Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco and Daphne by Josh Malerman #bookreview #horror #asianmyth #vampires #LGBTQ

I know I’ve been featuring more reviews than usual lately (and you’re probably getting a little tired of them), but I’ve been trying to get the September releases posted before Bad Moon Rising takes over the month of October. The fun starts tomorrow with the preview of BMR authors!

Full of court intrigue, queer romance, and terrifying monsters—this gothic epic fantasy will appeal to fans of Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree and the adult animated series Castlevania.

Remy Pendergast is many things: the only son of the Duke of Valenbonne (though his father might wish otherwise), an elite bounty hunter of rogue vampires, and an outcast among his fellow Reapers. His mother was the subject of gossip even before she eloped with a vampire, giving rise to the rumors that Remy is half-vampire himself. Though the kingdom of Aluria barely tolerates him, Remy’s father has been shaping him into a weapon to fight for the kingdom at any cost.

When a terrifying new breed of vampire is sighted outside of the city, Remy prepares to investigate alone. But then he encounters the shockingly warmhearted vampire heiress Xiaodan Song and her infuriatingly arrogant fiancé, vampire lord Zidan Malekh, who may hold the key to defeating the creatures—though he knows associating with them won’t do his reputation any favors. When he’s offered a spot alongside them to find the truth about the mutating virus Rot that’s plaguing the kingdom, Remy faces a choice.

It’s one he’s certain he’ll regret.

But as the three face dangerous hardships during their journey, Remy develops fond and complicated feelings for the couple. He begins to question what he holds true about vampires, as well as the story behind his own family legacy. As the Rot continues to spread across the kingdom, Remy must decide where his loyalties lie: with his father and the kingdom he’s been trained all his life to defend or the vampires who might just be the death of him. 

I’m a fan of Chupeco’s YA books and jumped at the chance to read their first foray into the adult genre. I nearly did a happy dance when I learned the story involves vampires.

Remy’s life hasn’t been an easy one. He’s a vampire hunter but is shunned by other hunters because of rumors his mother ran away with a vampire – and Remy might be half vampire. His father, a human and former hunter, is ambitious, power-hungry, and constantly demeans Remy. He also pimps Remy out to the wives of men who hold strategic positions in society in order to gain information. Trust me, no Father of the Year trophies will ever grace this guy’s mantle. As a result of all this, Remy doesn’t think highly of himself and believes he’s not worthy of kindness from anyone. He’s definitely an easy character to root for.

When a new breed of vampire shows up, Remy finds himself teamed up with an engaged vampire couple, both of them high up in their respective courts. Having read several vampire books, I liked this different take on a mutant strain of vamps. I also enjoyed seeing a human and vampires working alongside each other, encountering plenty of obstacles along the way, in order to discover who’s behind the Rot. What Remy lacks in self-esteem he more than makes up for as a hunter and can hold his own in a fight. And there are plenty of bloody ones in this story. It’s also full of gothic atmosphere, and the polyamorous relationship that develops between the three of them is pretty amusing at times because of differing personalities. Seeing Remy begin to realize he’s worthy of love and kindness also comes with some heartfelt moments.

At over five hundred pages, this is a chunk of a novel that moves at a brisk pace. It’s not listed as a series on Goodreads, but the ending makes me believe a sequel will be coming – and I’ll absolutely be reading it. HIghly recommend to fans of supernatural mystery.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

It’s the last summer for Kit Lamb: The last summer before college. The last summer with her high school basketball team, and with Dana, her best friend. The last summer before her life begins.

But the night before the big game, one of the players tells a ghost story about Daphne, a girl who went to their school many years ago and died under mysterious circumstances. Some say she was murdered, others that she died by her own hand. And some say that Daphne is a murderer herself. They also say that Daphne is still out there, obsessed with revenge, and will appear to kill again anytime someone thinks about her.

After Kit hears the story, her teammates vanish, one by one, and Kit begins to suspect that the stories about Daphne are real . . . and to fear that her own mind is conjuring the killer. Now it’s a race against time as Kit searches for the truth behind the legend and learns to face her own fears—before the summer of her life becomes the last summer of her life.

Mixing a nostalgic coming-of-age story and an instantly iconic female villain with an innovative new vision of classic horror, Daphne is an unforgettable thriller as only Josh Malerman could imagine it.

When you’re told not to think about a certain thing, see how well you do. It’s not easy. At all. In this novel, if you think about Daphne, she comes for you. And you won’t survive the visit.

Daphne is kind of an urban legend in this town. Seven feet tall, the owner of a muscle car, and rumored to be a murderer, she was an outcast in high school, but has been dead for many years. Or has she? When one of the basketball players tells a ghost story about Daphne to the team, the body count begins a couple days later. With her friends dying one by one in horrific ways, Kit is sure it’s only a matter of time before Daphne pays her a visit. Can she be stopped?

If you’re a fan of both basketball and horror, you’ll be thrilled with this book. Basketball isn’t one of my interests, so I skimmed over a good bit of those parts. But when Daphne is on the page? I couldn’t look away. Those scenes are creepy, bloodcurdling, and exactly what I’d hoped. For me, this had the feel of an 80s slasher movie, and it was something I really liked. As a KISS fan, I also appreciated them being mentioned, but chuckled over Kit not knowing who they were.

Daphne is a chilling blend of horror and psychological thriller that may keep you awake at night. Just try not to think about her. Good luck.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas #bookreview #YA #fantasy #LGBTQ

Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidioses compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes, in this electric new Mexican-inspired fantasy from Aiden Thomas, the New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys.

“Only the most powerful and honorable semidioses get chosen. I’m just a Jade. I’m not a real hero.”

As each new decade begins, the Sun’s power must be replenished so that Sol can keep traveling along the sky and keep the evil Obsidian gods at bay. Ten semidioses between the ages of thirteen and eighteen are selected by Sol himself as the most worthy to compete in The Sunbearer Trials. The winner carries light and life to all the temples of Reino del Sol, but the loser has the greatest honor of all―they will be sacrificed to Sol, their body used to fuel the Sun Stones that will protect the people of Reino del Sol for the next ten years.

Teo, a 17-year-old Jade semidiós and the trans son of Quetzal, goddess of birds, has never worried about the Trials…or rather, he’s only worried for others. His best friend Niya―daughter of Tierra, the god of earth―is one of the strongest heroes of their generation and is much too likely to be chosen this year. He also can’t help but worry (reluctantly, and under protest) for Aurelio, a powerful Gold semidiós and Teo’s friend-turned-rival who is a shoo-in for the Trials. Teo wouldn’t mind taking Aurelio down a notch or two, but a one-in-ten chance of death is a bit too close for Teo’s taste.

But then, for the first time in over a century, Sol chooses a semidiós who isn’t a Gold. In fact, he chooses two: Xio, the 13-year-old child of Mala Suerte, god of bad luck, and…Teo. Now they must compete in five mysterious trials, against opponents who are both more powerful and better trained, for fame, glory, and their own survival. 

I’ve been wanting to read this author for quite a while. I’ve had one of his books, Cemetery Boys, in my TBR for quite a while, but just haven’t gotten to it yet. When I was approved for an ARC (audiobook version) of The Sunbearer Trials, I knew it was time to get acquainted with his work.

Similar to The Hunger Games, competitors are chosen and must complete several trials. But in this case, only the competitor with the least amount of points should die. Teo isn’t worried for himself. He’s a Jade, and for more than a century Sol has only chosen Golds to compete. He’s more concerned for his best friend Niya, a strong competitor. Golds have trained for the trials their whole lives, so when the names of two Jades are announced, everyone is shocked. Teo is an underdog and not expected to do well against the Golds, but he has no choice but to compete. I liked that he’s a go with the flow kind of guy, but also possesses a rebellious streak that tends to get him in some trouble.

The competitions are exciting, dangerous, and highly creative. Participants face both physical and mental challenges. After each was completed, I was as anxious to hear the ratings as the characters. I loved the relationships between them whether they were friends, siblings, or parent-child. All are so well-portrayed and heartwarming. As expected, some competitors form alliances, but by the end most of them support each other in some way. And that twist at the end! Not many books surprise me, but I didn’t see that one coming. It’s brilliant.

André Santana is a wonderful narrator, and I’d highly recommend the audiobook version if you enjoy them. With the competitors having various powers and the competition, Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games are perfect comp titles for this book. I’d advise fans of those series to jump on The Sunbearer Trials.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Bone Weaver by Aden Polydoros #bookreview #fantasy #supernatural #LGBTQ #TuesdayBookBlog

A haunting fantasy following Toma, adopted daughter of the benevolent undead, making her way across a civil war-torn continent to save her younger sister as she discovers she might possess magical powers herself.

The Kosa empire roils in tension, on the verge of being torn apart by a proletarian revolution between magic-endowed elites and the superstitious lower class, but seventeen-year-old Toma lives blissfully disconnected from the conflict in the empire with her adoptive family of benevolent undead.

When she meets Vanya, a charming commoner branded as a witch by his own neighbors, and the dethroned Tsar Mikhail himself, the unlikely trio bonds over trying to restore Mikhail’s magic and protect the empire from the revolutionary leader, Koschei, whose forces have stolen the castle. Vanya has his magic, and Mikhail has his title, but if Toma can’t dig deep and find her power in time, all of their lives will be at Koschei’s mercy. 

I think I’ve read all of this author’s books, and I can always count on incredible world-building. His previous novel, The City Beautiful, is set in Chicago during the World’s Fair and features a Jewish main character possessed by a dybbuk. The setting of Bone Weaver is very similar to Imperial Russia, and its monsters come from Slavic folklore.

Toma remembers little from her early life, other than her mother’s death after telling her to run. She does know they were running from someone, and it was extremely important that she not lose her mother’s rushnyk (an embroidered tapestry), which seems to have some magical properties. Fortunately, Toma was taken in by a family of upyri (undead, but they’re nice). When her six-year-old upyri sister (her age when she died) is captured by soldiers, Toma travels across a war-ravaged continent to find her. Along the way she teams up with Vanya, who possesses magical powers, and Mikhail, the dethroned tsar whose magic was stolen. It’s an adjustment for Toma as her home is very secluded, and she hasn’t lived among humans for many years.

Vanya is a prankster at times, but he’s also outraged at how commoners are treated. Those who possess magic are branded as witches and killed since magic should only belong to the elite. While trying to regain his throne, Mikhail has the rare opportunity to experience the reality of what’s going on in his country and vows to change things. With very different personalities, Mikhail and Vanya tend to clash at times, and I especially enjoyed their banter.

Soldiers aren’t their only threat. These three encounter dangerous creatures at nearly every turn and have to fight for their lives more than once. Learning about Slavic folklore was both enthralling and horrifying. Once a person is killed in this world, there’s a chance they may return as upyri. To prevent that, they’re dismembered, their body parts scattered, and their mouths filled with dirt and moss. Not all upyri are like Toma’s family – some are prone to feasting on flesh.

This story deals with difficult topics of war and religious and cultural persecution. But it also features strong found family vibes, friendships, and discovering where you belong. This is a quote from the book that struck a chord with me. “And wherever you go from here, always remember – all that you love will return to you.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Don’t Let in the Cold by Keely Parrack #bookreview #YA #survival #thriller

The storm isn’t the only thing they’ll have to survive.

It was supposed to be just one night in the cabin: one night for Lottie and her brand new stepsister, Jade, to try to get along. When a solar flare causes a massive blackout―no power or cell signal―Lottie knows they’ve got a long night ahead of them.

Then, in the dark, someone else shows up at the cabin―a stranger named Alex, claiming to be lost and needing shelter from the coming snowstorm. But later that night, Lottie spies him in the driveway talking to two mysterious men in a pickup truck, and she’s sure he’s lying about why he’s here.

Before Lottie can find out more, a fire forces her, Jade, and Alex out into the blizzard, where they must rely on one another to get to safety―wherever that is. In the remote, freezing Tahoe wilderness, they have to survive more than just the elements. Soon it becomes clear that Alex’s accomplices are hunting for all three of them, in a scheme that’s gone too far and taken a chilling, deadly turn. 

I always enjoy a good survival story, and with a blizzard and massive blackout this one promised high stakes.

Lottie and Jade are on day one of being a blended family. When their parents (Lottie’s mother and Jade’s father) go on a brief, one night honeymoon, the girls are left alone at their Lake Tahoe cabin. Neither are thrilled to be there. Little do they know how much they’ll have to rely on each other over the next couple days. When Alex and his dog show up during the storm claiming to be lost, you just know it’s not a good idea to invite them in. But thegirls do, of course, and that’s where most of the problems begin.

The setting is arguably the biggest character in the story. With a blizzard, blackout caused by a solar flare, below freezing temperatures, cabin fire, and wild animals, these teens had a lot thrown at them. And they encountered much more than that with one disastrous or dangerous situation after another. With so many problems, the storyline felt scattered to me. The stakes are already incredibly high, so I feel like focusing on just a few of the issues could have the same impact on their survival.

With a dangerous, wintry setting and plenty of life-threatening situations, this is a tense survival story that can be easily read in a couple of sittings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

I’ll be traveling today, so I may not get to comments until tomorrow. Thanks for visiting!

Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah #bookreview #YA #fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.

In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite, have indentured Koral’s family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others―if they’re lucky―survive.

When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family’s financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can’t afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral’s only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.

But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders―including her ex-boyfriend―who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When a rebellion rises and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose―her life or her sister’s―before the whole island burns.

She grew up battling the monsters that live in the black seas, but it couldn’t prepare her to face the cunning cruelty of the ruling elite.

Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and These Violent Delights, this South Asian-inspired fantasy is a gripping debut about the power of the elite, the price of glory, and one girl’s chance to change it all. 

Gotta admit, it was the title and cover that drew me to this book. Comp titles of The Hunger Games and These Violent Delights told me I was in for an exciting read.

Koral and her family live in a dangerous world filled with deadly creatures both in the sea and air. As hunters, Koral and her brother must capture maristags, arguably the most deadly of these creatures, for the Glory Race. Trust me, this is not a job you want. Hunters risk their lives with every capture. This society is a caste system of Landers, the ruling class, and Renters, those on the bottom rung. Falling in the latter group, Koral and her family are lucky to have a roof over their heads and food on the table, but struggle to provide medicine her younger sister desperately needs. When their financial situation drastically changes, Koral has no choice but to enter the Glory Race. The problem? Only Landers may compete.

The race is very similar to The Hunger Games in that some of the contestants don’t survive, and the challenges aren’t for the faint of heart. Action moves at a breathtaking pace during these challenges, and I even gasped at certain points. The contestants ride maristags (the picture on the cover), and although they’re not horses, I was still reminded of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races. Clearly the stakes are high and the odds of survival slim, but Koral has no choice if she wants to save her sister and secure her family’s financial future.

This world is full of unrest and power struggles. I was a little confused, but it seemed as if several rebel groups operated under the same umbrella. With no clear leader, they fought not only against the Landers, but also against each other and lacked communication. It’s not the primary focus, but romance is included in the story, and I was intrigued by the unusual dynamic between Koral and Dorian.

With numerous power struggles, deadly creatures bent on killing humans, and a race with few survivors, this novel engaged me from beginning to end. After that cliffhanger, I’m anxious to see where the next book goes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

All of Our Demise (All of Us Villains #2) by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman #bookreview #YA #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

The epic conclusion to Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman’s New York Times bestselling All of Us Villains duology that’s The Hunger Games with magic.

“I feel like I should warn you: this is going to be absolutely brutal.”

For the first time in this ancient, bloodstained story, the tournament is breaking. The boundaries between the city of Ilvernath and the arena have fallen. Reporters swarm the historic battlegrounds. A dead boy now lives again. And a new champion has entered the fray, one who seeks to break the curse for good… no matter how many lives are sacrificed in the process.

As the curse teeters closer and closer to collapse, the surviving champions each face a choice: dismantle the tournament piece by piece, or fight to the death as this story was always intended.

Long-held alliances will be severed. Hearts will break. Lives will end. Because a tale as wicked as this one was never destined for happily ever after.

With every protagonist morally gray and some close to black, All of Us Villains blew me away. This sequel was absolutely one of my most anticipated reads this year.

This is one of those reviews where I can’t reveal too much without giving away spoilers. I’ll start by saying Alistair remains my favorite character, and my heart ached for him. He’s been told his whole life he’s a monster, raised to know he’ll have to kill people, and told bedtime stories about his relatives and the heinous acts they committed. Someone he trusted, and you can count on one hand how many people attained that status in his life, betrayed him in the last book. As you can expect, this isn’t something he’ll let slide. Still, I only wanted good things for him.

If I thought the first book contained shocking twists, it had nothing on this one. Some I had an inkling of, others not a clue. Alliances are formed and expected, which is pretty much the only way to survive the tournament. Then came a hint of a surprise pairing – and I nearly jumped with joy. I was totally on board with this relationship, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the book. But my lips are sealed.

To get readers to cheer for a bunch of villains says something about the talent of these authors. Character development is outstanding and one of the strongest aspects of this duology. Be prepared – not everyone survives, but that’s something to be expected in a tournament based on death. I’m sorry to see this series end, but I count it as one of my favorites in the YA fantasy genre.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral by Darlene Foster #bookreview #childrensbooks #travel #mystery

Amanda explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, while being drawn into the mystery surrounding the destructive fire of Notre Dame cathedral.

Amanda is in love! With Paris – the city of love. She’s in awe of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. While there, she gets to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous book store, along with her bestie, Leah, and Leah’s eccentric Aunt Jenny. A dream come true for a book lover like Amanda.

Except, while she’s at the Paris Opera House there is a bomb threat. Then the lights go out during their visit to the Louvre. Worst of all, a devastating fire blazes in Notre Dame. Why does a mysterious man, who claims to be a busker, writer and artist, show up every time something bad happens?

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets of Paris, the fabulous Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the painter Claude Monet, all the time looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic cathedral.

Join Amanda as she explores the exciting streets and sites around Paris, all the while looking for clues as to who would want to destroy such a beautiful, historic place.

I’ve armchair traveled with Amanda a few times now, and I was thrilled to experience France with her this time around.

Even though these books are geared toward the younger crowd, I learn something about the different countries every time. Here are just a few examples from France: the purpose of gargoyles, there’s a lake beneath the Palais Garnier (just like Phantom of the Opera!), and the Louvre was originally a royal palace. Evidently I never paid much attention in history class.

Amanda has a talent for attracting trouble, and she’s not in Paris long before strange occurrences begin. Why do they keep running into the same man everywhere they go? Who went through Aunt Jenny’s belongings in their room at Shakespeare and Company? Can their new friend Pierre be trusted? Amanda and her friend Leah (who’s beginning to show signs of classic teen moodiness) find themselves in the middle of a mystery all while touring the wonderful sites (and food!) Paris has to offer.

This is a fast-paced story easily finished in under two hours. I highly recommend this series as a way to introduce kids to different countries and cultures. Solving mysteries with Amanda is just a bonus.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus #bookreview #YA #mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Be sure to keep your friends close . . . and your secrets closer.

Four years ago, Brynn left Saint Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favorite teacher—a story that made headlines after the teacher’s body was found by three Saint Ambrose students in the woods behind their school. The case was never solved. Now that Brynn is moving home and starting her dream internship at a true-crime show, she’s determined to find out what really happened.

The kids who found Mr. Larkin are her way in, and her ex–best friend, Tripp Talbot, was one of them. Without his account of events, the other two kids might have gone down for Mr. Larkin’s murder. They’ve never forgotten what Tripp did for them that day. Just like he hasn’t forgotten that everything he told the police was a lie.

Digging into the past is bound to shake up the present, and as Brynn begins to investigate what happened in the woods that day, she begins to uncover secrets that might change everything—about Saint Ambrose, about Mr. Larkin, and about her ex-best friend, Tripp Talbot.

Four years ago someone got away with murder. The most terrifying part is that they never left.

I’ve read several books by this author and always know I’m in for a compelling mystery that keeps me guessing.

Brynn has known since middle school that she wants to be a journalist. After a juvenile prank she’s blamed for (she’s innocent), she’s fired as editor of her school newspaper. Luckily, due to her dad’s job, the family relocates back to the town they left four years ago. Brynn then takes a leap of faith, uses a clever approach, and talks her way into an internship on a true crime show. She even pitches a story idea to them – the unsolved murder of her favorite teacher, Mr. Larkin, four years ago. The catch? Three of her classmates, including one who’s her ex-best friend, found the body. Her assignment is to snoop around and see what she can dig up. Someone’s not talking, and once she’s focused on a story, Brynn is like a dog with a bone and refuses to give up. Even when it may endanger her life and others.

Tripp, Brynn’s ex-bestie, won that title when he humiliated her in front of their gym class shortly before she moved away. He regrets what he did, although he had his reasons. Since the horrific day he, Shane, and Charlotte discovered Mr. Larkin’s body, Tripp has been hanging onto secrets that are slowly eating him alive.

I thought I had this one figured out somewhere around the middle, but after previous experiences with McManus’s books I should have known my early assumptions are usually way off base. With her stories I’ve learned that my perceptions will change and new layers to the plot are waiting to be revealed just around the corner.

With plenty of suspects to put on your list and lots of intriguing characters (shoutout to Brynn’s clever sister, Ellie), this mystery will keep you glued to the pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#BlogTour The Necromancer’s Daughter by D. Wallace Peach #fantasy #dragons #magic

I’m so excited to participate in the blog tour for Diana’s new release, and it’s always a pleasure to host her. Make sure to read my review of The Necromancer’s Daughter at the bottom of the post.

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

Diana’s Bio:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

Purchase Links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach/dp/B0B9FY6YZJ

IN: https://www.amazon.in/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

My Review:

This isn’t my first rodeo with this author’s books. I know to expect writing that reads like prose, beautiful imagery, and top-notch world-building. My expectations were exceeded.

Diana’s done it again. She’s created wonderfully flawed characters who wormed their way into my heart. I cheered for them, nearly cried (seriously, I was close to needing a tissue), and sincerely hoped Teko found a good woman to make strange or magical babies with (you need to read the book to understand, but I promise you’d wish the same for him). It began with Barus, a disfigured orphan taken in by a healer, and then he held the door open for the rest of them (Aster, Joreh, and Teko especially) as they entered my heart. The father/daughter relationship and incredibly strong bond between Barus and Aster is one of my favorite things about this novel. The author certainly knows how to place her characters between a rock and a hard place, and she forces them to make gut-wrenching decisions. Each had their share of difficulties, but I felt Joreh in particular grappled with his beliefs.

There’s no shortage of deadly battle scenes between warring countries and tribes and a bloody struggle for power after the king is assassinated. And dragons! Somehow I missed in the description that they’d be a part of the story, but as a dragon lover I was thrilled and intrigued by Aster’s unique connection with them and how that factored into her identity.

The Necromancer’s Daughter is an exciting adventure filled with magic, epic battles, strong friendships, warring kingdoms, and a bit of romance. Find yourself a comfy chair to curl up in, make sure you’re not interrupted, and then fully immerse yourself in this world.

Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye, and Sandhya Menon #bookreview #romcom #YA

New York Times bestselling authors Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye, and Sandhya Menon craft a spellbinding novel about discovering the magic of true love on one fateful, magical night in Three Kisses, One Midnight.

The town of Moon Ridge was founded 400 years ago and everyone born and raised there knows the legend of the young woman who perished at the stroke of twelve that very same night, losing the life she was set to embark on with her dearest love. Every century since, one day a year, the Lady of Moon Ridge descends from the stars to walk among the townsfolk, conjuring an aura upon those willing to follow their hearts’ desires.

“To summon joy and love in another’s soul
For a connection that makes two people whole
For laughter and a smile that one can never miss
Sealed before midnight with a truehearted kiss.”

This year at Moon Ridge High, a group of friends known as The Coven will weave art, science, and magic during a masquerade ball unlike any other. Onny, True, and Ash believe everything is in alignment to bring them the affection, acceptance, and healing that can only come from romance—with a little help from Onny’s grandmother’s love potion.

But nothing is as simple as it first seems. And as midnight approaches, The Coven learn that it will take more than a spell to recognize those who offer their love and to embrace all the magic that follows.

I don’t read a ton of books in this genre, but I’m a fan of Chokshi’s Gilded Wolves series, and her name on the cover immediately caught my attention.

Bring on the pumpkin spice! With much of the story taking place at a Halloween party, it’s full of autumn vibes. I loved the descriptions of the quaint town that goes all out for Halloween and the legend of The Lady of Moon Ridge who helps people follow their heart’s desires.

The main characters are a trio of best friends whose nights may not turn out exactly as expected. Onny is a true believer in magic and has a very specific love potion recipe bequeathed to her by her grandmother. True was recently burned by an unworthy boyfriend and only trusts scientific facts. Ash is an artist who’s loved someone for several years (she’s totally unaware) and takes an unexpected opportunity to create his own luck. The book is divided into three sections, with each character telling their own story. I enjoyed all of them, but my favorite is a tie between Onny’s and Ash’s. Science teacher Mr. Brightside and his husband, Mayor Grimjoy, are perfect supporting characters and add even more humor to the mix.

A black cat who interrupts a long-awaited kiss, zodiac signs, odd potion ingredients, awesome costumes, and the best Halloween decorations I’ve heard of – this is a light-hearted, magical read guaranteed to put you in the autumn mood.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.