The Black Queen by. Jumata Emill | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: The Black Queen

Author: Jumata Emill

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 1/31/23

Publisher: Writers House

Categories: Contemporary, Murder Mystery, Suspense, LGBT+

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Writers House for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Nova Albright was going to be the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High—but now she’s dead. Murdered on coronation night. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Other Black Girl will love this unputdownable thriller.

Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.

Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.

No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t fact the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.

Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her.

But Tinsley has an agenda, too.

Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.

Content Warning: racism, mention of child sexual abuse, violence, inappropriate relationship between student/teacher

I thought the synopsis for this book was very intriguing and I was in the mood for a murder mystery so this was great. This is what I thought:

+ I like the dual perspective of this story. There is Duchess who is Nova’s best friend and who gives us a lot of insight into her after Nova is murdered. On the other end is Tinsley, who is the popular girl vying for Homecoming Queen against Nova. There is animosity between Nova and Tinsley before Nova is murdered and Tinsley is the number one suspect.

+ Duchess has an interesting history with Tinsley but I like how they work together to figure out who really killed Nova. They aren’t exactly friends but I like that they both come to an understanding. Now Duchess and Nova are best friends and we see that in the beginning – but did Duchess really know Nova’s secrets? I found it interesting how the investigation into Nova’s death exposes some things about their friendship that Duchess has to face.

+ There are some heavy themes throughout the story such as child sexual abuse, family secrets, the undercurrents of racism happening with another murder case happening in town, but I thought it was interesting how it was woven into the story. Tinsley is white, privileged and said hateful things about Nova to Nova’s face and to others making her suspect number one. But I did like that she eventually open her eyes to some things, and wants to make an effort to change.

+ I let this story take me for a ride. I had lots of suspicions and of course one of them is the killer, but I think the story got better and better the more each secret was revealed. There are a lot of clues throughout the story, but I still like how we get to examine all the different suspects.

~ Tinsley is an unlikable character but she’s also interesting. She’s basically trying to clear her name but then finds out some secrets and has to figure out what it means for her. If you think she’s going to change much – you’ll be disappointed. But I also think it’s realistic and at least she brings up wanting to learn by the end. She was not going to change overnight.

Why you should read it:

  • you like murder mysteries
  • it’s dark and twisty and touches on racial issues in a southern town

Why you might not want to read it:

  • might be a bit predictable – but I thought it was fun examining all the suspects
  • Tinsley is not very likable

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this one especially in the second half of the book where there are twists in the story. I think the characters were done well, especially Tinsley (who is very unlikable) and Duchess, and how despite their differences they both help one another to help solve Nova’s murder. I like that there were a lot of suspicious characters in this story and it had a dramatic ending. I definitely want to read more from this debut author!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Stardust in Their Veins by. Laura Sebastian| ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Stardust in Their Veins (Castles in Their Bones, #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 576

Publication Date: 2/6/23

Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Series, Political Intrigue

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Delacorte Press for Young Readers for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Immerse yourself in the second book in a fantasy trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Ash Pricess series. The sequel to Castles in Their Bones is the story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown.

Princesses Beatriz and Daphne have lost their older sister, but their mother’s grand scheme of taking the continent of Vesteria is far from complete. With the country of Temarin now under the Empress’s control, only the nations of Cellaria and Friv remain free from her rule. What’s worse, an ominous prophecy has begun to shine through the constellations: the blood of stars and majesty spilled.

Usurped by conniving cousins Nico and Gigi, Beatriz fears for her life, while in icy Friv, Daphne continues her shaky alliance with the rebels even as she struggles to stay a step ahead of them. But when an unlikely ally offers Beatriz a deal, she finds herself back in her mother’s sights.

With enemies around every corner and the stars whispering of betrayal, Daphne and Beatriz can’t trust anyone–least of all each other. If they’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the Empress’s game is constantly changing. And the arrival of surprise visitors from Temarin just might tip the scales in the princesses’ favor . . . if they manage to avoid meeting their sister’s fate before they can make their next move.

Content Warning: kidnapping, poisoning, grief

Stardust in Their Veins is the sequel to Castles in Their Bones, which I read last year and found very unique and intriguing. The story continues in this story filled with political intrigue – this is what I thought about the book:

+ One sister is gone, and two are left. I did love Sophie’s story in book one. I feel like Beatriz is the beauty and Daphne is the brains but Sophie was the heart between the three of them. So I was sad she wasn’t in this story but I think it was time to get to know Daphne much better. There is more time in this book to get to know both sisters actually and surprisingly the stories adds a third voice, Violie.

+ There is a lot of political intrigue going on in this story because of the different kingdoms and how Daphne’s mother wants to rule them all. The remaining daughters now realize they need to team up and take their mother down – but what will it take?

+ I liked Beatriz’ story in this sequel because we get a better idea about how they were created and the whole magic about the stars and constellations. I’m curious to see how Beatriz’ power helps or hinders their mission in the next book. Daphne was never my favorite because I felt she was the last one to break from her mom but I think there is a lot of growth in her in this sequel.

~ It took me awhile to get into the story. I think it lags in the middle but starts to pick up a lot closer to the end – and of course it’s another cliffhanger ending.

~ There is no romance in this one. Bairre and Daphne are going through some things and Beatriz and Pas was on the run, plus Pas is with Ambrose. I think there will be more in the next book maybe? But this one had nothing.

~ Did they really have to change the cover style? I feel like the first book and this one do not match at all!

Tropes: sisters trying to take down their evil mother

Why you should read it:

  • you enjoyed the first book in the series
  • I think the magic with the stardust and how the girls were made is very interesting and unique
  • the bond between sisters

Why you might not want to read it:

  • didn’t like the first book

My Thoughts:

The story continues with more political plots to foil and not knowing who to trust. Can Beatriz and Daphne outsmart their own mother? We get more time with Beatriz and Daphne and see their characters grow. I miss Sophie but now there is another voice in the mix, Violie. I’m definitely interested to see how this story ends and I hope there is a bit more romance in the next book as well. Despite the lag in the story in the middle, I still found it entertaining and look forward to book three!

Book Links:

Goodreads

Castles in Their Bones by. Laura Sebastian | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

WWW Wednesday | 1/25/23

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is pretty simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What are you currently reading?
What have you just finished reading?
What are you going to read next?

What are you reading right now?

Happy Book Birthday | New Releases | 1/24/23

Happy book birthday to these new releases! Check out this list today:

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.

But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.

Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Begin Again is an unforgettable novel of love and starting again.

Goodreads | Amazon


When a couple starts to feel like they’re married to a stranger, a flirtatious game of pretend becomes the spark they need to reignite their relationship.

Eliza and Graham are anticipating an anything-but-sexy, weeklong getaway to celebrate their five-year anniversary. Nestled on the Northern California coastline, the resort prides itself on being a destination for those in love and those looking to find it. For Eliza and Graham, it might as well be a vacation with a roommate.

When a well-meaning guest mistakes Eliza and Graham for being single and introduces them at the hotel bar, they don’t correct him. Suddenly, they’re pretending to be perfect strangers and it’s unexpectedly…fun? Eliza and Graham find themselves flirting like it’s their first date, and waiting with butterflies in their stomach for the other to text back.

Everyone at the retreat can sense the electric chemistry between Eliza and Graham’s alter egos. But when their scintillating game of roleplaying ends, will they still feel the heat?

Goodreads | Amazon

Are you getting any new books this week?

Happy Reading!

New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022 | TTT | 1/24/23

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Please check out her website for more TTT topics!

This week’s topic is:

New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022

(If you didn’t read books by 10 new authors, share new-to-you authors whose books you added to your TBR in 2022. Get creative, if needed!)

These are the debut authors I read in 2022 and I enjoyed all of them! I’m looking forward to reading a few sequels from these authors.

What’s on your TTT?

Goodreads Monday: The Black Queen

Happy Monday!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where you chose a random book from your Goodreads TBR and show it off. This meme is hosted by Budget Tales Book Blog.

Title: The Black Queen

Author: Jumata Emill

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 1/31/23

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:

Nova Albright was going to be the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High—but now she’s dead. Murdered on coronation night. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Other Black Girl will love this unputdownable thriller.

Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.

Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.

No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t fact the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.

Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her.

But Tinsley has an agenda, too.

Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.

Do you have plans to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!

Weekly Wrap Up | 1/22/23

Aloha friends!

It was a nice short week and my kids and I had a busy weekend (every weekend seems busy these days). So this week flew by. I can’t quite believe it’s already Sunday! 🙃 I feel like I have no breaks anymore.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Blog Posts:

Books I Read:


Currently Reading:

**I’m actually listening to Cool for the Summer as an audiobook! Yup, I’m trying audiobooks again. Hopefully I can complete this one.**🤞🏽

Shows/Movies I Watched:

  • NFL Football – the playoff games!
  • Emily in Paris (Season 3) – finally finished and yikes – the drama!

How was your week? Did you get a lot done? Watch anything good? Read any amazing books or books you didn’t finish? What are you reading?…Leave me a comment below!

Book Haul | 1/21/23

Another month, another book haul!

NETGALLEY::

From the author of the “genuinely funny” and “delightful” Loathe at First Sight (NPR) and “cinematic, charming” So We Meet Again (Emily Henry), a fun rom-com about a young Korean-American woman having to return to college after discovering she’s a few credits shy of completing her degree—only to find one of her TAs is her old college boyfriend.

Lily Lee is a bestselling author of the How to Be a Supernova At Work series, and her editor wants her to strike while the iron’s hot with a new book, How to Land the Perfect Job. But when Lily is offered a coveted position at a top firm, the employer background check reveals she’s short a few college credits and never actually completed her degree. Unbelievably, her worst nightmare has come true.

Lily returns to her alma mater, reliving her senior year of college ten years later. She enrolls in classes, gets invited to frat parties, eats most of her meals with “dining dollars,” and to make things even more weird and chaotic, she discovers that her computer science TA is her old college boyfriend, Jake Cho.

As Lily and Jake reconnect, she sees that her ex has done well for himself: the handsome, charming grad student appears to have his life together while Lily’s so close to losing her dream job opportunity and her book deal.

Things aren’t so simple the second time around.

The Do-Over is a delightfully warm and hopeful story about second chances in love and life, and how the future we want may turn out far different than we imagined.


 

Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition. It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.

Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?

As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.


Pure laugh-out-loud bookish romance fun

After one too many in the wake of a break-up, romance writer Gracie Landing emails her old high-school crush, Colin Yarmouth, receiving a surprising response. The two forge an unlikely friendship as Colin’s tales of his own break-up become an unexpected source of material for Gracie’s current work-in-progress, a project with the potential for a hefty advance that could launch her out of near-poverty. With the deadline looming and her checking account dwindling, Gracie hastily uses Colin’s stories without considering whether there could be any personal overlap with other characters in his life. In the mayhem that ensues, she risks her entire career, along with the chance at her own happily-ever-after.


A dark YA fantasy debut perfect for fans of House of Hollow and Small Favors. In the wake of her father’s death, a teen girl discovers a side of her family she didn’t know existed, and is pulled into a dark–and ancient–bargain she is next in line to fulfill.

Kit’s father had always told her he had no family, but four months ago his sudden death revealed the truth. Now she has a grandmother she never knew she had–Agatha Starling–and an invitation to visit her father’s hometown, Rosemont.

And Rosemont . . . it’s picture perfect: the famed eternal roses bloom year-round, downtown is straight out of the 1950s . . . there’s even a cute guy to show Kit around.

The longer Kit’s there, though, the stranger it all feels. The Starling family is revered, but there’s something off about how the Starling women seem to be at the center of the all the town’s important history. And as welcoming as the locals are, Kit can’t shake the feeling that everyone seems to be hiding something from her.

Agatha is so happy to finally meet her only granddaughter, and the town is truly charming, but Kit can’t help wondering, if everything is so great in Rosemont, why did her father ever leave? And why does it seem like he never wanted her to find it?


Tilly in Technicolor is Mazey Eddings’s sparkling YA debut about two neurodivergent teens who form a connection over the course of a summer.

Tilly Twomley is desperate for change. White-knuckling her way through high school with flawed executive functioning has left her burnt out and ready to start fresh. Working as an intern for her perfect older sister’s start up isn’t exactly how Tilly wants to spend her summer, but the required travel around Europe promises a much-needed change of scenery as she plans for her future. The problem is, Tilly has no idea what she wants.

Oliver Clark knows exactly what he wants. His autism has often made it hard for him to form relationships with others, but his love of color theory and design allows him to feel deeply connected to the world around him. Plus, he has everything he needs: a best friend that gets him, placement into a prestigious design program, and a summer internship to build his resume. Everything is going as planned. That is, of course, until he suffers through the most disastrous international flight of his life, all turmoil stemming from lively and exasperating Tilly. Oliver is forced to spend the summer with a girl that couldn’t be more his opposite—feeling things for her he can’t quite name—and starts to wonder if maybe he doesn’t have everything figured out after all.

As the duo’s neurodiverse connection grows, they learn that some of the best parts of life can’t be planned, and are forced to figure out what that means as their disastrously wonderful summer comes to an end.


From horror powerhouse author Maren Stoffels comes the next pulse-quickening read! There’s nowhere to hide when three teens find themselves in the middle of nowhere, with no internet and a killer hunting them down.

Don’t think you can get rid of me so fast. . . .

No phones. No internet. No social media at all. That’s what it’s going to take to finally get serious about school and focus on exams. Nova, Vin, and Lotus even rented a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere so they won’t get distracted. After that, everything can go back to normal.

But they aren’t alone. Someone is watching them from the forest. Someone who knows their secrets. Someone who wants revenge. And things will never be the same again.


Inspired by the historical Three Kingdoms of Korea, the book follows a crown princess who receives a divine gift, and she must choose between the fate of the peninsula and those she loves. Publication is set for summer 2023.

KINDLE UNLIMITED: 1

Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

KINDLE Bought E-Books: 0

ONLINE LIBRARY:: 0

PHYSICAL LIBRARY BOOKS: 0

What did you get in your latest book haul?

Wildblood by. Lauren Blackwood | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Wildblood

Author: Lauren Blackwood

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 336

Publication Date: 2/7/23

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult, Paranormal

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Wednesday Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Eighteen-year-old Victoria is a Wildblood. Kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she’s worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a Jamaican jungle teeming with ghostly monsters.

When the boss denies Victoria an earned promotion to team leader in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, she’s determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she’s not the image the boss wants to send their new client, Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.

Thorn is everything Victoria isn’t – confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love. But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Victoria has to decide – is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?

Content Warning: violence, death, abuse, mention of rape, forced labor, kidnapping

I loved this author’s last book, Within These Wicked Walls, and wanted to see what new world she created with Wildblood. Here’s what I thought:

+ There is a tour in Jamaica that takes people through a magical, dangerous jungle. Only people with magic in their blood or blood science can take these people safely through the jungle. The most powerful person at this tour company is Victoria. I thought this idea of blood science was very unique and creative. It’s basically blood magic, but I guess more modern.

+ The characters are very unique and intriguing. All of the young people working in this tour company have been kidnapped and abused – it’s a pretty awful place to be, but because they have been abused – they feel hopeless in ever leaving. Victoria is our heroine, Dean is a villain but not the only one – but he is the one we get a clear look at what abuse and fear does to a child when they grow up, Thorn is a wealthy man who pays for a tour and sees this blood science for the first time and all the other side characters are fascinating as well! There is betrayal and mistrust throughout the whole story.

+ The setting of this jungle filled with monsters is a character in itself and it heightened the tension in the story. I really enjoyed the unique world-building.

+ I like Victoria’s character growth. She learns to lead and fight back against her abuser. Also the twist in the story is pretty cool, I was not expecting it at all.

~ I don’t mind insta-love but I felt this one is totally rushed. Thorn and Victoria just met and are saying I love you by the end of this tour and story. I did like how it ended because Victoria really needs to learn who she is before settling down but it was definitely a quick relationship. I didn’t quite feel the love between them.

~ There are so many dark themes in this book – these kids have been abused so badly by their boss. Victoria is even raped by him. I’m usually okay with these themes but Dean’s treatment of Victoria was so toxic, I felt ill for her. I felt horrible for Dean too and all of them who worked for their evil boss.

~ I wish we learned more about blood science. Also there was a bit of too much repetition with the phrase “kiss my teeth”.

Tropes: found family

Why you should read it:

  • dark story, dangerous jungle, blood magic
  • there is backstabbing, mistrust and an interesting twist in the story

Why you might not want to read it:

  • insta-love

My Thoughts:

Even though I had some issues with the story like the insta-love and wanting more information on the blood science, I actually read this book in two days because it was unique and intriguing. There are lots of trigger warnings in this one though. It is definitely a story with heavy themes but I like how it turns out in the end. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Within These Wicked Walls by. Lauren Blackwood | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pandora by. Susan Stokes-Chapman| ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Pandora

Author: Susan Stokes-Chapman

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 416

Publication Date: 1/17/23

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Categories: Greek Mythology, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Harper Perennial for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Steeped in mystery and rich in imagination, an exhilarating historical novel set in Georgian London where the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase sets in motion conspiracies, revelations, and romance.

London, 1799. Dora Blake, an aspiring jewelry artist, lives with her odious uncle atop her late parents’ once-famed shop of antiquities. After a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, her uncle begins to act suspiciously, keeping the vase locked in the store’s basement, away from prying eyes–including Dora’s. Intrigued by her uncle’s peculiar behavior, Dora turns to young, ambitious antiquarian scholar Edward Lawrence who eagerly agrees to help. Edward believes the ancient vase is the key that will unlock his academic future; Dora sees it as a chance to establish her own name.

But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth, she comes to understand that some doors are locked and some mysteries are buried for a reason, while others are closer to the surface than they appear.

A story of myth and mystery, secrets and deception, fate and hope, Pandora is an enchanting work of historical fiction as captivating and evocative as The Song of Achilles, The Essex Serpent, and The Miniaturist.

Content Warning:

I love the cover of this book and was intrigued about the Greek mythology aspect of this book. Here’s what I thought:

+ I really enjoyed the setting and time this book takes place, which is 1799 England. Dora works for her uncle who sells antiquities – if they are genuine is another question. But Dora is a young woman, relying on her uncle but wants independence. But back then a woman surviving without a man was fairly unheard of it. I like that we see Dora find some power of her own!

+ The Greek mythology is fascinating and I like that the mystery around the pithos or vase that is at the certain of the story. It’s a mystery, it’s a curse, whatever it is Dora’s uncle Hezekiah is strangely attached to it and keeping it secret.

+ There is a mix of interesting characters in this book. Edward who is an aspiring antiquarian who befriends Dora, there is romance between them, but the both of them try and figure out the mystery with the pithos and Dora’s uncle.

~ It took me awhile to get into the story. It’s not that it’s slow but I think the characters weren’t engaging me. I felt no connection to them.

Why you should read it:

  • you like Greek mythology and Georgian England
  • there is mystery and romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into historical fiction or Greek mythology

My Thoughts:

I think this was fairly entertaining even if I didn’t connect to the characters. It was an okay read for me but I definitely recommend this one for readers who enjoy mystery, historical fiction, and Greek mythology!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble