Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather

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Haunting the deep by Adriana Mather is the sequel to How To Hang a Witch by the same author. It’s great to be back in Sam’s life. I find the historical connections that the author has to her books’ content amazing. The historical connection has Sam as a descendant of Cotton Mather in the first book, How To Hang a Witch and ancestors that survived the Titanic tragedy for this book! Sam has been ghost free for six months now and suddenly she’s seeing apparitions again. Abby, who asks Sam for her boot hook, and a dripping wet man that smells like sea water are appearing. The ghosts end up complicating Sam’s life again, but this time she has help from the Descendants. Sam has received mysterious objects and has been dreaming of being a passenger on the Titanic. While Sam is dreaming of being on the Titanic, she has no memories of her present self and she’s being manipulated by an unknown person or spirit. Elijah is helping to figure out what or who is causing the hauntings also. When Sam figures out who’s causing the problem behind the ghostly episodes, she needs all the help she can get! 5 stars for this fun, suspenseful sequel!

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.

Fracture by Kaitlyn Davis

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Fracture by Kaitlyn Davis is the third book in the Midnight Ice series. Pandora discovers things about Jax and about Sam. Now she has to choose between them and stay strong to keep her choices with conviction. Pandora has deep loyalty to her werejaguar friend, Naya and she’ll do whatever it takes to save her. I love Pandora, her loyalty and integrity. The author’s descriptive language brings the characters to life and makes the setting beautiful at times and other times painful, but always real enough to put me inside the story and into Pandora’s world. The ending is a cliffhanger and has left me anxious for the next and final book of this series. 5 stars for this supernatural fantasy!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Seize Today by Pintip Dunn

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Seize Today by Pintip Dunn. The third book in the Forget Tomorrow series is told in Olivia’s point of view. I enjoy the sense of humor that Olivia has gained to help her handle her strange situation. Olivia has lived her whole life being belittled and neglected by her mother, the chairwoman, who wants to commit genocide on her own society. Olivia is brave and tricks her mother to help Ryder escape so the two of them can help the outsiders. The complexities of the world continue to grow and solutions continue to be brought to light. Olivia’s relationships become strained and she proves herself trustworthy over and over again to build her friendships and to build the trust her friends have in her. This final book of the series brings the plot full circle. 4 stars for the conclusion of this dystopian trilogy!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

27 Hours by Tristina Wright

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. Rumor loses his father when they’re attacked by Hellhounds and a dragon. A gargoyle, speaking their language, rode the dragon as its leader. When the gargoyle spoke he yelled to find Vala, so they seem to be searching for someone. Rumor’s dad ordered him to run and to warn others of an imminent attack. Rumor ends up in Epsilon. He meets with Dahlia, an old acquaintance. The hormones all over the place became confusing. Then we meet Jude who sees emotions and intentions of others in different colors. He knows deception and truth because of his sense; I did enjoy this power. Dahlia’s best friend Nyx wears hearing aids and they practice sign language together, which is awesome and interesting. Nyx has a crush on Dahlia and this became too sappy. The setting is eventually explained, a two hundred year-long journey from Earth to colonize in space. I kind of got tired of hearing about everyone being gay because if somewhere down the line there are no heterosexuals then we will become extinct and if colonization is a priority then reproducing should be a priority also. I guess maybe they can produce test tube babies or something similar. This book is more about categorizing sexual preferences and less about the plot, which was annoying to me. I enjoyed the descriptions of the chimera and found them interesting. I also enjoyed Braeden’s and Rumor’s sarcastic humor. The conflict and prejudice of the war on the Saharan moon took precedence for a while and that’s interesting enough to pull me into the story but then, for some reason, even though everyone is worried about death and impending battle in less than 16 hours, they act like they have time for sex. Attraction and love were being confused with each other. Just because you’re attracted to someone you just met, doesn’t mean you love them and I feel that too many people use the word “love” too lightly. 3.5 stars for the storyline and world building.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.

Avalonia Chronicles Books 1 and 2 by Faarah Oomerbhoy

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The Last of the Firedrakesby Faarah Oomerbhoy is a tale about a girl named Aurora. Aurora had been with her adoptive family since she was two years old until their fatal car accident and now she’s living with her adoptive father’s brother and his family. Her aunt is rude and lets Aurora know often that she’s not cared for and her cousin gives her the same treatment. The family visits an estate where Uncle christopher gives Aurora away to a dangerous looking man, named Lord Oblek. Lord Oblek takes her back into the tapestry that he came out of. Aurora is taken to a prison and placed in a pit with other prisoners who are scheduled to be executed the next morning, Kalen and Finn. The two of them are Fae and each has a distinct personality. The Black Wolf, Rafe who is a mage, saves all three from the prison confines. When they arrive at their safe meeting place, Rafe discovers who Aurora truly is as she tells him how she came to be a prisoner. Aurora is the rightful heir to the kingdom that Morgana stole from the king and queen when Aurora was two years old. Aurora needs to stay hidden or Morgana will have her killed just as she killed the king and queen all those years ago. The safest place for Aurora, according to Rafe, is with her granduncle Duke Gabriel Silverthorne. Once she has met the duke and his family, Aurora is sent to attend a magic school, Evolon, to receive magical training. On the way she meets with a thousand-year old Fae that changes Aurora’s appearance so Morgana will not find her. Aurora now goes by Rory and she’s enjoying and learning from her classes but she’s still trying to get used to her plain appearance a little at a time. This book has many similarities to Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings but stands well on its own merits of dynamic characters, increasing plot twists and conflict. The setting is described beautifully and The Last of the Firedrakes is a wonderfully told fantasy worth 5 stars!

The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy was fantastic! Wow, this sequel to the Last of the Firedrakes really packs a punch! Full of action, adventure, intrigue and plot twists, this story continues to pull me further into its world. Love, loss and uncovered secrets built intense relationships and kept my interest. I can’t wait for the next book in the Avalonia Chronicles. 5 stars!

Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

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Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage is the beginning of a fun steampunk series. Trenton has always tinkered around with machines not realizing how much he enjoys it and how good he is at mechanics and engineering. He’s going against community rules- no inventing or improving technology. The authorities believe technology is dangerous and will destroy Cove. Trenton finds an interesting device when he fixes a machine and his life changes after that. He meets Kallista and together they dive into the greatest mystery surrounding their community. Fun and adventurous, this steampunk fantasy moves at a quick pace, 4 stars.

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor

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I was able to read Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor thanks to a goodreads giveaway of a hardback book and thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an arc! Sparks of light continues the story from Into the Dim, the first book in this series. Hope is with Phoebe and their other companions in the Scottish Highlands. Everyone is adjusting to the drastic change in Hope’s mom and the baby she now has. Hope’s boyfriend Bran has gotten away from his mother, Celia, to tell the companions about his mother’s new plan. After Bran reveals Celia’s plan, the Viators make a plan of their own – to travel back to 1895 and visit Nikola Tesla and his discovery. The trip to 1895 causes extreme circumstances for Doug and Hope when they are involuntarily taken to an asylum and treated with the new drug, heroin. Intense and interesting and on the edge-of-your-seat suspense! Hope describes the asylum and its residents in detail. She also reiterates her previous knowledge of asylum history. Morbidly fascinating and scary. As the comrades work to visit Tesla, they encounter atrocities and tragedy in this time traveling adventure worth 5 stars! I am, once again, anxiously awaiting a sequel!

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth involves two peoples that have different beliefs and are enemies. Cyra ends up relying on and becoming friends with the enemy after he, Akos, is captured and forced into serving Cyra. Her brother thrives on hurting others and uses Cyra to accomplish this. Ryzek uses Cyra for everything he wants to gain through fear and intimidation. He wants to conquer all. Cyra and her servant Akos grow a friendship with trust and honesty which gives Cyra something she’s never experienced before. Her family has always been manipulative and cruel. Cyra and Akos are captured and the wound Ryzek gives Cyra made me physically sick. Revenge is all that Cyra wants against Ryzek because of every harm he has ever inflicted on her. This first book in the Carve the Mark duology builds the world setting and the character’s backgrounds and ends with an unfinished rebellion, leaving me ready for the sequel. 4 stars for this science fiction fantasy.

Warcross by Marie Lu

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Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group for the opportunity to read and review Warcross by Marie Lu! Emi is a young bounty hunter that lives on her own. She desperately needs a bounty or she’s going to be evicted from her apartment in less than three days. She’s smart enough and quick enough to capture a criminal for the police but they give the money to someone else! She goes back to her apartment, despondent, and resigns herself to enjoying the last hours she has with a roof over her head. She hacks into Warcross and her image shows up in the internationally played and viewed game. This catches the eye of the Warcross creator, Hideo, who gives Emi a very well-paid job offer. I appreciate that Marie Lu lets readers know, through dialogue, the correct pronunciation of Hideo’s name. I have heard many students/library patrons discuss name pronunciations in the past, unsure of how to say the name. The game background descriptions are detailed and aesthetic while the game is action-packed and the stakes raise higher and higher for the characters. 5 stars for a new sci-fi read from Marie Lu!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.