Seeking Shelter – Marie Howalt

  • Title: Seeking Shelter
  • Series: Moonless 2
  • Author: Marie Howalt
  • Pages: 320
  • Publication Date: 12 september, 2020
  • Publisher: Spaceboy Books LLC
  • Rating:

[I received an ARC from the author. All opnions are my own]

To say that I was excited when I found out that We Lost the Sky would get a sequel, would be an understatement. I definitely wasn’t ready to let the characters and world go yet, I needed at least one more book.

Seeking Shelter starts where We Lost the Sky ends, and we now follow the former rebels as they attempt to build a society in the middle of a broken world. As you might have guessed, they don’t exactly have an easy road ahead of them.

There are a few new POV’s in this book, but the story still revolve around characters from the last book, and I was very excited to see so much of Renn and Luca – all of the characters are very well writen and nuanced, but those two are my absolute favorites, and I am so excited to read even more about them and to see how the their relationship might evolve!

What I really love about theese books (well one of the many things) is how realistic they feel. Now I definitely don’t mind dramatic stories with the whole world at stake, but it was really refreshing to read a book that focuses so much on rebuilding and living in a post apocalyptic world. Reading about the process of building a society from the sratch, aloung with all the reflections that went into that, was also very intriguing.

There is definitely also action in the book, especially at the end, where the stakes get higher, and it becomes nearly impossible to put the book down. But generally this is a world- and character driven story, and that is what made me love it so much, as it is impossible not te get immersed in the story.

So I 100% recommend Seeking Shelter to everyone interested in post apocalyptic worlds, and who loves well writen character driven stories!

Realm of Knights

 

  • Title: Realm of Knights
  • Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
  • Pages: 270
  • Publication Date: 10 september, 2019
  • Publisher: Reign Publishing
  • Rating:

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*I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own*

When I heard about this book I was very excited to read it. It sounded so promising, and I was intrigued by the premise. But while there were several things that i liked about Realm of Knights, it still didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Lets start with the good things. Reid herself was a likeable character, she was strong willed andvery determined to help her family, who she had a good relationship with. That in itself was definitely something I enjoyed, since it isn’t often that you find a YA novel where the main character actually has a good relationship with her/his family. Reid’s thoughts and internal conflict concerning what she had to do to protect her family, were also very realistically portrayed, and were by no means a bore to read about.

I also really liked that there wasn’t a love triangle between Reid and the two princes, and that Prince Ackley never became a love interest. He was still a very interesting character however, and remained quite mysterious throughout the whole book, which I really liked.

However, I didn’t like the relationship between Reid and Prince Gordon. It felt quite forced, as if it was only there because this is a YA book, and you apparently can’t have YA novel with princes, without having one of them fall for the main character.

Another unfortunate part about this book, was that it was quite predictable at times, and that the seemingly hard tasks that Reid had to carry out through the book were all miraculously solved way too easily. This definitely removed some of the tension, and therefore unfortunaltly also some of the enjoyment of reading this.

The ending was promising though, and I liked that the villains were not simply ‘evil’ and had no personality, so I do plan on giving the sequel a chance.

The Weight of a Soul – Elizabeth Tammi

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  • Title: The Weight of a Soul
  • Author: Elizabeth Tammi
  • Pages: 320
  • Publication Date: 3 december, 2019
  • Publisher: Flux
  • Rating:

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*I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own*

When I saw that Elizabeth Tammi had written another book, I knew I had to read it. Then when I found out that it was inspired by Norse mythology I just got even more excited, as I have loved Norse mythology for as long as I can remember. And it was by no means a bad book, it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

The atmosphere and setting were really good. The mythological parts of the story were nicely sewn into the universe, and it did not at any point feel forced or unoriginal. This part of “The Weight of a Soul” is very similar to “Outrun the Wind” – Tammi seems to be able to really work mythology naturally into new literature (though I at times wished that it was used a bit more).

Unfortunately I didn’t quite like the characters that much. Don’t get me wrong – Lena is an interesting character, and I really liked her determination and her love for her sister. But there were times when I felt like she didn’t really seem to care much about the murders she had committed, or the consequences her actions had for herself and everyone around her. This was slightly odd, considering how much she, at other times, seemed to care about other less grave things.
I also found it difficult to care for the other characters, as it just felt so unfair, that they seemed to care so much more about Fressa (Lena’s sister) than Lena.

I also couldn’t help but feel that the pacing was a bit off at times. The beginning and ending were very fast paced while the story dragged a bit especially around the middle of the book.

The ending however was good, and while parts of it were expected, other parts – especially the very last bit – were totally unexpected, and made for a great surprising ending to the story.

All in all I would recommend this book, as the plot and setting was very interesting, and I know that I will still look forward to more of Elizabeth Tammi’s books in the future.

Illuminae – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

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  • Title: Illuminae
  • Author: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
  • Pages: 602
  • Publication Date: 20 october, 2015
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Rating:

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It has taken me way too long to read Illuminae, but not because the book was boring. In fact I cannot remember the last time a book has surprised me this much.

Illuminae takes place in the year 2575 where Ezra and Kady are forced to flee from their tiny frozen planet, when a mega corporation attacks them. The inhabitants of their planet board three evacuation ships, and try to get away from the last remaining enemy ship, but that quickly becomes the least of their worries, when their AI turns against them, and a deadly (zombie-like) virus spreads on the ships.

The story is told in a very unique form, through a series of different hacked files, and this (among with the story itself) makes the book very interesting. At first I feared this might ruin the chance to connect to the characters and the story, but that was not the case at all. In fact the unique format only made the story all the more fascinating, and I hold no doubt that this is a book that I will remember for a long time.

The characters are also quite interesting, and I found both Kady and Ezra to be very likeable and interesting to follow. The most surprising and fascinating of the characters however, was the AI, AIDAN, and reading about its thoughts and actions was part of what made this book so good. 

I have nothing negative to say about the world building. Illuminae is truly a very thoughout story, and I look very much forward to getting back into its fascinating universe in the next books.

I recommend this book both to all Sci-Fi fans, but also to people who do not usually read the genre. Illuminae is a truly unique book that I have no doubt will surprise many readers, with its interesting format and unexpected plot twists. 

Tamato the Fox Maiden and Other Asian Stories

  • Title: Tamato the Fox Maiden and Other Asian Stories
  • Author: Kell McDonald, Kate Ashwin, Lucy Bellwood, Terry Blass, Jason Caffoe, Shannon Campbell, Ron Chan, Nicole Chartrand, Jonathan Dalton, Blue Delliquanti, Nick Dragotta
  • Pages: 209
  • Publication Date: 15 April, 2019
  • Publisher: Circus Comics
  • Rating:

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I received an ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own

While it took me a while to finish this due to my exams, I definitely did enjoy it.

I’ve always loved myths and fables, so of course I couldn’t miss the opportunity to read this. The stories themselves were all rather short, and I would have liked if some of them had been a little longer, but they are fables and those are often very short – and their length didn’t hurt the stories at all, I was just curious to see what they would have been like had they been longer.

As for the new take on these myths, I enjoyed it very much. They were all quite humorous and it was nice to read these cute little stories in between my exams. I also very much liked that they were all Asian myths, as I unfortunately haven’t read many of those yet.

The art differed a lot (as would be expected since the stories were drawn by different people) and while there were a few stories whose art I didn’t like that much (none of them were bad, it’s just a question of preference) I quite enjoyed the art of the majority of the stories.

So if you are looking for something funny and happy to read and are interested in the myths and fables of Asia I would definitely recommend giving this a chance!

WE LOST THE SKY – MARIE HOWALT

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  • Title: We Lost the Sky
  • Author: Marie Howalt
  • Pages: 295
  • Publication Date: 28 february, 2019
  • Publisher: SPACEBOY BOOKS
  • Rating:

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I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I have a weakness for post apocalyptic stories so when I got the chance to read Marie Howalt’s We Lost the Sky I knew I just had to read it, and I was so excited to begin. And I really wasn’t disappointed.

In We Lost the Sky the moon is gone, and with it we lost the world as we know it. Parts of the lost civilisation still remains, but only as ruins or technology that most humans no longer understand. Some of them try – In Florence, which is now covered by huge domes that protect it from the harsh weather, Theo attempts to learn as much as possible about the old tecnological objects that are brought into the protected city. But that is not easy when the rest of the community rejects almost all technology that is more advanced than simple electric light. The only human that really understands the old technology is Luca. And that’s only because he himself is a relic from a lost time. But he is not the only walking relic – While searching for cover from a dangerous storm, the wanderer Renn accidentally awakens a dormant AI.

It is these four people who carry the story, and they do it well. All the characters are very different, but that doesn’t keep the reader from liking them all equally. Every chapter is told from the point of view of one of the four main characters, and this allows the reader to better understand their lives and personality.

I love character driven stories so this was something that I really enjoyed while reading the book, and this and the smooth writing style was probably the main reason why it turned out to be completely impossible for me to put down the book once I started reading it. I had to know what was going to happen, and no, it couldn’t wait till the next day even if I had to sacrifice my night’s sleep for it. Which I did – I thought I was just going to read one more chapter, but how could I possibly stop reading when the book was this good?

The story’s pacing is neither too fast nor too slow, and besides getting to know the chracters very well, you also get to learn abot the post apocalyptic world, in which the story takes place. Post apocalyptic worlds are part of what fascinates me the most in Sci-Fi, and this world was truly interesting. In some ways it resembled our own, but at the same time it was also totally different, and those two things mixed together created an amazingly interesting atmosphere for the book.

If I had to mention one bad thing about this book though, it is that it ended. While reading this I remembered why I love Sci-Fi so much in the first place, and why I seriously need to start reading more of the genre again!

So if you love Sci-Fi, post apocalyptic worlds and character driven stories you should definitely give this one a try!

 

 

 

 

 

Waves – Ingrid Chabbert & Carole Maurell

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  • Title: Waves
  • Author: Ingrid Chabbert
  • Illustrator: Carole Maurell
  • Pages: 96
  • Publication Date: 7 may, 2019
  • Publisher: Archaia
  • Rating:

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I received an eARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

I really don’t know how to properly describe how beautiful this graphic novel is. The art is so sweet and it fits the heartbreaking story incredibly well.

And the story truly is heartbreaking. It is based on the authors own experiences with her partner, and shows their story of losing a child and depression. I tried not to cry, but that attempt turned into a huge fail as I ended up breaking into tears not even halfway through the story. This did make me smile too, though. A sad, teary smile, but a smile nevertheless (the relationship between the main character and her partner was so sweet and supportive, how could I not smile at that?).

I want to recommend this (and I definitely will), but at the same time I want to warn those who want to read this beautiful graphic novel. You will cry, and it will break your hearth.

But despite all the tears this was still an enjoyable read – Well enjoyable really isn’t the right word, this story was too sad for that, but it is most definitely worth reading.

Really, I can’t find a better word to describe this story than beautiful.

10 Most Anticipated YA Books of 2019

So now that it’s almost 2019 (Happy new year!) I thought it was about time to share my 10 most anticipated YA releases of 2019! They aren’t in order (I couldn’t decide which ones I was the most excited for), but these are the 10 releases that I’m looking the most forward to.

*Disclaimer: Book covers and blurbs are all from the books’ Goodread pages*

1. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo

I know I’m not the only one that just can’t get enough of the Grisha universe and Leigh Bardugo’s writing, and a book about Nikolai? Count me in!

  • Release: January 9, 2019
  • Pages: 480
  • Publisher: Imprint

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) “Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

 

2. Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

I really can’t describe how happy I was when I saw this book was gonna be a thing. I absolutely LOVED Carry On and I never thought that there would be a sequel, and when I saw it I just knew that I HAD to read this book!

  • Release: 2019
  • Pages: ??
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books

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There’s unfortunatly no blurb for this book yet, but you can look at the gorgeous cover instead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Enchantée – Gita Trelease 

I’ve been wanting to read more historical fiction for quite a while now, and when I first heard about this book I just knew I had to read it! A historical fiction, fantasy YA book set in paris in the 1780’s? Yes please!

  • Release: February 5, 2019
  • Pages: ??
  • Publisher: Flatiron/Macmillan

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Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette … 

 

 

4. The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined – Stephanie Hemphill

More historical fiction set in France! This one is a retelling of Joan of Arc’s story and I couldn’t be more excited!

  • Release: June 11, 2019
  • Pages: 512
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray

41824501“Jehanne was an illiterate peasant, never quite at home among her siblings and peers. Until one day, she hears a voice call to her, telling her she is destined for important things. She begins to understand that she has been called by God, chosen for a higher purpose—to save France.
Through sheer determination and incredible courage, Jehanne becomes the unlikeliest of heroes. She runs away from home, dresses in men’s clothes, and convinces an army that she will lead France to victory.

As a girl in a man’s world, at a time when women truly had no power, Jehanne faced constant threats and violence from the men around her. Despite the impossible odds, Jehanne became a fearless warrior who has inspired generations. “

 

5. Spin the Dawn – Elizabeth Lim

This book is described as a mix between Project Runaway ans Mulan and when I read that I was already sold. Really, it sounds perfect already!

  • Release: July 30, 2019
  • Pages: 400
  • Publisher: Knopf

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Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined. “

6. The Cerulean – Amy Ewing

Not only does this book sound like an amazing adventure, it is also tagged as LGBT+ and I need to read it!

  • Release: February 5, 2019
  • Pages: 497
  • Publisher: HarperTeen

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“Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.

But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive.”

7. Dark Shores – Danielle L Jensen

This one is a pirate adventure and though we saw quite a few of them in 2016 I actually didn’t read any (and even if I did I still love pirates) so I am very excited for this!

  • Release: May 7, 2019
  • Pages: ??
  • Publisher: Tor Teen

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A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense, a ship beholden to the Goddess of the Seas. Her people are born of the waves, and they alone know how to cross the impassable oceans between East and West. 
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his only family, and even they don’t know the secret he’s been hiding since childhood.
A DANGEROUS QUEST
When a power-hungry ruler captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they help him conquer the unknown West, the two are forced into an unlikely–and unwilling– alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice. “

8. Aurora Rising – Jay Kristoff

Finally a Sci-Fi on my list! I’ve been wanting to read more Sci-Fi for quite a while so when I saw this I got so excited! I really hope this will be as amazing as it sounds.

  • Release: May 7, 2019
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

30075662“The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy. “

9. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He 

First of all this cover is just amazing! This is a Chinese-inspired fantasy debut novel, and I am so excited to get a chance to read it in the new year!

  • Release: April 2, 2019
  • Pages: 400
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman Company

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Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high? “

 

10.  We Hunt the Flame – Hafsaf Faizal 

This is another book I knew I just had to read after i heard about it. The world in this novel is inspired by ancient Arabia!! I seriously can’t wait for this!

  • Release: May 14, 2019
  • Pages: 480
  • Publisher: Straus and Giroux 

36492488 “Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine. “

The Hierophant’s Daughter – M F Sullivan

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  • Title: The Hierophant’s Daughter
  • Author: M F Sullivan
  • Pages: 286
  • Publication Date: 19 may, 2019
  • Publisher: Painted Blind Publishing
  • Rating:

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The Hierophant’s Daughter takes place in the future, where there are two kinds of humans, the Martyrs and the normal humans. The Martyrs, led by the Hierophant, rules a big part of the Earth and they can live for thousands of years. But in order to stay alive they must stay out of the sun and they have to eat humans.

Dominia is one of these martyrs. She is one of the Hierophant’s daughters, as well as his most feared general. But after her wife’s dead she is disillusioned and starts working against the Hierophant.

Dominia was an interesting character to follow, and I really liked the flashbacks back to her early life with the Hierophant and the time she spent with her wife. Actually most of the characters were interesting to read about, as they all were very different and unique.

The world too was very fascinating, and I liked the dystopian atmosphere as well as the martyrs (who were not quite vampires, but still kinda were). I loved that the story took place in so many different places of the world, such as both Japan and Kabul. And it even mentioned Denmark a few times – The Hierophant lives in Kronborg!

I was however quite confused throughout a lot of the story, of course it got better the further in I got, but at times it almost felt like I was reading a sequel to a series. I would definitely recommend people to read the timeline before they start the book, as that would probably clear a lot of the confusion.  

However, despite the confusion I still really liked this book, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something different to read, or to those who like sci-fi and dystopias.

To Best the Boys – Mary Weber

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  • Title: To Best the Boys
  • Author: Mary Weber
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication Date: 19 march, 2019
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Rating:

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

First of all I’d just like to say that To Best the Boys was no less than a magnificent book. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

The story takes place in a magic world where ghouls, basilisks and sirens exist. Gender equality however, does not. Women are expected to take care of the home, while men can pursue education at their will (well as long as they have enough money). Every year the young males – rich and poor – from Pinsbury Port enters Mr. Holm’s labyrinth to compete for a scholarship and the chance to go to one of the kingdom’s best universities. When Rhen’s mother falls prey to the deadly disease that has been spreading through the town, and she realizes that her and her father does not have the necessary equipment to find the cure, she disguises herself and enters the labyrinth.  

The worldbuilding was amazing, and I loved reading about the many monsters and mysteries of the Pinsbury Port. It takes a while before Rhen actually enters the labyrinth, but this doesn’t mean that the story moves along slowly, in fact every chapter push it forward at a steady pace, that is neither too fast nor too slow. The fact that Rhen doesn’t enter the labyrinth immediately means that the readers gets to see a lot more of the world than we would otherwise, and the slightly spooky atmosphere of the world becomes very distinct to the reader.

The characters too, were very well written and I loved both Rhen, with her fascination of science and dead bodies, and Seline, who was a loyal and good friend, as well as many of the other characters too. Rhen and Selina were very different yet they also had a lot in common, and I found reading about their friendship to be very enjoyable.

The labyrinth too was very exciting to read about, and when they entered it I just couldn’t stop reading until the end.

I definitely recommend this book to any fans of YA fantasy, as well as people who love strong female characters and magical worlds.