Crooked Ravens (Otherworld, #1) [Spoiler Free]

Author: Talis Jones

Publisher: Self- Published

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Adventure Rating: 3 Stars

Amazon

“Sometimes you must let go of who you were to 
embrace what you could become.”
“And if that damns me to Hell?” she asked.
He smiled. “Then we shall meet again.”

There is an island that protects the young not because they are lost, but because they were taken. The Island of Oneiroi is not a mere destination for children and dreamers – it’s a sanctuary for the murdered and vengeance has come.

Adrianna Verdandi holds the cooling corpse of her foster brother, Geoffrey Martinez, when a curious stranger turns up with an invitation of passage to an impossible realm. Little did she know that accepting a second chance would bind their fates to the very darkness they flee from.

Time is of the essence, the rebels are rising up, ancient forces stir in the northern woods, and through it all a strange sailor named Titus watches bemused, shrewd, and knowing far more than he is willing to divulge about this ruthless game for power.

The darkness isn’t coming. It’s already there, walking in your shadow.


*Thank you to the author for sending me an e-book in exchange for an honest review!*

Story/ Plot. Peter Pan + Queen of Hearts = Crooked Raven. At least, that’s the vibe I got! It was a really cool, unique take. I liked the adventure aspect, Adrianna travels across Oneroi to help the rightful queen take her throne away from the tyrant. She was tricked into helping but ended up joining the cause anyways. Geoffrey’s story is a little more slow going. I felt as though his point of view could have had more meat to it. 

Characters. I really liked Adrianna. She was relatable in the sense that I felt as though I would make the same choices she did. I liked hers and Sarai’s friendship. Well, most of the time. Sarai was a really fickle person. One minute she was so excited that she was friends with Adrianna, then the next she was calling her dead weight. 

Writing. Okay, here is where I knocked off a couple stars. There were a couple inconsistencies that confused me thoroughout the book.  One of the first ones I noticed was when the group Adrianna was with, was making camp and the said they “should really start training her.” Then someone else was like, “yes! Let’s do that.” And then five minutes later they just went on their merry way. I was like, wait, what? Another thing that was a bit hard to read was that the scenes didn’t flow together smoothly. Like, the group does one thing, then they’re done. Then another. Then done. Ect.. I also felt as though it would have been easier to follow along if it had have been first person POV alternating. However, I just want to end with that Jones’ writing itself was beautiful, it was just the execution that was hard to follow. Here’s an example: “Night winked cheekily with bright stars scattered across the sky.” I love that sentence! 

Final Thoughts. I am definitely still interested in continuing this series! The characters and story were really interesting! I also love supporting small time authors and am very happy I was approached for this! 

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1) Review [Spoiler Free]

Author: Brent Weeks

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: August 25, 2010

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Adventure Rating: 4 Stars

| Amazon

“Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Gavin Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Gavin Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.”

First Thoughts. Pretty awesome actually. So this book came HIGHLY recommended by my husband who went 27 years without reading. This is his first year where he actually wanted to read books. I was shocked! But I dutifully started this fantasy series that he so loves. And y’all, I am so glad I did! It’s been since 2014, I think, that I have read an adult fantasy. Horrible since it’s my favorite genre. IT WAS SO GOOD! What a breath of fresh air! I had so much readers anxiety during this adventure. I had so many burning questions and theories! Some were answered and some have still not been and it’s driving me nuts.

Plot/ Story. A pretty fast paced story for a first book. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of action, and a lot of intrigue! Plus learning about the Color System of magic was SO COOL!! What a neat concept! Depending on what color you can draft, you can make different things and the color can change your mood. The downside is, the more you draft, the quicker you die. Most only live to be 36-40. Only the Prism can draft all of the colors and has to keep a balance in the world. 

Characters. To start, I ship Gavin and Karris so hard!!! Please just be happy together! Anyways, Kip is adorable and witty and charming. He is Gavin’s overweight son that may or not be more powerful? I don’t know yet! I really like the different POV the book takes you through. Karris is one of my favorites because she’s super feisty and great fun to read about.  My favorite character though is hands down Iron Fist!!!! He’s one of the coolest characters I’ve ever read about! He’s go secrets, he’s powerful, and he’s got that upstanding honor thing going without being boring. 

Final Thoughts. I highly recommend. It’s SO much fun to read and the writing is phenomenal. I don’t understand how I’ve never heard of this book before my husband told me about it. I feel like this series has a following, just no one I know! I’ve already wasted no time to start book 2!

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) Review [Spoiler Free]

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

The Wicked King (Amazon)

The Cruel Prince (Amazon)


You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.”

 

*E-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*

Plot/ Story. Y’all, this book took me all of two days to read, I think. I seriously love this series so much. It’s just a fun, suck you right in, type of read. In this second book, Jude is trying to juggle many things within Faerie. It’s really interesting to see how sneaky and manipulative she has to be to do it. And maybe Cardan isn’t as dumb as he likes to play… 

Characters. I actually didn’t like Jude as much in this book. While I understood the choices she made, she just seemed smarter than that. Like, she took the wrong risks. She never once trusted anyone. It annoyed me that she didn’t, even when multiple faeries proved themselves to her. Now, Cardan was the surprising character. Some of his secrets come out and he’s a very deep guy. He’s got a lot of layers to him and some of them get peeled back to reveal the true Cardan. Side note: I still hate Taryn and Locke. They’re suuuuuper mean. In real life I am all about forgiveness, but since this is a fake world I’m like, okay, they need to die now. *Shrugs*

Writing. This is only the second of Black’s books I’ve read and I don’t know why I haven’t picked up more. I am a huge fan. Her writing style is just straight up story telling. She’s not overly poetic/ flowery, but she’s not “here’s the straight facts”. She’s like a perfect in between. That’s my favorite. 

Final Thoughts. First, let me say, OMG OMG OMG WHAT IS WITH THAT ENDING?!?!?! This book built me up then knocked me down in tiny pieces and now I’m wallowing in the deep, dark pit of book hangovers. Now, let me say, I will continue to be obsessed with this series and it remains one that I highly recommend to all of my friends and followers. 

White Stag (Permafrost, #1) Review [Spoiler Free]

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Author: Kara Barbieri

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

Amazon

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Synopsis 2

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.”

My Review 2

*Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for sending me an e-arc!*

Plot/ Story. Y’all, this is the goblin story I’ve always wanted to read. I’ve read a few of the more popular goblin re-tellings and I actually didn’t like any of them. Whoops. But this story blew me away! It was gritty, bloody, stabby stab, adventure, and awesome sauce. Janneke and Soren’s hunting adventure (that’s putting it extremely mildly) is non-stop action packed. There was seriously never a lull. I was entertained throughout the entire shebang.

Magic. This was actually a unique system where if you defeat another being, you absorb their strength. It was actually really cool! Anyone could get stronger at any point in time.

Characters. Janneke was BA. Her character growth was done really well too. She started off as sour and hating everything and everyone. But she grew into a social butterfly. Just kidding. She kills a bunch of people and gets cray strong.

Writing. Barbieri skips the whole “first writer slump”. It’s literally like she’s a seasoned writer. She was descriptive, but not overly so. She got into the mind of her characters like a psychologist. Serisouly. You could feel what Janneke was feeling. Her worries were yours. It’s good stuff y’all!

Final Thoughts. I can’t wait for the next book! I seriously need to know what happens right now. Also, I freaking love Soren and Janneke. My favorite character is Seppo. Also, let me leave you with this: Wolves that they ride and can speak in their minds.

 

Happy Adventuring

Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha, #1) – Spoiler Free Review

Empire.jpg

Author: Tasha Suri

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

Amazon

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Synopsis 2

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.”

My Review 2

*I received an e-arc from Edelweiss+ and Orbit in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*

Plot/ Story. This actually turned out to be a really sweet love story. Mehr’s personality kind of matches my own. She’s really sweet and will do her job unless she’s pushed and pushed then she will bring wrath down. She’s got this awesome ability to “control” (it’s more like persuade) the desert spirits. And she’s powerful too. I am super interested in learning more about the Amrithi people and their magic.

Magic. There wasn’t really much to the magic system per se, only that the Amrithi people have the ability to talk to / persuade the desert spirits. It was beautifully written about though. The magic was strongest when there were storms and it was a dance between the Amrithi and the spirits. Depending on what symbol you traced or made with your hands, it would mean something different. Think sign language.

Characters. The more I review, the more I realize that I am a character driven person. If I don’t like the characters OR if I don’t understand their reasoning, then the book won’t get as high of a review from me. I LOVED the characters in this book. Mehr was relatable in the sense that I feel as though I would make the same decisions as her and feel the same way. She got down and depressed at one point and had to make the decision to take a lickin’ and keep on kickin’. We’ve all been there. I know I have. And the sweet, sweet love between Mehr and Amun!!! SWOON! They were forced together but when fighting side by side and knowing the other was all they had, they fell in love. For me, it enhanced the beauty of the story.

Final Thoughts. I definitely want to read the next book! Suri’s writing is alluring; it brings you into the story itself. I’m officially a big fan! This is a diverse book based on Indian culture! So cool!

Happy Adventuring

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) Review (NOT Spoiler Free)

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Author: Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufmann

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi, YA

My Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis 2

“Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.”

My Review 2

I am doing something a little different today. Since this book came out like, 6 months ago, AND it’s the last in the series, I decided I’m going to do an ALL the SPOILERS review. I’ve never done one before so bear with me. Another disclaimer, I AM TRASH FOR THIS SERIES AND FOR JAY KRISTOFF. I have loved Kristoff since Stormdancer. I’ve read all of his books (except 2!) and met him. I’m pretty sure I’ve rated all of his books 5 stars. Okay, enough of my gushing, let’s get on with it.

Likes. Everything.

Dislikes. Nothing.

Just kidding. I’ll go into more detail. Nik Malikov is one of my book boyfriends. I also just adore him with Hannah. They are like the dream movie couple, the bad boy (who is not so bad) and the good girl (who is not THAT good). It’s one of my favorite tropes that I will never get sick of. I loved watching their relationship grow, and totally squealed at the end when they were engaged. And THAT KISS! Right before the battle!!! SWOON!! And his relationship with Ella is the cutest ever. AND his bro-mance with Ezra is hilarious.

Going to try and move on from Nik. Hannah is my favorite girl character. She’s everything I want to be. She knows kung fu (I mean, basically) and she’s a battle tactician.  Boo yeah, baby. Plus she has the best guy. Whoops started talking about him again. Sorry, not sorry.

Kady is also BA! I hurt so much for her when she thought Ezra was dead. She was going to sacrifice herself. I was like noooooo!!!! And then when Aidan sacrificed himself instead?! OMG. I freaked out. But sneaky Ella saved him. I actually didn’t see that one coming. It was weird / sweet that Aidan loved Kady. I think. I’m still not sure how I feel about him since he was a murderous AI but did it to save more people. But I don’t blame him for trying to do something, because Kady couldn’t think of a way to keep everyone alive on the journey to the Mining Colony. Everyone was going to die until Aidan stepped in. The character I actually hated was Ben. I’m still a little salty he lived.

Asha and Rhys were the new characters and I loved them just as much. Rhys was so sweet in trying to protect Asha! He was naive, don’t get me wrong, but super sweet. I almost cried when the little girl Asha was trying to protect, got shot!

I thought the side characters were done really well. We got some back story on them as well, and it made the Baytech soldiers more human.

Literally everything about this book is amazing. The unique writing style, the story, the characters, the ending, all of it. It was a super satisfying ending. I was afraid Kristoff was going to kill a few characters. Because he usually does in his books. But I’m super happy he didn’t kill any of the main ones! And that battle scene at the end was EPIC!! I had so much anxiety over it. I’m glad Ezra’s stupid mom got taken down. Highly satisfying.

So, in the series, Gemina was my favorite book. But obviously, I loved all of them! Also, while I own the books in HC, I listened to the audio books. THEY ARE AMAZING! Full cast and sound effects.

Okay, sorry for the jumbled mess of a review! This is the first I’ve done like this! I think I’ve covered everything!

What did you think of the book/ series?

Happy Adventuring

Madilla : Spirit of U’Katang Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Ian B. Boyd

Publisher: Ian B. Boyd

Publication Date: March 14, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism (Maybe?)

My Rating: 3 Stars

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Amazon

Synopsis 2

From her very first touch of the piano keys, Madilla feels a strange tingle of energy running through her fingers. In defiance of the customs of her people, she connects through the spirit of her music with a wild mountain sparrow that shows her the freedom of wings and an endless blue sky.

Her piano becomes Madilla’s only escape from the violent atrocities of an isolated and forgotten mountain village, poisoned by centuries of military occupation. But her family has no escape. Tormented by lust and hatred, her uncle succumbs to the ways of the soldiers, igniting an even greater evil lurking within his spirit.

Recognising the confusion of her Mama’s unshakable beliefs, Madilla searches for her own truth. What she learns is that the magic she feels through her piano is only the beginning.”

My Review 2

*Thank you to Mel over at Everyday_Reader for sending this one to me! Click on her link to read her review!*

The Story. I honestly thought this was a very unique book. I’ve never read anything like this before. I loved the musical elements that were infused in the story telling. I myself play the piano (that’s mine in the photo above), so I really related to Madilla when she felt something every time she played. It really is it’s own kind of magic. I am not sure if her village was real or not, but it was most definitely stuck in time. I actually had no idea what time period we were in until Madilla found out. It was a mixture of music, war, fear, and magic.

The Characters. I really enjoyed Madilla. She started off as a strong young girl, and grew into an even stronger young woman. She just wanted to escape and play music, but outside forces kept stopping her. She can’t be found out that she can see through her sparrow, or she will be branded as a witch. She was very brave in figuring out and learning why she has this ability.

The World. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t understand the magic system at all. I kind of knew where it came from, just not how it got passed down. BUT some people might like that because it keeps an air of mystery surrounding the book.

Final Thoughts. While I enjoyed this book and the writing was really good, I found myself putting it down way too much, even though it’s a shorter book. It didn’t captivate me. I don’t have anything bad to say, it just didn’t have that oomph. I liked the message behind the book, that Madilla, as a young woman, was the strong one to save her tribe. Plus, I thought there might be a bit of a forgiveness message in there as well. 3 stars is a “I liked it” for me.

Happy Adventuring