Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 133)

BOOK REVIEW: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

BOOK REVIEW: Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora CarmackRoar (Stormheart #1)
by Cora Carmack
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

7/9/19 Finished the #StormlingReadAlong early and wowwowwow and I SO READY for Rage.  Below is my review from when I first read the book and honestly, my thoughts on it did not change at all!


This was an amazing start to a series that I am already really excited about!! Full, honest review given below. Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for giving me a chance to read this eARC! ♥

Okay, on to the goods. When I saw that Cora Carmack had written a YA Fantasy novel I was PUMPED. I’ve read–more like devoured–her Rusk University novels already and was dying for more. The fact that the “more” was a genre that I am especially obsessed with had me rushing to request an ARC from NetGalley and turing into a fangirly mess once I actually got it.

Honestly, this book was really damn good. The only thing that bothered me was that there were a lot of abrupt changes in POV but that could just be the editing of my ARC and it could be taken care of once the book is actually in print. Other than that, this was such a fresh newpremise!!!! This book is set in a fantasy world where storms of any kind are magical and violent and there are only a select few people called Stormlings that are born with the power to reign them in and protect their kingdoms. Aurora, the main character and heir to the Pavan throne, was born without powers and has had to keep it a secret her entire life. Of course, her mother, the queen, decides that it’ll be a great idea to marry her off to another Stormling prince so that her throne remains secure and her people stay protected. Of course things don’t always go as planned…When Rora feels betrayed by her groom-to-be she sets out with a band of storm hunters to take control of her future and learn how to tame the horrible storms herself.

First of all, we are introduced to an interesting and easily likable/hateable group of characters. It seems at first like there could be a possible love triangle but fear not!! That isn’t a thing in this first book. Rora, or Roar as she eventually becomes known as, was an extremely likeable female lead for me. She falls a little too easily for her male counterparts but given her sheltered life, I guess I can see how she quickly made a connection with two of the first two people who *really* paid her attention. Other than that though, she’s a fighter. She’s stubborn and pig-headed and I’m really excited to see how her future pans out. Locke, the love interest, is VERY swoon worthy (but I can agree that he CAN be a little overprotective at times). Oh my lawd. You guys will see. I’m a big fan…I am curious to see more about Cassius though.  Something tells me that he and Roar will have a hell of a time with a reunion in the next book…

Overall the story is a memorable one. The ending isn’t a huge cliffhanger but does set up for book two perfectly which I will 100% be pining for. I highly recommend!!

BOOK REVIEW: There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool

BOOK REVIEW: There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose PoolThere Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness #1)
by Katy Rose Pool
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it... or unleash it?

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.

Hassan had crouched down to Azizi’s level, putting a hand on the boy’s bony shoulder. “You are helping. This–getting on this ship with your mother and sister to sail to an unfamiliar land–it’s just as important as what I’m doing. Just be brave. To keep out home inside your heart, right beside your hope, even when you’re far away–it’s one of the bravest things there is. I’m going to make Herat safe for you, Azizi.”

I am LOVING the fact that the newest fad in YA fantasy seems to feature the rag-tag group of characters from all walks of life, destined to come together to *do* something important. In this case, it’s stopping the apocalypse. There’s a secret prophecy, three harbingers of death, and of course, an evil zealot that wants to wipe all of the Gifted people out.

The cast of characters was super unique and memorable. I can’t wait to dig deeper into each of their personalities and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists that popped up towards the end. I don’t want to get too far into them because a few of them might not be who you expect and it was fun watching all the chaos unfold and destinies change.

I really liked the premise, too, even though I have a few thoughts on how it was presented. I feel like in fantasy series’ there is always that one point of impending doom that the books work toward until the end of the series where the hero is successful and good wins. In this book, the secret final prophecy foretold a time of darkness and what sounded like the end of times. A bunch of things unfold towards the end of this book and that is set in motion. To me, it almost seemed like too much happened already in the first book. I loved the world building and I felt like the characters were fleshed out enough, I just would have like a little more preparation I guess? I don’t know how many books are planned for this series so maybe Pool wanted to condense more into this to really ratchet up the danger level immediately for book two. Either way, it all unfolded in a very believable, and INCREDIBLY gripping way (!!!) I just would have liked there to be a tiny bit more build up before the start of the apocalypse lol. I was biting my nails the entire last half of this book as more and more unfolded and I cannot wait for the rest of the series! I think a lot of people will love this and will be dying for more.

Once, as the rest of Jude’s world had crashed down around him, his gave had been drawn to the warm, dark eyes of a strange boy, hunched over the side of a scrying pool.
Now, their eyes met again.
And Jude’s true north was found.


Huge thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt Books for Young Readers for giving me a change to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Also, since the quotes above came from an unfinished copy, they are subject to change.

BOOK REVIEW: Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard

BOOK REVIEW: Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan DennardBloodwitch (The Witchlands #3)
by Susan Dennard
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fans of Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Review:

“From the day she had stabbed Aeduan in the heart, that heart had become hers—and she would not let this be his end.” 

Why. Aren’t. More. People. Reading. This. Series?!@?!?! WHY. I’m serious. Sooz’s writing is on an entirely different level than like 80% of the stuff currently out right now in YA fantasy. Yes it’s complex. (When has that ever been a bad thing?) Yes, sometimes you can lose track of what’s happening and where it’s happening. (That’s what a map is for) But isn’t that sometimes part of a series’ appeal?! Getting so caught up in a story that sometimes you stop and think about all these ~threads~, lol see what I did there, and realize there are so many awesome plot points and you don’t know where any of them are going but you KNOW that since you’re reading a book by Susan Dennard that all of your questions eventually WILL get answered and probably in a super dramatic, crazy-ass way that you weren’t expecting AT ALL.

“I was supposed to tell you somethin’ else, sir. Something to make you believe Captain Sotar really sent me and that raiders are really coming. She said, ‘Noden and the Hagfishes ought to bend to a woman’s rule.’” 

One piece of advice I will give to those of you who do have trouble with complex story-lines, though, is to read all four one right after the other. I picked up Truthwitch earlier this year and read Windwitch and Sightwitch right after. I started this one but got distracted by who knows what and then didn’t start it again until about a week ago. And then, I actually started listening to this on audio (which was awesome btw because the narrator did a ton of different accents that I didn’t expect) while at work in my free time so I created a bit of a disconnect for myself. However, all I really had to do was google whatever questions I had (and mostly those came from the stuff we learned from Sightwitch—SO DON’T SKIP THAT ONE) and the lovely world of bookish wikis saved me.

He was a Bloodwitch no longer. He was a monk no longer. He was man, just a man. It would have to be enough.

Now to the nitty gritty of this book. Aeduan’s book. I LOVED learning more about him, even though what we learned is enough to make my heart feel like it was ripped out and stomped on, tbh. My poor bloodwitch boy. At this point, all of our main characters—Aeduan/Iseult/Owl/kinda Leopold, Merik/Esme, Safi/Vaness/Hell-Bards, and then Vivia—are scattered across The Witchlands so we have a lot of different POVs that are entirely different from one another. Sometimes it would bother me if I didn’t want to leave a particular group just yet but books that are told like this always seem WAY more intense once the story picks up and gets more frantic and you find that some of their paths might start to intersect again. I love the drama that it builds. Just like with its predecessors, the last quarter of this book is INSANE. Like…..insane. I waited to start that entire chunk until after my daughter went to bed because I knew it was going to be non-stop crazy until the last page. Thank God I did that.

Going to throw in a spoiler paragraph real quick so I can really flail without ruining things for anyone…

View Spoiler »


So yeah basically if anyone has any thoughts/answers about all that I put under the spoiler tab PLZ MESSAGE ME ASAP. I loved this book and Aeduan and I CANNOT wait for Iseult’s book, holy crap. I NEED IT BAD.

Te varuje.
I trust you as if my soul were yours.
 

BOOK REVIEW: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

BOOK REVIEW: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne YoungSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

“THIS IS A GRIPPING STORY, RICHLY TOLD.” —Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of Flame in the Mist
"FIERCE, VIVID, AND VIOLENTLY BEAUTIFUL.” —Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
“A STUNNING DEBUT” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
“BLEAK BEAUTIFUL AND DEADLY” —Traci Chee, New York Times bestselling author of The Reader
“WHOLLY UNIQUE AND INSTANTLY ADDICTIVE” —Kerri Maniscalco, New York Times bestselling author of Hunting Prince Dracula
“HEARTRENDING, HEART-MENDING” —Kayla Olson, bestselling author of Sandcastle Empire

“Does it hurt?” He leaned closer.
My stomach dropped, pulling my heart down with it and the pulse in my veins beat unevenly. He was too close to me.
I stood, the bench scraping on the stone beneath us. He looked up at me, and I tried to find something to say. But there was too much. It was all buried too deep. I couldn’t reach it.
“Everything hurts,” I whispered.


Hollllyyyyy BLEEP. Guys. GUYS. I started this in audio ON A WHIM yesterday because I needed something new and honestly it was one of the first books that was available on Overdive as I was scrolling through. I hate admitting this but I actually got a copy of this in eARC form from Netgally but got busy and pushed it aside (obviously) and am only just now reviewing it. I’m a terrible person. BUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER RIGHT?! Especially after this glowing review that’s trying to burst out of me.

“I feel like…” I caught the sob in my chest and swallowed it, suddenly embarrassed. He leaned in closer to me. 
“Like what?” 
My eyes ran over his face. The scruff on his jaw. The dark lashes around his blue eyes. “Like I’m a flame about to burn out.” 
My voice was so thin it sounded like I could reach out and break it with my fingers. “Like I’m going to disappear.”


I think I also might have put this off because I thought that the Viking aspect might be too much. I’m not a person who loves that extra dose of violence that Vikings are sure to always provide. I mean it’s common knowledge. Rage and duty and honor practically runs through their veins. They are warriors through and through and this book did indeed have it’s fair share of visceral, gory scenes. However, it’s more than that. It’s about family and love and realizing that someone you’ve been taught to hate all your life might just be the person who is going to save you. 

Like I loved the entire process that Eelyn goes through throughout the entire book. From a proud, I’d rather die than be in a room sharing breath with a Riki, stance to a hmm they are kind of similar to my own people, to okay, um, now I’m in love with one and I can accept that my brother is now one, lol. I loved seeing Fiske’s relationship with Iri, and how Inge took him in as one of her own. How right after she came to be with them, how Halvard was always kind to her and wanted to impress her and learn things from her. I mean this really is a book about family in every sense of the word imaginable. Family doesn’t have to be blood to be family and Fiske and Iri were a perfect example of this. 

Fiske in general was just…a treat. I don’t know if I’d exactly call it hate to love…though I guess it was. ANYWAY I loved that progression as well. There was no insta love at all. It was a gradual, but inevitable thing and I just…*shivers* I love it so damn much. So many perfect scenes and lines come to mine I will definitely be re-reading this again in the future.

“I’ll go where you go.”
This time, the words were unyielding.


Finally…the writing. This writing is 100% on brand with what I love in a book. It made me feel every single emotion. Fear, anger, love, hurt, disgust. And my heart swelled. Boy did it swell. There were so many lines of just pure feeling that enveloped me and carried me away. Since having my daughter there have been few times where I have pushed my valuable sleep aside to stay up reading and this was one of those times. I honestly probably could have finished it all in one day but I didn’t want my tiredness to impact me loving the ending. ASKLGNSEKVSLIEHGE. So yeah. This was an excellent book and I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the next.

“Ond eldr,” I whispered his people’s battle cry against his lips. Breathe fire.

BOOK REVIEW: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutStorm and Fury (The Harbinger #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Enter a world of gargoyle protectors, rising demons and one girl with an explosive secret.

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 enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive 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 his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative 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…

Review:

Storm & Fury was an addicting, emotional ride!  I absolutely loved being back in this world and that Zayne got his own story.  It was so much more than I ever could have hoped for!  There was a slow burn romance, a kick ass girl, a sexy protective male and friendship, lust, sacrifice, trust and banter filled the pages.  If you’re a fan of JLA or paranormal romance, then you definitely have to add this one to your tbr!

“Are you sure you’ve had years of training?”I taunted, steadily approaching him.
Several strands of hair had fallen free, brushing his cheeks as he faced me. “Are you sure you’ve just had a few training sessions?”
“Guess what?”I darted under his swing and hit the floor, planting my palms on the mat as I kicked out, taking his legs out from underneath him. “I lied.”

We started out this book meeting Trinity Marrow, who was going blind, but could see and communicate with ghost and spirits.  She lived in the middle of nowhere and within a Warden community, even though she wasn’t a Warden.  Wardens were gargoyle shape-shifters who protected humankind from demons. But if the demons ever discovered Trinity, they would destroy her.  So when three men I cherished from The Dark Elements Series came to her compound, her whole life was about to change.  They informed her clan that something out there was hunting Wardens and demons, and before she knew it, it became critical that they work together.

Zayne let go of my hand . “Only you would argue with me over the condition of your back.” He placed the jar on the counter. “I need you undressed from the waist up.”
“What?” I gaped at him. “Usually a guy tells me I’m pretty before he demands that I take my shirt off.”
He shot me a bland look. “Is that all it takes for you to take your shirt off? You’re very pretty, Trinity.”
My eyes narrowed as I placed my OJ on the sink so that I wouldn’t throw it in his face.

I absolutely adored Trinity.  This whole story was from her point of view and I loved how she was so easy to connect with.  Trinity was kind, smart, compassionate, but she was also brave and had so much heart.  I loved that she could be fearless, especially when it came to her diminishing eyesight.  She didn’t let not being able to fully see hold her back, whether it came to training, fighting or even just life in general.  She was someone one could look up to.

“What are you going to do if it does get worse?” he asked.
“Maybe I’ll get myself a seeing-eye gargoyle.”
Zayne chuckled. “I can be that for you.”
“Uh, yeah, I feel like you’d grow very bored of that.”
“I don’t think so.” His fingers curled around my chin, bringing my gaze back to his. Air hitched in my throat. “I don’t think… there’s ever a boring second around you.”

When Trinity and Zayne met, sparks flew.  There was a lot of friction between them, and they didn’t get off on the best foot.  So they constantly threw barbs at each other and it was hilarious and addicting to watch.  It was impossible not to smile at their antics.  But underneath that banter was an element of lust.  And there were some moments that left me fanning my face.  As they got to know each other, I couldn’t help swooning and hoping they’d turn into something more.

His touch was featherlight, but I stirred restlessly. Lust pricked my skin as he moved his fingertips down my throat, over my shoulder. A small sigh escaped me.

Zayne always had a special place in my heart from the White Hot Kiss Series.  But I was never on Team Zayne.  Not because I wasn’t obsessed with him, it was just that I always felt like Layla and Roth were meant to be together forever.  So after everything went down in the previous series, I desperately wanted Zayne to get his happily ever.  Especially since I had fallen so hard for him. 

I…I wanted him.
I’d never really felt desire before, but it was burning me up from the inside. Want. Need. This was what had been missing when I’d kissed someone before. This was what yearning really felt like, and as I lifted my head off the mat, bringing our mouths so close that I could taste his breath on my lips, I thought I might drown in it. Zayne didn’t pull away. Instead, it seemed as if he became even more still.
I kissed him.

While Zayne was jaded from his past, he was still beautiful inside and out.  And it was addicting how he was not only sexy but tenacious and brave.  But there were so much more to him, like I absolutely loved how he could be funny, and then in the next breath he could be so emotionally deep.  When Zayne opened up, even a little bit, it always stole my heart and soul.  I was obsessed with Zayne and I thought Trinity would be the perfect fit for him.

“This seems very un-Warden-like,” I whispered.
The hand at my hip tightened. “You’d be shocked by all the un-Warden-like things going through my head right now.”
I shuddered, feeling dizzy and warm and alive. “Then show me.”
And he did.

While you can technically read this spin-off series as a standalone, I highly recommend you start with The Dark Elements Series first.  There were so many little moments or references that linked us to that first series.  And I loved how things pulled at my heart, made me smile or I had tears in my eyes because I was able to realize the importance of a certain moment since I had already read The Dark Element Series.  Even if it happened in the blink of an eye, the significance was there.  On top of that, I loved that we got to see all of our favorites!  Roth and Layla played such an important role!  Cayman was still making me laugh so hard.  And we even got to see Bambi, I’ve missed that snake so much!  But there was also new characters in this world, like Peanut, who I came to adore with all of my heart.  Peanut was hilarious and made me laugh so much.  And I loved how he helped out Trinity.  He was such a good friend, even if he was a ghost.

His breath coasted over my lips as he spoke. “We got this, Trin. We only have to stop the end of the world with little to no direction.”
“No big deal.”
He chuckled, and my lips curved up at the sound and the feel. “None at all.”

Action and moments that made my toes curl swirled together and it made this book beyond phenomenal!  And by that last page we had a lot of questions answered and stopped at a spot where I could breathe.  So while we got some closure to some issues, I can’t wait for that next book so we can dive into more of the unknowns.  And hopefully we’ll also get some more sigh inducing moments between Zayne and Trinity.  Fingers crossed!  So yes, I definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this series goes!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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