Book Review: A Secret in Onyx (Onyx Trilogy #1)

Title: A Secret in Onyx

Author: Jessica Florence

Pub. Date: May 17, 2020

Pages: 318

Pub: Independently Published

Genre: SFF Romance

Rating: ⭐️.5 (DNF @ 25%)

Everything I knew died when the end of the world came. People dropped dead, and electricity vanished. Those who remained alive were never the same again.

While on the run with my boyfriend Tor across the desolate continent, the worst humanity had left attacked. Torn from the one I love, I boldly raced for help at the last human safe zone.

Only it’s not humans I found, but the Fae.

Now I have one month to rescue my boyfriend and release a savior princess from an onyx tomb or lose them both forever. A seemingly impossible task when Rune, a cursed, pain in the ass Fae warrior is assigned to train me. He’s hellbent on freeing his beloved princess and I’m desperate to save Tor. But no matter how hard we snarl during training; we can’t stay away from each other.

I thought the worst thing that could happen to me was the apocalypse.

I was wrong.
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DNF Book Review: Fight For Her

Title: Fight For Her

Author: Liz Blum

Pub. Date: March 9, 2021

Pages: 352

Pub: Wattpad Books

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ⭐️ DNF @ 10%

From the outside, being the heir to a million-dollar auto repair company, the girlfriend to the school’s quarterback, and admired by her peers, means Scarlet Tucker’s life seems perfect. But after the tragic death of her brother, every day is a struggle to keep up appearances―especially with her boyfriend, who cares more about his reputation than about Scarlet’s feelings.

When Scarlet accidentally slams into her school’s resident bad-boy-slash-outcast, Elijah Black, in the hallway, he shakes up more than her notebooks. Scarlet’s heard rumors about Elijah, but she’s drawn to him because they share the same sorrow―they’ve both lost a brother. As they grow closer, Elijah lets Scarlet into his hidden life of underground fighting, where long-buried secrets that impact both of their lives unravel. Before long, Elijah and Scarlet are in too deep to turn back, and the only way they’ll survive is to stick together.
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DNF Book Review: Phoenix Flame (Havenfall #2)

Title: Phoenix Flame

Author: Sara Holland

Pub. Date: March 2, 2021

Pages: 272

Pub: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️.5

Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.
But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.

As she tries to accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks, Maddie uncovers secrets that could change everything. What if saving everyone means destroying the only home she’s known?
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DNF Book Review: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1)

Title: These Violent Delights

Author: Chloe Gong

Pub. Date: November 17, 2021

Pages: 449

Pub: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️ (DNF @ pg. 115)

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.
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Another Short and Sweet DNF

I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still hung up on Marrow Charm or if these books just haven’t been for me, or if they’ve just been not good books. But Cursed by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler wasn’t my cup of tea. My goal for this week wasn’t to DNF two books in a row, and my goal wasn’t to post reviews about them either…at least not DNF reviews.

cursedTitle: Cursed

Author(s): Frank Miller & Thomas Wheeler

Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

Rating: DNF at page 50

The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller.

Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.

But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…

That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.

Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.

But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

This will be a very brief, spoiler free review.

I DNF’d this one early, fifty pages in and I wasn’t interested in the slightest. I wasn’t a fan of the artwork and found I highly distracting. I was excited for this going in, but it just doesn’t work. After reading a couple of reviews (something I rarely do before finishing but wanted to know if it was worth slogging through it) I gather that Thomas Wheeler is a screen writer and this book probably would have been much better in script form.

It’ll be interesting to see this adapted for Netflix, where I think it will probably thrive.

I didn’t feel any connection with Nimue and didn’t care about her journey – albeit I only read a small portion of it. Nothing in the first 50 pages hooked me enough to make me want to continue reading. I went in thinking that this was a gender bent King Arthur – it’s not, not really and that’s kind of disappointing and a common thread I’ve seen in YA recently. Market it as one thing, only for that story to not be reflected in the actual book. It sets readers up to have certain expectations and then they are not met and it’s highly annoying.

Anyways, this book wasn’t for me – I’ll watch the show when it hits Netflix (if it hits Netflix). I like the idea of art in the books, on the pages. I think it’s a really cool idea, and I’m totally on board. But maybe something a little less stylized. (Not knocking the artist, just not my style).

As far as Arthurian Legend retellings, I’ll keep my eyes on The Guinevere Deception and hopefully that one works out better for me.

Let me know if you read this and thought it was worthwhile to finish. I can’t promise I ever will, but maybe.