Incendiary – Book Review

Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata was used by the crown to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. The Whispers may have rescued Renata years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred — or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she drained during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit — and the boy she’s grown to love — is taken captive by the notorious Principe Dorado, Renata must return to Andalucia and complete Dez’s top secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the entire kingdom — and end the war that has cost her everything.

The premise sounded interesting, but I had no idea how captivating this story would be. The world is inspired by Inquisition Spain, yet full of magical mental gifts that are hated by all who don’t possess them.

Renata/Ren is a complex character – gifted and strong, but traumatized with little self-worth. She can read the memories of anyone she touches, with the ability to drain them to empty shells. And she becomes a spy in the place she hates the most in order to find a dangerous weapon and enact her revenge.

Incendiary is the first in a planned duology. Full of intrigue, betrayal, suspense, and drama – this was easily one of my favorite novels this year. There are vibrant characters, a complex and unique world, and an exciting plot that makes this a must-read for YA fantasy fans.

Chosen Ones – Book Review

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself.

Sloane was one of the Chosen Ones and now has to live with her celebrity status as well as the trauma of her past. She and the rest of her colleagues are all dealing with their notoriety differently. And when tragedy strikes, they are once again pitted against a magical foe.

As a fan of the Divergent series, I was interested in reading this novel for adults by Roth as well. This is a dark and deep story that focuses on Sloane, a strong but damaged young woman. I love this character and her development over the course of the book. Some of the magical stuff was confusing to me, but the pacing and suspense picked up in the final third of the book. And while some of the surprises were a bit predictable, it didn’t make the showdowns any less intense. I thoroughly enjoyed this adult debut from a talented author.

Deeplight – Book Giveaway!

Courtesy of Amulet, I have a copy of Deeplight by Frances Hardinge for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 12. I’ll draw a name on June 13, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Read moreDeeplight – Book Giveaway!

Loop – Book Review

The Loop by Ben Oliver

It’s Luka Kane’s sixteenth birthday and he’s been inside The Loop for over two years. Every inmate is serving a death sentence with the option to push back their execution date by six months if they opt into “Delays”, scientific and medical experiments for the benefit of the elite in the outside world.

But rumors of a war on the outside are spreading amongst the inmates, and before they know it, their tortuous routine becomes disrupted. The government issued rain stops falling. Strange things are happening to the guards. And it’s not long until the inmates are left alone inside the prison.

Were the chains that shackled Luka to his cell the only instruments left to keep him safe? In a thrilling shift, he must overcome fellow prisoners hell-bent on killing him, the warden losing her mind, the rabid rats in the train tunnels, and a population turned into murderous monsters to try and break out of The Loop, save his family, and discover who is responsible for the chaos that has been inflicted upon the world.

Dystopian scifi is really popular, especially in YA media. And this debut is very impressive. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an engaging and suspenseful novel. There is a sense of panic and fear that makes this book impossible to put down. Luka is a sympathetic character. And the rest of the kids Luka meets, we learn along with him what their true characters are when they’re put to the test. This story is original and exciting. And I’ve read that it’s already been optioned for a TV series.

This is the first in a planned trilogy. And I can’t wait for the next installment.

Don’t Call the Wolf – Book Giveaway

Courtesy of Harper Teen, I have a copy of Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 22. I’ll draw a name on May 23, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Read moreDon’t Call the Wolf – Book Giveaway

Received in April

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Abrams / Amulet:
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Disney Hyperion:
Disney Princess Royally Fierce by Brittany Rubiano
Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies by Andrew Donkin
Artemis Fowl: How to Be a LEPrecon: Your Guide to the Gear, Gadgets, and Going… by Matthew K. Manning
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
Camp Jupiter Classified by Rick Riordan

Storybound by Emily McKay

Harper Teen:
Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross

Subterranean Press:
A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard
Dancers in the Dark & Layla Steps Up: The Layla Collection by Charlaine Harris
The Kraken’s Tooth by Anthony Ryan

Titan Books:
Firefly – The Ghost Machine by James Lovegrove

Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff
Critical Point by S. L. Huang

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