ARC Review: OCEAN’S ECHO by Everina Maxwell


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28114396
OCEAN’S ECHO
Everina Maxwell

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 480
Publication date: November 1st 2022

Rich socialite, inveterate flirt, and walking disaster Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers,” is a security threat on his own. But when controlled, readers are a rare asset. Not only can they read minds, but they can navigate chaotic space, the maelstroms surrounding the gateway to the wider universe.

Conscripted into the military under dubious circumstances, Tennal is placed into the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a duty-bound soldier, principled leader, and the son of a notorious traitor general. Whereas Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Like all other neuromodified “architects,” he can impose his will onto others, and he’s under orders to control Tennal by merging their minds.

Surit accepted a suspicious promotion-track request out of desperation, but he refuses to go through with his illegal orders to sync and control an unconsenting Tennal. So they lie: They fake a sync bond and plan Tennal’s escape.

Their best chance arrives with a salvage-retrieval mission into chaotic space—to the very neuromodifcation lab that Surit’s traitor mother destroyed twenty years ago. And among the rubble is a treasure both terrible and unimaginably powerful, one that upends a decades-old power struggle, and begins a war.

Tennal and Surit can no longer abandon their unit or their world. The only way to avoid life under full military control is to complete the very sync they’ve been faking.

Can two unwilling weapons of war bring about peace?


Everina Maxwell’s writing was still such a pleasure to read in Ocean’s Echo! Sadly, this book didn’t quite work for me.

I had a lot of trouble getting my head around the world-building and I believe that was because the story dealt quite a bit with mind control/brainwashing in a way that wasn’t particularly fun for me. Others will probably find the set up very intriguing and enjoy the way it was developed throughout the novel–because it is extremely well developed and detailed–but, due to personal preferences, that was not the case for me. Continue reading

WWW Wednesday #242: progress is being made!

wwwwed

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

 

1. Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

Historical Fantasy! And I’m officially over halfway through the book \o/ Something incredibly interesting has happened and I’m sure it will have big BIG consequences for Robin and I can’t waaaait. I will say I’m finding the plot a little slow, though, since much of the focus is set towards world-building and language here. Still loving it!

2. Leech by Hiron Ennes

Sci-Fi Horror! The premise here is fantastic and I am mostly doing okay with the execution of it, but what’s keeping me from fully enjoying this is the writing style. This is a really really dense narrative for a book that’s under 400 pages and that makes it a bit difficult for me to read it.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell: LGBTQIA+ Sci-Fi! I really liked the characters, but the world-building set up here really didn’t work for me. Review to come!
    2. The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson: YA Horror! I really really loved everything about this with the exception of two things: the romance and the framing device. Review to come!
    3. My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones: Horror! Audio made this bearable to get through and actually fun! A fever dream sort of read that gets amazing when people start dying. Review to come!

What do you think you’ll read next?

22840421Carrie by Stephen King


I read the Tiffany D. Jackson version so now I have to read the original version!

Carrie may be picked on by her classmates but she has a gift. She can move things with her mind. Doors lock. Candles fall. This is her power and her problem. To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie — the first step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues. Until an unexpected cruelty turns her gift into a weapon of terror and destruction that no one will ever forget.


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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To Be Read – Halloween 2022

tbrhalloween

The spookiest month of the year is finally here! 👻

HALLOWEEN TBR


And we’re full of terror this month! I’m going to take part in the Halloweekend Readathon and you can check out my TBR for that right here. For the other horror and horror-adjacent books I hope to read:

🎃 Leech by Hiron Ennes

🎃 Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

🎃 Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer

🎃 My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones


What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!


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Anticipated Reads – October 2022

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New month, new book releases!

*

27883214A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo


Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha’s Vineyard with her best friends–one last round of sand and sun before college. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria’s parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West.Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother’s gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable–for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. It’s the kind of summer that changes a life forever.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 4.

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman


Harry is a novelist on the brink of stardom; Edward, her husband-to-be, is seemingly perfect. In love and freshly engaged, their bliss is interrupted by the reemergence of the Holbecks, Edward’s eminent family and the embodiment of American old money. For years, they’ve dominated headlines and pulled society’s strings, and Edward left them all behind to forge his own path. But there are eyes and ears everywhere. It was only a matter of time before they were pulled back in . . .

PUBLICATION DATE: October 18.

27883214Sign Here by Claudia Lux


Peyote Trip has a pretty good gig in the deals department on the fifth floor of Hell. Sure, none of the pens work, the coffee machine has been out of order for a century, and the only drink on offer is Jägermeister, but Pey has a plan—and all he needs is one last member of the Harrison family to sell their soul. When the Harrisons retreat to the family lake house for the summer, with their daughter Mickey’s precocious new friend, Ruth, in tow, the opportunity Pey has waited a millennium for might finally be in his grasp. And with the help of his charismatic coworker Calamity, he sets a plan in motion.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 25.

27883214Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo


Wandering cleric Chih of the Singing Hills travels to the riverlands to record tales of the notorious near-immortal martial artists who haunt the region. On the road to Betony Docks, they fall in with a pair of young women far from home, and an older couple who are more than they seem. As Chih runs headlong into an ancient feud, they find themselves far more entangled in the history of the riverlands than they ever expected to be. Accompanied by Almost Brilliant, a talking bird with an indelible memory, Chih confronts old legends and new dangers alike as they learn that every story—beautiful, ugly, kind, or cruel—bears more than one face.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 25.

27883214The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake


Six magicians. Two rivalries. One researcher. And a man who can walk through dreams. All must pick a side: do they wish to preserve the world—or destroy it? In this electric sequel to the viral sensation, The Atlas Six, the society of Alexandrians is revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way. But the cost of knowledge is steep, and as the price of power demands each character choose a side, which alliances will hold and which will see their enmity deepen?

PUBLICATION DATE: October 25.


WHAT RELEASES ARE YOU MOST ANTICIPATING THIS MONTH? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!


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Wrap-Up: September 2022

warpupmaybe


BOOKS I READ


Books marked with a 📚 are the ones that were on my September TBR pile.

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher – 4‘s • 📚
Shadow Born (Shadows of Salem #1) by Jasmine Walt, Rebecca Hamilton – 1 • 📚
Dead Flip by Sara Farizan – 4‘s
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte – 4‘s • 📚
Lunatic (Necessary Evil #6) by Onley James – 3‘s
↠ Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White – 5‘s
The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike – 3‘s
House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson – 4‘s
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney – 1‘s
The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 3‘s
The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 4‘s
The Final Gambit (The Inheritance Games #3) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 2‘s
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson – Not Rated
Tragic Bonds (The Bonds That Tie #5) by J. Bree – 3‘s
Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz – 3‘s
↠ Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives (Clown in a Cornfield #2) by Adam Cesare – 4‘s
The Raven Spell (Conspiracy of Magic #1) by Luanne G. Smith – 2‘s
Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson – 2‘s
American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan – Not Rated

Total: 19 books


ON THE BLOG


REVIEWS

Voices in the Snow by Darcy Coates • Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews • The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher • Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab • Dead Flip by Sara Farizan • House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes • The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes • The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes • Tragic Bonds by J. Bree

 TOP TEN TUESDAY

Books I Loved So Much I Had to Add to My Collection

 WWW WEDNESDAY

WWW 138 • WWW 139 • WWW 140WWW 141

Continue reading

WWW Wednesday #241: non-fiction moods

wwwwed

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

 

1. Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: an Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

Historical Fantasy! I haven’t been able to make much progress with this one in the past week due to work stuff 😦 I’m still enjoying taking my time with this and only reading a couple of chapters at a time! And the discussions about language and translations continue to be amaaaaazing.

2. American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan

Non-Fiction True Crime! I’m already half-familiar with Keyes due to the True Crime Bullsh** podcast, but this is still an engaging and really really tough read. I really don’t know what to say about it aside from it being terrifying and making me fear for what people are able to do out there.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. The Raven Spell by Luanne G. Smith: Historical Fantasy! This had such a great beginning and then it went downhill. Review to come!
    2. Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson: Non-Fiction! This was an interesting read, but it had no references or sources listed so I can’t recommend it. Goodreads review here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

22840421My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix


The Halloweekend Readathon starts tomorrow and the movie adaptation comes out on Friday, so it’s time for a reread!

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act….different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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Halloweekend Readathon 🎃👻🦇

IT’S READATHON TIME!

The Readathon will happen Sept 29th-October 31st during every Thursday evening to Sunday evening in your time zone + bonus Monday on Halloween. I love all things spooky and Halloween and a month long readathon, focusing on weekends, sounded absolutely perfect! The hosts are also offering activity + photo prompts to combine with the reading prompts, if that’s something that sounds like fun.

HALLOWEEKEND READATHON TBR:

1. HOST FAVORITE

2. WORD IN THE TITLE: DARK, NIGHT, DEAD, HAUNT, SHADOW, BLOOD, ETC

27362503

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson

Continue reading

Review: TRAGIC BONDS by J. Bree


GOODREADS | AMAZON

28114396
TRAGIC BONDS
J. Bree

SeriesThe Bonds That Tie #5
Genre: Reverse Harem, Paranormal
Publisher: –
Pages: 326
Publication date: June 28th 2022

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Our Bonded Group has been torn apart, and the monsters are now the prey.
But we’re not going to just wait around for our enemy to strike; the blood on his hands is unforgivable, and the god living inside of me wants her revenge paid in blood.

And a thousand souls.

We have been pushed to the limit, tested in ways that have devastating outcomes, and paid the ultimate price. Can we recover from such losses? Is the promise of a world without our enemy worth the sacrifices we’ve made?

Can we prove to everyone, and ourselves, that together our bonds are unbroken?


It took me forever to start Tragic Bonds because I wasn’t sure about the direction the series was taking and… I didn’t really like it all that much.

The writing was still wonderful and I still did appreciate the fast pace quite a bit. There was a lot going on and we got some answers in regard to both the Resistance and the Bonds and what they have to do with each other. In terms of world-building, this was a pretty interesting book and I liked how J. Bree decided to develop that. Continue reading

Review: THE FINAL GAMBIT by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


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28114396
THE FINAL GAMBIT
Jennifer Lynn Barnes

SeriesThe Inheritance Games #3
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400
Publication date: August 30th 2022

To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her.

But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.

Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.


I don’t think I liked The Final Gambit all that much? The mystery and investigation plot was still my favorite aspect overall–even more so because a lot of dots started to connect here and we got answers to some questions that had been raised in previous books. It was really fun how tense and intense some of that got and I think that, in terms of tying up loose ends, Jennifer Lynn Barnes did a good job with this conclusion.

The problem was that I didn’t like how most of that came about. Continue reading

Review: THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

28114396
THE HAWTHORNE LEGACY
Jennifer Lynn Barnes

SeriesThe Inheritance Games #2
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Publication date: September 7th 2021

Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.


The Hawthorne Legacy: Grayson and Jameson have less page time here.
Me: suddenly, I am having so much fun!

From what I gather, this is people’s least favorite in the series? And it does feel very much like a middle book, but not necessarily in a bad way. I did very much enjoy the mystery plot here again and how the conflict was set up. The investigation aspect of this series so far was very well written overall and I find that I really liked how it was developed. Continue reading