MINI-REVIEWS: Shatter the Sky, Dead Voices, & Wicked Fox

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Title: Shatter the Sky
Author: Rebecca Kim Wells
Pages: 304
Release Date: July 30 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
Goodreads Rating:  3.77 (of 489 ratings)

representation: f/f romance
content warnings: kidnapping, animal fighting

I think I realized that I was a bit in over my head from about chapter two. I was drawn in from the premise of f/f romance and dragons. These buzzwords got me all pumped, but then once I started reading it, the f/f romance kind of mostly disappeared and I realized that I never have nor will I probably ever be really excited for dragons. Idk what I was for that hot second. And even if I was here for the dragons, the dragons material was kind of lackluster?

And that kind of sums up the entirety of the novel: lackluster. There was times was I got really into it – the beginning where Kaia is taken and Maren hatches a plan were captivating. You can feel how devoted Maren is to her. However, everything else became slow and hazy. The worldbuilding was slow and undefined – we would unveil things every few chapters that shocked me because I didn’t understand that the world could even hold them. For example, there were things called dragon dreams that popped out of nowhere when I was still confused on whether or not dragons actually still existed in the land. It took too long to get to into the world – although I did appreciate there wasn’t a boring info dump at the beginning. Despite that, it still was an intriguing world and Kim Wells did create a great job of bringing her unique world to life.

The characterization was really okay – I never felt fully connected to anyone and everything. I never got a full idea of who Kaia really was. And the pacing was sooooo slow – I feel like the plot got lost multiple times throughout the read. Overall, this book did not shatter the sky for me. A Cinderella Rating!

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Title: Wicked Fox
Author: Kat Cho
Pages: 429
Release Date: June 25th 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads Rating:  3.71 (of 5073 ratings)

representation: Korean MCs
content warnings: death, death of loved one, physical abuse, abandonment (parent and others), murder

Well, this was exciting and intriguing, until it wasn’t. The first one-fourth of the novel was wholly intriguing, and the infusion of mythology, magic, and more was stunning. The atmosphere was fantastic, and the world building was wonderful. The plot points were interesting as well. However, overall, I found the novel pretty lacking in ways other than those facts.

Although I’ve never watched a K drama, I imagined it feels much like a good soap opera – and that is certainly what this felt like at times. There was so much drama stuffed in here that I felt at times we couldn’t focus on if it was a supernatural story, a romance, or a regular high school drama. And that was another issue too – the story was stuffed with things. This story is over 400+ pages, and it certainly felt like it – although I didn’t really skim, so I have to give the books props for keeping me interested enough to not get to my usual skimming point. While the cast of characters were pretty interesting, I did find myself not connecting with them as much as I should have.

belleOverall, this wasn’t a terrible read, but it doesn’t have me clamoring to read the next book in the series and it felt so long. Definitely just a good read – therefore, a Belle rating!

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Title: Dead Voices
Author: Katherine Arden
Pages: 256
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Middle Grade, Horror
Goodreads Rating:  4.10 (of 2028 ratings)

representation: black side character
content warnings: intense situations 

Whooooooooooooosh, that was a rush. This is going down as my first official binge read of 2020. It wasn’t quite a read all in one sitting, but it’s definitely one of the closest moments I’ve gotten to it.

The first book, Small Spaces, was not my favorite. I thought it was a fantastic idea, but I found that it was lacking in a couple of different ways. However, I think this book really worked out the kinks from the first one. I was far more invested in the characters, I liked the pacing, the world was creative and haunting, and I liked the journey that our characters went on (with a stronger emphasis on Coco’s characterization). Our characters deal with real things that middle graders go through as well as the paranormal, and it was enjoyable. It was also incredibly atmospheric – seriously, this book reads like The Shining meets Stranger Things

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The only thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was how fast everything started to happen. I felt like, we needed just a touch more buildup before everything started to happen. I wanted us to simmer in the ghosties before getting full boiled by them. However, other than that, this was a really good read. This series is definitely worth the read to get to this one. An Anna Rating!

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What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: Shatter the Sky, Dead Voices, & Wicked Fox

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