Onyx and Ivory: review

onyx

 

 

The E-ARC was provided by Edelweiss. But the cover was so cool that I also bought it.

 

 

This book started off with a Scorpio Races feel. A girl and her horse, and a fiery heart. I was drawn in right away. Since Scorpio Races is one of my all-time favorite books in the world, I was so sucked in, and I could not put the book down.

This book is told in two POV’s, Kate and Corwin. Let’s start with Kate. She is a nineteen-year-old Relay rider (basically a mailman on horseback) who is also a wilder, able to influence animals. Not only that, she is the daughter of a man who tried to kill the king of Rime. People call her Traitor Kate. But for all she’s been through, she has developed a thick skin. She loves horses and is pretty good with a bow.

Then there’s Corwin. He’s the second born son of the king and child-hood friend of Kate before she was exiled and her father put to death. It’s by chance that their paths cross some three years later while Corwin is investigating a rise in Nightdrake (lizard-like creatures)  attacks. Kate saves Corwin, and their lives begin to change.

Corwin hires Bonner, Kate’s friend, to make revolvers. The thing is, Bonner is also a wilder and being a wilder is pretty much illegal and will get you a death sentence. But the deal is too good for Kate, Bonner, and their friend Signe and they all start new lives at the royal palace. Things become complicated when Kate begins a mission of finding out what really happened the day her father attacked the king. She knows her father was a dedicated and honorable man and that he wouldn’t have done such a thing without being compromised. Meanwhile, the nightdrakes have become daydrakes, and the whole land is going crazy. Corwin is up to start three trials to take the crown from his brother, Edwin and his relationship with Kate becomes more and more complicated.

Pretty much, this book was magical in every way. The writing was superb and never-mind that world-building. Holy cow. This is a book to learn from. I was a tad POed at Corwin at one point, but he sort of redeemed himself. The side characters were great and sometimes more interesting than the main characters. If you can ignore the tropes (secrets abilities, royal rivalries), you’ll love this book. I, for one, didn’t mind them at all.

 

All in all, I loved this book, and I cannot wait for the sequel!

 

 

The Deepest Roots: Review

Deepestroots

 

320 pages
Expected publication: September 18th 2018 by HarperTeen
*Thanks so much to Edelweiss and the publisher for the review copy.*

This a story about friendship, hardships, mystery and a touch of magic. It follows three friends who have been gifted with abilities. Rome is a Fixer and is able to fix just about anything with the touch of her hand, and some willpower. Mercy is a Siren, able to seduce men. Mercy is an Enough. She is able to produce more of certain things that people are in need of. Most of the women in Cottonwood Hollow are gifted (or cursed?) with such abilities. People outside of the area call them freaks and outcasts and sometimes that is how they feel. One day a tornado surfaces an old diary that may or may not explain why the women in Cottonwood were gifted. On top of that, there may even be a dowry in a chest somewhere that could get Rome out her trailer and help out more than she is by working at an auto body shop.

The themes that the author touches upon are pretty gritty. Each girl deals with their own set of issues and does their best to let themselves lean on each other for support. Rome living in a trailer with her mother, doing their best to scrape by is one that some kids can relate to. She is resourceful and not one to take handouts, which is admirable. Rome can handle her own, even trying to take some of the burdens from her mother. But she has faults which lead to some of the story’s complications.

I loved the magical aspect of this story. I was hoping for I to have a more prominent part in the story, if even at the end, but it fell flat for me. When I read magical realism, I like to have it be an intricate part of the plot. I loved the ambition of the story. But I could feel when things were dragging. I liked the lack of romance. Although there was an element, I felt like that could have been taken out entirely and the story could have been excellent. I thought, maybe, that Jett would play a much more significant part when things came together and were hoping for it. But alas.

All in all, I did like the premise and the characters. The execution fell flat for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Silence: Review

radio403 pages
Published February 25th 2016 by Harper Collins Children’s Books
“Hello. I hope somebody is listening.”
Be prepared for a crazy amount of quotes.
So, I didn’t expect to finish the last 300 pages of this book last night. But I did. I also didn’t expect to be completely drowned in this story. It took my feet and pulled and kept on pulling. A day later and I’ve yet to reach the bottom. That is how much it stayed with me. I’m beginning feel bad for people who haven’t read this yet.
I don’t even know where to start. *deep breath* Okay…
So, this is one of those books that I completely thought was different than it turned out to be. But it was a good surprise. Like Christmas morning and when you find a dollar in your pants pocket. The characters drive this story along. Oh, did I add that all of the main characters are queer? Not only that but there is so much diversity I almost ran outside and screamed for an AMEN.
There were so many geek references in this book. Game of Thrones. Scott Pilgrim. SPIRITED AWAY. On top of some pretty awesome music selections. I feel like I need to be best friends with the author. Like now.
The themes in this story include depression, sexual confusion, online bullying, and abuse but on top of that, you have friendships that wild horses could not pull apart, platonic love, long lost love, typical teenage problems like school and whether to check your Tumbler or not which made it so relatable. And even though Frances’ mother was awesome, not all of the parentals figures were so understanding. Which is something a lot of teenagers can relate to for sure.
“I stopped speaking. There was no point trying to argue. There was no way she was going to even attempt to listen to me.
They never do, do they? They never even try to listen to you.”
I almost forgot to talk about the individual protagonists as a whole. So, there’s Frances, and she’s obsessed with a podcast called University City which is about a person stuck in a monster-ridden city set in the future. She meets Aled, who happens ot be the creator of the podcast. Cool? Yep. Only he doesn’t want the world to know that. He is a very private with some heavy family drama.
“…it felt like we were friends. Friends who barely knew anything about each other except the other’s most private secret.”
It’s a slow burn friendship and THANK THE SKIES, there is no romantic love between them. They have a beautiful, soul-mate type connection that feels so real and it makes me yearn for something like that.
“And I’m platonically in love with you.”
“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo,’ but I appreciate the sentiment.”
Without giving too much away, Aled’s podcast and his persona, Radio Silence hit me in the feels. When it all comes together, and we realize who he’s speaking to and how deep his agony goes, it just ripped out my heart.
“I wonder – if nobody is listening to my voice, am I even making any sound at all?”
Sometimes, I think we all feel that way, and Radio’s pain is our pain. This book was written for you and for me.