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Kriss: The Gift of Wrath 💫 Mini Spoiler Free Review

Title: Kriss: The Gift of Wrath
Author: Ted Naifeh & Warren Wucinich
Genre: YA Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Pages: 124
Publishers: Katherine Oni Press
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

For fans of The Graveyard Book and Through the Woods comes a different kind of YA fantasy graphic novel, in which a teen boy’s search for his destiny leads him into darkness.

Lean, ghostly pale, and permanently grim-faced, Kriss has always been an outsider in his small village. Not even his adoptive parents love him. Only Anja, the blacksmith’s daughter, brings kindness and friendship into the life of the sullen teenager. But Kriss is haunted by dim memories of his true father, Erikk Iron Tooth, the king of Darkovia.

When Anja’s mother is killed by a wild sabercat from the far north, the young girl’s world is shattered, and Kriss determines to avenge her. Armed with only a pitchfork, the skinny teen sets out to kill the beast, only to learn that it’s actually a dark spirit from Darkovia, come to bring him his destiny. The spirit grants Kriss the power to vanquish the mightiest foes, and commands him to reclaim his father’s kingdom. But his gift of power comes with a price — uncontrollable rage. And leaving the village would mean leaving Anja, the only person who’s always been there for him. Kriss must choose between his destiny and Anja, who needs his friendship more than ever. But his growing power, and the fiery anger that comes with it, threatens to make the choice for him, and burn everything he holds dear.

This was not exactly what I expected from this Graphic Novel. That’s for sure. This is going to be a short & sweet review because I really don’t have that much to say. Quite simply I just found it hard to follow & kinda pointless.

I don’t know if I just simply didn’t get the meaning behind this one but I just felt like it had no real purpose, message or plot to it. It was also super hard to follow and I still have no idea about half the things that happened in the story. According to Goodreads this is not even part of a series, so it isn’t like there is more to come that will explain what exactly was going on in this book.

I did enjoy the art style but that was about all that I can say positive about it. This Graphic Novel wasn’t exactly bad, it just wasn’t for me and left me confused.


Have you read Kriss? What were your thoughts on it?


Thank you to both NetGalley & Oni Press for providing an eGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Hand on the Wall 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Hand on the Wall
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Truly Devious
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery
Publication Date: January 21st, 2020
Pages: 368
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

As you may know The Hand on the Wall is the final book in the Truly Devious Trilogy! You can find my reviews for The Vanishing Stair HERE!

This series is HANDS DOWN one of my favourite series of all time. I have read Truly Devious & The Vanishing Stair leading up to the release of The Hand on the Wall and I have loved it every time! I feel like each time I read it I discover or realise new things.

The Hand on the Wall & the whole Truly Devious series is so well written! It is gripping, unpredictable & entertaining. I just couldn’t get enough of it! I read nearly the whole thing in one day! I only had to read 30ish pages on the second day as I only put it down after the big reveal because I was exhausted!

I love Stevie as a main character! She is one of my favourite characters I’ve read from in any book and I wish we had more! I loved the references she made to Sherlock and of course Hercule Poirot, who I also love.
I really enjoyed most of the other characters too! They were all so well written. They grew & devloped throughout the series and I loved watching that.

The Hand on the Wall was also just so unpredictable! I have 101 guesses but not one of them was correct! There were amazing plot twists thrown in but every little detail added up in the end which was so satisfying.

I can’t wait to see what Maureen Johnson writes next but I hope it will be another mystery! I was sad to see this book end as I didn’t want this story with these characters to be over but I’m also really happy with how it all rounded off in the end.


Have you read any of Maureen Johnson’s other books? I have been curious as I loved this one but just don’t know and don’t know where to start! Any suggestions or recommendations would be appreciated.


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One of Us is Next 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: One of Us is Next
Author: Karen M. McManus
Series: One of Us is Lying
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
Pages: 375
Publishers: Penguin
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

It is a year after the action of One of Us Is Lying, and someone has started playing a game of Truth or Dare.

But this is no ordinary Truth or Dare. This game is lethal. Choosing the truth may reveal your darkest secrets, accepting the dare could be dangerous, even deadly.

The teenagers of Bayview must work together once again to find the culprit, before it’s too late . . .

Trigger Warnings: Character forces himself on another character, Discussions of pretty brutal deaths (not detailed on page), Leukaemia & Alcohol Addiction/Alcohol Poisoning

One of Us is Next is even better than book 1, One of Us is Lying! You can find my Spoiler Free Review for One of Us is Lying HERE!

I honestly forgot how amazingly Karen M. McManus writes books! Her characters are extremely well developed & fleshed out. We follow 3 characters POV in One of Us is Next; Maeve, Phoebe & Knox and I really enjoyed all 3. My favourite POV to follow was definitely Maeve. She grows throughout the book and I love how McManus wrote her struggles with Leukaemia & Anxiety.

The plot of this book is extremely unpredictable and will keep you on the edge of your seat! This one I think was even more shocking than I remember One of Us if Lying being. It was so gripping and I just didn’t want to put it down. McManus builds tension & curiosity really well which makes her books leaving you wanting to know every detail.

Overall I really enjoy her writing, characters & plot and I can’t wait to see where she goes next!

Alternate Cover

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A Heart so Fierce and Broken 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: A Heart so Fierce and Broken
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
Pages: 445
Publishers: Bloomsbury YA
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed A Heart so Fierce and Broken even more than I did A Curse So Dark and Lonely. You can find my Spoiler Free Review for A Curse so Dark and Lonely HERE!

Obviously I still love the world & the writing, as I did in book 1. However one of my favourite parts of A Heart so Fierce and Broken was the 2 main characters. In book 1 we follow Rhen & Harper and while I did enjoy them I love the POV of Lia Mara & Grey that we follow in book 2! Grey was my favourite character in book 1, so of course I was going to love him in book 2 but I was delightfully surprised that I really enjoyed Lia Mara as well. I love her as a character as much as Grey, so it was fun following both of them through this story.

Ah yes, the most dangerous person at the party is always the girl sitting alone with a book.

A Heart so Fierce and Broken was also super action packed and was a very easy read for me. Most of the time it was fast paced and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. The story also flowed really well which helped make it easy and quick to read.

You said that not every problem can be solved by the end of a sword. I have carried those words with me for days… Since you made me realize that I am no longer a weapon to be wielded by another.

I absolutely love the world that is being developed throughout this series and it was awesome to explore even more of it in A Heart so Fierce and Broken. Not only did we explore new locations but also a new culture of people with a whole different view on the Royal family compared to in A Curse so Dark and Lonely.

Choices are never easy. There are good and bad options, but the most dangerous is to not make any choice at all.

So overall I enjoyed this one even more than A Curse so Dark and Lonely and I cannot wait for book 3, A Vow so Bold and Deadly which is set to release in January 2021! Let’s hope the trend continues and its even better again! I’m also super keen to find out who we will be following in A Vow so Bold and Deadly.


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Come Tumbling Down 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Come Tumbling Down
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children
Genre: YA Fantasy Novella
Publication Date: January 7th, 2019
Pages: 206
Publishers: Tor.com
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire’s award-winning, bestselling Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down picks up the threads left dangling by Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.

Again.

Firstly, that cover is freaking awesome! Have to give some love for all the Wayward Children covers really, they are all so bomb.

Even though this book is a Novella it is not lacking in the slightest! There is always tonnes of world building and even though we have seen this world specifically before in Down Among the Sticks and Bones there was still heaps to learn about the world & magic system. I love learning about new worlds, so this book is just perfect for that.

The story was also super fast paced and action packed basically the entire time which makes it really fast and easy to read as well as very gripping. I read the book in I think 2 sittings as I just didn’t want to put it down.

I also really enjoyed seeing characters from previous stories again. It’s really interesting to see how they have developed & grown since the events of the previous books. The Multi POV was really good as well as you saw all sides of what was going on in the story and learn a little more about each of the characters.

Overall, I really enjoy the Wayward Children series and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next story!


Thank you to both NetGalley & Tor.com for providing an eGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The End and Other Beginnings 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: The End and Other Beginnings
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: YA SciFi Short Story Collection
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 352
Publishers: HarperCollins
Rating: See individual stories

Goodreads Synopsis

Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth delivers a stunning collection of novella-length stories set in the future, illustrated with startling black-and-white artwork.

No world is like the other. Within this masterful collection, each setting is more strange and wonderful than the last, brimming with new technologies and beings. And yet, for all the advances in these futuristic lands, the people still must confront deeply human problems.

In these six stories, Veronica Roth reaches into the unknown and draws forth something startlingly familiar and profoundly beautiful.

With tales of friendship and revenge, plus two new stories from the Carve the Mark universe, this collection has something for new and old fans alike. Each story begins with a hope for a better end, but always end with a better understanding of the beginning.

With beautifully intricate black-and-white interior illustrations and a uniquely designed package, this is the perfect gift for book lovers.

Inertia

This one was a tad lacking. I know it’s a short story but we got basically no world building & no character development. The story is mainly about this friendship/romance and that’s really it. I like the idea of the world but would of much preferred a different story in this world than the basic romance we got. I did like the rep for depression though. I thought that was quite well done but that was the only real upside of this story. So far not a great start to the short story collection

The Spinners

This one was a bit more promising. I quite enjoyed this one, including the world, the characters and the scheme of it. I would definitely continue reading if this story was longer. The concept of the world is also super unique, which was the case for most of these stories. There is a lot of originality in the concepts.

Hearken

This one is definitely the best of the 6 I think. The world was super interesting and unique, I loved the whole idea of the world and we got a decent amount of world building even though it was a short story. The MC and other characters also felt more fleshed out and full in this one compared to the other stories. Would continue reading this one for sure.

Vim and Vigor

Vim & Vigor was a pretty good story too. I really liked the technology that was mentioned, it sounds super interesting. I also enjoyed that this had a theme of friendship which was prominent. The world & characters were a little lacking though. So not my favourite.

Armored Ones

This was easily the worst of the collection. There was no world building and the characters were extremely flat. This one was also confusing too, which made it impossible to follow. I found myself thinking ‘what was the point of that?!’ when I got to the end. Just overall meh.

The Transformationist

This was also not fabulous. I was left confused and underwhelmed with this one. Just an overall lack of development throughout.

Overall

Overall this short story collection was all over the place for me. I had 2 good stories, 2 okay stories and 2 just meh stories. I can’t say I would recommend this one as there were just too many average or below average books for me to say ‘YES! You need to read this!’… I think my enjoyment for Veronica Roth books started and finished with the Divergent series unfortunately because everything else I have read from her has been either disappointing or just straight out confusion.


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Nyxia Unleashed 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad
Genre: YA SciFi
Publication Date: July 17th, 2018
Pages: 390
Publishers: Penguin (Michael Joseph)
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Scott Reintgen’s sensational dystopian series is back!

Emmett Atwater has bravely survived the voyage through space but his troubles have only just begun. As he resists the power of Babel he realises that he’s found himself in a game far more dangerous than he could ever imagine . . .

This series is just getting better and better with each book! I absolutely love how chaotic these books are. I can honestly say that I did not guess a single twist before it happens in this book. It is super unpredictable which is exactly what you want in a SciFi adventure story. The book is very well written and extremely gripping. You just don’t want to put it down. This one also ends on a cliff hanger which I do enjoy, but am now impatiently waiting to get my hands on Nyxia Uprising.

I also love the world of this story. Nyxia had some basis for the world building but in book 2 we are actually on a new world & learning a tonne about it. It was worked in well and not info dumpy. We were learning as the characters were learning, so that made it flow nicely and never felt too much or confusing. Also learning about a new species was super fun too. There is obviously more to learn in Nyxia Uprising about both the world & the species but we got a good amount of info in Nyxia Unleased.

The characters are also very well developed and grow throughout both Nyxia & Nyxia Unleashed. This book contains a lot of hardships and bad experiences for the characters but it is amazing seeing them develop because of those experiences. I also really enjoy the dual perspective of this book! It’s not often but it’s always super interesting when we get a peak at someone else’s POV.

Overall, I really enjoyed Nyxia Unleashed and I can thankfully say that I think it got me out of my reading slump, which is what I was hoping for! Some fast paced, SciFi & action is exactly what I needed to break the slump. I highly recommend this series so far & I can’t wait to get my hands on Nyxia Uprising. I’m just waiting for the release of it in the edition I own the others in which seems to be releasing in 2020, after the US editions released in 2019. I can’t even find an eBook for it or I would of purchased it straight away and kept reading!


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Immunity by Erin Bowman 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Immunity
Series: Contagion
Author: Erin Bowman
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019
Pages: 434
Publishers: Harper Teen
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Survivors of a deadly planetary outbreak take on a new, sinister adversary in the sequel to Contagion.

They thought their nightmare was over, but Thea, Coen, and Nova’s rescue was only the beginning. After being imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety, it’s clear that the threat they left behind isn’t as distant as they’d hoped—and this time the entire galaxy is at risk.

Now that threat is about to be unleashed as an act of political warfare. To prevent an interstellar catastrophe, the survivors must harness the evil they faced on the planet Achlys and learn to wield the only weapon they have left: themselves. 

So let’s start with the positives this time as I usually get the negatives out of the road first.

So to begin with there is just something about Erin Bowman’s writing that I find extremely gripping! I just couldn’t put the book down! Contagion I read in 1 day! While it took me a couple days for Immunity, that was more because I’m (hopefully) coming out of a reading slump and I was busy, so didn’t have a day to just dedicate to reading!
Immunity was also fast paced and action packed, just as Contagion was! It was also unpredictable and I think those 3 things are what adds up to the book being very gripping! There is always something going on and there is always the anxious wait to find out what is going to happen next!
I also really enjoyed the POV in Immunity. The multi POV is done very well. Each of the characters have their own unique voice within the writing of their sections. There was also a different POV that was separated from the main 4 which I really enjoyed. I won’t say who because that’s spoilers!

Now for the negatives. Which my main one is the genre! Contagion was a YA Horror with a Sci-Fi setting. It was creepy and atmospheric which just bought the story to life! Immunity on the other hand it just a Sci-Fi. It lost that Horror element which just gave it that push from a good book to a great book in Contagion! So that was disappointing.
Then there was the ending which I just felt was unsatisfying. There was a bit of a big action scene but it felt slightly flat and then it was all over and the happily ever after part was happening. I just feel like there could of been so much more to the conclusion but as it is it just felt too easy!

So overall I still enjoyed Immunity but it definitely didn’t live up to Contagion! If this was a book on it’s own it probably would of worked well but as a conclusion to Contagion it just wasn’t on the right level. I’m super curious to see what Erin Bowman releases next and hopefully they live up to the level of Contagion.

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Pages: 512
Publishers: Tor Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

So I may as well get my negative out of the road first and then we can look at the positives. The pacing & not being as action packed as expected was my 2 negatives. This book was fairly slow reading which was impacted by not only the pacing but with the minimal actual fast paced action.

Now as for the things I liked, firstly the word & the world development! The Shades of Magic world is very vivid & fleshed out. V.E. Schwab has a way of describing worlds that just come alive on the page and it’s one of my favourite things about her writing!

Then there was the POV. In this book we follow many POVs which is more than book 1 I believe. It’s been a long time since I read book 1 but I think it was only from 2 POV, I could be wrong though. Anyways, the multi POV in this one was done very well. The characters that we had many chapters from had a distinctive voice to the writing. They felt individual and the characters personality came through. I also just enjoyed that we had so many points of view. It added an interesting twist to the story line that we wouldn’t of gotten with just 1 or 2 POVs.

Next I really enjoyed the plot of this one! I hadn’t read a synopsis going in and I just loved this game/challenge aspect that was introduced. It was very different from book 1 but also had that underlying plot which has continued from book 1 which I enjoyed. Even though it didn’t fell super action packed the story itself was intriguing and I’m super keen to find out where this is all going!

Lastly we have the characters! Much like the world all the characters are very fleshed out and well developed. This was helped with having the multi POV as you get to learn about the characters from their own view point as well as the views of others. My favourite character is definitely Lila. She is just super interesting and stubborn and kinda badass and I love her! I do also of course love Kell but Lila is my fave.

So overall I really enjoyed this one and I’m keen to get to book 3, which I hoping will be a bit more action packed! Now I just need to read it soon rather than waiting a couple years like I did between books 1 & 2!

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: Wilder Girls
Author: Rory Power
Genre: YA Mystery Horror
Publication Date: July 9th, 2019
Pages: 353
Publishers: Delacorte Press
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

So, firstly this book was just super disappointing for me! I’ve heard a fair amount of hype for this one & I expected to really enjoy this one! A dystopian sounding mystery? I was in! But overall it was just a nope for me in the end.

So for the thing that I did enjoy to start off with. I really enjoyed the setting of this one. It was super creepy & eerie feeling and it had so much potential if the rest of the story had followed through.

So mostly I think it was the writing that overall let this one down. To begin with the writing just felt super flat! I didn’t feel engaged in the story or hooked to it in anyway. Because of that I ended up not really caring what happened or about the characters. As for the characters I just couldn’t connect with them at all. Again they were just flat. It didn’t really feel like they had a personality or individuality that we were meant to connect with. The MC described the other characters & their personalities but it didn’t really follow through to what we actually saw of those characters.

Then there was the kind of romance I guess you could call it. You guys know that I’m not a huge romance fan but in this case I don’t believe it was just my dislike of YA romances that was an issue. The romance was just bad. The romance was just completely pointless and did not anything to the story. It felt forced and like the author was kinda only half going for it. To some degree it felt like the romance was just there to make sure you understood that the 2 girls were not straight.. I love a LGBT feature in a book but it wasn’t necessary to throw this not very thought out and forced romance in there just to prove the sexuality of the two characters. We believed it perfectly fine when the MC mentions it, it didn’t need to be anything more.

Then lastly I just want to talk about the plot. So, the plot was unpredictable but because the writing was so flat the ‘big reveals’ just left me thinking ‘oh, yeah okay’ and not ‘holy shit I didn’t see that coming’. There just wasn’t that anxious excitement of wanting to know what would come next.

So overall there was only one thing I really liked about this book. This one just really disappointed me! It had so much potential between the setting and the overall idea/synopsis of the world/plot but the writing just let it down majorly!

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