Tag Archives: YA fantasy

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Book Review: Child of Etherclaw, by Matty Roberts

I accepted a review copy of Child of Etherclaw, by Matty Roberts during it’s book tour with iRead Book Tours. It’s also been featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. You can hop on over here for an excerpt and/or here for an author interview.

The bonds of family go well beyond blood.

But can those bonds hold when the blood itself carries a devastating secret?

Fenlee’s opal necklace had always radiated a certain warmth since her mother’s death. But now, at sixteen, her world begins to unravel as the stone sparks to life, revealing itself to be an otherworldly artifact of untold power.

Between her mechatronics studies at the academy and scavenging expeditions beneath the sprawling city of New Cascadia, Fenlee and her
adopted brother, Elliot, try to decipher the mysteries of her necklace and its link to events in Fenlee’s past.

But they’re not alone in their search.

Strange undercity dwellers offer cryptic warnings, drones track their movements, and deadly corporate agents lurk in the shadows. When tragedy rips Fenlee’s family apart, she must learn to use the artifact’s power to save those who are deeply precious to her. But nothing can prepare her for the dark truths that she will uncover on that journey…

“Lee,” Elliot mumbled. “I’m not who you think I am.”

my review

child of etherclaw photoWhat I appreciated most about this book was the myriad of representations. The main character is an amputee (without and drama, it’s just her reality), there’s adoptive family, found family, gender parity in number of powerful characters, sexual and racial diversity, etc. But the writing is also very good, the cover is eye-catching, and I liked the characters a lot. I really felt the siblings’ love for one another.

I did think that the parental figure (and any apparent affection held toward them) was little more than contrivance, the side characters weren’t fleshed out well, the villain was a little cliched, there was some predictability, and just a few too many plot-convenient occurrences. But all in all, I’d be up for continuing the series.


Other Reviews:

Bluntly Bookish Book Review: Child of Etherclaw

 

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Book Review: Speechless in Achten Tan, by Debbie Iancu-Haddad

I accepted a review copy of Speechless in Achten Tan, by Debbie Iancu-Haddad, through R&R Book tours. The book was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for an excerpt, an interview with the author, and the schedule for the rest of the tour.

speechless with ants

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Eighteen-year-old Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends Mila to Achten Tan – City of Dust – a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.

To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from the sky-high lair of the Bone Master, Chief Opu Haku.

Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider and the chief’s playboy son.

But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.

If Mila fails she will never speak again and her bones may be added to the wasteland.

 


Review:

I have mixed feelings on this book. On the one hand the writing is really quite good. The characters are likeable. The world is interesting. There’s some fun diversity in the characters. It concludes (no cliffie), and I see lots of room for expansion in future books. Plus, we have gnomes as main character, without it being all cutsie-cutsie! So, on that one hand I really enjoyed it.

On the other hand, however, there seems to be a disconnect between the tone of the book and the actual events of the plot. The book feels like an older teen high school drama, of the ‘who’s going to win the big team rivalry,’ or ‘take down the school bully’ sort. (I mean, I literally started to visualize Geb in a letterman jacket every-time he slung his arm over Mila’s shoulder or waist.) But the things happening in the story are literally life and death. This left the tension…not lacking, exactly, but discordant. Plus, every near-death felt jarringly our of place.

I liked the book enough to read the sample of book two at the end (something I don’t usually bother with) and am interested in continuing the series. I liked Kaii a lot, as a character, and am interested to see what happens to him.

Speechless in Achten Tan photo


Other Reviews:

#BOOKTOUR | Speechless in Achten Tan – Debbie Iancu-Haddad @debbieiancu @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #YAFantasy #Books #Teens #OwnVoices

Riss Reviews: Speechless in Achten Tan book review

 

 

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Book Review: Flirting With Fate, by J.C. Cervantes

I accepted a copy of J.C. CervantesFlirting With Fate for review, as part of it’s blog tour with Literary Bound Tours.

flirting with fate cover

Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she missed her grandmother’s mystical blessing— one that has been passed between the women of her family upon death for generations. Then Nana’s ghost appears with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed its target, landing with the boy from the night of the storm instead. Was it fate? Ava refuses to believe so.

With the help of her sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, she’s determined to reclaim her share of the family magic and set Nana free. For guarded Ava, befriending some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine protecting her heart— keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava embarks on her mission to retrieve the lost blessing, she starts to wonder if getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.

my review

This was a super sweet, low drama, young adult fantasy romance (probably closer to magical realism, honestly). True, the whole grandma can’t remember the details, but we have to do X, Y, and Z to succeed felt contrived. But not so much it ruined the story. I loved how solid the sisters’ faith in one another was. I appreciate that the different families had different, though equally valid responses to the trauma of lost family. (Though I 100% didn’t believe Achilles sudden 180° personality shift, even if it was explained.) I liked the way the older generation described fate, and that the book started out from fate’s perspective. The writing was clean and easy to read and the whole thing wrapped up satisfactorily. YA isn’t my go-to genre, but I still very much enjoyed this.

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Other Reviews:

REVIEW: Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes