Thursday, November 9, 2023

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Curious Tides, by Pascale Lacelle {ends 11/16}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

It started with an oath.

Keiran handed her a small silver flake like the one she’d seen Virgil imbibing earlier. An Unraverler synth, he explained. It’ll force you to tell the truth when swearing your oath.

A distant, drowned-out part of her had a terrible sinking feeling as Keiran led her to the large pool. They waded through the shallows until they stood waist-deep in the center of the basin, just out of the cascade’s reach. The rest of the Selenics gathered around her, forming a tight circle in the order of the moon’s phases. All Emory could think of was how surreal they must look to the outside eye, all of them dressed in their sopping wet suits and gowns, their faces cast in dancing turquoise light.

“Here before us you must share three truths,” Keiran intoned. “A painful memory that haunts you, a dream that calls to you, and a secret that burdens you. Let these truths serve as a reminder of the Order’s secrets you carry, and those of yours we now hold.”

For those who dream of super power or magic abilities, Emory’s discovery of her newfound powers was a marvelous cautionary tale.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Curious Tides, by Pascale Lacelle {ends 11/16}
Emory might be a student at the prestigious Aldryn College for Lunar Magics, but her healing abilities have always been mediocre at best—until a treacherous night in the Dovermere sea caves leaves a group of her classmates dead and her as the only survivor. Now Emory is plagued by strange, impossible powers that no healer should possess.

Powers that would ruin her life if the wrong person were to discover them.

To gain control of these new abilities, Emory enlists the help of the school’s most reclusive student, Baz—a boy already well-versed in the deadly nature of darker magic, whose sister happened to be one of the drowned students and Emory’s best friend. Determined to find the truth behind the drownings and the cult-like secret society she’s convinced her classmates were involved in, Emory is faced with even more questions when the supposedly drowned students start washing ashore—alive—only for them each immediately to die horrible, magical deaths.

And Emory is not the only one seeking answers. When her new magic captures the society’s attention, she finds herself drawn into their world of privilege and power, all while wondering if the truth she’s searching for might lead her right back to Dovermere…to face the fate she was never meant to escape.

The evolution of the characters and their relationships to each other was so exciting in this book. There were plenty of instances where the reader couldn’t be sure who was right in their assessments of their own or someone else’s powers. While a hierarchy existed of how things were supposed to be for specific families and moon phase powers, Emory’s previously unseen powers were turning everything into something new. 

Emory isn’t one to usually cause trouble. She does what’s expected of her, and enjoys her lifelong friendship with Romie, until Romie seems to drift away, and then is lost to her seemingly forever. While the idea occurs to her to never return to school, where she last saw Romie and will now have to regularly see Romie’s brother, she really isn’t sure what else she would do with her time either. So back to school she goes. 

She surprisingly finds herself in what appears to be a love triangle, where she never imagined herself before. Is this what love is like, or could her suitors be after more than the kind healer she’s always been?

This was a great magical realism story, and it is so exciting that it’s the first in a duology! The book earned 5 out of 5 stars and would be easily recommended to those who enjoy high school stories and magical realism.

{click here to purchase on Amazon - affiliate link}

Becki Bayley enjoys drinking caffeinated water and making the best adult promise to herself: “You just have to get through this week, then things will get easier.” It’s a lie. It’s always a lie. Watch her persevere on Instagram, where she posts as PoshBecki.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Curious Tides!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Thursday, November 16th, at 11:59pm ET, and winner will be contacted the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Curious Tides, by Pascale Lacelle


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