Review: A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow

A Kindle with A Song of Salvation rests on a gray blanket next to a READ notepad, a white hat with a puff ball, and a dilute calico cat

Alexis:

A Song of Salvation is my first Alechia Dow read, and umm, wow! I’m going to have to check out her other books!

A Song of Salvation is a YA space opera. It has two primary POVs. The first is Zaira, the last of her species known as nightweavers…oh, and she’s also the reincarnation of a god named Indigo. The second is Wesley, an empath and a smuggler who loves ditching school to fly his ship. When Zaira and Wesley’s fates collide, alongside a celebrity podcaster named Rubin Rima, the fate of the universe rests in their hands as they vow to help Zaira defeat the god of destruction named Ozvios and the tyrannical Ilori Emperor. 

This is such an adventurous and heartfelt read. The worldbuilding is honestly phenomenal. All of the different planets and species are so well fleshed out.

I love how it feels like a classic YA read, as all of the characters have tragic backstories and a lot of angst, but it also tackles colonization, genocide, and war. On top of the main theme of handling and embracing your emotions, this book focuses on love, togetherness, family and friendship, fate, and justice. 

A Song of Salvation has a found family, romance, including a gay romance, and plenty of song magic and space travel! It even has a cute octopus-like alien named Blobby. It was a fun, fast-paced story with lovable characters and a hard-hitting heart and soul. 

I know Dow’s other two books take place in the same universe and probably ease the reader into the world(s) more, so I’m looking forward to checking those out.

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for providing me an ARC for review!

Pub Date: July 11, 2023

Review: Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

Alexis:

Well, I had this review ready to go over a week ago. I never got around to posting it, and then, unfortunately, I just got out of the hospital yesterday. The only good thing about being in the hospital was that I got to read 4 books, but I’m glad to be out and doing well.

Now, onto the review!

Thank you so much to Fierce Reads and NetGalley for sending me a digital arc of Lakesedge!

If you’re into dark YA fantasies, atmospheric books, lyrical writing, and dark themes, you might be into this book. It often gave me Jane Eyre vibes with a sprinkle of A Sorcery of Thorns thrown in. I’ve seen it described as a gothic book, and while I wouldn’t describe it as gothic, per say, it does have a creepy, haunted estate ruled by a morally grey man. 

Violeta lives with her abusive, overly-religious adopted mother along with her little brother, Arien. Arien has magic; he can make shadows. But his shadows are unpredictable, and they come out when he sleeps. When Rowan Sylvanan comes to their village to collect the tithe, he sees Arien’s shadows. He comes to collect Arien, but Violeta refuses to let him, her last surviving family member, leave without him. When they arrive at Lakesedge, Rowan’s estate, not only does she have to deal with the prickly Rowan and a cursed lake, but the Lord Under…the lord of the underworld himself.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Clipstone’s writing style completely sucked me in. Her details are dark and creepy, and her writing has a dreamy, atmospheric quality to it. Clipstone describes magic in a clear and beautiful way, and I thought the religion in Lakesedge was written well. Even though the story itself was slower paced, I found myself speeding through it because I wanted to know what the heck was going on. 

Rowan was my favorite character. I liked Arien, too, although I hope his character, and some of the others, are more well-rounded in the sequel. 

The biggest thing keeping this from being a five-star review is Violeta’s character. In the beginning of the book, she was naive and annoying, to be honest. While she got a little better as the book went on, she still wasn’t my favorite character. Because of this, I had a little bit of a hard time rooting for the romance. On top of that, while I’m happy to say that there is LGBTQ rep, it felt like it was a little thrown in at the last minute; but once again, I have high hopes for the sequel, where I hope everything will become more fleshed out! I’m here for the spooky vibes, magic, and romance. 

TW: Self harm/mutilation, abuse/parental abuse, death, blood, drowning imagery 

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5