Book Review

Book Review: Deathcaster (Shattered Realms #4) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 656 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

SPLINTERED ALLEGIANCE.

Warrior Alyssa ana’Raisa would do anything to protect her home, the Fells, and her legacy, the Gray Wolf Line. But as a prisoner of Empress Celestine, Lyss is forced to turn her fearsome talents as an army commander against her beloved homeland. Refusal would swiftly lead to her death, and her death would end the Gray Wolf Line.

ANCIENT DANGER.

In Lyss’s absence, Fellsmarch Castle swarms with intrigue, deception, and a primordial threat. Destin Karn, a Southern spymaster with a hidden agenda of his own, might be the queendom’s only hope of defeating the forces aligned against the Seven Realms… as well as the enemies within the castle.

THE DEADLY COST OF PEACE.

Master storyteller Cinda Williams Chima delivers spellbinding action, bittersweet reunions, and dazzling revelations in this indispensable conclusion to the Shattered Realms series. 

FANTASTIC FINALE.

Oohhh this book was so good. I am distraught that this world is at last at an end. I enjoyed the Seven Realms series more, but I definitely had a good time reading through Shattered Realms.

I love that I couldn’t figure out who the traitor was. Every time it would lean one way and I was convinced they were the culprit more facts would be laid out and I couldn’t believe it! Well, I believe the character who committed the fraud is capable of such a thing, I was hopeful that they were better than that, but GUESS NOT.

The ever changing POV was on point. I was left feeling suspense on a feeling of suspense but also that the scene had finished. It was smooth and easy transitions as things were utterly ruled by chaos before the last moments of battle.

“He cocked his head, grinning charmingly, exposing teeth the size of rock slabs. Flame female?

Y’all, dragons. Dragons. And, oh, did I mention dragons? There was a whole cadre vibe with the family of dragons and there interaction and dialogue was seriously the best. I’m so happy they played a much bigger role and dealt out vengeance to all.

The plot was heavy story driven vs. character driven. I wished there was a bit more relationship building among the couples, friends and the like. It would have really put the whole book over the top.

The characters all stepped up their game too. Each reunion scene has me holding my breath. Shouting, AT LAST!! I needed those scenes, and I got those scenes. Destin was one of my favorites. He was sassy and conniving, but also could shed some tears, and when he saw Evan again? I couldn’t even handle it.

Getting Lyss and Hal back together was also momentous. Their final scene was the nice little cherry on top. I love happy endings. I like knowing where things are going. All the questions I had were answered and I fully understood the angle of the antagonists and well as our heroes.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: a handful of mild words
  • Romance: two glossed over love scenes, some kisses
  • Violence: knives, poison, fire, physical
Book Tag

Book Tag Saturday: 20 Questions

Good morning. Hope you have a great weekend planned!

I’m hopelessly falling apart and do not remember where I got this from, but hey! That’s okay. If you know I’ll gladly tag them in and credit the original author!

How many books are too many in a series?

Hmm, even when I LOVE a series, I still want it to end before the wait time gets crazy. So I’d say, AT MOST, 6 or 7 books. And it better be a stunner, like Throne of Glass or Falling Kingdoms.

I’m afraid the longer the series goes on that I may fall out of love with it and nobody wants that!!? Better to end things before the situation gets dicey.

How do you feel about cliff-hangers? 

I’m not a huge fan of them. But there’s also levels of cliff-hangers. There’s the ones that are at the end of chapters that don’t quite leave you hanging since it’s really easy to keep going.

The ones where the book leaves you hanging and wanting more, but also that things are fine.

Then the ones where your JAW DROPS and you SHOUT at your book. Those are actually the ones that drive me batty. It often feels like a ploy to get the next book (and sometimes, months later after thinking about it I don’t want it anymore anyways). I’m given time to consider the entire book as a whole.

Hardback or paperback?

Hardback. But mostly for aesthetic bookshelf purposes. Paperbacks are really nice to carry around out and about, but there’s something about a hardback. I love the feeling of finishing it and sliding it onto the picked out place on my shelf. Bookdragon much? Hoarding my bobbles.

Favorite book?

If you’ve even seen one of my posts, you would know this fact. I love this book. It makes me happy.

Least favourite book?

Ooo, to be put on the spot like that. I’m not sure how often I hate books, because I try to find at least one redeeming quality. The most recent one I didn’t like was…

Surprised? Not really. because my rant-y review is here.

Love Triangle… Yes or No?

HARD PASS.

The moment I get a whiff of one I start to get skeptical. It better be the best dang arrangement and plot to make me be okay with it. I am unbelievably picky in this department.

A few that worked out would be ACOTAR, The Kiss of Deception series, The Infernal Devices.

The most recent book you couldn’t finish? 

This is one of those books where I saw everyone reading it, and everyone loving it, yet I COULD NOT get behind the romance. I’m kinda sad about it because I love a good romance. I’m 34% of the way in, is it worth it y’all?

A book you’re currently reading?

Josh & Hazel: absolutely LOVING this and need to finish this post so I can get back to it.

Warbreaker: Listening through Audible and thinks it’s wonderful! I’ve been enjoying listening whenever I get a chance.

The last book you recommended to someone? 

Uhm, that’s a good question. Oh wait!

I told a friend about this series yesterday and she’s excited for it! We both love when historical fiction plays into fantasy books.

Oldest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? 

It appears to be The Odyssey, written in 8th century B.C. That or Beowulf was written in 1000 AD.

So yeah, that’s a long time ago.

Newest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? 

So new it’s not even officially released yet! (review)

Favourite author? 

Quick list of some of my auto-buy authors:

  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Marissa Meyer
  • Laini Taylor
  • Amy Harmon
  • Colleen Hoover
  • Brene Brown
  • Cassandra Clare
  • Stephanie Garber
  • Tricia Levenseller
  • Tahereh Mafi
  • Brandon Sanderson

Whoa that list got out of hand. But as you can see, there’s a lot.

Buying books or borrowing them?

BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY.

I am a book hoarder. I know it, I’ve accepted it, my husband has accepted it, so I’m in the clear. Now, I do borrow from the library a ton too. But I’m a sucker for a new book. Especially when said book is on sale.

A book you dislike that everyone else loves? 

Oh you wanna hear my biggest unpopular opinion? HARRY POTTER. I’ve tried. I did not succeed. My husband plans to read them to our babe when she’s older. So maybe I’ll get the magic then, but until, I will keep on keepin’ on not being a Potterhead.

Bookmarks or dog-ears? 

I let my friends/family borrow books from my “library.” You want to know the first and only two rules?

  1. Do NOT break the spine.
  2. Do NOT bend the pages.

And that’s it. So I’d say I’m a bookmark person. I also have been using the same bookmark for 5 years from that long lost land of Hastings. Oh how I miss it!

A book you can reread over and over?

ACOMAF.

I’ve already mentioned my favorite book. I do read it often and will continue to do so.

Can you read while listening to music? 

If it has no words, or is the real quiet, simple “coffeehouse” music.

One of my favorite playlist (that I’m even listening to right now) is “Your Favorite Coffeehouse” by Spotify.

Multiple POVs or one POV? 

ALLLLL the POVs.

My favorite versions are when there’s a romance involved and getting it from the other’s perspective. SO PRECIOUS.

I love hearing things from all sides. It really rounds out the story for me.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days on average?

It depends on the book, but now that I’m a Mom it’s usually over multiple days. That being said, I generally finished with 2-3 night reads. So I go through a lot during the week.

During nap-time I take my own nap (no shame here) and read before she wakes in the AM and after she goes to bed.

I also tend to read books 400+ pages and that’s really hard to read in one sitting and I don’t want to rush too much through it.

Who do I want to tag?

Nobody! If you want to do this feel free too. Let me know, I’d love to see your answers if I’m not already following you!

How do you feel about these answers? Do you agree? Lets talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy, Historical fantasy
Length: 576 pages
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

 Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

HAVE MERCY.

Someone please tell me they got that reference.

I picked up this book based off of the hype for the new series, Courting Darkness. The hype train got to me, but it worked! I really had a great time reading this thought it was quick and endearing.

I loved the pacing and felt there was a steady amount of action. I thought there would be a bit more murder because the whole concept is that Ismae is an assassin for the god of Death. There was quite a bit, but I was missing a bit more stabbiness. This concept was great though. Reminded me a little of ToG (because of the assassin idea, but that’s it).

You can see who the traitor was from the first moment they stepped onto the page. Even with that being the case there were still a handful of twists that I didn’t see coming. I was kept on my toes and very worried about how the duchess would fare.

The romance between Gavriel and Ismae was SO GOOD. The romantic tension between them was driving me crazy. I loved Gavriel and thought he was a strong and steady presence. He was continually faithful to his family and was preciously tender, and fierce. Goodness, seriously, the best.

Ismae on the other hand was fine. As the main character I expected a little more from her, but she wasn’t spectacular. I thought it was great how trained she was because girl could hold her own. Other times she annoyed me a bit and her thoughts her repetitive.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy & historical fiction
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses, a love scene so vague I’m pretty sure nothing actually happened
  • Violence: domestic abuse, knives, poison, physical (it is a book about assassin’s so expect lots of death)
  • Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, sexual assault
Book Review

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary fiction
Length: 327 pages
Author: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: Viking – Pamela Dorman Books
Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . 

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

I’M FINE.

I wasn’t sure what kind of book I was diving into when I picked this up. Just that Reese Witherspoon had it in her book club, so I should read it too (I love her y’all).

It was different than I imagined, and I had a hard time getting into it. I still was invested and finished the book and liked it overall.

The biggest meaning of Eleanor was the struggle that is, mental health. This was hard to read at times as Eleanor had to first, deny then confront her demons head-on. I thought the author approached this really well. I had a lot of empathy for her and so deeply understood how the past can try to hold you back.

Her personality was directly affected by all that she had locked away in her mind. The quirks she had (such as talking so formally and maybe a touch too blunt at times) made her, her. I thought she was clever and funny in her own right.

One of my favorite portions was that there was no romance. Yes, maybe a hint in the future at the very end, but that was not the point of the book. Raymond was the friend Eleanor needed and I LOVED IT. He was kind, caring, and understanding in so many ways. I adored watching their friendship blossom and seeing Eleanor open up to what a good relationship looks like in her life.

I also want to give a special shout-out to Eleanor’s boss. Whenever she had to take time off of work for her mental health she wasn’t resented for it. He made sure she took her time and came back when SHE was ready. This seriously needs to be a world wide example.

I felt like the book was missing something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it honestly might be for the fact this isn’t my usual genre. I was missing the portions I generally seek out in reading in this book. I still appreciated Eleanor Oliphant as a whole and enjoyed the story.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult contemporary fiction
  • Language: a few strong words
  • Romance: none
  • Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, verbal/emotional abuse, discussion of suicide, alcoholism, depression, mentions of rape, animal abuse, survivor’s guilt

Instagram || Goodreads

Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need A Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is here again and we’re discussing Books That Need A Sequel. Going through my books I realized just how many series I read. Do I mind? Nope, I love series. But below are some great standalones that I felt could have more to make them even better or that I loved so much I want more from their world.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I could definitely live in this world again and get more of Celia and Marco.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Based off of what the book is about, you know the ending will hurt your soul. So I’m thinking a sequel where Catherine has a much happier ending, ya know?

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I absolutely adored this book and reading about Puck. Having more of this story and these crazy water horses would be so cool.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Sirens. Pirates. Slow-burn romances. GIVE ME MORE. (Review here).

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Now, she does have The Girl the Sea Gave Back coming out, but those have different characters even though it’s the same world. I would love more Eelyn and Fiske and am happy that they will at least appear in the next book! (Review here!)

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

I think this book was too brief. I did like it, but I think with even more story and tales it would be even greater. Especially if there was a PREQUEL book. Yes, this needs a prequel book. The Wicked Deep was a clever read that left me with so many mixed emotions.

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

I LOVED this book. And wish dearly I could have more of it. Levenseller has become one of my favorite authors.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A book a few years down the line after Eleanor has conquered all of her demons, falling in love and living her best life. That would be one sweet book.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I liked this book, but didn’t love it. If things were expanded and had time to flourish I think I would be allllll over it. Because there’s fairies and I love fairies.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

This was on of my favorite books from a few years ago. So many feelings. I could use a sequel with more Atlas and Lily because y’all, they deserve it.

Have you read any of these? What books do you think need sequels? Lets talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying. 

RESONATING.

“Each scar marks me as a survivor. A warrior of the wild.”

This was a book that really caught my attention. A lot of powerful phrasing that really hit home for me. I love this authors writing and the way she builds her characters and the story as a whole.

I absolutely love the dialogue throughout WotW. It was impressive. It felt real and had me flying through the book. I didn’t want to put it down! I vaguely figured out where the book was going, but loved the progression all the same.

I appreciate that the romance was believable. That can be a hard task in a standalone. I adored Soren and his practical, loving nature was precious. Things moved at a steady pace and never went too far, which made absolute sense for the time frame/plot. The banter between Sorren and Rasmira had me chuckling and begging for more.

Each of the main characters (Rasmira, Sorren & Iric) all went through these characters arcs that dove into deeper waters. Conquering fears, realizing one’s true nature and abilities, and learning to communicate were just a few of the aspects broached. I feel like I really got this book. Which is probably why I’m gushing over it now.

The only “eh” thing was the god Peruxolo. There wasn’t much to him so he wasn’t a completely believable antagonist. The scope of the story was so much broader than him that his background took a backseat. I was at least satisfied in the fact that the truth was fully explained at the end.

“My soul has worth, and I won’t let it depart this world just yet.”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy (vikings)
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: light kisses to barely intense make-outs
  • Violence: ax, knives, physical

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Tag

Book Tag: Do I Have That Book Challenge

I wasn’t tagged in this, but saw on Sara’s (The Bibliophagist) blog and thought it would be a lot of fun! I usually scroll through my Goodreads lists and I like this unique challenge of going through my shelves.

You can see the Youtube video that this challenge originated from here.


Rules:

1. Time yourself trying to find each prompt on your shelf
2. Try and beat the time of the person who challenged you.

3. Don’t forget to tag your challenger and the original creator.
4. Have fun!

1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?

I have a handful, but The Madman’s Daughter, was the first one I found.

2. Do you have a book with 3+ people on the cover?

A Reaper at the Gates, love this cover change. Now if only my first two in the series matched!

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?

I absolutely adore this book, My Lady Jane was so cute!

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?

First one I found, Six of Crows.

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?

Obsidio!

6. Do you have a Mass Market Paperback book?

The Longest Ride, honestly the only one I own!

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?

I know she uses both Victoria Schwab and V.E. Schwab, so A Darker Shade of Magic it is.

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?

I love anything Amy Harmon writes.

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?

The same map on both covers of the book, but hey, it counts!

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?

Having to use Sara’s answer because I own a handful that are now movies, but The Mortal Instruments is the only one I know that’s a TV show. Oh how I wish this was an actually good adaptation.

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/TV personality…)

Initially got this because I love Amy Poehler, but unfortunately didn’t love it as much as I hoped.

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?

I can’t find one with a clock, so another time device will have to work. Evermore has an hourglass!

13. Do you have a poetry book?

My absolute favorite poems from childhood. Reading them as an adult is even more humorous. These were a little more clever than I thought.

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?

Echo.

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?

It doesn’t appear that I own one, so I went with my maiden initials: C.C.

16. Do you have a book of short stories?

Anything Bardugo writes ends up on my shelves and The Language of Thorns was no exception.

17. Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?

A solid 502 pages.

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?

This movie was so precious. A great adaptation!

19. Do you have a graphic novel?

It doesn’t look like I have any…I own a lot of children’s books so those have a lot of pictures, ha! I read with our babe a lot, but it looks like I need to look into some graphic novels!

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?

This whole series is stunning. And I can’t wait for their next duo series, Aurora Rising!

There we have it! Have you read any of these?

What graphic novel should I read? I would love your suggestions! Let’s talk in the comments.

Also, since I wasn’t tagged, I’m not tagging anyone! If you end up doing this though, please let me know! Would love to see your answers.