WINTERSONG BY S.JAE JONES

WINTERSONG BY S.JAE JONESWintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on February 7th 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy
Pages: 436
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

This review is a long time coming and I had meant to post it a while ago but… I haven’t really had the motivation to review. During the summer I read more than I could review the books, but you know? That’s okay. I’m not mad about it, in fact, I can’t believe I have read so many books this summer, I am SO close to completing my reading goal for the year.

ANYWAY, back to the review. I honestly did not want to finish this book. Why may you ask? Because it was such a beautiful story that I just wanted it to never end and as I got closer to the end, I took even longer to finish the book. I was in disbelief that this was her debut novel. It was seriously that good. The writing was incredible and lush, the setting was so atmospheric and dark. The characters? AMAZING.

I am going to try to do this without spoiling anyone, even though I just want to talk and talk forever about this incredible novel.

WHAT I LIKED

  • The mystery and wonder of the Goblin King. You don’t know much about him, only that he is immortal (I think, forgive me if I am wrong it’s been a few months) You wonder how he became the Goblin King or well, I did of course. I definitely think that he was the best part of the book. I absolutely LOVED his characterization and how playful he came off as. He is definitely one of those kinds of characters.
  • The importance of music. Music is a HUGE part of this book, a huge huge how can I emphasize how huge music is to this book. Now, this is my honest opinion, but I do suggest you have a love of music to get the full experience of this book? I am sorry, I don’t know how to put it into words but hopefully, you can get the gist of what I am saying.
  • Liesl’s relationship with her sister and brother: Liesl is very family oriented and you can tell how much her siblings actually mean to her. I mean half of the book is dedicated to her trying to save her sister, but she is the type of character who would do ANYTHING for her siblings.
  • The love story of Liesl and the goblin king. Another part that I absolutely lived for. I loved watching them fall for each other and you can definitely tell how much they care for each other.

WHAT I DISLIKED

  • I will admit… this was kind of slow paced. Not that it is bad or anything, but I know for some people that is a deal breaker. I would have liked for things to have happened a lot quicker but… overall it wasn’t something that really bothered me.
  • The ending. If you’ve read this book then you know and that is all I am saying.

 

Overall this was such a strong debut and a lovely book. It took mE by surprise and brought me on such a wild ride, I literally cannot wait for the sequel!

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES

THE LOVE INTEREST BY CALE DIETRICH

THE LOVE INTEREST BY CALE DIETRICHThe Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 16th 2017
Genres: contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

It has been a long time since a book has made me literally laugh out loud, tear up and felt fuzzies in my heart all at once. I cannot express how much I loved this book like I just… my heart. This is Cale Dietrich’s debut novel and I am just so impressed with this because this book was absolutely incredible! Now before I get onto gushing about how much I loved this book, I did have a few issues with it. Also, beware there are spoilers. I’m not sorry I just need to talk about this book.

 

Honestly, the only gripe I had with this book is towards the end was how LIC was destroyed. I thought that it was rushed and happened too quickly and easily for my taste.

 

NOW. Time to gush.

I am not a big fan of contemporary and I was worried that I wouldn’t like this and it would put me off contemporary forever, but I was wrong! I am absolutely impressed that this is Cale’s debut novel. I felt that the writing was strong and the characters were well developed. The plot was on another level and it had me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next and it was just… I really loved this book and I ate it all up in a matter of days. I loved it.

One of the scenes I really loved was Caden’s realization that he is gay and the relationship between him and Dylan was the CUTEST. I rooted for them when they first interacted with each other because they have so much chemistry is unbelievable. Each time these two were on the page interacting with each other my heart was like YAAAS and my brain was like YAAAS. MY PRECIOUS. I even put the book down at times because I couldn’t take how amazing they are together.

 

“Thanks for the apology, Caden, really. Anyway isn’t it pretty normal for a straight girl to fall for a gay guy? All the sitcoms treat it like a rite of passage, something all girls must go through. You’re pretty and kind and way too good to be true. At least I’ve ticked that box now.”


“I…” I don’t exist to teach her a lesson, and it irks me that she thinks labeling me is okay now. Like but liking guys, I automatically take on that role in her life. That I’m suddenly a supporting character in her story rather than the hero of my own.”

So yeah, not really a super critical review because I absolutely loved this book. I do recommend this book to people who are looking for something cute and… honestly, I recommend this to everyone. I can’t wait to see what else Cale has planned!

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • DIVERSE READS 2017

QUEEN OF BLOOD BY SARAH BETH DURST

QUEEN OF BLOOD BY SARAH BETH DURSTThe Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia, #1) by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by Harper Voyager on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Adult Fantasy
Pages: 353
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure
Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.
With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

So, Queen of Blood was a book that I decided to pick up on a whim and because it is one of the books I bought last year and I am trying to read as much of those as I can. After the disappointment that was Dark Breaks the Dawn, I went into this with low expectations. But at the same time I was intimidated because it is an adult fantasy and I just find that to be a little… intimidating for me?

But oh my god, I was not disappointed at all. I can tell you that this book is now going on my favorites shelf till the end of time.

I’m going to be honest and say there was nothing I disliked about this book. This book was the perfect mixture of action, slight horror and some comical moments. Gosh, this entire book was just so different than what I had read before. It takes a lot of familiar concepts that you find in fantasy and does completely different things with them. The way the Queen is selected and how she is to rule the land… I just have so many feelings I don’t even know what to do with myself.

 

The setting and worldbuilding was so interesting. Villages are built in trees, and if I can remember correctly, I am pretty sure that the palace is also built around a tree which is pretty darn cool. The way the Queens are selected was so interesting and I myself have never seen that in a fantasy novel, so that was quite unique. In this world, there are spirits in everything which is quite terrifying because everything is so unsafe and you never know when a spirit will come out and try to kill you.

Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.
Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.
Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.
Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.
Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you.
Rend you, tear you, kill you dead.

What made this novel for me was the characters. Usually, in fantasy, you always have a main character who is so special and so powerful. Here we have Dailena who is the complete opposite. Yes she has power, but this girl has to work hard for her power and to prove she is capable to become an heir even though so many people keep telling her she won’t make it and that she isn’t good enough. Despite all of the challenges she goes through, she remains true to herself, helpful, resourceful… I just loved this character.

 

Another character I really loved was Champion Ven. He was a different type of character than what I usually see in YA fantasy, even though this is adult fantasy. It was just a breath of fresh air for me. The thing I loved the most about this book is the relationship between Ven and Dailena. I don’t think that I have personally seen a relationship like that in fantasy (I’m talking a father/mentor/daughter relationship) and it was just so adorable and my gosh I just loved it.

 

To sum up my fangirling, I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a good fantasy with elements of adventure, a little horror, and competition with some light-hearted comedic moments.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Overall: five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sarah B. Larson

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sarah B. LarsonDark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson
Published by Scholastic Press on May 30th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
zero-stars

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.
But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.
In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.
In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake -- a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

Ah boy, where do I start with this review? Just a warning, this review is going to be brutally honest and perhaps a little angry because I am mad. I wasted 20$ and an audible credit on this mess so yeah, I’m very mad about this book.

This book is said to be a swan lake/swan princess retelling which I was super excited for because I have never read a swan lake retelling and the synopsis sounded super promising. Yet as I read the physical copy it was just… impossible for me to get into it. The writing was super boring and everything was so melodramatic I’m like are you serious right now. But I wanted to finish it so I spent an audible credit on this book and listened to it so I could do other things while listening to it. It wasn’t the best audiobook I’ve ever read, but I did happen to find it easier to get into.

I almost hate to say it but I only liked ONE thing about this book. I do like Sara B Larson’s writing, I thought it was beautiful and I do like the premise of the book.

Now, for all my gripes and be warned there are PLENTY and it is quite spoiler filled. This book was a mess of tropes, my most hated tropes.

Special snowflake savior: We have the main character Eve I’m not sure how to spell her full name and nor do I care to look at the synopsis, but she is the blandest character I’ve ever read. She is all so powerful, she is the fastest, she is the best. Oh, and she is the chosen one. Yet we had to be reminded of it all the time.

Insta-love: I’m pretty sure she and another character fell in love the first time they saw each other, I swear to you not. I mean I don’t mind insta-love in books but if that’s the case it needs to be done well. THIS WAS NOT done well. Not to mention the love interest was super bland and gosh he was boring. In my opinion these two had no chemistry at all, like I felt that they were thrust together for the sake of just… being put together. I though Eve and her best friend whom I couldn’t remember the name of had more chemistry and I honestly would have LOVED to see them become a thing instead of borefest Tanvir.

Again the special snowflake character, every character who had a POV mentioned how beautiful she was and this wasn’t just once, it was several times. Like alright, I get it, I know how beautiful she is, I don’t need to hear it every time someone speaks OKAY. I don’t need to know every time her best friend sees her the color of her hair and hear lavender streaks or her beautiful skin, I DON’T CARE. God, even the damn villains say how beautiful she is! Like why is this necessary? Why should the readers even care?

This gif right here is literally how I feel about these damn tropes in this book.

And the worst of all is the dark skinned aggressor vs. beautiful white main character. Let me tell you a thing about these villains… they are evil. So so evil if you looked up the word in a dictionary you would see them and guess what? They’re black! And the main character is white, pure and good. And I don’t care if the author “unintentionally” did that, there is no unintentionally having your evil characters be black and the good characters being white. If you do this, you know damn well what you are doing. People of Color have it hard enough, in reality, this shit doesn’t need to be in YA fantasy where they go to see themselves represented. This needs to stop. It’s not cool or fun, it has never been. White YA fantasy writers, please stop this dangerous trope. Yes, I know that in the book there are characters with different skin colors like… literally all the colors you can think of, yet you make the villains black. Hmm.

Another thing is the worldbuilding. This book had some of the worst worldbuilding I have ever read. I finished the book and I am still lost. Like who are these characters? What exactly are they? All I know is that they live long lives, and have powers like… are the elves or what. The worldbuilding and plot development was extremely poor and I just… I had such high hopes for this book and I was so let down. I have zero interest in reading the next book.

So that wraps up my review, I literally hated this book. Thank goodness this blog gives me the option to rate it what it truly deserves, which is zerio stars.

 

 

zero-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
one-star
Writing
two-half-stars
Worldbuilding
one-star
Cover
four-stars
Overall: two-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

WIRES AND NERVE BY MARISSA MEYER

WIRES AND NERVE BY MARISSA MEYERWires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1) by Marissa Meyer, Douglas Holgate
on January 31st 2017
Genres: Dystopia/Fantasy
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
three-stars

In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure -- with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

This review is incredibly late, but… better late than never, right? I was excited that Marissa decided to continue on with this series, but focusing on a new character. But before I get into the review, I want to start off with a few housekeeping issues. I will be formatting my reviews differently. Shocker, right? I’ll talk about this more in my wrap up of May, but this review will be the tester so I can see how it works out for me, so please bear with me! Anyway, I had a lot of expectations for this book. Some were met and unfortunately, many were not.

I’m going to start off with the negatives because I need to gripe right now. I was expecting so much more out of this book than what I got. I’m thinking that maybe it is because this was told in graphic novel form and it was hard for me to really get a grasp on the narrative or whatever but god I just… did not like the way this story was played out. I feel like it would have been so much better if it were in written novel form instead of graphics. Maybe it has something to do with the cartoonish look of the characters that were better suited for something middle grade and the fact that there was no color. Everything was in shades of blue! I want to know who made this choice and why. Like c’mon, bring on some color.

Another thing was the absolute ridiculousness of some of the characters and for this, I am talking about the darn wolf people and by the time this review is up, it would have been almost two months since I read the book and if I remember correctly they were told time and time again that Cinder was good and yet nah, all they want is death and destruction. I don’t know if the readers were supposed to find them menacing or what… I found them to be completely lacking in substance and what I feel makes a ‘scary’ or intriguing villain. They were just lame and pointless in my opinion.

I just… expected this to live up to the hype and awe of the Lunar Chronicles and man was I let down. I was so betrayed.

But despite my gripes about this book, there were some elements I did like. For instance, the major presence of my favorite Thorne. I was surprised to see him have a huge part in this book along with Iko. Actually, as I think about it can we just have a series called ‘The Adventures of Iko and Thorne.” please? I would buy that in a heartbeat. There is this scene in which Thorne see’s a lifelike robot of himself and I’m sorry for any spoilers, but I just have to show you because if there was any part of the graphics I liked, it was this.

I also loved Iko in this book, I mean I loved her before but damn, this made me love her more if that is possible!

Well, that concludes my thoughts for this books. Even though I wish they had taken a different approach to telling this story, at least they are giving a character who deserves it, the time to shine! And I know it won’t happen but I kind of hope they do better with the graphics with the second book.

 

three-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood by Elly BlakeFrostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) by Elly Blake
on January 10th 2017
Pages: 376
Goodreads
two-stars

The frost king will burn.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

I won’t lie to you, alright? I really wanted to love this book. Like, really really wanted to love it. But honestly? I struggled to read this book, you guys. Struggled hardcore. Before going into it, I already know that it would be cliche and full of tropes and I was in the mood to read that kind of story. Also, this review is spoiler free!

You got your special snowflake main character who is a fire blood and who is of course, stronger than anyone else. You got your broody potential love interest who was honestly the broodiest that I have ever read about and it wasn’t in an enjoyable way. Next, we have the side characters; father figure, maybe father figure number two, and that one character who is there to make the main characters life miserable. This cast of characters was one of the big reasons I did not enjoy this book. They were boring and I found them to be flat, I could not connect with them at all and I just… did not care for them.

There was one instance where I did connect with the character because in one scene a fire breaks out and it spreads to a library and she tries to save the books like my hero.

Also just let me share this quote okay. “Go pick up your weapon, right now.” He said through clenched teeth. This quote was incredibly ridiculous you guys, oh my gosh don’t even get me started on it.

The plot is not entirely original. You have the special snowflake hellbent on vengeance and wanting to kill the evil king. You have a love interest and yes there is a love interest because this book is literally your standard Young Adult fantasy. I didn’t find anything unique about the plot or anything that stood out. But hey, if you want to read a cliche and a book filled with tropes, then I recommend this one.

This is probably the one part I liked about the book. The author did an incredible job with the world building and I am so glad that she gave background on how Fireblood’s and Frostblood’s came to be. The backstory was my personal favorite part because it was so intriguing and a little creepy! Unfortunately, this was not enough to save this series for me.

So that’s my little review for Frostblood. I do recommend this book if you are into stories like this and want to read something with tropes. Unfortunately for me I did not enjoy it and will most likely not be continuing on with the series.

two-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
one-star
Writing
four-stars
Worldbuilding
one-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: two-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

King’s Cage by Victoria AveyardKing's Cage (Red Queen, #3) by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on February 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopia/Fantasy
Pages: 528
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars
one-half-flames

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?
Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.
As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.
When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

So I went into this book thinking that I would absolutely hate it. That I would skim chapters and only read the ones concerning my favorite which is Cal of course. I was so wrong. This book went in so many directions that I didn’t even expect. This review will probably make zero sense because it is just me rambling but I need to get my jumbled thoughts out!

In my opinion, this book was the best of the series by far. The writing improved ten fold, the worldbuilding was fantastic and just you go girl, you go.

CHARACTERS

This book is told from three different point of views. We get Mare of course as well as Cameron, and Evangeline. It was so refreshing to see the world through someone else’s eyes and not just Mare’s, but also how other characters are viewed or how certain events are thought of. I thought Mare grew as a person and I’m pretty sure she is cemented in my favorite female characters and I don’t get how people dislike her but that is their opinion. She grew stronger and more resilient, but toward the end of the book she sort of regained her old self back outside of the little lightening girl.

Cameron was such a fresh breath of air and I lived for her chapters. Evangeline was also incredible and it was great to see she was not just the standard ‘bitchy’ character who had a gripe with the main character (I never thought that of course)… although we do get why she was not a fan of Mare in the first place, which I thought was pretty sweet. I am not going to talk about Cal because I will ramble and rave about how beautiful he was in this book. I do want to talk about Maven… and I thank the author that she portrayed him exactly as I felt he should be portrayed. There was no excusing his horrible actions or any poor me syndromes or maybe his mother controlled his every move and made him do every bad thing, like no he was responsible for his own actions.

PLOT + WRITING

The plot went in directions that I definitely did not expect it to go, and the stakes are definitely high for the last book. There were a few times I felt the book was a little slow, but it was filled with political intrigue so I didn’t really mind it that much. I am definitely a little nervous for the last book because some of the things that happened were killer. Also as I stated earlier the writing is so much better than the previous books. I feel like the author has a good grasp on the characters and what she wants to happen.

WORLD BUILDING

Thank heavens that there is more world building and we got to see beyond Norta. Even though there was a lot more world building in this book than Red Queen and Glass Sword, I actually would like to know more about the world before, like maybe a novella would clear up a lot of questions that I have.

So there is my non cohesive review of King’s Cage. I am beyond excited for the last book and I can’t wait to see how this series ends!

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie GarberCaraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books on January 31st 2017
Pages: 407
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

I am not sure how to write this review because my mind is still blown from the intensity of this novel. Caraval is said to be like Night Circus and I uh, have yet to read Night Circus and after this I am definitely going to be picking it up! This was also one of the most anticipated books of the year so hearing that, I was skeptical about it because I have gotten carried away in the hype of books before, so I swore I would not do it with Caraval.

I went into this book really knowing nothing and expecting nothing, but I was not disappointed.

CHARACTERS:

I really loved the characters in this book, especially Scarlett who vaguely reminded me of Kestral from the Winners Trilogy. Why? No clue, she just did. I thought she was not your typical YA heroine who is snarky and brave, I’m not saying she isn’t, but you know what I am. The typical YA heroine. I felt Scarlett was sort of timid, maybe a little shy and I felt that strongly had to do with her upbringing. Julian, I knew I would love him since the moment he came on the page. You know, he is one of those characters you can’t help but love.

There were plenty of supporting characters I found to be quite interesting except two of them that I felt were completely uneeded and if you read Caraval… hopefully you know who because they literally contributed ZERO to the story. The character of Legend himself was what drove me insane this entire book, that is all I will say about him.

WORLDBUILDING +PLOT

I would have appreciated a map that was not just of Caraval, but I won’t gripe about it. The world was so unique and intricate and spellbinding. The plot itself was incredible and so well written, it was more than I could have hoped for. The entire plot is Scarlett trying to solve the mystery of Caraval and find her sister, but I felt I spent more time figuring out who the hell Legend was and what his endgame was and guess what? I still have no clue because this book left me with so many questions.

My ONLY gripe about this book is the insta-love. For me, it was the kind that I absolutely devour and it’s my guilty pleasure, but I know that is kind of a deal breaker for some people so… yeah, just a warning. There is insta-love. It’s insta in my opinion, because how many people fall madly in love within the span of 3 days?
Anyway, so that concludes my review for Caraval. The ending was definitely a cliffhyanger and I can’t wait for the next book!

four-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Worldbuilding
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES
  • WILD GOOSE CHASE CHALLENGE

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Windwitch by Susan DennardWindwitch (The Witchlands, #2) by Susan Dennard
Published by Tor Teen on January 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Let me start off by saying rarely do I cry while reading a book. I mean sure a book will tug at my heart, make me a little teary, but rarely do I full on cry. And yeah, I cried reading this book. This was also my most anticipated book of the year and it took me almost a month to read it because I was in such a huge book slump after reading the mess that was The Burning Sky and I instantly regret not reading this gem right away.

The story takes off immediately after the events of Truthwitch and the stakes are so much higher in this book. Thankfully a lot of the questions that I had in Truthwitch were answered… and thankfully I did not have the problems with Windwitch that I did with the first book.

CHARACTERS

Is it possible for someone to love every character in a book? Because I do. There were some characters that I did not expect to love at all, and there were some that truly surprised me. My favorite is still Merik of course, like doubtful that would have changed! But the ones that really got me were Cam, Vivia and Caden. I need more of them. Also there was so much character development for the four core characters and I can’t wait to see how they end up! Hopefully alive.

The two main things I really want to talk about is the friendship between Cam and Merik and the relationship between Merik and his sister Vivia. ALSO WARNING, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HERE.

Cam is a character who could be described as transgender? Please correct me if I am wrong but they are a girl who identifies as a boy in the book. This friendship was one of the best parts of the book. Cam stuck with Merik even though he made the dumbest choices and every time Cam was in danger, Merik did everything he could to save them, Cam was the first thing Merik always thought about, like if they were safe or they could get killed. You just need to read it yourself but this friendship was glorious.

It was also incredibly refreshing to read a high fantasy book without any romance whatsoever. I mean granted they had no time for it. Friendship is such a huge part of this series and it plays such an important role with all the characters and… I just have a lot of feelings about this book okay?

WORLDBUILDING/PLOT

When I first read Truthwitch, I was sort of confused with the world and how everything connected with each other and going into the sequel I was a little hesitant because I wasn’t sure how the author was handling the world. Let me tell you, this world is incredibly intricate and the world building is so much better than it was in the first book. There is not a lot of confusion about all the different kind of witches cause well you hear plantwitch or firewitch and it’s pretty self explanatory. The stakes are so much higher in this book like… so much is going on and things are happening to my favorite characters and I just want all of them to be happy and safe.
In conclusion this book was incredible and I highly suggest everyone reads it.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES
  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Crystal Storm by Morgan RhodesCrystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms, #5) by Morgan Rhodes
Published by Razorbill on December 13th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 379
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars
zero-flames

The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.
In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.
Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.
The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

This book was wild okay. I am not exactly sure how I am going to write this review at the moment. This was my most anticipated book of the year, this is my favorite series of all time and I love everything about this series and wow it took me so long to read this book because I did not want it to end, but I finished it in a day and boy it did not disappoint.

We continue from Frozen Tides with the core four in some deep trouble. If you think things will get easier for them in this installment you are in for a surprise. I felt like this book was sort of a filler because not A LOT of things happened compared to previous books. But there were so many revelations and twists and a lot of my questions were answered pertaining to some characters.

I felt there were some unnecessary drama in this book when it came to certain things. I was just like why… why is this happening? WHY IS THIS NECESSARY? The character of Cleo also highly annoyed me because I felt she was too extra in this book like girl take it back a few notches, please.

My favorite scenes was all the scenes with Gaius and Magnus. Like… ALSO, HERE IS A SPOILER BUT

I just loved every time they bickered because it was just, it was great. Speaking of Gaius, I don’t know what it is about him, but I just LOVE him. He is such a fascinating character who keeps readers on their toes and you just never know what he is planning. View Spoiler » but he was a major part of the book. And then there is Magnus…. oh Magnus, I love him so much.

So that sums up my thoughts for Crystal Storm. I can’t believe we have to wait a year. A YEAR. That cliffhanger was absolutely crazy and I am just, I’m mad it ended like that.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars