Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

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Thanks to NetGalley and Feiwel & Friends for the opportunity to read Berserker by Emmy Laybourne! Hanne has inherited Norwegian Berserker powers and supposedly this is what drove her mother away. Hanne lives with her drinking father, two brothers and a younger sister. Her eldest brother Steig wants to move to America, get a teaching job and bring his siblings to America when he has enough money. Hanne’s story alternates with Owen Bennett’s, who’s treated badly by his family because he’s the product of Mr. Bennett’s past affair. Hanne is overtaken by the Berserker powers when she senses that her family is in danger and she kills the three men that mean to cause harm to her family and her father ends up dying also. The four siblings run away from their home. Meanwhile, two men, Rolf and Ketil, are sent by a Baron, their employer, to hunt down any Nytte, anyone with Norwegian descent that has inherited Viking strengths. They all travel to America. Owen meets the siblings when he saves Sissel from a moving train so she can be with her family. Owen becomes the family’s guide. Along the way to their uncle’s home in Montana, the group braves many setbacks and they also meet Ketil and Rolf. The story comes full circle with much action and adventure involved and the loyalty of friends and family is what I enjoyed the most in this book. 4 stars for a suspense filled mythological adventure!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

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Thanks to NetGalley and Feiwel & Friends for the opportunity to read and review Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller! The princess is on a mission to rob the pirate ship, Night Farer. Princess Alosa has been sent by her father, the Pirate King, to steal a piece of the map that shows the way to the Isla de Canta., the island where sirens have placed their treasures throughout history. Alosa proves herself to be a very deceptive spy and a skilled fighter who can take care of herself. Riden, the brother of the Night Farer captain, knows Alosa is hiding secrets and wants to know what they are. Riden also seems to be more observant than anyone else she has ever met and Alosa isn’t sure how he can sense and see the changes in her as she uses her powers. Alosa is tough, has a clever intelligence and wit and I enjoyed her sarcastic comments throughout the story. Her focus and confidence help her through many tough struggles. Alosa’s secrets are revealed while her father’s story is told also. The story will continue in the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen, scheduled for release February 2018. 5 stars for an entertaining adventure fantasy!

Shearwater by Derek Murphy

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I thoroughly enjoyed Shearwater by Derek Murphy. The book opens with an intense prologue of a woman being stabbed by a man and then she grabs the knife and stabs him. Then they both plunge off the cliff and into the water. The first chapter jumps to thirty two years later and the main character, Clara Clark, is waiting for her parents to show up and watch her perform at her high school. While she’s singing, police show up to tell her that her parents perished in a car accident. Her mother’s will states that if something happens to her parents, guardianship goes to her grandfather in Ireland, her mother’s father. The problem is, she didn’t even know he existed. The longer she’s in Ireland, the more mysterious and strange her surroundings become and she begins to learn piece by piece why her mother left Ireland behind all those years ago. On her sixteenth birthday, her looks become more defined, sleek and beautiful and now she truly resembles her mother. Her heritage is slowly revealed and the mystery around the killings grows deeper. The creative story and plot make this a very interesting read and complex characters, mythology and historical legends of mermaids, Atlantis and humans weave together for a fun fantasy read; 5 stars!

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!