ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘We are Blood and Thunder’ ~ Kesia Lupo

41440204We are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

Publication Date: May 6th 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Blurb: In a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.

On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.

A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within.
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Five reasons to read

Five Reason to Read ~ Los Nefilim by T. Frohock

29995427Los Nefilim by T. Frohock

Publication Date: June 14th 2016

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Series: Los Nefilim #1-3

Blurb: Collected together for the first time, T. Frohock’s three novellas–In Midnight’s Silence, Without Light or Guide, and The Second Death–brings to life the world of Los Nefilim, Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons. In 1931, Los Nefilim’s existence is shaken by the preternatural forces commanding them … and a half-breed caught in-between.

Diago Alvarez, a singular being of daimonic and angelic descent, is pulled into the ranks of Los Nefilim in order to protect his newly-found son. As an angelic war brews in the numinous realms, and Spain marches closer to civil war, the destiny of two worlds hangs on Diago’s actions. Yet it is the combined fates of his lover, Miquel, and his young son, Rafael, that weighs most heavily on his soul.

Lyrical and magical, Los Nefilim explores whether moving towards the light is necessarily the right move, and what it means to live amongst the shadows.

I recently finished Los Nefilim by T. Frohock, devouring it as I fell in love. So I thought I’d share some of the reasons to read this book!

An enchanting mix of elements

Los Nefilim is a perfect blend of the fantastical and the real. Set in 1930’s Spain, it follows Diago as he battles to find his place as both angels and daimons vie for his loyalty or try to take it by force. There’s mystery and angelic battles and dark magic. There’s an old school vibe/glam to it that draws you in. It doesn’t fit squarely in one genre and it’s perfect for it.

Engrossing without hopelessness

Los Nefilim draws you in and keeps you riveted without leaving you feeling like the heroes are never going to succeed. I’ve read and loved books like that but sometimes it’s tiring reading books where the MCs can never win or where they’re endlessly suffering. Los Nefilim has high stakes and is intense but without leaving you feeling like it’s all pointless if everything is always going to shit anyway.

Established relationship

I don’t know why I like this particular element in books but it’s just so nice?? I just really loved that Diago and Miquel were already in a committed relationship. They’re married, they love each and it’s never in doubt and, although there are some things that happen that do bring challenges for them, they’re in it together.

Magic through music

I really loved Frohock’s take on angels, daimons and their magic. In Los Nefilim magic is woven through music (and dance). Through music they are able to draw the sigils needed to cast magic and harmonising with others strengthens the magic, making for some powerful scenes.

Soft men who are allowed to be vulnerable

We love non-toxic masculinity. That’s not to say there aren’t some arseholes in the book but the main characters are so wonderfully drawn. They are allowed to be vulnerable and hurt and emotional without it being condemned. Guillermo doesn’t hesitate to show his care and love for Diago, Miquel and those under his charge without having to include bro-ish slaps on the back. The love Diago has for Rafael & Miquel are where he draws the strength of his magic from. Diago is given the space to start to come to terms with the abuse he suffered without him being seen as weak or not man enough for having been through it. It’s so lovely to see and read.

This is a small and incomplete list of reasons to read Los Nefilim but I highly recommend you do, it’s a wonderful series full of characters you’ll love. It’s followed by Where Oblivion Lives, which I am very much looking forward to diving into!

“He had his family, his family of bears, and together, they would roar.”

Find Los Nefilim
Goodreads ~ HarperCollins Australia ~ Book Depository ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Find T. Frohock
Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads Author Page

ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘All The Invisible Things’ ~ Orlagh Collins

42371083All The Invisible Things by Orlagh Collins

Publication Date: April 1st 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Blurb: Vetty’s family is moving back to London, and all she can think about is seeing Pez again. They were inseparable when they were small – roaming the city in the long summers, sharing everything. But everyone’s telling her it’ll be different now. After all, a boy and a girl can’t really be friends without feelings getting in the way, can they?

Vetty thinks differently … until Pez tells her she’s ‘not like other girls’. But what does that even mean? Is it a good thing or not? Suddenly she’s wondering whether she wants him to see her like the others – like the ultra-glamorous March, who’s worked some sort of spell on Pez, or the girls in the videos that Pez has hidden on his laptop.

How can she measure up to them? And who says that’s what a girl is supposed to be like anyway?

★★★☆(3.5)/5

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday…Gideon The Ninth

42036538Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Publication Date: September 10th 2019

Publisher: Tor

Series: The Ninth House #1

Blurb: Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead. 

So first off, that cover is the very definition of badass. I love it, the skeletons, Gideon’s outfit, her pose, the sunnies. It’s just epic.

Secondly, this is going to be all kinds of awesome. I mean, lesbian necromancers in space? Bring on September.

Is Gideon the Ninth on your TBR pile?

Find Gideon The Ninth
Goodreads ~ QBD ~ Booktopia ~ Book Depository ~ Wordery ~ Amazon

Find Tamsyn Muir
Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads Author Page

ARC reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ ~ Casey McQuiston

41150487Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Publication Date: May 14th 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Blurb: A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

☆(4.5)/5

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