Book Review: Kingston and the Echoes of Magic // Bigger and bolder

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Kingston and the Echoes of Magic
Author: Rucker Moses, Theo Gangi
Genre/s and tags: Middle Grade, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Magic, Mythology, BIPOC Lead
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 12, 2021
Content warnings: Violence (mild), loss of a parent
Goodreads synopsis: 

In this duology’s finale, Kingston travels back in time and uses his growing magic to save the world.

Kingston might have saved Echo City but the victory is bittersweet without his pops by his side. The holidays are approaching and if Kingston could have one wish, it would be to have his father, who is trapped in the Realm, come home. But as new problems arise and blackouts blanket the city, Kingston begins to have a persistent feeling of deja vu, as if he’s lived this same day before–and he has. Echo City living up to its name, is caught in a repeating time loop.

Maestro, his father’s old rival, has found a way to overwrite reality with an alternate timeline where he rules over all. It will be up to Kingston, Too Tall, and V to find a way to enter the Realm and travel back through time to stop him. But with a magic he still barely understands, Kingston will needs his friends’ smarts and their collective courage to figure out the mystery and find Maestro before Brooklyn as they know it is erased for good.

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A big thank you to Megan Beatie Communications for sending me a finished copy!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! Coming at you with another book review this week! Although, just to be transparent, this book is actually my last read of 2021! I have been reading and enjoying middle grade novels lately, and this book was another great journey.

Bigger and bolder, and yet still full of heart, Kingston and the Echoes of Magic is a finale that will keep you on your toes!

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Book Review: Never Have I Ever // A lyrical and haunting anthology inspired by Filipino folklore and legends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Never Have I Ever
Author: Isabel Yap
Genre/s and tags: Short stories, Anthology, Science Fiction Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, LGBTQ+ Filipino folklore and mythology
Publisher: Small Beer Press
Publication date: February 23, 2021
Content warnings: Violence (mild), gore, sexual assault, blood, casual homophobia, deadnaming, misgendering
Goodreads synopsis: 

“Am I dead?”

Mebuyen sighs. She was hoping the girl would not ask.

Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales: the magic in Isabel Yap’s debut collection jumps right off the page, from the joy in her new novella, ‘A Spell for Foolish Hearts’ to the terrifying tension of the urban legend ‘Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez’.

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Hello book nerds! It’s a tour stop day! Today is my stop for the Never Have I Ever Bookstagram Tour hosted by Pride Book Tours! For those of you who don’t know it yet, Pride Book Tours is an amazing bookstagram tour service promoting LGBTQ+ books. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of one of their tours. Especially, this tour in particular!

Our featured book for today is Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap! When I found out it’s by a queer Filipino author and is an anthology of science fiction short stories inspired by folktales and urban legends, I knew I had to sign up for the tour. And here we are, and all I can say after reading this book is WOW.

Never Have I Ever is a lyrical and haunting anthology inspired Filipino and other Asian folklore and legends that will delight and fascinate you. (Make sure to visit me on Instagram to see my Bookstagram stop and the whole tour!)

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ARC Review: Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found // Full of magic and full of heart

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found
Author: Rucker Moses, Theo Gangi
Genre/s and tags: Middle Grade, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Magic, POC Lead
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: February 16, 2021
Content warnings: Violence (mild), loss of a parent, grief
Goodreads synopsis: 

Magic has all but disappeared in Brooklyn, but one tenacious young magician is determined to bring it back in this exciting middle grade mystery.

Kingston has just moved from the suburbs back to Echo City, Brooklyn–the last place his father was seen alive. Kingston’s father was King Preston, one of the world’s greatest magicians. Until one trick went wrong and he disappeared. Now that Kingston is back in Echo City, he’s determined to find his father. Somehow, though, when his father disappeared, he took all of Echo City’s magic with him. Now Echo City–a ghost of its past–is living up to its name. With no magic left, the magicians have packed up and left town and those who’ve stayed behind don’t look too kindly on any who reminds them of what they once had. When Kingston finds a magic box his father left behind as a clue, Kingston knows there’s more to his father’s disappearance than meets the eye. He’ll have to keep it a secret–that is, until he can restore magic to Echo City. With his cousin Veronica and childhood friend Too Tall Eddie, Kingston works to solve the clues, but one wrong move and his father might not be the only one who goes missing.

 

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A big thank you to Megan Beatie Communications for sending me an advanced reader’s copy!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! How do you feel about magic, mystery, and Black magicians in Brooklyn? It’s all in here in Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found!

Getting an ARC of this upcoming title was a total surprise, but after I read the synopsis, I was so excited to dive into this book! I love magic and magicians, and I just had a feeling I will love this book.

Full of magic and full of heart, Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found is a middle grade fantasy novel you will adore!

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ARC Review: The Knockout // A funny and inspiring YA debut

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Title: The Knockout
Author: Sajni Patel
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, POC cast, Asian lead
Publisher: Flux Books
Publication date: January 26, 2021
Content warnings: Bullying, terminal illness, graphic violence (in terms of describing the fight scenes)
Goodreads synopsis: 

A rising star in Muay Thai figures out what (and who) is worth fighting for in this #ownvoices YA debut full of heart.

If seventeen-year-old Kareena Thakkar is going to alienate herself from the entire Indian community, she might as well do it gloriously. She’s landed the chance of a lifetime, an invitation to the US Muay Thai Open, which could lead to a spot on the first-ever Olympic team. If only her sport wasn’t seen as something too rough for girls, something she’s afraid to share with anyone outside of her family. Despite pleasing her parents, exceling at school, and making plans to get her family out of debt, Kareena’s never felt quite Indian enough, and her training is only making it worse.

Which is inconvenient, since she’s starting to fall for Amit Patel, who just might be the world’s most perfect Indian. Admitting her feelings for Amit will cost Kareena more than just her pride–she’ll have to face his parents’ disapproval, battle her own insecurities, and remain focused for the big fight. Kareena’s bid for the Olympics could very well make history–if she has the courage to go for it.

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A big thank you to Flux Books for approving my e-arc request via Edelweiss!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! It’s been a little while, I feel like. But I am back with an another review. This time it’s an #ownvoices YA debut!

Though the cover is quite simple, please do not be deceived. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount by the depth and the wonderful overall message this book is trying to send to its readers.

Equally funny and inspiring, The Knockout is a heartfelt #ownvoices YA debut that will surely speak to a lot of teen Asian readers.

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ARC Review: Blazewrath Games // A fantastic debut fantasy to watch out for

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Blazewrath Games
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Adventure, Sports Fiction, LGBTQ+, POC reads, Latinx rep
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Publication date: October 6, 2020
Content warnings: Violence, murder/mentions of murder, manipulation, animal violence (dragons)
Goodreads synopsis: 

How to Train Your Dragon meets Quidditch through the Ages in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which dragons and their riders compete in an international sports tournament

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

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I received an e-arc from Page Street via NetGalley in exchange
for honest review. Thank you Page Street!

First of all, HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO BLAZEWRATH GAMES! I remember seeing this book the first time on Instagram. I was so excited for it! I mean, dragons? magic? a sports tournament? Hell yes! I already knew it was going to be good, and so it was one of my most anticipated reads for 2020! (It didn’t prepare me for how it was going to play with my emotions though.)

With great character arcs, exciting plot twists, remarkable world-building, and queer rep, Blazewrath Games is a fantastic debut fantasy to watch out for!

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