Spoiler Free Review: The Project by Courtney Summers

Title: The Project

Author: Courtney Summers

Pub. Date:ย February 2nd 2021

Genre:ย Young Adult Thriller

Format: eGalley

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books

Pages:ย 352 Pages

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๐Ÿ–คeGalley provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review, all quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release๐Ÿ–ค

โ€œ๐‘Šโ„Ž๐‘œ๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘ฆ ๐‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘˜๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘“๐‘–๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘–๐‘กโ€œ

๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ƒ๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘—๐‘’๐‘๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘ฆ ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘›๐‘’๐‘ฆ ๐‘†๐‘ข๐‘š๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘  is the story of two sisters who experience the tragic death of their parents in a car accident at a very early age. Lo almost lost her life alongside her parents that same night. Her sister Bea was left praying for a miracle when a mysterious man presents himself to her at the hospital. Bea believes him to have healed her sister and so she decides to follow him back to the Unity Project, cutting off ties with her loved ones as is required from all of their members. The Unity Project is widely known and loved in most of the Upstate New York region for its charitable endeavors and shelters theyโ€™ve opened for women and children. Years pass by and Lo goes in search of her sister, she isnโ€™t convinced the Unity Project is all that it portrays. When a man accuses the Project of killing his son, Lo takes that and runs with it determined to get her sister back.ย The Projectย is a medium paced character driven story that chronicles the inner workings of a cult from recruitment to the inception of its members and later the psychological effects on those who have left the cult.

MIND BLOWN at the amount of research that had to have gone into cults and their inner workings. From how youโ€™re targeted, to isolation, brainwashing and eventually the feeling that youโ€™re indebted to a greater cause. All the while following someone who believes himself to be God. Is it suitable for Young Adult readers? I believe it to be if viewed as a cautionary tale of sorts since cults do exist and many fall victim because they lack the knowledge on how they work. It is a very emotionally heavy read that does a fine job of tackling tougher topics such as religion, faith and those in positions of power within religious groups. This absolutely reads on the more mature end of the Young Adult scale with its dark tones in manipulation and abuse. Personally, I couldn’t stop reading this book and I’m glad I have a copy ofย Sadieย by this author to hold me over until their next published book. There are a slew of content warnings that I encourage you to review, I’m adding those provided by the lovelyย Melanie from Meltotheany down below:

Content and Trigger Warnings: abandonment, loss of loved ones, sleep paralysis, grief, depression, panic attacks, hospitalization, talk of death of child in past, physical abuse, torture, emotional abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, blood depiction, complications with childbirth, murder, child abuse, captivity, and cults.


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Spoiler Free Review: Fable by Adrienne Young

Title: FABLE

Author:ย Adrienne Young

Pub. Date:ย September 1st 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Format: eGalley + audiobook

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books

Pages: 357 pages

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๐Ÿ–คALC provided by author in exchange for an honest review๐Ÿ–ค

There are five rules. Only five.

๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธKeep your knife where you can reach it.

๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธNever, ever owe anyone anything.

๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธNothing is free.

๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธAlways construct a lie from a truth

๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธNever, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you


These are the five rules Fable lives by, the ones her father had her memorize at a very young age. The same rules she thinks about whenever she thinks of making her way back to him. Saint, a well known Pirate with a fleet abandoned Fable on her fourteenth birthday. After experiencing the death of Fable’s mother, he believed Fable would do best away from the world of Pirates. He sailed away leaving her to fend for herself on an island that is pretty tough to survive as it is filled with sketchy cutthroat pirates. He did make her this one promise…

“Get yourself off this island and the next time I see you, I’ll give you what is yours”ย 

Fable is a Dredger, she hunts for underwater treasure and turns a profit from local merchants. She also has the unique inherited gift passed down to her from her mother of deciphering gems. She manages to hustle a Pirate named West to allow her passage on his crew ship as a Dredger. He begrudgingly grants her passage without first taking a vote with his crew. Fable then has the task of gaining the crews trust and earn the spot she was given without their say. The Marigold sets sail to The Narrows where Fable hopes to find her father Saint. All the while, never revealing that the well known Pirate is her father. It is the one secret he asked her to keep but one thing is clear to Fable…she isn’t the only one keeping secrets on The Marigold!

One thing I feel Adrienne Young does so well is familial bonds, fleshing them out so that the reader really understands the connection. After readingย Sky in the Deepย I knew I’d want to read more from this author and Fableย once again delivered, this time with Fable’s found family. We see her throughout this entire journey revisiting the memories she has of when she had her father & mother together on their ship The Lark.ย She hasn’t given up on her father despite his abandonment, it just motivates her to prove her worth as a Pirate in his eyes. While on the ship she starts building these connections with the crew members that fill the hole she has for her family. Then there’s the relationship she forms with West which personally had me wondering if there was more to it than them just being crew mates. Their relationship doesn’t take center stage in the story nor is it really a slow burn. Instead we see West having to trust in Fable’s abilities and learn to respect her need to not be restricted. Voice notes with my good friend Taylor over at Nerd Narration helped me see the father/daughter relationship from a different angle. Yes I absolutely ended the night in tears & said to myself yet again, Adrienne Young is an author to keep an eye out for.

P.S. The audiobook only further enhanced the already SUPER atmospheric world building. The narrator really brought Fable to life on the ship, brave & daring!


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Spoiler Free Review: Lobizona by Romina Garber

Title: Lobizona

Author:ย Romina Garber

Pub. Date: August 4th 2020

Genre:ย YA Fantasy

Format: eGalley

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books

Pages: 400 pages

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๐Ÿ–คARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review๐Ÿ–ค

“I am that leftover ace of diamonds. I don’t fit into any of the groupings around me, and the things that make me different always seem to count against me”

Lobizona tells the story of Manuela Azu aka Manu as she lives a quiet sheltered life in Miami alongside her mother. Manu has been on the run from her father’s Argentine crime family since birth. Now she hides from ICE raids in the United States by blending in as best she can. For Manu this means homeschooling from Perla, sort of an adoptive grandmother who shares a lie for literature with Manu. Perla has also shared folklore from their mother country of Argentina. One of the superstitions Manu has always felt a connection with is that of the 7th consecutive sons & daughters born in Argentina being either a wolf or witch. This story starts with Manu’s menstruation, a painful time for Manu directly correlated with the moon cycle. Manu’s mother gives her a sedative which puts her to sleep through the majority of her cycle. She remains indoors most of the time but when she does go out she wears shades to cover her unnaturally yellow as the sun eyes. Manu follows her mothers rules in order to keep from being detained & deported but she yearns for freedom and friends her age.

Manu’s entire life course is upended when her mother is detained by ICE & she finds herself on her own. Searching for answers with little to go on, she manages to stumble upon a group of teens off the side of the road. What at first seemed like just group of teens ends up looking a lot more like the Argentine Folklore passed down to her by Perla. Could Perla, the adopted grandmother have been trying to tell her something about her origins? or was it just superstitions passed down from her mother country? Could these people have answers to questions she hasn’t thought to ask? We follow Manu as she dares to uncover secrets and lay claim over her very existence.

It’s been about two weeks since I finished this book & I still remember the raw emotions it stirred up in me. During a time in the United States where we’ve seen children torn away from their families, this one hits hard! Manu left Argentina at the age of 5, on the run from her father’s crime family. Life in Miami has been spent mostly within the walls of her home building. Her very existence is deemed “illegal” in Argentina & in the U.S. and the author made sure to convey Manu’s feelings of displacement. I LOVED the magic in this world! in many ways this has all the elements of a Fantasy set within a school with even their own magical sport. There are witches being trained to use their elemental magic as well as wolves training in physical strength. There’s discussion on gender & identity, the fact that their world is stuck in rigid antiquated beliefs. Their laws make it so they cannot move beyond a binary system & therefore who they may love is also dictated by the assigned sex at birth. I felt this opened the floor for discussion and also set up the foundation for the next book. Manu is reclaiming her identity & with that comes hope for change within their world. I felt so many emotions reading this book but also hope because it feels like Manu’s journey will be one where she fights for equality.


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SPOILER FREE REVIEW: THE LAST HOPE (THE RAGING ONES #2) BY KRISTA & Becca Ritchie

Title: The Last Hope (The Raging Ones #2)

Author:ย Krista & Becca Ritchie

Pub. Date:ย August 13th 2019

Genre: YA Sci-fi

Format: eGalley

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books

Pages:ย 400 Pages/12 hours & 53 minutes

Rating:ย 3.75 Stars

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*This is the sequel to The Raging Ones & although it is a spoiler free review for The Last Hope, you will get spoiled for The Raging Ones*

Taking off right where we left off, our three main characters Court, Franny & Mykall have been captured and are accused of being humans and not Salterians. Turns out there is a huge war taking place between Earth & Saltare with Earth being at a huge disadvantage. Saltarians all know their death days from the day they are born & as such have made great strides in winning the war against Earth. The trio are rescued at the very beginning of this story by Stork, a new character in the mix who has sought them out as part of his plan. Stork holds his cards close to his chest, he’s on a mission to even out the playing field between Earth & Saltare. Plotwise,ย The Last Hopeย had a lot going on with many twists & turns. Ultimately though, towards the very end it felt as if too much was thrown into the pot which made the story feel off kilter. That being said, the driving force for this book is the bond shared between Court, Mykkel, and Franny. I LIVE for character driven stories which is what made me LOVEย The Raging Onesย when I picked it up in 2018. Reconnecting with these characters once again makes you feel like you’re experiencing a rare bond that is truly unconditional. This time around Franny gets a love interest which I was full on hoping for. If anything, I only wish we’d had more time for their relationship to be as fleshed out as Court & Mykkels. Connected by taste, touch, and smell these characters EVERYTHING is intertwined. Some steam was brought this time around as these characters explored their passions & tested boundaries.

The Audiobook experience delivered A+ performance, told by way of multiple POV’s we got to experience Mykkel’s accent which for me at least gave me Viking Babe VibeZ haha! Court ever the intellectual is always stuck in his head & trying to put others before his needs. Franny a Fast Tracker who has ditched a life of drugs for the connection she has with Court & Mykkel. The romance between Mykkel & Court will forever go down as one of my favorite ships. These guys are from completely different backgrounds but there’s a deep tenderness in every interaction that will have you rooting for their love. I loved being back in this world but it was our new character Stork that truly gets the award for stealing the show. I LOVED Stork’s sarcasm! He’s someone who was dealt a crummy hand but managed to make the best of it & carries with him a deep appreciation for those who saw to his well being. It’s hard to believe our story has come to an end but it was a satisfying one at the very least. This being my first experience with Krista & Becca Ritchie’s books, it’s safe to say I’ll be looking into their backlist titles throughout the year ahead ๐Ÿ™‚


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Spoiler Free Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Title: Tweet Cute

Author:ย Emma Lord

Pub. Date:ย January 21st 2020

Genre:ย YA Contemporary

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages:ย 368 Pages

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๐Ÿ–คARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review๐Ÿ–ค

When Big League Burger steals a small Deli’s iconic grilled cheese recipe created by none other than Jacks’ Grandmother, it starts an all out twitter war. Pepper’s family are the owners of Big League Burger with her mother at the helm of the business. When accusations start flying, it’s Pepper’s snark and quick witty comebacks her mother has her tweet to defend their stance. Pepper & Jack happen to attend the same privileged school but have no idea they are in a war of wits against each other while defending their family businesses. All the while we see them both deal with social pressures in school & navigate expectations from their parents in an interesting way. Jack has taken an interest in app developing & is the anonymous creator of an app that allows students to chat under anonymous names in a main chat room. Eventually the app triggers itself to reveal the identity of the student you’ve been hopefully bonding with. Jack also uses his own app (honorably adheres to his own privacy rules) & somehow ends up chatting with Pepper, not knowing her true identity. This book truly had it ALL & was wildly entertaining! Twitter Wars, cute romance, sweet pastry baking, positive F/F friendships, swimming, sibling rivalries, Parentals who are visible, and also a realistic view of the stress students experience preparing for college/entrepreneurship.

Pepper –Known to many of her peers to be robotic, Pepper is goal focused & getting into a top college is what she strives for. She doesn’t really socialize in school with the exception of engaging in academic wars with her “archenemy” & perfecting her swimming skills. With a whole lot of responsibilities lumped on her plate & handling Big League Burger’sย Twitter feud, Pepper finds comfort in chatting with “Wolf” who is also Jack, anonymously.

Jack –ย Living in the shadow of his very popular Gay twin brother isn’t easy for Jack but he manages. His brother Ethan is expected to go places & do big things after college whereas Jack’s family always saw him taking over the family Deli/business. We see Jack quietly seek out the things that actually bring him joy like app developing & being a member of the Dive team. Jack is hella loyal to his family & will drop anything/everything to help any one of them out.

The levels of enjoyment I experienced with this book are still pretty fresh in my memory. I have no doubt it’s going down as a Top Read for 2020 here on my end of year list. I lost track of the smiles it got out of me & on one or two occasions how it surprised me with teary eyes. Emma Lord brought to life current day teenagers on the page making this such an authentic smart & witty read. I loved how our author highlighted not only their intelligence but the fact that they are essentially capable of taking on a fair amount of responsibility. Both Pepper & Jack have a heavy schedule of academics & helping out with their family owned businesses. There’s a ton of stress but I enjoyed seeing how they came together in this one app to help alleviate those pressures. There’s also some more serious themes in this book like a family experiencing the after effects of a separation. There’s a healing of family issues & self exploration. Discussion on expectations & how college isn’t necessarily the only route to success. We see students choosing their paths to eventually place them in the career path that best suits their wants/needs. This book is packed with so much good & don’t get me started on the sisters who bake & give their deserts all sorts of quirky names on a blog they run together! sitting here eyes WIDE open for the next Emma Lord book *Chefs Kiss*


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Spoiler Free Review: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Title: Wicked Saints

Author:ย Emily A. Duncan

Pub. Date: April 2nd. 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Wednesday books

Pages:ย 385

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This may just speak to the dark corners of my soul but once I started reading this book on a flight to New Orleans, there was no other place I’d rather be. Between the pages of this dark gothic fantasy a war is being waged between Kalyazin & Tranavia. Kalyazin, a land of people who still believe in the Gods that ruled them. Gods who have partially retreated their presence but have chosenย Clericsย to use as messengers and vessels for their power. The war however has pretty much wiped out almost all Clerics & only one really powerful remains hidden in a Monastery to be protected at all costs. The one who is believed to be the end to this war against Tranavia. This is a land of people who have turned their backs on the Gods in favor of free will. Referred to as heretics, Tranavia set out to never to be controlled or be at the mercy of Gods whims. They chose instead to tap into blood magic and cast powerful spells. They’ve eradicated any and all signs of the Gods & made it so that the Gods cannot access Tranavia. We get introduced to 3 pivotal characters who all have a role to play in this war. Their lives somehow interconnected…

โ€œYou could be exactly what these countries need to stop their fighting. Or you could rip them apart at the seams.โ€

Content Warning: War themes, Violence/gore, parental abuse, Self-harm (cutting as part of the magic system), torture, alcohol abuseย 

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Nadya Lapteva Our MC is a powerful Cleric chosen by the Gods. She stands out among the few that are left due to her ability to communicate and draw power from all of the Gods. This alone made this character a total bad a** to me! I LOVED how she learned the personalities of all of the Gods she called upon. Which ones to approach with more caution than others. Nadya is dutiful & devout, she takes her role in this war very seriously. My only gripe with Nadya was that she’s got a whole lot of power and wisdom bestowed upon her & yet her judgment is severely clouded in matters of the heart. I don’t just mean with regards to the love interest but also when it comes to the Gods she serves without question. I hope to see some maturity from this character in the follow-up, especially after the way things left off.

Malachiasz Czechowiczย a VERY powerful Blood Mage who from the very beginning is hard to read. It’s hard to go into this character without spoiler so I’ll leave it as vague as he was upon first meeting him ๐Ÿ˜‰

Serefin Meleskiย The crown Prince sent to the front lines as a blood general. Serefin is one of my favorite characters in this story. It couldn’t have been easy being born a more powerful Blood Mage than your father & in turn have him hate you for it. Serafin knows he has a target on his back placed there by his own father. Serefin wants to end the war but he isn’t without his faults.

Although the story is centered around the three MC’s we do get some awesome side characters from both the Kalyazin & Tranavia sides. There are no clear cut good/bad characters. Everyone is fighting for what they believe to be right in order to end this war. I really enjoyed the relationships between all of the side characters as well as seeing the diverse representation. We get POC characters as well as a sexually diverse cast on the page. One of our side characters who plays sort of a right hand role to the Crown prince is disabled. My only hope is to see more of these characters brought to the forefront in the follow-up.

Wicked Saints is just the book I was looking for to get me back in the mood for YA Fantasy. It checked off so many of the things I believe make for a good story. I felt immediately invested in the characters and their relationships with one another. I questioned Nadya’s choices in general but can see this was necessary as a foundation to who she will become. Many have compared Malachiasz to the Darkling from the Grishaverse whom I wasn’t really sold on. Malachiasz however…is 50 shades of messed up! it doesn’t get more darker than this guy right here. Complex characters, interesting blend of religion in a fantastical setting, complete with a magic system I was genuinely intrigued by…This was a 5 star read by the time I’d read the last page & a pre-order for the follow-up is definitely in the future.


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THE RAGING ONES BLOG TOUR!!!๐Ÿš€

Title:ย THE RAGING ONES

Author:ย Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

Pub. Date: August 14th. 2018

Genre:ย YA Sci-Fi

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books

Pages: 352

Content Warnings:ย Physical Violence, Torture, Suicidal Thoughts and Drug Use

*Thank you Wednesday Books for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest opinion

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ย ย ย ย 

The Raging Ones truly caught me by surprise in that I wasn’t expecting it to make me the 4th person in the bond our main protagonists share! Told in multiple POV, we get introduced to Court Icecastle and Mykal Kickfall first as they’re preparing to enroll for consideration into the Space Program that would allow them ย to keep their secret. In a world where everyone is given their Death Day at the time of their birth, there are also classifications:

Influentials: their lifeย expectancy surpasses 100 years of age which marks them for greatness. They get the best educations because it is believed their contributions to the world are of high value. Most are adopted into families in other countries that can provide them with as much. Influentials are the elite, wealthy, and basically V.I.P.’s in this world.

Fast Trackers: have a lifeย expectancy between 13-29 years of age. When born they are returned to their mothers to live free & fun lives. They are most commonly recognized for their colorful hair, piercings, slang, addiction to certain drugs…they live fast & hard in the little time they have.

Babes:ย life expectancy is between infancy and 12 years of age. They also are returned to their mothers to live innocent lives never leaving their childhood.

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Court Icecastle is a Fast Tracker raised by Influentials, he is able to pass as a Influential himself and hopes to use this as a way into the StarDust Space program. Court Icecastle’s Death Day has come & gone leaving him very much alive with many questions and much more guilt. To make matters even more interesting, Court is bonded to Mykal Kickfall. Bonded in a way that lets them feel everything the other is feeling no matter the distance. Mykal has also survived past his Death Day & life brings these two together, Mykal a “Babe” comes from a distant land. He’s had a completely different upbringing & is a bit rough around the edges. Court makes it his mission to educate & train Mykal who he is now connected to for the StarDust enrollment exams. Years pass & the date quickly approaches for the entrance exam when all of a sudden both Court & Mykal feel a third connection. Franny Bluecastle is at deaths door when her connection to Court & Mykal activates. Franny a Fast Tracker living fast & hard is ready to die, it’s her Death Day after all and all she wants is to spend her savings on a room in one of the most well known hotels for V.I.P’s. Things don’t go quite as planned for Franny who is overcome with emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations that are not her own when she meets Court and Mykal. From this point on it’s edge of your seat, pulse pounding action with a Romance to satisfy all those who live for that A+ TOP quality angst! *need more ๐Ÿค—*

Court Icecastle-ย has a ton of secrets, never smiles, and carries a whole lot of pain buried deep within. Court is a Fast Tracker who can pass for a Influential and really only has 1 goal in mind. That is until he meets Mykal, it’s more than just a bond…Mykal is his soulmate & there are reasons for which he can’t quite act on these feelings ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mykal Kickfall-ย A Babe who lived past his death date & comes from a land where people still hunt for their food. He’s most comfortable in the outdoors chopping wood. Mykal is all physical strength but he also has a HUGE heart & in it he’s managed to find a special place for Court. I LOVE MYKAL TO PIECES! he accepts Court as he is but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy trying to get him to smile ๐Ÿ’“ย Also, Mykal is the one to come running whenever he smells danger to either Court or Franny, fiercely over protective in the best of ways!

Franny Bluecastle- A Fast Tracker who pretty much fits all of the stereo types known for FT’s & doesn’t know what to make of being linked to Mykal & Court. She has a different relationship with them both & I love that she never gives up on Court when it comes to getting him to lower his walls.

There’s so much to love in The Raging Ones but my favorite aspects of this book had to do with the bond these three shared. It wasn’t just talked about, ย  Krista & Becca Ritchie took us through the good, bad, and the ugly with these characters. The moments that should remain private but instead are shared 3 ways and the complications that arise when they come into physical contact with one another. The confusion that comes into play when you have 3 different personalities feeling everything the other is feeling and wondering if that was your own emotion or not. The world building was A++ and by describing each of the different types of people in this world we got a more fleshed out look as to what’s valued most & what is considered expendable. The romance is by far one of my favorites this year!!! there is so much angst for some very valid reasons but I was seriously shipping hard at the start of this book! Underneath it all, we also get a look at a society intent on putting their eggs all in 1 basket…in the hands of Influentials. All others are seen as lesser than because of the short lives they are destined to live. The ending left me with eyes WIDE open! to say that I am HIGHLY anticipating the sequel has to be the understatement of the year! I can’t wait to be reunited with Court, Franny, and Mykal & see what and where their adventure takes them next…


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Spoiler Free Review: Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

Title:ย Sky In The Deep

Author:ย Adrienne Young

Pub. Date:ย April 24th, 2018

Genre:ย YA Fantasy

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press

Pages:ย 352

Format:ย eGalley

Buddy Read: Melanie @Meltotheany, Amy @ACourtOfCrownsandQuillsย , Jules @JAIronsideย Always a good time with these bookworms! โค

*HUGE thanks to Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and Adrienne Youngย for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

ย ย ย 

Sky In The Deep is one of those books you definitely shouldn’t judge by the cover. As a avid fan of the History channel series Vikings & anything Norse Mythology really, I had this book on my radar for quite some time. However, although this book has battle & blood shed…It was & wasn’t the focal point in this story. We have two Viking clans with different sets of beliefs & each has their own God they worship. Every year these two clans face off in a bloody battle to appease what they believe is the will of their Gods. We are given history as to why the Gods feud originally started & all year round those of fighting age prepare for battle & the gathering of supplies to heal their wounded. Our MC Eelyn from the Aska Clan lost her brother Iri on the battlefield five years before the start of the story. Eelyn lives with her father who is a great Viking warrior & Myra her friend/adopted sister of sorts. The story takes off with Eelyn preparing for the yearly battle against the Riki Clan alongside her father & Myra. Whilstย  on the battlefield, Eelyn comes close to death and face to face with the brother she believed to be dead. Eelyn is in shock & desperate for answers when she makes the decision to follow Iri and his Riki friend Fiske against their wishes. Her decision to follow Iri into Riki territory sets off a series of events that will make every character question their beliefs.

Sky In The Deep is a VERY character driven book, which means it was my type of book but it may not be for everyone. The plot is pretty straight forward, it isn’t deeply layered or complex with promises of plot twists. Instead, Young delivered a story about family ties & my all time favorite…those people we CHOOSE to be our family. There’s a sense of betrayal underneath it all and sorting through those feelings to see the bigger picture. This is also a slower paced story with attention to detail, each & every time I opened this book I felt transported to their time & place. I LIVE for this style of writing because it wakens my imagination and senses with descriptions of nature, climate, and YES battle! With the being said, I did end up feeling like the pacing was a bit off since this to my knowledge is a stand-alone. My love for the characters is what really carried the story for me & ultimately my attachment is the reason for which I rated this read 4 stars.

Eelynย Our MC has lived the life of a shield maiden ever since she was a little girl, training side by side with her brother Iri. Eelyn is loyal to her loved ones & the Aska clan. She isn’t the YA female heroine you’re perhaps used to seeing. There were times I wished she fought a bit harder against those who wished to do her harm considering she was a trained fighter/killer. Overall I enjoyed seeing her road to self discovery, she had the most growth in this book. Most of all, I loved that Eelyn never abandoned her beliefs while understanding she was evolving into someone new.

Myraย Eelyn’s best friend who is more like a sister. Myra is a side character I have to mention because her scenes were some of the most passion filled to read. She is someone who has lost everyone she loves to these yearly clan wars. She only has Aghi (Eelyn’s father) & Eelyn who have taken her in as family. Which means she will fight tooth & nail to protect them. I LOVED reading the scenes where they readied their armor & checked with each other for weakness/injuries. Eelyn & Myra are the definition of ride or die BFF’s!

Iriย Not my favorite of the characters if I’m being honest. I can see how thinking you were left for dead in battle can mess with your head. I can see why he found a home with the Riki after one of them saved his life. However, I wanted more dialogue from Iri specifically between him & Eelyn. She’s both elated to see him alive & furious to see him willingly living as a Riki.

Fiskeย The Riki who saved Iri’s life & is basically like a brother to Iri. Fiske is honestly that guy who is all tough on the outside but mush for the people he loves. He’s also one of the MOST open minded characters I’ve ever come across in YA Fantasy. He is someone who follows his heart no matter what others may think. Fiske is a new found favorite of mine.

Ingeย The Riki who took in Iri wounded and helped bring him back to life. She is a healer and a motherly figure to those in her household & a healer to those in the village. Inge LOVES her boys & most importantly she knows their hearts.

Halvardย Can’t forget to mention this little guy who is Fiske’s little brother who is not of fighting age. Halvard dreams of one day joining his “brothers” but until that day he helps around in the house. Halvard immediately takes a liking to Eelyn and her religious beliefs. I loved this characters innocence against the back drop of so much violence.

If you’re looking for a slower paced book with an emphasis on family ties and relationships, Sky In The Deep is a solid choice. We do get the battles we all know the Viking culture thrived in but it isn’t the core focus of the story. There were some pacing issues I personally feel if ironed out, would’ve enhanced this read for me. Mainly because I enjoyed the time I was spending with each of these characters. It’s rare when you find MC’s & side characters you truly get attached to & so I greatly enjoy and appreciate these types of books. I also enjoyed learning about both the Aska & Riki culture and religious beliefs. When I was reading this book I was easily transported to the Fjord by Eelyn’s home. It was very easy to silence my surrounding & get absorbed into this world. The romance (cause there is one lol) is hate-to-love & slow burn to another level HAHA! part of me got a bit impatient with this ship #jussayin smh. Overall, Sky In The Deep was a very enjoyable read for me & I’m going to miss these characters.


Sky In The Deep hits shelves April 24th!!! are you ready to take a trip into Viking territory?!?! โค โค โค

Also, Adri from Little Fox and Reads blessed me with some news on my WWW Wednesday post…it appears the author was on IG yesterday with news of a companion novel! *GASP* Thank you Adri for making my DAY! ๐Ÿ™‚


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