Bull by David Elliott

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I voluntarily read and reviewed Bull by David Elliott. Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read and review this book! Bull is a retelling of the myth, “Theseus and the Minotaur”. The author makes the characters as real and relevant as possible and broadens the story to explain more of Asterion’s life from birth to childhood to the complete transformation of his character and sanity and all of this is written in poetic form and in modern language that makes it easily understandable. 4.5 stars!

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes features four friends on an adventure together. Delia, Annabelle and Zo are friends with the main character, Bailey. Bailey has a crush on Kane Lawson, which is portrayed honestly and in an awkwardly cute way. We’ve all had similar crush experiences;). The four friends are shopping at the mall and purchase fun accessories to match their personalities. Bailey chooses temporary tattoos because she can’t decide on anything else. The tattoo set contains four temporary tattoos, one for each friend. Each girl’s item and tattoo gives them unique powers, which they realize eventually. These powers come in handy when they have to save their classmates from an evil mythological character. Tattoo is a fun fantasy with the great bond of loyal friends; 4 stars!

The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney! Lo, short for Delores, needs help retrieving her mother from a burning pentagram that pulled her through the floor. Shaw, a tracker, is willing to help her for fifteen thousand dollars in cash. He brings his large dog, Mange, along for the journey. They visit a seer at a nursing home and then every other being they can find to get guidance from. Lo feels like she is going in circles and not accomplishing anything that she has set out to do in her quest to rescue her mother. The variety of characters is fun and I enjoy Lo’s sense of humor and snarky comments. Shaw, in all his mystery, is intriguing and interesting and I want to get to know him better. The book ends as though there is a sequel planned and I look forward to reading it. The Things They’ve Taken is a mix of supernatural, fantasy, mythology, adventure and humor. Fun and enjoyable and worthy of a 5 star rating!

The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker! As the story opens, Rebel is breaking into a rich London apartment. She thinks of herself as a modern day Robin Hood, but she keeps the loot for herself so she can make wishes. She’s an orphan living in a dreary institute run by an unkind matron and needs all the happiness she can find. She steals a golden vase, not realizing that it’s actually a vessel holding a jinni named Anjeline. Rebel has a heart condition and she ventures on a journey to free Anjeline and repair her own heart. Along the way, they run into a variety of characters and creatures, some friendly and some dangerous. Rebel learns about her parentage and all of its mysteries. This story brings fantasy, mythology, supernatural and LGBT together tastefully and smoothly. The author, J. C. Welker, has a goal, “…to work toward giving a voice to LGBTQ stories, while facing magic and monsters along the way. “. 4 stars for a job well done!

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

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Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger is a unique story involving mythology characters that control the weather. Vane lost his parents in a tornado when he was younger, while he was saved by a mysterious girl that haunts his dreams. Now she’s interfering in his social life, but he isn’t sure what’s going on. She, Audra, shows herself to Vane and he’s relieved that she is real. At the same time, he’s confused about what she’s telling him he is and what they have to do. Audra blames herself for the death of Vane’s parents and her own father. Audra and Vane have to conquer the Stormwalkers and they have a limited amount of time to prepare. Their relationship goes for a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but they learn to trust each other and build strength together. I give Let the Sky Fall 4 stars, for the first in a series that brings romance, action and fantasy together for a clean read!

Valkyrie: The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn, the second book in the Valkyrie series based on Norse mythology. Freya, Archie and Maya are still being punished for leaving Asgard and, while the challenge games are taking place, they are only allowed to watch one each day. But then Odin sends them on a mission back to earth and Freya learns much about her family and their secrets. The adventure and action are nonstop in this sequel and the intertwined characters make it even more interesting! I rate this book 5 stars for a fun, clean fantasy read!

Valkyrie by Kate O’Hearn

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Valkyrie by Kate O’Hearn is based on Norse Mythology. What’s not to love!? After reading the dedication, I have complete respect for the author. She wrote a compassionate and helpful letter to victims of bullying! Freya is born into the Valkyrie world, but she doesn’t enjoy watching battles, dislikes warriors and humans and definitely doesn’t want to be a Valkyrie. That is her destiny, regardless of how she feels. She gets to know her first reaping, Tyrone, and she begins to see that human warriors have changed. Tyrone loves his family and makes Freya promise that she will go to Earth (Asgard) and check on their safety. Loki wants to help her travel to Earth, even though it’s forbidden and Freya is not sure she can trust him. Freya’s heart opens up to humans when she sees the good that most do, while she grows more angry at the evil in the world. This story, based on Nordic mythology, contains action, adventure, kindness, suspense and fun – 5 stars!

In Truth & Ashes

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review In Truth and Ashes by Nicole Luiken, the third and last book in the Otherselves trilogy. This last book of the series focuses mainly on the true world and the characters that live there. Since Qetarah was taken care of, her mentor Malachi is the villain trying to get rid of the four worlds. Belinda fell into my heart because of her tyrant of a grandmother and her friend Demian is interestingly mysterious! Nicole Luiken brings all of the information from the last two books and its four worlds seamlessly into In Truth and Ashes to make a complicated world with dynamic and complex characters into a wonderful fantasy adventure series – 4 stars!

Amid Wind & Stone by Nicole Luiken

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Received a reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Amid Wind & Stone by Nicole Luiken. This is book two of the Otherselves series, which brings two more worlds into the story along with all of the characters, relationships and politics of each world- air and stone, on top of the same information from the fire and water worlds. The author’s creative imagination is astounding because of the complexity of each world and how she brings everything together and makes it all work to become a full-on adventure, fantasy story. I give this book 4 stars for the devious antagonist, the complete world building and the interesting characters!

Through Fire & Sea by Nicole Luiken

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Received a reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Through Fire & Sea by Nicole Luiken! Leah is renamed Jehannah by her father, the duke, so he can send her with Queen Qeterah and spy for him. Leah is an illegitimate daughter of the duke’s and he’s sending Leah with the queen in place of his daughter Jehannah. The queen needs an heir from each duchy or region to be able to send and receive messages with the other regions. The queen shows Leah the mirror hall and explains how there is one true world and four others – air, stone, fire and water. Leah lives in the Fire World and they use fire to send and receive messages and rely on volcanoes for stability of their kingdoms. Leah falls into a mirror while cleaning it and inadvertently sees her Water World doppelganger or otherself, Holly. Nicole Luiken builds an amazing and complex world and pulls the story together seamlessly. This first book in this series concentrates on the characters from the two worlds, fire and water. The two worlds collide when the queen meets her doppelganger in the Water World. Exciting and interesting, Through Fire & Sea is the beginning of a series full of adventure and fantasy, 4.5 stars!