ARC Review: These Deadly Games by Diana Urban


Title: These Deadly Games

Author: Diana Urban

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: Thriller

Content/Trigger Warnings: Mention of anorexia, abuse, alcoholism, murder, death, kidnapping, child harm

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links: Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads


Goodreads Synopsis

Let’s play a game.

You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.

Are you ready?

When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.

But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did…

As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.

Author of All Your Twisted Secrets, Diana Urban’s explosive sophomore novel, These Deadly Games, will keep you riveted until the final twist is revealed.

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ARC Review: Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

Title: Witchlings

Author: Claribel A. Ortega

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Content/Trigger Warnings: For a list of potential content and trigger warnings, check out this book’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Links:
Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis

A magical adventure for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers and Nevermoor, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers.

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.

And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare!

Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic.

Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail… Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…

With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega’s signature humor and girl-power vibes, this middle grade Latine witch story is truly a modern classic.

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ARC Review: Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko

Title: Redemptor

Author: Jordan Ifueko

Genre: Fantasy

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: For a list of content and trigger warnings, please check out BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::
Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

After the events of Raybearer, Tarisai finds herself trying to solve all of Aritsar’s numerous problems before her trip to literal hell.

Favorite Quote

“Do not confuse guilt with conviction. Guilt is self-centered and leads only to destructive obsession. But conviction brings balance – a sense of purpose beyond oneself.”

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ARC Review: The Project by Courtney Summers

Title: The Project

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Physical abuse, emotional abuse, cults

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Lo Denham’s sister disappeared into The Unity Project when she was a young girl and, years later, Lo takes it upon herself to save her sister from them.

Favorite Quote

“Having a sister, mom says, is a place only the two of them will share, made of secrets they never have to say aloud – but if they did, it would be in a language only the two of them could speak. Having a sister is a promise no one but the two of you can make – and no one but the two of you can break.”

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ARC Review: White Fox by Sara Faring

Title: White Fox

Author: Sara Faring

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Talks of suicide, emotional abuse, alcohol, alcoholism, death

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Ten years after their famous mother mysteriously went missing in the woods outside their island home, Manon and Tai are lured back with the promise of a script that supposedly holds clues to what happened all those years ago.

Favorite Quote

“I guess grief is like that: the banshee patiently waiting in the many-halled house of your mind, so quiet in certain moments, until you turn a corner and see how it takes up rooms and rooms, cracking their floors and windows with its volume, its weight.”

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ARC Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Title: Black Sun

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: To see a list of possible content and trigger warnings for this book, visit its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is approaching and four fates will collide under the dark sky of a total eclipse.

Favorite Quote

“I am the only storm that matters now, and there is no shelter from what I bring.”


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ARC Review: Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Title: Fireborne

Author: Rosaria Munda

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, war, fire, gore

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Annie and Lee are both orphans growing up in a country rebuilding itself after a bloody revolution who are both rising stars in the new regimes dragonriding corps, but must face issues from their past to be able to move forward.

Favorite Quote

“They watch us kneel, they see the back of our heads, and they think we’ve given in. They don’t realize you can think from your knees just as well as from your feet.”

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ARC Review: The Bone Ships by R.J. Barker

Title: The Bone Ships (The Tide Child #1)

Author: R.J. Barker

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: September 24th, 2019

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Child sacrifice (off-page), gore, violence

Rating: ★★★

Book Links: Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

The crew of the Tide Child, a black ship made of dragon bones and manned by convicted criminals, are sent on a dangerous mission to seek out the last known sea dragon to end a centuries-long war.

Favorite Quote

“We fight in the hope that others will not have to, and we fight to keep those we have come to care about safe. We fight even for those who do not deserve it. There is no honour or greatness in what we do, except among fools. I fight, in the end, because I have no other choice” – she held his gaze with hers – “and neither do you. So remember this, if you hear tales of bravery and greatness, they are nearly always told by people who have only watched battle from afar.”


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ARC Review: Fire and Vengeance by Robert McCaw

Title: Fire and Vengeance (Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery #3)

Author: Robert McCaw

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: September 1st, 2020 (though I believe the Kindle version was available May 26th!)

Source: Publisher (Oceanview Publishing)

Content/Trigger warnings: Suicide, gun violence, animal death

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links: Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Chief Detective Koa Kane finds himself embroiled in a fight for justice after a volcanic vent destroys an elementary school, killing multiple children and teachers.

Favorite Quote

This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version

“[Koa] sensed a seething rage bubbling just below the surface underlining the community’s shared loss. People came to honor the dead, but Koa felt a powerful groundswell of outrage rising like a rogue wave directed at the officials who’d let this disaster happen.”


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ARC Review: The Court of Miracles

Title: The Court of Miracles

Author: Kester Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links:

Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads


One Sentence Synopsis:

Nina is the best cat burglar in all of an alternate 1828 Paris who, to save her sisters, considers starting a war within the underworld criminal guilds.

Favorite Quote:

This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version

“Be useful, be smart, and stay one step ahead of everyone. Be brave even when you’re afraid. Remember that everyone is afraid.”

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