Title: Soul in Darkness
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance
Publication date: February 14th, 2019
People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.
But gods are known for their jealousy.
Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts.
Psyche’s punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely.
Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche by Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.
“Sometimes”, he said, “we fear that which we should embrace because we do not know better.”
I admit I was so excited to read this book because I’m pretty sure it’s the first Eros and Psique retelling I’ve come across, and I adore that myth, so I went with very high expectations into it, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it, and think it was a nice take on the original tale.
Now I would say that if you’re looking a more historically accurate representation of the society, you might be disappointed, because though we got a fair view of the world and the religion, it was mostly a romance based type of story. There wasn’t much background information about the roman mythology nor the history, just what had to do with the myth, and I was a bit sad to see that, because I would have loved to read more about the world in that period. However, if you’re not a fan of mythology and just want an angsty romance, this might be a good thing for you.
Despite those minor issues I had, I must say that the romance was so good. The characters were so flawed but complex and had a lot of layers, and boy oh boy, wasn’t the romance angsty! I feel that slow burning and angsty romances tend to be my favorite ones, and this hit all the marks. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the characters and the chemistry they had and how it slowly progressed throughout the story, and the solace they found in the other as I kept reading the book.
I found that Soul in Darkness was also a very atmospheric type of story. The descriptions were pretty detailed and it made it so easy for the reader to imagine what was happening and the landscapes of the story, and it made the tone very lyrical but mysterious at the same time.
Overall, I really enjoyed her take on the myth and how complex the characters were, and obviously the romance. I would say that if you’re familiar with the myth, you might not be as surprised, but that’s the thing about retellings, so I can’t really complain about that.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to the author for the opportunity. This doesn’t change my opinion or thoughts about it.
Author: Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of Scythe #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Publication date: Simon & Shuster
Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
“Hope in the shadow of fear is the world’s most powerful motivator.”
Well, what a ride, wow! To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book, but surely this wasn’t it. I ended up really loving the story and was so pleasantly surprised by it, and will be definitely picking the sequel as soon as I can.
The only thing I could complain about this book and that it made me not give it a fully 5 stars, along with some minor details, was the pacing, because this book was so slow. During most of the book barely anything happened, and it was more focused on the character arcs and all the information we needed to fully understand the story and plot, but the last 50 pages were so rushed and action packed that I would have loved to savor them instead of jumping from one scene to the other.
However, apart from that, I think that it was a super unique and interesting dystopia. The author did an amazing job at creating a very thought provoking story, and still make the reader question a lot of things about the characters and their morals, and that was one of the most fascinating things that I found this book had, along with the complexity of its characters.
Like I was saying, the characters were had a lot of layers and had super interesting arcs, that it made me not want to put Scythe down until the very end. I feel that because they had such different back story and followed very different paths throughout the book, we got to see two perspectives from this world. They were very flashed out and unique, and I really enjoyed their interactions and evolution.
And let me tell you, there were some plot twists that kept me at the edge of the seat. Not only I found Scythe pretty fast paced and quick to read, but also because of this twists I was so intrigued and wanted to know what was going to happen next and how it would all come together.
Overall, I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, mostly because it’s not the usual genre I tend to gravitate towards, but I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen in Thunderhead.
Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Poison Study #1
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: March 1st, 2007
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
“Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It’s called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don’t do it halfway. Don’t linger in whiner’s limbo.”
I pretty much decided to pick this book on a whim because even though it’s been on my TBR for years, I’ve been eyeing it lately and been hearing great things about it, and overall I have to say that I really enjoyed it, and I am interesting to continue with the series.
Though the whole plot was pretty generic and not very unique or innovative, I think the author did an amazing job at creating subplots and keeping the reader engaged enough in the story to want to continue reading it. I really enjoyed the different twists and turns throughout the story, and the world building and magic system were pretty well explained for a first installment.
The cast of characters and their relationships were pretty great as well. Though the romance was a bit weird for me at first, because I kept picturing the love interest as an old guy when in reality he wasn’t, I enjoyed the give and takes they shared during the book, and overall their dynamics in Poison Study.
I also really loved our protagonist. She was very intelligent and interesting character, and the path she followed in this book was very intriguing and left me wanting to know what was going to happen in the sequel.
Overall, it was a fast paced story and it wasn’t difficult to get into this world or characters, and I found it quite easy to picture everything in my mind, which was a plus.
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3 thoughts on “Book Reviews: Soul in Darkness, Scythe & Poison Study”
Great reviews! I so want to read Soul in Darkness! I really enjoyed Poison Study as well 🙂