Continue below to read my review of the book and be sure to check out this link for - [TURN THE PAGE TOURS]! Thank you to Turn the Page Tours, Simon & Schuster, and Neal Shusterman for the copy gifted for this tour!
Gleanings: Stories from the Arc of the Scythe
(Arc of the Scythe Series)
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2022
Genres: YA Fantasy, YA Dystopian
The New York Times bestselling Arc of the Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline. Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge!
There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.
Neal Shusterman—along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman—returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.
Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor–winning Scythe truly is.
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The Arc of the Scythe series has been on my TBR list for some time, and never have I been more sorry that I still haven't read the rest of the books than I am now.
Wow, this set of stories from the world of the Scythedom is a stunner.
Rife with cautionary tales, as well as political, social, and economical parallels to issues already plaguing society, it's difficult to imagine Shusterman didn't intend to place some eye-opening commentary in the hands of the readers. I find this is often the case with the more cerebral fantasy and science fiction authors and the result is a more unnerving dystopia than one might otherwise experience.
This particular addition to the series is made up by a variety of stories that follow different Scythes, touching significant moments in their lives. For some, their origin may be revealed, while for others.. we get a glimpse of their comeuppance. Herein lies one of my favorites, but that's in no way to diminish any of the others.
Gleanings is dark and sometimes surprising. Shusterman's Scythes are both beautiful and terrible, sometimes all at once, and I can't wait to go back and read the rest of the series. His writing is elegantly crafted, complex enough to really hook me, and his stories are bold. He's unafraid to paint his stories brightly with discomforting truths, yet creative enough to allow the reader just enough breathing room so they're not simply overwhelmed with the possibilities of the future.
The lines between realistic outcomes and fantasy are blurred expertly and I couldn't recommend this series more highly.
About the Author:
Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including Dry, Roxy, the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award.
Scythe, the first book in his series, Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book.
Neal has earned the respect and recognition of the library community; three of his books have been ALA Best Books for Young Adults and all of his books have been consistently well-reviewed.
He's a popular speaker on the IRA/NCTE circuit, and at schools all over the country. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows.
Neal is the father of four, all of whom are talented writers and artists themselves.
Continue below to read my review of the book and be sure to check out this link for -
[TURN THE PAGE TOURS]! Thank you to Turn the Page Tours, Ingram, and Heleen Davies for the copy gifted for this tour!
The Bone Thief's Tale
(Bone Thief Saga Book One)
Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of The Little Mermaid meeting Hades and Persephone.
Bound to steal her queen magical bones, thief Lynne knows only one mistake equals death. And yet, she dreams of living in the forbidden world upon the surface, hating every minute in the Underworld. When she secretly develops a crush on a human, she loses a bone in his realm and has no choice but to strike a deal with the only one who could help—an evil witch. To save her life, she must earn the man’s love and bring back the bone in 99 days.
Rio Renero is a notorious gang leader in Chicago and his life has been set to one purpose—to get back at his enemies. With a mysterious, beautiful girl showing up on his doorstep, he sees the solution to his machinations. She offers him a chance at a deadly heist that could destroy all his enemies. In return, he must help her steal a book. What a cinch.
As Lynne and Rio dig deep into a dark net of politics, magic and passion, they need to learn to trust each other.
Not so easy, considering they’re not quite sure whether to kiss or kill each other.
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If you're like me, the cover alone was a head-turner. I'm also a huge fan of both The Little Mermaid and the Hades and Persephone stories, so I'm always excited by new tales woven from either of them. Something that is a bit of a mix? I knew I had to read.
What it did well:
Conceptually, it conveyed The Little Mermaid theme in more of a classic mythology setting, while modernizing the Hades and Persephone angle. I enjoyed the change-up between the two in that way.
The magic system at its base is also really interesting. I love the idea of the way it lingers, leaving its mark, so to speak. That's all I can say though without ruining the details for you.
There are also a couple of cute supporting characters, as would be expected for the sort of Ariel idea and I love the twist on her collection.
What could be better:
Though it's a YA title, the genre is more about the age of the characters, but lately I'm seeing a lot of 'young writing' and that's the case here.
Both the prose and the characters could use a real flex of development. This seems to be Davies' first book and as that it makes sense. The idea is bold and simply needs a more seasoned hand to live up to its potential. I'd love to see her return to it and rework the manuscript once she has a few more books under her belt.
I would have loved to swoon for Rio and cheer for Lynne. I think I could have even, with a bit more depth throughout.
All in all, if you're looking for a quick read and love an underdog story, you might give this one a try.
Continue below to read the synopsis of the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'FORESTFALL (WORLD AT THE LAKE'S EDGE #2)' book tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, HENRY HOLT & COMPANY, and LYNDALL CLIPSTONE!
(World at the Lake's Edge #2)
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Some oaths can never be broken…
The curse that haunted Lakesedge Estate has been broken, but at great cost. Violeta Graceling has sacrificed herself to end the Corruption. To escape death, Leta makes a desperate bargain with the Lord Under, one that sees her living at his side in the land of the dead.
But this world of souls and mist hides many secrets. And when Leta realizes she is still connected to Rowan by a tethering spell, she will risk everything— even her soul— to try and reach him.
Torn between power and love, life and death, Leta struggles to keep hold of her humanity as she falls further and further under the spell of the world Below… and the Lord Under.
Content Warning: Body horror; Gore and blood (including description of wounds); Discussions of death and grief; Descriptions of drowning and deep water; Drowning-related imagery; Self-injury.
About the Author:
Lyndall Clipstone writes about monsters and the girls who like to kiss them. A former youth librarian who grew up running wild in the Barossa Ranges of South Australia, she currently lives in Adelaide, where she tends her own indoor secret garden. She has a Bachelors in Creative Writing and a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Management.
Her debut novel, Lakesedge, has been published in three countries, was a Dymocks Books bestseller, and has been nominated for numerous awards. The sequel, Forestfall, will publish in 2022.
She is represented by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.
Whispers in the Waters
I rounded a bend, and the slight woman I’d seen in the stratesman’s shadow when we’d arrived in Milburn stumbled down the lane, her gown of muslin streaked with dirt and littered with forest debris. She clutched a ragged silk shawl around her shoulders, as though it could shield her from notice.
Nelda, Mrs. Wilkins had called her. Her palm dripped blood, and tears streaked her cheeks. For a moment, I remained rooted in place. If the townsfolk were to be believed, Nelda had brought a vengeful attack against Melle and her family. But the downcast lines of her body spoke of brokenness and distress, not malice.
“Nelda?” I hoped she wouldn’t take offense at the use of her given name from a stranger. I hurried forward. “You’re hurt. What happened?”
“I . . . I don’t know.” Nelda lifted her hand and watched as blood wept from it, one drop after another splatting against the dusty surface of the road. The wound cut deep.
Could Mrs. Wilkins have been right when she’d suggested madness? I shifted the bundle of clothes from one arm to the other. “Can I accompany you home and find someone to tend your injury?”
She laughed, a wild, off-key sound. “Home? I have no home.”
“Then where are you staying?” I lowered my voice in an attempt to soothe her. “I’ll help you there and fetch an herbalist, if it suits you.”
“Staying? No one will house me. Not after what’s happened at the mill.” She jabbed toward the trees with her uninjured hand. “I stay in the forest. At least here, I’m close. Close to where home used to be.”
I drew in a sharp breath. To live in the forest, this close to a Crossing? It was unthinkable. Otherkind might lurk anywhere, not to mention natural predators. Had the entire town truly forsaken her, simply because she’d wed the wrong man and he’d abandoned her? Or was there more that I missed? Society offered swift condemnation for those who failed to abide by its strictures, but other than a poor choice in a husband, what wrong had she done?
She swayed, and I rushed to steady her. “You can’t stay out here. You need proper shelter and someone to look at your wound. Come with me into Milburn, and we’ll find an herbalist.”
“No, I can’t.” She backed away, every scrap of color leeching from already-pale features. “No one here wants to help. They’d only try to lock me up!”
Publisher: Hegge Press
Pub Date: January 24, 2022
Genres: Urban Fantasy, New Adult Romance
Kohl Merrifield is a Fallen Fae: breathtakingly beautiful but of criminal blood – and banished to the human world to entertain women for the rest of his days at the infamous Avalon Club. They clipped his wings and took his magic; ensured there’s no chance of him ever rebelling or wielding any power. But there is something they overlooked. They forgot that beauty is power - and that’s the one thing they left him with.
After her first night at Avalon, a night club famous for the entertainment provided by the beautiful Fallen Fae, Bree gets swept up in the smoldering gaze of one of the club’s most coveted Fae: Kohl Merrifield. Just a pretty distraction. Easy... Simple.
Until she starts to notice there might be more to Kohl than his devilish grin, the lean muscles, and those intense green eyes.
Until she starts to suspect he might be dangerous.
Bree believes Kohl is part of an underground group fighting to overthrow the system that keeps Fae like him confined to the club – a regime that Bree’s ancestors fought hard to put in place. And now she’s determined to prove that her suspicions are right and bring Kohl and the other rebels to justice.
Only she didn’t count on the fact that getting closer to her enemy would upend everything she thought she knew. And that there might be more sinister things going on at Avalon than the sensual distractions that draw the crowds.
As alliances blur, conspiracies erupt, and violence escalates, Bree is forced to make the toughest decision of her life: is she willing to betray everything she was raised to protect, for a rebel Fae she’s not even sure she can trust?
Come step through the shimmering doors of Avalon...
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Drawn to this book by the rather traumatic experience laid out in the synopsis, I was eager to get to know Kohl and see how he had dealt with what had been done to him. I was also curious what kind of 'civilization' was in place that could set that type of trauma in motion. In what world did the act of clipping the wings of a fae and stripping them of their magic.. seem acceptable?
Most of all, I was curious as to what horrible thing he'd done to be condemned this way. The answer to that last question was shocking actually, leaving me feeling for him immediately. Nevermind the fact he is beautiful and highly sought after for his 'company.' It's an empty kind of admiration and there are things happening behind the scenes that don't quite match up.
Bree, the main character which we follow throughout the story, was the one aspect I really struggled to like. I understand that she grew up a result of her circumstance, just like Kohl, and that certain biases were at play due to that upbringing. I get that at first, there would be doubts and distrust, but there are points in the story where I strongly disliked the way she treated their kind and Kohl in particular. Certainly there were times when I felt she should have known better or given benefit of the doubt to someone, rather than passing the harshest judgements and hurling cruel comments at them.
There's a fairly uncommon dynamic at play between the humans and fae, which I really enjoyed overall and the enemies-to-lovers trope is well done. Knight made a lot of interesting, bold choices with the direction of the story that I felt other authors might shy away from, leaving me both impressed and excited to see more of her work.
Despite my personal conflict over Bree, I loved the story and I'll be keeping an eye out for more!
Check out this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] for a complete list of the rest of the stops on the 'Kingdom of the Feared' book blitz tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, LITTLE BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, and KERRI MANISCALCO!
Kingdom of the Feared
(Kingdom of the Wicked #3)
Publisher: Page Street Publishing/Page Street Kids
Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stalking the Jack the Ripper series comes the steamy conclusion to Kingdom of the Wicked trilogy.
A reckoning all have feared.
And a love more powerful than fate. All hail the king and queen of Hell.
Emilia is reeling from the shocking discovery that her twin sister, Vittoria, is alive. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. Emilia doesn’t simply desire his body, she wants his heart and soul—but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.
When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, Emilia and Wrath are drawn to the rival demon court. Damning evidence points to Vittoria as the murderer and she’s quickly declared an enemy of the Seven Circles. Despite her betrayal, Emilia will do anything to solve this new mystery and find out who her sister really is.
Together Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception as they work to stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared.
Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked nothing was as it seemed. But, have the true villains been much closer all along? When the truth is finally revealed, it just might end up costing Emilia her heart.
About the Author:
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and the forthcoming Kingdom of the Wicked.
Continue below to read my review of the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'DIREWOOD' book tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, PAGE STREET PUBLISHING/PAGE STREET KIDS, and CATHERINE YU!
Publisher: Page Street Publishing/Page Street Kids
Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Horror
In this velvet-clad 1990s gothic horror, Aja encounters a charming vampire who wants to lure her into the woods―just like her missing sister.
No one ever pays attention to sixteen-year-old Aja until her perfect older sister Fiona goes missing. In the days leading up to Fiona’s disappearance, Aja notices some extraordinary things: a strange fog rolling through their idyllic suburban town, a brief moment when the sky seems to rain blood, and a host of parasitic caterpillars burrowing their way through the trees. Aja’s father, the neighbors, and even her ex-friend Mary all play down this strange string of occurrences, claiming there must be some natural explanation. It seems everyone is willing to keep living in denial until other teens start to go missing too.
Aja is horrified when she meets Padraic, the vampire responsible for all the strange occurrences. His hypnotic voice lures her to the window and tells her everything she’s longed to hear―she’s beautiful and special, and he wants nothing more than for Aja to come with him. Aja knows she shouldn’t trust him, but she’s barely able to resist his enthrallment. And following him into the woods may be the only way to find Fiona, so she agrees on one condition: He must let her leave alive if she is not wooed after one week. Though Aja plans to kill him before the week is out, Padraic has his own secrets as well.
In the misty woods, Aja finds that Padraic has made his nest with another vampire in a dilapidated church infested by blood-sucking butterflies. Within its walls, the vampires are waited on and entertained by other children they’ve enthralled, but there is no sign of Fiona. Before her bargain is up, Aja must find a way to turn her classmates against their captors, find her sister, and save them all―or be forced to join the very monsters she wants to destroy.
Content Warning: body and bug horror, death, on-page violence, and racial microaggressions
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