Posts Tagged: review: book

The Long Ride Home

October 21, 2017 books, reviews 0

I saw this book on netgalley, and you know I’m a sucker for roadtrip books, so obviously I had to request it. I was expecting a poignant book about life, loss and roadtrip fun, but I was a little disappointed. I enjoyed some aspects of the book, but overall this was not entirely for me.

the long ride home by tawni waters cover

After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. But the start of summer marks new beginnings, and Harley leaves for a cross-country road trip to scatter her mother’s ashes with Dean, her friend (with benefits). The two ride by motorcycle, reconnecting with people who knew her mother along the way.

But it’s not long before Harley realizes she’s pregnant…with Dean’s child. And as Harley learns that her mother faced similar choices during her own pregnancy, Harley must come to terms with her mother’s past to make a difficult decision about her own future.

I received a free review copy of this book (thanks Sourcebooks Fire!). This does not influence my opinion in any way.
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Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies (Shattering Stigmas)

October 13, 2017 books, reviews 7

This is the last Shattering Stigmas post before the wrap-up on my blog, and it comes from yours truly. We’ve had some great recommendations these past two weeks, so I thought it was time for a review! I was inspired to read Under Rose-Tainted Skies during Shattering Stigmas, and it came highly recommended by my blogging friends. I’m happy to say I’ve finished it in time to share this review with you.

Shattering Stigmas graphic

Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.


under rose tainted skies cover

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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When Dimple Met Rishi

July 24, 2017 books, reviews 3


Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I kept hearing about this book, so now that it’s finally out I had to buy it. I wasn’t disappointed! When Dimple met Rishi is perfect when you’re in the mood for a cute YA romance. It has likeable but realistic(ish) characters, and a romance you’ll root for.
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Scoring Wilder – Soccer and Romance

July 17, 2017 books, reviews 0


What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

As you can see by the naked guy on the cover above, I have once again ventured into the dark abyss of New Adult after devouring Elle Kennedy’s books last year. This time it snuck up on me. I recently read Catching Jordan and Coming Up for Air, both of which are excellently cute books about sports, friendship and romance. So naturally after finishing them, I was on the lookout for more books featuring female athletes (I’ve discovered I like reading about sports, I just don’t want to do them myself). I found Scoring Wilder on a goodreads list and it had a high rating, so I figured I’ll keep an open mind and try it. Unfortunately, this book lacked the hilarity of the Off-Campus series, and didn’t make up for it in other areas.
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Wanderlost – A Trip Around Europe

July 13, 2017 books, reviews 10

wanderlost cover

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.
– from goodreads

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. A trip around Europe? High ratings by my bookish friends? Yes, please. This had all the signs of a great summer book, so I decided to finally give it a try. I wasn’t exactly disappointed, but I wasn’t as in love with it as I thought I would be either.
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Small Admissions

July 6, 2017 books, reviews 2

book cover small admissions

One admission can change your life…forever.

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world.

Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate’s instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

As Kate begins to learn there’s no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend. Welcome to the world of Small Admissions.

-from goodreads

I got an ARC of this book so long ago that I don’t really want to look up how long it’s been exactly. It sounded like something light and fun, but it wasn’t until I was in Spain recently that I finally got around to reading it. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but not necessarily in a bad way.
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Book Review: Passenger

February 17, 2017 books, reviews 4

passenger cover alexandra bracken review on reviews and cake blog

I ordered this book way back when it first came out – in hardcover no less – because I liked The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. I only just got around to reading it, and I’m not quite as enthusiastic about this series debut as I was about her other work.
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Review: Illuminae

January 5, 2017 books, reviews 12

Illuminae book cover

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

– from goodreads

I had high expectations in this book, and they were not disappointed. I’m so late to the party that the sequel is already out (which is a plus, because this way I don’t have to wait to read it), but that only means that I’ve read about how great and unique this book is ever since it’s been published. I’m often wary of books that are hyped this much, but I had a good feeling with this one. YA scifi? Megalomaniac AIs? Invasions? What could go wrong.
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The Glittering Court

October 30, 2016 books, reviews 4

the glittering court by richelle mead cover

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

– from goodreads (shortened)

This book’s been on my radar for a while, because I’ve read almost all of Richelle Mead’s books, but I only now got around to reading it. I was a little put off at first, because something about the writing style seemed fairly different to other Richelle Mead books (more… simplistic maybe?), but part of it may have been that I’m more used to third person than first. I gave it a chance though, and I ended up really enjoying the book!
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It’s Not Me, It’s You

June 26, 2016 books, reviews 2

cover of it's not me it's you by mhairi mcfarlane

An achingly funny story about how to be your own hero when life pulls the rug out from under your feet. From the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

– from goodreads

I’ve become very reliant on goodreads and my fellow bloggers’ reviews the past few years. I can usually tell whether I’ll like a book by a combination of my own interest in the blurb and whether the people who have a similar taste in books liked it. Every once in a while, however, I’ll still pop into a bookstore and just buy whatever looks good. This was one of those cases. I absolutely loved the cover and the title and it sounded like a light, fun read.

The weird thing is, it’s been lying around on my shelf for ages and then a few weeks after I decided to move to Newcastle I pick it up – only to realize that it’s (partly) set in Newcastle! I’ve literally never read a book set there. I can’t even remember a book that mentioned the city to be honest. It seemed a good omen, and I did, in fact, really end up liking the book.
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This Savage Song

June 22, 2016 books, reviews 4

this savage song cover

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

– from goodreads

It’s time for another V.E. Schwab book! I’m basically counting down the days until A Conjuring of Light comes out (I mean… not actually counting, that would involve math), so I was delighted to have something to tide me over until then. I have to admit, I’m not as enchanted with this world as I am with the Shades of Magic one, but I really like V.E. Schwab’s writing style, so it was still fun to read.
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Why You Should Read The Lunar Chronicles

April 12, 2016 books, reviews 14

I know everyone and their mum already read the Lunar Chronicles, but just in case you haven’t, I have compiled a handy list to convince you to drop everything and start reading them immediately. I resisted for a long time, because I was worried they’re overhyped, but when I finally picked them up, I enjoyed them a lot. Since I already reviewed them on Goodreads, I’m doing this instead. Veeery mild spoilers ahead.


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A Gathering of Shadows

February 29, 2016 books, reviews 4

a gathering of shadows book cover on reviews and cake

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like 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.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

from Goodreads

I tried out at least five different beginnings to this review, because I can’t find any words to convey how much I loved this book. Since I really liked the first book in the series, I preordered this one and started reading shortly after it was delivered to my Kindle around midnight on its release date. Victoria Schwab usually writes great beginnings, but I think this might have been my favorite one yet. It has a very Pirates of the Caribbean flair to it and there’s trickery and action and cleverness and basically yes, please. However, as I read on I was all prepared to give the book a mediocre rating. I didn’t love Lila, because it felt too much like she was only written to be badass if you think that killing people and acting inconsiderate is badass. I liked returning to this world, but the story dragged a tiny little bit. But… then I got sucked in again and I freaking loved every single thing about it. Let me tell you why.
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Sweetgirl: Atmospheric Writing and Clever Characters

January 10, 2016 books, reviews 2



I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A long history with drug addiction means this isn’t the first time Percy’s mother has disappeared, but that doesn’t make Percy worry any less. When she receives a tip on where to find Carletta, Percy braces the oncoming snowstorm to get her mother home. She doesn’t find Carletta, but she stumbles upon Jenna, a neglected baby, and has to brace the biting cold, her almost-step dad’s sarcasm and the gun-wielding drug dealers on their heels to get Jenna to safety.

Sweetgirl isn’t what I’d usually look out for in a bookstore, but the description caught my interest, so I requested it on Netgalley, and I wasn’t disappointed. After the bad luck I had with ARCs at first, I’m kind of amazed that this is my second five star ARC in a row. Mulhauser’s writing is clean and atmospheric and will weave a web of icy roads, gritty characters and a spark of hope around you. It’s rare that an author’s writing really immerses you into the setting of the book, but this is one of those cases. I felt like I was trudging through the snow storm with Percy and Portis, but – more impressively – I felt with the “villains” of the story. From Percy’s perspective, I had to fear them right along with her, but once I got into Shelton’s head, I understood what made him tick – at least a little.
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Attachments As In E-Mail Attachments

January 8, 2016 books, miscellaneous, reviews 2

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

Hey, at least I got the title pun without someone pointing it out to me this time. I love wordplay, but I suck at it. Let’s not talk about the Cinder->Cinderella debacle of 2015 (yes, I know 2015 was literally a week ago, but it sounded good). Anyways, ever since Fangirl, I’ve been reading my way through Rainbow Rowell’s books and when I heard Attachments was an epistolary novel it rocketed to the top of the list (by which I mean there were two of her books I hadn’t read yet and I read this one first).

Attachments is the kind of book where I can understand if someone gives it a low rating …I just disagree. Literally nothing happens for about 90% of the book and the ending was a bit out there for me, BUT it’s also this really sweet story about cyberstalking and befriending people much older than you. Wait no, let me rephrase that. What I mean to say is, the book is as slice-of-life as all of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, so either you like that kind of writing or you don’t.
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Do You Review A Lot of Books You Didn’t Like On Your Blog?

December 17, 2015 books, discussion 26

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.




Topic

Bloggers, I have a question for you! Recently, I realized I mainly review books, movies and TV shows that I liked, so there’s a much higher percentage of favorable reviews on my blog. Naturally, I was wondering if you do the same, or if I should make more of an effort to share negative reviews as well.
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Could You Be A Better Chosen One Than Simon Snow?

November 3, 2015 books, reviews 2


Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

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The Amazing Post Is Not On Fire

October 9, 2015 books, fun, reviews 10


Hello reader,

In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet!

We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil’s teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan’s a fail.

Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas…

I remember exactly how I discovered Dan and Phil. It was a day like any other on YouTube, and I was watching one of Hank Green’s Sims videos. A lot of people in the comments mentioned these Dan and Phil guys and their owl slide. I had absolutely no clue what they were talking about, but for some reason I was probably procrastinating, I decided to check it out. Fast forward to 5 a.m. and I had watched the entirety of Sims 4 with Dan and Phil. There were about 12 episodes at the time. Despite my lurking on Hank’s gaming channel, I don’t usually watch gaming videos, but these were hilarious. I found out Dan and Phil have YouTube channels other than their gaming account, so I took a look at those as well, but it was more of a cursory glance, and videos like the photo booth challenge don’t really make me stick around.

A couple of months later, I randomly took another look okay fine, I was probably procrastinating again, and that was that. I watched videos like Existential Crisis, I Talk to Myself, Fandoms, and I Mumble, and had one of those OH MY GOD FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS ME I’M NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO DOES THIS moments. I know, I know, you’re never the only person who does this, but sometimes you need some equally weird person on the internet to remind you of that. Dan was that person, which is my excuse for spending an entire day doing nothing but watching his videos.

If you’ve read this far, you might be asking yourself okay, Vlora, but why the eff did you write all of this without even having gotten to the review part of this post yet? and you’d have a good point. I realize not everyone is as obsessed with YouTube as I am, leave alone these two tight trouser aficionados in particular, but I need you to understand something: I really wanted this book to be good. I feel fairly neutral about all the YouTube book deals, and the only book by a YouTuber (apart from John Green) I’ve read was Connor Franta’s, which I didn’t particularly like. I read Dan and Phil’s book the day it came out.
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There Are No Heroes Here

September 23, 2015 books, reviews 6


A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates–brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find–aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge–but who will be left alive at the end?

Superpowers? Villains? Old college roomies with a vendetta? I was sold the first time I read the blurb. Add to that the gorgeous cover, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’ve had more than enough time to reflect since I’ve read it now, so let’s dive straight in.
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Rich Worlds and Great Sequels: The Immortal Crown

August 30, 2015 books, reviews 6



Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret. (Goodreads)


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