Our Lady of the Streets

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

The City’s Son | The Glass Republic

Our Lady of the Streets was written by Tom Pollock and first published in 2014. It forms the final instalment of The Skyscraper Throne Trilogy and is preceded by The City’s Son (2012) and The Glass Republic (2013). As the novel picks up on the cliff-hanger ending of the previous instalment, I would definitely recommend reading the novels in sequence if you want to have any idea of what is going on.

Everything went to Hell on the day that Mater Viae’s double dragged herself from London-Under-Glass. As she reclaimed her throne on top of Canary Wharf, the very streets began to sicken. Pavements seared, incinerating anyone unlucky enough to stand on them, and London was sealed off from the outside world. Those unlucky enough to be trapped there are easy prey for the cruel goddess’s masonry men.

Tied to the city, Beth soon realises that she is dying. Every time that she feeds, she absorbs more of Mater Viae’s corruption. Now, her body burns with fever and she struggles to perform even the simplest of tasks. She knows that if she can’t find a way to defeat Mater Viae soon, she will certainly die. However, she only has a fraction of the army that she had when she defeated Lord Reach and the enemy this time is so much more powerful.

Pen knows that she needs to do everything that she can to save her friend, even if it means facing the demons of her past. However, when she finally learns the true horror of Mater Viae’s plan, she realises that even this will not be enough. In order to stand a chance to defeat the Goddess of London, they will need the help of their oldest and most powerful of enemies. And such forces cannot be easily controlled…

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A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls was written by Patrick Ness and first published in 2011. It is a dark fantasy story that tells the tale of a young teenager who is forced to come to terms with his mother’s terminal illness. The novel stands alone, so you do not have to read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.

Connor O’Malley is not having the best time of things. His mother has been sick for a long time and her treatments do not seem to be making her better as quickly as he hoped. This causes a lot of tension for him at school. The other kids mostly seem to ignore him, as though they’re scared about how fragile he is. Teachers aren’t much better as they seem to think that he needs babying. No matter what he does, he does not seem to get in trouble. The only person who does see him is the school bully – Harry – who now finds him to be an easy target.

Things are worse still for Connor at home. Although he thinks he does a good job of caring for his mother, no one else seems to agree. His grandmother is quick to move in to take charge, bossing Connor around and treating him like a little kid. His father, on the other hand, is barely there. He has a new life in America now and does nothing but pay fleeting visits in which he tells Connor to be brave.

It is 12:07 at night when the monster first comes to Connor. The creature forms itself out of an old yew tree and seems surprised that Connor is not more afraid of him, yet it is not the scariest monster that he has ever seen. Yet this monster has come with a purpose. It will return to visit him and tell three stories from previous times it has walked the earth. When all of these stories are told, it expects Connor to tell him one thing in return – his truth. And that is the most frightening thing of all.

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Ice Crypt

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Ice Massacre. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Ice Crypt was written by Tiana Warner and first published in 2016. It forms the second part of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai series, following Ice Massacre (2015) and preceding Ice Kingdom (2017). The story follows the continuing adventures of Meela and Lysi as they try to end the war between their two races, and so I would strongly recommend reading the novels in sequence to fully appreciate them.

Following her return from the Massacre, Meela knows that she needs to do something to end the fighting. She believes King Adaro’s claim about the existence of the Host – a powerful creature that has been hidden beneath Eriana Kwai. Although she knows that she can’t allow the mermaid king to harness such power, she wonders if she can find a way to turn it against him to save Lysi.

Meanwhile, Adaro has punished Lysi by sending her away from Eriana Kwai – battling alongside the mermen to quell a rebellion to the south. Although she is reunited with her childhood friend Spio, she yearns to be back with her lover. She knows that Adaro plans to have Meela and her people destroyed but can do nothing to stop it.

However, Meela and Lysi could be brought together again much sooner than anyone could imagine. As the date for the next Massacre is brought forward, Meela and her friends must hurry to find the Host before any more girls can be killed. Meanwhile, Lysi finds herself working alongside a group of rebels who have plans to assassinate Adaro…

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The Raging Ones

The Raging Ones was written by Krista and Becca Ritchie and first published in 2018. It is a science fiction story, set in a world where everyone’s death day is predetermined. The novel forms the first part of a planned series, though at the time of writing no future instalments have been announced.

On Saltare-3, society is based around how long a person will live. Scientists have determined accurately determine a person’s life span through a simple blood test. Babes – people who will live to be no older than thirteen – are the only ones who are allowed to wile away their short lives at leisure. The long-lived Influentials are also allowed a measure of luxury. Society deems only them worthy of education as they will live long enough to make use of it. All menial jobs are performed by the Fast-Trackers – people destined to die between the age of thirteen and thirty. They will never live long enough to become great, but at least this means they will give something back to society.

Franny Bluecastle knows that her time has come. There is no point fearing your death day when you’ve known about it your whole life. However, when she wakes up from a drug induced stupor the following day, she finds herself trapped in a nightmare. She has somehow managed to skip her death and now has no way of knowing when it will catch up with her.

She is soon discovered by two other people like her – serious Court Icecastle and laid-back Mykal Kickfall. She also learns that the three of them share a strange bond that allows them to sense the same physical sensations, even when they are far apart. Court realises that if anyone finds out that they have missed their death days, serious questions will be asked. Their only salvation is to win a place on the first manned space mission in centuries. But how can they hope to be selected when every other viable Influential is desperate for the same chance…

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Night of Cake and Puppets

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Days of Blood and Starlight

Night of Cake and Puppets was written by Laini Taylor and first published in 2013. It is a spin-off novella that takes place in the world of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, telling the story of how Zuzana and Mik started dating. The story largely stands alone but is designed to be read after Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) and Days of Blood and Starlight (2012). The final instalment of the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, was published in 2014.

Zuzana has always believed in magic. With a friend like Karou, it would be impossible not to. Yet Karou has now gone and left Zuzana with a parting gift of five scuppies. Zuzana knows that the minor wishes aren’t good for much but she hopes that they will be enough for what she has planned. She has been looking for a way to get to know a certain handsome violinist, and a little magic could be all it takes.

Unknown to Zuzana, the violinist has also noticed to her. There is something about the fierce puppet maker that appeals to Mik, but he does not know how to approach her. Zuzana can be intimidating and he does not want to make a bad first impression. However, he certainly does not expect her to make the first move. When he finds a treasure map hidden in his violin case, he knows that he has to follow its cryptic clues. The prize at its centre is the thing that he wants most of all.

As Zuzana leads Mik on a quest through the streets of Prague, the two quickly learn that they were made for each other. While the scuppies make the treasure hunt unforgettable, the true magic comes later as Zuzana and Mik are finally able to enjoy their night of cake and puppets.

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The Supervillain and Me

The Supervillain and Me was written in 2018 and is Danielle Banas’s debut novel. It is a science-fiction romance about a girl who slowly starts to fall for a notorious villain when she is asked to help prove his innocence. The novel forms the first part of the Morriston Superheroes series, though at the time of writing no future instalments have been announced.

Morriston City has never been safest of places. Despite the fact that it boasts two active Supers – Red Comet and Fish Boy – its crime rate is so bad that it’s unsafe for any ordinary person to walk the streets without carrying a taser. As the daughter of the mayor and sister of Red Comet, Abby knows this only too well. Her family are so busy trying to make the city a safer place that they don’t seem to spend much time together anymore.

Things get worse still when a new Super appears and burns down the mayor’s office. Dubbed the Iron Phantom by the press, he proves keen to use his powers to cause as much damage as possible. However, Abby isn’t sure quite what to make of this. Before he was revealed to be a villain, the Iron Phantom saved her life and he certainly didn’t strike her as a bad person.

It’s not long before the Iron Phantom shows up in her bedroom and begs her for help. He has reason to believe that the mayor’s office is planning to implant microchips in the general public and he needs to find out why. He also swears to Abby that he is innocent of his crimes and that someone is trying to frame him. Slowly, Abby is drawn into the conspiracy but she can’t help but worry if she is doing the right thing. How can she trust someone if she does not even know who they are, and what would her brother do if he learned that she was helping his arch nemesis?

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The Book Knights

The Book Knights was written by J.G. McKenney and first published in 2017. It is a fantasy novel that draws its inspiration from Arthurian legends, set in a dystopian city where reading is illegal. The novel reads as though it is part of a series, though at the time of writing no future instalments have been announced.

Arti Penderhagen’s life is turned upside down when her parents are arrested for the crime of reading and her home is burned to the ground. As she flees for safety, she is taken in by a young pick-pocket called Gal Hadd and offers to teach the orphan how to read in exchange for advice on how to survive on the streets.

Yet Gal’s tips may not be enough to protect Arti. Morgan Le Fay, the CEO of the city, has reason to believe that Arti has the power to thwart her plans to take absolute to control over everything. She sends her chief of police – Mordred – to scour the city for any trace of Arti, and to capture her by any means necessary.

Yet Arti soon finds allies in strange places. When she encounters an elderly librarian named Merl and reads a passage in a book that no one else can see, she learns that she is the one destined to use the magical pen Excalibri to write a better future for the world. However, to do so she needs to get her hands on the legendary Grail Tome, an ancient book in the possession of Morgan Le Fay…

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Bruja Born

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Labyrinth Lost. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Bruja Born was written by Zoraida Córdova and first published in 2018. It forms the second instalment of the Brooklyn Brujas series and is set eight months after the events of Labyrinth Lost (2016), as Lula and her family slowly recover from their ordeal in Los Lagos. Although this novel largely stands alone, I would still recommend reading the books in sequence to fully appreciate what is going on.

Lula Mortiz is a shadow of her former self. Although her sister, Alex, saved her from having her soul destroyed by a terrible monster, she has returned to New York traumatised and scared. Her anxiety has caused her relationship with her long-term boyfriend, Maks, to become strained and he eventually breaks it off, leaving Lula nursing a broken heart.

Desperate to keep Maks, Lula tries to use her healing magic to repair the rift between them. Yet, seconds later, disaster strikes. Lula’s school bus is involved in a horrific crash and many of her friends are killed. Although Lula survives, she learns that Maks is in a coma and is not expected to ever recover. When the circle refuses to heal him, Lula knows she needs to take matters into her own hands. Alex, Rose and herself command incredible power between them. It has to be enough to save him.

What should be a simple spell quickly goes wrong. When the Lady de la Muerte arrives to take Maks’s soul, Lula tethers it to herself to save him. While this at first seems to fail, the next day all of the bodies disappear from the hospital morgue. Its not long after that the killings begin. Bodies are showing up mutilated all over New York and Lula somehow knows that they are connected. Now she must find a way to put things right and appease the goddess of death. If she doesn’t, it won’t be long before she draws the attention of those who hunt for bruja…

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The Gift of Dark Hollow

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Podkin One-Ear. You can read my review of this novel [here].

The Gift of Dark Hollow was written by Kieran Larwood and beautifully illustrated by David Wyatt. It was first published in 2017 and is the second instalment of The Five Realms series, following Podkin One-Ear (2016). Although the novel does a pretty decent job of bringing new readers up to speed, I would probably still recommend reading the books in sequence in order to fully appreciate them.

The Bard has finally decided that it is time to continue with his journey but this time he leaves with a young rabbit named Rue. Rue desires to become a Bard but the elderly rabbit knows that he cannot teach him. It would be cruel to put him at risk from the unspoken dangers that stalk him. Instead, he decides to take Rue to the Festival of Clarion in order to find him a master, and on the way he continues to tell the tale of Podkin One-Ear.

Despite being the great hero who defeated Scramashank – the monstrous chieftain of the Gorm – Podkin finds that the other rabbits of Dark Hollow refuse to take him seriously. Crom now spends all of his time in council with the other adult rabbits, while Paz has been learning the healing arts under the watchful eye of Bridgid. He feels more useless than ever, and perhaps that’s what leads him to explore the unused tunnels at the heart of the warren.

It is here that Podkin uncovers the long-lost Gift of Dark Hollow and learns the ability to Moonstride – teleport between shadows. In testing this new power, he learns the location of another Gift; one that might have the power to destroy Gorm. Taking with him a small band of his closest allies, Podkin sets out on a quest to retrieve this Gift. However, his mission will take him into the heart of a warren that has been overrun by the Gorm…

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City of Glass

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

City of Bones | City of Ashes

City of Glass was written by Cassandra Clare and first published in 2009. It is the third instalment of The Mortal Instruments series and was preceded by City of Bones (2007) and City of Ashes (2008), and followed by City of Fallen Angels (2011), City of Lost Souls (2012) and City of Heavenly Fire (2014). Since then, Clare has also published a prequel trilogy titled The Infernal Devices and a sequel series under the name of The Dark Artifices, as well as a spin-off collection of short stories titled The Bane Chronicles which focus on the flamboyant warlock Magnus Bane.

Clary Fray has finally has something that could help save her mother – the name of the warlock who created the potion that put her in a coma. The only problem is that the warlock lives in Idris, the city of the Shadowhunters, and this is somewhere that Jace thinks that she should not go. Clary’s powers are unnatural and he fears how the Clave will react when they learn that she can create new runes.

Jace and the other Shadowhunters try to leave without her, but things go wrong when they are suddenly attacked by a demon. Their only hope of survival is to escape to Idris, yet in doing so Jace drags Simon along with him. This causes immediate complications, as Downworlders are forbidden from entering the City of Glass. Furious with what they have done, Clary recklessly follows and winds up transporting herself and Luke to a lake, miles away from the safety of the city walls.

Clary soon learns that she has not picked the best time to visit the city. The Clave is in session to discuss what should be done about the rising threat of Valentine. It’s not long before the rogue Shadowhunter mounts an attack on the city, giving all who live there the choice to join him or die. Up until now, all Clary has worried about is her mother and forbidden love for Jace. Now, she realises that she is possibly the only one who can save the Shadowhunters from a fate worse than death…

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