July 26, 2018

Abbreviations #62 | Aquicorn Cove, Spinning Silver + Grace and Fury

I'm a fan of Katie O'Neill's The Tea Dragon Society (which is all sorts of adorable), so you can bet I was thrilled when an early copy of Aquicorn Cove showed up in the mail one day. It's the story of a little girl who visits her former hometown to help with the clean-up after a big storm. While she's there, she learns that the ocean is suffering from the fishing methods the village is using and, with the help of a little bit of magic, she and her aunt vow to change the way things are done going forward since even the littlest choice can make a big difference. I thought this graphic novel was the perfect blend of whimsical tale (that almost made me cry) with a story that has a strong message (which is very important). O'Neill's illustration style is just utterly adorable, as expected. And this story was very well-told! I really enjoyed the time I spent reading it, and would highly recommend it.

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O'Neill | Publisher: Oni Press | Publication Date: October 16, 2018 | Source: ARC from the publisher (Thanks!)

Naomi Novik is just such an excellent crafter of stories, and Spinning Silver is a testament of these abilities she possesses. Spinning Silver, a fairytale-inspired novel, follows a couple of different perspectives though the main story revolves around Miryem, the daughter of a moneylender who has a talent for changing silver into gold with her bargains and debt collection. Her abilities garner the notice of the fantastical creatures in the wood, and soon, she finds herself entwined with the king of another kingdom who wants to make use of her abilities towards a purpose she doesn’t understand. Now, this novel started off very slow, and I was honestly unsure how I felt about it for a good chunk of the story. But it’s magical when the characters you’re reading about find their way into your head, and you come to find yourself eager to discover what they’ll do and what’ll happen next, and that’s precisely my experience here. I reached a point where I could not stop devouring this fantasy novel, and it crescendos and resolves beautifully. Spinning Silver was just masterfully woven together, and it left me craving other fantasy novels just like it. (Perhaps a reread of Uprooted is required?) If you’re in the market for an immersive, slow build-to-an-excellent-end fantasy, definitely give this one a shot.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik | Publisher: Del Rey | Publication Date: July 10, 2018 | Source: ARC picked up at BookCon (Thank you!)

I’m always pleased when a novel manages to surprise me by exceeding any expectations I had going into it, and that was precisely what happened with Grace and Fury. This story alternates between two sisters: Nomi, meant to be in the background as a handmaiden with rebellion firing up her soul but instead getting chosen to be a Grace, and Serina, who has trained all her life to be a Grace but instead winds up getting imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit (one that Nomi actually was the culprit behind!). While there is a certain predictability to the events and characters in this YA fantasy, I still found it very enjoyable. The first couple of chapters (the ones that set-up the characters and circumstances) were a bit bland, but things definitely picked up after the inciting incident… to the point where I couldn’t put it down! While I do feel like the characters could have used a touch more development overall (though I loved Serina’s journey a lot), I thought that this was a fun fantasy read. I also really liked that it portrays a lot of different female personalities and perspectives on power, and I’m hoping that’s even further explored in the next one. It ends on a wonderful and terrible note (wonderful because it feels like a decisive spot to finish this portion of the tale, terrible because it’s almost a cliffhanger), and it’s definitely a series I see myself continuing on with in the future. Would definitely recommend checking this one out for yourself if you’re interested in a fun, female-centered fantasy!

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart | Series: Untitled #1 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: July 31, 2018 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)


  1. Awesome reviews Alexa :D Yay for enjoying these books a bunch. <3 I did like Spinning Silver too :D But ack, found it to be a bit too slow.. and too little romance.. haha. But loooved the world :D


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 :)