Review | King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

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30226723King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Release date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: Hardcover

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In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

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The beginning of the book was slow. I had a hard time going through the pages, to be honest. Mare’s imprisonment is the main focus for most of the first half of the book, if not more. The Scarlet Guard built an army of newbloods with the help of  Prince Calore and surprisingly, some of the “evil” characters change and perhaps reconsider their original position regarding the lightning girl and her crew.

Evangeline, was a surprise for me, I didn’t see that shift coming!

I think the first part of the book was a bit boring I took around a month to finish it because I did not feel that engaged as with the last 2. I hope the 4th one is much better. I feel a little disappointed  because I expected this book so, so much. Now, I do not have much to say.

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Mini Review | Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson & Andrea Offermann

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
 
31159613Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson & Andrea Offermann
Release date: March 14th, 2017
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Eager for glory and heedless of others, Sir Yvain sets out from King Arthur’s court and defeats a local lord in battle, unknowingly intertwining his future with the lives of two compelling women: Lady Laudine, the beautiful widow of the fallen lord, and her sly maid Lunette. In a stunning visual interpretation of a 12th century epic poem by Chrétien de Troyes, readers are — at first glance — transported into a classic Arthurian romance complete with errant knights, plundering giants, and fire-breathing dragons. A closer look, however, reveals a world rich with unspoken emotion. Striking, evocative art by Andrea Offermann sheds light upon the inner lives of medieval women and the consequences Yvain’s oblivious actions have upon Laudine and Lunette.

I really like graphic novels. There’s something about the blend of words and illustrations that when done right really hit home the emotion, the pain…whatever emotion or trial the character is going through. I also really enjoy Arthurian legends so I jumped at the chance to read Yvain: The Knight of the Lion, M.T. Anderson’s first graphic novel. While I’ve liked his other books, this one actually disappointed me for many reasons.

  • The panels of the graphic novel were set up like a Medieval tapestry which I thought was pretty cool because it fit the whole theme of the book. However, the drawings were flat and lifeless. They could have been a lot more dynamic than just a man sitting and staring at his drink or a side profile of a man riding his horse. The brown/yellowish colours also didn’t do the illustrations any favours.
  • There were tons of typos in my version. This will more than likely be fixed before the final version is released but it was hard to ignore them while reading.
  • For me, a good graphic novel pulls you in. Even with a lack of space or words, I learn to care deeply about the characters and their journey. Here I didn’t feel anything, well I did, but that feeling can best be described as boredom. Sir Yvain could have been eaten by his own lion I wouldn’t have even blinked an eye. Character connection is extremely important to me and I was saddened not to have it here.
  • A part of what hurt my connection with the characters was how fast the plot progressed. It’s a graphic novel, so yes I know that’s normal, but it was two pages in and Sir Yvain had already met his one true love. Really?! No build up whatsoever.
  • I also took issue with how women were portrayed. None were really anything more than tools to move the story along. All of the women were either bossy or needy. Sir Yvain was always saving women, dealing with women who were written as irrational or having to move around their evil plots. All the bad things that happened to him were because of women.

So, overall this book didn’t really add anything new to the hundreds of other interpretations of Arthurian legends. And coming from an author such as M.T. Anderson I was expecting a lot more. I did enjoy reading the author’s notes at the end. They explained the original source material and the author’s motivation for writing the novel. But other than that, this wasn’t for me. If you have read it though I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, I’d love any recommendations for graphic novels based on Arthurian legends. 🙂

Review | Ruined by Amy Tintera

26074185Ruined by Amy Tintera
Release date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon

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A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

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I avoided reading this book for the better part of a year because I heard a lot of mixed things about it. So, I put it off and boy was I wrong to do so! I was so totally missing out! This book was AWESOME! Like I hugged my Kindle when finished reading it awesome. Yeah, I looked like a crazy person and was doing it at an airport but who cares? This book made me unbelievably happy. It had everything I love: slow burning romance, epic fight scenes, kickass women warriors, magic…SO MANY GREAT THINGS! It’s definitely a book that you NEED to read…like now, right NOW! 

To be honest, the description for Ruined doesn’t really distinguish it from other YA fantasy book. Nor does its lacklustre cover artwork which is kind of a mixture of Xena meets generic photo editing background. But don’t let that turn you away! This book was fast paced and its story beyond what the synopsis states.

The story takes places in a world where magical people called the Ruined are being hunted down and killed. They have been forced out of their kingdom and are now launching a resistance against their conquerers. Em, the rightful heir to the throne of Ruina (the kingdom of the Ruined) plans to destroy her enemies from within by assuming the identity of another and marrying the crown prince of Lera. My favourite part of this world was the fact that women and men are pretty much equal. Women are warriors and highly trained in the art of sword fighting. Em was totally about kicking butt but she also got to wear pretty dresses and go to balls. It’s like the best of both worlds! You could be feminine but also strong and deadly.

One of the best parts of the book was the romance. I’m such a sucker for the slower burning romances where the characters hate each other at the beginning, but slowly start develop feelings for one another. UGH! Em and Cas were just so darn adorable together. It makes my heart burst! She’s all full of vengeance and proving that she’s worth something and he’s all shy and wanting to do better. It’s like hot and cold, night and day. They are a perfect balance for each other. When stuff really starts to get real my heart just scattered. These two go through so much drama and it hurt. I’ve become so invested in them that I just NEED to read the sequel.

I really enjoyed the ending. Yes, there’s going to be another book and there was a slight cliffhanger, but when I finished I still felt completely satisfied. This series isn’t about shock and awe. I can’t wait for the sequel because the world, the characters…EVERYTHING was just so good. I want to say more but spoilers are totally bad and I don’t want to ruin anything. SO JUST READ IT!

So, if you are looking for an incredibly fun, entertaining and fast paced fantasy story, this is the book for you! I’m seriously kicking myself for waiting so long to pick it up. What was I thinking?!?!


about

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Amy Tintera is the NYT Bestselling author of the REBOOT duology and the RUINED trilogy, both of which feature lots of action and kissing. Her books are published by HarperCollins in the US and have been translated into 15+ languages around the world. Her next book, AVENGED (Ruined #2), will be published on May 2, 2017.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Mini Reviews: The Invisible Hand: Shakespeare’s Moon & Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

32021810The Invisible Hand: Shakespeare’s Moon, Act I by James Hartley
Release date: February 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Lodestone Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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The Invisible Hand is about a boy, Sam, who has just started life at a boarding school and finds himself able to travel back in time to medieval Scotland. There he meets a girl, Leana, who can travel to the future, and the two of them become wrapped up in events in Macbeth, the Shakespeare play, and in the daily life of the school. The book is the first part of a series called Shakespeare’s Moon. Each book is set in the same boarding school but focuses on a different Shakespeare play.

Time travel, Scotland and Macbeth? Oooh…yes please!!!  I love all three to tiny pieces and was totally interested when I started reading this book.

The story takes place at a boarding school in Britain where the main character, Sam, has basically been dumped as his parents are either too busy working or too ill to look after him. One night, Sam awakes to find himself in another person’s body and in the middle of a Scottish battlefield. Is it a dream? Will what happens in the past affect the future?

I really liked Sam! The poor thing…I just really wanted to give him a million hugs throughout the story, especially as more was revealed about his family. He was shy, adorable and quite brave considering the circumstances that he constantly found himself in. There’s a scene where he finally makes a connection between his own time traveling and the events in Macbeth that made me smile. He shouts out about how he was there and everyone thought he was absolutely crazy. And why wouldn’t they? But that just endeared him to me even more. Super cute! The one thing I didn’t understand was how calm he was when he woke up to find himself in a time different time period. I would have been freaking out! Not to mention beyond terrified. Instead he was calm and felt safe. Huh?!

Although quite short (it’s about 160ish pages long) I found that some parts really dragged. The story began quite strong with the introduction of Sam, his life at the boarding school and boom! Medieval Scotland, battlefields and mysterious women by a well. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. However, the constant flipping back and forth kind of killed the momentum for me. I wanted more scenes from the past and not the present. As the story progressed the time travel scenes became few and far in between. That’s not what I signed up for! Honestly, it was a bit disappointing. That said though, the time travel scenes were extremely well written. The included the best scenes from Macbeth and the witches! I loved the witches in the play and was not let down. Creepy!

Overall, this story was an interesting start to a new series. I am interested in seeing how the author will mix in the other plays. I also just realized there’s a prequel set at the school during World War II called Heart of Winter. Gothic tale about the macabre? OK! Let’s do this…


7205214Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden
Release date: November 18th, 2009
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Betrayed by the ruling families of Italy, a young man embarks upon an epic quest for vengeance. To eradicate corruption and restore his family’s honour, he will learn the art of the assassins. To his allies, Ezio will become a force for change, fighting for freedom and justice. To his enemies, he will become a threat.

“From now, his life was forged for one purpose and one purpose alone – revenge.”

I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I went in with low expectations because let’s face it, books based on videos games are usually not very well done. They just can’t capture what made the video game so enjoyable. Plus, it’s a long, like really long, book. I saw that it was 500+ pages and nearly gave up before starting it. But I love the games and decided to give it a chance. I’m so happy that I did! It was so much fun and really engaging.

As someone who has played the Assassin’s Creed video games the book didn’t really offer anything new in the way of plot. It literally is the storyline of the video game written out, but with cheesy one-liners, an even more animated Leonardo Da Vinci and tons of Italian insults. I cringed, I laughed and enjoyed every second of it! I think the author did a fantastic job writing all of the action scenes. It wasn’t just a play-by-play of events. It felt like I was really there engaged in the fight. While remaining very close to the storyline of the video game, it did lack present day scenes involving the Animus. I kind of missed the flipping back and forth between the time period.

The book was definitely written for fans of the video game franchise as it offered little in the way of an explanation of the Assassin/Templar war. I could totally see readers with little knowledge of the backstory being very confused. However, even with its faults, Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance was a wonderful entertaining piece of writing. I’m very much looking forward to picking up the next book in the series.

ARC Review | Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

29739361Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Release date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

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Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

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I thought about revenge and about love and about sacrifice and the great and terrible things I’d seen people do. I thought about how many people I’d seen lay their lives down for the Rebellion, over and over.

Rebel of the Sands was one of my favourite reads from 2016. I fell madly in love with everything about it — the artwork, the blend of Arabian Nights and the Wild West, magic, romance. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I was approved to review the book on NetGalley. But…sequels are a tricky thing, especially when the reader loved the first book so much. It’s difficult to recapture the magic, everything that made it special and then up the stakes so it’s different but still familiar. So… the question is, did I like Traitor to the Throne? Yes. Did I enjoy it more than Rebel of the Sands? Sadly, not at all.

Traitor to the Throne was well written, even amazing at times, but it lacked a lot of the things that I had loved about Rebel of the Sands. For instance:

  • Where was the action? The book sorely lacked battle scenes or gunslinging in general. One of the things that stood out to me in the first book was the fact that the lead character was a badass. Amani was sassy, strong and an amazing sharpshooter. You just didn’t want to mess with her.
  • Speaking of Amani, she’s absolutely wasted in this sequel. It began promisingly enough. She’s in the desert, holding her own, hatching a plan and being her awesome self. Then the story shifts to her being powerless and stuck in the Sultan’s harem. She lost some of the spark that made her such a special character.
  • Jin! Oh Jin *sigh* I adored him and the romance he had with Amani in the first book. The problem? He’s basically MIA in the sequel. Why?!?! And I hated how Amani was angry with him for most of the story as well. These two deserve better!
  • The characters I cared about the most just didn’t get enough time on the pages. There are tons of new characters, most of which I don’t even remember. Yes, Amani spends a lot of time in the Sultan’s harem, there are a lot of women, I get that. But it was like this is this person and we’ll mention her once more and then never again. It was difficult to see why so many precious words were wasted on characters that never became anything when more about the secondary characters introduced in Rebel of the Sands could have been explored.
  • The first book was fast paced and hard to put down. I read through it in a day or two and wanted to read it again and again. Traitor to the Throne was a mixed bag when it came to pacing. 500+ pages seemed like overkill. So did some of the overly long chapters. A lot could have been edited out to quicken the pace. I didn’t feel the urgency to continue reading.

That all said, it wasn’t all disappointment. Things that I quite enjoyed were:

  • The myths about the Dijinni, star crossed lovers and ancient scholars. Hamilton’s stories are so interesting and heartbreakingly beautiful. Can I please just have a book of these please?
  • Learning more about the Dijinni and their magic.
  • The political intrigue and backstabbing. Amani was faced with a lot of tough decisions. Who to trust? What are their motives? What will she have to give in return?
  • Some characters that I had written off made a return and man were they not what I expected.

I do want to mention that as much as I love this series, there are some things that bothered me and they became even more evident this time around. These books take place in a world inspired by the Middle East and tend to perpetuate negative stereotypes about cultures found in the region or Islam. It tells the reader that this area is full of misogyny and oppression. Women are often portrayed as inferior to men. In the first book, Amani is told that she needs a husband and her uncle frequently threatens to beat her. What?! In Traitor to the Throne, woman are simply playthings  that look beautiful and reproduce. When they are no longer needed they are simply “disappeared”. The Sultan is also portrayed as a murdering despot, a man who only cares about himself and lets his people starve and fight it out. I think you can still enjoy this series and be aware of the problematic representation it contains. This is NOT what the Middle East or Islam is! It is important to keep that in mind when reading.

So, while I did kind of enjoy Traitor to the Throne, I can now say that I won’t be going into the third book with as much enthusiasm as I had before. Still, this is simply my opinion. I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews and those who enjoyed Rebel of the Sands should give this sequel a read.


about

alwyn-hamilton-213x300Alwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and spent her childhood bouncing between Europe and Canada until her parents settled in France. She grew up in a small town there, which might have compelled her to burst randomly into the opening song from Beauty and the Beast were it not for her total tone-deafness. She instead attempted to read and write her way to new places and developed a weakness for fantasy and cross-dressing heroines. She left France for Cambridge University to study History of Art at King’s College, and then to London where she became indentured to an auction house. She has a bad habit of acquiring more hardcovers than is smart for someone who moves house quite so often.

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Blog Tour: The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

29522966The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Release date: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

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I really, really loved this book! It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and it didn’t disappoint AT ALL. Last year was full of meh books that I was hoping would be amazing. So you can understand when I opened the first page, read it and squealed with joy. IT WAS JUST SO GOOD!

The Beast is an Animal is so much more than its description. It’s a fairytale with creepy soul sucking monsters. It’s a good old good versus evil tale. A slow builder that will have you reading on and on. But it’s also a tale of fear, what happens when a society turns against each other and when intolerance leads to violence. A very important theme for this day and time.

Reasons Why I Loved It:

  • It has a very dark and eerie atmosphere. It kind of reminded me of the movie The Village, but better, much better. Everything about it is creepy: the cover design, the synopsis, the nursery rhymes repeated throughout. Just the nursery rhymes. There’s really nothing more chilling than small childern singing (I imagined with an English accent) a song about death. *shudders* BUT I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!
  • It’s about soul eaters but they aren’t just life sucking monsters. There’s so much more to them and being able to see their evolution was really fascinating. Oh, and the soul eaters are twin girls who can glide across the ground and communicate telepathically. They are supposed to be evil but I really, really liked them. I would have loved to have more of their point of view. Now that would have been fascinating!
  • The story is written in a simplistic but beautiful way. It is a bit slow but the build up is more than worth it. There’s tons and tons of suspense and I found my brain jumping all over the place try to make connections and guess where the story would go next.
  • Alys was an amazing main character! She was such a complex character battling against herself. Is she good? Is she bad? Things in the story were really never what they seemed. I can’t really say anything more without spoiling the book, so just believe me when I say that she’s wonderful.
  • It reads like a fairytale, especially with the opening. It starts with a tale about how the story’s soul eaters are born and eventually become less than human. The introduction captured my attention right away. It was the perfect way to open the story. Seriously…read it!

You just really need to read this book! I know I’m going to be pushing it on all of my friends (and let’s be real, people I don’t even know) because it’s one of the creepiest, dark and haunting books I’ve read in a really long time. So, go pick it up. Buy it. Rent it. Borrow it from a friend. JUST TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW AND READ IT.

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Also, I highly suggest watching the book trailer for some extra creepy goodness! 🙂


about
Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor who never thought she’d write a book, until one day she had a glimmer of an idea that became The Beast Is an Animal. She lives in New York City, where she is at work on her second novel.

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Review | Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone

I received this book for free from Rich in Variety Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

28523618Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone

Release date: January 11th, 2016
Publisher: Story Merchant
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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THE YEAR IS 2030. IN A DRAMATIC, final attempt to free her inner demons, twenty-year-old Daniela Delgado tempts fate and winds up on a strange farm in 1923. With an olive complexion due to her Mexican/Italian heritage and a fresh pixie cut, she is mistaken for a “boy of color.” Her only shot at survival now is to play it cool, pose as “Danny,” and figure out how to get back home to her two, loving moms.

And then she meets Daphne—an abused, motherless farm girl in desperate need of freedom and a friend. Having escaped Daphne’s father, the two of them are now roaming the streets of New York City disguised as a young aristocrat and her male servant. They’re running out of money, and ideas. And Daniela thought living in 2030 was tough.

But her solar powered smart phone works. And there’s someone within range. She pings them. A selfie of an attractive male comes in with the text: I’m Lain. Who the f— are you? Even in that moment, Daniela knows this can’t be safe, but what are her choices? They meet Lain at a speakeasy on the Lower East Side. When Daniela reveals her last name, Lain says the only Delgado he knows is Anaya—the head of the Santa Muerte Coven of witches in Merida, Mexico. And then he hints that Daniela is a liar, even though she rocks a man’s three-piece suit like no woman he’s ever met. And as for her tattoos? Don’t get Lain started….

Despite the intrigue, Daniela adds Lain to the list of folks Daphne and she must outrun to stay alive. But as they plan their trip to Mexico, they soon discover that list is much longer than they thought. And they uncover a few other things, too, about Daniela’s true identity….

Santa Muerte wasn’t what I expected it to be and that’s a good and bad thing. I loved some of the story but not all of it. Basically, it was a mixed bag of good and bad, positives and negatives. The story contained a lot of potential with its time travel aspects and intriguing and deeply flawed characters, but it just never really lived up to what it could have been. So, did I like reading it? Yeah, totally but it could have been better, it could have been more.

The story is about Daniela Delgado, a half-Mexican, half-Italian young woman who attempts suicide but wakes up to find herself transported back in time to 1920s New Jersey. There she meets Daphne and helps her escape her abusive father but ends up having other problems when they attract the attention of a mysterious young man. Along the way, Daniela must overcome many obstacles and discover family secrets. Basically, there’s tons of drama and action and never a dull moment!

Things I Enjoyed:

  • It featured a diverse cast of characters! Also, it’s written by a Mexican-American author. I loved reading about Mexican characters and Mexico itself. I’m married to a Mexican and spend a significant amount of time in the country. Mexico has so much to offer, especially with its folklore. It’s rich, dynamic and mysterious. I loved how Ms. Stone was able to blend her heritage and fantasy and the past all together.
  • Daniela has two moms and I loved how their family dynamic was portrayed as normal and in a positive light. Books need more of this. My gosh, the world needs more of this! Daniela’s moms,  Emma and Monica, are loving, caring and supportive of their daughter. They would stop at nothing to move mountains for her.
  • It’s a quick read! Coming in at around 200 and something pages I was able to finish reading it in an hour or two. Also, it was non-stop action. It held my attention and kept me turning the pages, wanting to know more and more.
  • It really highlighted the the horrible treatment people of colour faced (and still face) due to racism. Daniela was treated appallingly and I think it’s important that people see this. I love the aesthetic of the 1920s, but totally need to be reminded that it wasn’t all flappers, jazz clubs and champagne. Racism was very much alive and real in the US. People of colour were not only discriminated against but feared for their lives. It’s important that we are reminded of this and that it’s written about in books.

Things That Could Be Improved:

  • The book was simply too short for the world and story that Ms. Stone was trying to tell. The story featured too many important details to develop properly. A few extra paragraph here and there would have helped alleviate the feeling of the story being rushed along. The story and its characters deserved better.
  • After finishing the story I was left with tons and tons of questions. Sure, they will probably be answered in the sequel, since this appears to be a series, but I needed a lot more closure or answers to simple things. I did have to go back and refer to past events to make some connections. Again, more pages would have allowed the author to avoid this problem and tie up some loose ends.
  • The point of view changed way too many times for my liking. It’s a short book, just keep it simple please. The series is referred to as “The Daniela Story” and I would have been completely happy if it was just told from Daniela’s POV.  By the end, I didn’t feel like I really knew Daniela. I liked her just fine, but my connection with the character was thin at best. I hope that this is different in future instalments.

I think Santa Muerte is a book that you really need to read for yourself. It features so many elements that can appeal to a wide audience. I just wish that it was longer so the characters and story could have developed further. That said, I am really looking forward to the sequel!