Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
# of Pages: 498
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.
Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
Continue reading “Book Review | The Last Magician”
Title: The Poppy War
Author: R.F. Kuang
# of Pages: 530
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
Continue reading “Book Review – The Poppy War (Contains Spoilers)”
Title: Truly Devious
Author: Maureen Johnson
Stevie Bell, an expert in true-crime, arrives at Ellingham Academy with a goal. Her new school has a dark history. In 1936, the kidnapping and presumed murder of Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter is considered one of the most popular cold cases in the nation. The only clue left behind is a riddle, signed with the psuedonym Truly Devious.
Continue reading “Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson”
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia.
Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.
Continue reading “Between Shades of Gray”
Title: Echo North
Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer
# of Pages: 389
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Echo North is a mash up of several different fairy tales, including Beauty and the Beast. Don’t let the fact that it is a fairy tale retelling drive you away. The author introduces an imaginative and spellbinding aspect to a well known fairy tale. The story follows a girl named Echo, whose father has disappeared. Months later, she finds him in the forest barely alive. She runs into a talking wolf, who offers to save her father in return for Echo staying with him in his magical house beneath the mountain for a year. As she learns to tend to the house, she discovers the many enchanted rooms within, including a library containing these book-mirrors. Within these stories, she meets a man named Hal who is trapped in these stories. She determines that she must figure out how to save both Hal and the Wolf before her time is over.
Author: Colleen Hoover
# of Pages: 314
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I would label Verity as an adult romantic thriller. The book follows Lowen, a struggling writer who is given a huge break when she meets Jeremy. Jeremy is the husband of the famous author Verity, who is unable to finish her popular series due to injuries resulting from a car accident. When Lowen scours Verity’s office to find information that she needs in order to start the remaining novels, she comes across this hidden manuscript. This manuscript, meant to be seen only by Verity, reveals heartwrenching admissions about tragedies that the family has endured.
Continue reading “Verity by Colleen Hoover”