November 7, 2017

Abbreviations #36 | The Dazzling Heights, Mask of Shadows + Night Shift

The Dazzling Heights book cover
The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee
Series: The Thousandth Floor #2
Previous Book: The Thousandth Floor
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Source: ARC downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)
Buy the Book: Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

The Dazzling Heights is much like its predecessor, The Thousandth Floor - it's still Gossip Girl meets futuristic technology. Picking up a little after the craziness of the events in the first novel, The Dazzling Heights has the characters forced to face the consequences of their actions, good and bad. I can't go into much detail, given that to do so would be spoilery, but I can say that it was still pretty entertaining. While the plot does contain a lot of similarities to the first book, it also does have a few new things to bring to the table, which made it impossible for me to stop reading once I'd started. High drama? Check. Secrets? Check. Complicated relationships? Check. Fascinating technology? Check. New people and new problems? Check and check. Even if this one wasn't too memorable for me personally, I read The Dazzling Heights purely for fun - and it served its purpose for sure.

Mask of Shadows cover
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Source: ARC received at BEA 2017 (Thanks!)
Buy the Book: Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Amazon

Sallot Leon wants nothing more than to exact revenge on the nobles who destroyed their home. When they learn of the auditions for a vacancy in the Left Hand - the Queen's four personal assassins - they decide to participate. Sal is determined to win the competition and impress those who will decide the winner, but along the way, they learn truths they never expected about their lost home, politics and people. So, Mask of Shadows. It's a fantasy read that's on the lighter side, with familiar tropes and twists, so I think this story will be especially appealing to fans of fantasy lite and folks new to the genre. Additionally, it was a novel experience for me to read about a genderfluid main character! However, I felt like the world was slightly underdeveloped, the plot fairly predictable, and the characters distant - all of which I'd say are based more on my personal tastes when it comes to fantasy reads. I'm in the middle when it comes to my thoughts on this one, so I'd suggest picking it up at your own discretion for sure.

Night Shift book cover
Night Shift by Debi Gliori
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Source: Hardcover received from the publisher (Thanks!)
Buy the Book: Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Amazon

Night Shift didn't have an actual narrative for me to follow, which unfortunately contributed to my overall reaction to it. I was expecting an actual picture book appropriate for readers young and old alike with a story that would touch my heart. What I got, while also good, was not exactly that. Gliori used this medium to illustrate depression, the situations that often accompany it and how people might choose to face it. Those of us who live lives touched by depression,will find a lot of this one relatable, a clever articulation of a feeling that is hard to describe at times. While it didn't wind up hitting me as hard in the heart as I might have wanted, I still found this one to be a nice little take on depression injected with just the right amount of imagination.


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