This year is kicking off with an awesome range of new Young Adult reads. Our Young Adult book of the month is The Cruel Prince, another hauntingly dark fantasy from international bestselling author, Holly Black.
We also have a new book in the DC Icons series with Marie Lu tackling Batman, and two amazing debuts with Everless by Sara Holland and How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather. Read on for reviews of all four books.
Reviews by Sarah McDuling
There is a good reason Holly Black is known as the Faerie Queen. She has an amazing talent for creating dark and twisted fairytales full of magic, danger and suspense. I adore her writing and am pleased to say The Cruel Prince is Holly Black at her absolute best!
Beginning with a brutal and tragic murder, the story follows Jude and her two sisters as they try to find a place for themselves amongst the beautiful and treacherous fey in The Court of Faerie. As a lowly human amongst the fey, Jude’s life is not easy. She is full of determination to seize control of her own fate, but what chance does she have competing against such powerful and malevolent creatures?
This is a totally spellbinding read. The story is utterly addictive, full of complex characters who are wicked, charming, evil, and brave. The world building is flawless and the plot revels in layers of intrigue, deceptions, schemes, and secrets. As always, Holly Black spins a glittering tale of magic and terror, adventure and heroism. The Cruel Prince is a dark fairytale with a spectacular game-changer ending that has left me desperate for the next book!
Perfect for fans of Melissa Marr, Francesca Lia Block, Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas… Learn more.
I’ve always loved a good witch story and when I heard How to Hang a Witch described as “The Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls” I knew I was in for a treat.
When Samantha Mather moves from New York City to Salem with her stepmother, she soon lands in trouble because of her family history. Her ancestor was Cotton Mather, a puritan minister involved in the Salem Witch Trials. Due to her heritage, Sam becomes the enemy of a group called The Descendants – those who can trace their ancestry back to Salem witches.
Full of witchcraft, ghosts and ancient curses, this book manages to be both creepy and fun at the same time. There is adventure, suspense and romance – plus a satisfying ending that still leaves things open for a sequel. Perfect for fans of Richelle Mead, Melissa de la Cruz, Rachel Caine and P.C. Cast.
And here’s a fun fact – the author of this book, Adriana Mather, is actually a descendant of Cotton Mather in real life! Learn more.
Reviews by Tanaya Lowden
This has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2018 and I am so happy that it lived up to my expectations. I’ve really not been in the mood for YA fantasy of late, and I went into Everless scared that this would impact my enjoyment of it. Instead, I could not put this book down.
In this world, time is currency. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry. We follow Jules, who takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family. It is here that Jules uncovers dangerous secrets, secrets that could change her whole world.
I really enjoyed the world, I thought it was unique, interesting and well written. Holland weaves threads of the world building throughout the entire story, making you absorb its intricate details slowly rather than all at once. I also really loved Holland’s writing in general – it’s enchanting and lovely.
What I loved was the underlying mystery. Although at times it seemed like it was following some well-known and exhausted YA tropes, Holland would surprise by doing the opposite of what I was expecting. I finished Everless with this strong need to know what would happen next as the last fifty pages in particular were incredibly gripping. The wait for the sequel is definitely going to be long!
The DC Icons series has been of particular interest to me simply because of the fantastic YA authors writing the series. Leigh Bardugo excelled in Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and now Marie Lu has excelled with Batman: Nightwalker.
Batman: Nightwalker follows Bruce Wayne as a teenager, before he was Batman. After getting community service hours at Arkham Asylum for interfering in a police case, Bruce is up close with some of Gotham City’s worst criminals. With the Nightwalkers gang targeting wealthy citizens, one of these criminals, Madeleine, knows more about the gang than she’s letting on. Soon, Bruce finds himself caught in the middle of the case, with the connection between him and Madeleine growing stronger each day.
I think the best thing about this series is that these books are so much fun to read. Superheroes have become so popular in our culture, especially in the last few years, and it’s exciting to read novels based on these beloved characters.
Marie Lu is an author I really enjoy, and I actually really liked that Batman: Nightwalker was a different kind of story to the ones she normally writes. It is great to see her talented writing skills put to use in a different way. Everything in Batman: Nightwalker was as good as I have come to expect from Lu, and in particular I liked that I never saw her plot twist coming.
With Sarah J. Maas up next in the DC Icons series with her portrayal of Catwoman, I can’t wait to see what else this series has to offer. Leigh Bardugo and Marie Lu’s contributions will be hard to beat! Learn more.
About the Contributor
Tanaya has been a lover of books for as long as she can remember. Now, her book collection is a little out of control, mostly consisting of YA fiction and pretty hardcovers. When she’s not reading, she spends a lot of her time taking photos of books for her bookstagram account, @prettypagesblog. She also has a love of Disneyland, bullet journaling and cats.
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