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Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows

Whatever I am, let it be enough.

A Gathering of Shadows is the low-key sequel to the excellent A Darker Shade of Magic. It’s no surprise that my newly discovered adoration for V. E. Schwab extends to this sequel. What is surprising, however, is the reasoning for my love. A Gathering of Shadows is a different kind of book, and excellent on its own.

The Summary

Four months have passed since the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Red London is preparing for the Element Games, an international competition for magic users. Whether they want it or not, the competition proves effective at bringing these reluctant allies back together.

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(Bonus) Book Review: Firebolt

I recieved this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Summary

Elena has always been on the run with her father. Overnight, life gets crazier than that when she finds out her father is a dragon, deals with him dying by a dragon, and then gets whisked away to a school where either you are a dragon, or you ride a dragon. Everything becomes about dragons, and some way or another, Elena has to find a way to fit in.

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Book Review: Shadow and Bone

Six of Crows may be the more acclaimed Grisha book, but I preferred Shadow and Bone. Reading this one was such pure fun in comparison to what I’ve grown accustomed to in YA. I enjoyed every second of this book, and if your reading tastes are anything like mine, you will too.

The Summary

Alina is a nobody in Ravka, doing what most in most in Ravka are used to…preparing for war. Or, that is, she was a nobody. One experience in the much-feared Shadow Fold unearths a shocking, unique Grisha power within her. With that, everything about Alina’s life is changed forever.

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Book Review: The Hearts We Sold

This book doesn’t pull off its ending effectively, but it does have a unique premise. It’s one of the most unique premises I’ve ever encountered in YA. That only makes it worth the read.

The Summary

One day demons decided to reveal themselves to the world. The unveiling was for a reason…one Dee finds out, when she becomes desperate enough to make a deal with one of the demons.
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(Bonus) Book Review: Searching

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. And yet, for the first time ever, I feel myself needing to hold back on the review. I did not enjoy this book.

The Summary

In this prequel to a series about a guy named Hamilton, Raiya is a middle schooler doing what most middle schoolers starting doing…attempting to make sense of their purpose on Earth. Only, unlike most typical middle schools, Raiya is a fallen star and destined to one day save Earth as we know it.
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Book Review: Vicious

Though not my favorite of Schwab’s–that title goes to A Darker Shade of Magic–if I could only recommend one Schwab title to a friend that would fully portray just how talented she is, it would be this one. Vicious is the kind of book that can only be done by a master writer. Schwab is not only such a writer, but so good that after only three books I am tempted to say she may be my favorite author of all time. If the rest of Monsters of Verity, Shades of Magic, and her other series and standalones are even a fraction as good as This Savage Song, ADSoM and Vicious…then wow.

The Summary

In the past, Eli and Victor are college roommates and begrudging best friends. Their outrageous, ambitious natures lead to several life-threatening science experiments that give them both powers and changes life as they know it.

In the present, Victor escapes prison and is out for revenge. Who is the villain in this story? Who will make it out alive? These are the questions that keep you reading the book until the very end.

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Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King leaves an impression for two things: it’s somehow lighter and fluffier than most YA fantasy reads. And it has pirates. More YA pirate books would be really fun.

The Summary

Alosa, famed daughter of a self-appointed King of Pirates, is captured and contained aboard an enemy cargo ship. Or, at least, that is what she wants the pirates to think. In reality Alosa is there willingly, on behalf of her father, in search of part of a valuable map.

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Book Review: The Cruel Prince

I think of what it means to make myself the villain of the piece.

The Summary

At a young age, Jude witnesses the murder of her parents. The murderer General Madoc then takes her and her sisters, only one of who is his actual child, to the land of faeries. She grows up there, raised as a true faerie, though not one bit of faerie blood is in her. She may be raised like one, but is hardly treated as one by those outside her family. Cardan, the absolute worst, and youngest prince of the high royal family, is one of her worst tormentors. And yet Jude dreams of nothing more than earning her rightful place among him and the rest of faerie kind.

It’s the most shocking, twisty, heart-dropping, beautiful, painful book I’ve ever read.

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Book Review: Everless

I discovered this book while I was deciding which YA book subscription box I wanted. Ultimately I decided to subscribe to Owlcrate, but I follow many of the boxes on Instagram I didn’t pick. More than one choose Everless between the December/January time frame. It sounded too much like the bland movie In Time to interest me, but I kept seeing this book again and again. So I read it. Like Six of Crows, I thought Everless was good, but didn’t love it. Some unidentified “spark” was missing for me in this book.

Lack of sparks aside, it’s a way better story than In Time. I thought I would throw that opinion in this blog post since many people who mention reading or considering reading this book make that comparison. It’s also not as much like that movie as I expected. In Time is a dystopia/sci-fi, and Everless is fantasy. In both world-building and tone, the stories are very different.

The Summary

In Sempera, time is currency, only received via blood extractions. The rich can live for centuries without aging and the poor die young when they run out of years to give. Everless is home to many of the rich profiting off the time-as-currency system. Jules worked there as a servant when she was younger, but an incident sent her and her father on the run. Returning is a mistake, but with her father’s life–and her’s–on the line, it’s a mistake Jules has to make.
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Book Review: Six of Crows

Though I felt confident I would love, or at a minimum, like Leigh Bardugo’s books, I didn’t really know. As I made my decision for which to read first, I decided to read the one I thought I would like most, rather than the one that came first. Six of Crows is a heist book. It’s also much more hyped than Shadow and Bone ever was or is. So, it is the irony of ironies that I ended up liking Shadow and Bone more. Six of Crows, granted, is a fabulous book. You’ll find, however, that when I review Shadow and Bone in a few weeks that my review for that will be far more enthusiastic.

The Summary

It’s the best of all possible plots. A group of outcasts band together to pull off an impossible heist. Also, each outcast has a grudge or death wish against at least one other person in the group. Can they pull off the heist, or will they destroy each other instead?
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