin Coldwater, and witnesses a horrifically magicial creature invade their dimension.

It’s not soon after graduation when Alice, Quentinx and their friends set their sights on the idyllic setting of Fillory: a place thought to only live in the pages of their favorite children’s books. A land where magic flows like rivers…

But in this magical realm nothing is what it seems to be, and something darker lies behind the spell binding facade. It is in the darkness where Alice will discover her true calling and her life, and those friends, forever changed.

Acclaimed novelist Lev Grossman teams with New York Times bestselling writer Lilah Sturges (Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass), and breakout artist Pius Bak for a new look at the smash hit trilogy The Magicians.

Review:

***Received the e-ARC copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I want to thank the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review the graphic novel.***

The story is in Alice’s perspective of the first book in the Magician series. We see a little more of what she was thinking and see things in her mindset when she goes to school and afterward graduating with her friends.

The characters are based on the book not the TV show. They do not look like the shows characters especially Penny. It was nice to see the story being told by Alice’s perspective.

I really enjoy reading this graphic novel, it was slow at first but it did pick up pace the rest of the story. The artwork and storyboards were really good. They match what the story was telling and showing Alice’s thoughts on each page.

After reading this, I am going to add The Magicians to my TBR in the near future.

Reviews

Review: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

By: Emily A. Duncan

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: 2 April 2019

Rating: ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

***Content warnings: Self-harm, torture, blood & gore, violence, war themes, death, assualt, alcoholism, and murder***

Synopsis:

A girl who speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must dexide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long was where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saintsz where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

Review:

Let me start off with how much this book doesn’t seemed to be a debut novel from Emily A. Duncan. Her writing style is beautiful and very vivid, it kept me on my toes and wanting to read more. Not only is the writing style amazing, the world building was well-developed and you can tell that she took her time and did research to make sure the world would flow smoothly.

“We’re all monsters, Nadya, some of us just hide it better than others.”

I had heard some people thought that the pace in the beginning was too slow or fast for them, I didn’t think it was either. I thought the pace throughout the novel was perfect because it allowed me to get to know the characters. It allow me to fall in love and get heartbroken at the same time.

The main characters in Wicked Saints are amazing and I fell love with all three of them. I did enjoy the side characters too and I hope see more of them in the sequel.

“She would bring this country to its knees.”

Nadya seems to be a shelter girl who is protected behind the monastery walls, who speaks with the Gods, and the only hope for Kalyazin to end the war with Tranavia. At first, I didn’t know if I was going to like her because I thought she was not going to be strong character. I am glad that I was wrong because she was written as a strong female character who still had her insecurities and doubts but she didn’t allowed them to get in her way of what she needed to do. I love her so much and can’t wait to see how much more she developed in the sequel.

“Oh, is this how it goes? I’m murdered and everyone has orders to kill me on sight? Just to rub it in?”

Serefin wasn’t my favorite character at the beginning because of how cruel and heartless he was when you met him in beginning. But my opinion change when he was sent back to Tranavia and had to face his father (who I really hate). When he was back home, he becomes a different person. He is awkward, charming boy who has insecurities and wants his father’s acceptance and love. He is a very powerful blood mage but he has a serious issue with alcohol which is understandable. I don’t blame him with everything he had to do in the war and his father issues. I really like him and he prove to be selfless and caring person at the end. He is also one of the characters that is bi-sexual which was great to see representation of LGBTQ.

When he stepped past her, a smile flickered at the edges of his lips. There was darkness at the corners, something evil just underneath the surface, sinister. He turned and grinned at her, monstrous but beatific, holding out his hand, darkness gone. Maybe sheโ€™d just imagined it. She took his hand.

Malachiasz…Malachiasz! I save him for last because I really love his character! Even though he broke my heart at the end, I still love him and big fangirl. He is a fascinating, complicated, tragic, and monstrous boy. Reading about his backstory and learning how he became who he is now made a lot sense on how he is a dark and anxious character. You can feel how he is struggling within himself on not being what he trained to be and be the person that Nadya thought he was. I was rooting for him throughout the book but then the ending of the book shatter my heart to pieces. I literally scream at the pages! But I still love him and hoping for the best.

You have plunged yourself into the dark where the monsters dwell, now you must fight them off before you’re consumed.”

Honestly, I was in a reading slump when I started Wicked Saints and it reminded me how much I love dark fantasy and what I was lacking in my TBR each month. Now, I have one dark fantasy in my TBR cart to read each month.

This book isn’t an easy read and it has triggering factors which Emily has stated about them. But if you love dark fantasy and the triggers aren’t an issue, then I would highly recommend Wicked Saints.

I am looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel and get back into the world of Wicked Saints.

Book Hauls, Monthly Wrap Up

May Wrap Up and Book Haul

My reading for May was not the best. I only read two books. The books were for TBR and Beyond Book Club middle grade group read.

I haven’t read a middle grade since Harry Potter books, I was looking forward to start reading middle grade again and see if I still enjoy reading them. We read as a group Nevermoor series from Jessica Townsend.

I gave them both ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ rating because they were really refreshing to read and writing was done perfectly. I will be posting my reviews for both them this weekend.

These are the books I read in May but hoping to get myself back on track for June (finger crossed).

My lack of reading for May didn’t stop from getting books!

My book haul this month was small. Majority of the books were pre-ordered so technically I didn’t buy them in May but I received them during the month.

May Book Haul:

I have already started reading We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia.

How was your reading in May? What did you read? Did you buy any books?

Uncategorized

Most Anticipated New Releases – June 2019

Here are some my most anticipated new releases for June that I am looking forward too.

Release Date: June 4

Synopsis:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery – magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle neneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to buy her sworn ememy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught – about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have.

Synopsis:

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the onky daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother sughests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits – and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she couldn’t come home at all.

From England castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

Synopsis:

The Shadow Market is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires. There the Downworlders buy and sell magical objects, make dark bargains, and whisper secrets theh do not want the Nephilim to know. Through two centuries, however, there has been a frequent visitor to the Shadow Market from the City of Bones, the very heart of the Shadowhunters. As a Silent Brother Zachariah is sworn keeper of the laws and lore of the Nephilim. But once he was a Shadowhunter called Jen Carstairs, and his love, then and always, is the warlock Tessa Gray

Follow Brother Zachariah and see, against the backdrop of the Shadow Market’s dark dealings and festive celebrations, Anna Lightwood’s first romance, Matthew Fairchild’s great sin and Tessa Gray plunged into a world war. Valentine Morgenstern buys a soul at the Market and a young Jace Wayland’s soul finds safe harbor. In the Market is hidden a lost heir and a beloved ghost, and no one can save you once you have traded away your heart. Not even Brother Zachariah…

Release Date: June 11

Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens – gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enchance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrice with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of hisnown that will upend her world yet again – but working together becomes imperqtive once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed.

Synopsis:

Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil’s Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations…

Sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins if Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember – so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? And who will know if something goes wrong?

In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Nill House as a ward – one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.

In 1583, Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and manison in the area. But rumors of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she wl need all her strength to defeat it.

Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. A pact made by a man who, more than a thousand years later, may still be watching…

Release Date: June 18

Synopsis:

Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl.

Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then ine day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in their household, which is relaxed and happy despite the band’s larger-than-life fame.

But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas accidentally summon a pair of ancient creatures devoted to avenging the wrongs if Xochi’s adolescence. She would do anything to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe – not the family she’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.

Release Date: June 25

Synopsis:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever hilds the Scrill of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Synopsis:

Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil. A dream come true, and a living nightmare.

Evil isn’t born, it’s made. One thought and action at a time. Take a good look at what you’ve made.

Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past – they are prophecies of the future.

Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real life fairy tale princess – until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.

Look. See… What will one peek hurt?

Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.

With powers beyond her imagination or control- and determined to change Fate itself – Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed.

As bits and pieces of the prophecy unfold, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen – and villia – she was born to be?

Synopsis:

Lemon Fresh has been seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herselg separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity make her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelys Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates – a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel fibds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a pilot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

Synopsis:

When his dad is caught emblezzing funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overach, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

What are you looking forward to coming out this month?

New Releases, Reviews

Review e-Arc: Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle

***Received the e-ARC from the publisher DC Link via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

Published Date: May 7, 2019

Publisher: DC Link

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Indigo

Synopsis:

Youโ€™ve never heard this Catwoman tale. There are no leather cat-suits, whips or cat puns. Instead, Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale is an original story about a young, lonely girl named Selina Kyle. Selinaโ€™s not the prom queen or cheerleading captain – sheโ€™s the other girl. The girl who eats alone at lunchtime and the girl whose home is filled with endless emotional and physical abuse.

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle (ttyl) and artist Isaac Goodhart, comes a poignant coming of age graphic novel about a troubled teen who leaves her turbulent home life behind for a new start on the dangerous streets of Gotham City. A powerful story about domestic abuse, survival and self-discovery, Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale is an important read for todayโ€™s teen (ages 13-17), and will hit stores everywhere books are sold on May 7, 2019.

Selina Kyle is fiercer than she knows. For 14 years sheโ€™s put up with her motherโ€™s endless string of bad boyfriends, burying her resentment just below the surface. But when Dernell, her momโ€™s current boyfriend, proves crueler than all the others combined, Selina reevaluates her dismal life. Thereโ€™s no way Selina and Dernell can live under the same roof, and since Dernell wonโ€™ leave, Selina must.

Life on the streets is rougher than Selina expects. In fact, it pretty much sucks โ€“ until by chance (or fate?), she falls in with a heist-happy gang of street kids like herself. What Selena doesnโ€™t see coming is how appealing life in a pack can be, and how tempting it is to accept the comfort that comes from trusting others. But trust leads to vulnerability, and vulnerability leads to weakness โ€“ and Selina Kyle refuses to be weak. Selina soon learns that figuring out how to survive is simple compared to figuring out how to be.

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale marks Myracleโ€™s first graphic novel and will be published under DC Ink, DCโ€™s new young adult publishing imprint.

Review:

Rating: ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

I have always been fascinated by the story of Selina Kyle. I see her as being a complex and interesting character that I am always looking for stories that gives more of backstory about how she became Catwoman. This is the first graphic novel that I read which focus solely on Selina and how she slowly becomes into Catwoman. This was an interesting origin tale of Catwoman. The story is told when Selina is 14 years old and is going through many obstacles such as issues with her mother and her violent boyfriend.

If you are looking for a sweet story of Catwoman, then this would not be story for you because it is actually telling the story of all of the intense and abusive moments that molded Selina into becoming Catwoman. This story does have subject matter that can be triggering such as cutting, bullying and verbal/physical abuse. The author did a great job with writing about the triggering subjects in the comic.

I have enjoyed this telling of Selina aka Catwoman because the characters were well developed, the writing, and story was done very well. The best part of the whole comic is the artwork is amazing because you didn’t need a lot dialogue to follow the story and to know what was happening in the scenes. It was nice to see diverse characters in the comic but I would have like to seen more of some those characters. I thought it was great to see all of the stray cats following Selina around because it was showing her connection with them.

The backstory between Selina and Bruce was interesting part of the comic. It showed how Selina became friends with Bruce when they were small children and how they friendship change when they became teenagers. They do reconnect in the story and shows how much they both care about each other. I thought it was a nice touch to the story between Batman and Catwoman instead of them meeting as adults but as teens.

The other part of the story I thought was interesting was Selina’s “friendships” with the group of runaways who live in a warehouse and doing “jobs” for money. She finds the group when she befriend Ojo who teaches her how to scale/climb walls and building. After living on the streets was not working for her, she decides to take up Ojo offer to stay with the group and work with them. She meets a young girl name Rosie, who does not speak because of tragic event that happens to her and her family. It was nice to see how Selina’s personality changes from hard-ass don’t care person to someone who is kind and taking care of someone else that needs her help. This group becomes Selina’s family more than her mother was because they all look out for each other.

Overall, I enjoyed the comic and the only things that I would have like to have seen was more development of the other characters with a little bit of background story and have a trigger warning in the comic so that teens are aware of the subject matter.

Even though this might not be the type of Catwoman story you are looking for and you might have seen some not so good reviews, don’t let those things from stopping you from reading it and make your owe opinion on the story. I hope we get continuation graphic novel to see what other adventures the teenage Selina takes.

I would like to thank DC Link and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale.

Monthly TBR

May TBR

Finally posting my May TBR, it has been a hectic and stressful week at work so I haven’t had the time to post about my TBR for May.

This time around I am not going to over the top with my TBR. Definitely reading three middle grade books this month because TBR and Beyond Book Club theme for the May is middle grade. We are having a middle grade challenge, if you want to join in the fun head over to our Facebook here.

The only middle grade books that I have read are the Harry Potter series so I am looking forward to reading these three and see how I like them.

The other books on my TBR carts are ones that I am hoping to get too this month.

What is on your TBR list for this month? What are you looking forward to reading?

Happy reading!

JoAnne