Book Spotlight: Queen to Ashes

Congratulations to author Mallory McCartney on the exciting new release of Queen to Ashes, the next installment in the Black Dawn series!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win signed copies of Heir of Lies and Queen to Ashes!

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Queen to Ashes (Black Dawn #2)

Publication Date: April 21st, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

“You lived your entire life feeling like half of you was missing. Fight for the missing part. Fight for this.”

Emory Fae has abandoned everything she thought she knew about her previous life on Earth. Stepping up to her role as Queen of Kiero she makes a startling sacrifice- feigning her allegiances to Adair Stratton, the man who murdered her parents and casted Kiero into ruin. Emory’s memories slowly piece together, and she soon realizes the Mad King may not be all he seems— and the man who was once best friend, may be fighting beneath the surface.

With the King’s attention on her, can she buy Black Dawn Rebellion enough time to recuperate their forces? And when the times comes, will she be able to kill Adair, ending his tyranny and rising herself as the rightful Queen? Fighting to hide her secret, Emory navigates the brutal trials of the Mad King, trying not to lose herself in the process.

Sequel to Heir of Lies, now a bestselling series, the sparks are ignited, as Emory learns the cost of freedom, and her heritage. Will the rebels unite in time? A sinister force has spread across the land, stripping everyone bare- their betrayals, their secrets, their intentions. But above all, what will their decisions cost? By refusing to give in to the darkness, will Emory rise as Queen?

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Excerpt

The darkness kissed her, embraced her. Squinting, Emory tried to make sense of where she was but was met with a black, dense wall. Sweat pooled at the base of her neck, warmth flaring through her body. Fear choked her then as she gulped down stale air. She knew she wasn’t alone because she felt them before they said anything. “Emory, you need to wake up.” Memphis’s voice, just barely a whisper, caressed her. Right beside her left ear, another voice sounded. “Em, wake up.” Brokk’s rough voice was harsh and clear, but she felt her body still being pulled, pulled down into the black abyss. A third voice then sounded; one she could only recognize from her dreams. “Emory, darling, wake up.” Her mother. Her voice danced all around her, and she clawed blindly, trying to connect with her lost friends and family. Trying to find them. Silence landed heavy, and a putrid smell enveloped her senses. It smelled of rotting meat. Bile rose in her throat as a she felt a slimy, boney hand wrap hard around her wrists, pulling her toward it. She couldn’t scream; she couldn’t move. Sweat drenched every inch of her body as the creature she couldn’t make out leaned closer, whispering right in front of her, “Emory, I have found you.” Swivelling around, she was met with darkness until the monster pulled her closer, its breath tickling her ear. “And you belong to me.” The knife slid in between her ribs, pain blossoming, and cackles spun around her. Then, she was dragged down into the darkness.

Screams tore from her chest as she shot up. Drenched in a cold sweat, it took her several minutes to register where she was and the guard standing at the foot of her bed, arms crossed and eyebrows raised. She screamed again, pulling her blankets around her, her nightdress clinging to her curves. “Who gave you permission to be in here?” she demanded. Smirking arrogantly, he said, “I did.” Blinking, she recognized the man as the same one that guarded her down in the cells. Rubbing her eyes, she tried to shake the feeling of that damp death-like hold of the creature in her dream. She pointed to the door. “Get the hell out.” He scoffed, rolling his eyes. “It’s time to start your day. The king awaits.” Throwing a bundle at the bottom of her bed, he turned his back, briskly stating, “You have five minutes to get ready. I’ll wait outside.” Shutting the door, he left her in stark silence. It was time. Panic clutched her heart, squeezing it, threatening to break it. She couldn’t breathe. The walls seemed stretched too thin.

She could do this—she had to do this. Emory would grant the rebels the time they needed, the time she needed. Dying wasn’t an option. Besides, she was already dead to the people who had believed in her. Leaning forward with shaking hands, she opened the parcel. Several stacks of light black clothes spilled out, including shirts, pants, and undergarments. A blood red sash sat atop them all. Lovely. Sitting on top all of this, though, was a light, sheer, gold chest plate. Squinting, she leaned closer to inspect it. Markings she didn’t recognize adorned all the edges, and its sheerness was unearthly. She was so close, her breath was fogging it, her reflection lost. Strong leather buckles joined at the shoulders; its back plate just as impressive. She shimmied out of bed, quickly dropping the armor. Emory went through the motions of getting dressed numbly. Braiding her long ebony hair back, she looked in the mirror behind her. She didn’t recognize the woman standing before her, the stark cheekbones, emptiness in her eyes, bruised skin underneath them. Tying her sash tightly, she set her resolve. Emory Fae of Earth was dead. Everything had led up to this moment. Her parents shaped their world, defying the paths they were told to go down: A warrior from the Shattered Isles and a Prince of Kiero were never supposed to break away and build a refuge— The Academy—for peace. In her heart, Emory knew they had made mistakes, but their life’s dream was to fight and to ensure everyone, no matter their ability, would have a place to call home. Emory loosened a breath. She would not let her parents’ dream die. If Adair wanted a challenge, he would get one. She would make him pay. For her family. Her friends. For herself.

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About the Author

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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For you chance to win signed copies of the Black Dawn series, click the link below!

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Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

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You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



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Anyone miss concerts? I know it has been awhile since I have been to one and miss the sound of live music. Here is a video of me using concert prompts to talk about some books! Check out the video below:

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Book Spotlight: Heir of Lies

Mallory McCartney is getting ready to release book #2 in her epic Black Dawn series, but she wants to give you guys a chance to read the book that started it all first, Heir of Lies!

Here’s an excerpt to read, and a chance to win a paperback copy of your own!

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Heir of Lies (Black Dawn #1)

Release Date: April 20th, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy/ New Adult Fantasy

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”

Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.

Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?
But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.

Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.

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Excerpt

“It was as if her body had been ripped into a thousand different pieces. Her lungs burned, begging for relief. Emory heard the soft crackle of fire. Her head was a spinning mass; it was its own continent. Squinting, she tried to focus. Blinking slowly, her surroundings came into view. Her pulse picked up. She wasn’t in her room. She wasn’t in her home. The metal world around her seemed to have one purpose. To keep people in. To keep her in. The last twenty-four hours rushed over her in a flurry of confusing memories. Him… Memphis. The name rolled around in her mind, familiar yet unfamiliar all at once. Her eyes flashed open, her heart thrumming with adrenaline. Heavily, Emory sat up, trying to pull her thoughts together. For now, the room was empty, her captors gone. Now. This is your chance to escape. The thought clambered through her wildly, and she acted. Standing from the bed, Emory stumbled, her legs weak, her clothes dirtied. Breathing heavily, Emory ran to the door, pushing the handle down as it opened. Containing her surprise, she slipped into the hallway. What kind of criminals would keep their prisoner in an unlocked room? Walking fast, Emory pushed the thought down, keeping her head down as she tried to locate how to get out of this place. The hallway was quiet, and Emory didn’t pass anyone else. It had to be late into the night, and she sent up a thank you to whoever was granting her such luck. Trying not to run, she turned left, passing more shut unmarked doors, but slowly, the hallway slanted up. Heart pounding, her palms slicked with sweat as she tried to stick to the shadows, walking faster now. Ahead of her, doors loomed, and panic bloomed in her chest. Running now, Emory tried to hold back the tears burning in her eyes. She reached the massive doors, pulling them open, and the night air slammed into her. Gasping, she sprinted, rushing out into the rolling field. The air was brisk, a sweet aroma hanging on the wind, the crescent moon tucked in the midnight blue clouds. Ahead, a massive forest loomed, and she frantically looked for any sign of modern civilization where she could find help. There was nothing. A stitch laced through her side, and her converses lost footing. Emory slammed into the damp earth. Rocks sliced through her palms as she tried to break her fall, blood welling in the cuts. Tears slid down her cheeks as she got up, whispering, “Keep moving. C’mon.” Looking back, she expected to see the place she had been taken to, but dread pooled in her stomach as all she saw was open field—no sign of any building whatsoever. “What the hell?” Emory whispered, fear making her thought process choppy. Sprinting again, she pushed toward the woods.”

Now Available!

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About the Author

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway: For your chance to win a print copy of Heir of Lies, click the link below!

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Next week, you’ll get a sneek peek at Queen to Ashes, the exciting next installment in the series!

Book Blitz Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

IMG_0595

You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I know it’s not February anymore but it still is a leap year so here is the Leap Year Book Tag! Check out the video below:

Book Review: Graceling

I know the whole world is going a little nuts right now because of the COVID-19 virus and I think since everyone is being quarantined that it is the perfect time to do a buddy read! I do them with my friend Amanda every month and they are so much fun. Last month we read Graceling by Kristen Cashore.

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Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I was really looking forward to a fantasy book and this one was what I was expecting, a long drawn out fantasy. I enjoyed the character development immensely because they were built upon so well that you truly felt like you had a good understanding of them.

That being said, I believe the book may have delved too much into its characters and left the plot a little lacking. I am a very plot-driven person so I was hoping for a little bit more action. There are definitely some cool scenes that I did enjoy but for a lot of the book, I just felt like I was waiting for something to happen and it never really did. When things did happen, they happened too quick and then it was back to the build-up for events to transpire that you would expect to have more of an impact.

I still enjoyed reading this book and having discussions with my friend as we went along. I am considering continuing the series so I wasn’t turned off too badly by it. The concept of having graces is really cool and I hope they continue to go into depth about that moving forward in the series.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer:  I read this book because I wanted to and was in no way compensated for my review.



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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If you are interested, I had the opportunity to make an unboxing video for Bookishly which is a UK based book subscription box service. Check out all the cool stuff in this Wizard of Oz themed box!

Book Spotlight: The Wrongful Death

How exciting! We’re now on book #3 of The Great Devil War multi-book tour — The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen. Let’s see what epic adventure Philip embarks on in this exciting instalment!

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The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War #3)

Publication Date: April 19th, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

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Excerpt

The Garden of Eden

The darkness of night turned into the light of morning, and although Philip did what Lucifer recommended and pulled his hood over his eyes, he was momentarily dazzled by the light. Slowly his eyes grew accustomed to the change, and out of the blinding whiteness, the Garden of Eden emerged in all its splendor.

Philip felt something pulling at his soul, even though all he saw was an ordinary forest. That’s because it wasn’t just an ordinary forest.

Not at all.

First of all there were the colors. The green moss that lay like a thick carpet on the floor. The blooming flowers. The luscious tree canopy overhead and fruits hanging in bunches. The sky that was more blue than Philip had ever seen. The sunlight that fell between the leaves in warm streams of gold.

Secondly there were the smells. So many, and so clear, that Philip became dizzy and had to hold onto Satina so he didn’t stumble.

Then there were the sounds. A storm of bird songs, monkey cries, and distant, thundering waterfalls, and yet… quiet, so quiet.

Then, to top it off, the atmosphere—the feeling of the place… It carried him off his feet. The forest, the air, it inspired a feeling of pure joy that Philip had never known before. It made the hair on his arms rise with delight and made his heart, yes, his very soul, feel like laughing. It felt like… Well, like he was in Heaven.

“Horrible place, right?” Lucifer said, closing the door to the rock wall. “Too cold and much too bright in my opinion. Come on, it’s this way.”

Philip and Satina followed the Devil, who with long, decisive steps led them through the summer forest.

“We’re in Heaven,” Philip whispered as he heard the mild breeze softly stirring the leaves in the canopies overhead. “I can’t believe it. We’re in Heaven!”

“Not quite,” Lucifer corrected. “It’s merely the earthly Paradise that lies between Earth and Heaven. This is where the saved souls go after they die. They help tend the garden.”

Between Earth and Heaven?” Philip said, confused. “I thought you went to Heaven when you died. If you’re good, that is.”

“No. You get this far and no farther. I realize a lot of people think that, Philip. There are even more who think Paradise is about lying in a hammock all day and letting God’s angels attend to your every need. But it’s never been like that. It would quickly lead to many of the seven deadly sins—laziness, gluttony, and greed, just to name a few—and that doesn’t exactly harmonize well with this place. No, living in Paradise means hard work. Of course, it’s nothing compared to working conditions down where we are.”

“What is Heaven, then?”

“Heaven is home to Jehovah and the angels. The angels come to Paradise, but they don’t live there. They live in Empyrean, the city of light. It’s even worse than this place. It makes my eyes itch and my nose starts running like a faucet. I’m definitely more comfortable here.” Lucifer plucked a flame-red rose, and it immediately lost its color and shriveled up. He smelled it and tossed it aside, the now metallic-gray flower disintegrating to ash as it hit the ground. “I have some good memories from this place.”

There was a subtle snap on their right as something in the forest stepped on a branch.

Philip turned his head and froze in his tracks.

It was a tiger. It ran toward them, its giant paws soundlessly bounding through the forest, and its amber eyes locked on Satina, who hadn’t noticed the wild animal.

Watch out!” Philip shouted and pulled her toward him as the animal came bursting out of the brush, a cascade of yellow and black and teeth and claws.

“Philip, take it easy!” Beyond the rush of blood roaring in his ears, he heard Lucifer laughing. “It wouldn’t harm a fly.”

Fear turned into confusion and then amazement when he saw the tiger had stopped and just stood there, curiously watching them. Curious and…friendly?

“It won’t?” he muttered and let go of Satina. “Sorry, but I thought… Are you okay?”

She nodded.

“That’s what I’m saying, Philip. Paradise is a gruesome place. So sad and boring. Just look at this guy.” Lucifer walked over to the tiger and patted him on the back. “Tame as a lamb. Wild animals aren’t even wild here. In the afterlife they peacefully coexist.” The Devil sadly shook his head. “I get nauseous just thinking about it.”

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Digital copy of The Wrongful Death! Enter below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

February 24th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Turning the Pages (Review) https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

February 25th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

February 26th

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

February 27th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

February 28th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com


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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Review: The Speed Of Falling Objects

I have a new book review for you bookworms! This one was a totally random read since I picked it up off the freebie table when I was visiting Harper Collins. It is called The Speed Of Falling Objects by Nancy Richardson Fischer.

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Synopsis: Danger “Danny” Danielle Warren is no stranger to falling. After losing an eye in a childhood accident, she had to relearn her perception of movement and space. Now Danny keeps her head down, studies hard, and works to fulfill everyone else’s needs. She’s certain that her mom’s bitterness and her TV star father’s absence are her fault. If only she were more-more athletic, charismatic, attractive-life would be perfect.

When her dad calls with an offer to join him to film the next episode of his popular survivalist show, Danny jumps at the chance to prove she’s not the disappointment he left behind. Being on set with the hottest teen movie idol of the moment, Gus Price, should be the cherry on top. But when their small plane crashes in the Amazon, and a terrible secret is revealed, Danny must face the truth about the parent she worships and falling for Gus, and find her own inner strength and worth to light the way home.

I am so glad that I picked up this book from that table because it turned out to be a phenomenal read! I wasn’t expecting much going into it and was pleasantly surprised by how much I was drawn into the book.

The main character’s development from start to finish was astonishing. She reminded me of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. She goes through so much s**t and continues to endure when even some of the strongest would struggle. The way each character was written was perfect and I wouldn’t have had it play out any other way.

It was a survival book and I found that the author definitely did their research because a lot of the survival strategies and techniques were accurate and it was a lot of fun because you get to learn about different species in the Amazon as you followed the characters in their struggle to survive.

I was on the edge of my seat reading this because I wanted to know how they were going to adapt to the situations they faced. It was a very thrilling read with some contemporary romantic bits thrown in to spice it up. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone that wants to fall into a book and not come back up to the surface until you have finished it.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I picked this book up when I was at Harper Collins. I chose to read and review it because I wanted to.



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Review: Infinity Son

Hey you! Yea you, bookworm over there. Guess what? I read another book. It was the one, the only, most anticipated Infinity Son by Adam Silvera. And now I am going to tell you about it.

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Synopsis: Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

I was a little wary going into this book because I know that Adam Silvera has been primarily a contemporary author and this was his first foray into the fantasy genre. I will say that he could use a little bit of work on his world-building because at times it felt a little rushed and thrown together when it could have used a little bit more explanation into the backstory and how characters/the world came to be in the state that it is in.

That being said, I really liked his character dialogue and interactions with each other (which probably spurs from his contemporary writing) and the feeling he put into them. I liked that things were relatable like Brighton and his Youtube channel (I also have a channel and work hard at it).

The whole power dynamic was fascinating to learn about and I thought it was very cool that they had different ways to acquire these powers. The battles were descriptive enough that they were easy for me to imagine and I felt like I was right there in the thick of it with Emil and Brighton.

I think the superhero nerd inside of me was excited to have a new take on the genre and loved it. Plus, that ending left me wanting more! it kind of sucks that this just came out because I need that next one to know what happens.

All in all, I would recommend this book if you want a new take on superpowers that ties it into the modern world and feels like it could be real.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Harper Collins Canada as a physical format ARC to read and give my honest review.



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

This video was so much fun to film! It’s the book version of “Kiss, Marry, Kill”. If you haven’t done this yet, I suggest you try. It was hard! So many books I love. It was like The Hunger Games book edition LOL. 

Book Review: Lucky Star

Our external reviewer Sara sent in another review. She works at a library so she is always surrounded by books (that’s the dream) and then keeps on reading books for fun at home in her free time. She also is very passionate about her yarn creature creations which you can find at AdorkableLilCrafties. Anyways, the book she reviewed was Lucky Star by Holly Curtis.

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Synopsis: Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

This book was pretty awesome. It was sweet, authentic, engaging, and new. If you like coming-of-age novels, like those by John Green, I think you’d enjoy this.

Curtis does an excellent job of portraying a teenage boy in a way that felt so real, I was shocked to learn that the author was a woman. It felt like the perfect snapshot into a teenage boy in England in the 80s.

There’s angst, teenage antics, too-real anxiety and depression, and all in such a natural way it felt like really reading his diary. I wasn’t really sure where this book was heading when I began it, as the characters were kind of little prats; I soon realized this was the point, and I enjoyed getting to read about them growing and learning about themselves in a natural way.

The character development and plot progression felt natural and entertaining, and I was definitely engaged in where the story was going. Our narrator, Ben, took us through summer in England for a group of delinquent youths, while they tried to figure out what to do with their lives after school.

If you enjoy realistic coming-of-age novels, I think any reader would find it surprisingly easy to relate to this character, as he navigates finding himself and where he fits in in his town, including brief snapshots into what it’s like to have anxiety, without it being the focus of the novel or a deterrent to readers who aren’t comfortable discussing mental health.

Holly Curtis did an excellent job, and I was amused to read along with Ben, following his journey and learning about what it might be like to be an English teenage boy.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in an e-book format by the author to read and give an honest review.



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Guys! I read so many books in January
! It was a great reading month for me and now I will share it with you. Check it out if you want to and let me know what you think!

Book Review: Kingdom Of Souls

Need an intense, diverse fantasy full of magic and betrayal? Then look no further because I have just the book for you. I read Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barren and it fits all of these things.

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Synopsis: Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

This book had a refreshing cast of all diverse characters. I think there were actually no white characters at all and that was a first for me.

I would call this a slow burn fantasy at first because there was a little bit of information dumping at the beginning as the world is being built for the readers. But it builds into a huge crescendo by the end and had me glued to the pages wanting to know how it all came to an end (at least for this one since it is the start of a series).

Arrah was a likeable character and her personal growth throughout the book was developed in such a way that you wouldn’t consider her to be the same person by the end. She puts the “strong” in a strong female character.

There were a bunch of tribes that all had unique names and they represented different parts of the nation. I found them to be a little hard to keep track of but that was only a minor detail.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a great, diverse fantasy full of plot twists and sacrifice.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in physical format by Harper Collins to read and give an honest review. 


I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)

Book Review: Crier’s War

I was graciously given an advanced reader copy of this book by Harper Collins and I can safely say that it became one of my favorite books of the year! This one was called Crier’s War by Nina Varela.

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Synopsis: After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

I loved this book so much. From the minute I picked it up, I struggled to put it down. The worldbuilding was done flawlessly with not a lot of info-dumping but more or less little bits and pieces were given to you as you learn more about the main characters and their pasts.

It was told from two different perspectives and I really enjoyed going back and forth between the two characters. It is really refreshing to see one person’s opinion and then see the other person’s opinion and how it differs. What each is thinking and wondering how it will all play out when they are on 2 different sides. The tension between these two characters is intense and it builds up as the novel progresses. One of the many reasons why I could not put the book down.

I found this book to be a perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy. It was really cool how they used magic and robots blended together. I will be anticipating the second and final book to this duology when it comes out!

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book in physical format by Harper Collins to read and give my honest review.


I did my first ever reading vlog! It was a lot of fun to make and it was kind of like a review as I read the book. It was also my first ever Brandon Sanderson book!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)

Book Review: Ashes, Ashes

Jo Tregiarri just keeps coming with these great novels! I am continually impressed with the imagination she shows in the stories she creates and the worlds she builds. This on was called Ashes, Ashes and it was great!

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Synopsis: Epidemics, floods, droughts – for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can’t continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There’s something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

This book was a really fun dystopian to dive into. Lucy was a likable main character that was just trying to survive after mass plagues, earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms hit the Earth and wiped out a lot of the population. The survivalist in me was loving all the realistic ways that Lucy would live her day to day life and how she accustomed herself to a new way of living after everything she has known changed.

There were parts that built suspense so well that I found myself starting to sweat while reading because I was worried about what was going to happen next. The relationships built were very real and the plot felt like it flowed very smoothly.

I am a big fan of dystopian books or things to do with either the world ending or post-apocalyptic worlds where people have to learn to adapt to a new way of survival.

If I could sum this up, I would say that it was a mixture of Divergent (the social aspect) and The 5th Wave (dystopian world aspect) with a little bit of Maze Runner thrown in (villain aspect).

I would recommend this read for anyone that wants a fun dystopian adventure with a lot of stakes at hand.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.


It’s already November! I am being pretty ambitious and will be trying to read 5 books this month. Check out what I will be reading!

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