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Book Review

Daughter of the Pirate King | Review

Daughter of the Pirate King | Review

I’ll be honest, when I first heard about the Daughter of the Pirate King, I had no interest in it. The cover didn’t thrill me and I’ve never really been a pirate person, mainly because it seems like I’m the only one who despises Pirates of the Caribbean, and given that this book was pitched as a female Jack Sparrow I was very much ehhhhhhhhh about it.

But my library had a copy, so I decided to read it.

 

And I am oh so glad I did.

Alosa is the daughter of the pirate king, and a fearsome pirate in her own right. She’s on a mission for her father that involved her orchestrating her own kidnapping (I got some very Lila Bard vibes from this!) but her plans quickly start to go awry, and Alosa finds herself in some hot water as her special ability becomes exposed… and she starts to fall for one of her captors. Never a good combo, right?

This book really grabbed me from the beginning, and I thought the writing was great. The tone of most the book is upbeat and fast paced. Alosa’s quick-wittedness had me laughing many a time while reading. And let’s just say her fiery hair really does reflect her personality. The banter really was a shining star in this novel.

The pacing for me did get a little wobbly towards the end, but nothing major, just what seemed like a very quick wrap up. For me this was a really great, easy, weekend read and if it interests you at all, I suggest picking it up.

I can’t wait for the second book! Definitely intrigued to find to out what will happen next.

 

My favorite line: 

“Everyone has something dark in their past. I suppose it’s our job to overcome it. And if we can’t overcome it, then all we can do is make the most of it.”

My favorite visual: Omg omg omg spoiler!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read The Daughter of the Pirate King? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Fallen Kingdom | Review

The Fallen Kingdom | Review

This review is basically going to be me doing this:

heart-eyes

 

The Fallen Kingdom is the third book in the Falconer trilogy, and is slated to release on June 13th, 2017.

This book. This book! This. Book. THIS. BOOK.

Okay, I’ll stop.

But seriously, this book was by far the best in the series. It was amazing. It was every emotional roller coaster there could have been all rolled into a pretty package that is Aileana.

We pick up right where we left off, with Aileana having returned, but she has no memories and has these immense powers with no knowledge of where they came from. As Aileana

 

As Daleina grows and begins to understand more about her abilities, she, as well as others, start to wonder what is happening with the elemental spirits. More and more deaths are occurring, and more and more villages are being destroyed. One of those trying to save the villages in question is Ven, a disgraced champion. Fate brings Daleina and Ven together and they strike out to strengthen Daleina’s power as she trains to one day become an heir, but they also start to unravel a political plot bigger than themselves.

 

When I started reading, I was immediately sucked into this this magical world. The pacing was excellent, the action almost constant (with destructive elements, something is bound to go wrong) and the plot inventive. If you love fantasy and magic, this book is for you. The only *possible* negative thing I have to say about it, is there is a small romance in the book that to me seemed to come out of the middle of nowhere, almost as if it was an afterthought that was shoved into the already written book. But despite that, I really loved this book and can’t wait for more in this series.

My favorite line: This creepy opener stole my heart:

“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.”

My favorite visual: The elemental spirits.

Rating: 5 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read The Fallen Kingdom? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

Miranda and Caliban | Review

Miranda and Caliban | Review

Miranda and Caliban is slated to release on February 14, 2017.

Book blurb: Miranda is a lonely child. For as long as she can remember, she and her father have lived in isolation in the abandoned Moorish palace. There are chickens and goats, and a terrible wailing spirit trapped in a pine tree, but the elusive wild boy who spies on her from the crumbling walls and leaves gifts on their doorstep is the isle’s only other human inhabitant. There are other memories, too: vague, dream-like memories of another time and another place. There are questions that Miranda dare not ask her stern and controlling father, who guards his secrets with zealous care: Who am I? Where did I come from? The wild boy Caliban is a lonely child, too; an orphan left to fend for himself at an early age, all language lost to him. When Caliban is summoned and bound into captivity by Miranda’s father as part of a grand experiment, he rages against his confinement; and yet he hungers for kindness and love.

 

I have been a fan of Jacqueline Carey forever. I fell in love with her lyrical writing when I first read Kushiel’s Dart, and then fell in love all over again with her Santa Olivia and Agent of Hel series. Miranda and Caliban is a beautiful return to Carey’s lyrical writing that I love so much, and missed a little bit with her more recent works.

I sat down to read Miranda and Caliban when I had about an hour of spare time, thinking I’d slowly read the book over the course of a few days. Instead, I found myself unable to put the book down, I was so enthralled by the story. In fact, I read the entire book over the course of one evening, it was just that mesmerizing!

Now, if you’re not aware, Miranda and Caliban is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Tempest, so if you’re aware of the play, you know how the story is going to end up. It’s a tragedy, after all.

The romance between Miranda and Caliban builds slowly over time, and starts as many romances do, after years of friendship. Miranda is lonely and has spent much of her life very sheltered, and Caliban wants nothing more than to belong. And Prospero is pulling the strings on both, using them for his own revenge. The result is a magical and enchanting tale that Carey weaves, even knowing from the start that the star-crossed lovers are doomed.

Personally, I found myself equally invested in both the story of Miranda and Caliban, and secretly (or maybe not so secretly!) hoping for a retelling with a twist that wouldn’t lead to heartbreak. But Carey faithfully stuck to the source material, and I enjoyed the story immensely despite the feels.

The only downsides I have for this novel are:

– Even though we do see more lyrical writing in Miranda and Caliban from Carey, much like her work in her Kushiel series, this is not what I would call an epic fantasy. There is only so much for Carey to work with here, given the source material, and although she does a fantastic job weaving her plot, it’s not as layered as perhaps I was hoping.

– The size is a little disappointing, coming in at just over 300 pages. Again, I fully realize this is more due to the source material (like the above note), so take that into consideration. My disappointments were really stemming more from the fact that I want another lyrical, epic fantasy from Carey, rather than the quality of prose of Miranda and Caliban. 😉

 

I received Miranda and Caliban as an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

 

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read Miranda and Caliban? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Queen of Blood | Review

The Queen of Blood | Review

From the first page I knew this book would be good. It just had that feeling. That special, sinking into this magical world feeling. You know the one.

feeling

In The Queen of Blood humankind lives alongside elemental spirits that must be controlled through the power of the Queen, and the heirs that support her. Without the Queen commanding the spirits, their vengeful, vicious nature takes control and they wreck havoc, destroying entire villages. The story follows Daleina, a young woman who is training at an academy to learn to use to natural gift of magic to control the elemental spirits in her world. Daleina’s magic is not strong, but she has seen first hand the damage these spirits can do to a village, and she is determined to be of help to control them.

go-on

As Daleina grows and begins to understand more about her abilities, she, as well as others, start to wonder what is happening with the elemental spirits. More and more deaths are occurring, and more and more villages are being destroyed. One of those trying to save the villages in question is Ven, a disgraced champion. Fate brings Daleina and Ven together and they strike out to strengthen Daleina’s power as she trains to one day become an heir, but they also start to unravel a political plot bigger than themselves.

omg

When I started reading, I was immediately sucked into this this magical world. The pacing was excellent, the action almost constant (with destructive elements, something is bound to go wrong) and the plot inventive. If you love fantasy and magic, this book is for you. The only *possible* negative thing I have to say about it, is there is a small romance in the book that to me seemed to come out of the middle of nowhere, almost as if it was an afterthought that was shoved into the already written book. But despite that, I really loved this book and can’t wait for more in this series.

 

My favorite line: This creepy opener stole my heart:

“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.”

My favorite visual: The elemental spirits.

Rating: 5 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read The Queen of Blood? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

Heartless | Review

Heartless | Review

Oh. em. gee.

This. book.

giphy

So it’s about The Queen of Hearts, so there is some obviousness with how Catherine ends up, but the road is very unclear as to how Cath becomes The Queen of Hearts that we all know. And yes, the book ends sad because what else would you expect for The Queen of Hearts, but man oh man, this book was a page turner. I couldn’t put it down! Literally, I carried it around with me to sneak in reading.

Heartless is the story of Catherine, who marchioness mother is aiming for her to be Queen, but Cath has other ideas. She dreams of opening up a bakery with her maid, who is also her closest friend. Cath goes to a royal ball where (at first, unbeknownst to her) the King will propose to Cath, but instead Cath meets the new, handsome, royal Joker and all of Cath’s plans (and her mothers) start to fly out the window. Lots of interests are at play in the unfolding of destiny in this novel.

love2

As usual with Meyer, the imagery and descriptions are perfect and draw you into the world. The pacing of the plot wasn’t perfect throughout, but overall great and kept me turning the pages and wanting to know what was going to happen.

If you liked Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, then you’ll definitely like this. It still has Meyer’s style of writing, but it is a bit darker, sadder and grittier. Cath is one tough cookie and is determined to make her life turn out the way she dreams. Jest is instantly likeable, in that mysterious, roguish way, as are all the other Alice in Wonderland characters that you’re introduced to. My personal favorite is Cheshire, who I’ve always felt is a fairly accurate deception of a real life cat – gonna do what he wants, when he wants, and couldn’t care less about you. 😉

My favorite line: Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

My favorite visual: The Cheshire cat.

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read Heartless? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill | Review

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill | Review

This was one of the books I have been most anticipating all year. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, lots of my favorite authors were singing it’s praises, and it had horses in it. That’s totally the trifecta, right?

squealing

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a middle grade novel that is set during World War II at a children’s hospital. Emmaline knows a secret about Briar Hill that no one else does – there are winged horses in the mirrors at Briar Hill. None of the other children or staff at the hospital can see them. Only her.

magical

The story beings illustrating how dull, colorless, adventuress and downright scary Emmaline’s life can be. Her roommate in the hospital is very sick and can’t leave her bed. Emmaline isn’t allowed to go out into the garden because of the foxes. And overall, Emmaline feels lonely and scared, with the threats of bombers and invading forces.

But one day Emmaline discovers something beyond just the winged horses in the mirrors. There is a winged horse in the garden, along with a note asking whoever finds the horse (named Foxfire) to look after her. This note, and the horse, starts Emmaline on an adventure of daring, love and bravery in the face of grave danger.

cant stop reading

You learn more and more about Emmaline and her backstory and her illness as the book unfolds. Bits and pieces of her life and revealed and you start to piece together Emmaline’s life. Because of the setting of this book (World War II), there is some death and tragedy and sadness. I thought the book was well paced and plot, except perhaps for the very end, which seems to happen very quickly. The imagery and world building of the winged horse world is glorious and the perfect mirror (pun intended) for the children’s hospital.

If you’re a fan of stories like The Secret Garden, then this is a must read.

My favorite line: But there must be more out there. There must be brighter things.”

My favorite visual: All the colors.

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read The Secret Horses of Briar Hill? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

Three Dark Crowns | Review

Three Dark Crowns | Review

Oh boy. This book surprised me. I was so looking forward to it for months prior to it’s release, and I had high expectations…. but….. this book ending up having this creepy, dark undertone that I didn’t expect but I found oh so delicious and wonderful. This mysterious darkness is really what pulled me into the story, as the switching POVs was a little hard to get into at first. The first few chapters were a little confusing at first because of this, but just hang in there, it starts to make sense.

confusing

But, if you don’t know, Three Dark Crowns is the story of triplet sisters who are all queens, but only one of them can rule in the end. Each sister was born with a different gift and was raised in the family of that gift to hone and strengthen their abilities. Once the sisters turn 16, they will have to face each other… and kill each other. Whoever is left standing is queen.

oh-snap

Arsinoe is a naturalist and is supposed to have powers over flora and fauna, making flowers bloom and calling animals to her. But her gifts have yet to manifest. Katharine is a poisoner and is supposed to be able to have a natural resistance to poison, however Katharine’s gift is weak and she is often sick and is frail. Mirabella is an elemental, and is the only sister that shows strength in her power. Mirabella’s gifts give her powers over all the elements, including fire and wind.

The entire world building in this book is fantastic and there are a lot of supporting characters that are well developed and have their own lives and motives, which I greatly appreciate. Each sister is raised in a separate family who’s entire goal is to strengthen the gift of the sister (sometimes at no matter the cost). Each family is different and has their own set of motives and desire. Despite this, each family is intertwined with the other two. There is some romance, as well as a few plot twists that keep the book fresh and the reader on their toes.

Also, the ending of this book was absolutely. glorious. The ending itself made the book go from three to four stars for me. It was superb and so unexpected. I can’t wait for the next book.

this is the best

 

My favorite line: No one really wishes to be a queen.

My favorite visual: The feasts.

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read Three Dark Crowns? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

Crooked Kingdom | Review

Crooked Kingdom | Review

So if you haven’t heard, Crooked Kingdom is the follow up sequel to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Both books revolve around a gang of teenagers trying to survive rivals and being double-crossed, while also pulling off a giant heist. It kinda reminds me of Ocean’s 11. Just with teenagers and more danger.

This was basically me when I finished Crooked Kingdom.

jaw-drop

 

Crooked Kingdom is good, y’all. Not only does the clifhanger from Six of Crows get resolved (pretty quickly, I might add) but we learn more about each character, watch them learn, grow and start to resolve their personal conflicts. The amount of plot within plot within plot that Bardugo weaves together boggles my mind. I don’t know how she keeps up with it and strings all these pieces together for such a seamless story.

All of that part is fantastic.

What isn’t quite so fantastic is the fact that a good portion of the book moves very. very. slowly.

slow

I felt like the book had fits of start/stop. There would be rapid page turning of fast paced action and then boring filler for chapters. I think part of this was due to the multiple POVs, but there were parts of the book that just felt a little discombobulated. Now these weren’t big parts or major parts, but it happened enough when reading to make me pause a little.

Another thing that made me pause was the constant reference to age. I honestly don’t recall really noticing the gang’s age in Six of Crows (which I just re-read before CK came out). The age factor seemed much more front and center in Crooked Kingdom, and the characters would act like emotionally driven, stereotypical whiny teenagers in one scene, while being levelheaded, emotional mature young adults in the next. It gave me a little whiplash.

I don’t want to get into any spoiler details, but there is something that happens towards the end that didn’t necessarily feel wrong, but it felt rushed. And then the actual ending. It was nice, and it was pretty, but it felt a little forced. However, I do get that this may be intentional, as the two characters I’m referring to here are working through some personal, internal things and are in the process of changing and finding themselves to some degree.

My favorite line: I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.

My favorite visual: Jesper’s guns. I always see them so clearly.

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read Crooked Kingdom? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

 

 

Book Review

Threats of Sky and Sea | Review

Threats of Sky and Sea | Review

I was first drawn to Threats of Sky and Sea for the same reason many of my fellow YA book readers were. The cover design. It’s gorgeous, right? Let’s all swoon.

swoon
Now that that’s out of the way. On to the book.
Threats of Sky and Sea is the story of Breena and her father, who owns the Bridge and Duchess, a tavern. But one day Breena’s fathers past catches up with them and suddenly Breena finds herself going from your average barmaid to being thrown into court life, while her father is imprisoned. Breena finds out that her father isn’t who she thought. Does that means she isn’t who she thought she was, as well?

shock
Despite the betrayal, Breena wastes no time trying to find ways to free her father, while also trying to free herself from the rules and confines of court. Her hatred of corsets and skirts is admirable.
And then Caden enters the picture. He’s a prince. And handsome. You know where this is going.

love
But no worries, because the romance between Breena and Caden isn’t stuffy or cliche, it’s on par with the characters.
I don’t want to give away too much, but the use of elemental magic is interesting, especially the way each kingdom has control over out of the four elements (earth, air, fire, water).
Overall I felt like the writing was solid and the plot was well thought out so it’s wasn’t a roll-your-eyes-seen-it-before-trope.

I received a digital copy of Threats of Sky and Sea from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 stars

Have you read Threats of Sky and Sea? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

Let It Out | Review

Let It Out | Review

Let It Out is a book written by young blogger Katie Dalebout, chronicling her foray into the journaling world and more specifically how she used journaling to heal herself and her life. The book is divided up into useful sections, with the first half being Dalebout’s story and the second half being journal promos and exercises targeting specific goals.

So this book is definitely written for a younger audience (teens to mid twenties). And if I’m honest, the beginning of the book where Dalebout tells her story of how she won a contest with her book idea (yep, this book) comes off as a little naive. I actually had to force myself to read through this and not just put the book down. To me, Dalebout sounds like a young woman who thinks she knows everything, while those older just shake their head, knowing she’ll learn eventually.

But if you can get past the eye rolling, the book does get better as Dalebout goes into tips and techniques for journaling, mediation and general life betterment.

Also for much of the book Dalebout isn’t sharing new ideas or journaling techniques, she’s just summarizing those in other popular self-help books (like The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) so heads up, if you are a collector of self-help books, you probably won’t learn anything new here.

The summary is useful though, especially the way the tips are organized by category, so this book all in all is a useful reference book for those that have already read through the reference material.

Overall, I think this book would be perfect for someone younger who is going through a hard time and needing a healthy coping mechanism. I also think this book would be wonderful for high school writing classes.

I received a digital copy of Let It Out from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 stars

 

Have you read Let It Out? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!