Book Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Book: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Published July 2020 by Flatiron Books|336 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

I liked Girl, Serpent, Thorn!  It’s definitely different but in a good way.

I felt for Soraya, who lived hidden away from everything and everyone.  For a lot of the book, we get bits and pieces of the story, but it’s not until we get close to the end that we get the whole story.  I get why her mom did what she did, but at the same time, I think a lot of the book could have been avoided if Soraya knew the whole story from the beginning.  But that’s just how things go, I think.

I am glad things worked for Soraya, and it was definitely a journey.  I don’t blame her for doing what she did.  It makes a lot of sense, considering she didn’t have the whole story until it was too late.  It was pretty predictable at times, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying the book.  I liked seeing her figure things out, and be okay with the fact that her touch can kill people.  Something about the fact that her touch is poisonous seemed really familiar, but I have no idea why.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point, but that time is definitely not now.

I really liked the world, and there’s part of me that wants more books set in this world.  It feels like there are so many stories to tell.  At the same time, though, I thought that the story was contained in the book pretty well.  We don’t get every little detail, but that’s fine because it felt like we got enough of the world to know what’s going on.  I was reminded of Sleeping Beauty when I was reading it, and I think it’s because she’s hidden away for such a long time because of a prophecy.

I know this is completely random, but I can’t help but wonder how she was taken care of as a child.  She killed her nurse when she was a few days old, and I’m really curious how they manage to take care of someone who could kill them just by touching them.  It’s definitely not important in the grand scheme of things but it is something that I thought about a lot while reading the book.

3 stars.  I liked Girl, Serpent, Thorn and I enjoyed reading it, but I didn’t love it.

Book Review: The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

Book: The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

Published July 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire|368 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The Storm Crow #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

The thrilling conclusion to the epic Storm Crow duology that follows a fallen princess as she tries to bring back the magical elemental crows taken from her people.

Thia, her allies, and her crow, Res, are planning a rebellion to defeat Queen Razel and Illucia once and for all. Thia must convince the neighboring kingdoms to come to her aid, and Res’ show of strength is the only thing that can help her.

But so many obstacles stand in her way. Res excels at his training, until he loses control of his magic, harming Thia in the process. She is also pursued by Prince Ericen, heir to the Illucian throne and the one person she can’t trust but can’t seem to stay away from.

As the rebel group prepares for war, Res’ magic grows more unstable. Thia has to decide if she can rely on herself and their bond enough to lead the rebellion and become the crow rider she was meant to be. 

I liked The Crow Rider!  After reading the first book for book club last year, I knew I wanted to read this book to see what happened next.

I didn’t like this book as much as The Storm Crow.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I read it.  I’m glad we got to see what happened to Thia and Res, and that Razel is no longer in the picture.  I’m glad we got to see the neighboring kingdoms, and that things are going to be better for everyone.

I think I just wanted more from the book, but I don’t know what.  We learn about an entirely new, mysterious group that no one thinks exists.  But not surprisingly, they really do exist.  It was even less of a surprise was that Thia was connected to them.  In this book, we see how special Thia and Res really are, and while it makes sense for this book, I wasn’t overly enthused about it.  If you hate the super-special chosen one trope, this is not the book for you.  I usually don’t mind it, but it really bothered me in this book, for some reason.

Everything with the crows and their magic felt really superficial, and I wanted more of that.  I wanted more of hatching the crow eggs and seeing them grow the way we saw it with Res.  It wasn’t going to happen until Razel was deal with, of course, and I know this series is about what happened to Rhodaire after they lost their crows.  But I felt like we barely got anything about them, which is weird considering the fact that they’re so important to Rhodaire and how Rhodaire functions.

With The Storm Crow, and with this book, I love how Josephson dealt with Thia’s depression.  It felt very real, and very natural, and I really liked seeing that over time.  I also really liked Res- though I didn’t love how he had all the powers, I thought Res was awesome, and he really had quite the personality.  He made it pretty clear what he thought and what he wanted.  And he does have a good bond with Thia.

In all honestly, this is a series that would have benefited from another book.  With two, things felt really rushed, and it would have been a really good bridge between The Storm Crow and a non-existent third book.  I think having some time to let things develop naturally would have been good.

Still, I’d recommend this duology for the depression representation and Res alone.

3 stars.  I liked The Crow Rider, but I also have some reservations about it.

Book Review: Diamond City by Francesca Flores

Book: Diamond City by Francesca Flores

Published January 2020 by Wednesday Books|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The City Of Diamond And Steel #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!

I thought Diamond City was just okay.  I’m not sure why, but I had a really hard time getting through this book.

I really felt for Aina, and I hated Kohl for everything he did to her.  He’s just a completely horrible person, and I don’t know if he felt guilty for what he did, or if he took her under his wing after taking away everything from Aina because it’s his thing, but either way, it was completely and utterly horrible.  Also, she just couldn’t let him go, no matter what he did.  I don’t get it but maybe Aina felt like she owed because he took her off the streets?

Back to Aina, though.  She has had a rough life, and I wanted everything to be okay for her.  It seems like things are looking up at the end of the book, but considering this is the first book in a series, I know there’s a lot more heartbreak in Aina’s future.  Things seem good now, but I know they’re not going to stay that way.  I know, in the end, things will be just fine for Aina, but what is she going to lose along the way?  She’s already lost so much, and I know the journey to the end of this series will be interesting.

Even though I didn’t love this book, I am still curious to see how things work out for Aina.  I definitely plan on reading the sequel, because I do like Aina, and I’m rooting for her.

I don’t know how I feel about the world- all I can tell you is that magic and diamonds are outlawed, but diamonds seem to be all over the place because of a black market.  Oh, and there’s a specific religion that’s forbidden as well.  I honestly couldn’t tell you anything more specific than that, so obviously, a lot of the world and magic did not make a big impression.

2 stars.  I liked Aina, and I do want things to work out for her.  Enough that I’m probably going to read the sequel, but for whatever reason, I just had a hard time liking it.

Book Review: The Boundless by Anna Bright

Book: The Boundless by Anna Bright

Published June 2020 by HarperTeen|512 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: The Beholder #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

This breathtaking sequel to The Beholder will take you on a journey into a darkly sparkling fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Selection and Caraval.

When Selah found true love with Prince Torden of Norway, she never imagined she’d have to leave him behind. All because the Beholder’s true mission was a secret Selah’s crew didn’t trust her to keep: transporting weapons to the rebels fighting against the brutal tsarytsya, whose shadow looms over their next port of Shvartsval’d. A place Selah hoped she’d never go.

But gone is the girl who departed Potomac filled with fear. With a stockpile of weapons belowdecks and her heart hanging in the balance, Selah is determined to see the Beholder’s quest to its end.

I LOVED The Boundless!  It’s such a great sequel, and I didn’t think I’d like it as much as the first book.  I ended up liking it more!

I just loved the story, and in this book, we see Selah go into the heart of Baba Yaga’s home.  It’s definitely not a warm and welcoming place.  In fact, it’s probably the worst place Selah, or anyone else, could be.  What the tsarytysa does to hold onto her power…it’s horrible and not good at all.  Making her happy isn’t possible, and even the slightest wrong move can mean death.  I mean, you want her favor, but it seems like its so easy to lose.

I’m glad things worked out for Selah.  She found love, things are back to normal in Potomac, and people who do horrible things get punished for it.  I’m glad Selah’s stepmother is no longer in the picture, and I’m not at all surprised at what she did.  I can understand why she did it, which doesn’t mean that what she did was okay.  It’s not at all okay.  But I am glad that everyone knew what she did, and that Selah didn’t lose her father because of it.

Selah is such a different character in this book.  She’s grown and changed so much, and she has the strength and capability to do what she needed to do to get back home to her family.  She not the quiet, unsure girl we see in The Beholder, that’s for sure.  Though I hated how she treated Lang- I felt like she led him on, and I think he deserved better.  With Torden, though, it’s not like anyone else had a chance, but I still felt bad for Lang, who seemed to have feelings for someone who didn’t return those same feelings.

I just really loved this story.  I never knew what was going to happen next, and I really liked how we saw different stories woven in.  We don’t see nearly as many as The Beholder, but the one that stands out is one that reminded me of the 12 dancing princesses.  I really like how Bright incorporated that into the story and I think she did a great job at incorporating a lot of different stories into these books.  It was fun to see the variety of stories in the book, and you saw it right down to the names of the characters.

I’m really glad I read this one!  It was what I needed, and it’s totally worth reading.

5 stars.  I loved The Boundless, and it’s even better than the first book in the series!

Book Review: Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

Book: Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

Published February 2020 by Sourcebooks|384 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.

I liked Belle Revolte!  I didn’t love it, but I really enjoyed it.

Emilie and Annette swap lives, and Annette gets to study magic, while Emilie get to be a physician’s assistant.  It was interesting to see them live a life different than their own.  Mostly, I loved that they got to do what they always wanted, though I hated that in their world, they had to switch places in order to do so.

For Annette in particular, things are really difficult for her, but I was glad to see that she got to study magic, and be in a place that allows her to be who she is.  I was glad that Emilie got to do the same, but I especially wanted it for Annette.  I hope, that after this book ends, they both get to do everything they dreamed of.

I wrongly assumed this was a series, so I was surprised to see that it was a stand-alone.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a stand-alone fantasy, but because of that, things do get a little rushed.  As usual, I wanted to know more about the world.  I feel like a broken record with that, because I feel like I say that a lot with fantasy novels, but especially the stand-alone fantasy novels.  It was nice knowing that there isn’t a series I have to read just to find out more but at the same time, I think having at least one more book would help things not feel as rushed.

The book was a little slow at times, and I had a hard time getting into at first.  Things do pick up, and things get a little more fast-paced as the book goes on.  I know things need to be set up, and that can take a while, but for whatever reason, I had a hard time with this book at first.

I don’t usually mention covers, but I love the cover for this book!  It’s so pretty, and I love the colors.  Plus, it somehow fits with the book really well, even though nothing like it is described in the book.

3 stars.  I liked Belle Revolte, and I am interested to see what else Miller writes.

Book Review: We Unleash The Merciful Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Book: We Unleash The Merciful Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Published February 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books|320 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: We Set The Dark On Fire #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

In this nail-biting sequel to Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, La Voz operative Carmen is forced to choose between the girl she loves and the success of the rebellion she’s devoted her life to.

Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.

Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers, taken in when she was an orphaned child and trained to be a cunning spy. She spent years undercover at the Medio School for Girls, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters. There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be? 

I liked We Unleash The Merciful Storm but not as much as I wanted to.  I had a really hard time getting into it, and I definitely didn’t like it as much as the first book.

I initially started reading it, but had to put it down until I could re-read the first book.  I had no recollection of who was who and what had happened, and there was no way I was going to get through this book without a re-read.  Once that I done, I jumped back into this book, but I just didn’t find this book as engaging as the first one.

This book focuses more on Carmen, and her time with La Voz.  And away from it too.  We don’t know what’s going on with Dani for most of this book.  Which is fine, but I just didn’t really care.  It’s more about the resistance to the government, and I wasn’t expecting resistance to be so…boring and uninspiring.  I really hate saying that, because their reasons for protesting are completely valid.  But…I felt like it took a backseat to Carmen trying to prove that her faith and trust in Dani as a La Voz operative was a good thing.

They’re definitely resisting, and I appreciate that, especially with all of the protests going on right now.

I did like the quotes at the beginning of each chapter!  They’re all from La Voz, and it was really nice to see what they believed in.  It’s like the quotes from the Primera handbook we see in the first book.

I just wish we saw more of what was going on with Dani.  Carmen’s story is definitely important, and I’m glad we got to see her story, but I feel like a dual-POV would have worked really well here.  We could have see what was going on both Carmen and Dani, and I feel like some chapters from Dani’s POV would have given some insight into some of the things mentioned in this book.

The ending felt a little off to me too- it both rushed and unfinished, like there’s going to be more.  If there is going to be another book, I’d be curious to see where it goes.  Things are wrapped up enough, but I’d like to see how things work out for Dani and Carmen.

I wish we had more resolution with Dani’s family.  It comes up in the first book, but was completely forgotten in this one.  I just wish that had gone somewhere.  It felt like such a big deal, and then nothing came of it.  Something would have been nice but I guess we’ll never know.

Still, it was nice to see how everything worked out.  And it was nice to know how things worked out for Dani and Carmen.

3 stars.  I liked We Unleash The Merciful Storm but not as much as the first book.

Book Review: Night Spinner by Addie Thorley

Book: Night Spinner by Addie Thorley

Published February 2020 by Page Street Kids|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Night Spinner #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.

Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.

Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.

Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees. thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

I liked Night Spinner, but not as much as I thought I would.  It’s a cool idea, though.

I think part of the problem is that in the week between finishing the book and writing this review, I’ve forgotten a lot.  I haven’t been reading much lately, so I honestly thought that I’d have no problem remembering one of the few books I’ve read.  But that was not the case with this book.  I remember some things, but not every little detail.

I wanted to know more about her world.  I can’t remember a lot about it, but the magic system was really interesting.  Of course, Enebish has a rare magic, and when things go wrong one day, she’s sent off to a monastery.  As it turns out, what really happened that day isn’t really what happened.

Everyone has a different magic, and it seems like they come into their magic around puberty.  Well, mostly.  There is a character who gets magic way late.  I kind of wish we got more of that, because I thought that was pretty interesting.

The world was something that didn’t stand out, and I wish it did, because my mind is coming to a complete blank as far as how people are trained and what the world is like.

Her relationship with Ghoa was interesting, though I felt like we didn’t see enough of it.  Her relationship with Ghoa’s cousin was interesting as well.  I wish I could remember his name- I think it starts with an S, but that’s about it.  And Temujin…we see more of him with Enebish than any other character, and I was certain they would end up together.  I feel like there may be a love triangle in Enebish’s future.  I don’t think things with Temujin are over…

Honestly, I’m not sure what else to say about Night Spinner, so I’ll end with my rating.

3 stars.  I liked Night Spinner, but I wish I remembered more of it.  Still, I do want to know what happens next.

Audio Book Review: Supernova by Marissa Meyer, Narrated by Rebecca Soler And Dan Bittner

Book: Supernova by Marissa Meyer, Narrated by Rebecca Soler And Dan Bittner

Published November 2019 by Macmillan Audio|Run Time: 16 hours, 32 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Renegades #3

Genre: YA Fantasy

All’s fair in love and anarchy…

Supernova, the epic conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.

I really liked Supernova!  It’s a really good end to the series, and the ending made me want another book.

I was wondering how everything would end, and we definitely get that in this book.  Unfortunately, we lose a few characters along the way, and a couple were really sad.

Things get a little more grey in this book, and we see that things are not as black and white as they were in Renegades and Archenemies.  I feel like Nova really struggles with being an Anarchist or a Renegade throughout the series, but we really see it in this book.  Once Ace becomes the Anarchist we’ve heard about for two books, and is hellbent on destruction, Nova really starts to see that he is different than she thought he was.  He was a pretty terrible person, in my opinion.  Especially once we find out what really happens the night her family was killed.

It made me really sad for Nova, and while I completely get that she wanted to be on Ace’s side, I also get why she wanted to be on the Renegades side too.  People aren’t just good or bad, a superhero or a villain.  Nova has a hard decision to make, but in the end, she realizes being an Anarchist isn’t what she wants.

At least, not how Ace wants the Anarchists to be.  I can’t imagine having to choose between her only remaining family and her friends.

The ending was mind-blowing.  I would absolutely love another series from that character’s perspective- I wouldn’t mind seeing that character grow up, or even this series re-told from that character’s perspective.  I wasn’t expecting it, but looking back, it makes a lot of sense.  I don’t know if Meyer will ever return to this world, but if she does, she has a great starting point with how this book ended.

Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner did a great job narrating.  I’ve really enjoyed their narration, and they are great choices for Adrian and Nova.  I can’t imagine the series being narrated by anyone else.

4 stars.  I didn’t love Supernova, but I still really enjoyed it.  This series has been really fun to listen to.

Book Review: Havenfall by Sara Holland

Book: Havenfall by Sara Holland

Published March 2020 by Bloomsbury YA|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Havenfall #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

I liked Havenfall!  I was excited about this book after reading her Everless series, but I have to say, I didn’t like this book as much as Everless.

I like the world, and I like the idea of a sanctuary in the mountains that connects all of these different worlds.  I personally had a hard time remembering which world was which, and I also had some trouble keeping of some of the characters.  I also liked the setting, and I wish we got to explore more of Havenfall.  It seems like a beautiful place, and I really hope we get to see more of it in the next book.

I know we had to stay in the inn for this book, and it makes me a little sad, because I feel like there’s a lot more we can see and explore.  It really does seem like the perfect intersection between all of these different worlds, where they can all come together at a neutral meeting ground.  I really, really hope this world will get a little bit bigger in the next book.

I felt like we went from event to event with not a lot in between, which is weird because it also felt like the book moved at a really slow pace.  I know this is the book in a series, and we might get more information as the series goes on, but I felt like I didn’t get enough information in this book.

I was surprised by the mystery aspect of it.  I was expecting it to be more of a fantasy.  Don’t get me wrong, that was definitely there, and I kind of like the mystery elements.  It did keep me reading because I wanted to know what happened next.

I’m honestly not sure what else to say about Havenfall- I feel like I’ve said everything I’ve needed to say, so onto my rating!

3 stars.  I liked it enough to want to read the next book, and I really hope we see more of the world in the next book.

Book Review: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Book: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Published March 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books|480 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Bone Grace #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Bone Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

This book was really cool!  The world is different but there’s something familiar about it too.

I really liked the idea of Bone Criers, and how they use animal bones to ferry dead souls.  I don’t know why, but it made me think of Greek mythology.  The fact that they use strengths from the animals is pretty cool, and I like that there’s a purpose to it.

Bastien was interesting- I get why he wanted revenge, but by taking revenge on Ailesse, he finds himself in the same position as his father.  He and Ailesse end up in a very interesting position and I’m curious to see how it works out with what happened to Ailesse at the end of the book.  The second he crossed Ailesse’s path, I knew it would change things drastically.  I wasn’t wrong, and my predication ended up being right.

I felt for Sabine, and from what we see about the Bone Criers, I don’t blame her for not having the stomach for it.  I wouldn’t either, honestly.  But after what happened to Ailesse, she doe change her tune a little bit.  It’s obvious she wants Ailesse to be okay, and she really will do anything for her.

What Odiva does…it really changes things for their whole family.  I’m not completely sure that I like her, but she is interesting, and I kind of wanted to know more about her.  I don’t know that we’ll learn more about her, but we might get bits and pieces.  I’m not going to lie, I did want it to be connected to Bastien and his friends somehow.  I think it would have thrown another wrench in things, but we definitely get enough of that in this book.  Still, I really would have liked that.

I am looking forward to the next book.  I really want to see where things go, and how things work out for both Ailesse and her family.

I actually liked the multiple narrators in this book.  Sabine, Ailesse and Bastien take turns narrating, and I thought it worked well.  Given they’re all on different paths, we get see what’s going on with each characters, and the reader has a better idea of what’s going on than the characters do.  Ailesse and Bastien do spend a lot of the book together but I liked seeing what they were thinking.  Since they do spend some time apart, it also means we get see what they’re doing when they’re not together.

3 stars.  There’s a lot I liked and I have a lot of questions.  I didn’t love it, but I’m still looking forward to the next book.