February 17, 2018

#BookReview: Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler with @adivineeternity

About the Book: Magic is risen.

When magic returned to the world, it could have saved humanity, but greed and thirst for power caused mankind's downfall instead. Now once-human monsters called Howls prowl abandoned streets, their hunger guided by corrupt necromancers and the all-powerful Kin. Only Hunters have the power to fight back in the unending war, using the same magic that ended civilization in the first place.

But they are losing.

Tenn is a Hunter, resigned to fight even though hope is nearly lost. When he is singled out by a seductive Kin named Tomás and the enigmatic Hunter Jarrett, Tenn realizes he's become a pawn in a bigger game. One that could turn the tides of war. But if his mutinous magic and wayward heart get in the way, his power might not be used in favor of mankind.

If Tenn fails to play his part, it could cost him his friends, his life…and the entire world.

Reviewed By: Caity G.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Recommended Age: Teens
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic
How I Acquired this book: I borrowed it from a friend
Overall rating: ★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author: Alex is many things, but first and foremost, he's a Sagittarius. He's taught circus arts in Madrid, drummed with Norse shamans, studied writing in Scotland, and watched the Northern Lights from a hot tub in Iceland...and that's the abbreviated list. He writes fantasy for adults and teens, with special focus on LGBTQ+ characters and immersive mythologies.

Although a nomad at heart, he currently resides in LA.
Mainly because it's such a good travel hub.

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: I spent most of it wanting to throttle the main character, although I liked enough of the other characters to keep reading

Check out author's other books? I probably will, although I don't know that I'll prioritize them or anything like that
Recommend this book? Sure, especially if you are looking for LGBTQ+ YA fantasy

Notes and Opinions: Honestly, if I could I'd give this one a solid 3.5 stars, but that's not an option. Because it's 3.5 stars in a very positive and hopeful way, I've bumped it to 4 for the purposes of my reviews.

The first thing I loved about this was the overwhelming acceptance of LGBTQ+ characters as simply people who were equally valid and not worthy of some sort of reaction. They exist, they love, are are loved, and they're just as likely to be badass as anybody else. As someone who has many friends within the LGBTQ+ community, I am always wanting to see this level of acceptance and love represented in the fiction I read.

The second thing I loved was the way magic was manifested within people and the limits it had on its use. Earth magic makes people ravenously hungry, water magic and fire magic tend to be very emotional and can be quite draining as a result. Air magic just seemed beyond exhausting to use. Every form of magic had its limits, which is something I always enjoy seeing because unlimited magical ability gets really boring after a while.

The third thing I loved was the setting. The northern part of the Midwest is a beautiful place in most seasons, although featuring it in the winter gave it a sort of false serenity as the snow fell and lured the characters in to thinking they were safe when they weren't.

So what didn't I like? The main character, Tenn, was incredibly whiney. It got so obnoxious, at times I wanted Tobias to steal him away and teach him lessons the hard way. Who is Tobias? You'll find out relatively early on in the story, and then you'll keep finding out a little more throughout. He's probably my favorite character, although not necessarily the type you cheer for in the long run, but that's for future books to reveal, I think.

Go Into This One Knowing: It does have obvious, but beautiful, LGBTQ+ themes. I love the author for this.

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. This money gets used to buy items for giveaways. 

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