Tuesday, April 20, 2021

WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD
Ciannon Smart
Publication: April 20, 2021
Publisher: HarperCollins CA,
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★


Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain - except the lengths they will go to win this game.




Drenched in politics, social injustices, and ancestral magic, WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD is a broad and complex narrative. This Jamaican-inspired fantasy is told in turns between two main characters. Jazmyne Cariot is an Alumbrar witch and successor to Doyenne Judair Cariot of the island Aiyca. Driven by her desire to bring back justice to her people, Jazmyne is one of the key minds leading a rebellion to overthrow her mother. Iraya Adair is an Obeah witch, rightful heir to the Aiycan throne, fueled by her newly awakened naevus and desire to avenge her family. Reluctantly, these two witches dared the Shook Bargain to eradicate their shared enemy.

Ciannon Smart created a world where magical power is a birthright, while deception and betrayal are must-learn skills. The large volume of details slowed the pace down, allowing the reader to absorb the intents and atmosphere of the storytelling. The distortion of good and evil towards the end of the narrative stretches the notion that good intentions can very well be poison. And while the plot is focused on the characters’ development and magical system, both fully realized and vivid, Smart’s intention to enlighten readers on Jamaican culture and feminism is not lost.

WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD is a promising opening for an intense fantasy series. This is recommended for readers who enjoy rich world-building and unpredictable characters.


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About the Author:


Of Jamaican heritage, Ciannon Smart grew up in a small town in the south-east of England. As the only daughter in a house full of boisterous sons, she developed a voracious appetite for reading from an early age, preferring anarchy in stories rather than real life. In YA she loves her heroines exactly as she loves her villains: wilful, wily, and unpredictable. When not writing, Ciannon can be found reading, painting, or taking the long way home to listen to a good song more than once.




*Thanks to HarperCollins for the galley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Book Review | WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD by Ciannon Smart

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

SPARK AND THE GRAND SLEUTH
Robert Repino
Publication: March 23, 2021
Publisher: Quirk Books,
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

An army of toys, a menacing threat, and a thrilling adventure collide in the high-stakes sequel to Spark and the League of Ursus.

Spark may be a cute and cuddly teddy bear, but she’s also a fierce protector. Weeks after rescuing her human owner—a budding young filmmaker named Loretta—from a hideous monster, everything seems to be returning to normal. But then Spark is summoned before the mysterious Grand Sleuth, the high council of teddy bears, who task her with a dangerous mission: locating the portal to the monster’s world.

During her daring quest, Spark discovers a terrible secret that changes everything. In order to keep Loretta and their whole town safe, she must enlist the help of her loyal toy friends and team up with an unexpected ally. As the menace grows, Spark realizes that Loretta has a hidden power that may be the key to saving them all . . .




Spark and the League of Ursus had a bittersweet ending. Before the dust can completely settle though, Spark is bidden to appear before the Grand Sleuth, the same high council of teddy bears who never came to aid Spark and her Juro during their encounter with Jakmal. Being summoned, though, means the danger is still lurking. Spark knows the fight isn’t over yet.

Tasked with locating the last portal to the monsters’ world, Spark struck an unlikely friendship with someone who holds the secrets to a catastrophic evil that is about to descend on their town and endanger the very person she loved dearly –Loretta.

I love the themes in this series –the familial relationship and friendship that it inspires. I love how kids get to be kids and grow. I also love Spark’s wise leadership –no bravado. Instead, she is humble in acknowledging everyone else’s ability and conscious of their discomforts, while being encouraging in every moment possible.

Action-packed and suspenseful, SPARK AND THE GRAND SLEUTH is a story of compassion, forgiveness, loyalty, and friendship. This middle-grade fantasy is perfect for anyone who held a cuddly teddy bear and understands that they are loved.

Download the Book Activity Guide here.


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About the Author:


Robert Repino is the author of the War with No Name series for adults and The League of Ursus duology for children. He lives in New York, where he works as an editor at a scholarly press and teaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Robert had two special teddy bears when he was growing up: Bear and Blue Bear.






*Thanks to Quirk Books for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Book Review | SPARK AND THE GRAND SLEUTH by Robert Repino

Monday, March 29, 2021

THE MEMORY COLLECTORS by Kim Neville
Publication: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Atria Books,
Simon & Schuster CA
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

Ev has a mysterious ability, one that she feels is more a curse than a gift. She can feel the emotions people leave behind on objects and believes that most of them need to be handled extremely carefully, and—if at all possible—destroyed. The harmless ones she sells at Vancouver’s Chinatown Night Market to scrape together a living, but even that fills her with trepidation. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Harriet hoards thousands of these treasures and is starting to make her neighbors sick as the overabundance of heightened emotions start seeping through her apartment walls.

When the two women meet, Harriet knows that Ev is the only person who can help her make something truly spectacular of her collection. A museum of memory that not only feels warm and inviting but can heal the emotional wounds many people unknowingly carry around. They only know of one other person like them, and they fear the dark effects these objects had on him. Together, they help each other to develop and control their gift, so that what happened to him never happens again. But unbeknownst to them, the same darkness is wrapping itself around another, dragging them down a path that already destroyed Ev’s family once, and threatens to annihilate what little she has left.

The Memory Collectors casts the everyday in a new light, speaking volumes to the hold that our past has over us—contained, at times, in seemingly innocuous objects—and uncovering a truth that both women have tried hard to bury with their pasts: not all magpies collect shiny things—sometimes they gather darkness.


Even as a child, Ev can already sense the emotions people imprinted on inanimate objects –good or bad. Growing up, she tried very hard not to annex these emotions despite trying to make a living out of them. And while Ev calls these objects “stains”, Harriet calls them “brilliant”. Harriet has been hoarding her brilliant things for many years and has a dream of building a museum of these wonders to help people heal emotionally and brighten their lives. To accomplish this, she needs Ev’s help and more.

THE MEMORY COLLECTORS is a delightful atmospheric debut with a unique concept and dark secrets that will instantly hook readers. The story builds slowly, while the characters’ past interlaces with the present, turning the suspense nicely. Ev and Harriet are both unusual characters -both troubled with the rarest of gifts and the most overwhelming history. They both had difficulty trusting others and building relationships, too. Still, it’s amazing how these people, who perceive things differently, are willing to sacrifice and help others.

This book is highly recommended for readers who love stories of strangers becoming a family with a touch of magical realism and thrilling mystery. The unabridged audio is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller.


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About the Author:

Kim Neville is an author and graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, where she found the first shiny piece of inspiration that became The Memory Collectors. When she’s not writing she can be found heron-spotting on the seawall or practicing yoga in order to keep calm. She lives near the ocean in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband, daughter, and two cats. The Memory Collectors is her first novel. Photo by Jeremy Lim.






*Thanks to Atria Books, Simon & Schuster CA, and Netgalley for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


Book Review | THE MEMORY COLLECTORS by Kim Neville

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

GOOD EGGS Rebecca Hardiman
Publication: March 9, 2021
Publisher: Atria,
Simon & Schuster CA
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★
A hilarious and heartfelt debut novel following three generations of a boisterous Irish family whose simmering tensions boil over when an American home aide enters the picture, becoming the calamitous force that will either undo or remake this family—perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Evvie Drake Starts Over.

When Kevin Gogarty’s irrepressible eighty-three-year-old mother, Millie, is caught shoplifting yet again, he has no choice but to hire a caretaker to keep an eye on her. Kevin, recently unemployed, is already at his wits’ end tending to a full house while his wife travels to exotic locales for work, leaving him solo with his sulky, misbehaved teenaged daughter, Aideen, whose troubles escalate when she befriends the campus rebel at her new boarding school.

Into the Gogarty fray steps Sylvia, Millie’s upbeat American home aide, who appears at first to be their saving grace—until she catapults the Gogarty clan into their greatest crisis yet.

With charm, humor, and pathos to spare, Good Eggs is a delightful study in self-determination; the notion that it’s never too late to start living; and the unique redemption that family, despite its maddening flaws, can offer. -Publisher



In Rebecca Hardiman’s debut novel, readers will meet the three generations of the Gogarty family from Dublin, Ireland. You’ve met them before. We’ve been them at some point. This funny and endearing story is something all families can relate to.

The book opened while Millie, the octogenarian in the Gogarty family, is shoplifting from a local store. She’s a total riot and widowed mother to Kevin. She can also be a pain in the arse if she wants to. Millie desperately wants to keep her independence amidst growing concerns regarding her safety. I love her free spirit, bravery, and kind nature.

Meanwhile, one of Kevin’s daughters is a confessed Clean-Cut fanatic and introvert. Aideen barely makes friends, extremely sensitive, and a rebel in the making, but she’s got a good head and her heart is in the right place. Kevin went through all the hoops to get Aideen accepted at Millburn, an all-girl boarding school.

Kevin, on the other hand, is the supposed parent. Currently unemployed with low self-esteem, and on the low end of digital publishing, he is doing his best to play houseband, while his wife often travels for her work. He has everyone’s best interest at heart, but a very bad judge of character.

Hardiman put together an inspiring plot explored with humor and vibrant Irish culture. Each character’s inner selves are fleshed out engagingly, definitely flawed, but a basket of GOOD EGGS just the same. It’s lovely following the Gogarty family’s misadventures, and how everyone gets a chance to redeem their selves and be closer together in the process.


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About the Author:


Rebecca Hardiman is a former magazine editor who lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children. Good Eggs is her first novel. Photograph by Ron Holtz Studio.








Thanks to Atria and Simon & Schuster CA for the printed galley in exchange for this unbiased review.
This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Book Review | GOOD EGGS by Rebecca Hardiman

Monday, February 22, 2021

     
MILK FED by Melissa Broder
Publication: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Scribner,
Simon & Schuster CA
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★

A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today.

Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, by way of obsessive food rituals, while working as an underling at a Los Angeles talent management agency. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine. Rachel is content to carry on subsisting—until her therapist encourages her to take a ninety-day communication detox from her mother, who raised her in the tradition of calorie counting.

Early in the detox, Rachel meets Miriam, a zaftig young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop and is intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam—by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family—and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.

Pairing superlative emotional insight with unabashed vivid fantasy, Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we as humans can compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is a tender and riotously funny meditation on love, certitude, and the question of what we are all being fed, from one of our major writers on the psyche—both sacred and profane.



Broder may take some getting used to, especially by people with sensitive palates. I was lucky enough to borrow an audio version from Libby to accompany me during my reading. Narrated by Broder herself, I get to experience how this book should be read and felt firsthand. The story is witty, fragile, and weirdly engaging, all at the same time. MILK FED is told by Rachel, a 24-year-old talent agent and stand-up comedian with an eating disorder. Her problems stemmed from her mother’s aesthetic expectations. Rachel talks about (almost) everything in a vividly tactile manner -yogurt, energy bar, and her sexual imaginings. And she went to some excesses handing out her issues in prickly means, too.

Emotionally damaged, Rachel carried up sensitive issues that, often than not, were badly addressed. She temporarily detoxed herself from her mother, as her therapist advised, but refused to confront her other problems. Her spiral was alarming. And then, she met the yogurt goddess named Miriam.

Miriam is everything un-Rachel. She is bossy, confident, religious, family-oriented, and (most of all) a foodie. Although everything is told from Rachel's perspective, it is both cute and painful to see them together. While Rachel projects Miriam as a motherly figure, she also objectified her in her sexual fantasies, which is one of those issues that were nippily wrapped up. Her problem, though, has nothing to do with her sexual preferences or orientation. She is struggling to pour from an empty cup. Rachel needs to be comfortable in her own skin.

MILK FED is unapologetically raw, a sensory overload, where words are lavishly applied. I do recommend it to anyone else who gravitates toward the damaged and weird.


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About the Author:

Melissa Broder is the author of the novel The Pisces, the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections, including Last Sext. She has written for The New York Times, Elle.com, VICE, Vogue Italia, and New York magazine’s “The Cut.” Her poems have appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, and Guernica, and she is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry. She lives in Los Angeles. Photograph by Petra Collins.




*Thanks to Scribner, Simon & Schuster Canada for the physical ARC in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.

Book Review | MILK FED by Melissa Broder

Monday, February 8, 2021

   
THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPERANCE OF AIDAN S.
by David Levithan
Publication: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
Rating: ★★★★


Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches, and police, and questions, and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it's the story Aidan is sticking to.

His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away.

When the kids in school hear Aidan's story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan's side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?



I look forward to reading Middle-Grade books the same way I anticipate an actively participated lecture. Learning from the students -bringing out their expectations and takeaways- is a constant gratification. This book is not different from that.

Aidan went missing for six days. The whole town went looking for him. They scoured the woods, asked people, and even the police were baffled. Until one day, his brother Lucas found him in the attic, wearing the same pajamas.

At the onset, this book may seem about Aidan and his Narnia-like adventure –the place, the people, and the creatures. Looking deeply, this is about a family moving on from a tragedy. As a mother myself, I understand his parent’s fear. The possibility of losing a child is a nightmare no parent would choose to go through. And more often than not, fear leads to anger and impatience. (Thanks, Yoda.) Similar to any post-tragic events, support is vital. I respect how flawed and honest Aidan’s parents are. And I admire their humility to seek help from others and see the importance of working as a team. I appreciate Aunt Brandi and Officer Pinkus for letting Aidan be true to himself. Above all, I love Lucas’ composure in all these, his understanding that Aidan needed a sympathetic listener more than anything.

This book is also about community and our level of tolerance for one another. Moreover, this is about feigned benevolence -on how we can hold a prayer vigil for a lost boy today and then viciously demand the truth the next day.

It was a bittersweet ending, but overall, I believe the takeaway is more than an engaging read. It was enlightening.


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About the Author:

David Levithan is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.







*Thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers​ and Netgalley for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.



Book Review | THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPERANCE OF AIDAN S. by David Levithan

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Welcome to my stop for the BAD HABITS Blog Tour, hosted by @TheWriteReads. I am very thankful and excited to be part of this.

     
BAD HABITS by Flynn Meaney
Publication: February 11, 2021
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: ★★★★


Alex is a rebel with a purple fauxhawk and biker boots.

St Mary's Catholic School is a strict boarding school where she's currently trapped.

Despite trying everything she can to get expelled, she's still stuck with the nuns, the prudish attitude and the sexism.

Fed up with life inside the hallowed halls of St. Mary's, Alex decides to take matters into her own hands. She's going to stage the school's first ever production of The Vagina Monologues.

Which may be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary's can even bear to say the word 'vagina' out loud...


BAD HABITS is laugh-out-loud funny. Flynn Meaney’s supply of metaphors is impressive. And the Catholic school environment brought up some very familiar scenes from my grade school days.

Alex Heck’s semester goal is (...ummm) not to finish the semester. In her junior year, she wants nothing but to get expelled and go home to California. She tried her best –alcoholic and sexual escapades, vandalism, etc. Her words, not mine. She’s not a catholic boarding school material, but St. Mary’s is not ready to give up on her. Determined to have her way, though, the girl decides to stage her very own production of Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues.

The school is not going to make anything easier for Alex. She needs to battle the administration in every turn and breakdown a culture of prude-ness. Kate, her French-braided, Laura Ingalls Wilder-look-alike best friend, can’t even say vagina out loud. The mention of Tampons sets Hockey boys sniggering. While Alex grudgingly made alliances and compromises, she still has more to bone up.

Alex is smart, with quick bad-ass comebacks every time. Her literary references are remarkable. Somehow, her protests are viewed as mere misbehavior because Alex is also impulsive, unruly, and foul-mouthed. For someone who is screaming for change and equality, Alex has her own biases. And so, I enjoyed how her friends (basically, everyone around) keeps her grounded. These second characters are marvelous around her. Despite all her flaws, Alex cares for people and self-reflects when needed.

A fun and inspiring read, asking readers to look deeply inside and break barriers. I recommend.


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About the Author:
Flynn Meaney is the author of The Boy Recession and Bloodthirsty. She studied marketing and French at the University of Notre Dame, where she barely survived the terrifying array of priests and nuns, campus ghosts, and bone-crushing athletes who inspired Bad Habits. Since completing a very practical MFA in Poetry, she works for a French company and travels often between New York (when she's in the mood for bagels) and Paris (when she's in the mood for croissants).






*Thanks to Penguin and The Write Reads Tour for the egalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.



Blog Tour | BAD HABITS by Flynn Meaney

Monday, January 11, 2021

A long time ago, my maternal grandfather used to talk about the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. In so many words, he had described it as horrible three years. He was a newly-graduate Agricultural engineer then. And being educated, the Japanese officers forced him to teach school instead, where he eventually met my aboriginal grandmother. So, good things sometimes emerge from horrible times. While most people want to count off those three years of suffering, my grandfather cannot and will not because of love.

Why share this story? Well, we all experienced the Year 2020. Horrible things happened, and although we wanted to count them off, we can’t. Our frontline heroes deserve to be remembered and honored. We continue to thank those who provide us with relief from depression and worries each day. For me, it’s Twitter, friends, and family, and books. A colleague, who lives alone, brings in coffee for us on days we have to come for work. He said that still seeing us face to face allows him to hope despite the mask and the 6-feet gap. And I have to say that we’ve now perfected smiling with our eyes. Also, I was relieved that my students like my playlist during tests. Thanks, Tones and I, for Dance Monkey!


Don’t get me wrong, my fears are still here, but I have hope as my shield. For 2021, I have resolved to soldier on despite the odds. Overcome. Yes, I believe it is a fitting word for me this year. And that’s what I hope for everyone as well.

By the way, The Page Walker turned eight (8) this year, another reason to be thankful. And I am grateful for my readers, for the publishers, publicists, and authors who collaborated with me all these times. Godspeed!


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MY WORD FOR THE YEAR 2021

Saturday, January 2, 2021


Hi! By now, everyone must have jotted down their anticipated books for the year 2021. I am excited to share mine too, but I need to share my favorite reads from 2020 before all else.

My Best List is shorter this time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I disliked the rest. In fact, I gave sixteen 5-star ratings for 2020.

WHEN WE WERE VIKINGS by Andrew David MacDonald - This book managed to squeeze in huge topics –alcoholism, poverty, healthcare, abuse, and equal opportunity for everyone. MacDonald employed a witty and affecting narrative that engages the reader straightforwardly. He emphasizes the essentials for security, as well as human growth and development.

ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman - This book fleshes out people’s inner turmoil. Backman carries us into a narrative that allows us to see human vulnerability, including ours. And cleverly sways us to look at the dreariest of circumstances in a different light and challenges us to flex kindness all the time.

BLACK SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse - This book is the first in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy. Every detail of this book reveals in-depth research and rumination –the worldbuilding, the plot, and the ensemble of characters. Rebecca Roanhorse wrote a powerful starter.

MISS BENSON'S BEETLE by Rachel Joyce - How can a search for a beetle also be a discovery of one’s self? Of determination? Of friendship? This book has incredibly managed to provide me with the answers. Rachel Joyce can unfold life in small details -her stories are funny, poignant, and hopeful. And I would recommend her anytime.

If you have read these books, please share your thoughts. And if you have not picked them up yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Stay well and safe, my friends, and happy reading!



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*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.



Circus Mirandus
Who Speaks for the Damned
Lalani of the Distant Sea
The 19th Christmas
The Secrets of Love Story Bridge
When We Were Vikings
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael
The 20th Victim
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Chivalry
Dear Mrs. Bird
Of Literature and Lattes
Miss Iceland
Lost Autumn
Warren the 13th and the 13-Year Curse
Fox 8
Bells of Prosper Station
Writers & Lovers
Love Lettering
Piranesi



BEST READS FROM 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

LORE by Alexandra Bracken
Publication: January 5, 2021
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA / Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

HER NAME WILL BE LEGEND.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths. Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods. The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees. -Publisher


LORE is a tale worth witnessing.

In New York, the hunters are converging to hunt the Greek gods of old. Thousands of years ago, nine have staged a failed revolution against Zeus. As punishment, Zeus created the Agon, a hunt. Every seven years, these gods will fight in their mortal vessels and hunted down as prey to any ancient hero’s descendant. The successful hunter will ascend to immortality, gaining the slain god’s power.

Lore, orphaned, and hurting, was sought out by a wounded Athena to face her destiny. She spent years trying to avoid the hunt. She wants out. But Lore also wants revenge.

Okay, it sounds like the Hunger Games for the gods. Yes and no. Winning the hunt and gaining power is not the end. There are more at stake. Alexandra Bracken cleverly created new mythology from the backbone of ancient Greek and carefully slipped in issues that affect the world today –capitalism, social injustices, and morality. I feel a current moving thru these pages, pivoting on a complex plot and intriguing characters. Readers will want answers, and I cannot wait to start my 2021 reading year witnessing this book’s ascent.


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About the Author:
Alexandra Bracken was born in Phoenix, Arizona. The daughter of a Star Wars collector, she grew up going to an endless string of Star Wars conventions and toy fairs, which helped spark her imagination and a deep love of reading. After graduating high school, she attended The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she double majored in English and History. She sold her first book, Brightly Woven, as a senior in college, and later moved to New York City to work in children's book publishing, first as an editorial assistant, then in marketing. After six years, she took the plunge and decided to write full time. She now lives in Arizona with her tiny pup, Tennyson, in a house that's constantly overflowing with books.

Alex is a #1 New York Times bestselling and USA TODAY bestselling author. Her work is available across the world in over 15 languages.



*Thanks to Disney Hyperion for the advance book excerpt in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.



Sample Review | LORE by Alexandra Bracken