Tag Archives: 4 stars

Book Review: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Warbringer

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Release date: August 29th 2017

4 stars

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

When Leigh Bardugo and Wonder Woman collide, I expect great things. This was the first book release of the four planned DC Icons series featuring Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Batman, and Superman and it set the bar pretty high. I was never into comics growing up so my superhero love is a more recent thing and I feel like I’m forever playing catch up to these amazing characters’ stories. Maybe not knowing all the details about Wonder Woman’s story helped me just be able to read and enjoy this book since I wasn’t looking for holes or differences.

Diana was definitely a badass but she was a badass who had yet to prove herself to her sisters and to her mother. She was still young compared to most of them and longed to be accepted. She was really easy to relate to in a lot of ways. She just wanted to do what was right and keep her family safe. She was smart and determined and brave. And while she was trying to save everyone, she was going through her own self-discovery journey.

The plot ticked off most of what I would expect from a book based on a superhero. The origin story, the moral dilemma, the mission, the sacrifice, and of course the good versus evil. I could recognize Leigh Bardugo’s signature storytelling through the whole book and it just drew me in. There were a few predictable moments but still many twists that were surprising and makes me wonder if we’ll see another Wonder Woman book coming out soon.

I thought the book did a great job showcasing a young Diana on the cusp of her legacy, making her relatable but also other-worldly. The supporting cast were all wonderful additions and the five teens that ended up on the mission together were a lot of fun to watch banter back and forth. If there is a sequel, I will definitely be reading it.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars

Defy the Stars

Release date: April 4th 2017

4 stars

She’s a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is a seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.
He’s a machine.
Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.
Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

I loved Claudia Gray’s Firebird series so I was really excited for a new Sci-Fi story from her. The story of Noemi and Abel intrigued me before I even started it and with each page, I found myself getting more and more invested in their stories, both separately and together. It was an interesting dynamic. For a lot of the book, it was just the two of them on the mission Noemi was hell bent on completing but they did meet up with some great supporting characters.

The book was a dual POV between Noemi and Abel. I always find it interesting when a dual POV has two such different characters and it was hard to get any more different than these two. Noemi was a soldier from a planet cut off from the rest of the galaxy and whose people had strong opinions about the technology the rest of the galaxy was using. Abel was a machine, a mech, with such advanced programming that it was almost impossible to tell he wasn’t human. These were two individuals with limited life experience who’d both been raised to believe one way of thinking and were learning that maybe their elders/creators weren’t telling the whole truth.

I was a little surprised that I didn’t miss the crew feel in this Sci-Fi book. Usually, that would be high on my list of loves when I read a book involving space and missions, but the dynamic between Noemi and Abel was so well done and so entertaining that they filled all the areas I would normally look for in a crew. I loved watching the relationship between them change and the little ways they realized they’d become to care for each other, much to their own confusion.

The plot was a mix between the type of action scenes one might expect(and hope) for in a space book and a slow build-up toward the mission’s end goal. It did a great job setting up for the second(and final?) book. It didn’t get too slow that I felt my attention wandering and it didn’t get too fast where I felt like I was missing pieces of information. I’m very excited to see where the travel takes us in book two.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

one-of-us-is-lying

One of Us is Lying

Release date: May 30th 2017

4 stars

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

I really enjoyed this Breakfast Club vibe meets Pretty Little Liars mystery. It had some interesting twists, great characters, and it really drew me right into the story. Putting a Breakfast Club vibe into a book is a sure way to get me to pick it up and I was not disappointed.

The book was told in many POVs as we followed the four main characters trying to figure out who was framing them for Simon’s death. I liked all four pretty equally. Maybe Bronwyn and Cooper edged out the other two but not by much. Even with the book being less than 400 pages and very fast paced, there was still a lot of growth for all four characters. The story was as much about their growth as it was about the mystery and I really enjoyed that.

I wasn’t a fan of how the cops handled the whole case but I could see why they were so short-sighted. They had four teens in the room with the victim, all who were about to be exposed and all who had access to Simon and to the epi-pens in the nurse’s station. With all the publicity the case was getting, of course they wanted to solve it quickly, but they just ended up looking a bit incompetent. I thought the book did a good job showing how their narrowed focus affected the case and the teens and using some outside media sources to call them on their dropping the ball.

The mystery held my interest and I was looking for clues everywhere. It was the type of mystery where the reader could simply read to enjoy it and hopefully be surprised at the twists, or they could try to pick up the clues and solve it. It made it a book that was impossible to put down.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: Maud by Melanie L Fishbane

image

Maud

Release date: April 25th 2017

4 stars

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy — her dreams of being a writer are much more important.
But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future — and her happiness forever.

At first, I admit, it was a little strange reading a YA version of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life since I grew up on PEI and Anne and Emily were a huge part of my childhood, as was visiting Green Gables and all the sights. It didn’t take long to get over it and become completely absorbed into the story.

The book was very well researched and it was easy to see the connections between Maud, Anne, and Emily. It focused more on her childhood in PEI and her teenage years in Saskatchewan, before the huge success of Anne. After finishing this book I wanted to go back and re-read the Anne of Green Gables series. This book worked as a standalone for anyone interested in reading a well-researched fictionalized version of LMM’s life but it also would work well as a prelude to the Anne and Emily series.

Maud was a very relatable character. It could be I found it so easy to relate since I’m from the same area and grew up on her writing, but I do think I would have found her relatable without that. It was also easy to see parts of Anne and Emily in her, where she may have drawn inspiration from her own experiences and given her characters some happiness she wished she could have had.

The book was very character-driven so there were a few times it was slow, but not in a way that made me enjoy it less. It was that the plot focused on Maud’s growth, her goals, her dreams and her survival in a time when women were not encouraged to go to college. It meant there wasn’t a lot of action in the plot but I do love character growth so I really enjoyed that the plot was so character driven.

Overall, a great fictionalized telling of LMM’s life and one that fits in wonderfully with her series.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

flame-in-the-mist

The Flame in the Mist

Release date: May 16th 2017

4 stars

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

I loved The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger so I was really excited for a new series by Renee Ahdieh. It had the same feel as her previous books while being a whole new story with new, wonderful characters, and an entirely new setting. I fell in love with the world, with Mariko, and with the rebels.

Mariko was one of my favourite characters that I’ve read in a while. Renee Ahdieh has a way of creating amazing female characters who are powerful and feminine and who can hold their own against the male characters. Mariko was tough and very capable of taking care of herself. She was the type of character, flawed, determined to succeed, brave, who makes me want to never leave the world created within the book.

The supporting cast were all great and well-developed. From Mariko’s brother Kenshin, to the Emperor, to the members of the rebel Black Clan, especially Ranmura and Okami. They were all great additions and played off each other well. It lead to amazing character dynamics, which is always one of my favourite things in a book.

The setting and plot were absolutely addicting. It was easy to spot the Mulan retelling but it definitely stood on its own as well. As expected from The Wrath and the Dawn duology, the setting was described in wonderful, vivid detail and the romance was swoon-worthy. It was impossible to put this book down until it was finished, and when it was finished I didn’t want it to be over.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: Starfall by Melissa Landers

starfall

Starfall

4 stars

When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

I really liked Starflight and was excited to hear that a companion novel would be coming out featuring a couple of my favourite supporting characters from the first book. I was looking forward to diving back into this world and into another story with this crew. I didn’t end up liking it as much as Starflight but I still enjoyed it and was very happy to have gotten the chance to go back into its world.

Cassia and Kane take a front seat in this companion and their dynamic was so different from Doran and Solara in the first book. They were the fun, banter-filled couple in the first book and now, with their relationship more in the spotlight, it showed that they weren’t just all lightness and play fighting. Cassia and Kane were friends from childhood and Kane was always protecting her. It did mean that sometimes Cassia felt smothered or like she was being treated as incompetent and that Kane felt he was only good enough for her when she needed him. It led to this dynamic of them trying to do what they thought was the right thing for themselves and for the other person, but usually ended up resulting in hurt feelings.

The plot really focused on Cassia’s return to her home planet and the rebellion. That left less time for the crew scenes where they were acting like a family, which was something I loved from the first book. Cassia spent a lot of time with her General as they tried to gain control and stop the rebellion. Kane spent more time with the crew as they tried to track down information on a cure for the outbreak ravaging Cassia and Kane’s home planet. I did find myself looking forward to Kane’s chapters over Cassia’s due to his having more interactions among the crew and there were times when Cassia was being a frustrating character with the way she was treating poor Kane.

I think my enjoyment of this book was helped by the fact that I was expecting the dynamic between Cassia and Kane, which was light and fun in the first book, to change pretty drastically with the focus on it in this one. It meant the flaws in their relationship were more exposed and their new situation meant they had to face what they could ignore when they were on the ship: Cassia was a princess and Kane wasn’t royal.

I do like that both books can be read as standalones. The first one a little more than the second. The second did refer to some instances in the first book but even with more than a year in between readings, I didn’t find myself confused. It great a great escape back into a world that I really enjoyed.

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Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

geekerella

Geekerella

Release date: April 4th 2017

4 stars

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

There has been quite a few books out recently that highlight geek culture and fandoms in a way that has been really fun to read. Geekerella does a great job of blending fandom with the fairy tale Cinderella, giving the reader a fun plot and characters that I easily fell in love with.

Elle, our main heroine, was especially easy to relate to. Her love for an old sci-fi show called Starfield, her excitement over an announced reboot, and her anger over the casting of Hollywood’s up-and-coming “it” actor landing the role of her beloved Prince Carmindor. To stay true to the fairy tale, Elle lived with her step-mother and step-sisters and they were terrible. All she wanted was to attend ExcelsiCon and enter the CosPlay contest. Darien was hoping Prince Carmindor would be his chance at being taken seriously as an actor and shared a love for Starfield with Elle. I loved seeing them bonding over their love of the fandom and they were really cute together.

There were many, many fandom references and each one put a smile on my face. The Starfield fandom that was created for this book had a familiar feel to it, like it was one I would be a part of if it were real. The romance was cute and it was easy to spot the Cinderella-ness of their relationship.

It was a quick read that was really cute and a great addiction to the fandom-related books already released.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

upside-of-unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited

Release date: April 11th

4 stars

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
Right?

I absolutely loved Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda so a companion novel to that was a must read. Even with completely different characters in a completely different city, it still had the same feel I remember from reading Simon. It had great family dynamics, a wonderful and complex sisterly bond, characters that were easy to relate to, and writing that flowed to make for a book I wanted to keep reading even if I really should have been asleep.

Molly was a character I could really find myself relating to. Her fear of rejection stopped her from putting herself out there too much, even when it seemed like the guy was perfect for her. It made her feel like her more confident twin was growing up and away from her, leaving her behind. She had many crushes but never any boyfriends. I liked the contrast between her interactions with Will, who her sister Cassie wanted her to date, and Reid, her co-worker who was fun and threw out geeky references mid-conversation. What got me the most though, was the whole family aspect, especially the relationship between Molly and Cassie. It was great, it was perfect.

I really enjoyed the slow burn relationship between Molly and Reid. Their banter was fun and natural and Molly felt more like herself around him, more relaxed, and she ever seemed around Will. Will was an interesting character as well, and definitely not a bad guy. I just preferred the scenes where Molly was having fun with Reid. I also loved the family aspect of the book. Molly and Cassie’s moms were amazing and fun, supportive and involved. And their little brother was too precious.

One of my favourite things was that so many of the issues in this book could have been solved by one of the characters taking a minute, taking a step back, and then speaking up about their feelings, but actually doing that was so much more difficult. For Molly, it would never be as easy as opening her mouth and speaking up or putting herself out there, and I thought Becky Albertalli did a great job conveying that.

This was definitely a great companion to Simon. It can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend them both.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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Book Review: The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato

hidden-memory-of-objects

The Hidden Memory of Objects

Release date: March 21st 2017

4 stars

Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, she now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.
Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother’s charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.

I really love when an author takes a plot I’ve seen quite a few times before and adds a very unique spin to it. In this case, a girl dealing with her brother’s death and not accepting the answers the police were giving because, to her, it didn’t sound like her brother. There were plenty of twists, a great friendship, a slow burn romance, and a lot of historical facts added to the overall story.

Megan loved scrap-booking, always taking random papers from places she’d been to remember or to add to a collage later. By going through her brother’s belongings, she discovered an ability to see memories attached to certain objects and it was a way for her to investigate the circumstances of his death. Her abilities seemed to be a form of psychometry which I found interesting, especially as she learned more about what she could do. Her investigation led her to get closer to her brother’s best friend and to get re-acquainted with an older friend of her own. Another thing I liked was getting to see the flashbacks and the memories where Megan and Tyler were together. They were obviously close.

I really liked the supporting characters, especially Nathan and Eric. Nathan was a strong presence that was protective and calming, most of the time, while Eric added humour and support. Megan’s parents also play important roles in the story. They’re grieving for their son and trying to protect their daughter from what the police are telling them as truth. There were many times Megan would notice changes in her parents’ behaviours.

I also enjoyed the addition of the historical aspect to the plot. The assassination of Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth played a big role in the story. Tyler had a book about him, her mother worked at the Ford’s Theater Museum, and there were many artifacts that linked to the night of the assassinations, objects that had memories attached that Megan could see. The deeper Megan’s investigation went, the more memories she saw, the more it felt like she was so close to figuring everything out. That meant I had to keep reading because I didn’t want to stop and have a huge clue be right in the next chapter.

Overall, it was a really addicting read. I was sucked into the mystery and I loved the characters.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

royal-bastards

Royal Bastards

Release date: May 30th 2017

4 stars

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.
At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.
Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.
The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

Royal Bastards was an entertaining read that had kept me intrigued the entire time. There were plenty of interesting characters, plot twists, and adventure to push the pace so the book didn’t feel slow. It started off pretty light and got darker as the book went on, and if the series keeps getting darker as it goes on that should make for a very dark last book.

The book was told all from the POV of Tilla, who was ultimately a girl who just wanted her father’s love and attention. She cared deeply for her friends, especially her half-brother Jax, and wanted to keep them safe. She went through a lot of character growth and realizations in the course of this book and I liked that, while it was a lot of growth, it wasn’t too much where it might feel like she has nowhere to grow in the next two books.

My favourite thing about the book was the Breakfast Club vibe given off by the five teens who ended up on the run. The fact that they were all so different and knew each other for different amounts of time meant loyalties were tilted. It was hard to trust someone after only knowing them for a day but they had to in order to survive. I also really liked that it played away from the usual fantasy tropes of the main character being a “chosen one” who will save the world. There was magic and a war brewing but the main focus of this first book was the teens staying alive, figuring out their parents’ end game, and introducing the reader to the world.

There were a few things that did throw me a bit. There seemed to be a lot of modern terms used in the dialogue with the medieval setting. It wasn’t enough to take me out of the story but just enough it make me pause every now and then. Also, there were a couple bigger twists that I saw coming. Again, not enough to take me out of the story but it was enough so that I wasn’t shocked when it happened.

Overall, it was a solid first book that does have me excited to see where the author takes the series.

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

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