Review || Heart of Mist


Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Purchase via Amazon.

Before anything else, I received a digital Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of this book from the author herself. Many, many thanks to Helen Scheuerer for the incredible opportunity! She’s an absolute blessing.

Heart of Mist is a fast-paced fantasy epic that’s set in a magical realm (where magic is forbidden!) composed of four continents: Ellest, Battalon, Havennesse, and Qatrola. Their borders are shrouded in a deadly mist, which threatens to kill more and more civilians as it continues to consume lands while gradually inching towards the kingdoms.

The story largely follows the struggles of Bleak, an orphaned gutter rat from the coastal village of Angove. Cursed with magical abilities that plague her everyday life, she desperately scours the kingdoms for a cure and self-medicates with alcohol. In her fruitless search for healing, she finds something else entirely: trouble. As well as an inevitable battle of power and politics she wants no part in.

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Things in books that should be left behind in 2016

Hi there, everyone! A little over a week ago, I publicly released my first ‘Shealea says’ post that talked about what it’s like to be a woman in 2016. In that particular piece, I discussed the problematic culture of victim blaming and internalized misogyny.

Today, however, I want to bring something else into light. With the year quickly coming to an end in a day, I feel the need to call out a number of unhealthy themes, tropes, concepts and messages in stories and in fiction that we definitely should not bring with us as we welcome 2017. These toxic things, in my opinion, should be left behind in 2016. These things should be stopped altogether, really.

Before I continue, I was actually inspired to write this post after reading Liam’s admirably honest ARC review for Mad Miss Mimic. In his critique, he cited two things — to be more specific, a couple of harmful messages — found in the novel that infuriated him, and adamantly wrote, “Surely I don’t need to tell you that this is a terrible thing for books to do.”

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What it’s like to be a woman in 2016

Frankly, 2016 is an incredibly frightening time to be a woman. On some days, I find myself lying wide awake, not wanting to sleep but not quite having the motivation to get out of bed either. On some days, I struggle with deciding what outfit to put on not because I have plenty of clothes to go through, but because I am partially paralyzed by a lurking fear that what I wear might elicit reactions I am not comfortable with. On some days, I walk outside with my eyes deliberately downcast and my shoulders constantly hunched in the hopes of not drawing unwanted attention to myself. On some days, I still ponder over my self-worth, wondering if my value as an individual correlates to the amount of skin I have on display. On some days, I still have to bite my tongue in order to keep my temper in check as another person tries to dictate what I can or cannot do (mainly the latter, really) as a female. Every day, however, I am painfully, utterly aware that my personal experiences do not even scratch the surface of what most women go through on a daily basis.

And 2016 has taken the plight of all women, myself included, even further downhill.

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