Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young (Spoiler Free)

Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

 

Rating: 5 Stars
Publication Date
: April 24th, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Wednesday Books
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books

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THOUGHTS:

I absolutely loved Sky In The Deep and even a couple weeks after reading it, I’m still thinking about it.

The story begins right in the middle of the action, a fight between the Aska and Riki warriors. Eelyn, our heroine, is a proud Aska who lives by the code Honor above Life. Immediately we get to witness this young woman’s ferocity and fearlessness. I was in love right then and there. Eelyn’s life is deeply seated in a strong belief that the Riki are her enemy, but her whole world is wrenched upside down when she see’s her dead brother fighting for the Riki.

What follows is an achingly beautiful look at the meaning of family, faith and forgiveness. The story ripped me apart and put me back together so many times, I now resembled a stitched up Aska warrior myself.

This is a brutal story. This is a hate-to-love story. (And you all know how I LOVE those!) It is at once both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. The battle scenes leaped off the page and reenacted themselves in front of me. I feel in love with every character, so much so that I wish it wasn’t a stand alone. The writing was so rich and had the right amount of detail that I felt present in every scene. I simply cannot wait to read what she writes next.

**Content warning** I feel it necessary to note that there is a detailed animal sacrifice early in the story. I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this book, clearly I loved it and it is historically accurate, however, I believe it’s more important that no reader goes into it unaware, as it could be greatly upsetting.

Thank you for reading my review of Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young, and also to Raincoast Books for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.

 

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Blog Tour and Q&A: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Rating:  ★★★★
Publication Date
: May 22nd 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books
Link to the author: http://www.claire-legrand.com/

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Review

Furyborn is an action-packed story about two girls, both struggling with the dark and light within themselves. It’s set in two timelines and describes the events leading up to and after the fall of a magic and rise of a mysterious and cruel Emporer. The chapters alternate between Rielle, in the past, and Eliana, in the future.

‘Elements’ of Furyborn I loved:
-Both main characters, Rielle and Eliana are trying to decide if they stand in the dark or the light. Rielle feels certain she can use her magic for good but can she control it? And can she resist the dark temptations of the voice in her mind? Eliana feels her actions means she is unredeemable, a monster, but the people around her believe she can be kind and honorable. I favored Eliana but enjoyed both of these strong, indepedant women
-I often find dual timelines to be confusing but that wasn’t the case with Furyborn. The two stories remain separate and easy to follow
-It was non-stop action from the first page! The prologue sunk its claws into me and I was heavily invested in the story from there on.
-Intrigue. Secrets and mysteries are slowly revealed and more questions arise that keep you turning the pages.
-The magic history and how each element has a temple, a magical beast, and a casting item.
-I really enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters like Remy, Simon, Zahra, and Ludavine. I’m especially interested in their roles in the sequels.
-Eliana’s story doesn’t involve romance the end, and I’m not even sure it will be a thing, I just have a feeling. If he is a love interest for her then I totally ship it, I’m a sucker for hate-to-love.
-I find that when characters are using magic or fighting the author’s ability to describe the scenes clearly for the reader can really make or break a book for me. Legrand did a really good job creating atmosphere, describing the settings, and fight scenes. I pictured the sprawling city of Orline and the towering castle of Celdaria with ease, and the action scenes were vivid and gripping.

Things I didn’t enjoy:
-The perspectives changed too often and because they didn’t affect one another I think each characters chapter could have been longer.
-Rielle’s trials felt tedious, it was clear she would pass each one and I didn’t learn much about the use of magic, or Rielle, in the process.
-I wasn’t invested in Rielle’s romance at all
-Not enough was explained or explained well. Leaving some things a mystery creates interest, but not enough detail just leaves the reader confused.
-The ending was underwhelming. After a book full of cliffhangers it ended with very little suspense.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Furyborn by Claire Legrand and I’m eager to read the sequel, I have some predictions and I need to see how things turn out. My star rating is 4 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy fantasy but perhaps not those new to the genre.


Q&A with Claire Legrand

Jessica: You’ve written a lot of beautiful stories for children and young adults. What were some of your favorite books to read growing up?

Claire Legrand: Thank you! That’s so kind of you to say. Some of my favorite books growing up were A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and two books by Michael Bedard—A Darker Magic and The Painted Devil. I also adored any books that involved horses, like the Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell, Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books, and Can I Get There By Candlelight? by Jean Slaughter Doty.

Jessica: I loved books about horses as well, but I haven’t heard of some of the others – I’ll have to look them up at my library.


Thank you for reading my review of Furyborn by Claire Legrand, and also to Raincoast Books for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.

 

TTT: My Spring TBR

My Spring TBR and Looking Back

I missed last weeks topic so I’m sort of cheating this week.

I cannot believe it’s time for my Spring TBR, I’m not ready!  I have accomplished a lot this year, and I’m really proud of that but I made a Winter TBR and I was not very successful. Oops.


So here’s hoping my Spring TBR is more successful!

What are some of the books on your Spring TBR?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. For more details, and to participate, click the link above.

 

#ATSOReadathon 2.0 – My TBR

 

The Read-a-thon is fast approaching and hopefully, that means you guys are getting as excited as I am! Nothing gets me more pumped for a read-a-thon than putting together my TBR so here’s what I plan on reading:

Reading Challenges:

1. Read a book by a new-to-you author
For this challenge, I chose A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

2. Read a graphic novel
For this challenge, I chose Giant Days Vol. 4 by John Allison – I love this series!

3. Read a book with a one-word title
For this challenge, I chose Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – I have heard nothing but good things which is impressive for 96 pages!

4. Read a book you’ve read before
For this, I’m choosing Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone because I want to re-read the series this year.

5. Read a book that has been made into a movie 
For this challenge, I chose Wonder by R. J. Palacio – I need to watch it before I watch the movie.

6. Read a non-fiction book
I have been meaning to read this for over a year! For this challenge, I chose The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.

7. Read 7 books!
Well, I hope to read more than that actually. I would like to also read Fifteen Dogs by Andre AlexisFirst & Then by Emma Mills, The Ice Dragon by G R. R. Martin, and The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. That brings me to a total of 10 books, but who’s counting?

I just want to have fun and read some short books, my last two were 600 and 700 pages! I’m also excited to see all your TBRs and photos for the photo challenge! (For more info on that, go to @novelcravings on Instagram and for more info on the read-a-thon, find the announcement post here.

 

 

TTT: Books That Surprised Me

Books That Surprised Me – The Good & Bad

Let’s start with the good. These five books surprised me because I had low expectations going into them. Not because I had heard anything bad about them, just the opposite, I knew very little about them or the author and in some way or another, the book was outside my comfort zone.

  1. To Kill A Kingdom – Raincoast Books sent this to me as part of their Winter/Spring preview package in the fall of 2017, and I had never heard of it. I also dislike mermaid books and Little Mermaid retellings. I can’t say that anymore because this was AMAZING. 4.5 Stars.
  2. The Woefield Poultry Collective – You are probably making the same face right now that I did when my English teacher handed this to me. I’m not saying it’s the best book of all time but I had VERY low expectations. It was surprisingly good, had some great character development and made me laugh till my cheeks hurt.
  3. When My Heart Joins The Thousand – No one is talking about this book! So, when I was offered a review copy I was hesitant, I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but I do like diverse reads. I’m so glad I said yes anyway, and if you want to know why you can read my full review here. 5 Stars.
  4. Furiously Happy – I hadn’t heard a lot about the book or the author and if I’m honest the cover sort of freaked me out? I needed an audiobook to listen to so I thought what the heck, let’s try this. I have never related to a book or laughed so much during a book in my life. If you struggle with mental health issues I HIGHLY recommend you pick this up. 5 Stars
  5. The Abyss Surrounds Us – This is a short book by an author I had never heard of, but it’s sci-fi and pitched for people who enjoyed Pokemon so I was in. The action-packed thrill ride is amazing and I LOVED the main character so much that I had to do an interview with the author Emily Skrutskie.

Now for the bad – I’m not going to go into detail as to why I disliked these, I prefer to hype a book than tear it down. I was surprised by these because I had a gut feeling I would really enjoy them. They’re sequels to books I really enjoyed, books by authors I had read before, and books that sounded like they had all the ingredients to win my heart. Sadly the reality was disappointing

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Thank you for reading!
What are some of the most surprising books you’ve read lately?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. For more details, and to participate, click the link above.