Rating: 4.5 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley
Being perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sixteen-year-old Declan is the perfect son . . . except for one tiny issue. When his sister Delia comes home to find him trying on her clothes, he fears her judgment, but she only fears his fashion choices. One quick makeover later, Declan is transformed into Delia’s mysterious cousin Layla and dragged to the party of the year, hosted by Carter, the most popular boy in school.
When Carter meets Layla, he fumbles to charm her. He adores her sense of humor and her poise. But when she vanishes in the middle of the night, he’s left confused and determined to solve the mystery of who she is.
As their school year begins, their high school embraces a policy of intolerance, and both Declan and Carter know they must stand up. Carter is tired of being a coward and wants to prove he can be a knight in shining armor. Declan is sick of being bullied and wants desperately to be himself. If they team up, it could be a fairy-tale ending, or a very unhappy ever after.
I know? After reading that blurb how could I not read this?!?
Quick note: I'm still learning when it comes to all of the different types of sexuality, gender-fluidity being something I don't know a great deal about at the moment, and so I can't honestly say whether or not the author appropriately handles this, all I can offer is my own opinion. So, apologies in advance if I make any mistakes and please feel free to correct me.
I can honestly say that I haven't been able to get this book off my mind since I finished reading it.
This is one of the most poignant LGBT books I've had the pleasure of reading. If you're looking for a book that's ready to take the world by storm and show everyone just how diverse we are, and how that's perfectly okay, this is the book for you!
I absolutely love Dex and Carter, Dex more so for his wit, his passion and his heart. He really is the purest of souls.
Beyond the passionate protest for human rights that forms a solid backbone intertwined with a burning romance, this book is a cover to cover nerd fest, full of the most delightful witty conversation between the two main characters. My nerdy brain was so happy with the glorious geekiness of this book.
My favourite aspect of this book was watching Dex transform, not into Layla as such, but into himself, watching his evolution from the nervous, shy, closeted Declan we meet at the beginning to the beautiful, confident, radiant Dex who evolves through the events of this book.
His sass, confidence and unforgiving mouth as he blooms are brilliant and the chemistry between these two is perfect.
Carter also goes through a pretty big personality transformation and it was wonderfully delivered.
This book does a fantastic job of making you think, making you reassess the world around you, in very much the same way that Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli has made huge progress recently.
I found myself thinking back to high school and how not a single person was openly gay or otherwise. We were all closeted, all afraid to make a wrong move. Constantly forced to be fake or fall victim to another. Cinderella Boy made me wonder how different life could have been if we'd had the courage to stand up for ourselves and for something that truly mattered.
I loved every aspect of this book. The ending resolved things beautifully, it was perfectly sweet and poignant.
I also have to mention the other fantastic characters we meet from Delia, Dex's sister, to Chloe, and Carter's mum. Even the antagonist's, whilst unpleasant are perfectly portrayed.
If you're a fan of Becky Albertalli, Mackenzie Lee and Adam Silvera, Cinderella Boy should definitely be on your TBR!
If you love lingering glances, passionate embraces and a friendship that will change everything, read this book!
4.5 tiara's from me!
P.S. I also desperately want my own treehouse castle...
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Standalone/Series: Spellslinger #3
How I got this book: ARC from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley
'I was getting almost as good at running away from enemies as I was at making them in the first place. Turns out, I wasn't running nearly fast enough.'
Kellen has begun to master his spellslinging and the Argosi tricks for staying alive, and he and Reichis have found a career that suits them both: taking down mercenary mages who make people's lives miserable. But Ferius is concerned that Kellen is courting disaster . . .
Whilst I enjoyed the first two books in this series, Charmcaster was brilliant and, in my opinion, the best book in the series so far. I absolutely loved it. It completely tackled the slight issue that I had with the previous two books in that the pacing at the beginning of those felt a little slow. I did not have the same problem here, the pacing was fantastic throughout.
Charmcaster launches with a fantastic action scene that fully immersed me in the story from the moment I started reading. I loved the visuals at the start of this book. The whole 'storm' scene really blew me away (no pun intended).
My number 1 bad-boy Reichis is back in all his furry glory in this book. I love him so much!!
Reichis broke my heart in this book - I almost cried twice and one of those reasons was because of this feisty little devil and then I laughed out loud during a scene where he's practically high.
"You have pretty eyes.' he said, staring up at her.
'What did he say?' she asked me. When I translated, she gave him a smile. 'Well now, aren't you the sweetest little-'
'I'd really like to eat them.' The squirrel cat's head swivelled towards me. 'Can I eat her eyes, Kellen? I'll give them back later, I promise."
I adore Kellen and Reichis's relationship. It's so beautiful and gets stronger in each book. It may be weird that the relationship I love the most is between a boy and a squirrel cat, but I don't care! They're perfect together, and I need a stern word with the author as to why Reichis suffers so much in every single instalment!
"You stink,' the squirrel cat said. 'You too,' I replied. That, in a nutshell, is our relationship."
Kellen is also at his best in this book. We finally see how much he's learned from Ferius, Reichis and everything else he's had to face and overcome. He really steps up his game in this book and shows us just how much potential he has.
I also love that we find out more about Ferius's past in this book. I desperately wanted this at the end of the last book and it was perfect how it came together during this leg of the journey.
We see the return of a few characters from book 1, one in particular that I wasn't too pleased about, but we'll see where that goes.
There's so much more emotion in this book than there is in the previous two instalments. The bond between Kellen and Ferius, and Kellen and Reichis is much more prominent in this book and it's beautiful to see, especially after travelling with the trio over these three books.
Also, does anyone else ship Ferius and Kellen or is that just me? I have no idea what the age difference is but I love them together.
"I stopped for a second, holding on to that laugh. It contained everything I loved about Ferius Parfax, and everything about her that made me crazy."
How can you not ship this??
I also felt like this book had much more humour, which really helped lift the pace compared to the others.
There's so much more in Charmcaster than we see in the other books, a lot more is explained, there are better characters, and some of the mysteries that have been building are finally revealed. There are some really great scenes in this book, both action scenes and more heart-felt scenes that really make Charmcaster stand out for me as the best book of the series so far.
Kellen picks up a few new tricks in this book and after the ending that just messed me up, I'm really wondering where this story is going to take us next. Roll on book 4!!
You can read my review for book number 2 in the series, Shadowblack here.
Note: I read this book as part of the Dewey's Readathon - April 2018!
I'm taking part in my first ever 24-hour readathon!
I've stocked up on snacks, I have a stack of books to choose from and a night all to myself!
I won't have time to read for the full 24 hours (I do have a daughter who requires at least some attention, and a partner who requires a good deal more, as well as that pesky commitment also known as my full time job), but it's the taking part that counts as the readathon community tries to read 1 million pages together in just 24 hours!!
The good news is that there's still time to sign up, get involved by reading a book or two, or less or more is fine too, take part in the mini-challenges and best of all, connect with your fellow readers!
You can sign up to the readathon here and use #readathon on Twitter to get involved!
Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @myendlessshelf if you're taking part and what you're reading!
Happy reading :)
Rating: 5 STARS!
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
How I got this book: Bought
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person's undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work - except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they've become entrenched in an addictive game of one-upmanship. There's the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can't let Joshua beat her at anything - especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And just maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or is this just another game . . . ?
I added this book to my TBR last September and then promptly forgot all about it until I saw someone raving about it on Goodreads. Their review was so good (sadly I can't remember whose it was) that I just had to read it, and I'm so glad I did.
This book is amazing. It's an enemies to lovers style trope with a guaranteed HEA and it's laugh out loud funny throughout.
"They’re brothers in arms. Comrades who’ve seen some seriously painty shit go down in this barren wasteland."
I literally read this book in 6 hours straight. I started it and could not put it down, I honestly don't even think I went to the bathroom.
It was cute, sweet, downright hilarious and super steamy! Brace yourselves for a few cold showers with this read, and some ridiculously high expectations in men once you're finished.
I also love the characters. Lucy is a book-nerd; she's sweet, she has a hilarious inner monologue and is so relatable it hurts.
"Josh watches ER and yawns, not at all suspecting I’m trying to estimate how big his rib cage is like a meat-eating predator."
Josh is the ultimate book boyfriend. He's sexy, sweet and drives Lucy crazy in all the best ways.
There were amazing laugh out loud moments in this book and I loved Lucy's rants and revelations.
“I want to know what’s going on in your brain. I want to juice your head like a lemon.”
The story is heartwarming, the development is perfect (a fantastic pace) and the love story comes together beautifully. This is the author's debut novel and it's so good, I just can't get it out of my head.
Fans of Tara Sivec's romantic comedies will absolutely love The Hating Game!
5 big, soppy, strawberry flavour stars from me.
Since I'm still relatively new to the whole book blogging thing, I've never taken part in a blog meme before. I stumbled across this one on TayTalksBooks and it sounded like fun, so here goes.
The Friday 56 is a blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. There are only 4 rules:
See, I told you it sounded like fun and since I'm currently completely OBSESSED with The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross that's the book I decided to choose from my bookshelf. I mean, can you blame me? It's gorgeous - look at the foiling on this thing!
Anyway, so here's the quote I chose from page 56 of The Beast's Heart.
I had never made much time for music in my previous life; however, like so many other things, I welcomed it wholeheartedly when it reappeared in my world after such a long absence.
What I love about this quote is that in just one simple sentence you get glimpse of just how much of the Beast's story we actually get in this book. Beauty and the Beast was my first fairytale. It's the story I fell in love with first as a child and I always thought the Beast's story of redemption, his learning to change, was so beautiful and this book magnifies that beauty like no other re-telling I've read before.
I fell so hard for the Beast reading this book and I still haven't recovered. Add this to your TBR guys - it's releasing on May 3rd!
If you'd like to read my full review for The Beast's Heart you can do so here and remember to come back soon for an amazing giveaway ;)
Rating: 3 STARS
How I got this book: April 'Book Box Club' Subscription
Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.
Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.
When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.
Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.
There were one or two things in this book that didn't sit well with me, so I'm going to talk about the things that I did like first.
This book was a 'surprise' book as it was part of the April 'Fallen Angels' book box subscription from Book Box Club. You can check out my unboxing to find out what angel related goodies were inside this months' box.
I was really intrigued by this fantasy-esque story that takes place in Edinburgh. I liked the setting, I think the backdrop of the Fringe festival was really well explored and works well alongside the fantasy elements of this story, and I enjoyed the Scottish narrative.
This book is very diverse, and I love that it was both culturally and sexually inclusive. It features a lesbian character, a bi character (yay!), characters of colour, and disability.
I think the author does an excellent job of tackling quite a lot of difficult subjects in such a short novel (279 pages) including; loss, grief, abuse, disability, mental illness, and faith, and yet it still remains a very teenage YA novel full of teenage antics, plenty of junk food, new friendships, and self-discovery.
Jaya is a great protagonist. She's strong-willed, gay and not ashamed to be who she is. She's struggling to come to terms with her mother's death and blames herself. At the same time, she's juggling with a father who's channelled his grief into an obsession, almost leaving his children to care for themselves, a younger sister she can't face after the loss of their mother and the mysterious disappearance of her secretive ex-girlfriend. All the while, mysterious 'Beings' that look like angels are falling from the sky.
Jaya's character comes on in leaps and bounds during this book as she deals with difficult situations and her own grief and pain exceptionally well. I truly wanted her to find peace.
The friends she makes along the way are colourful, complex and beautiful, making the underlying story really beautiful.
I really enjoyed the description of the 'Beings' - they were beautiful to imagine.
The main issue that I had with this book was the ending. It felt rushed and in a way, incomplete. I just don't feel as though this was properly resolved. In my opinion, a lot of things were also left unexplained and, to me at least, it seemed to take away from the book by leaving so many unanswered questions that it almost felt like the book just ended accidentally with a missing chapter/epilogue which would have been helpful. The last line is the most confusing.
There was so much crammed into this story that I felt a little more resolution at the end would have been nice to avoid the unsatisfied feeling I had when I put this book down.
There were a couple of other things I struggled with but I don't want to give anything away as I'd still recommend this book to fellow lovers of YA/Fantasy looking for more LGBT representation.
But, that's just my opinion. Read the book and let me know what you think!
Tunnocks teacake anyone?
Rating: 3.5 STARS
Standalone/Series: Spellslinger #2
How I got this book: Bought
It's a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind.
Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn't blind, and who carries a secret that's all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help - but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold - and Kellen can't help but suspect his own people may even be behind it.
I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days and I've really struggled to get the words to flow with this review, so apologies in advance if it stinks!
I read Spellslinger at the end of last year. I'd initially started it in October, got about 40% of the way in and then stopped because I just wasn't connecting fully with the story. But, I knew there was potential there and maybe it was just my mood at the time because I came back to it in December, finished it and really enjoyed it.
The characters are fantastic, and not the typical characters you'd expect. The main character Kellen is, well, I'm not really sure what he is. He isn't your typical hero, but he's also not an anti-hero. He's pretty helpless, clueless and s*** out of luck to the point that even his own sister lands him in a heap of trouble that will change his entire life...for better or worse, it's not all that clear yet.
Shadowblack starts shortly after Spellslinger ended and begins in the borderlands, our unwitting hero, Kellen is now an outlaw with the magical disease Shadowblack. Hunted by his own people, he's had to leave everything behind and now travels in the company of Ferius, a mystery Argosi traveller with a sharp tongue and even sharper card-fighting skills, and Reichis, a talking Squirrel cat with a thirst for eyeballs and thievery.
The story begins with Kellen finding himself on the wrong end of a beating (yet again), which is consistent with the previous book. The other thing consistent with the previous book is that I found the first 40% a little slow going. I kept pushing because, like with the last book, I was hoping things would pick up, and they did. Just after that 40/50% mark the pace definitely took a turn for the better and I found myself flying through the pages.
This instalment introduces new characters, new mystery and a deeper plot to the original story.
Ferius, as always, is there to guide Kellen, without getting too involved (as is the Argosi way) but this time there's discord in their relationship, and it's enhanced by the arrival of some new faces:
- Rosie (a.k.a The Path of Thorns and Roses) - an Argosi from Ferius's past - the relationship with these two was fun to watch but left a fair amount of mystery that I hope will be revealed in the future.
- Seneira - a blindfolded girl who isn't blind. Seneira has a secret, a potentially deadly one, and her snarky, no-nonsense attitude made a great addition to this book.
- Dexan - a mysterious Jan'Tep outlaw who gives Kellen a new path to follow.
- Mama Whispers - other than my absolute favourite character (I'll get to him in a minute), I absolutely loved the creepy Mama Whispers. I want more of her!!
Now to my favourite!! Reichis is without a doubt the best character of this entire series. I don't think I've ever related to a character as much as I did in the bath and biscuit scene (look out for it). Reichis is all of us after a long, hard day.
''Right now I just want to murder another one of those biscuits. Gimme.' I really don't understand squirrel cats.'
Kellen might not understand you Reichis, but I do! Biscuits are life!
And his constant need to murder someone after being around them for more than 5 minutes is entirely relatable!
'I crave human flesh tonight, and I will drain the blood of every skinbag I catch!'
The second book in this six book series shows Kellen coming into his own a lot more. He's starting to grow, using his head to figure things out and learning more about who he is, who he could be, and who he wants to be.
The overall plot that started in the first book really thickens in Shadowblack and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out over the rest of the series.
One of the things I enjoyed a lot about Shadowblack was that we get out of Jan'Tep, away from Kellen's home and can finally explore a little more of the world. I particularly love the idea behind the Seven Sands and that each region has a different colour of sand.
This book is packed to the brim with bounty hunters, magic, danger, mystery, secret plots, Argosi wisdom and trickery, squirrel cat bravery, a few kisses, spirits, butter biscuits, a bath or two, a lesson in smiling, a pink squirrel cat, and a crocodile.
Enjoy skinbags ;)
This month I decided to give monthly book boxes a try. I've never tried one of these before but it always looked like a really cool idea. Books and book inspired knick-knacks...what's not to like?
I figured, like with how hard it is to find book-related goodies on Etsy for those of us who live in the UK and don't want to (or can't) pay ridiculous international shipping fees, that there wouldn't be anything like this in the UK, so I was happily surprised to find two that looked really great.
I decided to order from both Book Box Club and Fairyloot to see what they were like, and what you can expect from a box. Book Box Club is marginally cheaper at £27 per month, Fairyloot a little more at £32.95 (both include shipping to mainland UK).
Fairyloot offers a single purchase, monthly, 3-month and 6-month subscription plan. Book Box Club offers two different boxes 'regular' and 'books only' (for anyone who doesn't want the goodies). The prices for the regular boxes are monthly, 3-month and 6-month subscriptions, but I suppose if you wanted a single purchase you could cancel after paying for the first month.
Both are YA and Fantasy themed boxes which is absolutely perfect for me.
So, the first box to arrive is the April 'Fallen Angels' Theme box from Book Box Club, the Fairyloot box is delayed slightly due to a supplier issue so I'll be reviewing that later in the month.
This is the info Book Box Club provided about this box when ordering:
From our Fallen Angles boxes you can expect...
😇A fantastic UKYA read set in the contemporary real world where celestial beings start falling from the heavens! It sparks wild theories, extreme cults and real teen crises and features one of the sweetest LGBT romances we’ve read.
😇Our April boxes will be jam packed with items inspired by literary angels from some of our fave fandoms. We are working on some awesome goodies so stand by for supplier reveals coming your way very soon.😀
😇All members will receive the all important invitation to our members-only online book group meeting with the author of our featured read and there is SO MUCH to discuss in this book! You guys won’t want to miss it!
Who's ready to dive in?
First impressions: The box arrived 2 days after it was shipped and looks really neat and tidy. No damage to the box (kudos to Royal Mail) and upon opening I'm really excited to get past all that blue tissue paper!!
The first thing you get is an index card (I advise you not to turn this over until the end) that gives you a run-down of the box contents. I'm guessing this is to help you if anything is missing but also includes handy information to help you find the seller/creator of each item.
What's in the box:
Overall, this is a nice little book box with cute, quirky items from three different popular fandoms and a nice-looking YA paperback, all centred around the 'Fallen Angels' theme. I'm not yet sure if I'll be ordering next month's box as I'm going to wait for the Fairy Loot box and probably stick with whichever is my favourite of the two since I'm sadly not made of money.
Rating: 5 STARS!
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Standalone/Series: Naughty Princess Club #2
How I got this book: ARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley
A tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he's a grump with a secret and an extra room...can love find a way?
Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.
Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places - the local library.
But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.
Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?
I only meant to make a start on this book last night because it was quite late when I got started, but I'd clearly forgotten the unputdownable power of Tara Sivec because once I'd started I could not stop.
So, bear with me because I have a massive book hangover after the few hours I spent devouring this story last night into the early hours of this morning.
This book is the second story in the Naughty Princess Club series, and whilst I would highly recommend the first book in the series, At The Stroke of Midnight, this book can be read as a standalone.
So, I'm listening to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack whilst writing this review, because this is my favourite fairytale of all time and I cannot ever get enough!
But be warned, this isn't your typical Beauty and the Beast re-telling. Be prepared for a 21st century, smart-mouthed, sassy firecracker who isn't afraid to fight for what she wants, even if that means strutting her sexy stuff and showing that stripper pole, and the Beast, who's boss.
Beast emulates his nickname perfectly. He's big, brutish, and a man of few words, or at least that's what Belle thinks before she finds herself kicked out of her dad's basement, crashing at the library where she works only to be 'rescued' by none other than the Beast himself. Maybe he isn't such a brute after all?
I love the butterfly inducing chemistry between these two - *swoon*!
"Sweet mother of pearl, he's got the V."
In true Tara Sivec style, this book is an absolute riot. Filled with plenty of laugh out loud moments (warning: reading one of Tara's rom-coms is almost impossible in the middle of the night when other people are trying to sleep - I may have laughed a little too loudly a few times).
Belle has quite the transformation in this book, which becomes more evident if you also read At the Stroke of Midnight in which she starts off very shy, nervous and demure. As time goes on, and as the Beast continues to push her buttons, Belle discovers her feisty 'anti-pushover' side and really comes into her own.
There are a couple of hilarious scenes (and new characters) that help to make this book truly hysterical. I won't give too much away, but look out for the scene where Belle gets a flirting lesson. Her fact-spouting quirk really ramps up when she's nervous and provides plenty of comedy.
In addition to this, we meet the wonderful Mrs. Potter who works with Belle at the library. This little old lady is seriously funny and has absolutely no filter. Look out for her in a particularly amazing "surprise" lap-dance scene.
"YOLO, bitches! If I had a wad of singles I'd be making it rain!"
Belle's two friends Ariel and Cindy are the cause of much trouble and fun for Belle and wherever they appear in the book, hilarity ensues.
This is the second book in the Naughty Princess Club series by Tara Sivec and I cannot wait for Ariel's story later this year!
If you're looking for a hilarious, modern, tongue-in-cheek, fairytale with an unconventional happy ever after, this series is 100% for you!
5 glittering gold stars!
Rating: 4.5 STARS!
Standalone/Series: The Smoke Thieves #1
How I got this book: ARC from Penguin Random House UK Children’s via NetGalley
A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.
As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?
I absolutely LOVED this book.
You might have seen my earlier post when I first received the ARC from NetGalley along with a letter from the author, Sally Green, about her promise to provide an intelligent heroine.
Suffice it to say, I was excited to get started.
The book starts with 1 of our 5 main characters, Tash and her companion Gravell, setting a trap for a demon. I loved this opening chapter, it really gives a lot of insight quite quickly into who Tash is and what she does, as well as doing a great job of building the world that we're entering into.
Each of the characters' opening scenes works really well and what I love most about this book is how each characters' journey progresses until they all intertwine.
I did draw some comparisons with Six of Crows in terms of the 5 main characters, I'll list these lower down for those who'd rather not know. It also has a certain element of danger, mystery and magic to it that was also reminiscent of our beloved Grishaverse.
This book is very immersive, I didn't want to put it down once I'd started reading. Each character faces unique challenges and struggles on their respective journeys and I couldn't get enough. I love that the characters are diverse, I think the villain(s) are really strong, hate-able characters which drive the story really well and there's plenty of intrigue with a potential love triangle and 'forbidden' love brewing that I'm really looking forward to seeing more of.
My only complaint, and it's a very minor one, is that the book ends on a slightly sketchy cliffhanger. It didn't really feel like a neat place to wrap up this book and now I'm brewing with questions over what happens next but also feeling like there should have been a little more clarification on what the hell just happened?!?
Side note: This is probably just because all of the great books I've read lately end in cliffhangers and I hate waiting!!
I loved this book. The author fulfilled her promise of a strong, intelligent heroine and also delivered more in the way of the other characters who I really can't get enough of, alongside the fantastic, magical plot.
I do also have to mention Gravell, who I loved, and who almost made me cry.
Highly recommended for fans of Six of Crows, Children of Blood and Bone, Harry Potter etc
4.5 stars for this brilliant YA fantasy.
Six of Crows Character Comparisons:
In no way are the characters replicas, they're each interesting and unique, I just personally had a 'feel' about them that made me think of the Six of Crows gang. Although, no Kaz.
If you have/do read The Smoke Thieves, let me know what you think!
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