Book Review: Curse of the Specter Queen (Samantha Knox #1)

Title: Curse of the Specter Queen

Author: Jenny Elder Moke

Pub. Date: June 1, 2021

Pages: 352

Pub: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


MAY THE HAZEL BRING YOU WISDOM AND THE ASPEN GUIDE AND PROTECT YOU…

Samantha Knox put away her childish fantasies of archaeological adventure the day her father didn’t return home from the Great War, retreating to the safety of the antique bookshop where she works. But when a mysterious package arrives with a damaged diary inside, Sam’s peaceful life is obliterated. Ruthless men intent on reclaiming the diary are after Sam, setting her and her best friend, along with her childhood crush, on a high-stakes adventure that lands them in the green hills outside Dublin, Ireland. Here they discover an ancient order with a dark purpose – to perform an occult ritual that will raise the Specter Queen, the Celtic goddess of vengeance and death, to bring about a war unlike any the world has ever seen. To stop them, Sam must solve a deviously complex cipher – one that will lead her on a treasure hunt to discover the ancient relic at the heart of the ritual: a bowl carved from the tree of life. Will she find the bowl and stop the curse of the Specter Queen, or will the ancient order bring about the end of the world?

Indiana Jones gets a refresh with this female-driven mystery adventure, set in the 1920s, full of ciphers, ancient relics, and heart-stopping action – the first in a brand-new series!
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Book Review: Untethered (Shielded #2)

Title: Untethered

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Pub. Date: July 20, 2021

Pages: 432

Pub: Delacrote Press

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes the thrilling sequel to Shielded about a world in a deadly magical war and the newly crowned king and feisty princess who must defeat the deadliest of foes before there’s nothing left to save.

Although King Atháren’s sister, Jennesara, saved Hálendi from the Gray Mage, the reprieve came at a steep price–the life of their father. Now Ren rules over a divided kingdom, with some who want him dead, and a Medallion that warns of worse trouble brewing in the south.

As second born, Princess Chiara is the perfect Turian royal–perfectly invisible. She longs to help restore peace on the Plateau, but with no magic and no fighting skills, she doesn’t stand a chance against a mage. So when a member of the Turian royal family goes missing and Chiara finds a clue about the rumored resting place of the mages’ long-lost artifacts, she decides it’s time to be seen.

As Ren’s and Chiara’s paths cross, they find the depth of the mages’ hold on the Plateau is more powerful than anyone suspected, and that they must learn to trust themselves, and each other, before the mages retrieve their artifacts and become too powerful to ever defeat. 
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Book Review: A Bargain of Blood and Gold

Title: A Bargain of Blood and Gold

Author: Kristin Jacques

Pub. Date: June 15, 2021

Pages: TBD

Pub: City Owl Press

Genre: LGBT Fantasy Paranormal Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads


A novice hunter with a mission. A five-hundred-year-old vampire with a strong sense of irony. A town plagued by creatures in need of saving.

When Johnathan Newman arrives in Cress Haven, the last thing he expects is for his life to be irrevocably changed. Sent by a clandestine league of vampire hunters to investigate a string of murders, signs point to a vampire lurking amid the townsfolk. Johnathan’s attempt to enlist the locals leads him to an unlikely partnership with Vic, the town’s most eligible, enigmatic bachelor.

As the pair work to solve the mystery, Vic’s secrets come back to bite him. Revealed, the vampire fights his attraction to a man trained to destroy him, while Johnathan’s emotions land him in the middle of forbidden desires. Even if Vic isn’t the murderer, how can Johnathan yearn for his natural enemy?

As Vic leads Johnathan into encounters with terrifying beings straight from children’s nightmares, Johnathan learns that not only is the world stranger than he knew, but that those he once trusted have far darker intentions that will place hunter and vampire at the center of a conflict between realms.

Cress Haven holds more sinister secrets than its resident vampire, a secret so great, it could unleash Hell itself.
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Book Review: The Nature of Witches

Title: The Nature of Witches

Author: Rachel Griffin

Pub. Date: June 1, 2021

Pages: 362

Pub: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.
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Book Review: Instructions for Dancing

Title: Instructions for Dancing

Author: Nicola Yoon

Pub. Date: June 3, 2021

Pages: 304

Pub: Penguin

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


#1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon is back with her eagerly anticipated third novel. With all the heart and hope of her last two books, this is an utterly unique romance.

Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?
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Book Review: For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1)

Title: For the Wolf

Author: Hannah F. Whitten

Pub. Date: June 1, 2021

Pages: 448

Pub: Orbit Books

Genre: YA Fantasy Retellings

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.


For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

Content Warnings can be found here. Continue reading “Book Review: For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1)”

Book Review: Grace and Glory (Harbinger #3)

Title: Grace and Glory

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: June 1, 2021

Pages: 512

Pub: Inkyard Press

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love clash in book three of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy!

When Angels Fall


Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.
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Book Review: The Shadow in the Glass

Title: The Shadow in the Glass

Author: J.J.A. Harwood

Pub. Date: May 4, 2021

Pages: 416

Pub: HarperVoyager

Genre: YA Fantasy Retellings

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid.

Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter.

One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must to decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay it.

A smouldering, terrifying new spin on Cinderella – perfect for fans of Laura Purcell and Erin Morgenstern.
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Book Review: Stolen Shadow Bride (Stolen Brides of the Fae #4)

Title: Stolen Shadow Bride

Author: S.M. Gaither

Pub. Date: May 28, 2021

Pages: TBD

Pub: TBD

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


A desperate sister. A cold Fae prince. A dangerous trick, and a spark of passion that might set a fragile peace ablaze…
Sephia has always known that her younger sister was destined to wed the prince of the Sun Court.

Long ago, the human kingdom of Middlemage struck a bargain with the neighboring Fae that resulted in peace between them. As part of that bargain, one of the two ruling Fae courts lay claim to a human bride from each new generation. As long as anyone can remember, this is how it has been: The Fae come to take their bride on her eighteenth birthday, the humans allow one to be stolen away, and the peace continues.

Until now.

Until the Sun Prince comes for her sister, and Sephia does the unthinkable: She disguises herself with magic and goes to the altar in her sister’s place.

And she doesn’t intend for her marriage to end happily ever after.

But Sephia soon finds that all is not as it seems within the cruel and sparkling Court of the Sun. The king is sick. Strange shadows paint the halls of his palace, leaving death in their wake. The prince is desperate to find answers, whatever the cost. And Sephia is the wrong bride, but she may be the right woman to help the prince save his world—

That is, if they can somehow find a way to work together… while ignoring the forbidden passion igniting between them.
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Book Review: Chaos Theory (Twin River High #3)

Title: Chaos Theory

Author: Kelly Anne Blount & Lynn Rush

Pub. Date: May 24, 2021

Pages: 303

Pub: Entangled Crush

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


Corey Chaos, teen YouTube sensation, just needs a break from his hectic schedule. Ever since his musical talent was “discovered” by the right person at the right time, his life has been a steady stream of interviews, screaming fans, TV shows, screaming fans, Instagram lives, and did he mention the screaming fans? He’d give anything to be a normal teen again, even for five minutes. So, when his agent suggests staying at his pool house for a month to get away from the stress, Corey is on the next plane to snowy Twin River, Wisconsin.

As soon as he gets there, though, his agent’s gorgeous teen daughter, Victoria, asks for his help—and Corey can’t bring himself to say no to her. Not after the video of her boyfriend dumping her in the school cafeteria went viral with its own hashtag, #LunchDump. Ouch. That’s not the way you want to get a million views. No one, especially a sweet girl like Victoria, deserves to be treated that way.

But then she tells him about her big plan to get revenge on her ex. And Corey’s certain his starring role has chaos written all over it.
Continue reading “Book Review: Chaos Theory (Twin River High #3)”