Cover Image: In the Ravenous Dark

In the Ravenous Dark

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Member Reviews

I am happy to report this novel lived up to its gorgeous cover! I am loving the gothic ya fantasy that is taking publishing by storm! It is easily one of my favourite genres. 

We follow Rovan, a pansexual bloodmage, who is very gifted in her magic. She grows up with this secret after her father was captured and killed for possessing the same magic and not turning himself in to the palace. 

Unfortunate for Rovan, she is discovered and thrust into royalty with a dead guardian she despises and a princess and her cousin (who is non-binary and asexual) that she befriends but cannot fully trust.

Soon Ivrilos, the guardian/handsome spirit, and Princess Lydea fight for Rovan’s heart. Meanwhile, Rovan is planning to betray them. 

This was witty, angsty, and tense! I absolutely loved this but oh my gosh I wish there was more! The magic system was unique and the politics really set the stakes. 

In the end, this is a great story of found family. I loved seeing how close these characters became and how they fought their individual battles. I also adored all the unquestioned queer representation!
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I just think that A.M. Strickland needs to be paid to write more amazing books like In The Ravenous Dark. From the first page, it was already engaging and enchanting. I can't believe how well the author kept the plot of the book moving towards an equally engaging finale.
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4.5 stars.
The story and writing were very entertaining. I found myself thinking about the characters when I wasn't reading because I was wondering what was going to happen next.
Excellent representation, a wide variety of sexualities, and gender presentations.
My biggest problem is that I feel like the story falsely equates pansexuality with polyamory. I love how accepting even some of the awful characters are, like accepting people for what they're born as is unquestionable.
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This was my first time read by A.M. Strickland and I wasn't completely sold on the synopsis and gorgeous book cover.

Rovan absolutely stole the show for me in this read, absolutely loved her character. I can't say that I agreed with all of her decisions, but she definitely leads with her emotions. And not really thinking of the aftermath, but she's not afraid and willing to go after anything she sets her heart on.

And the supporting characters, one of Rovan's love interests, Lydea, a mysterious ghost (such an interesting character) who gains a part of her heart, and Japha who brings all different elements to this fantasy read. I loved the queer found family part of this read and that was a big part of what drew me in.

I wish the fantasy part was talked about more because it didn't feel as built up like other books I've read. As you get closer to the end, things start to go in different directions and I often found myself unsure what was happening. The love between Ivrilos and Rovan, and Rovan and Lydea, felt a bit too quick. With the pacing from beginning to the end, they dropped the L-word by the end, but I just didn't feel between all of them ... yet. Being a romance reader, it seemed to come out of nowhere.

Overall, I did enjoy this one, some things needed to be fleshed out a bit more.But I'm looking forward to the next book by Strickland.
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BOOK REPORT for In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland

Cover Story: Look Close
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Bloody Fantasy
Bonus Factors: LGBTQ+, Mysterious Loner Dude Ghost?, Blue Hair
Anti-Bonus Factor: Bad Men
Relationship Status: There's Something There

Cover Story: Look Close
Oh, that's a pretty cover with a pretty young girl. But wait, do those flowers form a … skull? Is she crying … BLOOD? LE GASP.

/end scene

(Theatrics aside, y'all know I love a good skull cover. Something about the girl says 1920s to me, which isn't plot-accurate at all, but I still dig this on the whole. Wish the title didn't cover up the chin, though.)

The Deal: 
When she was young, Rovan watched as her father was killed by the city's bloodmages and their terrifying guardian shades—dead beings who are connected to bloodmages to keep them under control. Since then, she's been very careful not to reveal her own powers, lest she be taken and forced to have a guardian … or worse.

But then one drunken evening turns into Rovan having to save someone from dying, revealing her true nature in the process. She's taken to the palace and forced into a life she never wanted for herself. A life she can't wait to escape.

BFF Charm: Yay
Rovan is a strong-willed, confident individual who knows what she wants and makes it happen. She chafes at authority, talks back to her elders, and is 100% that cool indie girl you see eating alone in the cafeteria each day, snarling at anyone who bothers her but making eyes at both the head cheerleader and the captain of the football team. She's the kind of person I'd love to be friends with, but I'm not so sure the feeling would be mutual, you know?

Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Rovan's never been one to shy away from a pretty face, of any gender. She's more concerned with how a person makes her feel, and I applaud her for being that open. (She might have a ways to go with how she makes others feel, but that's a different topic.) When she gets to the palace, she's immediately taken by the beautiful princess Lydea, but doesn't know if she's trustworthy. And there's also something about her guardian, the enigmatic and mysterious Ivrilos, that she doesn't want to poke too hard at. (I mean, the guy is dead and follows her everywhere.)

Rovan doesn't want to give in to either feelings, purely because she's more concerned with getting the heck outta Dodge. But she's also not one to forego a good time if one presents itself ...

Talky Talk: Bloody Fantasy
There are a lot of layers to In the Ravenous Dark, and the pile becomes thicker as the story goes on. From magic and family issues to vampires, zombies, and a secretive fae-like culture on the outskirts (possibly waiting to wage war), it's a little much at times, all the different elements at play. A couple of times I found myself thinking, "oh, of course this is also in this book." That said, Strickland weaves it all together surprisingly well—and quickly; In the Ravenous Dark is a standalone novel that actually stands alone. 

The characters are where Strickland truly shines, however; Rovan is so fleshed out it's hard to believe she's not based on a real person—even with the ability to do blood magic, natch—and the secondary characters jump right off the page. Their personalities are well-rounded from the very start, which helps set the pace for the very full story.

Bonus Factor: LGBTQ+
In the Ravenous Dark is a very inclusive novel, from a gender and sexual preference perspective. Rovan is pansexual, there are multiple queer relationships, one character is non-binary (and fabulously proud of it), and leanings toward polyamory. On the one hand, it adds to the "maybe too many layers" complaint about the book, but on the other it's really great to see such a diverse cast of characters.

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude Ghost?
Ivrilos is a creeper—at first. He didn't exactly ask to be stuck to Rovan, but he assures her that "they need each other" and that "all will be explained in time." This pisses Rovan off to no end, and her passion for him starts as nothing but hatred. But he's actually somewhat kind, and he's not hard on the eyes (when he's not in his spooky see-through smoky ghost form), and maybe there's actually a way their relationship can be mutually beneficial. 

Did I mention that he's not at all hard on the eyes?

Bonus Factor: Blue Hair
As someone with natural blue hair,* it was fun to read about Rovan's blue-tinted tresses (and her father's gorgeous deep blue mane).

*I wish.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Bad Men
The bad men in this book are dangerous individuals with too much money and too much power. And they're the kind of men who will do anything to hold onto both, regardless of who they stomp over on the way. (Thankfully—SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT—this isn't a novel in which said bad men get away with it in the end.)

Relationship Status: There's Something There
Although you ended up being A Lot, Book, I like that about you. And I love the people you introduced me to in your stories; I'd love to spend more time with them. I might suggest that you tone it down for future first dates, but then again, I don't want to dim your light. You keep doing you, Book. I'm here for it.
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IN THE RAVENOUS DARK is dark, thrilling, creative in its world, and oh-so-entertaining! Rovan is an unwilling bloodmage just like her father, but she doesn't let her fate sit in the hands of her enemies. She fights back alongside lovers and friends, often straddling the line between life and death. And I especially loved how the pansexuality was woven in; it felt natural and casual, and didn't overtake the entire story. 

The one thing I wished there was more of was the world. It comes across as very Greek (esp with words like "agora" and "polis" used) to me, and there were subtle references to a goddess dotted throughout the story, but beyond the focus on death and the afterlife, that aspect of the world really wasn't explored. The world was unique but the Greek-inspired bits didn't feel fully fleshed out. Also, I had slight issues with the ending (namely that it felt rushed).

Overall, though, I loved IN THE RAVENOUS DARK, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a dark fantasy with ghosts, queer rep, a world obsessed with death, and unforgettable characters!
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This book was pretty awesome. Fans of kingdom fantasy, along with fans of necromancer fantasy, will probably really dig this read. To me, it felt like the ultimate crossover of "Game of Thrones" with "Gideon the Ninth" -- which, I know, sounds nuts, but it really did work without going berserk! As with any kingdom fantasy, I get a little wary and weary of all the "who can I trust" plot elements, but it comes with the territory, I suppose. My favorite elements of this book, that kept me going and were really perfectly placed to keep giving me a taste to tide me over to the next part, were the parts about the Dark Kingdom and the afterworld and the binding of bloodmages to guardians. Really, this is the main part of the book, but the kingdom stuff really feels front and center as well. This book does have a fair bit of romancy stuff, as well, so heads up.
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4.5⭐

Wow. This was absolutely amazing!

I read very little of the synopsis (beyond the pitch) before going into this so a lot of this story took me by surprise. This book is hella queer, dark, gritty, and took me on a wild ride. I cannot wait to read more from A.M. in the future after devouring this fantastic fantasy!

This story follows a young woman who has hidden her abilities as a blood mage her entire life after witnessing mages kill her father for being unguarded. But after her powers are witnessed, she is whisked off to the palace, forced to bond with a spirit guardian, and then thrust in court politics. 

I adored each and every one of the characters in here. Roven can be a frustrating character at times, but it made her feel even more authentic as a 19 year old woman. She makes some selfish/poor decisions but I actually loved following an MC who didn't have all the right answers. She knows as little about politics and the world as the reader does going in, and she definitely doesn't figure it all out without trial. 

This book is so fantastically casually queer. This book is not about discovering sexuality or coming out in any way. Instead it's about living you life and loving whoever the hell you want. This book has on page pansexual rep, lesbian rep, non binary rep, asexual rep, and a poly relationship.

This story took a WILD turn I wasn't expecting around the halfway point. And I loved it even more for that. This book explores family, love (in all it's forms), and has an epic battle of good versus evil. 

There is SO much packed into this standalone. There is never a single moment or page that isn't revealing something or moving the plot along. In fact, there was so much in here that I almost wish it had been a duology. Because this plot was so intricate, I felt like lost a little time and ability to sit with the characters and watch their relationships develop. But at the same time, I love having a complete story in one book and having a new standalone fantasy to recommend. 

Bonus - the audiobook for this is fantastically narrated! I always worry that fantasy books will be more difficult to follow via audio, but that was definitely not the case with this one! Not only is the narrator amazing, but the world building is flawlessly woven into the story, so there's no overwhelming info dumping to get lost in. 

Overall I was blown away by this dark fantasy. The themes were much gritty and darker than I was expecting and I would definitely classify this on the upper end of YA fantasy. But it's fantastically written with a complex and lush world and unique, wonderful characters. 

This review is live on Goodreads and will be posted to my blog on 5/26 @ 9am
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What a ride! While this book started off in a political/tactical sort of way, it lunged into full throttle by the end. I will say, there are trigger warnings everywhere - a big one being the blood magic. The queer rep was refreshing and lovely. And the character arcs were wild! I couldn't believe some of the characters who I loved by the end. It was intense, at times shocking, and an all around action-fest!
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"My father has said it's not his bloodline that's killing him. Bloodmages in Skyllea aren't suffering the same fate. Something is wrong with Thanopolis, and it stinks of death. Maybe while I'm trying to survive life in the palace and find a way to escape both its walls and my guardian, I can also try to discover what's happening, so my father can survive his bloodline, too."

Rovan had done such a good job of hiding her powers. After her father, an unregistered bloodmage, was discovered and taken, grievously injured, when Rovan was 7, it's just been her and her mother, a weaver. Rovan, now 19, uses her small magical knowledge to aid her mother in making beautiful cloth, saving up for her dream of travelling to Skyllea, her father's home. But those plans are ruined when Rovan wakes one morning with Bethea, on top of the gazebo in the agora. Rovan makes her way to the ground safely, but Bethea slips, and without thinking, Rovan uses her best known sigil, move, to save her - gently moving all the blood in Bethea's body to lift her and pulling all the water from the fountain to catch her. Rovan is captured and brought to the palace.

Bloodmages have a bloodline of red sigils along their body, storing their magical knowledge. In Thanopolis, bloodmages must be registered, and it is expected that they will pass their bloodline on to their child with the greatest magical ability by the time the child is 20, a process that will kill the parent. Bloodmages also must be bound, wards to a guardian. The guardians are dead spirits who appear to others as dark shadows - unless they're materializing to protect or discipline their ward. 

In short order, Rovan's powers are confirmed and she is forcibly bound to Ivrilos, her father's guardian. Although she and her mother thought him dead, her father Silvean has been living in the palace since he was taken, married to one of the princesses. He is aged, much more than he should have given only the years that have passed. He has his suspicions that something is wrong with the way bloodmages function in Thanopolis; in fact, he originally came from Skyllea with a delegation who believed that the blight spreading over the world had its origins in Thanopolis. Now Rovan must live in the palace. If she obeys, attending lessons and social engagements, her mother may be released from where she is being held. Meanwhile, Rovan searches, for a way out, both from the city and from her bond, and for the truth.

Okay, first up: LOVE a fantasy standalone. Thank you. I felt like there was a good amount of worldbuilding and really like that this magical Grecian setting featured snarky characters with a modern way of speaking. There were some really great scenes that resulted from others not being able to see or hear one's guardian. As always, I love a deathy story. I wouldn't say there's necromancy here (though there are some practitioners of death magic), but I do think this would be a good read for fans of Gideon the Ninth, and possibly Reign of the Fallen. The rep here was lovely - a pan main character, lesbian love interests, and ace/non-binary important side character. There is romance here for sure, but also an emphasis on the importance of platonic friendships.

You may want to be aware before reading this one that there is death (lots, and of various family members), blood and violence (they're not called bloodmages for nothing), mention of abuse, and some gore.

Thank you to Macmillan and NetGalley for the eARC. In the Ravenous Dark was published May 18th.
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This was a 3.5-star read for me but I had a great time reading it and I know many others will love this. This was a super enjoyable read despite how dark it is (see content warnings!!!) I loved the queer representation in the book and the way that sexualities/identities were not looked down upon in this world. The main character is pansexual, there's a major nonbinary supporting character, a lesbian love interest, and an overall sense of acceptance of others' preferences.

I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. The second half felt a little too tropey and I won't mention which tropes so I don't spoil anything. But one major issue I had was insta-love. Normally, I can look past it but I had a hard time with this one. As much as I wanted to believe in these characters' love, I just didn't. One trope I did appreciate was found family. I'm a sucker for found family and I loved how it was done here.

Overall, I wanted MORE from this book. More fleshed out world building, more character/relationship development, and maybe a duology so things could have been less rushed in the end. Still, this was a fun read (despite the darkness) and there were even some laugh out loud moments. I definitely recommend this to fantasy fans who are looking for awesome queer rep!

CW: death, death of a parent, violence, blood, forced marriage, threat of rape/abuse
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This was such fantastic story! First off, I want to shoutout to Strickland for creating pansexual, non-binary and other characters fitting into the LGBTQ representation throughout the novel but in a way that was not forced and added so much more to the overall plot. Such a smoothly implemented coverall of acceptance, understanding and appreciation.

The worldbuilding is set between the kingdom of Thanopolis and the dark city of the underworld. Beautiful imagery and atmospheric writing crafted a well-developed ancient Greece/Rome-like world. The magic system helped add more to the worldbuilding with the descriptions of the shields preventing the encroaching deadly blight into cities. I appreciated how Strickland’s writing style creatively molds all of the plot points, world building and magic system together. Each aspect feeding off the other to create this novel. The magic system was really unique to me too. Bloodlines, mages, and this tethered connection to the underworld really set the feel for the darker portions of this novel.

The characters are everything. Absolutely everything for me. Rovan makes for an excellent pansexual MC with strengths, flaws and even an odd suave perceived carelessness that I appreciated. I did want a little more depth from her since she barricaded her feeling a lot in the beginning. Almost too long of a stretch before her walls break and the growth can seep in. I freaking adored the sarcastic banter between Rovan and her guardian, Ivrilos. It kept me grinning like a goof and having a few good snort laughs along the way. The way Strickland built the persona of Ivrilos was perfection. From start to finish the perception of him morphs and grows and created such a deeply crafted character. Honestly, I can’t decide who I loved more between Ivrilos and Japha! Japha is just downright exceptional. They really bring to light the non-binary persona and the beauty of their character. I loved the almost ace-like aspect to Japha along with the way their individuality shined next to all of the other characters. Quite literally the bright star of the group for me. I could seriously keep going on the characters. I loved their development and what each one added to the story.

This brings me to the one area I wanted less of and I believe it is truly personal preference. Inner monologue. I wanted more character interaction and less of the inner thought process. I tend to have this thought a lot with YA reads though and feel characters spend a tad too much time over-hashing or reiterating things in their head. For me this took away from adding more character depth, interaction and plot growth. Don’t let this sway you though. Like I mentioned, it is a personal preference. Between the characters and the twisting plot, I was hooked from start to finish. There are mild intimate scenes, hints of sexual abuse, some cursing and excellent LGBTQ representation as noted. This is a darker read with facets that focus on death, shades, cruel royals and the underworld. Truly one of the more unique reads of my year! Let’s not forget the plot twists!! Holy heck there were a few times I almost threw my kindle… I was THAT invested!

Thank you to MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group, Fierce Reads, NetGalley and A.M. Strickland for the opportunity to read and review this gifted digital copy in exchange for an honest review. I cannot wait to add this one to my shelves! True rating 4.5/5.
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I couldn’t get enough of this book. “A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead.” This blurb sums of the book so well, yet there are so many layers and discoveries throughout that made this an exciting read. 

While growing up, Rovan’s father tried to keep her magic under the radar. The magic attached to his bloodline is powerful, but not strong enough to protect his daughter from a  fate where she would be bound to an undead spirit. With her father out of the picture after being hunted down, Rovan was able to go years avoiding the life he desperately didn’t want for her. That is until doing the right thing leads to her discovery and capture. Her magic is exposed and she’s thrust into a life she despises. It’s in this new life that she finds love larger than what she thought was possible and a purpose only she could fulfill. To set things right, she must learn to trust the very people she sees as untrustworthy.

I typically don’t like love triangles, but this one I didn’t mind, and I actually found myself rooting for them both. The relationship between Rovan and Ivrilos reminds me of Bryce and Hunt from the book Crescent City. I liked the different characters, and I enjoyed seeing the development of their friendship/relationship. 

I also really liked the pacing of the journey and the twists. It kept me engaged and wanting more.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced e-ARC!
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In the Ravenous Dark is such an interesting story and I absolutely loved it! Rovan is such a real and likeable protagonist, struggling with a society and history that is so incredibly frustrating and upsetting (for both her and the reader), and balancing both life and death, Rovan comes out on top with new love, friends, and powers.

A.M. Strickland hooked me from the very beginning with this world dynamic of bloodmages and guardians, and just kept coming with the emotional deep cuts that Rovan - and the reader - has to work through. These characters are amazing, I absolutely love the lgbtqia, pronoun, and variety of relationships representation, and I'm super into this kind of myth/mythological creature origin vibe that In the Ravenous Dark leads us on (you'll have to read to find out more!)

This haunting, dark, and mysterious world is mesmerizing!
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In the Ravenous Dark by A.M Strickland 

I received an eArc of this book for review  provided by NetGalley. 

A pan sexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start at rebellion among the living and dead. 

In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them- and control them.  Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception. 

Desperate to escape. Roman finds herself falling for two people she can’t fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling rebellious princess; and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit with the ability to control Rovan, body and soul.

Together, they uncover a secret that will destroy Thanopolis. To save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world  and the underworld and find a way to trust  the princess and spirit battling for her heart- if she doesn’t betray them first. 

There are some TW that some readers may find sensitive (death, violence, blood)

I was sold off the summary alone. This book has everything I love in a dark fantasy;  Magic, spirits, scheming, secrets, plotting. The pace is fast, things take off right at the beginning. For a stand alone, the world building is fantastic. Strickland does an excellent job keeping you engaged and on the edge of your seat.  I also really liked that there is a lot diversity and representation. I haven’t come across another fantasy like this.
 
I would also consider this more an Upper YA book.  Overall I really enjoyed this and would recommend if you’re looking for an epic dark fantasy.
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After reading Beyond the Black Door and being a bit disappointed with the execution of the book, I still looked forward to the prospect of In the Ravenous Dark since I chalked up my grievances with the author’s previous book as a lack of experience since Beyond the Black Door was their debut. Well, it’s safe to say that I just am not a fan of the way that Strickland writes fantasy books.

So what is incredible about this story is the queer normative world. Everyone is open about both sexual and gender identity. Our MC Rovan is pansexual. Japha is non-binary and asexual. Lydea is lesbian. There’s no judgments on relationships, number of partners, etc. Loved all of those things.

I also really enjoyed Rovan as a character. She’s feisty, strong-willed, independent, and literally doesn’t take anyone’s BS. Rovan is also messy and finds herself in some rather interesting predicaments thanks to her own decisions.

What didn’t work for me is the plot and the execution. The world building takes a back seat in this book in favor of character development, so it’s rather nebulous until you get random info dumps that don’t really backfill all of the questions you have in the first place. There’s also a plot twist that happened about 60% into the book that I legitimately do not understand.

I’m disappointed because there was so much potential in this story, but it ultimately left a lot to be desired.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
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I was excited to read In The Ravenous Dark based on the premise and the gorgeous cover as it falls into a niche category of books I love: dark, queer fantasy with hate to love romance. Unfortunately, due to a combination of having read a few too many of that type of book recently, and this book having some specific elements that I dislike, as well as just generally not connecting with the writing, I didn’t end up loving this one. The main issue lies in the fact that I don’t like Greece as a setting or aesthetic inspiration. I probably wouldn’t have requested this arc if I’d known that’s what this world was drawing inspiration from. That said, this book definitely builds on that aesthetic with lush florals (in their clothes and their decor), and bones, particularly skulls, which is a specific niche aesthetic element I love, but unfortunately wasn’t enough to keep my interest in this book. Which goes back to what I was saying about just not connecting with the writing. I don’t think this book is bad by any means and wouldn’t want to steer anyone interested away from it, it just wasn’t the book for me. I would still strongly recommend it, especially for the queer elements. Along with multiple queer side characters, our main character is poly, developing two separate romantic relationships, one with a man and one with a woman, throughout the book. The polyamory was one of the major reasons I picked it up, but I personally prefer to read about poly relationships wear all of the people involved are together, a true triangle rather than a V. Unfortunately polyamory is severely underrepresented in fiction, and beggars can’t be choosers, so despite my lack of personal investment, I did appreciate the mature and kind conversations displayed between the characters. I would still highly recommend anyone interested in this book to give it a go, and would potentially be interested in reading more from the author in the future. More than anything I wish I’d loved it so I could justify buying a finished copy for that gorgeous cover. 

Thank you to Macmillian Children’s Publishing Group and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a hard one for me to rate. Because I loved the queer found family aspect, the openness about sexuality, sex, gender, and love (which is not a finite resource) - and having these characters being unabashedly themselves in the wake of a very misogynistic and patriarchal society was awesome and heartening.

Also Rovan being selfish and angry and making mistakes is absolutely the move. It frustrated me as a reader who was rooting for her, but it also made me really want to see her grow. And we did get that.

However, at about 70% the book got really weird. The change in direction kind of turned me off from the rest of the book. I think part of it was that the passage of time was nebulous (I'm always really dubious about timeline when characters start throwing the word "love" around and being super self-sacrificial) and part of it was the lack of movement/action in the first half then turned on its head with a very action-packed last 1/3.

So overall enjoyable but not a favorite. I enjoyed it for the queer rep and open discussions of identity and found family vibes. But trust seemed too freely given when everyone is out for blood. Sometimes literally.
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3.5 stars rounded up. 

This was much better than beyond the black door! Still some technical issues but the shadow magic teased in BTBD was prominent here. I had a feeling Strickland would be able to write a fantastic shadow magic book and this didn’t miss on that front. I loved how the blood magic, shadow magic, and death magic were all interwoven in the story and seeing how they worked together. That was my favorite part.
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In the Ravenous Dark is a epically fantastic standalone fantasy that I simply adored! It’s not often that a standalone (especially fantasy) doesn’t leave me wanting more. This book gripped me from the VERY first chapter and kept me pretty much until the end. It was very twisty and VERY FULL of amazing lgbtq representation that was just so fantastic and expertly written. Specially the main character is pansexual and finds herself wanting to very different yet both very amazing characters and I’m just plain old obsessed!

I will say this book took a turn towards the end that I didn’t see coming and wasn’t sure how I felt about it but in the end it worked out for me. There were also little parts I wasn’t sure about the writing style, something felt off here and there but I seriously loved this story and the completely unique magic system had me devouring the pages to find out more!

This book was also VERY dark and FULL of trigger warnings, like seriously, check them out. This was one of the darker YA books I’ve read but I truly loved the story and the found family in this book had me smiling ear to ear. Rovan, the main character, also has a very excellent character arc and really pulls through and I just love her!
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