Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Short Double ARC Reviews: "Onyx and Ivory" by Mindee Arnett & "The Final Six" by Alexandra Monir


Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.




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REVIEW

I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

A high stakes fantasy with magic, some kind of mutant bad dragons and forbidden romance! I enjoyed the book with its rich world-building and well-developed characters. And there are horses! So many horses in this book!

Kate and Corwin had a lot to go through in this book and while some tropes were too familiar to me I enjoyed the action and the details Mindee Arnett gave to her plot and society. As also the politics of this empire.

Not to mention that the cover is gorgeous and hints something mystic in the story.




About the author:

YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.













The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads

When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.





PRE-ORDER ON



REVIEW


I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

A strong, diverse and well-written sci-fi with characters I could relate with. There was a lot of romance which in some cases shadowed the plot.
One thing that this book made me scream about? The cliffhanger.
I really hope for a sequel!





About the author:


Iranian-American author and recording artist Alexandra Monir has published five novels for young adults, including her popular debut, Timeless. A Barnes & Noble bestseller and one of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month,” Timeless and its sequel, Timekeeper, have been featured in numerous media outlets and been published in different countries around the world. She followed the duology with Suspicion and The Girl in the Picture, both standalone YA thrillers. Her upcoming science fiction novel, THE FINAL SIX (March 6, 2018) was acquired by HarperCollins and Sony Pictures on the same week, in two major pre-emptive deals. 

Alexandra is also a singer/songwriter who often integrates music into her books’ pages. She wrote and recorded three original songs to accompany Timeless and Timekeeper, which were released as the album The Timeless EP and distributed by Jimmy Buffett's record label, Mailboat Records. She also recorded a song that was released with the publication of Suspicion, and is composing a stage musical geared toward Broadway. Her musical roots are deep, as she is the granddaughter of the late Monir Vakili, the foremost Iranian opera singer.

Alexandra Monir is a frequent speaker at middle schools and high schools across the country and at major events including fan conventions, women’s leadership conferences, and book festivals. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and newborn son. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her online at www.alexandramonir.com.