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Review, Young Adult / October 4, 2016
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Date: 09/2016
546 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

“They don’t know who we are. Not really. They don’t know what we’ve done, what we’ve managed together.” Kaz rapped his cane on the ground. “So let’s go show them they picked the wrong damn fight.”

Six of Crows was one of my favorite books of 2015 and I was a little nervous going into Crooked Kingdom. I needn’t have worried about the quality of the story, the plot was fast paced with frequently shifting sources of tension and danger. Kaz and company feel a little less ahead of the game than last time. Fighting for more personal reasons than money, and doing so against adversaries who know they are coming, plenty of ugly surprises are in store. This wasn’t like taking the Ice Court by surprise; coming up against a very-prepared Van Eck and Pekka Rollins, the gang frequently struggled and had to re-plot in their quest for revenge and redemption. I kept turning the pages wondering how Kaz and team would manage to achieve everything this story has been set up for. From beginning to end the plot flows masterfully with only small breathers before the next big disaster hits. read more

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By: Diane
Review, Young Adult / February 19, 2015
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Indigo
Date: September 2013
419 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
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Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Okay, so I have to confess that I was one of those unapologetic, completely obsessed fangirls of Twilight and all things paranormal. However, after a while I was hit with a case of vampire burn out and became disenchanted with the whole paranormal genre (with the exception of The Vampire Diaries TV show!), that was, until I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This book was both terrifying and entertaining, resulting in a thoroughly compulsive read. read more

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By: Sarah
Review, Young Adult / March 24, 2014
Far From You by Tess SharpeFar From You
Author: Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Indigo
Date: March 2014
352 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
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Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?

Far From You is a strong debut from author Tess Sharpe that packs in an incredible emotional punch set within a compelling, of-the-moment thriller.

This is the story of Sophie, broken in oh-so-many ways. She suffered from a near fatal car accident when she was 15. She recovered from extensive surgery, got addicted to pain pills and went through a difficult recovery period with the help of her aunt. After being clean for nine months, she was held at gunpoint when she was 17, the night her best friend Mina was shot. She was framed, blamed and sent to rehab for three months and now that she’s out, her only focus is discovering the truth behind Mina’s murder. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / November 8, 2013
The Falconer by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
Publisher: Gollancz
Date: September 2013
312 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
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Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

If you think you’ve read too many faerie books, well, think again because there’s one book that’s an absolutely must read this year. The Falconer is the freshest, most well-crafted story I’ve read in a while, faeries or not. You will be delighted to enter Lady Aileana Kameron’s gritty, steampunky world. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / October 4, 2013
Haze by Paula WestonHaze
Author: Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim #2
Publisher: Indigo
Date: October 2013
400 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Paranormal
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Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.
But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive.
And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.

Reviewed by: Mary

Paula Weston understands. She knows we don’t want to miss a minute of Gaby and Raffa, so Haze starts almost immediately where Shadows left off. There’s no downtime for the Rephaim.

Which means like Gaby, we’re also thrown headfirst back into the action, and I think I ended up liking Haze much more for it because it didn’t have the getting settled and getting to know you feeling of the beginning of the first book. With Haze, Weston focuses a little more on Gaby’s relationships with the men in her life. She’s accepted she’s a fallen angel, now can she cope with the possibility that her brother Jude is alive? ANd can she deal with whatever happens with Rafa when she also doesn’t know what else happened with Rafa before she lost her memory? read more

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By: Daphne