Book Review of Never Date A Siren by Byrd Nash

 

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Title: Never Date A Siren

Author: Byrd Nash

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

When Brigit ran away from her helicopter parents, all the dryad wanted was an uncomplicated college life.

A contemporary fae YA fantasy with twists and surprises.

But being a fae among humans isn’t easy. When she’s kicked out of her apartment by her Troll roommate, stealing a bedroom from a human appears to be a simple plan.

Unfortunately, he has problems of his own – a messy break-up with a Siren means without her help, he will die.

A quirky fae fantasy about true friendships and magical companions.

Meet a hopelessly dim coco mat and a sarcastic cat, who may be too busy taking a bath to save you.

This book was a great start to a series. I loved how Nash weaved in different fae folklore together. The interactions between the different types of fae was very clever and unique. I haven’t ready too many fae stories, but I found this to be quite original.

Poor poor human Logan got caught up in a Siren’s magic. The description of what it would be like to hear her call, be stuck in her clutches, and have to figure out a way around it was really cool. I can’t wait to read more about these characters.

Brigit was a really cool main character. She is very smart, follows the codes of the fae, but is able to do it in a way to get what she wanted. If you want an awesome female character, this is your book!

All in all, I definitely recommend!

~Dani

Book Review of Shielded by KayLynn Flanders

 

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Title: Shielded

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Release date: July 21, 2020

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Back cover:

For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

This book was really fascinating. I loved the world that Flanders created, and the characters as well. I found them all to be really well rounded, interesting, and I felt they were believable. The romance was adorable and not too over the top like some YA. There were many surprises throughout the book, and it left me wanting more. I can’t wait for the second book and definitely want to read it whenever it comes out.

One of my favorite parts of this book is how it was in first-person, but there weren’t many uses of the word “I”. Flanders is a very good author to be able to make it feel like you understood what was in Jenna’s head, but not falling into the “I” pit that a lot of authors (including me) do. I was very impressed.

The only problem I had was that some chapters had a shift in perspective to the bad guy. I felt these pulled me out of the story and didn’t add anything. I wish that they weren’t included, although they weren’t too terrible as it didn’t affect my rating. It was more of a personal preference.

All in all, I definitely recommend!

~Dani

Book Review of Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

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Wicked Fox

Author: Kat Cho

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

 

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Back cover:

An addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to men. He’s drawn to her anyway. When he finds her fox bead, he does not realize he holds her life in his hands.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous and reignite a generations-old feud . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

This book caught my eye at the book store, as I do love foxes and folklore. At first I thought it was the Japanese Kitsune, but I found out it was the Korean gumiho! I haven’t done much research in Korean folklore and looked forward to learning more and reading a fantasy book about it!

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The characters in the this book are well rounded, made sense, and evolved throughout the story. There are a lot of Korean terms, which I think is awesome for bringing you into a culture as language is essential. Luckily there is a glossary in the back to help you figure out the terms, but most made sense by context, and a lot of dishes are now on my to-cook list.

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I also loved the story of the gumiho that was weaved in, and how you were slowly given the folklore of this creature. I also loved learning about the different powers, magic, and religion in the area and how it was never info dumped, but gradually introduced.

A definite recommendation from me! Check it out!

~Dani

Book Review of Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

 

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Title: Echo North

Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back cover:

he dreamed of the wood and the wolf who was trapped there…

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: if she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books- turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up—otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

This is probably one of my favorite YA fantasy books I have come across. It is well thought out, full of adventure and romance, and weaves in different folklore that I love. I love the idea of the beast being a wolf as in many cultures, wolves are seen as monstrous beings when really they are a beautiful creature that is often misunderstood. There were also elements of the Tam Lin story, which is also one of my favorites because of SJ Tucker’s song about him (listen to it here).

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Much of the story mirrors Beauty and the Beast, which was my favorite Disney story growing up. I probably have seen it a hundred times, of which my mother was glad it was a movie she liked. I loved how the house of the Wolf was mystical in its own way and was every changing and need to be weaved together. It is hard to explain without reading the book, but I found it a great spin. I also LOVED the idea of the book mirrors where you could travel into the stories and interact with them. I NEED THIS! VR is getting close, as some Japanese anime have made episodes where you can watch and move around in the scene, but it isn’t quite as interactive. Soon!

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All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who likes tales inspired by folklore, Beauty and the Beast, wolves, or all of the above!

~Dani