Book Review: Jade Fire Gold


June C. L. Tan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 4th November 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Her destiny. His revenge.

In an empire on the brink of war . . .

Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.

Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.

When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her lethal magical abilities.

But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.

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Book Review: The Hollow Heart


Marie Rutkoski

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 9th September 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Intrigue, romance, and magic abound in the heart-stopping conclusion to Marie Rutkoski’s Forgotten Gods duology.

At the end of The Midnight Lie, Nirrim offered up her heart to the God of Thieves in order to restore her people’s memories of their city’s history. The Half Kith who once lived imprisoned behind the city’s wall now realize that many among them are powerful. Meanwhile, the person Nirrim once loved most, Sid, has returned to her home country of Herran, where she must navigate the politics of being a rogue princess who has finally agreed to do her duty.

In the Herrani court, rumors begin to grow of a new threat rising across the sea, of magic unleashed on the world, and of a cruel, black-haired queen who can push false memories into your mind, so that you believe your dearest friends to be your enemies.

Sid doesn’t know that this queen is Nirrim, who seeks her revenge against a world that has wronged her. Can Sid save Nirrim from herself? Does Nirrim even want to be saved? As blood is shed and war begins, Sid and Nirrim find that it might not matter what they want…for the gods have their own plans.

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Book Review: The Sisters of Reckoning


Charlotte Nicole Davis

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 10th August 2021
spoilers? vague ones

Goodreads

The Sisters of Reckoning is the blockbuster sequel to Charlotte Nicole Davis’s alternate Old West-set commercial fantasy adventure.

The Good Luck Girls are free. Aster’s sister and friends have new lives across the border in Ferron, while Aster remains in Arketta, helping more girls escape. But news of a new welcome house opening fills Aster with a need to do more than just help individual girls. And an unexpected reunion gives her an idea of how to do it. From there, grows a wildly ambitious plan to free all dustbloods, who live as prisoners to Arketta’s landmasters and debt slavery.

When Clementine and the others return from Ferron, they become the heart of a vibrant group of fearless fighters, working to unite the various underclasses and convince them to join in the fight. Along the way, friendships will be forged, lives will be lost, and love will take root even in the harshest of circumstances, between the most unexpected of lovers.

But will Arketta’s dustbloods finally come into power and freedom, or will the resistance just open them up to a new sort of danger?

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Book Review: Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead


Emily R. Austin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 8th July 2021
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Meet Gilda. She cannot stop thinking about death. Desperate for relief from her anxious mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local church and finds herself abruptly hired to replace the deceased receptionist Grace. It’s not the most obvious job – she’s queer and an atheist for starters – and so in between trying to learn mass, hiding her new maybe-girlfriend and conducting an amateur investigation into Grace’s death, Gilda must avoid revealing the truth of her mortifying existence.

A blend of warmth, deadpan humour, and pitch-perfect observations about the human condition, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling exploration of what it takes to stay afloat in a world where your expiration – and the expiration of those you love – is the only certainty.

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Book Review: We Have Always Been Here


Lena Nguyen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 6th July 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

This psychological sci-fi thriller from a debut author follows one doctor who must discover the source of her crew’s madness… or risk succumbing to it herself.

Misanthropic psychologist Dr. Grace Park is placed on the Deucalion, a survey ship headed to an icy planet in an unexplored galaxy. Her purpose is to observe the thirteen human crew members aboard the ship–all specialists in their own fields–as they assess the colonization potential of the planet, Eos. But frictions develop as Park befriends the androids of the ship, preferring their company over the baffling complexity of humans, while the rest of the crew treats them with suspicion and even outright hostility.

Shortly after landing, the crew finds themselves trapped on the ship by a radiation storm, with no means of communication or escape until it passes–and that’s when things begin to fall apart. Park’s patients are falling prey to waking nightmares of helpless, tongueless insanity. The androids are behaving strangely. There are no windows aboard the ship. Paranoia is closing in, and soon Park is forced to confront the fact that nothing–neither her crew, nor their mission, nor the mysterious Eos itself–is as it seems.

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Book Review: The Lucky List


Rachael Lippincott

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 21st June 2021
spoilers? minimal

Goodreads

Emily and her mum were always lucky.

But Emily’s mum’s luck ran out three years ago when she succumbed to cancer, and nothing has felt right since.

Now, the summer before her senior year, things are worse than ever – Emily has wrecked things with her boyfriend, Matt, and her dad is selling the house she grew up in and giving her mum’s belongings away. The only person she has to talk to is Blake, a girl she barely knows since she and her dad moved back to town five seconds ago.

But that’s when Emily finds the list – her mum’s senior year summer bucket list – buried in the back of her closet. When Blake suggests that Emily take it on as a challenge, the two set off on a journey to tick each box and help Emily face her fears over losing her connection to her mum. As she starts to feel closer to her mother, so too does Emily’s bond with Blake deepen into something she wasn’t expecting.

And suddenly Emily must face another fear: accepting the secret part of herself she never got a chance to share with the person who knew her best.

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Book Review: Girl, 11


Amy Suiter Clarke

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 3rd June 2021
spoilers? yes

Goodreads

Full of adrenaline-inducing twists and emotional nuance, Girl, 11 is a heartstopping suspense novel where the detective is a podcaster.

The countdown has begun…

True-crime podcaster Elle Castillo has been obsessed with The Countdown Killer for decades. Twenty years ago, he established a gruesome pattern of taking and murdering three girls over seven days, each a year younger than the last. No one’s ever known why he followed this pattern, or why they stopped abruptly after the eleventh victim. Most believe him to be dead. Elle knows he is not and is hellbent on serving historic justice.

When the kidnappings start up once again, Elle must confront her responsibility in forcing the killer out of hiding. She needs to stop the deadly countdown and convince both the authorities and her podcast audience, before the Countdown Killer can claim his next victim.

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Book Review: Catch a Falling Duke


Eve Pendle

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 26th May 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

A duke reeling from the revelation of the true origin of his family’s wealth…

A woman on a quest to solve her own family mystery…

After Hugo Ravensthorpe comes to Beatrice Fenton’s aid in a crowded inn, the usually no-nonsense farmer finds herself sharing a room with the well-born, handsome stranger. Beatrice takes a chance and makes a scandalous proposition: one night, no commitments. But she can’t refuse when Hugo offers to assist in tracking down the last connection to her mother, and one more night becomes more… complicated.

The Duke of Cumbria is on the run. He never expected to end up masquerading as Mr. Ravensthorpe or to find himself in bed with witty and spirited Beatrice. One night with her, and not as a duke, makes him hungry for more. But can there be a future for a farmer and a duke? Or is love only possible if Hugo prevents his worlds colliding and Beatrice discovering his family secrets?

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Book Review: Hard Reboot


Django Wexler

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 25th May 2021
spoilers? nope

Goodreads

Kas is a junior researcher on a fact-finding mission to old Earth. But when a con-artist tricks her into wagering a large sum of money belonging to her university on the outcome of a manned robot arena battle she becomes drawn into the seedy underworld of old Earth politics and state-sponsored battle-droid prizefights.

Is it time to get back to the books, yet?

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Book Review: Oculta


Maya Motayne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 6th April 2021
spoilers? no

Goodreads

After joining forces to save Castallan from an ancient magical evil, Alfie and Finn haven’t seen each other in months. Alfie is finally ready to take on the mantle of crown prince. His first task: preparing for the peace talks with Castallan’s former colonizers, the nation of Englass.

But when the summit coincides with the reemergence of Los Toros, the mysterious syndicate of assassins responsible for Alfie’s brother’s death, and Finn’s unexpected installation as one of the four Thief Lords of Castallan, the two must reunite to discover the hidden link between these events—before it’s too late.

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