Fiction Books, YA Books

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green Book Review

I first received an arc of The Smoke Thieves in an Illumicrate box. I’m so glad they included this book as I love historical fiction and I don’t get to read many. This one is set in a time that reminded me of medieval times. I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

the smoke thieves

Rating: 4/5

So if you don’t know what it’s about then here is the synopsis from goodreads:

A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.
In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.
As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

So this book intrigued me as it had demons in it and I hardly see books with demons at the moment. And although we didn’t see a lot of the demons or their world what was mentioned about them was really intriguing and I hope we get to see more in the next book.

The story has 5 different points of view and although it can be a bit confusing at the beginning I really enjoyed all the different characters perspective and it gave a much wider view of the world as we got to see things we wouldn’t have been able to see if we had only seen the story develop from only one of their perspectives. And it was interesting to see how each of their individual stories intertwined together as they each had a piece of the mystery that is hinted at throughout the book.

I enjoyed reading from each of the characters perspectives but my favourite was definitely Catherine. She grew up in a place that doesn’t give women any rights, yet she makes the best of her situation. She is betrothed to a prince from another country without ever seeing him or even being given the chance to agree to the marriage but she decides to learn what she can about the country so that she can be a real queen and actually make a difference.

I also loved that the characters were complex, they all had character development throughout the book and they made mistakes, they doubted themselves and they learned from their mistakes and grew. I really love seeing characters like that as it makes them more relatable.

The beginning of the story has a lot of world building as we see so much from each characters point of view so I felt it was a little slow to start with but once you get into the story I was completely engrossed and invested in the story. I really loved how well the world was developed in the book. We learn so much about the world. Not just the way it looks but also customs and the way people dress and the differences between the countries and the history of why the world is this way. It was so well done as I didn’t feel like it was just info dumping but actually part of and relevant to the story.

The suspense build up was done really well too. We also get lots of hints and there’s a lot of suspense building up to the ending and it kept me wanting to read just one more chapter so I could piece the puzzle together!

I think the only thing I didn’t like much was the hints at a love triangle developing. And that it was a little slow at the beginning but overall I really enjoyed the story and the ending left me wanting more! I just need to know what will happen next because once we find out everything that is happening just woah! I cannot wait to see what the five of them will do.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts!

Fiction Books, YA Books

Jinxed By Amy McCulloch ARC Book Review

I picked this ARC up at the Northern YA Lit Festival and I am so happy that I got this! I really loved this book and I loved that there was emphasis on STEM and that the main character, Lacey, was unashamedly nerdy!

Jinxed publishes on August 9th



So if you don’t know what the book is about here is the synopsis from goodreads:

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the “baku” – a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.
Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems … real.

So I wasn’t sure what to expect but it sounded really interesting and there was a mention of a cat so of course I had to read it (crazy cat lady here!). And I’m so glad I did as I loved it!

It’s a sci-fi book but it’s actually pretty close to real life that you can really believe the world it’s set in. I loved the way that STEM is a huge part of the book from Lacey wanting to be a companioneer, which is basically someone who comes up with the technological advances of the bakus, to Zora and her insane coding abilities!

This book although had some romance wasn’t a huge part of the book which I loved. There was more about friendships and everyone focused on building their career in their fields. The friendships was one of my favourite parts of the book. From Lacey and Zora’s friendship to Lacey and Jinx’s friendship and of course Lacey and her team mates in school. It showed several different types from old, solid friends to building new friends.

Zora and Lacey’s friendship is amazing because it was so relatable and realistic. They become friends through a shared love of wanting to work in similar career fields. This builds into the amazing friendship that they have.

One of my favourite quotes in the book is also about friendship:

Friendship is about choice. Not obligation.

Jinx was one of my favourite characters in the book with his witty, sarcastic remarks. He is sassy and snarky and forever getting Lacey in trouble. And I loved that Lacey never gives up on him and that he tries to help and protect Lacey. By the end of the book even I felt really protective over Jinx and I wish I could have him as my baku!

This book also dealt with how some people are privileged and that not having it puts you at a disadvantage. Lacey has to deal with the fact that although she has gone above and beyond all the requirements to get into Profectus Academy she is still rejected. But she didn’t give up and she worked hard to get to where she is despite the disappointment and resentment she feels.

This book kept me on my feet from the beginning and kept me wanting to read more, just one more chapter, which resulted in me staying up half the night to finish the book. Everything that happened felt like it was building up to something big and I just needed to know!

The ending left me shocked and I really hope that there is a sequel because I need to be back in this world and know what will happen after that ending!

If you have read this book then let me know what you thought!

Please note that all quotes from the ARC are subject to change in the final book.