ARC Review: These Feathered Flames

A young adult fantasy book both of us have enjoyed? If you know anything about us (and especially about Charlotte), you realise it must be a miracle! Or just a really good book! Read our reviews to find out what is the truth.

But seriously, if you haven’t pre-ordered These Feathered Flames yet, this is your sign that you absolutely should. And follow Alexandra on twitter, for more info about her upcoming projects!

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

These Feathered Flames

Alexandra Overy

Goodreads

Rep: lesbian mc & li
Release: 20th April 2021

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ARC Review: In Deeper Waters

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say we were both very excited about this next book. And it’s no little help that the cover for it is absolutely gorgeous. And you can get your hands on it in just under a week! So, without further ado, have a read of why we think you want this book!

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…

In Deeper Waters

F. T. Lukens

Goodreads

Rep: bi/pan mc, mlm li
Release: 20th April 2021

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ARC Review + Blog Tour: Malice

“Once upon a time, there was a villain” is frankly the only kind of a fairy tale opening I want to read from now on. But only if the fairy tale in question is as good as what Malice offers. Because it truly has it all: great characters, magic, betrayals, and a lesbian romance. I assure you, it is the fairy tale retelling of your dreams.

So yes, we’re very excited that we’re part of the blog tour that Del Rey runs for Malice! And hey, you can actually grab yourself a signed copy of Malice right here!

Also follow Heather Walter on twitter!

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die, and could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one actually cares about what happens to our princesses. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to the throne. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating – and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I-

I am the
villain.

Malice

Heather Walter

Goodreads

Rep: lesbian mcs
CWs: past torture, lesbophobia, past suicides, blood, drug use
Release: 13th April 2021

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ARC Review: The Sky Blues

If you follow either of us on twitter (and were following us back in December), you probably already know how much we love The Sky Blues. Personally I would have probably chosen it as my most anticipated April release, of it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve read it last year… (But I did sneak it onto our list of fav reads of 2020!) It’s a one that will make you laugh and cry, and feel absolutely loved.

But let’s not get into details now, when you can just read our reviews below. And listen to the mix we made for the book!

Also follow Robbie Couch on twitter! He has more exciting things for us in the store!

Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.

Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his small, insular town, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. Determined not to let anything ruin his senior year, Sky decides to make a splash at his high school’s annual beach bum party by asking his crush, Ali, to prom—and he has thirty days to do it.

What better way to start living loud and proud than by pulling off the gayest promposal Rock Ledge, Michigan, has ever seen?

Then, Sky’s plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic e-blast that quickly goes viral. He’s fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator.

But what happens at the end of the thirty days? Will Sky get to keep his hard-won visibility? Or will his small-town blues stop him from being his true self?

The Sky Blues

Robbie Couch

Goodreads

Rep: gay mc, mlm li, trans & gay characters
TWs: homophobia, racism, f-slur, past car accident, past death of a parent, vomiting
Release: 6th April 2021

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ARC Review: The Unbroken

Hopefully, you’ve all heard of this book. Hopefully, you’re all as in love with the cover (and those arms! 😍) as we are. But if you haven’t heard of it, or have only been tangentially interested in it (as inexplicable as this seems to us), let us do our best to convince you that you need to get your hands on this book.

In a political fantasy unlike any other, debut author C. L. Clark spins an epic tale of rebellion, espionage, and military might on the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire.

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

The Unbroken

C. L. Clark

Goodreads

Rep: Black lesbian mc, bi mc with physical disability due to injury, wlw side characters, mlm side character, nonbinary side character
CWs: violence, gore, past attempted rape, threats of rape, torture
Release: 23rd March 2021

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ARC Review: Sweet & Bitter Magic

If you aren’t excited about the upcoming Sweet & Bitter Magic, sadly, we must conclude that you have been living under a rock. But not to worry! Today we come prepared to extract you from that situation, with our reviews and also a mix to listen to.

And if you need any more convincing, check out the interview we did with Adrienne in 2019!

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first…

Sweet & Bitter Magic

Adrienne Tooley

Goodreads

Rep: bi/pan mc, lesbian mc
Release: 9th March 2021

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ARC Review: Night Tide

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Tides change, but some feelings can’t be washed away.

Lillian Lee doesn’t believe in love at first sight. Hate is a different story—and one she is intimately familiar with. Luckily, she hasn’t seen her arch-nemesis, Ivy Holden, since graduating from veterinary school five years ago. Since then, while her life isn’t going exactly according to plan, she’s happy. She has great friends, a job she loves, and the best pets in the world. Most importantly, her life is stable.

Seal Cove, Maine, is the last place Ivy Holden anticipated ending up. But when an unexpected medical condition forces her to relocate to be closer to family, she can’t turn down the opportunity. Her new job at Seal Cove Veterinary Clinic has everything she needs: flexibility, proximity to her family’s summer home, and the chance to do the work she loves. Unfortunately, it also has Lillian Lee.

Thrown back into each other’s orbits, Lillian and Ivy must find a way to work together, despite the treacherous emotions threatening to drown them both.

inbtwn

Night Tide

Anna Burke

Published: 26th January 2021
Goodreads
Rep: bi mc, bi mc with MS, lesbian & bi side characters
CWs: internalised ableism

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ARC Review + Author Interview: Z Jeffries

It’s two posts for the price of one on Reads Rainbow today as we are bringing you both an ARC review and an author interview. Chase: The Boy Who Hid is a middle grade science fiction novel, out in just a few days, and we had the pleasure of talking to the author, Z Jeffries, about it (among other things).

So, this post starts with five reasons you should read this book, and follows on with the interview. Enjoy!

Don’t forget, you can also follow Z Jeffries on twitter.

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Don’t hide from your feelings. Hide from the giant robot trying to kill you.

I always knew I’d inherited my grandad’s mind for science and technology, but when he goes missing, I get his spot in a top-secret government game of hide and seek. The military camouflage challenge, DARPA’s game where shapeshifters, mechs, and telepaths hide from a robot seeker, is also where Grandad vanished.

To find out what happened, I’ll play along- gain the team’s trust, master the tech, and avoid catching feelings for the team navigator. If I can do all that, then maybe I can survive the dangerous game. But if it comes down to winning or finding Grandad, I’ll ditch the game and betray my team in a millisecond. Even if it means I go missing, too.

Book One in the Hide & Seek Series, the action-packed coming of age stories of STEM-minded queer kids getting their hands on the tech of the future.

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Chase: The Boy Who Hid

Z Jeffries

Published: 15th October 2020
Goodreads
Rep: bi mc, nonbinary character, Black lesbian character

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ARC Review: Crownchasers

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A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this riveting duology opener, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesAurora Rising, and Three Dark Crowns.

Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship?

But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne.

Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.

inbtwn

Crownchasers

Rebecca Coffindaffer

Published: 29th September 2020
Goodreads
Rep: pan mc, lesbian, gay and nonbinary side characters
CWs: alcohol use, blood, gore, death of a loved one, emotional withholding from a parental figure, murder, guilt and trauma, science fiction-related violence

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