Tag Archives: young adult

Game of Shadows | Erika Lewis

Happy Sunday friends,

Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend today.

I’m excited to share this review with you! The start of a new and exciting fantasy series, it releases this Tuesday!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.


I think that most of you know by now that fantasy is my go-to genre in my life, and I was excited to get the chance to discover a new fantasy series, especially one with a lot of promise, great world building and fun characters.

The story begins in a world we know well and a boy whose life is about to be changed forever. Like Percy Jackson and Clary Fray before him, Ethan believes himself to be an ordinary kid, except for the ghosts that he sees that no one else can. In fact, Ethan does share a few commonalities with these characters. Like them, his mother has been concealing the truth of his heritage. Like them, one moment throws his normal world into chaos and leads him to discover a new world.

While Ethan’s arc emulates some of those that came before, the plot still features unique characters and interesting twists and turns to keep one interested and to allow the comparisons to fall away for the most part.

What is most wonderful about this story is the worldbuilding. I’m a sucker for Celtic mythology and Erika Lewis does a fantastic job of bringing the land of Tara to life and imbuing it with creatures and characters that provide moments of whimsy and moments of fear.

The plot speeds along at a great pace, packed full of adventure, as Ethan embarks on a journey of his own: to rescue his mother from the clutches of a sorcerer. It makes for a gripping read that rises above the small stumbles. The ending especially leaves off on a tantalizing note and I am rather intrigued to see where this story will go next.


A wonderful debut to a new YA Fantasy series, if you’re looking for an exciting adventure, look no further.



May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

A Monster Calls | Patrick Ness

Happy Friday friends!

Second review this week, and probably not the last.



The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.



“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”

It’s been a while since I last read a book in one sitting, but I couldn’t put this down and I couldn’t go to bed without completing this beautiful narrative. If you have not read this yet, my first recommendation after ‘read it’ is make sure you have time to devour it in one sitting.

I don’t want to say too much about the narrative because I went in with very little information and was appreciative of being surprised with every little twist and turn, but what I can say is that it was easy to get swept up in and pulled at my heartstrings in every way possible.

“You do not write your life with words. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

The writing was superb. This was my first Ness novel and I was impressed by the standard of prose used here. It’s a book for a younger crowd but it does not underestimate the intelligence of its audience. It is a smartly written book with many subtleties and it excelled in layering meaning into text.

As the protagonist of the story, Conor is a wonderfully flawed character struggling at home and at school. His plight is not one that only applies to children, but resonates across ages. His troubles and subsequent reactions to them are easily related to. And at the end, his growth is our growth. As a reader, I felt changed by the end of it, and that is a great achievement.

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”

The titular monster is a brilliantly crafted creature, an ancient figure with a poignant goal. His presence in the book is unexpected and I won’t say more than that. You need to read it to discover the magic of it for yourself.


A beautiful homage to Siobhan Dowd, Ness has created a stirring narrative that is at once profound, enchanting and heartbreaking.



May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink