A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3), Jodi Taylor

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The silence was deafening. The weight of the heat was unbearable. The world held its breath. The gods were poised.

The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.

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3 / 5

A Second Chance was a solid four star read right up until the end when I put the book down and wanted to tear my hair out. Ugh. Definitely threw me for a loop. I’m currently approaching the next book in the series with extreme caution.

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The Last Hope (The Raging Ones #2), Krista & Becca Ritchie

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We are together. We are one, and we are two and then three, and finally, we have found real, everlasting peace

Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins. As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. 

Read my review of the first book in this series The Raging Ones.

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3 / 5

I really loved The Raging Ones: I thought it was so creative, with a setting on a frozen world with a lilac sky where everyone knows the date that they will die, and a trio of soulbonded characters where the two men are in love. I knew it was going to be a hard act to follow and The Last Hope was a good book, but it was a little “far out”.

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The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake, Sif Sigmarsdóttir

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Imogen Collins is everything I expected her to be: beautiful, stylish, elegant, and a total cow. 

Hannah Eiríksdóttir has been banished from her home in London to a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. No, not Hell, but close: Iceland. Imogen Collins has the perfect life as a social media influencer, showing off her glamorous London existence to adoring fans. But behind the filters lies a dark secret. When a man is found murdered at the edge of the road in snowy Iceland the girls’ lives collide. 

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3 / 5

Reading The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake was a much better experience than the other book that I had read by this author – I Am Traitor. Snowflake is a contemporary murder mystery with heavy themes of sexual assault, family, and social media.

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A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2), Jodi Taylor

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History is a symphony of echoes. every little action has huge consequences.

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

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3 / 5

It is rare that a sequel is quite as good as the original, particularly when the whole series of books rests on the premise “historians go back in time”, because obviously each book is going to involve going back in time to various events. A Symphony of Echoes was a solid book, but it didn’t capture the magic of the original.

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Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1), Jodi Taylor

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“History is important. Far more important than most people believe. And it is under attack.”

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake…

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5 / 5

Hilarious, witty, banterous, serious, disturbing, and light-hearted. Just One Damned Thing After Another made me feel just one damned emotion after another: I felt intrigued and amused and in awe and afraid and disgusted and impressed. I ran the whole gamut of emotions and closed the book feeling both extremely satisfied and yet wanting more.

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Girls With Sharp Sticks, Suzanne Young

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Wake up, Philomena. Wake up now.

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

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2 / 5

It’s official: I am simply not a fan of Suzanne Young. I tried The Program a few years ago and now I’ve tried Girls With Sharp Sticks, and the problem is that Young comes up with some fantastic sounding premises and then fails to deliver on them in a way that I find enjoyable.

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Descendant of the Crane, Joan He

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This fate had chosen her. It was only now, seventeen years later, that she chose it back

When Princess Hesina of Yan’s beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

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4 / 5

I love books like Descendant of the Crane: rich in political intrigue, soft, and beautiful and strange. Books full of myth and legend and mystery. Books with a main character that is somewhat unusual; Princess Hesina of Yan is willing to take up her crown, rather than being a rebellious and slightly bratty teenage girl, and she takes the advice of her advisors and trusts in her friends and siblings. It was a refreshing read.

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Master of Sorrows, Justin Call

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Every master has an apprenticeship

Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers. Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity.

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2 / 5

The premise of Master of Sorrows was intriguing: a boy missing an arm in a world where those with physical scars and “deformities” are presumed to be worshipers of the dark god, with forbidden magic and a secret quest. But mostly I picked it up because I read a review that compared it to The Poppy War. The Poppy War was a dark, compelling, haunting and disturbing masterpiece. It literally haunts me sometimes. Master of Sorrows was nothing like The Poppy War.

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Skyward, Brandon Sanderson

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Bravery isn’t about what people call you, Spensa. It’s about who you know yourself to be

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul. 

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5 / 5

I have loved everything I have ever read by Brandon Sanderson. I love some of them more than others (sorry Mistborn, but you’re at the bottom somewhere), and yet still my foolish self was reluctant to pick up Skyward because I’m not a big alien fan. I just don’t like books about aliens. Well, I was a fool. This book is a masterpiece and it didn’t have that many aliens in it anyway.

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Crown of Feathers, Nicki Pau Preto

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Be a boy. It was simple. it was brilliant. It was exactly what Veronyka would do

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart. Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

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3 / 5

I am a total sucker for two things that this book had to offer: magical creatures, in this case phoenixes, and the trope where “girl disguises herself as boy to join the army” (thanks, Mulan and Tamora Pierce). And Crown of Feathers was good, but as I read more and more YA novels (and just novels in general), to really enjoy a book it has to have that WOW factor.

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