Sunday, 24 October 2021

Review: Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

Release Date: September 7, 2021

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Dark and Shallow Lies has impeccable spooky season vibes (but not too spooky). It's eery and dark and I quickly fell into the setting of the story. A great mystery/thriller with characters that have subtle psychic powers. It added a paranormal twist that I really enjoyed. The story is so beautifully written with descriptions that truly brought the bayou setting alive. The imagery was powerful and the pathetic fallacy throughout added to the dark atmosphere of this story. With the dark gloomy weather recently, Dark and Shallow Lies felt like the perfect autumnal read. Every time I put it down I felt drawn back to it.

There wasn't a lot of action in this book, which may come across as boring to some readers. However, I was eating up the character development and slow burn of the story. I could not predict where it was going or how the story would end. It also felt like a book that you could analyse line by line. Perhaps a great book for a book club read. I didn't love the ending, but I also think I may need to re-read it to get the full impact, but I enjoyed the book overall so it gets a 4 star from me.

I am not normally drawn to books that don't have romance as a large element, but the small role that romance did play in this book felt perfect. I loved that a larger emphasis was placed on studying the characters in the small town and building the atmosphere. Whereas the romance was sprinkled lightly to add to the plot.

Dark and Shallow Lies was a unique story that was told in a way that felt different and refreshing from your average YA book. It is irresistibly immersive and you will find it just as hard as the characters to leave the small bayou town of La Cachette. If you love a mystery/thriller but want a fresh take on it then definitely check this out. 

Rating

4 Falling Books

Thank you to Electric Monkey for the review copy! 

Monday, 11 October 2021

Review: Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Release date: September 14, 2021
A fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.

The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.

King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents' shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King's Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion--it's the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.

Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most--but it's still not enough.

As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King's Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it's even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first. 

When I put this book down for anything I immediately got withdrawals. The writing style and story is so gripping that you don't want to put it down.

The concept of this book was very interesting. There is an illness that is plaguing the people of Kandala, and the only thing that can keep the sickness at bay is moonflower petals. These petals are only grown in 2 sectors of the kingdom, in which the leaders of the sectors have full control over the price. The king buys as much as possible to distribute to all the sectors, but it is barely enough. I loved the idea that there is this finite resource that is being fought over and couldn't wait to learn more about what could be done about this issue. There's a lot of politics involved, which I found myself loving from the start! The worldbuilding was a perfect balance between being easy to understand but still very rich. However, I felt the plot twist and ending reveal was predictable.

The romance was very cute. I loved Tessa and Corrick but there was not much build-up, which is normally one of the best parts. Their relationship throughout the book was fun to follow and I could never get enough of them. Even though they were a bit cheesy at times.

I wanted more details on the moonflower petals. This was one of the most interesting aspects and it didn't get enough time in the limelight. Aside from the politics surrounding the moonflower supply issue, I wanted to hear more about the efficacy of the different dosages, and the differences between sectors. But I suspect this will play a bigger part in the second book, even though it could have been explored further within the 400 pages of this one. 

Overall, I did enjoy this a lot. The story made this very hard to put down! I would definitely recommend it to anyone that loves YA fantasy with lots of political intrigue. Especially anyone that liked The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni. This story has so much potential despite the predictable twists and underutilised plot lines, but the main ingredients to be the next hit fantasy series. I am super excited for the sequel because I think it's going to be explosive. There are so many storylines and open ends that I cannot wait to be explored.

Rating

4 Falling Books
Thank you Bloomsbury for sending a proof copy!

Friday, 8 October 2021

TikTok Tour: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Hey there!

This week Margaret Rogerson's new YA fantasy was released into the wild! Many of you may be familiar with this author from her very popular YA standalone Sorcery of Thorns and Enchantment of Ravens. Vespertine is the first book in a YA fantasy series about nuns in training that fight malevolent spirits. Think Supernatural with badass nuns. When our main character's convent is attacked, she awakens an ancient spirit in order to wield its power. However, this spirit also wants to possess her. 


@samfallingbooks

supernatural but make it badass nuns ##VespertineTikTokTour ##simonandschusteruk ##booktok ##foryou ##fantasy

♬ Repeat Until Death - Novo Amor

Tik tok tour for this book! If you want to check out some of the other content that has been posted for the book you can check out the hashtag #VespertineTikTokTour on Tiktok. 

I'm half-way through the book at the moment but I am immensely enjoying it. The main character is giving me Celaena vibes from Throne of Glass and I feel like I'm being surprised around every corner. i cannot wait to see how the rest of the book pans out. Massive thank you to Simon and Schuster for the review copy.

You can find links to check out this book below.