Book Review: Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Pandava Quintet
Length: 304 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good.

But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone.

Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer Graphic Novel Review

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (the Graphic Novel) by Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, Kit Seaton (Illustrator)
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: DC Icons, Graphic Novels.
Length: 192 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. Based on the New York Timesbestselling novel by Leigh Bardugo, this graphic novel adaptation brings to life Diana’s first adventure beyond the hidden shores of Themyscira.

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law–risking exile–to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer–a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies–mortal and divine–determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

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Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Pandava Quintet, #1
Length: 368 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from their latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

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Book Review: Spin the Dawn

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: The Blood of Stars, #1
Length: 385 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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Graphic Novel Review #24 – Midas

Midas by Ryan North, Braden Lamb (Illustrator) & Shelli Paroline (Illustrator)
Rating: 3 Stars
Series:  Midas (The Midas Flesh Vol 1 & 2)
Length: 256 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Dang, King Midas

We’ve all heard of the Midas Touch. You know, the Greek myth about the man who did a number on himself by wishing everything he touched to turn to gold? Well, you haven’t heard everything.

Joey and her space crew have decided to return to Earth–a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold–to find out exactly what happened to this once thriving planet and see if they can use that knowledge against the evil empire that’s tracking them down. As luck would have it, they just landed the most powerful weapon in the universe: some ancient dead guy’s body.

The totally unpredictable first collection of Ryan North’s debut original print comic book series The Midas Touch, featuring art by illustration dynamos Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, will leave the reader reeling from start to gilded finish

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Book Review #157 – Finale

Finale by Stephanie Garber
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Caraval, #3
Length: 416 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates were freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella saw Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finally, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun—with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything.

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Book Review #137 – Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C.Dao
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Rise of the Empress, #2
Length: 384 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.

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Book Review #132 – Wicked Saints

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: Something Dark and Holy, #1
Length: 400 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Thank You GoodReads Giveaway for a copy! This has no way impacted my review.

Synopsis:
In this stunning Joan of Arc inspired debut, Nadya—a peasant girl who can speak to the gods—must find a way to work with a deadly adversary to turn the tide of the war and assassinate the mad king. When their scheme leads them straight to the royal family, Nadya must decide whether to trust the High Prince—her country’s enemy—or the boy with powers that may ignite something worse than the war they’re trying to end.

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Graphic Novel Review #6 – Herakles, Book 1

Herakles, Book 1 by Édouard Cour
Rating: 3 Stars
Series: Herakles, #1
Length: 156 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis:
Author Edouard Cour revisits one of the greatest Greek myths by painting the often-heroic Herakles as, well . . . somewhat of a jerk. Crude and stubborn at times, in little glimpses we meet a man—half-human, after all—with a psychology more complex than he appears, entangled in guilt over the ghosts who have haunted him since childhood. A mournful sadness seizes him as he crosses the fleeting silhouettes of a woman and her three children.  “Friends or foe, all those who cross his path end up stiff and worm food,” ​​comments Linos, the ghost of his childhood music teacher. Brimming with pathos and dark humor, this portrait of Herakles is a graphic whirlwind leaving little respite and often revealing beautiful surprises.  This first volume introduces us to the titular hero as he tackles a number of his earlier tasks, revealing the seeds of uncertainty and the drive for respect that will ultimately define him.

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Graphic Novel Review #5 – God Complex, Vol 1: Dogma

God Complex, Vol 1: Dogma by Paul Jenkins, Bryan Lie, Hendry Prasetya (Artist)
Rating: 3.75 Stars
Series: God Complex, #1
Length: 152 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis:
A young forensics investigator finds his worldview turned upside down, when a bizarre religious triple-homicide introduces him to the Rulers, godlike beings who have ruled humanity since the dawn of time.

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