The Demon Race (Spoiler Free Review)

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The Demon Race

Author: Alexandria Warwick (Her website HERE)

Publisher: Wolf Publishing

Release Date: September 18, 2018

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads

You can pre-order at Amazon (This is my affiliate link)

I am having really good luck with lesser known authors this year. This book was not on my radar the beginning of this year, but let me tell you, it should be on yours. This is a story of a girl who doesn’t want to get married so she goes and enters in the Demon Race. But the Demon horses (Heck yes. Awesome.), feed off of the participants emotions and soul.

This book had such a good moral compass. I thought that what the characters go through was actually very relatable in any society. I tabbed the crap out of this book because of that. So, when the demons feed on your emotions, they aren’t actually MAKING you do anything. They just heighten the bad emotions in you. But it is still your CHOICE to do the evil things. Even though to choose good is the hardest choice. Tricky, Warwick, tricky. I like it. I truly believe that this is a real occurrence that happens. People have bad thoughts all the time, it is how you respond to them that matters. People also like to blame, blame, blame. Blame their circumstances, blame the people around them. Yes, just like the demons in the story, those have a lot of play in your emotions. However, it is ultimately up to you to decide what to do with those emotions. You CAN choose good even when everything is against you. This was actually the core message I got out of this story.  I just couldn’t believe an author was actually writing about this! It was awesome!

Okay, I know by now your like, enough with the sappy stuff. So let me get into the characters. Namali, our heroine, was an extraordinary character. She fought what she knew was wrong, but she also forgave. How many heroines now-a-days forgive? It’s all about “I deserve vengeance.” She forgave her father and the men around her that were forcing her to do things. Wow. That’s actually quite beautiful. Now, don’t get me wrong, she fought like a hell-cat, as she should have. But I loved the forgiveness that followed. No one forgives anyone in this day and age. Her character progression was some of the best I’ve ever seen.

Here comes another slightly sappy sentiment… In this book, people suffer. Namali suffers because she is a woman and women in her culture are seen as property. Sameen suffers because he was born with a twisted foot. Now, there were times when Namali was all about her suffering. But she learns that other people suffer too. Wow. Imagine that. She’s not the only one who struggles. It would be nice to see a world where everyone had compassion on other people’s suffering instead of being selfish and just saying, “Well surely I suffer more, so I deserve more!” Warwick, you are an amazing story teller.

One of my favorite lines:

You don’t understand. She assumed that of him more often than she was comfortable admitting. And it was unfair. It was unfair because in doing so, she invalidated his opinion simply because they, as people, were different.

Final Thoughts. I loved this book. I thought it had MANY lessons in here that should be learned by girls and boys from around the world. I thought Warwick was brave in putting some of these things in here. I loved her writing style. It was also a clean book. I liked that. The ONLY reason this did not get 5 stars is because I’m not sure yet if I will re-read this. Y’all know my 5 stars are books I will definitely be re-reading.  Dare I say this slightly reminds me of The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis? 

Happy Adventuring

 

The Forest Queen Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Betsy Cornwell

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads

Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)

*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The Forest Queen gives me all the nostalgic feels of my childhood favorite fairy tales. It is a Robin Hood retelling with a girl named Sylvie, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. I loved the adventure to be had here!

The Story. For being a shorter book than what I usually read, the story was actually pretty well rounded. There were a few questions I had, and when I re-read through some paragraphs to see if I missed something, I didn’t find what I was looking for. But they weren’t any major plot holes, more like how did this character get from A to B.

The Writing. I liked Cornwell’s writing but it wasn’t my favorite. She is a good storyteller, but I feel as though the story could have gone to higher places if she had added more descriptions. Sometimes I was confused when Sylvie dreamed but then it turned out to be real life. Or if she was imagining something or not. I had to re-read paragraphs a few times.

The Characters: I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought that Sylvie’s character progression was actually quite good! The romance was cute but not an essential part of the story. The side characters were really likable and had personality. Especially Little Jane! And Bird is just the cutest! I also have to say that I felt as though Cornwell threw in LGBT characters at the last moment to try and give it some diversity. It just seemed random, like she was like, “Whoops, forgot to add diversity. Let’s just quickly add in some new side characters at the end here.”

Final Thoughts. I almost gave this book 3 stars but the nostalgic feel of it along with the ending bumped it up to 4 stars. I had a good time reading this retelling, and would love to read more of her work! Also, that cover is completely drool worthy.

Grim Lovelies Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Megan Shepherd

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

My Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads

Amazon (Contains my affiliate link)

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Alright lovelies (Ha. Ha.), here’s the deal. I didn’t love this book, I just liked it. I honestly have half good things to say and the other half things I didn’t really like. 

The Story. The premise and story of this book is insanely interesting. The story itself kept me hooked until the last page. Shepherd is an excellent story teller with an eye for extravagant details. She paints Paris through the eyes of someone who has never been outside before. How incredibly beautiful. Makes me want to go to Paris more than ever now!

The Writing. I can’t say enough good things about Shepherd’s writing style. It’s descriptive yet she doesn’t lose you in it. Like when you read some paragraphs about each tiny detail about a house and four pages later you don’t remember where you were in the actual story (looking at you, Game of Thrones…). She’s not like that. She built a magical world that didn’t leave me hanging but at the same time left a little mystery to it. And y’all, she’s actually quite funny. I wrote down a few quotes and lines that actually made me laugh out loud. “Goblins take their tea very seriously.”  And they do. And it’s funny.

The Characters. This, sadly, is the part I didn’t really enjoy that much. I felt as though they weren’t developed enough. Even at the end of the book I still didn’t know who they actually were as people. I think Cricket was the best out of the five, but she just showed more personality that the others. That could change in the second book, but for now, I just didn’t really care for them that much. And the romance? Nope. Wasn’t a fan. I for once wanted the main character to remain single. Beau was too whiny and weak.

Final Thoughts. I definitely liked this book enough to continue with the series. Like I said, the story is very compelling. My best pitch for this would be if Stephanie Garber wrote a story that Cassandra Clare pitched.

 

Happy Adventuring

 

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Spoiler Free Review)

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Author: Brandon Sanderson

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: July 25, 2006

Buy or read synopsis HERE

My Rating: 5 Stars

Oh mama yes. That’s what I thought when I read this book. That and, but why?! Followed by tears. It was so satisfyingly perfect. Just an all around good, solid, book. This was my first Sanderson book and it did not disappoint. Sanderson just shot up to my top five favorite authors. I am officially obsessed. Let’s dig into it, shall we?

Character Progression. There was so much! Vin grew steadily as a character and it even ended with her knowing she had things to work on. I LOVED that. She wasn’t perfect and she wasn’t a “Mary Sue”. She is the best Mistborn, but she still is a teenager with a lot to learn about tactfulness and politics. I also liked how the romance was done. It was kind of in the background, so that way you can still have a solid plot even if you took the romance out. However, I don’t want it taken out, I liked it. It was very sweet.

Intrigue. Sanderson is like a good thief. He’s distracting you with his right hand when you don’t even know what his left hand is doing. Then, WHAP! He hits you right in the feels with crazy plot twists. You think you know where the book is going. But you don’t.

Side Characters. Really well rounded, well written side characters. To the point where I wouldn’t mind if Sanderson wrote a book about each one! They were all so interesting! I think Sazed was my favorite side character. He still has so much mystery surrounding him!

World Building. Sanderson did a phenomenal job with the world. He didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but he didn’t leave you wondering about too many things. Meaning, you as the reader, are on the same level as the characters. We don’t know why the earth is covered in ash and why trees and grass and things that grow are brown. Maybe something to do with magic?

Magic. This magic system was extremely unique. Some people get powers from different metals. And very few get powers from all 12 metals. But, there are consequences to using magic. It’s a very scientific magic system that even logic brained readers would love. For instance, if you “push” on a metal, you can go flying or the metal will go flying, depending on your weight and the weight of the metal. The same goes for “pulling” on a metal. Sanderson goes into a detailed description in the book.

Ending. I just have one thing to say to you Mr. Sanderson. WHY?! I DON’T UNDERSTAND! I HURT! YOU OWE ME A BOX OF TISSUES! HOW DARE.

Final Thoughts. I freaking loved this book. I literally have nothing bad to say. All you fools (I know, I used to be like you) who haven’t read Sanderson, drop what you are doing and pick up one of his books. 

Happy Adventuring

June Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! I actually had a pretty decent reading month! I read 3 1/2 books which is pretty normal for me. Here is a look at what I’ve read. (Links are affiliate links to Amazon)

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I absolutely loved this book! It was set in Australia and a fantasy world. How cool is that? The thing I loved most is that Levy writes about anxiety and PTSD. The way she writes about it is almost as if she is a psychologist! Best adaptation of dealing with tough situations I have ever read.

My rating: 5 Stars

You can order here.

My full review here.

 

ACOFAS

 

I read A Court of Frost and Starlight in a day. I really was that short. This was not my favorite ACOTAR book. It was, as my good friend put it, a fanfic Christmas story. It was cute. That was it. I am however excited for the promise of the next book! There was a sneak peek chapter in ACOFAS!

My rating: 3 Stars

You can order here.

 

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This was an interesting read for me. It was an illustrated suspense novel. The author is also an artist and quite good! I loved her writing style and the character progression. It was a little too dark and scary for me though!

You can order here.

 

 

 

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And this is my half book I read! I am absolutely loving this book so far! It has been a loooong time since I have read an epic fantasy series! And this is my first Sanderson book! Unless you count when he finished the Wheel of Time series, then this is my first of his alone. I can definitely see why he is so many reader’s favorite author!! He is amazing!

You can order here.

 

Let me know what y’all read in June! Have you read any of the books pictured above?

Happy Adventuring!

Starlit Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: S.K. Levy

Publisher: Australian e-book Publisher

My Rating: 5 Stars

I am absolutely blown away by this book. I feel weird calling it a book. It felt like it was a life being told. I know that sounds crazy because it’s a fantasy book, but this is THE BEST writing of anxiety/ depression/ PTSD I have ever read. I am going to get personal in this review so bear with me!

I, like many people, suffer from anxiety. I have also had PPD. So reading about characters who need counseling and then the way they handle what they are going through, meant a lot to me. There is one part of therapy that I use a lot, and that is my mind place. The idea is that you build a happy, safe environment in your mind and go there whenever you feel anxious, depressed, alone, ect.. So when Levy wrote that into the book I freaked out and was like, “OMG I do that! I have a mind escape!!” Now, with that being said, I am about to say something that a lot of people will HATE me for and some parts of the world hunt me for. I am a Christian. I am not saying that to preach or whatever I am saying that because it is the core of who I am. But guess what? I don’t pretend that life is perfect and that I don’t suffer from horrible things. Christ is at the center of my being. But I am still human and need help. So, whether you are Christian or not, make a mind-scape and go there! I promise it works!

So, back to this gorgeousness of a book. The character progression is like a 5 course meal. You get a little taste, then a little more, then by the end you are so full and happy! Although I’m not happy is anywhere close to the right word for the ending! Thanks a lot, Sam! I don’t cry about books. But I cried FOUR FREAKING TIMES! The heck?!

Levy’s writing is absolutely beautiful! The way she describes places is enchanting! I want to see a Reigntime village! And see the creatures! Levy is so imaginative!

I also love Lexie and Jamie’s friendship! It’s quite beautiful and it goes to show that you can love someone without being IN love with them. Girl with girl, guy with guy, girl with guy. Just saying. Not everyone has to be in love.

Final Thoughts

Read this book if you love fantasy but also love a deep emotional story. I really want to see and get to know more Myall because as of right now he’s actually my least favorite character, but only because I feel like I don’t know him as well as everyone else now! I think this series is very unique and I really enjoyed the Australian lingo and landscape! I need the third book right now because I am telling you right now the ending hurts like your leg got cut off and you aren’t allowed pain killers and it’s just sitting there festering. 

May 2018 Wrap-Up

Hey y’all! Let’s talk May reads! I read two fantastic books this month! I wanted to read four books but life happens! Anyways, I’m really happy that it was a five star month for me! Check it out! (*Note: Clicking link takes you to Amazon. They are my affiliate links.*)

Legendary (Caraval #2) By Stephanie Garber

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I gave this one five stars! I thought the character development was written beautifully. I didn’t think I was going to like Tella but she ended up having a depth to her that made her relatable. The world building was done really well too. Magic has a price. The Fates and the religious system seem based off of greek mythology, which I thought was fascinating. I need more of Jacks, and Dante please! They were both very interesting characters I want to know more about! And as always, Garber’s writing is pure magic. 

 

 

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) By Jay Kristoff

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Jay Kristoff will forever be one of my favorite authors. He slays me every time. So, obviously I gave this book 5 stars. I mean, come on, Mia is friggin’ cool! She has shadow powers which in of itself is unique. I haven’t seen that in a book yet. And she basically goes to Murder Hogwarts (as my friend lovingly calls it). I have to say that I thought she was just going to be an unfeeling stabby stab lady but no. She had actual feelings and a sort of moral code she won’t break. It did start out a bit slow (like first 50 pages) but then crap hit the fan! I need a shadow cat and I need to read Godsgrave right this second. 

 

I’d love to chat! What did you read in May? And have you read either of these books? 

Happy Adventuring!