Review of Curiosity and Arawn’s Penance by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Yes

Review:

This was such a great way to end a fantastic series! I have to admit, when I started this final book, I wasn’t as invested as I normally am. It was hard at first to keep track of exactly what was going on. There seemed to be a bit of jumping back and forward. So much was going on and being explained that I think the story itself got a little lost in the process. But after the first couple chapters, I fell right back into this world. And by the end I was so sad to see it all come to a close.

Gabrielle’s growth throughout these four books was so wonderful. I loved seeing everything come full circle, as she grew from a scared young girl to this awesome, powerful heroine. It was so much fun to see how far she’s come throughout the years.

And speaking of fun characters, there are so many new additions that I absolutely love. Not to mention an old favorite that I was thrilled made an appearance toward the end. There are some points in the book where I felt like the plot got a little muddled, but I loved the characters so much that it made up for any issues I might have had with the plot (and they were relatively minor issues anyway).

If you haven’t checked out this series yet, I would highly recommend giving it a read. Chopchinski has created such a delightful, engrossing story with these four books. And this was a great way to end it. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Thank you to the author, Zachary Paul Chopchinski, for providing me a copy of this arc in exchange for an honest review!

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Review of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommend: Yes

Review:

I was really excited when I had the chance to read Nyxia. I mean, when a book has space, aliens, and an interesting premise it’s obviously going to have quite the potential. and I have to say, overall, this book did not disappoint. I would have loved more alien interactions, but I’m hoping that will happen in book two (and based off the ending, I’m assuming my hopes will be rewarded).

I will say, I’m starting to get a tiny bit tired of the whole competition trope. It seems like so many stories center around a group of young people fighting in a ruthless competition for some prize. I think Reintgen did a good job changing things up a bit so it wasn’t so predictable. But I did feel like there were some elements I’ve seen way too many times. There were also a few pacing issues and some parts felt a bit forced.

The characters definitely made up for any frustrations with the plot though. I loved the development and interactions of them all as they trained and competed. Each person had their own unique personality and backstory. Which was so great. I found myself rooting for almost everyone at one point or another. I just wanted to give them all a giant hug! Well, maybe not all of them, but most.

I think this book did a really good job setting up the scene for the next book. There were a few parts I thought could have been done better, but all in all, I really enjoyed reading Nyxia. If you’re a fan of YA science fiction books, I would definitely recommend giving Nyxia a read.

Review of Love from Mars by J.P. Cawood

Rating: 2.5/5

Recommend: Not sure

Review:

As many of you know, I love all things space-related. I’ve always found the idea of our universe and all the incredible possibilities out there fascinating. So when I found out about this book, I knew I needed to give it a read. But, I feel I should also say that I’m typically very picky about my romance books. So if you’re more of a romance  and scifi fan, this might be a perfect fit for you.

As it was, this wasn’t quite the book for me. The concept was really interesting. I thought it was pretty unique to have a reality show that decided who the first people to colonize Mars are. I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of that. I do think the implementation of that plot could have been better, and there were quite a few plot holes though. Whenever you read a fiction story, you always have do a little bit of suspending disbelief, but in this case it went way too far. Like that ending. I’m seriously so confused about what happened. But in general, I thought the main story was good.

Also, and again this might be my pickiness with romance coming through, I thought the romance itself was a bit too instantaneous. I’m not generally a fan of insta-love, although I do understand why it needed to happen in this story. But, that being said, I did think Emma and Ryan made a cute couple. I liked a lot of parts of their characters and relationship.

So, overall, this wasn’t quite my cup of tea. I didn’t expect the romance to be quite as heavy as it was and some of the plot points were too much for me to believe. But, the idea is really cool and the characters were solid. Again, if you like romance and scifi, I would recommend giving it a read yourself. I definitely don’t regret trying this book out!

Review of Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Yes!

Review:

I’ve been hearing a loooottt of good things about Mask of Shadows. Which made me both excited and a bit nervous when I finally got my hands on it. Sometimes books with a lot of hype turn out to be amazing and I fall completely in love…other times not so much. So I approached Mask of Shadows with some trepidation. But I am thrilled to say my nerves were completely unnecessary. BECAUSE THIS BOOK WAS SO MUCH FUN! I loved it! And I really need more. Right this second, please.

As per usual, I’m going to talk about the characters first. I could probably spend a few thousand words talking about how great these characters are, but since I don’t want you guys to die of boredom, I’ll keep it short and sweet. First off, DIVERSITY and complex characters. I rarely see genderfluid character, much less one that is the lead. And it was so well done too! Plus, Sal is just a gem of a character. I will say, though, there are a lot of characters in this book. It was a little hard to keep track of everyone, especially the ones who were referred to by a number. But that wasn’t a huge issue most of the time.

The plot was a little predictable at times, and I would have liked a few more details on some things. But overall, I thought it was really well done. It kept my interested up until the very last page!

If you haven’t guessed, I definitely would recommend this. If you like fantasy and slightly amoral characters, you should give this one a read!

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

Review of Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan

Rating: 3/5

Recommend: Maybe

Review:

I think this might be the lowest rating I’ve ever given a Marie Brennan book. Which makes me kind of sad, although even with the lower rating I did highly enjoy this book! It started off a bit slow and I had a really hard time getting into the story, but the last half more than made up for it.

At first I didn’t particularly care for most of the characters. It was hard to connect with any of them. But as I got to know them all better, I saw all the complexities and development. Lune in particular grew on me so much. She was definitely one of my favorites by the end.

And again with the plot, I had a hard time at first. The beginning moved really slow for me and I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening. Maybe my brain just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book at first. Because it’s definitely well-written and the last half was so great. So my initial issues could have been partially my own fault too.

All that being said, I would still probably recommend this book to fantasy fans. I loved the mixture of real history and magic. It was so cool, and a little bit creepy at the same time. I’m interested to see what happens in the rest of the series!

Review of Light of Eternity by Megan Cutler

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommend: Yeah!

Review:

I already knew I was a fan of Megan Cutler’s work after devouring Island of the Lost Forevers a few months ago. And this book proved to be just as enjoyable. I mean, how can you go wrong with magic, mythology, and awesome characters?

As many of you know, I’m a huge mythology lover. If it involves ancient stories and deities, I’m normally totally on board. I was interested to see how Cutler incorporated that into her story, and it was so much fun to see it all play out. There were some plot points that confused me a bit, and I needed a couple more explanations, but overall, I really loved what she did.

And the characters. I adored these characters. They were all so strong and fascinating in their own ways and I highly enjoyed getting to know them. I especially loved Shima and Erika. Especially their interactions and growing relationship.

I mentioned earlier that there were a few plot points I felt needed more explanation. But, then again, this isn’t the end of the story. I didn’t realize at first, but Light of the Empire is actually just a chapter (actually two chapters, if you also count Crystal Shrouded Goddess). So, with that in mind, I’m much more excited about this story. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Review of The List by Patricia Ford

Rating: 4/5

Recommend: Yes!!!!

Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading The List. I’m a huge fan of dystopian books and the description sounded intriguing, but I was still not sure what to think. Well, I can now safely say that this book was so good! I might not have had many expectations going in, but even if I had, I’m guessing The List would have exceeded them.

Let’s talk about the plot first. I don’t want to go into too much detail and ruin anything for people, but this was such a unique story. As someone who’s read quite a few dystopian books, I honestly don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it. There were aspects of many different classic stories and the plot was a little predictable, but somehow it still felt like a new story. And as a lover of words, I found it to be especially powerful. This book may be short, but it certainly packs a punch.

And of course there’s the characters. I adored Letta. She has plenty of spirit, but she’s also struggling with her own beliefs and fears. I loved her development over the course of the story. It’s unfortunate that this was so short because I would have loved to see even more of her. I’m thinking there’s a sequel to this and I really hope that’s the case.

If you like dystopian books, I would highly recommend reading The List. I had a few difficulties getting into the story, mostly because of the dialogue in regards to some characters (if you read it, I think you’ll know exactly what I mean). But overall, I enjoyed this so much. It’s beautifully written and the story itself is a lot of fun. I don’t think you’ll regret checking this one out!

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!