ARC Review of The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

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The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

Publication Date: September 13, 2018.

Publisher: Duet Books.

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, and LGBT.

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Purchase here: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice

Synopsis: After invaders destroyed her village, murdered her family, and took her prisoner, shield-maiden Ragna is hungry for revenge. A trained warrior, she is ready to fight for her home, but with only a mermaid and a crew of disloyal mercenaries to aid her, Ragna knows she needs new allies. Guided by the magical maps on her skin, battling storms and mutiny, Ragna sets sail across the Northern Sea.

She petitions the Jarl in Skjordal for aid, but despite Ragna’s rank and fighting ability, the Jarl sees only a young girl, too inexperienced to lead, unworthy of help. To prove herself to the Jarl and win her crew’s respect, Ragna undertakes a dangerous expedition. But when forced to decide between her own freedom and the fate of her crew, what will she sacrifice to save what’s left of her home?

Inspired by Norse mythology and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, this companion novel to The Seafarer’s Kiss is a tale of vengeance, valor, honor, and redemption.

myreview1Thank you, Duet Books, for my ARC of The Navigator’s Touch. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

The Navigator’s Touch is about Ragna, a teenage girl and trained warrior who is hungry for revenge after she was kidnapped, her village destroyed, and family murdered. The story is inspired by Norse mythology which is seen through the involvement of Norse gods, one who has a very specific connection to Ragna and the magical maps displayed all over her skin.

Two years later, Sigrid gave birth to a girl. At first, the child seemed unremarkable. Astrid came into the world screaming, demanding attention and reverence, a small mirror of her mother. But a few days later, curious markings developed on the baby’s pale skin. Lines of latitude stretched across her chest and legs, and, as the days passed, cobalt continents and oceans of cerulean blue appeared.

As someone who grew up in Sweden, the use and influence of the language felt familiar and the new ways to portray the gods intriguing (although there is a lot about Norse mythology I have forgotten about because I learned about it ages ago). However, if you don’t have previous knowledge of the language or Norse mythology, the glossary in the back will delight and help you immensely.

The Navigator’s Touch is the sequel and a companion novel to the novel The Seafarer’s Kiss by the same author and that means you can read one without having read the other. However, if you read The Navigator’s Touch first, it will spoil the events of the first book. Having read both, I have to say that I loved the connection between the two. Ersel, who is the main character in the first book, is still very present in The Navigator’s Touch and the relationship between Ragna and Ersel continues on in this book, with both its ups and downs. However, this book is definitely less about romance and more about Ragna’s journey and what she must do to reach and achieve her endgame. Throughout the story, we see as Ragna evolves, she becomes stronger, a better captain and there is clear character development from start to finish.

The golden mare was nowhere to be seen, but this brave little beast had dragged me away from a fenrir’s jaws. He deserved the position of war mount.
“I’ll call you Vaskr.” I scratched his withers with my hook. The pony was fearless and deserved the name.

Vaskr, the pony, as well as the side characters you get to know throughout the novel really make The Navigator’s Touch amazing. In the beginning, there is clear resistance between Ragna and her crew but as they fight together, it becomes clear that there is also respect and love between them. The bonds they form through the hardships and battles they face, make the reward and the aftermath that much sweeter.

Now, command was starting to fit like a pair of new boots. It still pinched a little, but I was breaking it in, making it mine.

If you love young adult fantasy novels deeply rooted in mythology — in this case, Norse mythology — with a diverse cast of characters, you’ve found your next read in The Navigator’s Touch. This book is about Ragna finding justice for her family and the community she lost and about how she becomes a leader worthy of her own ship and crew. This is a book to keep on your radar and one you won’t regret buying and reading. A detailed list of the trigger and content warnings exist in the back of the book, which specifies in which chapters what content appears which I think will be very helpful for a lot of readers. The warnings can also be found on the publisher’s website. A few of these content warnings include violence and kidnapping.

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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon — The Unofficial Soundtrack

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Hey aliens! I see you’ve found your way to this blog post dedicated to The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. This book truly blew me away with its magic and the feelings it gave me. If you haven’t seen it yet, I posted a review of this book last week where I go into detail of what it is about this book that makes it so special. Let’s just say it’s a lot. Because this book was so amazing and the fact that it’s actually being adapted into a movie, I decided to make an unofficial soundtrack for the book. Like the book, these songs are about the universe, destiny, and epic love. This story of two teens who spent one single day together in NYC, and how their day together changes not only their lives but the lives of those they encounter during that day, is one you do not want to miss.

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Review of The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Publication Date: November 1, 2016.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, and Romance.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice

Synopsis: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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The Sun Is Also a Star is a book I have had on my to be read list for quite some time, and it did not disappoint when I finally read it. If you are in search of a young adult story that will pull you in, make you both laugh and cry, and at the same time be thought-provoking in the way it portrays what is meant to be and what choices shape our future, look no further. The Sun Is Also a Star has it all and is the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and bitter in the same way that reality and uncertainty is. The story’s two main characters are both of color — Natasha is Jamaican and Daniel is Korean-American — and the book itself shows the way immigration in the U.S. works.

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Songs To Make You Stay by Jay E. Tria / A Book Playlist

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Hi, people out there in my book galaxy! How are you doing? I’m here with a new blog post for you all and it’s another Galactic Book Playlist. Fun, am I right? I’ve honestly made more playlists this summer than I ever have before and it’s just the most exciting and fun experience; creating these playlists is almost like reading these books again. These playlists give me a chance to both find new music and relive the feelings I had when I first read the books. It’s the best combination. Expect a lot more of these playlists to come in the future.

This playlist is for the book Songs To Make You Stay by Jay E. Tria. It’s the last book in the Playlist series and it’s the novel that finishes the story of Shinta and Jill. I have also made a book playlist for the second book in the series, Songs To Get Over You, and you should definitely check that one out as well, which you can do here.

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BLOG TOUR – ARC Review of Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

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Hi readers and welcome to my blog post for the Star-Touched Stories blog tour. Here you can expect a thorough review of the book, purchase links, early praise, and more. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: August 7, 2018.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press.

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, and Short Stories.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice 

Synopsis: Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Star-Touched Stories. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Star-Touched Stories is an anthology filled with three stories from the world established in The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. The three stories are beautifully written and I was blown away by their excellence, their originality, and the way they made me feel. This book was so much better, so much more than I ever could have imagined. I have decided to review the three novellas separately for you to truly see what makes them magical.

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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi Book Playlist

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Hi galaxy travelers and readers! I hope all is well with you. Here in Sweden, there is still a raging heatwave (like in most of Europe at the moment) and I’m just trying to survive it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer and I love the heat but this is really not good for the environment. We at least need a little rain, nature is dying. However, despite all of that, I managed to write up this blog post for you all. This book playlist for A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi was truly difficult to make, I wanted it to be just perfect. I really love this book and Gauri and Vikram which is why I want this playlist to really represent their relationship and the journey they go in A Crown of Wishes. I redid the playlist at least twice but the end results made all the hard work worth it. This is a playlist I’m really proud of. If you haven’t read the amazing books in The Star-Touched Queen series, I really recommend you do so. Roshani Chokshi’s words are magical and her world even more so. You can add the series to your TBR on Goodreads and purchase specifically A Crown of Wishes on Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, The Ripped Bodice, and Adlibris.

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A Songs To Get Over You by Jay E. Tria Mixtape

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Hi there people in the galaxy! I’m back with another blog post and it’s another book playlist – this time one inspired by the #romanceclass novel Songs To Get Over You by Jay E. Tria. This book is about Miki and Ana. Miki is in a band called Trainman and is in love with his best friend Jill, who is the singer in the band and together with someone else. The book is about unrequited love, moving on and finding love elsewhere. It is the second book in the Playlist series, though I would argue you could read it as a standalone (but the first book is amazing, and Jill is the protagonist in that one so definitely read it first).

This playlist is dedicated to love that can be messy, unrequited, and hopeful. It is about the fact that love can be a powerful and strange thing and that the sadness of one love can lead to the happiness and future of another. I made the playlist to celebrate this book’s beautiful universe metaphors, the different kinds of unrequited love shown, and the feeling of firsts in new love when you finally manage to move on. If you haven’t read this series yet, I hope you will. You can buy the first book, Songs of Our Breakup, on Amazon and add it on Goodreads. The second book, Songs to Get Over You – the one about Miki and Ana – is also on Goodreads and can be bought on Amazon.

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