Crowning Soul (Heart of Noorenia, #1)
Be swept away in this unique fantasy debut from Sahira Javaid. A spellbinding adventure of belonging, finding hope and where the price of a soul is another soul’s fate. Perfect for fans of InuYasha, Children of Blood and Bone and The Candle and The Flame.Nezha Zaman considers her gift to control fire a dangerous secret. A secret that unravels when she encounters a vengeful shadow jinni in a maze garden that has been stalking her family, and knows about her power. Weeks after seeing the demonic being, Nezha is torn from her world through her backyard pond and transported to another dimension which sought out the light inside her heart.Nezha learns from two unicorns that the dimension is her family’s roots, and the light is a fragment of an angel’s shattered soul. The three must work together to find the soul’s shards in a land teeming with shape-shifting jinn. If Nezha fails to stop the corrupted Iron Prince, the malevolent jinn at his side will shatter her soul next.

Crowning Soul (Heart of Noorenia, #1) Details

TitleCrowning Soul (Heart of Noorenia, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 8th, 2020
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy

Crowning Soul (Heart of Noorenia, #1) Review

  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    August 18, 2020: Starting this and so very excited. Buddy reading with Mis and Vee!August 09, 2020: I have a digital review copy via Netgalley! And I'm freaking with happiness OMG. Also, the gorgeous cover is UFF July 10, 2020: I mean, we're talking about soul business and a jinn so you know I'm very much ready for this stunning book. August 18, 2020: Starting this and so very excited. Buddy reading with Mis and Vee!August 09, 2020: I have a digital review copy via Netgalley! And I'm freaking with happiness OMG. Also, the gorgeous cover is UFF <3July 10, 2020: I mean, we're talking about soul business and a jinn so you know I'm very much ready for this stunning book.
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  • Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
    January 1, 1970
    This book started off well and good.I was so hyped up regarding the main female protagonist and the myriad other fantastical characters and also that beautiful cover and the premise!I guess I had expected too much from it.I guess it's the writing that didn't work out for me. Some parts gets too repetitive. And until 40 percent of the book I was groping for information and details about this fantastical world. I find the character introductions and character development a bit haphazard.I just cou This book started off well and good.I was so hyped up regarding the main female protagonist and the myriad other fantastical characters and also that beautiful cover and the premise!I guess I had expected too much from it.I guess it's the writing that didn't work out for me. Some parts gets too repetitive. And until 40 percent of the book I was groping for information and details about this fantastical world. I find the character introductions and character development a bit haphazard.I just couldn't get connected with any of the characters. And tragedy keeps happening even before the characters get to get to me. I just couldn't enjoy this one.But I appreciate the descriptions of the cultural backgrounds used; the food and the family dynamics. It wasn't just enough for me.I wanted more connection with the characters. I wanted the world system in details so I have a fair idea about it. I wanted the magic to happen.I wanted my reader heart burn and yearn for more. Looking forward to the next book. Hope I get to enjoy it more than the first book.Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.I was super excited for this one, but what I thought I was getting and what I got were two very different things. While I still did generally enjoy this story, it was way too long and wandering for my taste. Crowning Soul revolves around Nezha Zaman who is a fire jawhar (elemental). When a shadow jinni threatens Nezha and hurts her family, her life begins to unravel. Simultaneously, in Noorenia (a paralle I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.I was super excited for this one, but what I thought I was getting and what I got were two very different things. While I still did generally enjoy this story, it was way too long and wandering for my taste. Crowning Soul revolves around Nezha Zaman who is a fire jawhar (elemental). When a shadow jinni threatens Nezha and hurts her family, her life begins to unravel. Simultaneously, in Noorenia (a parallel realm to the mortal one) the angel who is the heart of land is attacked and his soul shatters. Nezha's great uncle realizes she is the key and sends her to Noorenia with one part of the soul to find all the others and save the land. Throughout the first 50% of the book I was still trying to get my bearings. The way the information is given to us about why Nezha is important and what she needs to do was haphazard and confusing. I know this was an unedited arc, but there was so much repetition and weird scenes that didn't make any sense in the overarching plot line. I spent a majority of this confused and annoyed. When Nezha enters Noorenia, she finds two unicorns who become her guides and dearest friends. The addition of unicorns seemed random but it was kind of fun. However, the way this group went about their quest was so strange. They would go out to find pieces of the soul and then come back to the same house. Even though there's a bad guy and jinni who want to hurt/kill Nezha (was unclear). I've never seen a fantasy adventure like this where they consistently come back to the same place while traversing the whole country for objects. Another thing that was very strange was the timing throughout the story. Not only did the timeline feel weird, but there were several scenes where I felt like I missed part of the information that should have been there even though it was completely missing. Something that didn't help was the inter-chapter POV changes. We'd skip between several characters at any given moment and it gave me some whiplash. Lastly, the big bad is constantly built up over the course of the story. Nezha and her friends battle him at least 3 times if not more before the story climax. And every time it seemed like she almost sways him to her side of things. But then the actual ending came and it seemed like nothing really happened. It was the most anti-climactic climax I've read recently. Overall, very interesting premise. I wanted to love it. The world was cool and the characters were fine but the execution of the story in general was confusing and a tad off-putting.
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  • em/zainab
    January 1, 1970
    dnf @ 50%i can't go on. its confusing and i don't quite understand what's going on.*review of sorts coming soon*
  • Alexx
    January 1, 1970
    I saw Inuyasha in the synopsis and I'm sold. And also, that is one gorgeous cover! Look at it! I can't wait to read this one! Find me elsewhere: Blog | Instagram | Twitter I saw Inuyasha in the synopsis and I'm sold. And also, that is one gorgeous cover! Look at it! I can't wait to read this one! Find me elsewhere: Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Crowing Soul in exchange for an honest review.I wish i'd loved this book. Full of just about every mythical creature you can think of and featuring a muslim lead in a genre where it's normally challenging to even find a muslim side character, Crowning Soul is incredible on paper. The plot and world are detailed and unique and it has a mythos all of its own but unfortunately, this book is just trying to be too much.Crowning Souls felt like watching Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Crowing Soul in exchange for an honest review.I wish i'd loved this book. Full of just about every mythical creature you can think of and featuring a muslim lead in a genre where it's normally challenging to even find a muslim side character, Crowning Soul is incredible on paper. The plot and world are detailed and unique and it has a mythos all of its own but unfortunately, this book is just trying to be too much.Crowning Souls felt like watching a bunch of episodes of a 5-minute segmented animated kids show back to back if you skipped the first few episodes. At first, I found myself stopping to check and make sure I hadn't picked up a sequel because of how quickly I got lost. Then when you start to gain your footing, more and more is thrown at you. A conflict is introduced. It's defeated. The plot so far is recapped to a new character. A new conflict is introduced. It's defeated. The plot so far is recapped to a new character. I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading segments of a story instead of an actual story and it made it incredibly hard to connect with the narrative.I want to say this book is best for readers at the younger end of middle grade even though it's shelved at YA, but I truly think it is too dense of a story for a younger reader to understand. The ideas and world are incredible and I almost wish this book went through one or two more cycles of drafting because it could have been amazing but as is, this was too confusing of a read.
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  • vatana 🦋
    January 1, 1970
    the cover's cool, and that's probably the most beautiful sword i've ever seen, so i'm in.
  • Tabi (ᕗツ)ᕗ
    January 1, 1970
    so . . . firebending, right?
  • arwen
    January 1, 1970
    2,75/5Nezha is a young girl with a secret: she has the power to control fire. After the mysterious death of her aunt, she is transported to another dimension. With the help of two unicorns, she must find and gather the pieces of an angel's soul and eventually confront the evil jinn who may be responsible for her aunt’s death.I really wanted to get hyped by this book. It has everything I wanted : a strong female character, a found family and magic. But I guess Crowning Soul wasn’t for me.I DNF’ed 2,75/5Nezha is a young girl with a secret: she has the power to control fire. After the mysterious death of her aunt, she is transported to another dimension. With the help of two unicorns, she must find and gather the pieces of an angel's soul and eventually confront the evil jinn who may be responsible for her aunt’s death.I really wanted to get hyped by this book. It has everything I wanted : a strong female character, a found family and magic. But I guess Crowning Soul wasn’t for me.I DNF’ed it at around 40 % because I had lost interest in the story. Too much was happening too fast and it became repetitive and confusing…Well I was always confused while reading this book. At first, I thought it was because it was only the beginning, I didn’t know much about jinni, and as I read it everything would become clearer. It didn’t. The plot just became messier and messier ; I had the impression that the author never gave proper explanations and that she expected us to understand the backstory and her world-building without having to explain it to us.I am pretty sure the arc I had wasn’t the edited version and I think the final version will be much better. There are several scenes that I didn't understand because they didn't make much sense but I think the author can easily edit that and I hope she has.Just because Crowing's soul hasn't met my expectations doesn't mean it won't meet yours.I’d recommend this book for an audience between the ages of 10 and 14. This book should be perfect for people who are a little to young for YA. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me this ARC.
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  • Violet Stone
    January 1, 1970
    Even though I'm giving this book two stars I have nothing negative to say. This was a solid idea, just not as a YA. At least, not the way it was executed.The book itself was about Nezha finding orbs and restoring the Angel's soul. The way it was written was almost each chapter was discovering an orb and securing it without much trouble really. It felt more episodic than an actual book.Now, I think if this was marketed towards a younger audience it would do better. Take the concept, simplify it a Even though I'm giving this book two stars I have nothing negative to say. This was a solid idea, just not as a YA. At least, not the way it was executed.The book itself was about Nezha finding orbs and restoring the Angel's soul. The way it was written was almost each chapter was discovering an orb and securing it without much trouble really. It felt more episodic than an actual book.Now, I think if this was marketed towards a younger audience it would do better. Take the concept, simplify it and break it down over the course of six small books. A lesson could be learned in each one, and an orb retrieved. I also imagined this would do really well as a cartoon.And to further my reasoning why I think this would be amazing as a children's series is because there needs to be more young characters that aren't stuck up. Now, this is based off of the few middle grade reads I've picked up. But, it would be good to have a main character like Nezha who genuinely cares for others and is selfless. I can tell the author put a lot of love into this book. It flows out with how the characters interact with each other and lift each other up through the trials. I truly hate to give it such a low rating. But I want to encourage the author to keep writing and not to let this discourage her. It's clear she has a great imagination and I look forward to seeing how she grows from here.I was given an e-arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kal ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    Check out the excerpt and cover reveal that my friend Krisha shared today! Check out the excerpt and cover reveal that my friend Krisha shared today!
  • Delaney 🏳️‍🌈
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Net Galley for the ARC of Crowning Soul be Sahira Javaid. I give this book 2/5 stars. The summary of this book was very exciting and I was so excited to read this book, but it just fell flat. The world building seemed very weak to me and the characters seemed very 1 dimensional. The other issue I had was that the writing just seemed choppy. This book had a very promising concept but lacked the elements needed to follow through on the concept. I think I would try a book by Shaira Javaid Thank you Net Galley for the ARC of Crowning Soul be Sahira Javaid. I give this book 2/5 stars. The summary of this book was very exciting and I was so excited to read this book, but it just fell flat. The world building seemed very weak to me and the characters seemed very 1 dimensional. The other issue I had was that the writing just seemed choppy. This book had a very promising concept but lacked the elements needed to follow through on the concept. I think I would try a book by Shaira Javaid again if it was more character driven rather than plot driven, because there were some truly magical aspects about this book. I loved the whimsy and magic Javaid infused into the story with the plethora of mythical creatures, which is why this book earned its 2 stars.
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  • Lu
    January 1, 1970
    First of all I wanted to thank the author for sending me a free copy of Crowning soul! Thank you so much for this!Having read that this book was perfect for fans of InuYasha and The city of brass I couldn't not want to read it! The story is very interesting and captivating. The main character is a biracial girl, Nezha Zaman, able to control fire and keeping this a secret, a dangerous one. Her life is upset and, literally, she's transported into another dimension, when she meets a shadow jinni. I First of all I wanted to thank the author for sending me a free copy of Crowning soul! Thank you so much for this!Having read that this book was perfect for fans of InuYasha and The city of brass I couldn't not want to read it! The story is very interesting and captivating. The main character is a biracial girl, Nezha Zaman, able to control fire and keeping this a secret, a dangerous one. Her life is upset and, literally, she's transported into another dimension, when she meets a shadow jinni. In this dimension she has to heal, mend an angel's shattered soul, fight the jinni and protect her own soul from him.This book is full of complex characters, above all the villains, adventures, Muslim rep, romance and hijabi main character, strong and stubborn, angels, magic...Crowing soul has basically everything you could ask for and it's really brilliant. I loved the setting and the writing style, so engaging and I can't wait for everyone to read this book because I really recommend it.
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  • Maya the Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    Check out this review and more on my blog, Maya’s Reviews.Thank you to the author/publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.~Quick Statistics~Overall: 2.5/5 StarsPlot: 2/5 StarsSetting: 1/5 StarsCharacters: 1/5 StarsWriting: 1.5/5 StarsMemorability: 2/5 Stars~Quick Review~I’ll start off by saying that I really wanted to like this novel. It looked so good, and I could not wait to read it. Unfortunately, I had to DNF the novel before I even reached the ha Check out this review and more on my blog, Maya’s Reviews.Thank you to the author/publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.~Quick Statistics~Overall: 2.5/5 StarsPlot: 2/5 StarsSetting: 1/5 StarsCharacters: 1/5 StarsWriting: 1.5/5 StarsMemorability: 2/5 Stars~Quick Review~I’ll start off by saying that I really wanted to like this novel. It looked so good, and I could not wait to read it. Unfortunately, I had to DNF the novel before I even reached the halfway marker; I just could not get myself to read it. While the story seems like it could be really good, the actual writing and descriptions need some work. I’ve heard that the author is planning to fix this however, before the release.~Other Information~Publisher: Sahira JavaidPage Count: 635 pagesRelease Date: September 8, 2020As I mentioned before, I believe the author is planning to further edit her novel before the publication date, so the release date could potentially change (just don’t take my word for it).~Book Description (via Goodreads)~Nezha Zaman considers her gift to control fire a dangerous secret. A secret that unravels when she encounters a vengeful shadow jinni in a maze garden that has been stalking her family, and knows about her power. Weeks after seeing the demonic being, Nezha is torn from her world through her backyard pond and transported to another dimension which sought out the light inside her heart.Nezha learns from two unicorns that the dimension is her family’s roots, and the light is a fragment of an angel’s shattered soul. The three must work together to find the soul’s shards in a land teeming with shape-shifting jinn. If Nezha fails to stop the corrupted Iron Prince, the malevolent jinn at his side will shatter her soul next. ~Characters~One of my biggest issues withCrowning Soul was that the characters seemed to have little to no development. I couldn’t connect with any of them, because none of the characters had a personality. I appreciated that Nezha, the main character, was connected to her family and that their culture was (lightly) described. However, this added nothing to their personalities or their interactions with each other.~Writing and Setting~While I read Crowning Soul, I noticed that many things were not described very well. I have no idea how the magic that Nezha holds works, none of the cultural aspects of Crowning Soul are explained, etc. I found this very frustrating and hope that these issues are fixed before the release.Similar to the writing, nothing about where Nezha is, is described. I have no idea whether it’s a magical world, Earth, 1956, 2067… There’s nothing to point me towards what timeline Nezha is in, which was also equally frustrating as other issues.~Plot~The plot of Crowning Soul seemed very promising and exciting, and I feel that if the author works on the other aspects, Crowning Soul can be much more enjoyable for a large spectrum of readers.~Overall Review~Crowning Soul was not necessarily a bad book, it just had some issues that need to be resolved and it was not for me. Hopefully, some of these, if not all, of the issues I mentioned will be worked on during the authors editing period.Amazon
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  • Nabiha Tahsin
    January 1, 1970
    𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵𝒆𝒕𝒈𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝑨𝑹𝑪 𝒊𝒏 𝒆𝒙𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒉𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒘. 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒘𝒏I was excited for this book after this exciting synopsis, ofcourse, the muslim representation and the cover with a hijabie grabbed my attention. The representation of a muslim hijabie MC in fantasy genre is not something we see often. I had high expectations from this book (Hear me, this doesn't end well) The story focuses on Nezha, a biracial girl hailing from Morocco. S 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒖𝒃𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑵𝒆𝒕𝒈𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝑨𝑹𝑪 𝒊𝒏 𝒆𝒙𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒉𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒆𝒘. 𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒘𝒏I was excited for this book after this exciting synopsis, ofcourse, the muslim representation and the cover with a hijabie grabbed my attention. The representation of a muslim hijabie MC in fantasy genre is not something we see often. I had high expectations from this book (Hear me, this doesn't end well) The story focuses on Nezha, a biracial girl hailing from Morocco. She is a Fire Jawhar/Fire Elemental,since, her childhood her parents had shut away her superpowers and her lineage with the Fire Kingdom, because they assumed that's the best for her. But all hells break loose when, Nezha encounters a shadow Jinni who hurts her family and thus she is determined to get to the end of this. On the other hand, in Noorenia (Parallel realm to the mortal world) the Angel of Mercy is cursed. Nezha's greatuncle realises she is the "Chosen One". So, he transports Nezha to Noorenia, where Nezha must find orbs which will lead to break the curse and mend the Angel's soul.Let's start with the parts which impressed me-The premise and storyline has a lot to offer and was really interesting at the start. This book is full of mythical creatures like Jinns,Unicorns, Ogres, Angels, Mermaids, Dragons etc. The concept is fresh out of a writer's den. Love, Family values and devotion to family are widely presented in this book, both Nezha and Kayan were family oriented. One of the best part about this book and I absolutely loved is the overwhelming little descriptions representing muslim culture. I don't really see such representations in YA books and as a Muslim myself, this created a soft place in my heart. I liked Nezha and Kayan's characters wish they had a better approach and a nice depth around them. Other characters like Sapphire and Thunderbolt, were nice as well. I enjoyed their conversations.Moving on to the things which made me disappointed and frustrated-Everything kept happening at the same time, I found myself jeopardized with all the subplots. Everytime I tried to get hold of Nezha's superpwers,a new subplot is pushed in.Various things are left unexplained, I still don't know exactly how Nezha's superpowers works or what her role is in the quest or even what the actual quest and destination is. Like, I said, the premise of the book is interesting and well-done, we had enough descriptions and the characters were introduced well. But as the book proceeded the descriptions narrowed down, the conversations became more bland. The character development was done in a passive and desultory manner. Generally, It takes a time to get hold of the fantasy world, but in this book it was extremely difficult for me to comprehend, the descriptions and detaling are not perfectly done and it takes away so much from the readers. Too much dramas happend in a short amount of time, and with the sudden unexplained POV changing. , I found myself lost and couldn't understand why and how the intense scenes were happening. I was clueless while reading this. I am left with so many unexplained plotholes, especially after that zero-climax ending. I am sorry but this thing really narrowed down my initial response to the book. Overall, I think the plot and story was amazing and has a great potential to be one of the finest genuine fantasy books but the writing and presentation need a bit of work. I hope the things get cleared up before the publication date, or else the readers will fail to embrace such an outstanding story.
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  • Mal Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you very much Netgalley and the publisher who gave me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.Overall: 3/5Characters: 3/5World Building: 3/5Plot: 2/5Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5I know this is small and shouldn’t really matter but a unicorn is a mythical horse with only a magical horn, it also may or may not have magical powers. An alicorn is a combination between a pegasus and a unicorn, having both a horn and wings. The entire book describes Thunderbolt and Sapphire as unicorns when they’re Thank you very much Netgalley and the publisher who gave me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.Overall: 3/5Characters: 3/5World Building: 3/5Plot: 2/5Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5I know this is small and shouldn’t really matter but a unicorn is a mythical horse with only a magical horn, it also may or may not have magical powers. An alicorn is a combination between a pegasus and a unicorn, having both a horn and wings. The entire book describes Thunderbolt and Sapphire as unicorns when they’re really alicorns. *sorry this really bothered the horse lover in me*When I saw the cover of this book I was in love, then I read the synopsis and knew I had to read this book. A Pakistani hijabi who can wield magic? Give it to me now!!!!The main story is of Nezha Zaman, a hijabi growing up in Morocco who has a very special secret, she has magical fire powers. She encounters a demonic jinni at a garden when she was supposed to be celebrating with her family and eventually it caused tragedy. Weeks later she is sent into a different universe where she encounters two unicorns(it’s supposed to be alicorns), who work with her to try and save this dimension from an iron prince gone mad with grief.What I loved more than anything was the references to faith and food. Nezha stayed truthful to herself and what she believed in throughout the book. This book showed how a muslim can be used as a character without having them be the token character. The references to food and culture were my favorite part. I really felt like I was eating the ladu or barfi as she described them. There were a few words that I didn’t understand but that could have been punjabi or the way transliteration works. Also the halal romance worked really well. Although I don’t really agree with the love at first sight idea, the relationship was really cute! It could work out really well as it went on.Unfortunately the execution of the story is really where it fell short.The writing style just wasn’t that great for me, it constantly switched between characters without any sort of noticeable break (this may have been because I read digitally but I’m not too sure about that). Overall I felt I was grasping for details like where Nezha’s powers, and the powers of her family, came from. We were thrust so quickly into the story that the parallel world felt underdeveloped and we constantly moved without explanation. I couldn’t connect with the characters either; I started to like them, but it didn’t feel like I could truly understand them. My biggest problem was the plot. There were so many constant fights that they just easily defeated made it so there were was no rise and fall in action, it felt like a straight line. It seemed confusing and dense. Many of the villains and characters just immediately accepted Nezha without question and I don’t know if that was from the other characters who were with her or just her being helped along.Overall this book had so much potential, I just feel it needed more work on deciding what the characters faced. The references to religion and culture were wonderful but the storytelling needed some work.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    The cover is what initially drew me in. I saw it floating on Twitter and I had to know more. The synopsis intrigued me further and to my utter delight I found it on Netgalley to read now. Unicorns and Jinn and Fire, oh my! A fantasy story helmed by a fire welding hijabi, more inclusive fantasy we love to see it!This reads on the very young side of YA/ Middle Grade. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in fact much of those ages get skipped but the protagonist is 17 so this is classified a The cover is what initially drew me in. I saw it floating on Twitter and I had to know more. The synopsis intrigued me further and to my utter delight I found it on Netgalley to read now. Unicorns and Jinn and Fire, oh my! A fantasy story helmed by a fire welding hijabi, more inclusive fantasy we love to see it!This reads on the very young side of YA/ Middle Grade. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in fact much of those ages get skipped but the protagonist is 17 so this is classified as upper YA. This felt like reading a board game. My point being that we jumped from point A to point B and so on so rapidly that nothing ever stuck. We need to go seek this person boom we’re there okay pass this test and immediately pass the test. This occurred too frequent and the tasks were too easily accomplished. This makes for an un-fun reading adventure. Where are the stakes?? So many kinds of creatures and characters are thrust at us and then we’re quickly off on the next thing. I wanted to experience this world and we do but not in a whirlwind kind of way. Too much info dump bad no info also not good. The idea of this story is amazing. The wonderful different kinds of creatures we encounter seem incredible but because we don’t fully invest in them for long that we can’t invest in the story. I’m always for quick paced drop you in the middle of story gal, but if you don’t start threading those strings at some point it won’t hold up. Nezha is a sweet girl who is thrust into another dimension to find pieces of a missing soul. There’s a lack of main characters like Nezha for the obvious but also for strength in conviction. She stays firm with herself and beliefs which is a nice theme. I’m super bummed that this wasn’t a favorite for me. I still think its important for anyone interested to check this out and experience this story for yourself. I adored both worlds and meeting so many kinds of creatures. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley
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  • Mariah Wamby
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC copy of Crowning Soul by Sahira Javaid. There was a lot of potential in this book and a lot to love, but overall it fell short for me earning 2 stars. I’m going to start with what I loved about this book, then I’ll hit on a few of the aspects that I found frustrating.What most excited me most about this book is that it was an #ownvoices fantasy adventure featuring a young Muslim woman as the heroine. And I loved Nezha. She was fiery (pun intended), sweet, and Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC copy of Crowning Soul by Sahira Javaid. There was a lot of potential in this book and a lot to love, but overall it fell short for me earning 2 stars. I’m going to start with what I loved about this book, then I’ll hit on a few of the aspects that I found frustrating.What most excited me most about this book is that it was an #ownvoices fantasy adventure featuring a young Muslim woman as the heroine. And I loved Nezha. She was fiery (pun intended), sweet, and on a journey of self discovery. We got to see a lot of Nezha’s culture in this book as well, which was great.Another thing that I loved about this book was the magic — and there was a lot of it! Unicorns, angels, people with the ability to control wind or fire. Elves, ogres, and iron mages. The list goes on and on, and it was cool to see such a diversity of magic in one universe. This does however bring me to my first complaint. While I adored all the different magical elements of this story it was very overwhelming at times. Just when I thought I understood the world someone would shapeshift or gain a new power and I would lost my bearings in the story.Another critique was the lack of detail throughout the book. A LOT happens in this book, to the extent that it almost feels episodic. But with shifting POVs happening mid chapter and not a lot of description to help the reader understand those jumps it was very easy to feel lost in the middle of some of the more dramatic and intense scenes.So, overall I think that Crowning Soul has a lot of potential. The characters and the world are great, I just feel like they needed more time to develop, space to breathe. I think splitting this book up into shorter stories would’ve allowed more room for details that really would’ve made this story pop.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for granting me this ARC. I unfortunately had to DNF this book at 35% and I feel awful for it. I felt very hyped about this book and desperately wanted to connect with it. Nezha, a young girl with the ability to control fire, finds herself suddenly transported to another dimension after the untimely death of her aunt. Two unicorns must help her on her quest to save an angel’s soul and defeat an evil jinn. A book containing a strong female lead and magic usually means it’s rig Thanks to NetGalley for granting me this ARC. I unfortunately had to DNF this book at 35% and I feel awful for it. I felt very hyped about this book and desperately wanted to connect with it. Nezha, a young girl with the ability to control fire, finds herself suddenly transported to another dimension after the untimely death of her aunt. Two unicorns must help her on her quest to save an angel’s soul and defeat an evil jinn. A book containing a strong female lead and magic usually means it’s right up my alley. However, Crowning Soul isn’t the one for me. I’m not entirely sure what it is, it could be the writing or the way I felt the plot didn’t flow - this could be because it’s an uncorrected ARC so it isn’t as “polished” as it could be.As mentioned, I stopped at about 35% in because I really wanted to give this story a chance. The plot seemed to jump from point to point which left me rather confused as to what was going on - but also left me unable to engage with it. I’ve given it 3 stars, however I believe it’s more of a 2.75. Hopefully, just because I didn’t enjoy Crowning Soul, it doesn’t mean others won’t. I’m a big fan of books about jinn (The City of Brass being a key example) but this one just didn’t hit it for me. Not quite what I’d class as YA, perhaps more for the younger readers (11-14 years). Thank you once again to NetGalley for this ARC. ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
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  • Jarka Alam
    January 1, 1970
    Received a digital review copy off of NetGalley. I was extremely excited for this book, especially based off the summary and cover. The cover especially is gorgeous and eye-catching, but unfortunately that’s not enough bff or me Overall, I spent much of the book confused. I had a hard time connecting with Nezha and understanding the dynamics of her powers and her background. Every time I felt like I was getting a good grip on things, a new problem or villain or element to the fantasy world would Received a digital review copy off of NetGalley. I was extremely excited for this book, especially based off the summary and cover. The cover especially is gorgeous and eye-catching, but unfortunately that’s not enough bff or me Overall, I spent much of the book confused. I had a hard time connecting with Nezha and understanding the dynamics of her powers and her background. Every time I felt like I was getting a good grip on things, a new problem or villain or element to the fantasy world would get introduced that made me feel like I was back at square one. On top of that the writing itself was clunky and unpolished, making it hard to follow at times. I noticed in another review someone mentioned the book seems like it would benefit from another round of edits, and I completely agree with that sentiment. The ideas are there, the execution is just not great. However, there are a couple things I did enjoy. First off, I always enjoy seeing stories using elements of Islamic folklore and I think there’s parts of this novel that did that well. Also I enjoyed the immersion into the different aspects of Nezha’s culture as well as just simply seeing a hijabi as a main character and on the cover of the book. Overall, I think this rounds out at a 2.5/5 with lots of potential but poor execution.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    First I would like to thank the publisher for the eARC copy of Crowning Soul. I received the digital copy via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.Unfortunately, I was not able to finish this book. While the premise seemed like it would be right up my alley the execution was a bit lackluster. You don't find many YA novels where the main character is not only female but Muslim as well. That was one of the selling points for me however, the text was just so hard to fo First I would like to thank the publisher for the eARC copy of Crowning Soul. I received the digital copy via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.Unfortunately, I was not able to finish this book. While the premise seemed like it would be right up my alley the execution was a bit lackluster. You don't find many YA novels where the main character is not only female but Muslim as well. That was one of the selling points for me however, the text was just so hard to follow that I only made it a few chapters in before I gave up. The author uses a lot of phrases in what I assume is Arabic and/or Punjabi and it is relatively easy to figure out what is being said but they are used so close together that on occasion it takes away from the ease of reading. I was spending more time trying to decipher what was being said than actually following the story line. It is refreshing that an author has chosen to include these as it is a huge part of the culture being portrayed however, the execution could have been much better. I may not have gotten to the more exciting parts of the story but having to trudge my way through the beginning set up chapters just made me not want to continue. I may give this another shot in a few months and revise this review but for right now I am going to have to shelve this title.
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  • ColleenIsBooked
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you to the author for sending this to me in exchange for an honest review*I will not be giving this book a star rating at this time. I will try to keep this review brief and to the point. The beginning of this book was very confusing to me. I was never sure exactly what was going on. I have seen that the author has done another round of edits after sending out the review copies. So I really hope that these confusing bits were clarified more during this last round of editing. I'm not sure *Thank you to the author for sending this to me in exchange for an honest review*I will not be giving this book a star rating at this time. I will try to keep this review brief and to the point. The beginning of this book was very confusing to me. I was never sure exactly what was going on. I have seen that the author has done another round of edits after sending out the review copies. So I really hope that these confusing bits were clarified more during this last round of editing. I'm not sure if my confusion is based on not knowing anything about Inuyasha (I think that's how it's spelled?) or if I was maybe misreading or it was a writing style/structural thing? Either way I am hoping that things have been made a little clearer for the reader going into the book (especially those with no previous knowledge of the comparable media). I do feel like the middle section of the book was the most structured and fleshed out part. The ending wrapped up super quickly. Again, I am not sure how much has been edited since I received my eARC, but I think another round of edits on the manuscript I read would be super helpful to give the story more structure, momentum, and clarity. As for ideal reader, I think this story would be excellent for younger YA readers. It would be a nice transitional read for middle graders to dive into YA.
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  • Aisha
    January 1, 1970
    Crowning Soul follows Nezra after she is transported into another dimension and tasked with finding orbs that contain the soul of an angel.I liked the concept of the story and the start of the story however as soon as Nezra goes to the other dimension the book goes downhill. The dialogue was weird and cringe and did not suit the characters, the plot moved way too quickly and was repetitive with the same thing happening over and over again with the characters jumping from new settings/new charact Crowning Soul follows Nezra after she is transported into another dimension and tasked with finding orbs that contain the soul of an angel.I liked the concept of the story and the start of the story however as soon as Nezra goes to the other dimension the book goes downhill. The dialogue was weird and cringe and did not suit the characters, the plot moved way too quickly and was repetitive with the same thing happening over and over again with the characters jumping from new settings/new characters too often. The writing style fell flat for me, it made it hard for me to read and I got bored really quickly and ended up skim reading most of the book. Too much is going on and there is not enough focus/time on one thing, there is too much action and less plot development, the book also jumps from perspectives in a weird way making the book a confusing and long read which I do not remember much of. I did not mind the characters, I think the book focuses too much on the action, so much so that I could not connect to them or the relationships between them.1/5
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  • Abhilasha
    January 1, 1970
    I love the book and yet the execution was so poor that I will only give it two stars. I will take it from the top.I loved the world but it needed more building into before the characters are thrown into a frenzy of missions.I actually picked up the book for the female protagonist but there were so many more characters to look forward to. I loved the many characters but as I got used to someone new, they would either go away or new ones were added.I love the prospect of evil jinns as antagonists I love the book and yet the execution was so poor that I will only give it two stars. I will take it from the top.I loved the world but it needed more building into before the characters are thrown into a frenzy of missions.I actually picked up the book for the female protagonist but there were so many more characters to look forward to. I loved the many characters but as I got used to someone new, they would either go away or new ones were added.I love the prospect of evil jinns as antagonists but they were always and ever introduced and dismissed with a few repetitive lines.My personal opinion: The book would have faired better had it either been through a few more rounds of editing. or shrunk on the expanse of the new world. It felt like the world of Noorenia was expansive to the point of being out of control and unmanageable.Who do I recommend it to? Middle Graders and Early Teens even though it is listed as a Young Adult.
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  • Rafael Rodriguez
    January 1, 1970
    I saw Inuyasha in the synopsis and I'm sold. And also, that is one gorgeous cover! Look at it! I can't wait to read this. The story is very interesting and captivating. I loved that it had Muslim representation in a fantasy world, Nezha Zaman, able to control fire. The World Building is very steady. Character introductions and development was a little too fast for my liking but done well. The plot is amazing and story line is well thought out. Having her life interrupted one day she is a girl w I saw Inuyasha in the synopsis and I'm sold. And also, that is one gorgeous cover! Look at it! I can't wait to read this. The story is very interesting and captivating. I loved that it had Muslim representation in a fantasy world, Nezha Zaman, able to control fire. The World Building is very steady. Character introductions and development was a little too fast for my liking but done well. The plot is amazing and story line is well thought out. Having her life interrupted one day she is a girl with a dangerous secret and the next she is having to use this secret to help her save another world with her companions she must set off to try and save the shattered soul of an angel while Fighting of the The Dark Shadows of Another World. The World is full of about as many different types of mythical creatures you can think of. Over all a great 1st time read.
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  • bookish.lifestyle
    January 1, 1970
    Based on the summary I read for this books I had very high expectations/hopes for this book which may have been why I didn't enjoy it as much as I was anticipating. I unfortunately DNF'd this book after 31%. I had difficulty following the storyline and relating to the main character Nezah. There are a lot of terms in a language that I am unfamiliar with, that I kept having to look up and try to decipher what they meant and this took me out of the story quite a lot. I couldn't tell if the languag Based on the summary I read for this books I had very high expectations/hopes for this book which may have been why I didn't enjoy it as much as I was anticipating. I unfortunately DNF'd this book after 31%. I had difficulty following the storyline and relating to the main character Nezah. There are a lot of terms in a language that I am unfamiliar with, that I kept having to look up and try to decipher what they meant and this took me out of the story quite a lot. I couldn't tell if the language was Punjabi and I was unable to figure out what most of the words were. I do think someone of a similar race/ethnicity might enjoy this more as they will be able to connect to the story and character more. I did enjoy the writing style and description over all and think this could have been at least a 3 star for me. Unfortunately I just have very limited reading time.
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  • bookish.lifestyle
    January 1, 1970
    Based on the summary I read for this books I had very high expectations/hopes for this book which may have been why I didn't enjoy it as much as I was anticipating. I unfortunately DNF'd this book after 31%. I had difficulty following the storyline and relating to the main character Nezah. There are a lot of terms in a language that I am unfamiliar with, that I kept having to look up and try to decipher what they meant and this took me out of the story quite a lot. I couldn't tell if the languag Based on the summary I read for this books I had very high expectations/hopes for this book which may have been why I didn't enjoy it as much as I was anticipating. I unfortunately DNF'd this book after 31%. I had difficulty following the storyline and relating to the main character Nezah. There are a lot of terms in a language that I am unfamiliar with, that I kept having to look up and try to decipher what they meant and this took me out of the story quite a lot. I couldn't tell if the language was Punjabi and I was unable to figure out what most of the words were. I do think someone of a similar race/ethnicity might enjoy this more as they will be able to connect to the story and character more. I did enjoy the writing style and description over all and think this could have been at least a 3 star for me. Unfortunately I just have very limited reading time.
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  • Nathalie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ARC.I won't give this a star rating because sadly I had to dnf this. I was very hyped by the synopsis and the cover. I really enjoyed the first few chapters, with the cultural aspects and the family description. But then everything started to get very confusing and I couldn't follow anymore. I would've needed more world building, better character introductions, and overall a slower plot pace to understand what's happening. Everything just seemed to go way Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ARC.I won't give this a star rating because sadly I had to dnf this. I was very hyped by the synopsis and the cover. I really enjoyed the first few chapters, with the cultural aspects and the family description. But then everything started to get very confusing and I couldn't follow anymore. I would've needed more world building, better character introductions, and overall a slower plot pace to understand what's happening. Everything just seemed to go way too fast. I liked the rich, very flowery writing of the beginning but, around 15 percent into the book, it just got so confusing and it sometimes seemed more like a draft. I think this book just wasn't for me.
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  • Amina
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this so muchBut for some reason i could not connect with the story or the characters. I have to say I absolutely loved the cultural background : the food, the clothes, the langage, the religious elements, it felt like i was back in Algeria visiting family which made my heart swell with warmth. Unfortunately, i had a hard time investing in the characters and their journey. The structure of the book and the way the plot moves forward felt weird. Everything was moving fast but noth I wanted to love this so muchBut for some reason i could not connect with the story or the characters. I have to say I absolutely loved the cultural background : the food, the clothes, the langage, the religious elements, it felt like i was back in Algeria visiting family which made my heart swell with warmth. Unfortunately, i had a hard time investing in the characters and their journey. The structure of the book and the way the plot moves forward felt weird. Everything was moving fast but nothing was really explained which led to confusion. I would still recommend this book especially to those who are starting to venture towards books with magic and fantasy elements. I just dont think it was for me.DNFed
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  • Amina
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this so muchBut for some reason i could not connect with the story or the characters. I have to say I absolutely loved the cultural background : the food, the clothes, the langage, the religious elements, it felt like i was back in Algeria visiting family which made my heart swell with warmth. Unfortunately, i had a hard time investing in the characters and their journey. The structure of the book and the way the plot moves forward felt weird. Everything was moving fast but noth I wanted to love this so muchBut for some reason i could not connect with the story or the characters. I have to say I absolutely loved the cultural background : the food, the clothes, the langage, the religious elements, it felt like i was back in Algeria visiting family which made my heart swell with warmth. Unfortunately, i had a hard time investing in the characters and their journey. The structure of the book and the way the plot moves forward felt weird. Everything was moving fast but nothing was really explained which led to confusion. I would still recommend this book especially to those who are starting to venture towards books with magic and fantasy elements. I just dont think it was for me.
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