April Wrap-Up

April was a pretty good reading month in the sense that I only read ARCs!

(Synopsis links go to Goodreads. Clicking on photos will take you to Amazon.)

Here is what I read in April (with very short reviews):

The Wolf by Leo Carew

-My rating: 3.5 Stars-

-Publisher: Orbit-

-Release Date: April 3, 2018-

Synopsis Here

Click photo below to purchase!

A nice break from what I normally read now. This type of fantasy was what got me heavily into reading when I was in middle school. Good writing, good plot, good character development. Some parts I felt myself skimming through, but all in all it was a good read.

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

-My rating: 3 Stars-

-Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers-

-Release Date: May 1, 2018-

Synopsis Here

Click the photo below to purchase!

Classic case of a fantastic plot with boring characters. One of the characters was an alcoholic and it was never fully addressed. I liked this book however and it did make me want to read Jane Eyre, which this was loosely based off of.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

-My rating: 4.5 Stars-

-Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire-

-Release Date: May 22, 2018-

Synopsis Here

Click the photo below to pre-order!

My absolute favorite read in April. It had action, magic, a little bit of romance, princes and princesses, and female bad a**ery. I knocked a half star only because some of the phrasing was repetitive, like “I felt my cheeks flame” was used a lot. However, I highly recommend this fantasy! Loved it!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Adventuring!

Furyborn (Spoiler Free) Review

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Author: Claire Legrand

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: May 22, 2018

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Find Synopsis Here

*I received an e-arc from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.*

My gosh where to even begin. Legrand weaves a stunning tale full of dark magic and twists and turns! And I loved every moment of it! The plot was juicy, the characters swoon worthy, and the world building a perfect amount of description without being boring! Let’s dig into things.

The premise of this book is what drew me in. A blood queen and a sun queen, but who is who? And they fight angels? Yes. Please. They will each have seven powers and mastery over the elements. Fire, Water, Air, Sun, Shadow, Earth, Metal. Told from two points of view, I find it interesting we begin at the end of Rielle’s story. It almost makes it more intense that way because you have no idea how she got to the mental state she was in. So each time you read her point of view, you technically already know what happens to her. Now, Eliana’s story takes place 1000 years after Rielle’s and we start at the beginning with hers. But there is a ton of mysteries going on around her and in her blood that the reader doesn’t know about until three quarters of the way in. I never really liked Rielle, I thought she was way too proud and kind of stupid to not trust in her closest allies and friends. I’m not sure that you are supposed to like her though. But Eliana, I loved. She was a total B.A. but deep down had shame and guilt for the things she had done. She had depth and personality that Rielle didn’t have. I’d also like to mention my two favorite side characters, Navi and Zhara! I want their backstories!

Now, there was only one tiny complaint I had. Some of the writing was a little repetitive. For example, the phrase, “cheeks flamed” was used a lot. I feel as though the author could have come up with something else for feeling embarrassed. There were a few other phrases that were used repeatedly so that’s why I knocked a half star.

My take away: I thought this was really well done. It kept my attention, and I even dreamed about it. I know that’s a good read when that happens! I highly recommend to any one who likes a kick a** heroine taking names and kicking butt. 

Happy Adventuring! 

 

Brightly Burning (Spoiler Free) Review

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Author: Alexa Donne

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 01, 2018

My Rating: 3 Stars

*I received an e-arc from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review*

When I first heard this book was a retelling of Jane Eyre in space, I knew I had to read it. Have I read Jane Eyre? No, but it’s on my TBR and I figured this book would give me the push I need to read that classic. It did that, but only because I’m thinking Jane Eyre would be a little bit better than Brightly Burning. This book was a whirlwind ride. It was really all over the place. There were parts all throughout the book, including the ending, that I sped read through, and parts that I took my time for fear of missing something. I really felt that some parts were written really well and others felt as though the author just needed to add filler.

Let’s start with the negatives. My first and main concern about the plot is that Hugo, the love interest, is an alcoholic. And he never stops being one. Maybe it was implied in the ending? But I feel as though the author should have put an obvious stop to that. As someone who has dealt with alcoholism within my extended family, I know how devastating the effects are. It’s truly awful. (Don’t worry, I’m not getting on a soap box.) So, yes, the author really needed a stronger plot point to end his drinking.

Honestly, none of the characters were really interesting enough for me to want to keep reading the book. Stella was dry and Hugo was basically a martyr without cause. Yes, his family was messed up but he himself wasn’t. So I didn’t really understand his martyrdom. And their relationship lacked critical communication. Hugo just kept assuming Stella would know his motives. And Stella had a love / hate relationship with him until the end where she apparently always loved him and never stopped… Even though she said she hated him a couple times… It was really the plot and mystery behind the Rochester that kept bringing me back.

The story as a whole, was very interesting. The ships can’t sustain life anymore, earth is covered in an ice age, and underneath it all there is a sinister mystery going on. I kind of guessed what was happening on the Rochester, but it was more than what I thought, if that makes sense. I didn’t think big enough. And I was happily surprised. It was the creepiness of the laughter and people almost dying abroad the ship that kept bringing me back to read. And once I found out the scope of the situation, things picked up. Without giving anything away, the ending was my favorite part. It’s where all the action happens and where you don’t know who is going to live or die. I love that kind of suspense.

Final Take: I liked this book. Y’all know 3 stars for me is a liked book. I thought the characters were boring but the plot interesting enough for me to keep wanting to read. I thought the author did a good job making the book feel completed without added questions. It has a satisfying conclusion. I liked it enough to want to check out more of her work in the future. 

Happy Adventuring! 

The Wolf (Spoiler Free Review)

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Find synopsis here.

Author: Leo Carew

Publisher: Orbit

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

A brutal war with political intrigue? Yes. Sign me up. I had been needing something heavier and grittier than what I had been reading. This book didn’t quench my thirst but it scratched an itch. Ya feel me?

The thing I liked most about this book were the two main characters, both of which had a hand in narrating the story. There is Bellamus, who is a Sutherner, and a man who lives and breaths war. He studies the Anakim and it’s almost like he wants to be one of them, even though he has made it his mission to exterminate them. Getting to go inside his mind while he thinks strategies is a very interesting experience. He kind of made me want to read The Art War (almost…). I think the book is written in a way that made you feel for both races and warriors. I, however, rooted strongly for Roper.

Roper is the King of the Anakim. The Anakim are over 7ft tall and live twice the normal human lifespan. Roper only became king when he was 19! The Anakim are a warring people. It is what they excel in, and almost nothing else. Though Roper shows more depth and character than his fellow people. He feels for them. He wants to be a good king. Don’t get me wrong, he is BA at strategy. It’s what his blood line is for. He went to war a boy and came back a changed man. I loved it.

What I didn’t love: some of the plot didn’t make sense. Like, why do the Sutherners keep trying to dominate the Anakim?! They had a peace treaty and Bellamus was like, “Hmmm, I’m bored. Let’s go commit genocide.” Like, what?! Why? Random. And I really wanted more world building. I felt as though the author concentrated (and did a good job) on the Anakim history, but they are only on one island. What’s in the rest of the world?

All in all, I really liked this book. It was gritty and bloody and just what I was in the mood for. I liked that the two races paralleled England and the Vikings. I wanted a little bit more from the plot, but overall it was interesting. If you are looking for a High Fantasy, this isn’t it. It’s more like an embellished, different earth, almost historical, type of Fantasy. I happened to find it entertaining and I will definitely be reading the sequel! 

Signed Obsidio Giveaway!

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Just wanted to tell those of you who don’t know that I am hosting a signed Obsidio giveaway on my Instagram, @Storied.Adventures! You will also get a candle from Little Crow, and a body spray from my shop! This is international, but the international prize is one book up to $15 from Book Depository! So there will be two winners, one from the US and one international! You can find the rules on how to enter there!

Happy Adventuring!

Bookish Adventures Shop – Jewelry Review

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Shop: Bookish Adventures – Website Here

Item: Curiouser and Curiouser Alice in Wonderland Necklace

My Review: 5 Stars

*Use code Lauren10 to save!*

I rate jewelry based on a 5 star system. I rate taking into account creativity, looks, quality, and affordability.

I know I might be a little biased when it comes to Eliza’s shop because I rep for her. However, I pride myself on honesty and really wouldn’t rate something 5 stars if I didn’t think it deserved it. This is one of my new favorite necklaces. It’s the perfect length and style for me! Oh, and did I forget to mention it’s a locket too?! Lockets are my bread and butter. Seriously, I have a ton. I love the little pink jewel she put on there as well, to give it a little extra pop! If you are looking for bookish jewelry, I highly recommend Bookish Adventures shop!

Happy Adventuring!

Shelflove Crate Review (February Box)

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Hide and Seek February Box

Price: $29.99 USD + Shipping and Taxes (Mine came out to around $40.00 USD)

US Based

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Okay y’all, I rate boxes using 5 stars. My rating system is based on quality of items and how much loot you get for your money.

This box delivered it all! This was my first Shelflove Crate box I have ever bought and I couldn’t be happier! Queen’s Rising and Markswoman are both on my TBR so I was very ecstatic to receive them! Now, let me tell you what was in the box. I will also provide the links to each shop or artist as well.

Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross – Find Synopsis Here

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra – Find Synopsis Here

A pamphlet with both author letters, book suggestions, spoiler page for the box, Instagram highlights, Instagram photo challenge, next month’s theme, and a vendor reveal.

Grisha Pillowcase by EvieBookish – Her Society6 Shop Here

Princess Lia Candle by Belle and Co Candlemakers – Their Shop Here

Legendary Cocoa and Art Print by @Morgana0Anagrom (IG Name) – Her Art Here

The Darkest Minds Bookmark by Shelflove Crate

Cinder Trading Card by Kat Adara – Her Art Here

And of course the box! Check them out! I highly recommend! Shelflove Crate

*An honorable mention at how incredibly cute their box design is! Love it!*

To Kill a Kingdom (Spoiler Free)

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“And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.”

– Alexandra Christo

Author: Alexandra Christo

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Publication Date: March 06, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis Here

Mermaids, sirens, and pirates, oh my! This was pitched as a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid, and dark it was! Let me say that it was more akin to the original Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Andersen. It was so wonderfully bloody and intense.

Lira, the main character, is a siren hell bent on killing princes, because that’s her thing. You know, we all have our thing and hers is taking the heart of princes… She is a ruthless killing machine earning the nickname “Prince’s Bane.” Heck yes. Enter Prince Elian, who’s mission in life is to end all sirens, most importantly the Prince’s Bane. Oh yeah, it’s getting good now. What happens when you put two of the worlds top killers together? Sparks fly. Literally and figuratively.

I loved them working together because they furthered each others character development. They slowly, through their murderous intent, started thinking about peace, and what the world would look like without the Siren Queen. I would say Lira had a stronger turn around than Elian. Elian at least had emotions and felt things where Lira started out with only pure savagery. Could have been their upbringing since Lira’s mother literally had no emotions except wanting power over the whole world.

Why I gave this four stars: It was too easy to put down. I didn’t think about it constantly like I do five star reads. I also wanted a little bit more world building because it sounded extremely interesting and vast. I mean, there were 100 kingdoms! But the plot, the character development, and the writing were phenomenal!

All in all, I highly enjoyed this book! I thought the writing was really well done! It wasn’t overly flowery and yet it wasn’t plain. I thought it was a satisfying standalone with keeping it open enough to possibly have more books in the future! At least, I hope so! 

The Cruel Prince (Spoiler Free)

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.” – Locke from The Cruel Prince

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Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little Brown

My Rating: 5 Stars

Find Synopsis Here

This book was dark. bloody and painful in all the right ways. Do you ever get that feeling when you read a book that makes your blood run faster because you just can’t get enough? Yeah, that was this book. I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough or get enough. It was THAT magical.

It wasn’t just the writing that was pure magic, it was the world. The way Holly Black describes everything makes me think of something similar to the Garden of Eden. The world seemed so lush and colorful, with danger lurking around the corner. It was somehow dark and vibrant at the same time. Especially seeing it through the eyes of Jude, the main character.

I felt as though Jude was relatable in the sense of how she reacted to the world around her. She had to survive somehow. She did end up being slightly cruel herself, however, she needed that cruelty to live. Literally. But I liked how she still felt guilty. That was what made her humanity stand out. And, um, I don’t want to give any spoilers, because I ain’t about that spoiler life, but I’m just going to put this here… CARDAN!!!! *sobs*

Literally everything was perfect. The world building was rich and vibrant. The character depth was immeasurably deep for the main characters. The side characters were interesting enough to make me want to know more about them. The plot twists were insanely good. And the ending was a cruel (see what I didn’t there?) cliffhanger, leaving me needing the second book like I need air.

All in all, this will be a re-read book for sure. I literally just finished it and I’m pretty sure I feel a book hangover coming on. I really didn’t want to leave that world! I also loved that Holly Black blended very traditional fairy lore with her own take! Read this. Just do it. 

Happy Adventuring! 

 

Dragons

“If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.” – Llona Andrews

I thought it might be fun to have a short list of books about dragons! The first five books are books I’ve read and the second five books are books I want to read! They all have dragons as the main component. Hope you enjoy!

Books I’ve read:

1. The Waking Fire by Ryan Anthony

The Waking Fire

I really enjoyed this adventure! I gave it 3 stars but I liked it enough to want to continue the series! People can drink dragon blood and then they get special powers depending on  what color the dragon is. Click the photo for the full synopsis!

2. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina

Pretty much every one I know has loved this series. It wasn’t for me. I found it really slow and I honestly just don’t have an interest in continuing the series. I gave it 2 stars. It’s about a girl who is part dragon and has a strange connection with other half dragon people. Click on photo for full synopsis.

3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon

Eragon, to me, will be a classic. It is one of my favorite series of all times. Adventure, dragons riders, and a little romance? Yes. I’m thinking of a re-read. 5 stars! Series is about Eragon and his dragon Saphira trying to take down the evil King! Click on photo for full synopsis.

4. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Again, one of my all time favorite books. I will forever and always love and re-read this book. A true classic masterpiece. 5 stars. I don’t think I need to put a partial synopsis here. Everyone and their mother knows what this is about. Even so, click the photo for full synopsis.

5. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

How can I not put the mother of all dragons in with this post?! One of my favorite series of all time. 5 stars. And once again, I don’t think I need to tell you what this is about. Click on the photo for full synopsis.

Books I want to read (Click on photo for synopsis):

1. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

His Majesty's Dragons

2. Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon

3. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara

4. Eon by Alison Goodman

Eon

5. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Dragonflight

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please, please tell me some of your favorite dragon books! 

Happy Adventuring!