Monday, May 15, 2017

Fever Series by Karen M Moning- 4.5 stars

Shadowfever- bookish letter can be found at GlimpsesOfMe on Etsy
This series was completely new to me. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of it before (or of the author). I found out about it through a customer on my etsy shop. For those who don't know, I paint book covers on wooden book letters. She wanted book 5 - Shadowfever (see pic) on one of her letters. 
I did not have high expectations, which sometimes is a good thing I suppose. It turns out, this is a very good series. I was highly immersed in its story and curious about how it would evolve from the gecko. 

The first book, Darkfever, was contagious. The series has crime, fantasy, passion, folklore, mystery.... it is fast paced and never predictable. 
The world building is great too. I don't recall any other book with a world quite like it. 
I dare you not to be intrigued with this story from the very first few lines: "My philosophy is pretty simple- any day nobody is trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven't had many good days lately." The main character goes through hell and -not back- through the first book. Her sister dies, she finds out things about herself, her sister and her family that throw her reality out of the window. Through it all she perseveres. With the help of the ever so rude Jericho Barons. He is very self-contained. Everything he says has meaning and purpose. Perhaps rude is not the right word... he is hard, tough, but not (with her anyway) with the intention to hurt, the intention is to teach Mac that her pink pretty life is not real. 

In the second book we get a look a new characters, new players... Mac and Barons are very much still the 'main event' but it is nice to get to know more about the world around them. In some ways, the second book is better than the first because of that. Our world grows! Giving the story room to grow with it. I am certain there was a great amount of planing in this series.
My only issue with the second book is the unresolved tension between Mac and Barrons. It started to get on my nerves half way through. The exact same is true on the third book. But the ending... oh my gosh the ending!!! Make sure you have the 4th book at hand when you get close to the end of the 3rd. It has an epic cliffhanger! And than, also make sure you have the 5th book, because the cliffhanger on the 4th is even worse! I went online and found a free preview of the first chapter because I HAD to know who...... (ahhh... you thought I was gonna tell yah hey?! LOL)
So, Dreamfever- the 4th book... After the 3rd book I was little discouraged. Even though the ending was great I was worried the story would not be as good as the others again. I was wrong! Mac grows a LOT in this book. By this point you will think Mac has gone through hell and back, wrong. There is still a lot more that can go wrong for her. 
V'lane (you will have met him a few books back) will have grown on you by this point. And there will be one scene that will break your heart. 
All other books in this series are great, but book 4 is by far the best. The ending is going to crush your soul (if you can see ahead and know exactly who the beast is).
Seriously... I was going to get the 5th book at the library and decided to buy on kindle instead because I just HAD to know what would happen next. Book 4 was intoxicating.
Shadowfever, the 5th book (and what was once upon the time supposed to be the last book in the series) was EPIC! What an amazing ending!
The author has written other books that follow up on loose ends, but the ending is perfect as it is. Only last week I finished reading acowar by Sarah J Maas and complained that the ending was unfulfilling. That she left it too open in order to write new books....well, although I love Sarah she needs a lesson on endings from KMM! There were many unanswered questions, but not enough to leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled by the series. It was absolutely perfect. I will eventually read the other books, but I loved it as it is as well. Perfection!  


All in all, my only complaint is that KMM repeats herself in every book in order to offer the reader a catch up. I'm sure that was nice for those who were reading the books as they came out, but for me, reading it one after the other, it was very very annoying. Luckily it was easy to just skip those parts. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E.Schwab














I finished reading this series less than 30 minutes ago. I am still buzzing with the excitement and sadness that is to finish a beloved series. I've became a fan of  VE Schwab after reading This Savage Song and the more I read her books the more in love with her style of writing and her imagination I am. I did not love all books equally though: 

A Darker Shade of magic: 4.8/5 
A Gathering of Shadows: 3/5 
A Conjuring of light: 5/5

For those who don't know, A Darker Shade of Magic is a story of magic, family and friendship. And it is also the story of the lack of all those things ad how it affects people in different ways.
The main character, Kell, is a magician capable of travelling between parallel worlds (an Antari), These worlds are known as Grey London - dirty and without magic; Red London, that is Kell's London- full of life, color and magic; White London- where people kill for a shred of magic, magic is in turn killing the city; Black London- a place no one speaks off anymore, a place dead by too much magic.
Kell was raised alongside Prince Rhy Maresh in Red London, they are like brothers and their relationship is bound to make you both laugh and cry. 
Magicians like Kell are rare. So, although he is in a way part of the royal family, he is also 'theirs', 'belongs to them' and has little to no freedom. He has a good life, a happy life even. But he could not leave the crown if he wished.

The second main character is Lila! She has fast and easily become one of my favorite female characters, at the top of the list together with the likes of Aelin from Throne of Glass.
Lila is a thief from Grey London. She robs Kell while he is in Grey London and from that moment on their lives become entwined. She is one of the single bravest characters to be written in YA. 

The next characters worth mentioning are Rhy, Holland and Alucard. Alucard had me laughing from the moment I met him until the very last pages. Prince Rhy is the character that grew the most through out the trilogy. And Holland will have you on your toes, you will both hate him and feel for him as the trilogy progresses; he is, like Kell, an Antari.

A Darker Shade of magic: 4.8/5 
Not the fastest book to start with, but once things got moving it was hard to put it down.
The story was gripping and the characters were all well written. It is a darker ya fantasy than most, but that appears to me to be this particular author's style. Although there is a strong family/friendship theme running through the books, that does not mean things are black and white. 
The moral compasses here are rather 'interesting'. Perhaps 'twisted' is a better word. Just wait till you meet the loyal thief Lila Bard! 😉
The world building was complex and very intriguing. Nothing was left to chance, everything is well explained.

A Gathering of Shadows: 3/5 
Sadly I can't say I liked the second book in the series. There were some good moments, mostly involving Lila and Alucard. But the rest... meh... this did not became interesting until the end. The last third of the book saved it from getting a even lower score.
The story here -without giving anything away- is slow, painfully slow.... and it is like reading 3-4 different stories at once because the characters are separated for a major part of it. 

A Conjuring of light: 5/
You must read this trilogy for the sake of this book alone! It was fantastic and I am certain that when the end of the year approaches I will be claiming this as one of my favorite reads of the year.
It was fast paced, entertaining, nerve wracking, sad, happy, exciting, thrilling... Every page was worth reading and re-reading. every character grew and adapted to their situation. There were plot twists, there expected situations and unexpected ones. It was worth every single minute I spent on it and I cannot recommend enough.

As usual, I try to give you all a run through the book without spoilers. So if you have specific question just message me here or find me on my instagram- link address on profile!



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin- Sarah J Maas- 4.6/5 stars

The long anticipated Sarah Maas' book is here! I am pretty sure that 8 out of 10 posts on my Instagram lately have had something to with it!

I finished reading the book 4 days ago and I have been waiting for my mind to 'cool off' to write this review. 
I, for one, do not believe the book was as great as A Court of Mist and Fury. I know some of you (albeit few) will agree with me on that. 
I also believe A Court of Thorns and Roses was better... but do not fret! NONE of you will agree with me on that! LOL I just happen to have an undeniable and unbreakable love relationship with Tamlin... 

So... this book will be spoiler free until I start talking about my beloved -Tamlin- At that point, if you don't want to be spoiled, I recommend you stop reading. Don't worry, I will give you a warning.

Here is why the book was great: 
We learnt through out the book so much more about all the characters we have come to love! Every single member of the inner circle has their moment at the center of the story. Some of their secrets are revealed, more possibilities arise, friendships are both tested and strengthened. 
We also learn more about the other courts. One in particular with a little secret that has everyone hoping for a book on one very specific character! -not inner circle-
Old characters make an appearance, like the lovely Tarquim and the ever so obnoxious Autumn court boys.
Rhys and Feyre's dynamic is great, as it was expected by the entire Sarah Mass fandom! LOL
If they survive or not is another question entirely... I shall not reveal 😀
It is hard to say much more without revealing the plot.

Here is why i is not in my opinion worth 5 stars (close...but not quite):
This is meant to be a trilogy. Trilogies need an ending, a conclusion... Acowar does not have that. A LOT of questions are left unanswered. I understand that Saraj Maas has novels and novellas coming out for acotar, but this should not be called a trilogy if it was not going to have a fulfilling ending. I genuinely enjoy and prefer books that leave a somewhat open ending, its more realistic like that. And I often complain on my reviews of authors that tie everything up on a little bow at the end. But too much of the opposite is not good either. The novel coming up on acotar next is not a novel, is book 4. Either that, or my not 4.6 score is going to eventually go even lower. Answers are needed. 

That's my overall, spoiler free review. Now I need to chat a little about my beloved, so if you don't want spoilers go away. Stop reading. Right now! 
Last warning!
Spoilers ahead...

So... Tamlin! Although I have not yet found one person that loves him as much as I do, I have found many that hoped he would redeem himself in acowar. Many that thought he did. And many that thought he did but was also a childish idiot.
I, obviously, think he redeemed himself and some.
But that is not why I need to talk about him. Feyre is the reason.
Guys, I know you all love her and Rhys, but I was fuming at her! Feyre was so selfish and self centered when it came to Tamlin. 
Rhys has made many mistakes. Court of Nightmares still exist... do I really need to say more?
And yet, she always forgives. She hears him out, she gives him the credit of doubt. Always. 
When has she ever given Tamlin that? She simply assumed he was on Hybern's side and proceeded to try to destroy his home. Even Rhysand has given him a little more credit (when in the meeting he immediately believed Tamlin was on their side). 
What Feyre did was wrong. 
Tamlin maybe misguided, be he loves her just as much as Rhys ---> helping her fly and fighting for her after everything she did?! I mean... couldn't be more obvious.
He has anger issues. Sure. But so does almost every single High Lord! LOL
Also, Feyre is in part responsible for EVERY bad choice Tamlin has ever made.
They both changed under the mountain, they both needed healing. He needed her to be safe for that. Was it wrong of him to lock her up? of-course it was. She had every right to leave. But at the same time, the only time he ever let her go she ended up under the mountain and DIED. He need her safe to heal himself. So...this is what I think: she should have left. She should have joined the night court. But her message to him should not have been 2 lines long. She should have explained. 
While she was in the Night court healing, Tamlin was getting worse and worse every day. The woman he loves was with a monster. Because guys, Rhys was a monster to everyone outside his court. No one new his true self. In Tamlin's mind he was torturing her. In his mind he failed her again. Rhys would have gone to the exact same extremes to have her back and safe.

I sincerely hope one of the novellas is one him. He deserves a much better ending than what he got: alone and still broken.

Anyway... rant over. For now at least... LOL

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey - 4 stars

I finished reading this beautiful and infuriating book about 20 minutes ago. The book was amazing! I am not one for 'sci-fi space' books, and yet I fell in love with this fast and hard. So why 4 stars? because I am angry. It is taking every bit of strength in me not to give it a even lower score. I HATED the ending. I cannot stress that enough. I will explain... but first lets talk a little about all the awesome things about the book and the many reasons, even though I disliked the ending, you should still read it.

In this book, the people from earth are working its way into destroying its planet. Not hard to see how that could be true right?! Anyway, there are other planets that are inhabitable, Genesis being one of them. But Genesis has closed itself off from the rest of the world and has taken care of their planet. They do not want to share their healthy planet with those who would not take care of it. They sound like the good guys, and I am sure they are in many ways, but it is not without cost. Life on the other planets is not going well. And so, Earth and Genesis are at war. Earth wants to invade, Genesis wants to keep Earth away.

So, clearly the world building is really well done! I was highly impressed.

The main characters are Abel and Noemi. I loved them both.
Noemi is by far one of the bravest characters written. She is a soldier for Genesis willing to die to save the people from her planet. 
Abel is a tech ( a human looking robot ). But, he is one of a kind, The man on Earth who created all the techs only created one like Abel, only one as strong and as close to being a human as possible.We figure out exactly why he created Abel towards the end of the book. 
Side note- technology is rather low in Genesis. No techs.

In a test run for a mission in which Noemi will have to give her life for her people, she brakes from her group and finds Abel. They naturally try to kill each other, being at opposite sides and all. But there are many things about Abel that makes this interesting, one of those things is that he is programmed to follow orders from the highest ranking human on ship, he soon realizes that is Noemi. His ship has been abandoned for 30 years with him locked in it. And against his best wishes (because ta-da: he hopes like a human) he has to obey her.
The story truly takes shape from this moment on and it is BEAUTIFUL!

I was teary so many times. This book was (until the ending) a MASTERPIECE! 
Had the ending been different, this would have been on of those few times where I say 5 is not enough of a score.

But...here we are... the ending.
I'm sure most you won't mind it. After all, if goodreads is not lying to me, there is another book coming,
But you see...that is one of the problems with that ending for me. There is no need for a second book, ONE page could have tied up enough endings to make this a brilliant stand alone. Not all endings need to be tied up in a book, one little meeting could have been enough to make this great.. This book had the potential to have been my favorite stand alone of the year. But 'alas'! It was not meant to be. A second book is coming. One I surely will not like as much as the first because the tension that made this book great is now resolved. There truly is no need for book two. Maybe I should write a two page ending, attach to my copy and ignore a second book is ever happening... 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Month of April!

Here is my quick run through the books I've read and reread in April!

1 and 2- ACOTAR and ACOMAF by Sarah J Maas (rereads)
Visit my etsy if you like those painted letters!

I reread this beauties in anticipation and preparation of the ACOWAR release! 10 out of 5 stars? And if you haven't read yet::::: WHY!?!?!?!?! Its is one of the best YA fantasies out there (adult YA). 

3 and 4- Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (books 1 and 2)

I am in love with the world Karen Marie Moaning has built! It is a fantasy like no other. The first two books are fast reads and packed with mystery and adventure. I gave it 4.5 stars as a whole and definitely recommend you read. I can't wait to get my hands in the remainder of the series.

5- State of Grace by Hilary Badger 
I am not going to bother uploading a picture for this book. I had to read and review it for work (I am a librarian) and I absolutely hated it. The book makes no sense, the story is badly told. It is advertised as young ya or juvenille, and I guess that is what it is. But it is dumb. Kids deserve better reading material. And...in case you are a religious person, prepare to be offended. 

6- Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan 

This was such a good read! A complete surprise to me as I have never heard of it before. It was another book I had to read and review for work and after reading State of Grace I was petrified. I was pleasantly surprised! Julia is the main character and she has the ability to be unseen. Not invisible exactly, but unseen and not always there. She is part of a group of thieves, and so, in a way, reminded me of Six of Crows. Full review a few posts down!

7, 8 and 9- The Summoner series by Taran Matharu

I only picked up this series because I got the third book as an arc. The book comes out in the beginning of May and whenever I get an arc of  book yet to be published I make a point of reading it before it comes out. I was really surprised by how good it was since I don't see it around bookstagram often. It is an excellent YA. There is plenty of magical beings and wonderful creatures to learn about. Plenty of tension to keep you interest from beginning to end too. If you are a fan of fantasy I don't see why you wouldn't like this. I would compare this series to This Savage Song. But I would also add that this is better. It has a much stronger themes, friendship being the main one and that is quite lovely to read. I gave it a 4.5 stars and full reviews on all three books can be found on this blog! 

10- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schawb 

I finished reading this last night and I am glad to say it has lived up to its expectations. it was a great book. I am very much looking forward to the remainder of the series. The one and only reason I will not continue reading it now is that my copy of ACOWAR should be here sometime in the next few days. ADSOM was yet another fantastic work by the wonderful V.E. Schawb, the world building was phenomenal as were the main characters. I cannot recommend this amazing ya fantasy enough. 
I will have a review on the series as a whole once I'm done reading it. Give me a month or so.



Saturday, April 29, 2017

You're not good enough book tag!

I was challenged by the wonderful @pikamikareads on bookstagram to do this wonderful fun tag #yourenotgoodenough
Basically the tag has a set of 15 questions (or rather, situations) and you have to pick two random characters than choose the character who would best suit the situation/question.
You write down 30 names, put in a jar/mug/wtv and pick two names at random. I did this on my bookstagram story video. My answers are bellow!
Here we go!
[Note : The tag was created by ReadLikeWildFire]

1. You only have one more spot on your Spelling B team, who would you pick to complete your team?
Options : Gansey (The Raven Boys) and Aramantha (acotar)
Gansey. I would not trust Aramantha to spell her own name!
2. Both characters want to kill you, which one would you kill first so you have a better chance of surviving?
Options : Rowan (ToG) and Alosa (Daughter of the Pirate King)
Rowan, he is the most powerful. I would be far to drained to fight him after Alosa. That being said, I’m dead either way! LOL
3. You’re on the bachelor/bachelorette an you’re down to these two characters, which one are you going to give your rose too?
Options : Jem Carstairs (TID) and Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Jem! Obviously. If you know me you know he is my number one book boyfriend!
4. You’ve been chosen for the Hunger Games, who would most likely volunteer in your place?
Options : Karu (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and The Darkling (Grisha trilogy)
Karu!
One death for the Darkling was enough. I miss him! Besides, there is more chance of Karu volunteering anyway…
5. You’re stranded on an island. Which character would you sacrifice to engage in cannibalism?
Options : Will (TID) and Kaden (Remnant series)
Will, ‘cause I like Kaden more. But needless to say, I would rather both lived.
6. You’re the next DC/Marvel superhero (with your own tv show of course), who is your sidekick?
Options : Tessa (TID) and King of Hybern (acomaf)
Tessa. This was hard though, I was trying to figure out who would be more powerful, that would be best sidekick right?
7. You’re a manager of an Avocado admiring company, who would you fire for lack of communication skills?
Options : Blue (Raven Boys) and Arcus (FrosBlood)
Arcus. He is terrible at communicating through out the book, so it makes sense.
8. You’ve just finished a book in which your favorite character dies, which character is most likely to comfort you?
Options : Kaz (SoC) and Rhysand (Acomaf)
Rhysand. It would be almost impossible for Kaz to comfort anyone since he can’t touch people. I would need a hug to cry on.
9. Ugh, it’s high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?
Options : Tamlin (acotar) and Mark Blackthorne (Lady Midnight
I don’t think either of them would be very popular, but I will go with Mark. I guess who could be popular for being different…
10. The day has arrived; you’re finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?
Options : Dorian (ToG) and Magnus Damora (Falling Kingdoms)
I am sad to say Magnus. If you know me you also know Magnus is my number 2 on book boyfriend list. But I cannot picture my cinnamon roll king forgetting anything that important. And well, that is important! hehe
11. You’ve just found an upcoming booktube star? Who would most likely be?
Options : Patch (Hush Hush saga) and Cinder (Lunar Chronicles)
Cinder. Patch is too secretive and mysterious to be online and Cinder is shy enough that I can see her comfortable behind a laptop camera.
12. Sleepover time! Unfortunately you can only invite one person, who would you invite?
Options : Aelin (ToG) and Cleiona Bellos (Faling Kingdoms)
Aelin, my hero
13. Bam, you’re pregnant. Who’s the father/mother?
Options : Matthias (SoC) and Ronan (Raven Boys)
Matthias! He is just so sweet and adorable. I cried my heart out in the book.
14. You’ve just written a super important text. Who would ‘see’ it, but not reply?
Options : Maven and Maere (Red Queen series)
Neither of them would be good with replying text. But I believe Maeven would purposely pic who to reply and to not reply, so I will go with him!
15. You’ve just woken up and it’s time for breakfast. Your mum’s been replaced by..who?!
Options : Feyre (acotar) Queen Maeve (ToG)
Feyre!!! Gosh… can you imagine waking up and finding Maeve in your house?!?!

This was an awesome tag guys! Go do it!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Uppercase vs LitJoy crate book box subscriptions - April 2017

Hi guys! As some of you know I decided to try a different subscription box every month in addition to my Uppercase box. Last month was Owlcrate vs Uppercase. This month I tried LitJoy crate!

So, let's start with contents and price:



LitJoy ($29.99+$8.32 shipping/US)

- Dream-catcher crafted by LitJoy
- Weep Candle + Bookmark coupon by Wick and Fable
- Karu Painting in Light art print by @lesyablackbird
- Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Naomi Lewis
- The Book: Strange the Dreamer  by Laini Taylor (with a signed sticker, a main character sticker, and letter from the author)









UpperCase ($23.00+$6.50 shipping/US)

- Woodmark "Not all who wonder are lost" by Ink & Wonder desings
- Harry Potter Hogwarts Notebook, gold foiled and lined
- Challenge Resist Defy magnet
- Uppercase's reading experience bookmark
- The Book: Defy the Stars  by Claudia Gray (signed)



Overview of each box: 

Let's start with LitJoy crate! It arrived about a week later than my Uppercase subscription in a personalized LitJoy box. I loved everything about it! The dream catcher is absolutely stunning, it is already hanging on my bookshelf. I love the candle, it has a wonderful refreshing fruity scent and I can't wait to have my room smelling of it.
The Karou art print was a wonderful addition and a great surprise. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that although I loved The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series I had very contradictory feelings on the last book as I hated the new characters introduced. That being said, I love Karu and Akiva, that print is stunning and I am so very happy to have it.
The Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales was also a nice surprise. I did not have fairy tales read to me as a kid or had a tv to watch them, that means I don't actually know most of those fairy tales. I am looking forward to it.
The last thing is the book. I was considering buying it, so bonus points there! As some of you know, I love my signed books and I despise signed bookmarks, notes, etc. The book came with a signed sticker. Not impressed! LOL That being said, the first page of the book is blank, so I quickly put the signed sticker there. Problem solved. Together with the book and signed sticker was a little letter card from the author (cute note by the way) and a sticker of the book's main character.
The price is steep, but contrary to last's month book box review (when I said that the March owlcrate was too expensive for its box contents- Link here), LitJoy crate was worth every cent. And than some... 100% worth it!
All in all, this was an amazing box and I will definitely be ordering from LitJoy again.

Now we turn to my good old Uppercase. I really love this company, their boxes have less things than most (something reflected on the price) but everything you get is of the most outstanding quality. The Notebook that came with the box this month is stunning and it is of the best quality possible. Very shiny and pretty on the inside! I am not a Harry Potter girl, so I gave the notebook to a friend I love that I knew would enjoy it more than me.
Although I am not a Harry Potter person, I did keep the woodmark. It is very pretty and I do love that saying.
As per usual -and Uppercase biggest selling point to me- the book came signed. I have never heard of the book but I am very intrigued. I heard good things about the author from other book friends.
All in all, another great box from Uppercase.

Uppercase or LitJoy?!

This is rather an unfair question for this particular month as I am not a fan of Harry Potter. So although I am an UpperCase fan and will not stop my subscription with them anytime soon, this month I have to go with the competition.
LitJoy crate had an amazing box! Everything was of great quality and absolutely stunning! I might even subscribe with them after I give the two other companies on my list a try. That is not say Uppercase wasn't, it just wasn't my 'cup of tea'.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu- 7.75/5 stars

This was, no shadow of doubt my favorite book in this epic trilogy! I am so very glad to have read it.

I love the world the author has created. I mean... I want a demon as a pet! Preferably Athena, she loves so fiercely...

For those who don't know this trilogy, it is a beautiful story of friendship! That is the main thing I got out of it. I cried with them and I laughed with them.
And it is the story of Fletcher, a young boy who finds out he can summon demons. By the third book he has made more enemies than friends, but the friends he has made are worth more than anything!

The World building in this trilogy is phenomenal. In Battlemage we finally get to see the ether (the place were the demons come from). It is exciting, thrilling and a tad scary.

The plot for the third book is not new, it carries on well from the last book. There aren't new characters introduced or new major plot twists. It focuses on the characters we know and even brings back one old friend (I loved that part, but I won't spoil it for you)! I was honestly thrilled that the author focused solely on the characters we already know. It was nice to get a more in depth look at some of them. Fletcher, obviously, being the main one. He grows and learns so much on all three books, but specially I believe in this one.

The ending was perfect! I really am not a fan of happy, everything explained and tied up book endings. I believe, that fantasy or not, a book should connect with the readers and with real life somehow, and in real life things don't just stop happening and suddenly become prefect. I like how the ending tied up many lose ends, but not all of them. Life goes on...

So, after so much praise why 4.75 and not 5? I am very very picky about books with a slower narrative, and at times this was a tad slow. That being said, this obviously didn't bother me much. The book was wonderful and I highly recommend it!

Go Read!!!!





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Novice by Taran Matharu- 4 stars

The book had a slow star, which is why I am giving it 4 stars rather than 5.

As most of you know I love a good fantasy book, so all the magic, elfs, orcs and summoners in this book got me very excited. Once the plot started moving it became impossible to put the book down.

The story is about Fletcher, an orphan boy who by reading an old scroll discovers he is a summoner by summoning a rare demon. The demon is not an evil creature but a part of the demon. After being accused of a crime he did not commit (he had just summoned the demon at the time), he fled and joined a school for summoners. It is there that the story finally evolves.
There are a few things that make his character rather interesting. The main characters in most books these days suddenly become all powerful. This does not happen to Fletcher. He is at no point the strongest character in the story. He is young and has a lot to learn. But he is also clever, and listens to people that try to help him.

His demon Ignatious is adorable. I can't wait to find out more about him. He is clever and sweet and I am sure we will see a lot more of him.

The secondary characters are all very interesting and fascinating too. They are all special in their own way. I particularly love the dwarves. The friendships formed in this book are beautiful!

This book is all you could hope for in a fantasy ya: captivating, exciting, interesting!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan- 4.75 stars


This is the second book I had to read this month for work (I am a librarian). I was VERY apprehensive about this as the first book I had to read turned out really bad. Luckily for me, this was a great read and I am very much looking forward to the second book in the series. 

Book Blurb: "Julia has the unusual ability to be unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it is a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned- crime pays. 
Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who keeps forbidden books and sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders and poison. An aristrocat houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman with an infant son who is clearly hiding- though from what or whom?"

The actual blurb in the book is a little longer, but I feel that it gives away too much of the story. 
The book is not perfect, it gets a little slow in parts. But not enough to not deserve a high score.

I reminds me in parts of Six of Crows. I however struggled to get interested in the Six of Crows characters until Crooked Kingdom, there was not enough background and in depth character building till much later. In Julia Vanishes, because there are less main characters I guess, that is done better. I truly loved Julia. The heist is also a lot more realistic. It takes place on what I would guess would be an early 20th century world very similar to ours (if you forget all the magical being that is). 

Julia is a relatable character. She is young but because of all she has been through in life she thinks she has it all figure it out. Weren't most of us like that once? She is brave, but never unafraid. I rather like that. Many of our YA heroins these days are fearless unless it involves a loved one. That is unrealistic. It often makes for a fun read, but it is very unrealistic. 

Having grown up the way she did (her mum was killed- drowned as a witch- when she was young and she was taken care of by thieves) Julia struggles with her sense of right and wrong often. Towards the end of the book she wonders if she is evil, the truth worth of money, love, family and friends. 

Having read it, I honestly don't know why the book is not better known. 
Go Read.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Month of March

I decided I will give you guys a little walk through everything I read every month. No full on reviews, just a line or two that says if I recommend you read it or not. The YA books will have full reviews up on my blog already.
SO... last month I read:

1- Heartless By Marisa Meyer

5 Stars! Definitely recommend. If you enjoy Marissa Meyer's writing already you are bound to love this. And if you have never read anything of hers before, this is a great start! It was an amazing telling of how the Queen of Hearts in the classic Alice in Wonderland became the evil queen we know. (Full review available a few posts back)

2- By Your Side By Kasie West

Not my favorite contemporary read. I gave 3.5 stars. The synopsis says the book is about a boy and girl that get locked up in a library. The idea is great, but it is not executed to its best. Do I recommend? yah...sure....but only if you don't have something better on your tbr though. (Full review available a few posts down)

3- Gilded Cage by Vic James

I work in a library, this was an arc we got and I reviewed. I didn't know anything about the book when I picked it up and I was pleasantly surprise. There is a lot going on in that one book! Fantasy, suspense, deceit... I gave it 4.75 stars and I highly recommend you give it a go. (Full review available a few posts down)

4- A beast's Belle by J. Gambardella 

I got this book through NetGalley. Aside from YA, I also enjoy reading adult paranormal romance. This was meant to be that. An adult retell of Beauty and the Beast. Sounds good right? IT WAS NOT! DO NOT READ THIS. --that's all I have to say--

5- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

This and Heartless were my favorite reads this month! I gave this a 5 out of 5 and I cannot recommend it enough. There is great world building and character building. Do not dismiss it as yet another witch book, it isn't... The story is rather original! Go Read! (Full review a few posts down)

6- Possess by Kaye Blue

I don't remember how exactly I got this. It was a free arc from somewhere. Anyway... Its a new adult book. I don't read it often, but when I do I rather enjoy it. IF you enjoy new adult (and please make sure you know what that entails!) you will like this. Hot stuff! I gave 5 stars within its own category- new adult. I could not and did not compare it to YA, contemporary or anything else...

7- Hunted by Meagan Spooner

I expected more from this. I love the idea- an YA retell of Beauty and the Beast. But in my personal opinion it was to close to the original. It needed a little extra to keep me interested through out. I got bored. It got 3.75 out of 5 stars from me. Go down a few posts for a full review. 

8- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


I was rather impressed with this book. I knew nothing about it until I got it with my OwlCrate box. You don't usually read pirates and thing this will be an exciting book, but it was! It had adventure, mystery, sass, romance... I highly recommend. It got 5 stars from me and the previous post is the full review on it.

Hope you guys like this quick March run down! 😃





Saturday, April 1, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King- Tricia Levenseller: 4.8 stars


Daughter of the Pirate King was a surprise read for me, I knew nothing about the book until it arrived
in my house in the Owl Crate box for the month of march. And what a surprise it was! I am really excited to be sharing this review with you all. The book was fast paced (something I always like), full of adventure, suspense, a tad of romance, bravery, scheming, deceit... all you would expect from a book about pirates!

Book blurb by Amazon:
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map―the key to a legendary treasure trove―seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King

Alosa, the main character is a pirate. She is clever, very strong and very determined to accomplish her mission on board of the enemy ship. She is also, as the title of the book gives away: the daughter of the pirate king.
As the book progresses we find out more about Alosa and learn therefore to see things the way she does. There is a lot in her past, specially between her and her father that is not pretty, yet she remains loyal to him. He is her father and she clearly loves him, for better or for worse...
Her character is also rather funny. She is very sure of herself. Or full of herself.... depending on ones point of view I suppose! But she is also a serious character and at times grave and sad. I saw a few people comparing her to Jack Sparrow, I don't think I can easily make the same comparison. Yes, Jack is full of himself, but he does not have the same seriousness, devotion to a person and sense of duty that Alosa does.

There is some romance, but it is not prominent. The romance is also why although I am close to giving it a 5 stars rating I can't bring myself to do it. I loved all about it... until the ending. It was so vague. Yah, I get that there will be another book, but it is so obvious how they feel about each other that not just 'making it happen' made the ending rather boring. One kiss, one line, one tiny little anything between the two at the end would have turned a boring ending into something a little more exciting. Now I have this fear that the author did not do that in order to keep them apart in the next book, which will really anger me...

Riden and Draxen are both very good characters. They are brothers and they run the ship. Draxen is greedy and ruthless. Riden is a little more merciful, but his loyalty to his brother doesn't always allow for that side of him to show. Riden is by far the cleverest character in the book. He learns a lot about Alosa simply by watching the way she carries herself.

Some of the other pirates in the enemy ship are also really fun to read. I have a suspicion that at least one of them  will have some very entertaining series in the next book.

All in all I highly recommend you go and read this book, I don't think it will became one of your all time favorites, but I am pretty sure you will all enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hunted by Meagan Spooner- 3.75 stars

Hunted is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. My overall opinion is that if you are someone who loves Beauty and Beast you are very likely to love this too.


All the traditional elements of the original fairy-tale are there. It is nothing like Marissa Meyer's retellings though. If you are expecting a completely new story that surprises you at times this is not it. I personally much prefer Marissa Meyer's style of fairy-tale retelling (or in this particular case even ACOTAR- a court of thorns and roses- also a Beauty and the Beast adaptation). I like the surprise element those authors added to their story, it helps (me at least) to engage and immerse myself in the book. In Hunted everything is predictable, and I greatly struggle with fantasy books that are too predictable. That is not a bad thing necessarily, jut not my favorite type of fairy-tale retelling I suppose... 

The story is about Beauty (or Yeva), her two sisters and their father. When Beauty's father looses his fortune, they are forced to move back to their lodge in the outskirts of town. Beauty is secretively pleased with that change. She misses being in the forest hunting with her father, something they used to do a lot when she was still a child. 
Being back however is not easy. Their father starts to act strange and one day disappears. Beauty goes after him, tracking his steps, she finds the Beast instead!

So, as you can see, very close to the original. Her siblings are kind and selfless here, and they play a special role both in the beginning and in the end of the book, but for the most part it is very much like the classic: Beauty goes after her father, Beauty is kept in the Beast's castle, there is a curse, he eventually lets her go, she returns...

It is a tad darker than the original story. The author hints quite strongly that there is a case of Stockholm syndrome going on towards the end too. And ... well ... why did you do that?! Fairy-tales are not meant to make sense all the time, they are not meant to be real. All the talk of Stockholm syndrome made it real, which in turn makes their relationship creepy. Who wants to read about the girl that goes back to her abuser? it just made the whole ending feel wrong rather than magical. 

Anyway... look guys, it was beautiful in many ways! I loved Beauty's bravery; I loved that Solmir (aka Gaston) was a pleasant and loving character, I loved her relationship with her sisters... It was just not enough for me to love the book as a whole too. 
It was good, but it is not going on favorites list! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco- 4.75 stars

This was such a wonderful read!
I was very much looking forward to it ever since I read its book blurb and saw its amazing cover art. Isn't it the most impressive book cover? The book blurb sounded very interesting and very promising. There was no way a YA fantasy lover would not be curious about it!
Blurb by GoodReads:
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.



Had the book kept its fast pace through out I would certainly have given it a 5 star. But at some point half way through the book I had to stop for a little while as I found it dragging. That did not last long though, and only a few pages further it was 'all happening' again, which is why it still deserving a high mark.

One of the most interesting features in The Bone Witch is that the story is told from Tea's perspective, but from the future. She has been banished from her home and is somewhere remote with a very different heart from the heart she once had. In between chapters the reader get glances of a much older Tea, with secrets and a heavy heart. Those chapters are rather dark and heavy. And of a younger Tea, who is still learning to master her skills. Brave and with an almost happy-go-lucky attitude.

The main character in this well written story is as you probably guessed Tea. Very early into the story she finds out she is a bone witch, or an asha when she 'accidentally' brings her brother back from the dead. Luckily for Tea (since bone witches are not loved in her home town) another bone witch is nearby when Tea resurrects her brother and comes to the 'rescue'. She takes Tea and her brother away so that Tea can be properly trained in her craft. Her relationship with her brother blossoms through out the book and it is one of the main things I looked forward to while reading it. His deadpan not-funny-at-all jokes are oddly and strangely enough: heartwarming!

We are introduced to many  different characters through the story and it is hard to talk specifically about each one of them. The main focus was definitely Tea and no one else.

We have a prince, Kance, who is very kind and sweet but perhaps a tad clueless. Tea is infatuated with him from the very begging but not much happens between them. Romance really is not on the radar in this book. It is obviously with its ending that it will be on the next book, but it isn't here.

There is the ever overprotective Duke, Kalen. His job is to protect the prince and he takes that duty very seriously. He is worried about Tea and the potential relationship between her and the prince. Tea and Kalen are my favorite characters, I kept wanting to know more about him and considering the ending I am sure I will!

The King's brother is an apprentice to the forger of hearts. A sweet and very clever boy who I am hoping to see more in the next book too.

And than there are the ashas that Tea is both leaving with and learning from. They become her sisters and her family away from home. They protect her and she protects them. The relationship is certainly not always easy, but it is most definitely entertaining. All ashas surrounding Tea have very different personalities and are therefore unique in their own away. It is impressive to me that Rin Chupeco managed to give so much heart and soul to so many different characters in one book!

I would most certainly recommend this book to anyone that loves young adult fantasy. It delivered in every way.
I am anxiously waiting for the next book in this series!

Go Read!