Book Review: Upon a Frosted Star by M. A. Kuzniar

Sunday 28 May 2023

 Upon a Frosted Star by M. A. Kuzniar

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Stories for an advance reader copy of this title for an honest review.

Upon a Frosted Star follows struggling artist Forster who finds an invitation to an evening of magic and bewitchment. He becomes determined to find out more about the mysterious host a ballerina who has overtaken his dreams.

The invitations always arrive without warning around the city to what is usually the party of the year.

However when the party is over Forster discovers an abandoned Manor house and a cursed woman who wishes to be set free.

The book is themed around Swan Lake and definitely has this vibes it kept reminding me of the swan princess film which of course was also based on Swan Lake however this gave me such joy and nostalgia.

This book is beautifully written from the characters to the magic and imagery. I could actually imagine myself within the scene from the descriptions given and the descriptions of the foods made me hungry!

I will admit initially it took me a few chapters to get into the story but once Detta was involved more and her POV was added I was hooked. 

It was interesting to see how Forster and Detta found something within each other through their art and dancing and how their relationship grew despite the curse.

A beautiful tale of first love and tragedy with an ending most wouldn't expect.

Very well crafted and I am going to read more of Kuzniar's books following this one.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

 Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros 

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC of this book for an honest review.

Fourth Wing follows Violet Sorrengail originally meant for the Scribe Quadrant and a quiet life among books. Until her mother the Commanding General forces her to joint the dragon rider candidates.

Only a few issues she is smaller than everyone else and her body is brittle and fragile. Dragons are known to take out the weak candidates and with fewer dragons than ever bonding most would kill for a spot. Alot would kill her just for being her mother's daughter one example being wing leader Xadan Riorson.

She going to have to use everything available to her too survive. It's either graduate or die.

Firstly the hype for this book was well deserved I loved this book it was very much a dystopian fantasy mix giving me vibes of Divergent and even Game of Thrones. However this is definitely an adult fantasy book. 

Violet is a badass and a great example of a character written with inclusivity in mind. 

Xadan is the enemies to lovers love interest who initially wants to kill Violet because her mother led to his father's death. 

The world building is well done and easy to understand and very much had a more adult version of Divergent vibe which gave me such nostalgia. 

The ending also left us with a massive cliffhanger ready for book 2.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and it fully deserves the hype it has been given well done to Rebecca Yarros. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

Saturday 27 May 2023

 Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy of Her Radiant Curse for an honest review.

Her Radiant Curse is a prequel to Six Crimson Cranes covering Ramaka or Channi's story.

Channi was made a Monster by her father's offer to sacrifice her to the Demon Witch Angma. Now cursed with the face of a serpent Channi is the opposite to her sister Vanna who is beloved. Vanna is the only person Channi trusts and who sees her as more than a Monster.

At 17 Vanna is to be married off for money and Channi is intent on preventing her getting married to some of the vulgar suitors. In doing this she gets mixed up in one suitors wrath and ends up over seas starting a battle to return to Vanna's side and protect her from the curse of the Demon Witch.

After The Dragon's Promise felt abit disjointed I was interested to read Lim's next offering and I must say this is a return to form.

Her Radiant Curse was a fantastic epic YA fantasy steeped in Asian Folklore. I was hooked on this book and couldn't stop reading.

The story was well crafted the characters were enjoyable and it gave us fantastic insight into Channi's origin. While being a prequel I wouldn't say you need to read Six Crimson Cranes first but it does give good context and there are some moments dropped in that lead you back to aspects of Six Crimson Cranes.

A fantasticly crafted story and I look forward to whatever Elizabeth Lim releases next. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Never a Monster by Vanessa Len

 Never a Monster by Vanessa Len

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance reader copy of Never a Hero to read for an honest review.

Never a Hero follows the aftermath of Only a Monster Jane has reset the timeline saving her family and destroying the hero, Nick.

However in the new world she alone remembers what happened and that there is an enemy out there. Her friend Aaron has forgotten all that happened and is now an enemy. Nick the boy she loved is a stranger who doesn't remember her.

After a deadly attack forces Joan back into the world of monsters she and Nick are on the run as fugitives with Aaron chasing after them.

On the way Nick is getting dangerously close to discovering the truth of what happened to him. Joan must gather her old allies to face the enemy and save the timeline before it is too late.

Like Only a Monster I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down.

I just love the characters and the world building fascinating with the monster world running parallel to the human world.

In this book we learn more about the enemy and what their plan was before Joan undid the hero.

While I loved the dynamic of Joan and Nick being on the run while being hunted down by the monsters I did miss the presence of Aaron this time initially at the start. Hoping he gets more time in the 3rd book!

Overall I thought the story was well crafted and that the book was such good fun a YA fantasy you could just sit down and read in one sitting. Already looking forward to the third installment! 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Twin Crowns by Katherine Webber and Catherine Doyle

Tuesday 9 May 2023

 Twin Crowns by Katherine Webber and Catherine Doyle

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK Audio for the audio book of this title on exchange for an honest review.

Twin Crowns follows twins Wren and Rose raised apart with only Wren having knowledge of Rose's existence. Rose is heir to the throne and is marrying for her Kingdom.

Wren has been training all her life knowing that she would one day steal her sister's place in the palace where their parents were murdered. Her aim is to rise to power to protect the Witch community that she loves.

Wren switches places with Rose who ends up in the middle of the desert with a would be kidnapper. He takes her back to the Witch community where she learns of life outside the palace walls.

As coronation day looks who will ultimately wear the crown?

Overall this book wasn't for me I wasn't sure if it was the narration, the writing or both. I honestly thought I would love this witches, fantasy and romance are some of my favourite elements however this just fell abit flat.

The story seemed often surpassed by the ongoing romances with the plot taking a back seat. So much so that I found myself losing interest and missing bits of what had happened.

The characters while well written could have blended into one abit at points as they were abit generic.

I think overall the writing just felt abit juvenile which took away from the plot for me. Maybe that means I am just not the demographic, though normally I love a good YA story.

The narration while good generally just heightened that it felt juvenile to me and was abit cringey at points. 

However I have got the sequel on order so I will give that a chance to see if I deem it any better than the first installment. Hopefully it just didn't work for me in audio form. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: The Only One Left by Riley Sager

 The Only One Left by Riley Sager

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC of The Only One Left for an honest review.

The Only One Left follows Kit McDeere sent to work at Hope's End to care for Lenora Hope famous in the town for apparently murdering her Mother, Father and her Sister. Only the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she left Hope's End her home and the mansion where the massacre occurred.

Lenora was rendered mute from a series of strokes, her only means of communication with Kit are by tapping out sentences on a typewriter. One night Lenora tells Kit that she wants to tell her everything.

As Kit helps Lenora write out her story it becomes clear that there is more to the story than people know. Kit starts to wonder if Lenora is as harmless as she first thought.

I really enjoyed this thriller novel! Riley Sager's other books have always been either a hit or a miss with me but this one captured my attention and kept it right until the end.

There were so many twists and turns and secrets that came to light. Normally I am able to figure these stories out before reaching the end but there were a couple of big twists towards the end that surprised me and I just did not see them coming.

If you are a fan of Thriller novels I recommend picking this one up it is definitely worth the read! 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Friday 5 May 2023

 Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC to read for an honest review.

Some Desperate Glory follows Kyr who has been trained her whole life to avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised on Gaea station with the last of humanity, they are all training to face the Wisdom a reality shaping weapon that aided the Majoda in their victory over humanity.

However when Kyr's brother is assigned to certain death and relegates her to nursery Kyr knows she must take the mission into her own hands.

Alongside Avi a friend of her brother and a captive alien she's escapes from the station into a different universe to what she was taught that is more wonderous than could be imagined.

I have to admit I did not think this story was going to be for me and I will admit that I was completely wrong. This book was a fantastic queer Sci-fi novel.

It was smart, well plotted out and very well written.

Kyr our main protagonist can be hard headed and frustrating at times throughout the story. However her character has the most growth and the book gives a good message on learning to be empathetic in a cruel world.

The book has so many twists and turns and time slips that it's impossible to guess how the ending is going to go.

If you are a fan of the science fiction genre I would really recommend this story and I fully regret skipping the Illumicrate box that had this book in it. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: In The Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

 In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the ARC of In The Lives of Puppets for an honest review.

The story follows Victor Lawson a human who lives in a strange little home built into the branches with his inventor and Android father Giovanni Lawson, Nurse Ratched a pleasant yet sadistic nurse machine and Rambo a hoover with insecurities looking for love and attention.

One day Vic salvages and repairs an android labelled HAP this opens up a dark history shared between Gio and HAP relating to the Humans.

After HAP accidentally alerts other androids to their whereabouts the family are no longer hidden. Gio is captured and taken back to his former laboratory in the City of Electric dreams.

The rest of the family together decide to journey across the forest to rescue Gio and salvage their home.

I really enjoyed this story it was very different from my usual read and was very much in the science fiction drama. The description pens it as a Pinocchio retelling of sorts and while I see aspects of that I would say the rest of the story is very much its own work. Even with shades of The Wizard of Oz I would say following their journey to the City of Electric Dreams.

I loved the dynamic between Victor, Nurse Ratched and Rambo we then added HAP to mix and that just made the dynamic even better.

I also very much enjoyed the messages this story conveyed with teaching about love that isn't unconditional and the important message of family and treasuring the time that you have together.

Definitely worth a read if you are interested in the Sci-fi/fantasy genre and I will definitely by reading more of TJ Klune's books following this one. 

Thanks For Reading! 

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