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! 🙂

eARC Review – Marrow Charm

Title: Marrow Charm (The Gate Cycle #1)

Author: Kristin Jacques

Publisher: The Parliament House

Publication date: October 1st, 2019

364 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

‘In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but They were already in our world and They were hungry.’

-The Lost History, Library of Avergard

Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.

Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.

The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.

And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more. 

Review

**Thank you to The Parliament House, Netgalley, and Kristin Jacques for providing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Marrow Charm is set in a world where magic is not a desired gift, but a feared and malicious curse. Magic entered the world and twisted humans and animals into beasts that forget who they are and who are very dangerous. The world has moved underground, as the “Above” world is too dangerous to live in. When a human is “tainted” with magic, they are banished to the “Above”, as there is no stopping magic’s hold that dooms the human to either death or life as a monster.

Azzy is the daughter of a witch, living in one of the last human settlements below the surface. She is spending her life trying to protect her brother from the magic in his blood threatening to overtake him. A string of unfortunate events finds her brother cast out to Above, with her chasing after him to try and save him from herself. Her adventures take her across many miles, working with an eel lady, witch, and man/wolf. She has her own brand of magic, which isn’t really clearly explained throughout the book, just hinted at.

Marrow Charm is the first book in The Gate Cycle, a new series by Kristin Jacques. A high fantasy novel with monsters, magic, apocalyptic plagues, some light romance, and some slight cannibalism – Marrow Charm is exciting and well written for those who really enjoy fantasy. It has an interesting take on magic that you don’t generally see. Magic in books is something normally considered a gift or talent, something people should want to have. Marrow Charm creates a magical world where humans are begging to remain unaffected by magic. It creates an interesting dynamic.

I was a bit confused from time to time during some of the action scenes, and when Azzy’s specific powers were being discussed. It wasn’t very clear throughout the book what her powers are, as they don’t adhere to the normal rules. I’m assuming this will be more fleshed out and explained in a sequel.

Overall, a very good book and I would definitely check out a sequel.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – The Memory Thief

Title: The Memory Thief

Author: Lauren Mansy

Publisher: Blink YA

Publication date: October 1st, 2019

4.5/5 stars

368 pages

Goodreads Synopsis

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

Review

**Thank you to Blink, Lauren Mansy, and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Etta lives in Craewick, one of four territories where memories are the currency used, and the method of keeping people in line. Some individuals are Gifted, meaning they have the ability to take and share memories with others just by touching them. Ungifted folks are not able to do this. Within the Gifted population, there are variations and differing strengths of the gift, which is used as a status symbol. Sifters are the most powerful of the Gifted, they are able to take memories without needing to touch the person. Powerful Sifters rule each territory, but none are worse than the ruler of Craewick. Madame using her gift for torture, so a secret group called the Shadows work to oppose her. Etta was a Shadow, before she sold out the leader in order to save her mother from certain death. When Madame decides to break their bargain and begin the process of killing Etta’s mother, Etta must decide how far she is willing to go to save her mother, and the people of Craewick.

I loved this new take on powers. I think these days it’s hard to write about a “superpower” that hasn’t been used already, but memories is a new one for me and I LOVE The Memory Thief for that. Lauren Mansy did an excellent job building a world that is fueled by people’s memories, the good and the bad. The main character has a difficult go of life and is thrown into many tough spots. She has struggled so much. I loved the plot twists and I did not see them coming, which is always super fun.

The love story was not a true enemies to lovers, and frankly the love interest did not end up being the person I expected it to be. The writing style was great because it felt like you were getting enough information from the story, that you didn’t even realize certain aspects and facts were being withheld to be revealed later in the book.

I only wish that the story could have been longer, or at least a duology. I feel like this would have been well suited to being a two book series. Also, the ending sequences were a touch confusing and unclear with what was happening, so I feel like the writing could have been better at the end. Overall, I truly enjoyed this new story and would suggest it for fans of the Everless duology.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – Michigan vs. The Boys

Title: Michigan vs. The Boys

Author: Carrie S. Allen

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Publication date: October 1st, 2019

304 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

When a determined girl is confronted with the culture of toxic masculinity, it’s time to even the score.

Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the girls’ hockey team off the ice this year.

If she wants colleges to notice her, Michigan has to find a way to play. Luckily, there’s still one team left in town …

The boys’ team isn’t exactly welcoming, but Michigan’s prepared to prove herself. She plays some of the best hockey of her life, in fact, all while putting up with changing in the broom closet, constant trash talk and “harmless” pranks that always seem to target her.

But once hazing crosses the line into assault, Michigan must weigh the consequences of speaking up – even if it means putting her future on the line.

Review

**Thank you to Kids Can Press, Netgalley, and Carrie S. Allen for providing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Michigan starts off her school year ready to play hockey with her girls. Her plans come crashing to a halt when she’s told her team has been disbanded due to budget cuts, along with the boy’s swim team. She loves hockey, but doesn’t have the same opportunities others from her team have to find a new team. Instead, she decides to try out for the boy’s hockey team at her school. She knows there will be some push back, but she can handle it… right?

Not so much. When one boy in particular starts taking hazing to a whole new level, Michigan is in over her head. With a new boyfriend she’s trying to impress, a friend group she’s trying to keep together, and school – she knows she just needs to put her head down and get through it. She’s tough, and able to sweep a lot under the rug in the name of hockey, but when she starts getting too good, that one boy works to keep her off the ice for good.

Michigan vs. the Boys has some content that could be triggering for some people. Hazing, assault, underage drinking. However, this story is one that is so necessary in today’s social climate. It continues the conversation of what is appropriate and what is too far. As more females work to enter a male dominated sport or field, the events of this book become less fiction and more fact. All genders can read this book and learn a lesson from Michigan, and the Boys.

I really enjoyed reading Michigan’s story. She is a strong, female character, everyone can respect for her story. You hurt when she hurts, and you’re happy when she’s successful on the ice. With some great supporting characters, Michigan vs. The Boys is a great story that will resonate will all audiences.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂