Review of The Point by John Dixon

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommend: Possibly

Review:

This was a fun, fast read! I’m always a sucker for a story about gifted young people, and the special powers in this book were really interesting! While I couldn’t get into some of the character relationships, overall, I had a lot of fun with this!

Scarlet was a really solid character. I really enjoyed seeing her grow and develop throughout the book. And the friends she made along the way were really fun too! I didn’t feel terrible connected to her, but I did like her character as a whole.

My biggest complaint, however, was the love story that developed. I never really got into it and felt like it happened way too quickly. Granted, I’m pretty picky about love stories, so maybe I’m just overly critical about that.

The story itself was so interesting though! I loved the idea of a secret group of West Point-trained superheroes and super villains. And there were a few nice twists along the way that made for an entertaining read!

All in all, I liked this book. There were parts I wasn’t too thrilled with, but overall, I’m really glad I gave this book a read!

Thank you to Del Ray and NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Review of Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Rating: 4.5/5

Recommend: Yes!

Review:

I was so surprised about this book! I mean, I enjoyed the first book, Nyxia, but it didn’t blow me out of the water by any means. This book though…I just devoured it! I loved the character development, the story, the ALIENS. Just so cool!

Learning more about this world was so much fun! I found the culture and history so fascinating. It felt so real that I could honestly imagine a world like this existing in some distant corner of space.

The only reason I gave it 4.5 instead of 5 stars is that it took me a few chapters to really get into the story (partially because I had a lot of trouble remembering what happened in the first book for some reason). But once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down!

I’m really interested in what learning what happens next! I can’t wait for book three!

Thank you to NetGally and Crown Books for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Star-Touched Stories Blog Tour!

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I know I already posted a review of Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi, but I was also lucky enough to be a part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of this delightful book. So if my review hasn’t convinced you to check it out, maybe some of this will.

First, here is a little excerpt to entice you:

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DEATH

I stood outside the home, watching as the light beaded and dripped down the length of the Tapestry thread. I waited. There was never any rush. Not for me at least
The light dangled from the end of the string, clinging and re- luctant. A passing wind stirred the ends of the thread, teasing out strands of memory. The memories plumed into the air, releasing the scent of a life lived in love. One by one, the memories unraveled— a pillow shared by two heads bent close in secrecy, a frayed blanket kept inside an eternally empty cradle, a table that sagged from the weight of uncertain feasts. Happiness stolen from the edges of sorrow.stood outside the home, watching as the light beaded and dripped down the length of the Tapestry thread. I waited. There was never any rush. Not for me at least.

I stepped over the threshold.

The lights in the hut extinguished. Shadows slipped off the walls to gather around my feet. Inside the hut, someone had propped up a stingy fire. Cinnamon scented the air. Past the dusty vestibule, rows upon rows of bay leaves hung from the ceiling. Strange runes scratched into small animal bones and ivory hairpins lay in carefully constructed patterns. I laughed. Someone had tried to ward me away. But there was no door that didn’t open to me.

At the far corner of the house huddled two people. A man in the arms of a woman. Old age had blessed him, yet for all his gnarled veins and silver-streaked hair, the woman cradled him as if he were a child. He murmured softly into the crook of her neck. I watched them. She wasn’t crying.

The woman looked up . . . and saw me. How refreshing.

“Greetings, Dharma Raja,” said the woman in a clear voice.

I took in the bay leaves and bone pins. “You were expecting me, I take it.”

“Yes,” she said, hanging her head. “I regret that I cannot serve you any food or drink or treat you as a guest in our home.”

“Don’t let it trouble you,” I said, waving my hand. “I am rarely a guest. Merely an inevitable occurrence.”

Her husband did not stir in her arms. His breath had grown soft. While the woman had kept her eyes trained on me, I had taken away his pain, siphoned it bit by bit. I was in a generous mood.

“You have come for him.”

“As I will for you, one day. I could tell you the hour, if you wish it.”

“No.”

I shrugged. “Very well.”

She clutched him tighter. Her hands trembled. I knew she could feel his life unspooling. She may have seen me, but she did not see his life pooling beneath him.

“May I ask something of you, Dharma Raja?” “You may.”

But I need not honor it.

“We always wished to leave this life together.”

“I cannot change your appointed time, even if I wished.”

She closed her eyes. “Then may I request, instead, that you not let him pass to the next life until I may join him there?”

Now this was interesting. I sank backward into the air, and an onyx throne swirled up to meet me. I tilted my head, watching her. “Why? I haven’t weighed your life yet. What if you were far more honorable than your husband in this life? I could pour your soul into the mold of a princess blessed with beauty and intellect, riches and wonders. I could add silver to your heart and fortify you from any heartbreak. I could give you a life worthy of legends.”

She shook her head. “I would rather have him.”

“You’d rather have him, and whatever life that entails?” I leaned forward, eyeing the dingy room.

Her eyes flashed. “Yes.”

“He may not even come back as a human. Believe me. I’ve remade emperors into cockroaches and cockroaches into kings. You seem like a reasonably intelligent woman. Would you truly like to keep house for a bug?”

She lifted her chin. “I would be his mate in any form.”

A curious emotion prickled my skin, nudging the back of my thoughts. My hands tightened on the shadow throne. Before I could stop myself, the question flew from me:

“Why? ”

“Because I love him,” said the woman. “I would prefer any life with him than any life without him. Even the deities know love to the point that they will chase their counterpart through thousands of lifetimes. Surely you, oh Dharma Raja, understand how extraordinary love can be?”

I knew very well what could come of love. I had seen it. Been cursed by it. Even now, I thought of her. The way she ran away and left a shadow in her place. Love was extraordinary.

Extraordinarily spiteful. Extraordinarily blind. Extraordinarily misleading. “Bold words,” I said.

“They do not move you?”

I shrugged. “You may appeal and supplicate and wheedle as you wish, but I have heard every excuse and plea and sputter, and my heart has never been moved.”

The woman bowed her head. She gathered her husband to her chest. Her wedding bangles clanked together, breaking the silence. When I left, custom dictated that she must remove those wedding ornaments. Widows did not wear such bracelets. I had not consid- ered until now that the sound itself was a thing near death. And that chime—gold against gold—struck me far louder than any keening. In the echoes, I heard something hollow. And lonely.

I dropped the noose. It slid through the man’s skin, noiseless as silk. Life had left him. All that was left was his soul.

You never forget what it’s like to withdraw a soul. It is an unclasping. Sometimes a soul is tough and hard, surrounded by sinews of memories gone brittle with age. Sometimes a soul is soft and bursting like wind-fallen fruit, all bruised tenderness and stale hope. And sometimes a soul is an ethereal shard of light. As if the force of its life is a scorching thing.

This soul belonged to light.

When the woman looked down, she knew that her husband was gone. The thing she cradled was nothing more than meat soon to spoil. Tears slid down her wrinkled cheeks.

“Come now,” I said, standing from the throne. “I have taken hus- bands when their wives still wore the henna from their wedding. I consider you lucky.”

“I beg of you,” she said. “Don’t let him move on without me. He would have asked the same.”

I swung the soul into a satchel and the light faded. I headed for the door, more out of formality than anything else. If I wanted, I could’ve disappeared right then and there.

“Please. What would you do for someone you loved?”

I stopped short. “I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of that provo- cation.”

“You love no one?” she asked, her eyebrows rising in disbelief. “I love myself. Does that count?”

And then I left.

Roshani Chokshi CREDIT Aman Sharma.jpg

Roshani Chokshi proved herself an author to watch with her young adult fantasy debut, The Star-Touched Queen and companion novel A Crown of Wishes. Debuting at #4 on the New York Times bestseller list, her novels received rave reviews from fans and critics alike and appeared on the most buzzed about lists for young adult novels. With STAR-
TOUCHED STORIES (Wednesday Books; August 7, 2018), Chokshi adds to the Star-Touched world in three short stories, re-visiting some fan favorite characters. Exploring what happens after the happily ever after in Chokshi’s Star-Touched novels, her short stories are the perfect read for a taste of beautiful writing with delicious plots.

Review of Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi.

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Probably

Review:

I’m a huge fan of Chokshi’s books. I fell in love with Star Touched Queen and Crown of Wishes was one of my all time favorite books. But, I struggled a little with this one. The writing was gorgeous, as usual. And I love the setting. I just had a hard time getting into the book.

The first story felt a little slow for my taste. As much as I love all of the characters, I had a difficult time really investing in the story. I did enjoy parts of the story, though. But after I started in on the second story, I began to feel more interested. By the end, I was back to loving what I was reading.

Now, I should say that I’m not always a fan of short stories. I have a hard time feeling fully invested in a story that is only twenty pages or so. I’d hoped to have an easier time because I already knew and loved these characters, and in the last two stories that was totally the case. But the first one wasn’t as exciting for me.

On the whole, this book was good. If you love Chokshi’s other works, I’d suggest giving these a read. They’re quick reads and give a nice insight into the lives of so many delightful characters.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Review of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Yep!

Review:

This was such a great book! I was kind of hesitant to read it, since urban fantasy and books with heavy romance aren’t normally my favorites. But I’m so glad I took a risk with this one!

I loved the world Harkness has built. It felt so real and so full of life. It was easy to imagine there really are vampires and witches wandering about the world. And honestly, if there are supernatural creatures and they’re anything like these characters, I wouldn’t mind at all if they truly existed.

Diana was so much fun to read about. I loved her spunk and watching her grow throughout the book was great! Matthew occasionally got on my nerves, but for the most part I adored him as well. And the rest of the cast was really entertaining as well!

Like I said, I’m so glad I picked this book up. If you’re on the fence like I was, I’d highly suggest giving it a try. If you like history and fantasy and strong characters, this is definitely one you’ll want to check out!

Review of The Drowned by Laini Taylor

Rating: 3/5

Recommend: Probably

Review:

Did you guys know Laini Taylor wrote a graphic novel?! I had never heard of it until a few months ago when I was lucky enough to win a copy (I’ve later learned that it is verrry hard to find, so I don’t feel as bad for this lapse). Anyway, let’s get to this review!

I want to start this off by saying that I’ve only recently started getting into graphic novels, so I’m by no means an expert on them. But, this artwork truly is gorgeous! Jim Di Bartolo is an incredible artist. And, of course, Laini Taylor is a wonderful author as well. So it really is a great combination!

The story was a little too odd for me, although I did appreciate a lot of aspects of it. The plot didn’t always make sense, but I think that might have just been because of how short this story is. But I really enjoyed the incorporation of crows (I always have a soft spot for crows) and Theophile was such a fascinating character!

If you enjoy graphic novels that are a little different than your typical superhero-saving-the-world type of story and don’t mind being slightly creeped out, I think this is definitely worth checking out! I’m glad I was able to get my hands on a copy of this.

Review of Salt by Hannah Moskowitz

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Yes!

Review:

This was such a sweet book! It gave me all sorts of feels and warm fuzzies. I mean, who’s heart wouldn’t melt when reading about orphaned siblings fighting giant scary monsters? But, really, the love these siblings have for each other is just so wonderful. Even when they fought (which was about as often as you’d expect from four siblings who spent every waking moment together), it was so clear that these kids loved one another more than anything else in the world. And that just made my cynical little heart melt.

My biggest complaint is that I wanted more! This was such a short book and I feel like it only scratched the surface in regards to world building and character development. I liked what was there, but it was a little hard to fully invest sometimes because I felt that the story moved a little too quickly.

Honestly though, this was such a fun read. Even if I would have liked a little more detail occasionally, I had a great time getting to know Indi and his siblings. I would definitely recommend you all check this out!

Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review!