Two Hearts Asunder

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

Two Hearts Asunder was written by Ingrid Seymour and is due for release at the beginning of next month. It continues the story of Marielle and Faris as they find themselves at the mercy of a powerful djinn. The novel forms the second part of the Djinn Empire trilogy and is preceded by One Wish Away (2017). The final instalment of the series – provisionally titled Three Words Promised – is expected to be released later this year.

Marielle knows that she is being selfish. Ever since she inherited her Grandfather’s magical stone, she’s reunited with her father, helped her loved ones find peace, and gained a loving boyfriend. But something is still missing. Faris can’t say the three words that she most wants to hear or he will lose his powers. With Akeelah still at large, he can’t allow himself to become human. If he did, there would be no one left who could stop her.

Far away, Akeelah is starting to put her plans in motion. The laws of nature prevent her from directly hurting humans, so she’s forced to recruit new assistants from America’s criminal underbelly. Her task for them is simple. They are to pursue Marielle wherever she goes and stop at nothing to kill her. It’s not long before Marielle discovers that nowhere is safe. Her enemies have no trouble doing away with anyone who gets in their way.

Faris knows that he can’t expect his love to spend her life in hiding. He has no choice but to do what Akeelah commands, leaving Marielle in order to assist the djinn in realising her darkest desire. Marielle is devastated, but she’s not about to leave Faris to Akeelah’s machinations. With Abby and Maven in tow, she sets out to find a way to save her boyfriend and stop Akeelah forever…

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Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer was written by Laini Taylor and is due for release later this month. It’s a fantasy epic which tells the story of a young librarian’s quest to discover a legendary city. The novel forms the first part of a duology, though a release date for its concluding part has not yet been announced.

Lazlo Strange has long lived up to his unusual name. Raised by monks, and later finding his calling as librarian in the Great Library of Zosma, he has spent his life ardently researching the myths and folklore that the other scholars sneer at. His goal is to learn all he can about the Unseen City – a place lost to the world years before when its name was stolen from the minds of all who knew of it and replaced with a single word: Weep.

Yet everything changes when the Tizerkane – the legendary army of Weep – come to Zosma. Their leader Eril-Fane – a man known as the Godslayer – is in search of the wisest men in the world. He needs them to solve a problem that has been plaguing Weep, but he will not speak of exactly what that problem entails. Although Lazlo has no skills to offer, he still manages to impress Eril-Fane with his stories and thus secures a job as the Godslayer’s secretary.

Lazlo dreams of discovering all of the mysteries that Weep has to offer, yet everything he finds just raises more questions. Fifteen years previously, something terrible happened in the City – something that gave the Godslayer his title but also left him filled with shame. As a blue-skinned woman begins to appear in Lazlo’s dreams, he slowly starts to put the pieces together. Yet who is this mysterious stranger, and could she possibly be somewhere in Weep?

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Next on Arkham Reviews

Due to exams and various other unforeseen circumstances, this blog has taken a bit of a backseat of late. I can only apologise about that, both to my readers and to the independent authors who have kindly donated their work for me to review.

To ensure that I get to these submissions quicker, I’ve had a reshuffle of my “to read” pile. I can’t promise that I won’t be distracted by other pretty covers, but here’s a list of the reviews that I hope to bring to you over the next couple of months. Monday’s post will be a look at Laini Taylor’s upcoming novel, Strange the Dreamer, and I’ll have more Animorphs reviews and a special 300th review post for you soon after, but here’s what else you have to look forward to:

Snow Island by M.Y. Zeman

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Two Hearts Asunder by Ingrid Seymour

The Three Worlds by Nara Duffie

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

The Spectra Unearthed by Christie Valentine Powell

The Madness Underneath and The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson

The Conscript by Avi Garza

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Heart of Power: The Siren’s Awakening by S.L. Giger

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

The Spirit of Stratos: The Shadow Virus by R.E. Larrison

Sea by Sarah Driver

Northern Lights

northern-lights

Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass as it is known in America) is really a book that needs no introduction. It was first published in 1995 and forms the first part of Philip Pullman’s epic His Dark Materials trilogy. The novel is followed by The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000). It has since been adapted into many formats, including a film and graphic novel, and a companion series has recently been announced with the first title due for publication at the end of this year.

Since the death of her parents, Lyra Belacqua has been raised at Jordan College and is content roaming the roof tops and fighting the travelling Gyptian kids with her friend, Roger, and daemon companion, Pantalaimon. However, nothing can last forever. Roger mysteriously disappears one evening and, shortly afterwards, a beautiful woman named Mrs Coulter expresses an interest in adopting Lyra. Although worried about her friend, Lyra is excited to live with such a beautiful and intelligent woman. However, the Master of Jordan expresses concern about Mrs Coulter’s intentions. He gifts Lyra a rare truth telling device called the alethiometer and makes her swear to never show it to her new guardian.

The longer that Lyra spends in Mrs Coulter’s home, the more that she realises that the woman isn’t as kind as she first seemed. When Lyra discovers that she is directly linked to the Gobblers – a group of kidnappers who may be responsible for Roger’s abduction – she runs away and sets off on a journey of her own. Her goal is to save Roger and then head North in search of her Uncle Asriel – a prisoner of the panserbjørne – and deliver the alethiometer to him.

However, Lyra’s journey is filled with danger. Armoured bears, warring witch clans, and the terrible secret behind the Gobblers all stand between her and her goal. Most mysterious all is the nature of Dust, unexplained particles that drift down from the Northern Lights and stick to adults. Is it true that they pour from a parallel world? And if so, what are Lord Asriel’s plans for it?

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Caraval

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Caraval was written by Stephanie Garber and first published in 2017. It’s a fantasy story about the experiences that a young woman has when she’s invited to take part in a magical game. The novel is the first part of a planned duology, although at the time of writing no future instalments have been announced.

Scarlett has always dreamed of seeing Caraval – a yearly performance known for its audience participation and magic – but it seems that her chances have run out. Her abusive father has arranged for her to be married to a nobleman that she’s never met and Scarlett knows that she has no choice but to obey. He’ll only hurt her younger sister – Tella – if she displeases him.

When her long-awaited invitation to Caraval finally arrives, Scarlett is disappointed but knows there is nothing that she can do. However, Tella is not about to let her sister’s last chance at adventure slip away. Teaming up with Julian – a young sailor – the two fake a kidnapping and spirit Scarlett away to the festival. However, as soon as they set foot on the island, things start to go wrong.

Legend, the enigmatic master of Caraval, spirits Tella away. The game this year is to be a hunt for the stolen girl and the winner is promised to receive a wish in return. Scarlett is not interested in the prize but knows that she needs to get her sister back before the five days are up, otherwise she risks missing her wedding. Teaming up with Julian, the two work together to solve Legend’s clues. However, Caraval is a place of illusion and magic and Scarlett finds herself pitted against dozens of other players, all willing to go to any length to win…

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World

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Today, I’m going to be taking a look at something a little different. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World was written by Shannon and Dean Hale and first published in 2017. It’s a middle grade science fiction story, based around the Marvel superheroine of the same name. The novel stands alone, so you don’t need to know anything about the character before picking it up.

Doreen Green is aged fourteen (and well aware that those things rhyme). She likes to think that she’s a typical teenager. She likes making new friends, dancing and talking to squirrels. Okay, well maybe one of those isn’t that typical. You see, Doreen has a secret. She hides the fact that she has a five-foot-long prehensile tale, the ability to talk to select woodland creatures and the proportional speed and strength of a squirrel!

In secret, Doreen has taken to thinking of herself as Squirrel Girl and dreams of one day joining the Avengers. However, she knows that she needs to keep her abilities secrets. Her parents have always told her that if others see her awesome tail, they’ll only be jealous of it. It’s really a shame as Doreen has just started a new school and is struggling to fit in. The only girl who is remotely friendly with her is Ana Sofía, and that’s partially because they both tend to be ignored by the “Somebodies”.

However, when someone starts setting lethal squirrel traps around the city, Doreen knows that she’s hero that Shady Oaks needs. Donning a hood to protect her identity, she starts out her career small by rounding up stray dogs, cleaning graffiti and saving babies. However, it’s not long until she attracts the attention of the Micro-Manager – a brand new super villain who has decided that Squirrel Girl would make the perfect nemesis…

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Coming up next on Arkham Reviews

Hi everyone!

I hope you enjoyed my little series of Secret Santa reviews. It was certainly more Historical fiction than I’ve read in a long while! It’s time to return to my actual scheduled reviews so expect a more variety (and indie books) over the coming weeks.

At the moment, I’m reading both Boudica’s Daughters by Sheridan Winn and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon and Dean Hale and I hope to share the reviews with you very soon. I also intend to continue with my series of Animorphs reviews now that Christmas and my Birthday are both out of the way.

Here’s a sneak peak of the reviews that will follow!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks

American Monsters by Derek Landy

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The Three Worlds by Nara Duffie

The Madness Underneath and The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson

One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus

The Spectra Unearthed by Christie Valentine Powell

Sea by Sarah Driver

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

dEaDINBURGH: Vantage by Mark Wilson

Countryside: The Book of the Wise by J.T. Cope IV

Secret Santa Book Reviews

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a great time over the festive season and got plenty of new books to read.

Following tradition, I took part in LibraryThing‘s Secret Santa this year but unfortunately my books arrived too late to be used for my Christmas review. Instead, now I’m going to ignore my ominous “to read” pile and celebrate the dawn of 2017 with my recommendations from my gifter, iShanella.

iShanella has really taken note my love of female protagonists, urban fantasy and steampunk. On top of the four books that she sent me, she also recommended two others which I’ve added to the list for completeness sake. Here’s what you have to look forward to next on Arkham Reviews:

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Sobeks 2016 – Part 2

Hello Everyone!

Today, I’m continuing my look back at the best books I reviewed in 2016. This time I’ll be taking a look at the reviews I did between May and July. All of these novels are ones that I award 4 stars or above on Goodreads, and I’d personally recommend them to anyone.

If you choose to spend your Christmas money on any of them, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did!

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The Sobeks 2016 – Part 1

It’s that time of year again!

To ring in the new year (and help you to spend that Christmas money), here’s a look back at the very best novels that I’ve discovered since 1st January 2016. This list is comprised of every book that I’ve read that I awarded 4+ stars to on Goodreads. As you are aware, I’m very stingy at giving these out so please take this as a sign that the books are really excellent!

Today, I’m going to be looking at all of the books that I reviewed between January and March. Enjoy!

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