Browsing Tag

book review

Book Review

OverRuled | Review

OverRuled | Review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the author of OverRuled, Brittney Joy, if I would be interested in reviewing her book. She said it had magic. And heroines. And horses. And so like any person who loves magic, heroines, and horses, I said yes.

And another gif because this book has horses. Beautiful, majestic, lovable horses.

OverRuled follows the story of both Nova Hart and Princess Jade. Nova hasn’t set foot in the city of Sterling since her family left when she was just a baby and is shocked to find the use of magic in the kingdom, and more importantly, the way magic is used to rule and control.

Meanwhile, Princess Jade has not only never left Sterling, but she’s never set foot outside of the castle. She is told by her mother, Queen Katrina, that this is for Jade’s own protection, but Jade starts to wonder how true this really is.

Nova and Jade become thrown together in a power play for rule over the kingdom, along with the mysterious Chael, a royal guard. Neither girl knows who to trust, and this fast paced novel will have you guessing until the very end.

Now even though this novel is written in dual POV (Jade and Nova) I found myself attached and growing fond of both characters. When Chael appeared on screen and started to interact with both girls, I found myself torn because I could feel a love triangle potentially developing. But that part is still a grey area, I think on purpose, because Chael does have some secrets of his own and keeps things close to his vest and doesn’t say everything.

The world building was fantastic and there were a couple of twists I didn’t see coming, so I was pleasantly surprised there. I really did like how the magic was ‘built’ differently than from what I’ve ever read before in terms of how it is passed down through the line.

Overall this was a great read and I’m really eager to see where the next book goes!

My favorite line: 

“Jade?” He raised her chin with a finger when she didn’t respond. She reluctantly returned his gaze, wanting the intensity in his eyes to be for her, not simply for the responsibility of her.”

My favorite visual: Riv!

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read OverRuled 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

A Crown of Wishes – Review

A Crown of Wishes | Review

So if you follow me on social media, you might have seen that I had a hard time getting into Roshani’s first novel, A Star-Touched Queen, and so I was a little unsure about A Crown of Wishes. But the week before ACOW released, I decided to re-read ASTQ and I’m so glad I did!

I found ASTQ to be better the second time around of reading, and I feel like I connected so much more with the story. So then I was sooo excited for ACOW and pretty much stalked my mailman on release day, I couldn’t wait to read it (plus by that point I had heard so many good things).

So where ASTQ dealt with Maya, ACOW follows her sister, Gauri. And oh how I loved Gauri! Gauri is a badass, plain and simple. Gauri  is in captivity and soon meets (and attempts to kill) Vikram. Vikram, whom you may view as Gauri’s sworn enemy since he is the Prince of the country Gauri finds herself captured in, is clever and quick on his feet and I love that correlation between him and his nickname (the Fox Prince).

Through fate, Gauri and Vikram find themselves working together for a common goal. I mean, they can trust each other, right? Or can they? Who knows! Either way – the commentary between these two is absolutely gold and I wanted to underline and highlight and write on my walls all the funny and lovely (and pithy ) verbal barbs Gauri and Vikram traded. Their chemistry was superb. Plus, Vikram is handsome. Never hurts.

I really don’t want to give anything away, other than just to say the world building was magnificent, the character development outstanding and why can’t Roshani just write everything I need to read in my life? That’s totally doable, right? 😉

 

My favorite line: 

“I donned my armor, lining my eyes with kohl until they were dark as death and patting crushed rose petals on my lips until they were scarlet as blood.”

My favorite visual: I don’t want to give too much away, but it has to do with a beast.

Rating: 5 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read A Crown of Wishes? 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

Wintersong | Review

Wintersong | Review

(why yes, I will be using all Labyrinth gifs for this review)

Wintersong was one of those books that had me hooked from the moment I read the synopsis. Fantasy, Labyrinth and the Goblin King? Yes, yes and yes. It released a couple of months ago, but it took awhile for my library to get a copy. But once it did, I was so on that and devoured the book in a couple of days.

So, if you’re not familiar with Wintersong and what it’s about, it is the story of a young girl named Liesl, who grew up on stories of the Goblin King and let those stories inspire her musical compositions. But soon Liesl’s older sister will be married, and her younger brother off to train as a musician. Liesl starts to feel trapped and that her childhood dreams of music are fading. \

A twist of fate has Liesl’s sister captured by the Goblin King, and it’s up to Liesl to journey underground to save her. Complete with goblins, balls, and tricky magic.

Now, in my opinion, the Goblin King steals the show. He’s mysterious and brooding, but with enough fragility exposed that you start to wonder about him, and his story slowly becomes unraveled as you read through the novel.

The writing throughout Wintersong is very lyrical and poetic, and I do agree with what some others have said in that there were a few pages I had to re-read a few times to make sure what I thought had happened actually occurred. There are places where you need to read between the lines a little to stay on top of the story.

As far as the pacing, I did enjoy the first half of the novel more than the second half. Not that there was anything wrong with the second half, it’s just the first half was so perfect!

My favorite line: 

“You are the monster I claim, mein Herr.”

My favorite visual: The red cloak.

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read Wintersong? 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

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

How To Hang A Witch | Review

How To Hang A Witch | Review

How To Hang A Witch is the story of Samantha, aka Sam. Her Dad unexpectedly fell into a coma and the doctors don’t know why, so Sam and her stepmom pack up their New York apartment and move to the historic home in Salem, Massachusetts that was the childhood home of Sam’s Dad. Traumatic enough, right? But once Sam starts school she realizes her last name has weight in this town, and not the good kind. Rumors are started, rocks are thrown and sudden deaths start, well, suddenly happening. And all fingers point to Sam as the cause. Now throw in a dreamy next door neighbor, a ghost and a curse that Sam has to figure out before other people die.

And you thought your high school years were hard, amiright?

highschool

So this book. I looked forward to it for months. It sounded like something right up my alley. I even bought a copy (I usually get my books from my local library). So you can imagine my disappointment when about a third of my way into the book I started to get bored.

Really bored.

bored2

So I trudged along. It wasn’t bad enough to stop reading. The writing was okay (if a little forced) and I knew the plot could end up going somewhere good. I wasn’t really connecting to any of the characters and *reality check here* as someone who had a parent in the hospital when I was a teenager, Sam’s actions surrounding her dad being in the hospital are totally off base IMO. She seems to forget about him unless it’s otherwise convenient. But you know, who can remember that their only living parent is in the hospital when there is a hot boy at school who is actually nice to you and lives across the street? *rant over* Basically, there were parts that felt completely unrealistic to me.

Overall the story was okay. The last bit of the book picked up but there really wasn’t any suspense building up for it and in hindsight I feel like there should have been more shock (on my end) at the big plot twist, but I just didn’t feel much about it. I expected a book that kept me riveted the entire time (a la This Savage Song) and instead I got boring soup. Sorry, just calling it like it is.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try this book! You may love it. Just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean you won’t like it. In fact, the first person to contact me (via the top of the page) and tell me they want to read this book, I’ll send you my copy of the book so you won’t have to wait for your local library to get a copy or go buy one yourself. Why? Because I want this book to end up with someone who loves it, and not just collecting dust on my shelf.

My favorite line:  “The air’s crisp with the smell of autumn, and the first few leaves have started to change color. The streets have that family-friendly feel. Store windows already have pumpkins and witches’ hats in them.”

My favorite visual: The Descendants and their black clothing.

Rating: 2 stars

Have you read How To Hang A Witch? 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!