Saturday, November 14, 2020

Skin Curse, Kristin Jacques

 Skin Curse, 5/5

Book Number: 2 of 2
Genre: NA, Fantasy

Summary by Author: The Children of the Gate wait for the call to Rise.
Azzy Brimvine knows her brother is in the vast city of Avergard. She must find him, but time is not on their side.

In the House of Seven Smiles, Azzy struggles to understand the constraints and limits of her power. She finds the whispering voices that guided her for so long, suddenly silent. The enigmatic Lord Wallach is both a frustrating ally and a dangerous mystery, and a strange entity lurks among the household servants. The haven Azzy sought may not be as safe as she thought... but is anywhere truly safe in the Above?

The city of Avergard is full of monsters and secrets, and a dark history festers at its root. A yawning pit nestles in the house of a scheming lord, who will use Armin's dangerous gifts to raise history, and raze the city to the ground. As Azzy finds herself and her brother pulled into these machinations, she must navigate the politics and society of Avergard's brutal ruling class to save her family and friends before the Gate consumes them all.

Opinions: Skin Curse is the exact reason why I love sequels. Anticipation builds for weeks before publication and when the special day comes, you're on the edge of your seat for hours, scanning each page and devouring every sentence. Jacques provided this excitement and celebration for many readers, including myself. Even with my TBR stacking higher than my shoulders, I couldn't resist prioritizing Skin Curse, and boy was it worth it. While reading, I was overwhelmed by Jacque's use of imagery in creating a dark, unsettling atmosphere - something I noticed and appreciate is that even though Skin Curse is set in the same realm and timeline of Marrow Charm, the books are very unique logistically and allow readers to form different attachments to each installment. Complimenting this, Jacques went above and beyond with the character and plot development - if you had any doubts about the first book, they will be washed away by the climactic battles, sensational supernatural elements, and inspirational protagonists. 

My Favourite Thing: Similar to when I read Marrow Charm, I was in awe over the world building. Set in what I interpret as a parallel universe, Jacques created a complex government and magic system that ruled the plot and atmosphere. Every page was consistently eerie and unsettling, making engagement with the text easy. I credit all of the stars to the world building of both Marrow Charm and Skin Curse!
My Least Favourite Thing: I awarded 4/5 stars to Marrow Charm, but with no hesitation I am giving Skin Curse the final star. With all intentions of being frank, I did not dislike a single thing in this book!

Total Rating: PG-13+
Language: PG-12
Adult Content: PG
Violence: PG-13 to 18

Recommended For and Similar Reads: Marrow Charm and Skin Curse are dark, atmospheric fantasy reads for teens who love a bit of history in their reads! Similar reads are Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Enchantee by Gita Trelease, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo!


Publisher: Parliament Press
Edition: Kindle
Publication Date: 12 November, 2020
Per FTC regulations, please know that I received this title for free for review from the original author, the publisher, publicist, or a third party. I am honest in my reviews, meaning the fact I received the book for free does not alter the rating I give it.

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