The Guest List

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the guest list book by lucy foley
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Author: Lucy Foley

Published: June 2, 2020

Pages: 330

Goodreads Rating: 3.89/5

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why? 

My Mini Review:

This is a five star read mainly because I did not see that coming! I’ve read so many books that it’s hard for me to be surprised by a twist or an ending, and this one surprised me on both counts. This book had me hooked from the beginning and I just had to keep reading until I uncovered all its mysteries. It was very plot driven, and Foley did a good job flawlessly switching timelines. The characters had all the qualities that make for a good story. They were interesting, realistic, and had unique backgrounds and personalities. There were some surprising twists, and that “aha!” moment that keeps me coming back to this genre, you know that moment when you finally figure it out? I’m definitely going to have to read more from this author. I highly recommend this one to all Mystery/Thriller and who-done-it fans.

The Happy Ever After Playlist

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the happy ever after playlist book by abby jimenez picture
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Author: Abby Jimenez

Published: April 14, 2020

Pages: 401

Series: The Friend Zone, #2

Goodreads rating: 4.26/5

For fans of: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Domestic Fiction, The Friend Zone, Beach Read

Good to know before you read: explicit sex scenes, substance abuse, grief

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.

Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

My Mini Review:

I had a love-hate relationship with this book. For a book with the word “happy” in the title, it was actually really sad. The story dealt with themes such as overcoming grief, and struggling with substance abuse. It started out as a really nice story with a cute dog linking these two strangers together. Then, when I thought the story was all done and these two people had overcome all their differences and the main character had struggled more than enough, the story didn’t end. Instead, the plot went on this dramatic downward spiral with no end in sight and a lot of what I thought were unnecessary struggles and depressing moments.

It surprises me when almost all the characters in a book are all likeable, but unique in their own ways. My favorite of course was Tucker, since I am a sucker for smart dogs. I also enjoyed the friendship between Sloan and Kristen. The romance was a slow-burn one, which I felt was realistic given the fact that Sloan was still grieving. I liked that Sloan and Jason had good relationship role models, starting with their parents, and in Kristen and Josh. There was an emphasis on caring for family and friends and being there for them when they need you. I recommend this book if you love Romance and you can deal with some unnecessary drama.

Have you read this one? Are you planning to read it? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments!

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I Dare You Book Tag

I saw this book tag on Mani’s Book Corner and thought it looked really fun. If you are reading this then consider yourself tagged. Please remember to tag me back so I can read your answers. Now on to the books!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

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1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I am more likely to read newer books than older ones that have been sitting on my shelf for a while. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren has been out since 2018 and I keep putting it off. I tried the audio book at some point to see if that motivated me, but the narrator’s voice was really annoying so I stopped.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you will read next?

Current read: Gemina (Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Last read: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Next read: Obsidio (Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

lady midnight by Cassandra clare shadowhunters the dark artifices book one
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3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

I love ALMOST all Cassandra Clare books, and I adore Shadowhunters, but I just couldn’t get into Lady Midnight. Most probably it was due to it containing one of my most hated tropes “forbidden love” *shudders*

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you will read, but you probably won’t?

My pile of ARC’s. Just kidding! I do eventually read those 🙂

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

I haven’t read many classics, and I think when I retire and have the time I might make a list and read the most famous ones.

6. Last page: Do you read it first or wait to the end?

What kind of monster does this?! I have heard of people doing this, but I don’t like to spoil the ending for myself. I know the last page is out of context and I probably wouldn’t understand it if I read it, but then I would be wondering about it the whole book.

things you save in a fire book by katherine center
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7. Acknowledgements: are they a waste of paper and ink or interesting?

I like to read acknowledgements. Sometimes they are boring, but a lot of times they are interesting. For example, in Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center I got to learn that her husband is a firefighter and he was a really great help to her while writing and editing. I always like to learn things about the authors which makes their stories more real and relatable.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Definitely Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses, not only is she married to Rhysand (who is my book boyfriend), but she gets to live in the Night Court and be part of the Inner Circle.

treasure island book by robert louis stevenson
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9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

When I was thirteen I got Treasure Island from the school book fair. The class clown in my science classroom thought it would be funny to write on it. I’ve never liked writing on books, so I was pissed. That’s how our back and forth banter and eventually our relationship began. The class clown and the bookworm. That boy is now my husband. We have been together for sixteen years and counting.

P.S. He wrote “Hi”

P.S.S. He’s still a clown, and his dad jokes are the best 🙂

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I cannot think of one.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I give books as gifts all the time. Sometimes I’ll read a book and it will remind me of someone and I’ll give them a copy. Last year for mother’s day I gave my grandma, mom, and my aunt all a copy of the same book (Angels and Demons by Dan Brown) so that they could do a buddy read.

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
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12. Which book has been with you the most places?

This battered paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has been with me since I was twelve years old. It has been through about ten moves and too many rereads to count.

13. Any required reading you hated in High School that wasn’t so bad a few years later?

I was that nerd that actually liked required reading AND enjoyed it. I do remember not really liking The Scarlet Letter, but I never reread it.

14. Used or brand new?

A good book is a good book to me no matter what condition it’s in. I enjoy browsing regular book stores, as well as used book stores.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes, but only one: The Da Vinci Code. I do plan to read the rest of the Robert Langdon series eventually.

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16. Have you ever seen a movie that you liked more than the book?

Never, for me the books are always better.

the hunger games book one by suzanne collins
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17. A book that’s made you hungry?

It’s so cliché that The Hunger Games make me hungry, but they do. It’s not the parts when they’re in the games and can’t get any food, or when they are back home in the Districts. It’s the parties with all the lavish food and drinks that really get me every time.

18. Who is the person who’s book advice you’ll always take?

All of you wonderful people who actually read and take the time to comment on my posts and give me bookish advice. Also, all my friends on Bookstagram and Goodreads who have really good taste in books. I really appreciate all of you ❤

19. Most read authors?

Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, and Nicolas Sparks. What a weird mix I know. I like to mix it up genre wise every once in a while.

20. Ship from two different books?

Mia from Nevernight and Mor from ACOTAR, dark and light, they would go so well together!

The Bromance Book Club

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the bromance book club book by lyssa kay adams
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Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Published: November 5, 2019

Pages: 352

Goodreads Rating: 3.95/5

Series: The Bromance Book Club, #1

For fans of: Romance, Sports Fictions, Humor, Get a Life Chloe Brown, Beach Read, The Happy Ever After Playlist, Well Met

Good to know before you read: explicit sex scenes

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

My Mini Review:

This was a very cute romantic read. The story was fast paced and full of humor. It dealt with marital problems, child rearing, and family drama, but in a very light-hearted way. There was some unnecessary drama towards the middle, which is what made me dock one star from my rating.

I thought the fact that Gavin had a speech impediment was very unique, I personally have never read a book where the main character has one. I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series, but I’m not sure if I will like Liv, Thea’s sister, as the main character, since I did not like her very much in this book. Overall, I would recommend this book to all Romance fans.

Have you read this one? Do you plan to read it? Let me know in the comments!

Books I’m Rereading

a reaper at the gates book three in an ember in the ashes series by sabaa tahir
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So many books, so little time. I haven’t found a lot of time for rereading any books lately. There are some books I need to read before the sequels are released so I can get a refresher and hype myself up. Others are some of my favorite series that I haven’t read in a long time. Any books you love to reread every once in a while?

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

a sky beyond the storm an ember in the ashes book four by sabaa tahir
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An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir (click on the link for a Synopsis of the first book)

I’m really excited about the release of A Sky Beyond the Storm the fourth book in this series, on December 1 of this year. It will be like Christmas coming early 🙂 I’ve also been looking for an excuse to get the audio books for this one, so this is the perfect time to do that.

illuminae files book by amie kaufman and jay kristoff
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Illuminae Files Series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (click on the link for a Synopsis of the first book)

I’ve been waiting for my husband to finish reading the Harry Potter series so that he can get started on this one. I might reread it at the same time that he does just for fun. I love this series, and if you haven’t tried the audio books you definitely should! It’s like listening to a very descriptive movie along with all the sound effects that make for a very immersive reading experience. You can read my review of Illuminae here.

serpent and dove book by Shelby mahurin
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Serpent and Dove (#1) by Shelby Mahurin (click on the link for a Synopsis of the first book)

I’m super hyped up for the release of Blood and Honey, the second book in this series, on September 1 of this year. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. You can read my review here.

the red scrolls of magic by cassandra clare
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The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare (click on the link for a Synopsis of the first book)

Magnus Bane is my favorite character in all the Shadowhunter series, and I was so excited when I read this book where he is the main character. The second book, The Lost Book of the White, will be released on September 1 of this year and I absolutely cannot wait! Meanwhile, I’ll have to settle for rereading the first book 🙂 You can read my review of that one here.

Truelife

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

truelife book three in lifelike series by jay kristoff
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Author: Jay Kristoff

Published: June 30, 2020

Pages: 480

Series: Lifelike, #3

Goodreads rating: 4.22/5

For fans of: Dystopian Fantasy, YA, The Lunar Chronicles, Illuminae, Aurora Rising, Sci-Fi

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads (*Don’t read if you haven’t read the rest of the series*):

Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves–and each other–was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war–this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes . . . and they may not be who you think they are.

My Review:

You built a world on metal backs. Held together by metal hands. And one day soon, those hands will close. And they’ll become fists.”

What an amazing ending to a great series. In this finale, Kristoff takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions as he continues exploring what it really means to be alive. Lifelikes and logika have been artificially made, but they have feelings, they feel pain, they love and they hate, so what exactly makes them not human? What gives humans the right to oppress them? Kristoff also delves into environmental issues as people attempt to survive and build a life in this post nuclear war world.

Maybe after seeing how close they’d all come to running out of future, people were finally learning from the mistakes of the past.”

Kristoff’s quirky writing and made-up language is what makes this series so unique. I especially enjoyed the playful banter between the characters even while in the midst of chaos and destruction. The author also excels at writing lovable characters, and I even found myself liking the villains. My favorite character was Lemon Fresh, she was truly “brilliful” inside and out. My favorite side character was Cricket, who still reminds me so much of Iko from the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. All the characters had impressive character arcs and had so much growth. I highly recommend this series to all YA Dystopian and Fantasy fans.

You might like:

-My review of Lifelike (Lifelike, #1) by Jay Kristoff (buy on Amazon)

-My Review of Deviate (Lifelike, #2) by Kay Kristoff (buy on Amazon)

YA Dystopian Binge

stack of dystopian ya books
Picture taken by me.

When I was little, I would walk around my neighborhood with a notebook “solving crimes.” I would write down my suspect list, interrogate the neighbors, and use ground up pencil lead to “fingerprint” the neighbors’ dogs and cats. I thought I wanted to be a detective, but what I was really doing was writing stories and doing research. It took me about 28 years and a Forensic Degree later to realize that I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve been recently trying my hand at writing. My work in progress is potentially a YA/Dystopian book, so I decided to read this stack of highly recommended books in this genre for research and inspiration purposes. I probably won’t ever end up publishing it, but the idea popped into my head and I just had to write it. Any other YA/Dystopian books you would recommend? Which one of these should I read first? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

unwind book one by neil shusterman
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Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads Rating: 4.18/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

the maze runner book by james dashner
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The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner

Goodreads rating: 4.02/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

under the never sky book one by veronica rossi
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Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Goodreads rating: 4.00/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

enclave book by ann aguirre razorland book one
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Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre

Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

the fifth wave by rick yancey
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The Fifth Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

the house of the scorpion by nancy
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The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Goodreads rating: 4.10/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With undertones of vampires, Frankenstein, dragons’ hoards, and killing fields, Matt’s story turns out to be an inspiring tale of friendship, survival, hope, and transcendence. A must-read for teenage fantasy fans.

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón’s bodyguard, “How old am I?…I know I don’t have a birthday like humans, but I was born.”

“You were harvested,” Tam Lin reminds him. “You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her.”

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico—Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

the program book one by suzanne young
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The Program (The Program, #1) by Suzanne Young

Goodreads Rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

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Steelheart (The Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.