January 2017 Wrap-Up

24hryabookblog Monthly Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

uncaged-wallflower-by-jennae-cecelia-review1.Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia

Uncaged Wallflower Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Release Date: October 6, 2016

Pages: 70

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring collection of poetry! Filled with such positivity, Uncaged Wallflower had me hopeful and inspired! It was a spectacular read to start off the new year! Highly recommend!

a-list-of-cages-by-robin-roe2.A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

A List Of Cages Full Review

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: January 10, 2017

Pages: 320

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Roe’s debut is not one to miss! Adam and Julian (Adam’s foster-brother) find themselves meeting again after some time apart! A List Of Cages tells the story of the power of friendship and kindness, even when facing the most difficult situations. This novel is heart-breaking *discusses abuse & neglect* but you will feel so attached to these characters, even the minor ones through Roe’s spectacularly written dual POV.

frostblood-by-elly-blake3.Frostblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #1)

Frostblood Full ARC Review

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: January 10, 2017

Pages: 384

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic start to a new fantasy series! Blake delivers great character dynamics which is clearly seen between Ruby and Arcus! History and politics play a huge role in the world. The division/hierarchy between the Firebloods and Frostbloods was wonderfully done and its clear its not all black and white which was one of my favorite aspects! The plot while slow at times, definitely keeps you hooked as you learn more about Ruby and the world she’s in! 

crystal-storm-by-morgan-rhodes-review4.Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #5)

Crystal Storm Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 13, 2016

Pages: 379

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Not the strongest novel in the series in my opinion, however it is very character driven and expands even more on the world/magic Rhodes has built thus far! The slow pacing/plotting and introduction to certain characters/motives really made the tone of this novel feel rather off than previous novels! However, the ending definitely will leave you eager for Book 6!

Take The Key And Lock Her Up5.Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #3)

Take The Key And Lock Her Up Full Review

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 27, 2016

Pages: 336

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Carter delivers such originality to her stories, there are twists and turns you don’t see coming. There are new characters introduced just in this final novel that Carter manages to create so memorably! Grace’s repetitive narrative, lack of side-characters prevalent in previous novels and overly cryptic characters made this novel rather confusing at times due to lack of info which made this a little disappointing! However, Carter ties up the story delivering a satisfying conclusion to Grace’s adventures on Embassy Row!

history-is-all-you-left-me-by-adam-silvera6.History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me Full Review

Publisher: Soho Teen

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Pages: 294

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Told in Griffin’s POV’s  (History & Today) we come to understand how his best-friend  +first boyfriend Theo, died. Through out this novel are themes of love friendship, love/loss + acceptance. Through the writing the characters truly come to life. This is a gem of a story you don’t want to miss!

Additional Posts From This Month:

2017 Book Blog Goals {Bookish Goals}

Diverse 2017 YA Books To Add To Your TBR {Winter}

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera Cover Reveal

Top 5 Wednesday {#2} Underrated Books

What Books Did You Read In January?  🙂

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes Review

crystal-storm-by-morgan-rhodes-reviewCrystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #5)

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 13, 2016

Pages: 379

Summary: The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Rhodes delivers a character-driven continuation to her Falling Kingdoms Series!

It saddens me that this wasn’t a 5-star read, but it definitely sets up for an epic conclusion for the 6th and final book in the series!

This novel picks up right away following the events of Frozen Tides and Magnus + Cleo find themselves following King Gaius to unlock the Kindred’s magic!

As with the previous novels, Rhodes executes the multiple POV’s wonderfully and with each chapter I’m never left confused as to who’s POV I’m reading from.

Many of the main characters like Cleo, Magnus, Jonas, Nic and Ashur have now teamed up to find a way to take down Amara who has taken control of Palesia due to some convincing of Kyan.

Lucia is on a mission of her own to understand what her magic is destined to do her and what is to become of her and her child. She makes her way to the Sanctuary and meets Timotheus who tells her of her fate and what is happening to the magic of their world b/c of the Kindred.

Now Lucia wants to set things right and find her family.

Character development was a huge part of this novel. However there is significantly more depth given to Gaius, Amara, Jonas & Lucia!

With King Gaius and Prince Magnus, their father-son relationship is really given more development. Secrets are revealed and you come to learn more about the King Of Blood and his past. Overall it becomes quite a big element of this novel in terms of character motivations and plot direction!

We come to have a behind-the-scenes look at Amara’s plan as she takes over Palesia and what she’s willing to do to gain even more magic and power.

In terms of world-building, there is definitely more expansion on the Kindred and development on who is now, as I can gather, the main villain Kyan! As the story progressed, I felt there was more depth given to the magic system and world of Mytica as a whole.

There was obviously a lot of things that happened, but there were issues I had which makes me really unsure of how to rate this! (Though the pros do outweigh the cons).

I took off a star because, I personally felt that the stakes weren’t as high as with Frozen Tides for instance and I feel that has mostly to do with the pacing which was slow for me in parts.

There were events that occurred or POV’s we followed which really dragged the story in some parts (especially in the beginning), for example Lucia’s! Personally I’ve always found it difficult to enjoy/connect with her character, but as I neared the end I found myself enjoying her development at seeing her redeem herself in wanting to set things right.

However as I reached the end, the pacing was much faster which I loved! Secrets are revealed and I found myself turning the pages wanting to know what was going to happen. The characters come together nearing the conclusion and I loved their interactions/dynamics!

Regardless of those minor issues…

Rhodes continues to deliver an engaging, character-driven fantasy  with secrets, schemes and Crystal Storm definitely hints at an epic conclusion I will absolutely be reading!

I’m definitely marking my calendar for book 6 to see how it wraps up!

Diverse 2017 YA Books To Add To Your TBR {Winter}

Today I’m happy to share with you a list of Diverse 2017 YA Books coming out during the Winter months that I’m not only looking forward to, but ones that you should definitely add to your TBR!

Going into 2017, its important we continue to support our diverse authors/books!

YA Books recommended in these seasonal posts will be ones that feature:

~POC Authors/Characters + ~LGBTQ+ Characters +~#OWNVoices ,etc.

I will categorize books both in alphabetical order + by genre (Note: Dates are subject to change)

What Diverse 2017 books are you looking forward to? Any I missed? Let’s Discuss In The Comments Below 🙂

Contemporary 

allegedly-by-tiffany-d-jackson1.Allegedly by Tiffanie D. Jackson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary: Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

american-street-by-ibi-zoboi2.American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary: On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

because-of-the-sun-by-jenny-torres-sanchez2.Because Of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez 

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Summary: From the backyards of suburban Florida to the parched desert of New Mexico, Because of the Sun explores the complexity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the healing that can begin when the truth is brought to light.

Dani Falls learned to tolerate her existence in suburban Florida with her brash and seemingly unloving mother by embracing the philosophy Why care? It will only hurt. So when her mother is killed in a sudden and violent manner, Dani goes into an even deeper protection mode, total numbness. It’s the only way she can go on.

But when Dani chooses The Stranger by Albert Camus as summer reading for school, it feels like fate. The main character’s alienation after his mother’s death mirrors her own.

Dani’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew she had. The awkwardness between them is palpable. To escape, Dani takes long walks in the merciless heat. One day, she meets Paulo, who understands how much Dani is hurting. Although she is hesitant at first, a mutual trust and affection develop between Dani and Paulo, and Dani begins to heal. And as she and her aunt begin to connect, Dani learns about her mother’s past. Forgiving isn’t easy, but maybe it’s the only way to move forward.

city-of-saints-thieves-by-natalie-c-anderson3.City Of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Summary: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

history-is-all-you-left-me-by-adam-silvera4. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

ARC Review To Come

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Publisher: Soho Teen

Summary: When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

the-hate-u-give-by-angie-thomas5.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

we-are-okay-by-nina-lacour6. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Summary: “You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.”

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Retelling

ronit-and-jamil-by-pamela-l-laskin1.Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

ARC Review To Come

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary: This beautiful and lyrical novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza.

Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the barrier fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred. Ronit and Jamil fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can be kept secret for only so long. Soon, the teenage lovers must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.

wintersong-by-s-jae-jones2.Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Summary: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Science Fiction

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal 20171.Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Razorbill

Summary: Empress 

Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

The Ship Beyond Time2.The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (TGFE #2)

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Summary: The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.

 

2017-diverse-ya-books-tbr-winter

A Torch Against The Night Playlist

A Torch Against The Night PlaylistI’m so happy to bring you another Reading Playlist!! ❤ ❤

Today’s, as you can tell from the title, is from Sabaa Tahir’s A Torch Against The Night!

If You’ve Read It, You Can Check Out My Full Book Review Here!

Featured in today’s playlist are songs from:

🔥 Final Fantasy XIII/XV 🔥 Kingdom Hearts 🔥 + Scavenger Hunt (One of my all-time favorite bands <3)🔥

Many of these songs were chosen because I felt they represented the main characters + the overall tone of the story! (Especially the 1st song featured!!)

Let me know your thoughts on the Reading Playlist in the comments below! 🙂

August 2016 Wrap-Up

24hryabookblog Monthly Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 10

The Kiss Of Deception1-3. The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)

The Kiss Of Deception Rating: ★★★☆

The Heart Of Betrayal Rating:★★★★☆ ½

The Beauty Of Darkness Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: I will admit I had a rough start with this Historical-Fantasy trilogy with the slow pacing + difficulty connecting to the main character in book 1, but the sequel is the best book of the 3! An enjoyable trilogy with the perfect mix of romance and betrayal!

PS I Like You4.PS I Like You by Kasie West

PS I Like You Full Review

Publisher: Point

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 304

My Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A delightful & cute YA Contemporary with humor + mystery! I loved Lily the main character reading from her POV made this book so fun to read! Highly recommend! ❤

Mirror In The Sky June 215.Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana

Mirror In The Sky Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating:★★★☆☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: The author melds 2 unlike genres and delivers it in a wonderful writing style. However I wish there was more discussed about Terra Nova (the mirror planet) which was left more in the background of the story. Regardless, the author created such a unique concept & I’m interested in reading more of her books!

Women In Science 50 Fearless Pioneers by Rachel Ignotofsky6.Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women In Science Full Review

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 128

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring read filled with stories + wonderful illustrations of women who throughout history, worked and studied hard to achieve their dreams and accomplish incredible feats in the fields of science and math!

Hidamari ga Kikoeru Cover7-8. Hidamari ga Kikoeru by Yuki Fumino (volume 1 &2)

Full Review To Come!! 

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A heart-warming manga about 2 college students. One is quiet, introverted + hearing-impaired and the other is sociable+ outgoing! The two develop a friendship that hints at leading to something more! Great mental illness/health discussion! I flew through these volumes & loved each and every moment! ❤ ❤

Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars9.Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West

ARC Review To Come Closer To Release Date

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: September 15, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Loved this book! An immersive YA Fantasy that mixes fairy tales + fantasy perfectly! This novel surrounds Bristol, a kitchen maid, who discovers she is an elicromancer who is tasked with protecting the 3 kingdoms in the land of Nissera! Highly recommend adding this book to your TBR!

A Torch Against The Night10.A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #2)

A Torch Against The Night Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 452

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic sequel! The strengths of this book are definitely in the characters and their development! The tone of this book felt completely different from book 1, regardless its filled with twists and turns, non-stop action & I cannot wait to see where book 3 is headed.

Additional Posts From This Month:

August 2016 Book Releases

Empress Of A Thousand Skies Cover Reveal

Book Bytes I #5

Daughter Of The Pirate King Cover Reveal

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir Review

A Torch Against The NightA Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #2)

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 452

Summary: Elias and Laia are running for their lives.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ 

*Spoilers Ahead*

My Thoughts: Tahir delivers a sequel with Laia and Elias on the run from the Empire, stakes are heightened, and danger is at every turn! 

“You are a torch against the night – if you dare to let yourself burn.”

A Torch Against The Night picks up right where Ember left off with Laia and Elias running for their lives.

Torch definitely has a different tone/feel than Ember but overall delivers an incredible story with expansion on the politics, magic and world of the Empire.

I.Plot

With the Commandant on their tails and managing to stay one step ahead, Laia and Elias are now traitors to the Empire, but nothing will stop them from helping Darin to escape Kauf Prison.

Similar to Ember, we are again in the minds of Laia and Elias. However, with Helene remaining in the Empire, she provides a 3rd POV that expands on the intricacy of the politics and hierarchy that weaves throughout.

Laia and Elias escape the city of Serra through underground catacombs with soldiers and the Commandant close by.

Early on, the Commandant finds her way to Elias. After a quick but intense battle, Elias emerges victorious with minor cuts and manages to escape his mother. However, he begins to question why he was able to escape so easily.

After suffering from episodes of seizures and blackouts Laia comes to understand why. The Commandant has poisoned him!

Trying to find an antidote at a local market in a nearby town does slow them down. However due to these seizures Elias finds himself drifting in and out of consciousness and drifting to a mysterious forest called the Waiting Place where the Soul Catcher tells him more about the fate he destined to with the limited time he may have left!

However things really pick up when Keenan and other familiar faces from Ember catch up with Laia and Elias on their journey to Kauf.

As for Helene, when her arc is introduced she is being brutally interrogated and must give up the info she can about Elias’s whereabouts. She doesn’t break so easily, but it backfires when she gets tasked with becoming Blood Shrike and hunting down Elias.

However, not everyone can be trusted! As Helene tracks him down, the Commandant we come to learn has a hidden agenda of her own and she won’t let anyone or anything get in her way.
Helene knows the risks involved if she doesn’t complete her task. Deep within her heart she cannot let Elias go. And she doesn’t plan to!

Darin’s life hangs in the balance with each and every obstacle Laia and Elias encounter.

II.World Building

With hints of magic in book 1, I knew it would play a bigger role in Torch and it was miraculously done!

The magic feels like much more of an integral part of this world and is explained in such a unique way that I cannot wait to see how it expanded on in future books!

Helene’s POV gives the reader additional world building/back story and the politics/hierarchy that governs the secrets and darkness that cloud the Empire.

Tahir expands the world beyond Blackcliff Academy with a number of settings explored throughout the novel:

-Kauf Prision
-Harsh deserts
-A forest known as the Waiting Place where souls have not yet passed on
-Tribal camps

With the 1st person POV I was immediately transported back into the brutal world of the Empire + could really picture each and every setting!

III.Characters

Character development is truly the backbone of this novel and it is masterfully done!

My favorite characters by far were Elias and Helene.

Battling the darkness within himself, Elias wants to show he can do good regardless of all the pain he’s caused. His capture/interrogation at Kauf further shows the light that shines within him to set things right.

Helene is stuck. She wants to abide by the Empire’s rules, but being his childhood friend she still loves Elias and doesn’t want to see him get hurt.

The glimpse of the Empire from Ember is seen in more depth in Torch from politics to the magic system, world-building and the secrets that lay hidden deep within. 

No surprise that Tahir’s sequel went above and beyond my expectations! Can’t wait to see what Book 3 has in store!

+ I also have A Torch Against The Night Playlist coming on Monday! (9/5)

Can’t wait to share it!! 

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal

Empress Of A Thousands Skies Cover Reveal

Rhoda Belleza’s 2017 YA Debut Novel

Empress Of A Thousand Skies  had its cover reveal as of August 3, 2016!

This Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy centers around Rhee, a Crown Princess, and Aly who finds himself accused of an assassination and becomes a fugitive.

The two characters find their fates intertwined as they “are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.”

Bustle revealed the cover + the author herself shared her thoughts on the cover, her love of sci-fi/fantasy, and the many themes/topics that are discussed in this novel!

Now For The Cover: 

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal 2017

I absolutely love everything about the cover! The colors, font, etc.!

+ I’ve been wanting to get into reading more Sci-Fi & this book sounds perfect! ❤

Empress Of A Thousand Skies will be released February 2017 by Razorbill!

Thoughts on this new 2017 Release + Cover? 💫🚀👑

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below! 🙂