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.

Book Review: Tarot by Marissa Kennerson

Book: Tarot By Marissa Kennerson

Published February 2019 by Razorbill|288 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

Anna was never supposed to exist. Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers—the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules—and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just decoration. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create—as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.

I am a little disappointed in Tarot.  I wanted to like it, but unfortunately, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

I did like the world, but I felt like I was missing a lot.  I mean, Kennerson did draw from Tarot cards, which is cool.  I do wonder if that’s why I felt like I was missing something.  I like the idea of some of the cards as worlds, and some of the cards as characters.  I really like that idea, and it’s really unique.

I’m not really familiar with the different cards and their meanings, and I can’t help but wonder if that’s why things didn’t feel as developed as they could have.

Does it feel more developed if you’re really familiar with tarot?  If that’s the case, it is a little sad, because a lot of the world won’t feel completely developed for people like me, who don’t have a lot of familiarity with it.  I’m really hoping that’s not the case, because the book was pretty short, so it’s not like a lot of time could have been devoted to explaining the world a little more.  I like the world enough that I’m hoping it’s because of the length of the book.

I’m not sure how I feel about the characters.  They were okay, but I couldn’t begin to tell you most of their names or anything about them.  Part of it is I just don’t remember a lot of the characters, even though I know they exist.  I know there’s the Fool, the Hermit and the Magician, plus the king and Anna but I couldn’t tell you who the other characters are.

It’s interesting that Kennerson didn’t give them another name, and that they were the Fool or the Magician the whole time.  It was hard to care about them, because I felt like they were just an image from a card, and weren’t important enough to have any other names.

Anna wasn’t memorable either, which is disappointing for the main character.  Other than being locked away in a tower for her whole life before escaping to Cups, I couldn’t tell you much about her.  I’m glad she got out and was able to experience life outside a tower.  I liked seeing her experience things for the first time, but it also made me really sad for her.  Other than that, though, I didn’t really know a lot about her.

1 star.  I liked that the world and characters came from tarot cards but I wanted more from the book.

Book Review: All The Stars And Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Book: All The Stars And Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Published February 2020 by Imprint|384 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: All The Stars And Teeth #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

I really liked All The Stars And Teeth!

It’s a really interesting fantasy, and the beginning of it really does remind me of Throne Of Glass.  Amora really wanted to save her kingdom, and I admire what she went through in order to do it.

Her journey takes her all over Visidia, and there’s a lot she doesn’t know.  I can understand why her father kept it from her, but I also feel like she made the decisions she did because it was kept from her.  Then again, I feel like the book would be a little bit different if she had all of the information.

I loved the adventure, and the unlikely group of people traveling all over the place.  I think, if you liked Six Of Crows, you’ll like this book.  There’s just something about this group that made me think of them.

Besides, how can you go wrong with a crew that has a mermaid, a pirate, and a stowaway, all captained by a princess?  Our fearless mermaid was not in this book enough, but hopefully, we’ll see her more in the next book.  I really wish I could remember her name.  Or the name of anyone besides Amora.  I’m just not good at remembering names, but I really did like everyone.  They work pretty well together, and make a good team.

I am wondering how everything relating to Amora’s magic is going to work out.  I mean, I’m sure it will, but I’m excited to see how that works itself out.

The descriptions are amazing, and there were quite a few times I just let it sink it.  I feel like I’ve read a lot of books lately that have great descriptions, and this is one of them.  I could picture things really well as I was reading, and I’m glad we got to see so much of Amora’s world.  I really could see each place so well, while also be able to use my imagination a little bit.  It was a pretty good balance.

4 stars.  I really liked All The Stars And Teeth, and I am really excited about reading the next book.

Book Review: Girls Of Storm And Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Book: Girls Of Storm And Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Published November 2019 by Jimmy Patterson Books|403 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Girls Of Paper And Fire #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.

Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

I loved Girls Of Storm And Shadow!  I loved the first book when I read it, and this book didn’t disappoint!  This series is definitely worth reading, and I’m really looking forward to reading the next book.

I really liked Lei in this book.  While the first book was more of the direct aftermath of everything Lei had to deal with, this book is more about dealing with it long-term.  Lei is still dealing with everything that happened, and you really see how it affects her.

I don’t have strong feelings about Wren one way or another, though some of the things we find out towards the end of the book…I don’t know how I feel about it.  I definitely don’t see her the same way, but I can understand why she thought what she was doing was right.

The writing is absolutely beautiful!  There were quite a few times that I paused at her descriptions, and let in sink in.  I loved how she described things, and there were some things that sounded so pretty!  I also feel like there’s a lot of care with how Lei is dealing with everything.

Everything is explained and described so well, and it’s so easy to see why Lei is dealing with things the way she does.  Ngan does such a great job with making the reader care about Lei and what happens to her.  I just want Lei to be both happy and living in a world where she has her own agency, and hopefully, we’ll see that in the next book.

I’m always hesitant with sequels, because they feel like filler before we get to the last book.  This is not one of those books- there’s a lot going on, and it picks up where the first book left off.  Even though this is fantasy, there were parts of the book that felt very real, and there were things that I could totally see happening in our world.  Things were very ground in reality, and yet, I loved the world and how different but similar it is to our own world.

5 stars.  I loved Girls Of Storm And Shadow, and I can’t wait to read the next book.

Book Review: Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

Book: Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

Published January 2020 by Page Street Kids|384 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Woven In Moonlight #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

I liked Woven In Moonlight!  The description and the cover caught my attention, and I’m glad I read it!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like arranged marriage is starting to become a thing in YA fantasy.  Granted, characters aren’t actually getting married.  I can definitely think of a few books where characters are sent to the court of someone they’re supposed to marry.  For the most part, it’s not being demanded that they come to court to get married or their people will be destroyed.  This book is not as subtle where that is concerned.

The decoy Condesa concept was interesting.  I don’t get how Ximena’s people don’t know that she’s not the real Condesa.  Was she hidden away her whole life and no one knew what she looked like?  That was a little strange to me, but there’s nothing I could do about it.

I did like seeing how Ximena went from wanting the real Condesa on the throne to Atoc’s sister being on the throne.  The real Condesa didn’t make a big impression on me, to the point that I can’t remember her name. I do get why she felt betrayed by Ximena but I also get why Ximena acted the way she did.  Things aren’t what Ximena thought, and what she grew up knowing and experiencing as an Illustrian were completely different than Atoc’s people experienced.  Though I didn’t like Atoc, or agree with how he did things, something about how his people were treated seemed very familiar.

I liked how Ximena’s weaving came to life, and how the moonlight changed things in her pieces.  I crochet, so I definitely appreciated the work Ximena put into her craft.  I loved seeing the different animals from her tapestries on the cover, which is really beautiful.  It makes me wish I could see the tapestries in person.  The cover is partly why I picked this book up- the colors are pretty and bold but also muted.

Things felt very resolved, but it also felt like there is the possibility of a sequel.  I’d be interested to see where a sequel would go and the story it would be.  I could definitely think of a few directions it could go and I’m curious to see what life is going to be like for all of the characters.

3 stars.  I liked Woven In Moonlight, though I couldn’t begin to tell you why I didn’t love it.  Still, I can’t wait to read what Ibanez writes next!

Book Review: Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Book: Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Published January 2020 by Crown Books For Young Readers|352 pages

Where I Got: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Fantasy

One girl must make a name for herself–or die trying –in this royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler. But how long can she keep the crown if everyone wants her dead? Perfect for fans of Furyborn, Red Queen, and Everless.

Everyone expected the king’s daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me.

It shouldn’t even be possible. I’m Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don’t even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there’s no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don’t?

I thought Nameless Queen was okay.  I really wanted to like it more because I really liked the idea.  I definitely had my issues with it.

One of the things I didn’t like was how fast the book moved.  It looks like this is a stand-alone, and I felt like there was too much going on for it to be a stand-alone.  You definitely get an idea of the history and what Coin’s world is like but there’s so much that could be explored.  Like the divides between the Nameless, the Legals and the Royals.  There’s so much more that could have be described and focused on, and I really felt like we were getting the Cliff Notes version.

The book was just so short, and just when I really started to get into it, the book was over.  I really did assume it would be a series, because most fantasy series are in YA, and this book was too short for me.  I wish Nameless Queen was a little longer, just because there were things I wanted to know more about.

I am curious about Esther and why she didn’t say anything about her tattoo when her father died.  I know she knew a lot more than Coin, who didn’t get why or how she was chosen when she didn’t know her name.  And even though everything becomes clear later on in the book, it was still strange that she didn’t speak up about it.  I get why she didn’t but I still thought it was weird.

I did like Coin, but I especially liked her relationship with Hat.  I don’t know why, but it reminded me of Katniss and Rue.  I love what she represented, and how she was a voice for all of the Nameless- those on the outskirts of society, who didn’t have rights or say in things.  She was definitely aware of it too, and how much leverage she had.

I also wanted to know more about the magic in this world, and how it worked.  I could not tell you how it worked, or why it needed to be restrained.

Basically, the theme of this review is that I wanted more information than what we got.  It’s sad, because there are some really good ideas and something longer would have helped expand on those cool ideas.

2 stars.  Nameless Queen was okay and I really wanted more from it.