eARC Review – The Weight of a Soul

Title: The Weight of a Soul

Author: Elizabeth Tammi

Publisher: Flux Publishing

Publication Date: December 3, 2019

320 pages

4/5

Goodreads Synopsis

When Lena’s younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should’ve lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.

But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction. 

Still, with her sister’s life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She’s willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?

Review

Hi friends! Back at you with a regularly scheduled eARC review that I received from Netgalley! I’ve been plowing through my Netgalley TBR this month and I’ve read some super awesome books! Thank you to Netgalley and Flux for providing me this ebook in exchange for an honest review!

I found this book super interesting for a super weird reason, but I loved it because of the tie in’s with Marvel movies! I know this wasn’t the case or the inspiration for Tammi, but it is immediately what I thought when they introduced Loki, Hela, and Ragnarok. It was super awesome to read a book that involved these legends. Only was missing Thor!

Outside of this connection, The Weight of a Soul followed the daughter of the clan chieftain, Lena. Her sister Fressa died early in the book and Lena is trying to get her back, refusing to believe that she is gone. She strikes up a deal with Hela that will make Lena compromise everything she believes in.

I found this book to be interesting, with good characters and a solid plot. I believe the timing and pace was a little off for my taste, but it wasn’t a huge point of contention for me. The ending caught me by total surprise and was very sad – but made a lot of sense after I thought about it for awhile.

For fans of Sky In The Deep and Warrior in the Wild, Elizabeth Tammi brings The Weight of a Soul, which makes you question a person’s worth and value in relation to the weight of their soul compared to others. A tale about love, family, and how far one will go to protect their sister.

Happy reading book friends!

eARC Review – The Wickerlight

Title: The Wickerlight (The Wren Hunt #2)

Author: Mary Watson

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Publication date: November 26th, 2019

416 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In this lush, magical thriller for fans of the Raven Cycle and The Hazel Wood, one girl’s murder investigation leads her into an ancient magical war.

It’s been two months since Zara’s sister Laila was found lifeless on the village green of the small Irish town Kilshamble, not a mark on her. Vicious rumors circle that she died of an overdose or committed suicide–but an autopsy finds no evidence.

Zara believes somebody must know what happened, and she throws herself headfirst into an investigation. But retracing her sister’s footsteps takes her to David, a member of an ancient magical faction called the judges. The judges are in the midst of an ancient feud with another faction called the augurs, and Zara quickly finds herself embroiled in a dangerous, twisted game. And if she isn’t careful on the path she’s treading, she could end up with the same fate as Laila.

Riveting, atmospheric, and full of dangerous magic, this lyrical novel set in the world of The Wren Hunt is perfect for readers of Maggie Stiefvater and Melissa Albert.

Review

**Thank you to Bloomsbury YA, Netgalley, and Mary Watson for providing me this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

The Wickerlight picks up where The Wren Hunt picks up, just not focused on Wren and Tarc. This book focuses on Zara, who’s sister was found dead during Wren’s ritual to turn into the flower woman in the first book, and David, Wren’s tormentor. You get a peek behind the curtains into David’s motivations and desires, and it helps turn him a bit into a redeemable character (but only barely). The Wickerlight continues the theme of being confusing and having a host of irredeemable characters. Zara works to learn more about her sister’s death, while dealing with her family life crumbling around her. David is trying to become the most respected warrior judge, and get away from his Dad’s influence.

I was surprised to see that this was not a continuation of Wren’s story, because I really did not feel like the first book wrapped everything up in Wren’s story. It was disorienting and took me some time to catch up to Zara’s story. Zara and David are still both irredeemable characters, if you thought that theme would change with book two, you were mistaken. The judges and augurs all make terrible decisions and hate each other for a reason that is fairly superfluous. They also have no regard for non-gifted people, as Zara’s life and state of mind is constantly tampered with and threatened during this book.

This duology was not for me. Mary Watson’s writing is gorgeous and flowing, but I could not get past the character’s flaws. It’s hard for me to connect with a book if I can’t find common ground with at least one character. I don’t expect every character to be a saint, but I need one who is redeemable. If you love books that are beautifully written with a bunch of irredeemable characters running around rural Ireland, check out this duology!

Keep in mind, this review and release is for the US edition. The UK edition has already been released.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – The Wolf and the Sparrow

Title: The Wolf and the Sparrow

Author: Isabelle Adler

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Publication date: November 25th, 2019

300 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Derek never wished to inherit his title as a result of a bloody battle. With the old count dead and the truce dependent on his marriage to the rival duke’s son, Derek has no choice but to agree to the victor’s terms in order to bring peace to his homeland. When he learns of the sinister rumors surrounding his intended groom, Derek begins to have doubts—but there can be no turning back from saying I do.

After the death of his wife, Callan of Mulberny never expected to be forced into another political marriage—especially not to someone like the new Count of Camria. Seemingly soft and meek, it’s only fitting that Derek’s family crest is a flighty sparrow, worthy of nothing but contempt.

Another war with the seafaring people of the Outer Isles looms on the horizon, and the reluctant newlyweds must team together to protect those caught in the circle of violence. Derek and Callan slowly learn to let go of their prejudices, but as they find themselves enmeshed in intrigue fueled by dark secrets and revenge, their tentative bond is all that keeps their world—and their lives—from plunging into chaos.

Review

**Thank you to Nine Star Press, Netgalley, and Isabelle Adler for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Derek barely has time to get accustomed to taking over his father’s title of Count before he is basically ordered to marry a Duke’s son. The Duke had just won a battle with the old count, and is sending a message by giving Derek no choice but to marry Callan. Callan is less than pleased with this, as his first wife is freshly dead from an accident. Chaos ensues when Derek and Callan are captured by the dead girl’s father and they must get out of the situation alive by trusting each other.

I think this book had a lot of potential, but fell flat in some areas. I loved the male/male relationship and how there wasn’t even a question in regards to sexuality and why a marriage is being arranged between two males. It’s not often you see a m/m relationship without more attention being brought to “coming out” or the inherit sexuality of it. It seemed like the culture in this world is such that gender isn’t so much important in relationships. However, the romance was very stilted and happened far more quickly than made sense. Like, they hated each other once day and in love the next – it didn’t work for me.

I also was not a fan of the magic system. It was not well explained and ended up being a pretty integral part of the ending – but I still don’t feel like I understand how the magic works. I think this part could have been done a lot better but it seemed like it was thrown in as an afterthought and was used more as a tool to increase sexual tension (weirdly enough).

The LGBTQIA aspect was my favorite part, along with the main conflict that brought Derek and Callan together. I think pieces of this book were very well done, but I wish some aspects were done differently, or explained better. Would recommend for those who enjoy LGBTQIA where the queerness of the characters isn’t a plot device.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – Ivory

Title: Ivory (Manhattan Ten #1)

Author: Lola Dodge

Publisher: Ink Monster LLC

Publication date: October 22nd, 2019

132 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

An ice princess. A jaguar shifter.

She’s a flight attendant who wants nothing to do with super heroes. Hiding her ice powers. Hiding from her family. Hiding is a full-time job, but Ivory can only suppress her inner warrior if she wants to keep the normal life she’s built from nothing.

He’s a career hero and a member of the legendary Manhattan Ten. Tall, dark, and shifter, the concrete jungle is his playground. Jag takes nothing seriously until Ivory tempts his inner predator.

Can he melt the stone-cold goddess?

It’s love at first fight in the first volume of the Manhattan Ten Series.

Review

**Thank you to Ink Monster, LLC, Netgalley, and Lola Dodge for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Ivory is the first in the Manhattan Ten series, that is currently being re-released after being published several years ago. Ivory used to be the second in the series, but has been moved to first. Ivory is a novella length superhero story around Ivory, and ice princess, and Jag, a shape shifter that turns into a jaguar. Ivory is working as a flight attendant when she is forced to defend herself and reveal her powers when attacked by an anti-super human. In this world, those with super powers are considered celebrities, but not everyone agrees. Jag witnesses the attacks and brings her into the Manhattan Ten fold, much to her chagrin. Ivory doesn’t want to be apart of a superhero group, she just wants to stay unnoticed.

Ivory is very short and readable, I finished it in one go. There isn’t much character development being a novella, but with more books in the series revolving around the Manhattan Ten I imagine we will learn more over the series. There is some explicit adult content, so if you don’t like reading explicit content this book may not be for you. There is also a fun, love at first sight theme for Ivory and Jag (even though she tried to ignore it!

Overall, this book was a 3.5 star read for me. I would be interested in reading more books in this series to learn more about the Manhattan Ten. The world reminds me of an adult version of The Incredibles.

Happy reading, bookish friends!

eARC Review – The Weaver

Title: The Weaver (The Weaver Trilogy #1)

Author: Heather Kindt

Publisher: The Parliament House

Publication date: August 7th, 2019

238 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Most writers choose the endings to their stories . . . most writers are not Weavers.

Laney Holden is a freshman at Madison College whose life goes from normal to paranormal in a matter of seconds. When the antagonist in the book she’s writing shoves her down the stairs at the subway station, she learns she is a Weaver. Weavers bridge the narrow gap between fantasy and reality, bringing their words to life.

Laney soon meets William whom she also suspects is a character from her book—one she’s had a mad crush on since her pen hit the paper. But he’s in danger as her antagonist reveals a whole different ending planned for Laney’s book that involves killing William. Laney must use her writing to save the people closest to her by weaving the most difficult words she will ever write.

THE WEAVER is the first installment of The Weaver trilogy. It is an NA paranormal romance set in a small town on the north shore of Boston. It will leave you wanting more.

Review

**Thank you to The Parliament House, Netgalley, and Heather Kindt for providing me an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

The Weaver starts a new trilogy that will be similar to the Inkheart series, but for a bit of an older crowd. The MC Laney is in college writing her novel about a couple in eighteenth century America. When the villain from her book attempts to rob and murder her, she starts to think there is more to her story than meets the eye. In comes the love interest of the main character in her book as a fellow student – and she can’t help but fall for him. She falls into the world of Weaving, the gift few people have to bring their stories to life. However, this is very dangerous as the characters who come to life look to change their endings, by any means necessary.

I think The Weaver was a decent book that managed to be different enough from Inkheart to keep it interesting. Laney as the main character and storyteller was good, but some of the other characters leave much to be desired. Her middle school crush, Jason, who can’t decide if he loves her or not comes off as very flaky and rude – he also doesn’t seem to have enough impact on the story (outside of one major event). It’s almost like his character was superfluous. There were other plot points I felt like could have been rounded out, like the group of Weavers she meets to try and figure out what is happening. They just pop into the story and are never talked about again until the end.

Outside of these issues, I really enjoyed reading The Weaver and would like to see how the story continues to unfold. The ending was surprising, with a twist that I did not see coming – which always adds into any book’s appeal for me. I want to know what Laney does after that ending and how her story will continue.

If you were a fan of the Inkheart series, go check out The Weaver, a new fantasy novel where your imagination quite literally comes to life, and tries to kill you!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – Gravemaidens

Title: Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1)

Author: Kelly Coon

Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s)

Publication date: October 29th, 2019

416 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave. 

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame. 

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her. 

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Review

**Thank you to Delacorte Press, Netgalley, and Kelly Coon for providing me an ebook copy of Gravemaidens in exchange for an honest review**

Gravemaidens is the first in a new duology about Kammani, a young woman who is trying to hold her family together after their fall from nobility, her mother’s death, and her father’s subsequent drinking problem. She is holding it all together until her sister, Nanaea is chosen to be a Sacred Maiden, one of three beautiful, young women who are chosen to follow their ruler’s path to the afterlife. Kammani seems to be the only person who does not see dying with the Lugal as a high honor, and is trying to save Nanaea’s life… whether she wants it or not.

What she comes to find out is that she has bigger problems that trying to save her sister. Her city-state of Alu is in danger as an unknown person is trying to kill the Lugal and take over as ruler. Only she can stop, but when she becomes the next target, she must fend for herself and decide who to trust.

Kammani is a STRONG, female character. I love her, and felt for her through the entire book. Nanaea did not deserve her, and frankly her character was wildly irritating and bratty. She is the reason this book dropped a star in my review. All other characters has redeeming qualities and were well described, but I can’t get over how badly Nanaea’s character sucks.

Kelly Coon has created a captivating world and a strong, female character to live in it. I look forward to reading the sequel when it releases in 2020.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – These Wicked Waters

Title: These Wicked Waters

Author: Emily Layne

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

Publication date: October 22nd, 2019

274 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A centuries-old curse plagues the island of Viaii Nisi and an ancient enemy lurks beneath the depths of the surrounding water.

Annie Mayfield has heard all the stories and rumors about the island that is now home to the brand new Mayfield Villa resort, and she is definitely not psyched about having to spend her summer working there. The island’s name alone—Viaii Nisi, or violent island—is enough to make any sane person seriously reconsider it as a vacation destination. Then there are the mysterious deaths of every previous owner! It’s a history Annie’s mother is quick to shrug off, but when a guest goes missing on opening night, Annie really starts to get the creeps.

And then Annie makes a truly terrifying discovery: ruins filled with bones and one skeleton that seems to be half human and half fish. Intrigued by the strange remains and determined to help find the missing guest, Annie channels her inner Nancy Drew—minus the skirt and pearls, of course—in an attempt to uncover the truth about Viaii Nisi. But that truth is beyond anything she could ever have imagined. With her mother in complete denial and local officials unconcerned, Annie finds she’ll have to face her biggest fears if she’s to attempt to save everyone she loves.

Review

**Thank you to Owl Hollow Press, Netgalley, and Emily Layne for providing me an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review**

These Wicked Waters was not the book I was expecting when I picked it up. I initially thought this was going to be high fantasy, in a magical new world – however, it is fantasy within the realms of reality. This is not a negative for me, just came unexpected in the first few pages.

Annie is our MC, and she is sent to spend her summer on a private island her mom owns (right??) after she pulled a prank at her boarding school. The island is Viaii Nisi, or violent island in Greek. Disturbing rumors abound about this island, and all of the previous owners have drowned to death. Annie gets to the island and when workers and guests start disappearing, she investigates what could be behind the rumors and disappearances…

Lorelai is a two-tailed siren, who has been forbidden by the siren Queen Thessalonike from using her song to interfere with the lung-breathers on the island. She disobeys, and the results cost her what she cared about most.

These Wicked Waters narrated back and forth between Annie and Lorelai. Background information is given slowly over the book, which is generally not the style I prefer. I spent the first half of the book pretty confused with what was going on. The story did pick up after awhile and I ended up enjoying it.

One thing I liked about These Wicked Waters is that it left the possibly of a sequel open. There was an ending that mostly wrapped everything up, but dropped one last bomb on you (a predictable bomb, but still a bomb) and could be the basis of a sequel. Currently, These Wicked Waters is a standalone but hopes for the future!

Fans of The Wicked Deep and The Sea Witch will enjoy this new spin on sirens and an ocean themed novel. Check it out!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂