REVIEW : NINTH HOUSE

TITLE: Ninth House
AUTHOR: Leigh Bardugo
SERIES: Alex Stern
GENRE: Fantasy
AGE CATEGORY: Adult
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 458
PUBLISHED: October 9th 2019
PUBLISHER: Gollancz

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Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.


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REVIEW : STALKER

TITLE: Stalker
AUTHOR: Lars Kepler
SERIES: Joona Linna #5
GENRE: Thriller
AGE CATEGORY: Adult
FORMAT: Hardcover (Finnish edition)
PAGES: 617
PUBLISHED: March 2015
PUBLISHER: Tammi

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Detective Joona Linna — recently returned from compassionate leave — reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable sadistic killer.

The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she’s being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman’s body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there’s nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna’s worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things.
Years before, he had put a man away for an eerily similar crime, and now he’s beginning to think that an innocent man may be behind bars–and a serial killer still on the loose. . .


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REVIEW : WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH

TITLE: With the Fire on High
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Acevedo
GENRE: Contemporary
AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 392
PUBLISHED: May 7th 2019
PUBLISHER: Quill Tree Books

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.


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REVIEW : MIDDLEGAME

TITLE: Middlegame
AUTHOR: Seanan McGuire
GENRE: Fantasy
AGE CATEGORY: Adult
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 528
PUBLISHED: April 7th 2020
PUBLISHER: Tordotcom

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Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

USA Today Bestseller, and named as one of Paste Magazine‘s 30 Best Fantasy Novels of the Decade!


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REVIEW : AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS

TITLE: An Enchantment of Ravens
AUTHOR: Margaret Rogerson
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 300
PUBLISHED: September 26th 2017
PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry Books

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Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.


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REVIEW : AURORA RISING

TITLE: Aurora Rising
AUTHOR: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
SERIES: The Aurora Cycle #1
GENRE: Science Fiction, Young Adult
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 496
PUBLISHED: April 7th 2020
PUBLISHER: Ember

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From the New York Times and internationally bestselling authors of the Illuminae Filescomes a new science-fiction epic. . . .

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

NOBODY PANIC.


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REVIEW : THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE

TITLE: The Fountains of Silence
AUTHOR: Ruta Sepetys
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 495
PUBLISHED: October 3rd 2019
PUBLISHER: Penguin

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FROM CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNING AUTHOR RUTA SEPETYS

Madrid, 1957. Tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine while Spanish citizens are gripped by a dark secret.

Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, hopes to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography -and fate – introduce him to Ana, a hotel maid, whose family is suffering under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.

Daniel and Ana’s lives and hearts collide as they unite to uncover the hidden darkness within the city – a darkness that could engulf them all. . .

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love and the hidden violence of silence.


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REVIEW : UNRAVEL ME

TITLE: Unravel Me
AUTHOR: Tahereh Mafi
SERIES: Shatter Me #2
GENRE: Dystopia, fantasy
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 461
PUBLISHED: December 31st 2013
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins

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It should have taken Juliette a single touch to kill Warner. But his mysterious immunity to her deadly power has left her shaken, wondering why her ultimate defense mechanism failed against the person she most needs protection from.

She and Adam were able to escape Warner’s clutches and join up with a group of rebels, many of whom have powers of their own. Juliette will finally be able to actively fight against The Reestablishment and try to fix her broken world. And perhaps these new allies can help her shed light on the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

Juliette’s world is packed with high-stakes action and tantalizing romance, perfect for fans of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard and the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.


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REVIEW : ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE

TITLE: Assassin’s Apprentice
AUTHOR: Robin Hobb
SERIES: The Farseer Trilogy
GENRE: Fantasy
FORMAT: Paperback (Finnish Edition)
PAGES: 446
PUBLISHED: August 2018
PUBLISHER: Otava

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In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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REVIEW : THE QUEEN OF NOTHING

TITLE: The Queen of Nothing
AUTHOR: Holly Black
SERIES: The Folk of the Air
GENRES: Fantasy, Young Adult
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 308
PUBLISHED: November 19th 2019
PUBLISHER: Hot Key Books

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The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

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