#Blogtour #Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden #YAFiction #YAFantasy #TheWinterOfTheWitch @arden_katherine

Winter of the Witch BT Poster .jpg

Today I have the honour of hosting a spot on the blog tour for the paperback release of The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. This spellbinding conclusion to a magical trilogy will leave you wanting more – more of the bear, more of the winter king, more of the chyerti, and definitely more of Vasya and her impetuous nerve. Beautifully written and richly imaginative I strongly recommend you read The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch in quick succession, because they’re a little like Pringles – you can’t have just one.



Winter of the Witch CoverTitle: 
The Winter of the Witch

Author: Katherine Arden

Publisher: Ebury Publishing

Publication Date: Paperback – October 3, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Fiction

Themes: Family, Revenge, Folklore, Love of Country

Features: Glossary


My Rating: 5/ 5


Synopsis

One girl can make a difference…

Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic.

Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders.

But she may not be able to save them all.


My Review

I have a confession, I tried to jump into The Winter of the Witch without having read the first two instalments in the series and immediately regretted that choice. The good news is that I was able to secure The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower from my local library, power through them, and then return to The Winter of the Witch with a much healthier appreciation for Russian naming (and nicknaming) conventions as well as the intricacies of the many story-arcs being wrapped up.  I mean, the whole series is absolutely masterful, but this ending is epic!

In the wake of events that nearly set the whole of Moscow on fire the Grand Prince’s enemies see the turmoil as an opportunity to wage war while the empire is weakened. And to make things worse, Father Konstantin, a priest with the power to turn minds with his words sets the city against Vasya calling for her to burned alive. She manages to escape into the world of Midnight and finds herself juggling the survival of two worlds on her shoulders. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that age-old demon is once again loose in the world and is terrorizing Moscow, Vasya, and magical world of Midnight simultaneously.

And oh my word, is it ever magical. I mean it’s treacherous and deadly and all together beautiful, but magical. I adored our mushroom cheyrti Ded Grib, the beautiful horses that can take flight, and and the hearth spirits that protect homes and countries alike. But more than anything I loved Pohzar, the firebird, with her haughty sass and irascible temper. Every time she stomped, kicked, bit or refused to carry a rider I was sent into fits of giggles at memories of my own ill-tempered (yet magnetically loveable) mare. Like seriously, all I could think of was mare-stare, except that this mare is on fire – double the danger, double the fun!

But enough about the horses, lets focus on the big guns – Medved, Morozko, and Vasya. Medved is the kind of villain that only gets better with age. He gets deeper, bolder, and more relatable as the book progresses, and is the kind of character that you can easily love to hate. I was completely transfixed by his manipulations, his subtle games, and the hatred that he holds for his brother. He was deliciously deviant, cruel in all the rights ways, but never outright repugnant.

His twin on the other hand is a calm, quiet force that I would have loved to see more of. I was floored by the sacrifices that he made and the faith that he had in Vasya. It’s beautiful how his power and presence waxes and wanes with the seasons, and even more beautiful how he pushes the limits of his power to stay by Vasya’s side in her greatest time of need. He offers gentles reminders of the things that matter most – Solovey, family, and Vasya’s humanity when she’s at risk of slipping under the addictive spell of her own magic.

And I loved that Vasya wasn’t your typically beautiful heroine, that instead she was real. It placed the focus on her intellect, power, competence, and sometimes ridiculously impulsive decisions. Her journey of self discovery was wondrous, especially as she discovered more of her family and the source of her abilities, and as she learned to control the fire within. And through it all she remains brave (stubborn?) and determined, and she never once allowed herself to become undone even when romance and desire came into the picture. And whoa man, is that ever a romance! It’s tense, electric, and achingly desperate. I mean, when the first snows of winter fall I won’t be looking for a demon king to whisk me off at midnight…

The book, this series, so beautifully written that it’s almost impossible to put into words how incredible it is. It’s imaginative, poetic, and simultaneously rooted in tradition and folklore without cheapening it. It’s feminist, it’s ballsy, and it’s tender. But more than anything, it’s one of my favourite reads of the year. If you like rich story telling, deep characters and touch of magic then I can’t recommend The Winter of the Witch and the Winter Night trilogy enough.


About the Author

Katherine Arden Author Pic .jpgBorn in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France.

Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrolment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature.

After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, working every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crêpes to serving as a personal tour guide. After a year on the island, she moved to Briançon, France, and spent nine months teaching. She then returned to Maui, stayed for nearly a year, then left again to wander. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.

She is the author of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. These novels make up the first two parts of The Winternight Trilogy.

Twitter: @arden_katherine

Website: www.katherinearden.com 

Publisher: @EburyPublishing


Many thanks to Anne Carter at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this tour. I received a copy of this text in exchange for an honest review.

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#Review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo #YAFiction #YAFantasy @alliechristo

Today I am thrilled to be sharing a 5* review for one of my favourite reads of the summer – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. This exceptional retelling of the Little Mermaid came to me as a recommendation after I put out a call for titles on Twitter and all I have to say is damn! All you amazing YA authors, bloggers, and readers really know your stuff!


kingdomTitle: To Kill A Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Fiction

Themes: Family, Revenge, Betrayal, Mermaids

Features: N/A


My Rating: 5/ 5


Synopsis

From Goodreads…

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


My Review

Oh. My. Giddy. Goodness.

This book is beyond amazing. Like, the kind of good where I finished reading it, took a breath, and went right back to the beginning to start reading it again just to make sure that I didn’t miss anything on my first go around.

I’m huge fan of fairy tale retellings, but Christo took it to a whole new level. To Kill a Kingdom is a creative blend between the fairytale as we know it with our mermaid (siren) being banished to the surface, loosing her voice, and finding true love in her quest to get it back and some of the more traditional siren lore such as the eating of hearts, immunity to the siren song, and dissolving into foam upon death. It pulls in elements of lore from a variety of different times, cultures, and even modern retellings to created a well-rounded representation of these sea-dwelling beauties.

And I loved too how the sea witch was transformed from an elusive entity into Lira mother’s. The element of an evil, power hungry parent really raised the anti and made me feel like I was reading disney on steroids. The added drama of the familial dynamics added a layer of excitement and intrigue that sucked me right in. Of course, we still have our prince, but he’s a rather unwilling one at that. Preferring to spend his time on the open ocean hunting down siren’s and living the pirate life Prince Elian is the perfect foil for Lira. And you know what they say about opposites, they attract, and in this case there are some serious fireworks.

But, oh my god, Lira. Can you say seriously bad-ass? Even with her voice and powers stripped she is a force to be reckoned with. Her grit, determination, and ruthless mind is an absolute pleasure to read. I found myself laughing uncontrollably at her pigheadedness, rooting for her disastrous escape attempts, and determination to learn how to use a sword. She is the kind of vicious and lovely that I would never want to end up on the wrong side of – but seriously, Elian never stood a chance of guarding his heart against her! More than anything though, I loved watching Lira transform from a monster of the deep into a thinking, feeling, (sometimes overly) emotional person who never for got her heritage, came up with some insane plans, and fights for her people with a devotion that can’t be outmatched.

Finally, the quest element was out of this world! Having Lira and Elian’s objectives slowly intertwine into a combined adventure was wonderful to behold. Lira on a quest to kill a prince, Prince Elian on a quest to kill, well, Lira and both of them trying to find an eye from a long dead goddess. This is a recipe for some seriously delicious drama. I can’t say more without spoiling, but it’s amazing. Don’t take my word for it, go read it.

The writing in this book is absolutely everything. It’s engaging right from the opening lines and it pulls you and spits you out like a Siren dragging you beneath the sea. Christo will steal your heart my friends, with all her talk of mermaids, pirates, witty banter, complete characters, and an exceptionally well built world. To Kill a Kingdom is funny, fantastic, and enthralling in all the best ways.

Read it.

Because I’m off to treat myself to round three.


I purchased this book as a direct result of blogger recommendations – all opinions are my own. #bookboggersstillbuybooks

 

#BlogTour #Review: David Mogo: God Hunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa @IAmSuyiDavies @Tr4cyF3nt0n

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Today I have the pleasure of participating in the blog tour for David Mogo: Goodhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa. I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive coming into this one as God Punk is not a genre that I have ever explored in the past. But I’m delighted to say that the world building and own voice narration quickly won me over. If you have any interest in YA urban fantasy or even fantasy set away from the common western conventions then this one definitely worth a read.


mogoTitle: David Mogo: Godhunter

Author:  Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Publisher: Abbadon

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy, YA Fantasy, Nigerian God Punk

Themes: Family, Loyalty, Mythology

Features: N/A


Synopsis

Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.


My Review

This isn’t an easy read full of familiar places, soft language, and common tropes. But rather, it’s diverse, challenging, and wholly fantastic. The dialect takes some time to adjust to, especially as a North American reader, but if you give it some time and put some effort into paying attention it quickly becomes second nature. The premise is unique, with a set of gods that have been cats out of their own world and since taken over Lagos, along with a whole hoard of godlings and taboos. The desolation and reorganization of society gave a very different feel to the standard post-apocalyptic narrative and injected a healthy dose of culture.

That’s not to say that there isn’t any magic, because it’s present in wild abundance. The wizards and gods are both exceptionally well written with unique and distinctive qualities. I appreciated the differences between the two types of abilities with the magic of the wizards being tied to real and tangible things while the power of the gods were entirely intangible and otherworldly. All of the gods powers and personalities were deeply varied, creating landscape that is both exciting and difficult to navigate.

There are some uncomfortable moments, especially when it comes to Fati and the implied acts against her. But as uncomfortable as these moments were, I am glad that they were included as this is not the kind of books that skates around the darker side of life – especially when the societal structure favours a few with power and the masses subservient and impoverished. Now add in an ambivalent government that only cares about the upper echelons and would prefer to live in denial of reality and you have a pretty wicked storm.

I didn’t mind that the whole of the work is actually three novellas packaged together as a single unit. Each instalment had a clearly defined arc, villain, and objective and played extremely well off of the previous sections. They helped to clearly delineate the evolution of David’s development as both a character and powerful demigod. Plus, they facilitated some pretty serious jumps in time without injecting any tedious and extraneous text for plot advancement. My only really complaint is that the dispersal of the world building information throughout at times took on the feeling of massive info dumps. And while this may work better in a. novella setting where you need to pack a whole lot of information in a tiny space, but with the novel format I felt that there was more latitude to spread the spread the information out for a smoother presentation. But, and this is a big but, I am aware that my storytelling preferences are defined by the traditions that I have been brought up in and aware that this criticism might be based entirely on personal preferences and cultural constructs.

David himself is a complex and interesting character. He lives between two worlds in more ways than one – half god and half human he constantly walks a fine line between humanity and hypocrisy in his god hunting. He is also further divided between mainstream culture and the world of wizardry having been raised by Papa Udi, and again by the sleeping and waking worlds as he shifts between planes. These divisions are further emphasized by David’s constant code switching between the normalized western speech that he uses for business and the local dialect that he uses in the comfort of home. Don’t get me wrong, we all do this to some degree, utilizing different speech patterns at home than we do at work, it’s just much more evident in David and Papa Udi’s speech.

Finally, I enjoyed the variety present in the supporting characters. I loved Papa Udi’s unwavering support and complicated past, the complexity if the High Gods personalities and powers, and the depravity of the villains throughout. I would have loved to see some of these supporting characters developed a little more, but that’s just because they were so interesting! If Okungbowa were to put out a collection of short stories or novellas focusing on everyone else I’d be chomping at the bit to read it.

All together I really enjoyed David Mogo: Godhunter. It was a welcome introduction into the world of god punk and Nigerian urban fantasy as well as being a fabulous own voices read.It’s complex, imaginative, and full of action. If you want tottery something that’s both fantastical and far from the typical westernized conventions, this book is sure to please. Give the code switching and dialogue a chance to settle in and Okungbowa will take you on a fantastical ride.


About The Author

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian writer of science fiction, contemporary and dark fantasy, and crime fiction. His work has appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Podcastle, The Dark, Mothership Zeta,

Omenana, Ozy, Brick Moon Fiction; amongst other magazines and anthologies. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona, and has worked in editorial at Podcastle and Sonora Review. He lives online on Facebook, tweets at @IAmSuyiDavies, and blogs at suyidavies.com. His urban fantasy novel about gods in Lagos is forthcoming in 2019.


Many thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for inviting me to join this tour and providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

#Book #Review: Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen #YALit #Fantasy @torteen @dljensen

Today I am so overjoyed to be sharing my review for Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen that I am breaking my only rule of book blogging: never review books written by people you know, love, or hate. In two years I have never before been tempted to toe this line, and yet here I am. I do hope that you enjoy this beauty as much as I did, because it is an absolute must read!


dark shoresTitle: Dark Shores

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Fiction, YA, Fantasy, Adventure

Themes: Survival, Magic, Conquest, Romance

Features: Glossary, Author’s Note


My Rating: 5/ 5


Synopsis

From Goodreads

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.


My Review

Every now and then you come across the first book in a new series and you just know that it’s going to be something big. Dark Shores is that book. Imagine this – a powerful empire that has conquered all the nations in their known world and is ruled by a corrupt elite that will stop at nothing to take it’s taxes in coin, or children forced into servitude, discovers that there is a whole new world connected to their own through a nation of free and seafaring traders known as the Maarin. They have legions of career soldiers at their disposal, unlimited funds, and an insatiable desire to bring everything and everyone under their control. In light of these circumstances it seems only natural that the Celendor Empire would kidnap, torture, and murder hundreds of the Maarin traders until one of them begrudgingly agrees to lead two legions across the seas and aid them in their conquests. 

Unfortunately for Celendor, the Maarin that they torture in talking is seventeen-year-old Teriana – a sarcastic, quick-witted, spitfire of a girl who is as intent on subterfuge and disruption as she is on saving the lives of her crew and the rest of the Maarin that are being held by the Empire as collateral. What makes matters worse is that this mission is not merely a matter of crossing the Endless Seas into unknown lands populated by warrior nations and setting up a new regime. That would be far too simple. Instead this quest requires a touch of magic and permission from the gods. Gods who just so happen to be at odds as to whether or not the Cels should be permitted to cross the seas, if East should be allowed to meet West, and who may or may not have forsaken Teriana for breaking her most sacred of vows.

Can you say drama?

Written in split narrative between Teriana’s and Marcus’ point of view, the tension between their perspectives can seriously be cut with a knife. Their conversations and introspections provide the perfect avenue for character development and world building without being onerous, while their arguments and escapades deliver the excitement and adventure that make this an epic read.

Marcus is everything that you would expect from a legion commander – heady, calculating, and utterly ruthless. His every move plays into a larger strategy making it impossible to determine what’s genuine and what’s manipulation. And yet, he’s not the monster that the Empire wants him to be. He has a soft heart and a reverence for human life that leaves him constantly at odds with his orders. With Marcus, nothing is ever as it first appears as there are endless layers of motives, planning, and deceit making it impossible to gauge his true intentions. As a result, there is a tactful balance between the construction of a fearsome reputation and the pursuit of softer, much more personal desires. It helps too that he is a fatally flawed character, that he carries the kinds of secrets that could destroy lives and nations, and that he is deeply touched by all of the horrible things that he has done in the name of the Empire. It makes him human, relatable, and incredibly enigmatic.

Teriana on the other hand is brash, impulsive, and completely irreverent. Her stubbornness, the frequency with which she puts her foot in her mouth as the result of her sass, and her unwavering loyalty to the Maarin that makes her the perfect counter to Marcus’ disciplined and calculating nature. She wears her heart on her sleeve, embraces her emotions, and lives life to the fullest no matter the risk. She’s the kind of person that I’d happily loose all of my spare change to gambling with because because she’s the life of the party and instantly likeable, and of course, almost all of the men in the Thirty-Seventh feel the same way.

It’s always a pleasure to read characters with depth and complexity, especially in YA and fantasy, where it seems that so many can fall into stereotypes and tropes. It’s even better when you can watch these characters change and grow as the story progresses, and in this regard Dark Shores does not disappoint. Teriana, Marcus, and even the varied cast of secondary characters are full of revelations and change, and yet it’s clear that there is still so much more to come.

And we can’t forget to mention the fantastic world that Jensen has created. The contrast between East and West couldn’t be more stark with the Cels being godless, oppressed, and regimented to a tee while the people of the West are deeply spiritual and relish freedom in a way that the Cels can never comprehend. With the Celendor Empire inspired by Ancient Rome, there is just enough history to make this work of fantasy feel deeply rooted and real. Everything from the structure of the political system to the organization of the legions rings true, and yet enough liberties have been taken to keep everything fresh and original. Throw into the mix the Seven gods of the West with their realms, powers, and god-touched individuals and you truly have a war between worlds. The reverence for the Six and the fear of the Seventh creates a dynamic and magical experience that is easy to get swept up in. It’s detailed, magical, and so entrancing that it leaves you wanting more.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes, what the Six and the Corrupter have in mind for the Dark Shores, and the Thirty-Seventh and Forty-First legions will succeed in their mission of establishing a route through which they can conquer the West. There are so many sub-plots to be explored, battles to be fought, and questions to be resolved that  next book can’t help but be even better than the first. I loved every second of Dark Shores and my only regret is that I bought my copy on publication day and that I will now have to wait (impatiently) for the next instalment to be released.


Many thanks to Danielle L. Jensen, Tor Teen, and NetGalley for providing a galley in exchange for an honest review – even if I *may* have bought a hardcopy before finishing my ARC galley!

#Book #Review: Analiese Rising #YALit #Fantasy

Confession time, I requested this title on NetGalley before I realized that Entangled Teen specializes in YA romance. As a result, I put off reading Analiese Rising a lot longer than I should have, but the cover was so beautiful and the blurb so captivating that I eventually gave in. And guess what? Once again I got my hand slapped for judging a book by it’s genre and ended up really enjoying it. Youthful, spunky, and full of the questionable decision making that marks the transition to adulthood Analiese Rising has as much humour as it does adventure which make for a fun and fanciful read.


analieseTitle: Analiese Rising

Author: Brenda Drake

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: Fiction, YA, Fantasy, Mystery

Themes: Survival, Magic, Murder, Adventure, Romance

Features: N/A


My Rating: 4/ 5


Synopsis

From Goodreads

Half-Blood meets Antigoddess in a thrilling, romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.


My Review

Okay, so the first strong thought that I had about this book was that it’s kind of like the DaVinci Code meets Mortal Instruments. We have a couple of teenagers running around Europe with an obscure set of clues, trying to locate a mysterious and mythical objects with a some demigods, revenants, and magic thrown in the mix. Granted, I like Drake’s writing a lot more than Dan Brown’s, so if you share similar opinions don’t let the DaVinci Code reference scare you away! It’s light on the romance, heavy on the adventure, and has just enough hope and humour to keep the big-bad from feeling overwhelming.

The next thought was ‘what in the hell is Analiese doing, getting on an airplane to Italy with a boy she barely knows? I’d never do that!’ In fact, I was foolish enough to voice this opinion out loud when describing the book to some family, and was promptly reminded ‘no Jessica, you’d just go by yourself’. So, once I was put back in my place and reminded of my own love for adventure in my teen years, Analiese suddenly became a very relatable protagonist. Of course, I didn’t have any magical powers to work my way through when I hit Rome at 18, but I found the geography and atmosphere strikingly nostalgic and incredibly well described. It made me want to go through all my old pictures of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum.

I loved the dynamic between Ana and Marek and genuinely thought that they made a good team. I appreciated Ana’s insecurities and moments of defiance, as well as Marek’s inherent need to protect and insatiable curiosity. Their personalities were well balanced, and actually represented one of the healthier relationships I’ve read in YA recently. Sure, Ana is a bit immature and impulsive, but I have no illusions of people (especially teens) being fully rational in the wake of major traumas. Now add in the fact that Drake has written a relatable character battling with some anxiety issues – which not only brings to light some important discussions surrounding mental health, but also some important lessons in empathy.

It was touching how close Analiese was with her family, especially her cousin Dalton and her maternal grandparents. I didn’t really relate to the dynamic experienced between Ana and her aunt, but it made for a good story and a character that you can love to hate. I was completely shocked by some of the twists and turns in the plot, especially when it came to digging up the family past, and I would have loved to know a little more about Ana’s parents.

And let’s not forget the artful inclusion of multiple mythologies as a basis for the fantastical elements. Heavy on the Greek mythology, I was pleased to see that Drake included mythologies from around the world including some of the Norse, Malaysian, Chinese, and Hindu gods. Throw in the Risers, the Risen, and an a secret society and you’re in for a mighty fun read.

Would I recommend this book? Heck yes! It might not be for everyone, with all the mention of Marek being sooooo hot, but it’s fun, playful, and incredibly well written. If you’re ready to get your flirt on with a touch of myth and magic in the mix, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.