Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Jimmy Paterson

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Genre: YA, Mystery, Historical Fiction

Adventure Rating: 4 Stars

| Amazon

” Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget. “

I am officially on the fandom train that is this series! The characters, the plot, the intrigue, the romance, the writing, all completely well done!

Characters. Audrey is my favorite type of character. She is a super strong woman that also loves pretty things. She likes getting her hands dirty but then after that wear a lovely dress. I relate hard core. She is also whip smart! She knowledge and skill with helping her uncle in dissecting bodies is really interesting to read about. I also love that she has her emotions but she uses them! Thomas was so swoon worthy! He was so kind and helpful. He pushed Audrey when necessary and comforted her when she needed. They make a good team!

Plot. The plot was so good! If you know the real story of Jack the Ripper, it was never solved, so it was interesting to see Masiscalo’s take on the famous case! It was (at least in my opinion) really easy to know who the killer was. I guessed within the first few chapters. But I am not sure if her intent was to have the reader just guess anyone. I mean, the blurb on the back of the book kind of narrows down suspects. So, it wasn’t as mysterious as I wanted it to be. But it still held my attention with Audrey and Thomas running around trying to figure out the killer! And I love the extra steampunk twist!

Final Thoughts. I can’t wait to continue the series! I love historical mysteries and this one did not disappoint. I can’t wait to see how Audrey and Thomas’ relationship develops and the new cases they solve!

Notes: Book Sleeve from Love You More Studio! If you are interested, I have a rep code! StoriedAdventures10 to save!

* *Normal disclaimer that content warning isn’t necessarily my personal thoughts. It’s for parents. *

CONTENT WARNING: Kissing, death, gore, blood, they dissect dead bodies, gruesome details of the Jack the Ripper case

OTHER CONTENT: Controlling your emotions, strong female lead, using your talents for good

Recommend me some other Historical Mysteries!

Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber – Spoiler Free Review

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Adventure Rating: 4.5 Stars

| Amazon

” A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end… “

Oh, buddy was this a ride! I loved it. It was pure magic, a unique tale, and just all around beautiful. Garber seriously uses all five of her senses when she imagines her world and she articulates it perfectly. At any given point I could almost close my eyes and feel like it was real. This book has some of my favorite descriptions ever. From the dresses made of magic butterflies to the color of different emotions. Magic. I will read and buy anything this woman writes.

Characters. I guess this would be spoiler-ish if you haven’t read any of the books. But I really liked Tella’s chapters a little bit better in terms of adventure. But in terms of a good message, I think Scarlett takes the cake. I’m a sucker for true love, love conquers all, love is magic, type of stories. I actually truly believe that even in our world. Julian, Legend, and yes, even Jacks were very swoon worthy to read about. For awhile at least. They all had their faults (Jacks especially, whoops). Julian loves without abandon. I’ve always liked him. Legend fights it. And Jacks… confuses love with lust and obsession.

World. The world builing… I don’t even know how to explain it. This is one of the few worlds where I want this to be real so, SO badly. This world is right up there for me with Narnia and Middle Earth. (Woah, Lauren, slow your roll, do you even know what you are saying?!) Yes, the world, my fine friend, not necessarily the book.

Final Thoughts. The ONLY thing I didn’t really like was that part of the ending felt rushed somehow. It’s hard to explain without spoilers!

I’m just so obsessed with this series!

I want more! And if you’ve read this you know Garber left a certain story line slightly open ended!

Going to be totally honest, I originally wrote out a very long review and realized that it was going to be a TLDR review. I just had a lot to say.

I want to know if you liked it! And if you didn’t, I want to know that too!

Notes: Playing cards are from Owlcrate, Book Sleeve from Love You More Studio Code: StoriedAdventures10 to save some money!

* *Normal disclaimer that content warning isn’t necessarily my personal thoughts. It’s for parents. *

CONTENT WARNING: Lots of kissing, sexual talk, sexual situations, violence, death, killing, lying, stealing

OTHER CONTENT: Love is the most powerful force of all, forgiveness, friendship, healthy sibling relationship, sacrifice, healthy relationships, persevering.

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3) Spoiler Free Review

Author: Brent Weeks

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

| Amazon

“As the old gods awaken, the Chromeria is in a race to find its lost Prism, the only man who may be able to stop catastrophe, Gavin Guile. But Gavin’s enslaved on a galley, and when he finally escapes, he finds himself in less than friendly hands. Without the ability to draft which has defined him . . .

Meanwhile, the Color Prince’s army continues its inexorable advance, having swallowed two of the seven satrapies, they now invade the Blood Forest. Andross Guile, thinking his son Gavin lost, tasks his two grandsons with stopping the advance. Kip and his psychopathic half-brother Zymun will compete for the ultimate prize: who will become the next Prism.”

Alright y’all. This one is going to be short because we start verging on the territory of spoilers. A lot of plot twists. A lot of changes. And I freaking loved every moment. Brent Weeks is the king of plot twists. Just information bombs that make your jaw drop. I know I say this every book but this one was my favorite. They just keep getting better and better!

Oh wait, Weeks is also the king of character progression. He does an amazing job of slowly, through character experience, molding the character and having them grow up. Like Kip and Teia. Let me tell you, they go through some serious stuff! Kip is becoming such a strong character. Teia too! Gavin… hmm. He needs to learn a thing or two. Ha!

I think the character I relate to the most is Karris. She sees in black and white. Something is either good or bad or someone who did bad things can become good. I’m like that. However, my favorite character, and get ready for this, is Andross! Yep. I said it. He is one of the most fascinating characters I have ever read about.

I hate Zymun and Sharp. They need to die. Sorry, not sorry. I hope Teia gets to kill Sharp and I hope Kip gets to kill Zymun. Liv’s chapters are boring. But I’m thinking Weeks is setting her up for something major.

Learning more about the magic and the world is sooo cool! Some of the interactions, Kip especially has, is some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever read!

That is about all I can say without any spoilers! This series has it all. Character progression, action, magic, intrigue, mystery, and a bit of romance. I’m completely obsessed.

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke – Spoiler Free Review

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date: October 02, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retellings

My Rating: 3 Stars

| AMAZON


“A dark standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory.

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life. 

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.”

So, the hook that got me the most was the fact that it is a retelling of Beowulf. Let me tell you, even being a reader my whole life, I did NOT like reading the original (translated) version. Hated it. But I liked the movie. And the fact that this book was a female retelling. But it didn’t wow me. It didn’t follow Beowulf that closely either. In fact, if no one had said it was a retelling, I would never know. So, I just liked it. That’s it.

I can’t even do likes and dislikes because I feel like each thing I liked, there was something I disliked. Here’s what I mean, I loved that there were fantastic representations of female friendship. They were close but not in love with each other. However, it was kind of weird how much they would touch each other. I know they had to sleep tightly together for warmth, but aside from that they would just randomly start running their hands through each others hair or lay down in their laps. Even if my best friend did that to me, I’d be extremely uncomfortable (unless she was crying and I was comforting her maybe). Another thing I liked was Frey and Trigve but again, the no romance but very touchy thing was weird. Maybe it’s my age (27) but I just don’t do that with guy or girl friends.

The thing I liked most was the battle scenes! They were pretty awesome! Four women and a guy ripping into things and fighting monsters was so fun to read! I also really enjoyed the parts about the Sea Witches. I wanted more from their parts!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I liked it. Enough to read a second book if one comes out! It was a really chill read. One of those books you just read casually. They are always good for fillers in between the tear-out-your-soul reads.

Let’s chat! Have you read this? What did you think?

December 2018 Wrap-up and January 2019 TBR

I read some awesome books in December! I also got to check off something on my bucket list! And January is going to be an EPIC month for reading!

I finished my last ARC at the beginning of December and then essentially threw out my TBR. I pretty much only read YA last year and while I love YA I needed a break and read some adult stuff. I read adult romance. I have always been afraid to read romance because I hate smut. It’s not my thing. But a friend of mine on bookstagram recommended and bought me (love you Mika!) two of her favorite historical romance books! And they hit the spot perfectly! I also read a second in an adult fantasy series that I am obsessed with! *I also read the Boneless Mercies but I haven’t put up a review for it yet. Because of the holidays!

4 Stars. Adorable. I want to read the rest of the series!
Goodreads
Amazon
3 Stars. Cute. Interested in the rest of the series!
Goodreads
Amazon
4 Stars. LOVED it. Like, why aren’t more people talking about this sereis?!
My Review
Goodreads
Amazon
3 Stars. I love supporting Indie Authors!
My Review
Goodreads
Amazon

Books I bought:

Yep. That’s it. One book bought in December. That’s sad. 😛

Merch/ Rep Packages:

These gorgeous ribbon bookmarks are from Every Which Way shop. The Hogwarts house ones are only on Zibbet. My code only works on Etsy. My code is Storied10 to save! Zibbet | Etsy

*Note: I do not own King of Scars. This is photoshopped.*

These bookish signs are some of my favorite decorations for my bookshelves! And you can customize your own! Bookish Signs and More

I have been working as a rep for The Bookish Box for almost 8 months now! I LOVE them! My code: Storiedadventures10 works for new customers! It will also work on The Bookish Shop for boxes!

This beautiful box is from Dust and Pages! Ruthie’s designs are some of my absolute favorite!! She’s the bomb diggity!

Personal:

My whole family went on vacation over Christmas! We went to Breckenridge, Colorado to ski and snowboard! My son saw snow for the first time which made it that much more magical. There really is nothing like a child’s wonder! Breckenridge is the most picturesque Christmas town ever!! And I got to check Snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, off of my bucket list! Woohoo!

I am going for 5 books this month because I am almost done with my audio book of The Broken Eye!

I actually finished this book as of writing this post!
I have about 13 of 29 hours left!
I will finally take the plunge into this dark despair that I’m sure will rip my heart open.
Wait, isn’t everyone reading this this month? 😛
It was my turn to pick a book for my book club and I chose this one!

Like I said before, this is going to be an EPIC reading month. I might hurt after this…

Let’s talk! What are y’all reading?!

2018 Books I Can’t Get Out of My Head

Instead of doing a 2018 wrap up sort of thing, I thought I would tell y’all about my favorite 2018 books I read! But first, my 2018 reading stats!

I read 46 books and read 19, 137 pages! This was a second personal best with 2013 being my highest reading year yet! So, I am pretty happy. I read mostly fantasy, no surprise there. The longest book I read was Voyager by Diana Gabaldon which was 870 pages. And I rated 4 stars the most. Whew! I think that’s it on the stats! Let’s get into the good stuff!

  1. A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3) by Deanna Raybourn

I looooove love love this series. This series is what got me into Historical Mysteries. Plus these covers are some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen!

Amazon

2. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

This was my first ever Holly Black book. I love her now. This series has really mixed reviews, some of my friends hate this series and some, like me, love it to death! It’s kind of cheesy but I can’t help it!

Amazon

3. Legendary (Caraval, #2) by Stephanie Garber

Again, super mixed review among my friends but I love it. I like just fun, magical stories. I cannot wait for Finale!!!!

Amazon

4. Starlit (Reigntime, #2) by S. K. Levy

Disclaimer: The author is a friend of mine. However, I pride myself on being an honest reviewer no matter what. I think about this book literally every week if not every other day. The way she wove how to deal with anxiety into a fantasy series has me in love with this book. Plus it’s a fantasy series that takes place in Australia. So cool!!

Amazon

5. For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire, #1) by Heidi Heilig

This was one of the most unique books I have ever read. It was an Asian/ French mash up of culture and so freaking cool. Plus the author is Hawaiian/ Chinese and I was insanely excited to find that out because I am too! (Plus a few other things but still! :P)

Amazon

6. Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Didn’t think I was going to make an awesome list without Jay Kristoff being on there, did ya? He’s hands down one of my favorite authors and I had the great pleasure of meeting him this year! I have been a fan of his work since Endsinger came out!

Amazon

So these last four are ones I gave 4 stars to but they still stuck with me through the end of the year!

7. The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick

It was just a super sweet story. I loved the elements of adventure woven in.

Amazon

8. Ignite the Stars (Ignite the Stars, #1) by Maura Milan

Loved this Sci-fi! It was seriously so much fun to read! Plus, space school?! I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love books with specialty schools in them!

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9. The Storm Runner (The Storm Runner, #1) by C. J. Cervantes

Really cool, really solid MG Fantasy. I liked that the main character’s disability was his greatest strength.

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And this last one is one that I rated 3 stars but am seriously thinking about changing it because I am still thinking about this book!!

10. Nine While Nine by Stasia Morineaux

It was a really unique take on Irish (I think it’s Irish if I remember correctly) paranormal legends. It gave me all the fall vibes. Like, I don’t think you can read this book in any other season, it’s just that perfect for Fall.

Amazon

These were just the books that came out this year that are still stuck in my head! I gave 5 stars to a few books that are older and so far one book that is coming out next year!

Happy New Year’s Eve! I truly hope everyone had a wonderful year!

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!