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I Belong

Review: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

November 23rd, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review Comments Off

Storm SirenTitle: Storm Siren

Author: Mary Weber

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: Storm Siren (Book #1)

Publication Date: August 19, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 1401690343 (Thomas Nelson)

ISBN-13: 978-1401690342 (Thomas Nelson)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Quick & Dirty: A beautiful high fantasy that took me completely by surprise! Full of magic, romance, adventure and a creative world, this is sure to be a favorite for all high fantasy fans!

Opening Sentence: “Fourteen circles for fourteen owners.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The kingdom of Faelen has been at war with it’s neighboring kingdom, Bron, for years now and things are not going well for Faelen. Bron is far more advanced in their weaponry and their armies outnumber those of Faelen. Things are looking dire and Faelen will need a miracle if they want to save their land and their people. That miracle comes in the form of a storm siren by the name of Nym. Storm sirens have the magical ability to contol the weather, but for the last century it has been the law in Faelen that all storm sirens be killed at birth. And so far, only males are born with this curse, that is until Nym comes along.

At a young age Nym’s parents were killed and she was sent into slavery. Because of her powers she has never been able to last long with any of her owners, and she is currently at her fifteenth auction. Nym has never been able to control her powers and the effects have been deadly to many. When it is revealed that she is a storm siren at her auction, she is purchased by a very wealthy and influential court advisor. She is given a choice to either learn to control her power and fight in the war for Faelen or she can choose to die.

Choosing to live she is thrust into a world she doesn’t understand, full of poltics, glamour, and treachery. Then there is her gorgeous trainer that seems to understand her like no else does, but he has dark secrets of his own. Will she be strong enough to save her country or is she just a pawn in a game she never wanted to play?

Nym was a great heroine that was really easy to root for. Her story is a sad one that is full of tragedy, so it was really easy to sympathize with her situation. But even though she has had a rough past she hasn’t allowed that to make her bitter and I really respected that. She is strong and someone you can easily look up to. But she also has all those girly insecurities that make her much more relatable. She is a very well rounded character that I absolutely loved and I can’t wait to continue her story.

Eogan is a mysterious man full of secrets, charm, and attitude. He had pretty much everything I want from a great love interest. For the most part, he is a very private person and he doesn’t open up easily to anyone but as his story unfolds it all makes total sense. Even though he puts up a hard, uncaring front, he actually has a big heart and he tries to do the right thing in an impossible situation.  His relationship with Nym is filled with great tension and beautiful epic moments. I loved them together and can’t wait to see where their relationship goes next.

Storm Siren is an amazing high fantasy filled with magic, adventure, and epic romance! From the first page, I was drawn into the beautiful world that Weber created. I loved all the elements that were incorporated into this very unique and entertaining story. It was a very well rounded story that developed perfectly. The magical element was interesting, the romance was sweet and filled with great tension, the pacing was flawless, and to be perfectly honest, this was one of the best books I have read this year. This was actually a big surprise for me because before I read the book I had heard very little about it, so I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. The one thing I didn’t love about it was the awful cliffhanger ending. It was one of the worst cliffhangers I have ever read, but it left me even more desperate for the next book. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a great high fantasy story, I’m sure you will love it!

Notable Scene:

Then, as if not trusting me to refrain from attempting to touch the horse again, he steps closer. He’s the man Adora was admiring through the window this afternoon. Eogan, if my suspicion’s correct. Arms crossed, sporting a cocky smile.

And he’s unreasonably attractive—curse him.

Storm Siren Series:

1. Storm Siren

2. Siren’s Fury (June 2, 2015)

FTC Advisory:  Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Storm Siren.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

November 22nd, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Review Comments Off

Take Back the SkiesTitleTake Back the Skies

Author: Lucy Saxon

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Take Back the Skies (Book #1)

Publication Date: June 3, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1619633671 (Bloomsbury)

ISBN-13: 978-1619633674 (Bloomsbury)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage and the life her high-ranking government official father planned for her, Cat Hunter does the unthinkable. She runs away from her homeland Tellus, disguises herself as a boy, and stows away on an air ship. She’s ready for life in a new land where the general population isn’t poverty stricken and at the mercy of the cruel officials. What she isn’t quite ready for is meeting Fox, a crew member aboard the Stormdancer—which turns out to be a smugglers’ ship. So begins an epic adventure that spans both land and sea.

This explosive debut starts a unique six-book series. Each novel will be set in a different land within the Tellus world, with repeating characters and related, nonlinear storylines that combine to create a one-of-a-kind, addictive reading experience.

Quick & Dirty: Though there were plenty of flaws, I found this novel enjoyable all the same.

Opening Sentence: Rain fell lazily from charcoal-coloured clouds as Catherine Hunter sprinted through darkening streets, her long hair tied in a tight braid and tucked beneath a black knit cap.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Catherine is a privileged girl with a government father. She has managed to escape the Collections in her social status, the days that children are stolen away from their families and forced to fight a war. But she doesn’t want to be married for status to some spoiled brat, so she runs from her greedy father and his money to live a life that is not as extravagant, but so much more satisfying. She stows away on a skyship and meets the crew, along with a handsome man named Fox, and begins to realize exactly how much the government has been hiding. And it’s not pretty.

Take Back the Skies was written by a teenager! How cool is that? Being young myself I found that a huge inspiration that publishers would even consider one of such an age. Immediately, this sparked my interest as I traveled into the world that Saxon created. (Oh. And by the way, Lucy Saxon is clearly a pseudonym — I mean, Doctor Who!) I have to say that though I did enjoy my time with the book, I did have problems with both the characters and the way the novel was resolved. I came into the book excited to read something by an eighteen year old, but somewhat wary: not many reviews had been positive and many people had remarked that it wasn’t very interesting to them. With that wariness, my expectations were somewhat lowered, and I ended up having a suffiecient reading experience. That’s probably why I had an easier time with it than others.

The main character, Cat, is much younger than characters I usually deal with. She’s 14, closer to a child than an adult. That being said, I felt that her reactions and bravery were somewhat exaggerated. She’s 14, shouldn’t she be more scared? I wish there had been more of a mention of her shaking, or her palms sweating, or any doubt, but instead she always squares her shoulders after even a second of being frightened. Boom, then she’s fine. Other than that I enjoyed her somewhat spitfire personality and wit. Also, her point of view (and just the writing overall) was very simplistic. If she was excited, than “Cat felt excited”. There was much more telling of emotions than illustrating, if that makes sense.

The love interest had to be one of the more major problems for me, however. Fox and Cat fought more than they talked. Literally, every few pages, Fox would have a sudden mood shift and be spiteful and rude. Not that Cat responded any better. They never held back any hateful, rude thing they could possibly say. If it could be any worse, there was a clear case of insta-love. Those who read my reviews know that I am not a fan of this. As soon as she saw him she couldn’t keep her eyes off him, because he’s apparently soo handsome and intriguing and wow! Once they got together, they could not keep their hands off one another, even in the presence of others, and the fighting suddenly ceased. I’ll admit, I did start to enjoy Fox when he got nicer, but there wasn’t much development on his character, nor Cat’s.

Take Back the Skies, no matter my nitpicking, was an okay read. It was intriguing enough for me to enjoy it. I did end up liking Cat and probably my favorite aspect of the story were the side characters. The world building was rich, if not a little sloppy, and it was refreshing reading a novel that was wrapped up in one book. There were quite a few large twists, but only two that I didn’t see coming. The rest were pretty predictable. As for the ending, I have to say it was unexpected, and haven’t processed it enough to have a large opinion. I loved hearing about the skyships and how there was the storms that were perpetually there, and the lands that resided in the strange world. One thing I can say in this story is that there was lots of action, so it wasn’t a slow read! I will encourage lovers of science fiction who don’t mind a simple writing style or annoying love interests to read this story, as it wasn’t really that bad.

Notable Scene:

She looked around the room for an even smaller place to hide and pulled open the doors of a large oak wardrobe that was bolted to the wall and floor.Heart racing, she pushed aside a pile of clothes at the base of the wardrobe, squeezing herself right into the corner. Covering herself with a long wool coat, she hoped she looked like just another pile of clothes. Catherine laughed shakily to herself. She wrapped her arms around her legs, then leant her chin on her knees. All she could do now was wait.

Take Back the Skies Series:

1. Take Back the Skies

skull3

FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury USA Children’s provided me with a copy of Take Back the Skies.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Stone Cold by Devon Monk

November 21st, 2014 Steph Posted in Review Comments Off

Stone ColdTitle: Stone Cold

Author: Devon Monk

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Broken Magic (Book #2)

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Format: Paperback, 340 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451417933 (Roc/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451417930 (Roc/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Marked by Life and Death magic, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley are “breakers”—those who can use magic to its full extent. Most of the time, they can barely stand each other, but they know they have to work together to defeat a common enemy—rogue magic user Eli Collins.

Backed by the government, Eli is trying to use magic as a weapon by carving spells into the flesh of innocents and turning them into brainless walking bombs. To stop him, Shame and Terric will need to call on their magic, even as it threatens to consume them—because the price they must pay to wield Life and Death could change the very fate of the world…and magic itself.

Quick & Dirty: Shame and Terric are running out of time to track Eli down before he finished his goal of murdering Soul Complements. Will they find him before it’s too late?

Opening Sentence: The door behind Eleanor opened, letting in the March wind, a little rain, and the man I had come here to kill.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I’m a fan of Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series and really loved the world that was created, so when I found out there was a spin off series featuring Shame and Terric, I was really excited. I read the first book and enjoyed it, although not quite as much as the Allie Beckstrom series. Still, I was looking forward to reading this second book to see how it all turned out. As with the first book, this one never quite reached the level of the Allie series for me, but I still really enjoyed it, despite some issues here and there.

It’s been six months since Eli and Krogher first declared war on all the Soul Complements. Shame has not given up on his desire to find and kill Eli for the lives he took in book one. Sadly, there’s been no luck on locating Eli. While the search continues, Shame’s control over the Death magic living inside him is slowly slipping away. He is constantly feeling the need to kill. In the same way, Terric is losing his control over the Life magic living in him. Neither one of them wants to fully give in to their Soul Complement bond, but it’s becoming clear that they need each other if they have any hope of remaining human and not giving in to the magic. Will they be able to keep it together long enough to find Eli and stop him from murdering more Soul Complements, or will the magic inside each of them consume them whole?

First off, this is not a book you want to pick up if you haven’t at least read the first book in this spin off. To read this duology in general, it would be helpful to have read the Allie Beckstrom series, but I don’t think it’s necessarily imperative that you have done so, although it would help you feel more connected to the side characters if you have the background of the Allie Beckstrom series.

Shame was my favorite side character from the Allie Beckstrom series (aside from Stone the gargoyle of course), so I was thrilled to find out he was the main character in this series. This isn’t the same Shame though, which is disappointing. While his sense of humor is still present, he is a much darker character than he was in the Allie series, and this makes it very hard to continue liking him at times. I can understand he’s having a hard time controlling the Death magic, but his lack of remorse at killing people bothers me. I still like him, but he’s definitely a flawed character, and not everyone is going to connect to him as a narrator.

The book was very fast paced, which I loved. I kept wanting to press on and find out what was going to happen next. It ended in a very satisfactory way, and it makes me sad to think that I won’t get to visit this world again. Fans of the Allie Beckstrom series should definitely pick this duology up!

Notable Scene:

“Are you killing people, Shame?”

“That’s a question, not an accusation.”

Zay just waited. He knew me. He usually knew when I was lying, which had often put a crimp in our relationship.

So I looked over at Terric instead.

“Et tu, Terric?” I asked.

“Oh, I’m very interested in your answer,” he said. “You’ve been gone a lot lately too, Shame.”

“That’s because you moved into my house” – I made air quotes – “‘for just a few days’ and haven’t moved out. A man needs space. If you both think I’ve gone rogue, how come Stotts isn’t here Miranda-ing my rights?”

“I told him I’d talk to you,” Zay said.

I did not know Zay had that kind of pull with him. Interesting. “And?” I said.

“And make a decision on what happened next.”

See, when Zay threatened, it was a subtle sort of thing. Unless he was breaking your fingers. He wasn’t turning me in to Stotts yet if I could give him a good reason not to. I swigged beer and let the cold and bitter was through me. It would be easy to lie.

Except I wouldn’t get away with it. Not with these two who were practically brothers to me.

“I don’t know who Stotts is talking about,” I hedged.

“Let’s just settle on a yes/no,” Zay said amiably. “You killing people?”

I hated it when he got specific. “Maybe a little.”

Broken Magic Duology:

1. Hell Bent

2. Stone Cold

crow4

FTC Advisory: Roc/Penguin provided me with a copy of Stone Cold. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Invisible by Amelia Kahaney

November 14th, 2014 Bridget Posted in Review Comments Off

The InvisibleTitle: The Invisible

Author: Amelia Kahaney

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Brokenhearted (Book #2)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062231928 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062231925 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

In the riveting sequel to the reimagined superhero story The Brokenhearted, Anthem Fleet takes on a powerful new villain and makes some startling discoveries about her family and her past that will forever change her.

Taking up where The Brokenhearted ended, the sequel finds Anthem Fleet attempting to return to a normal life after an experimental surgery that left her with a bionic hummingbird heart and a terrifying new strength. But she can’t shake her suspicions about her father’s connection to the Syndicate and she can’t ignore the cries of help in the crime-ridden city of Bedlam. She finds new promise in her relationship with Ford, but after his lifesaving surgery, the Ford Anthem knew slips away.

When a mysterious new group called “The Invisible” starts attacking the privileged North Siders, Anthem has to step up and be the New Hope that Bedlam needs, or Bedlam will fall…once and for all.

Publishers Weekly called The Brokenhearted an “atmospheric, adventure-laced debut” with “graceful world-building, strong characterizations, and an enveloping plot.”

Quick & Dirty: A unique YA story that features one of my favorite things: Superheroes!!! While I didn’t love everything about this one it was still a really fun read and I would highly recommend it!

Opening Sentence: Spring has finally come in Bedlam, and the air in the arena smells like newly blooming roses, popcorn, and manure.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Anthem Fleet is trying to get used to her new life. After an experimental surgery that left her with superhuman powers, she has become an unidentified hero in the dangerous city of Bedlam. The gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to grow every single day. The privileged people live in the North side while the poor live in the South side. The crime is at an all time high and then a new group called “The Invisible” start attacking the wealthy. They are ruthless and don’t care what or who the causalities are in their venture to fulfill their goal of making the two sides of the city more equal. The mysterious leader of “The Invisible” continues to wreak havoc and leave cryptic messages to all those rich enough to live on the North Side. The only hope left for the city to survive is Anthem. Her new abilities will be tested and if she isn’t strong enough then all of Bedlam will be destroyed including everyone Anthem loves.

Anthem is an amazing heroine and I actually liked her much better in this book versus the first one. She has really grown into someone that I felt could be a true hero. She lost the whiny/vengeful attitude that she previously had and she is just more about protecting the innocent. She is a smart, beautiful girl that grew up in a privileged home. She’s not perfect and like all great characters she has flaws that make her feel more realistic. I was so glad that I was able to connect with her much better and I am excited to see where her story goes next.

Ford was easily one of my favorite characters in the first book. He is such a great guy with a heroic heart. The bravery he shows is very admirable and I just couldn’t help but love him. But I was really disappointed with his character in this installment. Honestly, he is hardly in the book at all and I felt that the only reason he was even included was so that there would be some kind of romance in the story. Speaking of the romance I thought that it felt very rushed. It was really hot and cold which didn’t make sense to me. Anthem and Ford had an amazing connection in the first book and instead of expounding on that I felt that the author tried to force the romance instead of letting it develop naturally. It’s not that I don’t love these two together because I do, but all the things I loved about them in the first book were missing in this one. I was truly disappointed with the way Ford’s character was developed and I really hope that we can get back to the Ford I loved in the first book.

Invisible is a fast paced story with engaging characters, intense action, and a just overall entertaining. There were moments throughout the story where I did get a little confused as to what was going on, but for the most part everything flowed really well. There were some great plot twists that I wasn’t expecting, which is always a huge plus for me. The villain was a huge plus for me, not only was he totally creepy but he was very well done. Obviously I unfortunately wasn’t a fan of the romance but I think there is hope that it will get better in the next book. While I feel like I am being pretty negative about this book, overall it really was a great read. It obviously had some serious flaws but the one thing it really has going for it is that it is memorable. Even thought I didn’t love the first book, I can still recall pretty much everything that happened a year after reading it and I feel that it will be the same for the second book. Personally, I haven’t read hardly any young adult books that feature superheroes, and I honestly don’t know why because I love them. Because it is unique and very entertaining, I still would highly recommend this series — even with all its flaws!!!

Notable Scene:

Just then, something white passes in front of my face and lands on my knee, between the folds of my plaid Cathedral uniform skirt. A flower. I pick it up and examine it. It’s a cut daisy, the stem about an inch long. I look up at the ceiling. There’s a black tarp hanging there, in the very center of the chapel, fastened at three corners. A few more daisies spill from one of the corners.

It isn’t like Cathedral to do something like this. Especially not inside the chapel, which is reserved for solemn morning masses and dignified graduations and award ceremonies.

Was this Principal Bang’s idea? I turn to Z and point upward, rolling my eyes. But then another corner of the tarp comes undone, and we’re all doused in daisies. And along with the daisies, tiny slips of paper.

Debbie is still making her speech, but I’m not listening until she stops and screams out, “WHAT IS THIS?”

She waves a slip of paper in her hand. Everyone is picking daisies out of their hair, rumbles of conversation growing louder.

“Is this a prank?” Debbie yells. “It’s not funny, you guys!”

I pick up one of the slips from the ground and my blood freezes in my veins when I read the words, hand-scrawled in blue ballpoint: Like the humble daisy, The Invisible grow every time it rains. Expect us, children. We are everywhere.

The Brokenhearted Series:

1. The Brokenhearted

2. The Invisible

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of The Invisible.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

November 13th, 2014 Kaitlin Posted in Review Comments Off

Salt and StormTitle: Salt & Storm

Author: Kendall Kulper

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: September 23, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316404519 (LB Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0316404518 (LB Teen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder–and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Quick & Dirty: This story was atmospheric and beautifully written. Unfortunately, it was also paced very slowly, which lessened my enjoyment.

Opening Sentence: Despite my mother’s best efforts, I never forgot the day my grandmother taught me how to tie the winds.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Welcome to Avery Roe’s world. She is a living legacy, heir to the great sea witches that have descended back in time. The sea witches protect the islanders, they have great power. They can wield storms and lives, but at a price. Avery is supposed to become the next sea witch, until her mother steals her away, determined to take her away from her destiny just as her mother had chosen to leave magic years ago. Avery wants to be the sea witch, but she doesn’t have power and she can’t get away from her mother. But then, a dream: she will be murdered. It has been prophesied and there is no way out unless she manages to escape and find her grandmother to teach her how to use magic. Because once you become the Roe witch, you cannot be killed. A boy named Tane with foreign magic may be her only chance.

Salt and Storm was a slow read, for me. Slow plot, slow romance, slow plot twists. However, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was intrigued enough to read on even in the most lagging parts, because of the strong world-building and interesting plot. I was very unsure of how it would go down, and honestly I am not surprised that the author wielded the ending the way she did. It was tragic but an exciting twist that made sense in the long run. Anyway, one of the things I liked the most about Salt and Storm was the rich backstory to Avery’s family. It was complicated, but I was extremely drawn in by the prospect of sea witches and a lineage that went that far back. I also was intrigued by the town and how it functioned, it’s strong economic interest in whaling. The whole idea of it reminded me of Moby Dick, in a way. The rich imagery created to describe the water and the whales made me imagine them clearly in my mind.

Avery and Tane had a budding love that took a while to develop. I had heard beforehand that it was a “slow burn” but it felt kind of awkward between them at first. Their conversations seemed forced and they didn’t have many of them. There was no obvious click, nothing that stood out to me as real chemistry. As they began to know each other, their connection grew deeper and less strange to me. I grew to enjoy them as a couple, enough for the story and a star of my review tone saved. Their love took half the book to develop into even a kiss but when it did, it was intensely passionate. They might have took a while to act on their feelings but when they did, they hit the ground running.

How do I feel about the twist? The truth uncovered about the sea witches and the way they find their powers? Well, the twist was sort of predictable. I saw it coming from the beginning but it still had an impact on me. I was very sad, that’s all I’ll say, though I didn’t cry as I do when I’m very emotional. The way that sea witches come into their magic was extremely surprising though I suppose there were hints — hints that I should have caught onto. But, be it as it was, I didn’t catch on until late in the plot line when it was being given away. Great detective skills, eh?

Overall, I enjoyed Salt and Storm. It was a book with lots of intrigue, but it was very slow. I’d imagine that if more action was added and the plot was sped up a little I would have crossed the boundaries to loving it, but sadly that was not the case. Avery was a determined female lead, even in the face of desperate times, and her voice was beautifully written. The idea of a sea witch was wonderful and unique, and I loved all the descriptions of the oceans and the waters and their cabin. I could imagine standing on the cliff, looking out onto the water, with all the beautiful imagery in the story. The scene and world building was rich, and I was very interested in the Roe’s past — actually, maybe a little more than Avery Roe herself to be honest. Her story was exciting and different but it moved at a snail’s pace. This book could have easily cut off a large chunk and would have been just as good, probably better. Tane himself I wasn’t a huge fan of. I didn’t hate him, but their wasn’t much allure either. This also lowered my interest in the novel. In the end I would encourage very patient readers to delve into this story. If you stick it out and push through boring parts, it really is worth it. With all my complaining about the slowness, I really did feel close to the characters and was crushed at the end. (Not that the end didn’t deliver. It was just sad.) Oh, and look at the beautiful rich colors on the cover! Happy reading!

Notable Scene:

I hate her. I hate her. I wanted to scream at her, at her lies and her duplicity, pretending to be nothing but a gentlewomen, sweet and caring and good. I wanted to leap across the room and rip the paper from her hands and shout at her that Tommy almost died, died, because of her! But I know what would happen then. She would stare at me, cool as a pitcher of water, letting me get excited, letting me get scared, letting me admit that I tried to defy her. And then she would have every excuse to pack me up and send me off to the mainland- to keep me away from magic, to keep me safe. If I wanted to beat my mother, I would have to play her game. I didn’t blink.

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FTC Advisory:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Salt & Storm.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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