What does it mean to be a female warrior? // ARC Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Title: Warrior of the Wild
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publication Date: February 26th, 2019
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Macmillan INTL (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: How do you kill a god?
As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year—or die trying.
If you knew me last year, you would know that I was OBSESSED with Tricia Levenseller’s debut duology – Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen. They were FUN, fast-paced, FEMINIST pirate stories with a hate-to-love romance and GOOD CHEMISTRY AND CHARACTER TURMOIL AND DEVELOPMENT.

What else can you ask for in a book?

So, despite Warrior of the Wild not sounding AS interesting as the duology, I wanted to give it a try because I LOVE Tricia Levenseller’s writing.

I’m pleased to report that Warrior of the Wild SURPRISED ME. In just a few chapters, I fell in love with Rasmira’s strength and stubbornness, her will to survive and her skill.

MY THOUGHTS:

1.       THIS COVER COULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH BETTER. I know it tried to capture the wildness of the ‘wild,’ but it just looks… unappealing. I really hope that they change the cover during the paperback release because it would REALLY compel more people to pick it up.

2.       I LOVED RASMIRA AND SOREN AND IRIC. I REALLY LIKED their friendship that developed in the wild, their home, how Rasmira came into her own as a leader after she was banished and I LOVED THE ENDING AND THE CHANGE IN THEIR WAY OF LIFE.

3.       I also liked how the three helped each other, fought and forgave so that they could each complete their tasks to be accepted in the village. I LOVED that an LGBTQIA romance was considered normal in Viking times because YES. THIS SHOULD BE NORMALIZED MORE AND MORE.

4.       Despite the fact that the book was set in Viking times, it occasionally lapsed and had modern words surfacing from within. I think there was ‘soap’ (which, honestly, could not have existed then but PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong) and other words I can’t remember, but it annoyed me slightly.

5.       I think my favourite part of the book (and I added a whole extra star just for this) is how Rasmira tacked the definition of what it meant to be ‘female’ and ‘warrior’ that society/ her village/ her parents thrust upon her. Why couldn’t a warrior want to look pretty? Why couldn’t a warrior cry? It was done in a simple manner, but Tricia Levenseller did it well, and I LOVED IT.


Would I recommend this book? YES! Please don’t be taken aback by the cover because this book is SO WORTH THE READ. 4 stars. 
Tricia Levenseller

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing OVERWATCH, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Have you read any of Tricia Levenseller's books? What did you think of them?
I would love to hear from you!
 

A Strange, Whimsical Book // REVIEW: The Heavens by Sandra Newman

Title: The Heavens
Author: Sandra Newman
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Granta Books
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Granta Books (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: New York, 2000. Kate and Ben meet at a party and fall instantly, irrevocably in love. Around them, the city glows. It is the first year without a war anywhere. A woman is president, and an air of camaraderie permeates the streets of Manhattan. Kate falls asleep, knowing she is loved.
London, 1593. Kate wakes as Emilia - the mistress of a nobleman - and finds the plague at her door. Afflicted by premonitions of a burnt and lifeless city, she sets out to save the world. Each decision she makes will change her life with Ben for ever.
A story of love and alternate universes, madness and time travel, The Heavens is a dream bound up in a strange awakening; it is a novel of what we have lost, and what we might yet be able to save. 
 
The first words I heard describing this book belonged to Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel) calling it a ‘literary fairy-tale.’

Combine that with an ABSOLUTELY STUNNING cover and a very interesting synopsis filled with love and time travel, I dove into this book almost as soon as I ripped open the package that contained it.

Looking back on this book I finished over a week ago, I only have one word that also doubles as a feeling to describe it - STRANGE. There were a lot of things I liked and a lot I didn’t like and I’ll go more into it below:

THINGS I LIKED:

1.       THE WRITING: Reading Sandra Newman’s writing in The Heavens was a different experience. She had this unique ability to put words to emotions and experiences that, when you think about it, seem so natural. She also brought out relationships, the experience of new love and the struggle to stay in love and it was a really interesting read.


2.       THE COVER: I know I’ve started saying this a lot, but The Heavens has a truly STUNNING cover. It’s the kind of book you’ll lovingly display on your shelf.

3.       I quite how this contemporary book handled the consequences of time travel, even if the constant changes and Kate’s whining/ guilt got tedious and repetitive at times.

THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE:

1.       I’m a practical person by nature and I simply couldn’t wrap my head around Kate’s… whimsical nature. I can’t quite describe what she was like without spoiling things in the book but suffice it to say that I did not enjoy her.

2.       Kate was still a minor blip, but the story unfolding in the past with ‘Sad Will’ and the lord Kate/ Amelia had to service so that he could keep his pride was just too much for me. I honestly sped read through the pages that didn’t involve Kate and Ben in present times because it was all too strange. JUST. TOO. STRANGE.

Would I recommend this book? The Heavens could have been better in my mind. However, the writing was just wonderful and if you’re looking for something unique, The Heavens should be your next read. 
Image result for sandra newman author
Sandra Newman is the author of the novels The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Cake, and The Country of Ice Cream Star, longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and NPR. The Heavens is her latest book.
Have you read The Heavens? What did you think of it?
What other contemporary fiction books have you read that deal with time travel?
Have any of them been good?
I would love to hear from you!