Blog Tour: The Generation Killer – Adam Simcox

Blog Tour: The Generation Killer – Adam Simcox


Series:
The Dying Squad #2
Release Date: August 18th 2022
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis
On the sixth day, God created MANchester. On the seventh, The Generation Killer intends to tear it down.

There’s a new serial killer in Manchester – and it’s up to a dead guy to catch him. Joe Lazarus, specifically: his latest Dying Squad assignment demands he bring to justice The Generation Killer, a psychopath who murders the oldest member of a family, as well as the youngest. Joe and his new partner Bits have mere hours to catch the killer and save his latest kidnap victim.

Joe’s former partner, Daisy-May has her own problems. Children in the Pen are going missing and Daisy-May resolves to find out who’s taking them, one of the many, Warden-of-the-Pen jobs on her to do list. Her predecessor The Duchess won’t be able to lighten her load; she’s tracked her terrorist-in-waiting sister, Hanna, to Tokyo. The Duchess doesn’t know what Hanna’s planning, she only knows that unless she stops her, it’s going to be very bad news for the living…

Review
The Generation Killer is the newest installment in Adam Simcox’s The Dying Squad series. In this sequel, we follow Joe Lazarus on his newest assignment for the Dying Squad. He’s tasked with taking down The Generation Killer – a serial killer who murders both the oldest and youngest member of the family. Teaming up with his new partner Bits, they have to race against the clock to save The Generation Killer’s latest victim. Meanwhile, Joe’s former partner Daisy-May has her own case to deal with – Children in the Pen are going missing and Daisy-May must use all her wits to find out who’s taking them.

This series is such a fun, fresh take on the crime thriller. It’s a fascinating blend of police procedural and urban fantasy. It’s fast paced, addictive, and has more than a few eerie moments. There are also plenty of plot twists and pretty much all of them I didn’t see coming. The story is set in Manchester, a city I’ve visited on quite a few occasions so it was so interesting to see Simcox bring the city to life in the story.

The characters are well crafted in this story and I really enjoyed seeing how they tackle the challenges in their investigations. There’s also plenty of really quick, funny dialogue in the story which definitely kept me wanting more. While The Generation Killer could absolutely be read as a standalone book, I’d definitely recommend picking up The Dying Squad first. If you’re looking for an utterly compelling, fresh take on the crime thriller with loads of tension and atmosphere, this series is a must read.

Blog Tour: The First Binding – R. R. Virdi

Blog Tour: The First Binding – R. R. Virdi


Series:
Tales of Tremaine #1
Release Date: August 16th 2022
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 832
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review

Synopsis

All legends are born of truths. And just as much lies. These are mine. Judge me for what you will. But you will hear my story first.

I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I’ve stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I’ve called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.

My name is Ari. And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.

Review

The First Binding is the first in a new epic South Asian inspired fantasy series and it is without a doubt my favourite read of 2022. Reminiscent of The Name of the Wind, the story follows storyteller Ari as he recounts his life story. The First Binding was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it was an unforgettable, magical tale.

There are so many things about this book that I loved. For starters, I have been in a horrible reading slump for weeks and this was the book that pulled me out. Despite being over 800 pages, I read this book in just a few days because I could not look away. Virdi has an incredibly, beautiful writing style. Each sentence felt so well crafted and The First Binding is definitely the kind of book to be savoured. This is a slow burn, coming of age story, one that fantasy fans will completely fall in love with.

The First Binding is an incredibly well executed story. Given the scope, that’s no mean feat and I am so excited to see where the story goes next. Ari is a truly fascinating character and Virdi has done a brilliant job crafting our main protagonist. He is a fascinating, flawed character and I loved seeing him go on this incredible journey.The world building felt so detailed and well fleshed out and I enjoyed learning about the magic in this world.

The First Binding is a unique, compelling fantasy tale. A beautifully told story from start to finish, this is the kind of book that will stay with you long after you finish reading. It’s easy to see why this book has so much hype already and it’s so well deserved. If you’re looking for an epic fantasy story full of magic and lyrical writing, this one is absolutely not to be missed.

Blog Tour: The Garden of Empire – J. T. Greathouse

Blog Tour: The Garden of Empire – J. T. Greathouse

Series: Pact and Pattern #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: August 4th 2022
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 448
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

WAR MAKES MONSTERS OF EVERYONE.

Foolish Cur, once named Wen Alder, finds that his allies in the rebellion might cross any line if it means freedom from the Empire. But he can’t overcome a foe as strong as Emperor Tenet alone.

REBELLION HAS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.

Koro Ha, Foolish Cur’s former tutor, discovers the Empire is not so forgiving of those who raise a traitor. And their suspicion may cost him and his people more than he can imagine.

THE GODS ARE LURKING IN THE SHADOWS.

As war against the Empire rages, Foolish Cur knows there is a greater threat. The emperor plans his own coup against the gods, and they will wreak destruction if he tries. To stop him, Foolish Cur might have to risk everything – and resort to ancient magics that could tear the world apart.

Review

The Garden of Empire is the second installment in J. T. Greathouse’s Pact and Pattern series. The Hand of the Sun King was one of my favourite reads of last year so I was really excited to see where Greathouse would take the story next. Following on from the events in book one, where Foolish Cur finds himself in the middle of the war between the Sienese and the Nayeni. He knows the Emperor plans to fight a war against the gods themselves and will destroy everything in his path as he does so. Foolish Cur must do everything he can to stop him, even resorting to an ancient magic that could destroy everything.

Just like The Hand of the Sun King, Garden of Empire is a hugely engrossing read. Greathouse continues to expand on the worldbuilding and I was hooked from the very first chapter. I really liked that the reader gets the chance to learn more about the magic system and understand how it works. Greathouse has a really nice writing style and it was so easy to get lost in the story. One thing that did surprise me was the introduction of different POV characters in this installment as book one is all told from the same perspective. This was a really interesting addition as it added multiple layers to the story and allowed the reader to see things from a different angle.

One of the most interesting things about this series is our main protagonist Foolish Cur. Greathouse has created a really fascinating character who is at times flawed and unlikeable. I enjoyed seeing him grow through the course of Garden of Empire, particularly as he reflects on the events that have led him to where he is and the decisions he has made. Garden of Empire is an incredibly fascinating fantasy tale, with a few twists I definitely did not see coming. If you’ve already read Hand of the Sun King this is an absolute must read and I am already looking forward to book three.

 

Blog Tour: Glorious Poison – Kat Dunn

Blog Tour: Glorious Poison – Kat Dunn


Series: Battalion of the Dead #3 (See my review of book one  (Dangerous Remedy) and book two (Monstrous Design)
Release Date: June 9th 2022
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 432
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

The daring and dramatic conclusion to Kat Dunn’s epic C18th French Revolution trilogy ‘with lashings of lust, love, sacrifice, betrayal and horror’.

Robespierre is dead. The Reign of Terror is over.

As Royalist strength grows, the Duc de L’Aubespine plots a coup that will consign the revolution to history. With Olympe in his clutches, he believes nothing can stop him. But he’s reckoned without the intrepid Battalion of the Dead!

Reunited in Paris, Ada is poised for action – but if she plays her hand too soon, everything she’s sacrificed to gain his trust will be lost. Meanwhile, an unlikely alliance with an old enemy might be Camille’s only option to save Olympe and stop the duc in his tracks.

The glittering and macabre bals des victimes and the eerie catacombs make the perfect backdrop for the final episode of the Battalion’s tale.

Review

Glorious Poison is the third and final book in Kat Dunn’s brilliant Battalion of the Dead series. Picking up after the events of Monstrous Design, we follows Camille and her battalion as they attempt to rescue Olympe from the hands of the Duc and stop him from destroying the revolution.

For the last two years the installments of this series have been among my favourite books of the year, so Glorious Poison was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. I absolutely did not want this series to end and ended up rereading books one and two over a weekend in preparation. Dunn has done an incredible job of bringing all the characters and story arcs together. The ending was everything I was hoping for and while I’m sad it’s over, I cannot wait to see what Kat Dunn writes next.

I won’t say much about the plot because it is the third book in the series, but safe to say there is plenty of action and moments that will have you on the edge of your seat. I love seeing the tricky situations the battalion finds themselves in and the clever ways they get out. I love the historical setting in this series and Dunn’s vivid and beautiful writing really brights the sights and sounds of 18th Century France to life.

While I absolutely love all the action and heists in this series, what has captivated me most throughout the three books are the brilliant characters. They have all gone on such a journey over the three books and I am so sad to say goodbye to them. Dunn brings the story to a satisfying conclusion and I think the battalion will forever be some of my favourite characters of all time. I am not particularly a romance person but I love the relationship between Ada and Camille. They’re both such fascinating characters dealing with secrets from their past and I really enjoyed the way Dunn developed their relationship over the course of the series.

Glorious Poison is a magnificent conclusion to an epic YA fantasy series. If you’re caught up with the series you absolutely need to pick up Glorious Poison. If you haven’t yet had the chance to pick up Dangerous Remedy, now is the perfect time to binge the entire trilogy.

Blog Tour: The Girl and the Moon – Mark Lawrence

Blog Tour: The Girl and the Moon – Mark Lawrence


Series:
Book of the Ice #3
Release Date: April 28th 2022
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 544
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

The fate of the world hangs from the Moon

The green world overwhelms all of Yaz’s expectations. Everything seems different but some things remain the same: her old enemies are still bent on her destruction.

The Corridor abounds with plenty and unsuspected danger. To stand a chance against the eyeless priest, Eular, and the god-like city-mind, Seus, Yaz will need to learn fast and make new friends.

The Convent of Sweet Mercy, like the Corridor itself, is packed with peril and opportunity. Yaz needs the nuns’ help – but first they want to execute her.

The fate of everyone squeezed between the Corridor’s vast walls, and ultimately the fate of those labouring to survive out on ice itself, hangs from the moon, and the battle to save the moon centres on the Ark of the Missing, buried beneath the emperor’s palace. Everyone wants Yaz to be the key that will open the Ark – the one the wise have sought for generations. But sometimes wanting isn’t enough.

Review

The Girl and the Moon is the third and final instalment in Lawrence’s unputdownable Book of the Ice series. Mark Lawrence is one of my favourite authors and The Girl and the Moon was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. I absolutely loved every second of this story and it is without a doubt one of my favourite books of the year.

Picking up after the events of The Girl and the Mountain, the book is full to the brim with action and there were more than a few moments I was on the edge of my seat. I was hooked from the very beginning and I honestly had to force myself to put the book down. Lawrence has such a brilliant way of keeping the reader engaged and hungry for more. I’d be hard pushed to pick my favourite book in this trilogy because they have all been equally compelling.

Lawrence really does an excellent job of bringing everything together in this book and there were more than a few moments that I wasn’t expecting. I must admit that although I think the ending was brilliant, I’m sad to say goodbye to the incredible characters Lawrence has created. Yaz and her friends are so well crafted and I absolutely did not want to say goodbye to them. I won’t say much about the plot given this is the final instalment, but safe to say there is plenty to keep the reader hooked.

The Girl and the Moon is a rollercoaster of a book and one you do not want to miss. This is a multi-POV story and Lawrence manages to bring all the threads of their stories together seamlessly. Like all of Lawrence’s books the worldbuilding is excellent, the plot action-packed and the characters fascinating. If you haven’t yet had a chance to pick up this series (or any books by Mark Lawrence for that matter), I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Blog Tour: The Collarbound – Rebecca Zahabi

Blog Tour: The Collarbound – Rebecca Zahabi


Release Date:
May 12th 2022
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

On the other side of the Shadowpass, rebellion is brewing and refugees have begun to trickle into the city at the edge of the world. Looming high on the cliff is The Nest, a fortress full of mages who offer protection, but also embody everything the rebellion is fighting against: a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities, and the oppression of the Kher community.

When Isha arrives as a refugee, she attempts to fit in amongst the other mages, but her Kher tattoo brands her as an outcast. She can’t remember her past or why she has the tattoo. All she knows is that she survived. She doesn’t intend to give up now.

Tatters, who wears the golden collar of a slave, knows that this rebellion is different from past skirmishes. He was once one of the rebels, fought beside them, and technically, they still own him. He plans to stay in the shadows, until Isha appears in his tavern. He’s never seen a human with a tattoo, and the markings look eerily familiar. Despite his fear of being discovered, Tatters decides to help her.

As the rebellion carves a path of destruction towards the city, The Collarbound follows an unlikely friendship between a man trying to escape his past and a woman trying to uncover hers, until their secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Review

The Collarbound is a fiercely gripping fantasy tale that’s full to the brim with magic and mystery. Set in a world that has been torn apart by rebellion, we follow Isha as she arrives at The Nest as a refugee. Isha does what she can to fit in, but she has no idea what happened in her past or where her tattoo came from. Meanwhile, Tatters is one of the collarbound and knows the danger of rebellion. Whilst he’s determined to stay away from things, he can’t help but be drawn to Isha and the mystery that surrounds her. Together the two form an unlikely friendship as they seek to survive the rebellion and the secrets of their past.

The Collarbound is the kind of book that draws you in right from the very beginning. This is quite a slow burn story, one that slowly builds tension as we learn more and more. I found I was thinking about the book even when I wasn’t reading it and it kept me intrigued and wanting more. I often felt on the edge of my seat, dying to know what was going on. Zahabi does a brilliant job of keeping the reader guessing, making for a really engaging read.

Zahabi has created a really fascinating world in The Collarbound and it felt like such a compelling setting. The worldbuilding felt well crafted and I loved learning about the mages and the khers. I sort of feel like I’ve only scratched the surface and can’t wait to see more of the world in the sequel. I thought the concept of mindbrawling was so fascinating and something I haven’t seen before. Similarly, Zahabi has a knack for creating really interesting, dynamic characters. Both Tatters and Isha were really compelling characters and I enjoyed seeing their friendship develop. I also really liked Arushi and her family.

The Collarbound is a brilliant, engaging story, unlike anything I’ve read before. If you’re looking for a slow burn fantasy story that will have you reading long into the night, this should definitely be on your to read list.

Book Review: Nettle and Bone – T. Kingfisher

Book Review: Nettle and Bone – T. Kingfisher


Release Date:
April 26th 2022
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

A dark and compelling fantasy about sisterhood, impossible tasks and the price of power, from award-winning author T. Kingfisher

After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra―the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter―has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself.

Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince―if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning.

On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra’s family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.

Review

Nettle and Bone is a dark and addictive fairytale from T. Kingfisher, author of The Hollow Places. I have always wanted to try Kingfisher’s work but haven’t gotten around to trying it. When I got the opportunity to read Nettle and Bone I jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did because Nettle and Bone is probably one of my favourite books of the year.

The story follows Marra – she is the youngest of three princesses from a small kingdom. Their political situation is balanced on a knife edge and they are constantly threatened with invasion from the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Marra’s sisters are married off to protect the kingdom, but Marra soon learns of the abuse her sister is suffering at the hands of Prince Vorling of the Northern Kingdom. Determined to save her sister she embarks on a quest to kill him and free her family.

Do you ever pick up a book and it is just exactly the right book at the right time? That was Nettle and Bone for me. I was immediately captivated by this story. I loved the fairytale feel of the story and how Kingfisher twisted this into something darker and more gruesome. I really enjoyed Kingfisher’s writing style and the story felt really well paced. This story is so vivid and clever,  I honestly could not put it down.

Marra is an interesting protagonist, but the cast of characters that she brings along on her journey are what made me fall in love with this story. I loved the dust-wife, who can talk to the dead and has a chicken that may or may not have a demon in him. I also liked Agnes, the godmother who is much more than she seems. Kingfisher has a knack for creating these really fascinating characters and I am so looking forward to reading more of their work. There’s also plenty of clever, witty dialogue that had me laughing on more than a few occasions.

Nettle and Bone is a fun and fascinating read. If you love fairytales but you’d like something that’s a bit of a twist on the stories you know and love, this is definitely a must-read.

Book Review: Gallant – V. E. Schwab

Book Review: Gallant – V. E. Schwab


Release Date:
March 8th 2022
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Prior is missing three things: a mother, a father, and a voice. Her mother vanished all at once, and her father by degrees, and her voice was a thing she never had to start with.

She grew up at Merilance School for Girls. Now, nearing the end of her time there, Olivia receives a letter from an uncle she’s never met, her father’s older brother, summoning her to his estate, a place called Gallant. But when she arrives, she discovers that the letter she received was several years old. Her uncle is dead. The estate is empty, save for the servants. Olivia is permitted to remain, but must follow two rules: don’t go out after dusk, and always stay on the right side of a wall that runs along the estate’s western edge.

Beyond it is another realm, ancient and magical, which calls to Olivia through her blood…

Review

Victoria Schwab is one of my favourite authors and Gallant was my most anticipated release of 2022. This gorgeous, atmospheric tale follows the story of Olivia Prior – a young girl living at Merilance School for Girls. Her mother disappeared and she has spent her days being taunted by the other girls at the school. When a mysterious letter arrives from Olivia’s Uncle, she is sent to Gallant – the Prior family estate. When Olivia gets there she learns this is anything but a normal household. Olivia soon discovers another realm bordering on Gallant’s estate and must do everything she can to save her family and herself.

This book has such an intriguing premise and Schwab executes this story perfectly. The book is brimming with atmosphere and filled with Schwab’s trademark lyrical writing. As soon as this book arrived I dropped everything to read it and was utterly swept away. The setting really comes to life in the story and I could easily picture the world Schwab has created. The book also features some fascinating illustrations that added another layer to the story.

There is so much to love about Gallant and our main protagonist Olivia is definitely one of those things. She’s clever, determined to succeed, and desperate to find a place where she belongs. You can’t help rooting for her and the people she cares about. I loved the way Gallant was at times a moving story but also had some really tense, creepy moments too.

Gallant is an incredibly engrossing read, one that you will not want to look away from. It’s the sort of book that once you finish you immediately want to reread. While I do prefer Schwab’s adult books, this is an exceptional book and if you’re a fan of her writing I absolutely recommend picking this one up. Gallant is a beautiful story and I can’t wait to see what Schwab dreams up next.

Blog Tour: The Thousand Eyes – A K Larkwood

Blog Tour: The Thousand Eyes – A K Larkwood

Series: The Serpent Gates #2
Release Date: 15th February 2022
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones. 
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review

Synopsis

Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili defied the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and stole his gauntlets. The gauntlets have made Shuthmili extraordinarily powerful, but they’re beginning to take a sinister toll on her. She and Csorwe travel to a distant world to discover how to use the gauntlets safely, but when an old enemy arrives on the scene, Shuthmili finds herself torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing eldritch power.

Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. As well as being a wizard of unimaginable power, Sethennai is Tal’s old boss and former lover, and Tal wants nothing to do with him. When a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past, but soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever…

Thoughts

The Unspoken Name was one of my favourite reads of 2020 and The Thousand Eyes is without a doubt one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. The cover is absolutely stunning and I am so excited to return to this incredible world. I am currently reading The Thousand Eyes and while I’m only about halfway through, I already know this is going to be a five-star read. It’s wonderful being back with the characters we grew to love in The Unspoken Name and the see where their adventures will take them. We pick up two years after the events of book one and it was so fun to see the characters back out creating mayhem.

I love Larkwood’s writing style and just like book one, the story has been action-packed and had me on the edge of my seat. I have no idea where the story is going to go but I’m so excited to see where Larkwood takes us next. The worldbuilding in this series is exceptional and if you’re looking for a fantasy series with fantastic characters and a fast-paced plot, this is absolutely a must-read.

A massive thank you to Black Crow PR for having me on the blog tour – check back soon for a full review!

Blog Tour: The Year of the Reaper – Makiia Lucier

Blog Tour: The Year of the Reaper – Makiia Lucier


Release Date:
November 9th 2021
Publisher: Hodder Books
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

The past never forgets . . .

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.

Review

Year of the Reaper first caught my eye because of that absolutely beautiful cover. The story follows Cassia, a member of one of the most trusted families in the kingdom. When Cas is taken prisoner by a rival kingdom, he is forced to reside in a prison cell for three years. On returning home he finds the villages and towns destroyed by plague. His family castle has become a sactuary for the king and queen, desperate to escape the plague. When an assassin begins to target those closest to the queen, Cas must team up with historian Lena to uncover the truth behind the attacks. As the delve deeper into the mysteries of the past, what they uncover could destory the peace between the two kingdoms.

Year of the Reaper is one of those books that captivates you right from the very first page. Lucier has a brilliant, vivid writing style and I was immediately caught up in the story. The plot was well-paced and I was completely glued to the book for the latter half of the book. The world was really fascinating and I loved learning about the history of these kingdoms that have been so affected by the plague.

Where Year of the Reaper really excels is the characters. Cas is a compelling protagonist and it was so interesting seeing him grow as he adapts to once again living in the castle. There was a really intriguing cast of secondary characters and I similarly really liked Lena. Year of the Reaper is a marvelous read, one with a few surprise reveals that I did not expect. I loved that this was a standalone story and whilst this is my first time reading a book from Makiia Lucier, this will definitely not be my last.