Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend. Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James. Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.
I have friends who are huge Shea Ernshaw fans, and that made incredibly eager to read her books. On top of that, this one sounded incredibly intriguing. Missing people becoming missing from searching for missing people. A reclusive community with a rotting disease keeping them secluded, and secrets building on secrets. I sounded like something I would really like, and I was eager to see what I would think! Trigger warnings: mentions of suicide, grief, blood
Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy? Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.
The cover of this one was what initially drew me in. With a cover like that, it’s hard not to be intrigued. Some of my friends read and adored this book, which of course shot it straight up on my list of books to pick up. There was also tons of love for this one online. Plus, the fact that this book is about a love starved girl going to compete for spot on the prince’s council made me even more eager to read this book. Trigger Warnings: parental emotional abuse, blood magic, death of children, rape
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun. While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal. But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
This book sounded really, really interesting and I was looking forward to reading it. But for some reason, it took me awhile to actually getting around to reading it. It sounds fascinating. One world that is split in two, one cloaked in never ending darkness, one burning in never ending sunlight. Goddesses, sisters, and so much more. I really do not know why I waited so long to read this! Trigger warnings: PTSD, grief