ARC reviews · Mini Reviews

A Mini DNF Review ‘A Heart So Fierce and Broken’ ~ Brigid Kemmerer

42952728A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: January 21st 2020

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Series: Cursebreakers #2

Blurb: Find the heir, win the crown.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Harper has freed Prince Rhen from the curse that almost destroyed his kingdom. But all is not well; rumours are rife that there is a rival heir with a stronger claim to the throne and that ‘Princess’ Harper of Disi is nothing but a fraud.

Grey has fled the castle carrying a terrible secret. When he is discovered by soldiers and returned to Ironrose by force, Grey’s allegiances begin to shift. And as he grows closer to an enemy princess, he is forced to decide whether he will stand against Rhen for the crown he never wanted.

Review

After really enjoying A Curse So Dark and Lonely I really wanted to enjoy A Heart So Fierce and Broken but alas…..here we are.

I just could not, for the life of me, get into this. Some of the new characters annoyed me and old favourites just didn’t seem the same. I was going to push through but in the end it just wasn’t worth it. I wouldn’t say don’t read it – if you’re keen by all means go for it, I hope you enjoy it, but this time as much as I wanted otherwise I didn’t enjoy it enough to make it worth finishing.

“Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.”

*I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Find A Heart So Fierce and Broken
Goodreads ~ Bloomsbury Australia

Find Brigid Kemmerer
Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads Author Page

ARC reviews · Mini Reviews

Mini Review ‘Riot Baby’ ~ Tochi Onyebuchi

43719523._SY475_Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Publication Date: January 21st 2020

Publisher: Tor

Blurb: Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

★★★★/5

Review

Riot Baby is an intense and wonderfully written novella that draws you straight in. Ella and Kev are both magnetic leads. Ella in particular with her fury really captivated me. For a novella, Riot Baby felt so vast. Sometimes with novellas, even when I love them, there’s a part of me that wants more – but with Riot Baby it felt like there was so much more than 170 pages worth of story. The sci-fi/magic element added an extra element to the story that I just loved.

There were times where I had to wrap my head around the time skips and flashes into past memories as well as how Kev and Ella’s abilities worked but other than that Riot Baby is a powerful and emotive read that I definitely recommend you put on your tbr piles.

I am the locusts and the frogs and the rivers of blood. I am here now.

*I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Find Riot Baby 
GoodreadsPan Macmillan Australia ~ DymocksBooktopia ~ Book Depository

Find Tochi Onyebuchi
WebsiteTwitter ~ Goodreads Author Page

Book Reviews · Mini Reviews

Mini Review ‘Serpent & Dove’ ~ Shelby Mahurin

40024139Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Publication Date: September 3rd 2019

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Serpent & Dove #1

Blurb: Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. 

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

★★/5

Review

I went into Serpent & Dove expecting to love it. It had a lot of hype, I’d seen a lot of great reviews and I had even put it on my 5 Star Book Predictions post. In the end I did not enjoy it.

At first I was enjoying it, the writing was lovely and it was something easy to sink into. However, there were several elements that no amount of lovely writing could erase.

  1. The bioessentialism. Whilst I get that the author was probably trying to say witches are human, that’s not how it reads. “Witches can give birth, Reid.”…”That’s what makes them female.” Being able to give birth isn’t what makes someone a woman. Trans men, genderfluid and non-binary people exist. Plenty of women can’t give birth for various reasons.
  2. Can we not refer to fat people walking as waddling. For the love of god.
  3. There was a noticeable difference between how white characters were described (very detailed) and how the characters of colour (barely) were described.
  4. I do love a good enemies to lovers storyline but I don’t know this one made me iffy. When the ‘enemy’ in this case is a straight, white, Christian-coded guy who uses ‘it’ to refer to a group of people and murders them without regret before he meets Lou, it’s less a fun trope and more like – I could walk outside to find people like this. I get that he grows and learns etc etc. but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

These things culminated in me just not being able to enjoy it and part of me is wondering if I should bump it down to one star while writing this.

Find Serpent & Dove
Goodreads

Book Reviews · Mini Reviews

Mini Review ‘Magic For Liars’ ~ Sarah Gailey

41555947Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Publication Date: June 4th 2019

Publisher: Tor Books

Blurb: Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in this fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey. 

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

★★★★/5

Review

Magic for Liars is a short, sharp book about worlds that could have been, the dangerous things you do for the people you love and broken relationships – set against a backdrop of magic.

What I loved about Magic for Liars was how mundane the magic is – yes there are fantastical things you can do with it but the wielders are very human and Gailey nails this. Ivy is a wonderful character to follow, she’s messy, flawed and wants gloriously. It was both uncomfortable and wonderful.

It was a little slow to start but overall a thoroughly inventive and wonderful book that I’ll definitely be rereading in the near future. And finally I cannot leave without a mention to Rahul – bi cinnamon roll extraordinaire.

“Fucking Mages.”

Find Magic for Liars
Goodreads ~ Dymocks ~ QBD ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia

Find Sarah Gailey
Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads Author Page

 

 

Book Reviews · Mini Reviews

Mini Review ‘Across the Void’ ~ SK Vaughn

46291403._SY475_Across the Void by S.K. Vaughn

Publication Date: June 11th 2019

Publisher: Sphere

Blurb: Commander Maryann “May” Knox awakes from a medically induced coma alone, adrift in space on a rapidly failing ship, with little to no memory of who she is or why she’s there.

Slowly, she pieces together that she’s the captain of the ship, Hawking II; that she was bound for Europa—one of Jupiter’s moons—on a research mission; and that she’s the only survivor of either an accident—or worse, a deliberate massacre—that has decimated her entire crew. With resources running low, and her physical strength severely compromised, May must rely on someone back home to help her. The problem is: everyone thinks she’s dead.

Back on Earth, it’s been weeks since Hawking II has communicated with NASA, and Dr. Stephen Knox is on bereavement leave to deal with the apparent death of his estranged wife, whose decision to participate in the Europa mission strained their marriage past the point of no return. But when he gets word that NASA has received a transmission from May, Stephen comes rushing to her aid.

What he doesn’t know is that not everyone wants May to make it back alive. Even more terrifying: she might not be alone on that ship. Featuring a twisting and suspenseful plot and compelling characters, Across the Void is a moving and evocative thriller that you won’t be able to put down.

★★/5

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