ARC Review – ‘Beneath The Citadel’ by Destiny Soria

Title: Beneath The Citadel
Author: Destiny Soria
Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT
Date of Publication: 9th October, 2018
Word/Page Count: 480 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.

I’ve been having a streak of good luck with my Netgalley ARCs – this is yet another that has fallen in the category of ‘addictive enough to keep me up all night reading’! I’m really in love with this one, I need to add it to my collection once it’s published! ❤

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Litjoy Crate – July YA book box review: ‘Warriors of the Stars’

LitJoy Crate is a book subscription box service that offers a quarterly Middle Grade box aimed at ages 8-13 and a monthly Young Adult box for ages 14 and older. This is a review for the July YA box, which includes a new release book and themed bookish goodies.

At the time of this review, the July YA box is available to purchase in Litjoy’s store.

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LitJoy Crate

Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $13.05 within the US, $14.82 to Canada and $24.99 internationally
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 20th of each month

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Shelflove Crate – July 2018: ‘Let The Games Begin’

Shelflove Crate is a YA book subscription box that is “specially assembled with a newly released Fantasy or Sci-Fi YA book and 3 or more theme-based items”.

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Shelflove Crate
Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $7.99 for US, $14.99 for Canada and $22.99 worldwide
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: from the 20th onward each month

This box was ridiculously late – it was delayed about two weeks as a manufacturer didn’t have an item ready in time, so all the boxes were held up. This July box only just arrived on August 15th!

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Owlcrate – July 2018: ‘Strange & Unusual’

OwlCrate is a monthly book subscription service that provides you with a newly released Young Adult novel plus other bookish extras, such as jewelry & accessories, bookmarks, stickers & prints, toys, etc.

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(I adopted a cat last month, that’s Charlie sticking her head in at the top, lol)

OwlCrate
Cost: $29.99 USD monthly, $86.98 for 3 months or $167.94 for 6 months.
Shipping Costs: $6.99 to US, $10.59 to Canada and $19.99 internationally.
Payment Method: Debit and Credit Cards.
Mailed Out: around the 20th of each month.

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ARC Review – ‘Seventh Born’ by Monica Sanz

Title: Seventh Born
Author: Monica Sanz
Genre: Ya, Fantasy
Date of Publication: 4th September, 2018
Word/Page Count: 400 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.

This is one of those guilty pleasure reads – there were a few glaring flaws that detracted from the quality of the story, and yet I was having such a good time reading this that I wilfully overlooked them!

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The writing flowed smoothly, the main characters were engaging, and the plot took a few twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I was legitimately shocked by some of the developments, which is novel for me in YA where I’ve come to find a lot of storylines predictable. I like that the author took some chances and made a few creative choices!

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ARC Review – ‘The Cursebreaker Countess’ by Sasha L Miller

Title: The Cursebreaker Countess
Author: Sasha L Miller
Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: 15th August, 2018
Word/Page Count: 42,000 words/106 pages (ebook)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Kas is a wanderer, exploring the country and keeping out of the reach of her stepfather’s plots to marry her off and steal her fortune. When she stumbles across a field of towers one stormy night, she promptly takes shelter in the sturdiest-looking of the bunch, only to find a woman trapped in a bespelled sleep.

Breaking the curse takes seconds, but dealing with the aftermath may force Kas to return to the home she’s been avoiding—and right into the sights of the mage who cursed the princess sleeping in the tower…

This is a sweet fairytale featuring a well-written f/f romance, which I am the target audience for, so it was a no-brainer that I loved this! ❤

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I went in thinking that it was a genderbent retelling of Sleeping Beauty but aside from Princess Anika being placed under a sleeping curse, there isn’t any other connection as the author has created an entirely fresh new plot. Kas wakes up Anika not with a kiss of true love, but her ability to break curses (roll credits!) which frees Anika from her slumber after sixty-six years. Normally that would be the end point or at least the climax of the story, but their adventure is only just beginning as they discover that Anika’s tower was merely one in a cluster of many towers which imprisoned other women with magical abilities, with no clue as to who was responsible or why.

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ARC Review – ‘Rogue Protocol’ by Martha Wells

Title: Rogue Protocol
Author: Martha Wells
Genre: Sci-fi
Date of Publication: 7th August, 2018
Page Count: 160 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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SciFi’s favorite crabby A.I. is again on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.

I absolutely adored the first two installments in The Murderbot Diaries, and this third novella lived up to my high expectations, what a fantastic read! ❤

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