ARC/Book Review: Caraval – Stephanie Garber

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Title: Caraval (2017)
Series: Untitled – Book #1
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 416 pages
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.

When the sisters’ long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

Review

Well, where to begin? Caraval is on many, and I mean many, people’s most anticipated lists for 2017, and it was… well, it was good (in fact pretty damn great at some parts) but it was not as good as I wanted, and those two are very, very different things. Let’s get to it. 🙏

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Book Review: The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater

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Title: The Raven Boys (2012)
Series: The Raven Cycle – Book 1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 464 pages
Release Date: September 19, 2012
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love.

Review

This is actually my second read of The Raven Boys, the first being all the way back in 2012, right in the middle of my three-year reading slump. I loved it then, but I wasn’t much in the mood to read anything so I quickly forgot about it. It took me a while to want to pick it back up, but I am so, so glad I did.

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ARC/Book Review: Heartless – Marissa Meyer

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Title: Heartless (2016)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 464 pages
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Review

Heartless is my first Marissa Meyer book, and boy, was I excited to get to it! I originally wanted to read The Lunar Chronicles first but decided against it because of its representation problems, but this book, being loosely related to Alice in Wonderland, takes the cake for me. 😍

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ARC/Book Review: Timekeeper – Tara Sim

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Title: Timekeeper (2016)
Author: Tara Sim
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 368 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads Description

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

Review

Steampunk isn’t a popular subgenre within YA fiction, so imagine my excitement when I discovered Timekeeper. A Victorian world controlled by clocks, where the protagonist is a mechanic who falls in love with a clock spirit! It sounds like my kind of thing, so I jumped at the chance to read it with The Fanboy Book Club .

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ARC/Book Review: Moon Chosen – P. C. Cast

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Title: Moon Chosen (2016)
Series: Tales of a New World – Book 1
Author: P. C. Cast
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 600 pages
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Goodreads Description

Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force, more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and obliterate the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

Review

Moon Chosen is actually the first I heard of P. C. Cast, who apparently is quite a big-name author back when vampires were making the rounds in fiction! Now, I missed that boat pretty much entirely, but I was glad for the chance to get acquainted with her writing through this book. Was I as impressed as I wanted to be? Well…

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