Cover Reveal: Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan

I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous cover for upcoming new release, Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan!

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Technopaladin

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Expected Publication Date: May 2021
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

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Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

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Author bio:

Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys playing tabletop role-playing games and cooperative card games. She refuses to watch most internet videos and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a very active iphone.

Elizabeth Corrigan | Twitter | Facebook

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Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz (Spoiler Review)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 338

Series: Reaper, Book 2

Genres: Sci-Fi Horror, Apocalypse

Publication date: February 5, 2021

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Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.

But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.

Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?

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For the past five years, I let myself be defined by other peoples’ opinions. They told me I was nothing, so I believed it. They treated me like crap, and I allowed them to. But lately something had sparked in me.

Chapter Nineteen

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I really like the way that Pongratz has created his post-apocalyptical world. The issues that arise from the very beginning – such as the rarity of food even five years after the catastrophic events that started it all – are all dealt with in a real way. Even just looking at the start of the global pandemic we’re currently going through shows that any disruption to the global food market greatly impacts the accessibility of food. As humans we no longer rely on nearby food supplies, so any event as catastrophic as the Reapers coming to Earth is going to make it hard to survive. I applaud Pongratz for these subtle, but powerful, additions to the world that he’s created.

That being said, the plot itself is what truly captures a reader’s attention. The twists and turns in this story managed to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The action in this novel was thrilling and as eye catching as any action movie. Heck, even the way the characters act – both to each other but also Greg’s internal monologue – help make the situation feel real. Wouldn’t you be a pessimist if you were the cause of the end of the world?

If you’re looking for a fantastic thriller read, I’d highly recommend checking this story out. The Novella that started it all is a great stepping stone to this story. Reaper: Aftermath does a fantastic job at creating an apocalyptic world that I’d be terrified to live in but greatly enjoyed reading about.

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The Ruthless Boys by C.M. Stunich

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pages: 420

Series: Adamson All-Boys Academy, Book 1

Genres: Reverse Harem, Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Dark, Bullying Romance (sub genre)

Publication date: August 11, 2019

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Charlotte finally knows the secret that the student council has known all along: Jenica Woodruff, the only girl to attend the academy before Charlotte, didn’t commit suicide. She was murdered. And it was covered up. Now someone is after Charlotte and no matter where she goes, the killer follows. While not an official member of the student council, Charlotte has been taken under their wing after everything they’ve been through together.

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It feels selfish of me to be so sad over Spencer when he was their friend first, their friend for longer. If you think about it, I barely knew the guy.

But there was something there.

There could have been something great there.

Chapter One

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Regardless of Charlotte’s sentiment above, everyone deserves a chance to mourn. You might not have known someone long, but any relationship at all is enough time to know someone long enough to mourn them. Also, I love the way that Charlotte mourns the aforementioned friend – through texting him her feelings for him, to let him know that even though they might not have known each other long, there was something there. Their friendship meant something to her and even though she wasn’t sure he would ever hear her words, she wanted to make sure that he knew it.

Picking up almost exactly where The Secret Girl left off, this story gave me everything the first book did – minus the slow start. I’m glad that the bullying is pretty much done at this point in the story – from the student council at least. While I know that this tale is marketed as a bullying romance, I’ll admit that’s not a trope I generally enjoy. Like Charlotte herself, it’s the reverse harem aspect of this story that drew me in.

This story is filled with bate and switches that, while predictable, are enjoyable to read. The mystery itself is able to capture my attention and make me wanting more. Thankfully the budding romances in this tale are not the only focus of the story. Jenica might be dead, but her story is far from over.

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Ulrik by Wendy L. Anderson

ULRIK

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Welcome to the book tour for Wendy L. Anderson’s latest novel, Ulrik! We have an exclusive excerpt for you and a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

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Ulrik

Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Fantasy, Time-Travel Romance

Publication Date: February 24th, 2021

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

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Death was the beginning of their adventure.

Drowning when his ship went down in a vicious storm, Ulrik the Viking thought it was the end. Instead, he awakens on a new and brutal Earth. Believing he was banished to this strange land by the gods as punishment, he faces the mountainous wilderness alone.

Tessa, a lonely and broken-hearted woman, dies in her sleep on her 85th birthday. She too awakens surrounded by the frightful and the unknown. Both are mysteriously thrown into new bodies facing new lives, new hopes, new dangers, and new desires.

Cast through time and other dimensions, fate has given Ulrik and Tessa a second chance at life and love. They must survive on a ruthless new world against a brutal warrior race determined to use them to conquer extinction and enter into the age of metal.  All that stands against them is ULRIK!

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

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Excerpt

Ulrik sat on the bank of a cool stream that ran down the mountain where he usually hunted. He watched as the water trickled over smooth rocks and sprayed the moss-lined bank. Down the mountainside, the stream narrowed and was eventually joined by another river, widening to become a rushing, roaring froth of cold, crystal blue water flowing swiftly over rapids. His gaze followed the stream as it meandered off into the distance and gently widened into a deep slow-moving river. He listened to the different sounds the water made. The roar, as it cascaded down the waterfall further uphill, to the trickle of the stream over moss-covered rocks, and finally the faint pounding of distant rapids. The forest was raucous with sound and full of breath-taking sights.

The forest’s majesty was lost on him today. Ulrik was bored. He reached for a stone and tossed it into the stream then stood, grabbed his spear, and walked up the hill toward the lake at the bottom of the waterfall. He decided he had better find something for his supper and thought fish sounded as good as anything else.

Memories swamped him as he recalled all the times he had fished with his brothers as a young man. Those thoughts led him to contemplate, for the hundred thousandth time, his current solitary situation. By his count, it had been around two years that he lived alone in these mountains in this strange place. Being banished by the Gods he knew, enraged him and his loneliness made him feel like less of a man. Two years without speaking to another soul or without seeing another human’s face made him angry. He cursed, kicking at a stone in his path. The stone shot forward, struck a tree, and fell uselessly to the ground.

“By Odin and all the gods! I wish I had a woman!”

He cursed out loud and continued stomping up the path until he came to his usual fishing spot at the lakeside. He hefted his spear and waded into the lake, not even bothering to remove his boots.

The warm spring wind blew across his face. As he had a hundred times before, Ulrik stood still, slowed his breathing, and searched the deep emerald depths for the flicker of a silvery tail. Quick as lightning he stabbed down and, wrenching his arm back, pulled an impaled fish out of the water. He grasped the wriggling tail, pulled it from the spear blade, and threw it to the bank of the lake where it flopped, struggling to breathe as its life leached away.

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About the Author

Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. She has an English Degree from Regis University and writes books, short stories and poetry. Wendy is a devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. She has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her own mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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International Giveaway: Win a digital copy of Ulrik in format of choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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ULRIK

Blog Tour Schedule

March 15th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Books Rambling and Tea (Guest Post) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

March 16th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Bonnie Reads and Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

March 17th

@brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

Dark Whimsical Art (Review) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

Lunarian Press (Review) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

March 18th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

March 19th

@bookishkelly2020 (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BookishKelly2020/

Inked & Blonde (Review)  https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

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*Spoiler free review*

As a fan of time travel, I appreciate the way that Anderson handled it in this read. Instead of jumping back and forth between times the way many time travel stories (that I’ve personally read) do, Ulrik and Tessa find themselves transported to a new place and time. They need to figure out how to survive in the new world they’ve found themselves in, to make peace with the fact that their lives are forever changed.

This is the first book I’ve read by Anderson, and I’m happy to say that I plan on picking up more in the future. Her characters feel real. They have emotions and motivations, flaws ands strengths. They’re lives have weight to them, they’re not just fluff written to further a plot. And I, for one, absolutely enjoyed reading about them.

That being said, I also enjoyed the plot of this story, and the world that Anderson has created. It can’t be easy to find yourself somewhere new and try to survive in the unknown. I applaud Ulrik for being able to survive as well as he did. Sure he was a warrior before being sent to this new place, but he was a warrior that knew how to deal with his world – not the new world. To be able to adapt and handle a new world with new challenges is impressive.

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Blog Tour Organized By: 

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Balance by Lyla Oweds

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 451

Series: The Grimm Cases, Book 5

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, (Light) Horror

Publication date: January 19, 2021

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Miles is kind, caring, and sensitive. At least, that’s what Bianca thought until he left with nothing but a note and the days passed by. With his absence, mysteries begin unravelling and new alliances are formed. But there’s still a hole in Bianca’s chest that none of the other guys can fill. As much as they tell her not to worry, she can’t help it.

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“I promise you that it’ll be none of your business when she’s eaten by a dragon,” Brayden muttered through clenched teeth, trying unsuccessfully to drag Bryce along with him.

Bryce’s stern expression fell, and he finally stumbled forward one step. “What?”

“What, you heard me.” Brayden shrugged. “Don’t be such a prude.”

Chapter Twelve, Bianca

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In case I haven’t said it already, this story has me hooked. Being the fifth story in the series, the characters and their relationships are already extremely fleshed out. Except, like a fantastic writer would, Oweds continues to have her characters grow and change. Their relationships with each other as well as themselves are dynamic and keep me wanting more. Watching the characters come to terms with their own strengths and weaknesses makes me want to be a better person myself.

Because this story changes between multiple perspectives as the chapters change, as a reader you’re able to understand each character’s motivations and thought process more in depth. While not every author is great at fleshing out each character as their own personality, I personally believe that Oweds excels at this. I can put down the book in the middle of a chapter, leave it for an hour or two, come back and still easily figure out which character’s perspective I’m reading from.

The world itself also continues to grow and change before the reader’s eyes. Bianca’s past continues to be explained – both the hardships she underwent and the sprinkling of joys that she knew growing up. But even still, the reader is left with more questions than answers in regards to what really happened to Bianca before she got adopted by the Geiers. I adore this as the world continues to expand the more we find out about Bianca and her past, not shrinking into the sole focus of the story. By having more questions about what went on than answers, Oweds has promised the reader enjoyment as the story goes on.

If this wasn’t the most recent story in the series, I would have already picked up and read the next one already. As it is, I sit here waiting (not so) patiently for the next book to come out. I’m not kidding when I say I can’t wait to dive back into this amazing world.

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Nosatsu (Charming) Junkie by Ryoko Fukuyama Vol. 1 – 16

Naka is an aspiring model with a problem: her face tenses up into a terrifying sight whenever she’s nervous. Umi is Naka’s biggest rival and the hottest model at their agency. When Naka discovers Umi’s secret, hilarity ensues behind the camera.

Average rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Series: Charming Junkie, Vol 1 – 16

Genres: Manga, Romance, Shojo, Young Adult


Volume 1

Length: 192 pages

Publication Date: November 28th, 2006

Nosatsu Junkie was one of the first manga I read in its entirety back when I was in high school. Because of this, I knew that I’d be going into this read with fond memories attached to the story.

Even with that, I genuinely enjoyed rereading this manga. While I’ve never been a model myself – nor do I ever expect to be – I found it interesting to read about young models learning to balance their careers with their schooling.

This is a fun read, though I don’t know how realistic it is. I highly doubt that many people would succeed at or even try to keep the secret that Umi does in the real world. Also, in this day and age, I doubt that it’s something that many people would need to do. The world is more accepting of things now than they were even 10 years ago. Without going into spoilers, I think it’s possible for someone to model the way Umi does in this story without having to keep the same kind of secret.

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Emmitt’s Treasure by Melissa Haag

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pages: 320

Series: Judgement of the Six Companion Series, Book 2

Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Supernatural

Publication date: May 24, 2016

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After six years away from his pack, Emmitt realizes he doesn’t know what he wants from life. His parents want him to lead, the Elders expect him to further integrate his people into human society. Yet these responsibilities weigh on him and make him reluctant to take on the leadership awaiting him.

Finding his mate changes everything. Michelle’s shy and beautiful… and on the run. Helping and protecting her just might be the very thing Emmitt needs to learn that responsibility isn’t always a burden.

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Around midnight, she woke with a gasp. I stayed on the couch, listening. After a moment I heard her get out of bed. She closed every window in her room then went to her brothers’ room and did the same. It wasn’t cool enough outside to warrant closing the windows. That meant she was afraid.

When she stepped out into the hall, she froze.

“Bad dream,” she said quietly.

I sat up and motioned for her to join me. She quietly crossed the room and sat beside me, leaning against my side. I wrapped my arm around her and held her close as she trembled.

“Go to sleep,” I said softly.

She exhaled slowly and laid her head on my shoulder. It was the best feeling on Earth. Not just her physical contact, but her trust. Something had frightened her, but she was willing to sleep if I held her.

The trembling eased, and I kissed the top of her head. Within minutes, she slept. I held her a while before easing us onto the couch. It wasn’t meant for sleeping, let alone sleeping two. The narrow cushions meant some creative cuddling. Not that I minded. I just hoped Michelle wouldn’t either when she woke. With Michelle as my blanket, I closed my eyes.

Emmitt’s Treasure, Chapter 14

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As always I adored reading the story from a second perspective. Getting into Emmitt’s head gives the reader a second take on the events that happen, full of new scenes or takes on the same ones. No two people experience the same event the same way, so getting to see it in different ways helps clarify the situation. Besides, I adore reading about Emmitt’s protective side.

It was hard (and frustrating) for him to try to provide Michelle with a safe place to live when she wouldn’t open up to him. He was doing everything in his power to make her feel safe and like she belonged with him. Yet because she had so many secrets and worries – not that he knew about them for the longest time – his attempts to make her comfortable didn’t hit the way he hoped they would.

I know how frustrating it can be when the communication just isn’t there. It’s hard to get someone to trust you when they’re so scared of everything. Yet Emmitt never gave up. He continued to try his hardest to get Michelle to trust him, and I’m so glad it worked out for him. Not only because of the mate bond that the two have, but because they both clearly make each other better. And that’s truly what a good relationship is – two people making each other better and happier.

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Dreamthief by Tamara Grantham

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pages: 318

Series: Olive Kennedy, Fairy World M.D., Book 1

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fae, Paranormal Romance

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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Visiting Faythander is a nasty business. Forget fairies and good times, people come back with lost memories and mental problems. Just ask Olive Kennedy, the therapist who treats patients suffering from Faythander’s side effects. Despite her empty bank account, she’s never failed to cure a client – until now.

Traveling back the Faythander wasn’t on Olive’s to do list, but she has no choice if she wants to save both Earth and Fairy from the ancient being called the Dreamthief. To complicate matters, she might very well lose her heart to someone who can’t love her in return.

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“You never told me the truth of what happened in Earth Kingdom.”

I swallowed. “I didn’t?” My voice came out as a breathless whisper.

“Whatever happened, it does not matter.”

“Why not?”

He took my hands in his and knelt beside me. “Because I am in love with you.”

I blinked. Did I hear him correctly?

Ch, 40, Olive & Kull

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I found this to be a fun mystery/fae/paranormal read. The world itself intrigues me and while I’d never want to deal with the nasty side effects of travelling from Earth to Faythander, I’d love to be able to experience its beauty and cruelty to myself. That might not sound like the most appealing thing in the world, but what’s beauty if you’ve got nothing to compare it to? Throw in a mind gripping plot, and I look forward to diving back into this world the only way I can.

Olive Kennedy is a therapist that specializes in helping people dealing with the side effects of travelling between Earth and Faythander. Being half-human and half-elf herself, Olive is exceptionally good at it. She’s able to draw people out of their funk and find the thing that’s binding them to the ill feelings. When things happen that prevents her from helping someone she cares about, Olive realizes she’s going to have to work harder than ever to save her loved ones from Faythander and its influence.

As much as I enjoyed this book and the relationships with in it, I do have to admit that this story tells a lot more than it shows the reader. As a reader I enjoy finding and decoding clues within the writing. Unfortunately, Dreamthief doesn’t really give too many clues to the reader to figure things out for themself. There’s a lot of “clues” that are written down in such a way that they were more stated as facts than clues for the reader to put together. For a story that was trying to have a mystery in its plot, the mystery aspect of this story fell flat.

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How to tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Pages:

Goodreads: HttiYCiPtKY

Genres: Humor, Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, Comics

Publication date: October 9, 2012

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If your cat is kneading you, it’s not a sign of affection but them checking your internal organs for weakness. If they bring you a dead bird, it’s not a gift. It’s a warning.

This collection of cat comics is cute and delivers exactly what it promises to. Ever wonder if your cat is plotting to kill you? Now you’ll know the signs and what to watch out for!

I truly don’t have much to say about this collection of comics that won’t spoil the individual jokes. If you’re interested in a (mostly) satirical collection of comics about cats and their nefarious was, I’d recommend you check this book out. It’s a cute and quick read and gives the reader exactly what it promises.

Hidden by Lyla Oweds

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 451

Series: The Grimm Cases, Book 4

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, (Light) Horror

Publication date: January 24, 2020

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Bianca finally found the place she belonged, only to be ripped away from the only people that every really got her and helped her feel normal. Her greatest fear becomes her reality when she’s once again locked up with people who would call her crazy. Everyone keeps telling her that she’s broken and is there to get help, but this time Bianca isn’t going to roll over and let others decide her truth for her.

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“Bianca cannot be the Xing.”

I moved to stand up, wanting nothing more than to break his neck. “What are you -“

Damen held me back with his hand on my arm. Even now, he didn’t want me to hurt his brother.

“She is,” he said, his voice strained. “We’ve already seen her use her abilities. She has the mark.”

“Hold on!” Hanah moved in between the two of us. “You’re misunderstanding. Finn doesn’t mean she can’t be Mu!”

Chapter Two, Julian

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While I was gifted the first 3 books in this series (in Mu: The Grimm Cases) in exchange for an honest review on it, I jumped at the chance to continue this series as soon as I could. I’m not kidding when I say I couldn’t get enough of this story.

The characters and their situations are truly engaging to me. The decisions they make and the way they think about things is fascinating. While I’ve always had a habit of devouring worlds that I enjoy being in, I can honestly say this is the fastest I’ve flown through a series in a long time. As in, I read the first 5 books – plus the side story Home – in four days total. The only reason I stopped was because I’d caught up to what’s been published.

Bianca and the guys go through a ridiculous amount in this series, but especially in this novel. At almost 500 pages long, that makes sense. But even for a novel this long it’s extremely action packed. A lot of clues are given to the reader, a lot of trickery goes on behind the scenes. If I hadn’t already devoured the next book in the series it would be my next read.

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