Cover Image: There Will Come a Darkness

There Will Come a Darkness

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Member Reviews

Perfectly enjoyable YA fantasy. Suffers a bit from the common genre issue of large numbers of characters, new terminology, organizations, and countries, but better more world-building than too little. I didn't feel as much connection to the different characters as I'd hoped to (and kept groaning at their dubious decision-making), but the plot and action did keep things moving.
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Thank you to the publisher for a copy for review.

I enjoyed this book. The world building is absolutely incredibly well done. She blends so many different cultures and people into this very natural, seamless world. The world and “religion” were very fleshed out and engaging.  I liked the diversity of the characters. There are a lot of characters. I think they were pretty well developed, and I definitely have my favorites. I absolutely loved the last 100 pages! They were just non stop action! 

Ok now here’s where I struggled. I know this is a first in a series so this sets everything up, but it was a bit too heavy on descriptions and not enough action in the beginning. For as much as I enjoy the characters I just couldn’t really connect to them. I never feared for their fates. The biggest thing is the villain isn’t threatening enough for me. There practically wasn’t a villain for the most part, and I felt he got glossed over. I just expected a little more darkness to the story. I also had the plot twists pegged down early in the book. Overall though I enjoyed it enough to see where this goes.
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A century ago, the Prophets left. Since then, things have been slowly unraveling. Now a zealot is gathering power to purge the world of the Graced, gifted individuals who use their fantastic abilities to guide, heal, and protect. Fate will bring together a handful of teens to either save or doom the world. Hassan is a prince in exile. Anton is a Seer who rejects his gifts. Ephyra will do anything to save her sister, Beru. Jude has devoted his life to the long-awaited final Prophet, but is having eleventh hour doubts. A solid start to a high fantasy series that successfully juggles the multitude of POV characters.
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This was a really good book. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read and review! The first half I wasn’t sure I was into it honestly, I felt disconnected from the characters and it felt like I was missing so much, but towards the second half when it all started coming together I found I was so much more invested than I’d expected. Some twists I saw coming and others I didn’t see at all. I will definitely be purchasing the sequel!
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Disclaimer: I received this copy from NetGalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book Series: The Age of Darkness Book 1

Rating: 3/5

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 17+ (violence, povs out the yingyang, and dark themes)

Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it... or unleash it? 

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart. 
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? 

Review: Okay this is a behemoth of a book for multiple reasons. The book is loaded with information and that makes the story very interesting. The characters are all well developed and the worldbuilding is gorgeous.

However, that info dump was a lot on me and the five different povs was just a tad overwhelming for me. The book is great but I just got overwhelmed.

Verdict: A decent book and I think the series will be amazing.
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Rating: 4.5

Oh yes, yes I enjoyed There Will Come a Darkness quite a bit. With Ancient Greece vibes, prophecies, and high stakes, I was immediately engaged.

The book follows five character point-of-views as their stories weave in and out of each other in a way that was reminiscent of Falling Kingdoms but I can't compare beyond that because There Will Come a Darkness can truly stand on its own.

I think what originally hooked me is how fast the book seems to move. While the actual plot progresses at a reasonable pace, allowing the story to slowly unfold, the perfectly timed jumps between character point of views gives you the feeling that things are happening much quicker. It kept me reading for the vast majority of the story (there was a point about halfway through where it dragged a bit, the calm before the storm if you will).

And like I said before, it reminded me of another YA fantasy series (and a few others beside that) yet at the same time offered something new. It had an Ancient Greece feel without overused Greek myths tied in. None of the characters were strictly good or evil, just human. Prophecies are ever-present without falling into the Chosen One trap. The characters came from all different walks of life and backgrounds yet somehow merged seamlessly into a larger story.

I could go on, but the short version is that I felt like There Will Come a Darkness had all the elements of a YA fantasy that I enjoy, written from a fresh perspective.

As the story progressed, I grew attached to all five protagonists. Ephyra, the Pale Hand, who kills to keep her sister alive. Beru, the sister, struggling with the morality of what her sister is doing while also wanting to live. Anton, so full of fear and life that they're at constant odds. Jude, who feels the heavy burden of responsibility but would toss it aside for the right moment. And Hassan, born to lead and ready to sacrifice himself to save his people.

Each had their struggles, their own goals. At times I loved some more than others, and it was constantly shifting as one character was left in a precarious position before the story jumped to another. It kept me on my toes but I also noticed that. . . well, I don't have a favorite character! I loved them all, each for something different. 

Which, speaking of all these characters, can I just take a moment to say WOW this book is intricate. Pool masterfully meshes five distinct stories together in a way that creates a complicated world I'd expect from a full series, not a single book. It was pure magic. And the twists! Now some I had guessed but there were a few, especially near the end, that completely blindsided me and damn it was perfection. The hope and wishful thinking contrasted so nicely against fear and doubt and betrayal, which might sound weird but it made this book an interesting ride, to say the least. You name it, I bet you'll find it in this book.

There Will Come a Darkness takes the concept of fate to a whole new  beautifully complex level. 

This is not a book to sleep on and I think anyone who enjoyed fantasy should grab a copy. I'm already dying to get my hands on the sequel!!
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This one started out a bit slow for me. It took me awhile to figure out who all of the characters were and their stake in the story. The world building was a bit confusing at first as well. But once the story took off, I was pleasantly surprised how much I ended up enjoying it.

The story is told from 5 different points of view. All of the characters are well developed and have very distinctive voices in their narratives. They all have well developed backstories that is doled out slowly throughout the book. There is some growth among some of them, but this being the first book I’m sure that they will all continue to grow and have some depth to them. All of the narrating characters are likable, Jude and Anton were my faves though. I just liked their unsurety of their places in the world. The sister bond between Ephyra and Beru was also solid and helped shape their personalities.

The world building is very well done, although it does take a bit to figure it all out. There are a lot of layers to it, and having the multiple narrators telling/showing their perspective of it made it a bit harder to grasp at first. But once you get it all figured out it becomes a very interesting world. The magical system is a blood based one, and some members of a family are ‘graced’ and some are not. Which makes for some interesting dynamics. There are also different types of grace, which covers healing, warriors, seers and a type of alchemists that can make mechanical objects.

This is more of a plot driven story although the characters are still important. There is a lot of things going on and some of the characters have yet to meet, although they will soon I think. There were some nice plot twists that were not so easy to see until they happen. The evil element of the story was quite scary. They are a cult that wants to wipe out the people what have graces and they are at the point where they just might succeed. There are more people without graces than with, and they are easily swayed to the cult’s way of thinking.

I enjoyed this enough that I will definitely be on the look out for the next book in the series. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and I am invested enough in the story and the characters that I will want to know what happened to them A really strong start to a fantasy series that you might want to consider picking up.
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This is going to be short, because basically anything I say could be a spoiler. 

I absolutely loved this book. I wasn't at all sure of anything that was happening (four of the five are both hero and villain and you could make a strong case for the fifth being both, as well) and pretty much everything surprised me. (Although this isn't my genre anymore, so that could definitely explain it.)

This is an incredibly fun read and it left me (a) breathless and (b) desperate for the sequel. Unfortunately for me (and for you, once you read it), the second book in the trilogy doesn't have a name or a release date beyond 2020. (Here's hoping it's closer to January than December.)

Highly recommended.
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Oh my. Oh my. This book. Why didn’t I just wait till release? 

I completely forgot how wonderful a book with multiple POV’s can be. The different backgrounds, and characters, all weaved together through wonderful storytelling. It’s always an amazing experience. 

Every single character was wonderfully written. The plot was satisfying, interesting, and not boring in any way. The relationships were WONDERFUL. Particularly two characters (we will get to that). 

I will be mentioning spoilers from this point onward. 

So, I’ll try to save the best for last, but dear god is that going to be difficult! 

I’ll start with Ephrya. The Pale Hand. I liked her. She initially had a simple goal, and honesty her goal never strayed despite the chaos that caught up with her and her sister Beru. Her need to save dying Beru was so sad. Like she even admitted that when she didn’t have to save Beru she didn’t know how to want or do anything else. Ah. I liked how easily she would kill someone, I know how that sounds lol. But she was a tough woman, and the fact that she would go to any length to save her sister was something I respected. She even killed Hector! Jude’s would have been love interest, which I didn’t expect. In a nutshell though, I felt for her and I hope happiness comes her way in the future books.

Hassan was my least favorite, though I still loved him almost as much as the other characters. I loved his relationship with Khepri because it was literally the only relationship happening, which was fine, but I enjoyed it. I only enjoyed his chapters the least because they were the most relaxed (and because I just wanted more Jude). Hassan was a good person who wanted to save his dying kingdom though he had no hope in doing so. He was able to find it through Khepri who never quit believing in the Prince (oh I should probably have mentioned that he’s a prince). When he finally believed in himself I rooted for him, even when aunt Lethia decided to show her true colors and betray him by becoming queen behind his back and working with the Hierophant (the main antagonist) to purge them of their grace powers. Hassan managed to still have some sort of hope. I applaud him for that.

Anton gave me the biggest migraine. He stole Jude’s sword so he could gamble it away for money, he betrayed Beru and Ephrya to Hector when he wanted to kill them, even when he came back to save them I didn’t outright forgive him. Anton did many traitorous things and then...out of nowhere he became likable. It was when he admitted what he was running from, his horrible older brother Illya who was honestly terrible. So maybe it was when when him and Jude became...close? Not sure yet, but I’m HOPING they’re a ship, and that it will sail. 

Jude, Jude, Jude. The best for last. Hiw I adore your character. Jude is my favorite if you couldn’t tell. The Captain of the Paladin Guard, keeper of the word, the best human ever. He’s so pure—I mean let’s ignore the things like sneaking away with Hector and drinking wine despite his Paladin ways stating that that’s forbidden. Jude loved Hector, and it hurt because he swore himself to chastity and such so they couldn’t be together. Aaaah the pain. And then Hector going on the war path after he was reunited with the Pale Hand and Jude felt that he had to go after him. Aaaaah I can’t. It’s okay though because Anton and Jude got so close from being chased by Illya together that THE SHIP WILL SAIL. Jude having lost his purpose in life, and then finding it through Anton, that broke and also rebuilt my heart all in one second. I’m so glad that he doesn’t think he is worthless anymore, and I hope in the future booms his confidence will slowly grow. 

So if you couldn’t tell by now, this is without a doubt, a five star read for me.
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This was a big undertaking for the author, and she pulled it off very well! The world is woven together masterfully and the individual stories of each character are brought together carefully and skillfully. This is told in 5 or 6 perspectives, and I sometimes had a hard time keeping names and storylines straight, which is why it took me a while to finish. Ultimately, I didn’t truly love any of the characters, but I loved the overall story and am intrigued for book 2.
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I’d put this somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but I bumped it up to 4 to be generous. Speaking of generosity, thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me an ARC.
I want to say that I really liked all of the characters, how their stories fit together, the world that was built around them. The Graced and their powers. The mythology. The conflict. There are so many good things I could say about this book and I’ll definitely look forward to reading the second.
There’s only really two things I didn’t like: the first being lots of betrayal happening and it got kind of tedious to me so I started feeling bored and unsurprised, and the second is the Witnesses and their leader. I’m not one to always try to compare separate works of fiction lightly because I hate that personally (like when one of my characters said the word “always” and then I got a bunch of comments saying it’s just like Harry Potter... come on) but the similarities to Legend of Korra’s first season conflict are too startling to ignore. I mean the Witnesses and the Hierophant are honestly spot on the same as The Equalists and Amon. A group who think the people with powers are evil and corrupt and abuse power and want to level the playing field for people without powers? Their leader wearing a gilded full face mask with a sun/circle on the forehead and having the ability to take away their powers permanently? Amon. I think the author should have at least tried to make it less similar.... that’s really a shame.
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What a fast paced read that had so many twists and turns. There Will Come a Darkness definitely has crossover appeal into adult. This book had the YA vibe if Six of Crows where any age and genre will fall in love with this book and characters. Definitely a new fandom in the works! I adore Hassan and he is my new BBF.
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I read the first 50% of this book the day I started reading it. If it hadn’t been time for bed (because you know, I try to be a responsible adult) then I probably would have finished it all in one day. Instead I told myself to slow down and savor the book a little more, so I made the book last for a few more days…and honestly, it was worth it.

There are five characters we follow in alternating 3rd person POV chapters. Okay fine, I guess I’ll say that the 3rd person framing of the narrative made me feel a little more distant from the characters, but that’s what 3rd person is supposed to do. You’re not in their head and experiencing all of their thoughts and feelings.

The twists and turns of this novel were super great. Each character had their own reasons for what they were doing and why they were doing it, and that led to oh so many “betrayals,” some of which I did not see coming. But it definitely made this story utterly fascinating to me.

I loved learning more about the characters and their world and the magic and the politics and seeing how everything affected everything else. Yes, there were some revelations that were a tiny bit obvious to me, but because of all the wonderful surprise revelations, I’m going to say that this wasn’t a problem for me.

Honestly, I had such a good time reading this book. It came into my life right after I was about to fall into as close to a reading slump as I ever get, and now I am definitely saying that I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. Katy Rose Pool is an author to keep an eye on. Seriously, I can’t wait to have this book in my personal library.
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With There Will Come a Darkness Katy Rose Pool has created an intriguing world filled with magic, betrayal, and adventure. Her use of multiple POVs kept the story interesting and allowed her to extend the story to different parts of this world while also weaving them all together into a cohesive story. Each of the characters is interesting and given enough development to keep them from being the same archetypes we see so often in these types of fantasy novels. The character of Ephyra is wonderfully complicated - neither a true villain nor a hero. I think Hassan will be the most interesting to follow because he is the only non-Grace character so everything that he will accomplish will come from his own strength and determination. I can't wait to see what happens next with all of the characters. 

There were a few parts that I was not a fan of. 1) Jude's actions throughout the story were not consistent with how he was when we first met him. His initial interactions with Anton came out of nowhere and seemed to be more about setting up the final few chapters rather than being authentic to his character. 2) None of the villains introduced here were really dealt with, which just seems like bad decisions on the part of the heroes (primarily with regard to Illya). Jude has a chance to take out two villains and instead lets them get away with only minor injuries. It makes me worry that they were kept alive to keep enough for the characters to do through two more books. 3) Having the big bad's followers called the Witnesses and the mention of the red skies as a sign of the end times reminded me of the show 12 Monkeys which just took me out of this story a few times. 4) I worry that there is not enough story here for three books. I'm keeping an open mind because this first book shows a lot of promise, but as a said previously, I do worry that things will be dragged out for too long in order to fill three books.

Even with those criticisms I give this book two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
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I absolutely loved the diverse cast of characters and the unique magic system in this book. My one complaint would be that the book as a whole is very high fantasy and needs a lot of focus and attention in order to appreciate the entire story.
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THIS WAS SO GOOD! Do not walk past this at the bookstore. Pick it up immediately! The plot followed so many different groups of characters but by the end most of them had met up only to be drawn in different directions once more. The ending set up the next book so well and I can't wait to read more!
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This book was received as an ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Henry Holt and Co. in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not believe all the excitement in this book. I was expecting this book to go in a very different direction but as I read on, I could not stop. I was hooked from the very beginning. All of the characters were so intriguing. The plot was so fascinating and the theme and conflict was literally to die for. Each page was a new path in the story that lead to unexpected surprises and shocking turn of events. Katy Rose Pool has such an exciting writing style and I really hope she considers making this a series because I know a lot of our patrons including our teen book club will really be invested in the series and will be begging to know what will happen next.

We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection in our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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This book was pretty good but there were elements missing that kept it from being great.

Usually I go into my issues with the book right here but I didn't really have any issues so instead I will list why I think this book was good but not great.

Reason #1:
*The Villains-There were several in this first book but two took up more space. I won't say who they were because that is a spoiler. They suffered from what I call the Lilly/Petunia Complex. If you've read Harry Potter, you know that Lilly and Petunia had a great relationship until Lilly became a witch and she got to go to Hogwarts and Petunia couldn't. Petunia wasn't special anymore and she resented Lilly and then resented HP. This trope occurs often in this novel but Pool doesn't do much with it especially in relation to the aforementioned villains. There's nothing wrong with tropes but it's important to put your own spin on it and that didn't happen with this trope and these villains. The main villain, the Heirophat, was a pretty good one. We only got to see his manipulation and we didn't get much backstory but that's okay; I'm sure it will come in book 2.

*The Writing Style-Pool doesn't trust the reader enough to pick out themes or motives. She tells you why characters behave a certain way rather than allowing the reader to infer. A great writer infers and an example is Kaz in Six of Crow. Bardugo gives the reader Kaz's backstory and then allows the reader to infer why he treats Inej the way he does. Pool tells you Hassan's growth rather than trusting the reader to figure it out. Pool didn't do this all the time; there was one character that stood out because she didn't put it all on the page and I will get to that later. I will lower a book .5 star if the author tells me everything and I did it for this book. 

*The Characters-There were 5.5 major characters-Hector didn't have a POV but I consider him to be major. Jude was the standout. He had an interesting voice and his conflict was something I looked forward to reading and analyzing. Jude was the character I was referencing in the previous bullet point. Jude is a conflicted character but Pool allows the reader to infer everything about him which I thought was great. The rest of the cast were good but not as great as Jude. If more of the characters had a unique voice, the book would have been great. I know they can't all be gems and I didn't like all the characters in Six of Crows or Throne of Glass but I liked the majority of them and their relationships so that aided in my love of those books.

The Good Things about Darkness. (That would be a good book title-LOL)
*The Plot-It was a simple plot but there were some complex characters to make it an interesting story. 

*The World-The world was racially diverse but it was never the point of the novel. A kid named Hector and a kid named Hassan and a kid named Anton all lived in the same world and it was normal.

*The Prophecy-I like a good prophecy book and I thought this was pretty good. Pool reminded the reader several times about the prophecy which was fine. I have read books, (ahem, ahem...Wicked Saints) where a character will hear a long ass prophecy ONE TIME and they remembered all of it when it was convenient-UM, NO! This prophecy was short and to the point and the Order knew it back and forth. It was also easy for the reader to remember so when clues arose, we couldn't point them out.

*The Graced (magic-kind) vs. the non-Graced (Muggle) dynamic-This is a trope but Pool does enough with it to make it her how through the world building and the main villain. The Heirophat is basically Hitler who has radicalized all the non-Graced people and made them feel special. They hate the Graced because they have power and they are treated with respect. The non-Graced are jealous and are powerless but the Heirophat makes them feel special and powerful so they follow him. Is this nuanced? No, but it's timely (ahem ahem...Trump). We want to root for the Graced and we want the non-Graced to find out that the Heirophat (Trump) is just using them for his own advancement/agenda and we want to laugh in their face when they find that out. The Heirophat is a manipulator and a narcissist and a liar why can't you see that?! Rant over.

Overall, Darkness was a fast paced novel with an interesting world. There was a pretty good cliffhanger and I'm excited to see what happens in book 2.
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This book fell totally flat for me. It felt like a shallow combo of everything marketable in current YA fantasy. It's a cheap attempt at combining trends, and it shows in the flat, boring writing and one-dimensional characters. Really disappointed.
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Oh my goodness. THIS. BOOK. WAS. AMAZING. EXCEPTIONAL. EXTRAORDINARY. I don’t say that about a lot of books. I also don’t give a lot of books five stars. But this one most definitely deserves it. It might be the best YA Fantasy I’ve ever read. I flew through it more rapidly than any other book I’ve read this year, and that’s saying A LOT because I haven’t been in a fantasy mood for a long time (I definitely am now, though). It was so beautifully crafted, and it managed to bring something new to the table of fantasy books based on prophecies, which I was not expecting. It had so many twists and turns, and although the five POVs were quite intimidating at first, they were spectacularly interwoven to simultaneously pave way for the exhilaration of the building suspense and the shocking plot twists. I would honestly recommend this book to anyone reading this, because I, who would not say fantasy is one of my favorite YA genres, absolutely LOVED it and wouldn’t hesitate to call it the best book of 2019 so far. Without further ado, let’s get into the synopsis and a more detailed (but spoiler-free!) review:

What I liked:
Um…everything? Sorry, here it goes:

The world building – I kind of didn’t notice it was happening but at the same time I wasn’t confused about what was going on…I have no idea how Katy managed to pull that one off, but she did. Little bits and pieces were interwoven throughout the book, and I never felt like there was a whole section of facts and descriptions about the fantasy universe being thrown at me, which is something I really appreciate in a fantasy novel.

The multiple POV storytelling style: To be honest, I didn’t think this was something I was going to appreciate at the beginning because five different characters and their own story lines seemed a lot to keep track of alongside learning about a different universe, but like I said earlier, it was beautifully done and now I can’t imagine the story being told in a similar level of intricacy any other way.

The characters – even though I got quite annoyed at a few of them throughout the course of the novel, I loved that all of their back-stories were explored and each of their hopes, dreams, and insecurities revealed. They all had flaws, and I’m not even sure all of them are going to end up being on Team Good, but Katy gave me enough to feel for each of them and understand their motives.

The plot twists – this book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. It lulled me into a false sense of security, and then BAM, hit me with a huge plot twist (even though I should’ve seen that false sense of victory coming!!!). There were quite a few of them too, and each of the revelations was just perfect.

What I didn’t like:
I actually have nothing. That’s the only way you get a five star rating out of me. 😀

You will NOT regret reading this book. Just do it. Even if you don’t like fantasy. This book might convince you otherwise. I would say it kind of gave me An Ember in the Ashes vibes (the last fantasy I really enjoyed), but it was also completely unique and exciting, and simply wonderful. I help teach a class on Young Adult literature at the university I attend, and Katy’s come in to talk to us a couple times–she’s honestly so inspiring and sweet, and deserves all the success that I’m sure is going to come her way after this book drops. Once again, There Will Come A Darkness comes out on September 3rd of this year (2019), and it’s a book you won’t want to miss!
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