Book Review: Fire with Fire


Destiny Soria

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 8th June 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Dani and Eden Rivera were both born to kill dragons, but the sisters couldn’t be more different. For Dani, dragon slaying takes a back seat to normal high school life, while Eden prioritizes training above everything else. Yet they both agree on one thing: it’s kill or be killed where dragons are concerned.

Until Dani comes face-to-face with one and forges a rare and magical bond with him. As she gets to know Nox, she realizes that everything she thought she knew about dragons is wrong. With Dani lost to the dragons, Eden turns to the mysterious and alluring sorcerers to help save her sister. Now on opposite sides of the conflict, the sisters will do whatever it takes to save the other. But the two are playing with magic that is more dangerous than they know, and there is another, more powerful enemy waiting for them both in the shadows.

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Book Review: The Library of the Dead


T. L. Huchu

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 18th March 2021
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu’s The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.

When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen…

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down.

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Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down


Rory Power

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 7th January 2021
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions. No history to hold on to. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And when she finds a photograph pointing her to a town called Phalene, she leaves. But when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

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Book Review: The Henna Wars


Adiba Jaigirdar

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 7th January 2021
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realised.

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Book Review: Afterlove


Tanya Byrne

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 10th June 2021
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Ash Persaud is about to become a reaper in the afterlife, but she is determined to see her first love Poppy Morgan again, the only thing that separates them is death.

Car headlights.

The last thing Ash hears is the snap of breaking glass as the windscreen hits her and breaks into a million pieces like stars.

But she made it, she’s still here. Or is she?

This New Year’s Eve, Ash is gets an RSVP from the afterlife she can’t decline: to join a clan of fierce girl reapers who take the souls of the city’s dead to await their fate.

But Ash can’t forget her first love, Poppy, and she will do anything to see her again… even if it means they only get a few more days together. Dead or alive…

NOT EVEN DEATH CAN TEAR THEM APART.

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Book Review: The Betrayals


Bridget Collins

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 12th November 2020
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?

At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.

Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.

Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…

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Book Review: Wench


Maxine Kaplan

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 19th January 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench

Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.

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Book Review: The Enigma Game


Elizabeth Wein

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 14th May 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

From the internationally acclaimed bestselling author of Code Name Verity comes a thrilling story of wartime secrets, intrigue and wild courage.

Windyedge Airfield, Scotland. World War II.

When her mother is killed in the Blitz, and her father’s ship goes down, Louisa Adair feels she has lost everything. The country she has called home since her family left Jamaica is not a friendly place for an orphaned girl with brown skin, and she badly needs money and a roof over her head.

Finally she finds work looking after an old lady at a pub near an airfield in Scotland. There she meets Ellen, a driver for the RAF, and Jamie, a pilot – two other young people just as exhausted by the toll the war has taken on their loved ones, and just as desperate for a way to fight back.

Then the impossible happens. A German defector lands at the airfield carrying a precious package, and Louisa, Jamie and Ellen find themselves hiding a codebreaking machine that could alter the course of the war. But there are powerful people hunting for the machine, and soon Louisa and her friends are playing a deadly game that threatens everything they hold dear.

A thrilling story of wartime secrets, international intrigue and wild courage from the award-winning author of Code Name Verity, with three young heroes you’ll never forget.

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Book Review: Phoenix Extravagant


Yoon Ha Lee

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 9th June 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Dragons. Art. Revolution.

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…

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Book Review: Tack & Jibe


Lilah Suzanne

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 7th April 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Raised on a small island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Willa has a picture-perfect life: hanging out at the beach with her friends, living in a cozy sea-side cottage, working at a sailing store, and running a hugely popular sailing Instagram. At least, her life seems picture-perfect. When a group of followers enters her into High Seas, a televised national sailing championship, it should be no problem. Too bad Willa doesn’t actually know how to sail at all. Desperate to avoid having her carefully curated life come crashing down around her, Willa tracks down Lane Cordova, the winner of four previous High Seas competitions, and begs her for a crash course in sailing before the race begins. But Lane’s competence on the water is only matched by Willa’s ineptitude, and her growing crush on Lane isn’t helping matters. When the competition threatens to go awry and take her entire idealized life with it, Willa has to figure out if she can save her reputation while taking a chance at authentic love.

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