ARC Review – Untethered Sky

Hello, everyone! After my teaser of the first lines of Untethered Sky this morning, I had to also drop this review today. 🙂 Anyone following me for a while probably knows by now that I am OBSESSED with the Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee. It is one of my favorite series ever. So, I was incredibly excited to be granted an advanced copy of this new novella set in a completely different world. Let’s get to my *totally unbiased* thoughts on Lee’s most recent work!

From World Fantasy Award-winning author Fonda Lee comes Untethered Sky, an epic fantasy fable about the pursuit of obsession at all costs.

A Most Anticipated in 2023 Pick for Polygon | Book Riot | Paste Magazine


Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.

Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.

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

I loved everything about this novella, the characters, the story, the setting, and the writing. All of it. My only complaint is that I wanted more than a novella’s length to explore these characters and their world. I rarely want to annotate while reading, but I found myself itching to highlight so much of the beautiful and insightful prose. There’s just something so special about Lee’s voice. Her writing is somehow both matter of fact and emotionally evocative, which shines here just as much as it did in the Green Bone Saga.

The premise of the story is fairly simple but really, really cool. Ester’s family was murdered by a manticore, and she becomes obsessed with being a ruhker so that she can dedicate her life to killing the horrid, man-eating beasts. The book follows her journey of training her roc and becoming a successful ruhker until tragedy strikes and changes everything. Of course, there were plenty of moments that completely ripped my heart out, which seems to be Lee’s specialty as this point, and I was surprised by how much I came to care about these characters so quickly.

The rocs were so interesting, and the relationship between roc and ruhker was a fascinating one to examine. It allowed for the exploration of obsessive, one-sided love, as well as the process of accepting the loss of something, possibly everything, important to you. I was torn between loving the relationship between Ester and Zahra and being horrified by the brutality of Zahra being ripped away from her natural habitat and manipulated into servitude by the person claiming to love her. I wasn’t expecting so much nuance to be packed into such a tight story, but somehow Lee managed it.

Overall, this was a beautiful, quick story that fantasy fans will most likely enjoy. I would have loved to get even more of it, especially the world-building, but I have no complaints about what we did get. Therefore, I rate this one 5 out of 5 stars, which should come as no shock to anyone who knows how much I love Lee’s work.

ARC Review – Solomon’s Crown

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel, which is out next week. This also happens to be the two year anniversary of this blog. 🙂 When I started this journey, I never could have imagined all the wonderful people I’d ‘meet’ or that I would read 350+ books in two years. I’m so grateful to everyone that visits this site, and you all are truly the reason I haven’t given up on it yet. lol. Now… on to the review!

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BBNYA Finalist Blog Tour Review – Haven

Hello, everyone! Today I’m participating in the blog tour for the BBNYA finalist, Haven by Ceril N Domace. This was one of my BBNYA reads last year, and I had a lot of fun participating as a panelist.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Book Info & Links

Print Length: 280 Pages

Publication Date: April 30, 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy

Age Category: Adult

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

Most people think the fae are gone. Most people are wrong.

Owen Williams wakes after a horrific car accident to find his wife is dead—and somehow turned into a gryphon—and his kids gone after a home invasion turned horribly wrong. Shattered and reeling, he vows to do whatever it takes to find them.

When a fae scout appears and promises to reunite him with his kids, he doesn’t hesitate before joining her. But she warns him that if he wants to protect his family, he must follow the fae to their city, the hidden haven of Tearmann.

With enemies on the horizon, Owen needs to set aside his fears and take up arms to defend their new home alongside the people he’s always been taught were monsters—or he’ll lose everyone he’s trying to protect.

My Review

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

My thoughts on this one are mixed. I enjoyed learning about the world the author created, and the characters really tugged at my heart. However, the pace of the story was just dreadfully slow at times, and the writing wasn’t always the best. For example, I had trouble tracking what was going on in some of the action scenes.

I liked the world-building. I found the struggles of the fae to be realistic, and I was fascinated, and a bit horrified, by the process of changing that turned humans into fae. There were so many different types of fae, and I enjoyed learning about each of them. My only problem with the world-building was the delivery. It was really slow and primarily delivered via lengthy dialogue. There was so much telling happening that it felt like I was reading the slowest lecture in history. I found the information on the history of the fae in this world fascinating, but it was a huge drag on the story.

The characters and the family dynamic were the things I loved most about this story. These children grasped hold of my heart and would not let go. The entire family went through so much trauma in this story, and I was in my feelings right along with them. I also liked seeing a story about a father and his kids because it is not something I read nearly often enough. Although, the father, Owen, did get on my nerves sometimes because his characterization was really inconsistent. The text kept saying he was so worried about his kids and would never leave their sight again, and then he’d be off to some new meeting by himself in the very next scene. He made quite a few choices that left me shaking my head.

The themes related to ‘othering’ were timely and important. The story illustrated how important it is to get to know people rather than demonizing entire groups based on preconceived notions and baseless propaganda. The transition of the fae and the persecution they faced afterward reminded me of the challenges facing trans people, who are often demeaned and attacked for transitioning into their true selves. I’m not sure if it was the intention of the author, but that’s what I took away from it.

Was this book perfect? No, but I still enjoyed it. The world-building was clever despite being a bit clunky in its execution, and I would die for the children in this book. I came to love them that much. Therefore, I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Ceril N Domace is an accountant, the owner of the feline embodiment of violence, and a dedicated dungeon master. On the rare occasions she manages to free herself from an ever-growing and complex web of TTRPG, Ceril enjoys taking walks and griping that all her hobbies are work in disguise.

ARC Review – The Foxglove King

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing a book that’s received quite a bit of buzz recently, The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten. It seems like most of my online reading friends have either read this one or are currently starting it. This book will be published on March 7, which I guess explains the activity as everyone scrambles to finish up their ARCs on time. lol.

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BBNYA Finalist Blog Tour Review – Mercury’s Shadow

Hello, everyone! Today I’m participating in the blog tour for the BBNYA finalist, Mercury’s Shadow by PJ Garcin. This was one of my BBNYA reads last year, and I had a lot of fun participating as a panelist.

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Book Info & Links

Publisher: Rawktron Productions

Print Length: 308 Pages

Publication Date: July 5, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Action Adventure

Age Category: Young Adult/New Adult

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blurb

One man’s lust for power threatens the future of humanity—can a young girl from the outer system stop it all?

Imogen “Chim” Esper is thrust into the center of an interplanetary conflict when her family is torn apart by the cruel and indifferent Kardashev Corporation. Forced to run, along with her robotic best friend, Chim struggles to find her place in a society that is poised for revolutionary transformation.

The Kardashev Corporation dominates all commerce and politics in the solar system. Its megalomaniac CEO, Alton Neal, is hell-bent on transforming society by capturing the full energy output of the sun through the creation of a Dyson Swarm.

Citizens of Earth and the stations throughout the system must band together to protect access to the lifeblood of the system or risk becoming permanently enslaved to the Kardashev Corporation.

Mercury’s Shadow is a thrilling adventure that blends real science, big ideas, grand adventure and high stakes to introduce a new heroine and a deep universe that will leave readers asking for more.

My Review

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

I really enjoyed this book. The prose was easy to read and engaging. There was a steady pace throughout, and I never felt bored by the story. The overall premise was interesting, and the narrative contained a good balance of systemic and personal stakes that kept me on edge for the characters.

The story was exciting with plenty of action. Although, it also had some really great personal moments, especially with Chim and her father. The plot did require a certain suspension of disbelief in regards to some of the science and the level to which the main character got wrapped up in such important events, but not enough that it completely disrupted my enjoyment of the plot. The world-building was interesting, and I found this take on the future of our solar system to be horribly relatable. I liked the themes regarding the dangers of letting one corporation have too much control, and it definitely highlighted the potential extreme consequences of that really well. I just wish maybe there had been a bit more subtlety. I also would have loved some more background on the different factions and politics of it all, especially the secret scientific consortium poised in the shadows to save the day.

The characters all had big personalities, and I liked the found family vibes the protagonist had with her friends. They made a great team, and their interactions were fun to read. I especially loved the robot! Chim’s journey was relatable and often harrowing. She was thrust into a huge conspiracy when all she wanted to do was save her father. This conflict between her personal motivations and the larger stakes at hand made her an interesting reluctant hero to follow. The villain was a bit cartoonish and over the top, though, but at least it made it easy, and fun, to root for his downfall.

Overall, I liked this book quite a bit and thought it was a good series-opener. I’d be more than happy to return to this world for more adventures. Therefore, I rate it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

PJ Garcin has been writing stories, music and games for most of his life. He writes from the beautiful east coast of Canada where he has worked extensively in video games and technology for the past 20 years. Picking up a long running writing thread, he recently completed the first book in the Kardashev Cycle — Mercury’s Shadow.

The Kardashev Cycle follows the rise and expansion of the dominant Kardashev Corporation and its near universal control over the solar system. The first book in the series, Mercury’s Shadow, introduces the young Imogen Esper — a resourceful young girl from a mining station in the asteroid belt who finds herself caught up in an interplanetary conflict when her father is injured during a routine maintenance mission. The second book, Chimera’s Prism, continued the adventure in 2021.

PJ is a regular speaker at technology conferences on topics ranging from interactive narrative to machine learning. He has an undergrad degree in English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing as well as a Master’s degree in Communication.

He worked as Executive Producer in games on titles that sold more than 27 million units in total. He worked on large franchises such as FIFA, Madden, and Guitar Hero while helping to launch successful indie franchises like The Golf Club (now PGA Tour) and Infinite Air. He currently works as Director of Product Management for an open-source-focused SaaS company.

Twitter: twitter.com/rawktron

TikTok: tiktok.com/@rawktron

Instagram: instagram.com/pjgarcin

Facebook: facebook.com/pjgarcin

ALC Review – The Tyranny of Faith

Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan, a sequel I’ve been looking forward to for a year. I loved the first book in this trilogy, The Justice of Kings, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this follow-up. Luckily, I was able to snag an advanced copy of the audiobook. 🙂 The Tyranny of Faith is out everywhere tomorrow, February 14, 2023!

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