The Forgotten Series Blog Tour Spotlight

Title: A FORGOTTEN GODDESS (The Forgotten #1)

Author: Cecilia Randell

Pub. Date: September 20, 2018

Publisher: Cecilia Randell

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 236

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

READ FOR FREE ON KU!

An abandoned Egyptian goddess follows her visions to Ireland, and finds more than she ever bargained for… 

An abandoned Egyptian goddess follows her visions to Ireland, and finds more than she ever bargained for…

Bat Sitru used to be a goddess. Well, technically she still is. But with no followers, no temples, and only the overly mischievous cat-goddess Bastet as a friend, it’s difficult to lay claim to the title.

When her visions—once faded—return to her, they point to a land in the north, one of green slopes, mist, and rainbows. She is shown a hope for comfort and home, something that has long been missing from her existence.

Once there, she begins to wonder if her visions have led her wrong. She’s cold, damp, and her new landlords, the O’Loinsigh brothers, are not particularly welcoming. On top of that, she is confronted by a dead leprechaun on the rear stoop, a dagger that sucks the life of immortals, and territorial gods.

As past secrets collides with the present, will Bat be able to carve a place for herself in this new land? Or will this goddess be forgotten once more?

Please note: A previous, and shorter, version of this story was released in the anthology Shamrocked. This is also a slow-burn RH.

Title:  THE LEGENDS THAT REMAIN (The Forgotten #2)

Author: Cecilia Randell

Pub. Date: December 6, 2018

Publisher: Cecilia Randell

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 291

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

READ FOR FREE ON KU!

A storm is brewing, and this goddess does not like the damp… 

Bat Sitru, an Egyptian goddess, is content in her new life in Sligo, Ireland. She tends the bar, participates in all the sing-songs she cares to, and is making new friends. The only thing she could wish to change is her relationship with the O’Loinsigh brothers—they’ve grown distant, and she’s afraid to upset the careful balance the four of them have found.

Before she can figure out what to do about that distance, an invitation arrives from the head of the O’Loinsigh family, leading to the revelation of long-held secrets and her visions come to life once more. What she will need to face this time is nothing so simple as a mad woman out for revenge—old legends are stirring as an ancient evil seeks to return.

Along with Dub, Mell, Shar, the reluctant Finn, and a host of other outcasts, Bat will confront a growing conspiracy of fae, gods, Fomoiri, and an evil long locked away. All she wants is to enjoy her strawberries and tea, and maybe a kiss or two, but sometimes a goddess has to do…

Well, a goddess has to do what a goddess has to do. 

Title: THE FINAL MELODY (The Forgotten #3)

Author: Cecilia Randell

Pub. Date: April 27, 2019

Publisher: Cecilia Randell

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 255

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

READ FOR FREE ON KU!

Bat Sitru and her merry band of fae are officially on the run… 

Or are they on the hunt? It’s hard to tell. Separated from Dub and Shar, Bat can only concentrate on getting through the next steps of their piece-meal plan to defeat Balor. They have all the tools to defeat the would-be god, now they just have to pull it all together.

With new and unexpected allies, as well as a horde of sluagh on their heels, Bat and her boys race to find Tir Hudi and the cauldron before their enemies know they’re there.

In the end, it will be up to her, that forgotten goddess, to restore the balance and prevent the world from descending into chaos…

Note: Yes, for those who have not read the first two books yet, this is a “why choose” type romance.

About Cecilia:

Cecilia Randell was born in Austin, Texas and grew up in a home with her very own Cheerful Bulldozer.  After some brief adventures in various places such as California and Florida, she returned to her hometown and took up a career in drafting.  A lifetime lover of words and stories, the transition to writing was two-fold: a comment from a relative and a short line from another author, saying to write what you want to read.

And thus the new adventure was born.

Now she can be found most days curled up in a comfy chair and creating new tales to share with others.

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed set of the books, US Only.

3 winners will receive the series in ebooks, International.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/8/2019- BookHoundsInterview

7/8/2019- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt

7/9/2019- Jaime’s WorldGuest Post

7/9/2019- Owl Always Be ReadingGuest Post

7/10/2019- The Tired BuyerGuest Post

7/10/2019- Julia SwoonsExcerpt

7/11/2019- Smada’s Book SmackExcerpt

7/11/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureSpotlight

7/12/2019- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview

7/12/2019- Two Chicks on BooksInterview

Week Two:

7/15/2019- Sometimes Leelynn ReadsReview

7/15/2019- Cindy’s Love of BooksReview

7/16/2019- Book BriefsReview

7/16/2019- Burgandy IceExcerpt

7/17/2019- The Reading LifeReview

7/17/2019- ParajunkeeExcerpt

7/18/2019- Bri’s Book NookReview

7/18/2019- Reese’s ReviewsReview

7/19/2019- Drink Coffee and Read BooksReview

7/19/2019- Good Choice ReadingExcerpt

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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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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Shadow Eyes #3: Sacrificial Souls Review

Sacrificial Souls (Shadow Eyes Series, #3) #bookblogger #bookreview @dustycrabtree
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Iris has been given a leadership role by Gregory, and Gregory is starting to leave everything up to her guidance and her team in missions. Iris doesn’t think that she can do everything on her own, and begins to resent Gregory for putting them in danger. Donovan keeps showing up, and now she has to try to fight him by herself. Him, on top of all the other shadows that Iris and her friends have to fight. She is glad to have a team behind her, but it would still be nice to have some guidance from her mentor.

I have loved the Shadow Eyes series from start to finish, and I am sad to see it end. This wasn’t the absolute best ending in my personal opinion, but it was the only one that made sense given the circumstances. I didn’t understand why Gregory was pushing Iris so hard, but by the end of the book I guess I kind of understood. I just felt like this was very out of character for him, which made it hard for me to connect with his character under these circumstances.

What I did enjoy was that all the ends seemed to be tied up with this story. I understood the shadows, I understood what Iris’ job was as a light warrior, and I think that Iris did too. It seemed like a very final conclusion to what had been a very long adventure with Iris and her friends. I was happy to see that the drama had mostly disappeared with Iris’ relationship with Patrick and they were able to just enjoy being together. One of my favorite parts of the book was watching Iris help her mother and her mother’s boyfriend plan for their wedding. The simple domestic things that allowed me to see how these characters were transitioning into a new stage of their lives made me enjoy this book even more.

The story flowed well, there were no dead moments that bothered me as I was reading it. The author perfectly balances the action with the main narrative, and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t see any plot holes that distracted me from enjoying the book. There were no grammar errors or formatting errors as I read the ebook version of this novel. Everything except for the out of character Gregory made this a perfect ending to the series for me!

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for new YA fantasy novels to enjoy.

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

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Flowers and Keyboards #1: Her Elysium Review

Her Elysium (Flowers and Keyboards 1)
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Her Elysium is a romance novel by Emmy Engberts about two girls who find each other by playing an MMORPG. Fleur thinks that the tank of the guild is a cute guy named Alex, and she starts to fall for him before even getting the chance to meet him. To her surprise, Alex is a pretty girl who has been crushing on the talented healer who recently joined the guild. Fleur has never had a girlfriend before, but she can’t seem to stop thinking about Alex. She fell for Alex the person; does it matter if Alex is a boy or a girl? Alex knows that she and Fleur could work well together, but she wants to make sure that Fleur is ready for a relationship first.

I randomly stumbled upon this book, and I am so glad that I did! Not only is a LitRPG book where the author actually knows a lot about games, it is a really sweet YA romance novel! When I heard that Fleur was going to be a healer, I was bracing for the typical “gamer girl” stereotypes to come out. The healer can’t do anything, and so girls choose to be healers so they can rely on the guys in the game to do everything. Some girls might do this, but I personally don’t know any who have. Instead, Fleur is a really talented healer! Good healers have to make sure that they stay out of harm’s way while keeping the whole team alive. Fleur had to know the battles by heart in order to learn the boss’ patterns and be a better healer for the team. This is what real healers and people who play these sorts of games would do, and I was happy to see this represented in this book!

Back to the romance. I like that the author didn’t make this an ultra-sexual romance novel simply because the two characters were both female. In fact, she went on to discuss in the novel how people unfortunately believe that LGBT+ couples are more sexual than straight couples. Alex and Fleur were just two normal high school aged girls who liked each other and were happy going out with one another. They became close friends first because of the game, and then they continued to play as they fell for each other.

Overall, this has been one of the best F/F YA romance novels that I have ever read. I would definitely recommend it, and I am definitely going to read more books by Mrs. Engberts!

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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Vampires of Shadow Hills #1: Flesh and Blood Review

Flesh and Blood (The Vampires of Shadow Hills #1)
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Flesh and Blood by Willow Rose is the start of a YA vampire series. Robyn’s parents always favor her older brother, and the favoritism has been getting worse as her brother is about to go away to college. She just wants to be able to spend time with her best friend Jayden, but her mom is threatening to take her out of her school if they are caught hanging out together again. Soon, her older brother Adrian starts to display some strange behaviors, and people start to get hurt around the town. Robyn’s parents don’t see anything wrong with what Adrian is doing, but Robyn knows something is wrong, and she is determined to get to the bottom of it with Jayden’s help.

I was really looking forward to a good YA vampire novel, like the ones from the early 2000s, but this one was just disappointing. For starters, these characters acted far below their ages. I had to constantly remind myself that Robyn was supposed to be 16 years old, most of the time she read like she was 13 or even maybe younger than that. She wasn’t even smart about half of the stuff she does! At one point, even though her mother had told her not to have Jayden around, she had him sneak into her room? That’s like….literally the easiest way to get caught. There were so many things they could have done to avoid getting caught together, but it’s like they didn’t even know how to do basic things. If you can’t text the person, use a messaging app on your computer or something. If your mom only sends you to school and home, you could just meet up secretly at school. So many opportunities wasted, and I was just shocked that they couldn’t think of a single good idea of how to meet up. And their little “arguments” made me so mad, like they bickered like 8-year-olds in the middle of an important investigation that involved both of their brothers. It was honestly just so funny that I couldn’t take the story seriously.

Getting back to the brothers, I couldn’t understand the parents at all. They want to keep their daughter locked up, but they literally don’t care about the other kid getting hurt, caught, or possibly doing something to hurt someone else. I will get more in-depth with this in my review of book 2, but I couldn’t skip over how ridiculous the situation was. If their parents really had a secret to hide, why wouldn’t they hide one kid and then not even take precautions for the other. That’s putting a lot of trust in the other kid, which doesn’t make sense given how off the kid had been acting most of the time in the book.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book. I am halfway through book 2 as I am writing this review, so I am going to finish the trilogy, and my opinion hasn’t improved any. Definitely skip this trilogy!

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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Shadow Eyes #2: Luminous Spirits Review

Luminous Spirits (Shadow Eyes, #2)
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Luminous Spirits is the second book in the Shadow Eyes trilogy by Dusty Crabtree. Iris is finally coming into her powers and has started to go on more difficult missions with Gregory, Patrick, and Kyra to save people from the shadows that prey on them. But her best friend Lexi is being completely left out of the picture. She isn’t a light warrior and can’t go on the missions for safety reasons, but Iris is now spending all of her free time training. Soon, the shadows start to come for Lexi, and Iris has to figure out how to save her best friend. Her relationship with Patrick is also hurting because of a new girl named Lila that won’t leave him alone, and her ex Josh has come back into the picture and reminds Iris of how things could have been.

I am loving this trilogy so far! Iris has truly blossomed since the last installment of this series and has finally started to become a full-fledge light warrior, but she is still learning some important things. For example, she has to learn how to tell shadows apart in order to figure out how much strength will be needed to remove it, or if it can be removed at all. Some shadows are so strong that they have already started to kill their human hosts, but most can be removed before they get to that point. The shadow description in this trilogy has been done so well, as the shadows aren’t simply random “villain” encounters. The shadows have voices, the shadows can speak to their hosts, and Iris has to intercept them. I felt as though the shadows were real as I read this, and felt as if I wanted to be a light warrior to save people from the shadows that plague them.

The only thing that I didn’t like in this novel was how quickly Iris seemed to jump to conclusions. She seemed pretty indecisive about her relationship, but the minute her boyfriend does something totally out of character for him, she is willing to believe the worst. This could just be my bias against love triangles coming out, but I don’t see a love triangle in the near future for this series. This book focuses mostly on Patrick though, which made me glad.

My two absolute favorite parts about this book were learning about Patrick’s past and the side story with Iris’ best friend Lexi. Patrick wasn’t always a light warrior, and he starts to tell Iris more about his past self in this book. I am a little confused as to the timeline with all of this, but I understood what was happening when he was telling his stories. A lot of new characters were introduced this way, and I enjoyed learning about the new people in this world. It also really touched me to have Lexi not be forgotten, and for Iris to realize how she was hurting her friend. In most books where a kid gets powers and leaves their friends behind, the friends either turn out to be evil, secretly have powers too, or just “don’t understand” so it is reasonable that they are forgotten. Lexi tried to be a good friend, but she kept getting pushed to the side, making her an easier target for the shadows that latch onto sad emotions.

This was an amazing installment in this trilogy! I would recommend the Shadow Eyes Trilogy to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy or urban fantasy series.

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

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 books.

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The Gate Trilogy #2: The Nowhere Gate Review

The Nowhere Gate (The Gate Trilogy Book 2)
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The Nowhere Gate by K.T. Munson is the sequel to the Sixth Gate. It follows Elisabeth and Ki from the previous novel and continues with the events after that novel. Nanette and Ethan are getting closer every day, but the is the species issue with Nanette being human and Ethan not. Ethan has to protect Nanette with his life, but Nanette wants to help him on his fight as well. Ki has landed on a strange planet and doesn’t know how to get home, and others are telling Elisabeth to give up on him but she refuses to do so.

This book suffers from some of the same issues that the previous installment did, one of them being the POV switches. I struggled for the first 100 pages or so of this novel, trying to figure out who was who and what exactly was going on. After the first 100 pages, the story starts to truly come together and I became more invested dint he individual characters.

Most of my favorite parts of this story have to do with spoilers, so I am just going to say that the last 100 pages were absolutely action-packed and were what made me sure that I wanted to read the final installment of the series when it eventually comes out. One of my favorite non-spoiler parts of the novel was the romance between Nanette and Ethan. I loved seeing how they grew together, but they weren’t so impulsive as to put one another in danger like many other book couples that I read about. Instead, they had each other’s best interests at heart, and were truly ready to wait.

The jail scenes were also pretty intense. I have to say, K.T. Munson does not shy away from having a few more graphic action scenes. Nothing so much that I would physically cringe and want to stop reading, but enough to keep me on the edge of my seat to see what could happen next to one of the characters. I couldn’t stop reading!

Overall, this was another great installment in this series. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new upper YA or NA fantasy novel with a nice side of romance to enjoy.

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

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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