The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (ARC)

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The Gilded Wolves is set in a dark and glamorous part of Paris in 1889. It follows Séverin, a treasure hunter and wealthy hotelier, and his crew of specialists as they are enlisted by a powerful organization to find an ancient artifact.

Oh, holy mother of books! I LOVED The Gilded Wolves! It has a bit of everything that I’m drawn towards in a book: love, humor, intrigue, action and mythology/history. It has a group of characters with a dynamic that I always fall for – the one where a group of misfits becomes a family in both friendship and hardship. They fit each other in any combination therein, despite or perhaps because of their respective personality flaws. The worldbuilding is phenomenal and sucks you in just as much as the character dynamics. The plot reads like an Indiana Jones adventure with puzzles, clues and a heist with traps along the way.

The whole thing was awesome, and I can’t recommend it enough! So, if you like Six of Crows or The Raven Boys, I highly recommend this book.

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Published by Wednesday Books.55338036

Granted through Netgalley. 15455855934117629204050147099388

Release date: 2019-01-15

Rating: 5 stars

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Big thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this e-arc!

Week 1: Currently reading

I’m just a few chapters into The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, but I’m absolutely loving the introduction to this mesmerizing world, plus it’s giving me those Six of Crows vibes and all I can say is – I’m ready!

What are you currently reading? 🙂

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet (ARC)

“Some ends are just a new beginning…”

This book sucked me in from page one and didn’t let go until the end. Right from the start you get a feel for the main character Tess and the dynamic of her family of misfits. It was so well done, and I was already invested in the story from chapter one. The interactions and dialogue reminded me of an urban fantasy and I’m all for an urban fantasy in space.

The characters were layered, and each had their quirks, flaws and good qualities. I was especially intrigued by the main character’s backstory with her family and unfortunate childhood. I don’t want to go into too much detail and spoil things, so you’ll have to read the book to see what I’m talking about.

The worldbuilding was great, with a society and hierarchy that felt very believable (and quite horrifying if I’m honest). The whole situation in that world was bleak with the tyrant Overlord repressing creativity and spontaneity for the sake of so-called peace. A peace that meant constant fear of both the authorities and your neighbors (who could turn you in for so little as a colorful clothing choice). Not a fun existence…

Tess Bailey and her crew have been on the run for years, doing what they can to try to ease the misery of less fortunate areas of the universe. The latest Robin Hood-like heist don’t go as planned though and draws the attention of a vicious military general. In a bid to repair their ship after an ill-fated run-in with said general, they take a chance and lands on a well populated planet. There Tess gets to know Shade Ganavan and as events unfold, she must decide if she can trust him with more than the repairs of their ship.

Even though I felt like one of the twists could have benefitted from being harsher, I still liked it and felt very satisfied when it was revealed. Overall, I loved this story and if you also love reading about kickass rebel heroines and heroes with hearts of gold, this book is for you!

Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca.15456668832398974942477147296885

Granted through Netgalley. 15455855934117629204050147099388

Release date: 2019-01-01

Rating: 4 stars

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Big thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this treat!

Empress Unveiled by Jenna Morland (ARC)

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Now this was a nice surprise. I knew that I would most likely like or love this book since it was an Oftomes release and they have very talented authors already and seem to have an eye for finding new great ones, but I still wasn’t expecting the original-ness of this story. Especially the mythology and world-building intrigued the heck out of me. (And that Empress tree really made me envious. Where can I get one?!)

Empress Unveiled is about a 17-year-old girl named Swayzi with a mysterious terminal illness. Nobody knows the cause of her sickness, and the doctors are stumped. Supporting her she has her youthful mom and two best friends Tyler and Penelope. One day she meets an electrically intriguing boy who seems to be a miracle cure for her illness, but this meet will unearth a whole lot of other things. Like other realms, beings, magic and what she’s actually capable of herself. All of a sudden, she’s got a destiny and a path to follow, but will she be able to leave her mom and friends to follow it?

I love how Jenna Morland has twisted and created elements and beings that most of us has met in other settings before but giving those elements new context and rules. I don’t want to spoil too much, because I really enjoyed reading about it without knowing too much myself BUT I loved it. Just so you know. There’s also a love triangle in this, but it’s not an obnoxious or a mean one. It’s actually one of those where I don’t know which one I think she should pick. By the end of a book I usually know what I feel about the love interest and if there’s two – which one I would pick. Not this time. I almost hope that some irredeemable quality in one or the other character appears in book 2 so I can choose. 😉

So, if you’re looking for your next YA fantasy read I highly recommend checking this out! 🙂

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Published by Oftomes Publishing.

Release date: 2018-09-04

Rating: 4 stars

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Saving Death by R. L. Endean (arc)

Saving Death Final Front Cover

This book took me a while to get into, but about halfway through everything came into focus and I sailed through the pages. At first, it was mostly character driven and it was very interesting to follow Ava’s character development when she struggles with grief while also trying to bond with her love interest. Despite this, I would still have welcomed some more worldbuilding or “plot roots” to give the story more bulk in the beginning, but once the plot was revealed it was well worth the wait; being intriguing, filled with smart twists and suffused with the kind of mythos that you wish you’d been the one to think of first. This debut was full of potential and gives an exciting promise of an even better sequel. I highly recommend this gothic romance for anyone looking for an atmospheric YA read!

Published by Oftomes Publishing.

Release date: 2018-11-05

Rating: 4 stars

You can find here: AmazonBook DepositoryAdlibris and on Goodreads.

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End of the year angst, or not

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I probably say this every year since becoming an adult (and especially since having kids), but it feels like 2018 just flew by! It’s already November and Christmas are around the corner. It’s weird…and okay, delightful. I love Christmas! But also, weird… And just to spite this feeling of fleeting time, I’m thinking about putting up some of my Christmas decorations this weekend. In November. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. 😉

On the theme of a year gone by though, this is the first year since creating an account on Goodreads that I’ve completed my yearly challenge. My goal was 50 books, roughly one book per week, and I’m now halfway through book nr 51. Happy dance!

It’s funny that the year of success, is also the year that I put extra restrictions on myself on what to count towards my reading goal. Basically, I’ve only counted novels longer than 150 pages, which means I’ve excluded novellas, manga, graphic novels and comics. (Even though I’ve read more of these than usual as well.) It’s been a good reading year so far!

Did you have a reading goal this year? 🙂

Best wishes,

Jessica

Currently reading: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Colliding Skies by Debbie Zaken

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It may be unwise to chase a starlight, but I’ll gladly take the risk to continue chasing one with Skye!

4,5 ⭐️

Colliding Skies has all the fun elements of a YA sci-fi romance with coming of age, adventure, advanced technology, invasion by aliens and of course the girl-meets-boy scenario. The getting to know someone and falling in love part is one of my favorite sequences of YA and romance novels, and Debbie Zaken does a very good job of describing that chemistry between her main character Skye and her two suitors. It’s interesting how the characters twist and turn within their perspectives. Each reacting on events in their own way and having to navigate the consequences of their choices.

I thought the overall pacing was good and the storyline believable within its premises with a good balance between light and heavy topics. What happens if an alien race, or any group of people, were to insinuate itself with your government and proclaim only good intentions? Do you welcome them or question their motives?

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Read the synopsis here: Goodreads

Get your copy here: Amazon or Bookdepository

Goodbye 2017!

I completed my 2017 goal of 50 books, yay! It’s a great feeling 😁 

I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring and as motivation to start of the new year I’ve decided to join the #readuary challenge. 30 min reading time per day in January 😊

I’ll write more about my plans for 2018 in my next post Hello 2018! 

Xoxo