‘In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but They were already in our world and They were hungry.’
-The Lost History, Library of Avergard
Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.
Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.
The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.
And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.
Book Review Rating: 5/5 stars
Cover Review Rating: 4/5 stars
Last month I held my first Open Book & Cover Review Call, and Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques was the winner for my December reviewing slot. First thoughts before I dove into reading or reviewing the cover, I’ll be honest, I was a tad worried.
Why you might ask?
Well, Marrow Charm is a publication from Parliament House Publishing, and well, the past covers I’ve reviewed from them didn’t rate so high in the cover review stars. So with that tremor of fear let’s dig on in.
First, off the bat, Marrow Charm made it’s debut in Wattapad and became a Watty’s 2015 Winner. Congratulations! Some of you may wonder though, whats a Watty Winner?
Per the Wattapad website: The Watty Awards are Wattpad’s annual celebration of the electrifying, visionary, diverse voices that choose to share their stories on Wattpad every year. Across a decade of Wattys, we’ve celebrated the journey millions of Wattpad writers undertake…
After reading Kristin Jacques’s stunning novel, I’m not surprised, but this also means there are two covers.
On the left, the cover in forest green, there is the 2015 version of Marrow Charm & on the right the current 2019 version. Now, last time I ran across a cover that had a previous cover the updated cover art resembled the first version, but not with Marrow Charm. A Mother Cover Lover thank you Parliament House Publishing.
If we compare both covers you will find each has it’s own charm and sways to a particular mood in fantasy. I won’t spend too much more time on the 2015 version of the cover, but I must say for the first cover from Wattapad, I do like it quite a bit. It hints at locations within the storyline, elements of danger, and definitely has an artistic feel.
So back to Marrow Charm 2019, Parliament House Version. For once in my Parliament House Cover Reviews I don’t have much to harp about.
Okay, I do have one bit to pick on, but we still have to dig into what I like before I let that particular loose.
Marrow Charm 2019’s cover art sways to more of the dark fantasy mood realm, which as a dark fantasy lover, I appreciate. It gives me all the feels like its a grimoire. The opal-ish/etched/scratched in metal grain, the copper coloring. I want more, even if the classification doesn’t list dark fantasy.
I appreciate the different take on the cover in its entirety. Where’s the fun in book cover creations if you regurgitate the same imagery again and again?
No one ever said regurgitating is fun. Same with having to recreate the same cover art.
Another detail I appreciate in the cover is the new tag line.
If you don’t remember the 2015 Marrow Charm version had the tagline, “Magic Runs Bone Deep”. The change in the tagline and the placement of the tagline is refreshing and a good twist from before. Another issue I’ve had in the past, but isn’t an issue this time was the size of the tagline.
Thankfully, the tagline on this cover stands out due to being focused around the title and isn’t competing against the cover art for attention. The darker quality of Marrow Charm 2019 really hits a lot of notes I’ve harped on in the past. The only bit I do complain about focuses on the lower portion of the cover.
That moment when the Watty-Award gets so small you need to squint. Seriously, with all the detail going on in the front, I get it. Where can the mention of the award go successfully without taking over the scrolling artwork? It’s a necessary sacrifice.
Thankfully, there is a larger form of recognition on the backside of the cover, which makes up plenty for the tiny mention on front. However, being one who would still like to see it on the front I’d love to see a shiny gold sticker. Agree to disagree on that little nugget.
I rated Marrow Charm cover 4/5 stars for a solid take on this cover and mood. I for one was delighted to find more intricate details/artwork hidden inside.
Cover & Interior Designs from Shayne Leighton/ Parliament House Book Design
“Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful.”
I don’t give 5/5 stars out widely or lightly and MARROW CHARM hit the stars out of the park. Homerun. Slamdunk. Slap your mama good. I couldn’t help but pause giddy as a dark fantasy lover and marvel at Kristin Jacques’s masterpiece. Out from the first chapter, the plight of the main character Azzy leads into the fantasy long changed dystopian-ish world. Where humans survive underground and the monsters altered by magic rule the land above.
Imagine some aspects of the Matrix in an inspirational way, but a fantasy version with definite differences and twists and a hell of a lot of marvelous world-building.
Azzy–sister to a brother who finds himself sick and thrown out of the safety of the dwindling human city to the world of the monsters above–embarks on a journey to find her brother. Only there’s danger at every turn, magical foes who want to eat her pure flesh, and just when you think everything’s going to be alright, cliff hanger midway, change of character POV.
Usually, a POV switch so late in the storyline can throw me off, but not with Marrow Charm.
No, the change of POV gives the other side of the coin of what the hell is happening to her brother and guardian. It wasn’t redundant or annoying in the least and kept me wanting more as I watched the end of the first novel tick closer. In fact, the POV switches dove into the world of the magic above giving the reader more clarity of what was and what exists now.
The tiny drops of information that weaved together to help us understand the past of her life, her brothers, the present, and perhaps what the future holds. I ended MARROW CHARM ready for the sequel. There have been only a few books I’ve added to my bookshelf that I desired and wanted to read again and again and again.
MARROW CHARM by Kristin Jacques is that type of book, and she will be joining my bookshelf of authors/writers I adore. In fact, it came in the mail yesterday and is sitting next to me as I post this review.
Let’s be honest here. If it was great or sucked, I have no problem writing it out.
Add Marrow Charm to your GOODREADS TBR today!
Reviews are just one way you can help an Author.
Connect with Kristin Jacques