Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Abbreviations #58 | Furyborn, Little Do We Know + Bruja Born

Furyborn is the story of two women, separated by centuries, who are both powerful enough to save or destroy the world. There’s Rielle Dardenne, who has the ability to wield all seven kinds of elemental magic and must endure seven trials (one for each) in order to prove that she is the Sun Queen, the queen of light and salvation that has been prophesied. And there’s Eliana Ferracora, a bounty hunter who does her duty in order to keep her family alive and winds up teaming up with rebels to find her mother when the woman disappears without a trace. First things first, I’m not one of those people who loved Furyborn right from the start. It took well over a hundred pages to actually get to the point where I didn’t want to set this novel aside, and it took just as long for me to stop seeing shades of other YA fantasies I’ve read before in the plot. But ultimately, when things finally come together, I thought Furyborn was actually very good. LeGrand has crafted an interesting political and magical world for this story’s backdrop, revealed with details and little literature snippets at the start of every chapter. The plot certainly picks up, especially as the reader starts to put things together (and really hits its stride about 250 pages in), and the characters (with the exception of Eliana, who it took me quite some time to warm up to) were also very interesting. Both timelines finish with solid endings that still leave a lot of other plot threads up in the air, which was just enough to keep me curious. So, even though it took me much longer than I would’ve liked, I ultimately ended up liking Furyborn in the end, and I’m pretty curious to find out what happens next.

Furyborn by Claire LeGrand | Series: Empirium #1 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire | Publication Date: May 22, 2018 | Source: ARC borrowed from Andi (Thank you!)


I have read and loved every single one of Tamara Ireland Stone’s novels up until now. Fortunately, Little Do We Know is another title to add to that list! It’s the story of two former best friends, Emory and Hannah, who haven’t spoken to each other since a big fight where they both said things that they regret to each other. The girls are each dealing with their own share of problems; Hannah is questioning all she’s ever known about her faith, while Emory is trying to fine-tune her college application and spend as much time as she can with her boyfriend Luke before they go off to separate colleges. But one night, when Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car after suffering a traumatic injury, their paths are drawn together again as all three try to make sense of what brought them to this point and where to go from there. It took me a while to warm up to both Hannah and Emory, and the book alternates between both perspectives. It also isn’t easy to read about what the girls are doing, and what their choices are, since I didn’t necessarily always agree with their actions. But eventually, I realized I just couldn’t set the book down until I knew how it ended. I really liked how Stone portrayed the individual character journeys, the relationships (between the two main characters, and the other characters in relation to them) and I also liked the themes woven throughout the story about relationships with family, friends, lovers and even faith. It was another solid YA contemporary read from Stone, and definitely well worth the read.

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone | Publisher: Disney Hyperion | Publication Date: June 5, 2018 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thank you!)


I enjoyed Labyrinth Lost when I read it last year, even though I thought it was a touch too predictable for my tastes. But this year’s follow-up Bruja Born is such a delight! It follows another one of the sisters, Lula Mortiz, six months after everything that happens in Labyrinth Lost and as she’s dealing with her trauma (physical and emotional). When she’s in a major accident that nearly kills her and the boy she loves, she decides to save him - only to open up an entirely new set of horrors when the balance between life and death is broken. It’s up to Lula and her family to figure out how to set things right before the world as they know it ends. Now, while I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is an all-time new favorite, I’m glad I read Bruja Born. It was really fun, and I could definitely see it lending itself well to a visual medium with all the action and detail Cordova wove into it. I also loved getting to know even more about the world of brujas and brujos, particularly the lore that was touched upon in this story. And I really enjoyed seeing the sisters together (along with a few other familiar faces) as they tried to right their wrongs! It was an entertaining read for sure, and it definitely left me eager to discover what happens next for this family. If you want a quick-paced fantasy to read (I actually see this being a fun beach read), definitely pick up a copy for yourself!

Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova | Series: Brooklyn Brujas #2 | Previous Book in Series: Labyrinth Lost | Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire | Publication Date: June 5, 2018 | Source: e-galley from NetGalley (Thanks!)

2 comments

  1. Furyborn was also a bit of a slog/slow read for me in the beginning too! I liked that eventually it paid off but I also felt like it just took TOO long for me to get into. Still, I am curious about how it will play out with the next book.

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed Little Do We Know. I love Stone's writing style and have yet to read a book from her that I disliked. I really want to check out Furyborn, but I've been hearing mixed things.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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