Review: Steel Hand, Cold Heart by Rachel Menard (+ Giveaway)

Title: Steel Hand, Cold Heart
Author: Rachel Menard 
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Copy via Rachel Menard
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC.
Publication Date: May 7th 2019 
ebook, 229 pages

Summary: 
The Odyssey meets The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this Viking version of the self-exploratory road trip. On the island of Helvar, women rule. Sixteen-year-old Carina has trained for most of her life to belong to the coveted Daughters of Hel, the steel-handed Viking warriors who provide souls to the Death Goddess in exchange for the prosperity of their island. Gaining her place hasn’t been easy. She was not borne of the island, but another spoil from another raid, raised by the island Chieftain. There are many who would see her fail, and on her first raid, she does. She doesn’t kill a priestess she should have. Carina needs to prove her worth or risk losing her place. Before she can, her arch-nemesis drugs her wine and sends her off the isle as a captive of three foreign boys. But what is Carina’s greatest misfortune may turn out to be her greatest gift. The young men are taking her to the jewel of the Southern Isles – Fortis Venitis, a place no other Daughter of Hel can venture. Carina can place Hel’s claims on the Southern isle and return to Helvar with the spoils, a victor. However there are many obstacles to pass before she reaches her goal. Like her rune stone that everyone keeps trying to steal, the mismatched pirates from a country that no longer exists, and the priest with his poison that melts flesh from bones. But the most dangerous obstacle of all are the odd feelings she’s developing for her victims, especially the knife-thieving captain Nik. That could make it difficult for her to kill him in the end.


Rachel reached out to us about reviewing her novel Steel Hand, Cold Heart and from the moment I read the synopsis I, (Amber) was hooked and needed to know more. The Odyssey meets The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this Viking inspired story of self exploration and the need to prove ones self worth and things that happen when things don't go according to plan. 

*Basically me this whole book*

Carina the Unstoppable is a Daughter of Hel, but she has been an outsider all her life. The Daughters of Hel slaughtered her village, murdered her father and took Carina in as one of their own. But because of that Carina never fit in with her peers. She looks different then them and has to work even harder to herself and her abilities. But on her first raid she fails to kill and slaughter a priestess. Instead she walks about with a rune stone that is about to cause her all sorts of trouble. On the celebration that night Carina thinks her rival wants to make amends but instead sells her off to three strangers who are in search of her, shit begins to get real. Her greatest misfortune may become a way to redeem herself. If she kills her captors and returns with their riches, she can redeem herself and her failure. The only problem? Carina begins to care for her captors and when push comes to shove, will she be able to follow through with plan? 

Now that I've summarized Steel Hand, Cold Heart I can move on to my review. But I still need a moment because I am still collecting myself. 


Carina is the literal definition of a bad ass character. Sure, sometimes she doesn't make the brightest decisions, but that is part of being human. She is brutal, cut throat and prideful. She also has a bad temper, an attitude problem and serious impulse control problems. Basically Carina is the kind of killer that many authors try to write, but fail at. I loved Carina's character. Her sharp tongue and how we watch her struggle with the thought of meeting someone from her past that had abandoned her and being accepted by The Daughters of Hel. Being part of her clan as part of her initiation The Daughters hands are dipped in steel and fused that become one with their body. I amused me how often Carina threatened to maim or kill people with her claw, in a way she reminded me of Manon from the Throne of Glass series, who is one of my favorite characters ever. 

I really enjoyed watching Carina's character arc throughout Steel Hand, Cold Heart. We watch Carina go from being cruel and planning to kill the ragtag crew that kidnapped her to how her feelings and fondness for them changes. Her feelings for Nik develop though she knows they are helpless. It was interesting in a sense to see someone as brutal and cut throat as Carina begin to have a sense of humanity. 



The secondary characters were well done and I loved each of them in one way or another. I had a soft spot for Nik, especially more about his past and the torture he has endured as being part of a gang. The brutality of the things done to him broke my heart and all I wanted to do was give him the biggest hug. Flavian is witty and funny and made me laugh out loud a couple of times, he is also bi and the rep was done really well. Mateo is the cutest bean and I want to protect him at all costs. He suffered an illness when he was younger that left him with a crippled leg, another rep that I found well done. 

This review is already a mile long and there is so much more I want to talk about but I can't because #spoilers. In short though: pick up this book, it is a quick read that will steal all of your attention the first page and I promise you won't regret it. Rachel is an author I am going to be on the look out for and I hope one day she revisits this world and characters because there are some open ends, but quite honestly? I just can't get enough of these characters. 



GIVEAWAY TIME! 

Rachel is kind enough to be giving away a rune bracelet made for Steel Hand, Cold Heart ($60 Value) and to add to it I will be giving away an e-book of Steel Hand, Cold Heart


*** Rachel is not responsible for any lost or damaged packages and sadly due to shipping restrictions this giveaway is going to be US only! ***




Review: The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date, #3) by Jasmine Guillory

Title: The Wedding Party
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Publisher: Berkley Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 325 Pages
Published July 2019


Summary: Maddie and Theo have two things in common: 1. Alexa is their best friend and 2. They hate each other. After an “Oops, we made a mistake” kiss, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking. But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.


I have been a huge fan of Jasmine Guillory ever since I read The Wedding Date and got a copy at BookExpo two years ago. As someone who is a huge rom-com reader (and writer!), Jasmine's books just have a way of making you feel all good and fluffy inside. I also recently read The Proposal, the second book in the "series" (which I'll explain a little bit later in this review), and I loved that one just as much. So when I remembered that The Wedding Party was coming out, I preordered it and got my copy and tore into it ASAP! So without further ado, let's get into my review:

As the summary explains, Theo and Maddie only have one thing in common -- they're friends with Alexa. Other than that, they can't stand each other, so when they both find out that they're going to be in Alexa's wedding party, the idea seems insufferable. That is, until they hook up a few times and realize that there is definitely some...physical chemistry there. But they don't want a relationship, just good sex. Which they swear to stop as soon as the wedding is over. But once the wedding date gets pushed up, and they realize that their time together might be short, neither one of them wants to admit that they might be catching feelings. 

You guys, I really loved reading this book. Theo and Maddie's banter was hilarious, their friendships with Alexa were super sweet, and the hookup scenes were...*clears throat* definitely something that would make you blush. There's definitely a lot going on in this book, and a lot of characters to fall in love with. Jasmine is so good at writing a story that you get yourself hooked on, and before you know it, you're reading over 300+ pages in just a few days because you never want to stop reading. My boss saw me reading this book at work and actually asked to borrow it once I was finished, because she was so interested in it! Not to mention the fact that this cover is absolutely GORGEOUS, definitely my favorite of the three -- the raised yellow glitter on everything was such a nice touch!

Something else that I really loved about this book is the way that you don't need to have read the first two books in order to enjoy this one -- but if you did, then you'll understand all of the little Easter eggs and character references in it! You get to see Alexa and Drew a lot more, and even a little bit of Carlos and Nik -- characters that were the focal points of the other two books! However, the majority of the book is entirely focused on Theo and Maddie, so if you didn't read the other books, you would be just fine if you only read this one, or even if you read them out of order. But if you're still interested in reading them in order, here it is: The Wedding Date, The Proposal, and then The Wedding Party!

The only thing I wasn't super crazy about with this book was that the ending felt a little bit rushed. I felt like the entire book was leading up to all of that stuff with the wedding and everything, but we barely got to see any of it. I know that the story was supposed to mainly be focused on Maddie and Theo, so it made sense to kind of fade out a lot of the wedding stuff, but I was definitely a little bit disappointed, especially since I read all three books and all three of them were focused on this big wedding in some way, but then as a reader I didn't really get to be placed in that scene for very long. But other than that, I loved everything else about this book!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Wedding Party. I was super sad when I realized that this was the end of the series, but then I saw Royal Holiday is coming out, which is about Maddie's mom, so hopefully some more of my favorite characters make appearances in the future! Overall, if you're looking for some rom-com books to tear through that will make you feel all warm and giggly and also make you blush hardcore, I'd definitely recommend you look no further than The Wedding Party and all of Jasmine's other books!



 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!

This week's theme: Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading

When it comes to reading, I love to snuggle up with a good book and snack! 


sexy suicide squad GIF

1. Hot coffee

2. Iced coffee

3. Hot coco

4. Cookies

5. Muffins

You may notice a trend of baked goods. If you know me, you know just how much I love my coffee and dessert. Theres nothing I love more than snuggling up with a good book and cup of coffee! Be sure to let us know your favorite book snacks!!



ARC Review: War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Title: War Girls (War Girls #1)
Author: Tochi Onyebuchi
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: BookExpo 2019
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: October 15th 2019

Summary: 
Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther–inspired Nigeria. The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky. In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life. Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there. Acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.

I met Tochi ass BookExpo this year and though I wasn't familiar with his previous works he was incredibly fun to talk to and was down to earth. He was also super excited to talk with everyone who was on his signing line and made sure that everyone was able to have their moment to talk to him. I didn't know about War Girls until the cover reveal and ever since then I KNEW that I just had to read this book. Though I didn't love War Girls as much as I hoped I was going too, I still did enjoy the story can't wait to see where Tochi is going to take these girls next. 

I read a lot of science fiction and having a person of color as the main character isn't something I have seen often, so it was really nice to see the representation in this novel and I hope it is something we start seeing more of in science fiction. Some of Tochi's inspiration for War Girls came from the Nigerian Civil War. I admit, I know almost nothing about the Nigerian Civil War and this novel opened my eyes to a horrible period of time in the worlds history. 

I enjoyed most of War Girls but I do feel like there were things that could have used a lot more development. The novel takes place in a ravaged country in 2172, there has been nuclear fall out, war, famine the landscape is radically different as well as technology. War Girls falls heavily on technology and the advances it makes in becoming one with humans. Every concept in War Girls was interesting and cool but I had a hard time picturing it. I feel like there needed to be more description and explanation to what things are. I went back a few times to make sure that I didn't miss a description, but there really wasn't one. 

There is a lot that I wasn't to talk about but I can't because I don't want to spoil any of War Girls for those who are looking forward to it. Though I did have my few issues with War Girls I did really enjoy Onyii and Ify's story and can't wait to see what Tochi has in store for these girls next. 

(3.5 Stars!)

Debut '19 Interview: Rosaria Munda & Fireborne

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, twitter chats and more! 

I (Amber) had the opportunity to read FIREBORNE and adored it. It has made my top 10 list of favorite books of 2019! I can't wait for book 2! Today we are super excited to have Rosaria on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons.



About Rosaria!
Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat. Her debut young adult fantasy novel, Fireborne, will be released by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in October 2019.
Keep up with Rosaria




Interview!

The Book Bratz: How does it feel that FIREBORNE is debuting this year?
Rosaria: To be perfectly honest I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, even now that we’re so close to October and the ARCs are circulating and people are reading and reviewing it. I don’t think it will feel real until I hold the finished book. Maybe not even until I see it in a bookstore. So much of this process has been intensely private and intimate—just me sitting alone in various coffee shops or my dark bedroom, headphones on, writing. For so long, the world of CRIER’S WAR existed only between me and my editor, and I think some part of me internalized that—part of me thought it would be like that forever, that no one else would actually read this book. But now the doors are open, people are reading, and it’s surreal. It’s stunning. I’m grateful to anyone and everyone who picks up this book, now and on release day and after, always. Whether you finish or not, whether it speaks to you or not. I just like knowing it’s real and it’s out there to be picked up.


The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of FIREBORNE?
Rosaria:  Fireborne is about the friendship between two dragonriders, tested by new rivalry and old secrets, as they rise to the top of the regime that orphaned them. Or: TOP GUN with dragons.


The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for FIREBORNE come from?
RosariaA lot of things. First of all, I was inspired by the Blitz! I wanted to do a flight school story. I also wanted to try setting a young adult story, not at the beginning of a revolution, but after it--for the kids who would have to pick up the pieces after the world has been torn apart, and really bite into the problems whether it is possible to rule justly. Their new political setup is a meritocracy, loosely inspired by Plato's Republic, which is supposed to be more "fair" than the old order--but through the course of the story they're forced to question that, too. I've also always loved stories of orphaned aristocrats and I wanted to manipulate tropes surrounding them--particularly regarding their desire to take vengeance. What if they didn't? And what if they had to question the (common fantasy premise) that noble birth entitles you to power?


The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in FIREBORNE?
RosariaI was a scholarship kid for boarding school and college, and I definitely drew on that writing the perspective of Annie, a former serf who tests into an elite dragon riding training program. My biggest enemy as a student was always my own lack of confidence, and I wanted to have a female character who struggles with the same insecurities--and learns her strength in spite of them.


The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?
RosariaLocke and Demosthenes.

The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after the FIREBORNE world?
Rosaria: I do, but as it's a trilogy I'm really living in the Fireborne world at the moment. Book 2 is very much in the oven! 

The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about FIREBORNE that not many people know yet?
Rosaria: Originally, the dragons were fighter planes!


About FIREBORNE:
Title: Fireborne
Author: Rosaria Munda
Genre: Fantasy, Romance 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 15th 2019 
Buy FIREBORNE
Summary:  Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons. Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet. But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city. With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs. From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.





ARC Review: Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Genre: Fantasy
Source: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young via NetGalley
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young
Publication Date: October 15th 2019

Summary: 
Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons. Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet. But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city. With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs. From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

*Thank you so much G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Fireborne!*

I wish I could scream from the rooftops about how much I loved this book. But I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that. So, I basically shrieked all over twitter about this book and pushed it at all my blogging friends instead. Munda did not disappoint in her thrilling and action packed emotional thrill ride that incorporates the destruction and formation of new government. Told in the point of view of Lee and Annie, it gives an interesting view of two different sides of this revolution and how it strains their friendship. 

Lee and Annie were only children when a harsh and brutal revolution massacred the drangonborn who were the ruling class, changing the country. Now, people from all metal classes have the ability to test into the class of Dragon Riders. Lee, who is the son of Leon Stormscourge, survived The Palace Day murders of the three ruling families only to become a rising star in the regime. Only, no one knows his real identity. As a child Annie's family was killed by a dragon fire and she was sent to an orphanage where she grew up besides Lee. Now two best friends are pitted against each other for the top position in the dragon riding fleet. But then Lee is contacted by his cousin who survived Palace Day, with a threat of war on the horizon. The families are back and they want what is theirs.  Lines are drawn, sides chosen, and a new firstrider rises.

I loved all the dragons in Fireborne. I find a lot of time that books that have dragons in them, they aren't the main point of attention. But in Fireborne, Munda makes sure that her readers get to know these dragons, their weaknesses and their connections with their riders. Each dragon is described beautifully and characterized into their species of dragon and are beautiful magnificent creatures that play an essential role in the society that The Protector is trying to build. 

I found the characters to be super relateable. A lot of time in fantasy you find that the protagonist acts like they are in their 20s rather than their actual age. Lee and Annie and all of the other riders in Fireborne acted like they were teenagers, they made mistakes, they don't know how to deal with certain things and they learned through trial and error and endless hours of training as well as the ghosts of their past. They were flawed and far from perfect, but Lee and Annie both have their own unique story to tell and that story shapes who they are as characters. 

I wish I could discuss the Revolution with out spoiling it, but quite honestly it's going to be hard and confusing, so I am going to leave the Revolution up to the reader to learn about. But my heart breaks for Lee and Annie and everyone else who was affected by it. It brings into the question of change, if after so many years things can be different and fight of right and wrongs. 

Fireborne is an amazing debut novel and had made my list of top ten books that I have read this year. I am super excited to see what Munda has in store next for these characters because it can only get better from here. (Well, it's already amazing so even more so.) If you love dragons, politics, battles, war and angst filled romance then make sure that you add Fireborne to your TBR immediately! 

*Make sure to check back tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Rosaria Munda!*



Review: Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

Title: Sky Without Stars
(System Divine #1)
Author: Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retellings
Source: Simon Pulse via Edelweiss
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 26th 2019


Summary: 
A thief. An officer. A guardian. Three strangers. One shared destiny . . . When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing. Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes… Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spying on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet. Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a traitor. Groomed to command by his legendary grandfather, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when he discovers a cryptic message that only one person, a girl named Alouette, can read. Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos. All three have roles to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet. Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les MisΓ©rables.


I must admit, the first time I read this book I actually DNFed it about half way through because I just wasn’t that interested in it. I’m also not so familiar was Les Miserables so I ended up DNFing and never looked back. Fast forward to July and I realized that I was approved on Edelweiss as well as NetGalley for the title and now that I didn’t have a never ending pile of soon to be released books to read I decided to dive into this almost 600 page book again. Needless to say, I actually ended up really enjoying it and I am pretty excited about the next book in the series.

I want to talk about the world building first rather then characters because I actually found it quite interesting. The last days (The death of earth) the discovered planet of Laterre promised hope for those who were able to inhabit it. But now having been living on Laterre for five hundred years, society is separate by the extravagant higher class and then the lower class. The higher class lives under a dome where they see the sky and the beauty of the sun where the lower class lives under constant clouds and haven’t seen the sun in years. I found it quite interesting to see how one class was more superior then the other when they were essentially the same at the end of the day. I also really enjoyed the underground library that Aloutte lives in with the sisters, the library contains books that were smuggled from earth and hidden in a secret underground society that has swore their lives to protect them. Sky Without Stars contains in the end three different society classes that were all interesting and unique in thier own way.

Sky Without Stars is split up into three point of views: Chatine, Marcellus and Aloutte.

Chatine: Chatine is a cut throat, street savvy thief he dresses as a boy and goes by the alias of Theo. She is desperate to leave the slums and the planet of Laterre behind and to start over. She continues to steal objects from people in order to pay her passage to the new planet, but when the price becomes inflated and Chatine is running out of time. That is until she is given an interesting offer that will have her crossing paths with Marcellus. 

Marcellus: Marcellus is the son of one of the biggest traitors in the history of Laterre. A bombing that his father initiated caused the deaths of hundreds and since then has has been locked away on a prison planet. Marcellus' point of view starts with him learning that his father is dead and he has to go to the morgue to identify his body. Marcellus is an officer of the government and is set to replace his grandfather. He is being groomed to be the perfect General, but Marcellus has one thing that the others don't. His compassion and humanity. When Marcellus and Theo (Chatine) cross paths and the on coming rebellion threatening to destroy the already fragile society. But Chatine has motives of her own. 

Aluotte: Things start to get a little trickier when Aluotte comes into the picture. She is part of a sisterhood that protects the books from the old world and chronicles the history of life on Laterre. For 12 years Aluotte has never been above ground, until she spots an injured Marcellus and sneaks out to help him. Soon Aluotte learns things about her father and how he isn't who he says to be and soon Aluotte is on the run for her life. I will admit, she wasn't my favorite character. But she was essential to the plot. 

I never expected the twists and turns that Sky Without Stars brings or how intertwined all three characters are. After some of the big revelations at the end of the novel, I am super excited to see where this series is going to go. The only down fall I had with this book was the romance, I felt like it really wasn't needed. I know this is a retelling so it is needed, but it felt weird and not all that natural to me. Plus Sky Without Stars only takes place over a course of a few days. 

Overall I do highly recommend Sky Without Stars and I can't wait to see with this duo has in store for their readers and this group of characters. 


Review: Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Title: Teeth in the Mist
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 11th 2019 
Hardcover, 352 pages

Summary: 
Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil's Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations... Sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember--so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? And who will know if something goes wrong? In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward--one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever. 1583. Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and mansion in the area. But rumors of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she will need all her strength to defeat it. Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. A pact made by a man who, more than a thousand years later, may still be watching...
*Trigger Warning: This book does contain a scene with self harm.*

I'm on a horror novel kick lately, so I was super excited when my library got a copy of Teeth in the Mist. I've seen so many people say how creepy and dark and fantastic this book was so I couldn't wait to get my teeth into it. (Ha, see what I did there? Teeth.) I've loved Dawn's previous novels so I figured I was hitting a home run with Teeth in the Mist but quite honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. 

I am a fast reader, I can read about 100-150 pages in about an hour depending on the genre of a novel. I am not sure if I missed certain details from events that happened in Teeth in the Mist because I was reading so fast, because I was getting that two plus two equals and goat with glowing red eyes and I am honestly confused. 

I enjoyed the alternating POVs and how Roan's was in a standard story telling way and Zoey was through journal entries and video footage. We also have some of Hermione's dairy entries thrown in there. I love books that have unconventional formats so I was really excited to see that Teeth in the Mist contained letters, photos and journal entries mixed through out the novel. 

I don't think that Teeth in the Mist was a horrible book. I really enjoy Dawn's writing and I loved her characters. I just didn't understand a lot of what happened and it may have been because I wasn't absorbing much detail as I was reading. But from I did understand of the story is had me turning the pages and eager to attempt to put the puzzle of this book together. 

If you are looking for a book that is going to send chill down your spine and make you want to sleep with a light on, Teeth in the Mist is the perfect book for you. Sadly for me this isn't my favorite book by Dawn but I am still super excited to see what she is going to write in the future. 

(I gave it three stars based on the writing style, my like of the characters and the enjoyment of the formatting.) 





Blog Tour: A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth (Review, Favorite Quotes & Giveaway)


Hi! Hello! Today I am super excited to be a part of the A Treason of Thorns blog tour being hosted by the amazing crew at The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Today I bring you my review, favorite quotes and a giveaway! Make sure to add A Treason of Thorns to your Goodreads TBR and comment below to show Laura some love! πŸ’š

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Title: A Treason of Thorns
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Historical Fiction 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 10th 2019

Summary: 
Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm. Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.
BUY A TREASON OF THORNS! 


Laura always has the best book covers, hands down. This one is absolutely stunning, the colors, detailing, it draws your eyes and leaves you starstruck. A Treason of Thorns is hands down one of the most unique books that I have read in a long time, dark, mysterious and utterly unique A Treason of Thorns will have you entranced until the very last page. 

When Violet was a child her father, the caretaker of Burleigh house was accused of high treason and sentenced to spend the rest of his days in Burleigh house, without his key that helps him channel the house magic forcing himself to channel house magic through himself. Burleigh is one of the six Great Houses in the country and it's magic keeps the land healthy and prosperous. Violet and the house servants are exiled, but Wyn, Violet's childhood friend is forced the face the sentence with her father. Ripped from everything she has ever known Violet must learn a new way of life. In the years leading up to this Violet's father taught her the ways of the house, so when he passed on she would become Burleigh's caretaker. Only Burleigh house is failing and Violet only has the summer to prove that she can save her beloved house before it is destroyed by her Godfather, the King. Full of mystery, a determined girl and a bitter sweet romance A Treason of Thorns is a book that will stay with you long after you finish it. 

The magic system and the Houses in this book is amazing.The complexity of it, but described in ways that doesn't make it confusing at all, Weymouth did an amazing job in keeping me intrigued and wanting to know more about Burleigh House and the magic surrounding it. Burleigh's personality is one that is quite unique. The House does respond to its surroundings and does what it can to help Violet and keep her safe. It's temperamental and its moods change in the flash of an eye. I think Weymouth did a great job giving something as inanimate as a house its only personality and characterization, especially when it is the main focus of this book. 

I really enjoyed Violet's character. From page one she shows her dedication to her Burleigh. Nothing comes before the House, not even family. Upon returning to her beloved home it is in shambles and Violet is determined to save it before it is too late. As she works on repairing her relationship with Wyn, she teams up with the most unlikeliness of partners to do what needs to be done. The only way to save Burleigh house is to find it's deed, the very crime that her father was punished for. 

Overall I really enjoyed A Treason of Thorns. This book lived up to every expectation I had and more. Weymouth's prose is beautiful and will suck her readers in. I can't recommend this book enough. So please, pick it up and read it!



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FAVORITE QUOTES!





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GIVEAWAY TIME!

Win signed copies of Laura E. Weymouth's books: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS and A
TREASON OF THORNS (US/CAN only)
Starts: September 10th 2019
Ends: September 24th 2019
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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FOLLOW THE TOUR! 
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