King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo – Spoiler Free Review

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Imprint

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Magic

Adventure Rating: 3.5 Stars

| Amazon


“Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.”

3.5 Stars. I know. Unpopular opinion alert. This was one of my, if not THE most anticipated release of 2019, and I felt let down. It didn’t get my heart racing, or make me feel like if I don’t know what happens I might die. It was just pretty good. So I guess I’ll start with my dislikes. It was boring. It only picked up about HALF WAY through the book. Yikes. Nina was my favorite character from the Six of Crows Duology, so I was very disappointed in her story line. Her’s never picked up. I was boring all the way through. In fact, I gave up hope that it would ever pick up, so after a while, whenever her chapters came up I just wanted to skip them. I honestly think the book would have been better if these chapters weren’t in it. That was my main complaint, but I have a small irritant as well. About 2/3 through the book, there is another random POV. And while, I like that character, I couldn’t help but feel his POV was pointless as well.

Man, that first paragraph was harsh, so let’s talk about the good stuff, because there was A LOT of good stuff! Zoya. I LOVE her. She was refreshing. She used anger and her beauty as a shield to protect herself from the world around her. She has a rough childhood. Her character growth was probably the greatest out of all of them. Nikolai. Loved him. Always will. His was the most interesting story line. Which is good, since the book IS about him… He goes through battles internally and physically. His relationship with Zoya is SO interesting to watch unfold. Their witty, sarcastic, back and forth banter was actually pretty funny at times. All of my stars go to their story. My favorite part of the whole book (don’t worry, no spoilers) is when they leave and go on a bit of an adventure and train.

I really liked the inventions mentioned in this book. I hope there will be more talk of those. It could become a pretty cool magic/ steampunk world.

As usual, the writing style is A+! Descriptive without losing you in the story.

The ending though… WOW! SO GOOD!

So I’m going to try out a new thing in my YA reviews. I am going to add a content section. I have had a few people throughout my years of reviewing book DM me (Instagram) about if a book would be appropriate for such and such age. BUT I want to put a disclaimer, I LIKE YA BOOKS. I read them no matter what the content is, BUT I am a 27 year old adult. I am asking people right now to not get in a hubbub if I put something in the content that they think doesn’t matter. This is just so the parents can decide themselves. So, I will be putting a content warning AND other content. The things in my content warning may also be things that are necessary for certain situations. So I am not saying that they are necessarily bad. That’s why I am saying I am leaving it up to the parents to decide. I am probably over explaining myself but better that than have misunderstandings. So let’s give this a try.

CONTENT WARNING FOR KING OF SCARS: Swearing, sexual innuendos, violence, blood, depression, death, a couple scenes where dead people come out of the ground, drinking, talk of worshiping saints and gods.

OTHER CONTENT: Strong female POV, strong male POV, healthy relationships, friendship, camaraderie, overcoming your fears, using your mind to think through situations, protecting others.

** Beautiful sign is from Bookish Signs and More shop! Rep Code to save on two or more items: Lauren20

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.

Caraval Giveaway!

Caraval Giveaway Alert! 

Caraval is one of my all time favorite series so I thought I’d share it with all of you! You can join my giveaway on my Bookstagram page! I have two prizes, one US and one International! 

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US Prize: One copy of Caraval by Stephanie Garber with a signed bookplate

One Caraval quote print

One Legendary Hot cocoa mix from March’s Shelflovecrate! This is an exclusive

item you can’t get anywhere else!

International Prize: One book up to $15 USD from Book Depository or Amazon as long as they ship to your country! (Price does NOT include shipping :))

*Giveaway not affiliated with Instagram, Flatiron books, Stephanie Garber, or Shelflovecrate!*

Good luck!

Happy Adventuring!

 

Legendary (Spoiler Free) Review

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Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: May 29, 2018

My Rating: 5 Stars

Click HERE to order and for synopsis*

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


Stephanie Garber must have magical powers that enable the reader to be transported into her world. Because I am obsessed and still can’t pull myself away from wanting to be in the world of Caraval! I had heard that Legendary was even more amazing than Caraval (which I gave 5 stars to that as well) so I was extremely excited to read it! And boy did it live up to the hype! Huge book hangover, y’all!

So let’s have a chat about the world building. It’s good. Like, I’m not sure I can think of one thing she missed when building her religion and magic system. And if she did miss something, it’s not noticeable in the slightest! She took some greek elements and mixed it with magic and awesome sauce. I liked that there was consequences to using magic! Nothing in life is free so it doesn’t make sense magic would be either! And Tella proved that!

I definitely didn’t think I’d like Tella. In book one she seemed too self absorbed and slightly arrogant. I thought I was in for a selfish display. I was pleasantly wrong! Tella was fascinating to read about! She had so much depth to her character and love for her sister! She had interesting and understandable reasons for her actions in the first book. I also really liked that she knew she was pretty but she wasn’t conceited. Well done, Garber!

So, I need the third book now. There were SO many different aspects of this book that needs to be addressed in the third book! Dante (swoon!!!), Jacks (who I’m still trying to figure out), and Scarlett and Julian!

Final Thoughts

This is one of my favorite series and one that I will most definitely re-read. Garber’s writing is absolutely musical. She writes like each word belongs to the next. It flows. I loved that the “gods” in this book were called Fates and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next book! I need more of Tella and Dante!!!

*Note: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.*

 

Nevernight Review (Spoiler Free)

“Too many books. Too few centuries.”

-Jay Kristoff

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Find Synopsis Here

Author: Jay Kristoff

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: August 9, 2016

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

You know when you read a book and you just want to force everybody to read it? And it’s so good that you just don’t have the right words to say. It’s this book. I have loved Jay Kristoff since I read Stormdancer back in 2014. For some reason I never picked up Nevernight. I think I was just so attached to his first series that I just didn’t think anything else could be that good (plus he tears your heart out in his books so I admit I was a little afraid). So many people have begged me to read this. I definitely should have read it sooner. Did it tear my heart out and hurt? Yes. Did I love every painful moment? Yes.

The way Kristoff writes is like he actually experienced the story. He makes the stories feel as though they really happened. It is very rare that I get emotional when reading. I never cry when reading. He makes me cry every dang time. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up writing a whole post on Jay Kristoff (hands down one of my favorite authors of all time) and not Nevernight.

So let’s talk this beautiful, bloody mess. I went into this book thinking it was about a cold blooded assassin. I was happily convinced otherwise that Mia Corvere actually had a ton of depth. She did what she had to but she also had her own set of moral rules. I very much so enjoyed her stab stab stabby all over the place in one scene and in the next asking a fellow assassin if they wanted to talk about what happened to him. She was my favorite character.

I also loved the side characters like Tric (hot tamale), Ash, Lottie, and most importantly Mister Kindly. I have heard so much about him and now I want him. He is Mia’s shadow cat and I want to know how she got him so I can get him too. He is hilariously sarcastic and very mysterious. Plus, he eats her fear. Gimme, gimme, gimme!

I would just like to take a moment to talk about how the plot started as one thing and ended as another. So. Many. Shocking. Twists. Seriously, at the end of the book, I was like, “Did I start reading another book?! BECAUSE WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?!” That ending tore me up! Once again, Kristoff blows my freaking mind.

Okay y’all, I had to knock a half star off because those sex scenes were way, WAY too vivid. I don’t really like it when I’m reading this really great plot and they take a commercial break to have sex. Like, why though? It didn’t have anything to do with the plot. I was like, ummm can we get back to the program here?! Thank you. Geeze Louise.

Final thoughts: I love Jay Kristoff. Whoops, did I say that already? I want a not-cat. Oops, did I say that too? For real though, this book was a freaking blast and I will force you to read it. And you will thank me. Especially if you like bloody, stabby, stab, BA assassins with strange magical powers. I had one friend dub it ‘Murder Hogwarts’! I can’t wait to dig into Godsgrave (Ha. Ha. Dig? I’m so punny. You love it.)!  

Happy Adventuring!

Sightwitch Preview (Spoiler Free)

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Synopsis Here

Title: Sightwitch

Author: Susan Dennard

Publisher: Tor Teen

My Rating: 4 Stars (May change once I read the full book.)

*I got an e-arc preview excerpt from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I just know Susan Dennard has done it again. Tear my heart to pieces. I would give anything to get my hands on the full book right now!

Ryber is such a fun character to read about. I really relate to her rule following. I like that she’s different than most characters you read about most days. She’s calm, collected and follows the rules. I’m dying to know how her journey will change her. And I’m dying to know how she and Kullen fall in love!! I’m also very interested in The Rook and hope we get more of his story.

I am enjoying the way the book is told through journal entries and other clippings. It’s very unique and adds a different element to the story telling. Can’t wait to read more!!

Happy Adventuring!