Release Day Review – ‘A Dark and Hollow Star’ by Ashley Shuttleworth

TITLES: A Dark and Hollow Star
AUTHOR: Ashley Shuttleworth
GENRE: YA Fantasy
WORD/PAGE COUNT: 512 pages (hardcover)
PUBLICATION DETAILS: by Hodder & Stoughton on February 25th, 2021

Choose your player.

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

In this ambitious debut by Ashley Shuttleworth, A DARK AND HOLLOW STAR injects magic into modern day Toronto with the existence of secret magical communities partitioned away from regular humans, but still nestled alongside them. That choice gives the book a unique feel as most stories about fae portray them in a separate world altogether, but keeping mundane mortals in the mix adds higher stakes, more complicated politics and a bunch of fun pop culture references.

My favorite part of this book is that all four main characters are queer. Normally I hope in vain that an author will have just ONE character with LGBT+ rep and my cup overrunneth with joy at the f/f and m/m ships we’re treated to here! 

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ARC Review – ‘The Lost Ones’ by Anita Frank

Title: The Lost Ones
Author: Anita Frank
Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Horror
Word/Page Count: 464 pages (paperback)
Publication Details: by Harper Collins Publishers on October 21st, 2019
RRP: $32.99 AUD (paperback)

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Some houses are never at peace.

England, 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

The Lost Ones takes the typical haunted house trope and elevates it to the next level with an atmospheric historical setting, smart lyrical writing, refreshingly unexpected plot developments and compelling characters that the reader will invest in.

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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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The Book Crate – August: Glitter & Geeks!

The Book Crate is an Australian book subscription box “for newly released young adult books and other goodies straight to your door.”

I’ve been lucky enough to be selected as a rep so I’ve received their very first box complimentary for review! If you like what you see, you can use my rep code BORG20 for a discount on the September box. 😉

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The Book Crate
Cost: $30.00 AUD
Shipping Costs: $15 within Australia only
Payment Method: Paypal
Mailed Out: between the 15-20th of each month

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Whimsifybox – May 2017: Fight Like A Girl

Whimsify Box is a monthly subscription book box for YA lovers. You receive a recently published fantasy or sci-fi book along with 4-6 items that relate to the theme picked to match the book.

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Whimsify Box
Cost: $34.95 USD
Shipping Costs: $7.25 within the US |  Internationally – $19.95
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 15 – 20th each month

Good to know: your subscription renews automatically on the 1st of each month

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Book Boyfriend Box – February 2017: Out Of This World

Book Boyfriend Box is a bi-monthly US book subscription box that provides you with a new YA release plus 2-6 bookish goodies that may include jewelry, make-up, bath products, candles, accessories & apparel and more.

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Book Boyfriend Box
Cost: $29.99 USD (discounts available on longer subscriptions)
Shipping Costs: USPS Priority Rate | Canada – $14.99 | Internationally – $25.99
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 9-15th February, April, June, August, October & December

***Note: this is a bi-monthly box that ships every 2 months. Renewals happen on the 25th of the month prior to shipping. Subscribe by the 10th of the shipping month to receive that month’s box, otherwise if you subscribe after that date, you’ll receive the box for the next cycle***

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Book Boyfriend Box – April 2017: Beauty & The Beast

Book Boyfriend Box is a bi-monthly US book subscription box that provides you with a new YA release plus 2-6 bookish goodies that may include jewelry, make-up, bath products, candles, accessories & apparel and more.

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Book Boyfriend Box
Cost: $29.99 USD (discounts available on longer subscriptions)
Shipping Costs: USPS Priority Rate | Canada – $14.99 | Internationally – $25.99
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 9-15th February, April, June, August, October & December

***Note: this is a bi-monthly box that ships every 2 months. Renewals happen on the 25th of the month prior to shipping. Subscribe by the 10th of the shipping month to receive that month’s box, otherwise if you subscribe after that date, you’ll receive the box for the next cycle***

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LitJoy Crate – YA box review (‘Fire & Ice’)

LitJoy Crate is a book subscription box service that offers 3 options targeting different age groups: the monthly Picture Book box aimed at ages 3-6, the quarterly Middle Grade box aimed at ages 8-13 and the monthly Young Adult box for ages 14 and older. This is a review for the YA box, which includes one new release book and 2-4 themed bookish goodies.

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LitJoy Crate

Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $10.48 within the US or up to $22.70 to other countries
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: 20th of each month

Tracking is provided with the shipping notification – my box was shipped February 23rd and arrived March 1st. Yes, my review is super late, due to real life complications! Boring stuff involving the financial controller being fired at work and myself being promoted to his position, despite having no accounting background or finance experience…working late most nights and coming in to the office on Sundays…ah, good times. But my philosophy is better late than never, so let’s forget about the fact that I’m a little late to the party and embrace the idea I showed up at all!

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