Tag: Fantasy

Book Review: What the River Knows Series by Isabel Ibañez

What the River Knows
Series: Secrets of the Nile #1
Author: Isabel Ibañez

Published: October 31, 2023
404 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  February 4- March 19, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and an ancient golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her.

The Mummy meets Death on the Nile in this lush, immersive historical fantasy set in Egypt filled with adventure, a rivals-to-lovers romance, and a dangerous race.

Jessica’s Review: 

This was a good read!  Ancient Egypt is always a welcome location for a book to take place and there was adventure even a slow burn romance. There is something for everyone in this book!

We have a strong YA character in Inez, I really liked her! A lot happens in this book! And Whit, it was like just get together! The version I read had some pictures in it and I pictured a young Henry Cavill playing him.

Having been to Egypt in 2006, it brought back memories of that trip! Egypt was one of my bucket list places to go to and I did it!  How many people do you know that have been to Egypt? I have a friend (Beccie) going there this year and this book came from her. I am so excited that she is finally going to one of her bucket list places!

The only ‘bad’ thing about this book is a cliffhanger and I have to wait until NOVEMBER for the sequel and final book.  If you like action, adventure, romance, Egypt, pick this one up and read it now! Or wait until closer to the end of the year so you can read the sequel without a long wait!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Fourth Wing
Series: The Empyrean #1
Author: Rebecca Yarros

Narrators:
Rebecca Soler
Teddy Hamilton
Published: May 2, 2023
Audiobook: 20 hours 43 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: November 15-27, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Audiobook Description:

Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Yarros.

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

Jessica’s Review:

Fourth Wing has been the book of the year, and it is outside of my normal genres, so I wasn’t really interested in reading it.  I had also heard the narration was terrible, so it had two strikes against it.  Then I heard that the narration was redone and well… there are dragons in it… so I decided to go for it, the second book in the series had been released so I was thinking that I wont have to wait for it then if I enjoyed this one! Big mistake: After I had started Fourth Wing, my dear fellow book friends informed me that there are supposed to be 5 books in this series! NOOOOO! I had thought it was just two!  Oh well….

My main interest in listening to it was the dragons, and they were so worth it! I love these dragons!!  It almost seems like the author didn’t really know what type of genre she wanted because the characters at time seemed like horny teenagers, but this is aimed for adults. I guess the horny teenagers part is because these candidates don’t know if they will even make it through school. And some don’t! We get lots of death.

There is a lot of chemistry between Violet and Xaden. Do they want each other or not? DO they hate each other or not?  We do get some spicy scenes. A little bit too spicy for me! I apparently like the closed door/ fade to black romance/ sweet romance stories/ and don’t need much details. We do get details aplenty here!

We have lots of action and again: DRAGONS!!  I also liked Violet.  She starts out weak but does grow over the course of the novel. I can’t wait to see what happens with her next. And then we have that ending!

I had no issues with the narration, like I previously said they must have redone it and fixed all the previous issues.  There are two narrators, but mainly it is Rebecca Soler doing her job. She portrayed Violet well. 

I did enjoy Fourth Wing, but don’t see how people are going crazy over this book and paying extreme amounts of money for that rare first edition with the dragon sprayed edges. There are some gorgeous editions that are out there now with special book boxes. I’ll definitely listen to the second one sometime soon and then I guess I will have to wait for the next three books to be written and come out just like everyone else!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor

Ikenga
Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Published: August 18, 2020
229 Pages

Reviewed By: Cristina

Book Description:

Nnamdi’s father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. Nnamdi has vowed to avenge his father, but he wonders what a twelve-year-old boy can do. Until a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a magical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever. How can he fulfill his mission? How will he learn to control his newfound powers?

Kim’s Review:

An Ikenga is a symbolic cultural artifact from the Igbo people of Nigeria. What if it could grant special powers? That is where Nnedi Okorafor’s story begins. Set in modern day Nigeria, an eleven year old boy named Nnamdi is grieving the death of his father. Not just the death. The unsolved murder of his police chief father. On the one year anniversary of his father’s death, Nnamdi receives an Ikenga that gives his the ability to transform into a strong man, capable of stopping the criminals that have begun to take over his town under a new corrupt police chief. One problem. His powers are uncontrollable. And he feels like his one of his favorite super heroes–The Hulk. How will Nnamdi learn to control his powers? Will he solve his father’s murder? With the help of his best friend Chimoa, he just might.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s always fun to read a story that is set in a different place than one you are used to , and Okorafor does a fantastic job of describing the town in Nigeria and daily life. Nnamdi is a realistic young man dealing with the grief of loosing his father and trying to take care of his mother. The themes of justice vs. revenge are nicely woven throughout the story without feeling preachy. The bad guy is a great plot twist–I usually see them coming in a children’s book, and it caught me by surprise in this one. By the way, Nnedi Okorafor has won Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards for her writing. Ikenga follows in that great tradition.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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