The Shadows Between Us – Review

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Series: The Shadows Between Us
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Published February 25th 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 326
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

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The beginning gave me Cardan and Jude vibes if Jude had joined The Selection. There’s something really addicting about dark romance fantasies.

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Mayhem by Estelle Laure – Blog Tour Review

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51171648Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Series: N/A

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Expected publication: July 14th, 2020

Genres: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary

Pages: 304

Format: ARC

Buy: Amazon | BookDepository

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21Mayhem is kind of a retelling of The Lost Boys with a witchy side and a feminist touch in the #MeToo era. 

Set in 1987, Meyhem Brayburn runs away with her mother Roxy from an abusive stepfather to Santa Maria California, where Roxy lived as a kid. At the Brayburn farm Mayhem meets her aunt and the three kids she kind of adopted. But that place harbors much more than Mayhem could have expected.

If you like The Lost Boys you are probably going to enjoy this, the setting and the pacing is the same, but it has some cool differences that I quite enjoyed.

I really liked May and her new friends (the kids her aunt adopted – Neve, Jason and Kidd), it was interesting to see them together although some friendships were a bit too much – which is where I totally saw The Craft, which I read to be something this was inspired by too.

Neve was wild. She definitely was a bad influence on the others, but I also couldn’t necessarily not like her. She was definitely an interesting character and in her own way she did help May… But one of my fav characters has to be Kidd, she is super sweet and she still has a touch of innocence for how young she is and that really balanced their group. I loved their interaction with “magic”, I always love reading about new magical ways and this was super interesting! I’m not going to say more about it, but although it’s simple, I loved it and it really worked well with the story.

The abuse described in the book was quite heavy and could be triggering. However I did really like how it was approached and it made the end as sweet as can be. It showed that there’s help to be given, there’s hope and it’s possible to get better even if its not easy. No means no and everyone should respect that.

As for what I didn’t like so much…

As I said, the pace is pretty much the same as the movie, and being something that already irked me in the movie, in a book is a bit too much. I would have preferred a bit of a faster pace. I think it would have really worked with the story and made it more compelling.

The story could have gotten a bit more changes too. Half of the book was pretty much the same as the movie, which it didn’t necessarily need to be just to see the inspo. I would have liked a bit more differences because I loved everything that was different in this book and I would definitely want to check out more by the author.

Overall this book was quite enjoyable, I loved the main character and to see her relationship with her mom and her family evolve and change. It deals with abuse and its hard to read at times, but its definitely important, and the end really gives hope.

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What did you think of it? Have you read it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #1
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Published January 31st 2017
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback / Audiobook
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black

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The Wicked King by Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #2
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Published January 8th 2019
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 326
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

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Romanov by Nadine Brandes – ARC Review

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Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Series: N/A

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Expected publication: May 7th 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 352

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

From the author of Fawkes comes a magical take on the story of Anastasia Romanov.

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

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Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

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Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye
Series: Circle of Shadows #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published January 22nd 2019
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 454
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

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The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

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The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Series: Winternight Trilogy #3
Publisher: Del Rey (Ebury Publishing)
First published January 8th 2019
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

One girl can make a difference…

Moscow has burned nearly to the ground, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to hold accountable. Vasya finds herself on her own, amid a rabid mob that calls for her death, blaming her witchery for their misfortune.

Then a vengeful demon returns, renewed and stronger than ever, determined to spread chaos in his wake and never be chained again. Enlisting the hateful priest Konstantin as his servant, turmoil plagues the Muscovites and the magical creatures alike, and all find their fates resting on the shoulders of Vasya.

With an uncertain destiny ahead of her, Vasya learns surprising truths of her past as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all…

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King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

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King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Nikolai Duology
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Published January 29th 2019
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 514
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

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In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

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In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #4
Publisher: Tor.com
Published January 8th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 204
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

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