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Summary

"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.

©2019 Machovia Productions Inc (P)2020 Machovia Productions Inc

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Kris
  • Kris
  • 14-08-20

Next one please? lol

I really enjoyed this! The narrator was excellent and the story unique and engaging. Definitely recommend this for fans of The 100! But with a fantasy twist

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 31-07-20

Deliciously dark atmosphere

Marrow Charm has a very dark atmosphere, which I quite liked. It’s part dystopian, part fantasy, part quest. Azzy spends most of the story trying to find her brother Armin, who was cast out into the Above. Lots of dangers and challenges have to be overcome to reunite these siblings. It’s a pretty good ride – lots of action!

The world building is set on medium. We get a lot of bits and pieces that gives us the backdrop for the plot but not so much that I know every rock and plant. Many humans live below ground but if they get infected with the Rot they are cast out into the Above, which has all these crazy creatures, most of which are twisted humans. Some still have their wits and some have reverted back to animal instincts only. There’s also Snatchers – humans who kidnap other humans and sell them at slave markets. There were a few points where I still had questions. I wanted to know more history of this world, which is hinted at in the book blurb and here and there in the story.

Azzy is pretty cool. She’s got some blossoming skills as a healer with her plant knowledge. She’s also determined, which will take you far on a quest like this. Still, I would have liked a bit more personality. She could be just about any young lady. Same thing with Armin – we get to know a little about him but he could be anyone’s kid brother. Brixby, a friend and protector for Armin, has more personality yet his past is left pretty murky. How does he know the things he does? Same thing with Kai. He’s a shape-shifter of sorts and I know he has a great story to tell us… yet he doesn’t get to really expand on his personal history. All around, I’m definitely intrigued by these characters but I wanted to know more about all of them.

There’s a little romance as well. I think these two characters will be good for each other but the near-instant love is a bit eye-rolling. If I don’t really know these characters by the end of the book, how can they know half way through that they are meant for each other? I think they had exchanged perhaps 30 words to each other before deciding it was luv.

While the ending leaves us on a cliff-hanger, I still liked the book. There’s a lot here for book 2 to build on. Over all, I want to see what depths there are to this series. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Amie Lyn Hornick was a great choice for Azzy – she sounds like a young lady out on a dangerous journey. Hornick has different voices for all the characters though her male character voices could use a little more masculinity, especially the older males. I liked her kid voice for Armin as well. The pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 4.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kristin Jacques. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Turning Another Page
  • 28-07-20

Marrow Charm

Are you ready to go on an adventure? There are monsters, witches, and magics that you wouldn’t believe. There are worms that have rows of teeth like sharks and they can come out of the ground and attack you. Don’t forget the creatures that come out and snatch you up to sell in market. Then you’d be forced to live out your days as a slave under an inhuman Lord. Who knows what they are capable of! Would you still want to go on that adventure? Jacques provides her readers with an enticing and action-packed adventure as Azzy is forced to traverse the world above ground in search for her brother.

Azzy and her brother have lost their mother and have a guardian who treats them as if they were his own. An apothecary, and highly sought after, he still cares for Azzy and her brother in spite of the hushed whispers about their susceptibility to magic. Everyone is fretful of the magic that exists above ground, so they’ve all made an underground oasis. Even this cannot stop the spread. After Armin is infected, he is cast out into the above where a band of snatchers take him away. Hell bent on finding her brother, no matter the cost, she finds that not all creatures above ground are evil. Dangerous, yes. But, not evil. Gaining followers on her journey, she has many battles to face. When she finally finds her brother though, will there be anything left to salvage of his humanity?

Jacques has an unforgettable first installment. Marrow Charm is chalked full of engaging and mysterious characters alike. There is danger around every corner, but Azzy’s determination is unfathomable considering all the stakes. The story appears to be very well-written, but this is just based on an assumption from the narrator’s ease of navigation through the story. The pace is on par with each phase of the story and Hornick provides an effortless narration to boot. Her ability to capture each character and the emotion that they portray is outstanding. Not only does Jacques provide the creativity, but Hornick adds her own brand of allure to the mix. If you are a reader of young adult fantasy and adventure series, this should be right up your alley. This is the first installment in The Gate Cycle, but it does not appear the next in the series is available yet.

An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 14-07-20

Great story but the narrator isn't for me.

I received this as an audiobook to read for free in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to The Parliament House for giving me access.

Marrow Charm is a mix of fantasy and dystopian. We have magic AND we have a plague? Color me intrigued.

The idea and execution on this story was wonderful and the world building really takes you there.

I really enjoyed but my biggest issue was the narration. It could have been my mood, but I felt the narrator of the audiobook was slow and unmemorable.