Synopsis: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
Review: Bree is one of my favorite female characters in a YA novel. She’s smart and sassy. And she doesn’t let anyone push her around. It’s really refreshing to have a young woman who doesn’t find her self-worth in how others see her. She’s strong and knows it. And the important men in her life see it and respect her for it as well.
Legendborn is a fresh and inspired first installment in a new YA fantasy series. It’s an enthralling story, with a unique mix of magical lore. The pacing never slows, with plenty of action, intrigue, danger, and drama. And the characters are engaging and believable. Just when I thought I had some of the mysteries figured out, plot twists came along proved me wrong – which I love. It’s not predictable. I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting upcoming release. And I can’t wait for more.
Synopsis: What would you do if you orphaned a girl?
Cooper Reyes and Lee Nevada run their own business hunting things no one else wants to hunt—ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other dark entities. Before taking a job, they have clients sign a “hunters not responsible for damage or collateral” contract. They do a job, and they leave.
Then one night, in a hunt gone wrong, they orphan a teenage girl with a speech impediment. To Lee’s shock, Cooper won’t leave her to social services, as he doesn’t think she could survive the foster system. This could shatter their “no collateral” policy . . . and possibly their partnership.
They bring her to their log house in the forests of Quinault, Washington, and try to figure out how all of this is going to work. Though still damaged, she begins trying to fit into their life and home, determined to prove her worth. When it turns out she may have gifts and secrets of her own, Cooper and Lee have to face even harder decisions.
Taking in a stray is never simple.
Review: Cooper and Lee are supernatural hunters for hire. They like their quiet and solitary life. They are both stoic and rigid and seem like the last men to take in an orphaned teenager. However, she’s not only emotionally scarred, but psychically gifted.
The Hunters’ Girl is the first installment in a new urban fantasy series. At only 212 pages, this is a shorter story than I’m used to, as I don’t read many novellas. But it just left me wanting more. It’s fast-paced and fun, with several supernatural mysteries that we get to experience. And I’m looking forward to seeing these characters evolve in future installments. I enjoyed every bit of this exciting new book. It feels like Ghost Hunters meets Supernatural. I can’t wait for the sequel.
The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:
Barb Hendee/ND Author Services: The Hunters’ Girl by Barb Hendee
Del Rey: Malorie: A Bird Box Novel by Josh Malerman
Disney Hyperion: Hood by Jenny Elder Moke Snow Day for Groot! by Brendan Deneen Tristan Strong Destroys the World by Kwame Mbalia
Penguin / Razorbill: Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson
Saga Press: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones Live to Tell the Tale by Keith Ammann Savage Legion by Matt Wallace
Simon Pulse: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Subterranean Press: The Best of Michael Marshall Smith by Michael Marshall Smith Comes a Pale Rider by Caitlín R. Kiernan Dying With Her Cheer Pants On: Stories of the Fighting Pumpkins by Seanan McGuire
Titan Books: Alpha Omega by Nicholas Bowling
Tor: Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab Uranus by Ben Bova
Tor Teen: The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning
War Planet Press: Warbot 1.0: AI Goes to War by Brian M. Michelson
Synopsis: When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.
But Amarande was raised to be a warrior―not a sacrifice.
In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.
Review: The inspiration for this novel was Princess Bride. This becomes really evident at times, with quite a bit of similar dialog and events. But don’t expect the same lighthearted humor. While there isn’t much in the way of humor, there is plenty of suspense, drama, and intrigue. And in this novel, the princess does the rescuing.
The Princess Will Save You is a fun YA novel that will appeal to fantasy fans of all ages. The adventure and mystery make for an engaging read. As well as several exciting twists and surprises. This is the first in a planned series, so don’t expect all threads to be wrapped up. But I certainly look forward to the next installment.