Book Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona AndrewsMagic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Published by Ace on August 4, 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
5 Stars
In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

Book Review:

MAGIC SHIFTS is the eighth book in the super awesome Kate Daniels series. I just read the entire series to get caught up to MAGIC SHIFTS, and this is one series where the books get better and better. I can’t recommend this series enough if you like a snarky, kick butt heroine, solid and creative worldbuilding, and villains and bad magic from all over the globe.

In MAGIC SHIFTS, Kate and Curran are trying to live a normal life. As normal as life can be when Kate’s the daughter of the most powerful man alive and Curran’s the former Beast Lord. Thanks to Kate’s agreement with her father in the previous book, MAGIC BREAKS, they’ve left the Pack. But instead of settling into their new house, they’re catapulted into a confusing investigation when Eduardo, a werebison, goes missing.

THE GOOD:

♥ I was a little worried when I started MAGIC SHIFTS, because one of my favorite things about this series is the Pack. I liked watching Kate manage the shapeshifters, and seeing them bicker and politic their way around the Keep. But many of the characters I liked in previous books are still in the series, and you know what? Kate and Curran shine even outside of the Pack. Their relationship is solid but still growing, and seeing Curran try to behave for the neighbors was hilarious.

♥ At last, there are some real consequences for Kate throwing herself headlong into danger. I enjoy how Kate never hesitates to draw her sword and rush into a fight, but with the amount of abuse she puts her body through, you start to wonder how she’s still alive, even with magic. I won’t spoil things, but I loved what happens to her in MAGIC SHIFTS.

♥ Three words: Roland. Likes. Applebee’s. Those three words lead to what has to be one of my favorite scenes in the whole series. Again, I’m not going to spoil the fantasticness, but I like where the author’s going with Kate and Roland.

♥ As with the bad guys in other books, the author doesn’t go with the traditional Western European supernatural creatures. I’ve seen the creature in MAGIC SHIFTS before, but this time it was scary. Yet again, I don’t want to drop spoilers, but I will say I’ve never read such a cool theory on ghouls.

THE BAD:

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsMagic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
on July 29, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
5 Stars
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Book Review:

Daaaaamn. I just finished MAGIC BREAKS, and I’m at a loss for words. I’ve said this in almost every review I’ve written for the Kate Daniels series, but this is a series where the books just get better and better.

I’ve been looking forward to Kate’s confrontation with her father for seven books now. I had absolutely no idea how the author would handle it, since Kate’s always known that Roland has a gazillion times more magic than she does. I’m not going to spoil what does happen, but I like how it all went down. It makes sense and shows how much Kate has grown over the series. Because you know if she had met Roland in book one, she would have stuck Slayer in his heart, and he would have killed her, and that would have been it. But now that Kate has lots of friends, fiancé Curran, adopted street kid Julie, and the welfare of the Pack to worry about, she can’t go in sword point first.

In other books, I liked seeing lots of the Pack, but I also missed the Kate from the first few in the series, where she was more on her own. In MAGIC BREAKS, Kate’s separated from Curran and the Pack, and she has to rely on every bit of training from Voron to stay alive. I loved it. I had absolutely no idea where the story was going in this book, and I loved that, too. It was also great to learn even more about Roland and Kate’s powers, which is something I enjoy in every installment. The author has some super creative ideas for magic.

I’ve been binge reading this series, but if you’ve been following it all along and need a refresher, the author includes a handy list of characters and summary of events by Barabas, Kate’s bouda nanny.

One of my favorite things about the Kate Daniels series is how talented the author is at making me feel about every single character. Lots of old faces are back in MAGIC BREAKS as well as some new ones. Even though I’ve never really liked Ghastek before, I felt for him in this book. Same with the alpha wererat couple, Robert and Thomas. Christopher, the insane guy Kate rescued in MAGIC RISES, shows up too, and I felt for him. Seriously. These characters tug on my (mostly nonexistent) heartstrings.

And the last page of MAGIC BREAKS? As Kate would say, “Why me?” I’d have screamed that if I had to wait a year for the next book, MAGIC SHIFTS.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Rises by Ilona AndrewsMagic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Published by Ace on July 30, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 355
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
5 Stars
Mercenary Kate Daniels narrates a surprising trip with her bite-me humor. The pack of her mate Curran, werelion Beast Lord, need rare medicine from Europe to save children who die from stuck shapeshifting. Europe offers them barrels of the drug if they guard a spoiled princess. Knowing the invite is a trap, of course they sail right in.

Book Review:

MAGIC RISES is the sixth book in the Kate Daniels series. This is the first book where we get to see the rest of the world Post-Shift, as Kate and the Pack travel to Europe to guard a pregnant shapeshifter. They know it’s a trap, but they go anyway, because the promised payment is panacea, a medicine that can reverse loupism.

I really liked getting to see more of the world than just Atlanta. It’s good to see how other countries cope (or don’t) with magic, and who has come out on top. You won’t believe who the lord of the castle is in MAGIC RISES — but he’s an excellent pick. MAGIC RISES has a lot of Pack dealings, but it also moves Kate’s arc towards her inevitable confrontation with her father. I appreciate that the author isn’t making Roland a one book enemy, and I like how we’ve learned more about his background and Kate’s powers as the series progresses.

I wasn’t super thrilled with Curran in this book; it felt like Kate and Curran’s relationship took a step backwards. There are a couple of inconsistencies with how they act, and I wanted to slap Curran for a good portion of MAGIC RISES. I didn’t buy his excuse for the whole thing with Lorelei, and with the sheer amount of important stuff happening, I could’ve done without the relationship problems.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed MAGIC RISES. As usual, I can’t believe how much the author packed into the book: a bodyguard case, the lord of the castle, mysterious new shapeshifters, Kate/Curran, and some big important battles. There were a few scenes that made my eyes sting, because I care so much about the characters in this series.

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Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsMagic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Published by Ace on May 31, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 308
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
5 Stars
Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.

So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.

Book Review:

MAGIC SLAYS is the fifth book in the Kate Daniels series. I say this every review, but the books in this series just keep getting better and better! I’m a latecomer to this amazing urban fantasy series, but that’s good in a way, because I can’t imagine waiting a year between installments.

If you thought Erra was bad in the previous book, MAGIC BLEEDS, the bad guys in MAGIC SLAYS are even worse. Kate’s case this time spotlights a danger to the entire city of Atlanta. It’s something she can’t handle herself, even though she’s quit the Order and doesn’t have them holding her back anymore. I really liked the big fight in MAGIC SLAYS, because lots of different groups come and fight together — it felt epic in scope.

My favorite things about this series include Kate, Kate and Curran, the Pack, and the other characters. The author continues to deliver on all of those points.

♥ Kate has grown so much from the first book in the series while staying true to herself that it’s incredible. She’s still snarky and bad ass, but now more vulnerable because she’s formed attachments and friendships with people.

♥ Kate and Curran — their relationship has become one of my favorite in an urban fantasy series. They bicker and have to work to develop their relationship and support each other. It’s realistic, which is always important to me.

♥ I do so enjoy the Pack. It’s great to see Kate act as the Alpha, showing the shapeshifters that she can act like them without going furry, and that she’ll protect them just as much as Curran does.

♥ I love Kate and Curran, but I also love all the other characters in this series. The author’s really good at making you feel for everybody, if they’re in one scene or multiple books. Andrea is back, which was great, since I like her friendship with Kate. Julie’s also back, yay! Although maybe not yay, because the poor kid goes through some rough stuff. The new bouda Ascanio’s a hoot, and the attack poodle Grendel is back. Seriously, there are some great characters in this series, and I’m greedy enough to want novellas about all of them.

MAGIC SLAYS slays it.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Published by Ace on May 25, 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 349
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
5 Stars
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle - especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community. When she's called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers that there's a new player in town. One who's been around for thousands of years - and who rode to war at the side of Kate's father. This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family.

Book Review:

MAGIC BLEEDS is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series. I’ve been binge reading this series, and each book is better than the last, which is rare in a series. Kate Daniels has a spot on my favorite kickbutt characters list. She’s just plain awesome.

MAGIC BLEEDS digs deeper into Kate’s background than previous books have. Kate’s case starts out as a typical Order investigation — as typical as something involving magic, death, and deadly diseases can be. Which, of course, is pretty typical in the author’s version of Atlanta, where magic and tech alternately rule supreme. But the case becomes something more when she finds out the true identity of the Steel Mary who’s been infecting corpses with diseases like syphilis and cholera.

As with the other books in this series, I enjoyed the lore of the bad guy, which was inspired by Babylonian mythology. I never know what’s going to come next, or how Kate will save the day, which is something I love. It’s never fun when books are too predictable. I was scared for Kate and Curran and Atlanta, because there were some nail-biting action scenes where it looked like the end was about to come.

Kate and Curran’s relationship takes a huge step forward in MAGIC BLEEDS. I’m usually picky on romances, but I like the way the author’s developed theirs over the course of the series. I thought what happened between Kate and Curran was realistic, which is really important for me with romances. They act as they’ve been characterized — they don’t change personalities as things heat up or cool down.

I also liked getting to see more of Pack politics. How well do wolves, rats, cats, hyenas, and other shapeshifters get along? Not very well. The Pack, its structure, and politics are just one more thing I enjoy about this series. I like how the author’s given each clan a distinct personality and place in the hierarchy, because I love seeing Kate come in and totally ignore everything.

MAGIC BLEEDS is full of everything I like about the Kate Daniels series: inventive magic, a scary world, well-developed characters, creative use of mythology and supernatural creatures, and too many other things to name.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona AndrewsMagic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #3
Published by Ace on March 31, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Own
Goodreads
5 Stars
When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community…

Book Review:

MAGIC STRIKES is the third book in the Kate Daniels series. I highly recommend this series if you like creative urban fantasy with a side of kickbutt heroine, sizzling chemistry, and non-stop action.

In MAGIC STRIKES, we at last learn more about Kate and her background. Previous books in the series had some clues, but here we get the full story. Why Kate is so careful about never leaving her blood or any traces of it around. Why Kate knows so much about the powerful, mysterious, and secret leader of the People. And why Kate is a loner, which might be the most important information of all, since she bucks all of her life experience and training to help her friends.

Kate doesn’t have many friends, you see, so when Derek ends up nearly dead, she’s willing to take part in a deadly tournament to get revenge on his attackers. The bad guys in MAGIC STRIKES are inspired by Hindu mythology, and damn, they were creepy and scary, but also cool. I like how the author never sticks with the traditional Western European baddies, but draws inspiration from all over the globe.

I enjoyed every aspect of MAGIC STRIKES, from watching Kate’s protective side come out again to seeing her growing friendships with a variety of Pack members. Julie from MAGIC BURNS even makes a cameo appearance; I was happy to see her again. And I can’t forget the romantic relationship developing between Kate and Curran. I’m not always a fan of romances, but I appreciate that this one hasn’t been rushed, and that Kate doesn’t lose herself whenever Curran shows up. She admits she’s attracted to him, but she doesn’t let that attraction override her brain.

The ending made me snort with laughter. I’m not going to spoil, but it’s good. That’s just one more thing I like about Ilona Andrews’ writing — it makes me laugh all the time, even in the middle of a dangerous action scene or when Kate’s just sitting in her apartment.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

Book Review: Under the Lights by Dahlia AdlerUnder the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Series: Daylight Falls #2
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on June 30, 2015
Pages: 312
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
5 Stars
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls ... opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he's trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he's in the spotlight—on everyone's terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.

Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she's painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved ... and the person she never imagined she could.

Book Review:

I am picky when it comes to contemporary. Very, very picky. I originally picked up UNDER THE LIGHTS because I knew it had a girl/girl relationship, and those are all too rare in YA/NA.

By the way, this is the second book in a series, but you don’t need to have read the first, BEHIND THE SCENES, because UNDER THE LIGHTS is Vanessa and Josh’s story, not Ally and Liam’s.

I got that relationship and so much more. Honestly, I was surprised at how deftly the author wove in many big important things, including:

♥ Diversity. Vanessa is Korean American. She’s part of the main cast for Daylight Falls — not to fulfill a racial quota, but because she’s a good actress. Her parents want her to quit playing around and go to college, get a real job. But she wants to be an idol to girls just like her. So when she realizes she’s attracted to Brianna, and that she might be gay…

♥ Sexuality. Vanessa’s not so sure she can survive in Hollywood being a minority and being gay. Parts just don’t exist when you fit into those slots. As it is, she’s typecast in movies as the med student or science nerd. Her boyfriend, Zander, has never made her tingle like Bri does, and he’s pushing for her to make a purity pledge so they can be even better role models. Meanwhile, Josh, the other main character, makes no apologies that he likes to have sex with a different girl every night. His sexuality is praised — a reality TV show wants to follow him around.

♥ Celebrity culture and expectations. Josh’s mom, an aging soap star, wants a reality TV show to replace her canceled show. The only condition? Her famous bad boy son must be a part of it. It’s totally okay for him to be a jerk to his fake girlfriend and woo girls in clubs. But for Vanessa? It’s not okay for her to even be seen in a club — it goes against her good girl image.

There’s so much good stuff in UNDER THE LIGHTS. I loved the author’s voices for both characters and her writing style. I was in a reading slump when I started this book, and it helped pull me out. On one level, UNDER THE LIGHTS is fun and includes some very yummy scenes between Vanessa and Bri — including a non fade-to-black sex scene. On another level, UNDER THE LIGHTS has great commentary and observations on so many important cultural and life issues.

UNDER THE LIGHTS has so much of what I want to see in YA and NA that I’ll be recommending the hell out of it. And reading everything else Dahlia Adler writes.

Socialize with the author:

Dahlia Adler:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

Book Review: Circus Mirandus by Cassie BeasleyCircus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Published by Dial Books on June 2, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
5 Stars
Fans of Big Fish, Peter Pan, and Roald Dahl will fall in love with Circus Mirandus, which celebrates the power of seeing magic in world.

Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.

The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.

Book Review:

CIRCUS MIRANDUS is a magical book.

Yes, it’s about a magical circus, so you could assume some magic there, but there’s magic in the characters, the story, the relationships — everything, really. When I started reading this book, I was 14 chapters in before I knew it, and later I didn’t want to turn the last page.

CIRCUS MIRANDUS is a book you can read on a few levels. One, for kids to experience a fantastical circus and the power of relationships. Two, for adults to remember the power of magic and hopefully to think that believing in magic is a good thing, and to see how it can help anyone through tough times.

I think the most impactful thing I can say about this book is that it made me ugly cry at one point and left me filled with hope by the end. Very few books affect me emotionally, but CIRCUS MIRANDUS was one. Why? Everything about this book is fantastic and so well done.

I ached for Micah. At the start of the book, he’s facing the loss of his grandfather Ephraim, who is really more of a father to him. Aunt Gertrudis tries to keep them apart in their last days together, and gets angry any time they share their special stories of Circus Mirandus. Ephraim visited the circus as a youth, and was given a miracle. He’s hung onto it for years, but now is the time to use it — and Micah’s determined he’ll get to do so.

One little thing I especially loved about CIRCUS MIRANDUS was that we got to see the magic circus from both Ephraim and Micah’s eyes. I thought it really added to the book that the author included chapters from a young Ephraim, who went through something very similar to Micah.

I have so much love for CIRCUS MIRANDUS. My experience while reading was amazing, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Socialize with the author:

Cassie Beasley:
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– leeanna

Book Review: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Book Review: More Happy Than Not by Adam SilveraMore Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Published by Soho Teen on June 2, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
5 Stars
The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto -- miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

Book Review:

At first, MORE HAPPY THAN NOT seems like a contemporary novel. Yes, it examines some pretty awesome and important things, such as being a possibly gay boy in the Bronx. Aaron starts off the book with a great girlfriend who’s understanding; she held him when he cried after his father committed suicide. But when he meets Thomas, a boy unlike any he’s met before, Aaron starts to wonder — is he gay? Does he love Thomas?

Aaron’s happier than he’s ever been before, but his old friends aren’t. They don’t like that he might be gay. And that’s when the book transforms, shifting from contemporary to speculative fiction with the Leteo Institute. In a near future world, the Leteo Institute has invented a way to help people forget memories they don’t want anymore. Aaron wants to forget that he’s gay.

About 60% through MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, there’s a real bam! moment. It’s when little things scattered throughout the previous pages suddenly made a lot more sense. It’s when I felt even more for Adam and his family. It’s when I realized the author was a genius. The last 40% or so of the book is heartbreaking, but in the best possible way.

Aaron has such a great voice. He felt incredibly real to me, as did his friends, family, and the Bronx. I enjoyed every uplifting and grueling second of him questioning himself, his sexuality, and loss. MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is a book that really made me think and feel, and I bet you’ll go “Woaaaah” at the end, just like I did.

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Adam Silvera:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Book Review: Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. JensenHidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #2
Published by Angry Robot on June 2, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
5 Stars
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

Book Review:

Last year, I loved STOLEN SONGBIRD, the first book in Danielle L. Jensen’s amazing young adult fantasy series, the Malediction Trilogy. I loved every bit of STOLEN SONGBIRD, so of course I couldn’t wait for the sequel.

HIDDEN HUNTRESS is just as good, if not better, than STOLEN SONGBIRD. Let me tell you, this book has no hint of Middle Book Syndrome, which usually plagues trilogies. So much important stuff happens that I couldn’t even begin to summarize it, and I’m not going to try. Because HIDDEN HUNTRESS is too good to spoil!

I think my favorite thing about HIDDEN HUNTRESS is the way Danielle ended every chapter. I swear she’s an expert at ending chapters with cliffhangers. I’d get caught up in Cécile’s narration and think “I have to know what happens next” at the end of her chapter. I’d be tempted to skip ahead, but then it was Tristan’s turn, and I’d get sucked into his story. This happened over and over again, and I loved that.

Much of Cécile’s focus is on finding Anushka, the witch who cursed the trolls. I enjoyed watching Cécile try to puzzle through clues, and while I’m not going to spoil things, I like how that storyline played out. In Trollus, Tristan has to sort out his father’s true intentions and desires, which is quite difficult, since trolls never say what they mean. In the first book, we mostly saw Trollus through Cécile’s’s eyes. In HIDDEN HUNTRESS, we see it through Tristan’s, which I greatly enjoyed.

HIDDEN HUNTRESS is one of those books that’s worth the wait!

Let’s talk about it:

Be sure to check out the amazing guest post Danielle wrote for me, a letter from Anaïs to the reader! I also interviewed Danielle last year.

Socialize with the author:

Danielle L. Jensen:
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– leeanna