Blog Tour Review: Whispering Pines

Title: Whispering Pines
Author: Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Horror, Science Fiction
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A young boy and girl who must protect their small town from otherworldly forces threatening to destroy it.

Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.

The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.

No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird—starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business.

When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.

Review:

Rae’s father disappeared after making a disturbing discovery at his job. Her mother moved her and her older sister across the country to a small town called Whispering Pines after her father’s disappearance. Whispering Pines is a strange town that has people who walk goats, and a rule at the school that you can’t walk around with garlic around your neck. Rae moves in across the street from Caden, whose family has a ghost hunting business. Caden’s brother also disappeared, during a ghost hunting mission. Now more students are disappearing, and the ones who return are missing their eyes. Rae and Caden investigate what is happening in their town, before they disappear too.

This story reminded me a lot of Stranger Things. There is a large science laboratory in the town. One of the men who works there, Patrick, always seems to show up just when something goes wrong in the town. There seemed to be something supernatural happening, as well as some science experiments gone wrong.

I loved the quirky town of Whispering Pines. This setting was a character itself. It was named after the woods, that make a whispering sound in the wind. There were odd rules for the town, such as no wearing garlic. It was known for people walking their goats, which was also odd. These elements were strange but also funny.

I was so surprised at the ending. The epilogue started a new storyline for the next book, which sounds even more exciting than this one. I’m going to have a hard time waiting for the next book!

Thank you Margaret K. McElderry Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Last Pick by Jason Walz

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

About the authors:

Heidi Lang managed to stumble upon the two best jobs in the world: writing for kids and walking dogs. If she’s not out on the trails surrounded by wagging tails and puppy kisses, she’s probably hunched over her laptop working on her next book. She lives in northern California with her husband and two adventure-loving dogs, and she is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @HidLang, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at HeidiandKatiWrite.com.

Kati Bartkowski was originally drawn to illustration before she got swept up in the world of words. Nowadays she’s a fan of creating fantastical creatures and feisty heroines in both mediums. If she’s not reading, writing, or drawing, she’s probably chasing after her high energy little girl. She lives in northern California and is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @KTBartkowski, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at HeidiandKatiWrite.com.

Blog tour schedule:

Have you read Whispering Pines? What did you think of it?

Review: Agnes at the End of the World

Title: Agnes at the End of the World
Author: Kelly McWilliams
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Wilder Girls in this unique, voice-driven novel from Kelly McWilliams.

Agnes loves her home of Red Creek–its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town’s strict laws. What she doesn’t know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet.

Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn’t a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?

As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn’t safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?

Review:

Agnes lives in a cult called Red Creek. She was born there, to a mother who came from outside the cult and a father who is descended from the founder of the cult. Agnes also has a secret: she meets with a nurse from the Outside to get insulin for her brother who has type 1 diabetes. The prophet of their town says that getting outside help is a sin, because he can provide everything they need, but Agnes knows that her brother will die if he doesn’t get his medication. One day, Agnes meets with the nurse’s son and learns of a mysterious virus that is attacking people and animals on the Outside. She begins to question whether the leaders of her town have the right answers or if they’ve been lying to them about the dangers that are on the Outside.

I was drawn to this story because of the cult theme, but I found it so relevant because of the viral pandemic. This book would have been written before the COVID-19 pandemic, though it was published this summer. It was eerily similar to the current pandemic. Some symptoms were similar, like starting with a high fever, while others were different, such as people forming a red shell over their skin. This was a creepy read for right now.

There were some heartbreaking parts of this story as well. Agnes’s brother suffered with his diabetes before he started receiving treatment. The men in the cult had multiple wives, including child brides. There was also child abuse. These things were considered normal and accepted by the leaders of the community. They would make any rules they wanted, and expect everyone to follow them. Agnes realized that it’s important to question where these society rules come from and who they benefit, to understand if they are actually for the greater good.

This was a powerful story with a beautiful ending.

What to read next:

The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Have you read Agnes at the End of the World? What did you think of it?

Review: Last Pick: Rise Up (Last Pick #3)

Title: Last Pick: Rise Up (Last Pick #3)
Author: Jason Walz
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Publisher: First Second
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Earth’s last hope are also the last picked, in this thrilling conclusion of Jason Walz’s dystopian graphic trilogy.

Wyatt is now the reluctant leader of the “last picked”—the disabled, the elderly, and those deemed too young to be useful for hard labor by their alien captors. But how can he and his ragtag allies take down an entire alien federation?

Meanwhile, Wyatt’s twin sister Sam and her girlfriend Mia are creating chaos all over the galaxy in an attempt to rescue Sam’s parents. But even if the family is reunited, can they stay alive long enough to see the end of the alien regime?

Review:

A few years ago, aliens arrived on Earth and took every able-bodied person between the ages of 16 and 65. In the previous book, Wyatt’s twin sister Sam was taken after they turned 16. Wyatt, who is on the autism spectrum, teamed up with the disabled, the elderly, and the young people who were left behind in order to go and rescue their loved ones who were taken from Earth. Meanwhile, there is a virus that is infecting the aliens and making them sick. Wyatt has to travel to another planet to rescue his sister and his parents.

This is a great conclusion to this series. Disability is an important theme to this series. People with disabilities were left behind on Earth, rather than being taken by the aliens to do work for them. The aliens misjudged the people with disabilities, as well as the young and older people, to be weaker than everyone else. Instead, these people used their unique skills to rise up and fight against the aliens.

The graphics were a little confusing during the fight scenes in this story. It may have just been in my advanced copy, but there were a lot of the same colours, such as greens and pinks, which made it difficult to differentiate between aliens and their spaceships. This slowed down my reading and made it a little confusing at times.

I highly recommend this middle grade graphic novel series.

Thank you First Second for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

Other books in the series:

Have you read Last Pick: Rise Up? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Last Pick and Born to Run

Title: Last Pick (Last Pick #1)
Author: Jason Walz
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Three years ago, aliens invaded Earth and abducted everyone they deemed useful. The only ones spared were those too young, too old, or too “disabled” to be of value. Living on Earth under the aliens’ harsh authoritarian rule, humanity’s rejects do their best to survive. Their captors never considered them a threat—until now.

Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels and start a revolution. It’s time for the kids last picked to step into the game.

In this first volume of Jason Walz’s dystopian graphic novel trilogy, the kids last picked are humanity’s last hope.

Review:

Three years ago, aliens came to Earth and abducted every able bodied person between the ages of 16 and 65. Twins Sam and Wyatt were left on their own. Now they’ve just turned 16, and they are searching for answers on why the aliens took the people and where they went. However, right after their sixteenth birthday, the aliens return. Sam and Wyatt are in even more danger since they’re now 16 and part of the age group that the aliens will abduct.

This story shows that you shouldn’t underestimate people’s abilities. The aliens think that people under 16 and over 65 are too weak to work for them. They also left people who have disabilities. The people who were left on Earth work hard to survive, and prove that they are just as strong and smart as everyone else.

I found this post-apocalyptic story really relatable during the pandemic. Of course aliens didn’t arrive on Earth in 2020, but the idea of having your life completely turned upside down and having to learn new ways of doing things, like the characters did in this book, is relatable to the pandemic.

Thank you First Second and YA Bound Book Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Born to Run (Last Pick #2)
Author: Jason Walz
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Four years ago, aliens kidnapped most of mankind, leaving behind those they deemed unworthy—the “last picked.”

The future for Sam is bleak and unthinkable. A galaxy away from her twin brother, she is a pawn in the aliens’ bloody civil war. But with her new friend Mia, Sam has found a way to resist her captors and hold onto her humanity.

Back on Earth, Sam’s twin, Wyatt, is leading a resistance of his own. With a ragtag army of the old, the young, and the disabled, he has a plan to bring the fight to his alien captors. But to defeat the aliens, Wyatt may need to befriend one.

Review:

Wyatt and Sam were separated when she was abducted at the end of Last Pick. Sam is living on another planet where they are instructed by the aliens to kill all of the inhabitants of that planet. Meanwhile on Earth, Wyatt is leading a revolution. Wyatt must find his confidence to lead the resistance team, and Sam has to learn that fighting back against the enemy doesn’t necessarily mean killing them.

Born to Run shows more disabled characters. One girl is deaf and communicates with sign language. Another character uses a wheelchair, and struggles when he loses it. Wyatt is on the autism spectrum, so he processes information and feelings differently. Even though these characters had disabilities, they were able to use them to their advantage to figure out how to defeat the aliens.

This is a great series! I’m excited to see how it all ends.

Thank you First Second and YA Bound Book Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Rise Up (Last Pick #3) by Jason Walz

About the Author:

Jason Walz is comic and graphic novel creator living in Minneapolis. He is the author of several comics and graphic novels, including the LAST PICK trilogy and the Eisner nominated graphic novel HOMESICK.

Website: http://jasonwwalz.com/

Have you read Last Pick or Born to Run? What did you think of it?

Review: Legend (Legend #1)

Title: Legend (Legend #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Speak
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Review:

June is a prodigy, who got the only perfect score on the trial that everyone has to take as a child in the Republic which used to be known as the United States. Her older brother is a high ranking commander. When he is killed suddenly after a robbery, the criminal mastermind, Day, is the lead suspect. June is enlisted to find Day and bring him in. However, they learn that they have a lot in common. They work together to uncover the secrets that the authorities are hiding.

In this futuristic world, a plague keeps infecting the residents. It was eerily like the pandemic we are experiencing today, though there was more to it than a spontaneous illness. There were so many twists, which made this a quick read.

The story alternates between June’s and Day’s perspectives. The two alternating chapters were also printed in different fonts and colours, which made it easy to differentiate between them. I haven’t seen many books formatted in that way, and I really liked how unique it was.

I’m so glad I finally read this book. It was on my wishlist for a long time, and it was just as good as I expected.

What to read next:

Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Other Books in the Series:

  • Prodigy
  • Champion
  • Rebel

Have you read Legend? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Half Life

Title: Half Life
Author: Lillian Clark
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Paperback
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An overachiever enrolls in an experimental clone study to prove that two (of her own) heads are better than one in this fast-paced, near-future adventure that’s Black Mirror meets Becky Albertalli.

There aren’t enough hours in the day for Lucille–perfectionist, overachiever–to do everything she has to do, and there certainly aren’t enough hours to hang out with friends, fall in love, get in trouble–all the teenage things she knows she should want to be doing instead of preparing for a flawless future. So when she sees an ad for Life2: Do more. Be more, she’s intrigued.

The company is looking for beta testers to enroll in an experimental clone program, and in the aftermath of a series of disappointments, Lucille is feeling reckless enough to jump in. At first, it’s perfect: her clone, Lucy, is exactly what she needed to make her life manageable and have time for a social life. But it doesn’t take long for Lucy to become more Lucy and less Lucille, and Lucille is forced to stop looking at Lucy as a reflection and start seeing her as a window–a glimpse at someone else living her own life, but better. Lucy does what she really wants to, not what she thinks she should want to, and Lucille is left wondering how much she was even a part of the perfect life she’d constructed for herself. Lucille wanted Lucy to help her relationships with everyone else, but how can she do that without first rectifying her relationship with herself?

Review:

Lucille is a perfectionist. She has perfect grades, but she wasn’t accepted into the intern program she applied to for the summer. On top of that, her parents are getting divorced and her best friend has a new best friend. When Lucille gets an email about an exciting opportunity that is just for her, she decides to take a chance. The opportunity is to have a clone made of her. After the clone is made, she will have to join Lucille in her life to prove that they are the same. However, Lucille’s parents and friends don’t know that she is having a clone made. Lucille thinks this will be a great chance to do more things in life to be more perfect, but life with her clone isn’t as easy as she predicted.

I love stories about clones. When I was in middle school, I loved the novel Cloning Miranda. More recently, I was obsessed with the TV show Orphan Black. The idea is fascinating to me, and a little scary. I’ve heard of programs where you can have your dog cloned, so cloning humans doesn’t seem too futuristic anymore.

At the beginning of the book, I found Lucille annoying. She was very self-involved and pushed everyone away. When her clone was introduced to the story, she was a great contrast to Lucille. I was so glad that I kept reading, because the story became fast paced and suspenseful.

This is a great story!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Cloning Miranda by Carol Matas

She, Myself, and I by Emma Young

About the Author:

Lillian Clark, a graduate of the University of Wyoming, grew up riding horses, climbing trees, and going on grand imaginary adventures in the small-town West. She’s worked as a lifeguard, a camp counselor, and a Zamboni driver, but found her eternal love working as a bookseller at an independent bookstore. Now living in Teton Valley, Idaho with her husband, son, and two giant dogs, she spends her time reading almost anything and writing books for teens.

Blog Tour Schedule:

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2020/04/tour-schedule-half-life-by-lillian-clark.html

Have you read Half Life? What did you think of it?

Review: Star Pig

Title: Star Pig
Author: Delilah S. Dawson, Francesco Gaston
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two Castaways. One Goal. Zero in common. Get lost in this inventive sci-fi graphic novel about an extraordinary friendship and an incredible journey home.

Like many late-21st-century teens, geeky 16-year-old Vess gets packed off to spend her summer at Space Camp–which is literally in space. Tragically, a shuttle accident sends her and the rest of the passengers careening toward a cold, frosty death among the stars. But when a gigantic, space-faring water bear miraculously rescues Vess and her beloved retro Discman, it’s the beginning of an extraordinary friendship, all set to the nostalgic tunes of Vess’s 1990s-heavy playlist.

Delilah S. Dawson is the New York Times bestselling writer of Star Wars: Phasma, plus the The Secrets of Long Snoot, The Perfect Weapon, and Scorched; the Blud series, Servants of the Storm, the HIT series, Wake of Vultures and the Shadow series (as Lila Bowen). Her previous comics work includes Ladycastle, The X-Files: Case Files – Florida Man, Adventure Time, Rick and Morty: Pickle Rick, Star Wars Adventures, and Sparrohawk

Review:

Vess is traveling through space to a space camp when her ship crashes. She is saved by a space pig, or a tardigrade, who sucks her into his body. Then, they are captured by an alien who collects things from earth. They come into contact with some other space creatures through the rest of the comic.

I went through so many different emotions while reading this graphic novel. Some parts were funny, like when they referenced earth songs that the aliens liked. Other parts were really gross, such as how the different aliens looked and behaved.

I had to look up a tardigrade after I read this book, because there were some fun facts about them at the end. They are a real creature, though only about 1mm in length in real life, not giant sized like in the book. They really look like a space pig, so that’s an appropriate name for them!

This was a great space graphic novel.

Thank you IDW Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sparrowhawk by Delilah S. Dawson, Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty

Have you read Star Pig? What did you think of it?

Review: The Sound of Stars

Title: The Sound of Stars
Author: Alechia Dow
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both. 

Review:

This story is set in the future, when aliens have invaded Earth. Humans were destroying the planet, so the aliens, called the Ilori, came to Earth. The Ilori started to vaccinate people so they could control them. They also banned all art forms. Janelle ran an illegal library in her building, where she met an alien, M0Rr1S, who liked illegal music. They escape New York and have to travel across the country to safety.

I really enjoyed this story. The premise of books being banned is a popular thread in books. It shows how important and persuasive books and art can be, because they are often banned if they have controversial ideas.

The one thing I didn’t really like was the plotline about the singers. There were some random interviews and articles about a band called the Starry Eyed. That storyline joined with the main narrative at the end, but I wish it had more of a connection with the plot.

This was a great story.

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S. J. Kincaid

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada

Have you read The Sound of Stars? What did you think of it?

Review: Jinxed (Jinxed #1)

Title: Jinxed (Jinxed #1)
Author: Amy McCulloch
Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Young Readers
Source: Publisher NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the  “baku” – a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one. 

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems … real.

Review:

This is an amazing new middle grade novel! I really enjoyed it.

This story is set in a futuristic Toronto. It was a pleasant surprise that it was set in the city where I live. In this future, people have “bakus” which do everything that our phones do and more. The bakus come in different levels, depending on how skilled the person is and how much money they can afford to spend on one. The students who are the best of their class get sent to a special school where they can then get a job at the company that makes the bakus when they graduate.

There were a couple of mysteries in this story surrounding the disappearance of some people. Monica Chan, who created the baku, disappeared. Lacey’s father also abruptly left his job and disappeared, and no one knows what happened to him.

This story was fast paced and unpredictable. I was hooked on it right away. I’m so curious to find out what happens in the next book!

Thank you Sourcebooks Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Upside-Down Magic (Upside-Down Magic #1) by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins

Have you read Jinxed? What did you think of it?

Review: The Fever King (Feverwake #1)

Title: The Fever King (Feverwake #1)
Author: Victoria Lee
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQ
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

Review:

I had a hard time getting into this story at the beginning because it was very political. It takes place in the future, where the United States is divided up into separate countries. There were protests from the refugees who were being deported from the countries. There was also a virus going around that either killed people, or, for a few, gave them a magic power.

Once the story went from the broad political story to a plot about the main characters, I really enjoyed it. I couldn’t tell who was lying and what side people were on. It was especially tricky because some characters were telepathic, so they knew when others were lying to them.

This was an exciting story. I really enjoyed it!

Thank you Skyscape for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada

The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1) by Lisa Maxwell

Have you read The Fever King? What did you think of it?