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Book Review: Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key

OCTAVIA BLOOM AND THE MISSING KEY by Estelle Grace Tudor 5 Stars Verdict : A beautiful book, through and through.  When eccentric Great Aunt Clara comes to stay in the Bloom's family castle, Octavia learns she's the keeper of the key for a magical fairyland. However, her family has a secret, one that involves finding rare flowers in order to break a curse. Although Octavia should protect fairyland and stay in the human world, the last flower to break the curse can only be found through the door.  Octavia is clever and mischievous, so she's the perfect heroine for this tale. Her sister Fliss is protective and caring, making her a great side kick for this first book. I hear from the author that each book will focus on a different character, so this is Octavia's chance to shine.   I loved Great Aunt Clara and Grandma. They're the sisters who were the past keepers of fairyland who have very different ideals about the hidden world, and they bounced off each other well. T
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Indie Book Review: The Child of Chaos

THE CHILD OF CHAOS by Glen Dahlgren 5 Stars Verdict: A gritty and original fantasy based around Order and Chaos.  Galen has a wild imagination and doesn't want to end up a fisherman like his father. However, he doesn't seem to possess the 'longing' needed to belong to a temple and perform magic. Instead he has a different pull, one that might be responsible for his mother going missing. What's more is his bully, Horace, has the same longing and will go to extreme lengths to be first to find the cause of it.  I really enjoyed reading this book from start to finish.   Galen is a typical hero who's brave and has a good moral compass. He doesn't quite fit in with the labels his world forces on him, and there's something calling him to adventure out into the world, possibly to go missing forever like his mother.  My favourite thing about this book was Horace. He's a young yet ruthless villain, a fast thinker, clever, brutal - and damaged. He's haunted

Book Review: The Ravens

THE RAVENS by Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige 5 Stars Verdict: Is it too early to call my favourite book of the year? When Vivi joins Westerly College, she discovers the sorority known as the Ravens are actually a secret coven of witches. In her pledge to join, she quickly gets on the wrong side of Scarlett, a legacy Raven, who desperately wants to be voted president to meet her mother's unreasonable expectations. Although the dark events of last year are catching up with Scarlett, putting the whole sorority in danger.  For me, this will go down as one of my favourites of all time. It has everything I loved about 90s Charmed combined with everything I adore in YA fiction. It's fast paced, full of complex family history and teen drama, and had enough magic and mystery to keep me enthralled throughout. It has a darker edge to it too, like the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina , plus a couple of lines of humour, and tons of mystery.  The story is told through third person dual POV,

Book Review: Wilder Girls

WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power 5 Stars Verdict: Dark, gritty, beautiful.  An infection has taken over the Raxter School for Girls, and the survivors are each damaged in different, gruesome ways. Quarantined on the island, all they can do is wait for the outside world to find a cure. When Hetty's friend goes missing, she breaks the rules to find her.  I listened to the audiobook, and the voice actor was superb. It's also a fairly short listen, too, and well suited to the format.   There's a content warning for body horror. The book generally has a spooky, apocalyptic feel to it, but I wouldn't personally call it scary. A little gruesome in places, but not too gross, which is how I like it. It's also not the happiest story, so I wouldn't call it a book for everyone.   That said, I really loved it.  The pace is gradual and steady, and the POV flips a couple of times to give a better overview of what's going on inside Raxter. The plot leans towards predictable, so

Book Review: Scythe

SCYTHE by Neil Shusterman  4  stars Verdict: I had an existential crisis, but loved it in the end. Based on a world where death is cured, Scythes are ordained in order to choose which people should be gleaned in order to maintain the population levels. Citra and Rowan are chosen to be Scythes. Neither want the honour, and only one will be chosen.  I went on quite the journey with this one. I started out with the paperback and loved the quirky, dark tone...but didn't feel that 'pull' which I need to keep going. So I didn't. I switched to the audiobook and found it much easier to get through.  The book is world led, not character led, and I think this was my problem. The main leads, Citra and Rowan aren't really too interesting to start out with. Once I worked out why I wasn't completely connecting with it, I actually started to like it a lot more. I loved the quirky tone and dark humour. The snippets of journal entries from past scythes was also a interesting wa

More Video Reviews!

Here are two reviews for recently published young adult fantasy books. Both are gory, both have a lot to offer, but neither really knocked my socks off. Why? You'll have to watch and see! Click here to visit my channel, Scookie Reviews. I've got a good rhythm at the moment for creating video reviews. They're coming out on Wednesdays. THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS by Chloe Gong KINGDOM OF THE WICKED by Kerri Maniscalco Hope you enjoy! Feel free to share your comments about the books below. I received an ecopy of both books from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  You can also buy the books using the affiliate links below. The links mean that I get a very small percentage of the profits from amazon without taking anything away from the authors.  Buy THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS. Buy KINGDOM OF THE WICKED.

Book Review: Kingdom of the Wicked

KINGDOM OF THE WICKED by Kerri Maniscalco 3 stars Verdict: Excellent start, then descends into Q&A.  *Content warning for gore.*  It's 19th Century Italy. Emilia and Vittoria are twins witches entrusted with powerful necklaces that should never touch. When Emilia's twin is murdered, she wants revenge and will even go as far as secretly summoning a demon in pursuit of finding her sister's killer. The atmospheric setting combined with the use of Italian such a natural, smooth way made it very easy to love. I also loved how Emilie started out as the cautious twin but became more adventurous through necessity. The best bit about the book is the killer opening with all the right gothic witch vibes. It was insta-love for me with this book, and I thought I was preparing to write a raving review.  The story descended into Q&A pretty quick after the blurb hooks were done. It made sense at first: capture a demon, question him. Then go find another demon, question them...repe