- N.E Davenport
- Genre: Adult w/ Upper YA Cross-Over Science Fiction
- Background: Black-American
- Instagram: @nia.davenport; Twitter: @nia_davenport; www.nedavenport.com
- Release: 4/5/2022 (I’m low-key judging you if this isn’t in your TBR)
- Publisher: Harper Voyager (HarperCollins Imprint)
- Favorite Character: Ikenna! This is one of the moments where I can say the main character is my favorite because she gave everything she needed to! I also loved Dannica (whom you meet later in the book), who also is ’bout that lyfe!
- Favorite Quote(s): “Besides, if you’re as good as Praetorians claim to be, little ole me using a weapon against you won’t matter.”-Ikenna. This is the type of energy that I love from her. She’s not with the bs & she will call folx out when it the Spirit moves her to! She also had some other epic things to say but I want you to read them yourself so you can understand my obsession, lol!
Hey Y’all! Before I begin this, I have to point out that this is the first time I’m writing a full post about an adult book but I loved THIS book so much that I’m happy for it to be the first. For those younger than 18, this book contains a lot of cussing, which you likely deal with in school (I’m under no delusions how kids talk these days) and a good amount of violence, so maybe…juuuusssssttttt maybe speak to your guardian about whether or not you are ready to read this book (maybe get it and hold on to it for when you are, I see no issue with that).
Okay, So I can’t really tell you for sure where I first came across news of The Blood Trials but what I CAN tell you is that I became pretty obsessed (this may be an understatement, actually) with the cover & getting my hands on an ARC. I definitely lamented under a few of Nia’s posts about leaving ARCs places and doing giveaways at conferences…my heart still hurts on missing out on those opportunities. Sometimes the Bookish Powers That Be are merciful so when I finally received one, I know I internally screamed…here is the IG live where I unboxed it and other books I received!
So from the moment I started reading, I didn’t want to put TBT down…AT ALL. When Ikenna’s story began and she started to talk, I knew I was 1000% percent invested. It was as if there was something kindred about her and once her grief was mentioned, it clicked, especially because it felt like we processed grief similarly. While I didn’t drink or sabotage everything I worked for (it hits us all in different ways y’all), I DID feel immense anger, lashed out when I could and didn’t function in the way I had before grief took it’s hold over me. People always talk about the ways in which grief looks like sadness & depression but hardly ever when it turns to anger…that that sense of anger doesn’t diminish what was lost/being grieved and how it could propel us forward (though the ‘what’ and ‘how’ isn’t necessarily clear).
In all honesty, I have been avoiding books where there is any bit of grief (in the “sad” sense) I could because it’s still a lot for me but I felt like Ikenna and I were very much the same. Losing my grandpa, in full transparency, felt like the most world shattering thing to happen in my life (not just adult life, just life in general) so Ikenna’s response to losing hers felt correct to me. I couldn’t imagine losing mine a little over a year ago at 30+, let alone at 19 (Ikenna’s age) so I could just feel the anger coursing through her and… it felt good… I felt validated. For that alone, I will always appreciate this book.
You know when your Spirit calls for a certain type of character and you go off in search for them? My bookish people know this feeling when you just NEED a character with a specific energy and/or a certain type of story/genre…for me, its typically the angry girl/woman characters because I can see myself in them (I wrote a whole post dedicated to them), other times it’s the other end of the spectrum with romance (but that’s a different post, like this one). Needless to say, Ikenna was EXACTLY what I was seeking. She’s the angry Black Girl of my DREAMSSSSSSSSS! Not only is she angry but she is a Badass MAGICAL angry Black Girl! I felt like I hit the literary jackpot with her! She felt what I felt, responded how I would’ve responded to others if I had the opportunity to (and lived in her world), she loved her grandpa the way I loved mine and she also knew her greatness (that part, I’m still working on about myself)… We deserve to have more Black Girls that are sure of themselves in literature, we truly do!
Not to continue on but to continue on… You know that character that becomes so filled with purpose and vengeance that you can’t help but cheer them on? Especially when they choose violence (I was always okay with it in this book, btw)? That is also Ikenna. You can’t help but see the world she lives in, the circumstances she’s been placed in and the odds against her so you want her to win. I know I basically turn into a posterboard with encouraging words to motivate her, since I was on the sidelines as the reader…mainly I was saying “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS” a lot but it holds the same effectiveness, lol! Ikenna is the type of character that jumps into the fire and walks out like it was water or fog no matter what she was put through. The questions come later because she’s got business to handle and a$$es to kick at that moment. Honestly, I would’ve looked at her in wonder, like a few of the other characters did throughout the book, as if she was a Gawdess (cause she is). Respeck NEEDED to be put on her name! Can you tell I’m a fan?!
There is so much more that I could say because Ikenna is truly THAT.GIRL. TBT has LAYERZZZZZZ, sucks you into the world and won’t release you until you make it to the acknowledgements (I read those too cause I didn’t want the book to end). I loved this book, Ikenna & quite a few of it’s side characters so much and I think you will too! If you don’t have this book in your TBR, I am asking you to change that IMMEJIATELY! We have another year before the second book comes out (That feels so FARRR) but try not to wait till then to read THIS book!
I’m going to end this here because I don’t want to get into anything remotely spoilery but I promise you this book will be worth your time! So request it from your local library or run to your favorite bookstore, either way it’s one of the best bookish investments you’ll make this year! If you’ve read the book & want to chat or if you have non-spoiler questions to ask, come find me out in these e-streets on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I just meet and connected with a fellow Angry Black Girl! Until the next post, I’m sending y’all bookish love & wishing you happy reading!
Photo Credit for Main Picture: https://fanfiaddict.com/author-chat-nia-n-e-davenport/