ARC Review: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Goodreads/Amazon/B&N

3.5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled:Teen 

This book. There are so many amazing things happening in this book.

The diversity, acceptance, portrayals of various sexualities and lifestyles. If only our world was that inclusive.

World-building is off the charts. Space. Domes. Gargoyles. Hubs for different specialties. Focus on science. Folklore. The exploration of “Earth culture.” Military training, cool technology, the Moon as Mother. So much is there and it feels natural. A lot of the time with intense world-building in sci-fi/fantasy, it’s forced and overwhelming. You’re slammed with details and history to the point where it becomes a tedious, info dump. This is not like that. It fits. It flows. It works insanely well.

27 Hours is told from multiple POVs. Typically when this happens, there’s at least one character you loathe and try to skim through. Game of Thrones is plagued with this half-formed and irritating characterization but Tristina Wright has created bold, flawed, introspective and interesting characters that are easy to invest in.

What’s more, there are none of those fleeting, non-characters that are designed to fill space. Everyone has a personality, purpose, and place within the story. Some of the secondary characters were so intriguing that I longed for more of them. Initially, it was a little hard to keep track of everything because there are so many characters and plot lines, it takes a bit but it’s worth it.

I loved these characters. Like full on emoji with heart eyes, adored them. Which is why it kills me to say this, but despite everything this story has going for it, it took a turn for the mundane. It almost felt like a cop out. Things were headed in an action-packed and truly unforgettable direction, the characters omg. And then it became a romance. Now, I like when there are relationships, everyone deserves and should celebrate love, but it became like every other page was angst and tension and exploration. There’s a whole section where characters are just hooking up left and right. I understand, there’s war, people and chimera are dying, emotions are off the charts and there’s an overwhelming compulsion to express all the things. But the plot faded away. It got buried and tangled in this how fast can we tear off each other’s clothes that went so quickly from attraction to like to lust. It got to the point where I wanted to skim and that’s not okay because I was living this story. I was in it. 100% and then it felt rushed and confused and like the sole purpose of the book was to bring these hormonal teens together. I don’t know, I guess I’m just disappointed.

The ending. Cliffhanger from deep space. After everything the characters have went through, the revelations, all they’ve lost, this is another plot twist that definitely left me wanting more.

I’m also puzzled by this cover.

Let me know what you think!

As always, happy reading and happy new year!!! May it be full of great reads.

Jordan

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott

HEAR THE WOLVES Cover

Goodreads

synIt’s survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott! 

Sloan is a hunter.

So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.

When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.

But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .

giveaway

Enter for your chance to win ONE of TEN copies of Hear the Wolves. US ONLY. Ends Monday, August 8 at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fierce reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: The Fifth Vertex-Kevin Hoffman

22863272Goodreads/Amazon/B&N PB

***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and AuthorBuzz.

cooltext1712921505 copyUrus Noellor–a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand–stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from an equally ancient enemy.

Urus and his companions–Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan–must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger may be more dire than any of them could have imagined. As the battle for the vertices spreads to the neighboring realms, Goodwyn must face the realities of war and death; Cailix discovers a devastating truth that could change everything; and Urus discovers his uncanny gifts and courage as he peels away clues to his true identity. But even as Urus gains the power he has always craved, he experiences it all in profound, lonely silence.

-via Goodreads

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3.5/5 Stars

PROS:

  • From the sprawling, diverse scenery to the brutally graphic gore and swordsmanship, The Fifth Vertex is fantasy at its finest. The imagery is breathtaking, innovative and combines classic magical creatures like dwarves and mages with science fiction and engineering. The submarines, the flying machines, and the elemental magic is reminiscent of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 
  • The pain, abuse, and violence is jaw-droppingly raw and realistic. The sheer agony both emotionally and physically that some of these characters endure is shocking but incredibly admirable. Urus’ relationship with his father, his beatings as a small child, everything is captured in these small scenes with such acute, bold description, it’s almost like an out-of-body experience. My heart shattered for Urus, knowing that on top of his trials in a warrior society as a deaf person he suffered the fists of his father is devastating. Those scenes are ones that will stick and haunt, nearly moving me to tears. 
  • Having never read a book from a deaf person’s perspective, I was kind of mindboggled about how Kevin Hoffman would work this disability into the structure of the story and was pleasantly surprised. Every struggle Urus faces, from his peers’ mockery to the frustrating in signing and not being understood is accentuated because you get Urus’ internal dialogue. 
  • Urus’ depression was palpable. It’s an all-consuming weight on his mind and a dagger in his heart. Feeling like a disappointment and a failure to the only people he cares about pushes him into a spiral of self-destruction and heartache that he yearns to be free from. The opening scene is one of the most powerfully gripping and sad I’ve encountered. 
  • Cailix is one savage, fireball of a protagonist. She’s edgy, violent, a psychological mastermind who understands humanity and the failings of man and uses them to her advantage. Cailix has been on her own for so long, at the mercy of her caregivers and has the scars to prove that she is a survivor. She knows better than to let her guard down or to trust anyone because people betray, brutalize, and only let her down. What’s so remarkable about Cailix is that after everything she’s been through she’s not broken or even hurting, she has immense compassion and fights tooth and nail for the innocent. From the moment Cailix was introduced into the story, I found myself speeding to get to her next section. Every part was a bloodthirsty, ingenious surprise. She’s a little America Singer (The Selection) meets Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass). 
  • Goodwyn and Therren. The flashback scene with the necklace. I melted. Goodwyn’s conflict to be a hulking, vicious warrior and to just forget the world and be with his beloved is a pure rush. It’s sweet, natural, and what’s more is that while the theme of homosexuality is strong, it’s not a main focus, making their relationship feel more authentic without being intrusive or judgemental.
  • Blood mages are perfect for this story. Often when thinking of witches/mages in terms of blood it has to do with sacrifice to gain power but not sucking up the actual blood and forcing it to perform magic. There’s something very vampiric and almost Voodoo-like about how blood is used while feeling like a Celtic, druidic story.
  • Twists and reveals that will stump and startle the reader.
  • The secondary characters are just as lively and vibrant as the protagonists. The feels will drive you crazy.
  • Subtle attraction. So often romance becomes the focus of YA books and takes away from the narrative. Romance is secondary and it allows for the plot to flourish. The story is completely solid.

CONS:

  • The cover is a little immature, it makes it seem like more of a children’s book than YA. The cartoonish characters detract from the menacing characters presented in the story and suggest a book that is more tame. That being said, due to the graphic violence, I would not recommend this for children. 
  • Some sections were slow and dragged on as Urus fled from one vertex to the next. Usually I’m really fond of description but found myself skimming through parts.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Keep reading,

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