Arc Review: Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3) by Joanna Hathaway

Title: Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Publisher: Tor Teen
Rating: 5 Stars

Thank you so much to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

Battles, revolution, and romance collide in Joanna Hathaway’s stunning, World Wars-inspired Southern Sun, Northern Star

Reeling from the tragedy that beset her family, Princess Aurelia has joined the resistance in Havenspur, spying on the Northern leaders who were once her allies and determined to stop her uncle’s machinations for war. Meanwhile, her beloved pilot Athan leads his squadron into battle as the Safire wage a losing war abroad and combat growing unrest back home.

When Athan is sent on leave to Havenspur following the death of a comrade, the pair reunite and rekindle their romance until Aurelia uncovers one of Athan’s secrets, a secret that could save countless lives. But exposing it to the right people will cost her Athan’s trust, and this time, their shared memories of love might not be enough to stop the fateful path of destruction that threatens all they’ve fought to defend.

As history unfolds around them, every move they make drives them one step closer to either recreating their parents’ shadowed past or redeeming the alliance that could bring peace.

The breathtaking finale to a legendary series. Part war drama, part romance, Southern Sun, Northern Star is the epic conclusion to the Glass Alliance series.” (Goodreads)

I am not even sure where to start with this review. I have many thoughts and I went through a whirlwind of feelings but I will do my best to type it out and hopefully it makes sense.

In the beginning, there is a prologue and I wasn’t sure how it fit into it all but it does show us the tragedy of war and that is quite fitting for this entire book.

As with the other books, there are two point-of-views: Athan and Aurelia. There is also a surprise one (besides the prologue) that is found much later in the book. I enjoyed being back in Athan’s and Aurelia’s mind. This time it was much different as war has really changed them both, especially Aurelia.

Aurelia aka Ali has seen and been through a lot through the course of the books. I have felt for her so many times but it was hard at times to like her in this one. She did a lot of things that didn’t fit who she was but it also made sense as war changes everyone. She had good intentions, but sometimes good intentions lead to bad results.

Athan is the same old pilot we know and love. He is out there doing his job and I loved reading about the plane fight scenes even if they were brutal at times. Thinking about it now, I would say that he has grown and in a good way. As with Aurelia, he wanted what was best for his people. He did have good intentions as well and again, some led to bad results. It’s easy to see the similarities between them, but at the same time he knew where his loyalty was. I couldn’t always say the same for Aurelia.

The romance between them wasn’t as big as the other two books but it worked well for the plot as it focuses more on their jobs and being away from each other. Aurelia doesn’t always make it easy on Athan to love her but he still sticks by her no matter what. I will say that he is very dedicated because I definitely wouldn’t have been so understanding in a few of the situations. I still can’t deny their love though. It’s one of my favorites.

With war comes violence and tragic losses. I’m trying not to cry just writing this out, ha. I was worried who would head to the grave and I definitely felt the losses. I cried for one and it wasn’t even for the one I was most upset about! This is a very brutal book and it will tug at your heartstrings.

When it came to the pacing, there was a few slow moments but it wasn’t hard to continue on because I needed to know what would happen next.

The ending was not what I expected and had me in tears. Don’t worry it was for a good reason!

Overall, I loved this book! It’s hard to put into words what I feel for it. As the finale for a trilogy, it’s hard to say goodbye to the characters and the journey they have taken to get here. I have loved each book dearly. I know these books will remain on my shelf for many, many years and I also know I will revisit them one day down the road.

Audiobook Review: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Title: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction / Zombies
Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 2 stars





New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard adds a “never before in print” e-novella and a gorgeous new cover to the first book in the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series.

Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt’s brother is missing. After discovering the Dead are rising and wreaking havoc in Philadelphia, she knows that her brother is involved.

So Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit-Hunters. This motley crew, hired to protect the city from supernatural forces, is after the necromancer who has been reanimating corpses. Their skills can save her brother. Yet as Eleanor spends time with the Spirit-Hunters and their handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. Now not only is her reputation at risk, but her very life hangs in the balance.

In Something Strange and Deadly, Susan Dennard weaves together beautifully imagined scenes of action, adventure, and vivid Victorian life to create an entertaining steampunk tapestry of humor, horror, and romance. Readers will be intrigued from the start.” (Goodreads)

After enjoying The Witchland series by this author, I decided to check out this one.

This wouldn’t be my usual read as anything that mentions zombies is a no-go for me. I am traumatized by them from my childhood and will have nightmares about them every few months. It’s not a fun life to live, haha. I also am not a huge fan of historical fiction but every once and while something like this piques my interest because it isn’t strictly historical fiction.

The sad thing is that I didn’t like this book. I found it to be okay and just left me feeling lackluster. I finished it only hoping something amazing would happen but it never did and plot twists felt predictable. 🤷‍♀️ I also never connected with Eleanor and kind of felt like the characters were very flat.

There was some romance thrown in, if you can call it that. I knew from the beginning it would be him but they didn’t interact a lot and if they did they would never see eye-to-eye. He would do a few nice things but it just never made me feel anything.

When it came to the undead and talk of the necromancer, I really wish there was more to it. Everyone just seemed so chill that where they lived was being overran by the undead. They had an alarm bell but still went on with their daily lives and even through parties. If that was happening today, you wouldn’t see me until the mystery was solved. I’ll have someone who doesn’t care do all my shopping for me. I also expected the zombies to be more menacing and actually doing what zombies do but they were very mild. I mean, as someone who doesn’t like zombies that’s fine but also if I am going to read something with my worst fear then make me scared to sleep! (I know I have problems. 😂)

Overall, it was okay but nothing stood out to me. It’s one of those books I will forget about it and I won’t be continuing on as I have no interest in doing so.

Book Review: The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2) and The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3) by Elizabeth May

Title: The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2)
Author: Elizabeth May
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction/ Fae
Publication Date: November 19th, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Everything she loved is gone.

Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…” (Goodreads)

I don’t know why but I didn’t like this one as much as the first. It is still good but I feel like it was a bit slower to start and the characters just didn’t grasp me as much. This may have to do with Kirian and Aileana already professing their feelings in a way so that their banter is lacking.

Their romance still isn’t a favorite of mine as I feel like it lacked the development it needed. It’s just kind of generic.

There are great plot twists though and I really wasn’t expecting any of them. I am quite curious about Sorcha and feel like she has been given development but also not enough because she is playing the field when it comes to her loyalty. I also have many questions about the ending and hopefully I will get more answers in the last book.

Title: The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3)
Author: Elizabeth May
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction/ Fae
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books

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She’s on borrowed time…and she has only one chance to set things right.

Find life.

Deep in a forest, Aileana Kameron claws her way out of the earth. Back from the dead with no memory of who she is or what has happened to her, the Falconer now possesses even greater otherworldly powers and a ruthless instinct to kill—and the one piece of knowledge that can change everything.

Find Kiaran.

Two fae monarchs, Aithinne and Kadamach, stand on the brink of war, and according to an ancient curse, one must die at the hand of the other or all the worlds will perish. Once, Kadamach was known as Kiaran, and he was mentor, protector, and lover to Aileana. Now, under the grip of the curse, his better nature seems lost forever.

Find the book.

Aileana’s only hope lies in the legendary Book of Remembrance, a book of spells so powerful that it can break the fae curse and even turn back time. But the book has been lost for centuries, and many are looking for it, including its creator, the Morrigan—a faery of terrifying malevolence and cruelty.

Sacrifice everything.

To obtain the book and defeat the Morrigan, Aileana must form an unthinkable alliance, one that challenges every vow she has made to herself—even as the powers that brought her to life are slowly but surely killing her.” (Goodreads)

I have finally finished this trilogy!

After starting and finishing the first book a couple years ago, I knew I needed to finish it up sooner or later. I’m glad to get another book off my unfinished series list!

This book was different than the rest as it focuses more on saving the realm that has been broken. It is left up to Aileana and she does have her work cut out for her!

The romance is still not a favorite of mine but I do like them together. You can tell that he really cares for her and she helps keep him in line.

I also enjoyed seeing his sister come back because she is so odd but a really fun character.

The ending wasn’t what I had expected but it did surprised and I am always here for that.

Overall, this trilogy was a good one about Fae and it was unique too! I’d definitely recommend if you like fae.

Audiobook Review: The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer

Title: The Inventor’s Secret
Author: Andrea Cremer
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Steampunk / Sci-Fi
Publication Date: July 14th, 2014
Publisher: Speak

A new steampunk series from Andrea Cremer, the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade novels

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners, Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan and Phillip Reeve’s Mortal Engines.

In this world, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape  or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.” (Goodreads)

I was curious about this ever since I read a different book by this author. The blurb also gets me because I did love the Mortal Engines series and although I don’t read steampunk books very often, sometimes you just need to pick up a different subgenre than usual.

I’ve been busy with other ebooks and physical books to read this one in that format but luckily my library has this trilogy on audiobook. I actually started it in the morning and by the afternoon I had finished already. It was actually really quick even if I was listening to it at a x2 speed. Even though I did get through this fast, I did have some issues but not enough to make me dislike.

The book starts off with not much of an introduction for anything and as the story progresses we learn more and more about the rebellion and the children/teens that are a part of it while their parents are out on the frontlines.

Charlotte is a daughter to rebellions and lives in a cave away from the Imperial. She also has a brother there with her who does a lot of inventing. I’m always fascinated with the different inventions authors can think of while being different from other books from the same genre. There is a few interactions between them but there wasn’t enough to really feel the sibling bond. I think this was the case for many of the characters though. Charlotte is very stubborn and she does want what is best for this around her. I did like seeing how she dealt with her certain circumstances.

There are a lot of other characters but I just didn’t feel a connection with any of them. I think it’s because there isn’t much development but at least the plot is good enough for me.

It does start off slow as things are explained but the action and plot twists do ramp up during the last half. I really liked the plot point that involves a boy who is found and doesn’t remember anything. The plot twists for him are pretty intense and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

There is a bit of romance but it is very small. I do like Charlotte’s love interest but it did feel a bit instant-love even if they have known each other for a few years. It’s hard to believe it when it’s off the pages. If you aren’t a fan of love triangles then I would skip this book.

Overall, I liked this one but it also lacked in a lot of areas. The plot kept me intrigued and I will continue on to book two and hopefully I will get more development for the characters.

Edit: I did end up dnfing the second book as it was just very slow and nothing seemed to be developing.

E-Arc Review: Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

Title: Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1)
Author: Tirzah Price
Genre: YA Historican Fiction / Mystery / Retellings
Publication Date: April 6th, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!




“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman who desires a law career must be in want of a case. So when seventeen-year-old Lizzie Bennet hears about a scandalous society murder, she sees an opportunity to prove herself as a solicitor by solving the case and ensuring justice is served.

Except the man accused of the crime already has a lawyer on his side: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious Pemberley Associates law firm. Lizzie is determined to solve the murder before Darcy can so that she can show the world that a woman can be just as good as a man. (The fact that Darcy is an infuriating snob doesn’t help.) But there’s still a killer on the loose, and as the case gets more complicated, Lizzie and Darcy may have to start working together to avoid becoming the next victims themselves.” (Goodreads)

When it comes to retellings, they can be a hit or miss. I wanted to try this one out because I love the cover, it’s P & P, and who doesn’t love a good mystery? Sadly, this one just missed the mark for me.

When it comes to the retelling aspect, it is very loose. The characters do tend to be a bit, or more depending on the character, different than their counterparts and I could name a couple but don’t want to include spoilers. Some characters, Lizzie’s sisters, are just background characters and don’t have much going for them like they did in the original. I will give credit to the author for thinking outside of the box though.

The romance just wasn’t there for me. There were only a few times up to 70% through that Darcy and Lizzie had anything to do with each other. 30% just isn’t enough time to make me believe in them being together. As someone who has read the original, this one was just lackluster.

As for the murder mystery, it also was a bit of a letdown. It’s more of a light mystery and I wouldn’t say anything ever thrilled me about it. It does take up a lot of the plot which is probably why the romance lacked. I also didn’t get certain parts of it but maybe that’s just me.

Overall, it was okay but just not for me. I can see this doing well for those who haven’t read the original or have and can see past it. It’s just hard for me to separate the two.

Arc Review: Muse by Brittany Cavallaro

Title: Muse (Muse #1)
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Fantasy
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2021
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an earc to review! All opinions are my own.




“The year is 1893, and war is brewing in the First American Kingdom. But Claire Emerson has a bigger problem. While her father prepares to reveal the mighty weapon he’s created to showcase the might of their province, St. Cloud, in the World’s Fair, Claire is crafting a plan to escape.

Claire’s father is a sought-after inventor, but he believes his genius is a gift, granted to him by his daughter’s touch. He’s kept Claire under his control for years. As St. Cloud prepares for war, Claire plans to claim her life for herself, even as her best friend, Beatrix, tries to convince her to stay and help with the growing resistance movement that wants to see a woman on the throne. At any cost.

When her father’s weapon fails to fire on the fair’s opening day, Claire is taken captive by Governor Remy Duchamp, St. Cloud’s young, untried ruler. Remy believes that Claire’s touch bestows graces he’s never had, and with his governing power weakening and many political rivals planning his demise, Claire might be his only and best ally. But the last thing that Claire has ever wanted is to be someone else’s muse. Still, affections can change as quickly as the winds of war. And Claire has a choice to make: Will she quietly remake her world from the shadows—or bring it down in flames?” (Goodreads)

This was my first time reading a book by this author even though I have seen her other works floating around. I have them on my tbr but since it is a mile long I just haven’t had a chance, haha.

I will say that I do enjoy enjoy her writing and am now more likely to pick them up sooner even if this book missed the mark for me. It’s one of those “it’s me, not you.” because this is more historical fiction (even though it has its twists!) and the fantasy aspect is very minimal.

Historical Fiction and I have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I can get swept away in it and other times I can’t. It’s usually never the author’s fault but it’s just my personal taste in general as was the case for this one.

Much like the book American Royals, this book is written with a new perspective on the historical events of the making of the United States. It’s cool to see what authors come up with when it comes to changes.

The characters weren’t ones that I ever connected with but I did like the relationship between Claire and Beatrix.

When it came to the plot, there were a lot of different sub plots: politics, inventions, and even the abuse Claire has suffered. At times I felt it was a bit too much because it left a lot of unanswered questions. I think my favorite sub plot was the inventions and it was awesome that both Claire and Beatrix took an interest in them. I would have liked it to be expanded on though. There is also some talk about Claire’s gift but it comes and go and we really don’t learn too much about it.

There is romance but it was a bit of a downer. I never felt the chemistry between them and just didn’t see it going in that way.

Overall, it was okay but it just wasn’t for me. I do think if you like Historical Fiction with strong female characters, you should check this one out.

Audiobook Review: Return of the Thief (The Queen’s Thief #6) by Megan Whalen Turner

Title: Return of the Thief (The Queen’s Thief #6)
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 6th, 2020
Publisher: Greenwillow Books




“The thrilling, twenty-years-in-the-making, conclusion to the New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief series, by Megan Whalen Turner. This beloved and award-winning series began with the acclaimed novel The Thief. It and four more stand-alone volumes bring to life a world of epics, myths, and legends, and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Now more powerful and cunning than ever before, Eugenides must navigate a perilous future in this sweeping conclusion. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and Sarah J. Maas.

Neither accepted nor beloved, Eugenides is the uneasy linchpin of a truce on the Lesser Peninsula, where he has risen to be high king of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis. As the treacherous Baron Erondites schemes anew and a prophecy appears to foretell the death of the king, the ruthless Mede empire prepares to strike. The New York Times–bestselling Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations, divine intervention, dangerous journeys, battles lost and won, power, passion, and deception.” (Goodreads)

I read this series throughout this year and luckily the last book wasn’t far behind. Although I had mixed feelings about some of the books, I did enjoy listening the audiobook for this one and loved learning more about Eugenides the thief.

I was scared to read this one because I didn’t know if I would like it or even what the plot would be about. This book wasn’t what I expected but in a good way. The point-of-view comes from Pheris an older boy who is speechless and disabled. He is also the older grandson of a Baron who’s children had been a different book in this series. It was interesting to see it all play out.

I really liked Pheris as a character. He reminded me of the king in a lot of ways and made mistakes. He wasn’t perfect but he realized that and came to realize who truly cared about him.

Overall, I enjoyed it and I am happy to have another series crossed off my list!

Audiobook Review: An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley

40046019._SY475_Title: An Affair of Poisons
Author: Addie Thorley
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Fantasy
Publication Date: February 26th, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids

synopsis header
No one looks kindly on the killer of a king.

After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.

Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half of the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant dauphin. Forced to hide in the sewers beneath the city, Josse’s hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible―until his path collides with Mirabelle’s.

She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. They are sworn enemies, yet they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?” (Goodreads)

reviewheader

I’ve had this one on my tbr for awhile and finally got around to listening to it from the library!

I do enjoy this author’s writing but for me this book read too much as historical fiction and not enough fantasy for my taste. This is obviously no fault to the author and more on me as the reader. I think everything was written nicely and the historical aspects fit well into the plot. I do wish we would have been given more information about the powers some possessed and of the smoke beasts.

The book does have two point-of-views: Mirabelle and Josse. Each one comes from a different background and are on opposite sides at the beginning. They both are good characters and try to work past their flaws. I liked that Mirabelle was an alchemist since its one of my favorite occupations to read about.

Since this is a standalone, things move rather quickly. This especially goes for the romance. Although that wasn’t my favorite aspect of the book, at least it wasn’t instant love.

Overall, this was a good book. If you are a fan of historical fictions, I’d recommend this one.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

E-Arc Review: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Title: These Violent Delights
Author: Chloe Gong
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publication Date: November 17th, 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-copy to review! All opinions are my own.





“The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.” (Goodreads)

There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book. Who doesn’t want to experience the 1920’s in a different location than New York. I’m also always ready for a retelling of any Shakespeare play. Although there are definitely positives about this book, I still though I would have liked it a bit more than I did.

The prologue is our first look at the crazy, mysterious things that are to come. This isn’t your average Rome & Juliet retelling, let me tell you! The author does a great job of creating a world and making the retelling unique and her own. The names of some characters are still relatively the same as the original so it is easy to figure out who is who if you have read the original which I liked.

The book also has multiple point-of-views which is always a plus for me. I like to be able to get different perspectives and since this has two different gangs, it helps to fill in gaps.

The characters are diverse but some felt a bit flat in areas. I did like them overall though.

The plot is filled with gangs, communists, and a crazy monster lurking from the river. At times the book is quite violent (hence the name I guess, haha.) I did like how mysterious the plot was but this is where I kind of lost interest. There isn’t ever much to go off of until the end and by then you think everything is done and over with but guess again. I am not sure where book two will go when it comes to the monster but I can partly see where the romance will go. It is Romeo & Juliet after all. Maybe I’ll be wrong with my suspicions.

Overall, it was good but it just didn’t wow me.

E-Arc Review: Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell

Title: Magic Dark and Strange
Author: Kelly Powell
Genre: YA Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 27th, 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-copy to review! All opinions are my own.





“Catherine Daly has an unusual talent. By day she works for a printer. But by night, she awakens the dead for a few precious moments with loved ones seeking a final goodbye. But this magic comes with a price: for every hour that a ghost is brought back, Catherine loses an hour from her own life.

When Catherine is given the unusual task of collecting a timepiece from an old grave, she is sure that the mysterious item must contain some kind of enchantment. So she enlists Guy Nolan, the watchmaker’s son, to help her dig it up. But instead of a timepiece, they find a surprise: the body of a teenage boy. And as they watch, he comes back to life—not as the pale imitation that Catherine can conjure, but as a living, breathing boy. A boy with no memory of his past.

This magic is more powerful than any Catherine has ever encountered, and revealing it brings dangerous enemies. Catherine and Guy must race to unravel the connection between the missing timepiece and the undead boy. For this mysterious magic could mean the difference between life and death—for all of them.” (Goodreads)

Can I just say that this is one of my favorite covers from this year? It’s just so pleasing to the eye!

I actually didn’t realize before requesting this that I had read another book by this author last year. I put two and two together after looking on Goodreads. Her first book was okay but this one was much better in my opinion. There are still certain things I had trouble with but the plot kept me intrigued.

Catherine has a gift and it deals with awakening the dead for those who wish to get a proper goodbye etc. I love how the book opens with a scene for this and it reels you in. She is definitely very brave because she doesn’t let anything get in her way of finding the truth, even if it may involve a murderer. I wouldn’t be as calm as her, haha.

There are two other main characters, Guy and Owen. I did like both and really felt for Owen. He has an interesting backstory that is given to us piece by piece.

Although I didn’t mind the characters, I didn’t ever really connect to them. This could be because of the shortness of the book and so there is little time to develop feelings for them.

The magic system in this book is very vague. We do learn a bit about her gift and another type of gift but I’m still left wondering why/how they possess them. I think that it could have been expanded on. I did like what I did get to read about it though.

The plot was what kept me hooked because everything was quite mysterious. Even if it wasn’t for that, I would have not liked this book as much. As for the plot twists, some were easy to spot out while others were not. I think it was a good balance between the two. The ending felt a bit to easy for my taste.

Overall, I liked it. I do wish that this book was a bit longer so the magic system could have been expanded and that maybe I would have been able to connect with the characters better. Either way, I think that many will like this book especially for the October season.