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Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

ARC review

430 pages
Expected publication: TODAY! February 18th 2020 by Uproar Books, LLC

I received this book from netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD

I really loved reading Asperfell, this book is peculiar and the characters are intriguing and interesting.
Set in a world called Tiralaen, a sort of medioeval one, where magic is real and people who possessed it are called Mages, the story starts when the main character, Briony, is only eight years old. When the king is killed by his heir Elyan, a potent Mage, able to siphon other’s magic and use it, he’s condemned to walk through the Gate, a passage into another world and to be exiled in the Asperfell prison.


The Asperfell is an ancient prison, created hundreds of years ago, the only one capable to hold the Mages’ magic. With the king’s death and the new one’s growing paranoia about and violence against who possesses magic, the world of Tiralaen is turn upside down and where reigned violence, suspicion and deaths.

Briony’s life, a young and stubborn daughter from a prestigious and influential family is sheltered and she lived with her family, her sister Livia, parents and uncle in the capital, Iluviel, at the court, her days spent learning how to curtsy, to sew and to do the things women are supposed to learn. When she survived a bad illness, Briony and Livia are are sent away to their aunt. Kept safely away from the capital, where her parents and uncle advised their mad and violent king, Briony’s world is changed another time 10 years later, when soldiers accused her to be a Mage, bringing her to the capital and sentencing her to death. Helped to escape into the Asperfell world, Briony promised her friend Cyprias to bring back the only hope for her country: prince Elyan, sentenced there thirteen years ago.


Asperfell is not what she could have ever imagined, though and the prison, full of true criminals and of innocent people alike, is awash with secrets, about itself, Briony and the whole world too.

I loved reading about Briony. She’s such a strong and brave main character. Unlike her sister and the women of their time and world, Briony is wild, curious, brilliant and she refused to be a pretty wife or to gossip at court or to learn how to be a housewife, how to sew and so on. I admired her curiosity, her drive to know more about everything, her refusing to be passive and remissive. I liked her friendship with Cyprias’, her father’s spy and how she kept herself informed while with her aunt.

Briony is resilient. When she is saved and pushed in Asperfell her promise to save her kingdom and country is strong and even in a different and peculiar world, surrounded by dangers and criminals, she learned how to adapt and how to discover more about her power and the prison’s secrets. It was really interesting reading about all the kind of Mages and their magic, about Briony’s power, so peculiar. Her eagerness, her curiosity, her need to learn more about her magic, to compensate and balance from her being untrained collided with the person she’s sent to save and free, prince Elyan, who is rude, cynical and a really powerful Mage.

I love their interaction, how Briony is not a simpering subject and she stood her own ground against him, pushing him to not giving up hope for their freedom.
Elyan is a peculiar character, not the spoiled royal one could think he is. He’s rude and sarcastic and insufferable, irritating Briony with his attitude, but he’s a complex character, full of grief, pain and regret and, after being in that prison for so many years, his cynical side was brought forward. Briony’s eagerness and her scheming and plans overwhelmed him, crushing his reservations, or, at least, involving him into hoping for more. I really like their relationship, it’s really complex and not granted.


This book is full of interesting characters, like the Steward of Asperfell, Philomena and its Master Tiberius, Yralis, Phyra and Thaniel, who become Briony’s friends while she adapted and learned to care about her new home. I liked the riddles and mysteries of Asperfell and how some things were connected since the very beginning, with mulpiple twists and magical beings. It was really amazing learning everything about Briony’s world’s magic through her eyes and to follow her in her quest and journey.


Asperfell itself is an interesting place, where people learned to life, surrendering themselves to this exile, creating relationships and so on. It was peculiar reading about the Melancholy Revels, where past nobility is still grabbing at their illusion of power, even in prison and in exile. It was interesting reading about the power system, fueled by violence and power. I liked reading about Thaniel’s knights and the lower levels, too, the Sentinels and basically everything in this book.

In the author’s biography she says she wants “to smash the patriarchy one novel at a time, creating characters and worlds that inspire, empower and elevate women” and I have to say she’s done it really well with Asperfell.

The first book is amazing and Briony is an unconventional heroine, unconventional because as a woman, in her time, she did the opposite the world expected from her and it’s amazing and really inspiring.
I can’t wait to read more about her, Elyan, Phyra and the others and their journey towards home and country.

Let me know what do you think about my blog and reviews in the comment!

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Book preview

Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen Arc review

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of Jussi Adler-Olsen and the Department Q’s investigations, so I was thrilled to read an earc of this new installment.

Everything starts with a dead body, named Victim 2117, the two thousand seventeen refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea. Her death starts a huge plot, an international investigation and secrets long buried.

Connected to three different people, Victim 2117 is:

For Assad, ia link to his past and a way to tell the truth about himself, his family and his real name.

For Ghaalib, a cruel tormentor, the start of an awful terroristic plot.

For a troubled Danish teen, she represents everything he resents and a way to start to plot his murderous revenge against humanity.

Told by multiple POVs (Joan’s, Carl’s, Assad’s, Rose’s, Gordon’s, Alexander’s, Ghalib’s) the story is full of mysteries and plot twists.

Starting with the discovery of Victim 2117, the reader follows Joan, a depressed and unlucky journalist, who tries to discover what happened to the old woman and finds himself involved into a bigger plot, threatened, hurt and taken hostage by a dangerous and deranged group.

It’s through flashbacks the reader learns about Assad’s story, his relationship with Ghaalib and the family he thought he lost for good. In a race against time, Assad and Carl go to Berlin and, following clues and taunts, they try to stop Ghaalib, his plans, and to save Assad’s family and innocent lives, cooperating with the local police.

It’s thanks to Assad, Rose managed to starts to work again with the Department Q, after two years spent in her apartment, shocked by what happened to her in the last “adventure”. Her friendship with Assad pushed her to go out again and be involved into two different cases, Assad’s and Gordon’s unknown and dangerous caller.

While dealing with personal news about his love life and friends, Carl follows and help Assad in Germany, while the troubled teen, Alexander, torments Gordon, taunting him and revealing his plans by phone, Gordon and Rose starts an investigation to discover who he is and stop him before it’s too late.

Victim 2117 is a complex and intriguing book. Even though we have multiple POVs and storyline, the story is captivating and the reader can easily follow the double investigations and what happens in each character’s lives.

Carl with Mona and the coming back of Marcus, his former boss, as chief of homicide, Rose’s trauma, Assad’s wish for revenge and his desire to find his family safe and sound, away from Ghaalib’s clutches, Gordon’s involvement with the teen and his race against time to find him, Joan’s depression and the event that turned his world upside down.

It was interesting reading the POVs of the “villains” in this book, too, to see their reasons and their desires. The reader can follow Alexander’s deranged plan and see how he was tormented, beaten and abused by his father, how the indifference of his parents and the world pushed him to close in on himself and in his room, obsessed with death and revenge.

Ghaalib’s character is despicable and I couldn’t understand his POV or sympathize with his thoughts and plans, his obsession and revenge.

It was amazing reading again about the Department Q’s investigations. I missed Rose being sassy, Carl being determined and loyal, Assad’s wrongs sayings and his camels, Gordon’s awkwardness.

The book is beautiful and deals with important issues, like terrorism, fundamentalism, refugees’, their conditions, war, tortures, death, rape, threats and so on, while narrating a story of friendships, love and new beginnings too.

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Most anticipated

Most anticipated reads

Part 3- May and June

From Googles images

HELLO! Welcome back! My infinite list of the most anticipated reads reachs May and June today! Here’s the books I can’t wait to have in my hands!

Dangerous remedy (Dangerous remedy #1) by Kat Dunn

432 pages

Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Zephyr

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

This book sounds absolutely amazing and I’ve the earc! I’m so excited to read it! I will post my review closer to the publication date. (goodreads)

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries #1) by T.J. Klune

400 pages

Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Tor Teen

Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades in TJ Klune’s YA debut. (goodreads)

As you may have guessed, I’m a sucker for books with queer themes, so this one is a must read/must have.

Girl, serpent, thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

336 pages

Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Flatiron Books

A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster. (goodreads)

This cover is so gorgeous I’d buy the book even without reading the plot. But I’ve read it and I think this will be spectacular!

The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos

304 pages

Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by HarperTee

HarperCollins has acquired Andrew Eliopulos’s YA debut, The Fascinators, pitched as The Raven Boys meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, about an openly gay high school senior in small-town Georgia. He may or may not be in love with his best friend, and his hopes for his last year of school are thrown off course when old secrets, new crushes, and a brush with dark magic threaten his close-knit group of friends. (goodreads)

As I wrote earlier, queer books. But reading this book is like Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda AND The Raven Boys how could I not want to read it?

The ballad of songbird and snakes (The hunger games #0) by Suzanne Collins

540 pages

Expected publication: May 19th 2020 by Scholastic

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes. (goodreads)

OK. So, this one is a conflicted most anticipated reads, because I was convinced this book would have been on Mags or, anyway, past Tributes. Not about Snow. I’m hoping Snow will be written as an unrepentant villain and not like someone forced to become that way for this or traumatic event in his life. I’m a bit tired of villain being “justified”, just because they had a bad childhood or something like that.

Of silver and shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

480 pages

Expected publication: May 26th 2020 by Flux

Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out. (goodreads)

I’ve read the earc of this book and I really liked. I liked the way it is written and…I will say more later in my review, closer to the publication date.

From Istockphoto.com

All of us by A.F. Carter

208 pages

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Mysterious Press

All of Us is a riveting thriller with six compelling protagonists–who all share one body. Though legally she is Carolyn Grand, in practice she is Martha, a homemaker who cooks and cleans for her “family,” Victoria, a put-together people person, Serena, a free spirit, Kirk, a heterosexual man, Eleni, a promiscuous risk-taker, and Tina, a manifestation of what is left of Carolyn after years of childhood sexual abuse. As they jockey for control of their body, all the personalities also work together to avoid being committed to a psychiatric facility. But Carolyn’s tenuous normal is shattered when Hank Grand, the man who abused her and leased her out to pedophiles, is released from prison. Soon he begins stalking her, bringing back painful memories for all of the personalities.

When Hank is murdered in a seedy hotel room, Carolyn is immediately a prime suspect. But the man has other shady dealings, and the burden of proof weighs heavy on the police–especially when, propelled by demons of his own, one of the detectives assigned to the case finds his way into Carolyn’s very solitary life.

The police and the reader are left wondering: are any of Carolyn’s personalities capable of murder? A deeply suspenseful novel, with a truly unique cast of characters. (goodreads)

WOW! This book is really peculiar and I will post my review and the trigger warnings closer to the publication date.

A song of wraiths and ruin (A song of wraiths and ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown

480 pages

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Balzer + Bray

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.
But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death? (goodreads)

The court of miracles by Kester Grant (Court of miracles #1)

464 pages

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Knopf Children’s

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

AMAZING! This book will be amazing, I can feel it!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

352 pages

Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by Swoon Reads

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

THIS BOOK! It was my first read of 2020 and I’ve been in love ever since. I’m obsessing over this book because it’s TRULY beautiful!

My review is on the blog and I will share it again closer to the publication date.

The damned by Renée Ahdieh

456 pages

Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.
Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart. (goodreads)

After THAT ending, I need this book ASAP.

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrnde Mora

352 pages

Expected publication: June 16th 2020 by Flux

Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.
But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their GEMs—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves. (goodreads)

This book is brilliant and I can’t wait to have it in my hands!

Forest of soul (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee

400 pages

Expected publication: June 23rd 2020 by Page Street Kids

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for. (goodreads)

Here’s my May and June list of my most anticipated reads! Let me know what books you can’t wait to read! Share and follow my blog, if you like it!

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Book preview

What kind of girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

Trigger warnings about self harm, bulimia, physical and physicological abuse, drug use

What kind of girl is a book about survivors, fighting, love, friendship and abuse. Told by multiple POVs, or I should write, different side of the same two person, the story is narrated by Maya and Junie, her best friend, during the time of one week.

It’s Monday when Maya goes to the principal office with a black eye, denouncing the golden boy of their high school, her boyfriend Mike. It’s her last straw. After three months of abuse, she says it’s enough. He has to stop.

After that the school divide in two parts. Who believe in Maya, rallying against her abuser and demanding the school board to expel him and who can’t side with her, asking why she waited to speak? Why did she stay with him?

Bit by bit the reader finds about the controlling nature of the track star, how Maya was scared of him, how she suffers from bulimia, how she couldn’t confide in her mother or best friend, how she sought the help of the school burn out, Hiram, finding solace and understanding in him.

Maya realizes her relationship with Mike, seeing it clearly, understanding all the times he pulled, pushed and pinched her, how he wanted to controll her.

At the same time the reader gets to know Juniper, Junie, Maya’s best friend, who struggles with anxiety and who finds release in cutting herself, who, without realizing fully, suffers from her parent’s expectations, above all her father, a human rights attorney, who pushed her to fight, to rally, without seeing her sufferings.

In just one week both of their lives are upset, pushing them to make decisions, to stand for themselves, to seek one other, to support each other.

It was interesting reading the two POVs and seeing all their facets. Maya is the girlfriend, the popular girl, the bulimic, the burn out, while June is the anxious girl, the cool girl, the activist, both of them struggling against pressure and expectations, both of them sick and confused.

I appreciate how the author wrote about Maya’s difficulty to talk, to accept her being a survivor, her being abused, her guilty about Mike’s future and scholarship, her confused feelings, her feeling guilty because she couldn’t talk, because controlled and scared. Her accepting this wasn’t her fault.

I appreciate Junie’s side, too, reading about her anxiety, her need to cut, her need to please her parents, to be controlled, to be cool, her fear that loved ones could think her a basket case, above all her parents, Maya and Tess.

I liked reading about Tess, how Junie decided to be open to her, be sincere about who she is and the open ending. I really loved the open ending. It wasn’t disappointing. I felt that, one way or another, I would have felt hurt or disappointed, but leaving it like that was really smart.

I liked this story, the writing style, it’s a quick read, even though the book is almost 400 pages, because the reader needs to know more, needs to know what happened, what happens, how the main characters will react to this or that and so on.

Compelling, interesting and captivating.

Let me know if you like my review, or if you would read this book.

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As Travars-Recensioni

Blog tour Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel, Highfire, which comes out on January 28th!

A huge thanks to Milly Reid for my shiny copy of Highfire and to the publishers! I’m thrilled to be part of this blog tour!

Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation. Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…

For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again

I’ve always been a fan of Eoin Colfer’s books, since I grew up with Artemis Fowl, so I was over the moon when Netgalley accepted my request for an earc and then when I was asked to be part of my first blog tour.

Told by three POVs (Vern’s, Squib’s and Hooke’s), Highfire is a very peculiar book, full of adventure, action and funny moments. Like in his other books, Colfer’s writing style is brilliant, full of sarcasm, jokes and foreshadowing.

“And as is so often the case, things would’ve turned out a whole lot better if the kid could’ve kept it in his pants.”

Highfire’s characters are brilliantly written and relatable. Squib is a fifteen years old, who finds himself involved in something bigger than he could have ever thought, running from a crooked cop, with a dragon as boss. His thoughts and inner monologue are hilarious and his character is multi-dimensional and realistic. Through his POV the reader can see how deeply he loves his mother, how loyal and stubborn he is. And unfortunate. He means well, even though he finds himself into trouble everytime.

His thoughts are consistent with his age, still able to believe in extraordinary things like a talking dragon and to accept this turn of events, without thinking himself crazy. Even though he’s in a difficult situation (his Momma works hard, he works three jobs, his Daddies left them in trouble), Squib is brilliant, sassy, sarcastic and able to see the world for what it is and act accordingly, but without losing his hopes and dreams.

Reading through Vern’s eyes, the reader is able to experience his loneliness, his depression. He remembers, melancholically, an Era when dragon were feared and he mourns his family, killed by humans, whom he distrusts and hates. Vern hides from them and their phones recording and weapons and from what would happen if they discover his existence. Convinced to be the last dragon alive, he would love to live peacefully watching TV cable and talking only with Waxman, his mogwai and oldest friend. But then Squib changes his entire existence.

Vern is funny, sarcastic and thoughtful. Even though he has fantasy characteristics, such as flying, hording riches, fire, Colfer created a new dragon, talking about his physical traits like his powerful sense of smell, the oil he needs to use his fire, his fat, his cells, the proprieties of his fluids and excrements, his penis and the importance and message of the balls if they are in or out. It was unbelievably funny ( and sometimes gross) reading about the physical characteristics of both dragon’s and mogwai’s anatomies.

Even though he is a dragon, a mystical creature, Vern is absolutely relatable and “humanized” with this thoughts and fears, his prejudices, his depression and blues and loneliness. I’ve never felt so close to a dragon before.

The third POV is Hooke’s, who is crooked, arrogant and psycothic. Sadist. From his background the reader learns he had a difficult childhood, with his parents, above all his father, but it’s impossible to feel sympathy for him, because Hooke is unrepentant. He’s cruel, greedy, patronizing, calling everyone “son”, feeling superior. In his thoughts and inner monologue it’s clear the influence of his father and the church. His lust for Elodie and hatred for Squib are very clear. It was interesting seeing his thoughts, because he’s the perfect villain in the story, ready to do anything to get what he wants. He represents, incarnates the cruel human Vern is hiding from, with his violence and plans to exploit or kill.

The relationship between Vern and Squib is one of the thing I loved the most in Highfire. Rocky and suspicious at first, slowly they get to know each other, until they are at ease with one other. Vern is cinical and bitter, but funny and Squib is sassy and brilliant, even though many didn’t know that. I really liked reading their banter. They would do (and do) anything for each other. It was fascinating reading how much they and their relationship grow throughout the book, until they become friends. Vern and Squib are captivating main characters, very intruing.

The side characters were brilliantly written, too. I liked a lot the relationship between Vern and Waxman, full of insults, witty and sarcastic banter and good-natured bickering. I liked how Squib listened to Waxman’s advices and thoughts, how he was an important friend in his life. Elodie Moreau and Bodi Irwin were amazing characters, both of them sassy and protective of Squib first and then of Vern, too. I’d loved to read more about them.

There are a lot of reference to music and TV shows in Highfire, from Flashdance (Vern really liked that movie, above all a particular scene), Game of Thrones (Vern DIDN’T like how the dragons were portayed), Lord of the Rings, Batman and so on.

I loved reading Highfire. I laughed so hard, I was moved by many moments and involved in the action. It was impossible not to love these characters, cheering for Squib and Vern, getting angry at Hooke, laughing at Vern bantering with Waxman, Squib and Bodi.

I really enjoyed reading Highfire, a very peculiar book, a mix between a comedy, a thriller, a noir with unforgettable characters, full of funny, moving and deep moments, able to captivate the reader since the first page into an emotional and brilliant rollercoaster.

Trigger warnings: suicide, attempted suicide, death, gore, mutilation, rape jokes, depression, kidnapping, drugs, weapons.

#Highfire           @JoFletcherBOoks                        @EoinColfer

Categorie
Most anticipated

The most anticipated reads

Part 2

From google images

The kingdom of back by Marie Lu

336 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.
In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. (goodreads)

The kingdom of back is an evocative and intense tale of love, magic, music and family. The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

Docile by K. M. Szpara

480 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor.com

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.
Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it. (goodreads)

Docile is a sexy, moving and wonderful book about consent, love, sacrifice and justice. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.

House of earth and blood (Crescent city 1#) by Sarah J. Maas

816 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. (goodreads)

For me Sarah J. Maas is one of the most talented writer and I love every book she wrote, so I’m absolutely excited about this one.

Havenfall by Sara Holland

320 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury YA

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe… (goodreads)

The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

Only most devastated by Sophie Gonzales

288 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Wednesday Books

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most. (goodreads)

One of my most anticipated is this lgbt book because “SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease“.

I mean, it possible NOT to be excited? Not for me.

The midnight lie by Marie Rutkoski

368 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.
Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.
But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves. (goodreads)

Another lgbt book, this time a fantasy and it seems absolutely fantastic.

Wicked as you wish by Rin Chupeco (A hundred names for magic 1#)

432 pages

Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated… (goodreads)

March 3rd is FULL of new releases. So many amazing book will be published!

My dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

384 pages

Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by William Morrow

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. (goodreads)

My dark Vanessa is one of the most hard (because of its themes) and intense book I’ve ever read. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.

The electric heir (Feverwake 2#) by Victoria Lee

480 pages

Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Skyscape

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.
Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.
Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life. (goodreads)

The fever king and The electric heir are two of my favourite books. This duology deals with a lot of important themes, from abuse, to injustice, to survivors, politcs, love, friendship… The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.

A conspiracy of bones by Kathy Reichs

352 pages

Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Scribner

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.
An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.
To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?
With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.
But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes… (goodreads)

I’m a sucker for Temperance Brennan and her investigations, so I loved this book. As usual, the review and the trigger warning will be posted closer to the publication date.

The House in the cerulean sea by T. J. Klune

Hardcover, 400 pages

Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Books

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. (goodreads)

http://www.infosysmt.com from goodle images

Queen of coin and whispers by Helen Corcoran

464 pages

Expected publication: April 6th 2020 by The O’Brien Press

She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?

In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …(goodreads)

Another legbt book! This one looks incredible!

  • Bonds of Brass (The bloodright trilogy) by Emily Skutskie304 pages

Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Del Rey Books

A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.
Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs? (goodreads)

The silence of bones by June Hur

336 pages

Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends

I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.


1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh. (goodreads)

Incendiary (Hollow Crown 1#) by Zoraida Córdova

464 pages

Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. (Goodreads)

Categorie
As Travars-Recensioni

We used to be friends by Amy Spalding

EARC review

384 pages

Published January 7th 2020 by Harry N. Abrams

We used to be friends is very peculiar book, built in a curious and interesting way. There are two POVs, Kat’s and James’ and the book swings from month to month, starting with the end (or a beginning) and ending with the beginning. Kat and James are best friends since they were little and they can’t wait to go through their senior year, both of them full of hopes, plans and ideas for the future, colleges and boyfriends. But the senior year changes everything for them.

James’ life is turn upside down when her parents, together since high school and considered, by her and everyone else, a true love story, break up and her mother left her and her father to live in another city with another man. She isn’t sure anymore about anything, even her own relationship with Logan, now in college and she decided to break up with him, scared because her plans, inspired by her parents’ love, fell apart. Seeing their marriage’s outcome, she’s scared to love her boyfriend, bringing herself to pushing him away. To complicate things her best friend seemed less interested in hanging out with her and in trying to understand that something is wrong with James than to be with Quinn Morgan, who seems to have taken her place and Kat’s attention. Jealousy and heartbreak pushes James to distance herself from Kat.

Kat’s life, even though she wants others to think it’s perfect, is not. Her mother died for a heart problem, leaving her paranoid and scared about her own health, her father decided to start dating and her boyfriend cheated on her because he was bored when she was away during summer. Her only constant is (was) James, even though slowly their relationship deteriorate, and her new friendship with Quinn. When Quinn kissed her, Kat realized how much she loves her and starts a relationship with her, slowly and without realizing, pushing James away. Or giving her for granted.

This book narrated their story, talking about their relationships, school, boyfriend and girlfriend, parents dating, parents separating, prom and dresses, colleges, friends. It shows, while talking about their friendship, with flashbacks too, how James’ and Kat’s lives change in such short time, how they find way to be more sure of themselves, or how to seek help, how to realize people around them, how to grown up, even when everything changes around you and you lose your benchmark.

Kat is a bit self absorbed, but like James, her character is complex. She’s suffering, going through big changes in her life, her father dating, her bisexuality, her moving on after her mother’s death. Around others Kat pretends she’s perfect, she hasn’t problems and only James and then Quinn pushed her to be more herself, to be fragile when she needs to be. To accept things and learn from them.

James is complex, quiet and introvert. She and Kat are really different. Kat popular and boisterous, James contemplative, alert, with her plans and thoughts. It’s clear even in their writing style, because Kat uses upper cases and emoticons and esclamation points, while James is more accurate in writing and, when she slowly distances herself from Kat, her style becomes succint and almost cold. James found her world turned upside down and she’s forced to accept it, with her mother and friend. I love her relationship with Logan, who is an amazing, caring and funny person, always there for her, when they are a couple, when they are not and when they are figuring out, giving her space to sort herself and her feelings out.

I love how this book deals with emotions, heartbreak, grieving, funny moments and so on. I love how the ending left, at least as I see it, a sliver of hope for James and Kat and James and Logan. How it talked about jealousy, relationship,romantic and not, school and making choices.

Amy Spalding’s writing style is excellent and she swings skillfully between the two main characters and it’s clear who’s talking by word choices, sentences and expressions. I liked the way the book deals with important themes (divorces, depressions, seeking help and so on) and how it focuses on changes and growing up. Overall We used to be friends is a 4 stars reading for me, intesting, captivating and really well written.

https://www.bookdepository.com/We-Used-Be-Friends-Amy-Spalding/9781419738661?ref=grid-view&qid=1579728717201&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.com/We-Used-Friends-Amy-Spalding-ebook/dp/B07NY13BJ3/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=we+used+to+be+friends&qid=1579728739&sr=8-1

Categorie
Most anticipated

My most anticipated books of 2020

2020 is another year full of amazing book releases and I’ve decided to make a list of my MOST anticipated books, so let’s dive in!

Part 1

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The god game by Danny Tobey

Published January 7th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

496 pages

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

I’ve already posted my review on The God game on the pubblication date, but I can’t recommend enough this book! It’s a mix of thriller, mystery and it’s like an episode of Black Mirror, with the augumented reality.

CW: attempted suicide, violence, self harm, depression, blackmail

We used to be friends by Amy Spalding

384 pages

Published January 7th 2020 by Harry N. Abram

Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. (goodreads)

I will post a complete review later on this book.

The night country by Melissa Albert

336 pages

Published January 7th 2020 by Flatiron Books

Can you ever truly escape the Hazel Wood?

In the sequel to her New York Times bestselling, literary/commercial breakout, The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert dives back into the menacing, mesmerizing world that captivated readers of the first book. Follow Alice Proserpine and Ellery Finch as they come to learn that The Hazel Wood was just the beginning of worlds beyond, “a place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth, and the world as it appears false, and where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a good book” (The New York Times).

Review already posted on this blog.

Keystone by Katie Dehalanty

390 pages

Published January 7th 2020 by Entangled: Teen

When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile “Influencer” isn’t what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.

But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses—everything.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something—or someone—is changing history to suit their needs.

Partnered with the annoyingly hot—and utterly impossible—Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

One wrong move and she could lose everything—again. (goodreads)

Review to be posted.

A throne of swans by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

352 pages

Published January 9th 2020 by Hot Key Books

In a world were the flightless are rules by the flighted, Aderyn becomes Protector of Atratys, one of the kingdom’s dominion, when her father dies. Unable to transform since the attack that killed her her mother and gravely hurt her, Aderyn found herself at the mercy of her cruel uncle, the king, into a court full of secrets and lies. Determined to find out who killed her mother and protect her dominion, Aderyn struggles with her magic and who to trusts.

Review to be posted later.

The conference of birds by Ransom Riggs

14 January 2020 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

321 pages

An instant bestseller, A Map of Days launched readers into the previously unexplored world of American peculiars, one bursting with new questions, new allies, and new adversaries.

Now, with enemies behind him and the unknown ahead, Jacob Portman’s story continues as he takes a brave leap forward into The Conference of the Birds, the next installment of the beloved, bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. (goodreads)

After the ending of Map of days, The conference of birds was one of the most anticipated release for me, because I couldn’t wait to dive again into Jacob’s world and the peculiardom.

Burn the dark by S.A. Hunt

 384 pages

Published January 14th 2020 by Tor Books (first published July 20th 2015)

Supernatural meets Stranger Things in award-winning author S. A. Hunt’s Burn the Dark, first in the Malus Domestica horror action-adventure series about a punk YouTuber on a mission to bring down witches, one vid at a time.

Robin is a YouTube celebrity gone-viral with her intensely-realistic witch hunter series. But even her millions of followers don’t know the truth: her series isn’t fiction.

Her ultimate goal is to seek revenge against the coven of witches who wronged her mother long ago. Returning home to the rural town of Blackfield, Robin meets friends new and old on her quest for justice. But then, a mysterious threat known as the Red Lord interferes with her plans…

Review already posted on this blog.

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

368 pages

Published January 14th 2020 by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers–a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day. Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own–one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be. (bookdepository)

Inifnity Son is the first book of the Inifnity Circle trilogy, the first fantasy book for Adam Sivera

Spellhacker by M.K. England

Expected publication 20 January 2020 by HarperTeen

416 pages

In Kyrkarta, magic-known as maz-was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled-and, of course, outrageously expensive. Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever. But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague-and possibly save the world. No pressure. (bookdepository)

I’m really curious about this book, since it should be science- fantasy, ya and lgbt and I’m a sucker for fantasy lgbt ya books.

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Hardcover, 384 pages

Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Jo Fletcher Books

Highfire was one of the best book I’ve ever read in a long time and I would never thank enough Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity of reading the earc.

It’s the first adult fantasy novel from the author of Artemis Fowl and Highfire is peculiar, weird and very funny. From the New York Times bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series comes a hilarious and high-octane adult novel about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana–and the raucous adventures that ensue when he crosses paths with a fifteen-year-old troublemaker on the run from a crooked sheriff.In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs–now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie–now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they? (bookdepository)

The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

Btw, I’m trying to put my most anticipated release in order, but surely I will forgot some book along the way, since there are TOO many. These are my January most anticipated reads! Now I’m ready for Febraury!

From We heart it

The queen’s assassin by Melissa De La Cruz

384 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Caledon Holt is the Kingdom of Renovia’s deadliest weapon. No one alive can best him in brawn or brains, which is why he’s the Guild’s most dangerous member and the Queen’s one and only assassin. He’s also bound to the Queen by an impossible vow–to find the missing Deian Scrolls, the fount of all magical history and knowledge, stolen years ago by a nefarious sect called the Aphrasians.

Shadow has been training all her life to follow in the footsteps of her mother and aunts–to become skilled enough to join the ranks of the Guild. Though magic has been forbidden since the Aphrasian uprising, Shadow has been learning to control her powers in secret, hoping that one day she’ll become an assassin as feared and revered as Caledon Holt. When a surprise attack brings Shadow and Cal together, they’re forced to team up as assassin and apprentice to hunt down a new sinister threat to Renovia. But as Cal and Shadow grow closer, they’ll uncover a shocking web of lies and secrets that may destroy everything they hold dear. With war on the horizon and true love at risk, they’ll stop at nothing to protect each other and their kingdom in this stunning first novel in the Queen’s Secret series. (goodreads)

I’ve only read The isle of the lost by this author and I really can’t wait to read this book, since they say it’s perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

The gravity of us by Phil Stamper

320 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Bloomsbury YA

In this smart, heart-warming YA debut perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, two teens find love when their lives are uprooted for their parents’ involvement in a NASA mission to Mars.

Cal wants to be a journalist, and he’s already well underway with almost half a million followers on his FlashFame app and an upcoming internship at Buzzfeed. But his plans are derailed when his pilot father is selected for a highly-publicized NASA mission to Mars. Within days, Cal and his parents leave Brooklyn for hot and humid Houston.

With the entire nation desperate for any new information about the astronauts, Cal finds himself thrust in the middle of a media circus. Suddenly his life is more like a reality TV show, with his constantly bickering parents struggling with their roles as the “perfect American family. And then Cal meets Leon, whose mother is another astronaut on the mission, and he finds himself falling head over heels–and fast. They become an oasis for each other amid the craziness of this whole experience. As their relationship grows, so does the frenzy surrounding the Mars mission, and when secrets are revealed about ulterior motives of the program, Cal must find a way to get to the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him. (bookdepository)

Yes no Maybe so by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

368 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state candidate – as long as he’s behind the scenes. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is cancelled, her parents are separating and now her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing – with some awkward guy she hardly knows …

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer – and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely. (goodreads)

I’ve never read anything by Aisha Saeed, yet, but I loved Simon vs the Homo Sapiens agenda by Albertalli and this book seems really amazing.

Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

384 pages

Expected publication: February 1st 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire

Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome wor.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies. (goodreads)

All the stars and teeth by Adalyn Grace

384 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Imprint

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever. (goodreads)

Break in case of emergency by Brian Francis

368 pages

Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Inkyard Press (first published September 17th 2019)

TW: suicide, attempted suicide, depression, homophobia, mental illness

Life has been a struggle for Toby Goodman. Her mother died by suicide five years ago, and her father left before Toby was born. Now a teenager living on her grandparents’ dairy farm, Toby has trouble letting people in. Convinced that she is destined to follow her mother’s path, she creates a plan to escape her pain.
But with the news that her father is coming home and finally wants to meet her, Toby learns the truth of her parents’ story. Her father is gay and a world-famous female impersonator–in a time when these facts are a source of small-town whispers and secrets, and not something anyone had dared talk with her about before.
As her careful plans go awry, Toby must rebuild her life from the ground up. While she might not follow an expected path, with the support of a quirky but lovable circle of friends and family, Toby will finally put together the many different pieces that make up her past, her present and her future. (goodreads)

Review already posted on this blog.

What kind of girl by Alyssa Sheinmel

272 pages

Expected publication: February 6th 2020 by Atom 

The girls at North Bay Academy are taking sides. It all started when Mike Parker’s girlfriend showed up with a bruise on her face. Or, more specifically, when she walked into the principal’s office and said Mike hit her. But the students have questions: Why did she go to the principal and not the police? Why did she stay so long if he was hurting her? Obviously, if it’s true, Mike should be expelled. But is it true? Some girls want to rally for his expulsion – and some want to rally around Mike. The only thing that the entire student body can agree on? Someone is lying. And the truth has to come out. (goodreads).

The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

Of curses and kisses by Sandhya Menon

384 pages

Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Simon Pulse

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right? His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending. (goodreads)

Of curses and Kisses is yet another retelling of The beauty and the beast, set into a boarding school. I’m curious about this one, since the setting is very peculiar.

Foul is fair by Hannah Capin

336 pages

Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Wednesday Books

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. They picked the wrong girl. Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes. (goodreads)

Foul is fair sounds absolutely brilliant, bloody and full of revenge! Sign me in!

Asperfell by Jamie Thomas

430 pages

Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Uproar Books, LLC

Only the darkest and most dangerous of Mages are sentenced to pass through the gate to Asperfell. Not one has ever returned. Never did Briony dream she might set foot in the otherworldly prison of Asperfell. She was, after all, neither Mage nor criminal. She was simply her father’s little whirlwind—fingers smudged with ink, dresses caked with mud—forever lost in a book or the spirit-haunted woods surrounding her family’s country estate. But Briony always had a knack for showing up where she was least expected. Only by braving the gate of Asperfell could Briony hope to find the true heir to the throne of Tiralaen and save her kingdom from civil war. And so, she plunges into a world of caged madmen and demented spirits, of dark magic and cryptic whispers… and of a bleak and broken prince with no interest in being rescued. (goodreads)

The review will be posted closer to the publication date.

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Burn the dark Malus Domestica #1 by S.A. Hunt

Publication date: Today! 14 January 2020 https://www.amazon.com/Burn-Dark-Malus-Domestica-1-ebook/dp/B07QLHFZGB https://www.bookdepository.com/Burn-Dark-S-Hunt/9781250306425?ref=grid-view&qid=1579030128846&sr=1-4

I thank Netgalley and the publisher for this book, received in exchange of an honest review.

Robin Martine is not the usual girl. She’s an orphan, she can use swords and knives, she runs a Youtube channel, she travels around America recording her adventure in…witch killing. Robin is a witch hunter and the witches are not like Sabrina Spellman or any kind witches seen on television. They are cruel, they are known to siphon life to them through spells and sacrifices and they are immortal. They killed Robin’s mother, Annie, blaming her violent father. After being instituzionalized, because Robin spoke the truth about the witches and doctors made her believe she was crazy, filling her with medications and shock therapies, she’s rescued by a family friend, Heinrich. He reveals her the truth about witches and starts training her. Haunted by a green eyed monster, for years, Robin fights against supposed hallucinations and spells, while trying to do her job. The story is built with flashbacks and memories and starts when Robin comes back to Blackfield, in her old city. For Robin, coming back home means reconnecting with Joel, his old best friend and to know Kenway,with whom Robin right away get along, dragging both of her friends in her caotic and dangerous life and revenge. Her path crossed Wayne’s and his father, who they just moved in her old house. While she’s keen on getting her revenge on the Coven that killed her mother, Robin starts to understand she may have been underestimated the situation.

I really liked this book. Robin is a great main character, funny, determined, stubborn and keen on discovering the truth about her family, her mother, the creature that haunts her. She wants to kill the coven that murdered her mother, the dangerous Lazenbury. Joel is a fantastic and ironic best friend and I love her relationship with him and how she found someone in him and Kenway to rely on. Kenway is another amazing character. He’s a veteran, he went through hell and back and, like Robin, he’s full of memories and scars. I loved how Robin’s plot crossed with Wayne’s, the new kid. I like Wayne, a lot. The author did a fantastic job writing his character. Wayne lost his mother to cancer, his father went through a bad moment, drinking and, deciding to move from Chicago to a little city meant for him changing his whole life, school and friends, while still grieving for his mother. He’s a strong character, friendly, smart and I liked reading about he having new friends. He was forced to grow up faster when his father started to drink. I found really sweet his habit to put her mother’s wedding ring near his eye and see through it.

I love how important that ring became in the book., too. Leon, his father, a teacher, found himself involved in witches, monsters and spell, involving witch hunting, magic rings and creature from other dimensions. I liked reading about Robin’s mentor and savior, too, Heinrich, even though he’s less present in the book and I hope to read more about him in the sequel, because he seemed an interesting character. The book is captivating, full of twists and revelations and it kept me hooked until the end. It was amazing reading the multiple POVs, Robin’s, Joel’s, Wayne’s, Marylin’s and see through the “villains’ ” eyes too. I liked reading about witches, their powers and dryads, goddesses and so on. I’m really happy to have read this book and I can’t wait to know more about Robin’s story.

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The God game by Danny Tobey

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

Publication: today! January 7 2020

CW: attempted suicide, violence, self harm, depression, blackmail

The God Game is the most peculiar, exciting and brilliant book I’ve read in a long time.
The writing is perfect, the characters well rounded and so real, so relatable (Alex and Charlie were really perfect) it hurts, the plot captivating and chilling.
Everything starts with a chatbot, the God game, that answer any kind of question, an AI that claims to be God and starts sending messages on Charlie’s and his friends’ phones, asking them to do something. It’s a game, a wild one where it controls everything, can access everything, from phones, to pc, to cameras and so on. It’s God, He sees and knows everything.
Intrigued by the ad, Charlie, Peter, Vanhi, Alex and Kenny decided to play this peculiar game, using their phone, accessing, in this way, a cool and peculiar virtual reality. The Game is simple. If you do well, you get Goldz and something good will happen in your life. If you do bad, you get Blaxx and more Blaxx you got more likely the player will be killed. And if someone dies in the game, dies in the real life. Skeptic and curious, Charlie and his friends decided to try the Game and they started doing quests, following instructions, running around the school at night, discovering it, through the virtual reality, full of mysteries, gods and quests to accept or to buy.
The game inspired by the religion is a wild one and day after day they each found caught up with missions and with the Game. From simple request to dangerous one, to lies and cover ups.

I loved many things about this book. The game itself is creepy, brilliant, controlling, managing to use its players like pawns, using them and turning them against one other. In a game where the difference between reality and virtual one is really slim, where they can’t trust anything electronic, the characters move and act, in a giant chessboard, without knowing exactly what’s the Game real goal, where are the others players, what will they do, what are the purposes of their missions. It rewards them if the player do what the Game asks and punish them otherwise. It’s a crescendo of missions, lies, revenge and so on, pushing and threatening them into doing things they wouldn’t have done, otherwise.

What I loved more about this book are its characters. I rarely read characters so real, authentic and raw. So multidimensional. So relatable and well constructed.
Charlie is a young man, who lost his mother to cancer and since her disease and death his life, his grades and relationship with his father is spiralling out of control. He feels resentment for his father, who fell apart when his wife got sick, basically leaving Charlie to do the caretaker and bearing his suffering alone.
Vanhi is a brilliant woman, a bass player, an Hindu girl who’s struggling against her parents’ expectations and their desire she will go to Harvard, hiding a bad grade and a paper forged from them.
Kenny is a cellist, the philosopher, from a very religious family and he too, like Vanhi, has to suffer his parents’ pressures to do better, to do perfectly.
Alex is a nihilist, a young man who is abused at home, depressed and lonely, bullied and feeling himself suicidal.
Peter is the golden boy of the situation, the rich one, the carefully hidden deranged one, doing drugs and dealing, with his absentee father and a mother who left him when he was young.
They found solace in their group, called the Vindicators, doing pranks, supporting each other and doing the Game, that tested their friendships, morals and lives.

Each one of this characters, the main ones, are beautifully written and I was able to feel their rage, pain and frustrations. What it impressed me was that the side characters were amazingly well rounded too. There aren’t sterotypes, like the girl to win over or the bad guy. We read about Mary, the perfect and beautiful girl, controlled and with a big secret to mantain. Kurt, violent henchman, with an homophobic father. Tim, violent and controlling, with his stealing father. There are no absolutely good or bad people in this book, but incredibly complex ones. Even Charlie and his friends nurture feelings that could hurt one other, like envy or bitterness or rage, raging against each other, hurting each other.
The Game, knowing everything about them and their dreams, manipulated them and everyone else in a big chessboard, moving pieces like it wants. Or He wants, according to the Game.

It was amazing reading about the augumented reality, seen through phones or glasses, reading about missions, packages, quests and it was disturbing and creepy see the characters being controlled more and more, until they try to quit the Game and be free. Reading they being so controlled and observed was suffocating and I felt their emotions, their warring thoughts.
I loved the characters in The God Game, because they were flawed and human. Charlie with his rage, Alex with his depression, Peter with his need to control everything, Kenny and Vanhi with their desires and family’s pressures. It was moving reading how Charlie was so lost after his mother’s death and how Peter, in his own, maybe debatable ways, was with him or how Charlie was so caught up in his own grief to not want to reach for Alex’s pain, favouring the carefree and unconcerned Peter. Or how Alex was so in pain to get involved so much in the Game, that used his suffering to manipulated him. Or Vanhi’s and Kenny’s ambitions, their fear of disappointing their parents, their need to do the right thing, to be honest.

This book put forward interesting and moral questions. If it someone or something offered me what I want, would I accepted it? Even if it hurt someone? Could I hurt someone to save someone else, maybe a loved one? Someone else’s pain is worth my friends’ or family’s lives or could I sacrife someone to save myself or my loved ones?
During all the book, from small and innocent missions, the characters found themselves debating moral choices, which path take. If someone is a bully he deserved to be hurt and humiliated? Can I ruin someone’s life to life mine better?
What will you do if your life isn’t yours to control anymore? If you didn’t ever have any control on it? What will you do when you’re so caught up in the Game and you can’t see any way out other than the worst one? And the Game, in his infinite power, manipulated, fooled and tricked all his gamers, until the ending, showing them the free will was a difficult thing to achieve, in The God Game, to be free from the Game itself.

Charlie and his friends grew in the book, I loved reading about their development, their choices, their desires, their healing each other. I loved their relationship, how they all are so fallible, human, torn between doing the right thing and follow their desires, their selfishness.

Besides pushing the reader to think about moral choices, grey areas and religion, it’s a book about friendship and relationship, mostly between fathers and sons, from the complex and incredibly frustrating one with Alex and his father to Charlie and his dad.
About friendship, because it was absolutely moving reading they going to the great lenght to save and protect each other, notwithstanding their small fights and misunderstanding.
It was a book that gave me hope, because its characters, even though they are hurt and flawed and will do mistakes in the future, go towards a path of growth, forgiveness, another chance to liberation, like one of the character say.
That things may seems bleak and awful, but you could go on, pick yourself up, glue the pieces together again and try to be better, to try again and harder. Not alone, of course. With friends, family and help.

This book is absolutely brilliant, pushing the reader to ask questions, to seek answers, to be moved by friendship and love
And, to be honest, to fear how far the technology, any AI, could go and do.
An excellent read. A 5 solid star. Danny Tobey’s writing style is enthralling and his characters are alive and pulsing with life and choices.

“I’m a guinea pig in a fucking morality play that stops when I’m dead?”

His mind was a house of pain, all exits locked.