Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sara J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: September 6th, 2016

Format: I own HC

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page Count: 693 pages

Rating: ★★★ 3.5 stars

 

  

Goodreads Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down? 

 

 

PLOT

This being the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series, I will keep my review short to avoid spoilers. However, if you’re anything like me who avoids ALL talk revolving my current read for fear of what I may or may not consider to be a spoiler myself, then maybe save this review for another time? lol

We see Celeana aka Aelin Galathynius & her rag tag group of friends (including her consort) on the hunt for the wyrdkeys while fending off threats & attacks from opposing forces. In this book they actually go up against more than one enemy, all of who want the wyrdkeys for their own evil doings. Aelin finds that taking up her throne is not as easy as just revealing her identity; she will actually have to prove she deserves to be queen. Terrasen has been without their queen for many years & to protect her homeland she will have to fight true & hard. Empire of Storms chronicles Aelin’s quest for the wyrdkeys, allies, and ultimately the truth.

 

Characters

I am a HUGE Manon & Abraxos fan & in the beginning chapters could not get enough of them. So much so that I was anxiously if not impatiently getting through the 1st non-Manon chapters rather quickly just to get back to her story. This is a close to 700-page book & I’m glad that it did NOT take long for the action to start (pg 60 to be exact lol) & continue all throughout. Empire of Storms came with tons of nuggets of background information for some of our most favorite characters. I especially loved getting more info on Aedion, Brannon, and Elena. Lysandra also came to be a favorite since she’s evolving & becoming a valuable player in Aelin’s court also, who doesn’t love a shapeshifter? she managed to pull off some really neat tweaks that left me thinking she’s a baddie lol. When it comes to Aelin aka Celeana I kind of wasn’t the biggest fan of our young queen, in this installment. Specifically because certain power moves make you question whether Terrasen is enough or whether she will want more. I also wasn’t too keen on how she treated specific characters when it came to matters of the court & war. Her dialogue in general peeved me off quite a bit, it’s almost as if she had taken 20 leaps backwards in maturity. All in all, I enjoyed being back in this world with most of the characters. 

On the topic of coupling, although I loved some of the relationships that developed into a bit more… I can’t say that I am completely pleased with how closely Empire of Storms follows A Court of Mist and Fury in this aspect. I’m glad that certain things left off where they did because realistically, not everyone will find their perfect mate or match w/out some obstacles within that relationship (excluding the outside powers that be) making it more challenging to co-exist.

 

tumblr_o7rfk6YBRZ1snasqho2_540.jpgPhoto Credit: http://blackbeakbitch.tumblr.com

 

Writing

One thing I love about these books is how quick paced they are without compromising the story. With so many characters in a book, some with their own story lines taking place apart from the group; Maas manages to tie them all in to the central story very effectively. I also have to give it to Maas for giving each of these characters such strong personalities & their own distinct voices, they practically jump off the page. Which I guess is a good thing seeing as Hulu has picked up the Throne of Glass series for production & i’m psyched to see the cast assemble.

 

Final Thoughts

Ok, so I guess I should explain why i’ve given Empire of Storms a 3.5 instead of the 5 stars mostly everyone has rated it. I can’t deny that I enjoyed the hell out of this book & it was a fun & obstacle filled quest I was more than happy to embark upon. I did however have issues with the last 200 pages of this book or what i’ve come to call…”The Final Stretch” I buddy read this book with my husband who loves the series for it’s brutal fighting scenes which led to him finishing this book the night before I did. Since he did not read Sarah J. Maas’ other ongoing series A Court of Thorns & Roses, the final stretch was original to him. I however, I found too many similarities if not outright exact scenes from A Court of Thorns & Roses to truly enjoy some of the things that took place. This is not to say that I hated the ending, on the contrary I actually really liked some of the final wrap-up. I just couldn’t give this 5 stars after reading A Court of Mist & Fury very recently and loving that series for what it is-a separate series of it’s own. Also, in regards to that ending…it seems we were being told a story from an unreliable narrator which is fine with me. Sometimes those make for some of the most interesting stories. However, after riding hard lol with Aelin & crew through 5 books…I felt a little blindsided? I’m still working through these thoughts gals & ghouls. Overall, a fun read with plenty of power moves & scheming to keep you on your toes…Oh & plenty of heart wrenching moments to tug at your heart strings til’ you possibly shed a few tears 😉

Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1

Published by: Sourcebooks Fire

Publication Date: September 6th 2016

Genre: YA & LGTBQIA 

Pages- 336 pages

Format- eGalley (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★★

labyrinth-lost

 

Goodreads Summary:

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. 

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

 

I’d like to thank Sourcebooks Fire for approving me to receive an eGalley of Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

During my search for diversification in YA books, I stumbled across Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost. On the cover is a girl in a Death Day mask, making this an eye catcher for anyone walking by with an eye for stunning covers. I honestly wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did but it took me on THE MOST magical ride with elements of Alice in Wonderland along the way. We get introduced to our main protagonist Alex who is part of a family of “brujas” (Spanish for witch) & like every bruja before & after, she will need to have her Death Day celebration to mark her coming into her powers. Typically, the celebration is held on birthday’s in order to throw more over the top parties. Alex however, has no interest in having her Death Day celebration or accepting her powers…in fact she’s trying to stop it from ever taking place. One spell gone wrong results in Alex’s whole family disappearing into the in between world. A world where souls linger & are tortured. It was through the introduction of this underworld of sorts, that you are able to really appreciate & enjoy the writing style. Beyond this, would be giving away too much of the plot so instead I’ll go into some of the things that I loved about this book.

The #ownvoices movement that started recently has been one that I fully support. I love discovering new authors that are able to infuse their culture into their writing, their voices are ones that I can relate to & that’s always cool…seeing a bit of me in what I’m reading. In Labyrinth Lost, we are introduced to Alex’s ancestors (spirits of deceased family members) who as the author notes are from Ecuador, Spain, Africa, Mexico, and the Carribean. Although Alex & her family are not classified as practicing any specific denomination of religion, we do see some aspects of other religions such as Santeria & Catholicism with a new age twist. It was interesting seeing the authors spin on some of the Gods & being able to recognize the cultural influences. The families “Book of Cantos” was another very cool detail, it is a book that contains all of Alex’s ancestor’s spells & magic. It also contains quotes, sayings, and bruja(o) songs, each chapter started off with a snippet of a passage from their Book of Cantos. I also enjoyed the family dynamics in Alex’s home, one comprised mostly of women with their father’s unexplained disappearance weighing heavy in all of their hearts. The sisterly bond between Alex, Lula, and Rose stood out the most. Their interactions with each other felt genuine & realistic. Alex’s mom gave me a few laugh out loud moments & this is because I was able to see my mom & family in this character. This is a story of family & self-discovery, Alex knows that she’s different than the rest of her family and is scared to disappoint those that she loves by the choices she makes. I think everyone can see a bit of Alex in them no matter the cultural background/experience which is why I would recommend this book to everyone.

I’m looking forward to continuing with The Brooklyn Brujas series. I am also glad to have stumbled across Zoraida Córdova. I was just wondering how I can go about bringing more attention to this author when I received an e-mail from the publisher offering me the opportunity to feature the author in a Author Spotlight & Giveaway post, that’s on it’s way & you won’t want to miss it 😉

Has anyone else read Labyrinth Lost? I’d love to read your thoughts on the book. Please feel free to drop the link to your review or drop a comment my lovelies 🙂

Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

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How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Series: How to Hang a Witch #1 (future books will be based on other descendants, not sure if the series name will remain the same)
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date of Publication: July 26th. 2016
Genres: YA/Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★

 

Goodreads Partial Synopsis (full spoilery synopsis here):

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

 

With the fall season come all of my favorites…hot cocoa, warm sweaters/scarves, fallen leaves, reds/Brown’s/creams/yellows, and last but not least…WITCHES! my favorite season is upon us & I decided I’d pick up How to Hang a Witch in anticipation of its arrival. To best describe HTHAW, I would say that it has some elements of both the CW’s Secret Circle & the 90’s cult classic “The Craft”. I picked up HTHAW after hearing that it was a Young Adult book loosely based on the Salem Witch Trials. The fact that the author Adriana Mather is a direct descendant of Cotton Mather, an influential person (not in a good way) in the trials, further motivated me to give this book a go. I’ve always been intrigued by Salem’s history & plan one day in the near future to visit the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts https://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/.

Salem_Witch_Museum_Building_2006_spring_300_dpi2200_x_880

Now, on to my review… 

We start off with our main protagonist Samantha Mather arriving in Salem with her stepmother Vivian, a decision made to be able to better cover her father’s hospital expenses. Sam’s dad is in a coma at the start of the story & it is clear that Sam and her dad Charles are very close. Relocating from New York to Salem, Sam isn’t feeling very optimistic about a new high school. Believing herself to be cursed because of all the accidents that have taken place around her, Sam is just trying to keep a low profile. Whelp! This may have worked in any other place that wasn’t Salem but as a direct descendant of Cotton Mather (just like our author), she doesn’t exactly receive the warmest of welcomes. In a town filled with the descendants of the original key players of the Salem Witch Trials, Sam is unfairly left to deal with the tension & animosity stemming from Cotton’s role in the tragic events. We get introduced to a group of high school students that go by the name “The Descendants” aptly named since they all are direct descendants of the original accused witches & townspeople. They were also all named after their descendants, we have Susannah, Alice, Mary, Lizzie, and John. They all dress in black & stick together in everything they do. The town itself takes its history very seriously and respect the descendants and their families. Salem is now all about witches, down to the sheriff’s cars that proudly display witches on their doors. The teachers honor the accused by assigning a yearly project to re-enact the trials. Sam seems to be outnumbered, everyone from the students, teachers, and librarian look at her & see only her ancestor Cotton Mather. Not exactly helping (but I loved!), was Sam’s take no ISH from nobody attitude. Not easily intimidated, Sam does seem to view the girls as dangerous after a series of “incidents” leave her shaken up.

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The Craft

At first I thought to myself, are these people really going to ostracize this teenage girl before giving her a chance? I kept reading & the accidents that happened around Sam in New York seemed to have followed her to Salem…. maybe there’s something legitimately wrong with Sam? I won’t give away the answer, but I will say that I loved the paranormal aspects of this book. I also really enjoyed the small town feel & how Sam a native New Yorker adjusted to the change of pace. As a fellow New Yorker, just like Sam I found myself wondering who I could & could not trust in this town. I loved that she & her stepmom moved in to her dad’s childhood home and the description of a grand old house. The house itself having many charms & secrets. Most of all I enjoyed the flashbacks to conversations between Sam & her dad during tough moments in her life. It was in these moments that we got a glimpse of Charles, the man in the coma. Sam would often think about her dad & what he would say to give her the courage to stand up to adversity.

The supporting cast of characters were small seeing as Sam didn’t really make any friends, but the standout character for me was Mrs. Meriwether. Sam’s neighbor who also happened to be her dad’s childhood best friend, lived alone next door with her son Jaxon who is the same age as Sam. I LOVED Mrs. Meriwether once I began to trust her & stopped thinking she was trying to poison people through her delicious baked goods haha! (Kudos to Ms. Mather for re-creating a town filled with distrust). No but seriously, the woman can bake! Every time there was a scene with her, she was baking in the kitchen all sorts of different recipes for her bake shop & I swear I could smell the pastries! Smh. Then there was her son Jaxon, who befriends Sam upon his mother’s request but quickly ends up falling for her. This is only made more innnnneresting by the introduction of a certain paranormal character. This character, I won’t say what he is…was my absolute FAVORITE character in the entire book.

Ok, so far I’ve only had good things to say about this book…why the 3-star rating? Some of you may ask. I cannot discuss the reason in too much detail for fear I may spoil the ending but simply put, Sam’s beginning felt very much like her ending—lonely & incomplete, even as the author is telling us otherwise…

Review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Published by: Algonquin Books

Publication Date: September 6th 2016

Pages- 352 pages

Format- eGalley (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★ (3.5)


Goodreads Synopsis:

International bestselling author Gayle Forman’s trademark humor and insight abound in this masterful adult debut, showing us that sometimes you have to leave home in order to find it again.

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.

 
I’d like to thank Algonquin Books for approving me to receive an eGalley of Leave Me by Gayle Forman via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Maribeth Klein used to have big dreams of one day climbing the ladder to success in the world of magazine publishing. She had a bestfriend/roommate & they were as inseparable as Thelma & Louise. Both Maribeth & Elizabeth worked for the same magazine, they shared the same career dreams and were on the fast track to making them come true. Then Maribeth married her college sweetheart, the guy who 10 years’ prior had decided to move to San Francisco & persue his career. They had made plans for a life together in New York & he ditched them. This unexplainable break-up would stay with & follow her to NY 10 years later. Maribeth & Jason re-connect in NY and one things leads to another. They get married and have twins, life gets a bit challenging but Maribeth takes it all on with little to no help from her husband. Her relationship with Elizabeth has changed, she is now her boss and Maribeth is just trying to maintain both home & career. The book opens up to Maribeth having a heart attack in a period of 48 hours. I had mentioned in my Monday Musings this week that I found this interesting because the percentage of women who are asymptomatic while experiencing a heart attack is startlingly high. It was very realistic to see a working mom overwhelmed by life’s many stresses.

I requested this eGalley because I thought to myself…harrowed mother of twins experiences a heart attack & isn’t able to recuperate w/out her family making her feel like she’s a huge inconvenience…this could very well be me. What happens when you’re everything to everybody & then one day you’re not physically able to fulfill that role…will they notice your absence? will they reciprocate all of the love, care, and attention you’ve invested in them? I’ll be honest, while reading Maribeth’s story I was split in two halves. One part of me was angry at her husband Jason for not stepping up to the plate to take over the reins with the kids. The second half, not at the fact that she chose to pack up & leave but rather, that it was for such an extended period of time & another issue I can’t mention because *spoilers*.

Ever read a book & just reject every single character & their story from the minute you meet them? such was the case with Leave Me. I wasn’t a huge fan of the passively aggressive Maribeth OR the sub-par husband Jason. I also wasn’t keen on her best friend Elizabeth for that matter. It took the last 100 pages for Maribeth & crew to win me over (wish it hadn’t taken this long) & make me understand that this was her journey. Sometimes it’s the road less traveled that we must take. To take care of others (especially little ones), we must first take care of ourselves. Maribeth leaves her home in need of respite & recuperation from bypass surgery post heart attack but gets so much more than what she left to obtain. Truly unhappy in her life she at some point lost herself in the day to day cycle. Maribeth is also a woman with tons of unresolved issues. She is adopted & her heart attack has managed to stir up a need to dig in to her origins. Her journey was of mind, body, and soul. During her time away she made some friendships & it was these supporting characters that lifted her up & helped her find her way. I absolutely loved the age disparity between Maribeth & her new neighbors (in her new home away from home) Todd & Sunita. Todd is a gay young man who is obsessed with all things Steelers. Todd has been entrusted by Sunita’s parents to room with & look over her. Sunita is a young college aged Indian woman who is very high spirited & able to keep up with Todd’s quip’s. Along the way, Maribeth also befriends Janice who played a crucial role in her journey. There is one other character that Maribeth meets, Stephen…a doctor with a mysterious past. I appreciated the end results of this relationship however, I was not in agreement with certain happenings 😉



Photo from Theharriedmom

 In conclusion (lengthiest review yet lol), I think every mother has had the fleeting notion of liberating themselves. We are human & the ultimate sacrifice we make is when we decide to have children. Life will throw many curve balls your way & with age come health issues. We can either meet these challenges OR retreat & replenish until we can build up the strength needed to meet such challenges. Although I don’t see myself taking Maribeth’s road, I do believe that we all need a bit of space so as to not lose ourselves. If there is a partner at home, a little appreciation goes a long way. Similarly, all relationships need to be watered to grow. I closed this book feeling like Gayle Forman sneak attacked me in the heart…
 

July 2016 Wrap Up & Haul 

July July!!! Hit me by surprise when I checked my Goodreads to see what I read during the month of July, a total of 8 books/graphic novels. One of the books that I read was actually a Library book, my first in over a decade. Stepping foot into my Library felt like a blast from the past for about 10 seconds before I eyed the empty shelves. Now, my Library is located in Williamsburg Brooklyn which for those who aren’t from NYC, happens to be hipster central nowadays. It’s walking distance from luxury condos (I’d probably have to sell a kidney for 1 months’ rent), art galleries, tons of coffee shops, and… you get the picture right? I was under the impression that my 1st visit would be met with a beautifully stocked Library & when this was not the case, I had a ton of questions for the Librarian who didn’t look quite too happy to be approached. Turns out, they’ve gone digital & a request for a book can be made online so that the book may be delivered to your local branch for pick up. This all sounds great since now you can almost guarantee you’ll get the book you are looking for…. yet…I still felt some sadness over the bare shelves that during my childhood held stacks & stacks of adventures and stories.
The top floor held some of my fondest memories with my mother (sadly, there aren’t very many). My mother would stay in the poetry section reading love poems and writing them in her notebook while my sister & I stacked up on Goosebumps & Sweet Valley High. Sweet memories that I’ll cherish while living in this modern world 😉

On to my Wrap Up:



The Fireman by Joe Hill– 3.75 Stars

https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/review-the-fireman-by-joe-hill/

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman– 5 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/review-illuminae-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoff/

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker– 5 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/review-chasing-river-by-k-a-tucker/

Surviving Ice by K.A Tucker– 4 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/review-surving-ice-burying-water-4-by-k-a-tucker/

Graphic Novels- I went on a Saga spree with NO regrets! I was going to review them in the blog but I was absorbed by the binge SMH so I’ve linked my mini reviews, more like ‘feels’ & after thoughts lol

Saga Volume 3– 4 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696157127?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 4– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1697036687?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 5– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1350882555?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 6– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1641774601?book_show_action=false

July 2016 Book Haul:

In the month of July I came across some amazing deals that demanded I suspend my book ban for a bit 😂😂😂 but I can honestly say that with the exception of The Walled City, I was actively looking out for these titles😊

For those interested in ‘booktography’ hehe…please follow me @Lair_Of_Books (link at the very top of the blog page)

& On a sick day my hubby brought home these two beauties 😍😍😍

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay kristoff

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: October 20th 2015

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Pages: 599

Format: Hardcover (I own)

Rating: ★★★★★

 So I just realized how descriptive the Goodreads synopsis really is LOL. I never read it until now but it pretty much sums it up all right, so instead I’ll talk about some of the things I loved about Illuminae (GR Synopsis @ the end of review).

* The fact that this book starts off with a break up scene. Could you honestly picture yourself breaking up with your boo one second & the next being caught up in a war between 2 major corporations over your small (yet oh so resourceful) planet? Usually, well at least in my experience, when you break up with someone it’s definitely to put some space & distance between you and said individual. Kady & Ezra however, found themselves running for their lives… Perspective plays a major role in how these two carry on afterwards.

* The fact that Kady is neither a damsel in distress nor a fighter experienced in hand-to-hand combat or even swordplay lol. No, Kady is a computer whiz who is in her element when handling 0’s & 1’s. After the attack on Kerenza (their planet) the people of Kerenza were shuttled to 3 different aircrafts (spaceships): The Alexander, Copernicus, or the Hypathia. Each ship has its strengths, with Alexander basically being their leader. Depending on your skillset, you would be assigned jobs on your designated spaceship. Kady had access to computer systems & she used this to set forth and uncover the truth behind the attack on Kerenza.

* The dialogue. The entire book is formatted in a series of e-mails, Briefs, and chats. Through these quick bursts in communication you get to familiarize yourself with the characters aboard these ships. In a time where nothing is certain, people are being fed lies, and a virus has broken loose, our characters are much in touch with their sense of humor. I had many laugh out loud moments at some of the crudest jokes between Ezra & his boys which we can safely compare to military boys lol. Kady is sarcastic & just an overall kickass female protagonist. The Lisbeth Salander (who I loved, so yay!) Of YA without the whole Emo thing Lisbeth had going on lol.

*AIDAN aka the Artificial Intelligence. I think I hated him for half of the book but then came to like him during the second half. It was definitely interesting reading his thought process, which sometimes came off as ramblings.

*Zhang. I really liked Zhang & his chats (the equivalent of IM’s) with Kady & how well they worked together. Their conversations were very entertaining even when it was strictly hacking that they were doing.

* The representation of different ethnic backgrounds & LGBTQ. I loved the diversity in this book & was thankful because it was a realistic depiction of a ship carrying thousands of human beings.

* Last but never least, the women in command positions. There were a few actually, and I appreciated the presence of women in a military style environment, not being pushed into lesser roles.

I could seriously talk about this book for hours but It turns out I’m not the last human being on this planet to not have read this book lol. I tried to keep all spoilers out for those who plan on reading Illuminae before this fall’s release of Gemina. Now that day, I will make sure to use a sick day on *coughs into the future*

Goodreads Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.