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

The Witches of the Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore (ARC)

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This was such a delight! Witches, mystery and darkness, what more can you ask for? And it was easily devoured, which is a very attractive quality that shouldn’t be undervalued. I love the satisfaction of it, to get so carried away with a story… It’s happiness.

The story follows Mia and her brother Dino who discovers that they are witches. Their whole family are witches (well, at least on their mother’s side) and all it takes is one small incantation, even said by mistake, to awaken the magic within. Because of their awakening powers, they are sent away to a place that can help the siblings learn control and nurture whatever power they may have. At the Glass Castle, they meet frightening but handsome warrior witches with feral instincts called Hunters and witches called Arcana that can read peoples thoughts and have visions of the future. It’s a strange but colorful new world where Mia and Dino must both come to terms with who they are and as events begins spiraling out of control they must choose what they think is right and where their allegiances lie in the end.

There’s some really good twists and turns in this book. It kept the story and my interest peaked through the whole thing. I’m also very fond of how the author portrayed her characters (and their dynamic). It was just the right amount of goof, cuteness and realness to make the relationships work.

I really recommend this book to anyone who love YA fantasy, and witch lore. A fascination with witches should be existent when picking this up. Just saying… 😉

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars! Witches of the Glass Castle is the first book in a duology, where the Witches of the Dark Power is the second book and they both releases today the 18th. So, Happy Book Birthday to Gabriella Lepore!

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (ARC)

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Becky Albertalli’s story about a young girl named Molly, who’s constantly falling in and out of love, is delightfully written and I’d also like to add that her penchant (as I understand it) for diverse characters is spot on in today’s climate. It’s refreshing to read about a family dynamic that’s both something originally new and still manages to convey the modern-day family that often consists of more than one “correct” version.

Molly’s a seventeen-year-old girl who’s never been kissed and has never had a boyfriend. What she has had though are multiple crushes and thus she’s avoided experiencing rejection. Molly doesn’t see this as a problem, she’s careful… that’s all. When her womanizing and somewhat cynical twin sister Cassie suddenly falls madly in love, Molly can’t deny that she’s lonely and longing for connecting with someone of her own. Maybe having a boyfriend will even help her reconnect with her sister, as well as gifting her with her first kiss. Luckily (or maybe confusingly) for her, two boys pop up catching her attention. Who will she choose? The cute hipster boy Will who’s best friends with Cassie’s new girlfriend or her coworker the charming nerd boy Reid. And will she have the guts to put herself up for potential rejection?

Some scenes in this book had me cringing, not in a bad way, but in the way that I was acutely embarrassed on behalf of a character. That’s some really good writing and makes me very keen to read her Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda!

4 out of 5 stars!

I received this copy from the publisher (Penguin Random House UK Children’s) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2016 Reading Challenge

I’ve never participated in a reading challenge before. I’ve known how much I normally read in about a week depending on family, work (or no work) and life in general, but it would still be a guess just how many books that adds up to per year.

I’ve set my goal for 2016 to 50 books, basically one book per week. No pressure, just a fun personal challenge to see how far I get. So far I’ve read 24 books (though 2 of those books were short stories and I’m of a mind to count them as one). I’ve just started reading my 25th, which feels great!

Do you have a goal for 2016? 🙂

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