Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus

Title: Invictus

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Date of publication: September 19th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult

Number of pages: 464

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Invictus: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with the knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

In this heart-stopping adventure, Ryan Graudin has created a fast-paced world that defies time and space.

Trigger Warning: None

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The Inherited (The Inherited Series: Book 1) by Lily Burlington

The Inherited

Title: The Inherited

Author: Lily Burlington

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: September 13th, 2017

Genre: Romance, young adult

Number of pages:

POV: 1st person

Series: The Inherited

The Inherited – Book 1

Where you can find The Inherited: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

One second Catherine believes that she is a normal girl, the next she finds herself betrothed to a Prince. Together they are thrust into a world of political intrigue, ancient oaths, & deadly mystery.

All Cat wants is to make it through her final exams and to get into a good university but that is put on hold when two men show up on her doorstep and tell her she is the last descendant of an ancient and forgotten royal bloodline. Not only that, but they offer her the chance of a lifetime trip to spend the summer living it up on castles and yachts off the coast of France. The only hitch is that she has to be a brooding prince’s arm candy.

A summer of parties and beaches changes faster than the tides when old secrets begin to be unearthed and blood binding decrees are called upon. Cat and her prince soon find themselves mixed up in political intrigue, deadly mystery, and history-changing decisions.

Can truth and love survive when the path to the throne and crown is riddled with deception and daggers?

Trigger Warning: None

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Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Title: Mask of Shadows

Author: Linsey Miller

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Fire

Date of publication: September 5th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, GLBQTIA

Number of pages: 352

POV: 1st person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (via Goodreads): 

Sallot Leon is a thief and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

My review:

I was pretty excited to read Mask of Shadows. When I first read the blurb on the NetGalley posting, it caught my interest. The last fantasy novel I read with a genderfluid character were The Farseer/The Tawny Man/The Fitz and The Fool series with The Fool being the genderfluid character (and before anyone asks, I have read all of those series plus 2 that aren’t listed).

I actually liked Sal. She/He/They thought on his/her/their feet. The fact that she/he/they wanted to become Opal and went for it was great. Her/His/Their other reason for becoming Opal (finding the lords who refused to help her homeland and assassinating them) was pretty valid too. She/He/They thought that if she/he/they became Opal, that she/he/they could take on the lords as a side job.

I did think that the audition was a little reminiscent of The Hunger Games….but only, and stress only when the members of The Left Hand told them that it was a free-for-all. Once the auditioners were whittled down from 23 to 8, the free for all ended and they started to be eliminated by The Left Hand members or the remaining people were disqualified. Any similarities to The Hunger Games were ended. I mean, I read The Hunger Games and they battled it out to the last person (well, last two people in Katniss and Peeta’s case). Not here. The Left Hand members decided who was going to be Opal and let the remaining two people (in this case, it was referenced that there were more at previous auditions) go.

The masks kinda bothered me, though. I don’t like masks. I have a phobia about things covering my face and even reading about them skeeved me out. They had to eat with those things on and I can only imagine what the insides looked like….puke. So yes, I spent almost the whole book being grossed out and praying that the masks will go away…lol.

I also liked the romance between Elise and Sal. It was sweet and totally forbidden. I actually had a huge smile on my face during those scenes. Sal really had no clue on how to act because Elise was an Erland and he/she/they hated the Erlands with a passion because of what happened to his/her/their homeland. I also liked Elise’s personality. She was spunky and she definitely not afraid to stand up for who and what she believed in.

The main plot, the audition, ended the way I thought it would (giving nothing away). But the secondary plot about Sal and her/his/their obsession with getting even with the Erland’s took a very surprising, and sad, turn. Want to find out….read the book.

The end of the book was definitely a cliffhanger. As much as I dislike cliffhangers, this one worked and I really can’t wait for book 2!!

How many stars will I give Mask of Shadows: 4

Why: I enjoyed reading this book and it definitely kept me engrossed.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Late Teen

Why: Violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

A Jot of Blood (The Coventry Years: Book 1) by Katherine Bayless

A Jot of Blood (The Coventry Years, #1)

Title: A Jot of Blood

Author: Katherine Bayless

Publisher: Scry Media

Date of publication: August 11th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 363

POV: 1st person

Series: The Coventry Years

A Jot of Blood – Book 1

Where you can find A Jot of Blood: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Adolescence is hard enough, but add magic to the mix and things have a way of getting complicated in a hurry. Even at Coventry Academy, one of the best schools in the world for the magically inclined, some ‘gifts’ mean nothing but trouble. What do you do when anything—your clothes, your food, the accidental brush of a fingertip—can instantly reveal the dark secrets of your closest friend … or, worse, a mortal enemy?

Coventry may have been Lire Devon’s haven since she was a little girl, but there are some who despise and even fear her rare clairvoyant power. Now, after years of simmering resentment, Lire’s nemesis, a sorceress with beauty, status, and well-connected friends, has thrown down the gauntlet. The challenge will push Lire’s resourcefulness to its limits and beyond—to a place where arcane dangers lurk and the price of power is knowledge too excruciating to bear.

Warning: The contents of this book include one surly werewolf, a snarky invisible prankster, and enough indelicate language to make a succubus blush.

Trigger Warning: Bullying

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Immortality Experiment: A Virtual Reality Thriller (Territoria: Book 1) by Vic Connor

Immortality Experiment: A Virtual Reality Thriller (Territoria Book 1)

Title: Immortality Experiment

Author: Vic Connor

Publisher: Helvetic House

Date of publication: May 21st, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Number of pages: 406

POV: 3rd person

Series: Territoria

Immortality Experiment – Book 1

Where you can find Immortality Experiment: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Immigrant. Criminal. Genius.

Abandoned as a child and fostered around a foreign city, Nikolay Somov had little hope of a successful life. Then he was wrongly convicted of a heinous crime and all hope was dashed. 

Imprisoned and awaiting execution, Nikolay receives an offer: Go on a mission inside the secret, government-controlled virtual world known as Territoria or die. 

Within the virtual world, Nikolay enrolls in the mysterious Ravenscroft Academy alongside humans, ogres, faeries, and gargoyles. As he continues to explore his new home, Nikolay discovers a conspiracy wrought with inhumane actions, driven by his captors’ boundless lust for power. 

What he thought was a school for the gifted turns out to be something else altogether. Surrounded by avatars, under constant surveillance, and fearing his mind has been infiltrated, Nikolay must escape or never see the real world again. 

This is the second edition of “Ravenscroft Conspiracy,” revised and rewritten with the input from readers.

Trigger Warning: None

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A Life of Death (A Life of Death: Book 1) by Weston Kincade

A Life of Death: (A Thrilling Supernatural Detective Series full of Suspense, Book 1) (A Life of Death Trilogy)

Title: A Life of Death

Author: Weston Kincade

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: May 31st, 2017 (Originally published May 15th, 2011)

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Mystery

Number of pages: 333

POV: 1st and 3rd person

Series: A Life of Death

A Life of Death – Book 1

The Golden Bulls – Book 2

Where you can find A Life of Death: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Alex Drummond is a troubled high school senior with a checkered past, a broken home, and a surprising ability. When he touches items that murder victims held in their final moments, Alex relives the events in gruesome detail, seeing what they saw, thinking their thoughts, and even feeling what they felt. But who will believe a troubled teen, especially when the murders are so close to home and might reveal skeletons hidden for hundreds of years? Join Alex as he struggles to find his destiny, understand love, solve the mysterious murders within his small home town, and speak for victims who can no longer speak for themselves.

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse

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Blog Tour: Project Pandora (Assassin Fall: Book 1) by Aden Polydoros

Title: Project Pandora

Author: Aden Polydoros

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, Entangled Teen

Date of publication: August 1st, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

Number of pages: 300

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Project Pandora: Barnes and Noble |KoboAmazon 

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass…

 

Trigger Warnings: Murder, child abuse

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