Hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing Kayla Olson's newest book, This Splintered Silence! I have been so excited for this book to come out and I am so happy that it is finally out in the world for everyone to read and enjoy. I hope you enjoy my review!
Release date: November 13, 2018
Hardcover Page Count: 368
My rating: 4/5 stars
Lindley Hamilton is the captain of the space station Lusca, a job she’s always wanted but never knew she would get so soon. Now, because of the deadly virus that killed all of the station’s adults including her mother, Lindley must run the ship as their struggle to survive intensifies. Still, Lindley believes that the worst has past, and while they still must figure out a way to not run out of food and communicate with Earth, morale remains high. That is until a member of the surviving second generation dies from what looks like the same virus, the very virus the second generation thought they were immune from. Struggling to survive, Lindley must find a way to save the station before it’s too late, especially when clues point to one of their own being the killer.
Spooky, suspenseful, and powered by an amazing female main character, This Splintered Silence is not a book to miss. From page one I was sucked into Lindley’s story. The author blends past and present beautifully together, making everything seem like it was happening in real time. I loved how she continued this throughout the book, mentioning past memories of Lindley’s mother, a character we never meet but feels just as well constructed as any other character. This masterful storytelling is also present through the setting of the book, the space station Lusca, and the struggles it faces. Olson builds a well-thought out world around this little station, and makes sure that there are no gaps for plot holes. Everything that she mentions is carefully described and accurate to what people in that position might be dealing with. Often when books are set in space like this one, everything seems beautiful and technologically perfect. But for Lindley and her crew that is not the case, and I feel like this little dash of realism in this sci-fi novel makes it so readers can relate and immerse themselves in the story much better then they might have otherwise.
Throughout the whole book the characters struggle with real problems to deal with this realistic space-station. Working through these problems are Olson’s cast of characters, each more realistic then the last. At the top of the list is Olson’s main character, Lindley Hamilton. It was hard not to love Lindley from the start. A scientist in her own right, Lindley is the recently-promoted captain of their station, the role her mother used to occupy until a few weeks ago. This is a fact that Lindley doesn’t let readers forget as the story progresses. She does this through subtle things, mentioning her mother’s secret stash of chocolate, to stories about the sky she used to tell Lindley. I love how she didn’t do this in a way that was annoying or repetitive. Instead, she does it in a way full of grace and sadness, in a way that make’s Lindley’s grief feel real. Often when books deal with grief, they do it in a way that forces the idea of it down the reader’s throat, but in This Splintered Silence that is not the case.
The only reason why I only gave this book four stars is because the ending was not quite what I thought it would be, but this book was still an excellent read, and it's the journey that counts right?
If you love realistic-seeming sci-fi where disease and deadly secrets lurk behind every corner, you will not be let down with This Splintered Silence. This sci-fi thriller is perfect for people looking for a good spooky read. Ages 13+
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I loved this book so much and was absolutely obsessed with the idea of it as soon as I first read its synopsis. I hope you consider checking this book out!
Until next time,
Hello everyone! Today, to my upmost pleasure, I will be posting my review of Victoria Lee's The Fever King! The Fever King is by far the debut novel that I have looked forward to the most because of the lush world filled with dark corners that I couldn't wait to explore, and that was just from the description. A book truly unlike any other, the The Fever King is a book that I can't stop recommending to people, and I hope that after this post, you won't be able to stop either.
About the Book:
Release date: March 1st 2019
Hardcover page count: 412 pages
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia. The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
About the Author:
Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.
Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.
She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.
Where to buy the book:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All the thoughts below are my own. Quotes featured are also from an unfinished copy of the book and are subject to change*
In Carolina, a country part of the what was once the United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up alone in a hospital bed. Sent there after deadly viral magic swept through his neighborhood, he’s now alone, his family killed. Still, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Now a technopath thanks to deadly magic, his ability to control technology attracts the Minister of Defense. Inviting Noam to train with the magical elite, he’s asked to help serve his country by training to become one of their elite magical soldiers. But as the son of undocumented immigrants in a country whose Prime Minister promotes nothing but oppression of immigrants, the last thing Noam wants to do is help the government and wipe away the years he’s spent fighting for the refugees. So he embraces the opportunity as a way to finally make change, accepting the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic and secretly planning to use it against the government. But when he meets the minister’s ward and all his dangerous beauty, Noam becomes less certain if what he’s doing is right. Stuck between his longing for change and wishes for love, Noam must decide if trust is a thing he can give out liberally, or if the more he lends his heart out, the faster his world might come crashing down around him.
This book was what I’ve been waiting for for so. Damn. Long. Ever since the day I saw one of the author’s beautiful aesthetics on her twitter (which you should definitely check out) I knew that I had to read this book. Why, you may ask, were you hooked on this book from the start? For most books, this might be a relatively hard question to answer. But for The Fever King, I never once questioned my seemingly undying love for its concept, characters, plot, setting, and just about everything else. So, let’s go over a few of these.
“Power’s a nasty thing, and none of us are immune.”
The first aspect that I was completely in love with was one that I feel isn’t discussed that frequently: dark characters. I’ve read many synopsizes and descriptions of books, and I feel like a common theme in many of them is saying that the book contains ‘dark’ characters or themes. As the person that I am, this attracts me to the point where I would do anything to get my hands on the book. The problem occurs when I get the book and finally get to read it. The book that claimed so frequently to be filled with darkness and pain, isn’t, leading me to feel let disappointed. When it came to The Fever King, I was excited because yes, it’s described by having dark characters, but the author also backed this up with amazing aesthetics and excerpts of things such as the first chapter (subscribe to her newsletter for more of this). And when I finally got to read the actual book… well it’s safe to say that excited couldn’t even get close to describing how I felt. Like, WOW. From page one, an almost painful sense of sorrow can be felt through the pages of Noam’s story as he goes through trauma unlike anything else I’ve read before. And even when something ‘light’ occurs, the sense that something can still go wrong is prevalent. This is caused by a few different elements, one of which being articles that the author includes at the ends of some chapters. The true definition of dark and particularly clinical, these articles chronical one of the character’s trauma while helping to promote the overall feel of the book by creating its dark history. Horrid descriptions of terrifying experiments and twisted recorded conversations are featured through these, making the reading wonder just how destructive and horrifying this world is.
“I take back what I said about silence.”
These articles would mean nothing without the setting. In a post-war Carolina, the world is in shambles. Yes, there are some ‘good’ parts to some of the cities, but most of the people live in disease-ridden ruin and struggle to survive because of the poor treatment they receive. So who exactly are these people who are treated so horribly? They’re citizens from the country lining Carolina’s border—Atlantia. Fleeing their home country to purse a better, safer life in Carolina, they’re often treated like disease ridden rats, given little if any rights, treated horribly, and left to die by the hundreds from the viral magic. Being Atlantian is a big part of Noam’s identity. Fighting for Atlantian rights for as long as he’s been alive, all he wants to do is to continue in his parent’s footsteps and help them. I loved how Lee included this aspect into her book and wove it in so beautifully. The way she discusses a topic so current to our world is breathtaking. Readers will appreciate how she didn’t just mention it once and let it be, but fully ingrained this theme throughout the book, showcase the horrid and disgusting lengths that some leaders might go to prove a point or please the wealthy. The way that she discussed fascism in a young adult book was truly unique, and how she dealt with it even more so.
“‘That’s super Atlantian territory now, right? I heard it’s pretty overcrowded, with all the refugees.’
‘Yeah. I guess it’s…’—what the hell was he even saying?—‘super Atlantian.’”
This theme was seen prominently in Noam and how he dealt with things. As I mentioned before, Noam was practically raised in fear of the Carolinian government and all that they might do to his people. But he was also proactive in his fight against them, doing all he could possibly do to help. When he was originally taken to train, he almost decided not to go but changed his mind when he discovered the power that his new role could grant him. And though he learns not to be so fearful of the pain the government could inflict on him simply because he was Atlantain, his pain and motivation doesn’t lessen. If anything, it gets stronger. The character of Noam is one that would appeal to many in this sense because the sheer motivation and anger that pushes him to act. I loved how he embodied all those that are marginalized and pushed down. The way he moves in such fervor to get to his goal, the way he can be blinded by his ambition at times but still fights for what he believes in, is breath-taking. One other aspect that is so refreshing about his character is that though he actively fights, he still feels the pain of being an Atlanitan. In the quote above, he takes part in a conversation with others from the training center where they say things about his people that, while are not necessarily horrible, are degrading and uncomfortable. Readers would appreciate this as Lee shows the various sides of the immigrant, or minority, experience. How these people speak so plainly about another’s people, thinking of them as a nuance and not as a struggling minority group, and can’t comprehend how horrible their words are, is sadly something that happens every day.
“A moment passed, then Dara abruptly turned his face away. His spine was too straight, head bowed like he was waiting for the blade to fall.”
The fight for immigrant rights wasn’t the only aspect of the book that helped make it the masterpiece that it is. Trauma, a thing that Lee showcased beautifully, was heavily present. And though it was written more obviously for some and more hidden in others, it was such a strong aspect of the book that it would not be complete without it. Now this is the part of my review where I WISH everyone already read it because DAMN I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THIS. But, I will contain myself and hopefully still successfully explain the absolutely magnificent job Lee did with including this in the book. In the world we live in, there are a few main types of reaction to trauma, including the person who does something about it, the person who allows it to ruin them, and the person who allows it to engrain with their being and take over their world. Each of these people are present in this book. Written in a way that felt oh so real, these characters in no way behaved like Lee just read an article about trauma and decided to write it into her book. Instead, Lee gives them each their own variations and made sure that not a single aspect about them was left loose and sloppy. From subtle things that readers might not notice right away, to aspects of a personality that both the reader and characters won’t realize are destructive until too late, Lee uses this aspect to once again give a new dimension to her characters. This blends in with how she describes the immigrant experience. Many people don’t think much beyond immigrants besides the fact that they are there. Fewer think about helping them. It’s an even smaller group that thinks about what they might be going through once they are ‘safe’ or a full citizen. This is the group of people that Lee seeks to expand. And while this is not necessarily true for all of her characters that experiencing trauma, it’s still an important part them. Lee includes these themes to help educate the youth, something that can’t be said for many books in the same genre. By exposing readers to new aspects of life, she helps turn a simple book into something that means much more.
Lehrer lifted a brow. ‘Do they leave that part out of the history books? He said, and Noam laughed, surprising himself.”
Another aspect that was much needed in the YA world was all the representation it had, in particular the Jewish and LGBTQ rep. I’ll preface this that while LGBTQ+ used to only be popular in contemporary, they are slowly starting to make their way into fantasy. And the same could be said for books with Jewish themes/characters, only much less so in fantasy. And though I like to specifically seek out books that have these themes, it’s quite rare for me to satisfy both my love of fantasy and my yearning for a Jewish/LGBTQ rep book at the same time. Because of this, I believe that it is safe to say that I have actually never read a book that not only showcased LGBTQ characters in a speculative fiction book, but Jewish characters as well. Too say that I was excited would be undershooting how I felt about this. In fact, as soon as I heard that The Fever King was a book that featured both magic, gays, and Jews, I knew that I would have to read it right away. I could not stress this enough but, wow, did the author not only write these aspects in a way that will make readers swoon, but also made them feel heard. As a Jew myself, I couldn’t help but freak out whenever something Jewish-y was mentioned. And as someone who loves LGBTQ representation in books, I couldn’t stop fangirling when an um…certain pair… did basically anything together. And the fact that Jewish references were featured so prominently through this, blew me away. This was particularly meaningful because these two groups are so rarely seen together, so the fact that Lee was able to combine them in a way that didn’t feel forced but meant to be, was absolutely amazing.
“He wasn’t eating a proper dinner, just picking the red pieces from a bag of sour candies. He’s accumulated quite the pile next to his lukewarm potatoes.”
This review would not be complete without mentioning the beautifully crafted side characters. Each with their own characteristics and personalities, I loved how Lee didn’t just write them for the sake of writing them, but wrote them to be a part of the story. I know this sound kind of silly because of course they were written to be a part of the story. But what most readers might not realize is that often times when an author mentions themes like immigration and trauma, or have certain types of representation including, they reserve them for either just the main character(s) or just the side characters. Lee, on the other hand, did not want to stick with that. Readers will appreciate how she took some themes from the main cast and carried it over to the rest of the characters. By doing this, she proves that those themes shouldn’t just be used as a way to make a particular character seem ‘special’, but expand it to show how similar different people could be. Readers will be able to fall in love with her side cast of characters just as easily as with Noam and Dara, slowly, but then all at once.
I would also like to really quickly address the magic system that is featured in this story. Truly unlike anything else I’ve ever read, I was completely obsessed with it from the moment I read about how the viral magic was something people feared, not sought. With most magic books that I’ve read, having magic is something that is wanted and held on a high pedestal. But in The Fever King, it was something to run from. From the very beginning we learn that Noam is the only survivor of the viral magic that swept through his whole neighborhood. And that’s what happens when you have such a low survival rate, only one out of thousands may make it out alive. Readers will find this captivating as it means that for one person to have powers, hundreds of people have to die. I thought that this added yet another dimension to the darkness of the book, but also increased the urgency of which Noam must save his people. Never have I thought that a book’s magic system would serve as almost an antagonist, which was something I enjoyed greatly in this book.
Wow, well that was definitely something. This review meant so much for me to write because I cherished this book so much. Filled to the brim with so many emotions, it’s clear that Lee poured her being into making this book as beautiful and perfect as it could be. From the representation showcased, to the characters that demand to be adored, to the plot that is guarantees to make readers scream because WHY????, Lee wrote precisely the type of novel for me. Utterly perfect in every sense of the word The Fever King is not a book to be missed. If you found yourself interested in any of the themes I mentioned, don’t hesitate to check this book out on Goodreads and maybe even preorder. Inspired by true pain and built in a magical world unlike any other, The Fever King will shock you with the horrors it showcases, but make you fall in love all the same.
Enter the Giveaway:
I hope that you enjoyed this post! This book is definitely the best book I've read in a while and I know I am going to struggle finding my next obsession because AH who could obsess over anything else when you have The Fever King? I hope that you consider checking out Victoria Lee and her beautiful gem of a debut, The Fever King.
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing What If it's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli! I am so excited for this book because Adam Silvera is one of my all time favorites and insta-read authors, so of course I freaked out when I found out he was co-authoring a book with Becky Albertalli! Have you read anything by them before? If so, let me know in the comments, and what you thought about it!
Release date: October 9th 2018
Hardcover page count: 448 pages
My rating: 5/5 stars
What If It’s Us is the story of two boys’ summer in New York City. For Arthur, who’s only in the city for the summer, anything could happen between his law-firm internship and love for Broadway. But Ben disagrees with the fact that anything could happen, as he’s stuck in summer-school with his ex-boyfriend. But when the two of them meet-cute at a post office as Ben tries to ship off a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things, both of their worlds seem to change in a way they never thought possible. That is, until they get separated. Then reunited. Then go through a multitude of do-over dates. As the summer begins to come to a close, Arthur and Ben must try to figure out just the right amount of love they are able to give to each other before it is too late. Or is it already too late?
There were so many amazing parts to this book. For starters, the characters. Both boys were unique in a way I have rarely seen characters be. Arthur was a ADHD aspiring Yale student whose sky-high grades and fancy internship make him seem like a serious and strict student. But really he was a nerdy and talkative boy who was never afraid to speak his mind about injustices and raves about Hamilton and his other favorite Broadway shows on the daily. Ben was a handsome and well put together boy who could’ve easily been one of the popular kids. But inside he was a boy who struggled at school, who wrestled with how to represent his heritage everyday, and secretly spent hours alone in his room working on his book and playing the Sims. The author also created some of the best side characters I have ever read too. Dylan, for example, was the coffee-loving and always-joking friend of Ben’s who constantly had a new girlfriend. Only he also suffered from life-threatening panic attacks. I was in love with how realistic these characters were, and how they each felt like people I see daily, from girls obsessed to social media followings, to secretly grieving boys.
These characters and their traits of course went greatly with the overall feel of the book. They were constantly joking, but were serious, went on cutesy dates, but had deep conversations about identity and worry. It is no surprise that they went along beautifully with the city of New York. Through the bustling streets and constantly moving crowds, I always felt like I was with them as the story progressed, almost like I was a friend of theirs. This is what I think made the plot feel especially special. In no sense did it feel like the plot was happening to them as twists and turns just fell casually into their laps. It felt like they were real people finding their way through the awkward days of a beginning of a relationship, with nothing too dramatic happening to make them feel fake, and nothing too boring to make the plot feel like it was not progressing.
Of course this review would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful writing of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. Like watching a swoony sitcom, their writing was some of the more immersive prose I’ve read in ages. Written in the voices of their main characters, two teen boys, but still filled with beautiful and relatable sentences, it often felt like we were getting to look out of Arthur and Ben’s eyes in real time. In a world where contemporary books can often come of flat, this was amazing.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! As a fan of both of these authors, I was so excited for this book, and justifiably so. If you love cute LGBT contemporary romances that tell stories way deeper than the romance of two boys, that are bound to make you swoon over the smallest of gestures, this is definitely the book for you. Filled with modern-day references and current issues, What If It’s Us is not a book to be missed. Great for ages 13+
I hope that you enjoyed that review! I loved this book so much as it is so different from the romance books that we have seen over the years because of it's LGBT representation. If you have not checked this book out already, you definitely should as soon as possible!
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I am taking part in the Map of Days blog tour! I am so excited to be a part of this tour because I have grown up reading the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books, and the fact that there is a fourth book that I get to help promote is amazing! So without delaying anymore, here is my post!
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Hardcover Page Count: 496
Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery--a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob's grandfather, Abe.
Clues to Abe's double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited--truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine's time loop.
Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom--a world with few ymbrynes, or rules--that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine's peculiar children. Their story is again fully illustrated by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure--full color.
Ransom Riggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children novels. Riggs was born on a farm in Maryland and grew up in southern Florida. He studied literature at Kenyon College and film at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi, and their family.
Picking up where Library of Souls left off, A Map of Days continues Jacob’s tale with the Peculiars. Now back in Florida with the rest of his friends, Jacob thinks that the hardest thing he’ll have to do is teach them how to be normal. But with the discovery of Jacob’s grandfather’s subterranean bunker, clues to his double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, revealing long hidden secrets. As Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he’s inherited him and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom.
This book was an amazing return to the world of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. For starters, the writing was even more beautiful then I remembered. Often times when an author of a book I liked as a child comes out with a new book in the same universe, the writing comes off as a tad childish and meant for readers the same age I was when I originally read them. But not once during this book did I think that. As soon as I read page one, I knew that this would not be like other books, and that it will stand out beautifully.
The characters followed this theme as well. When I began the book, I expected them to be the same old characters I loved from the original trilogy that maintain the spirt of the time I originally read them, but they were not. It wasn’t that they were different in anyway, but like they had somehow matured since Library of Souls without it being overdone. I love these qualities because it shows that the author can both keep with the times and captivate his original audience, but also keep newer readers on the edge of their seats.
The plot was yet another thing that kept with this theme. As a reader of the original trilogy, I was always looking forward to the day when Jacob’s parents get to meet Miss Peregrine and the rest of the Peculiar children. And though we did ~almost~ get it, it wasn’t until Map of Days that it finally happened for time. This of course is not a spoiler as it happens in the first two chapters, but I do think it is a defining moment. I think this because for so long, readers have been waiting for certain things, like this, to happen. And now, Riggs is embracing that and fueling his fans in a beautiful way, a way that is also full of promise for the rest of this series.
A Map of Days is the first book in the continuation of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. Appealing to both fans young and old, it would be hard to be disappointed in this thrill ride as it proves that even childhood favorites can continue to grow.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I am so happy that I was able to be a part of this tour and that I was able to promote a book from a series that I loved so dearly in my childhood. Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for including me! If you are interested in this book, don't hesitate to check it out along with the rest of the series.
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I am please to say that I will be taking part in the Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis blog tour, featuring a guest post from the author herself! I am so excited to be part of this tour as I love helping authors promote this book, plus this book is described as a dark fantasy where the hero turns into a villain which I absolutely love. If you love this just as much as I do, check out the guest post and the book, I promise you won't regret it!
A young alchemist turns to dark magic when a deadly plague sweeps through her homeland in this epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.
Seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy with only one goal in mind: master the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen.
Until she meets Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the north, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.
Grey and Nedra grow close, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.
Give the Dark My Love Releases on September 25th, 2018
Get Give the Dark My Love:
Beth Revis is the author of the New York Times bestselling Across the Universe series, the twisty contemporary novel A World Without You, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Rebel Rising. Beth lives in rural North Carolina in a house full of boys--her husband, son, and two massive dogs--and she forces them all to watch reruns of Firefly and Doctor Who. Visit her at bethrevis.com and follow her @bethrevis.
Tell us about the research you did for the book because of how scientific the premise is, and how you incorporated it into your fantasy world
The world of Give the Dark my Love is one where alchemy has replaced science. This isn't that far-fetched, historically--during the Middle Ages, alchemy worked hand-in-hand with science. The only difference is, in the world of my story, alchemy actually works.
Although, truth be told, alchemy worked in the medieval era, too. It's a precursor to chemistry, and some discoveries that happened along the way were legitimate chemical discoveries. Although we tend to think of the big "failures" of alchemy--the quest for the philosopher's stone (which could provide immortality) or the attempts to turn lead into gold--alchemists during the Middle Ages were actually doing science. They refined methods of distilling, they explored and observed chemical reactions, and they applied the scientific method to their work. In 1669, Hennig Brand was attempting to create the philosopher's stone when he discovered phosphorus. (Look up the ingredients he used...I mean, they were at least golden in color...)
In the world of Give the Dark my Love, I used vessels instead of chemicals to create alchemy. "Crucibles" are, by definition, a container that can melt metals or other substances. The crucibles in Nedra and Grey's world are used to conduct power.
Early on, I decided to play with the idea of certain metals being linked to certain powers. I chose to focus on three: copper, gold, and silver.
Copper crucibles are used for transactions--put something in, get something else out. You can hide something in a copper crucible and it will only be revealed when you pay the price to retrieve it.
Silver crucibles are for transformation. You can--at least temporarily--transform one object into another by putting it into a silver crucible. The change isn't permanent, particularly if you're transforming one thing into something very different.
Golden crucibles are used to transfer. Specifically, medicinal alchemists use a golden crucible to transfer pain from a person into a lesser creature, such as a rat.
There is a fourth crucible, although it is forbidden throughout the lands. This crucible is made of iron. Iron is an amazing metal. It exists in the land--those of you whose soil is reddish-brown or red clay walk across iron-rich ground. It exists in your blood, giving it red color. Legend has it that some battlefields of ancient wars are found by geologists thanks to the high concentration of iron from the bloody fighting.
A crucible made of iron is for transcendence.
A crucible made of iron raises the dead.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I am so happy that I was able to be a part of this tour. Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for including me! If you are interested in this book, don't hesitate to check it out!
Until next time,
Hello, today I will be reviewing The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten
White! This is actually the first book that I have read from her, and it is fair to say that I loved it. The relationship I had with this book was actually kind of weird because I went in expecting one thing, and got something else entirely, but still loved it regardless. Let me know how you feel about this book in the comments once you read my review, and if you think it is different from what you thought it would be like!
Hardcover release: September 25, 2018
Hardcover page count: 304
My rating: 5/5 stars
Ever since she was young, Elizabeth has been in the care of the Frankenstein family. Sold by a woman who beat and starved her, Elizabeth knows she will be returned to her horrid existence if she fails at her task: becoming the friend of the solitary and strange Victor Frankenstein. And she succeeds, soon becoming his closest friend and is forever glued by his side. But as the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on her ability to manage Victor’s temper and satisfy his every whim, no matter the price.
This book was not at all what I was expecting but was still very interesting. Diving into it, the reader expects to be taken through the life of Elizabeth as she grows up but, they are actually brought in when Elizabeth is older and in the middle of looking for Victor. But this does not mean that you never get to see their relationship as it grows. The author shows glimpses of the past several times throughout the book, allowing the reader to watch their growing relationship while growing uneasy as they see the disturbing actions of Victor as a young boy. Including these bits of the past also worked great in building Elizabeth’s character. Though it might be revealing too much to say exactly what happened in these flashbacks, I loved how much insight they gave into Elizabeth. The reader is able to see exactly what motivations she has and why she makes the decisions she does.
Another amazing part of this part was the setting. Set in an 19th century Europe, the author took us through many of the places characters go to in Frankenstein. Through the murky slums of Ingolstadt to the vast mansion Geneva and the harsh winters of Northern Russia, the reader in instantly immersed in the scenery flowing from the author’s pen. Reading the book, I felt shivers down my spine as the characters as they went through each of the locations. These places were also true to the original book which I thought was pretty cool.
Lastly, the main part of the book that I enjoyed the most was the tone. Dark and mysterious throughout the book, it rang true to the original insanity that was such a big part of the classic. Elizabeth, for example, constantly ignores the evils of Victor in order to stay with him and live a peaceful life. Even when he cuts open animals to examine them, she doesn’t say a thing so he can remain happy. I enjoyed parts of the book that discuss this because it almost felt like a psychological analysis of the character of Elizabeth. As I said, this was only one example of it, but as we see Elizabeth do crazy things at great lengths just to please Victor, we are able to see more of her psyche then we were able to in Frankenstein. Originally, Shelly wrote her as more of a side character in love with Victor. But in this book, we are able to dive further into what makes her, her. There was even a mention later on about how Victor kept a diary where he wrote his own version of the events that happened between him and Elizabeth. Readers who have read the original will be happy about this because it connects the two works in a whole new way.
If you love dark, psychological thrillers, this book is for you. For those who have never read Frankenstein, no worries because you need no prior knowledge in order to read this. Much like how the Penelopiad was too the Odyssey, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is to Frankenstein. It brings to light the woman’s part of the story that is often given less attention too in great works like this. I would recommend this book for readers 13/14 and up because of numerous mentions of maiming and violence throughout the book.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I loved this book so much despite how I originally did not. I also loved how this is a retelling of a story that is not really retold, and how it was from Elizabeth's perspective instead of Victor's.
Are there any books that you would like me to review? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Until next time!
Original Review Posted on: http://teenreaderscouncil.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-dark-descent-of-elizabeth.html
Hello everyone! Today I will be posting something a bit different from what I usually post about. As some of you may know, I love to write, and hope to become a published author one day. What I talk about less though, is the fact that as both a book blogger and person living in Los Angeles, I have had a lot of opportunities to meet local authors and learn about writing and the publishing process through them. I've even arranged for authors to speak about their craft at my local high school!
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I hope you enjoyed my post about this amazing opportunity! I know that good writing resources could be hard to find, so definitely take advantage of this and check it out!
Until next time,
Hello everyone! Today, I will be reviewing The Looking Glass by Janet McNally. I hope you enjoy!
Release date: August 14th, 2018
Hardcover page count: 336
My rating: 5/5 stars
Disclaimer: I received this ARC as part of Miss Print's ARC Adoption Program. That said, everything featured in this review is based upon my honest opinion and not influenced at all in anyway. Enjoy!
In the Looking Glass, it’s been a year since Sylvie’s older sister Julia disappeared. Still, Sylvie tries to remain optimistic as she carries on Julia’s impressive ballet legacy. But when Sylvie receives a copy of their old storybook with a mysterious list inside, Sylvie begins to see signs of her sister everywhere. She knows that she may be losing her grip on reality and that the strange things she’s seeing might have nothing to do with Julia’s whereabouts, but she continues regardless. As she sets off on a road trip with the hopes of finding her sister, Sylvie believes she will have the time of her life.
But when trouble arises, she must realize that if she can’t help herself, she can’t help anyone.
This is the kind of book that I aspire to write. Beautifully worded and filled with prose that sweeps you away, The Looking Glass is truly a unique novel. I don’t usually read contemporary, mostly sticking with sci-fi or fantasy, but this book made me change my stance on the matter.
Beginning with the plot itself, I loved how innovative it was. The way the author connected Sylvie’s big-city life style with the fairy tale stories that many have grown up with was unique in the sense of how it was done. Unlike many retellings, where it is clear that they are what they are, The Looking Glass reads like the adventures of a girl grieving her sister—which essentially is what the book is about. But I loved how no matter what new fairy tale aspect the author what introducing, it wasn’t pushed to the sense that it overwhelmed the reader, but done subtly and full of grace. This made it so when these seemingly magical parts of the plot came into play, it didn’t feel overdone, but powerful and important.
The next part of the book that I really enjoyed was the characters, specifically Sylvie. From the very beginning, Sylvie is in grief. And for Sylvie, this grief is like a ghost that constantly follows her. And yet, not once while I was reading did I think ‘oh yeah, this again’ when she brought it up. Not once did the author push Sylvie’s grief on readers in a way that made them feel uncomfortable or in a way that made the character feel fake. Readers will enjoy how the author made her grief over her sister a realistic thing that people could relate too. But they would also appreciate the humor and emotions that the character also had. Many of the other characters in this book were written in a similar way, created so realistically that they felt like real people doing regular things.
I would recommend this book for contemporary fans who are in love with ballerinas and their mischief, but also love books where girl meets boy and they fall in love. I would also recommend this book to fans of other genres who, like me, are picky about their contemporary. Filled with heartwarming scenes and just the right amount of magic, The Looking Glass is a book that will sweep you off your feet and never take you back.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! I loved this book so much and was so happy that I was able to read it. So, I would like to once again say thank you to Emma who runs https://missprint.wordpress.com . If you are a blogger with little to no access to arcs, check out her arc adoption program! Not only does she help the blogging community with this, but she helps authors by helping generate more reviews for them (which is the best thing you can do for an author).
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I will be closing the blog tour for Blood Will Out. This is the first dark thriller I have read in awhile so I was very excited when I found out I was able to take part in this tour! And after my review, stay tuned for a guest post from the author herself!
About the Book:
Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.
She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.
Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
About the Author:
Jo Treggiari was born in London, England, and raised in Canada. She spent many years in Oakland, California and New York, where she trained as a boxer, wrote for a punk magazine, and owned a gangster rap/indie rock record label. Her novel Ashes, Ashes, a YA post-apocalyptic adventure published by Scholastic Press, was a multiple award nominee and bestseller. Her acclaimed novella Love You Like Suicide, appeared in the Fierce Ink Press anthology Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL and as a limited edition of the long-running zine Cometbus. Her most recent YA is Blood Will Out, a psych-thriller, published by Penguin Teen (2018). She has a second yet-to-be-named thriller coming from Penguin in the summer of 2019.
Photo credit: Madeleine Kendall
Blood Will Out is the bloody and dark horror thriller by Jo Treggiari that will take everything you thought you knew about YA thrillers and throw it away. The book follows Ari Sullivan, a girl who wakes up at the bottom of a well injured and alone. With no one to hear her screams except the person who put her there, she’s not sure she will be able to get out. But as someone who used to spend her days fantasizing over her crush and their future together, Ari begins to realize that she might not be the killer’s intended victim, and that getting out of the well may be the least of her worries.
This was definitely and interesting book. Treggiari wrote a plot perfect for those aspiring sleuths who love examining every angle of the crime. From the start, she flings potential suspects at the reader, adding to the atmosphere of confusion that the author built up. I loved how the author kept this tone consistent throughout the book, making sure everything had her signature touch. Even the flashback scenes of happy times the author included, had this dark air to it.
I also fell in love with the murder’s point of view. Though it did feature some animal abuse, which readers easily triggered should be weary of, the rest of their perspective was still quite entertaining. This is especially so as the author wrote those gruesome details to add to the realism of the book (which I later found out through her guest post featured below). I loved getting into their mind as they told their story, something the killers of stories don’t often get to do. It was also interesting to follow them as they got to where they were during the events of the story, with Ari.
Lastly, I loved the setting of the book. Set in a dark and mysterious small town where things were bound to go wrong, I love how the author put a new twist on it. Because of her writing style, things just felt so much more real then they often do with other small-town set books.
If you are a fan of spine tingling thrillers, this book is definitely for you. But be warned that there are scenes where blood and gore are mentioned along with graphic descriptions of animal abuse. Though, these themes are not frequent through the book, they do occur in a few significant spots. Because of this, I would recommend this book for older readers of at least 16 years of age.
How to write an appropriate psychological thriller for younger audiences
What I tried to do was write suggestively. Meaning that although there are dark themes in the book (which there had to be since this is partially the story of a serial killer told in the first person!) I write around actual occurrences. The action skips from the beginning to the end of some of the more graphic scenes and the reader fills in the space in their own mind. The animal torture scenes in particular were very difficult for me as an animal lover and long-time vegetarian but I knew from my research that animal abuse is a commonality in the serial killers that have been studied. There is a trifecta of warning signs and that is one of them.
A serial killer who is just starting out was one of the scariest things I could think of. The book had to be terrifying—because no one wants to read about a cuddly, charming psychopath— and getting inside the killer’s mind helped me to achieve that. It was important to me that their character be well-developed so that even though they were becoming a monster (as society sees it) there were moments the reader could connect with. Instances where the reader could think to themselves: ‘Well I’ve felt that way.’ Or, ‘I would react that way too.’ Just a tiny hook that brought the reader on side. I needed to cultivate some kind of understanding of what could make a person behave like that.
It was hugely important that the strongest thread through the book was the fierce friendship between my main character, Ari and her best friend, Lynn. I wanted to capture that love, that loyalty, the lightness that comes from sharing all the moments in your life with your closest companion. Through flashbacks I was able to show how solid and strong they were with each other and incorporate some humor and levity. And later it is the impetus Ari needs to act and to take control of what is happening to them. Their bond was a good true thing and it directly counterbalanced the darkness in the rest of the book.
Check out the other stops on the tour:
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I love getting to post things like this to help promote authors books. Reviewing is the best way to help an author, and I am glad that I am able to do that.
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I will be taking part in the Ruin of Stars Nerd Blast! If you didn't already know, Ruin of Stars is the second book of the Mask of Shadows duology. Ruin of Stars comes out August 28th, 2018, so don't forget to pick up your copy then!
Also, look how beautiful that cover is!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
As Opal, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and most importantly the ability to hunt the lords who killed their family. But Sal has to figure out who the culprits are before putting them down. Which means trying to ignore the fact that Elise is being kept a virtual prisoner, and that the queen may have ulterior motives.
And the tales coming out of north are baffling. Talk of dark spirits, missing children, and magic abound. As Sal heads north toward their ruined homeland and the lords who destroyed everything, they learn secrets and truths that can't be ignored.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
Praise for MASK OF SHADOWS:
"An intriguing world and a fantastically compelling main character make for a can't-miss debut. Miller's Mask of Shadows will make you glad you're not an assassin―and even gladder Sal is." ―Kiersten White, New York Times bestelling author of And I Darken and Now I Rise
"Compelling and relatable characters, a fascinating world with dangerous magic, and a dash of political intrigue: Mask of Shadows completely delivered. Fantasy fans will love this book." ―Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling coauthor of My Lady Jane
"Miller's gritty, lightning-paced debut features a rough-and-tumble yet movingly vulnerable protagonist: Sal is uncompromising in their convictions, and doesn't hesitate to kill when necessary but wishes to be more than just a weapon of vengeance. A complex but intriguing start to this planned duology." ―Publishers Weekly
"This is a memorable, sharply written character. While readers who identify on the GLBTQ spectrum may be easy fans as Miller handles Sal's identity with aplomb, that's certainly not the only point of note here; the impressive, intricate world building, tense action, and fierce competitors are equally strong." ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Gory, well-plotted, suspenseful on every page, and poised for the sequel." ―Kirkus
"This fantasy's gender-fluid protagonist, Sal Leon, makes Miller's book worth picking up for diversity's sake alone. Her treatment of the gender issue is most notable in that it isn't really an issue... Violent and action-packed, this offering by first-time novelist Miller will circulate." ―School Library Journal
"Sal's strong-willed personality and rich emotions create a protagonist who continues to shine" ―Booklist
"Sal is intriguing and their genderfluidity adds depth to their personality. The narrative deals with issues of mystery, self-identity, and revenge. The ending provides a sense of closure, while leaving the door ajar for further adventures." ―VOYA Magazine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Originally from Arkansas, Linsey Miller has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. She is currently an MFA candidate represented by Rachel Brooks of Bookends Literary. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology out now (8/29/17) from Sourcebooks Fire. The sequel RUIN OF STARS is coming out August of 2018. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.
PHOTO CONTENT FROM LINSEY MILLER
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!
And check out the other blogs on this nerd blast!
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I personally never read Mask of Shadows, but taking part in this made be very interested in the book.
Until next time,
Welcome to the Book Enigma! I review different genres of books from young adult fiction to sci-fi. Enjoy!
Aspiring author who, along with reading YA and with other genres, also fosters kittens, and play the piano and cello!
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”