GATHERING OF SHADOWS (SHADES OF MAGIC #2)

A Gathering of Shadows

Written by: V.E. Schwab
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Book #2 / 3 of the Shades of Magic series

Please do not read if you have not finished A Darker Shade of Magic (SOM #1) *

Summary: Four months after Prince Rhy nearly died, Kell became bonded to him, Lila Bard sailed off into the sunset, the Danes of White London fell, and Holland disappeared into the rift of Black London, the heroes of A Darker Shade of Magic are all a little stagnant. Restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port. And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

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ARTEMIS

artemis

Written by: Andy Weir
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary: Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

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BLOODLINES (BLOODLINES #1)

bloodlines

Written by: Richelle Mead
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Book #1 / 6 of the Bloodlines series

Summary:  Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an Alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other Alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

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DARK MATTER

dark matter 2

Written by: Blake Crouch
Rating:
 3 / 5 stars

Summary: “Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.  Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

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KING’S CAGE (RED QUEEN #3)

king's cage

Written by: Victoria Aveyard
Book # 3 / 4 of the Red Queen series
Review: 3 / 5 stars

*Please do not read for risk of spoilers unless you already have finished Red Queen (#1) and Glass Sword (Red Queen #2).*

Summary: Following her surrender to the Nortan king Maven Calore, 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. Despite his mother’s death, Maven Calore continues weaving her web in an attempt to maintain control over his country, and his prisoner. As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone, and the absence of her power, in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Red rebels 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 – even if it means attacking the brother who betrayed him.

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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A LITTLE LIFE

a little life

Written by: Hanya Yanagihara
Review: 5 / 5 stars

Summary: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

!Reader warning!: This book contains scenes of sexual abuse, self harm, suicide, drug addiction, and other potentially triggering themes. If you want to know if this book is safe for you to read, please feel free to reach out to me.

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A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (ACOTAR #1)

a court of thorns and roses

Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Book #1 / 3 in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars

Summary: Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

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