Genre: Fantasy

BOOK BABBLE: TO KILL A KINGDOM

Posted June 20, 2018 by Jessica in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

BOOK BABBLE: TO KILL A KINGDOMTo Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Published by Feiwel & Friends on March 6, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 342
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

One of my most anticipated books of the year and oh gosh it did not disappoint. This book even made it onto my favorites of all time shelf and that’s… that’s a pretty hard shelf to get on. I will say that I am a little sad that this is a standalone novel, but I am pretty content with how everything ended. This is a pretty cool Little Mermaid retelling that I felt was completely unique (I was going to compare it to something else, but this is literally the only Little Mermaid retelling I have read) but still, I loved it!

This book was everything I wanted it to be and more and has now given me one of my favorite characters/pirates/sirens, I don’t even know, I just love these characters so much. Let’s just get into the facts of what I loved about this!

  • Elian: My precious pirate prince! He is a beaut and I live for everything he does. I loved each and every one of his chapters, and his thoughts about his future role as king. I’m not going to give any spoilers here, but I think you would all love him. He reminded me strongly of Nikolai Lantsov to be honest so yeah, tis a little hint.
  • Lira: Ahh my Siren Queen! (No spoilers here, calling her a queen because she is awesome and badass) Half of the book is told in her POV and let me tell you, she is a handful. She is badass, amazing, she is literally everything.
  • The Writing: Was actually really good. I highly preferred listening to it on audiobook though because the narrator was AMAZING. Like I can’t even explain how amazing she is, she literally made the characters come to life. So I highly suggest listening to it. Other than that, the writing was easy to follow and set me on edge (in a good way)
  • Plot: Went in different directions that I thought. I thought it was going one way and then nope! It completely took me by surprise. It’s one of those books where you think it’s going to go one way and then it completely turns.
  • Anyway, short review. Sad it’s a standalone but it’s a good one. If you’re looking for something dark and fun to read, I highly suggest you pick this up!
five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

BOOK BABBLE: ASH PRINCESS

Posted May 13, 2018 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

This book contains themes of abuse, torture, slavery and racism.
BOOK BABBLE: ASH PRINCESSAsh Princess by Laura Sebastian
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 24, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Goodreads
two-stars
zero-flames

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.
For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.
Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.
For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

I received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program, all thoughts are my own.

Oh goodness. Where to even start with this review. Should I beat around the bush? Be kind? Get straight to the point?

I just want to say I went into this expecting… not a lot really, but I thought it was going to be different than what I got. I thought this would be a Cinderella retelling, but um… it’s definitely not. I guess there are vague connections but for me, it’s not enough to mark it as a retelling.

When I finished this the other day, I was left with the feeling that wow… that was actually really good, I really enjoyed it— and I did enjoy it. But over the day I had some time to think about it and let it marinate in my mind and I don’t get why I liked it. Perhaps it was some of the quotes? The few pages of interest? I don’t know, but the verdict is, this book was not for me and let’s get into the reasons with the least spoilers way that I can.

  • Characters: The characters were really two dimensional to me. There was no depth to the important players, no interest, they were just bland. I found myself skimming pages when it came to certain characters cause I just could not care. And then there is Theodosia/Thora. I don’t know how to feel about her. I like her, and I don’t. To me she was the most frustrating character, I just… literally could not understand her sometimes? Half of the decisions she made was just.. ugh why!
  • The villain: It’s no secret that the Kaiser is the villain. He is… literally your typical YA villain. Power hungry, evil, whatever, no depth at all. He might be my least favorite villain ever because shoot, even Maven Calore (and I despise him) has more depth and interest than Kaiser does.
  • Writing: It was meh. I’ve read better writing and honestly, it was hard to follow along at times and I skimmed a few parts and I don’t think I’ll be reading anything else by this author because it just didn’t mesh with me.
  • Plotline: Again your typical YA fantasy plot line. TO THE T. You have your lost/banished princess, an evil has taken over the country, joins a rebellion to claim her throne. LOVE TRIANGLE. She is empowered and ready to take what’s hers. I literally see this in 75% of the books I read. I’m tired of it.
  • Love interest: I think there are like two or three love interests for the main character? I don’t know or care. You have the Prinz Soren who is so in love with our dear MC after like what, days? *que me gagging* Sure they’ve known each other for a while, but he probably cared not for her up until the middle (if you’ve read this you know what I am talking about)
    And then we have Blaise. I just imagine him as a ten year old boy. He’s uninteresting.
    I just literally could not care for either of these two.

Anyway, I’m sad this did not work out for me because I really wanted to like it. But I just can’t care about the world or the characters or the plot line. I can pretty much figure out what will happen and I won’t be picking up the second.

Also, how dare they compare this to Ember.

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

BOOK BABBLE: HEART OF IRON

Posted May 5, 2018 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

BOOK BABBLE: HEART OF IRONHeart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1) by Ashley Poston
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 27, 2018
Genres: science fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 480
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

I want everyone who loves the movie, Anastasia, to read this now. Because wow it was fantastic.

Also, hi, haven’t posted a review in a hot minute and I am super behind but that’s all good. Such is life. I just want to break for a second and bring you a little change on this blog in where I am changing the way I do reviews. My previous method was just… not working out for me, so I guess we can just start calling these book babbles? Because you bet I am going to babble non-stop about this one. In short, my reviews won’t really have a set format, I’m just gonna share my thoughts, okay? Anyway, onto the review!

  • First off, I just wanna say that if you love lost princess stories, mystery, romance, and space then you will most likely love this book because it is like a mashup of all of that.
  • This is a pretty close retelling of Anastasia which I am living for, but with some twists and turns and new elements added to the story which I thought were SO cool. I mean the fact that there are spaceships is so cool.
  • We have Ana and Di who are basically Anastasia (obviously, no spoilers because if you’ve seen the movie you know) and Dimitri who is a robot. (His name is actually D09, but DI for short. Hence Dimitri) These two are the best of friends and probably smitten with each other (ahem ana)
  • Then we have Robb, my gay son. He is sincerely so precious, I love him to pieces and just. I want to hug him. He is a member of a really important family and ends up getting dragged on Ana’s adventure.
  • And now Jax whom I believe is bisexual? Regardless he is another precious bean who just needs all the love and hugs in the world (And I just want him and you know who to be happy)
  • (P.S not spoiler warning on the fact that Robb and Jax belong to the LGBTQIA+ community because sexuality is not a spoiler)
  • And there is an F/F relationship which I really wish was explored more because they are so precious together, but hopefully, they will have more scenes in book two!
  • Anyway, this book is extremely character driven, in my opinion, because the characters are what made the story for me. They are so unique in their own ways such as being headstrong, brave, ambitious and with all of those things, they are also afraid and to me, this book showed that it is okay. My favorite character was D09 and I’m not going to give any spoilers but… if you have read this, then you probably know what I mean.

 

Another thing I really loved was the writing. It was so addicting and easy to read like I just… I need to read everything by Ashley Poston because her writing is so lovable if I am making any sense.

Now I am just going to get into complete babbling because I was obsessed with how close this followed the story that we know (in terms of like the movie) I loved the changes and the new characters the author added to the original story and I just… ahh I can’t wait until the next book! I have SO many questions that need to be answered and I just really want all my favorites (which is like everyone that has a POV) to be safe and happy.

Let me know your thoughts down below if you have read this one!

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

EVERLESS BY SARAH HOLLAND

Posted January 6, 2018 by Jessica in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

EVERLESS BY SARAH HOLLANDEverless by Sara Holland
on January 1st 1970
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover, eARC
Goodreads
five-stars


Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire - a perfect read for fans of The Red Queen.

In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything - even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.
Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.
There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever ... and possibly the future of time itself.

NOTE: I was sent this as an arc for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own, thank you edelweiss for the galley.

This book as deceived me to the extreme maximum, I still cannot believe what happened…. Happened.


I’m just going to get right into this review and I promise I won’t spoil anything because this is a book that you need to go into blind and expect nothing from (or expect the best, I’m not stopping you) but this book surprised me in all of the best ways, I am seriously looking forward to the sequel.

But this is definitely one of the unique novels that I have ever read. The world, the magic system, the mythology— just everything about it was incredible. I’ll admit there were some slow points, but what made this story for me was the characters.

  • We have our main character Jules who is such a powerful heroine and you really feel for her hardships throughout the story.
  • We have Irina Gold who really surprised me with how much I liked her. I’m not saying too much about her because spoilers. But you’ll know what I mean when you meet her.
  • We have Roan who really brought light to the scenes he was in.
  • And my favorite? Liam. Broody as heck, beautiful, instant book boyfriend okay.

It was easy for me to connect to all of these characters in some form and I rooted for each of them throughout the story. Even Caro, the Queen’s handmaiden, I rooted for her too. The character growth for all of the characters who played a major part in the book was… okay, but it is the first book in a series so I’ll give it time on that.


The main thing I loved about this book was the absence of romance.

  • Yes, I guess there is some romance, depends on how you look at it.
  • Honestly, you’re going to need a magnifying glass to see the tiny ounce of romance this book has. But seriously? The romance is not there and it does not take over the plot and for once I really love that. Now I do feel like going into the second book there MIGHT be a romance, but I would be a-okay with who is probably going to get with who.

Okay so, in my opinion… there is a lot of world-building in this novel, and I know that isn’t something everyone enjoys so just that little bit of a warning. But for me? The world-building nailed it. I loved every single time they spoke about the blood irons and how Sempera came to be. I felt this was the BEST part of the story and how it ties in with the mythology and the story of the Alchemist and Sorceress (just wait okay you will live) and I can’t wait to see Sarah Holland expand the world even more in the next installment.


Now this was what surprised me the most, was that Sarah Holland is a debut author. Not that debut authors can’t write incredibly and mind you I read this as in arc I got back in September. I was truly surprised at how polished the writing was, and the grasp she has on the story and her characters. The writing flowed well, it was easy to follow… I mean I read this in a day if that tells you anything. I felt like I was right there seeing through Jules eyes the writing was that good.


Now… as I said in the beginning of this review, there is a plot point that I was deceived by and almost a month later I am still shaken by it. This was arguably the BEST PART of the book. Trust me, you will be shocked when you read this because this is something you won’t see coming.


This book is definitely something worth checking out, it is incredibly original and such a fun read, it honestly surprised me with how much I LOVED it. This book is now on my favorites shelf and I cannot wait to see what Holland has in store for us next!

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

TOWER OF DAWN BY SARAH J MAAS

Posted November 14, 2017 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

TOWER OF DAWN BY SARAH J MAASTower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) by Sarah J. Maas
on September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 664
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars
three-flames

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

I think that a lot of people were hesitant about this book, including myself. I was worried how she could handle Chaol’s disability and just well you know, everything in general but all my negative thoughts were wrong. This book really surprised me and I believe that this is the best book she has written. As like most of my reviews, the majority of this will be me gushing because I really loved everything about this book. And since I had nothing bad to say about this, I’m just gonna list all the reasons why I liked this. Geez that was a mouthful.

  • Chaol: I have always loved Chaol even during Queen of Shadows and this book just made me love him even MORE if that is possible. While not a TON happens in this book, the majority of it focuses on Chaol’s healing both physically, mentally and emotionally and it is the most beautiful journey of healing I have ever read.
  • Yrene: She was definitely NOT what I thought she was at all. Yrene is such a badass, I love her so much. She was so inspiring and I loved seeing her character growth.
  • Nesryn: I loved that we got her POV and see her side of things, I loved meeting her family and her journey to discover who she is and what she wants in life.

It was definitely really refreshing to only read a book in this series with as many POV’s as this one had. (mouthful I know) Unlike Sarah’s previous books in the series, this one only had three points of view. Chaol, Yrene and Nesryn and it just made the story much more enjoyable and it flowed really really well. Everything was cohesive and I was not struggling to figure out who was who or what their point is in the story. It felt a lot more relaxed and much more of a focus on the characters themselves.

I really hope everyone understood what I was trying to say there but to sum it all up I really liked the lesser point of views. This being said, I am sort of worried for the last book in this series with all of the point of views that are already IN the series and the four more she is going to add such as Yrene, Nesryn, and she was thinking about Nox and Evangeline which I really really do not hope she does because I feel like that would take away from the story. Like there is just no need for THAT many points of view.

ANYWAY I got a little off topic, but that is just one of the things that really bothered me moving forward.

  • I absolutely love Antica and all of the new characters that were introduced, but one of my favorite things was how she handled Chaol’s disability. I felt it was handled very well and. View Spoiler »
  • Another thing I loved was the romance which I never thought I would ever ship but yet here I am complete trash for it. The build-up was phenomenal and their love felt very organic.
  • I have to mention this, but chapter 55? WHEW. What an emotional ride. I don’t know if I am the only one, but that chapter really stood out to me on a personal level and really tied his entire character arc together.

So that sums up my thoughts for Tower of Dawn, it was a lot better than I had ever imagined it to be, and there are some reveals that just had me mindblown. Like WOW. Moving forward I am super excited yet nervous to see what is doing to happen in the last novel because it’s going to be an epic ending. (also pls SJM don’t include a bazillion unneeded point of views.) pLS.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST BY HOLLY BLACK

Posted November 6, 2017 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST BY HOLLY BLACKThe Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
on January 13th 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
five-stars

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

This review is long overdue, but to be honest the majority of my reviews are long overdue. I am not too sure what happened, I think I had ended up reading more than I can review which is fine by me. This is one of those books that I had been eyeing for such a long time, mostly because the cover was what originally drew me in. Also because I have seen so many people really love this book and I was in the mood for some fae reads. I’m gonna do my usual where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and as usual the majority of this review is me just gushing because I really loved this.

WHAT I LIKED

  • To me, it felt kind of like a mystery? At least in the beginning, because they were trying to figure out who the boy is and once he wakes up and disappears they are trying to find him and all that stuff.
  • The bond between Hazel and Ben was just THE best and I loved all of their interactions together.
  • One of my favorite parts was that the fairies and humans of this town just coexisted together. Granted it was not always peaches and cream, but they CO-EXISTED. Like the fae realm was a staple of this town and weird things were not really weird for them in the first place. I know this probably makes zero sense but I hope you get what I am talking about here.
  • The atmosphere was incredible. Holly Black certainly knows how to write a good fae story with lush writing and she just manages to reel you in and make sure you never let go.
  • Some of the romances. I won’t say who, but oh my gosh they were so adorable and I LOVE everything about it.

WHAT I DISLIKED

  • Pretty much the only thing I did not like was that this book is standalone. I am really sad about it okay.

So that wraps up my sincerely short review but I am tired and can’t be bothered. I just had to share some of my thoughts for this incredible book with you. I can definitely say that Holly is now one of my auto-buy authors and I am even more pumped for her next book that is coming out. Also I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story with some faes but doesn’t want to put too much dedication in it (because hello, standalone) just read this okay, it is so worth it.

 

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

THE GLASS SPARE BY LAUREN DESTEFANO

Posted October 29, 2017 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Edelwiess in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE GLASS SPARE BY LAUREN DESTEFANOThe Glass Spare (The Glass Spare, #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 402
Format: eARC, Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

A banished princess.A deadly curse.A kingdom at war.
Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.
Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.
But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.
With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

Initially, I thought this was going to be a three-star book because it did not wow me at first. Then as I continued, I thought okay this is going be four stars. I have now rounded it up to five stars because this book really surprised me and I am bitter I have to wait a year for the next one. This is an eGALLEY provided by edelwiess and all thoughts and opinions are my own, so thank you edelwiess.

As I said before this book really surprised me and was not what I thought it was going to be. It is one of those books that you think “Oh my gosh, please don’t happen, please don’t happen.” And it happens. This is such a pure fantasy book and has all of those plot developments and a few cliche’s that I personally enjoy. I will say the book was a LITTLE bit of a drag in the beginning but that could be because I was reading it on my phone and I finally bought the finished copy and I could not put it down.

THINGS I LIKED

  • The characters. To me, this was the BEST part of the entire story. I got a sense that this was a character driven story and I really fell in love with all of the characters introduced View Spoiler ».
  • The main character Wil, whose point of view the story is mostly told in… she is now one of my favorite female characters. I thought she was bada** and just you know, amazing.
  • I loved her brother Gerdie and I am kind of sad that we didn’t get more of his POV, but I’ll be looking forward to that when the next book comes out (hopefully we get more of him)
  • The banished Prince, I have a thing for princes and he is certainly no exception. Read it for yourself and see.
  • The writing is so easy to follow and definitely not very wordy (I can’t stand wordy fantasy books sometimes, it gets too much) the writing pulls you in and keeps your attention.
  • The plot? This author sure knows how to get things going and even though I felt that this book was a set up for something big (like events possibly to happen in the next book) it was still pretty cool how everything developed.
  • There are so many unanswered questions that just fuels my anticipation for the next book.
  • Also, how about an A+ for worldbuilding?? Everything was explained and just sounded really incredible and I actually was not confused.

Now for some things that bothered me.

  • Just one little tiny issue that just bothered me and MAY be slight spoilers. But the way the romance happened was a little frustrating (even if I really liked it) and some things I wanted to happen did NOT happen and I sincerely hope that they do.

So that’s it for this review. I definitely did not expect to love this as much as I do and I seriously cannot wait for the next book to come out!

Photo Oct 29, 1 22 49 PM.jpg

 

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

AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS BY MARGARET ROGERSON

Posted October 10, 2017 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS BY MARGARET ROGERSONAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 26th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 300
Goodreads
one-star

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.
Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Goodness, where do I even begin with this review?

This book was not at all what I expected and I don’t mean that in a good way. I struggled so hard trying to read this book because no matter how hard I tried to make myself pick it up it felt like a chore. I mean there are just… times, when you can tell this, is truly the first book an author has written. I apologize if this review seems kind of harsh but I’m not going to hold back on my feelings for this book. I also did my best to not DNF this book because it was so short and I wanted to find out if it would get better in the end and well… let’s just get into it.

LIKES

  • I liked how the fae were depicted in this book. I thought it was interesting and kind of reminded me of Holly Black’s ‘Darkest Part of the Forest’
  • I also liked Rook.
  • Sadly, this is really the only two things I liked about this book.

DISLIKES

  • The writing. I was not a fan of the writing and I thought it felt out of place for a fantasy novel. I thought that it was quite modern like and just ugh it did not mesh well with the story itself.
  • Also speaking of the writing, it was not that good either. It felt kind of juvenile and not what I’d expect from a fantasy book or the caliber of what everyone is suggesting.
  • Also… did everyone rating this read a different book than I did? I seriously don’t understand how this book is the best book of the year, like… I know we all have our different tastes, but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
  • Let’s talk about the characters. Isobel oh Isobel, the most boring main character I could have ever laid eyes on. I like that she’s a great painter because as an artist myself it just makes me happy. Other than that? Good lord, I could not care for her. I did not feel sorry for her, I just could not CARE FOR HER.
  • All the other characters: with the exception of Rook and Gadfly, everyone else was boring and I could not care for them either.
  • The storyline in it’s entirety? What was the damn point of it all? I mean perhaps if this was a longer book or expanded into a series and things were not rushed, it could have enjoyed it better.

At least the cover is beautiful.

NOW FOR SPOILERS, beware and enter at your own peril for this section will be me just ranting.

So we start off with Isobel who is a master of craft/painting and the fairies all admire her craft, especially Gadfly who is a patron of hers who really loves her work (I mean he has a room of portraits of himself he sleeps in once a month to stare at like what even) He tells her that the autumn prince is rumored to come to her for a portrait and lo and behold he does and it’s magical. She’s so overtaken by his beauty and oh my god guess what? She’s in love with him (or thinks she is) The book was good until this point and this is where it goes downhill.

Isobel accidentally paints mortal sorrow in his eyes and this could cost him his life. So he whisks her way to the autumn lands to stand trial for her crimes. The girl paints his eyes more humanlike or whatever in the world she does and honestly? It does not cost him his life, it just lowers his reputation and he gets pissed off about it and wants her to amend for her crimes. Which is ya know… okay, I get it. But midway through the damn book, he changes her mind and decides to take her home. Why? Who in the world knows.

This is where the love story comes in, and probably the reason why he changed his mind, but I don’t know and I could care less. This was instalove to the max and usually, I am okay with instalove. But this was SO forced and so not genuine, and it was just so…cringey! I guess he fell in love with her during the first part of the book and she realized she loved him and I have no idea if you read this, you understand what I mean.

The last half of the book was a whirlwind mess. All faes have to abide by the good law which I still don’t understand what the good law even is and why it is called that. And this is where we meet the Alder King which is my biggest disappointment of this book. During the whole book he was described as this impressive creature who reigns over everything and is super deadly and blah blah blah, but Rook challenges him and I was like oh my god cool there’s going to be a fight!

The Alder King is this super old Fae who has been asleep for a long time and doesn’t even know what is happening and he thinks the fae’s obsession with human craft is pathetic but also, a human has destroyed the green well which turns humans into fae (isobel does this throwing her iron ring into it) and the good law was broken so gotta fight! As I stated before, I expected a great and bloody fight between Rook and the Alder king and did that happen?

No.

ROOK FREAKING RUNS AWAY AND TAKES ISOBEL BACK HOME, BRINGING THE ALDER KING TO HER DAMNED HOME. LIKE HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE?! Long story short, she ends up killing the Alder King in the dumbest way ever and she and Rook become King and Queen of the fae lands.

There was SO MUCH DRAMA toward the end of the book, all because Rook and Isobel fell in love.

Rant over.

This book was just such a mess and I really would not recommend it to anyone.

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

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017
  • WILD GOOSE CHASE CHALLENGE

QUEEN OF BLOOD BY SARAH BETH DURST

Posted June 17, 2017 by Jessica in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

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

Posted June 8, 2017 by Jessica in reviews, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

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