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Month: February 2022

Book Review: The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton

Book Review: The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton


The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher, Simon and Schuster, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have a weakness for dark academia novels, though they only work for me roughly half the time. In recent years I’ve read books in this subgenre that have become lifetime favorites, and those that left me so disappointed it veered into anger. More than one of these disappointments came through books I requested via NetGalley, and yet I keep trying. Books like The World Cannot Give are why. I was almost as enamored by it as I was by Tartt’s The Secret History and Hopen’s The Orchard, both of which I absolutely adore.

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Book Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Book Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch


Upgrade by Blake Crouch
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this novel from the publisher, Ballantine Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I received an email announcing not only the galley release of Upgrade, but my randomly pre-approved status for it, I was ecstatic. I legitimately squealed. Dark Matter and Recursion were both instant favorites for me, so I couldn’t wait to read whatever Crouch had written next. Then I read the synopsis, which immediately brought to mind the movie and subsequent tv series, Limitless. I loved both iterations of the story, so my excitement swelled even larger. But Upgrade took that basic premise and encompassed not only the radical expansion of the mind, but of the workings of the body, as well. Even more amazing!

“The greatest threat to our species lies within us.”

However, whether due to my irrationally high expectations and excitement or the fact that I might not have been quite intelligent enough for this book, Upgrade left me feeling vaguely disappointed. While still a good story, it didn’t pack the same punch for me as its two predecessors. Subjectively, at least. Remember that this is strictly my opinion from my own experience with the book. No doubt this will be on several Best of 2022 lists. It just won’t be on mine.

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Book Review: The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy, #2) by Katherine Arden

Book Review: The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy, #2) by Katherine Arden

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Winternight Trilogy (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

Pages: 383 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 5th December 2017 by Del Rey (US) & 5th December 2017 by Del Rey (UK)


If you enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale, I see little chances of The Girl in the Tower failing for you.

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

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Book Review: Empire of Dirt (The Echoes Saga, #2) by Philip C. Quaintrell

Book Review: Empire of Dirt (The Echoes Saga, #2) by Philip C. Quaintrell

Cover art illustrated by: Chris McGrath

Empire of Dirt by Philip C. Quaintrell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Echoes Saga (Book #2 of 9)

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 480 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 27th November 2017 by Quaintrell Publishing (Self-Published)


Empire of Dirt is better than Rise of the Ranger in practically every aspect, and it seems promising that the steady increase in quality within each book is unstoppable now.

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Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby


Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, y’all. Razorblade Tears broke my heart and kept me on the edge of my seat in equal measures. It’s a superb piece of crime fiction with powerful messages about racism, sexuality, and accepting your loved ones for who they are, no matter how different they might be, before you run out of chances. It’s about vengeance and justice and learning that you can still grow even when you’ve been set in your ways for longer than you can remember. It’s about family, both that which you’re born into and that which you build for yourself along the way. It’s about grief and how, sometimes, you don’t even feel like you deserve to feel it. Above all, this is a story that felt honest and real and true at its core, despite being a work of fiction.

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Book Review: The Bladed Faith (The Vagrant Gods, #1) by David Dalglish

Book Review: The Bladed Faith (The Vagrant Gods, #1) by David Dalglish

ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

Cover art illustrated by: Chase Stone

Cover designed by: Lauren Panepinto

The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Vagrant Gods (Book #1 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy

Pages: 582 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 5th April 2022 by Orbit


The Bladed Faith is a familiar and action-packed revenge story executed magnificently.

“People say it is in the daylight that things are laid bare, but I’ve found truths are best revealed when the moon is high.”

Every time I think about how many books David Dalglish has published to this day, I always feel like I have a LOT to catch up on. I’m serious. The Bladed Faith, the first book in The Vagrant Gods trilogy is Dalglish’s 29th published novel, and prior to this novel, I’ve read only The Keepers trilogy. I have mentioned several times that The Bladed Faith is one of my most anticipated books of 2022. True; one of the reasons behind this anticipation is because I enjoyed The Keepers trilogy. But more importantly, what made me so excited for this release is how passionate Dalglish has been towards his work the past two years. And fortunately, not only did I receive the honor to host the stunning cover art reveal (illustrated by Chase Stone and designed by Lauren Panepinto) for this book, but I also got the blessing to read this early. I am not disappointed by this. The Bladed Faith is a great first book to a trilogy, and it shows promises that the sequels will be more explosive and larger in scope. Check out what David Dalglish has to say about The Bladed Faith:

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Book Review: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

Book Review: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin


The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those times when I’m really thankful for Book of the Month. For some reason, The People We Keep isn’t a book I’ve really heard mentioned anywhere else. If it hadn’t been one of BotM’s options, I might have never heard of it, much less picked it up. I’m so incredibly thankful that I did, though. The People We Keep is a heartbreakingly beautiful story that perfectly balances sorrow and joy. With a diverse cast of larger-than-life characters and a protagonist that I not only rooted for but wished I could pluck from the pages and adopt, this book filled my heart to the bursting point and gave me an even greater appreciation for all of the wonderful people in my own life.

“We have people we get to keep, who won’t ever let us go. And that’s the most important part. That’s what’s true.”

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Book Review: The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan

Book Review: The Fires of Heaven (The Wheel of Time, #5) by Robert Jordan

Cover art illustrated by: Dan dos Santos

The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Wheel of Time (Book #5 of 14)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Classic Fantasy

Pages: 926 pages (Kindle Edition)

Published: 15th October 1993 by Tor Books


You’re not in Tel’aran’rhiod. The flaming ta’veren has indeed pulled me back into this series.

“Mat had not learned the lesson that he had. Try to run away, and the Pattern pulled you back, often roughly; run in the direction the Wheel wove you, and sometimes you could manage a little control over your life. Sometimes. With luck, maybe more than any expected, at least in the long haul.”

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Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Gentleman in Moscow is a book that has been on my shelf almost since its publication in 2016. I’ve heard remarkable things about Towles’s style and characterization. However, I had also heard that it was a quiet book, a slow story softly told, so I decided that I would have to be in just exactly the right mood to pick it up. I was so wrong. While I understand the quiet description, as the plot follows our protagonist after he is sentenced to a life of house arrest within the walls of Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, it was by no means slow. Yes, the story was obviously constrained in setting by our main character’s confinement, but his life was still so tremendously full that I never felt like that pace wasn’t being propelled forward quickly enough. A Gentleman in Moscow is a beautiful, moving, utterly charming story, with characters who won my heart completely and prose that I wanted to sink into and live inside forever.

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