Mini Reviews: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett & Containment by Caryn Lix

Title: The Lady Rogue 
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction 
Source: Simon Pulse via NetGalley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date:

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father. Some legends never die. Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul. Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him. Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

This is actually my first Jenn Bennett book. I know, I am a little late to the game. But better late then never, right? Jessica loved Jenn's contemporaries works so when I saw that she was going to be releasing a young adult fantasy I was super excited. Plus, look at the detailing on that cover? It is simply stunning and I love it. Long story short I was real excited for this one and I am really sad that I didn't love it as much as I was hoping to. 

I always talk about how my biggest thing in a book is being able to connect to the main character or at least the main character being likable, and in all honesty? I didn't find Theo to be relatable or likable at all. I found her to be extremely entitled with no respect for rules or her elders. Theo doesn't even take into account the reasons why Huck had to leave after that night in her room or how they effected him. She only cared about how she was hurt and betrayed and how he left to run away from her. Not that there was a possibility of it being something more.  

I was expecting The Lady Rogue to be dark and mysterious and a little heavier on the fantasy aspect then it was. I found it to be more or less a "fluffy fantasy with a witty romance aspect?" If that would be the correct way to characterize it? If you are looking for a fantasy novel with a fun romance aspect that is going to make you laugh and want to re-read parts, The Lady Rogue is going to be perfect for you. 

Title: Containment (Sanctuary #2)
Author: Caryn Lix
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Simon Pulse via NetGalley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 6th 2019

They may have escaped Sanctuary, but Kenzie and her friends are far from safe. Ex-Omnistellar prison guard Kenzie and her superpowered friends barely made it off Sanctuary alive. Now they’re stuck in a stolen alien ship with nowhere to go and no one to help them. Kenzie is desperate for a plan, but she doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Everyone has their own dark secrets: Omnistellar, her parents, even Cage. Worse still, she’s haunted by memories of the aliens who nearly tore her to shreds—and forced her to accidentally kill one of the Sanctuary prisoners, Matt. When Kenzie intercepts a radio communication suggesting that more aliens are on their way, she knows there’s only one choice: They must turn themselves in to Omnistellar and destroy the ship before the aliens follow the signal straight to them. Because if the monstrous creatures who attacked Sanctuary reach Earth, then it’s game over for humanity. What Kenzie doesn’t know is that the aliens aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Omnistellar has put a bounty on Kenzie’s head—and the question is whether the aliens or Omnistellar get to her first.

When I finished Sanctuary I had no idea if there was going to be a sequel or not. So when I saw news of Containment I was super excited! Though I loved Sanctuary it was left very open ended, so I was excited to get the answers that I been waiting for. Containment answered some of those questions but also added more to that list. This book was a 500 page emotional roller coaster that had me laughing, crying and angry all in the span of ten pages. 

It isn't often that you see PTSD represented in Science Fiction novels and I really enjoyed seeing that representation in Containment. Some characters go through hell and back and can bounce back, but others can't. Watching Kenzie's actions through out Containment you can see how the events on Sanctuary shaped and changed her. How in certain moments she freezes up or how she had nightmares about Matt's death. I'm intrigued to see where Kenzie's character is going to go in the next book. 

Overall I loved Containment and I am eagerly awaiting news of a third book. Containment was action packed and didn't slow down for a moment. With the introduction of knew characters, powers and setting Containment will keep you entertained from the first and until the last page. 

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