[Book Review] The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang // the grimdark military fantasy you have been waiting for

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Title: The Poppy War

Author: R.F. Kuang

Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark

Rating:

RATING - Five Stars

Summary:

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Continue reading “[Book Review] The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang // the grimdark military fantasy you have been waiting for”

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Mini-Reviews: 3 Teen Books I, A Non-Teen, Adored

I admit – I used to look down on teen books. I’ve always loved YA sci-fi and fantasy, but I used to think that contemporary teen books were beneath me. Of course, I’ve realized since then just how wrong I was (check out my review of From Twinkle, With Love and When Dimple Met Rishi, both contemporary teen romances), and I’m happy to say, I have a quite a few teen books on my TBR now! In fact, last month, I read three contemporary teen books, and I absolutely adored them!

Here’s what I thought of Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!

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[Book Review] Second Wave Summer – Multiple Authors // romance, the beach, and a music festival

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Title: Second Wave Summer

Author: Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult

Rating:

RATING - Four Stars

Summary:

All roads lead back to beachside music festival Summer Crush for another weekend of high waves, rock & roll, and the promise of summer romance.

On any given day, Michael Brian doesn’t need to do much to hit the right notes with a girl, but there’s something about this day—and something about this girl—that’s got him out of tune.

Indie filmmaker Datu puts on his dusty event videographer hat for Summer Crush. But memories of a love he let slip away resurface from every corner of this surf town. Now what he thought would be an easy job just isn’t so easy anymore.

Corporate-highflyer-on-vacation Ringo has a question to which cookie bar boss woman Kris has the answer, if only they’d stop getting in each other’s way.

Continue reading “[Book Review] Second Wave Summer – Multiple Authors // romance, the beach, and a music festival”