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Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae

The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae (sequel to The Kinder Poison)

Recommended: sure
For continuing the series, for a lot of character development

Summary

SPOILERS FOR THE KINDER POISON!

After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?

Thoughts

This got points for being a really interesting character line, which I couldn’t predict at all (in a really good way!). This lost points for having objectively very little actually happen for most of the book. I didn’t really notice while reading it, but looking back I’m realizing how the plot was pretty sparse. Especially in comparison to the first which was obviously pretty packed with action, the sequel is a lot more focused on the characters and the way they’re growing and changing.

Continue reading “Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae”
Posted in Book Talk

The laziest TBR ever (June 2021)

It’s 20 days late and barely done at all because I already wrote it but this is what that post now looks like:

😭😭😭

So forgive me for giving up a little bit on it this time. 😅

The List

  1. Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian: got it from BOTM, apparently it’s an ARC, and it’s actually holding my attention pretty well so far (when I can put the time towards reading)
  2. The Complete List of Jericho by Chris Jericho: this publishes tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll have my pre-ordered copy then!!! It’s a list of every match for all of Jericho’s 30 year career with his notes on who & where he was fighting, a rating for the match, and how much he got paid. Absolutely fascinating. ♥
  3. Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish: won this from Goodreads (also an ARC) and planning to at least start it this month, but I’m reading pretty slowly right now so we shall see!
  4. Descendants of the Crane by Joan He: in reality I probably won’t start this in June because it’s late and I’m slow right now, but it’s on the list for sure. I had never heard of it, but I’m hoping it’ll be fab.
Continue reading “The laziest TBR ever (June 2021)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Rising Like A Storm, 6/22/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Rising Like A Storm by Tanaz Bhathena!
Expected Release: June 22, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Sequel to the first one! Now admittedly, the first one didn’t really blow me away. It was a decent read, but not on my favorites shelf or anything. But I think the second one has been set up to be really action packed and exciting, with some intense drama coming up. We have so many big players in place and about to collide, so I think it’s going to be easy to see sparks fly!
  • Ahhh, the magic. The magic of this world was really creative and exciting to read about. I just want to see more of that creativity and imagine what life would be like, if…. 🙂

Summary

With King Lohar dead and a usurper queen in power, Gul and Cavas face a new tyrannical government that is bent on killing them both. Their roles in King Lohar’s death have not gone unnoticed, and the new queen is out for blood. What she doesn’t know is that Gul and Cavas have a connection that runs deeper than romance, and together, they just might have the strength and magic to end her for good.

Then a grave mistake ends with Cavas taken prisoner by the government. Gul must train an army of warriors alone. With alliances shifting and the thirst for vengeance growing, the fate of Ambar seems ever more uncertain. It will take every ounce of strength, love, and sacrifice for Gul and Cavas to reach their final goal―and build a more just world than they’ve ever known.

Posted in Book Talk

In Progress with MEMORIAL

Progress: page 149/303 (49%)

The slog continues…. I really wish I were enjoying this more, but the first half was super weird and so much seemed unnecessary (why did we see a pigeon pick up a quarter… why did it get mentioned AGAIN five pages later…). Then I finally adjusted to the rhythm, and the POV changes and is completely different. /SIGH. To be honest, I have gotten nothing from this so far…

Why did I start reading it?

It was a BOTM that I grabbed, after hearing some good things about it. I originally scorned it because I super-hate the cover. Then I learned more about it, looked at it again, saw more details of the cover that made me hate it a little less, and decided to actually read it. The premise involves relationship examining and culture shock, going new places, learning about others, etc. which always wins me in.

Why am I still reading it?

This isn’t usually a question I include in my In Progress posts… but I think it warrants asking at this point. xD I have so far not enjoyed the book at all. I don’t think I’m getting anything else from it. I don’t want to read it, frankly. But I’m very slowly continuing… because I bought it, and I don’t want to have wasted my money and book pick for the month. 😐

Lines that linger

My mother smelled like chocolate. My father wore his nice shirt. You’d have been hard pressed to think that this was a man who’d thrown his wife against a wall. Or that this lady, immediately afterward, stuck a fork into his elbow.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Cruelest Mercy, 6/15

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae! The sequel to The Kinder Poison, I’ve been waiting to continue this story since I turned the last page of the first book a year ago!
Expected Release: June 15, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Well, it’s a sequel, so of course I’m excited to see what happens next and dive back into the world! If you haven’t read the first already, you should, or at least you should stop reading this post and check out the review for that instead, so you don’t spoil anything for yourself! 😀
  • Alright, now we’re looking at Zahru potentially being the chosen one for the throne due to the absolute chaos that ended the first book? Jesus this poor girl, could her life get any more complicated? (Since there’s a whole book to read, I imagine the answer is a delightful and savage Oh, yes.)
  • Kasta’s secret is purely mind-bending. I absolutely LOVED his whole backstory in the first book, and he’s a wonderful villain / hero / who knows kind of combo at times. I’m so intrigued to see how he manipulates and schemes in this book. Even if I’m rooting for “the good guys” you’ve GOT to have a great villain for it to really matter. And he absolutely delivers!

Summary

After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?

Posted in Book Talk

May Wrap Up (that was fast)

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planned 11, fully confident that it would NOT happen, and indeed I got 8 completed, 3 of which weren’t even in my planned list. Nothing new there!

The Plan:

My plan was all books from my shelf, more or less: books I got from Book of the Month and hadn’t yet read, and books I bought from my fav local charity bookstore for Bookstore day. My goal was to clean up my shelves a little bit!!

The Result:

BOTM books: 4/6

Books I bought recently: 1/3

Books I requested an ARC of instead of reading what I already had…. 2/2 😁

Continue reading “May Wrap Up (that was fast)”
Posted in Release Day!

Just published: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy for yourself!

Recommended: YUP
For a high school drama that turns into a mystery that turns into an actual oh-sh*t situation, for a story of friendship and identity and isolation and trust and race, for a story where you get halfway through and wonder how it could get any more intense

Summary

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Verdict: uhmmmmm… don’t bother. Severely lacking in all aspects

Recommended: no
because of a lack of compelling plot, uninteresting characters, a distinct lack of promised magic, a book that’s ultimately just pretty dry and boring. Maybe it’s a good plane book to read then ditch or donate.

Summary

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago.

Thoughts

To turn a common phrase on its head, this book was entirely putdownable. Which I did, many times, and only picked up again out of a general sense of obligation to see it through.

Continue reading “Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner”