Kingdom of Souls eARC Review

 

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GoodReads:
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US 
[Affiliated Links: You will not be charged, I will receive a bit of money if you use my link to purchase]

My Review

This is hands down one of the best YA fantasy books I have EVER read. Barron’s writing is superb, her worldbuilding engaging and the pacing was perfect. Honestly, there is little to no complaint out of me other than I wanted more haha [and let’s face it, that’s a pretty common complaint from me].

The magic system is out of this world, I mean, it’s not born or earned, it’s given and it’s not even necessarily a good thing depending on the situation. Though in Arrah’s case, it’s something she wants and yearns for. Still, it’s such a great change of pace to the things we’ve gotten used to seeing in magic systems.

Arrah is such a wonderful protagonist and the side characters are so easy to love [or hate depending on which side of the plot they’re on] and I think I could never get enough of the relationship between Arrah and her Father. So often we find not enough positive parental relationships in YA but Barron gives you the good and the bad and Arrah’s father and grandmother are two of my ultimate favorite characters in this book.

I really want to focus on Arrah and her Father though. There is not enough YA with healthy parental relationships, like not even anything outstanding, just HEALTHY. So the fact that Barron used this as an opportunity to show both sides of parental relationships the amazing on both ends of the spectrum, speaks VOLUMES. Arrah and her Father are close, there is a deep sense of trust and love and the affection is so blatant from her father that it made me teary-eyed several times. His love is what I hope Fathers show their children more often than not and it’s a great balance to strike against the relationship Arrah has with her Mother. [Who still loves her in her very misguided way]

There is so much love in this book, between friends, including Rudjek, between Arrah and her father, and her grandmother, and it makes all the difference when you read this story.

Arrah’s strength is in her love for those close to her, and she comes to realize that it’s a strength, that even if she hadn’t been gifted magic like those around her, she still has something to fight for and the spirit to do so. Not to mention there are some great twists and crazy obstacles that she faces.

If you want lore that’s drenched in the wonders of different African-inspired tribes and cultures with a kickass magic system, heartache, love, and perseverance, well, I present Kingdom of Souls.

** I preordered this in February, and I even was lucky enough to get the Goldsboro edition, but for this review, I used the eARC that HarperVoyager UK gifted me, via NetGalley **

[I could sincerely gush about this all day and feel so lucky to have had a chance to read an eARC of it….But…if you have a physical ARC and wanna talk trades or something, hit me up, please, that is high on my wishlist lol.]

 

About the Author

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school. Rena loves all things science fiction, ghosts, and superheroes. She’s a self-proclaimed space nerd. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Author Links

Website| GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram

Kingdom of Souls Site

^^ This site is AMAZING and has so many cool extras ^^

Harley in the Sky Cover Art

Hey everyone, today I’m just giving you all some lovely cover art to look at that’s been revealed over the summer.

For those of you who don’t know I’m part of a few street teams, Nadine Brandes, Nicki Pau Preto’s for Heart of Flames, Aileen Erin, S. Usher Evans, and of course, Akemi Dawn Bowman for her amazing upcoming Harley in the Sky novel. You can check out the full list of her awesome street team, here.

When the cover was officially revealed, it was pretty awesome that Paste Magazine did the honours, and I’m going to go ahead and link you all to that, here.

FINALLY

Are you all ready?

I’m sure you’ve seen it on GoodReads but let’s just focus on it here and now in all its wonderfully beautiful glory.

HarleyInTheSky2

HarlyInTheSky
The full layout of it

 

Preorder Links

Blackwells| Amazon UK  | Google Books UKAmazon US | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Apple Books | BooksAMillion | Target

 

Release Date

March 10, 2020

 

Add to your GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44329216-harley-in-the-sky

 

 

 

I Like What I Like

 

I feel like this is something I should just tackle. I kinda have before in Crap Critiquing Skills

To give a run down, I know I rate books pretty high. I do it knowingly.

Why?

Because I liked them… because they were enjoyable because that’s the rating I felt they deserve.

Now I know that I don’t really critique books in my reviews but that isn’t my point. My reviews are used to highlight what I liked/didn’t like about a book and lately, I’ve liked more than I’ve disliked. So sue me.

If there are areas of contention in a book I do try to mention them, I do try and say, hey I’m not sure how this will go for you all, but it’s there. And I’m going back through my reviews to add trigger warnings to anything and everything that I think needs it and that I’ve overlooked lately.

This is me trying to do better as a reviewer, but, the fact that I enjoy books shouldn’t be an issue. And almost no one aside from a friend has pointed it out to me, so I’m not here to defend myself against fake haters, I’m here to tell you all that it is absolutely 100% okay to like what you read, it is also okay to not like what you read. The reviews are not just for readers, they’re for you. You’re reflecting on what you read, you’re giving your opinion and voice to something you read.

Do not feel bad about hating a book everyone has loved, and on the same token, don’t feel bad for loving a book people hated.

Romance is your go-to genre and you tend to love them all? That’s wonderful, or maybe it makes you pickier, that’s also wonderful. I value your opinions and so do most, but even if we didn’t, you hold that head high and don’t worry about it.

It can be so easy to tear a book down, and sometimes it is so very very justified, but we have to remember to not tear down the readers with it.

[And unless it has some serious ethical problems [racism, sexism, prejudice, harmful language toward certain groups then maybe we should pause before tearing down an author with their book as well but I have to say I think we’re pretty good in our community about being supportive.]

My reviews are still growing, I’m still learning but I don’t think I should feel guilty about just really enjoying books I read and I hope others don’t either. You want to five-star rate the last four books you read? You do it! Want to DNF? Go for it! Want to give a 1 star because you absolutely disliked the book? Put that one star down, GoodReads is a community but those ratings aren’t just for other readers, they’re a reflection of your opinion. So give it honestly, and guilt-free.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to pterodactyl screech less while fan-girl raving and make my reviews a bit more coherent.

 

Cover Reveal: Captain Black Shadow

Bringing you another cover reveal today!

This one is for Captain Black Shadow, the first instalment of Janina S. Franck’s fantasy adventure series, Chronicles of the Bat.

So here we gooooooooooo

The Cover, designed by Eerilyfairdesign:

CBS front cover.jpg

The life of a shipwright’s son is a quiet one, always staying in one place while sailors of all sorts pass through, telling tales of their daring escapades to any who will listen. For the young Griffin, stories of adventure aren’t enough; he longs to see the world for himself, to have adventures out on the ocean, and to captain his own ship. Even if that means abandoning his old life and running away. But the seas of Jianlah are a dangerous place, filled with strange creatures, treacherous waters, and most dangerous of all: pirates. So when Griffin finds himself aboard the Bat, the most notorious pirate ship of all, his adventures are only beginning.

Title: Captain Black Shadow (Book 1 of the Chronicles of the Bat Series)
Author: Janina S. Franck
Release Date: 4th July
Publisher:Snowy Wings Publishing
Cover Designer: Eerilyfairdesign
Add it on GoodReads

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Our lovely author, Janina S. Franck!
So if you’re interested, please add it to your GoodReads/TBR/Give it a preorder!

You can expect a review of it from me, in June!

GoodReads Tag

Hey all, another tag is coming your way, I’m just too tired after like a concert and weird chest injury, I’m just ready to sleep my life away but first, I was tagged by the amazingly awesome Isabelle @ Bookwyrmbites. She got it from Lindsay @ Singer of Stories.

So here we go!

 

WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS READ?

That would be the last book I finished reading, GhondathaI really try to keep up with my GR on what I’m reading and what I’ve finished, it helps me so much when I go to look at what I’ve done for the month lol.

 

WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS “TBR”?

That would be Shadows of the Short Days by Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson. Joanne Harris rated it and I’m in love with one of her books, so I figured, if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. It hasn’t come out yet but you can bet I’ll be watching for it! It’s also set in Reykjavik which I always find to be beautiful, so, I’m already a sucker for the setting.

 

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

I’m getting my NetGalley list under control currently, and I’ve already started my next read but haven’t been able to go full throttle if you know what I mean, just read the first couple of chapters, I start the real reading tonight and that’s The Fever King by Victoria Lee. [Thanks for the rec, Kal- The Fever King Review]

I can honestly say that even though I’ve only read 2 chapters in, it’s already sucked me in which is impressive. It’s like Descendant of the Crane all over again lol.

I also have two other goals for this week, so, we’ll see lol. I was hoping to have this read done by tomorrow, but, shit happens.

 

DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

Can we not just have half ratings as well? Is that too much to ask? I liked Isabelle’s response with having a Highly Rec, and so on. I don’t mind the stars, I just hate it because not all my 3 stars are the same, like a mystery 3 star holds a different weight than a poetry 3 star and so on.

 

ARE YOU DOING THE 2019 READING CHALLENGE?

Yaaaaaaaas.

I already beat my challenge. I have exceeded my own expectations. Whoops. [That never happens]

 

DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

No. My want to read is just like ‘oh I may someday get to this before I die’ I tend to keep my wishlist separate on Amazon. They are the ones that I know I’ll definitely get.

 

WHICH BOOK DO YOU PLAN ON BUYING NEXT?

I’ve been doing a lot of preorders lately, well, I say a lot, but more than usual as I try not to buy books but I’ve been going wild these past few months and really need to slow my roll. That being said, the next preorder coming out is Descendant of the Crane, and I am very very very very excited about it.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE QUOTES? SHARE A FEW!

Yes. I actually have to laugh because half of them were just accidental highlights of random crap but I do have real highlights and quotes!

Each of our careful footsteps tapped home the message that we had come to a lawless place of death, a place where the hopeful invention of fearful man that I clutched in my hand would likely prove a feeble defense, and where the answers to greater mysteries than those we’d spent the last dozen weeks trying to unravel would be made plain with brutal finality.”
– Caleb Carr, The Alienist

Yes, it’s a lie, but the media repeated it, and a lie repeated becomes perception, and perception is reality. Perception is also very hard to change.”
– A.G. Riddle, The Atlantis Plague, Book 2

But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as whys—why he walks like this, why he closes his eyes like that—you can love those parts, too, and it’s a love at once more complicated and more complete. ”
– Ally Condie, Crossed, Matched #2

It’s sweet to sacrifice for one we love—it’s sweet to have someone to sacrifice for,”
– L.M. Montgomery, Chronicles of Avonlea

I detest poor people,” thought Amory suddenly. “I hate them for being poor. Poverty may have been beautiful once, but it’s rotten now. It’s the ugliest thing in the world. It’s essentially cleaner to be corrupt and rich than it is to be innocent and poor.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Her heart is played like well-worn strings; in her eyes, the sadness sings— of one who was destined for better things.”
– Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? SHARE A FEW!

Hmmm. Okay, let’s see, I’ll go for like 4

  1. L.M. Montgomery
  2. J.K. Rowling
  3. Agatha Christie
  4. Philip Pullman
  5. Tamora Pierce

(Ahhh Isabelle we both have excellent taste! Tamora Pierce Rules)

 

HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

Yes! I’m not always active in them, but I usually keep up with their current reads if they have them, well, okay I try. Here are all the groups I’m in.

– GoodReads Feedback [This one is great if you want to know what’s up when something on GR isn’t acting as it should]
– Booksirens Book Reviewers [I don’t do anything with this one but ‘eeeeey it’s there]
– Harry Potter Fan Club [Uh, I guess I forgot about this one, it’s not very active or what I expected but not a bad group!]
– Around the World in 80 Books [Okay I want to be more active in this one but it’s hard to get the books for it, but it’s pretty awesome anyway]
– Juliet’s Library Book Club [I’m still on the waiting list for the book from last month from this group, but it’s got some great picks!]
– Agatha Christie Lovers [Are we even surprised? They’re reading Murder on the Orient Express right now so I skipped ahead and read next month’s book since I didn’t want to reread the current pick yet.]
– 2019 Reading Challenges [This group is amazing, different reading challenges divided by monthly, quarterly, yearly, I’m doing three yearly challenges, the GR challenge itself, clear the shelves and reading prolific works by an author!]

 

Who Do I tag?

You. All of you. Please, take this tag, hoard it, use it, and if you want to be tagged in this post properly, let me know!