The Almosts: A Snowverse Novella Review

The Almosts: A Snowverse Novella (The Almosts, #1)As I am waiting patiently for the next Freya Snow book to come out, I am going to take some time to review a few of the novellas in the universe and read a few of L.C. Mawson’s other books.

Kara was autistic and good with computers. She is caught at a bank heist and is able to unlock the keypad without even thinking about it. Then, she is randomly fired from her job due to her past as a hacktivist in college. As she is trying to find a job, a woman comes to her house, admits that she was the one to leak the information about her past, and offers her the chance to have a more unconventional job. She will join the woman’s heist crew and go on adventures beyond her wildest dreams.

Even though it took me a bit of time to actually like Kara, I ended up wanting her and her team to succeed. I really thought that some important issues were discussed in this book. For one, it discussed the lack of women in the computer science field, and it even touched on the fact that even though autistic people may be hired for a job, they may never be truly accepted by their bosses and coworkers. Thirdly, it even touched on how the “magical seduction” sex scenes should not be glorified in books but treated as rape. If the character didn’t truly have control over themselves when they slept with them but were drawn to a character for magical reasons, they did not fully consent to the act. I wish more female authors would touch on this!

The only thing that I didn’t quite agree with was the end. I can’t really say anything because it includes major spoilers, of course. I will just say that I thought Kara was far harsher than she had to be. I hope that she won’t be like this in the other books, because I don’t like her that much now and I would hate to have to really dislike anyone in Snowverse.

The flow of this story was really smooth, and the setting was unique. I think that there could have been a little more description in certain scenes as I struggled to visualize the scenery. Nevertheless, this is a novella so I will expect some of these kinks to work themselves out once I get further into the trilogy.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fantasy-action-thriller with diverse characters and a fast-paced storyline.

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

Overall Rating: 4/5

Loyalty Betrayal ARC Review (Aspects #5)

Loyalty/Betrayal (Aspects #5)Honestly, I love the Aspects series, but I really need for Claire to return to Earth! It’s really starting to hurt to have to see Hate and Claire both suffering in their individual storylines when things could be solved if only they were on the same PLANET.

Claire is still on Rena, and she can’t return to Earth because that might start a war. Little does she know, a war has basically already been started on Earth, a war that Hate and the remaining Aspects are forced to be a part of now. Hate is still trying to help Justice and Loneliness fix their relationship, but one of the other aspects has shown some interest in her. She is getting tired of sitting around waiting for Claire to return, and Empathy returning without her just seals the deal. She is determined to find her own version of happiness without Claire, but she can’t stop thinking about her. Empathy is struggling to adjust to being in the Aspects again, and she keeps trying to contact her sister to tell her about what is really going on on Earth.

As usual. L.C. Mawson blew me away with this novel. I keep getting drawn further and further into this series with its own unique blend of characters. That being said, my point still stands. Claire needs to return to Earth ASAP so I can start to get some of that Love/Hate romance again! Seeing her dating guys in Ren has just been weird for me, and I can’t bring myself to like any of them.

My favorite part of this story was definitely seeing Justice and Loneliness start to work things out so that they can come together for their child. It’s been painful watching the two of them not be able to settle their differences for the past 2 books as well.

I’m not sure if I am right, but I felt like this was one of the shortest Aspects books yet. It might not have been, but I finished the entire thing in one sitting. The plot of these books just moves so quickly that you will look up, an hour will have passed, and you will be done with the entire thing.

I can’t say too much as there are many spoilers in this one, but this book is definitely going to have some important details that will be discussed in the next Aspects novel. I would definitely suggest giving the series a try!

I would recommend this series to lovers of dystopian fantasy with unique and diverse characters.

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

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Top Ten Tuesdays: Favorite Diverse Reads!

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a free week so my topic will be favorite diverse reads. As an African American female author, I love to read books by diverse authors with diverse characters. Therefore, here are ten of my favorite diverse reads.

1) The Freya Snow Series

Hunt (Freya Snow, #1)

This was the most diverse fantasy series, or series in general, that I have ever read. Literally ever. Freya, the main character, is autistic and bisexual. Along the way, she meets other characters on the autism spectrum, wheelchair-bound, deaf, LGBT+, and racially diverse. That’s only naming a few of the many different characters that L.C. Mawson has in her Freya Snow series, Rebel Series, Aspects Series, and other series’. They also discuss a variety of issues, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and racism. The storylines are amazing, and every new book has me excited to see what new characters I will meet. You absolutely HAVE to check out her books.

2) The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

This book discusses police brutality in a fictional setting through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old African American girl named Starr, who sees her best friend shot in front of her by a cop simply for moving too quickly during a traffic stop. This book is definitely a book that I think more people should read.

3) The Leopard Child 

The Leopard Child (Kadogos #1)

I’ve never read an African fantasy novel before this one, and this one definitely set my expectations high. Kadogos doesn’t want to be the typical female that her tribe wants her to be, and she doesn’t want to go through the horrible women’s ritual. She wants to be a warrior and fight like her twin brother.

4) Orleans

Orleans

Fen lives in New Orleans, which has been cut off from the rest of the United States by a wall, following a string of strong storms that damaged some Southern states beyond repair. She has the baby of her friend who died in childbirth, and when she meets a scientist, she offers to help him in exchange for the baby to have a better life.

5) The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1)
This story is Percy Jackson, but with a female main character and Chinese mythology! Genie meets a boy named Quentin Sun, and he seems determined to ruin her life. However, he tells her that he is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and tells her that she has powers.

6) Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

Melody can’t walk or talk, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t smart. She has a photographic memory, loves to go to school and listen to audiobooks, and loves her new baby sister. Yet her and her mother have to fight for her to be treated equally and for people to look past her wheelchair and see into her mind.

7) The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)

This is my favorite series by Rick Riordan yet. I loved the inclusion of Egyptian mythology, and I felt like the backstory of Carter and Sadie was developed so well. Seeing them work together towards common goals throughout the whole series made the books fun and enjoyable.

8) On the Edge of Gone

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

This book is a dystopian thriller with an autistic main character. While the other characters of the novel have to fight to survive in the horrible conditions, Denise must fight to seem useful enough to stay on the ship. It doesn’t help that her mother abuses drugs, and so she must work twice as hard. All she wants is to be safe so that she doesn’t have to live outside, but some people are just unwilling to see past her minor quirks.

9) Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)

Even though I haven’t read this book yet, I bought a copy and I have heard amazing things about it. I can’t wait to try it out! This year is definitely going to be a good year for fantasy novels written by POC authors.

10) Dread Nation

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)

I’ve also heard great things about this book, so I went ahead and bought it when I bought COBAB. I can’t wait to get started with both!

See you all next week!

 

Queen ARC Review (Freya Snow #11)

Queen (Freya Snow, #11)

Freya Snow traveled to the underworld to stop Lord Uther, but then she found out that she was the daughter of the King. She wants to continue to hide from her father, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so when they keep running into each other due to Uther causing trouble. Also, Damon decides that he is going to marry Freya. When she marries him, he is given the tattoo of a Demon without a house. Freya wants him to have a house, but he cannot do that until she and her father meet face to face.

This series continues to get more and more detailed as the books go on, and I absolutely love the world expansion in this novel! Freya and Damon also become closer in this novel as they are married. Freya feels like she is no longer alone when she has both her father, her friends, and Damon’s family. This was something that she had struggled with since the beginning of the series, so I truly felt as if I had seen her grow. Damon is also learning more about his past, and what his father did to his mother and what happened to her. It is sad to learn, but it is important for his character, and it adds a new layer to Mawson’s storyline.

Even though things are going well for her, she still has to struggle between deciding to become a Light Angel or a Dark Angel. It is easier for her to be Dark, but she doesn’t want to be known as a Dark Angel.

The pacing of this novel was still as fast as I like, but the novel itself was longer so it took me a little longer to get through it. The worldbuilding was exciting as Freya has finally gone from spending her time in the regular world to spending her time in the Underworld! There were no editing errors, and it was just an overall smooth story.

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a new fantasy YA/NA story!

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

Overall Rating: 5/5

On the Edge of Gone Review

On the Edge of Gone

The meteor hits on January 29, 2035. That day, Denise, Iris, and her mother are supposed to go to their shelter. Instead, they cannot contact Iris, and on the way to their shelter, they come across Denise’s teacher who needs help. While transporting them to their shelter, the meteor is about to hit and Denise and her mother have to join them in their shelter. However, they are not in a normal shelter but instead are on a ship that plans to escape Earth to the twin planets in a few days. Denise and her mother can only stay for two days and they must leave, but Denise doesn’t think that she and her mother will make it outside of the ship.

I found this @CrankyAutistic’s list of books with autistic main characters written by autistic authors. I had seen this book sitting in my city’s digital library, but I had never actually picked it up. Boy, am I glad that I did.

Denise was such a strong main character. Her sister was missing in action, and her mother, although somewhat lucid, is actually a drug addict. She is trying to fight for her keep on the ship, but she is also fighting her mother as she has drugs and could potentially get them kicked off the ship. It has been like this for awhile after her father left and her sister has been in and out of the house.

An important point was brought up in this book. Denise says that people did not diagnose her as autistic because they thought that she was just a “maladjusted Black girl”. This is a problem now, that kids of color do not get diagnosed because racist adults simply think that it is normal for children of a certain race to act that way, or think that they are just acting out. It is important for people to really recognize the signs, especially in boys, and not just chalk it up to a kid acting out.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a diverse dystopian novel with an autistic main character, that has a very interesting plotline that brings up important social issues.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Princess ARC Review (Freya Snow Book 10)

Princess (Freya Snow, #10)

Freya has been enjoying her relationship with her Soulbound, Damon. She has been able to reconnect with Damon’s relatives and spend time with her best friend Sarah, who has also found her Soulbound. Damon spent some time in the Underworld while they were separated, and Freya finds out that she has a lot of news to catch up on. This leads to her deciding to research her heritage again, and possibly go into the Underworld to find her father. Doing so reveals more secrets about her past.

My favorite part of this story was not the main plot but seeing Freya’s relationship with Damon repeat itself. I loved him and his family in the earlier books and how accepting they were of Freya, so seeing them again almost felt like a family reunion.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I am going to leave it here, but there are definitely some important twists that I absolutely loved.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a series featuring a diverse group of characters and an addicting plot.

Overall Rating: 5/5

KingsGuard Review/First Book of the Year! (Freya Snow Book 9)

Kingsguard (Freya Snow, #9)

While Freya is living with her family, Lord Uther sends demons to her house. After saving her human family, she has to wipe their memories and move away. Escaping to Sarah’s coven, she hopes to receive some help and advice about her family. Instead, she is blamed for the attack and told that it is just time for her to leave her family.

She decides that she has to go after Uther’s men herself because they won’t leave her alone any other way, and luckily Uther’s son is willing to help her eliminate them. For help with her human problems, her friend Damon has reappeared and they have rekindled their old relationship. Suddenly, she is not as alone as she would have thought.

I thought that I loved Enhanced and Trident, but this might be my favorite Freya Snow book yet. I always wondered what would happen to Freya if the time came that she would have to move out, and this book answered all of my questions. I also wanted to know what happened to Damon when he and Freya parted ways a few books ago, and this story also answered those questions. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I was literally dying of laughter at the end, and that was what made the entire story for me.

The story was also super engaging for me and I was excited to see Freya back at home and hunting down demons, just like in the earlier books.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an action-adventure fantasy and romance novel with a diverse range of characters and an engaging storyline.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Trident Review (Freya Snow Book 8)

Trident (Freya Snow, #8)

Song I Listened to while Reading This: 

Freya and Alex had to separate, and so now Freya is traveling back to her friends Sarah and Mel whom she hasn’t seen in over a year. Out of the blue, Mel’s relatives start sending assassins after her. Mel’s mother was an heir to the House of Atlantis, but she gave it up for her human husband. She passed away trying to regain her inheritance, and Mel never wanted to follow in her footsteps. However, it seems that Mel’s family will not let her run away any longer as being a hybrid is threatening her uncle’s power. Freya, Sarah, and Mel must venture to Atlantis to try to pacify Mel’s relatives.

I haven’t received the chance to review many mermaid stories yet, but I absolutely adore stories about mermaids, or sirens, or underwater worlds in general. Therefore, I was expecting a lot out of this book, and boy did it deliver. Not only was I able to see Freya’s development after her split with Alex, but I finally got some answers as to the backstory of Mel. It also made me happy that Mel was short for Melody, and that she was a mermaid, which is the same as Melody from one of my favorite Disney Movies “A Little Mermaid 2”.

My favorite part of this book was definitely seeing them journeying through the waters of Atlantis and meeting other mermaids there. I won’t spoil anything, but it was a really fun and nice experience.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a diverse action-adventure fantasy romance novel for teens and young adults.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Overall Rating: 6/5

Reaper Review (Freya Snow Book 7)

Reaper (Freya Snow, #7)

Songs I listened to while reading this:

 

Freya and Alex are traveling across Europe to escape Alex’s Enhanced handlers and the Council of Light. The Council of Light is chasing Freya because her new powers could be making her unstable. The Enhanced are chasing Alex because she betrayed them by helping Freya. While on the run, they stay for a short while in a French Town. A Vampyre approaches them begging them to heal a dying Reaper. Alex and Freya want to save him, but it will prove difficult as their enemies are catching up to them and Freya is only just getting used to her new powers.

This book focuses more on the development of Alex and Freya’s relationship. At this point, I have basically completely forgotten about Damon and their relationship, as Alex and Freya just seemed so perfect for each other in this book. Freya is constantly struggling with flashbacks of her torture in the previous novel, but they both keep each other moving forward and safe.

My only complaint about this book would be that I did not hear as much about Sarah and Mel as I would have liked to in this novel. Freya is on the run, so she does not get to see her old friends that much. Nevertheless, the plot still kept at the same pace and was interesting without them. I just hope in the next novel that they come back into the spotlight.

My favorite part of this story was definitely seeing that Alice is still included in the plot. I won’t reveal anything, but I definitely enjoy seeing Freya’s sister is a big part of these stories even if she is not in every single novel.

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a diverse action-adventure fantasy novel with a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Empathy/Pain Review (Aspects Book 3)

Empathy/Pain (Aspects, #3)

A new enemy has started fighting the Aspects, and this time they can’t even use their powers to defeat it. Love, Hate, and Empathy all come across a strange blue light surrounding an area, and when they touch it their powers are turned off. This is a horrible experience for Love and Hate, as they both feel completely empty without their powers. However, for Empathy, this is her dream come true. Now she is free from shapeshifting into the other aspects and is simply able to show her true self. This helps her blooming relationship with the Aspect of Pain. As Love and the other Aspects look to find out how to disable the light, Empathy is looking for ways to simply revel in it so that she can become herself for a short while at a time. Love is torn between helping her sister be happy, and destroying the thing that has the ability to turn off her powers.

This installment in the series kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. I really enjoyed seeing Love interact more with her sister Empathy, as I felt that this had not really been included as much in the previous installment of the series. I also really enjoyed hearing about Empathy’s struggles with her own powers. She was meant to be able to shapeshift into other things and be other people, but by doing this she was losing herself. I felt as if I could relate to this a bit more than usual, as I sometimes feel as if I spend more time worrying about others than worrying about myself.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a diverse and inclusive action-adventure sci-fi story with a cast of strong characters.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Overall Rating: 5/5