The Royal Cleaner #6: Exiled Review

Exiled (The Royal Cleaner, #6)

Seph, Gregor, and Caroline have been exiled from the Demon World. Persephone or Seph has to get used to life in the human world, where she doesn’t have the position of queen that she has prepared for since she was born. This gives her time to deal with feelings that she has been pushing away for years, and face the fact that she might have a crush on someone. Gregor and Caroline no longer have to be fake married, which gives Mina and Caroline the chance to marry one another. Gregor is also free to pursue his own romantic interests, and he might have his eyes on a certain man on Earth.

I am interested in the new couples that were introduced in this installment of the series. I knew that Mina and Caroline would always be together, but I was worried that Gregor would never get the chance to be happy as he didn’t have a secret boyfriend on the side of his political marriage to Caroline, but he had his chance in this book! I also thought that Seph would be important, but I just didn’t see how she fit into the Royal Cleaner series until this book. Without spoiling anything, I am happy with how her story turned out as well.

Honestly, this felt like the shortest Royal Cleaner book I have read so far. I loved it so much that I finished it all in one morning on my way to work and then switched directly to the next book in the series. I think that it was the lack of action that truly drew me into this book. I feel like I never got the chance to get close to the characters in the Royal Cleaner series in this way because the books were so packed with action. This slower-paced story focused more on the domestic side of the characters as Mina and Caroline are still spending time with their children including the young twins while Gregor and Seph have to get used to living like humans rather than Demon royalty.

I can’t wait to review the next book in this series to discuss more spoilers about these characters! Just know that things really start to heat up towards the end of this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adult fantasy novel with LGBT+ and neurodiverse characters.

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

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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Royal Cleaner #5: Family Review

Family (The Royal Cleaner, #5)

Mina and Caroline have just given birth to their twins, and they are dealing with having new magical babies. While they are just starting to take time off, Demons get through the wards of their house. Mina also has to deal with her ex-husband Arjen coming back into the picture, claiming that Caroline’s presence has made Mina an unfit mother for Diya. Mina is trying to work with Caroline on her powers, but Caroline still hasn’t gotten over the death of her twin many years ago. In order to move forward, Caroline and Mina are going to have to face and reconcile with their pasts.

I was happy to see Caroline and Mina get somewhat of a break in this novel. I was so excited that they got to have twins, and they are such good parents. The Demons did come eventually, but you got to see the two also focus on rebuilding their family life after the crazy events of the past few books. I am also happy that Arjen is back into the picture even though he wasn’t there before, just so that Diya doesn’t feel abandoned. It also allowed Mina to see that she didn’t handle everything perfectly, which was an interesting twist on the way I thought the “deadbeat dad” route I thought the story would take.

The story moved smoothly and I immediately remembered who the characters were even though I haven’t read a book from this series since April. It was a little on the shorter side but that made it perfect to read while commuting. I was able to put the book down and pick it back up again at any time without feeling confused.

I can’t say much more about the story without spoiling anything, but I was absolutely hooked again by the time I finished reading this novel and immediately went to pick up the next book in this series. I honestly think that the Royal Cleaner arc might be my favorite Freya Snow spinoff. I can’t wait to talk about the next two in this series!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new adult fantasy/romance novel with LGBT+ main characters.

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

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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 Smoke Thieves #1 Blog Tour Plus Review

The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1)

Smoke Thieves

A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief whom everyone is hunting. They are four teenagers whose lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth aboutdemon smoke intertwines all their fates. It’s a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe.

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551385/the-smoke-thieves-by-sally-green/

In The Smoke Thieves, you learn the stories of three different pairs of people. First, you have Catherine and Ambrose. Catherine is a princess who is about to be forced into a marriage that she doesn’t want to be in, but she is in love with her best friend and personal guard Ambrose. Her brother Boris is a spy for her father and wants to make sure she stays in line until she is married off to a foreign prince. Then you have Tash and Gravell, a young girl and an old man who hunt for demon smoke to sell. Lastly, you have March and Elyon, the servent of a prince and the charming thief. These stories will overlap for one another, but they will mostly take place in these pairs for the majority of the story.

My favorite character in the story was probably either March or Catherine. March was one of the last of the Abasks, and he found out what had really happened on the day that his family was massacred. He didn’t know much about his culture and was the odd one out in the prince’s court, so he has a lot to learn. Catherine was in love with Ambrose, but she didn’t act foolishly about it. Her country came first, and she was determined to do her best to keep her kingdom safe. Even if it meant that she would have to go against her father.

The only reason why I rate this book 4 instead of 5 stars was because things really started to slow down in the middle of the book. I read the first 200 pages in around 2-3 hours, but the next 150 pages took me over 5 hours of intermittent reading to get through. If it wasn’t for the drag in the middle, I would have loved every minute of this novel.

Everything else in this book was great. The characters were all unique and everything connected well. I never got confused as to whose POV it was as I read through the book. There was romance but it didn’t take over the novel until I didn’t want to read it anymore. And the action scenes were addictive and yet realistic.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA/NA novel to read.

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

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Demon World

A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius’ plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan–but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge–and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551386/the-demon-world-by-sally-green/9780425290248/

AUTHOR BIO

Sally Green lives in Cheshire, England. She has had various jobs from her first paper-round to a career as an accountant, but in 2010 she started writing a novel and that changed her life. She still runs most days despite several attempts to give it up.

The Angel Eyes #0: Jake’s Redemption Review

Jake's Redemption (The Angel Eyes #0)

In this universe, there was a war of men vs. women many years prior. The women won and can enslave the men, and most women show the men no mercy. Marriage is outlawed, and women are meant to just make use of the many male slaves that are around. Jake has been tortured for years under Darla and doesn’t think that he will ever be able to be happy again. When a woman named Monica offers him a job on her ranch, he is worried that he might be going to a fate worse than Darla. When Monica treats him like a human instead of a slave, Jake doesn’t know how to react. Soon, he finds himself falling for her, but he doesn’t know if he can love again.

Wow, I have never read a book quite like this one. So often have I seen a book with female slave/damsel in distress being saved by the male protagonist, but never the reverse. Monica doesn’t believe in slavery, but many women at the time did. Jake had resigned himself to his fate with Darla, but Monica shows him that life could be happy again. He cannot be fully free from Darla because she is constantly keeping tabs on him, but he will be somewhat free on Monica’s ranch until his contract is up.

I also loved how this book shows that both men and women can be traumatized. In many books, men go through trauma and automatically want to go back to having people all over them. Jake doesn’t even want to be hugged by a woman after the horrors he has gone through with Darla, and Monica respects that. When others on the ranch do not respect his wishes, Monica speaks out against it. He has to heal just like anyone else, he isn’t some sort of emotionless being who bounces back after years of torture after seeing a pretty woman or something. Jake needed a time and place to heal, and Monica’s ranch gave him this space.

The romance wasn’t the main focus of this book in my opinion. Jake’s healing was the main focus, which I truly appreciated. Even though the cover looked very sensual, nothing happened until Jake was truly ready to move to that stage of a relationship. When the romance did occur, it was very slow. The characters weren’t just having sex like in some adult romance novels, they truly loved one another and worshipped each other.

To think that this book is a prequel to the rest of the series that hasn’t even come out yet is astonishing. I can’t wait to read the rest of the Angel Eyes series. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new NA dystopian romance novel.

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

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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The Serpent-Bearer And The Prince Of The Stars Blog Tour Spotlight

The Serpent-Bearer

Serpent Bearer

Welcome to The Sperpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars blog tour! Read on to learn more about this beautifully illustrated graphic novel by C.S. Johnson, and a chance to win a copy for yourself!

The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars

Publication Date: November 7th, 2018

Genre: Manga Style/ Graphic Novel

Length: 30 Pages

A tiresome task.
A deceptive dragon.
A prince that changes everything.

Ophiuchus is a celebrated warrior of the Celestial Kingdom and a warrior among the Stars. He has been always been a dutiful servant of the Prince of Stars. So when the prince asks him to watch over the crafty serpent, Naga, Ophiuchus agrees. But as time passes and discouragement—both from Naga and others—Ophiuchus wonders if the Prince of Stars was right in asking him to take on the burdens of his task.

Will Ophiuchus honor his duty, or give into his heart’s weariness?

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Excerpt

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Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Author Pic

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

For a chance to win your own copy of The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars, click the link below!

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The Serpent-Bearer

Blog Tour Schedule

July 22nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

Perspective of a Writer (Review) http://perspectiveofawriter.com/

July 23rd

Breakeven Books (Review) https://breakevenbooks.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

July 24th

Books Teacup and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Graphic Novelty2 (Review) https://graphicnovelty2.com/

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) https://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

I’m All About the Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

July 25th

My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/

The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

July 26th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

The Hunger Games #1 Review

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

I read the Hunger Games Trilogy once many years ago, but I don’t really remember any of it. In fact, I don’t remember what happened in Mockingjay at all, just bits and pieces of what I read online, even though I know for a fact that I finished the novel. So, I decided to start from the beginning and reread the entire trilogy, and I noticed quite a few things that I didn’t notice before.

For starters, wow, I don’t like Katniss’ mom. I didn’t think she was that bad from the little I remember of her in the movie, but she made me want to scream in this one. Katniss barely ever spoke back to her mother, even though her mother went into a depressive episode and left an eleven-year-old to take care of an adult and a seven-year-old for almost an entire winter. It wasn’t her mom’s fault, but Katniss suffered for those months trying to feed her family until her mother would come back mentally. Katniss finally breaks down and yells at her when she is about to leave for the Hunger Games, begging her not to leave mentally again. Instead of apologizing for not being there all those years ago, she makes an excuse like “well I have my medicine now and if I had had my medicine back then I wouldn’t have left.” Your daughter was hurting because she had to become a mother at only 11, and your only comeback to her asking you not to do that again is “well if I had my pills.” This may be realistic, parents who have depressive episodes never really apologizing or understanding how much strain they put on their children, but boy it was so frustrating to read. The mother clearly prefers Prim, even though that daughter hasn’t been doing much (besides her goat milk business) to support the family, and just treats Katniss like she is the breadwinner for the family because she can hunt. Nevertheless, I felt that this truly gave Katniss more character than she would have had otherwise. It was interesting to see that she didn’t come from a perfect family with a perfect life. Therefore, it actually improved the story for me, in a way.

I really liked how the Capitol’s greediness was compared with the poverty of some of the districts. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Katniss got upset FOR the kids who Effie shamed in the previous year for eating like “animals.” Katniss remembers that these children had come from some of the poorest families in the District, so of course they would have eaten as if they were never going to see food again with such a rich meal being placed in front of them. District 12 is one of the poorest if not the poorest districts in the nation, so Katniss and Peeta have never seen such opulence before they got to the games. The scenes with the stylists were also very well written, and I was happy that they weren’t disrespected like other tributes.

I have to say that I hate love triangles, so I just didn’t appreciate the romance in this book. I understand that they did it because of a plan, but it just didn’t sit well with me. This book would have been perfect without the romance for me, but I am going to take a star off for that. Like what if they had teamed up to be partners, killed everyone, then decide to kill each other so that no one would win the games? I think that could have made for a more powerful book than this one was.

Overall, this book was better than I remember it being, but I still didn’t like the romance. For someone who is interesting in the worldbuilding and the fighting action of the game, this is the perfect book! If you are here for the romance…I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it completely. Onto the rest of the trilogy!

Overall Rating: 4 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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The Mage-Born Anthology Review

The Mage-Born Anthology

The Mage-born Anthology is full of short stories discussing the lives of Reshi’s siblings before and after they received their powers. Some of his siblings lived together while others lived on their own, not knowing that they had any siblings. They were all raised in different locations across the country, they all have different personalities, and they all develop very different powers. I’m not going to be able to review all the stories without including major spoilers, so I am just going to focus on my favorite story and the story that surprised me the most.

My favorite story was Velyn’s backstory. He was also raised in an orphanage like Reshi, but when he aged out of the orphanage, he was placed in a halfway house with his best friend Tawni. They both want to be fishermen and Velyn as a wind-mage would guarantee that they would be successful. All they have to do is save enough from the money they make off the catch of rented boats to buy their own and start their own business. Even though Velyn is pretty evil in the main series, he seemed genuinely sweet to his friend and an honest worker in this book. Now I need to know what happened between this short story and the beginning of the Mage-born Chronicles to make him into the man he was!

The story that surprised me the most was Eagan’s backstory. I knew that one person would have had to be just genuinely bad, and I guess Eagan was that person. I almost cried while reading the end of this story, and then that was it! I don’t need to read more of his character, but it would be interesting to see how he reacted to meeting the rest of his siblings.

Overall, one or two of the short stories were a bit disappointing, but they were all good for the most part. I just hope that there is more to come from this universe, as I love this lore and these characters so much! The novellas were also written in chronological order, from the time the oldest child got her powers to the point that the mage hunters started hunting the 7 siblings. Through these stories you are able to see to see how the world slowly became more and more hostile towards mages over time, and how the younger siblings were raised in worse conditions than their older siblings. I would not recommend reading this before the other two books in the Mage-born Chronicles, but I would recommend reading it after for a bit more backstory.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for the novellas to the Mage-born Chronicles, a fantasy series with LGBT+ characters.

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

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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The Mage-Born Chronicles #2: Mistress Mage Review

Mistress Mage  (The Mage-Born Chronicles #2)

After the battle, Reshi realized that he loved Kestral, and he left. Loving someone was too much like being owned by that person for him to accept, and so he ran. Six months have passed and Reshi has started to woo some royals in order to live in the castle and get close to his step-brother, the king’s “legitimate” child Niko. He is also in contact with his exiled mother, and is avidly trying to avoid his murderous brother Velyn. Kestral stayed with Kila and has been hunting for Reshi for the past six months as well. He is desperately in love with him and would do literally anything to have him back, but Reshi keeps avoiding him. Whenever he manages to get close to Reshi, he shapeshifts into a creature that he can’t keep track of and runs away again. Kestral has to find some way to get Reshi to trust him so that they can finish off Velyn and finally be safe, but Kestral has to get Reshi to stay in one place long enough to explain himself first.

I have to say that even though the chase may get annoying for some readers, I truly enjoyed Kestral chasing after Reshi in this book. All Reshi does is usually run away from a situation when it becomes to difficult or too dangerous for him to face, and it has worked for him in his life so far. Now, there is finally a person begging Reshi to stay in one place. Their personalities are complete opposites, but now they are becoming more one alike one another. Kestral used to be the quiet one who avoided Reshi’s advances, now Reshi is forced to be quiet to stay in hiding away from Kestral.  They are also struggling with being apart from one another, even though Reshi would never admit it. I loved this couple from the beginning of the first book to the end of this book. They had their hiccups, but no couple is perfect. I still believed that they were a perfect match by the time I finished this novel.

My favorite part of this book was watching Reshi bond with his brother Niko. I wasn’t expecting them to get along as well as they did, given that Reshi lived a stressful and impoverished life while Niko got to live a privileged life, but Reshi was able to see through Niko that life as a royal was not amazing either. Niko had been sick all his life and had barely been allowed out of the castle many days. He struggled with being alone and having no friends because of this, and he never got to experience many of the luxuries of being the prince because of his sicknesses. Reshi originally was jealous of his brother, but then he began to befriend and even pity him to some extent. Only thing I was worried about was that Niko was accidentally going to develop a serious crush on his brother before they were properly introduced, but that was avoided completely. I would love more stories of just the two of them learning how to be true brothers to one another!

The action of this story was intense as a lot of “final battles” occur. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that I was happy with the ending. All the twists and turns leading up to that ending went perfectly, and I was happy with how all the characters ended up. If things had been any different, I don’t think I would have been as satisfied. I’m especially glad that Kila didn’t get any sort of random lovers. She loved the military, and that shone through her character entirely. She did not have time for extra dalliances, and I respected her for that.

Overall, this was one of my favorite fantasy duologies, and I can’t wait to read more by this author. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new fantasy novel to enjoy, or a new romance novel with LGBT+ characters.

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

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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