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.
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!
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!
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 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!
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,
Hello everyone, today I will be reviewing These Rebel Waves by Sarah Raasch! This is one of my first pirate books in awhile, and I completely fell in love with it. I hope you do to after reading my review!
Release date: August 7, 2018
Hardcover page count: 480
My rating: 5/5 stars
These Rebel Waves tells the interwoven tale of three people whose lives are dependent on the rulings of two countries, Grace Loray and Agrid. Adeluna fought as a soldier for the magic-filled island of Grace Loray during the war that ended five years ago. She thought she was able to save the the people from Agrid’s oppression, but when a Agridian delegate vanishes during peace talks, everything she worked for may soon be erased. Devereux is one of Grace Loray’s stream raiders, a pirate who deals in the island’s magical plants. But Agrid accuses him and the rest of the stream raiders for kidnapping the delegate, he agrees to help Adeluna find him. Benat is the crown prince of Agrid. But unlike his magic-fearing people, he believes it could be used to heal. So when his father gives him the job of reversing Agrid’s fear, he must decide if changing his people’s lives is worth potentially loosing his. But as new information is revealed and more players join the game, the three of them must decide how much they are willing to pay for peace.
This book has all the elements of a blockbuster novel, and it delivers excellently. Starting with the setting itself, the author clearly put a lot of research into it. From the lush plants that could be found around the island to the extremist church group that controls Agrid, readers are quickly immersed in how well developed everything is. While reading, I always found myself being sucked in to the author’s descriptive prose that makes you feel like what she was describing was actual history. Things like extreme and cultish religion can be hard to portray in books, but the author still found a way to do it excellently. This includes a multitude of magical experimentation which Raasch describes in a way that makes it sound like she was conducting them herself. The author also did an amazing job making sure that Grace Loray’s side of things wasn’t too biased, so their government didn’t seem like they were the absolutely good guys and that they could do no harm. I found that balancing and providing two sides to the coin like that enhanced the book beautifully and made it feel so much more real.
Another part of this book that I absolutely adored were the characters. None of them felt fake and overdone. None of them felt incomplete and undeveloped. A problem that frequently arises with books like this, is that the author often makes the characters tragic and overload them with dark and depressing backstory. And though these characters did have that, none of them used it to overload their personalities. It never felt like the only things that made up the characters were where they came from. Rather, these backstories helped guide the characters to where they might be, giving us insight to what they might do later on.
Adeluna, for example, was a character who was everything a typical badass female lead could be: smart, strong, and beautiful. She also plays the role of the sheltered-princess type despite fighting in a disastrous war. But what made her so different than other characters, is that she not only showed that she is beyond and better than that, but she also showed that even ‘perfect’ girls can be wrong, and have faults. An example of something I found that made her different than other characters, was something that occurred early on in the book. Adeluna is in an intense fighting scene (that I won’t describe even though it happens very early on) during which she does some complex moves. Typically when an ex-soldier-warrior-princess-like character does this, they do it perfectly. But though Adeluna did execute the move with finesse, she did think at one point “oh, I wonder if I still remember how to do this. It’s been awhile after all”. I’m paraphrasing of course, but I found this thought to be interesting because it is so rare to see doubt in fighting ability from a character type like hers. This was just one example of many of how the author truly went beyond the standards of characters in typical fantasy novels to make hers unique.
Of course, no good cast of characters would be complete without an equally excellent plot. And the author delivered this perfectly, taking readers on a thrill ride which combined adventure, political intrigue, a slow building romance, and just a dash of magic to make the perfect novel for fantasy lovers. Readers will fall in love with the subplots of this book and the terrifying flashbacks that will integrate an element of surprise into the book that readers won’t see coming.
I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers, but also to people who enjoy reading books that feel like they were inspired by history. Also, if you love seeing LGBT characters and romance featured in fantasy, you will be happy to know that These Rebel Waves features this (which isn’t typical in pirate fantasy like this). These Rebel Waves is a book that won’t let you down if you are looking for a breathtaking adventure that will leave you begging for more.
I hope that you enjoyed this review! If there are any books that you would like me to recommend, let me know in the comments. Also, what is one of your favorite pirate books?
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.”