Mini ARC Reviews: Blood & Honey, Skyhunter, Addie Larue

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

Mini ARC Reviews: Blood & Honey, Skyhunter, Addie LarueBlood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin
Series: Serpent & Dove #2
Published by HarperTeen (9.1.2020)
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Format: eARC, 536 pages
Source: Edelweiss

3.5 Stars

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

My thoughts

It’s not very often that I find a book that makes me literally laugh out loud, so I genuinely cherish Shelby as an author! The wit and humor that I loved so much from the first book was still present in this one, which makes me so happy! I do think that this suffered from a bit of Second Book Syndrome. I still enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite as good as the first book. It felt like filler, to be honest. I can’t even tell you half of what happened in the book (except the ending, lol) because nothing….really…happened.

In the first book we got the glorious hate-to-love relationship full of HILARIOUS banter, and while I still adored Reid and Lou together, there was a lot more focus on both of their struggles with magic. I do remember that Reid’s vehement rejection of magic got a little annoying, to be completely honest. He refused it even when it was practical, and helpful.

Like I said, I still enjoyed it, but overall I felt underwhelmed. The ending was pretty intense and emotional, but it just didn’t hit like I’d hoped it would. View Spoiler »

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 3/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Mini ARC Reviews: Blood & Honey, Skyhunter, Addie LarueSkyhunter by Marie Lu
Series: Skyhunter #1
Published by Roaring Brook Press (9.29.2020)
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, High Fantasy
Format: eARC, 384 pages
Source: Edelweiss

2 Stars

A broken world.
An overwhelming evil.
A team of warriors ready to strike back.

Talin is a Striker, a member of an elite fighting force that stands as the last defense for the only free nation in the world: Mara.

A refugee, Talin knows firsthand the horrors of the Federation, a world-dominating war machine responsible for destroying nation after nation with its terrifying army of mutant beasts known only as Ghosts.

But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front to Mara's capital, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? What secrets is he hiding?

Only one thing is clear: Talin is ready to fight to the death alongside her fellow Strikers for the only homeland she has left . . . with or without the boy who might just be the weapon to save—or destroy—them all.

My thoughts

Marie Lu is very hit or miss for me – I loved Young Elites but almost DNFed the sequel, I enjoyed Warcross and Wildcard, Legend was good but the sequels were just okay, and I DNFed Kingdom of Back. This was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases, but I ended up being SO disappointed in this book. I was SUPER underwhelmed – I was bored through the majority of the book, to the point that I wanted to DNF. I pushed through because the concept of the skyhunters was interesting and I kept hoping it would get better. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

This entire story was bland: the world, the writing, the characters, the romance. And even though things were happening, I feel like nothing actually happened. The monster hunting was super cool, and I’d have liked to see way more of that, but instead it was all about the tension between the people and the oppressive government…which is pretty generic, because it’s done a million times and has to be done really well to work. This felt like every single other generic dystopian novel out there. Overall, it was forgettable and I just didn’t care about it at all. I will not be picking up the sequel.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 3.5/5
Originality: 2/5
Characters: 3/5
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 3.5/5
Feels: 1/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 2/5

Mini ARC Reviews: Blood & Honey, Skyhunter, Addie LarueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Published by Tor (10.6.2020)
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Format: eARC, 444 pages
Source: NetGalley

3.5 Stars

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

My thoughts

If a person cannot leave a mark, do they exist?

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of Schwab as a person, but damn if she doesn’t write interesting books. The writing in this drew me in from the very first page – it’s magical, haunting, quotable and simply beautiful. It makes you want to soak up the words, to crawl into the pages and live there. And the concept is refreshingly unique!

Time always ends a second before you’re ready. Life is the minutes you want minus one.

Wow, that is poignant.

However, it wasn’t memorable for me. I enjoyed it quite a bit while reading, but it didn’t stick with me. I do remember being sad for Addie and the hand she’s dealt – never being remembered by anyone would really suck. She can never own anything – no home, no possessions – and has no friends or family. Unable to leave any kind of mark on the world at all. Small cost for freedom for a bargain with the devil, I suppose. Ah, the consequences of our own actions. Good little moral in there, though – be careful what you wish for, eh?

I felt disappointed in the ending, somehow. View Spoiler » I don’t exactly know how I wanted it to go, just that I was underwhelmed by it. Also, despite being a supposed standalone, the ending is left quite open, which I wasn’t sure I cared for either.

Side note: I love that the bookstore’s resident cat was named Book!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Ending: 2/5
Cover: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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