The Backlog: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


Title: An Enchantment of Ravens 
Author: Margaret Rogerson 
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 26th 2017
Goodreads Page

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

[insert screaming] -- A WICKED KING REVIEW.

WARNING. If You haven't read The Cruel Prince, turn back now. You can read my review of The Cruel Prince HERE.


Title: The Wicked King
Series: The Folk of the Air #2
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 8th 2019

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

[Blog Tour] Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean


Title: Empress of All Seasons
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 6th 2018
Goodreads Page

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.


As part of the blog tour, I got a chance to ask Emiko Jean a question:

I asked: If you were a yōkai, what would you be?

Emiko said:  This is an awesome question! I should probably say Animal Wife since that’s the main character of my book. But if I could choose I’d be a Jorōgumo, a yōkai that appears as a beautiful woman but can shift into a giant arachnid. However, I think I’m most like a Tanuki, a cute little mischief-maker.

I mean. I'd probably be a Tanuki too. Or maybe a kappa. which is like a turtle demon who loves eating human entrails, but loves cucumbers more.

That being said, here's my review of the book:

Empress of All Seasons follows Mari, a yōkai who has been training her entire life to enter the competition that will determine the next empress. The competitors must face the challenges that each season brings in the special rooms dedicated to the competition. However, the conflict between humans and yōkai is great, the emperor having collared and enslaved the yōkai. Mari must keep her secret as she competes and her fate clashes with Prince Taro and her mysterious friend Akira, a half human half yōkai.

The world of this YA fantasy novel is inspired by Japanese yōkai and Japanese culture. Mari is an animal wife type, where they take on the shape of a woman and can shift into a beast. Their main purpose is to marry men and take all that they're worth. There are other yōkai that we encounter like kappa, ghosts, jorōgumo, etc. It was really so great to read Japanese culture in a YA novel especially since I grew up reading manga.

Mari is fierce and gentle at the same time. She has been taught to fight her entire life since she was deemed not pretty enough to be a true animal wife. Instead, she could win the competition to be empress and perform her duties as an animal wife with the next emperor instead. However, even as she trains to fight, she has never once killed and has shown mercy to those who were thrown in a shed with her to fight.

Taro is very much like his father even if he doesn't want to believe it. He is empathetic and kind and very much the spoiled prince that he is. He doesn't want to be the prize of this competition and instead he spends his time in his metal workshop, creating things. However, when things turn for the worse, he most definitely shows off characteristics similar to that of his father.

The book is split into multiple points of view, from that of Mari, Taro and Akira. It's very interesting to read from their points of view as eventually, we know that their stories will intersect in some significant way.

Maybe 1/8th of the book left to finish, things went in a direction that I didn't expect. This book is a standalone fantasy, which is rare. I would have honestly liked it to be longer so that there would be more room for plot and the world to develop, even if this book sits at almost 400 pages. As it was a standalone and I didn't realize it, the events of the book are wrapping up and I most definitely didn't expect it to end the way that it did. It was a great ending and there is an epilogue given and it's where Mari honestly delivers one of the most kickass lines I've had the pleasure to read.

Overall, Empress of All Seasons is a wonderful standalone YA fantasy that breathes Japanese folklore and culture. It's wonderfully written with interesting characters that ends in a spectacular fashion. Definitely pick it up if you're looking for something different in your fantasy repertoire and something with no commitment issues since it's a stand alone.

You can find the rest of the tour here, at the following stops:

Happy Reading!
post signature

All the Answers You Could Want -- A Muse of Nightmares Review


Title: Muse of Nightmares
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer #2 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2nd 2018 

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

[Review] Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco


Title: Escaping from Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco 
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #3 
Publisher: James Patterson Presents 
Release Date: September 18th 2018 

In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. .

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

[Review] Julia Defiant by Catherine Egan


Title: Julia Defiant
Author: Catherine Egan
Series: Witch's Child #2
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Release Date: June 13 2017 

Julia and a mismatched band of revolutionaries, scholars, and thieves have crossed the world searching for a witch. But for all the miles traveled, they are no closer to finding Ko Dan. No closer to undoing the terrible spell he cast that bound an ancient magic to the life of a small child. Casimir wants that magic will happily kill Theo to extract it and every moment they hunt for Ko Dan, Casimir s assassins are hunting them.

Julia can deal with danger. The thing that truly scares her lies within. Her strange ability to vanish to a place just out of sight has grown: she can now disappear so completely that it s like stepping into another world. It s a fiery, hellish world, filled with creatures who seem to recognize her and count her as one of their own.

So . . . is Julia a girl with a monster lurking inside her? Or a monster wearing the disguise of a girl?

If she can use her monstrous power to save Theo, does it matter?



Title: Not Even Bones
Author: Rebecca Schaeffer 
Series: Untitled #1 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
Release Date: September 4th 2018 

Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.

Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” But when her mom brings home a live specimen, Nita decides she wants out — dissecting living people is a step too far.

But when she tries to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold on the black market in his place — because Nita herself is a supernatural being. Now Nita is on the other side of the bars, and there is no line she won’t cross to escape and make sure no one can ever capture her again.

Nita did a good deed, and it cost her everything. Now she’s going to do a lot of bad deeds to get it all back.

[Review] City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab


Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1 
Publisher: Scholastic 
Release Date: August 28th 2018 

Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

[Blog Tour] Mirage by Somaiya Daud


Title: Mirage
Author: Somaiya Daud
Series: Mirage #1 
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: August 28th 2018

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection...because one wrong move could lead to her death.

I was sent an advance copy from the publisher as part of the blog tour and in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read an excerpt of this book yet? If not, you can find a long excerpt right here!

Mirage follows Amani, a girl from a backwater moon and from a lineage of farmers. She is living under the cruel and oppressive regime of the Vathek empire and it is difficult for someone such as Amani who has dreams and aspirations larger than her farming background and her place in the Vathek regime. On the celebration of her coming of age, the Vathek attack and kidnap Amani to the royal palace where she learns that she is identical to the half Vathek princess of the empire. Princess Maram is cruel and unloved by her people as the Vath are, but the Vath do not see her as truly one of their own either. In order to protect Maram in public, Amani is to play as her double and be ready to die for her. As she is forced into this role, she learns that she can find beauty in the place she is trapped in. But she must not become complacent, as her failure leads to death.

This book is beautiful in the way that it's written with the lush poetry and the incredible world building. Seriously, it's really easy to tell that a lot of thought and time was put into fleshing out the world of Mirage. We learn about the occupation and oppression of Amani's people and the way that they are prevented from flourishing. We learn about the differences between the Vathek and the Andalaan peoples. Where the Vathek are cruel and cold, the Andalaan thrive in poetry and coyness. As Amani loves poetry and aspires to write great poetry herself, there is a large emphasis on it throughout the book. The world that Daud builds in this book is really great and lush.

While this book does take place on various planets and moons, it feels less like a science fiction novel and more of a fantasy novel. You would barely know that it was a science fiction novel if it weren't for the brief mentions of travelling to different planets or Amani having come from a moon. I'm not complaining of course, because I do love a good fantasy. I just wish it had slightly more emphasis on "yes this is happening in SPACE".

Amani is a dreamer and of course dreamers do tend to be romantic. Princess Maram is betrothed to Idris, the last surviving heir of his Andalaan tribe. His family died in the Purge of the rebels as his family was one of the ones who lead the revolt. As a result, he was promised to Maram. He grew up speaking his native tongue of Kushaila, but because he had to grow up in the Vathek courts and learn to survive in them, he has lost the ability to do so. His situation is tragic and so is his budding romance with Amani. Their time spent with one another was really one of my favourite parts of this book.

While this book is beautiful and the world well thought out, I had a problem while reading the book where it felt like Amani was never in any real danger. Nothing terrible happened for her as she played Maram and as she made some moves that she thought were best. The entire book, I was waiting for that other shoe to drop and for Amani to go through a stumble here or there. I just didn't feel that edge of the seat, heart pounding feeling of fear for Amani's situation.

Overall, Mirage is a beautifully crafted novel with clear inspirations and wonderful world building. I'm very interested in seeing where Amani will go next and how she will deal with her situation. Also, seeing more of Idris and Amani together hopefully!

You can find the rest of the blog tour at the following stops!

Happy Reading!
post signature

Seafire: Ladies Kicking Ass and Taking Names


Title: Seafire
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Series: Seafire #1 
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 28th 2018 

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all...or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

Indigo Teen Staff Pick -- Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart


Title: Grace and Fury 
Author: Tracy Banghart 
Series: Untitled #1 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 31st 2018 

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace - someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

[Blog Tour] Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi + Excerpt!

Hello everyone!! I have some exciting stuff for y'all today!

Thanks to the lovely people at St. Martin's Press, I got to read the Star Touched Stories early and I get to share an excerpt from the first story in the collection of series!

Here's some information about the book and also my thoughts on it!


Title: Star-Touched Stories
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Star Touched Queen #2.5
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: August 7th 2018
Goodreads Page

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram's new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

I received an advance copy of the novel as part of the blog tour and in exchange for an honest review.

The Star Touched Stories is such a wonderful and beautiful addition to the series that Roshani has written. I'll admit that I don't remember much of The Star Touched Queen so reading the first story, Death and Night, I saw it with fresh eyes. As I continued to read it, more of the first book came back to me and it's a really great standalone story, but it does add a lot to The Star Touched Queen. Death and Night switch points of view as we get to watch their courtship and how their relationship blossomed.

Poison and Gold is about Aasha, our beloved vishakanya who can kill a man with her poisonous touch. It's the story of life after A Crown of Wishes as she works to become Vikram and Gauri's spy mistress. She is sent to train with another spy mistress where she faces her own insecurities and grapples with her vishakanya abilities. She also might find love along the way *winky face*. Of course, since this short story follows Aasha, Vikram and Gauri are kind of there only tangentially, but b o i when they make an appearance, it is banter-y and full of love. I LOVE THEM.

The last short story, Rose and Sword, kind of broke me. In the best ways of course. We're seeing through the eyes of Hira, a princess of Bharata-Ujijain. As her sister faces her approaching wedding, little Hira doesn't understand why her sister has changed and she pays a visit to her grandmother who recounts a tale of a Queen whose bridegroom died on the eve of their wedding. CAN YOU GUESS WHO SHE'S TALKING ABOUT AND WHO THE GRANDMA IS???? This chapter gave me all sorts of Red River's epilogue chapter vibes and I had so many feels as the story is told. It gives my faves a great ending and solid wrap up to their story.

The anthology is a wonderful addition to the series and it is very clearly Roshani's swan song for these characters. It wraps up all their story lines and gives us just that smidgen more content to savour. If you loved The Star Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes, this collection of stories is a must read.

Now are you ready for the excerpt????



Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched series and Aru Shah and The End of Time, book one in the Pandava series.

She grew up in Georgia, where she acquired a Southern accent but does not use it unless under duress. She has a luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She is the 2016 finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and a 2016 Locus finalist for Best First Novel. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

Happy Reading!
post signature

#ArcAugust TBR

It's that time of year y'all. It's ARC AUGUST.

Arc August is run by my good friends over at Read. Sleep. Repeat as a month-long reading challenge and almost readathon to get your arcs read, whether they be old arcs, upcoming arcs, etc. If it is an advanced copy, it is eligible.

You can still sign up for ARC August, here.


So I finish off work early August and then I have a week to myself before I go on vacation. I'll hopefully be able to get some reading done while work is still going on and I'll definitely get some reading done during my vacation.

I'm never really good at sticking to my tbr so here's just a general outline of what I plan to read, I guess. Just a general guideline, since I've recently come to terms with the fact that I'm a mood reader.

  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  • Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
  • Blood Will Out by Jo Treggiari 
  • Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk
  • Cashmere by Temple West 
  • The Empress by S.J. Kincaid

Will I stick to this tbr list? Will I actually read during my vacation? Will I hit my personal goal of books read by the end of this summer?

Stay tuned to find out. (It's a mystery for me too.)

Happy Reading!
post signature

The Backlog -- Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan

The Backlog is where I review backlist books or books that have been out for a little while. 


Title: Julia Vanishes
Author: Catherine Egan 
Series: Witch's Child #1 
Publisher: Double Day Canada
Release Date: June 7th 2016 
Goodreads Page

Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses.

It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it's a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned--crime pays.

Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding--though from what or whom?
Worse, Julia suspects that there's a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.

The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she'd ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Title: Empress of All Seasons
Author: Emiko Jean
Release Date: November 6th 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

How beautiful is this cover??? I'm so in love! Also, this is a fantasy that takes on Japanese folklore with the yokai and stuff. You should all know by now, how much of a sucker I am for great fantasy books and this one sounds so amazing. I absolutely can't wait to read it. I'm always, always down for a fantasy book about royalty.

Happy Reading!
post signature

Sharp Objects: Dull Book, Sharp Television


Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

[Review] Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier


Title: Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Series: Tower of Winds #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: April 10th 2018
Goodreads Page

Ulises asked, "How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers."

Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. "It's bound to be a goose chase. You know that?"

"Or a treasure hunt," Ulises countered, "and you've always been good at those."

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar's oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way...until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias's father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king's beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried...and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Title: Little White Lies
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Freeform
Release Date: November 6th 2018 

"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes always writes such fantastic YA crime thrillers. They're always so interesting and fall into a niche genre that I enjoy like her Naturals series that followed a YA Criminal Minds-esque team and The Fixer series (so underrated) that follows a teenage fixer for political people. I'm so interested to see where this new book of hers takes us and the mysteries that we'll get to unravel in this new book of hers.

And hello! debutante balls? Fish out of water story? mystery???? HELL YES!!

Happy Reading!
post signature

[Review] Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry


Title: Heretics Anonymous
Author: Katie Henry
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 7th 2018 

Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

[Review] Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody


Title: Ace of Shades 
Author: Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game #1 
Release Date: April 10th 2018 

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…

and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Title: Empire of Sand
Author: Tasha Suri
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: November 13th 2018 

A nobleman's daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Tasha Suri's captivating debut is perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. Unbeknownst to her, she can manipulate the dreams of the gods to alter the face of the world.

When Mehr's power comes to the attention of the Emperor's most feared mystics, she is coerced into their service, as they are determined to harness her magic for the glory of the Empire. She must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist the mystics' cruel agenda -- and should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance...

How amazing does this book sound???? I'm so shook. "An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods" um. HELLOOOOO. If you haven't realized by now, I'm trash for stories and books about gods in fantasy and the way they factor into the worlds that are created in fantasy novels. Will there be a post in the future of me gushing about history and religion in fantasy?? Maybe.

Anyways, this book sounds so fantastic and I can't wait to read this book! The synopsis calls to my fantasy loving soul so much omg.

Happy Reading!
post signature

[Review] The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee


Title: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Author: F.C. Yee
Series: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1 
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: August 8th 2017 

She annihilates standardized tests and the bad guys.

Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

[Bite Sized Review] To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: March 6th 2018 

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I received an advanced copy from Indigo Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever.

I totally picked this book up to read because of Mith's recommendation as I do with a lot of the books I'm reading lately. She and I just have a very similar taste in books and I've even started a shelf on my goodreads that will be populated with the books she recommends.

This book was such a fun read. There's definitely a lot of angst in this book with Lira's situation of having been plucked from her life by her Sea Queen mother and given legs so that she can steal a prince's heart. Though not just any prince of course, but a prince who prides himself in killing sirens like Lira. Elian is also in turmoil as he struggles with his role as crown prince and his heart longing for the freedom of the sea. He's also hell-bent on killing sirens, protecting the humans from the "monsters" that rule the sea. And of course because they're natural enemies, their banter is so so good and they have a natural chemistry.

I really breezed through this book since the pacing was so well done. It reads really well and has a well-developed world that we're introduced to throughout the novel without it ever feeling as if we're being info dumped. The point of views in the book also switch between both Elian and Lira. The chapters aren't labelled with whose point of view it is which mildly irritated me. Even though I would eventually figure it out, it was a little annoying having to figure it out especially when they were doing a rehashing of the same event in different points of view.

The end part was a little weird and hard for me, mainly because of my whole thing with reading action scenes and not being able to visualize them properly. Alexandra Christo mentioned in a Twitter chat that she is writing short stories of Lira and Elian and I absolutely can't wait. I love the two characters a lot and their bantering.

Overall, I would definitely recommend a read of it, especially as it spins The Little Mermaid on its head. I look forward to the short stories and whatever her next project may be! I hope there are more banter-y characters please.

Happy Reading!
post signature

[Review] Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser


Title: Whisper of the Tide
Author: Sarah Tolcser 
Series: Song of the Current #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: June 5 2018 

Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

For now, Caro is landlocked, helping Markos reclaim his throne after nearly his entire family was assassinated in a political coup. Without any financial or military support, Markos is desperate for allies, and Caro has fought off more than one attempt on his life. When a powerful Archon offers his army in exchange for Markos’s marriage to his daughter, Caro must choose: Her love for Markos, or the fate of Akhaia? And more importantly: How much is she willing to risk to defy the sea god’s wishes and chart her own course?

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and breathtaking romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing your fate.

[Review] Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton


Title: Heart of Thorns
Author: Bree Barton
Series: Heart of Thorns #1 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: July 31st 2018 

In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

An Interview with author of Heart of Mist, Helen Scheuerer

Hello my lovelies!! I recently had the opportunity to chat with the author of a small press book, Heart of Mist's Helen Scheuerer!

Here's some information on the book if you haven't heard of it!


Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer 
Series: The Oremere Chronicles 
Publisher: Talem Press
Release Date: August 31st 2017
Goodreads Page
Purchase: Amazon 

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Doesn't this book sound interesting? The goodreads rating is pretty high for this book at a 4.12! I asked Helen a couple questions and here are her answers:

Ri: Describe Heart of Mist in 6 words.

Helen: Magical. Intriguing. Dangerous. Action-packed. Adventurous.

Ri: What inspired Heart of Mist

Helen: Heart of Mist was born as a form of escape from another book I was working on. I just wanted to get away and creating a fantasy realm offered the opportunity to be creative and have fun with my writing.

There wasn’t a big ‘light bulb’ moment where the plot or the characters came to me, they simply developed as I wrote, rewrote and edited.

Ri: Bleak is an unusual name for a character. Is there a story behind her name and for choosing that name for your character? 

Helen: Bleak is the name of the main protagonist in Heart of Mist, and it’s a name she chose for herself, a shortened version of her guardian’s name (Jeramyah Bleaker or as he becomes known, Bleaker Senior).

Ri: Was there anything strange or unusual you learned in the process of researching for this novel? 

Helen: Heart of Mist was the first book I’ve written that’s been part of a series, so it was a very different process to writing a standalone novel. It’s a challenge trying to decide what to include and what to leave for future books.

I did a fair bit of research on writing a series, and how to weave plot points throughout multiple books. I suppose you could say it’s a strange thing to learn about because you don’t really know how things are going to wrap up until two books later. It was a weird thing to get my head around.

Ri: What are some of your favourite fantasy novels?

Helen: So many! Harry Potter of course, and then there are some more recent titles: Throne of Glass, Emily R King’s The Hundredth Queen series, A Kingdom of Exiles, and Outlander.

Ri: What are you currently reading?

Helen: I’ve just finished reading A Court of Frost and Starlight, which didn’t totally blow me out of the water. But I really loved Emily R. King’s The Hundredth Queen series, the fourth and final book is out later this year and I can’t wait!

Ri: Do you have any advice for other fantasy writers?

Helen: I write a lot of advice over on my website Writer’s Edit, and just recently wrote a whole article on the benefits of writing a fantasy series. That’s a great place to start if you’re looking for some insight into writing novels, particularly fantasy.

However, I would also just say this: write what you love. It’s a long slog from idea to finished product, so you need to be passionate about your story and your characters.

Thank you so much to Helen for spending the time in answering my questions! You can find Heart of Mist on Amazon and the sequel, REIGN OF MIST releases on September 13th, 2018!


Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.

Helen is now a full-time author living by the beach.

Happy Reading!
post signature
Blogger Template designed by Andy Mae Studios