Review: Blood Scion

Review: Blood Scion

Rating: 4 out of 5.

**I received a proof copy from Harper360YA in exchange for an honest review**

As a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods, being a Scion is a death sentence under Lucis’ violent rule. When she is conscripted into the Lucis army, Sloane uses it to get the revenge she has always strived for. But as she rises through the ranks, learning to fight the enemy, she risks losing herself as her ability to suppress her powers weakens and threatens to harm all those around her. 

Blood Scion is remarkable. As someone who has been losing interest in YA fantasy, I found myself thoroughly surprised by Bloodscion, which is a shocking and action-packed debut that has the potential to be a hit for older timers and new fans alike. 

Fifteen-year-old Sloane has constantly searched for her mother’s body, hoping to clear the rumours of her disappearance and death. During her nightly trawls, she is ambushed by a Lucis soldier and uses her powers to kill her intruder. Scions are descendants of the Yoruba people who were gifted with magical abilities from the Orisha. A dwindling population that the Lucis are currently hunting. Even being wrongfully accused of being a Scion is a death warrant. When Sloane is conscripted to join the Lucis army, despite every bone in her body telling her to run, it is the only chance she has to find the truth of her mother’s death. Thus begins her journey toward revenge and seeking justice for others of her kind. 

Blood Scion looks straightforward from the outside—a typical young girl infiltrating an enemy base. You would probably think you’ve read this before.  But what makes this stand out is the story. It is complex and well built, solidified with characters that stand on their own and together. Sloane goes to Avalon and joins a squad of other children who have their secrets about joining the army. The story moves fast and keeps you informed without getting confused. The world Solane presides in is dangerous and brutal. The Lucis are colonisers, and there is no beating around the bush about the genocide they have committed and continue to engage in the story as Sloane and her peers are trained to become the next crop of soldiers. 

Falaye is a remarkable writer, and I’ll definitely be watching out for future releases from her that are not in the Blood Scion series. She writes with great detail that informs the reader and brings to life the world around Solane despite the story taking place mainly within Avalon, their training ground. Solane is a complex protagonist whose character is pulled apart and rebuilt together by the very people who would want her dead if they knew the truth. A child soldier who fights so hard for the truth, it is heartbreaking to see her go through so much pain. 

As mentioned, the Lucis are colonisers. And Blood Scion does not shy away from the atrocities they commit to Scion and their own soldiers alike. Falaye balances the storytelling well while also discussing war and oppression. Sloane must navigate a world where the Lucis and their propaganda are rampant. The intensity of violence was surprising to see in a YA as the experience of children soldiers will never be easy to witness. Falaye does not water down anything and brings to light every harsh detail Solane faces. While a fantasy world, it is still the reality for many children worldwide. 

Overall, a gritty and dark debut about a young girl’s journey for survival and revenge. Based on Yoruba mythology, Blood Scion is intense, further elevated by Falaye’s imagination. With excellent characters and an intriguing fantasy world, Blood Scion is the start of a story that promises to be exceptional.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR

Monthly Rewind: April 2022

Monthly Rewind: April 2022

It feels so nice to be writing a Monthly Rewind post and actually having stuff to talk about. So hey, a little life update, I finally left my current job after almost six years of waitressing. While my new job is temporary, I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ll be honest, it feels great to not be a waitress anymore. My co-workers were great, but it was a very demanding role where I felt I was going nowhere in my life being there. I initially got this job during my gap year and only planned to stay for as long as my degree but 2020 obviously said otherwise. I ended up being stuck there for much longer and my job search was… very frustrating to say the least. My temp job is less demanding and I’ve really settled in well after only two weeks! At least I have a break from job-searching after two years though I am not looking forward to doing it all over again in August. OTL

A R T

Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: April 2022”

Review: Girl on Fire

Review: Girl on Fire

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*I received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

When a police officer aims a gun at her brother, Lolo Wright discovers powers she never knew she had. And alongside tackling family drama and school life, she juggles the telekinetic abilities that she can’t seem to hide. When a neighbourhood dealer catches wind of her skill, it’s not long before he starts calling for her to join his gang. With her brother’s safety and father’s business on the line, Lolo learns that she must learn how to fight back before it’s too late. 

This was a surprisingly fun read! Key and Weiner do an excellent job setting the story up swiftly. The Wright dynamic is relatable and heart-warming. Despite all odds, they stuck together and became very relatable characters. Lolo is a great protagonist. She’s sweet, hardworking, and definitely a great fictional role model for younger kids. 

The story dynamic is natural and feels like a breeze to read. Secondary characters such as her brother, Michael, her father, James, while powerless, grow with their own strengths. Keys and Weiner brings together a colourful cast of characters that matter. In such a short time, young readers can be quickly immersed in this dynamic world. 

In all, Girl on Fire is bursting with energy. Keys and Weiner tackle teenagehood and heroic beginnings in this fantasy debut which is further elevated with art created by Brittney Williams.  It is an empowering start for any younger reader looking to get their hands on a newer hero. 


GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR

Review: Four Aunties and a Wedding

Review: Four Aunties and a Wedding

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

Never the bride, always the photographer. Meddy Chan never imagined she would wed her college sweetheart. Instead, she hires another family-fun business, appearing like a dream. Everything is going fine until Meddy overhears them taking out a target at her wedding, and suddenly, she is forced to make sure another wedding doesn’t become a crime scene. Can the Chans save the day, or will this become a wedding no one will want to remember?

I was super excited to see what the Chans will get up to in this sequel; having enjoyed the first, deciding to speak so lowly of this was disappointing. 

The best part about Dial A for Aunties is getting to lean into the absurdity of it all. It’s so ridiculous, which is what made it so great to read. The Chan are endearing and fun. Four Aunties and a Wedding felt a lot more absurd, and while this isn’t a series where you should be caring about realism., the misadventures in here aren’t as marvellous as it was before. The humour is still the same, but the plot is just too similar, and none of the characters has grown since the events of Dial A. This is more of a personal ick, but the aunts doing strange British accents weren’t funny at all.  What made it less enjoyable was the fact it all takes place during the wedding, and no one seems to bat an eye that Meddy, the bride, is barely present. Nate really should’ve kicked up a bigger fuss. I think this would’ve been a lot more fun if the events occurred in the days going up to the wedding because having to witness what should be one of the best days in Meddy’s life go horrifically wrong did not feel fun at all. I’m surprised Sutanto managed to tie everything up in the end because it just sounds miserable. 

Overall, Four Aunties was fun, but it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the first. The plot is predictable without any redeeming elements and lacklustre development. If anything, this series is truly a test for anyone who wants to practise suspension of disbelief. 


GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR

Review: Our Violent Ends

Review: Our Violent Ends

Rating: 2 out of 5.

*I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

One monster is dead, and another threatens to push Shanghai into ruins as it balances on a tightrope. Juliette must protect her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir, even if it means working again with Roma to end a new monster in the city. As the city reaches a boiling point, with civil war right on their doorsteps, Roma and Juliette must find a way to work together or face losing everything they’ve ever known.

Our Violent Ends was a disappointing experience. We return to 1920s Shanghai with a much larger focus on the communists and nationalists as the Scarlet Gang and White Flowers struggle to control the city. These Violent Ends revolves around the monster that lurks with the conflict between the Nationalists and Communists is brewing in the background. Our Violent Ends does a complete switch, now the civil war is the main focus with the threat of a new monster lurking in the background. Both novels follow young Juliette and Roma trying to find the truth and help their people before the war breaks them apart.

Sadly, there is just not enough substance to carry this story, clocking at almost 500 pages. Our Violent Ends was dragging itself for no good reason. The progression between the last book and this one should’ve been a sign for me to stop before it got even worse. These Violent Delights ends on a thrilling cliffhanger, the return of a beast, the death of a friend that should spur the characters to keep moving, but the sequel starts after some time has passed and Gong info-dumps everything and moves on. And what she moves onto felt like nothing to me. 

Our Violent Ends was everything and nothing at the same time. Juliette is still on edge about Tyler taking her spot as the heir. I enjoyed Tyler as a villain, but at one point, I was rooting for him just to do the damn thing and take her spot because despite Juliette believing she should be the heir, she does nothing even to showcase that she deserves it. We are told she is badass, smart and deserves to be the heir, but it comes up empty for me. I was hoping Roma’s perspective would at least be interesting. He is, rightfully, upset about Juliette, thinking she is responsible for Marshall’s death. And when they’re forced to work together again, of course, he’s conflicted. I honestly could not bring myself to care about these two as lovers or friends, or enemies. 

A big issue with this duology overall is that it relies on withholding information as plot twists. If Gong wanted to pack a punch, there should’ve been more consequences to the actions of these characters, which is why this entire duology was so underwhelming to read.  A few moments came across as shocking, but I found that I could not care at all after the initial shock, and I realise that it just came out of nowhere.

If there was anything positive about this duology, everything is so interesting except for Juliette and Roma. Whenever the story shifts to follow Tyler, Benedikt, Marshall or Kathleen, it feels like I’m reading a completely different story. I enjoyed myself but then when we returned to our main couple; I just wanted to move on from them. I could not bring myself to feel invested in Roma and Juliette at all. 

Our Violent Ends was disappointing, to say the least.  I truly wanted the best for this duology, but I found it to be incredibly repetitive. As friends, enemies or lovers, Roma and Juliette’s relationship was utterly unsatisfying.  It is frustrating to see an exciting concept squandered, which left me dissatisfied with my reading experience. 


GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR

Monthly Rewind: January 2022

Monthly Rewind: January 2022

A R T

Oh, hello! I’m introducing a new segment to the monthly rewind where I showcase any art + sketches I’ve made in the month. I find myself drawing a lot before my shift at work while having my coffee. (I basically rinse that £20 monthly sub from Pret) So there’s a lot of art. Some good, most bad. But I want to share the ones I liked the most.

B O O K S

I read 2 books this month! I’m still slowly making my way out of that reading slump that was caused by pandemic blues and general dissatisfaction with my life. I’ve slowly begun to make more time now to read and hopefully, I can stick to a routine that won’t cause me to burn out again.

Sisters of the Snake – I requested this arc last year and I’m glad I finally got to read it! It was a fun pick-me-up to get me back to reading. A great fun start to a fantasy series. Very quick to read as well. Read my review here!

Our Violent Ends – Another ARC that I sadly reglected. It was fun to see the conclusion of the duology. My thoughts on this are the same as it was with TVD. I was never really compelled to finished this story for Juliette or Roma because I actually found them rather boring. The side characters and background plot really carry the story. Chloe Gong writes in a way that makes the story digestable and quick to read. I’m actually very excited to read the spin-off because it follows one of the better (in my opinion) characters.

M U S I C

SURFACE PRESSURE | NUMB LITTLE BUG | SMILEY | DEVASTATION AND REDEMPTION | AKUMA NO KO

That’s it for this month! Tell me what went on in YOUR life this month! What sort of things was important for you this month? New obsessions? New TV shows? Or book? Any new song recs (I’m always open to new music!)? Best books you read this month?