ARC Reviews

Deathless Divide – Justina Ireland – ARC Review - Deathless Divide finds our characters fleeing the now overrun town of Summerland in search of safety to Nicodemus, another nearby town which is supposedly free of the inequality and discrimination that plagued Summerland. But Nicodemus has problems of its own, not counting those that have followed them from Summerland, and the horde is slowly, but surely making its way there as well.…
Spellhacker – M K England – ARC Review - Magic, known as maz, was freely available in Kyrkarta before an earthquake contaminated it with a plague, killing thousands, and a corporation stepped in and commercialized it. Years later, Diz and her friends are running their last job illegally siphoning maz when they accidentally siphon something they weren't supposed to find. Now they have said corporation, the MMC, wanting to kill them so that they don't expose the secret of what turns out to be the secret, fifteenth strain of maz. But the friends have stumbled onto something far more dangerous than just a new strain of maz - they've accidentally unearthed a conspiracy that will have massive repercussions and possibly destroy the world if the MMC is not stopped.…
Dark and Deepest Red – Anna Marie McLemore – ARC Review - In this retelling of The Red Shoes, a dancing fever strikes Strasbourg in the year 1518, and amidst accusation of witchcraft, the blame turns to the most easy targets - Lavinia and her aunt who are Romani in hiding. Five hundred years later, the fever strikes again, and this time, the victim is Rosella Oliva, whose family is famous for the red shoes they make. But the shoes seem to be leading her straight to Emil, who, unknown to her, is related to Lavinia, and uncovering the truth of past events may be what decides if Rosella will survive the dancing curse.…
Infinity Son – Adam Silvera – ARC Review - Adam Silvera's first fantasy novel takes us into New York in an alternate world where there are some people who are born with powers known as celestials and specters, who kill magical creatures to get powers. Brighton has always longed to be a celestial and join the heroic Spell Walkers, while his brother Emil wants no part in it and just seeks some peace in the middle of all the conflict. The fight between the Spell Walkers and specters is escalating by the day, and the people are beginning to turn against those with powers. But when the brothers get into a brawl with a specter, it's Emil who gains a power, one never seen before, and Emil, who never wanted to be a hero, or fight, finds himself catapulted into the heart of the conflict that is quickly turning into a fight for their lives.…
The King’s Questioner – Nikki Katz – ARC Review - Kalen, who has the gift of seeing people's memory with a single touch, is the King's Questioner, and assists in questioning prisoners for the King. But when Prince Cirrus falls into a coma one day and Kalen goes into his mind to wake him, he comes across a long buried memory that hides a terrible secret - the prince has a sister, who was sent away due to her terrifying gift. A sister, who was prophesied to be either the survival or destruction of the kingdom. And with unrest against the crown rising in the city, Kalen must now set off on a quest with his once-friend, Prince Cirrus, to bring home the princess.…
A Heart So Fierce And Broken – Brigid Kemmerer – ARC Review - Rhen's curse is finally broken, but Emberfall isn't out of trouble yet. Rumours of him not being the true heir continue to circulate and the people are discontent. Meanwhile, Grey has made it out of the modern world and back home, but is living in hiding, determined to keep the knowledge of his birth a secret. But when Karis Luran threatens to invade once again and his secret is revealed, the only way to save Emberfall might be to challenge Rhen after all.…
Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance – Jennieke Cohen – ARC Review - Lady Victoria Aston leads a comfortable and idyllic life on her family's country estate, and with her older sister well married, she enjoys a considerable amount of freedom. But when her sister unexpectedly arrives home, fleeing her abusive husband, Vicky must marry quickly before the matter becomes public and the family is ruined. However, her beloved Austen novels are little help against the London season and worse, she finds herself the victim of several mysterious accidents as the days go by, making her question everyone and everything around her.…
Crown of Oblivion – Julie Eshbaugh – ARC Review - Astrid is an Outsider, a class of people in Lanoria who do not hold citizenship or have access to magic, and serve the citizens as indentured servants. As a surrogate to the Princess, Astrid bears the punishment for any of her misdemeanours. There is one way out however - the deadly race of Oblivion, which grants the winner and their family citizenships and full rights. Circumstances lead to Astrid signing up for the race, and with her memory wiped clean by the drug Oblivion, she must make her way through the deadly race, all the while trying to figure out her past, and more importantly, why she has abilities - magic - that no Outsider should have, something that, if known to others, would get her arrested before she can win.…
The First Lady and the Rebel – Susan Higginbotham – ARC Review - The First Lady and the Rebel is narrated from the perspectives of two sisters on opposing sides of the unfolding American Civil War as their family is divided by politics - First Lady Mary Lincoln and her sister Emily Helm, who was married to the confederate general Hardin Helm.…
The Athena Protocol – Shamim Sarif – ARC Review - The Athena Protocol is a vigilante organization of female spies who go on missions around the world to enact justice and save girls and women. But when Jessie takes things into her own hands on a mission and kills a man holding a group of girls hostage, she is forced to leave the organization - right before a big mission to stop a human trafficker in Belgrade. Regardless, Jessie starts her own investigation into the situation as she is sure there is a link her teammates are missing. As she digs deeper into the trafficking, she must also dodge her former teammates even as the mission grows more dangerous by the day.…
The Memory Thief – Lauren Mansy – ARC Review - Etta lives in the city of Craewick which is ruled by the ruthless Madame. In this world, Gifted individuals can transfer memories through touch. Four years ago, after an accident that left her mother in a coma, Etta made a deal with Madame to keep her safe in the asylum. But now, Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, to sell all her memories, and the only way Etta can save her is to seek the aid of the rebel group known as the Shadows - the same group Etta was once sworn to, and betrayed. To prove her loyalty this time though, she must embark on a quest to steal a map of a dangerous prison known as the Maze from the mind of the cruel ruler of a neighbouring city and free someone she has thought long dead.…
Shadow Frost – Coco Ma – ARC Review - A mysterious demon has been terrorizing the kingdom of Axaria, and after several unsuccessful attempts to subdue it, Princess Asterin is unwilling to risk anyone else. She sets out with a set of trusted companions to kill it herself. But as their hunt progresses, they begin to realize there is far more at play than meets the eye - starting with an assassination attempt on the Princess herself.…
Angel Mage – Garth Nix – ARC Review - If there was one ARC I was hoping for this year, it was this one. I've followed the Old Kingdom series over the years and I completely adore it, so when I heard about Angel Mage, it was an automatic addition to my TBR. Like all of Garth Nix's other books I've read before, Angel Mage takes its time setting up the world, all the while building the mystery. The world itself is heavily influenced by The Three Musketeers, and I love how much attention has been given to detail in this aspect.…
Cursed – Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller – ARC Review – Blog Tour - Hello readers! Today, I’m reviewing Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller as part of the blog tour organized by Fantastic Flying Book Club! Title: Cursed Author: Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling Published: October 1st, 2019…
Slay – Brittney Morris – ARC Review - Kiera Johnson is a high school student who has secretly developed an online game called Slay to create a safe space for black gamers in a community that is not all that inclusive for them, a game specifically for black people. But when a tragedy occurs over a dispute in the game, and a player is murdered, news of the game is made public, and Slay is labelled as a racist and violent game by the media, despite never having played the game themselves. What's worse, if her identity as the developer of the game is revealed, she even might face a lawsuit.…
Tiger Queen – Annie Sullivan – ARC Review - As per an ancient law, Kateri, Princess of the desert kingdom of Achra must triumph over twelve suitors in the arena to prove her right and suitability to rule. But the situation in the city is far more troublesome. The King has decreased water rations again due to the continuing drought and the people are not happy. What's more, a group of thieves known as the Desert Boys frequently raid the wells and deplete the already low reserves of water. Kateri has now defeated eleven suitors, but the twelfth she knows she cannot beat - unless she has some outside help. And so she finds herself turning to the last person she ever thought she'd ask, the leader of the Desert Boys himself.…
Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir – ARC Review - Gideon Nav is an abandoned orphan who has been raised in the Ninth House, surrounded by skeletons and various undead, always considered as an outsider and she has had enough of it. Nothing is going to stop her from escaping, except for Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter and de facto Lady of the Ninth House - and also her chief nemesis. But when a summons arrives from the Emperor, inviting the heirs of the nine houses to face a deadly set of trials for an opportunity to earn the title of Lyctor, Harrow offers her a deal - if Gideon becomes her cavalier and accompanies her through the trials, Harrow will set her free. But there is something dangerous at work in the First House, and as adepts and their cavaliers start getting murdered, Harrow and Gideon find themselves fighting for their lives even as the competition continues.…
A Treason of Thorns – Laura E. Weymouth – ARC Review - Burleigh House is one of six great houses in England, and Violet's family have been its caretakers for generations. But when her father commits treason and is punished with House arrest, which can only end with his death, Violet is forced to leave her home. When she finally returns seven years later, Burleigh lies in ruin and it's magic has become corrupt, severely damaging the countryside. Violet is in a race against time to do what she can to fix things before the king burns it down, but the House holds many secrets, and the price to free Burleigh is far higher than she knows.…
Eclipse the Skies – Maura Milan – ARC Review - With Einn's betrayal and the revelation of his plans to destroy the universe, Ia now finds herself fighting on the side of the Commonwealth. Brinn has accepted her Tawny identity, but public opinions on refugees are still the same, and with the Refugee act abolished, violence in the streets is rising by the day, placing her family at risk. Knives is now headmaster of Aphelion following Bastian's death, a position he never asked for and with war on the horizon, he finds himself caught between his duties and the weight of expectations placed on him as an office and following Ia's more unconventional tactics.…
The Lady Rogue – Jenn Bennett – ARC Review - Theodora Fox's father is a famous treasure hunter, and she has always wanted to travel the world with him, searching for these priceless artifacts, but is always left behind. But when Huck Gallagher, her father's protégé, arrives at her Istanbul hotel with the grave news that her father is missing, Theo and Huck set out on a journey across Romania, tracing his path to uncover the secret behind a magical ring that once belonged to the infamous Vlad the Impaler.…
Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin – ARC Review - Louise le Blanc is a witch who left her coven, living as a pickpocket in the city of Cesarine and hiding her magic in a city where witches are hunted and burned. Reid Diggory is a Chasseur, a witch-hunter, in service to the church and he lives by a single edict - to hunt down witches. When a robbery goes wrong, Lou and Reid cross paths, and through a series of completely unforeseen events, end up in an arranged marriage. Now living in the Chasseur's Tower, Lou is in the heart of enemy territory. But it isn't just the Chasseurs she has to hide from. The coven she fled two years ago is still searching for her, and being found out by either side means death for Lou.…
There Will Come A Darkness – Katy Rose Pool – ARC Review – 100th Blog Post! - The Order of the Last Light has kept secret the final prophecy given by the Prophets before their disappearance for a hundred years. The prophecy speaks of an age of darkness, but also of a saviour, the final Prophet who may be able to overcome the evil threatening the lands. And now at long last the Prophet has been found, and the prophecy is in motion. Hassan, Ephyra, Anton, Jude and Beru, all from completely different walks of life, are brought together unexpectedly due to the prophecy. Which of them can cause the end the world and which of them can save it?…
Crown of Coral and Pearl – Mara Rutherford – ARC Review - In the ocean village of Varenia, beauty is everything. After all, the most beautiful girl of each generation is chosen to marry the Crown Prince of Ilara, to leave the village and see the world, something forbidden to other Varenians. It has long been expected that Zadie will be the chosen girl, but in a twist of events, it is her twin sister Nor who finds herself journeying to Ilara - pretending to be Zadie. But neither Ilara nor Prince Ceren are quite what Nor expected, and she finds herself adrift in a dangerous royal court where she must watch every step she takes.…
Rage – Cora Carmack – ARC Review - Aurora's adventure and brief freedom has drawn to an end as she returns to Pavan, now determined to retake the kingdom from the Lockes who have established themselves as the rulers following her "kidnapping". Still using the alias Roar, she ends up joining a rebellion even as fiercer and more violent storms descend on Pavan.…
Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly - Stepsister begins with the ending of the original Grimm brothers' version Cinderella, immediately creating that delightful dark fairytale vibe. Ella and the prince ride off to their happy ending, but this story is about her stepsisters Isabelle and Octavia who are now stuck in a town which hates them for their mistreatment of Ella.…
The Merciful Crow – Margaret Owen – ARC Review - The Merciful Crow introduces us to the kingdom of Sabor which is split into twelve castes named after various birds. As the only caste immune to the fatal Sinner's Plague, the Crows' job is to act as a sort of mercy killers for those infected and safely dispose of the bodies. Fie, a future Crow chieftain, finds herself caught up in a conspiracy when, on their latest assignment, the bodies they are hauling away are not only alive, but the Crown Prince Jasimir of Sabor escaping the palace and his stepmother, Queen Rhusana, with his bodyguard Tavin in tow.…
Mind Games – Shana Silver – ARC Review - Arden Varga is a computer genius and a skilled hacker. At the exclusive STEM focussed high school she attends, everyone uses a technology called HiveMind, created by her father, which syncs to a persons brainwaves and allows them to upload all their memories into the cloud and access them at any time, essentially ensuring that you'll never forget anything. Arden however, has hacked this system, and has a business of stealing and selling others' memories along with her friend Zoey. Everything is great until Arden realizes that her own memory has not only been hacked but thousands of her memories are missing. Sebastian Cuomo, supposedly her project partner, has lost all of his memories, and the two of them quickly figure out that this whole thing is centred around their final project - something that was apparently life-changing, and something that the hacker doesn't want to see completed.…
Beasts of the Frozen Sun – Jill Criswell – ARC Review - Beasts of the Frozen Sun follows the story of Lira, daughter of the chieftain of clan Stone, and Reyker, a warrior from a distant, frozen land who is forced to fight for a warlord known as the Dragon.…
The Storm Crow – Kalyn Josephson – ARC Review - Elemental Crows are a key part of life in the kingdom of Rhodaire. When Illucian empire invades, they specifically target the Crows, burning down the rookeries and leaving the Queen and many others dead. As nearly all industries were dependent on the Crows' powers, the invasion, though Illucia failed to takeover, leaves Rhodaire not only vulnerable but also facing poverty, food shortages and unemployment. With the threat of a second attack by Illucia, Caliza, the new queen, is forced to agree to wed her younger sister Anthia to Ericen, the crown prince of Illucia. It is this that finally snaps Thia out of her depression and as she stumbles upon one solitary Crow egg, hidden in the rubble of a rookery, she knows that hatching the egg is the only way to reclaim what they lost and for Rhodaire to prosper once more.…
The Candle and the Flame – Nafiza Azad - Fatima is one of the only three survivors from the day the Shayateen slaughtered the people of Noor. Years later, Noor is thriving once more as an important city along the Silk Route, where humans and Ifrit djinn live side by side. But when one of the most powerful Ifrit dies, one Fatima is well acquainted with, it changes her and she enters a whole new world with a purpose far greater than anything she imagined.…
Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson – ARC Review - Elisabeth Scrivener is an apprentice at the Great Library of Summershall, and dreams of one day becoming a warden, to safeguard the kingdom from the grimoires that the Libraries house.…
The Elizabeth Tudor Conspiracy – Alexandra Walsh – ARC Review - In this what-if story of Tudor England, it has been more than four decades since the birth of the twin children of Catherine Howard - two unknown, legitimate heirs to the Tudor throne. And Queen Elizabeth I has kept this secret close ever since the Lady Anne of Cleves entrusted it to her on her deathbed. But the unforeseen has happened - Philip II of Spain has found out about this and sees in it his opportunity to oust Elizabeth from the English throne.…
There’s Something About Sweetie – Sandhya Menon – ARC Review - This review is spoiler-free! Ashish Patel, star basketball player, is not in a very good place post breakup with his girlfriend and he's lost his confidence. Annoyed by his parents' comments that they could find someone perfect for him, he challenges them to set him up with an Indian-American girl like they did for his older brother Rishi.…
Oracle’s War – David Hair and Cath Mayo – ARC Review - Odysseus has returned home to Ithaca after his adventures and fallen back into routine, albeit an uneasy one, now that his entire family is aware of his heritage. Not for long though, as chaos descends upon his sister Ctimene's wedding, Odysseus sets out once more to avenge his family honour…
Descendant of the Crane – Joan He – ARC Review - This review is spoiler-free! Poised to ascend the throne after her father's sudden death, Princess Hesina of Yan suspects that his death was in fact a murder. Desperate to find more information, she consults a soothsayer - an act considered treasonous in Yan - who tells her that there is a convict who can help her find the killer.…
King of Fools – Amanda Foody – ARC Review - With the Chancellor dead at the end of the Shadow Game, Levi and Enne are now wanted criminals. The political situation in the city takes a nosedive and a street war seems imminent…
The Catherine Howard Conspiracy – Alexandra Walsh – ARC Review - A historical thriller with some Da Vinci Code style mystery, The Catherine Howard Conspiracy is a what if novel, positing that the tale of Henry VIII's fifth queen is not quite what it seems. Alexandra Walsh's take on Catherine Howard melds historical facts with some pretty realistic sounding fiction in a thoroughly engrossing read.…
Athena’s Champion – David Hair and Cath Mayo – ARC Review - Prince Odysseus of Ithaca travels to the Oracle at Pytho to be affirmed as his father's heir. But what should have been merely a routine ritual takes a shocking turn as a closely guarded secret is revealed, resulting in Odysseus being cast out into the world alone - a world where monsters and worse are bent upon killing him merely for who he is.…