Monthly Wrap || September 2021

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September 2021

What a month, my friends. What a month. If I thought most of this year has been a roller coaster, it doesn’t have ANYTHING on September 2021. Sure, I’ve missed my Monthly Wraps for a few months now, but since I’m finally sitting down to write one again, I’m realizing just how bonkers it’s really been! 😵

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Crossbones by Kimberly Vale

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Crossbones by Kimberly Vale

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Kimberly’s Twitter

Never trust a pirate.

The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win.

Captain. Sister. Maiden.
Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost.

Dealer. Son. Legacy.
Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king.

Stowaway. Daughter. Storm.
Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide.

Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown.

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS

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Sisters of Shadow by Katherine Livesey

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Sisters of Shadow by Katherine Livesey

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Katherine’s Twitter

All she knew was vengeance…

Alice has lived in the forest on the fringes of Alder Vale ever since her parents abandoned her. Alone, exiled, feared by all. All except Lily.

But something is stirring beyond the mountains, whispers of spectres stalking the moors, women of unfathomable power luring children into a cult that has haunted local lore for a generation.

Then, in the dead of night, Alice receives a letter promising answers to the questions that have always tormented her. And so she meets Grace. The red-cloaked cultist pledged to protect her, a scarred warrior born of storm and sea, the girl who will steal her heart.

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

EXPECTED SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2021

2 STARS

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Top 5 Tuesday || Sequels I’d Sell my Soul For

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Admittedly, there are many sequels I’d sell my soul for.

As with every T5T topic Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads sets, it feels impossible to narrow it down to only five. But at the end of the day, there’s only so many books that would have me slapping down my signature in blood (or something like that), and these are at the top of the list. I’m trying my hardest to be patient and hope for good news, but man, it sure is hard.

For absolutely no reason at all, does anyone know someone interested in fulfilling bookish wishes in exchanges for souls? Asking for, uh, a friend.

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Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

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Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Lyndall’s Twitter

There are monsters in the world.

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

There are monsters in the woods.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

EXPECTED SEPTEMBER 28TH, 2021

4.5 STARS

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She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster

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She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Caitlin’s Website

Long ago, shapeshifting monsters ruled the Commonwealth using blasphemous magic that fed on the souls of their subjects. Now, hundreds of years later, a new tomb has been uncovered, and despite the legends that disturbing a shapeshifter’s final resting place will wake them once again, the Warlord is determined to dig it up.

But it isn’t just the Warlord who means to brave the traps and pitfalls guarding the crypt.

A healer obsessed with tracking down the man who murdered her twin brother.

A runaway member of the Warlord’s Devoted order, haunted by his sister’s ghost.

A snotty archaeologist bent on finding the cure to his magical wasting disease.

A girl desperate to escape the cloistered life she didn’t choose.

All four are out to steal the same cursed sword rumored to be at the very bottom of the tomb. But of course, some treasures should never see the light of day, and some secrets are best left buried…

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2 STARS

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Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

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Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Xiran’s Twitter

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS

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Top 5 Tuesday || Standalone Books

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Sometimes, I need a break from long series, and that’s what standalone books are for.

The trouble is that you have to find good ones, though, ones that really know how to tell a single story and end it. Sometimes, it’s tricky to find them. Hopefully today’s T5T topic, though, set by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads, will help you find some new standalone books to give you a break from series, especially if you’re a fantasy reader like me.

And I have to admit, sometimes, it’s really nice not to have to follow-up to know how the story ends.

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