Review: And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

And I Darken
By: Kiersten White
Website: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Conqueror's Saga
Rating:


I’m not going to lie to everyone – sometimes I do judge books by their cover. When I saw this cover in particular I was drawn in by the dagger and flower petals. I’m also a sucker for simple titles.

In the time of the Ottoman Empire we follow the story of Lada and Radu, princess and prince of Wallachia as they are taken from their home and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman Courts (as part of a deal between the empires). To everyone’s surprise these two outsiders become close friends with Mehmed, the son of the Ottoman sultan.

Review – The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins #2)

The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins #2)
By: Robert Dugoni
Website: https://www.robertdugonibooks.com/
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: Charles Jenkins
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


When we return to the life and world of Charles Jenkins we learn that, luckily, he has been exonerated. All should be well as the retired man focuses on his family, right? Well, that wouldn’t be much of a story. If you haven’t read book one and are looking for an edge of your seat espionage novel, start with The Eighth Sister. Then join me with The Last Agent.

Review – For the Best

For the Best
By: Vanessa Lillie
Website: http://www.vanessalillie.com/
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Rating:


What else could I, as a mystery/thriller addict ask for? I’ve never read any of Vanessa Lillie’s works before but this book may have brought me to a new author. Her debut novel, Little Voices is now on my wishlist and I will definitely be picking it up sometime soon.

In For the Best we follow the life of Jules Worthington, a CEO, wife and mother as she wakes up the day after an event, completely hungover after her blackout the night before only to find that she has been connected to and suspected of a murder. Rough way to wake up if you ask me.

Sure of her innocence and not liking the pressure of the police as they zero in on Jules as their only suspect she begins to investigate on her own. The further she digs into that night, and everything that lead to it, the more chaotic things get as Jules learns things that were maybe better off buried.

Vanessa Lillie earned me as a fan for all the successful red herrings, surprises and smooth, enjoyable writing style. I will say that I couldn’t fully connect to Jules but I still wanted the truth that she was hunting for so I was happy to see the story from her point of view, even when things took dark and unexpected turns.

If you like suspense, mystery, thrillers and seeing characters go deeper into their own struggles, face their own past and refusing to give up you should check out For the Best which is available on September 8th, 2020.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Vanessa Lillie for the chance to read the ARC!

Review- The Hierarchies

The Hierarchies
By: Ros Anderson
Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2212863/ros-anderson/
Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Publisher: Dutton
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this book I was interested but also skeptical. A book written from the POV of a robot that was built for one purpose – to serve her “Husband” didn’t sound super interesting until I reached the part of the description where she becomes curious and begins to think of the world beyond her assigned role. I’ll say this, it was a very wild ride indeed.

Where to begin with this book. First of all you should be aware as a reader that there are graphic depictions of sex. If that is not your thing, don’t read this book. It’s literally everywhere.

I have to say I was surprised by my changing emotions with this book as I read it. I was gripped at first, plowing through the story but then some scenes completely turned me off and I had to put it down. Maybe it was the content of the scene, maybe it was the style of the story being told through Sylv.ie’s eyes, maybe it’s because I needed a break but I definitely had times where this book wasn’t exactly for me.

I really enjoyed the social commentary of the world in this book. Yes it’s talking about a not-so-distant future but the lessons, as with all dystopian novels, apply to the world we currently live in. In a world where being Born or Created assigns you a class, where the created robots and Dolls are little better than dirt, and the exploitation of all of the Created ones is rampant, there was a lot to take in on the similarities in our own world.

Sylv.ie is a perfect guide through this strange and twisted world as she grows curious about life beyond her Husband, the man who paid for her and who keeps her locked away except for when it pleases him. Her oddly flat tone, even through the sexually explicit and horrifying scenes both helped and hurt me as a reader in this story. I was glad that some of the difficult scenes were presented as odd or out of protocol for Sylv.ie as it helped me get through them but then it also made it harder for me to connect to her.

One thing about this novel that I applaud is the recognition that money equaling power and therefore the ability to do as your please is a horrendous way for the world it exist. We see it every day in our world; rich people (and more specifically rich men) get away with crimes because they can afford a lawyer or the people they harm are too afraid to go after them given their power. This book definitely hits a lot of feminist points as well as social justice in general and I applaud Anderson for tackling these subjects in such a unique way in her debut novel.

The Hierarchies is set for release on August 25th, 2020. If you’re looking for an interesting take on dystopian novels, filled with unique insights on the world we currently live in, I’d recommend The Hierarchies to you, as long as you can stomach some intense moments while reading. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thank you to Dutton, NetGalley and Ros Anderson for the ARC of this book!

Review- The Summer Children (The Collector #3)

The Summer Children (The Collector #3)
By: Dot Hutchinson
Website: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/dot-hutchison/#:~:text=Dot%20Hutchison%20is%20the%20author,adult%20thriller%20The%20Butterfly%20Garden.
Release Date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Rating:


Book three in this series by Dot Hutchinson was absolutely intense and I should have been prepared for the roller coaster it took me on but I wasn’t.

When Agent Mercedes Ramirez finds an abused young boy on her porch, covered in blood and clutching a teddy bear, she has no idea that this is just the beginning. He tells her a chilling tale: an angel killed his parents and then brought him here so Mercedes could keep him safe.

His parents weren’t just murdered. It was a slaughter—a rage kill like no one on the Crimes Against Children team had seen before. But they’re going to see it again. An avenging angel is meting out savage justice, and she’s far from through.

Review- Driftwood

Driftwood
By: Marie Brennan
Website: https://www.swantower.com/
Release Date: August 14th, 2020
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Rating:


I don’t know what I expected when I saw this lovely ARC on NetGalley. The concept was interesting and I liked the idea behind it but I’m not sure I was ready for the purely amazing read this book was.

The world of Driftwood is a strange place — it is where worlds come to die and as entire worlds are shrunk down in size and people are disappearing left and right everything is slowly coming to an end. Think of Driftwood as a story of a post-apocalyptic world…but with some of the worlds still in the middle of their own end. If you’re looking for an amazing fantasy read, be on the lookout for Driftwood which comes out August 14th, 2020. If you want to know more about the story and my reaction, read on but please be aware there may be tiny spoilers.

Review – Under Pressure (Lucas Page #2)

Under Pressure (Lucas Page #2)
By: Robert Pobi
Website: https://www.robertpobi.com/
Release Date: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Lucas Page
Rating:


Normally when I apply for ARC copies I try to avoid books that are not the first book in a series because I don’t want to miss anything in regards to context in a series. However, when I read the synopsis of Under Pressure I couldn’t resist putting in for the ARC.

Review- Peace Talks (The Dresden Files #16)

Peace Talks (The Dresden Files #16)
By: Jim Butcher
Website: https://www.jim-butcher.com/
Release Date: July 14th, 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Series: The Dresden Files
Rating:


It has been a long time coming for book number sixteen in the Dresden Files. Book fifteen, Skin Game, came out in 2014. Yes, 2014 so six years ago now. I will say I am luckier than most fans in that I came into my Dresden files obsession in the last few years so I read Skin Game in 2017. Still, it’s been three years and I admit I had to go back and re-read the last couple books to remember where we’d left off.

Thank you to Penguin Random House and Berkley for the ARC. It was the highlight of my quarantine.

As we are sixteen books in this series if you haven’t read the others stop reading the review now, go back and start with book one Storm Front. This is not a series to read out of order. If you’ve read all the other books and want to know what I think about Peace Talks please read on.

Review- Roses of May (The Collector #2)

Roses of May (The Collector #2)
By: Dot Hutchinson
Website: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/dot-hutchison/#:~:text=Dot%20Hutchison%20is%20the%20author,adult%20thriller%20The%20Butterfly%20Garden.
Release Date: May 23rd, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: The Collector
Rating:


Book two in this dark and twisted series wasn’t quite what I expected. When I learned there were more books in the series I thought we’d get to see more about the victims from book one as they move through their court case. Instead, we are sticking with agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez which, I’m not complaining about. We learn about another young woman, Priya Sravasti and the challenges she and her mother are facing years after the murder of her sister.

#UltimateBlogTour – Knightmare Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #1) by Shami Stovall

Knightmare Arcanist
By: Shami Stovall
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Publisher: Capital Station Books
Series: Frith Chronicles #1
Award: B.R.A.G. Medallion for Fantasy; New Apple Literary Award for Fantasy; Coffee Pot Book Club's Pick for 2020 Reading
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall is the first book in the young adult book series the Frith Chronicles. Shami is the author of two series, including the Frith Chronicles and The Sorcerers of Verdun.