In the heart of the frigid North, there lives a demon known as the Face Stealer. Eyes, nose, mouth—nothing and no one is safe. Once he returns to his lair, or wherever it is he dwells, no one ever sees those faces again.
When tragedy strikes, Apaay embarks on a perilous journey to f ...more
How do we define our identities? Is it our faces? Our families? Our heritages? Our cultures? Our names? The legacies we leave behind? The lies and truths we tell ourselves? It's all of these things and more. This book explored ...more
DNF at ~36%
I really didn't want to DNF this but I really just couldn't read much more. It was kind of a drag and I really had to force myself to get through much at all. The first few chapters were promising, and there were definitely some solid set pieces and sequences in this that I did enjoy, but over all, I couldn't connect with it.
The characters were one dimensional ...more
Wow, this book was certainly something. I do have to admit that the start was sort of slow for me, which is why I couldn't give it a full four star rating because I struggled a little to get really into it but once I reached the 50% mark in the story it was pretty hard to put down. The fact that the story was inspired by Inuit mythology is something I absolutely loved because it isn't something I've come across yet in any of the books I've read.
Below featured the very complex but fascinati ...more
After Apaay’s village is attacked, she is horrified to learn that the whispered about Face Stealer, a demon of unknown power, has stolen her sister’s face. Feeling as though she is the only one who cares of her sister’s fate, Apaay ventures into the wild to find the Face Stealer domain and recover what was stolen.
Enriched with beautiful, ...more
Below is a dark fantasy sprawled on a sheet of snow and ice which successfully lays down the thrill of walking all alone in search of something but isn't very successful in giving depth to the characters. An immensely strong sisterly bond definitely leads to the risk of dwelling in the villain's territory and the wonderful writing gives another reason to continue reading this. However, the slow pacing and the lack of intense motives forces the reader to rethink their decision of...more
Actual rating: 2.5 stars
Below is presented as a dark YA fantasy inspired by Inuit mythology. Honestly, I had no clue about the Inuit mythology before I picked this book up, but I can say that the premise is true: Below is really dark and cold - frigid - and the Inuit culture plays a significant role in the story.
Below starts with the main character Apaay hunting for food to feed her family at the hardest time of winter. But her hunting is interrupted by the news that the Face Stealer - a North
When the author contacted me about reviewing this book for her, she described it as 'dark fantasy' which i was slightly hesitant to pick up. I love a good fantasy though, so I had her send it to me to give it a try. It did NOT disappoint. Below is such a unique and compelling story!
Below is set in the Arctic and is based on Inuit Mythology-something I knew absolutely nothing about before reading this. The culture is fascinating though, and I am bound to wind up delving deeper into ...more
Using this as a place to share more information about Below. Be sure to check back for updates!
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11/5/19: Pre-order Campaign
Below is up for pre-order! For complete information, FAQs, and to upload your pre-order receipt, go HERE.
Below, which releases on February 4, 2020, will be available in eBook and paperback. The eBook will be at a reduced price of $2.99 throughout the pre-order period but will go up to it ...more
First, I wanna say thank you to the author for sending me an E-ARC of this book in exchange for a review. I literally requested it as soon as I read the summary because goddamn that looked like exactly the type of story I'd enjoy! And I did like some things but overall it just wasn't the book for me.
The ideas are SO interesting! The face stealer, the setting, all this s ...more
The setting and atmosphere are great and they’re basically what I liked the most. What didn’t really do it for me was the actual plot. I wouldn't exactly call it boring but it did move slow for ...more
*I was provided an advanced copy by the author*
I really enjoyed reading from Apaay’s POV. I thought she was such an interesting character. She was someone who was always striving to be enough but finding herself continuing to let down those she wanted to impress the most. She had so much heart and love that she didn’t see just how spectacular she truly was.
I’m not very familiar with Inuit mythology, but I definitely want to know more after re ...more
This book is so good. It is perfect in every way. I don't even know what to say. The characters are all so intricately created and protrayed it was hard not to feel everything they did. The worldbuilding had me in awe. The setting is very complex, especially with some fantastical elements, so being able to describe everything so well is amazing.
There are so many quotes I loved in this book but here are some of my favourites:
Don’t ever stop caring.” Voice...more
As time goes by, I find myself looking for more diverse and interesting YA Fantasy books. Specially now that the internet makes it easy for authors to let their target audience know, here we are, we have what you want and are looking for. So, when I received The Fantastic Flying Book Club’s email about this blog tour and saw that this was inspired by Inuit Mythology, I knew I was on-board! And I was taken away by this frigid world of cold a ...more
*Thank you so much to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!*
*Put this under retellings even though its technically mythology*
First of all, this book made me cry and I NEVER cry from books.
Second, I really enjoyed this book! Apaay faced sever weather, fighting wild animals, surviving nightmare's come to life, surviving being a prisoner, and losing her family. It was very intense at some parts! I wanted some more information o ...more
Below is a tale reminiscent of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Tam Lin, and Inuit culture and mythology. A demon called the Face Stealer haunts the lands where Apaay and her family lives, and when he strikes their village and steals her sister's face, Apaay is determined to go after him and bring it back. She sets out on a journey that takes her to the in-between, where she is captured and thrown into an icy labyrinth of tricks and terrors inflicted by a girl named Yuki ...more
Last year I read, reviewed, and loved Alexandria Warwick's debut fantasy novel The Demon Race, so when she contacted me about her upcoming North trilogy, I was immediately and eager to read the first book. Below has proved to be another ambitious and compelling story by Warwick that I had a wonderful time reading and now can't wait to continue the trilogy.
Below is set int he Arctic among the Inuit, a group of people that I have become interested in ...more
My first impressions of this book was excellent. After the author released the cover, I fell in love with the illustration. For the first few pages I was very much already drawn into Apaay’s northern world. What this author especially excels at is painting environments, she describes them with such(but not obtrusive) detail that it helped me unde ...more
I gave this 3.5 stars.
This is Apaay's story, Apaay is a girl from the North who is on a quest to retrieve her sister's face after it is stolen by the notorious Face Stealer. What Apaay does not anticipate is being captured by someone other than the Face Stealer and being sucked into the labyrinth and Yuki's cruel games.
The world building is complex and well done. Apaay is also a complex character who is desperately trying to prove herself to her f ...more
I received an ARC of this book via the author, Alexandria Warwick and The FFBC, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning: Death of an animal and character, Imprisonment, Blood, Gore, Torture, Starvation/self-imposed A ...more
The night is long, but the sun will soon greet you.
Below by Alexandria Warwick is an intense and incredibly unique tale of love and sacrifice filled to the brim with perilous danger and broken promises. It’s an account of respecting the past and your culture, yet willing to go against the grain of everything you know and believe in order to attain what is believed to be unattainable. It’s pages preach about learning to appreciate your own st ...more
Thank you to the author for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change.
Overall: 4/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 3.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Below is cold and dark, a story rich with culture and told in beautiful prose.
“The night is long, but the sun will soon greet you.”
// C ...more