I’m not able to get to all the books I receive for review consideration, so to reduce stress and start with a clean slate each month, I feature the ones that I didn’t get to read in Flames to Embers. All the books I request start out as flames in my heart, but for various reasons, some of them burn down to embers and I lose desire or time to read them. I hope that you find something that draws your interest though and feel free to encourage me to give something another try!
September was such a crazy month for awesome releases that I had to split it into two parts! I didn’t quite split it evenly since there were a couple on this that I didn’t want to give up on, but I have to admit temporary defeat and ended up buying a pretty hardcover anyway, so now they’re on the “own-to-read” pile instead, haha. There will definitely be some gasping and horror this time around, so please go easy on me ;-). Also there are several sequels below, so I’ve marked them as such and you’ve been warned that they’re blurbs might contain spoilers for the previous books!
Messenger of Fear
I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.
And then the games began.
The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.
But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . . .
So from the reviews I’ve seen this one sounds just a tad too gruesome for me. I don’t generally mind dark as long as there isn’t too much gore and such horribleness involved, but I think I remember seeing on multiple reviews that Messenger of Fear gets pretty gruesome in that way. I was kind of on the fence already and that just scares me away D:
Love is the Drug
Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC’s elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.
Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus–something about her parents’ top secret scientific work–something she shouldn’t know.
The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history
I actually wasn’t a huge fan of The Summer Prince despite being able to see that it was an objectively good book, it just wasn’t entertaining to me. I wanted to try Johnson’s writing again with Love is the Drug, but never quite got the excitement up for it. I’d love advice on whether I’m really missing out not having read this one though!
The Perilous Sea (Burning Sky #2)
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.
Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother’s prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.
Don’t freak out! I have a perfectly good excuse: I haven’t had the chance to read The Burning Sky yet >.>. I had every intention because I know how much my reading buddies LOVE this series, but I started feeling stressed and returned it to the library. I do, however, now own pretty hardcovers of both books, ha. I’m thinking this series might be a good candidate for audiobook listening so that I can catch up quicker? Anyone listened to the audiobook?
In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.
Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.
When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.
Calm down! I had originally planned to read this one before Not a Drop to Drink since I have an eARC which allows me to read it at the gym (you may recall me promising to do this in fact >.>). However, I saw a couple of recommendations to read Not a Drop to Drink first so that I really appreciate everything in this one, and I just can’t argue with that. Also, yes, I just got really overwhelmed this month D: and I got scared of how depressing these apparently are, haha.
Falls the Shadow
When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.
She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.
At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.
After seeing a couple of lackluster reviews about this one, I don’t really feel bad not getting to it. It seemed cool when I first spotted it, but since I just haven’t been in a thriller mood lately, it’s probably best I don’t force it :-/.
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
*dodges rotten fruit* I know, I know, this is the one I feel worst about not getting to efficiently D:. I wanted to physically read Assassin’s Blade and Crown of Midnight first, but that didn’t work out because I have much less time to read physical books than I’d like so I tend to prioritize physical ARCs. I’m back to thinking that I’ll catch up via audiobooks for this series, so don’t worry, I’ll definitely be getting back to Heir of Fire!
So those are the last of the September books that I won’t be getting to in the near future! As you can see, there are several sequels that I still really want to read, I just didn’t manage to get caught up in the series in time to review them this month *shrugs*. Which of these do you want to encourage me to read at some point? ;-)
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