ARC Review: The Electric Heir

Title: The Electric Heir
Author: Victoria Lee
My rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Series: Feverwake #2
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, LGTBQ+, Bisexual rep, POC, Racism, M/M romance, OwnVoices
Content Warnings: Profanity, alcohol/drug abuse, mental health and suicide, non-consensual/rape, emotional abuse and manipulation, physical abuse. For a much more detailed list, see this content warning post from the author themself.
Publication date: March 17, 2020
Goodreads synopsis:

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Skyscape!

img_9282Okay book nerds. Strap in because this book may just be my top/favorite read of 2020.

I read The Fever King a couple of days ago and I loved it! I got sucked into the story and the world and the characters in no time. I was just so excited for the sequel to come! And so, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the sequel was available for request on NetGalley, and what’s even more surprising is that my request was approved! I dove right in.

The Electric Heir is one conclusion I will never forget. It’s powerful, it’s gripping, it’s intense, it’s heartbreaking, and above all, it’s beautifully done. I am truly in awe of this book.

Beautifully written

The Electric Heir is beautifully written. There’s no other way to go about it. Every sentence, every chapter, every archive part, every flashback—they were all there for a reason, they were all there to create a powerful story that will affect the readers. And boy, was I affected. My breath was knocked out of me; I was left feeling horrified; I cried; I felt all the anger, the frustration, the sadness, the angst, the fear, the hope; everything. I was so emotionally invested with the characters and the story because of the prose and how the author carefully built the story. I admire it so much.

I also loved the addition of Dara’s point of view. It was so great to know more of his perspective, his experiences, his thoughts, his feelings. He was an enigma in The Fever King, and here in The Electric Heir, we’re given the chance to peek into his mind. I loved it.

Complex characters

I loved how the author created such complex characters and explored each and every one of them. From Noam, to Dara, to Lehrer, and even the minor characters like Ames, Bethany, Taye, Leo, Priya and Claire. I applaud the author for such a great job with these characters.

Noam, my sweet boy, Noam. There’s a drastic change from the Noam in The Fever King to the Noam here in The Electric Heir. He’s braver, smarter, definitely more powerful, but there’s also a new kind of darkness inside of him—a mix of guilt, longing, trauma, secrets, wrong decisions, and more.

And Dara, my darling boy, Dara. There’s also a drastic change in Dara, all right. With him being no longer a Witching, we see him struggle and try to cope with being a normal person. We also see him try to deal with all that happened while he was gone, deal with the new Noam, and deal with the horrors Lehrer has imprinted on his mind.

And that brings me to Lehrer. Just when I thought I have an idea of what kind of person Lehrer is, I am proven wrong. Lehrer’s character is such a good villain, I have to admit that, even though I have a newfound hatred for him. Him being an antagonist is good because it’s so real, because his character exists in the real world—in the faces of abusers, of corrupt politicians, of tyrants, of manipulators. That’s what makes him so good, and so scary, and so frustrating.

Gripping storyline with significant themes

The author dedicated The Electric Heir to survivors. Because above all, this story is about surviving. Surviving abusers, surviving tyranny, surviving your own demons. I absolutely loved how the author focused on themes such as abuse, trauma, mental health, politics, relationships. There were already themes like these in The Fever King, but it’s in this book where these themes were such a distinct part of the plot. The author has woven them all together with such regard and, for me, it created such a powerful, gripping, and emotional story that will really stay with me as a reader and as a person. It was brilliant.


 

Overall, this book is just so, so good. Actually, it’s more than that, it’s magnificent, What a finale! I’m pretty sure this is my new obsession now, and I can say that Victoria Lee is now one of my favorite authors.

Sad to think about how this is the conclusion, but hey, good thing it’s been adapted into a Webtoon. Haha!

If I could give a million stars to this book, to Noam and to Dara, I would.

ARC Review: Woven in Moonlight [Blog Tour]

Title: Woven in Moonlight
Author: Isabel Ibañez
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, POC
Release date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
ISBN: 9781624148019
Goodreads synopsis:

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

Hi book nerds! Welcome to my stop on the Woven in Moonlight Blog Tour hosted by The Royal Polar Bear Reads! Thanks so much Raf and Page Street Publishing for sending me a digital review copy!

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez is described as “A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.”  and to be honest, I have never come across such a perfect and accurate synopsis/description of a book. Everything is lush and gripping—from the writing style, to the characters, the immersive plot, and the incredible world-building. I absolutely loved it!

Great writing style

The writing style was great. I loved how the author narrated to the story from the littlest of details to the grander perspective. As a reader, I was shown a rich culture, a complex history of land and people, a harmful game of war and politics, a slow-burn romance, the process of learning to overcome judgment, and more. It was so good and I was hooked the moment I read the first page.

Remarkable characters

I loved the characters in this book! Ximena is a strong-willed character full of hope and heart, she’s also intelligent and brave. I loved reading the story through her perspective. I also found her very interesting, especially her struggle to be her true self. She’s a decoy, a stand-in, and as a result, she needs to act like the Condesa, think like the Condesa, not herself. I have to say, it was incredibly satisfying to see her finally show her true self.

Rumi is a charmer. He seems aloof at first, but we get to see more of him and know more of his agenda, is desires, and his loyalty as the story progresses.

The minor characters are memorable as well! There’s Juan Carlos, Tamaya, El Lobo, Catalina, Suyana, the priest, and even the woolly animals! For me, they helped build the story and it really wouldn’t be the same without them.

Immersive plot

Here’s what I really like about the plot of Woven in Moonlight: it’s entertaining, it’s compelling, and best of all, it’s cohesive—everything makes sense and the flow of the story was just smooth and well-written. There were some plot twists I didn’t see (but loved), and there were some that were just obvious (but I still loved!).

I also love how the story provokes an inner battle in choosing between right or wrong and knowing the different shades of morality when it comes to war and politics.

As for the romance, I loved it! It was not rushed, which is something I really appreciate when it comes to romantic pairings in books. And although the romance affected the plot, it’s not the main part of the story. It didn’t steal the show, nor did it become something that will badly impact the characters or the story.

Incredible world-building

The world-building in Woven in Moonlight is nothing but incredible. From the food, to the language, to the culture, to the politics and history, the author really managed to show the readers the bad, the good, and the beautiful sides of a Bolivian-inspired world.

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

This book is one of a kind, indeed. Also, that cover is gorgeous! I definitely loved it even more when I found out that the author is also the cover artist! How awesome is that?! 5 stars for this wonderful book!

Woven in Moonlight Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble Google Play | Book Depository

About the Author

ibanez author image Isabel Ibañez was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and is the proud daughter of two Bolivian immigrants. A true word nerd, she received her degree in creative writing and has been a Pitch Wars mentor for three years. Isabel is an avid movie goer and loves hosting family and friends around the dinner table. She currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband, their adorable dog, and a serious collection of books. Say hi on social media at @IsabelWriter09.

Song of the Crimson Flower Book Review

ARC Review: Song of the Crimson Flower

Title: Song of the Crimson Flower
Author: Julie C. Dao
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐💫
Series: Rise of the Empress
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Goodreads synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns comes a fantastical new tale of darkness and love, in which magical bonds are stronger than blood.

Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician’s apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman’s daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao’s prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest’s Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that’s been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I won this ARC from a giveaway by Rafael of The Royal Polar Bear Reads a few weeks ago. It’s my first every physical ARC and I am so grateful! I thought I’d have to read the first books in the series first, but I realized this was a companion novel and it could stand alone. And so, I dived in!

This book was a nice, short read! The story weaved tales of unrequited love, dark magic, forgiving mistakes, fulfilling destinies, and families.

Read More »

Marrow Charm Book Review feat image

ARC Review: Marrow Charm

Title: Marrow Charm
Author: Kristin Jacques
My rating: 2.5/5 stars
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Goodreads synopsis:

‘In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but They were already in our world and They were hungry.’

-The Lost History, Library of Avergard

Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.

Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.

The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.

And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much The Parliament House!

Marrow Charm, though it was interesting and great at some parts, can be confusing and a bit of a letdown. There’s an interesting world-building and a fast-paced story line, but the plot, for me, failed to bring me as a reader to new heights.

Read More »

ARC Review: The Weight of a Soul

Title: The Weight of a Soul
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Publication date: December 3, 2019
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Goodreads synopsis:

When Lena’s younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should’ve lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.

But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction.

Still, with her sister’s life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She’s willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?

Buy it here: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Flux!

Well, this was a fun read! The Weight of a Soul has a mix of mythology, family, and the sense of doing right or wrong. Definitely enjoyed this one, and I would have finished it way sooner if I didn’t have a busy week!

43517326

The writing

I adored the writing style of the author. It was emotional and philosophical for me as it touches the topic of family—specifically a sister’s love and estranged family members—and the morality of a person.

The characters

I liked the characters enough but I wish it had more characterization. We see Lena get consumed by grief and her dangerous determination to see her sister again. We see Amal try to get back up and put on a brave face. And Fressa, though she was a constant topic throughout the book, I don’t know much about her or I didn’t get to relate enough to her.

The plot

The plot was okay for me—it was interesting but I feel like the pace or the flow of the story seemed off. The first few parts were really interesting, the middle parts got a bit slow and uneventful, and the remaining parts of the book got really fast-paced.

I liked that the author pulled some exciting plot twists that I didn’t see at first! I loved that. The ending (as in the last two lines!) were shocking as well! I also expected more action, a battle or some sort of showdown, but those few great plot twists did it for me.

Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars!

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

The Weight of a Soul is the very first e-arc I received on NetGalley and it was an enjoyable read! Do you guys use NetGalley? How was it for you? Got any tips to share?