The Deep ARC Review

The Deep

The Deep is a fantasy novel about the descendants of African slave women thrown overboard into the sea by slave owners. Pregnant women were thrown overboard for being “sick and disruptive cargo,” but what would have happened if their babies adapted to the new environment and survived anyways? The zoti are the answer to this “what if.” They are born from the bodies of women thrown overboard, but rather than having legs they have tails and can breathe underwater. They do not remember where they came from, as it is too painful for them to remember. Only Yetu is cursed with being the Historian. She is overcome by the pain of the History, of all the horrific memories of the first zoti and of the women thrown overboard. She barely remembers who she is, and she cannot rid herself of the History lest the rest of her people suffer as she does with the memories. But one day, she can’t take it anymore, and flees to the surface. She leaves the rest of her people in the process of the Remembering, the yearly pain of the memories coming to the surface again, and she flees to discover herself outside of the painful memories of the ancestors.

I came into this novel expecting a hard-hitting dark fantasy book that mixed history with the secrets of the ocean in a beautiful way. WHat I read was a confusing story that jumped around in time, where I was never sure of who was speaking. Sometimes the POV only referred to the main character as “We”, sometimes the POV was clearly from Yetu, and sometimes I could never tell who was speaking at all. I kept reading hoping that things would clear themselves up by the end of the story, but they didn’t. The book was so short that I never truly felt any connection to Yetu or her people, and I couldn’t figure out how the side characters were even important to the story at all.

One thing that confused me the most in this story was Yetu’s multiple (?) love interests? I could not tell whose POV the story was supposed to be being told from at the time, but Yetu was with a male side character, and then she was talking to and seemed to be romantically interested in a female character Oori. I am not completely sure if it was even Yetu with the male character, as that occurred during a POV switch where the only pronoun being used was “we.” But it made the story confusing to read as it seemed like Yetu was with both this male character and the female character at the same time, just going back and forth between the two. This is simply one example of something that didn’t add up within the story.

I also couldn’t understand why the other zoti didn’t understand why Yetu was in such pain being the Historian. She was cursed with the Rememberings constantly, and she had to lead them through their own Rememberings as well, so why didn’t they understand her pain. They were clearly in pain during the Rememberings, so why was it so difficult for them to understand that this was how she felt all the time?

The only part that I did like about this book was the dark fantasy aspect. I was horrified by the description of the zoti helping the newborn zoti out of the bodies of their dead mothers, but I loved how it was described and how the instant connection was made from this horrific real world to the underwater fantasy one. I also did enjoy reading some of the flashbacks of history, even though I felt like they could have been expanded on.

If this book had been longer and focused on Yetu’s story alone, I believe I would have really enjoyed it. If the book had been this length and been a collection of short stories from the Rememberings without trying to connect the main plot of Yetu, I believe I would have enjoyed that as well. But as this story was written, it feels more like a hodge-podge of information than a coherent tale, and I could not recommend it.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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The Sparrow Review

The Sparrow (Emaji Nation #1)

The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a novel about a 16-year-old girl named Amanda whose grandparents send her through a magic portal to the Emaji Kingdom for the summer. She is told by a boy named Solomon that she is the fated Sparrow, the hero that will save them from their evil king Zorn. Solomon also claims that he is her soulmate as well, and she meets many people along her journey.

I wanted to enjoy this book, but the storyline was so confusing that I couldn’t keep track of or differentiate between the characters. No one was unique enough for me to remember why they were important to the story. The only thing I enjoyed about this book were the addictive action scenes, the rest I could do without.

I won’t recommend this book but I won’t totally write off this author. I think that she could probably write well for different types of books, or maybe books with a smaller host of characters to keep track of. This was simply not the book for me.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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The Ninth Ingredient Review

The Ninth Ingredient

Henri is a cooking apprentice and he wants to be a proper French baker. Then, the Italians start to invade France’s cooking scene and change their cooking traditions entirely. When Henri’s witty tongue gets him in trouble, he has to find the ingredients of gelato in a short period of time or he loses his apprenticeship and has to work for his uncle. In order to find the gelato recipe, he has to woo one of the Italians. At first everything is purely business, but then Henri starts to fall for the gelato creator.

I have to say; this book would have been far better if Henri had been more likeable. Alix, a young apprentice, embarrasses himself because he had diarrhea when he was presenting his hot chocolate to the master chefs and a noble. Alix had a crush on Henri and saved him by providing him with powdered sugar for his botched cookies just hours before. But does Henri stay quiet and allow his friend a moment of humiliation in peace? No! He makes a joke about how Alix the Chocolatier makes pudding from both ends, causing Alix to run out of the room weeping, and no one even laughed at Henri’s “joke” because he did this in front of the head chefs. Henri was never truly apologetic for ruining Alix’ chance at being a French chef, and he only feels sorry for himself because he has to find the gelato recipe now. I think I disliked him from this point in the book, and he didn’t get any more likeable for me.

The overall story was pretty confusing and seemed to jump around a lot. One minute Henri is being lectured by his uncle, the next he is fooling around with a priest in a barrel. I could never predict where Henri would be from chapter to chapter.

The only thing that I can say that I enjoyed in this book was the romance. Henri didn’t believe in romance or love until he met the gelato creator, he just believed in using sex for gain. Then, the gelato creator changed everything. This love story truly saved the entire book for me, even though it kept getting interrupted by the more annoying parts of the story.

I would neither recommend nor bash this story. It is a nice LGBT historical romance novel that is just ruined by an unlikeable character. If you are interested in reading and can get past this character, I would recommend it to you.


I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust Review

Kill or Cure: Bloodlust

Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust by Pixie Britton continues the adventures of Alyx, Will, Winter, Tommy, and Colt. Tommy has been suffering as he becomes less and less in control of when the infection takes over. Winter has been dragged along on this adventure but is becoming a valuable member of the team. And Alyx, Will, and Colt are stuck in a love triangle.

Why didn’t I mention any actual story aspects about those three characters? Well, because I don’t think they have any story aspects besides the love triangle. Literally all Alyx is thinking about is how much she loves Colt and how much she doesn’t want to admit that she knows that Will likes her. Will is just pining after her and trying to ignore Colt. And Colt, the greatest disappointment of all, is just pining after Alyx. He literally just met her less than a month or two ago and all he did was save her and kiss her and now he acts like a lovesick dog. Even Will wasn’t that bad, and he has been waiting for years to get his chance to be with Alyx. The whole book was ruined for me with this love triangle. Every time that the action would start up and I would be excited to figure out what would happen next, one of the characters would do something dumb for the sake of love and start acting like a lovesick dog again.


The two characters I liked the most were Tommy and Winter. Both have their own setbacks as Winter is deaf and Tommy has to deal with the infection. But, they don’t really have to deal with romance as much, and they both grow a lot in this novel. I won’t spoil anything, but I definitely liked them best.

Overall, I won’t be finishing this series. I also wouldn’t recommend it. But I do think that it could have been a really great series if it wasn’t for the annoying love triangle.


I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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The Wanderer #2: Smoke In Her Eyes Review

Smoke in her Eyes (The Wanderer Book #2)

I was looking forward to finishing the Wanderer series so much, but then I was hit with so much disappointment. I couldn’t believe how childish Jason and Helle acted in this novel, and it totally took me out of the story. I felt like I was watching two teenagers in an “on again off again” relationship, and they were supposed to be literal soulmates.

Jason is visiting his aunt Juliet who was hurt by Sam in a car accident and burnt all over her body. He is distraught by seeing his aunt in so much agony for months, and moves with Helle closer to her hospital so that he can spend all day sitting with her. Helle is ok with this at first, but then she starts to get jealous as he spends more time with her and won’t even give her a second glance when he comes home. Helle knows Juliet is in love with Jason, but Jason thinks that Helle is being selfish. He couldn’t think of being intimate with Helle after seeing Juliet’s mangled body in the hospital day after day, but he can’t figure out the words to explain this to Helle.

Honestly, they were both in the wrong a lot for some parts of this book, but Helle was definitely pretty annoying. She barely even tried to understand what Jason was going through after having to see how bad Juliet really was hurt, and simply acted as if he was cheating on her. So, she decides to go hang out with some other guy to get Jason back. Even if Jason’s aunt is weirdly infatuated with him, hanging out with your dying aunt all day is not the same as hanging out with some random guy all day. She wanted to act as if she was so lonely, so bored in this new town, but she never made the effort to go and see Juliet. She didn’t even join any sort of women’s groups to fill the time in her day, she just sits at the house sulking all day and then sulks more when Jason doesn’t come home ready to jump in bed with her. Now, Jason isn’t completely off the hook. At some points in the book Helle really was insecure about their relationship and needed Jason’s reassurance, but he didn’t even try to give it to her. He was just pushing her away all the time, never explaining his feelings, just “knowing” that she would always stay around for him no matter what. Then when she isn’t there waiting for him anymore, he is shocked.

I wouldn’t have been as mad if the drama had ended there, but it seemed like another 50-100 pages of back and forth. Literally most of the book was just filled with the “perfect lovers” arguing over things that could have been eased if not solved by simple communication. Of course, Sam made an appearance every now and then, but they were too busy arguing to really deal with him. I feel like Sam could have easily had someone sweep up Helle while Jason was at the hospital, but nope, everything was drawn out.

The thing that really saved this book for me was I think the end of the novel. I’m not sure which event was the most exciting for me, but I just remember being on the edge of my seat once the random relationship drama was over. The “final battle” was definitely exciting to read, nothing to complain about there!

Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend or warn against this book. I suppose if you LOVE the first book in this series and have to figure out what happens to the characters in the end that you might enjoy this one.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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Kill or Cure #1 Review

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Kill or Cure

Alyx lives in a town of survivors with her brother Tommy, her guardian Joe, and her best friend Will. The Infected come from time to time, but they know how to protect themselves. When Tommy is infected, they know that they will have to leave. Without the protection of their walls, they are in danger when any traveler or Infected comes near to them. They have to protect Tommy, find new shelter, and avoid the Infected while they are at it.

I started off this novel truly invested in the story. I liked the characters, loved the setting, and I was looking forward to seeing how they would grow as the novel went on. By the time I reached the end of this book, my dreams were dashed. I still enjoyed the action scenes and I enjoyed most of the plot, but the romance ruined it for me.

I knew that Will and Alyx were going to be a couple from the start of the novel. I had hoped it would just be the two of them, but of course, no YA novel can go without a gold old-fashioned love triangle. I truly hated when Colt came into the picture, there was really no need for him to be there. Alyx fell for him because he “protected” her, but Will had literally been protecting her for years before that. They grew up together. Her lame excuse for wanting Colt over Will just didn’t add up, but she continued to ignore everyone that told her Will had a crush on her. This love triangle was painful to read as both boys started pining after Alyx, and the rest of the storyline seemed to die along with it.

Everything picked up again at the end of the story when the more important characters were added back in, like the deaf girl Winter that they found on their journey and a few other people they picked up. It is these characters who are making me really want to read book 2. Now that everyone is back into the story, I think the love triangle will be put to the side for more exciting story and action.

I wouldn’t recommend or discredit this book, as I think things might change in the next novel, so read it if you enjoy dystopian novels but don’t mind extremely annoying teenaged love triangles.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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