Quick take: I found this book immediately engrossing, but capital G on gross.
The sample of All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace that I downloaded from Kindle was good enough that I ended up buying this book. It features a strong female protagonist named Amora who solves problems using dark magic in a fantasy world. These traits are all exactly what I look for.
No spoilers, but this book is soaked in blood and magic. A little too much for me on both counts but some readers will find it a capable introduction to darker adult fiction themes. I can only compare it to Joe Abercrombie’s Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, from The First Law series. If more mature readers find their way to All the Stars and Teeth they might also enjoy the grimdark genre books by Abercrombie.
I love that the author plays with a protagonist having necromantic magic. She does explain in great detail how to get finger bones from whole fingers though… any creep worth their grave dirt knows the easiest way to clean bones is using carrion beetles. My guess is she wanted to make Amora more of a badass by getting all into the guts of it.
As the book progresses the magic system is revealed. I liked how she had organized islands revolving around a school of magic, similar to Harry Potter’s different houses of magic. The illusion island contains just as much “neat stuff per page” as anything else I read.
OK, part 1 was a fun gross romp. I’ll likely finish it some rainy day and maybe do a full review.