Dragonfell: review

E-arc provided by Edelweiss and HarperCollins ahead of its 2/2019 release date. Thank you so much!

So, I’m a thirty-something woman who, now and again, loves her some MG fiction. Soooo, when I saw this listed, read the synopsis and got a good look at that cover, I knew I had to read it. I’ve been in a dragon mood lately, and this one satisfied my craving.

This story follows Rafi, who is different than other kids with his dark eyes and flaming red hair. When shifty things start happening to neighboring villages, some strange people come to Dragonfell to question Rafi and his father. The strangers accuse Rafi of being dragon-touched and seek to take his “power” from him ultimately. Rafi’s ability to not feel the cold or be able to touch hot coals attract more than baddies. On his hero’s journey to find out who he is and the secret about dragons, he meets a girl named Maud, who aids him. But there is more to her as there is to Rafi, so we’ve got some secrets bouncing around to keep us on our toes.

Oh, and dragons. Lots of dragons.

This story was insanely unique and entertaining. It was written age-appropriately. Rafi and Maud were exciting characters that readers will love. The story brought me back to a time when I thought dragons were real and that they could either be beaten or kept as pets. This is an adventurous and fun read for readers of all ages.

Echo North: review

Wow. Just wow.

I have forever loved the tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, especially after reading East by Edith Pattou, which introduced me to the story. Not only did the cover of this novel draw me in, but the review of an author of a debut novel which I just adored. The synopsis did me in, and I had to request it. Thank you to NetGalley and Page Street for allowing me the wonderful chance to review this title ahead of its release date.

This story follows Echo, a seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her bookseller father and brother. An encounter with a white wolf when she was young, left one half of her face scarred. This led to a life of cruelty which did not end even when she grew. Her father marries an equally cruel woman who forces her father to venture off to make money for his family. When he does not return, Echo goes off to look for him and finds not only her father but the white wolf she’d rescued as a child.

The wolf tells Echo that he will save her father if she comes to live with him for a year. Fearing for her father’s weak state, she agrees and is whisked away to a magical house. The only rule the wolf has is that she cannot look upon him after midnight.

The house in which Echo finds herself was simply amazing. All the different rooms and the idea that the house stitches itself together was so cool. When Echo comes upon a magical library in which she can step into stories through mirrors and meets the handsome Hal and the pretty girl, Mokosh, her adventures becomes so much more engrossing. There are surprises and magic at every turn and kept me reading way past my bedtime.

This book takes East of the Sun, West of the Moon and spins it into something unique. It gave me a lot of Howl’s Moving Castle vibes, which is one book I adore. The character of Echo grows into a meek girl wanting to hide her deformity to a brave woman finding her strength. The writing was gorgeous and kept excellent pace with the story. There is not one thing about this novel that I did not dislike.

I love when I stumble upon books like this. Echo North was fresh and imaginative. If you love retellings, fairy-tales, books that give you all the FEELS and drown you in magic, this is the one for you. I will be buying a copy to have on my shelf.

Hanna Who Fell From The Sky: Review

E-book provided by NetGalley and the publisher. Thank you so much!

Hanna lives in a poly society called Clearhaven. As the oldest of many children, she is set to be married off to a man more than twice her age. She meets Daniel soon after and begins to question her place in Clearhaven, as well as the world. Daniel tells her stories of the cities outside of their secluded town, and her mother hints that she wants more for Hanna than to be a fifth wife to a middle-aged man.

Hanna is the epitome of a girl torn between two things: her responsibilities to her family and the powerful pull of her heart. She starts a bit docile and soon her character grows into something brave and beautiful. This story grabbed me from page one. The tension was so high; I sat there with my mouth open reading each word with my heart stuttering, and gripping my Kindle like a lifesaving device. The people around Hanna seem to want to do her harm, and she is in the middle, baring her teeth like a wolf. The one antagonist, Hanna’s father, was the worst of the worst. A villain through and through. With so many things working against Hanna, I worried so hard for her, and that kept me reading well past my bedtime.

This was the most intriguing story I have read all year. Christopher Meades took us into Hanna’s mind, and it was wrought with emotion. The story moved along so well that I felt as though I was in a movie, watching it scene by scene, gripping my chair and shoving popcorn in my mouth, so I didn’t scream at the screen! I was in awe of the way he had drawn Hanna and how masterful he got into the head of a teenage girl. He even threw in a bit of magical realism that was like a light in the dark.

All in all, I loved this story. I was ardently invested in the character and found myself plowing through in a day, as it is a quick read. I was hoping for something a bit more substantial at the end, but it was satisfying nonetheless. I highly recommend and will add Meades to my list of authors to watch.

Descendant of the Crane: Review

400 pages Expected publication: April 2nd 2019 by Albert Whitman Company

Look at this cover. I mean, just look at it. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for allowing me to review this title ahead of its release date.

This book amazed me. It was different from anything I have ever read. Although it started out a bit slow for me, after I got past that bit, I could not put it down. Obligations caused me to take longer reading this one than usual, but I am sort of glad. I got to savor it.            

This story follows Hesina as she is thrust into power after the death of her father. The mysteries of his death plague her so she takes up the responsibility of finding out what really happened. After meeting with a sooth, whose magic is outlawed, she is told to seek a representative by the name of Akira, who help find whoever, if anyone, killed her father.

Hesina is the strong female protagonist we all dream about. Her path to justice and finding her strengths were incredible. Every character was interesting.

This book was immensely intriguing. Joan’s writing is beautiful and profound and hit every emotion through the book. Usually I have more to say since I find negatives within plots as well as positives, but I cannot think of any for this one.This was a great experience and I am so glad to be able to tell people about it so they can add it to their TBR as soon as possible, if it isn’t already due to this gorgoues cover and blurb.

Joan He is going to be one to watch for future books. We need more stories like this.