ARC Review – Unexpecting

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Unexpecting by Jen Bailey. This YA queer story had an interesting premise, a cute cover, and a comp to Heartstopper, which made me jump at the opportunity to accept an ARC from the publisher. Unexpecting is available now wherever you get your books!

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ARC Review – The Pattern of the World

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Pattern of the World by J. T. Greathouse, which is the final book in the Pact and Pattern trilogy. I enjoyed the first two books quite a bit and have been looking forward to finally getting to finish the series. Be sure to check out my reviews of book one and book two for all my thoughts on them. Did the finale live up to my expectations? Read on to find out!


Foolish Cur has fallen into a trap. By resorting to forbidden magic when he failed to overthrow the Emperor, he has done exactly as the gods wanted. Now they are free to wage their war, twisting the world into new forms, as strange and terrible beasts walk the earth.

To fix what he has caused will take every ounce of Foolish Cur’s cunning. But mending the pattern of the world is too large a task for one man alone. As the Empire, rebellion and the landscape itself crumble, he and those still fighting for freedom will be drawn together to end the struggle against Emperor Tenet and the gods for good.

But Foolish Cur does not know what such a task will ask of him. And, powerful though he may be, the costs may be more than he is willing to pay . . .

***Thank you to JAB Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

My thoughts about The Pattern of the World are incredibly mixed, and I’m honestly not sure if it is a me thing or an actual deficit in the story. Maybe it’s a bit of both. There was plenty to like, especially if you enjoyed the first two books, but I just never wanted to pick the book back up. It took me over a week to finish it, which is a really long time considering how quickly I usually read.

I’ll start with some of the things I enjoyed. First, The Pattern of the World added so much to my understanding of the world-building of this series. I now have a much better grasp on how the magic works, and this story provided some fascinating information about the history of the gods, their origin, and the seemingly endless war they’ve raged. Some of the descriptions did get a bit too cerebral at times, which made it hard for me to picture some of the magic and events, but the writing, in general, was superb, which should come as no surprise.

The Pattern of the World also continued Greathouse’s beautiful examination of these characters. Just like the second book, this one follows multiple POVs, and each of them had a significant arc with a great deal of growth. Alder was still my favorite, and I liked that he had learned from his mistakes but also still struggled to go against his nature to implement those lessons. He had to accept the sacrifice of the things he wanted most in the world to fix the horrible consequences of his previous actions. Pinion’s journey of dealing with his grief and desire for revenge and Koro Ha’s road to accepting his new power and role of hope-bringer to his people were also both compelling.

The place where The Pattern of the World fell short was the story and its pacing. There was so much philosophizing, and it seemed like the entire book was spent on characters talking about deciding what they should do. The world was literally falling apart around them, but we only got a few glimpses of the mayhem because they just sat in a safe city and squabbled. I kept waiting for the characters to come together and DO SOMETHING, which didn’t happen until the very end. When it finally came, the end made sense, but it was definitely lackluster. I also wish anyone else had helped Alder because my least favorite character played a larger role than I’d have liked.

Overall, there were things I liked and disliked about The Pattern of the World. It definitely wasn’t my favorite book in this series, but it brought the character arcs to a logical and mostly satisfying conclusion. Make sure to read the epilogue. The ending was way too abrupt without it. I just wish there had been a little less talking and a bit more action in this one. Therefore, I rate The Pattern of the World 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Have you read The Pattern of the World or any of the other Pact and Pattern books? Let me know what you thought down in the comments!

ARC Review – Blade of Dream

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Blade of Dream by Daniel Abraham, the second book in the Kithamar trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, Age of Ash, quite a bit and have been looking forward to picking this one up.

From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse, comes the second novel in a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year.

“An atmospheric and fascinating tapestry, woven with skill and patience.” – Joe Abercrombie, New York Times bestselling author of A Little Hatred

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories endure.

This is Garreth’s.
Garreth Left is heir to one of Kithamar’s most prominent merchant families. The path of his life was paved long before he was born. Learn the family trade, marry to secure wealthy in-laws, and inherit the business when the time is right. But to Garreth, a life chosen for him is no life at all.
In one night, a chance meeting with an enigmatic stranger changes everything. He falls in love with a woman whose name he doesn’t even know, and he will do anything to find her again. His search leads him down corridors and alleys that are best left unexplored, where ancient gods hide in the shadows, and every deal made has a dangerous edge.
The path that Garreth chooses will change the course of not only those he loves, but the entire future of Kithamar’s citizens.
In Kithamar, every story matters — and the fate of the city is woven from them all.

***Thank you to Orbit Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

This author’s ability to weave together various story threads into such a rich reading experience is truly astounding. It is even better because it sneaks up on you. Things may appear slow at first, but please trust that the groundwork is being laid for something amazing. This trend in the writing makes me incredibly excited to see what the last book has in store because I’m certain it will be an epic culmination of everything that’s come before.

I was surprised by how well this book worked on its own. It covered the same time period as the first installment, which meant the overarching story was the same. However, the perspectives were completely different. Whereas the first book followed characters from the slums of Kithamar, this one was written from the perspective of members of the elite, including the heir to the throne. It was interesting to see the story play out from their point of view, especially since they turned out to be just as trapped by their roles in the city as the poor, just in different ways. Much of this story was about two individuals trying to escape/change the roles that society had set for them and searching for who they wanted to be. I enjoyed their love story, as well, and appreciated how the bond of their genuine connection was portrayed and held so much power. There were plenty of bits where the story of these characters overlapped with those from the first book, but it never felt like reading the first book would be absolutely necessary. Having the prior knowledge would undoubtedly deepen the reading experience, but this was definitely a discrete story in its own right.

As with the first book, the real main character was the city of Kithamar. I loved how the author, once again, was able to make the setting feel so alive. The soul of the city felt like a seething presence just below the surface that loomed over everything happening to the people living there. I was enthralled by the exploration of the bastardization of the communal compact that serves as the bedrock of any society. What should have been a force for the betterment of the citizens was twisted into something ugly and destructive by a hunger for power and control. It was thought-provoking and fascinating to read.

Overall, this is a great series so far. If you don’t mind a slow start and the work necessary to understand how the different stories thread together, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I’ve never read anything quite like it with multiple independent stories all telling different angles of the same narrative. It feels almost like a puzzle. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together in the last book. Therefore, I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

ARC Review – A Power Unbound

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing A Power Unbound by Freya Marske. I don’t usually post on the weekends anymore, but I just finished this book yesterday and want to scream about it. So, you get an extra post. 🙂 I should probably wait until closer to the release date to review it, but I really, really cannot wait that long. Also, a word of warning… Do not expect my review or rating to be super objective. This is one of my favorite series, and I’ll mostly just be talking about all the reasons I LOVE it. Read on below to see what I thought of the finale.

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