ARC Review: Miles Morales

32793053 Title: Miles Morales
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Marvel Press
Pages: 272
Release Date: 8/1/2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary: “Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.


I will be honest, when they announced a novelization about Black Widow, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon and read it.  Not that I don’t love Black Widow, but I just didn’t see the appeal.  We already had great films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, why do we need books?  Apparently this is a thing that’s been happening for years. Anyway it wasn’t until publishers announced Wonder Woman did I become interested because it was going to be written by favorite author. I hadn’t even heard about Spider-Man becoming a book until Mashable revealed the cover and holy cow! What a cover! My immediate thought was, “Who the hell is Miles Morales?”

I am not into comics whatsoever, so my only exposure is through the films, and then I go look it up like most non-comic people.  So of course I looked up how Miles took over as Spider-Man. Let’s just say I was very very happy.

I was lucky enough to snag an early copy at BookExpo from Disney. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I never read a book by Jason Reynolds, but I know of his books, especially Ghost, since I gifted it one year to a family friend who loves sports novels.  All I let myself know about Miles was that he is a half black, half Puerto Rican high school kid living in New York, and why he took over for Peter Parker. I didn’t read too much about Miles because I didn’t want to ruin the first time experience.

It’s so refreshing to learn about another Spider-Man!!! I really got fed up with Hollywood “rebooting” Spider-Man three times.  I haven’t seen Spider-Man Homecoming, I wasn’t a fan of the character in Captain American Civil War.

What I liked about this book was how Miles portrayed as a “regular” kid. He’s trying to discover who he is, balance school and come to grips with his newly found powers. I also loved seeing the relationship between Miles and his best friend Ganke, who is Asian. HI. YES! POCs front and center! I also appreciated reading about the relationship between Miles and his parents. [Yay YA parents who are Alive!]  One thing that surprised me was Miles’ web shooters. Since I don’t know a ton about him, I’ll probably have to look it up. Not gonna lie, I feel like it’s a better origin story than Peter Parker.  Sorry guys!

The one thing that didn’t click with me was the villain of the story. Not so much what it represented and the significance of it, but more the white cat part of it. I can’t explain why the white cat bothers me without spoilers. Maybe I am just weird or I need to re-read it again. Or I could find Jason at the Boston Teen Author Festival and ask…. Anyway the other thing I disliked was IT NEEDED TO BE LONGER!!!!! I feel like Jason barely scratched the surface and I hope there will be a sequel or two.

Anyway if you haven’t read Miles Morales, you need to add it to your ever growing TBR pile NOW!

5-stars

MelissaSig

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ARC REVIEW: Windwitch

Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Release Date: January 10 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: An Uncorrected Proof from author

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound| Book Depository

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…When an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Keep Reading!

ARC REVIEW: Heartless


Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 464
Release Date: November 8 2016
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: ARC received from a friend

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Keep Reading!

Review: Water’s Wrath by Elise Kova

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Title: Water’s Wrath, Book Four of Air Awakens

Publication Date: April 26th, 2016

Author: Elise Kova

Page Count: 378

Summary:

Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

You can add Water’s Wrath to your Goodreads here!

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About the Author:

View More: http://radred.pass.us/joseph-wedding-2015-jpeg

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova).

You can also follow Elise on Goodreads and Amazon!

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My Review: 

I would like to start off by saying I received this book from the author for an honest review!

Elise Kova has done it again! Just when I start to think I found a new favorite book in the Air Awakens series she delivers another great book that goes beyond the previous stories. From the moment I started reading Water’s Wrath I couldn’t stop. The only reason I did not read this book in one night is because I started late and had an early class the next morning.

So let us just jump into a few points that I really enjoyed throughout this book:

  • The Setting. One of my favorite parts of reading a fantasy novel is getting to experience a setting I’m not used to. Elise has a way of describing the world the characters live in that makes the readers feel like they are a part of it. I could picture every building, hear every sound, smell the aromas of the places we get to visit. For a brief moment I was no longer in my bed reading a book. I was in the Palace, at the Crossroads, and every where else we get to visit (no spoilers!) and enjoying every minute of it!
  • Character Development. I know I have probably pointed this out in every review, but once again we get a new depth to the characters. We get new stories from some of our favorites, see a new side to them that was not seen before. I love that even though we have been with some of these characters for four books now, there is still secrets left to discover. Never assume you know someone in this story, because chances are you still only know the surface of who they truly are. We also get to see a bit more about some of the characters we have only briefly met in previous books. Of course, all of these new details means more twists and turns along the way!
  • Sad Moments. This may be a weird point to say that I loved painful moments in a story, but if you can honestly say something has broken your heart while reading, you know it’s a good story. Elise has a way that she can craft a story that will make you laugh and cry within a 2 page time. Not everything that happens in this series is a rainbow-and-fluffy- puppies kinda moment. We have devastating, I need to take a moment to collect my feelings off the floor, scenes. Although there are many of those moments in the series, I feel like this book had more emotional moments than the other books. Not knowing what may happen with the story or our favorite characters is what makes reading the Air Awakens series so enjoyable. Even if it does break my heart into pieces over and over.
  • Plot. The characters alone in this series fascinate me and keeps me reading, but the plot is not something that should be missed. This story is a complex collection of all the things I enjoy in a great story: Romance, Politics, War, Action, Fantasy, Magic, and Unpredictability. I have yet to figure out where the story is heading, and when I think I have found the path leading to an answer Elise throws in some new obstacles and I’m lost all over again. This is one of those series that keeps me guessing and at the edge of my seat the entire time. Even after I finish a book my head is spinning with thoughts of what just happened in the book and what to look forward to. There are so many different ways this story can play out and I can’t wait to see how book 5 will wrap everything up!
  • The Cover. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but the cover intrigued me. Before I saw the cover for the last book I would have said this one was my favorite out of the series. I loved the blue color and the look of it. Not to mention the mysterious guy with Vhalla. It was fun to see all the guesses fans of the series were making of who the guy on the cover would turn out to be. I had my own thoughts going in, but sadly I was wrong. Once you finish reading this book you see the cover with new eyes. I still think this is one of my favorite covers though!
  • The Ending. I can’t say too much here because I would hate to spoil the fun for those who have not read it yet. However, I will say the ending to this book was by far one of my favorite endings!

This would be the part of the review that I mention what I didn’t like in the story, but I actually have no complaints or dislikes. This was a fantastic read and I am impatiently waiting for the last book to release! The exciting ride that is the Air Awakens series is almost over and although it’s sad to think of this series ending, I am excited to see how it all turns out. Water’s Wrath is a great addition to the series and if you have read it, I hope you enjoyed it as well! If you haven’t read this book yet, prepare for your heart to be broken in the best way.

I give this book 5 out of 5 hearts!

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laurensig

Review: Earth’s End by Elise Kova

*NOTE*

This is the third book in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova. I do not plan on saying anything that could be major spoilers, but there may be a few minor spoilers if you have not read the other two books. If you would like to know more about Air Awakens you can check out my review here. Check here for my review on Fire Falling.

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Title: Earth’s End: Book Three of Air Awakens
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wings Press
Publication Date: February 11th, 2016
Pages: 350

 

Summary:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.


 

About the Author:

View More: http://radred.pass.us/joseph-wedding-2015-jpeg

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova).

You can also follow Elise on Goodreads and Amazon!


My Review:

*Adds book to favorite read of 2016*

There are those special moments when a reader finds an amazing series that gets better with every book. Reading Air Awakens has been that moment for me!

I loved Air Awakens deeply and then was blown away by Fire Falling. Each book keeps getting better and better! Going into Earth’s End I mainly was just dying to know what happened after the cliff hanger Elise left us with in Fire Falling. I can’t express how happy I am that we didn’t have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next! Thankfully Elise spared us readers by creating an amazing feature called Tales from the Front. She gave us different parts of the story in other characters’ POV. It was so much fun to read as we waited for Earth’s End release.

I devoured this book in one day. Once I started the first page I had plans to stop after a few chapters in so I could actually get some rest. That didn’t happen. I ended up staying awake until almost 5 in the morning to finish! Once again I found myself wrapped up by the magic that is Elise’s writing. My emotions went on a rollercoaster ride as I read, and I was afraid what would happen next but couldn’t stop reading!

There was little doubt I would enjoy Earth’s End, however I have to admit I did not expect to enjoy it more than the others. If I’m going to be honest I would probably say this book is currently in a tie with Air Awakens for my favorite.

Now that I gave a little of my general thoughts, let me go in a little more detail of what I liked and didn’t like.

What I Liked:

  • No Wait! Being left on a cliff hanger at the end of Fire Falling I was ready to find out what happens next! I’m so glad we get the answer right away instead of several chapters later. The beginning was a terrific start!
  • Character growth! I know I mentioned this in my other reviews, but let me just add it once again. Each book has showed the characters in different ways. Especially with Vhalla. When it comes to Vhalla, each book is like getting a new character with her. She begins one way but with her experiences through the stories, both good and bad, her character begins to reach new levels. She is no longer this shy little Library Apprentice, she is a soldier. The other characters have moments of growth as well but Vhalla’s is the most noticeable in my eyes. We also get a better view of the character Eleica which I hated at first but now like.
  • Jax Wendyll! When I heard about Jax at the beginning of Earth’s End I was prepared to meet some strict, always follow the rules, stick-in-the-mud kind of guy. THIS IS NOT JAX! From the first page with him I feel in love with him. He is a bag of crazy, in a good way, and every line he had was pretty much gold. He is that sassy fun character that always brings a bit of humor to a darker story. There is actually an Interview with his character on the wonderful Beyond the Book Review! If you haven’t read Earth’s End and want to know a bit about Jax without getting spoiled just read the interview!
  • The Emotions! Nothing is worse than reading a book and have no feelings while you read it. I can tell you now Earth’s End is not that kind of book. While reading I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh, cry, cheer, yell or a combination of all the feels. There was so much that went on in the book that played at the reader’s emotions. You could be happy and smiling in one sentence but by the end of the chapter be crying and trying to wrap yourself up like a burrito for comfort. My heart still aches a little because of some moments in Earth’s End.
  • Relationships! When I say relationships I’m not just talking about romantic ones. In Earth’s End we get to see a better picture of the Royal family’s relationship. Especially between Baldair and Aldrik. We also get to view a bit of the relationship between the members of the Golden Guard and The Black Legion. Not to mention Vhalla’s relationship with several other characters in the stories. And of course all the Vhaldrik scenes! *swoons*
  • An Ugly War! Many times in books authors try to make the idea of war not as unpleasant as it really is. War is a terrible and heartbreaking thing. Elise writes the scenes about war in a way that captures the picture with all the problems. We see the way deaths affect those around them, and also how even innocent people get caught up in the fighting. There were moments that will tug at your heart in a beautiful yet terrible way.
  • The Magic! So much love for the use of the Elements in this story! I love getting to see new ways the characters use their abilities. Especially how much Vhalla has learned throughout the books.

Now that I gave you most of what I enjoyed about Earth’s End, let me give you some of the bad.

What I didn’t Like:

  • It Stopped! Basically I was heartbroken the story ended before I was ready for it to. I was ready to read so much more!!!!

I honestly have no complaints about this book. I tried to rack my brain for one little something, but other than saying I didn’t like the horrible character meant to be hated, I have nothing. I usually can find at least one or two things I didn’t care for in a story, but for this one my brain is drawing a blank.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series! So much happened in Earth’s End I can’t wait to see what is going to happen now. So many new questions are in my mind and I know the story is just going to get even more exciting. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!

Overall I will give this story 5 out of 5 hearts!

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If you haven’t read the Air Awakens series I highly recommend it! If you have read it and would like to talk about it please stop by my Twitter and chat with me! (@BetweenDPages)

laurensig