The Royal Tutor Volume 1 by Higasa Akai {Manga Review}

The Royal Tutor Volume 1 by Higasa AkaiThe Royal Tutor Vol. 1 by Higasa Akai {TRT #1}

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: May 23, 2017

Pages: 192

Summary: Accepting the post of royal tutor at the court of the king of Granzreich, Heine Wittgenstein is a little professor with a big job ahead of him! Each of the kingdom’s four princes has a rather distinct personality. Does their diminutive new instructor have what it takes to lay down some learning? It’s a comedy of educational proportions!

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Following Heine Wittgenstein, he is the new tutor of the 4 princes in the kingdom of Granzreich! With starkly different personalities, Heine attempts to secure his role as their new tutor! The Royal Tutor is both comedic and heartfelt!

 I first figured out about this series, when I picked up a poster for it at one of Barnes & Noble’s Get Pop-Cultured events & I’m so glad I did! Its been a while since I’ve read manga and I think I’ve found a new favorite series~

Heine Wittgenstein heads to Weisburg Palace as the newest tutor to 4 of the 5 princes. He is requested by the king to tutor them and make them eligible for the throne, should something happen to the firstborn prince. He finds himself working with the difficult princes and while they’ve caused all the previous tutors to quit, Heine isn’t giving up so easily!

Heine himself is a mystery. Not much is known about how he became such a professional tutor (though some hints are given in the beginning), much of his background is a mystery.

This manga was so funny, from the running joke about Heine looking like a kid to the princes themselves! There were always funny moments in this volume 😂😂

As for the characters, I loved how different and unique the princes were. They all have their particular reason as to why they don’t like tutors, so it was interesting to see how Heine worked with each prince and learned more about them.

Licht (5th): The playboy

Leonhard (4th): The athletic & stubborn

Bruno (3rd): The braniac

Kai (2nd): The quiet and tough-looking prince who appears to be dark and broody, but is actually quite shy & loves cute things (´▽`ʃƪ)

The pacing was so well done and the story never dragged, it was a pretty quick read ( I finished this first volume within a couple hours). Essentially the plot surrounds Heine getting the prince’s to accept him as their new tutor, while learning more about them and their personality as he attempts to give them a test to see their strength + weaknesses in academics.

As for art style, I really loved how it showcased the backgrounds and outfits of the fictional locations of Weisburg Palace + Granzreich.

A few tidbits of info are given to learn more about Heine, but it was great to learn a little but more about him nearing the end!

I also really loved that even though they didn’t like Heine at first, by the end they saw how dedicated he was to work with/challenge them and help them, compared to their previous tutors who never made much of an effort.

Out of all the princes, Leonhard got the most development over the course of this first volume! He’s always feared tutors since he had a strict tutor when he was young and wants to avoid Heine at all costs. But Heine understands the differing sides to the princes and while Leonhard is still wary, he’s willing to try.

While there was so much I loved about The Royal Tutor, my only minor issue is that I do wish there was more background on the world. A lot of general info was given, but it would have been great to get more (though I’m sure it will be explored more in future volumes).

Hoping to learn more about the Queen, get a little more depth to the princes + 1st prince too, who was only mentioned briefly in the beginning!

I also managed to watch the first 3 episodes of the anime along with Volume 1 & I really loved it! It does add in maybe 1 or 2 scenes that are different from the manga (from what I remember), but I loved it so much & am hoping to watch more along with the other volumes! ❤ ❤

The Royal Tutors definitely makes it into the list of my new favorite mangas! I cannot wait to read volume 2!

The Royal Tutor is fast-paced, comedic manga that will have the pages flying by as Heine gets to know the 4 princes! With non-stop humor, great character-development and a few twists and turns along the way, this manga is a great start to a new series!

Warcross by Marie Lu ARC Review

Warcross by Marie LuWarcross by Marie Lu (Warcross #1)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Pages: 368

Summary: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My Rating:★★★★★

My Thoughts: This action-packed masterpiece is filled with intrigue, phenomenal setting, characters, and plot, Warcross immerses you from page 1!

I flew through this book in less than a day and want to go back and read it all over again!😭✨

Everything, from the world to plot, characters, etc. that Marie Lu constructed was absolute genius!~😭❤️❤️

Warcross was a novel I went into with super high expectations, b/c obviously its Marie Lu (one of my all-time favorite authors) + I love video games/gaming! So its pretty obvious I was stoked about this book and it did not disappoint!

From the very beginning you are transported to this bright, colorful and intriguing story following Emika (Emi) Chen. She catches criminals for a living and is a brilliant hacker.

With her father having passed away, absentee mother, and one else to care for her, Emika works as a bounty hunter for the police to just get by. The novel starts off with her tracking down a gambler in the streets of Manhattan.

With the wide-spread popularity and accessibility of Warcross, rules are set up by the government to prevent players from gambling through it. And Emika finds herself catching these gamblers, among other people who use Warcross illegally!

However the hunt doesn’t go quite as planned and she doesn’t walk away with the money she needs. With roughly $13 left to her name, she’s unsure of what to do. To make matters worse, she has an eviction notice on the apartment she shares with her roommate Keira. With all the stress she’s under, to escape the real world for a little, she enters Warcross.

But after hacking herself into Warcross, she finds herself becoming an overnight celebrity and gets a call from Hideo Tanaka, her childhood idol + creator of Warcross!

Then, she’s headed to Tokyo to meet Tanaka because as it turns out, he needs her help as a bounty hunter to spy on this year’s Warcross tournament! Not only to find out about a hacker infiltrating the game, but also put an end to whatever they may be planning.

There is so much heart to this novel and you can clearly see it through Marie’s writing + Emika’s POV with the vibrant world building, clever gaming references (that I definitely picked up on), plot, setting, dialogue, everything!!

Another aspect of the world I really loved, was the futuristic tech introduced which had the ability to translate different languages, among other things and just seeing the impact of this technology on so many people was fascinating!~

Marie really brings the game of Warcross to life and after finishing this book, I wish it was real! 😭✨🕹🎮❤️💛💜

The plot itself goes in directions I was not expecting and there is so much intrigue, mystery, action/adventure and Marie balances all those aspects perfectly!

I loved all the characters equally and loved that there was tons of diversity in this novel! There’s a character who is in a wheelchair, and characters who are Latinx, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and gay representation!

My only minor issue, was that I wanted Emika to interact a little more with the side characters, because they were all written so wonderfully and I just really wanted to know more about them.

Because this book doesn’t come out for another month or so, I really want to avoid spoilers, but yes it was phenomenal!

It even pulled me out of my reading slump! The story was fun, fast-paced and just AMAZING!~ ❤

After turning the final page, you’ll be wishing Warcross was real! This fun, fast-paced, action-packed adventure with intrigue, phenomenal character-development and world-building is not one to miss!

+ Keep an eye out on the blog (around release day) for a Warcross Reading Playlist! 😍✨🎧📚

No More Heroes by Michelle Kan Review

No More Heroes by Michelle KanNo More Heroes by Michelle Kan

Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing

Release Date: June 27, 2015 (Feb. 2017 for 2nd edition)

Pages: 265

Summary: The peaceful nights are kept under the clandestine and watchful eye of young, gifted vigilantes the world over. But a sudden rash of vigilante deaths heralds the arrival of a new and unfamiliar enemy – one whose motive is as unclear as their identity. Someone or something seems determined to disturb the peace, and they’re going straight for the watchmen to do it. In a city where those who are gifted make up their own rules, who will step forward when the threat of a swift end is real and there stands so little to gain?

No More Heroes is an urban fantasy action/adventure novel about young, would-be heroes who get more than they bargained for when they delve deeper into a world they never knew they were a part of. Featuring a diverse cast of players, discord, a mystery to be solved, plenty of literary action and high-stakes battles, No More Heroes is a story about self-belief and camaraderie, persistence in the face of trials, and what it means to be the best version of yourself.

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: This action-packed and character-driven urban fantasy, follows a diverse cast of characters who have superpowers! No More Heroes is a tale about friendship and what it means to be a hero!

No More Heroes had me hooked from page 1! Vigilantes (or those who use their Abilites to protect the City) mysteriously seem to be getting killed off 1 by 1!

A group of teen Vigilantes: Clare, Linus, and Mallory (who are fairly new to it), become involved when they rescue Vigilantes (Shockwave +Resonance) from a burning building!

Resonance tells them more about what Vigilantes do, but to stay safe!

Over the course of the novel, Linus, Clare, and Mallory become more involved in this mystery of surrounding the Vigilantes. They soon join Shockwave, Resonance (much to her dismay), and a few other Vigilantes as they uncover more behind who could be behind these attacks.

This novel really put a focus on character development and I loved that so much! There is also so much representation, which is amazing!

There’s Samoan representation (Linus), Chinese (Resonance aka Fang), Indian, Maori+ Cambodian rep.! Also characters who have ADHD (Clare) and anxiety (Resonance). There was also characters who identify as aro-ace, gay and genderfluid!

I also really felt connected to Resonance as it gets mentioned that she has anxiety! As the novel progressed, I picked up on certain actions/moments that showed Resonance’s anxiety, but no matter what she pushed on and continued to be a strong leader, despite it! Even when she encountered some obstacles along the way,  she was so brave and so determined to keep her friends safe!

With the mystery that surrounds who’s been killing off the Vigilantes, I was surprised when it gets revealed! Kan did a great job at keeping the element of mystery present throughout the story!

As for world building I found it to be so unique. The novel takes place in the City, a fictional city that has numerous skyscrapers, buildings, etc. and has a mainly cool/foggy weather. It was fascinating and with night being a big element of the setting I felt it really added to the mysterious tone of the story! Continuing with the world building, I also loved the explanation for why Vigilantes mainly work at night-time/evening (b/c a theory suggests that the night enhances Abilities). It was an additional little tidbit of info, but for me it added much more to the knowledge of Abilities and above all the direction Kan took with superpowers/abilities was so unique!

+ I really loved Clare’s ability (being able to travel through fog) it was so unique and I loved learning more about it!

Also if your looking for a novel with no romance, this is the book for you! No More Heroes really focused on its characters + story and friendship was a theme present throughout the whole novel.

I loved the friendship/dynamic between Clare, Linus & Mal so much ❤ ❤ (+ Shockwave/Resonance)!!  Its clear from the very beginning that they are all looking out for one another and have each other’s backs! While I really loved Clare + Linus’s dynamic, it would have been great to get more between Mal + Clare too, but I loved their dynamic all the same!

As the story progressed, there was also expansion on some of the older/ more experienced Vigilante’s motives which touched upon some characters showing morally grey sides/elements of antihero and that really added another layer of depth to these characters who already had so many differing sides to them.

While I am usually pretty hesitant with 3rd person narration, Kan did a fantastic job! It really helped to expand on the large cast of characters and overall went perfectly with the story! I do hope for future novels there is more development + expansion on the characters! I really loved each of them, but felt I needed to known so much more about them~

As to why I took off 1/2 a star: I wish there was more description/expansion on the City! Its such a fascinating setting and it would have been great to get more development + same goes for the characters (as mentioned above)! I adored them and felt they were all so unique & amazing, I just wanted to learn more about them~ ❤

With the way the novel wraps up, it sets up for a great sequel! I’ve read online that there is another novel in the works and I’m so happy about that b/c I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters and the fascinating world just yet! :’)

No More Heroes is a perfect read if your looking to get into urban fantasy or really love stories about superheroes! This novel is filled with diverse characters, action, perfectly planned mysteries, fantastic character dynamics, emphasis on friendships and above all a fun and fascinating plot that will keep you turning the page!

Lucky In Love by Kasie West ARC Review

Lucky In Love by Kasie WestLucky In Love by Kasie West

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Pages: 333

Summary: In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —


She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

*Got ARC from a festival*

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Lucky In Love is a fun+ fast-paced YA Contemporary that follows Maddie as her life changes when she wins the lottery!

I read my first Kasie West book last year, P.S. I Like You and absolutely loved it! So, of course I was super excited to read her next novel Lucky In Love! ❤ 

Maddie is a planner and focused on school, prepping for college and hoping she gets into her dream university! She loves her job at the zoo and hanging out with Seth Nguyen ❤

However, her family’s finances are quite tight. It causes quite a bit of problems, with her parents getting into arguments + her brother still having debt.

And her birthday doesn’t go quite as planned! Her best friends Blaire+ Elise had other responsibilites, her parents continue to argue about finances, among other academic/financial anxieties, she decides to head to her local mini-mart!

When she wins $30 million after getting a lottery ticket there later in the evening, her life changes! She can now pay for college, support her family, and so much more, yet it comes with some downsides.

I loved the discussion/inclusion of financial struggles that people face + how it can impact a family!

Once Maddie wins the money, one of the popular girls at school, Trina is recommending she should splurge and have fun! Trina had good intentions, but I felt it just caused problems for Maddie.

While I understand Maddie being overwhelmed with the money she’s just received, I couldn’t help but be frustrated with her at times too b/c she blindly followed what people wanted /expected her to do with her own money (like paying more than she needed to for a car + buying other expensive things she knew she didn’t really want)!!

The whole time I was like: “No dummy \0/ don’t listen to them! Just do what you think is best!!”

Her parents were recommending her to get a financial adviser + friends recommending her to spend wisely, but no one really helped her go through with it, so she was left making decisions on her own. She was not being guided at all, which led to many of her problems!

Her friends were by her side, as novel progresses, but she (mainly towards the middle/end but gets resolved <3) finds they aren’t making time for her and believe she’s changed. So, Maddie finds herself hanging out with Trina more.

It made sense cause she felt her friends were abandoning her, however it just caused me to be more frustrated b/c Trina would keep telling her how she should spend her money and Maddie, a majority of the time just followed what she or others would say.

Well aside from that, I really loved the romance! It’s clear that Maddie has a crush on Seth and I loved their adorable banter/friendship throughout the novel! + It was great to read more diversity in Wests’s books! (Vietnamese rep. + exploring the impact of finances)

While it may seem that this novel is romance heavy, it really isn’t! It really focuses on Maddie and her journey with her lottery win + school + college, etc!

I understood when Maddie felt the need to not tell Seth about her lottery win, with all that was happening, it made sense, yet I completely understood when she felt guilty about it too! With their friendship continuing to grow, she felt she wasn’t being fully honest.

In addition to the adorable romance + while I was a little frustrated with some of her decisions sometimes :’) Overall reading from Maddie’s pov was great! She was so kind + trusting (even if there were times it got her into financial issues)! I felt connected to her character + just wanted her to finally understand what the best decision was for her + her lottery money.

She was very focused in her schoolwork & getting into college but also wants the best for her family now that she’s won the lottery, but even when the money caused her some troubles/issues along the way, she kept moving forward! However, she learns to focus more on herself and what she wants in life and put herself first more often (whether it has to do with college, her money, or other things).

While it may seem like I was pretty frustrated with this book 😂 Overall I really enjoyed it! ✨🍀💕

Lucky In Love is a perfect YA Contemporary if your looking for a fast-paced and fun read! Following Maddie and her lottery win, there are themes of family, friendship, finding one’s self + the perfect mix of romance!
Definitely recommend checking this book out!

The Library Of Fates by Aditi Khorana ARC Review

The Library Of Fates by Aditi KhoranaThe Library Of Fates by Aditi Khorana

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: July 18, 2017

Pages: 354

Summary: No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

*Received ARC from a festival*

My Rating:★★★★☆ (still debating between 4 + 4½)

My Thoughts: The Library Of Fates is a character-driven tale that explores a rich and immersive world, while weaving in thought-provoking discussions! The plot goes in directions that keep you turning the page!

While I may be in between 4/4½ , just the reading experience alone made this book so much fun!

Khorana’s writing really builds the world we see through Princess Amarita’s eyes! Through the 1st person POV, The Library Of Fates easily becomes a very character-driven story that shows so many different sides to Amarita as she undergoes a journey to reclaim her kingdom.

As for plot, I adored it so much! From the very first page discussing “The Parable Of The Land Of Trees,” I felt immersed from the very beginning.

The princess has lived quite a sheltered life and over the course of this novel, yet comes to understand more about her home of Shalingar and the magic that sweeps across her kingdom.

Amarita must escape her kingdom when it gets attacked by Emperor Sikander and finds herself on the run with Thala, an Oracle (who was taken from her family and trapped within Sikander’s kingdom)! There is never rivalry, etc. between them and they support each other no matter what as they go on this dangerous journey to reach The Library of All Things and undo the fate that’s been put upon Shalingar!

However, with Sikander eager to take control of the Sybillines cave (for the powerful drug chamak), his guards among others, are never far behind, so Amarita & Thala try to stay hidden over the course of the story.

Female friendships + empowerment in this novel is also huge part of The Library Of Fates! It really focuses on Amarita & Thala’s growth as they become friends and their strength as they face struggles while learning more about who they are!

As for the other characters, such as her father Chandradev, Arjun, her childhood friend+ Mala, her lady in waiting (among others we meet along the way) they all came to life through Amarita’s eyes.

The relationships, especially between Amarita + Arjun was very well done! We learn so much about their past and strong friendship, I wish he was present in the story more!

This novel is essentially a journey story, as Amarita tries to find a way to undo her kingdom’s fate and Thala hopes to find freedom. The plot went in directions that kept me guessing and above all was unexpected for me!

Khorana’s writing really delivers a world rich with mythology and is a vital part of the novel! That aspect of the story really shines throughout the novel, as do the magical/fantastical elements + Amarita as a character!

Similar to Mirror In The Sky, what I love about Khorana’s writing is how thought-provoking it is and how it really makes you think about the bigger picture!

I did find the pacing to be just a little bit slow towards the middle + I did want more expansion/development from certain characters + aspects of the world, because I really wanted to learn more about them as the story progressed!

Aside from that…
The Library Of Fates is a complex and thought-provoking YA Fantasy that really focuses on the expansive mythology in the world as well as the characters! The plot takes unexpected turns that will leave you guessing till the very end!

This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes ARC Review

This Is How It Happened by Paula StokesThis Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Pages: 384

Summary: Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened. 

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

*Received ARC through author’s giveaway* 

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

My Thoughts: This Is How It Happened follows Genevieve Larsen as she comes to terms with her boyfriend’s death after they were both involved in a fatal car crash. 

The first novel I’d ever read by Paula Stokes was Girl Against The Universe and I loved it so much! When I heard about This Is How It Ends, I had to put it on my TBR right away! Luckily, I was able to get an ARC from Paula through a giveaway (tysm ❤).

Being a new up and coming singer, Dallas Kade gathered quite a fan base + a new record deal. His sudden death is mourned by people from across the country (especially as seen through social media).

Similar to Stokes other novel, she discusses and explores mental health. Incorporating, especially in this novel, the impacts that trauma and stress can have on a person, while also discussing in a couple scenes throughout the novel, the importance of therapy.

Stokes always manages to incorporate important discussions on mental health and keeps it as a steady theme throughout the book!

Additionally the impact of social media was another huge factor of this novel and is weaved into the story so well! It’s now such a huge part of how we take in news, etc. and Stokes really made it an important factor of the story, while also making it so relatable!

The characters were all written with such depth! All the characters introduced felt so real and throughout the novel, really come to life through Gen’s POV.

The first person POV really allows us to understand how this event has impacted Gen mentally and emotionally. Stokes use of first person really gives the reader an inside look into Gen’s internal struggles and how she copes with this loss.

As for plot, it does have its slow moments, but above all is about Gen finding the strength to explain what happened the night of Dallas’s death and find the strength in herself to move on and accept!

She decides to spend time with her dad in Utah to allow time for the news to simmer down, and over the course of the novel connects more with her father + Rachel (his new wife).

It was great to read about her reconnect with her father and connect more to Rachel, who was very supportive while Gen stayed to visit.

Above all her time spent in Utah is used to understand what she wants, how she can accept what has happened to Dallas and the realize the effects it has on Brad (the man accused of causing his death). I really enjoyed reading about being immersed in the setting in Zion + Utah!

Living with her mother, Gen has grown up to stay focused on a dream towards medical school. Her mother is very strict and over the course of the novel, Gen understands that she also fears talking about what happened because of her parent’s (mainly mother’s) expectations.

I loved how Stokes made Gen’s parents such an integral part of the story (not only through plot, but also seen through Gen’s POV). While Gen has fears about confronting them to talk about what happened, she comes to accept and learn along the way that she’s surrounded by parents who will stand by her no matter what.

I will admit, some moments were slow paced + I did find the relationship that develops to feel a little rushed.

However….

This YA Contemporary tackles grief and loss as we follow Genevieve’s journey to accept her boyfriend’s death and find the inner strength within herself. With themes of family, acceptance, and friendship, Stokes novel also brings to light discussions of mental health and the impact of social media! Filled with mystery, important themes of loss and acceptance, This Is How It Ends is a novel to check out!

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab Review

our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab-cover-revealOur Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (Monsters Of Verity #2)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Pages: 510

Summary: THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Through Schwab’s character-driven and immersive finale, a new monster emerges in the world of Verity as Kate and August’s adventures conclude in Our Dark Duet!

It saddens me that this novel wasn’t a full 5 stars similar to This Savage Song (which I adored! <3) however it is definitely a solid conclusion! 

Similar to all of Schwab’s other novels, I love how she builds the atmosphere of her worlds! Through her writing, her stories/worlds are always immersive and unique!

It was great to see August and Kate develop as they are set on their own paths, especially August since This Savage Song.

Kate now in works as a monster hunter, but when a new monster emerges she finds herself heading back to Verity.

As their stories progressed, it was heartbreaking to read them come to accept difficult truths not only about the fate of their city, but of themselves.

As a new monster emerges, it was also fascinating to get a lot of POV chapters from Alice and Sloan. They get much more development than in Book 1 and it really brought more depth the story overall to see their plans unfold over course of Our Dark Duet.

Additionally, what made them so fascinating to read about, was being able to get into their head and learn more about who they are and what their goals/plans do to them along the way.

I also loved the inclusion of Soro’s character, another Sunai (who identifies as gender fluid) and used they/them! They were a great character who was such a supportive friend to August when he found it difficult to use his Sunai abilities and coming to terms about humanity and what it means to be human. Above all Soro was an amazing character and even though they were just introduced in this novel, definitely became one of my favorite characters.

As mentioned above, through the inclusion of Sloan + Alice’s chapters, we got even more depth into the hierarchy and inner workings between the Malchai and Corsai!

As for world-building, there is a little more in terms of the different monsters and their role in Verity, which I loved because they were such an interesting part of the world. However, in terms of setting I do wish there was a little more description.

Schwab’s writing especially in this novel, really shows the stark differences between Kate & August, with that, we see the dark truths of humanity and the divide between good & evil which really built into the story.

As to why I took off a star, I did find that since this novel read as a dystopian (for me personally) and found there to be some tropes I usually find in those novels, present in this one, which really made this novel feel difficult to get through at points.

I felt what made TSS so much fun, was the interaction/connection of August & Kate and I felt they really didn’t have that many scenes together in Our Dark Duet which made me so sad :'(!

There were also a couple important plot points that felt super rushed as I neared the end, which really made it difficult to really grasp their severity.

Above all, it felt like there was just something missing from this novel that made it quite different from This Savage Song.

Regardless…

Our Dark Duet is a solid, action-packed conclusion to this dark, character-driven duology! Monsters still roam the streets of Verity and with that, Kate and August must face the difficult truths of who they are!