Tag: arc review

ARC Review: Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth


Five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons–and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice. – Goodreads

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Title: Chosen Ones

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: Fantasy

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.


MY REVIEW:

Chosen Ones gave me all sorts of feelings from good to bad to mixed and confused. I will start by saying that I enjoyed this book but I also feel a little let down 🤷🏼‍♀️ here is why:

The first like 200 pages is slow. It was SAD as all heck you guys. It drags. I was bored and honestly didn’t want to read it. Just a warning as well – some of the topics discussed during the first half of the book are tough. There is trauma, PTSD, flashbacks, drug use, addiction, death… some dark things! Which is a big reason to why I said the first half is sad. I felt there was nothing positive happening and just bad after bad thing was happening.

BUT after 200 pages this book is fantastic! Its fast paced, full of mystery and adventure, has magic and zombies and alternate dimensions!!

I really liked the characters! Sloane is a fabulous character full of flaws which make her so special and relatable. I especially enjoy Mox! He was tall, dark, and mysterious! I’d say as soon as he came in I was like ‘oooooo here we go this the story I want to know’ haha.

I was torn between giving this book a 3 or 4 star rating. I felt 3 star was fitting because how slow it was and how it took me a bit to get into it. However, once it got going I actually loved the story and felt that it was well written and enjoyable…. so giving it 3 overall felt wrong. So, I gave it 4 stars because of how it picked up. That being said, if you don’t like a slow start to a book then maybe this isn’t for you! You might not agree with my 4 star rating.

However, if you like a interesting fantasy with magic, war, the undead, plot twists, and a touch of cute romance then I think you will enjoy this!


What do you think of this one? Have you read it?

Do you like books by Veronica Roth?

MG ARC REVIEW: The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts

Its not easy being a teenage witch. – Goodreads

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Title: The Witches of Willow Cove

Author: Josh Roberts

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

Genre: Middle grade, fantasy

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.

Things only begin to make sense when a stranger named Miss Winters reveals that Abby isn’t the only young witch in town—and that Willow Cove is home to a secret past that connects them all. Miss Winters, herself a witch, even offers to teach Abby and the others everything she knows about witchcraft.

But as Abby learns more about Miss Winters’ past, she begins to suspect her new mentor is keeping secrets of her own. Can Abby trust her, or does Miss Winters have something wicked planned for the young witches of Willow Cove?


MY REVIEW:

This was such a fantastic story! It is the story of a teenage girl who finds out she is a witch! She is taken on this wild adventure and discovers that things are not as they seem in her cute little town. It is up to her and her friends to solve the mystery of Willow Cove and save themselves before it’s too late!

So, I want to start this off by saying the story was very well written and a super fun, exciting adventure! I loved every minute of it. Even though its middle grade, it did not lack substance and overall the action and mystery was really gripping. I found myself feeling a little nervous at times and some part were even spooky!

I loved all of the characters! Abby is so sweet. She is the MC of this story and I just loved her. She was smart and showed so much bravery and maturity. Robby, her best friend, was also fabulous! A really sweet boy who wanted nothing but the best for his friends. The relationship between the two of them was so “middle school” and I really liked that!

I was surprised by all the twists and turns! I found that many times I didn’t know what was going to happen next! I enjoyed how all of the characters started to become intertwined in the mystery! I also liked that some of the topics and problems in this story were very real. The author fit them in perfectly! The topics touched on include divorce, death, bullying, and relationships! The way the topics were brought up and the way characters reacted to them seemed very normal and that is so important for the younger readers.

Overall, I really liked this book! You cannot go wrong with witches and magic. The friendships in this story were so sweet and heartwarming! I loved that I was taken on this adventure that really consumed me. I would recommend this to anyone who likes light magical adventures! Such a fun read!

*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!


I am really excited to read more middle grade books. This was such a fun read, I really enjoyed it!

Do you think you will be reading this one? What are your thoughts on middle grade books?

ARC REVIEW: The Dark Continent by Scott Reardon

For the first time ever, technology has been turned — back on its creators. – Goodreads

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Title: The Dark Continent

Author: Scott Reardon

Publisher: Aspen Press

Genre: Fiction, Horror

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

On an oil rig off the coast of Alaska, fifteen test subjects, all of them death-row inmates, have joined a gruesome experiment with unprecedented implications. Government researchers are attempting to enhance the human body, but they change the men into something else instead. Led by a mysterious figure who evokes Colonel Kurtz and Satan from Paradise Lost, the subjects escape and bring the United States to its knees.

Only two men can stop them, Tom Reese and Karl Lyons. Tom and Karl will have to cross an America on the brink of collapse. And at the end they’ll experience the horror of the dark continent.

MY REVIEW:

When I finished this book I put it down and felt a weird sense of relief because the book was over (I was really struggling to push through) and also a feeling of connecting to one of the characters (Tom). I felt overall that I did not connect with any of the characters, but for some reason, Tom left a lingering effect on my feelings. He was different in a good way. He made the book bearable for me.

The story line was super interesting. I really liked the idea of the story. It was totally James Bond-esque. I enjoyed the action in the story – my only complaint was that… It was like READING James Bond movie… It was like putting all the action and craziness of a high paced action movie into words. All those scenes in a movie that set the stage and use no words but viewers know whats going on… yeah, the book was missing that part. It was just going through all the action parts quickly without much in between. It was hard to read because of that. It was too much!

I feel like the characters were okay but really just okay. There were 3 main groups of characters. First, there is Karl and Tom. They are the main focus of the book. Karl is some government undercover worker guy (not too sure his title). He is likable and I found I hoped for the best when it came to Karl. Tom is just a super normal guy with super human abilities. Tom was tested on by the government and was basically made into this super human. A lot of bad stuff happens to Tom throughout the book and all the while he is just trying to normal and not evil like they want him to be. I think that is why I liked him so much.

Second, there is Dr. Azamor. She is a psychiatrist that is essentially made to work with all the crazy “subjects” who are death row inmates made into super human creatures/soldiers. I enjoyed Dr. Azamor. She is pretty normal and has realistic reactions and thoughts to everything going on. She made the entire first half of the book for me. I wish there was more about her in the second half. She kind of just drop off the face of the Earth and I don’t know what happened to her. Sad 😦

Finally, the “subjects.” As mentioned above these are death row inmates who are not invincible super humans. They are mean, scary, cruel, horrible beings. If being horrible criminals isn’t enough, they are now almost unstoppable and have so much rage and desire to destroy the world, it is just terrifying. As expected, the subjects escape where they are being held and then basically ruin the world on their rampage. About 75% of the book focuses on this terror and it has really gruesome moments. It was hard to read at times. It was also kind of sad. Like I said before, the book was like action all the time without much else. So the horror did not really stop from start to finish. It was a lot to read.

Overall writing and readability of the book – it was okay. The writing was decent. I didn’t mind it at all. It was easy enough to read and understand. The chapters were quite short, like most of them were 3 to 4 pages. Only a few long chapters. I liked that! The chapters also flipped between characters which slowed the story down a little bit. I did find that there were some parts that dragged on and others that went by so quickly that if you missed a word or accidentally skipped a line you were lost. I did not like that aspect of it.

I just feel mixed on this. I feel like there were parts that I enjoyed and felt were well done but then there were so many parts that were too fast paced and not detailed enough/ too detailed. I also found out that this is the second book in a series, however, everyone said the series does not need to be read in order. I agree with that as there was really nothing being referenced so that’s not a problem!

** Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

ARC REVIEW: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. – Goodreads

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Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea

Author: T.J Klune

Publisher: Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ, Romance

Format: eARC from Netgalley

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.


MY REVIEW:

This book left my heart feeling so full. This was such a fantastic story about magical children and the love that can grow when people have open minds and open hearts.

Linus, a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, is sent to a secret orphanage to check out the well being of the magic children there. He is tasked to write reports and decide if the orphanage should remain open. He quickly decides it’s something he has never seen before and with that he meets some of the most wonderful children and an even more wonderful caregiver who changes Linus’s life forever.

This was such an interesting take on regular day social work. Coming from the social services field, it really brought me joy when Linus went above and beyond the line of duty to truly understand the magic children he was sent to observe. It made my heart happy and also made me think of the amazing social workers I know who connect with and care for so many incredible children everyday.

This book reminded me a little bit of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. This story was full of mystery and magic. It was a really fun read which I could hardly put down! It touched on topics such as discrimination, segregation, abuse, social services system, LGTBQ+, and advocacy! These can be really tough topics but the way the author fit them in was in a light and fun way that really tied the whole story together!

I loved the magical children and getting to know all the really cool things about them. The relationships created throughout the story were so sweet and heartwarming. I enjoyed the overall writing style. It was so nice to see how Linus (and the rest of the characters) grew and evolved throughout the story. The ending had me smiling ear to ear, I was so happy!!

I would recommend this to anyone to enjoys stories about strange creatures, magical beings, or unusual things! Also, if you enjoyed Miss Peregrines Home for Peculair Children you may enjoy this one as it has similar vibes!

** thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this ARC for an honest review!


PUB DATE: March 17, 2020!!

Does this book interest you at all?? Will you be checking it out?