Double Feature! 1001 Nights Retellings – ARC Review vs. Subscription Box

A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston vs. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

A Thousand NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Rating

2.5/5 vs. 4/5

I received a copy of A Thousand Nighst as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I received a copy of The Wrath and The Dawn as part of my subscription to Uppercase Box.

Goodreads Descriptions

A Thousand Nights

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

The Wrath and the Dawn

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

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Not Every Girl by Jane McGarry – Review

Not Every Girl by Jane McGarry

Not Every Girl

Rating

3.5/5

I received a copy of this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

 Olivia Davenport’s plan is destined to fail.

She is going through with it anyway, of course. After all, it is the chance of a lifetime. The unreasonable rules of others should not stand in her way.

In her small kingdom of Stewartsland, Olivia trains with the squires and harbors a secret dream. She longs to become a knight under the command of the Master-of–Arms, who just happens to be her father. He has indulged her passion so far, but they both know a simple fact – girls may not attain knighthood. Dismayed by the constant discouragement of her ambitions, she makes an impetuous decision to disguise herself as a boy in order to sneak on a mission. The consequences are not at all what she anticipated.

When her deception is revealed, she is sent home in disgrace; however, an unexpected turn of events puts her at the center of a dangerous plot against the King. The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws, yet these pale in comparison to her newly awakened emotions. She finds not only her life at risk, but also her heart, when the aloof Prince Liam begins to affect her in ways she never thought possible. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional.

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Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell – ARC Review

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Mechanica

Rating

3.5/5

I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

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Mildred’s Resistance by Katie Cross – ARC Review

Mildred’s Resistance by Katie Cross

Mildred's Resistance (The Network Series, #3)

Rating

4/5

I received a copy of this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

Absolute Power Corrupts Even the Best of Friends.

Mildred Graeme is a witch that knows what it’s like to fail. She loathes small talk, struggles with magic, and grew up wretchedly poor. What’s easy for her best friend Evelyn, a wealthy, powerful socialite, is difficult for Mildred.

The two lifelong friends reunite at Chatham Castle where they fight together for the dream of a better world. Mildred wants to save the Network from political elitism, while Evelyn encourages it. When Evelyn gains power and threatens to obliterate the Network, Mildred realizes that she must overcome her fear of failure to save the lives of those she loves, even if it means betraying her best friend.

Mildred’s Resistance is the prequel to The Network Series and a gripping tale of intrigue, betrayal, and unexpected romance that defies all odds to rise above the ghosts of failure.

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Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – ARC Review

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)

Rating

5/5

I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities…

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

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The Suffering by Rin Chupeco – ARC Review

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

The Suffering (The Girl from the Well, #2)

Rating

4/5

I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

Over the last year I’ve gone against faceless women, disfigured spirits, and grotesque revenants. Some people keep dangerous hobbies; skydiving and driving at monster truck rallies and glacier surfing. Me? I cast my soul into the churning waters of potential damnation and wait for a bite.

It’s been two years since Tark Halloway’s nightmare ended. Free from the evil spirit that haunted him all his life, he now aids the ghostly Okiku and avenges the souls of innocent children by hunting down their murderers. But when Okiku becomes responsible for a death at his high school, Tark begins to wonder if they’re no better than the killers they seek out.

When an old friend disappears in Aokigahara, Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’, both must resolve their differences and return to that country of secrets to find her.

Because there is a strange village inside Aokigahara, a village people claim does not exist. A village where strange things lie waiting.

A village with old ghosts and an ancient evil – one that may be stronger than even Okiku…

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Insylum by Z. Rider – ARC Review

Insylum by Z. Rider

Insylum

Rating

2/5

I received a copy of this on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

The Last Ones In…Never Come Out

A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years.

They’re last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in.

And they may never come back out.

Warning: Some tentacular activity. (Also body horror. And maggots.)

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Salem’s Vengeance by Aaron Galvin – Review

 Salem’s Vengeance by Aaron Galvin

Salem's Vengeance (Vengeance Trilogy, #1)

Rating

3/5

I received a copy of this novel on NetGalley for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kelly never expected to meet the Devil’s daughter. She only sought innocent dancing in the moonlight, not a coven entranced by their dark priestess. When her friends partake of a powder meant to conjure spirits – and the results go horribly awry – Sarah is forced to make a choice. To keep their secret risks her own damnation, but to condemn them may invoke the accusing remnants of Salem to rise again.

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Earth to Abram by Timothy Lebo – ARC Review

Earth to Abram by Timothy Lebo

Earth to Abram

Rating

Reading as a young adult novel: 1/5

Reading as a children’s book: 3/5

I received a copy of this in PDF form in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

It’s the year 3007. Humans now live on Mars and have, in turn, abandoned the planet Earth. When a recent Shuttle trip to Earth for resources comes back empty, the news spreads to the people that the Earth has officially been depleted. In the midst of all this, there is a twelve-year-old outcast named Abram who dreams of a life of adventure. While stuck in his classroom for an undeserved punishment during recess, he discovers that a self-conscious quirk holds a power that could save the human race. What Abram faces next not only forces him to grow up, but also come to terms with who he really is.

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