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Mini ARC Reviews - Spin the Dawn, #MurderFunding, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and The Dragon Republic

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today I'm sharing three mini reviews with you: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim (available July 9th,2019), #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2) by Gretchen McNeil (available August 6th, 2019), Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (available July 23rd, 2019), and The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang (available August 6th, 2019.  Thank you very much to NetGalley for providing me with ARCs of these novels in exchange for honest reviews.  Read on to see my thoughts on these books:

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Spin the Dawn is a great series opener from Elizabeth Lim.  It totally deserves and lives up to the hype surrounding it.  To be honest, as soon as I heard it compared to Mulan, I knew it would be right up my alley.  I loved getting to know this Chinese folklore inspired world, the whimsical and fairy tale-esque sense of magic, and the cast of characters.  The detail in the world-building and in the descriptions of the clothing are marvelously lush.  Aside from Lim's beautiful writing style, all of the characters are a joy to get to know especially Maia herself.  She's competitively ambitious, determined, and devoted to her family.  The romance aspect of the story wasn't my favorite, but honestly that's no surprise there as I was more in it for the competition and the awesome adventure, as usual.  Overall, I have a feeling you'll enjoy Spin the Dawn, the first novel in The Blood of Stars series by Elizabeth Lim, if you like Disney's Mulan, Renée Ahdieh, and Leigh Bardugo.  I can't wait to see where this series goes in the future.

I read this from July 7 - 10, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

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#MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil wastes no time in getting down to business.  It's a fast-paced follow up to last year's #MurderTrending.  Just like it's predecessor, this makes great use of feeling up to the minute with its use of language, social media, and depressingly even a bit of the politics.  It's easy to quickly tear through this story because it's just so compulsively readable.  If only I had a nice tub of popcorn to go with it.

I read this from July 10 - 11, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

❋ ❋ ❋ 

Gods of Jade of Shadow by Silvia Morena-Garcia is a brilliant new historical fantasy.  It's my first novel by this author, but it definitely will not be my last.  Her writing style is absolutely lyrical.  I didn't want to put it down.  Before this I'd never read a story that draws on Mayan folklore, but I couldn't have asked for anything better.  I've probably mentioned it before, but the 1920s is one of my favorite time periods to read about as well.  The magic and mythology on top of the real world culture of Yucatán come to life and pop off of the page.  I don't want to go into much more detail to avoid spoilers, but it's well worth jumping feet first into Casiopea's story.  Finally, did anyone else have The Road to El Dorado in the back of their mind every time they saw the word Xibalba?  Or was that just me?  Either way, believe the hype for this one!

I read this novel from July 21 - 24, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

❋ ❋ ❋ 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang is very nearly the perfect sequel to The Poppy War.  The first novel was such a pleasant surprise and my expectations for it went from next to nothing to sky high for this follow up.  I really lucked out when I was approved for this advanced copy on NetGalley because book two really delivers.  I don't want to give too much away, but Rin is a pleasure to know regardless of all of her complexities and the rough situations she finds herself in the middle of.  She and her crew go through some stuff to say the least.  Fair warning: the stakes are very high and not everyone is safe.  Overall, The Dragon Republic will keep you on edge and dying for more.  I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel in the series.  Not only that, but I also can't wait to see everything this author will work on in the future.

I read this story from July 24 - 28, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.

What are you reading now?  Have you read any of these books, or do you plan to try any of them?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!


  1. I'll be reading Gods of Jade and Shadow next month, and I can hardly wait. I read #murdertrending last year and it was crazy! But I feel like that was enough so I don't plan to read the sequel😁


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