One of the perks of being a librarian (besides getting to go to the library often) is that most libraries give their employees a card whether or not the employee lives in the library’s “boundaries.” And that card often doesn’t carry late fees.*
I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
However, it does a number on my ability (and honestly, my desire!) to read my own books for the #BYOBooks2016 challenge.
But, of the 16 books I’ve read in January and February, there was ONE that I owned. So let’s talk about it.
Now technically, I don’t own this book. Technically, I own an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC). See, I follow the author on Twitter (and Tumblr and Instagram…) and entered for a chance to read an annotated ARC of her second novel… and won!
Not only was it awesome to read this book before it hit shelves, but reading the author’s comments on how things were named, the connections to the first book, and more.. was eye-opening both in terms of the story itself and the writing process. I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity.
But, being that this is a challenge about reading what you own, and that the difference between an ARC and an officially published copy of a book is (in the best circumstances) very slight, Mary at Literary Distractions put the green light on ARCs counting toward the #BYOBooks goal! Huzzah!
Now, to a review. Or something like it.
I call Ravenous a companion novel although I believe that it is technically a sequel. In Monstrous, the main character, Kymera, is the revived being of a young girl fashioned together with parts of her old body and some of the most fearsome magical beasts in the land. Her creator, who she calls father, sends her out on a mission to save the girls of Bryre from the evil Wizard who is kidnapping them for grave reasons. Knowing this (and Kymera’s ultimate ending) is an advantage going into Ravenous, as Greta’s story takes place in the same world after the events of Monstrous. Reading Monstrous isn’t necessary to wholly understand Ravenous, but I would certainly recommend it for a deeper appreciation and enjoyment.
Ravenous is about one of the very girls Kymera was sent to rescue, one eventually taken by the Wizard: Greta. Now, Greta’s parents have gone missing, her brother has been kidnapped, and her ultimate goal is to find them, dead or alive. The fairytale breadcrumbs lead Greta back to the very place, Belladoma, in which she was held by the Wizard. Battling a witch inspired by Baba Yaga, meeting and befriending magical beasts thought long extinct, and finding the courage deep within herself to achieve her goal despite the post traumatic stress moving forward triggers… Ravenous is truly a one-of-a-kind middle grade fantasy that has strong roots in an already-familiar-seeming realm.
And that is my first #BOYBooks2016 read!
*I just want to note that although employee library cards don’t carry late fees, we are encouraged to “play by the rules” when borrowing materials. We don’t check things out for extended amounts of times, we don’t renew past the allotted number of times, and we don’t keep books weeks after their due dates. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.