Between my birthday this month and Christmas, I got a good pile of books this month to read in 2018. Realistically they will only last until February, but I reread books so often, owning them is a good investment for me regardless of how fast I devour them.
All of the books I got this Holiday season are in the YA fiction category, one or two may technically be New Adult. The quoted descriptions are all from Goodreads.
Let’s get to it!
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of magic is the first book in the Shades of Magic series by Victoria Scwab (common penname V.E. Schwab). I had been hearing about this book for months through booktube and bookstagrams and added it to my amazon wishlist for my birthday/Christmas. I am Currently reading this book so watch out for my review!
The book follows Kell who is a rare breed of magic wielder called the “Antari” Which means he can use his magic to travel through doors to the other versions of London. There are four versions of London, Red London where Kell is from where magic runs strong and controlled through the city, Grey London which is cut off and void of all magic, White London which is facing a brutal war and slowly losing their control of Magic, and Black London whose uncontrolled use of magic led it to be destroyed. Black London is rarely spoken about and impossible to travel to. Kell works for the court of Red London delivering letters between the different kingdoms of London and secretly working on the side as an illegal smuggler of objects between the worlds.
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
2. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead wrote one of my favorite series of all time, The Vampire Academy and it’s spin off Bloodlines. When I found out she was writing a different series unrelated to the VA universe I was reluctant to move on but I am finally ready! Maybe it’s the excitement of the new Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle but I am on board for a Royal themed book!
The Glittering Court is about a Countess, Adelaide who is looking to escape an arranged marriage. To do this she joins “the glittering court” a program that takes lower class girls to the New World and gives them training needed to be presented as upper class ladies and fit to marry wealthy and powerful suitors in the New World. Adelaide must hide her identity and survive her training long enough to get to her new life in the New World.
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.
When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.
But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…
3. Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
This book was added to my wishlist and I think purely because I loved the cover because when I opened in my gifts and read the description I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised! But you would think I’d have had some idea what is was about before I asked for it for the holidays.
Reign of Shadows is a YA fantasy retelling of the Rapunzel story. In this version, Princess Luna has been hiding in the tower every since her Kingdom was taken over by a evil chancellor in the chaos caused by a perpetual eclipse. That is until she meets Fowler and they are forced to abandon the tower and risk the danger of the outside world together.
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.
But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.
With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.
With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
I randomly bought the ebook version of this book forgetting that it had been on my wishist and finished reading it before Christmas but I am definitely not disappointed to have a physical copy of this book. Especially considering how much I liked it! (Look for that review soon!)
This Mortal Coil is a YA Sci-fi Dystopian novel. It’s set in a future where humans can modify their genes by downloading apps into the hardware that is inserted into your body after being born. 2 years ago a giant plague was unleashed that has forced most humans into underground bunkers created by the genetics organization, Cartaxus. The story follows Catarina Agatta is the daughter of one of the leading geneticists and has been fighting to survive and stay under Cartaxus’s radar after her father was kidnapped by them after the initial infection.
Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
I found An Unkindness of Magicians while browsing amazon for books to add to my TBR list. It is described as a Fantasy Thriller which is a new one for me. The description doesn’t yield enough info for me to really get a good feel of what it’s about but it caught my attention! Magic in New York City? As a NYC native, I am SOLD.
There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.
In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.
Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.
King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
King’s Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. It is probably one of the most popular series in the YA genre currently. I have just discovered the series this year but I’m already finished with the first 2 books. I loved the first book and was underwhelmed with the second book, so after hearing the series gets good again in the third book I decided to give the one a chance before I wrote a review on the series.
The Red Queen series is a YA fantasy dystopia about a world divided into two classes. The Powerful “Silver Bloods” who have magic and make up the ruling class and the weak “Red Bloods” who make up the slave class and have no power. But when Mare Barrow is revealed to be a Red Blood with power’s she is carted away to the Silver Palace and must pretend to be a Silver Blood to avoid riling up the other Red Bloods.
If you haven’t already read The Red Queen, you might want to skip this description of the third book as it may contain SPOILERS!
In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?
Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.
As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.
When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a New Adult Fantasy Romance about Fairies. Sarah J. Maas is an author I have been hearing a lot about, and some of the reviews of the ACOTAR series hinted at a steamy romance aspect which had me Intrigued. I actually bought this book myself with a giftcard my two best friends got me for my Birthday. I believe I have seen it described as kind of a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Honestly, those are my favorite types of romance dynamics in books and added with my love of fairy books, I am really excited for this one!
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
Timekeeper by Tara Sims
I had heard of Timekeeper a bunch from booktubers but what really made me add it to my wishlist is how cool the author, Tara Sim seems on twitter!
Timekeeper is a Fantasy Young Adult with Steampunk elements. It is set an alternative version of Victorian London and revolves around clocks and time. From what I can tell, the clock towers of London control time and are in danger because of mysterious bombings going on. The main character is a Mechanical Prodigy whose father, who was also a Timekeeper got trapped in a town where time stopped. He is trying to figure out how to save his father while also making sure time in London is safe.
I was in an accident. I got out. I’m safe now.
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.
The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
I had heard about this book briefly through booktube but it was mostly the cover upon looking it up that got my interest. The Midnight Dance is a YA contemporary books that has been described as a thriller/mystery. It is the only stand-alone book on the list as well as the only Contemporary because I am not a fan of either of these but the description intrigued me. It has mixed reviews on goodreads which worries me but since there are plenty of books I have loved that many people have hated, That isn’t going to stop me from giving it a chance!
When the music stops, the dance begins.
Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.
But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.
Did you get any books for the Holidays?
Thank you for reading! And I hope you have an AMAZING 2018! 🙂