By Adventures in Obsessive Reading 

Empire of Sand

Author: Tasha Suri
Page Count:496
Rating: A
Format Read: Galley
Genre: Fantasy
Keywords: Daeva, Mughal Empire, Vows
Kid Appropriate: Teen and older

I absolutely loved this lush Indian inspired fantasy! The influences from Indian culture and the history of the Mughal Empire made this a fascinating read while our main characters easily capture your heart.

Mehr is a prickly heroine that deals with the struggles of duty, identity, and place in a way that will resonate with a variety of readers. Anyone searching for a strong female character that is far from being a damsel in distress will grow to adore her. Her romance in this book is one of the least problematic I have seen in a long time as well. I loved rooting for them and that it wasn’t the main point of the story, but rather a delightful addition.

I also enjoyed the motivations for our villains. No one was evil simply to be evil. Instead, they were often people with their own motivations and insecurities, adding a depth of reality to them.

I completely agree with the statement that this is for fans of City of Brass and also YA readers who are looking for something similar to Rebel of the Sands. I really enjoyed that while this is an adult fantasy it would be incredibly easy for someone only familiar with YA fantasy to venture into the adult high fantasy world. This is also true for people who may not normally read fantasy. The elements of mystery and romance that wind through the tale can draw in a wide array of readers.

For Better and Worse

Author: Margot Hunt
Page Count: 330
Rating: C+
Format: Book of the Month Hardcover
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Keywords: Lawyers, Marriage, Murder
Kid Appropriate: No

Overall, this was a quick read that was easy to fall into. At only 330 pages this book is certainly not a chore to get through. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a vacation book that doesn’t require too much focus but is still enjoyable. The legal and ethical concerns that arise in this book would also make it a great one for a book club or buddy read looking to have an interesting conversation.

Natalie and Will are definitely not a poster couple for marital happiness but their story is undoubtedly addicting in only the way that Lifetime movies can be. Beautiful and successful, they seem to have the perfect life…until suddenly everything unfolds in a dramatic and dark manner. Adultery, murder, and ethical low points make up this tale and draw in the reader with an addictive edge.

This book’s flaws actually aid in making it so addictive. The characters can be a bit two dimensional at times as we are never bogged down with too much detail about their backstories or their emotions. Ultimately that means the book flies by quickly. Every action taken by law enforcement in this one and the explanations of the legality of certain things was a bit flawed. But, if you’re just looking for entertainment this isn’t an issue.

Go into this one expecting little more than entertainment and you’ll for sure enjoy it. Go in expecting the next great American novel and you’ll be sorely disappointed.

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