November 14, 2018

Abbreviations #70 | The Devil's Thief, A Very Large Expanse of Sea + The Darkest Star

If you’ve been following my blog since last year, you’ll know that I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Magician. (I even shared five reasons to check out the series!) The entire premise of that novel is that Esta is sent back to the past to retrieve an artefact that will change the course of history (and magic) forever, only to discover that there is much more to this situation that she could have ever expected; the entire premise of The Devil’s Thief is Esta (and company) dealing with the aftermath of what goes down by the end of The Last Magician. And, friends, this sequel is so darn good! If you thought the world of magical mayhem, power struggles and complicated characters was immersive and entertaining in the first book, well, you’re thrown right back into it and you’ll find the stakes continue to get higher and the situations more harrowing. Just like its predecessor, it requires the reader to really pay full attention to keep track of all that’s going on, but it’s worth the time it’ll take to read it! The plot was clever, the characters were (still) wonderful (particularly Esta and Harte), and I really enjoyed it. While it ends on a little more of a cliffhanger than the first one does, I really am looking forward to seeing where Lisa Maxwell will take us next when the series continues.

The Devil's Thief by Lisa Maxwell | Series: The Last Magician #1 | Previous Book in Series: The Last MagicianPublisher: Simon Pulse | Publication Date: October 9, 2018 | Source: ARC picked up at BEA 2018 (Thank you!)

2002, a year after 9/11, a time when life for someone like Shirin - 16, Muslim, female - is very difficult. Guarded against how horrible people can be, she’s built up her defenses and refused to let anyone get close enough to hurt her. But she never expected to meet Ocean James, a person so different from her who wants to get to know her; she never expected to find joy in breakdancing with her brother and the rest of their crew. With all these unplanned things going on, Shirin might just find the courage to let her guard down and let the world in… A Very Large Expanse of Sea is on the shorter side, but it offers an honest, character-driven take on what life likely was for Muslim teens after 9/11. It gives readers the gift of perspective, a chance to empathize with and gain a stronger understanding of someone in that difficult position, and I really admired how Tahereh Mafi did it. I enjoyed Shirin as a main character, particularly because she was so multi-dimensional; Mafi didn’t hold back when revealing her personality, good and bad, and it made the story that much more real to me as a reader. While it did get hard to read at times (in an emotional sense), it was still quite powerful. I’m certainly glad I was able to read it, and would encourage others to check it out too.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi | Publisher: Harper Teen | Publication Date: October 16, 2018 | Source: e-galley downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)

Evie Dasher’s world is turned upside down when she gets caught up in a raid at a notorious club where humans and surviving Luxen can mingle and finds herself being rescued by an unnaturally gorgeous guy named Luc… who just so happens to be much more powerful than any ordinary Luxen. As their paths continue to cross, Evie finds herself drawn deeper into a world she’s only heard about in passing and finding out that maybe she doesn’t know as much about her world and herself as she thinks she does. Now, I haven’t read all of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s novels yet (that would be something you could attribute to my BFF Rachel!), but I thoroughly enjoyed the Lux series (and have reread the first three books multiple times). It’s entertaining and hilarious, and even though there are definitely predictable moments, I still think it’s one of the most enjoyable paranormal series I’ve ever read. The Darkest Star was a great addition, a spin-off that had the same humor and heart (and addictive easy-to-read writing) that characterized the previous series. I really enjoyed revisiting the world years later and seeing it via an alternate perspective. I also just really liked Evie as a new narrator and Luc as the love interest (especially when the bantery bits came in), and was especially excited to see some familiar faces pop up here and there! Even though I did find parts predictable, it was still so much fun to read. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout Series: Origin #1 | Publisher: Tor Teen | Publication Date: October 30, 2018 | Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thank you!)


  1. Stunning reviews Alexa :D I'm so glad you mostly loved all of these three books, eee. I have not read any of them, and not really planning to, ack, but they do seem pretty amazing :D Thank you for sharing love. <3


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