Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Review: The Color of Lies by C.J. Lyons

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Color Of Lies
Author: CJ Lyons
Publisher: Blink
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Source: FFBC Tours / Publisher
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy YA mysteries with diverse characters.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons comes The Color of Lies, a world drenched in color and mystery.

High school senior Ella Cleary has always been good at reading people. Her family has a rare medical condition called synesthesia that scrambles the senses—her Gram Helen sees every sound, and her uncle Joe can literally taste words. Ella’s own synesthesia manifests itself as the ability to see colors that reveal people’s true emotions…until she meets a guy she just can’t read.

Alec is a mystery to Ella, a handsome, enigmatic young journalist who makes her feel normal for the first time in her life. That is, until he reveals the real reason why he sought her out—he wants to learn the truth behind her parents’ deaths, the parents that Ella had always been told died in a fire. Alec turns Ella’s world upside down when he tells her their deaths were definitely not an accident.

After learning her entire life has been a lie, Ella doesn’t know who she can trust or even who she really is. With her adoptive family keeping secrets and the evidence mixing fact and fiction, the only way for Ella to learn the truth about her past is to find a killer.

Perfect for fans of Caroline B. Cooney, Ally Carter, and Jennifer Brown, The Color of Lies blurs the lines between black-and-white facts and the kaleidoscope of reality.
YA mysteries and thrillers are still relatively new territory for me, mainly because I still always seem to gravitate towards my safe fantasy territory. Which is why, when the opportunity to review a book like The Color of Lies presents itself, I'll happily oblige. This story in particular caught my attention because our protagonist had synesthesia. How CJ Lyons planned to incorporate that into Ella's story intrigued me, because it seemed to me that the ability to read auras would really come in handy in the event of a thriller. Ah, how right I was.

It should be noted that I don't have a lot of background knowledge of synesthesia, and I always assumed that it revolved around colors. So it was so fascinating to me to meet Ella's family members, each with their own unique way of experiencing the world. In particular, Ella's uncle Joe had the ability to taste words. How cool is that? I just kept imagining what that would be like, to be able to taste the things that you say. Absolutely fascinating, if I do say so myself.

I also really enjoyed Ella as a main character. She was enough of an adult to keep the teen angst to a minimum, but enough of sheltered child to make this whole mystery really flow. Her love for her family and friends made me fall for her pretty quickly, but her love of art really sealed the deal. Had this book only been from Ella's point of view, I think I would have been completely smitten.

Unfortunately, this is a dual POV book. I normally am not a fan of dual POV anyway, but I really felt Alec's portion took away from some of the growth that we could have seen from Ella. I'll admit, Ella does get a fair bit more time in the limelight than Alec does. However since Alec starts out the story holding all the cards, and Ella has to play catch up, it makes her seem a little weak. I knew she wasn't. CJ Lyons has written a strong character who, despite her whole life being turned upside down multiple times, pushes through. I just wanted more of that, and more of her.

As for the plot line, I'm of the opinion that it was actually pretty easy to unravel. My inkling about how the book was going to end started around the 1/3 mark, and the further the read the more I knew that I was absolutely right. I know that Lyons was trying to lay a trail of breadcrumbs. In fact, I think that some of that actually was done well. However there is a lot in the first half of the book that all but lights a neon sign pointing to what will happen at the end. As I said, I don't read a ton of mystery and I was able to unravel it. I'm not sure how die hard readers of this genre will feel.

All in all, this was a pretty solid read. The Color of Lies drew me in with its premise, and kept me reading because I fell in love with the characters. Although the plot wasn't quite as twisty as I hoped for, that didn't stop this from being a book I all but flew through. I know this will be a satisfying read for a lot of you out there, and so I'll happily recommend you adding it to your reading list.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Hoarder? Who, me?

So, one of my promises to myself this year was that I was going to scale down. In every aspect. Scale down on the things I buy, scale down on the things I own, and also try to keep our house from turning into a storage unit. Oh, trust me. It's not been easy. My book dragon tendencies keep urging me to look at book sale emails, and it takes all of my willpower to ignore them. *sigh* Being a bookworm is a hard, hard job.

My rule lately has been composed of two separate parts:

1. If I don't love a book after I've finished reading it, I give it away.
2. I'm not allowed to buy any new books, unless they're some I've already read and loved.

The bright side of all of this is that I've been using my local library like mad! I've also been deep into audio book territory, which has been a nice way to pass the work hours while attacking multi-page spreadsheets. The other excellent part of it is that my bookshelves have stopped being cluttered stacks, and are going back to their pretty, presentable selves. I'm kind of in awe of it all.

I still have the itch ALL THE TIME, but I've been good!

How do you deal with your book dragon tendencies?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: When Stars Come Out by Scarlett St. Clair

Happy Friday dear friends! I hope you're all surviving your candy hangovers and enjoying the lovely fall weather. This fabulous new urban fantasy sounds like a perfect way to kick off a relaxing weekend. Who cares about losing an hour of sleep when you have a great book to curl up with. 

Title: When Stars Come Out
Author: Scarlett St. Clair
Publication date: October 31st 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coins, two things she would prefer to keep secret as she tries to lead a normal life at her new school. After all, she didn’t change her identity for nothing.
As it turns out, hiding her weirdness is just one of many challenges. By the end of her first day, she’s claimed the soul of a dead girl on campus and lost the coin. Turns out, the coin gives others the ability to steal souls, and when a classmate ends up dead, there’s no mistaking the murder weapon.
Navigating the loss of her Poppa, her mother’s unpredictable behavior, and Roundtable, an anonymous student gossip app threatening to expose her, are hard enough. Now she must find the person who stole her coin before more lives are lost, but that means making herself a target for the Order, an organization that governs the dead on Earth–and they want Anora and her powers for themselves.
Add it: Goodreads / Amazon

A woman with blond hair and a pink blazer smiles at me.
“Can I help you?” Her voice sounds robotic, filtered through the round metal intercom.
“I’m new. I don’t have my schedule—”
“Oh! You must be Anora Silby!” She retrieves a folder from her desk and hands it to me via a small opening at the bottom of the glass barrier. “Inside you will find your schedule and your student handbook.”
I open the folder and stare at the materials. My schedule sits on top. I have already zoned in on my first hour: trigonometry…a.k.a. Hell.
“Be sure you are aware of curfew.”
“Oh, I don’t live on campus.”
“Curfew is countywide,” she advises. “No one’s to be outside after midnight.”
It takes the lady a moment to realize I’ve asked her a question. She blinks.
“It’s always been like that. Since the twenties. You know, after the murders.”
“No, actually…I don’t know,” I wave my folder around to remind her I’m the new girl.
“It’s nothing to be worried about,” the lady assures me. “There haven’t been any murders since then. The curfew’s just in place as…a precaution. It’s best if it’s obeyed.”
She says it like a warning, like she thinks I’m one to break the rules. I can understand curfew for campus, but why is it countywide?
“Would you like a guide to help you find your classes?” Her voice brightens, her smile intensifies. It looks fake, and I get the sense I’m not welcome anymore.
“Uh, sure.”
It’ll be nice to have a map of this place in case I get lost trying to avoid the dead. The lady disappears from view and I take a closer look at the pictures on the wall. I’m partly hopeful I’ll see a picture of the girl outside in one of the photos, but I don’t find her. The images are mostly of buildings on campus in their prime. Gold plates beneath the frames indicate the year they were built. My favorite is Rosewater—that sounds calming.
I run my fingers over the cold metal, tracing the name.
“You must be Anora Silby.” The voice is energetic and warm, but it startles me. I tear my hand away from the plate as if I’ve been caught stealing and yelp, twisting to find a boy standing beside me. He has striking blue eyes and sharp features. My gaze drops to his lips, which are initially pulled into a smile until I face him, then it falters.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
I study him for a moment—lively eyes, faint color in his cheeks, and…warmth. He’s definitely alive. I guess I stare too long because he clears his throat and says, “Can I help you find your classes?”
“Oh…um…the lady was getting me a map.”
A smile stretches across his face again, brightening his expression. “I’m your map.” He extends his hand to me, keeping the other in his pocket. “Shy.”
I stare at his hand, confused—did he just call me shy?
“Excuse me?”
He chuckles under his breath. “It’s my name—Shy Savior.”
“Oh.” My cheeks flame and I want to hide. I fumble as I cradle my folder in my arm and reach for his hand. “Anora Silby…er…I guess you knew that.”
“Yeah,” he breathes, and then quickly adds, “But that’s okay. You have a nice name.”
He doesn’t move his gaze from mine as he shakes my hand firmly, and it is a little unnerving, especially since the pigment of his eyes is so concentrated—seriously, he has to be wearing contacts.
“Um, are you going to let go of my hand?”
“Sorry.” He drops my hand and snakes his behind his neck. “It’s just…have we met?”
I laugh. “No. I think I would remember you, Blue Eyes.”
Shy smiles and turns the faintest shade of pink. “You just feel so familiar.”
“I hope I’m familiar in a good way.”
God. I’d have to say that, wouldn’t I?
I’m breaking my second rule: Absolutely no boys.
“Yes.” He narrows those gorgeous eyes and my resolve weakens. “Yes, only in a good way.”
I inhale and hug myself, feeling self-conscious.
“Mr. Savior, I think it’s about time Miss Silby made it to class,” the lady in the pink blazer advises from the counter.
Shy turns and smiles at her. “Yes. Sorry, Mrs. Cole.” He looks at me, clearing his throat. “So, what’s your first class?”
I’m glad the distraction gives me a reason to look away from him because my cheeks are on fire. I open my folder to look at my schedule. I’d seen it a few minutes ago but now, I can’t remember anything.
“Um, Mr. Val, trig … in Walcourt?”
Shy laughs.
“What?” I lean away to get a good look at his face, but he just shakes his head, eyes focused on my schedule.
“Nothing—what’s your locker number?”
Shy directs me out of the lobby, down a hallway flanked with a large trophy case and a couple bulletin boards covered with flyers for homecoming.
“The lockers, dorms, and cafeteria are all located here in Emerson,” he explains. “It’s a little inconvenient, but you just have to make sure you have everything you need for your first four classes before lunch,” he pauses and nods to my locker, then the one next to it. “That one’s mine.”
I smile at him and it feels like I’m falling into a trap. “I guess I’ll see more of you, then?”
“Yeah.” He grins, showing his teeth, and runs a hand through his blond hair. I like the way his eyes crinkle at the sides when he smiles, all things I shouldn’t notice about him, considering my rules. “Yeah, you will.”

Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master's degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology-all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Book Review: Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Girl at the Grave
Author: Teri Bailey Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Source: FFBC Tours / Publisher
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy slow moving, but well executed mixes of historical fiction and fantasy.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother's legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

Where to start with thoughts on Girl at the Grave? It might seem a little macabre, but I definitely picked this book up because of the promised blend of murder and romance. When those two things are well combined in a historical fiction novel, that's my perfect storm. I hoped for a dark and atmospheric story line, since Valentine's past was so riddled with mystery. For the most part, I was definitely given what I hoped for! I just had a few qualms, and I'll outline them below.

Before I say anything else, I should disclose that I am not a fan of love triangles. That's not to say that I don't think they're occasionally necessary for story movement, or acknowledge that others out there love them. It's simply my own personal preference that characters don't beat around the bush when it comes to love interests. So, take my opinions on the romance portion of this book with a grain of salt.

For the most part, I loved everything about our characters. Black does a superb job of fleshing out each one them, and making them feel as realistic as possible. They have real human emotions and, equally valid, evoked the same emotions in me while I read. Valentine's whole persona had me enraptured, and I honestly felt like she did a lot of growing as the story went on. Character growth, for the win! Which is why I was so annoyed by the whole whole love triangle aspect of her romantic life. It was pretty obvious to me who she would end up with, so it felt unnecessary and bogged down the story line. Again though, that's just me. You might love it!

While the plot here is admittedly slow moving, sometimes to a frustrating degree, I can say that it definitely allows the Gothic atmosphere to shine. It weaves an eerie aura around Valentine and her two love interests, and creates ample opportunity for what felt like realistic conversations between them. I would have loved a little more forward movement, but I can't fault the story for what it accomplished. This book is heavy on the tension, and that is enticing in itself. In fact, depending on what you tend to pick up books for, this story might actually appeal to a lot of historical fiction readers out there. The setting is vivid, and the characters are too. If only the plot had picked up a bit, it would have been perfection for me.

Overall, this was a really solid read. I enjoyed my time spent with Valentine, and unraveling the secrets of her past. I loved the atmosphere that Black created, and the character development that she so expertly executed. I give this story a solid three stars, and I'd definitely recommend it.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Alive? By Melissa Woods

Just in time for Halloween is a fabulous new zombie series! Check out that amazing cover. Let's dive in and find out more about this brand new release. 

Title: Alive?
Author: Melissa Woods
Series: The Alive? #1
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 30th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies
Everyone knows the first rule of the zombie apocalypse: Don’t. Get. Bitten.
Too bad Violet has never been great at following the rules. Walking home after a night of partying, she manages to let one of the Dead take a chunk out of her only hours after they’ve begun walking again. Fortunately for Violet, she doesn’t die. Unfortunately for Violet—she’s not exactly alive, either.
Violet’s body is undergoing changes, and suddenly the taste of human flesh is not as revolting as it once sounded. Controlling her new urges will be hard. Living with survivors who have no idea will be even harder. And the real zombies? They still want to eat her, too…
Surviving the zompocalypse is tricky when you play for both teams.
New from author Melissa Woods, Alive? is a heart-pounding adventure with suspenseful plot twists, complex characters, and a dash of dark humor. Gritty and raw, Alive? is sure to keep you guessing, and will delight zombie apocalypse fans everywhere.

A creak of floorboards. Violet opened her eyes just in time to see a woman lunge. She was wearing a white lace nightie, offset slightly by the gaping wound in her stomach. Violet held out her arms, pushing back with all her strength. She barely had any left, but it was just enough to keep the zombie at bay. The woman’s eyes were almost white, and her teeth snapped in Violet’s face. Though she had no idea what caused this or why it was happening, she knew this thing wanted to kill her.
Her arms were hurting, but she continued to fight. The zombie moved her head suddenly, sinking her teeth into Violet’s left arm, just below the elbow. She screamed as teeth tore through her skin.
It was worse than any pain she’d ever experienced—sharp and brutal. She kicked out, catching the woman in the stomach and pushing her back. Violet ran, clutching her bleeding arm against her chest. She had no idea where the back door was, so she ran up the stairs. When she saw the bathroom up ahead, she threw herself inside.
The door slammed shut, and Violet saw a man click the lock into place as she dropped onto the floor by the sink. He was normal, not dead like the others. There was a hammering at the wood, rattling the frame. The man grabbed a towel, hurriedly wrapping Violet’s arm. She wanted to thank him, but her eyes felt heavy. Within seconds, everything was black.

Writer, primary school teacher, zompocalyptic obsessive.
Melissa Woods is the author of 'Alive?', a young adult zombie adventure story, set for release on October 30th 2018.
When she's not writing or teaching, Melissa can usually be found walking her three dogs, playing video games, or, occasionally, spending time with her husband.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Cover Reveal: Sourpuss by Merricat Mulwray

I don't know about you guys, but I am ready for this week to be over already. Alas, it's only Wednesday. The good news is I have a fantastic new cover to show you to brighten your day. Sourpuss promises to be an interesting commentary on the college party life and the chaos that ensues. Be sure to add it to your TBR for 2019. 

Title: Sourpuss
Author: Merricat Mulwray
Published by: Haigh 38 Press
Publication date: January 20th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Dark Comedy, Contemporary, Satire
Sourpuss is a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses.
Mallory Wahl loathes the campus party scene . . .
She’s sprinting through her senior year obsessed with winning a spot on the US Olympic track team. But she runs straight into a hurdle in the form of fraternity president Graham Patterson, an intern assigned to help her recover from an injury – one she blames on him.
Once Graham’s therapies begin to work, Mallory pretends to fall in love but traps herself in her own scheme and tailspins deep into his debauched world. When a scandal erupts which threatens to shatter her Olympic dreams once and for all, Mallory must finally face the dark truth she’s been running from since freshman year.
In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve.

Merricat Mulwray is the collaboration of two sisters. They live in Los Angeles where they hatch plans and develop schemes, sometimes these turn into novels.


Monday, October 22, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (10/22/18)

Good morning, and happy Monday reader friends!

I've been chugging along with my reading lately and am, in fact, a whole book ahead of schedule to hit my 120 books this year goal :). The best part is that it hasn't been a chore. I've kind of let myself sink into whatever I feel like reading, and not worry too much about finishing quickly. Hilariously, that's been making me read faster. What are you going to do?

Here's what my reading looks like lately.

I finished up two more Halloween Bingo books. Both Experimental Film by Gemma Files and The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey were fantastic!

Currently working my way through the last two books I need for Halloween Bingo! Classic romantic suspense, courtesy of Phyllis A. Whitney, and a murder mystery from Jon McGregor! Also, I'm finally finishing up The Book of M. It expired before I could finish, and I had to wait this long for my turn in the queue.

I honestly have no idea! We'll see where the wind takes me.
What are you reading this week? 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Book Review: Implanted by Lauren C. Teffeau

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Implanted
Author: Lauren C. Teffeau
Publisher: Angry Robot
Pages: Paperback; 400
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Source: Author
Genre: Science Fiction

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy quick moving science fiction with compelling characters!

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
The data stored in her blood can save a city on the brink… or destroy it, in this gripping cyberpunk thriller.

When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to carry encoded data in her blood, and train her to transport secrets throughout the troubled city. New Worth is on the brink of Emergence – freedom from the dome – but not everyone wants to leave. Then a data drop goes bad, and Emery is caught between factions: those who want her blood, and those who just want her dead.

Where to start with this? I can tell you right now that if you're new to Cyberpunk, like I was, this is an excellent place to start. While I love Science Fiction as a general rule, sometimes it can feel a little inaccessible. Cyberpunk has always peaked my interest though, because of the mix between advanced technology and dystopian world building. I took the plunge with Implanted, and I'm so glad that I did.

Imagine a world under glass. A world protected from the outside elements because the world we once knew is uninhabitable. That's the world that Emery lives in, and it's a fascinating one. I'm a stickler for world building, as you well know, and Teffeau shines in this respect. Everything about Emery's world instantly comes to life on the page. From the implants that both help and hinder society, to the stratification that comes from a city competing for resources, I immediately felt like I was part of this space. New Worth became my home for the duration of this book and it was equal parts intriguing and terrifying.

Even better, this book is written in first person. While some readers might not enjoy that perspective, I thought it worked perfectly in this story. It added to the overall mystery, since I was uncovering things right along with Emery. Each twist, each shock, it came over both of us at the same time. I felt like we were one, and that made all her emotion even more palpable. Teffeau created this space for me to live in during this story, and I loved every minute of it.

My only tiny issue with this book was how quickly it had to wrap up. I was so immersed in Emery, so lost in her quest to survive, that I didn't realize how close I was to the end of the story. It felt like the ending was a bit rushed, compared to the slow build up of everything that came before. No spoilers here, don't worry. This is absolutely a ride that you'll want to experience yourself, and it's best to go in blind. Pick this up!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Review: The Scythian Trials by Elizabeth Isaacs

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: The Scythian Trials
Author: Elizabeth Isaacs
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Pages: Paperback; 372
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Source: TLC Book Tours / Author
Content Screening: Mild Fantasy Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy fast paced stories with plenty of twists.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon

Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.

Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.

Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.

During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.

Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.

First off, credit where credit is due, this an absolutely stunning book cover. That's admittedly the first thing that drew me to The Scythian Trials. Secondly, I should start with the fact that I actually did enjoy this book overall. I'm fairly picky about my Sci Fi and Fantasy, especially when it comes to world building, so I wanted to get that out in the open. I'll do my best to share all the positives first, and then come around to why this book didn't quite click with me the way that I would have liked.

Let's start with Nya, our enigma of a main character. Part of the Scythian tribe, and therefore descended from Amazons, Nya's whole purpose in life is to be the best. Unfortunately for her, she's hampered by the fact that her memories are mysteriously locked away. There are secrets buried there, and trying to overcome them is Nya's main burden. This whole concept is actually the main reason why I enjoyed Nya as our lead. She has a strong will, but is inherently weakened by her mental barriers. Watching her grow as a person, while battling her inner demons, made me love her more. I was rooting for her, and it made this story fly by.

In terms of plot, this book definitely pushes forward at a manic pace. There is barely time to breathe as Nya's life barrels onward, allowing the reader to start to uncover what she's been unwittingly hiding this entire time. There are stirrings of war, the tiny flame of a budding romance, and more action than it seems can fit in one book. I admit that I love a quick pace, but I also felt like the book kind of skimmed over some of what I really wanted to know about Nya and her world. I felt slightly unmoored the entire story.

And there lies my issue with this book. The action is so forefront, and Nya's place in all the intrigue is so much the focus, that there really isn't any time for world building or back story. This book very much feels like the second in a series, where the author assumes that the reader already knows the characters and the setting intimately. There were flashbacks that attempted to fill things in, but I honestly believe that this book would have benefited from just a little time to settle the reader into their surroundings. I wanted to know more about the society, especially because their advanced world seemed so fascinating. I'm a reader who needs footing, and I wasn't given any.

So, as I mentioned when I started this review, I really did enjoy this book overall. Nya's story was intriguing, the plot moved lightning fast, and the twists kept me guessing. If only there were more attention to world building, this would have been a higher starred read for me. As it stands, I give this a solid three rating. There's definitely something starting here that I like, and I'm ready to see what comes next.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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