The One Where I Loved Legendborn by Tracy Deonn #BookReview #YA #Fantasy #Retelling #Legendborn ☆☆☆☆☆

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

I AM IN AWE. THAT WAS INCREDIBLE.

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Like, not gonna lie, the first few chapters everything was a little touch and go for me. It was a bit muddled, confusing, but I sticked with it because I have seen so many good reviews on this book I felt like there was something that I was missing. I am so glad I stuck it out, because this might just be one of my favorite Legend of King Arthur retellings in the history of the world. I never even compared it with my other favorite retelling, Merlin (BBC show). It is just unique, a breath of fresh air with tiny hints of Mortal Instruments/Soul Screamers to give it that nice starting point.

But it is so much more than Mortal Instruments. It is an urban fantasy series set in our time (no pandemic), in a college setting (Bree is a high school girl in the Early College track because she is freaking smart), that actually incorporates some difficult to address topics such as slavery, economical inequality, blatant racism, the difficulties of living in a world that wants to forget the struggles of the black community while our protagonist Bree is continuously being confronted by the echoes of what what done to her ancestors. It is done in a way that is just organic, which in a fantasy setting is kind of unheard of, dealing with this in a real way that is like OUR world and not a make believe world. It is just very well done and I loved it.

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BREE! I love Bree. She is smart, daring, committed, won’t put up with your BS racism and will check her friends if necessary. She loses her mother, and throughout the book we are dealing with this, while also adding to her pain when she realizes that generations of women in her family have died relatively young. She goes on a journey to both try to find out why her mother died (she suspects foul play; someone tried to take her memories away from that night, not realizing that she was immune) and discover why she has the powers she has. She meets Nick because her racist principal decides she has an “attitude” problem and needs guidance. Nick is an all around Rich American Boy who managed to grab Bree’s attention (and mine) within just a few pages with his devil may care smile and teasing. I instantly shipped them, and in the next book I suspect we will get a WHOLE TON of character development from the Nick department (can’t wait). Nick helps Bree infiltrate the Round Table secret society, and together they work to find out what exactly happened to Bree’s mother.

There is definitely a love triangle going on as well; but I won’t mention names because it is spoilery. And, well, this is a legit love triangle where I can see it going either way. The author develops both love interests with such fine details it is HARD to choose, though I may have a favorite…I bought stocks on both ships.

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There is so much to Legendborn. Fantastic representation for LGBTQ+ that does not feel forced in the least. Rich black community magic system. Smooth writing that makes you flip page after page with no care as to how long you stay up reading (the book is 500+ pages and I am totally okay with this). On some parts there is unavoidable info dumping, but there is a lot of material to go through so it is necessary, and to Tracy Deonn’s credit she makes it painless. THAT ENDING. UUUUUUUUF. You are not ready for this. I was not ready for it (I had my suspicions, and I was partly right but still surprised).

I CANNOT wait for the sequel! Like, top 5 most anticipated books for 2021. BRING IT!

PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!

The One Where I lOVED The Nemesis (The Diabolic #3) by S J Kincaid #BookReview #YA #SciFi #SpaceOpera

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In the heart-pounding conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Diabolic series, the Empire teeters on the edge of destruction as rumors spread that Nemesis is still alive.

Three years ago, Tyrus Domitrian shocked the galaxy by killing the woman he swore to love forever. The woman for whom he upended the Empire. The woman with whom he wanted to build a new and brighter future.

Now, the once-idealistic heir apparent has become the cruel Emperor Tyrus, wielding his authority with an iron fist, capable of destroying planets with a single word, controlling all technology with a simple thought. He has bent the Grandiloquy to their knees, and none has the power to stand against him.

But there is a muttering among the Excess. They say that Nemesis is not truly gone. They whisper of her shadow spotted in distant star systems. They say that Nemesis lives. That she will rise, and rally the people to topple the man who was once her truest love—and is now her fiercest enemy.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

This is Nemesis in a nutshell

“We’d vowed to make this galaxy better.
He’d had such beautiful dreams.
How to salvage a dream, when the dreamer himself had been destroyed?”

I am speechless. This book made me legit cry 😭

I need time–ya’ll are not ready for this devastation.

“What good was a fight without something to defend? Even Diabolics needed love to power our hate.”

The Nemesis took a long time to reach us, but by the gods was it worth the wait. The Diabolic was a good, fun read. It had its moments of devastation, but overall you got the feeling that everything would somehow work itself out. In Empress you soon realized that happiness was not something built to last, as S J Kincaid basically ripped our hearts out. The Nemesis? uuuuf. Empress upped the stakes and Nemesis delivered the punch.

All the characters have layers upon layers of complicated histories–Neveni for one; I wanted to literally strangle her on various occasions. She went from a sweet girl/friend, to basically the most hunted terrorist in the galaxy. Talk about a 180! I just couldn’t understand why Nemesis kept forgiving her for everything she did, but then that is the burden of a Diabolic, to love fiercely even when they shouldn’t and to protect those they love even from themselves. I wouldn’t have forgiven her, so Nemesis is a much better person than me. I loved that Anguish is now part of the team! He is a lot of times the voice of reason, and the one who SEES things for what they are. Anguish and Nemesis’ brother/sister relationship was just what was needed in this very dark novel. They were a breath of fresh air, and gave each of them someone outside of a romantic relationship to hold on to.

“For their young Emperor had turned into a terror, a creature of unpredictable moods and merciless whims.”

TYRUS–I feel like anything said about Tyrus would be spoilery; let’s just say he is one of the most interesting characters in the series and he delivers 1000x times in this novel. I do so hate to place a beloved character in the role of a villain, but it is the complicated kind of hate where I love where Kincaid took the story but it hurts to see them in that position.

Oh and Nemesis-I loved that in this book is where we get I think the truest face of Nemesis, not a full Diabolic, not a human, but a blend of both. Which, duh, the title of the novel but it is so true. Nemesis has been struggling with her identity from the first time she had to become Donia, and I think she finally found the balance needed to live her best life. We get to see her suffer a lot, because of Tyrus, a bit because of Anguish. We also get to see her struggle with her love for Donia and how complicated it is since she is the whole reason Nemesis even begun to think she could be more.

I would have loved to see a short novella or something of how the Empire looks thousands of years later. What changes Nemesis and co brought to the galaxy. The novel ends on a perfect note, so it is just curiosity. I am so looking forward to whatever S. J. Kincaid writes next!! I love all her books, including her first series Insignia. She is a master storyteller. She writes the first book in a way that makes the reader fall in love with the world and characters, getting you comfortable, only to pull the rug from under you and deliver sequels which are wonderful and layered and gut wrenching but ultimately smart and human 🖤

PS; For spoilery comments check out the Goodreads review 😉

PPS; I wish the title was just “Nemesis” instead of “The Nemesis”.

The One Where I Really Enjoyed Reading The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An outsider who can travel between worlds discovers a secret that threatens her new home and her fragile place in it, in a stunning sci-fi debut that’s both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse. 


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

I found this book fascinating, the characters relatable and easy to get attached to, the science not hard to digest, and the story arc engaging!

Having said this, I am also a huge sucker for inter-dimensional reads. I love the premise of going to other worlds and finding different versions of yourself. In The Space Between Worlds the different personalities of our main character seem at their core to be made from the same stock, but how they develop is vastly different depending on their circumstances. The characters are also only able to access a SMALL amount of dimensions (a little over 300) so they can only access the ones that are more closely mirroring their own dimension (you just have to be dead in that other universe in order to be able to visit). It is a nature vs. nurture debate, in which both aspects make up the being. There is also some philosophical discussions of “is the inter-dimensional travel possible due to science or religion”? Which prevails? Why not both? It also tackles racial prejudices, social-economical issues as both of these tend to play a hand on which people get to travel–the higher the risk in your life (too poor to afford basic needs, maybe living in a place full of danger, being discriminated against) the better chance you are to be able to travel. I found the discussion fascinating, and a nice way to mirror the problems in our own dimension.

I do feel the novel was divided into two parts basically–it felt like there were two overarching plots which could have easily been divided into two books. Both parts of the story got their time to shine, but maybe dividing it into a duology might have given the reader time to adjust and some characters more page time. As it is it still works great, it just felt weird how by the middle we kind of shifted gears in a sense, like if the novel had a “Part II” that wasn’t stated as such. But that was pretty much my biggest hiccup with the novel and it wasn’t such a big deal.

I really liked the romance aspects, though it definitely is a small part of the story we do get some LGBTQIA+ Rep! And their interactions are so juicy and multilayered. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of the relationship, but there is a reason for everything in The Space Between Worlds, so just give Dell a chance.

Overall I greatly enjoyed this story! It is lite sci-fi so it ends up being a great gateway into adult sci-fi, giving teens and those who wouldn’t normally pick up “sci-fi” books a taste into the genre. I love the idea, and I look forward to reading more of Micaiah Johnson.

I was provided an e-ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an HONEST review, which I totally honestly really liked this book and recommend

The One Where I loved Shielded by Kaylynn Flanders #BookReview #YA #Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

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Shielded is YA fantasy done right. I am so happy that the beautiful cover (which I definitely need in my bookshelf) matches the FANTASTIC story inside the pages. I love the characters, their relationships and development, the dialogue, the steady pace, the plot, the romance, and the world building. That’s is 5 stars right there!

The heroine, Jenna, is both strong yet vulnerable. She is an eccentric princess who uses her brain in tough situations and doesn’t take the easy way out. After a lot of bad things happen to her, one right after the other, she still manages to find her strenght within to keep her going. She is also a bookworm, in fact a lot of these characters are and I AM DOWN WITH THIS. We spend the entirerity of the first half of the book with basically only Jenna for company so she needs to be a pretty good character in order to shoulder the novel. We don’t even get to meet the love interest until about 43% into the novel, and then when we do it is full steam ahead! I loved not only Jenna, but the side characters too like the prince of Turia and his entire family.

Some things were a bit convenient and made things a little more painless–the author could have made us suffer a lot more than she did (and she did make us suffer) but I am just grateful she made the decisions she did cause I don’t think my heart could have taken much more hardship.

The romance is…JUST UGH SO GREAT. The characters work well as a team and support each other’s endevours–a team that works well together is bound to make me happy. There is also a case of mistaken identity (well, a couple of cases of that) and it just makes the tension even better cause…

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I love those. They just have this connection that is undeniable, but does not feel forced in the least. Feels completely organic and meant to be ❤

The magic system is interesting. We have magical weapons and artifacts, a lost/hidden library full of treasures and knowledge, the race to uncover magical secrets…It is all very thrilling. The heroine is not well versed in the magic, and this is not a case in which she is totally OP (over powered). She has a decent magic source that she slowly learns how to use to her advantage. The “rules” aren’t many yet, for example I don’t know the limits to the heroine’s ability (what can she do, what can’t she do) but I think, and hope, this is something that will be further explored in the sequel.

WHICH I CAN’T WAIT FOR if you haven’t noticed.

The One Where I loved “I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch, Victoria Ying (Illustrator)” an F/F Enemies to Lovers Story

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator’s block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And despite being the worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other… a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?


。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆。・:*:・゚★,。

Oh I loved this so much 😍

Make way for an F/F REAL enemies to lovers story!

I got some SERIOUS Pride and Prejudice vibes from the story–So if that is your jam definitely pick this book up. Privilege,

Iliana hates Rhodes guts for a very real situation that happened between the characters in which Iliana manages to be the hurt party. Ever since then, Iliana hates Rhodes, Rhodes seemingly hates Iliana, but they are stuck in close proximity because of their friend “glue” in the form of Sarah. Sarah has been Iliana’s BFF since they were children, and is Rhodes’ roommate at this fancy conservatory arts school in which they seem to be the only poor scholarship kids.

Iliana fights tooth and nail for everything she has ever had, but she also will trample over people to get there. Rhodes is quiet and reserved which comes off as snobbish and cold–Rhodes inner monologue really hit close to home, as she is anxious and suffering from depression (which is something she shares with Iliana as her online self, Alice). Iliana however believes Rhodes to be full of privilege, which Iliana is too but because of Rhodes economic advantages she is a step up in the privilege department (both characters will come to address this).

“If there were a time on Slash/Spot before I-Kissed-Alice–Alice as I call her, and she calls me Cheshire after my own username–I don’t remember it. There was no life before Slash/Spot, and the rest of it barely mattered before I met Alice.”

In the online world, Alice (Rhodes) and Cheshire (Iliana) have been a team for many months and are in a sort of online relationship. They work on an online comic book together as co creators and basically are as honest with each other as only two strangers on the internet can be. Since they seem to be taking internet security seriously though, they do not divulge specific information that will lead either person to pinpoint who the other one is. Convenient, but safe and only helps to build the tension. I cannot wait for the finished copy to hit the bookstores so I can buy my copy and look at the comic book sections which are ILLUSTRATED and look AMAZING ❤

There are a lot of complicated relationships in this book, not only between Iliana and Rhodes, but also the one between Iliana, Rhodes and Sarah. The girl on girl hate that occurs on this book is not motivated by romantic relationships (kind of), overall I think it is portrayed in a realistic way. Not only is the “hate” necessary for the trope, but it really helps to shine a light on unhealthy relationships and what they can do to your self esteem and mental health. We all have had those relationships that are bad for us that we just don’t see how to quit. There is this other character that then comes along and “works to sabotage the girls” but really I can see where the character is coming from because she was working from a very specific mind set and because of the main characters bad behavior (which gets addressed). In the end, it all has a purpose.

I just love how the story was written, how issues were addressed, and how complicated the relationship issues were. I will definitely be recommending this one to friends and anybody who manages to understand my babbling about how great this story was. 

Leigh Bardugo: Special Editions of Ninth House (Waterstones, B&N, Indigo, Target)

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First off: Waterstones special edition of Ninth House has an exclusive cover that is TO DIE for! I already pre-ordered (£16.99), and just to give you a heads up Waterstones is based in the UK–which means you will be paying for shipping (£12.99) almost as much as the book itself. My opinion? WORTH IT.

Waterstone Ninth House Special Edition

The exclusive cover is gorgeous–if you are really interested I wouldn’t wait too much because these editions go quick. Waterstones Signed Edition with exclusive foiled jacket and boards.

If by the time you see this the edition is totally sold out (I feel your pain, it has happened to me with other books) then you will get a chance at other special editions according to Leigh Bardugo’s Tweet:

Special Editions

My real question is: will OwlCrate or Illumicrate be doing special boxes for these books? Ninth House is an adult book, so I am not positive and I have heard nothing about it. If I hear anything though Ill be sure to post.

May the odds be ever in your favor,

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YA Review: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall #SURVIVAL #EdgeofYourSeatGood

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STAND ALONE  336 Pages  Young Adult

TASCHIMA’s Verdict:
4 Stars
Publish Date *New Release*: July 24th, 2018

After
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.
Before
Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.
After
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father… and she wants revenge.

Holy shit this book was good.

It kind of reminded me of The Martian (I mean, duh, it is a survival book) though instead of space Jess is stuck in the middle of nowhere in Canada.

Continue reading “YA Review: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall #SURVIVAL #EdgeofYourSeatGood”

New Cover Lurve! or more like Mary E Pearson decides to be a drain on my Finances #TheRemnantChronicles

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Facts:

  • These are Paperbacks
  • B&N Exclusives
  • Available on 8/7/18, according to author’s INSTAGRAM.
  • My favorite is The Heart of Betrayal, that orange color is spectacular.
  • Close second is The Kiss of Deception (raise that sword high Lia!)
  • Don’t see that much or any of a difference between “The Beauty of Darkness” covers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • You need them in your life 🖤

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Six of Crows Collector’s Edition Being Released in UK, Aus & NZ…But there is Hope Yet!

If you are in the US, and wish to collect this BEAUTIFUL edition of Six of Crows (whether or not you have read it yet, or own it already, is irrelevant)…

Go to THE BOOK DEPOSITORY and PRE ORDER, like now!

FREE SHIPPING WORLD WIDE!

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No, I am not going to get absolutely any money from giving you this tip, I was just so excited to find out about it myself I figure I’d spread the joy!

Six of Crows is the continuation to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. It can be read as a stand alone, or as part of the bigger picture. You choose!

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My #1 Reason to Look Forward to the New Year: Slayer By Kiersten White!! #BuffyTheVampireSlayer

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I am a huge HUUUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I was (teenage) raised on Buffy, watched every single season (own them still), plus Angel (even though I am TEAM SPIKE), and am currently reading the ongoing comic book series (up next is season 12! First issue to be release June 20th according to my research–Wut wut!).

Anywhooo, I just want to make sure that everybody understand that when I say that I am excited about Slayer by Kiersten White you know I am LEGIT excited.

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When I first heard the news Kiersten White was writing Buffy I was a bit iffy. Will she do it justice, is it canon, will it intersect in any way with the comic?

I do not quite know yet all the answers to these questions, BUT I did get a chance to read the Entertainment Weekly excerpt (which I almost never do because excerpts are such a tease) and it has made me feel 100% better about this whole endeavor as a die hard Buffy fan.

From the excerpt I got:

  • It is set around season 9 of Buffy. Because that is when we deal with the “end of magic” and the main character kept referring to Buffy’s fuck up, and “how are watcher’s supposed to deal without magic?”
  • Kiersten White likes to write about twins.
  • The main character is totally adorable, and I already love her a little.
  • Wanda WYNDHAM-PRICE… am I to believe this is WESLEY’s Mother?! We shall see…
  • I need the book right NAO. Only an apocalypse can keep me away!

CLICK HERE FOR THE EXCERPT!

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